Archive for the ‘Catalog’ Category

WEBS Holiday Catalog 2009

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009
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This year’s holiday catalog is out and working it’s way across the country to your mailbox!  With this issue we are also launching our on-line catalog.  You can browse the pages, click through to add items to your wishlist or shopping cart and then zip right back to the catalog.  No worries – the print version is not going anywhere!  The online catalog is something many folks have been asking for and we’re happy to offer option.

One of the things that makes the Holiday Catalog different from the others we send throughout the year is the cover.  Rather than showing a model in a garment we get to have a  little fun and create something whimsical and inspiring. 

The first holiday catalog we mailed back in 2006 featured Woolly:


Woolly rocked.  Everyone loved Woolly.  He is the bar that all Holiday Covers are measured against.  I will love him forever.

In 2007, this was our cover:


I really liked it but it wasn’t quite Woolly.  Still very adorable and fun.

Last year was this:


My least favorite.  No comparison.

So, as we started planning for this year’s catalog, the line was drawn in sand.  The cover must be spectacular.  It must measure up to Woolly, if not exceed.  That was my challenge to myself and my team.  We bantered around a lot of ideas and it was Mary in our Marketing Department who came up with this year’s concept – cookies.

I loved the idea, but I will be honest, as we began to move forward with the concept I became nervous.  Skeptical even.  I really wasn’t sure if the cookie idea was going to be able to deliver the same emotion that Woolly did.  I was worried I wouldn’t love it.

Once the cookies were completed and ready to go to photography I was silently panicking.  Our timeline was tight and if I didn’t love the shot it was going to mean I was either going to have to live with it or pull everyone together and come up with something else which would have been nearly impossible.

The only people I said anything too was our designer and photographer.  They have worked a lot of magic for me but I just didn’t think they could take the cookies and create a shot that I loved.

Color me wrong.

They sent me back about 6 or 8 possibilities, all slightly different.  Each of them took my breath away.  Although the team wasn’t in 100% agreement, I made the final decision. 


I LOVE the cover.  I cannot possibly find enough adjectives to express how MUCH I love it.  It’s perfect.  It can stand proudly next to Woolly.  My thanks to Mary for the idea and early prototypes, to Kirsten for creating the cookies, to Linda for brainstorming with us and of course to Penny & David who turned all of our hardwork into this beautiful shot. 

Tomorrow I’ll share with you some of the great projects and gift ideas INSIDE the catalog.

Remember, if you haven’t received yours yet, you can check out our NEW on-line catalog here.


WEBS Fall 2009 Catalog

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
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Our Fall Catalog started mailing last week.  The launch of a new catalog is always an exciting time for us. 


If yours hasn’t arrived yet, don’t worry, it’s working it’s way through the mail stream to you. In the meantime, let’s look at a few of the highlights, shall we?

The stunning cover image is courtesy of our dear friends at Berroco.  The Nuss Cardigan from booklet #288 Blackstone Tweed is a garment we’ve talked about previously.  Knit in Berroco’s new Blackstone Tweed, Nuss has an interesting construction and nice fit.

One of my favorites that I insisted be in the catalog is Potter from Norah Gaughan Vol. 5


Knit in Berroco Pure Merino, I fell in love with this jacket the moment I saw pictures of it last spring.  I’m not a huge yellow fan, although I’ve been told I can pull off the color, but there is something about this jacket, yellow or otherwise that really speaks to me. 

Another design that I’ve reference previously here on the blog and on our podcast is the Riding Jacket from The Big Easy booklet knit in Donegal Luxury Tweed Chunky from Debbie Bliss

The simplicity of the silhouette immediately grabbed my attention – you know I love classic styles that look like you put a ton of work into them but in the end weren’t so difficult. 

The Lace & Bobble Cardigan from Classic Elite Booklet #9102 – Weekend - didn’t really impress me until Betsy came to the shop to give the store staff an overview of new fall yarns & designs. 

It looked great on everyone that tried it on and it’s knit in Classic Elite’s new yarn Chesapeake.

When Diane & Stacy from Tahki/Stacy Charles came to visit, they both knew I’d be head over heels for this next garment.


Score a point for them.  I love Eileen from the S. Charles Collezione Modern Living booklet – simple, clean lines, feminine.   Knit in Tivoli, a new yarn from the sophisticated S. Charles Collezione, the design and the yarn are both homeruns in my knitting book.

One quick yarn shout-out to  Centolavaggi (prononounced Chento-la-va-ggi) which could also be known as Zara laceweight.  Diane & Stacy had a random skein of this with them many, many months ago and asked what we thought of it.  At 1531 yards of gorgeous Italian Extra Fine Merino that is superwash no less and priced at only $19.95 I asked them how soon we could have it.  Had to wait a little longer than we would have liked, but it’s here now!

There is a never ending parade of new sock yarns coming into WEBS that it’s almost hard to keep track of them all.  One fun addition for fall is Flusi 4-Ply Color from Regia.  Flusi has a fun little story that is actually supported by a story book

The balls are 50 grams so two are needed for a pair of socks.  The colors are bright and whimsical, just like Flusi himself.  I love a good story and good marketing always catches my attention.

On the Valley Yarns front, I posted several weeks ago about our fall shoot which was held at Pioneer Valley Vineyards.  The pictures in the catalog are just stunning.  Here are a few of our own highlights.

First up, is our NEW Northampton Bulky, knit up in Zephyr Style pattern Juliet.  This was the perfect choice for this yarn. 

Again, this is one of those great designs that just looks great on everyone and that’s saying something for a garment that has a gauge of 3 stitches/inch.

We’re also excited to debut our new Valley Superwash DK.  Twenty hardworking colors are presented in this 5.5 stitches/inch sister to our worsted weight Valley Superwash.  We have lots of design ideas for this yarn, as I’m sure do as well!  For a quick project (or early holiday gift) Mary in Marketing whipped up these adorable amigurumi critters from teh book Super-Cute Crochet by Nicki Trench.

The Hawthorne Textured Cardi has been a favorite of mine since I saw the finished design. 

Knit using our gorgeous tweed Valley Yarns Williamstown, this cardi has a bit more attitude and although tweeds can often be seen in more casual looks, Williamstown simply shines.

Our wildly popular Gallery Jacket was reknit in our rich brown and now has a completely new look! 

Valley Yarns Sheffield was used in both the original design and this remake, but the change of color is really stunning.  It’s shiney and new all over again!

My last favorite is the Point & Line Cardigan

Knit in our 100% merino Amherst, this cardigan is the perfect fall wardrobe addition.  It’s functional in that it will keep you toasty, but has a nice feminine look.

We have one other new product for the fall.  It is so big and we’re so excited that it deserves it’s own blog post.  So, until tomorrow!


It’s All About Fall

Thursday, July 30th, 2009
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The past couple of days have been crazy busy and although we’re finally getting some serious summer weather, it’s been all about Fall.

Yesterday we had the pleasure to welcome Betsy Perry from Classic Elite Yarns to WEBS for the day.  She spent time with our store staff in the morning, reviewing all of the new fall yarns and designs.

There’s nothing better than seeing the designs in person and getting to try them on.  Here’s Pixie trying out one of the designs from Veronik Avery which is knit in her debut yarn Nordique in her new St. Denis line:

Marion fell in love with this cardigan:

Ashley proved that trying on a garment can sometimes really make all the difference.  I was not a fan of the sleeve detail until I saw the sweater on her:

Plus, it really helps to have Betsy explain the inspiration and construction behind some of the key pieces.  There’s always more to the story than what you see in the pattern book.  While we had her in Northampton, we took the opportunity to interview her for next week’s podcast!

Today was our photoshoot for our fall catalog.  The weather was questionable at best when I woke up this morning, but Mother Nature was on our side and gave us a beautiful day.  A little warm and humid to be modeling sweaters outside, but our model was a trooper!  Small world, inside story – she was at a shoot for Berroco yesterday! 

Choosing a location for our shoots is something we think long and hard about.  We try not to be too seasonal with our shots since they are often used in more than one catalog, on the web, in ads, etc.  I always want them to appear timeless.  Mary in Marketing suggested a local vineyard, which just so happens to be owned by our Customer Service Manager.  Although we had been there previously, we went with our photographer to scout it out.  It was perfect and so we spent today here:

Look at the beautiful vineyard:

It was simply stunning.  The grapes they grow, along with fruit they purchase from local farmers is processed here into wine:

Not quite as simple as I am making it out to be, that I can guarantee you.  After a year-long process, this is the end result:

Trust me when I say – Linda and her family make a fine wine.  Pioneer Valley Vineyards was also the perfect back drop for our shoot:

I cannot wait to see the shots from our photographer tomorrow.  I know they are going to be great!


Valley Yarns Photoshoot

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009
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A couple of weeks ago we had our photoshoot for our next catalog.  The June edition is always dedicated to just our own line, Valley Yarns.  For the rest of the industry it’s sort of an in between time – spring yarns have been out and about for awhile and fall is not quite ready yet.  The new catalog has a ton of new designs, a new yarn and new colors in many of our existing yarns.  You should be seeing it in your mailbox in mid-June.

For this shoot, we decided to showcase the beautiful downtown right in Northampton.  We are fortunate to have a vibrant downtown full of great shops, restaurants, theaters and more.  The architecture is so pretty and the character of our town really shines through.

Doing a shoot in a bustling area, moving locations, etc., presents it’s own set of challenges.  Often we’re in a park or other less busy location.  Since we’re celebrating 35 years in business this year, I felt showcasing the community where we’re based was important.  We did talk about also doing part of the shoot in Amherst, where WEBS was founded, but that became very complicated.   Let me share a little bit from behind the scenes.

Here is our model Jessica getting primped for a shot:

Trying to get the perfect shot:

I am so in love with this crochet scarf:


Even though Jessica isn’t a knitter, we got her channeling her inner fiber artist:

Finally, my camera did not do this last shot justice.  We were fortunate that this dogwood was in bloom with the most delicate pink petals and the sun was shining through its branches in a way that took my breath away.  The color worked beautifully with the color of our wrap.:

One of those magical photoshoot moments that you just can’t plan for.

I can’t wait for the catalog to be printed!  Thanks to David, Penny, Bradley, Mary, Angie and Jessica for making all of the garments come to life so beautifully.  A big thanks to Kirsten for all of her hardwork and to all of our knitters too!


Vintage Baby Knits Book Signing & Trunk Show!

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
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I am very excited that author Kristen Rengren will be here at WEBS tomorrow evening from 6-7:30pm for a book signing of her new book Vintage Baby Knits and trunk show! 


For those of you who listen to our podcast, Ready, Set, Knit (Show #125)!, I had the opportunity to interview Kristen a few weeks back.  I also was able to meet Kristen in person at the last taping of Knitting Daily TV and see some of the pieces from her book.  I cannot wait to see the rest of the pieces.  The book is adorable so be sure to come by WEBS tomorrow night to meet Kristen, pick-up a signed copy of her book and enjoy some yummy treats!  You know we always have yummy treats. 

WEBS is always opened on Thursday evenings until 8pm and our Thursday night drop-in will be in full swing until 8pm so plan to stay, meet some new friends and work on your latest project!

For those of you who read this blog on a regular basis, listen to Ready, Set, Knit or especially visit the shop, you know Steve & I have had an insane travel schedule since January.  The fact that we don’t get on a plane for the entire month of May is awesome.  I know, most of you are giving me little sympathy because traveling is fun – it is – but it’s also work, literally and figuratively.  Plus, when you travel as much as we have been, it puts day to day life in a weird time warp.  Let me give you an example.

This morning I went out to the store and spied these waiting to be put out on display:

Steve & I bought these from Della Q back in January at TNNA.  I said “Oh, these great bags are finallly in, I love these!”.  The store staff smiled and agreed that they are darling, etc.  I grabbed one for myself and continued on “I love the Marrimekko prints and I love the cobalt blue. . . . ”  They smiled and nodded politely and then someone casually stated “It’s great to have them back in stock.”.  Operative word in that statement would be. . . . BACK – as in, they were out of stock which means they are not new, but in fact a RE-ORDER.  They had been in the store previously and I didn’t know that.  See, this is what happens when you are operating at a million miles an hour and 32,000 feet up.  You miss things.  Now, is the fact that I missed a simple project bag’s arrival a huge deal, no not really, but it is one of those moments that sort of pings me and I think to myself what else have I missed?  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not in worrisome sort of way – we have the greatest staff on the planet and they can manage anything and everything – it’s more my own personal “what’s passing me by” concern.  I mean, how can I live without this bag in my life:

For the record, the cost on the bag is $8.00 and comes in two other adorable prints, but this one is my favorite.

One last item for today.  I spent some time over at the bead store this afternoon.  One of our suppliers was in town and I had not previously had a chance to meet him (Surprise!  I’ve been out of town the last two times he’s come to visit.)  He brought tons of beads for us to look at – Barbara, Janet and I had fun picking out some new items for the bead store:

I am particularly fond of these:

We’re not on-line yet (sorry, sorry, sorry!) but be sure to visit WEBS – America’s Bead Store when you come to visit yarn!


P.S.  A huge thank you to Gail – the Kangaroo Dyer and woman of unlimited talents.  The beautiful planters outside the store feature not only gorgeous flowers, but are packed with fresh herbs.  Gail took the time to clean out the mess from the winter months and get all of the new plantings in.  Thank you Gail!!!  The store front looks beautiful.  I know Freddie is particularly appreciative of the fresh catnip :)

More Valley Yarns Designs

Friday, February 20th, 2009
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I’m glad you all liked the video I did last week featuring a couple of our newest Valley Yarns Designs.  The feedback was pretty clear about wanting to see the garments on a model, so a garments on a model is what you will get!

Before you watch the video, I do want to point out a couple of things.  This is the first time we’ve tried this format and yes, there are definitely areas for improvement.  Be kind in your comments and bear with me, okay?

Secondly, it’s obvious that my video equipment needs an upgrade.  One of the things I am unhappy with in this video is how difficult it is to see the detail, especially on the Space Heater sweater.  It’s partially due to the color of the garment – those darker colors are always a challenge to photograph and it’s no different on video.  I think sound quality also continues to be an issue.  It’s not awful, but not as clear as I’d like it to be.  Yeah, I know, I’m fussy.

So, I hope you enjoy this.  This clip features three designs from our Spring catalog, the Space Heater Pullover knit in Northampton, the Hanging Garden Cardigan knit in Colrain Lace (2/10 Merino/Tencel) and the Tanglewood Cascading Cardigan which was originally knit in Lenox, but we’ve given it new life as a spring garment in Southwick.


Let me know what you think.  Do you feel that three garments makes the video too long?  Would you prefer seeing two garments at a time  or would you prefer to see each garment done as a separate video?  I really want to make these videos what you want them to be so let me know your thoughts!


Shakin’ Things Up A Bit

Sunday, February 8th, 2009
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Our new spring catalog has begun arriving to all of you.  This is always an exciting time for us back at the shop – wondering what you’re going to like, not like, etc.  We are always particularly anxious about the new Valley Yarns designs that we debut.  These are our babies and we love them and always hope that you do too. 

Our local customers have the advantage of seeing the garments in person.  No matter how great a job we do with our photography, seeing the design in person is simply the best.  So I thought we should try something new – try to give those of you who shop on-line with us a better feel for the garments.  I’ve taped a short video describing two of our new spring designs, the inspiration behind it, the construction, etc.  For those of you who read this blog regularly, you know I’ve been fooling around with video off and on for a few months now.  I’ve still got a lot to learn about shooting video, etc. so bear with me.  This first one isn’t bad, but there are already things I know I want to do differently next time.

First up, I discuss the Trumpet Flower Cardigan knit in Valley Yarns Goshen, then it’s onto the Closed Bud Lace Coat in Valley Yarns Sheffield.


What do you think?  Like the idea?  Want to see more of these?  What else would you like us to do via video?


First Week Last Week

Monday, January 12th, 2009
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Well, it appears that 2009 is going to be similar to 2008 in at least one way.  Speed of Time.  Despite my determination to slow the pace down a bit, 2009 just doesn’t appear to want to cooperate.  Rather than fight a losing battle all year long, I’ve decided to make peace with 2009 and it’s Speed Racer tendencies.  I will gladly zip along the days and weeks with you, on one condition.  I  have the right to shift us into first gear every now and again.  I might even slam the breaks on once or twice.   I’m hopeful that 2009 will be agreeable to my requests.  Wouldn’t want to get into a tussle with an entire year.  Only time will tell.

Last week was a crazy week (I know, you are all surprised beyond belief).  We got the kids back to school (Hurray!) only to have a snow day on Wednesday (Boo!).  Worst part of that was not only was Wednesday a snow day, it was the day of our Kate Jacobs event.

We’re hearty here in New England and Kate, well, consummate professional and trooper are terms that come to mind.  Despite our lower than expected turn out, she was gracious and engaging.  I always get a wee bit nervous at these events.  We plan, we advertise, we spiffy up the place and then all we can do is hope.  Yes, we take pre-registrations so we always have an idea of the numbers, but in reality, until folks are in the door and sitting down, nothing is definite.

We have some signed books still available and another 20 or so with signed bookplates.  If you are interested, please stop in and pick up a copy.  Or if you are ordering on-line, specify you want a signed copy.  When they’re gone, they’re gone.

Next day was our catalog shoot.  The shoots take a ton of prep and organization to make sure we are using our time efficiently. 

I think we got some great shots and I’m so excited about the new designs we have coming.  Our team did a great job.

I cannot wait to get the catalog printed and in the mail to all of you.  I am particularly interested in your response to the cover.  I will say this publicly, it was 100% my choice and Steve and the other folks who’s opinions matter to me were not very supportive.  Personally, I love it.   I hope you do too.

So, it’s going to be a crazy week (again, shocker of all shockers).  We have new spring yarns rolling in, Steve has been buying closeouts like a drunken sailor and we’re off to TNNA, the industry buying show.  I’m hoping to capture some cool videos at the show and maybe give you a few sneak peeks along the way.

Oh, and for those who are interested, here’s Jonathan at his first full-ice scrimmage:

Stay tuned! 


P.S.  So how is 2009 treating you so far?

Wrap Ups and Ramp Ups

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
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Sorry for not posting sooner. The weekend was crazy with Twist and I took off yesterday for a business trip.

Twist was an absolute blast! Thanks to everyone who came out – especially those of you who made the trek in the remnants of Hanna. It was such a great community event – Lexie & Cory you guys rock!

Here’s our own LA demoing the Rigid Heddle Loom on Friday evening.

I manned the show on Saturday and the interest in the loom was incredible.
Here’s Christa & Tina from WEBS! Christa was selling her beautiful handknits while Tina makes amazing necklaces.

For those of you who missed the event, rumor has it that a Twist 2.0 may be in the works, so be sure to stay tuned!
Now, as much as I hate to say goodbye to summer, there’s no question that fall is just around the corner. Our new fall catalog is arriving in homes and I have to say a great big “Thank you” to everyone who has taken time to email or post a comment or blog about it. We are really proud of this issue as it incorporates many new ideas I’ve been working on. If yours hasn’t arrived yet, don’t despair! The catalogs are at the mercy of the USPS so please have patience. If you aren’t currently on our mailing list and want to receive a copy, simply email with the request and be sure to include your name and mailing address.
For those of you who have already dog-eared several pages, what projects are you planning to make? Time to get fall knitting in full swing!

Got Yarn?

Friday, July 25th, 2008
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Um, yeah, we’ve got yarn, a lot of yarn. So much yarn has come in this week, I gave up trying to take photos and document it all. It’s truly mind boggling!
We received in all of Classic Elite fall yarns, all of Tahki/Stacy Charles and Rowan! Seriously, the staff is on such overload at this point, everyone is sort of just wandering around babbling with dazed looks on their faces. It’s been a lot to process both physically and mentally. I will touch on a few highlights, but please understand, this is merely the tip of the yarn mountain.
Kaffe Fassett introduces a new chunky weight yarn called Colourscape. It is so beautiful. I will take a picture of it on the store shelves (forgot today – remember the babbling and dazed looks, I’m there too). It knits at 3.5 sts = 1″ on 10.5 needles and has 175 yards for $23.95.
Classic Elite Ariosa is a roving style yarn that is 90% extrafine merino/10% cashmere. It feels awesome! It also knits at 3.5 sts = 1″ on 10.5 needles and has 87 yards for $11.99. Classic Elite has also introduced another collection of gorgeous designs to support all of their new yarns.
Plymouth has a new yarn in their Bristol Gallery Collection called Ashton. Ashton is 50% baby alpaca/40% fine merino/10% silk. This DK weight yarn has 122 yards and is just scrumptious. This is one that would make some great scarves for holiday gifts!
From Filatura Di Crosa, we’ve added a yarn called Ricciolo. This yarn is a blend of 51% mohair/49% acrylic. It’s a light, lofty multi-colored boucle. It’s fun, its fancy and Steve and I felt strongly that we needed to mix things up a bit. Ricciolo knits at 3 sts =1″ on a 10.5 needles. Each ball has 66 yards and because of it’s Italian heritage, retails at $12.95/ball. This yarn will make great trim, hats, scarves, etc.
Okay, that’s it for yarns for now. Be sure to go through our list of New Yarns to see everything (and I know there will be more up this weekend!)
Earlier in the week, Mary and I headed off to Mt. Skinner State Park for our fall photoshoot. It was hot and muggy and sticky and icky – not the best of days for wearing sweaters, carrying sweaters, styling sweaters and looks, etc. What I can say is that every sweaty moment was SO worth it. Here are a few outtakes:

Pretty awesome view. We live in such a beautiful place!

This shoot was not for the faint of heart. From the drive up the mountain, to the “don’t let the model fall over the edge” moments, we worked really hard to capture some amazing shots.

Our model Amy was such a trooper! Nothing phased her and despite the heat, humidity and rough terrain, she was upbeat, pleasant and cooperative throughout the entire shoot. We made sure every shot was ready to go before wrapping her in wool, alpaca, silk. . . . . .
Towards the end, Mary spied this bird. We were all immediately taken with it’s intense blue color:

My picture doesn’t do it justice, but trust me when I say it was incredible. We didn’t know what it was. It was small-ish like a bluebird, but way too insanely blue to be one. Back at the ranch, we were told it’s an Indigo Bunting. I am not a huge bird person but let me tell you, Indigo Buntings are welcome at my house anytime!
Last weekend, we escaped for a couple of days to visit friends on Cape Cod. There were fried clams, steamed clams, lots of fun and laughter and of course the beach! Here’s Jackson at Nauset Beach at the National Seashore:

The waves were pretty strong that day and all of the kids ended up pretty scraped up and a bit battered, but with some great summer memories.

Here’s the crew in all their glory:

Summertime, good friends and the beach. It just doesn’t get any better than that!


P.S. I have no idea why Blogger has decided to change my font and not give me the option to change it back to my standard. Another reason I will be breaking up with Blogger in the near future. Grrr. . . . .