Archive for the ‘Classes’ Category

Summer School for Weavers

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016
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Here’s my true (and unashamed) confession – I chose to go to summer school in high school. As an overachiever with a competitive streak I certainly didn’t need it for academic success; I just found fascinating classes that weren’t taught at other times and knew I didn’t want to miss out. I feel the same when I look at our summer schedule for weaving classes here at WEBS – there’s some unique classes and teachers that are not to be missed.

Weaving classes for beginners and advanced techniques this summer. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Jason Collingwood is one of the rock stars of the weaving world, known for his masterful rug weaving and teaching skills. We are lucky to have him at WEBS for a 3-day weekend workshop which will cover 4-end blockweave for rug weaving, starting with simple two-color designs and moving on to designing within the blocks as well as the addition of a third color. He will also talk about techniques such as clasped wefts and summer and winter.

Closer to home, we have our local weaving superstars offering classes in their areas of expertise. Scott Norris is known for the beautiful linen textiles he weaves and sells throughout the Northeast. He says of his favorite fiber: “I weave with linen whenever possible, because it remains resilient and lustrous as it fades and softens over time. When treated respectfully, cloth woven from linen can last nearly forever, providing an element of permanence that I admire.” Scott designed a class that will give weavers experience in handling, weaving and caring for linen yarn using a variety of weave structures. The class meets once a month starting in August, giving participants time to weave samples between class sessions. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn from a master and learn the tricks to tame and befriend linen.

For the rigid heddle weavers there is also an excellent chance to learn from an expert. Paula Veleta has been teaching RH weaving for years and has developed our curriculum for advanced beginner and intermediate weavers. In July she will teach a 2-day workshop on weaving with double heddles. This advanced-beginner class will teach students to weave using finer yarns to make more sophisticated projects. You’ll learn how to thread your loom using two rigid heddles, how to determine a proper sett, and how to created texture and pattern. Another don’t-miss event for deepening your skills.

For those looking to begin to weave, we will have our One-week Intensive for Beginning Weaving, also taught by Scott Norris. The class gets you started with all of the basics of weaving on a multi-shaft loom – warping, weaving, project planning and more. There are also a few spots left in our Introduction to Rigid Heddle Weaving 1-day class, which teaches you the basics of warping and weaving on a rigid heddle loom.

Summer is coming! School yourself in new ways to use your loom and expand your weaving horizons.

Shaping up with CustomFit

Thursday, April 28th, 2016
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I’m so excited about just having wrapped up our first CustomFit Workshop here at WEBS! We had so much fun throughout the course of the 11 weeks, knitting our sweaters and discussing different techniques and schools of thought on decreasing, increasing and seaming. We talked about how yarn selection would affect the types of garments we’d have, the importance of seams for stability in a properly fitting garment, and shaping in a specific stitch pattern. Most importantly, we had the opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences. And, as a very special treat, Amy Herzog was here for the last class to see all of our hard work for herself! We got to show off our pattern and yarn choices and even to ask her some questions – not only about the CustomFit program, but about knitting in general!

Custom Fit Workshops at WEBS - read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

There are so many things I love about teaching this workshop. Getting to work with students on choosing their sweater style and yarn; planning out the methods of casting on and shaping that might work best; and discussing sweater construction and assembly – just to name a few. I also enjoy seeing the progress from meeting to meeting as rows of knitting become garment pieces, and discussions and solutions evolve organically as we knit together. It is wonderful to see the confidence that students gain as they being to see sweater construction from a new perspective – how the combination of proper body measurements, yarn selection and gauge work in concert to influence the final shape of a sweater. In addition, students acquire the understanding to adapt other patterns to knit a sweater that fits. I’m so looking forward to future sessions of the CustomFit Workshop to see where each new journey will take us!

#learntoknit

Monday, March 14th, 2016
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Have you always wanted to learn how to knit, but were intimidated by classes or didn’t think you had the time? Did you learn to knit oh-so-long ago and want a refresher?

Two-night Learn to Knit workshops at WEBS, sign up today! Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

We have the perfect option for you! Learn To Knit is a 2-session workshop that walks you through the knit stitch and the purl stitch; depending on your learning curve, you might get some instruction in casting on and binding off, or learning knit/purl combinations. Patient, understanding instructors will give you just what you need (including needles and yarn!) to accomplish this craft-building skill. You’ll be off and stitching in no time!

Our first session starts tonight, but you can sign up for April:Wednesdays, 4/13, 4/27 6-8pm, or May: Tuesdays, 5/5, 5/19 6-8pm, now.

Ready to knit a sweater that fits?

Thursday, December 10th, 2015
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I am so excited to be teaching a Custom Fit Workshop here at WEBS this winter! One of the first projects I did when I started working here a year ago was a Custom Fit sweater. I had always wanted a basic v-neck pullover that fit perfectly and thought that this would be a great way for me to knit one. I had my measurements taken, created my swatch, and logged in to the Custom Fit program to generate my v-neck sweater pattern.

I was struck by two things as I worked my way through the sweater. The first was that the shaping was written in a way I had not encountered before, which I loved, and the second was that, apparently, I like my sweaters a bit longer than I thought I did. It was an extremely valuable learning experience.

One of my favorite things about teaching in my life before WEBS was working closely with students and offering them a very hands-on learning experience, working through various techniques together in smaller groups. In this workshop, students will review Amy Herzog’s basic principles about sizing and fit, and then work through each piece of the Custom Fit sweater to help achieve a garment that truly IS custom made for each individual knitter.

Take a Custom Fit Workshop at WEBS. Learn more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Patterns will be generated using The Custom Fit Program’s basic styles so students will be able to choose their preferred sweater type, as well as neckline and sleeve options. Each sweater pattern will be as unique as its knitter, and students will have the opportunity to learn from each other in a dynamic and interactive setting. In addition, I will review the finishing techniques that will put the polish on every perfect sweater.

I can’t wait to get started working on a new Custom Fit project with a class of like-minded students. Registration is open now, so go ahead and sign up! This sweater could change the way you feel about knitted garments.

It’s A Mystery…

Friday, January 16th, 2015
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For our fiber friends in the Northern Hemisphere, winter often finds us burrowed into our homes, or trudging from our house to our car to our office to our car to our house. Here at WEBS, we’re hatching a mystery knit- and crochet-a-long to spice up your short days and long nights. It accomplishes a number of good things: you’ll learn some fascinating new techniques that you’ll use forever, you’ll have something fun to look forward to every month as a new square is revealed, and you’ll have a beautiful keepsake blanket that will be just the thing to use as a wedding gift, a graduation present, a baby-shower goodie, or an early holiday present.

WEBS Mystery Knit-A-Long Blanket Class - register at yarn.com

We’ve even picked out four different colorways in our Valley Yarns Northampton for you. Neutrals will go with anything, Autumns are for those (like me) who crave the heathery tones of October orange, green, and burgundy. Jewel Tones are bold splashes of clear sapphires, garnets, and emeralds, and Pastels are deliciously light and baby-friendly. Each month a new knit and crochet technique will be taught by Sara in her classes here at WEBS. Those students will get hands-on help from the fabulously talented Sara as well as the fun of learning with like-minded folks, and as my mother would say, “you might make a friend.”

WEBS Mystery Crochet-A-Long Blanket Class - register at yarn.com

A week later the square’s pattern will be released online in our blog, along with photos and a technique video so that you can go it alone, if you live too far away to travel to our Northampton store. We’ll be sharing your squares-in-progress on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and anywhere else knitters pop up to visit with us.

We have some spaces in both the Knit-A-Long class and the Crochet-A-Long class. Why not take a step out of your comfort zone and join us?

I’m Looking Ahead

Monday, December 22nd, 2014
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This year, I didn’t throw myself into the knitted-gift frenzy that has made the last few years a little dicey in terms of holiday engagement. (That means I was the Grinchiest Grinch ever as I glared at every recipient of the scarves, hats, mittens, and cowls that I was knitting for them. Poor planning is my defense.) I’m taking the long view this time around. I’m looking ahead to 2015, because I’m thinking about what I might want to do differently in the coming year.

I don’t make resolutions. Too much commitment. I make vague goals and if (when) I don’t end up fulfilling them, well…lesson learned. Move on.

Most thorough technique book ever!Next year, I’m really going to concentrate on the details. I’m going to move past my go-to Long Tail Cast-On and Knitted Bind-Off. I’m going to experiment with cast-ons and bind-offs that are complementary to my project and look beautiful.

I’m going to learn how to do Kitchener Stitch. I’ve done so much to avoid this necessary fact of knitting life, and it now seems ridiculous. How hard can it be? (stop laughing). I’m also going to learn to read charts. I can protest all I want but I love stitch patterns and cables and those babies are charted. Once again, how hard can it be? (see above.)color chart

Lastly, I’m going to stop making the thought of perfection ruin a perfectly good knitted piece. Only I know that I bumbled a knit stitch into a purl. Nobody will ever see the mismatched decrease except me. I want my knitting to be fun and comforting, not a showpiece. That’s why I started knitting in the first place.

I might add, in a self-serving way, that some of these things can be learned in a class. And that leads me the now open-for-business winter/spring class registration! Check out our offerings and see what you might like to tackle in 2015.

Spinning and Weaving Week

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
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We have transitioned from the warmth and busyness of summer to the fall routines of school and harvest. I am enjoying the crisp mornings and the orange and red palette spreading through the trees. And, of course, I am looking forward to October, the month of fiber revelry! So many events and opportunities to connect with fiber and fiber fanatics!

HGA WS wk imageAt WEBS, we kick off the month with a weeklong celebration. International Spinning and Weaving Week is October 6 – 12 and in our little corner of the world that means an abundance of ways to experience fiber and textiles from fleece to finished handwovens.

Central to the week are daily demonstrations and workshops covering a wide range of techniques. Demonstrations are free and open to all who come in to the store. They take place from 11 am – 1 pm and will feature spinners using wheels and spindles to create yarn from fleece and roving. Weavers will also be showcasing their skills on a wide variety of looms. It’s a great opportunity to watch the process up close and talk with the artisans about how they create. It’s not just children who are fascinated by the rhythm (although they are welcome to check it out as well)!weaving demo1

 

Mini-workshops will also be offered daily from 2 – 4 pm. These workshops offer a taste of a new technique, a chance to learn a different way to do things or maybe expose yourself to something new. The mini workshops cost $5 each and you can register online, over the phone or in the store.

temple

 

 

Mini Workshop Schedule:

Monday, October 6

Plying Workshop with Ashley Flagg

 Using a Warping Mill to Wind Warps with Scott Norris

Tuesday, October 7:

Temple Temptations – Create Beautiful Selvages with Chris Hammel

Wednesday, October 8

Creating Texture on the Rigid Heddle Loom with Marthe Young

Fiber Blending for Spinning Unique Yarns with Pamela Darrow

Thursday, October 9

Log Cabin Weaving with Paula Veleta

Friday, October 10

Variable Dent Reed with Paula Veleta

Two special demonstrations during the week will highlight the huge range of possible styles of weaving. On Tuesday from 12 – 1 pm, Weaving Manager Leslie Ann Bestor will demonstrate weaving on a computer-assisted loom. And on Friday we will showcase Saori weaving with Mihoko Wakabayashi from 11 am – 1 pm.

And a WEBS celebration would not be complete without some great deals and discounts! Weavers can look forward to 15% off reeds, warping mills, and Schacht Flip rigid heddle looms; 20% off all weaving DVDs and new additions to the Great Cone Sale. spinningFor spinners we will have 20% off all fiber, Howard hand cards, and spinning DVDs; 15% off spinning wheels and 30% off 8 ounce bags of Louet Dyed Corriedale Top.

Join us to celebrate, learn and be inspired!

Stay Classy

Friday, September 12th, 2014
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It’s back-to-school time — the time of year that Staples and Office Max love the most. It’s also “back-to-knitting/crocheting/weaving/spinning” time around WEBS, and we have some great classes for anyone wanting to learn a new craft or brush up on a current one. When I plan the classes for each semester, I try to come up with something entirely new at least once or twice each time, something that I’d tell my friends about or that I’d want to hear about from a fiber friend. This time around I have a few that I’d love to take myself, so I’m going to tell you about them so that you’ll feel cnabled compelled to take them yourselves!

jazerant, cabled and beaded

Emma Welford’s Jazerant Set was designed especially for our Fortieth Anniverary and the pattern is knit in the most beautiful Valley Yarns Northfield, hand dyed by Malabrigo just for us. We are so lucky that Emma works here at WEBS and is generous enough to teach a class to show knitters how to make this gorgeously cabled and beaded hat and cowl. You don’t have to use Northfield, of course, because no matter what you use, the end result is going to be stunning. That class starts soon, so hurry before all the seats are filled! (NOTE:  Unfortunately, this class has been cancelled.)

Another class I’d take in a heartbeat is Heather McQueen’s Tunisian Crochet Infinity Scarf class. Tunisian Crochet is so fascinating–it’s fast, like crochet, and produces a really unique-looking fabric that resembles knitting. This 4-week class will have students using up those novelty yarns hiding in your stash as well as learning some more advanced Tunisian techniques. The scarves are fast and fun, and look amazing.silky lace and tunisian stitch

I am completely impressed with myself for hunting down some great guest teachers this semester–none more so than Susan B. Anderson, who is a designer, author, knitter, spinner, and all-around-lovely-person. She’ll be here for a weekend in October to teach not only some great garment classes, but we are lucky enough to have her show her students how to make her knitted toys, which are a great holiday gift as well as ideal decor for a nursery or little one’s room.Sock Yarn dragon fun!

Check out all our classes here, and just remember: Shopping at WEBS for supplies is way more fun than shopping at Staples for binders and notebook paper!

Camp That Doesn’t Involve Mosquitoes, Tents, or a Lake…

Friday, July 18th, 2014
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I did not go to summer camp when I was a kid. I lived on a farm and worked every summer. When I moved to New York and went to college, I was amazed at the fact that parents let their kids go away every summer to swim, kayak, make friendship bracelets, and most of all, not have to coax 100 chickens into a pen twice a day, every day.

Here at WEBS, we have summer camp, and it’s the best kind of summer camp: Fiber Camp. Run by teacher extraordinaire Lindsey Lindequist, these kiddos start every day with a knitting project, and move on to wet felting, fiber dyeing, drop spindle, and (it wouldn’t be camp without them) friendship bracelets. We had a lot of kids who signed up this summer and we’re in Week Two of Fiber Camp. Some of these ladies are very serious about their fiber love!Our first week of Fiber Camp!

You could certainly do your own fiber camp, and you don’t even have to invite anyone if you don’t want to. Try some wet felting–all you’ll need is some roving, a dish or pie plate, some dish soap, and water. Combine some colors that you find pleasing, drop them in the water in your dish, add dish soap to make the fibers adhere and mesh with each other and just mash away until you see a roving, water, and dish soap creates felt...design emerge that you like.

You could do some fabric dyeing or yarn dyeing, as well. Just use food coloring and some vinegar, soak your skein or fabric, microwave it for a few minutes, and then hang it up to dry. Instant color!Annabelle Wood creates dyed silk fabric

What camp do you think you’ll want to do this summer? Reading a good book camp? Knitting or crocheting a summer tee camp? Or maybe you could try my favorite camp, naptime camp. Enjoy!

Sweater Cum Laude

Monday, June 23rd, 2014
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On Wednesday, June 18, 7 students received their WEBS Expert Knitter Certificates, signifying that they completed not only the 18 required classes for the program, but had climbed the highest mountain of all: designing and knitting their Capstone sweater. The evening was a celebration not only of their knitting talent and perseverance, but of their creativity and passion for design and fiber. I’d like to let the pictures do the talking, because the garments are absolutely exquisite and should be seen by as many eyes as possible.

Ocean-y color and delicate laceKristie Nathanson was actually a 2013 graduate, but life got in the way, like it does, and she completed her sweater after last year’s Capstone Ceremony. We wanted to recognize her and showcase her lacy confection, knit in Valley Yarns Charlemont.Linda invented her own cable stitch for this lacy cabled sweater!

Linda Mason did an intricately textured Empire-waist cardigan, and not only had at least three different cable patterns, but invented a stitch never before seen–by putting lace INSIDE a cable. Amazing! She used Valley Yarns Northampton, in a classic Aran natural.

 

Pat's bright-blue cablesPat Wheeler did a vivid blue cabled cardigan with eye-catching silver buttons in Cascade 220. Pat had the biggest binder of swatches ever seen, and she used a technique not often employed outside of the classroom–the double-pick-up around her neckband. It creates an invisible edge and is finishing at it’s finest.

Barbara Meunier also used cables and showcased her moss-green knitted sweater in Louet Gems Sport yarn with wooden buttons to create a natural-looking garment that was both simple and intricate. Barbara was the calmest by far of all our Capstone contenders, and it shows in her knitting.Ping, Barbara's mentor, describes her design.

Laurie Scutt-Drohan started her Capstone process more than a year ahead of her actual knitting! When I first gathered the contenders in October of 2013, she already had a big binder of swatches in various yarns she was contemplating for her final project. She eventually decided to use Valley Yarns Charlemont in a deep teal, which complents her fair skin and dark hair beautifully. Laurie is the perfect example of someone knitting their stress away, as several events conspired to make her Capstone year a Laurie looks great in her teal-blue fingering weight cardi.stressful one. But I think you’ll agree that she used her gift to great advantage in this beautifully-fitting sweater.

Liz Crouch was the only other Capstone graduate to use lace. Her original idea was to make a twin set in a plant fiber, but when push came to shove, she felt a fiber blend was the right choice, and ended up using Classic Elite’s Soft Linen, a linen/wool blend, in a flattering lavander shade. It suits her, as you can see, and her lace panels are perfectly balanced and her garment fits her to a T.Lavander lace and beautiful shaping

Jeanne Crosby had a deceptively simple sweater until you saw it up close…and noticed the crocheted panel and neckpiece of skulls in deep black Valley Yarns Northfield. Northfield is soft and drapy and the combination of the smooth fabric and the bold skull pattern really made her sweater outstanding. It completely suits her personality and she loves it!Look closely for those crocheted skulls.

We had another student who was halfway through with her sweater and in the process of finishing up her final classes when another life event took her attention:  Sarah Johnston had baby Nina Belle in March, and as she told me, she couldn’t put Nina Belle down to pick up her needles once that beautiful little girl made her arrival! So I’m sure that at some point in the next year or so, Sarah will send me a mysterious package that will turn out to be her Capstone sweater and we’ll celebrate her at that time.

Sarah Johnston's personal Capstone: Baby Nina Belle!

I hope this inspires you blog-readers to create some magic of your own! All these knitters started with Knitting II; and you can see how dedicated they are to their fiber art! Maybe we’ll institute a Graduate Program here at WEBS. What would that include? Let me know your thoughts!