Archive for the ‘Elkins Family’ Category

Best Yarn EVAH

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
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Hi Everyone

If you happened to catch last week’s episode of Ready, Set, Knit you know exactly where I am going with this post.  For those of you who haven’t listened yet, indulge me for a moment.

Each season, we receive in a TON of new yarn.  Most of which are yarns I love, some are yarns I don’t.  I think Steve has made it abundantly clear that if I filled WEBS with only yarns I love we’d have a lot of worsted weight cashmere, alpaca and a few other odds and ends.  Definitely some sparkle.  When you own a retail business I believe strongly that it has to reflect your core values and the aesthetic should mirror (to a certain extent) your taste, but the products offered need to represent what the customer wants.  So yes, there are yarns and things we buy that aren’t my favorite but variety makes the world go ’round.  Plus, we are lucky to have a large store and web presence that affords us the ability to represent LOTS of different yarns.

Every now and again, a new yarn comes along that tickles me.  This season, our friends at Tahki/Stacy Charles have won my heart.  I give to you, the single best yarn ever created on the face of the planet:

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Yes, Jackson.  I cannot believe the lovely folks at TSC named a yarn after my beloved eldest son.  Now, the fact that some of their other new yarns this season have names like “Boulder” and “Montana” does not convince me the name “Jackson”  has anything at all with a location.  It’s clear to me its after my dear J1.

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Stacy & Diane the owners of TSC had mentioned that they had a new yarn in the works with a working name of Jackson several months ago.  When I told J1 about this his one and only comment was “It better be a cool yarn”.  Well, I think it’s quite cool:

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I think its the perfect yarn to bear his name.  It’s 100% wool, has an interesting texture and coloration – traits that can easily be applied to J1.  It knits at 3.25 sts = 1″ on a 10.5 needle so it’s fast – no messing around here, no fussiness.  Another perfect attribute.  At $9.95 for 131 yards on a 100gm ball it’s not cheap but not outrageous.  J1 has yet to establish a price sensitivity so from his perspective this is not an issue.

All joking aside, it is a lovely yarn and one I recommend you check out in the store or at your own LYS.  There’s great pattern support coming along as well.

Now I have only two thoughts left to share.  (1)  Obviously Jackson can NEVER be a closeout and (2) Poor Jonathan – no yarn for him (yet)……….

Enjoy!

Kathy

P.S.  One final note – it makes me smile that I can “search” Jackson on our website and he pops up in the form of a yarn.  When I did so to get the links for the post, look at what else came up.  He just turned 12 yesterday and that picture must have been taken when he was no more than 5. It took my breath away.

Catching Up

Thursday, March 31st, 2011
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Hi Everyone

It’s been a busy month  here at WEBS.  Lots of exciting things happening here on the blog too!  Thought I should check in with a quick update.

1.  J1 & J2 both attend schools that do not have traditional school vacations, rather they have one long break in March.

2.  When you are a working parent and your kids are out of school for 3+ weeks it forces you to do one thing:

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We had a lovely trip with exceptional weather.   Of course, now we’re going to pay for it with an April Fool’s Day snow storm predict.  That Mother Nature really thinks she’s something, doesn’t she? (Note:  I would have posted more pictures but I guess I didn’t realize that Jackson only wore 2 t-shirts the entire trip – both with the name of his school on them.  Safety then cleanliness I suppose. . . . )

3.  Prior to school ending, J2 celebrated a wonderful 4th grade tradition known as the Colonial Ball

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So adorable.  The pictures of the dancing don’t even come close capturing the moment.

4.  Hockey season ended.  Sort of.  Don’t ask, just humor me.

5.  I also got to speak at Fiber Camp Boston just before heading south.  It was a blast and my friend Guido & his intrepid team deserve huge kudos for making this event happen.  Fiber Camp Noho anyone??

6.  We hosted our first ever Author’s Day on 3/27.  It was a great event.  It was the brainchild of our faboo Store Manager Karen.  She came up with the idea and ran with it.  The day was perfect down to the very last detail.

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7.  I did some knitting on vacation which I’ll post about when completed.  Which will be soon.  Really.  Stop giggling.  I can still hear you.

8.  Lastly, I’m going to leave with with this shot from the Author’s Event.  I will be discussing one aspect of this picture in detail in my next post.  Stay tuned.

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Kathy

P.S.  The lambs in today’s Free Pattern are too cute!  Kirsten & Sara – you guys out did yourselves!

Calm Crochet

Monday, February 21st, 2011
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Hi Everyone

Today I have a lovely crochet creation to share with you. I can hear the crocheters rejoicing now and if you are a knitter and not a crocheter I encourage you to just take a few minutes to peruse the project.

Karen our Store Manager brought this cowl into my office today:

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It was crocheted by Mary who keeps me sane takes care of all of our marketing and is a fabulous knitter & crocheter. The pattern is the Calm Cowl by Suzana Davidovic and its a free download on Ravelry.

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Mary used 2 skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino, making this a relatively affordable project as well. She said it moved along pretty quickly and the stitch pattern was easy to follow.

While I was in the store I noticed this:

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I love this – all cuddled up while someone he knows is shopping in the store.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you know that last week J2 had a sledding accident and broke the 2nd & 3rd metatarsals in his right foot. I was disappointed that I had to cancel my plans to head to Stitches West, but being a Mom is my first and most important responsibility so as we waited for the radiologist to read the x-rays, I reassured J2 I wasn’t going anywhere. That first night and next day were a little rough but kids are resilient and he’s well on the road to healing.

Thank you to everyone who expressed sympathy and good wishes last week. It meant a lot to both of us, but especially J2. I also have to thank the WEBS team, particular Linda our Customer Service Manager for sending this:

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From Edible Arrangements, J2 was tickled to receive such a special delivery. Even better than the fruit cut into flowers and arranged as a bouquet was this:

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The ceramic base featured a hockey goalie! What are the chances that would be an option? The fruit was great all weekend long and the base is now a fixture in his room. Unfortunately his hockey season is over for this year. We have just enough time to get him healed before baseball tryouts.

Kathy

Visitors & Cuteness

Monday, February 14th, 2011
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Hi Everyone

The past few days we’ve been fortunate to have some very special visitors at the shop.  The cuteness factor has been on high!

First, these two lovely ladies made a visit and charmed everyone:

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They really put on a show:

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Friday brought the arrival of Yoshi:

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Yoshi is Melissa Morgan-Oakes’ new pup.  He’s a Shiba Inu and is 16 weeks old.  He’s not only handsome but he’s wicked smart.  I love this breed for many reasons but mainly because they have that big dog look and the self-esteem to go with it but in a mid-size dog body.  Our neighbors adopted a Shiba Inu pup last summer.  So when MMO was lamenting on email to me a few weeks ago about wanting a dog, but not necessarily a puppy, I sent her a link to a page FULL of Shiba Inus.

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Next thing I know she’s talking with breeders and making plans.  Then WHAM! Yoshi is here.

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He’s awesome and the best nephew-pup an Auntie could ask for.  He’s already overachieving in learning commands and is sure to graduate at the top of his class.  Look at how awesome he is:

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The only problem is we can’t let Freddie, the cat-in-residence know we are lovin’ us some Yoshi puppy.  Freddie will be less than pleased.

Lastly on the cuteness train is this:

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You have seen plenty of shots of J1 in his goalie gear but this my dear readers is not an old shot of J1.

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This is J2.  He’s played goalie a couple of times here and there and has really been pushing his coach to let him back in the net.  The coach agreed and is now in the proverbial dog house here at home.  I cannot handle watching two goalies – it’s just too much stress.  Unfortunately the other three members of this family don’t seem to understand.

I wonder what visitors next week will bring?

Kathy

And So It Goes

Monday, January 3rd, 2011
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Hi Everyone

I hope that you were able to ring in the New Year in a manner which suited you.  For us, it was a quiet tolling of the bell at midnight.  J2 called it around 9:15, Steve made it until 10.  That left J1 & I.  We bumped fists and dug in.  We weren’t lively, but we were awake and saw the ball drop:

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Nothing like a nice cup of hot cocoa to welcome 2011!

2010 was. . . . . . .a year.  Full of so much sadness around us and for people we care deeply for and at the same time filled with an equal amount of happiness.  The year in hindsight was neither success or failure, it was just a year.   I could lament about many things and cheer about many others.  There are things endured in the past 12 months I hope to leave far, far behind, there are other things I wish I could relive again in a nano-second.  I guess that’s what life is all about.  I’ll take 2010 as a wash and hope the good outweighs the not so good in 2011.

I’m going to start the year with the slightest of do-overs.  Last summer J2 participated in WEBS Fiber Camp.  He had a great time and did a lovely job in all areas.   Except his knitting.  It was not pretty and I took A LOT of heat for saying so.  I shared that with J2 at the time and he actually found it funny that many of you were bothered by my point of view.  I wasn’t trying to be mean, just honest.

Last week J1, J2 & their friend JP were hanging at the store while I met with our lovely Berroco rep, when she suggested that she would teach J2 & JP to knit.  J1 had no interest – he’s cool you know :).  The two boys were enthusiastic and went out to the store to fetch yarn  & needles.  They came back with Valley Yarns Berkshire – we had instructed them to get Northampton, but Berkshire works fine too for beginners.  At this point I moved onto other work.  I came back around a little bit later to find two happy knitters (although only one is pictured):

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J2 continued all the way home and then some:

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He was still struggling a bit but improving.  He was diligent in his efforts.  I spent some time with him over the weekend and noticed he was pulling his yarn very tight after knitting each stitch – as in strangling his poor knitting needle.  I told him to not do this and to just relax his tension and lo and behold:

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Folks – we have a knitter.  Now, I know many of you will give me an “I told you so” and that’s fine but you also have to understand how J2 ticks.  He does nothing until he is good and ready.  This started with walking, moved into learning to skate and ride a bike.  He will not take direction and listen until he has made up his mind that he “wants” to learn something or is “ready”.  Sounds reasonable but until you watch it happen – repeatedly – it’s truly hard to explain.

What you can see is the difference between the start of his knitting and the more recent rows is the dramatic change in tension. It now looks like knitting versus felting :). Yes, he cast on way to many stitiches – it’s not ribbing, it’s just all scrunched up, but the quality of the knitting is really coming along.

And so it goes – 2011 maybe be starting with a still unfinished chicken for me, but the makings of a new knitter are born.

We have lots of great stuff planned for this year so I hope you’ll join us for the fun!

Cheers to you all for 2011!

Kathy

Camping – The Fibery Kind

Friday, July 30th, 2010
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Hi Everyone

This past week we had our first session of kids Fiber Camp.  Our Assistant Store Manager, Leslie Ann once again ran a faboo camp that was enjoyed by one and all.  Since J1 was off at sleepaway golf camp this week, I thought our 1/2 fiber camp would be perfect for J2.  He had a great time.

He made felt:

Not sure if he was going with a Red Sox theme or if he was hungry and channeling a pepperoni pizza. . . .

He spun some yarn:

Since I have never attempted to spin, I cannot possibly offer any color commentary.

J2 did a GREAT job dyeing yarn:

Look at his finished skein – it’s really beautiful:

Now, his knitting, well, his knitting is another story.  And it’s not a good story.  Here’s his first attempt which we finally just cut off:

Most of the good parts you see are mine.

Most of this second attempt is also either my knitting or Barbara’s:

He’s suppose to have 20 stitches but he continually ends up with way more.  Between yarnovers, slipped stitches and who knows what else, he’s back to another bit of a mess:

Maybe I can sneak him into session 2 next week.  It’s completely full but I’ve got connections. . . . . .

Kathy

Of Rinks and Fields and Many Miles

Monday, July 26th, 2010
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Hi Everyone

Sorry for the absence of late.  It’s been a busy couple of weeks here both with work and the kids.  I feel like I’ve spent the better part of two weeks dropping off, picking up, taking to, getting from here, there and everywhere.  Since returning from vacation we’ve been to VT, back to Cape Cod, to Hudson, MA and the Berkshires.

The day after returning from our lovely week on Cape Cod we headed to VT to drop Jackson at a week long hockey camp.  Steve & I went up on Thursday to watch him play and had the chance to spend the night in the lovely town of Stowe.  Even in the summertime, Stowe is a great place to visit.

His team lost that game and Jackson needed a bit of a pep talk.  He hates losing:

We watched another game on Friday, Jackson picked up a little piece of hardware and then we headed home.

Jackson was named the most improved goalie.  He attended this same camp last year and the coaches were really impressed with his development.  He’s been working all year to get that award and it was great to see it all pay off for him.

From there is was straight home to District Tournament for Jonathan’s team.  A weekend of baseball including two games on Sunday resulted in qualifying for the State Tournament.

As you can see, we take our sports pretty seriously around these parts:

Yes, that is his number shaved into the back of his head.  It’s already grown in a lot and will be completely gone soon.

Next up was the trip back to the Cape to a comedy show with Jackson and three friends.  It was suppose to be a family outing with one additional friend but when Jonathan’s team qualified for the State’s, he and Steve decided it was best to stay home as the first game was the next day.

So off Jackson and I went from Cape Cod to Hudson, MA.  Four games with only one win does not a state champ make.  Jonathan played well including an inning or so as pitcher:

The kids had a blast, felt a little heartache and learned a lot about playing at that level.  Watch out for next year’s U-10 team – they will be a force to be reckoned with.

After the last baseball game Steve & Jackson hightailed it from Hudson out to the Berkshires to drop Jackson at golf camp for the week.

You’d think with all the driving I’d have copious amounts of knitting to show you but since I was doing a lot of the driving there wasn’t a lot of  knitting time.  I cannot knit at my kids’ sporting events.  I’ve tried, but I can’t.

Stay tuned for more regularly scheduled blog posts!

Kathy

No Podcast This Week

Saturday, July 10th, 2010
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Hi Everyone

Steve, the boys and I have been on vacation at the beach this past week which means no podcast!  We’ve had an awesome time.

Ready, Set, Knit will be back next week!

Kathy

Happy Birthday Steve

Monday, June 7th, 2010
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I’m coming in under the wire but better late than never!

Today is Steve’s birthday.  Happy Birthday Honey!

We’ll be at TNNA together later this week.  Right now he’s already off at another conference – not the best b’day celebration but it’s all good.

Let’s give Steve some Birthday Love in the comments.  If you are reading this after June 7th – it’s okay – nice comments are never too late :)

Kathy

Tickle Me Smitten

Thursday, May 27th, 2010
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There have been a few items over the past couple of weeks that have come by and tickled me.  These aren’t the only ones by any means – just the ones I opted to share.  It’s quite an eclectic mix so bear with me.

1.  I had mentioned in yesterday’s post that I recently celebrated my birthday.  I’m not a big celebration girl when it comes to birthdays but I don’t ignore them either.  A nice acknowledgement is good, I appreciate a gift here and there and of course my birthday lunch at WEBS.  On everyone’s birthday they get to pick where we order from and their lunch is covered by everyone else.  I don’t expect the staff to pay for my lunch but I did get to pick.  Twice.  I just couldn’t decide :)  I received a few lovely and thoughtful gifts from friends and family over the weekend ahead of Birthday Monday.  I had a lovely gift from Steve waiting for me before I left for work and the kids made me lovely cards.  The day started great and only got better when I walked into my office and discovered this:

My very own mini fridge!  You would have thought I was on The Price is Right and the announcer had just said “A New Car!!!!”  I was downright giddy!  I’d been talking about getting a little fridge for the office for awhile but never got around to it.

The giver knows me well with the lovely bow in my beloved orange.  But this giver REALLY knows me.  Because the fridge was also filled with lime:

Diet Pepsi Lime to be exact.   It was a generous and thoughtful gift.  It makes me happy.

2.  A few weeks ago, our Store Manager Karen asked me to look at a product she had seen while on vacation.   She sent for samples and I fell in love with them.  Our stock just arrived and here is one of the new beauties we will be carrying:

Yes, it’s a hat box.  But it’s not meant for a storage of a finished hat.  It’s meant for a hat or other WIP.  This my dear readers is a very sophisticated and beautiful yarn container.  It includes a divider:

And the lid has two holes to thread your yarn through:

Now, I will admit – the design has a bit of a flaw in that you can’t slide the working yarn out of the threading holes in order to store your project but it’s a minimal annoyance in my opinion.

I love the beauty of the box.  We are currently stocking the large and small size and three fabrics.  If you all like them, we’ll add more options.   I’m working from memory so please don’t quote me but I believe the small box will retail for $20 and the large for $36 or $38.00.  They will be up on the website shortly.  The construction is well done and they just look magnificent.  It’s not often I keep what I bring home to blog about but this little beauty is not leaving the premises and will be taken out of inventory in the morning!

3.  At the complete other end of the spectrum is this:

You can’t quite appreciate what I am showing you here but hopefully this will help:

The large ball is Marble Chunky which is being distributed by Kertzer Yarns.  It’s a 200 gram ball (vs a 50 gram ball used to give size perspective).    It’s 100% acrylic, which I realize is somewhat out of the ordinary for us but there was something about this yarn that just spoke to me.  I know – some of you are wondering if I’m okay but truly, I like this yarn.  I like the big fluffy ball.  I love the colors.  I love that it is extremely versatile, has 341 yards and knits to 3.75 sts on a #10 or #10.5 (since I knit tightly I might even need a #11!).  It retails for only  $12.99 which is a great price for what you are getting.

So, besides the fact that my car thermometer registered at 99 degrees yesterday afternoon and a very cool thunderstorm swept through here last night, these are a few of the things that have been simply tickling me lately :)

What has caught your eye lately?  What has put a smile on your face?

Kathy