Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Spinzilla 2014

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
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Spinzilla 2014 is here! Spinzilla is a global event in which teams and individuals compete in a friendly challenge to see who can spin the most yarn during Spinning and Weaving Week, October 6-12 2014. It is organized by TNNA (The National NeedleArts Association) for the dual purpose of raising money for their Needle Arts Mentoring Program, and to promote handspinning.

Spinzilla spinning wheelWEBS is hosting a team this year and we’re looking forward to seeing what our spinners create. It’s going to be a lot of fun and a great opportunity to not only create connections in our local spinning community, but to encourage our team members to build their skills and enjoy the camaraderie and creativity of spinning together. Spinning expertise is not required, just the desire to spin yarn, have fun and enjoy the team spirit of the event.

The focus for Team WEBS is to motivate and inspire each other to become better spinners–and who says that won’t be fun? Do you need a nudge to push through your fear of spinning fine yarns? Want to try your hand at a new fiber? We are planning some meet-ups and a free workshop before the event, and some spin-ins during the week. Of course we will have goodies and team prizes! We’d love to have you join our team. It’s even possible to be a ‘virtual’ team member if you don’t live nearby.

Sign-ups for the team are open until September 22, or until our team is filled (max of 25 spinners). Go to spinzilla.org to sign up, and look for Team WEBS.Spinzilla drop spindle

We will keep in touch with our team through email and through our thread on the Spinzilla Ravelry group. Watch for information about scheduled meet ups and more. And please, introduce yourself to the team. Team Captain Leslie Ann Bestor, Weaving Manager at WEBS, can be reached at labestor@yarn.com.

 

The I-91 Shop Hop is Coming!

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
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I-91 Shop Hop 2014The I-91 Shop Hop begins Thursday, June 26, 2014 and runs through Sunday, June 29, 2014. Eleven shops are participating in the Shop Hop this year! The store has been busy getting ready with goodie bags and arranging the raffle prizes for the 300 or more hoppers that will come through our doors during the weekend. We can’t wait!

How do you take part? All you need is your I-91 Shop Hop passport and a sense of adventure! It’s not too late to purchase your passport. Visit one of the participating stores to purchase your $5 passport.

Why should you join in the Shop Hop fun? At each store, you have a chance to be entered in the daily gift basket prize drawing. Each basket has wonderful yarns, patterns, needles, and more. On Sunday, each shop will have two drawings, one for the daily basket as well as a chance to win a wooden swift and ball winder set. All customers who entered in the previous raffles during the weekend will be entered in for a chance to win the swift and ball winder. There is also a chance to win a spectacular grand prize! As you visit each shop, get a stamp on your passport. When your entire passport is stamped, simply leave the stamped page at the last store you visit and it will be entered in the grand prize drawing.

What about this Mystery Tour portion? Each time you receive a stamp in your passport, you will be handed a clue. This clue is a piece of the puzzle for a mystery knit along. After visiting all of the shops, you will have collected all 12 pieces to the mystery pattern! To solve…start knitting!

For more information, check out the I-91 Shop Hop Mystery Tour Facebook page, or visit the I-91 Shop Hop group on Ravelry.

Participating Shops
Green Mountain Spinnery – Putney, VT
Northampton Wools – Northampton, MA
WEBS America’s Yarn Store – Northampton, MA
Marji’s Yarncrafts – Granby, CT
Creative Fibers – Windsor, CT
Yarnover – Avon, CT
Village Wool- Glastonbury, CT
Country Yarns – Wallingford, CT
Knit New Haven – New Haven, CT
The Yarn Barn – Woodbridge, CT
The Yarn Basket – Branford, CT
Note: Metaphor Yarns appears on the map and passport, but will not be participating in the Shop Hop. Northampton Wools will be handing out 2 clues so you can finish you Mystery KAL.

Color Me Amazed

Friday, May 23rd, 2014
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A lot of knitters like to use hand-dyed yarns like Madelinetosh, Lorna’s Laces, or Prism. A fair number of those knitters are disappointed when they experience color pooling, or when they don’t like the way one color in the skein works with another one. artful color, mindful knitsMaybe they’ve done a broken rib stitch and noticed that what they had hoped would be specks of dark blue against a rose background turned into big blotches of purple. There are lots of ways to learn how to work with hand-dyed yarns and I’ve found the absolute best resource of all to not only learn to work with those variegated yarns but to actually plan for how those colors show up in your garment. Laura Militzer Bryant, the founder of Prism Yarns, has written a new book entitled Artful Color, Mindful Knits: A Definitive Guide to Working with Hand-Dyed Yarns, and it goes beyond any other book I know to show fiber artists how to craft with color.

As an art-school graduate, Laura became fascinated with hand-dyed yarns when she first saw them at a trade show in the early 1980′s, and learned how to dye yarns as a result. She founded her own hand-dyed yarn company, photo by Amy StephensPrism, and out of the necessity of having to showcase those yarns, she became a knitwear designer. Both of those talents are shown to amazing advantage in Artful Color, Mindful Knits. She can show you how to stack your colors, how to splash your colors, even how to create an argyle pattern with your skein, all by using her Magic Number system that uses the length of a color repeat, the amount of yarn used for a single stitch, and the total number of stitches. Period. When I learned how to anticipate and even plan when a color shows up in your knitting to form a pattern, I wanted to award Laura a Nobel Prize. The designs that accompany the various color schemes are gorgeous. Jackets, hats, scarves, vests, and sweaters, all in vivid colors and patterns that show a master’s touch are readily accessible to any knitter or crocheter.

Artful Color, Mindful Knits includes a thorough color tutorial in the front of the book, which is eye-opening. Laura shows readers in simple language how colors interact with each other and how we perceive them. This helps us plan how to use color and what colors work best in hundreds of different patterns and yarns.  The book also has a wonderful technique section in the back of the book, showing how to do various cast-ons, increases and decreases, and bind-offs, as well as crochet techniques. It’s really a treasure trove of information, one that will be used again and again.ArtfulColor-7

Hey, local blog-readers: Laura will be coming to WEBS on June 7 to sign copies of her new book from 3:30–4:30pm. Come by to see the Prism Yarns trunk show or sign up for her Introduction to Color class. You will be amazed at what you can do!

Valley Yarns 574 Safe Passage and the Hot Chocolate Run

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
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Valley Yarns 574 Safe Passage SetThe close of November not only brought a bit of panic to my life (I want to knit how many things by when?!), it also meant the end of our Ravelry KAL. This month we did Valley Yarns 574 Safe Passage. All of the proceeds from the sale of this set will be donated to Safe Passage. We had two wonderful members of our group knit them, and I send a big thank you their way.

With the Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage quickly approaching (it’s this Sunday, December 8th), I’d like to share with you a little information about Safe Passage, and our team’s fundraising goals.

Safe Passage is located in Northampton, MA and has served Hampshire County since 1977. Safe Passage offers survivors of all types of domestic violence hope, along with support, as both are essential in the journey from violence to safety.

Here are some ways Safe Passage will put your gift to work:
$25: Resources, support and hope for a woman calling the 24-hour hotline
$75: Safe transportation for a family traveling to Safe Passage’s emergency shelter
$100: A drop-in support group session for survivors of domestic violence
$140: Education for parents on talking with their kids about domestic violence
$500: Healing counseling for a child who has witnessed violence

This year, the WEBS staff as a team hope to raise more than we have in the previous years. To encourage that, one of our staffers has started the More Jacksons than Jackson campaign. Kathy and Steve’s son is signed up as a member of our team, and at this moment, he is in the fundraising lead. We’re all trying really hard to raise more than him (in good fun, of course). WEBS will match all of the donations that we receive, but if Jackson wins, instead of doubling the donation, it will be tripled. If you’d care to donate, you can do so here. Donate to the whole team, or a specific member (including Jackson).

Thank you!

In Which I Became a Weaver for 2 Hours

Friday, October 11th, 2013
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If you’ve been reading this blog you know it’s Spinning and Weaving Week. We’ve had some fantastic demos and the store has been filled with new faces. I barely have time to take classes these days, but I remembered a favorite class from a few years ago, Introduction to Rigid Heddle Weaving with Leslie Ann Bestor. I had a lot of preconceptions about weaving–the looms are gigantic!! You need a ton of fiber!! It takes months to make a napkin!

Weaving on a rigid heddle loom.

Leslie Ann proved all those things wrong. I had the most gorgeous scarf ever in less than two hours, and in Madeline Tosh Pashmina Worsted, to boot! Using it as both warp and weft resulted in a very cool plaid-like fabric, and I wear it all the time now. Weaving on a rigid heddle loom is very manageable, it sits very neatly on a tabletop and barely takes up any room at all. There’s no warping board necessary, no intricate warp-winding, no cones of yarn rolling around. The back-and-forth action of the shuttle is very satisfying, as is the way you slam the heddle down on your fabric to make it nice and firm. And did I mention a scarf in 2 hours? with lovely tasseled ends?

Check out our looms–we have some very un-intimidating rigid heddle looms and if those are too much for you, check out these cuties.  Bonus: if you buy a loom (or a spinning wheel) within a week of taking a class, you get a 10% discount.

Check out our weaving and spinning class schedules. I know we have one that will get you looking at fiber in a different way.

Spinning and Weaving Week Upcoming Events

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
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Spinning and Weaving WeekOctober is filled with fiber-related activities from beginning to end, which makes us very happy at WEBS. We kick off the month with Spinning & Weaving Week October 6 – 12. This annual celebration gives us a chance to showcase the beautiful creations being made on looms, wheels and spindles. The week will feature demonstrations, mini-workshops, a day-long gathering of weavers and spinners and special discounts on weaving and spinning tools, roving, coned yarns, and more.
Each day we will have demonstrations of these time-honored arts in the store from 11 am – 1 pm. These demos are free and a great chance to see techniques close up and ask questions of the artisans. Have you wondered how yarn gets from the fleece of a sheep into the fine threads we work with? Or how someone creates a pattern that becomes a beautiful woven shawl? We will present a great variety of techniques – from drop spindle to wheel, floor loom to rigid heddle and more. Join us and be amazed at how so much beauty is created by tools so simple!
Also on the schedule this year are mini-workshops, which will offer a taste of techniques for both weavers and spinners. Try something new, or deepen your understanding of a specific area. All mini-workshops will be from 2 – 4 pm and cost $5 each. You can register online, by phone or in the store.

The scheduled line up is:
Monday: Creating Texture on the Rigid Heddle Loom
Try your hand at manipulating the weave on the rigid heddle loom to create some interesting textures. We will explore using a pick up stick to create lace weaves, Danish medallions and techniques to add beading to your work.

Monday: Plying Mini Workshop
Explore the basics of plying – joining multiple strands of yarn together – and learn how the different creative choices made in this step can yield amazing results, increasing the strength and durability of your handspun yarns, while also adding unique textural possibilities. Both wheel and spindle techniques will be discussed. Bring yours or practice with one of ours.

Tuesday: Clasped Weft
Clasped weft is a weaving technique that emphasizes the weft. Using this technique you can create unique color patterns and design as you go. It is great for creating block, stepped and zigzag patterns. Paula will teach the technique using a rigid heddle loom, but it can be woven on multi-harness looms as well.

Thursday : Fun with Zoom Loom
Weaving on the go! Have fun with this great little hand loom. Portable, easy to weave on and capable of creating all sorts of projects. Everyone will learn how to warp and weave and then get crazy making fun squares with an assortment of scraps (each square only takes 8 yards!). This workshop is suitable for kids (age 8 & up) and adults.

Friday : Fiber Preparation for Spinning Unique Yarns
Get a quick lesson in hand carding fibers for color and texture in preparation to spin. Using pre-dyed and natural roving we’ll mix up the wool and other fibers to make new blends and create some fantastic yarn.

Wednesday is our Gathering/Meet Up day and we invite weavers and spinners to join us as we celebrate our community. From 10 – 3:30 we will gather in one our classrooms to share stories and inspiration, show and share the beautiful things we have made this year and generally just have a good time with those who understand fiber obsession. We will provide refreshments and a comfy space to hang out and look forward to meeting friends old and new.

So join us for a week of festivities and fun and rejoice in the richness and diversity of weaving and spinning. From the novice to the experienced, we hope to share with you a taste of what the spinning and weaving world has to offer.

How are you celebrating Spinning and Weaving Week?

 

 

Stitches Midwest

Sunday, August 4th, 2013
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Stitches Midwest is this coming weekend, August 8-11, 2013. We’ll be there in booths 513-519 and 612-618. We’ll be there with a fantastic selection of yarns, patterns, and more. Here’s a bit of a sneak peek of what we’ll have.

Have you heard about the wonderful Chelsea’s Shawl Kit that Dream in Color has put together to benefit Chelsea’s Light Foundation? Each kit includes 2 skeins of Smooshy in colors exclusive to this kit, and Stephen West’s Akimbo shawl pattern. Dream in Color will be donating $10 from every kit sold to Chelsea’s Light Foundation. It’s definitely worth checking out and purchasing! Shawls are fun knits and even better when you know you’re helping out.

Do you love quick projects? You’ll want to check out My Mountain from Schachenmayr. My Mountain is based on a grass-roots initiative that started in Germany and trended across Europe like wildfire. Schachenmayr has brought My Mountain to North America and it is fun! Check out the hat design contest they’re running (there’s still time to enter your design). You don’t want to miss out on the yarns either. Lumio has reflective fiber in it, so it shines when a light hits it. Boston is a great, quick to work with blend that comes in tons of colors. Bravo Big and Bravo Big Color will fly off your needles or hook at 2 stitches per inch! Add some color and fun to your winter with My Mountain.

We’ll also have amazing closeouts at great savings, plus gorgeous yarns from Madelinetosh and Malabrigo. We’re also bringing a great selection of our own Valley Yarns yarns and patterns.

If you’re coming to the show, you can print this coupon and save on admission. It cannot be used for online admission purchases.

If you’re nearby, we hope you’ll stop by and check out what we have. We can’t wait to say hi!

Expert Knitter Certification Program Graduation, 2013

Friday, June 28th, 2013
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This week, we were excited to celebrate another set of graduates of the WEBS Expert Knitter Certification Program!

These amazing garments were designed and knit by two program members, Jennifer and Sylvia, who were tasked with designing their ideal sweater as the final challenge in the program.

The Expert Knitter Certification Program is a series of 18 classes, taught at our store in Northampton, MA, designed to increase the knitting skills and confidence of everyone enrolled in the program.  These classes range from the very basics of knit and purl to advanced construction techniques, and everything in between.

After completing the required courses, members of the program begin a final project designing and knitting an original sweater from scratch, drawing upon the skills learned throughout the program. Each knitter is assigned a design mentor who is available for support. The process of sketching, swatching and knitting happens between January and June, when the project is due. The sweater can be a cardigan or a pullover and can be simple or elaborate, as long as it is finished well and suits the designer perfectly both in size and in personality. And that’s exactly what both of these garments accomplished.  We are so proud to add these two designers to our list of program graduates. Congratulations Sylvia and Jennifer!

For a slideshow of images of graduation, press play below.

For a look at past graduations, click here.

For more information about the program, click here.

 

Ready, Set, Knit #312: Live at the Tent Sale 2013

Saturday, May 18th, 2013
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Steve is live at the Tent Sale!

Steve fills us in on all of the great stuff that we have at the Tent Sale. We have 20% of spinning wheels, fiber, and accessories this weekend in the store only.

Sara tells us about the vendors we have here at the Fleece Market. If you couldn’t make it this year, there’s always next year!

Tina hops in on our live show to share information about upcoming classes and events. Make sure you visit the Classes and Events page on website.

Ann Budd will be here teaching Sweater Basics and Finishing Basics July 13th and 14th. You’ll also want to check out the Knitter’s Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements.

Amy Herzog, author of the new book, Knit to Flatter, will be here for a book signing June 6th. Please register here.

Stephen West will be teaching two classes (sign up for the waiting list) and he’ll be doing a free event June 13th. Register here, so we know how many people are coming.

Jason Collingwood is coming to do an Introduction to Rug Weaving class June 15th-17th.

Fiber Camp is happening again for kids ages 8-12. They’ll take place the 3rd and 4th weeks of July.

Check out the selection of Rigid Heddle classes where we go beyond the basics. Rigid Heddle is a great way to use up your yarn stash in a beautiful, useful way.

Broomstick Lace Crochet

Math for Knitters – you don’t need to be intimidated!

NEWS – New England Weavers Seminar in July at Smith College. Beginning weaving is offered as a class at NEWS.

Steve’s Yarn Picks – only at the Tent Sale!

Steve’s Picks for Everyone

Best of luck to Karen, our Store Manager who is moving on to open her own store in Freeport, ME.

Our Anniversary Sale continues until May 31st.

 

Right click or CTRL+click and Save As to download the MP3 of this Podcast Subscribe to Ready, Set, Knit! in iTunes Subscribe to the Ready, Set, Knit! Podcast RSS Feed

 

Annual Tent Sale and Fleece Market

Thursday, May 16th, 2013
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We’re in for a crazy weekend here at WEBS! Our annual Tent Sale is this Saturday and Sunday, May 18th and 19th, and our Fleece Market takes place Saturday in the parking lot. If you’re within driving distance, you don’t wan to miss it (and if you’re not, make travel plans for next year)!

The craziness is totally worth it. We set up a huge tent in our parking lot and Steve fills it with yarn at incredible prices. Plus, there are special discounts on yarn, accessories, and patterns in the store in addition to the Anniversary Sale yarns. Need another reason? All in-stock spinning wheels, fiber, and accessories are 20% off in the store all weekend!

Need yet another reason? On Saturday, we hold our Fleece Market in the parking lot. Local vendors come sell fiber, yarn, and more. Great fiber-y goodies from Sojourner Design, Kama Suutra Fiber Arts, and many other great vendors will tempt you. What’s this “more”? Well, we have Stitched by JessaLu and her amazing project bags (I always need new project bags!), Kristin Nicholas will be here with lamb, and that barely scratches the surface. Check out the list of vendors here.

So, will you be coming this weekend? Have you been before? What’s your favorite part?