Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Gifts to Give – for the Spinner

Thursday, November 20th, 2014
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Whether there’s an experienced spinner in your midst or someone who’s interested in getting started we have everything you’ll need for great gifts this season. Fibers from wool to silk in gorgeous colors from Malabrigo, Sweet Georgia and Frabjous Fibers. Amazing resources like Ply magazine, The Intentional Spinner with accompanying DVD and the Spinner’s Book of Fleece. And all the tools any spinner could need from yarn gauges and niddy noddys to drop spindles and Spinning Wheels.

spinning promo

If you’re local to our retail store in Northampton MA, or you’ve been thinking of taking a trip to visit us, this weekend is the perfect time. It’s Bag Day in Northampton this weekend and we’re offering 20% off any one, regular priced, in-stock item for in-store customers only! If you have been thinking about buying a wheel for that someone special (or yourself!) stop by the store on Saturday 11/22 from 10am – 5:30 pm or on Sunday 11/23 from noon – 5pm and take advantage of the Bag Day special.

Please remember the Bag Day discount applies only to items that we have in stock in either our Northampton store or our warehouse, no special orders.

Weaving Contest Gallery Show

Sunday, October 12th, 2014
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Our yearlong celebration of WEBS 40th Anniversary has included a wide variety of fiber-related events, special yarns, drafts and patterns. One of my favorite parts has been the 40th Anniversary Weaving Contest, which focused on WEBS’ beginnings as a weaving store.

cones tencelThe concept of a contest sounded great to us – show us the beauty you can create with our yarn. However, we had no idea what kind of a response we’d get and as the months passed by with only a few responses, we felt like the kid wondering where the party guests were and had everyone forgotten? And then the floodgates opened and we were overwhelmed with the huge outpouring of ideas that had been developing on the looms of our weaving friends. We ended up with more than 140 entries from 30 different states across the country!

Aside from the sheer volume of entries, we were amazed and impressed by the skill of the weavers and beauty and workmanship of their pieces. Although we specified four categories for entries, the works spanned everything from scarves, shawls and clothing, to towels, table linens and curtains, to decorative and artistic wall hangings, rugs and bowls.

 

 

beautiful woven jacketWhat I found equally fascinating were the stories that came with the pieces. I grew up surrounded by classical music so I was delighted when I read that Deborah Lewis-Idema designed the cloth she wove for her beautiful jacket using the first four measures of Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata. Another design, from Cindie Kitchin, came out of a weaving guild challenge. They each pulled the name of a country out of a hat and designed something inspired by that. The result is her lovely Iranian Tiles Scarf.

 

beautiful woven tencel scarf

 

 

The 40th Anniversary Weaving Gallery Show will present all of the weavings that were selected as finalists in the contest. Free and open to the public, the show will take place at WEBS retail store at 75 Service Center Rd, Northampton, MA. The show will kick off with an opening reception from 6 – 7:30 pm on October 16th and then be open from 10 am – 5 pm on October 17 & 18. Please join us to see the exquisite beauty and to celebrate 40 years of WEBS and weaving.

 

woven runner

 

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!

Chemo Caps for charity – Drop them off!

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
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TNNA Chemo Cap Patterns featured in the October 2014  issue of Woman's Day Magazine - visit www.tnna.org for more information

WEBS is proud to work with The National NeedleArts Association in promoting their national campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer. Knit or crochet a chemo cap and you can mail it in or drop it off at our retail store at 75 Service Center Rd, Northampton MA. Choose your own pattern or use the patterns that TNNA had designed just for this promotion – and they’re FREE!

You can download your free knit or crochet cap patterns here.

TNNA-chemo-cap-crochet-250We’re happy to be a drop-off point for caps knit and crocheted which will be sent on to those in need, or you can mail your caps directly to TNNA at:

The National NeedleArts Association
Attn: Chemo Caps
1100-H Brandywine Blvd
Zanesville OH 43701-7303

The October issue of Woman’s Day magazine has been on sale since September 9, and the promotion will run through January 1, 2015.

And don’t forget, our 11th annual Knit and Crochet for the Cure is happening on Sunday, October 5th from 1-4pm! The event is always popular and fun as dozens of crafters sit in groups of chairs spread throughout the store, chatting and stitching, creating beautiful, soft and cozy gifts for those living with cancer. Our partner in this event is Cancer Connection and they will distribute the finished projects to the community they serve at their haven at 41 Locust St in Northampton. The event is Free but we do ask that you register in advance.

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?