Archive for the ‘Inside WEBS’ Category

What to Wear This Summer

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
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If you’ve been to the store within the last month, you’ve seen many new warm weather store samples. For those of you who haven’t visited lately, I want to share some of these spring and summer knits with you. Store employees are modelling their favorite garments of the season.

Spring and Summer knits at WEBS, read more on the WEBS Blog -  blog.yarn.com

Here’s Alyssa modeling the Irokata Tee knit in Plymouth Linaza. This yarn is new this season and contains alpaca, linen and tencel, creating a sultry fabric that drapes with ease. This tunic features thoughtful details and Alyssa likes the shaping that flatters all body types.

Spring and Summer knits at WEBS - Irokata Tee in Plymouth Linaza, read more on the WEBS Blog -  blog.yarn.com

Our Education Manager Amy (formerly a store employee) is rocking the ever-popular Featherweight Cardigan. Our version is knit with Fibre Co. Meadow, a pleasing blend of merino, baby llama, silk and linen which we carry in 15 colorways. The combination of these fibers make the perfect cover up in overly air conditioned restaurants and theaters.

Spring and Summer knits at WEBS - Featherweight Cardigan in Fibre Co. Meadow, read more on the WEBS Blog -  blog.yarn.com

Meg is wearing a sleeveless top  in Sesia Kreo. This 100% cotton yarn is requires a close up look. It’s chainette-constructed, meaning there are lots of tiny strands worked into a tube, which gives Kreo a weightlessness that most cottons can’t boast about. And the strands are subtly dyed which provides the yarn with a warm depth of tone. Meg says Sesia is next-to-the skin soft and easy to wear with a pair of jeans. She also loves the range of colors available.

Spring and Summer knits at WEBS -Women's Shell in Sesia Kreo, read more on the WEBS Blog -  blog.yarn.com

One of our Assistant Managers, Bonnie, has fallen for Tahki’s Philadelphia Duster in their popular yarn Ripple. The thick and thin texture of this 100% cotton yarn gives the garment a light, airy texture, making a perfect coverup for cool evenings. Bonnie loves the mid-thigh length and the short sleeves.

Spring and Summer knits at WEBS -The Philadelphia Duster in Tahki Yarns Ripple, read more on the WEBS Blog -  blog.yarn.com

This next top has become the the most-admired sample in the store.  Worn by our second Assistant Manager Beth, Shibui’s Slope is flattering, stylish and timeless all at the same time. Shown in Shibui Twig, this cool and comfortable shell is perfect over a t-shirt, tank or camisole. Beth says she’d wear it with jeans and flats or dress it up with a skirt and heels. Either way, this beauty is sure to become a warm weather go-to garment.

Spring and Summer knits at WEBS -Slope in Shibui Twig, read more on the WEBS Blog -  blog.yarn.com

Michele sports another Shibui favorite. Shibui Square is knit with a combination of Shibui yarns — Linen and Cima worked together. The side panel is an unexpected detail in this gorgeous piece. Michele loves the drape and lightness the fabric and says wearing this with jeans make the perfect pairing.

Spring and Summer knits at WEBS -Square in Shibui Linen and Cima, read more on the WEBS Blog -  blog.yarn.com

So, what will you choose to enliven your summer wardrobe? I’ve got my eye on the Sesia Kreo sleeveless top and the Irokata Tee. And maybe Shibui Slope. Possibly Shibui Square. I’m not sure. But I do know that there’s not enough time in the day to knit all the things I like!

If you’re traveling anywhere up or down the East Coast, WEBS is on your way! Please come see us soon to check out what’s new.

Knit away!

Tent Sale in just 4 days!

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015
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We’ve been getting ready for weeks but like an ant’s nest that’s been kicked, all that activity has been below the surface until now! The Tent is going up and we’ll start filling it for you early on Saturday morning. Get here early for some of the best deals and to check out all the local vendors and shepherds at our Annual Fleece Market! And don’t forget that all of the great deals on the May Anniversary Sale Yarns will still be in effect as well as 20% off all in-stock spinning wheels and spinning supplies during Tent Sale. Will this be the year you FINALLY get to WEBS’ Tent Sale? or will this be your 14th visit? How many times have you made it?

The Annual Tent Sale at WEBS - America's Yarn Store, May 16th and 17th 2015. Will you be there? more info at yarn.com

What we’re working on…and a little something extra

Thursday, April 30th, 2015
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In the store, customers sometimes ask us if we knit.  Rest assured, every member of WEBS store staff knits well and has other craft-y pursuits as well–from crochet, weaving and spinning to tatting and embroidery. And our love of yarn extends well into our non-work hours. Today, I’d like to show off some of our WIPs so you can see what we like to work on in our free time.

WEBS Store Staff Projects Spring 2015 - read more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

First up is a gorgeous linen stitch scarf that Carreen’s been knitting.  The yarn, Misti Hand Paint Sock, comes in a wide array of vibrant colors: Carreen chose #57 polar sunset, #56 edible bright, and #58 corked for her version.  She opted to treat the fringe the way weavers do by using a fringe twister, rather than simply leaving the ends loose.  The best part is there’s no real pattern for this scarf–once you find 2-3 colors that inspire you, cast on the number of stitches that will give you the length you want and cast on.  Knit until the scarf is as wide as you’d like and bind off. That’s it!

Mary is currently enrolled in our popular Top Down Sweater from Measurements class and here is her beautiful cardigan knit in the ever-popular Valley Goshen.  Mary wanted a summer sweater in a vibrant color and this project fits the bill.  Although she’s an experienced knitter, she learned a few more tricks in this class–advanced shaping techniques for a flattering fit and designing that fancy, cabled raglan shaping–a design detail that brings an added layer of sophistication to a classic shape.

Marthe is almost finished with a baby blanket she plans to give to a friend.  She decided on Valley pattern #567, the Maria Baby Blanket, and chose Berroco’s Modern Cotton in a gender-neutral color, #1652 Matunuk.  Marthe knit the 8″ x 8″ blocks and sewed them together by working through the back loops of the bound-off stitches which gives the blanket a professional finish. Two more squares to finish and Marthe will be ready to gift a lucky baby with this heirloom.

And finally, Ashley is working on a new shawl which promises to be a beauty.  She’s using a slightly larger needle size to open up the fabric.  Ashley says, “I love how the designer [Steven West] uses geometry and the contrasts of color in such striking ways in his designs.” She can’t wait to see the finished result and we can’t either!

Pretty impressive, eh? We’re are fortunate to have such a talented, smart group of folks here in the store.  Please take advantage of our knowledge and skill when you’re looking for your next project.  We’re here to help!

Jo Sharp yarns available in the US at yarn.com - read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

And now the little something extra…If you haven’t already heard, Jo Sharp yarns and patterns are available after too long of an absence on the American yarn scene.  The best news is that WEBS is the only store in the US that you can buy these sumptuous yarns and classic but stylish patterns. If you’re a long-time knitter, you know what a big deal this is.  If you’re a new-ish knitter, take the time to explore the world of Jo Sharp. You’ll be as excited as we are to have these yarns at WEBS.

Thanks for reading and knit on…

Craft and Social Media, Part II

Friday, April 24th, 2015
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Crafting and social media go hand-in-hand. In my last post, I explored the tip of the social media iceberg with Ravelry and Facebook, the two most-watched avenues. Today, let’s wander through a few others that are tailor-made for looking at yarn and it’s by-products.

Follow WEBS Yarn Store on Pinterest - read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Pinterest is my favorite thing of all time. Absolutely the best way to lose an hour or two, so I have to ration my time on it carefully. WEBS’ Pinterest page is filled to the brim with all kinds of boards…crochet, UFO’s, knitting inspiration, tips and techniques, just to name a few. And because our E-Commerce Manager, Dena, is in charge of the content, and I know that she loves movies as much as I do, I noticed a “Yarnspotting in the Movies” board, where you can find some fun shots of movie stars knitting. If you follow a board’s link, you can often go down another rabbit hole of fiber fun, like playing fiber-hopscotch.

Follow @websyarn on Twitter - read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Twitter is a little less visual, but more up-to-the-minute, and the WEBS Twitter feed is filled with quick tweets from designers, our store staff, fiber bloggers, and even some news sources that have nothing to do with yarn! We always put Steve’s Deal of the Day on Twitter and we usually announce some surprise sales and giveaways there as well. It’s worth a look every day to see if you’re missing any bargains, or just a fun shout-out from The Yarn Harlot.

Follow @websyarn on Instagram - read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Instagram is a newcomer, and a fast-growing source of luxurious fiber porn. We post lots of store pictures, so you can see the goings-on of our store staff, and our customers. Take a peek at our warehouse in real time–you’ll see yarn going in and yarn coming out! We’ll often post some “slice-of-life” photos as well, like Assistant Store Manager Bonnie’s dog Fiona, a fixture in our store for a few months while she healed from a broken leg. Check out Fiona shopping! We’ll always post some fun stuff from our store events and trunk shows so it feels like you’re a local customer, even if you live in another time zone.

Have any of you dipped a toe into these sites? What are your favorite follow-ees? Let us know!

A New Spin on Things

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015
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The new Spinning Area at WEBS retail store in Northampton MA, chock full of color and fiber! read more at blog.yarn.com

As the craft of spinning continues to grow in popularity, we wanted to re-vamp our existing space into a beautiful, welcoming area in the store. And we’ve done just that. It’s our hope that experienced spinners and beginners alike will visit us to explore our enticing fibers on offer from workhorses like Blue Faced Leiceister and Romney to more luxurious blends like Frog Tree Meriboo Top (which comes in 10 shades and is on closeout for $2.29 per ounce, by the way). There’s an open space to try out a variety of wheels from Schacht’s popular Ladybug and elegant Matchless to the staff favorite, the Lendrum DT Complete. The back wall features an array of eye-popping color which is sure to inspire lots of new spinning projects! We’ve had such fun putting this new space together, and as the sole member of the store management team who does not (yet) spin, I have definitely caught the bug! Next time you visit the store, please stop by our new spinning area – even if you’re not (yet) a spinner, you’ll likely find yourself enticed to learn – ask me how I know…

Craft and Social Media

Friday, April 10th, 2015
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Finding WEBS on the web - social media links and online community on the WEBS Blog - read more at blog.yarn.com

I’ve realized lately that every time I check my social media sites, the first thing I do is see what WEBS is doing there. There is a rich treasure trove of websites that are devoted to putting people in touch with other people, and you can find someone, for instance, who is a left-handed crocheter who only does stuffed animals in the blink of an eye. Knitting is a pretty social craft, as is crochet; less so, unfortunately, are weaving and spinning. Weavers and spinners, I know you are lovely and sociable, but there aren’t many sightings of folks dragging an 8-harness loom to the local Starbucks for Craft Night. In that way, sometimes it’s easier for knitters and crocheters who don’t know each other to get to know each other. I thought I’d walk you through our social media sites so that you can check out what we post, and who talks to whom through our newsfeed. In this post, I’ll spotlight Ravelry and Facebook, and in some subsequent posts, I’ll walk you through some of our other social media platforms.

Finding WEBS on the web - social media links and online community on the WEBS Blog - read more at blog.yarn.com

No mention of fiber social media is complete without Ravelry. This is the first place I look each day. I check our “All Things WEBS” group to see how the knitters and crocheters doing our Mystery Knit-A-Long and Mystery Crochet-A-Long are doing, what new yarns or needles have been added to our Anniversary Sale, or any information about store events that I might have missed. You can also search for Valley Yarns patterns, or see if anyone is knitting the same design you are, and if they made any modifications to the pattern. You can see how many folks are using Valley Yarns for different projects. And, best of all (to me), you can search for a group that might be tailored to your own particular interest. Once again, left-handed crocheters, I just searched and found not one, but TWO groups devoted to left-handed crocheters, both with large memberships. It’s a wonderful time-suck, and in my position as Education Manager, I’ve tracked down guest teachers, connected with students who’ve requested interesting class ideas, found some great designs to have our instructors use as teaching ideas, and lots more.

Finding WEBS on the web - social media links and online community on the WEBS Blog - read more at blog.yarn.com

Facebook is a great place to find information but it’s also a fun place to find interesting blog posts from other designers and yarn companies, see some deals before they make it onto the website, and hear from our customers around the world. Dena, who manages our social media presence on all sites, manages to find the most beautiful images our in-house photo and video team has produced to complement each post. I love to read the comments folks post about what we share on Facebook; I’ve learned about locally-sourced, allergy-free yarn as well as some variations on Tunisian Simple Crochet stitch from various customers who chime in with their knowledge from time to time.

What groups do you like on Ravelry? Do you follow any designers or yarn companies on Facebook? Let us know!

From Afghan to Tunic

Thursday, March 26th, 2015
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In the store’s final salute to National Crochet Month, I’d like to share a terrific garment made by Connie Chisholm. Connie states that she stopped by WEBS to pick up 10 skeins of Universal Yarn’s Classic Worsted Tapestry. This yarn is no longer available, but using Universal’s Classic Worsted will yield the same beautiful results. Originally, her idea was to crochet an afghan. That plan evolved a few times and the final result is a tunic-length pullover which Connie designed herself using a double crochet stitch. You can read all the details about Connie’s first sweater on her Ravelry page.

Customer crochet projects on the WEBS Blog - Read more at blog.yarn.com

Connie says that she loves to crochet because it allows her to design creatively and that “all you need is an idea, patience and time to enjoy the process.” Connie’s garment clearly demonstrates her enthusiasm for crochet and her design skills too.

 

 

Fiona Ellis – In praise of the humble I-cord

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015
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Designer in Residence Fiona Ellis joins us again this month to tell us all about her love affair with the i-cord, which just happens to be one of the stunning features in her newest pattern release, In the Loop.

In the Loop the 2nd design from Fiona Ellis in WEBS' Designer in Residence series - read more at blog.yarn.com

I have loved making the humble I-cord since I was a little girl. Like many of us, I had one of those spool knitting toys. For some reason, & I never knew why, it was called French knitting when & where I was growing up. Mine was like a doll so you needed to make a few inches of cord to be able to see the colour change. It would keep me amused for hours. Then, once I had made yards and yards of the stuff, I would sew it into mats for my grandmother. I even made ones as big as door mats. I graduated to “proper” knitting at age 5 when I was taught by my Gran…maybe she already had enough mats by then. Then in design school I learned that if you set one set of cams to slip on a knitting machine you could make cords even more quickly, and carry on a gossipy conversation at the same time (13 ladies in my studio at the time). In this environment it was called rouleau cord. Once I had made it (and found out who was dating whom) I set about finding creative ways of using it in my designs. That fascination with cords hasn’t left me. When I moved to North America I discovered they were called I-cords in hand knitting circles.

As I delved deeper and deeper into designing cables I saw that adding cords to cables was a perfect marriage. I have experimented a lot with embellishments projects by adding cords mostly to give the knitted-in cable cords the appearance of spilling out of the fabric. If you think about it an I-cord is really part of a cable that hasn’t yet been set into the pattern….or is that just me? Many designs later and too many experiments to count I continue to use I-cords as an embellishment for cable patterns. They can be used as ties, to neaten the front edge of a cardigan, to gather a cuff or lower edge [Re-gathering Intentions], as button loops instead of a button hole, or as belt loops, and in the case of “In the Loop” as a feature at the neckline. Here I imagined the cables separate from the fabric, link around each other before settling back into the neckline.

Collage of designs from Fiona Ellis featuring i-cords - read more at blog.yarn.com

The method for working this is fairly simple: when you reach the stitches that will become the cord (two in this case), you slide them onto a holder such as a safety pin and cast on the same number to the main fabric just like you do when working a thumb on a pair of mittens. Once you are ready to work the cord it is necessary to increase the stitch count from two to four so that it will look the same size as the knitted-in cord. You work the I-cord as usual until it is the desired length, then decrease the stitch count back down to two. To attach the cord you work one stitch from the cord together with one stitch from the fabric – twice. Then all you have to do is weave in the ends.

Just in case you thought I might stop at playing with simple I-cords. A few years ago I began to think; if cords are good, then adding other embellishments to them, such as whimsical leaves used here on these mittens [Woodland Leaves], must be even better!

You can see more of Fiona designs that feature i-cords here and here.

National Crochet Month – a new adventure

Thursday, March 12th, 2015
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I should probably start by saying that I am a life-long knitter. My passion for playing with two sticks and some string has been with me for as long as I can remember. In fact, I was crafting with yarn long before my grandmother ever taught me to knit. So it seems odd to me, in retrospect, that my deep and abiding love of all things yarn never made the jump to crochet. Perhaps it’s because there simply wasn’t a crocheter close at hand to steer me in that direction. At any rate, as time went on, I found that I was quite happy knitting away and gave very little thought to including crochet in my skill set.

Find everything you need to learn to crochet, or just to get started again, at yarn.com

Since joining the team at WEBS, however, I have found that it just might be helpful to have some understanding of the crochet questions and conundrums that arise from time to time, and in order to do that, I should probably begin to acquire some functional knowledge of the craft. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got the conceptual basics down, you know, things like: crochet projects require more yarn than knitting projects; recommending the proper hook size for a particular yarn; and making (very) basic estimates about gauge. Herein was the sum total of my understanding of crochet. Until now.

Over the past month or two, I have begun a new adventure into the world of chains and half-double crochets, and find myself chomping at the bit to unravel such mysteries as pattern reading and crocheted lace. Fortunately, I am firmly committed to the notion of swatching as a means of acquiring skill, and I have created several lovely (and with mostly straight edges, I might add) single crochet swatches. Feeling confident that it is time to expand my repertoire, I am celebrating National Crochet Month by incorporating a new stitch or two into my next few swatches and investigating our crochet class offerings here at WEBS. How lucky I am to spend my days in the company of truly accomplished crocheters who are happy to answer questions and take the time to help a newbie progress. Whenever I get stuck or make a mess (I even crocheted so tightly that I once broke my swatch – don’t ask), my co-workers patiently get me back on track and tell me how well I’m doing. Encouragement for which I am truly grateful. They point me in the direction of the instructional videos on our website, suggest wonderful tools of the trade (the Knitter’s Pride Dreamz hooks are my favorites so far), and some beautiful patterns to whet my appetite – Valley Yarns Crocus Lace Stole and Fluvial by ChickenBetty both have piqued my interest. They tell me the motion of the hook and my tension will begin to feel more comfortable soon, it just takes a bit of practice. I know they’re right, after all, I’ve said very similar words to many a burgeoning knitter. I just have to relax and and enjoy the process.

March is National Crochet Month

Monday, March 2nd, 2015
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We’re always excited when March rolls around and we have the added incentive to feature extra crochet content! While we do work to make sure that crochet is represented throughout the year it’s really nice to make it our focus for a month each year.

Celebrate National Crochet Month on the WEBS blog - blog.yarn.com

We’ll be talking about the different crochet hooks we carry, we’re introducing a new styling guide on the blog for our Valley Yarns patterns and the first featured pattern is crochet. Our Ask WEBS posts will focus on answering your crochet questions this month, and we’ll launch the 2nd square in our WEBS Mystery Crochet-a-Long (It’s not too late to get started, you can join the CAL at anytime!)

Be sure to check out the hundreds of crochet patterns available on our website, with almost 200 FREE crochet patterns there’s sure to be something for everybody. And if you’re able to visit our retail store this month be sure to check the yarn swatches for all our new yarns, there are knit and crochet swatches for each!