Archive for the ‘Inside WEBS’ Category

Valley Yarns Southwick

Friday, May 27th, 2016
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Southwick is another longtime favorite in the Valley Yarns line. And with almost 10 years of pattern support you have over 25 dedicated patterns to choose from! (just click on the “Related Patterns” tab at the top of the yarn page on our website to see them all)

Get to know Valley Yarns Southwick! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Bamboo and Pima Cotton combine in this slinky, worsted weight yarn for finished projects that have incredible shine and drape. A versatile color palette gives you great options for gradients and colorwork, or solid projects with textured stitches that will really pop. The yarn has a fantastic lustre and the colors are richer with more depth because of it.

Get to know Valley Yarns Southwick! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I’ve always liked the wide striping ripples of the Paradise Pond Cowl, I’m also a big fan of our Northampton so it was a winning combo all around.  I work in an office, in a building that houses our retail store, education department and classrooms, and marketing departments, and there are very few times a year when it’s actually a steady comfortable temperature. I love winter and adore being able to bundle up, but I don’t necessarily want to be wearing wool just to ward of the chill of the AC in the summer. I dug through our pattern archives and decided that this cowl worked in Southwick would be perfect, and I was right! I used 3 balls of #26 Classic Navy for the main body, 1 ball of #22 Teal for the stripes, and 1 ball of #21, Blue Mist for the edging. I didn’t have quite enough of the Blue mist left for the edging and I liked the look of the 3 colors used for the original. I also moved up to a slightly bigger hook. I used an H, the pattern called for a G, but I wanted to make sure the stitches could move around and the resulting fabric wouldn’t be too stiff. It worked beautifully and I’m super happy with the finished cowl. The whole project, 5 balls, cost me only $26.95!

Get to know Valley Yarns Southwick! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

With over 8 years of great pattern support you have a full range of project choices from knit or crochet! Pictured above is a selection of my favorites.

top l-r: Pincushion Moss Shawl, Blue Mist Cardigan, Nakota Cardigan, Fiddle Head Set

bottom l-r: In the Loop, Beveled Silver Wrap, O’Quinn Cowl, Vertical Pullover

And don’t miss Greta’s review of Southwick from our Youtube Channel You can find reviews of many of our Valley Yarns, great technique tutorials, product reviews and extra special tidbits! What will you knit with Southwick? One of our original patterns or one originally intended for another yarn? Tell us all about it in the comments!

Want to be Inspired?

Thursday, May 26th, 2016
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Do you have a knitter in your life who consistently amazes and inspires you? Someone who tackles challenging projects and actually finishes them on a timely basis? As Store Manager, I’m fortunate to get to know lots of WEBS customers and their work. Sometimes I’m so impressed that I ask them to be sample knitters for the store. I’d like to introduce you to one of these ladies today. Her name is Susan Drew and if you’ve been in the store and admired one of our samples, there’s a good chance that she knit it.

Susan and I have had many occasions to talk and when I hit on the idea of featuring some of our customers and their beautiful work as an occasional feature of my blog posts, I immediately thought of her. Susan is one of the smartest, accomplished and conscientious knitters I know. We sat down a couple of weeks ago to talk about her knitting life.

Customer project spotlight on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Clockwise from top left: Russian Medallion Shawl by Inna Voltchkova(Piecework Sept/Oct 2015) in JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18, Curry. Kowhai and Fern Shawl by Margaret Stove from Wrapped in Lace in Juniper Moon Farm Findley, White. Daydreams in Lace by Brooke Nico(Knitter’s Magazine 100, Fall 2010) in Jojoland Ballad, Coffee Beaded Diamond Shawl by Catherine Devine in Schaefer Yarn Company Andrea Beaded Wedding Purse by Susan Rainey in Red Heart Fashion Crochet Thread (size 5), Silver This shawl was knit by my mother in the early 1960’s. I do not know the name of the pattern or yarn.

 

Like many of us, Susan’s mother taught her to knit at the age of eight. After a 20 year hiatus (during which she worked and raised a family), Susan picked up the craft again, exploring a new world of fibers, teaching herself new techniques, attending Stitches conventions, and enrolling in our WEKP program five years ago. After some initial difficulty with a complicated lace shawl using 100% silk yarn, she realized two things: she was intrigued by lace knitting and, lace was not the type of knitting she’d be able to do for the rest of her life (fine yarn and tiny charts!). Susan wanted to create a collection of exquisite knits to pass on to future generations who would wear them and appreciate the art and craft of knitting.

Susan has built her Heirloom Collection around projects that she loves the most. A stole that her mother knit was the piece that launched her Collection. She is drawn to traditional lace from around the world and is intrigued by the stories behind the designs, particularly Estonian and Russian creations. She’s even made her peace with nupps using bamboo needles that she sharpens herself! Susan credits Ravelry as a research tool for upcoming projects and as a means of communication with other knitters and designers world-wide. A portion of Susan’s Heirloom pieces are featured in the photos here. All knit with luxurious fibers, being able to appreciate them in person was a real treat.

I join Susan in her belief that knitting is one of the most rewarding things that we do. Knowing that we’ve used our own hands to make something unique is a pleasure that all crafts people share. We are all very privileged in perpetuating a centuries-long art and making it our own.

If you know of knitters or crocheters who inspire you, drop me a note.  I’d love to share their work here.

Knit away!

Valley Yarns Goshen

Friday, May 13th, 2016
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Whether you’ve been a loyal fan of Goshen since it debuted back in 2007, or you’re just discovering it this Spring, there couldn’t be a better time to get this yarn on your needles or hook!

Valley Yarns Goshen! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Goshen is a worsted weight blend of 48% Peruvian Cotton, 46% Modal, and 6% Silk that is milled and dyed for Valley Yarns in Peru. These long smooth fibers are blended together to enhance each other’s durability, strength and shine resulting in a yarn that has incredible stitch definition and longevity. This yarn is super resistant to pilling! The shine from the silk and modal, which is a rayon fiber made from recycled tree-based cellulose, really makes your stitches pop. Whether you’re making cables or an allover textured pattern with your stitches this yarn will showcase them beautifully.

Valley Yarns Goshen! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

This unique mix of fibers also lends an incredible smoothness to the yarn that not only feels silky to the touch, but actually feels cool against your skin, making it perfect for warm weather projects. My older daughter is a big fan of wearing beanies all year long and she loves my hand knits hats, but she’s not a fan of wool hats in the summer.  So I dug through our collection of Valley Yarns patterns and landed on the Embers hat. Originally knit in Amherst, this hat has a fantastically easy to remember 2 row repeat. You could easily knit this hat in one color for a beanie with great texture, but the magic really happens when you introduce a second color! While this may look like a complicated stitch pattern, or one that involves slipped stitches, you are only knitting with one color in each round and there are NO slipped stitches, just knits and purls! I chose the Green Apple and Seafoam colorways of Goshen for a subtle tonal quality. I used the same size needle called for in the pattern and knit to gauge. in the end I used less than a full skein of each color and used what yarn remained to make the pom pom.

Valley Yarns Goshen! On the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

l-r top: Hen Plaid Wrap, Winter Lake Henley, Goshen Crocheted Jacket, Park Pullover l-r bottom: Twilight Short Sleeve Sweater, New Hope Pullover, Anemone Mitts, Purlless Pullover

We’ve showcased Goshen in some of our most popular Valley Yarns patterns over the years. If you’re looking for everyday knit tops, accessories with a pop of color or cozy wraps, you’ve found the ideal yarn. What will you knit with Goshen? One of our original Goshen patterns or one intended for another yarn? Tell us all about it in the comments! Pick up a few skeins of Goshen today and give it a try. It’s part of our Anniversary Sale through May 31st, meaning you get each skein for only $2.79. That’s right, you could knit the Embers Hat for less than $6.00, or splurge a little and grab a bag, 10 whole skeins, for only $27.90!

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!

A few small items

Thursday, April 14th, 2016
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I’m happy to introduce you to three new items in the store that are sure to please. The first is a nifty felted, zippered pouch by one of my favorite vendors, Frabjous Fibers. Made by hand in Nepal, they are fully lined and are slim enough to slip into a knitting bag or tote bag. Perfect for notions and other small items that need safe-keeping, these pouches are easy on the wallet, making them perfect for gift-giving. Although we carry four different colors, the pink one is my favorite. This might sound a little crazy, but it looks to me like each sheep has a slightly different facial expression!

New products at WEBS from Frabjous Fibers, JUL Designs and more! Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Tired of the same old shawl pin styles? JUL Designs has created some innovative leather closures for your cardigans, shawls and scarves. This clever design features screws that safely and securely keep your garments stylishly in place.

Although we have an extensive button collection in the store, I’m always looking for new and interesting additions. Martha Sunderland, the owner of Favour Valley Woodworking in New Hampshire, hand crafts buttons in varying shapes and size from locally-sourced woods like American Beech, Dawn Redwood, Purple Lilac, cherry, pear and blueberry. These are store-only items so you must come visit to appreciate them. When Martha delivered our order a few weeks ago, there was much excitement and enthusiasm from staff. When you see them, you’ll understand why. These buttons are truly special items and worthy of your hand knit creations.

As always, thank you for your continued support. We wouldn’t be here without you!

What We’re Working on Now

Thursday, March 31st, 2016
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You’ve all benefited from the expertise of our knowledgeable, highly-skilled staff when shopping in the store, but you rarely have the opportunity to see some of the work we do in our free time. It’s been several months since I’ve shown off our staff’s work and we’ve been quite productive lately.

WEBS employee projects on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Ashley is one of our spinning teachers and often combines fibers in unusual and pleasing ways. WEBS carries a few varieties of cashmere mill ends and Ashley has used them to their best advantage in her hand spun yarn.  The maroon hank is a marled, 2 ply crepe with singles spun from Frabjous Fibers’ BFL Sparkle and plied with a heather-y black and maroon strand of our 2/45 mill end. The lighter hank began as individual singles spun from Sweet Georgia Superwash BFL and Kraemer’s Sterling, then plied with a teal strand of the 1/45 mill spun. This is a great way for spinners to enjoy these luxury cashmere mill ends.  Weavers can’t have all the fun!

If you’ve been to the store this season, you know that our Assistant Store Manager Bonnie loves her ponchos.  She probably has about a dozen of them and has just finished her third Briza Breeze in Berroco’s Briza.  Bonnie loves a portable, easy project that she can knit anywhere.  The yarn is lightweight but warm and works up into a great poncho for cool evenings, and even better–the pattern is FREE.

WEBS employee projects on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

In addition to being an accomplished seamstress, Marthe is also a terrific knitter. She’s recently amped up her skills in Erin’s Fearless Finishing class, in which finishing techniques are taught by knitting and assembling a baby sweater using Valley Superwash DK.  Marthe learned many finishing details in the class and plans to use them in making her daughter a cardigan using the Custom Fit program. This program, developed by Amy Herzog, and administered here in the store by Marthe and Assistant Store Manager, Beth Decker, creates individual knitting patterns to fit any body type. Marthe’s daughter Lilah is tall with very long arms and now she’ll have a cardigan that fits her just right!

Beth is working on a mitered square blanket in one of her favorite brands, Noro. She started the Kureyon blanket five years ago and she says, “the project is off the back burner now.” If you’re playing around with mitered squares, Noro’s the perfect yarn to show off the technique.  Beth states, “This is my second afghan design – only 9.5 squares to go before I can write up the pattern and share it!” We can’t wait to see the finished project!

WEBS employee projects on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Meg and her husband Dan are sheep farmers, raising a small flock of Tunis in the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. She’s a terrific spinner and is now teaching Dan to spin. He’s clearly been learning to spin by watching Meg because his first hank of handspun is really impressive! Meg’s also a talented knitter, either improvising existing patterns or designing her own garments. She was inspired enough by Madelinetosh Sock in the Cousteau colorway to design this hand warmer for herself (the second one’s in progress).

Knitting socks is a passion for Maryanne and the yarn she loves most for this is Classic Elite’s Liberty Wool. Using two sets of#2 Knitter’s Pride Nova Platinas and the Magic Loop technique, Maryanne knits both socks at the same time to produce dense, warm pair. The lucky recipient of most of these beauties—Maryanne’s husband Bill—lucky guy!

WEBS employee projects on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Carreen and I are both taking Erin’s Fair Isle Mitten class.  The pattern is from Alice Starmore’s Fair Isle Knitting and calls for eight colors of fingering weight yarn. Both of us agonized for several weeks (I’m not exaggerating—ask the rest of the staff) over the all the colors of Cascade 220 Fingering. Carreen decided to play it safe with the one of the recommended colorways for the project.  I picked my own colorways with much-appreciated assistance from more folks than I can count on one hand.  Carreen and I are really excited to finish our mittens!

Are you inspired? I hope your knitting is giving you joy. Happy Spring!

New yarns from Kristin Omdahl!

Thursday, March 24th, 2016
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Kristin Omdahl is one of our favorite crochet designers and we’ve recently started carrying her two yarns, Be So Fine and Be So Sporty.  Both yarns are 100% bamboo, in bright, saturated colors inspired by tropical flowers and the sea. There’s great pattern support for these yarns including the FREE Beachy One eBook which contains six fantastic patterns including the Sunny Isles Soft Yellow Crochet Shawl.

Kristin Omdahl Be So Fine Yarn - learm more about this yarn and the fantastic pattern support on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

One of our store staffers, Mary, recently crocheted a sample of this shawl in the Lilac Memories colorway of Be So Fine and at  a whopping 650 yards per skein you only need one! This is one of the most beautiful shawl samples we’ve ever, if you’re near our retail store in Northampton MA stop by and check it out!

WEBS is featured at Cut Out + Keep

Friday, January 22nd, 2016
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There’s a lovely piece about us on the Cut Out + Keep Blog in their Shop Showcase.

cut out and keep

Learn a bit about us, and check out a few free stitch tutorials!

Thanks From All of Us

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015
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2015 was a terrific year for us in the store! In addition to our daily activities, we coordinated trunk shows and yarn tastings with Shibui, Blue Sky Alpacas, Classic Elite, Louet, Cascade; accommodated frequent visits from knitting and crochet groups (one summer Saturday we had over 150 visitors from three different groups in the store!); coordinated annual events such as our 9th annual Big Game Day Escape, our 3 bus-load trip to Rhinebeck, the I-91 Shop Hop, our 13th annual Tent Sale, Ravelry’s Tour de Fleece, TNNA’s Spinzilla, and Weaving and Spinning Week, just to name a few.  None of these events could have been possible without your enthusiasm and support.

Happy New Year from the WEBS Store staff!

I’m proud of the outstanding service you’ve received from our welcoming, knowledgeable staff throughout the year. Whether you knit, crochet, spin, weave or felt, there’s something here at WEBS to inspire you. We’ve helped thousands of visitors from around the globe find the perfect project or yarn, tool or accessory. Please plan to spend some time with us in 2016.

Happy Holidays!

It’s the 2015 Year End Blowout Sale!

Monday, December 21st, 2015
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Our annual Year End Blowout starts online tomorrow but you can browse the sale yarns now! We’ve got over 70 yarns in the sale this year at up to 50% savings! Here are just some of our favorites.

Fibre Company Road to China Worsted in the WEBS Year End Blowout Sale Dec 22 - Jan 4. visit yarn.com for more details

Road to China worsted may be the most luxurious closeout yarn we’ve ever had! With it’s blend of 65% Baby Alpaca/10% Cashmere/10% Camel/15% Silk it is one of the softest, squishiest yarns around. We have a limited number of colors and skeins available in their old 50g put up. Get your hands on this one while you can!

Berroco Espresso discontinued colors in the WEBS Year End Blowout Sale Dec 22 - Jan 4. visit yarn.com for more details

Berroco Espresso is just what you’ve been searching for to make the perfect spring and summer accessories, a bulky cotton! The i-cord tape construction of this yarn means you get a large knitting gauge without the weight and bulk of a plied yarn. bright summer colors are perfect for lifting the winter doldrums and dreaming of warmer days.

Classic Elite Yarns Toboggan in the WEBS Year End Blowout Sale Dec 22 - Jan 4. visit yarn.com for more details

Classic Elite Yarns Toboggan is the perfect yarn for quick winter accessories, hats, mittens and cowls, as well as comfy sweaters. The wool/alpaca blend will keep you warm and cozy.

There are also quite a few coned yarns for weavers and some spinning fiber! Plan out your shopping now with our sale preview and start filling your carts tomorrow! And if you’re local to the store be sure to stop in and start shopping the sale on Saturday December 26th. We have all kinds of deals and yarns that will only be available in the store! The sale runs through January 4th.