Archive for the ‘Inside WEBS’ Category

Our Fall 2016 Catalog is here!

Friday, September 9th, 2016
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Our Fall 2016 Catalog is now available for you to view online and will be arriving in mailboxes over the next few weeks! We have almost 2 dozen new yarns for you to discover from companies like Blue Sky Fibers, Berroco and Artyarns and over 40 new patterns, including 9 new designs from Valley Yarns!

WEBS Fall 2016 catalogs are mailing out now! Learn how you can get a copy on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Whether you peruse online today or wait for your copy to arrive, you’re sure to find plenty of yarns and projects to fill your mailbox!

WEBS Fall 2016 catalogs are mailing out now! Learn how you can get a copy on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

If you’re not yet on the mailing list sign-up here!

 

 

Just 2 months till Rhinebeck!

Thursday, August 18th, 2016
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Are you headed to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, NY for the annual New York State Sheep and Wool Festival? You could save yourself the hassle of driving and give yourself extra knitting time by riding the bus with WEBS!

Ride the bus to Rhinebeck! Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Your ticket on the bus includes a light breakfast, your ticket to the Festival, and a chance to win fabulous prizes along the way. Register now as seating is limited!

Altering a Hand Knit Garment

Thursday, August 4th, 2016
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Many of you know Marthe – one of our store team members.  Last summer, she decided to knit a sweater as a gift for her daughter, Lilah.  Standing nearly 6 feet tall, Lilah can never find garments, particularly sweaters, that account for her height and long arms, so Marthe took up the challenge to knit a sweater that fit her daughter’s shape.  Marthe chose to knit a cardigan in Sweet Georgia Superwash DK in the Cranberry colorway.  After lots of knitting to accommodate the 29 year old’s frame, Lilah’s beautiful sweater was shipped off to her. She was thrilled but found the upper arms to be a bit too loose which made her feel frumpy (photo).  There was too much ease in the upper arms. She asked her mother if anything could be done without reworking the sweater altogether.

Marthe altered her daughter's Custom Fit sweater, details on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Marthe’s solution was a three-step process. She began by removing the mattress stitched seam from the forearm to the armpit,  folding over the excess fabric, and pinning it to create a new line for seaming.  She then re-seamed the sleeve to the more accurate dimension, along the folded edge, using mattress stitch.  Finally, Marthe used her serger to remove the excess fabric and secure the yarn ends. She did say, however, that a serger is not essential. The same result may be achieved by using a sewing machine to straight stitch, and then trimming the excess knitted material – just like doing a steek.

The alteration was successful!  Lilah was thrilled and immediately asked her mother for another handknit sweater. Her next request?  Could Marthe knit the sleeves a half inch shorter next time!

Thank You!

Thursday, July 28th, 2016
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Once again the residents of the Pioneer Valley have voted in the Daily Hampshire Gazette‘s annual Reader’s Poll and have chosen WEBS as their favorite yarn store!

WEBS is in first place for 2016 in the Daily Hampshire Gazette's annual Reader's Poll. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

A huge thank you to all our customers that voted. We wouldn’t be able to keep doing what we do without you!

A Few New Yarns to Tempt You…

Thursday, July 21st, 2016
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Even though the summer is just beginning to heat up, our fall yarns have begun to arrive. If you’ve been to the store, you’ve probably noticed swatches of most of the yarns on offer, Store staff knit these to provide you with an example of how the yarn looks, not only in stockinette stitch, but also in a stitch pattern.  The swatches are labeled with all pertinent yarn information in addition to suggestions for use.  Knitting swatches also gives staff an opportunity to get to know new yarns so we can help you even knowledgeably.

Discover Valley Yarns Pocumtuck on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The newest from Valley Yarns, Pocomtuck, is a dk weight cashmere. Karen knit a decorative swatch to show this yarn to its best advantage.  She found it to be a luxurious knit, and states that “it lends itself to a wide variety of garments and accessories.”

Discover Plymouth Yarn Tuscan Aire on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Marthe’s swatch of Plymouth’s Tuscan Aire  shows this bulky yarn’s adaptability to stockinette and textured stitches.  Comprised of 90% merino wool and 10% nylon,  “this light and lofty fiber is just perfect for lightweight yet warm ponchos, cowls and scarves.”

Discover Plymouth Yarn Cannoli on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Mary M. chose another new Plymouth yarn, Cannoli, to try out.  She thought it was an exciting, fast knit and would use it for accessories and gifts. The construction (it’s a single) makes it bouncy and the colorways are very tempting.

Discover Berroco Cotolana on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Berroco Cotolano has become a new staff favorite and Maryanne knit the swatch.  This wool, cotton and nylon blend is remarkably soft and would make a fine three season garment. Cables and other textures are really enhanced in this yarn.

This is just the beginning.  Stay tuned for more as fall yarns continue to roll in.  Happy knitting!

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!