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.
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.
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!
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!
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!