Archive for the ‘Inside WEBS’ Category

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.

Buy a sheep, feed a family.

Sunday, November 29th, 2015
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Susan at Juniper Moon Farm is doing something spectacular this year, she’s selling these adorable wooden sheep and animals, that you can decorate, and donating the proceeds to Heifer International. So when you buy a sheep, you really help to buy a sheep!

Purchase your own Sheep Stash from Juniper Moon Farms through 12/15/15, proceeds go to Heifer International. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

She shared some of the sheep with friends and has asked them to give folks an idea of how they could be used and decorated. Susan B Anderson has made some adorable sweaters and shared the pattern so you can make them, too! Mary Jane Mucklestone worked some fair isle magic, and there are lots more ideas on the Juniper Moon Farm blog, and on their Facebook page.

Purchase and decorate your own Sheep Stash from Juniper Moon Farms through 12/15/15, proceeds go to Heifer International. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

We decided we were all in a nostalgic 80’s kinda mood and dressed ours up with some leg warmers and headbands and a little glitter.  Go get yourself a single sheep, or a set, or even a T-rex! Supplies are limited so grab them while you can, they’re only available through December 15th, 2015.

How will you decorate your Sheep Stash?

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015
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Last week we started putting up some holiday decorations in the store and displaying our new items for holiday shopping. We’re featuring a wide range of gift-giving ideas sure to please your crafting friends and some nice things for you to include on your own holiday wish list.

We continue to carry old favorites like Kristin Nicholas’s ever-popular lamb cards, the best travel knitting light around, and hand moisturizer that should be in every knitter’s bag, particularly during the cold winter months. Laura Nelkin offers two new holiday ornament kits featuring a beaded star and beaded lights called Adornments. And don’t miss the adorable selection of Mochimochi toy kits in styles ranging from tiny ballet dancers to miniature Santas.

WEBS Store staff decorates with handmade ornaments each year. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

If you’re looking for one large item to splurge on, don’t miss the Knitter’s Pride Royale Interchangeable Needle set containing 9 sets of birch wood needles (sizes #4-#11) with smooth metal tips, color-coded cables, and a carrying pouch. This is the perfect gift for the special knitter in your life.

Please stop by and see what’s on offer–you’re sure to find something for the crafters in your life.  Don’t forget that we’re open four more Sundays this year: November 29, December 6, 13 and 20 from 12-5.

Happy Thanksgiving!

What We’re Wearing for Fall and a Surprise

Friday, November 13th, 2015
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Although ponchos are the go-to garments for this season, we haven’t forgotten the tried-and-true favorites–shawls, cowls, and sweaters. At the moment, we have a broad array of styles and shapes for you to try on next time you’re in the store.

blog marthe

Our first featured project is an asymmetrical shoulder wrap, worked on the bias with a distinctive texture, appropriately named Pleat Up. Our version is worked in Madelinetosh Merino Silk, in one of our favorite colors, Tart. It’s modeled by Marthe. The pleats create a fabric with lots of character, the yarn simply glows with the 50% silk content, and the colorway makes this a go-to piece for the coming holiday season.

blog Mary A

One of our customers, Mary A., was visiting the store a few weeks ago wearing one of the prettiest wraps I’ve seen in a long time. I had to stop her to get the details.  Turns out the pattern is called Greystone from Twist Collective and is available on Ravelry. Mary chose to knit her version in Valley Yarns Charlemont. The lace and cable details really pop and Charlemont’s  silk content contributes to the beautiful drape. Mary was gracious enough to let us take a few photos for this post–thanks again!

blog bonnie

Months and months ago, Bonnie suggested that we have this sample knit up. I couldn’t find just the right yarn to show off the the texture and unusual shape until we started carrying Mirasol Sisa. This wool/alpaca blend comes in eleven heathered tones, giving it the depth to transform even the most basic stitch pattern. This cowl is worked in strips of 2×2 ribbing and moss stitch and braided together as you proceed to create an intriguing, attractive piece. Bonnie’s modeling the cowl doubled, but wearing it as a single loop shows off the texture and braiding technique in a different way.

Blog Suzanne

Suzanne is sporting one of our most popular fall garments, Cirrus designed by Nancy O’Connell for Shibui Knits.  This not-quite-a-sweater, not-quite-a-poncho is knit with two Shibui yarns held together throughout–Pebble and Silk Cloud. If you’re familiar with Silk Cloud, you know that it does indeed feel like a cloud (and a warm one at that) while providing a subtle halo effect. The best part? The Shibui pattern is free with the yarn purchase!

blog alyssa

Who doesn’t need a grey cardigan? Our comfy version is knit in Yarn and Soul’s Superfine 400 in the Pewter colorway. Alyssa is wearing the perfect layering piece for colder days and chillier nights. The rolled edges keep it casual and stylish. This pattern is free with the yarn purchase as well.

blog meg

And finally, Meg is wearing our newest cardigan sample, Stranger Cardigan, knit in one of our favorite new yarns for fall, Swan’s Island All American Worsted Collection. We decided that a store sample was needed immediately! The yarns shows off all types of stitch work beautifully and comes in a wide palette of inspiring colors. Please come see us and try on our newest samples–you won’t be disappointed!

And now we have a gift for you! The store is offering you the chance to win one of our weekly prizes.  From now until December 14, simply visit the store and fill out a ticket to be eligible to win. You don’t have to buy anything to participate in the give-away–it’s one simple way to say thank you for supporting WEBS.

blog gift basket

As always, please introduce your self when you’re here–we love to get to know our customers and we especially love greeting first-timers.

Hope to see you soon.

It’s Time to Start…

Thursday, October 29th, 2015
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Although it’s not quite Hallowe’en, it’s time for us crafters to start working on our holiday gifts.  We all know that starting early gives us time to plan the perfect present for the perfect person. So why don’t most of us actually do this? I can only speak for myself but procrastination is my middle name. I convince myself that I have way more time than I do, rarely taking into account that life is full of surprises and uncontrollable events.  Not keeping this fact in mind derails a fair number of plans I make with the best of intentions.  If you’re even a teeny bit like me, this tendency makes holiday knitting even more stressful than it needs to be.  To assist you with this issue, I’d like to show you a few new yarns that have arrived at the store within the past couple of weeks. Best news: they’re beautiful and bulky.  At 2-3 stitches to the inch, these yarns provide us with a fair chance of finishing our gift knitting in time to actually relax over the holidays.  All of these yarns contain enough yardage to work up some fast gifts in no time.  Think warm hats, toasty cowls and colorful arm warmers.

Last minute gift ideas in super bulky yarns. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

First up is my new winter favorite, Noro Kureyon Air, available in six smashing colors. This yarn will perform like other Noro yarns you love, striping in glorious and unexpected color combinations. 110 yards is plenty to whip up a quick hat or a pair of mittens for the person who loves accessories with a splash of color.  

And while we’re talking about Noro, Transitions is another late fall addition with lots of interesting possibilities. The fiber content surely has something for everybody to love: wool, silk, cashmere, angora, mohair and camel hair.  The resulting one-ply yarn is soft to the touch and the colors shift in a more muted range than the Kureyon Air, mentioned above. How about a cowl?

Funky Chunky from The Third Piece, in thirteen solid colors, offers more possibilities for our friends and family members with more traditional tastes.  This yarn is so soft that a next-to-skin cowl would work just fine.  Throw in a cable or two and you’ve got a classic gift that’s sure to please. At two stitches to the inch, you could knit or crochet a few pairs of fingerless mitts in no time at all.  

Last minute gift ideas in super bulky yarns and projects to treat yourself with. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The last item I want to mention is a new collaboration between Rowan yarns and Swarovski beads.  And crystals!  This is not for gift-giving–you owe it to yourself to indulge in something special after all that knitting and crocheting for other people.   The projects range in size from tiny wrist and hair accessories and small shawls to sweaters and even an evening dress.  We’ve got a display in the front of the store to give you lots of inspiration.

I hope you’re inspired to work up a few quick projects before the first snow falls! Let us help you find just the right yarns and patterns for your holiday presents. And don’t forget, we’re open five Sundays this year, November 22, 29, December 6, 13 and 20 from 12-5, to help you find everything you need for those last minute gift projects!

Treasures From The Warehouse

Friday, October 23rd, 2015
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I’m on yarn overload lately. There’s so much new, gorgeous yarn in our store that it’s all blending together in my mind. A few days ago, I took a calming walk out in our warehouse and was reminded once again that there are treasures in our closeout aisles that, in any other context, would be aspirational fibers for any knitter or crocheter (or weaver, truth be told). It’s our luck that a manufacturer made too many of a certain color or just didn’t sell enough to sustain a particular yarn. We can offer those to you at way-lower-than-full-retail-price and you can stock up on some basics that will satisfy any craving. Here are my findings:

Amy discovers fantastic yarns in the warehouse at WEBS. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Classic Elite Yarns Liberty Wool discontinued colors is a gem of a yarn. It’s machine washable and is a pleasing, straightforward worsted-weight workhorse that can handle a sweater, hat, mittens, perhaps a cowl or a scarf. Certainly a baby garment or blanket. The colors available, Orchid Pink, Sky, and Deep Teal, could work for almost any project.

The Fibre Company Road to China Worsted is a dreamy, lush yarn that screams “luxury” to me. It’s a beefy 4.5 stitches/inch on US size 9 needles, and the colors are what I like to call Anthropologie: earth tones, but not muddy browns and grays. Blues, yellows, a ruby red that is eye-catching, and the skein I picked up, in a color called Abalone, is an iridescent gray/green/blue mix that looks like a dragonfly wing. There’s nothing I wouldn’t knit in this lovely combination of baby alpaca, cashmere, camel, and silk.

Frog Tree has long been a favorite of mine. It’s a yarn company that takes what they do very seriously–providing soft, halo-y warm fibers to greedy knitters such as myself. Their Alpaca Sport Melange is a heathery, soft sport-weight that would be perfect for a hat, scarf, or a simple pullover. The bright colors alone would draw any fiber artist to them, but the price! $3.89 a skein, for a yarn that used to be twice that price is a fantastic deal. Stock up, not just on this yarn, but on any of the yarns in this post. And let me know what you’re knitting!