Archive for the ‘Inside WEBS’ Category

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!

Help Us Save Lives with Safe Passage

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015
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Each year WEBS sponsors the Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage. WEBS sponsors lots of events, both large and small each year, but this one is different. This one affects the heart of our community and has far reaching effects not just for the individuals and families that benefit from the services that Safe Passage can provide but for the people who participate each year. Many of our staff members, their family and friends, walk and run, and work to raise additional funds in the lead-up to this event. We tease each other at work about our fundraising efforts and egg each other on to more. Individually we post on social media to extend the reach of our call for help, we offer special handmade items, and services like knitting and yoga classes, in exchange for donations. We spend our spare time crafting and creating additional products whose sales benefit an organization we believe in. And each year there are new Valley Yarns Patterns, the purchase price of $3.99 PDFs ($4.49 paper patterns) going to Safe Passage, as one more way to help. All of this happens because it is important to us.

We decided to round up those Valley Yarns Patterns, and introduce you to the new patterns, as a way to really kick-off our efforts.

The Safe Passage Hat and Mittens Set - patterns sales benefit Safe Passage. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.comSafe Passage Hat and Mitten Set PDF available here.

The Sixth Button Mittens - patterns sales benefit Safe Passage. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.comThe NEW! Sixth Button Mitten PDF available here.

The Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear and the Hot Chocolate Run Penguin - patterns sales benefit Safe Passage. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.comThe Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear PDF available here and the NEW! Hot Chocolate Run Penguin PDF available here.

The Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage happens on December 6th this year but we’ll be fundraising right up to the end on Dec. 31st. There’s one last way that you can help Team WEBS, you can make a donation to our team here. Every dollar DOES make a difference and every dollar that’s raised by our team will be matched by WEBS so your donation will be doubled!

Here’s What We’re Working on in the Store These Days…

Thursday, October 15th, 2015
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WEBS Store staff projects for Fall 2015 - read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Our young man, J. is working on a store sample to show off the beautiful new Malabrigo Mora. The pattern is called Herald and was designed by Janina Kallio. J. reports that this asymmetrical scalene triangular shawl pattern will keep your interest and show off any hand-dyed yarns beautifully.

WEBS Store staff projects for Fall 2015 - read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Next up is Marthe’s Eccentric Chevron Wrap. Painstakingly knit from a kit using 6 different colors of Prism Merino Mia fingering weight yarn. Marthe says that this wrap was a fun knit and the yarn was a pleasure to work with. She truly enjoyed the subtle color variations and the delightful ‘hand’ of the knitted fabric. This is a wrap that really needs to be seen in person to appreciate its beauty.

WEBS Store staff projects for Fall 2015 - read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Bonnie took her first rigid heddle weaving class, and here’s the finished project that she completed in one class session. She really enjoyed the class and is looking forward to purchasing a loom and doing more weaving. But that’s not all! Bonnie has been busy the past couple of months–she finished a poncho too. This is a free pattern on our website. It features Berroco Briza, a lightweight blend of mohair, nylon and wool. This on-trend poncho is knit in stockinette stitch and features a garter stitch band across the bottom edge. Bonnie enhanced the existing pattern by picking up stitches around the neck opening and working for a few more inches, creating a loose turtleneck.  She says “It’s a great accessory for fall evenings when a coat is just too much.” She loves the poncho so much she’s knitting another one!

WEBS Store staff projects for Fall 2015 - read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

What are you working on for the fall? We love seeing  your beautiful hand knits in the store when you visit. Please stop by and show off!

Fiber Community

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
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We just wrapped a big week of events and activities – National Spinning and Weaving Week plus Spinzilla. I watched the gatherings and demonstrations and classes and it got me thinking about community, how we come together around our fiber passions and how different it is for the various forms of fiber fun.

National Spinning and Weaving Week brought together a whole community of crafters - read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The act of weaving is generally a solitary endeavor, mostly due to the size of the looms themselves. They are not always portable and take up a lot of space, so fitting a bunch of them into a room is a bit of a challenge and it means that the weavers themselves are spread apart from each other. And there is always the concentration factor that makes conversation easier said that done. So weavers tend to gather at guilds and conferences, sharing their finished projects, inspiration and camaraderie.

Knitters, crocheters and spinners, on the other hand, gather while working on the craft, sharing works in progress as well as finished objects. It’s a different kind of sociability and community that can sometimes (but not always) be quite loud and boisterous, as we discovered last week. The tools are smaller so it’s easier to sit closer together and, if you choose your project with forethought, it is possible to continue creating while discussing inspiration, fiber sources, daily life, raising teenagers, movies and more.

And then there’s the crafting in public side of things. We always have demos as part of Spinning and Weaving week and I love to witness the interactions and questions, especially with the weavers who are not often seen throwing shuttles in public. As above, knitters/crocheters/spinners do this on a regular basis, just because they love to work on their projects and pull them out while waiting, bus riding, etc. This public side is great because it draws in people who are curious – those who’ve never seen it or wanted to try, those who remember a relative making beautiful things. It’s wonderful to share that these crafts are alive and thriving and they, too, can join in.

And this weekend is the New York Sheep and Wool Festival, one of the bigger gatherings of fiber aficionados of all sorts. The passion for creating cannot be contained and it will spill over in vibrant colors, enthusiastic conversations and the joy of communing with others as passionate as ourselves.

Knit and Crochet for the Cure

Thursday, September 24th, 2015
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Once again, this October, WEBS, together with our friends at the Cancer Connection of Northampton, will be hosting our 12th annual Knit and Crochet for the Cure event. On Sunday, October 4th, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., yarn lovers can gather here at the store to knit or crochet fingerless mitts and cowls for cancer patients. I was so happy to be asked to be a part of this event, despite the fact that I have not done a great deal of charity knitting myself. My life, like so very many others, has been touched several times over by cancer, and being able to collaborate with an organization like Cancer Connection is so exciting!!

Join us for the 12th Annual Knit and Crochet for the Cure at WEBS. More details on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Cancer Connection is a non-profit organization that provides care and support for cancer patients and their loved ones. They are fully funded by donations and all of their offerings, such as education, complementary therapies, peer support and creative programs, are free of charge. By working with Cancer Connection, the WEBS community has the opportunity to share our love of knit and crochet and offer some comfort to others who are dealing with the hardships of life with cancer.

The projects we will be knitting and crocheting this year are fingerless mitts (the ones donated last year were very popular!!) and neckwarmers (read: shorter, closer fitting cowls). The patterns are free and WEBS will be providing the yarn!!

We are so looking forward to this afternoon of charity and community and hope to see you here!! This is a free event, but registration is required, so please, sign up on our website!

How to Navigate our Store, part 1

Thursday, August 20th, 2015
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We’re continually trying to find new ways to make your shopping experience easier when you visit us in Northampton. The store and warehouse are enormous, and if you’re visiting for the first time, our size and selection can be overwhelming. For the past several months, we’ve been producing a weekly flyer which lists a variety of store-related news and events—from new yarns and accessories to upcoming classes and events. The back of the newsletter has a store map, indicating general locations throughout the store.

Grab a map, check out the store displays, or ask a friendly store associate for help in our retail store. More about your shopping experience at WEBS on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

If you’ve visited us recently, you might have noticed a few changes we’ve made. As soon as you enter the store, you’ll find a frequently-changing central display that features some of the most recent additions to the store. We’ve created a new Fingering weight section (see the map) where the novelty yarns used to be. And in the Sport/DK and Worsted sections of the store, we’ve separated the hand wash and machine washable yarns. That way, if you’re looking for a machine washable DK weight yarn, you have an entire wall of yarns to choose from. None of these improvements takes the place of speaking with one of our staff members, however. We’re here to make your shopping experience as enjoyable as possible, so please let us help you find just the yarn or pattern you’re looking for.

Introducing Valley Yarns Sunderland

Monday, August 3rd, 2015
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Our Valley Yarns line is growing by leaps and bounds this year and Sunderland may be our favorite new kid on the block! A 100%, super soft baby alpaca yarn, at a versatile DK weight, in over a dozen softly heathered colors. What’s not to love?

Valley Yarns Sunderland now available at WEBS and yarn.com

Our first pattern for Sunderland is the Atrium Hat. Our Valley Yarns Design Manager, Kirsten Hipsky, has combined lace and garter stitch into a pattern that has a great architectural feel while taking advantage of the drape and luxury of the fiber.

Valley Yarns Sunderland now available at WEBS and yarn.com

Between the rich colors, the barest halo, and the buttery softness of the fiber you’ll spend almost as much time looking for reasons to use Sunderland as you do knitting or crocheting with it! What do you think your first project in Sunderland will be?

It’s time for our End of Summer Sale!

Thursday, July 30th, 2015
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WEBS End of Summer Sale,  July 30 - Aug. 22, 2015 at yarn.com Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

We can’t believe it’s the end of summer already! We’ve got to clear some space for all the new Fall yarns that are starting to come in which means that you get to take advantage of some incredible deals in our End of Summer Sale.

Schachenmayer Lova Fan in the WEBS End of Summer Sale,  July 30 - Aug. 22, 2015 at yarn.com Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

It’s the perfect time to stock up on Schachenmayr Lova Fan, a bulky wool blend yarn in great sports color combinations. This yarn works up very quickly into mittens, scarves, and great hats in no time. I made a hat in less than 2 hours, in orange and black, to wear at my daughter’s field hockey games once the weather turns colder, and the yarn did all the striping! Just 2 skeins, less than $10, and a I used our FREE Last Minute Hat pattern, or you can check out all the FREE hat patterns in their My Mountain Schachenmayr Design Contest Winners eBook.

Noro Shiraito, shown here in the Asymmetric Shawl, in the WEBS End of Summer Sale,  July 30 - Aug. 22, 2015 at yarn.com Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I’ve always been a fan of Noro yarns and the Shiraito has caught my eye. I love the idea of pairing this yarn with a coordinating solid, like you see in the Asymmetric Shawl, we even carry the Baby Cashmerino they recommend in the pattern! 2 skeins of each yarn plus the pattern will cost you less than $60 and you’ll have a gorgeous, and stylish shawl to show for it.

Blue Sky Alpacas Techno, shown here in Valley Yarns FREE Last Minute Mittens pattern, in the WEBS End of Summer Sale,  July 30 - Aug. 22, 2015 at yarn.com Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Blue Sky Alpacas Techno has been one of my favorite yarns since it came in! Alpaca and merino blown into a silk mesh tube so you end up with a bulky yarn that is light as air, and it comes in eye popping colors. I used the yarn doubled and knit a pair of our FREE Last Minute Mittens in my daughter’s favorite green. Just 3 skeins of Techno would make 2 pairs, that’s just $15 per pair! There are also a few great FREE patterns from Blue Sky Alpacas for this yarn.

With over 50 yarns to choose from in our End of Summer Sale you’re sure to find some great deals to get you started on wonderful fall and holiday projects, as well as some great classic yarns to enhance your stash. The Sale starts today and runs until 11:59pm EDT August 22nd, so stock up now, quantities are limited! Which yarns are you excited about?

Couldn’t Be Any Cuter

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
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Blue Sky Alpacas Royal Petite Baby Knit Kits available for 6 adorable animals. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Look what arrived in the store from Blue Sky Alpacas! These darlings comprise their new Royal Petite Babies Series. There are six knit kits to choose from including Marcel the Monkey, René the Rhinoceros, Lisette the Lion, and Georgette the Giraffe.

We had to show you how adorable these kits are so we made two store samples: Marthe chose to knit Hector the Hippopotamus and Meg decided on Emilie the Elephant. Marthe found the pattern to be clearly written and fun to knit. Now she wants to knit all of them!

Each kit comes complete: everything you need to make the animal of your choosing — the eyes and stuffing are even included! The yarn used to knit the animals is 100% royal alpaca which is the finest grade of alpaca fiber available, making them irresistibly soft. Please stop in soon to see how wonderful these animals are–I bet you’ll be inspired to knit at least one of your own!