Archive for the ‘Products at WEBS’ Category

We Could Use Some Color!

Friday, February 27th, 2015
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Not to belabor the point, but we’ve had more snow in the last month than we had all last winter. As much as I like winter, I’m now throwing up my hands and admitting defeat. This week, I thought I’d spotlight some fun yarns in vibrant, warm colors to get us all thinking about spring. Even though some of my picks are built for cold-weather projects, it will still lighten my thoughts to see these intense shades on the needles.

 Amy talks about yarns in vibrant, warm colors to get us all thinking about spring on the WEBS blog - read more at blog.yarn.com
Debbie Bliss Paloma is a bulky-weight yarn but the slightly tubular chainette construction makes it feel super-light. And the rich dark pink that caught my eye would make a great-looking tam to take you from freezing outdoors to cozy inside. Cascade Avalon Multi in a sweet pastel palette would be perfect for a pullover vest or shrug to layer over a long-sleeve tee. And who doesn’t love Madeline Tosh? Tosh DK in Fluoro Rose makes a bold statement, so just a little will go a long way. Maybe a loose cowl or some fingerless mitts? It’s never too early to plan your garden, and to help with that, take a peek at Schachenmayr Tahiti in a variegated green/yellow/teal color combo. It can’t help but bring lacy flowering shrubs and lilac bushes to mind.
Are you thinking of spring? What would be your dream color or project?

Customer Spotlight

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015
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This week, I’m thrilled to show off this beautiful colorwork sweater Oranje, which was knit by one of our loyal customers, Martha. You can see her project notes here on Ravelry.

Not only was this Martha’s first colorwork sweater, it was her first steeked project as well.  She eased her nerves about steeking by reading lots of information about how other knitters approach the technique. Martha adapted the pattern to incorporate a fair amount of ease and modified the sleeves to a 3/4 length. The pattern calls for yarns that WEBS doesn’t carry, but Martha substituted Madelinetosh Pashmina, and WEBS’ own Valley Superwash DK.

WEBS' customer Martha and the Oranje sweater she knit - read more at blog.yarn.com

Martha says, “The finished sweater is warm and soft and feels more like a favorite sweatshirt!” Hopefully you’ll be sufficiently inspired by Martha’s work to cast on for a project that includes some new techniques you’ve been curious about. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you can accomplish!”

If you’re proud of a project you’ve recently completed, tell me about it! Please send all your info, and images, along to me at sgibbs@yarn.com.

Thanks for supporting WEBS and I hope to see you in the store soon.

New Spring Yarns and Patterns from Rowan

Friday, February 20th, 2015
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It’s that time of year! New yarns are rolling in and the new yarns and patterns from Rowan have us itching for warmer weather. (The frigid weather and feet upon feet of snow isn’t helping matters much either!)

Rowan Cotton Lustre

Rowan Cotton Lustre blends cotton, modal, and a touch of linen into a tape yarn that is super light. This worsted weight yarn is machine washable and comes in an array of colors that have us thinking Spring and the beach. There’s a dedicated pattern book where you’ll find 13 gorgeous designs. Rowan Cotton Lustre includes garments that have loads of beautiful texture.

Rowan Tetra Cotton

Rowan Tetra Cotton is another tape-style yarn. This 100% cotton yarn is light and airy and comes in variegated colors. The dedicated pattern book, Rowan Tetra Cotton, features projects for men and women that range from openwork cardigans to textured sweaters.

Rowan Summerlite 4-Ply

Rowan Summerlite 4-Ply is a machine washable, 100% cotton. It is fingering weight, so it’s perfect for lighter garments and accessories. Rowan Summerlite 4-Ply is a collection of garments designed by Martin Storey. You’ll find cables, lace, and other textures in the featured garments.

Rowan Magazine 57

And, of course, you can’t forget Rowan Magazine 57. Always a wonderful collection of patterns, this book features three stories: daydream, relic, and essentials. Daydream is a collection of feminine knits inspired by romanticism. The designs have a fun, modern feel with a slight 1950s retro influence. Relic is a collection of men’s and women’s knits inspired by the past and the colors and textures of ancient architecture. In Essentials, you’ll find key shapes and textures on trend, designed into easy to wear styles.

From Folly Cove

Friday, February 13th, 2015
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I’ve been paging through our latest catalog featuring some of our new Spring yarns and designs. It seems like it’s been snowing a lot lately, and as much as I like hiking and snowshoeing, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ll put on the needles in the warmer months.

From Folly Cove collection by Julia Farwell Clay from Classic Elite Yarns - Available at yarn.com

I was struck by Classic Elite Yarns’ new pattern collection, “From Folly Cove.” It features designs by Julia Farwell-Clay, who has a design sense that skews right up my alley. What I love about these patterns, and the theme of the collection, is that she takes her inspiration from the works of the Folly Cove Designers, a group of women who hand-printed textiles in Gloucester, MA, from the 1930’s until the late 1960’s, when author and founder Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios (The Little House, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel) died. My husband’s family has been going to Gloucester ever since he was a pre-teen, and he and I take our kids to there every summer. We love the beautiful beaches and towns, and the history of Cape Ann. We always ride our bikes down to the harbor to see the Gloucester Fisherman Memorial and we try to time our summer visits so that we can be in town for the annual Festival of St. Peter.

The designs in “From Folly Cove” take elements from the original textile print blocks created by those innovative women of Cape Ann. The Iarrobino Vest is a vest pattern using a butterfly tesselation motif as inspiration, and the matching cowl (you know my love for cowls) focuses on a single motif turned over and upside-down. The Cape Ann Stole calls to mind the repeating patterns of the sand dunes at Good Harbor Beach, and is a perfect shoulder-warmer for the nights when the breezes over the Atlantic Ocean turn chilly.

I hope you’ll thumb through “From Folly Cove” and when you’re finished picking out the many patterns you’ll be making, take a hop over to the Cape Ann Museum‘s web site to read about the original designers and their groundbreaking work.

Berroco Spring is Here!

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
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Have you had a chance to check out the Spring yarns and patterns from Berroco? If you haven’t yet, you’ll want to take a peek!

Berroco Mixer

Berroco Mixer is featured on the cover of our Spring catalog. (Have you looked at the online version? It should be hitting mailboxes soon!) This blend of cotton, polyester, viscose, and nylon has a shimmery and matte finish and a great texture. It works up into a flowing fabric and is featured in Berroco 354 Mixer pattern book.

Berroco Espresso

Berroco Espresso is a bulky blend of cotton and acrylic that works up at 3 stitches per inch. It is a colorful yarn that is machine washable, so it’s perfect for easy-care projects that will fly off your needles or hook. You can find patterns in Berroco 356 Espresso.

Berroco Indigo

Berroco Indigo is made of recycled cotton fibers and is super soft – like a favorite pair of jeans. It is slightly tweedy and comes in a great palette of colors. It is a machine washable yarn that’s perfect for garments and accessories. You can find patterns for both in Berroco 353 Indigo.

Berroco Fiora

Berroco Fiora is a soft blend of cotton, viscose, alpaca, nylon, and wool. It has a wonderful heathered look because of the different fibers. There is fantastic pattern support for this classic yarn in Berroco 355 Fiora and Berroco Norah Gaughan Vol. 16.

Check out the Berroco Spring 2015 video we have on our YouTube channel!

Will you join the KAL or the CAL?

Friday, February 6th, 2015
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Are you joining us in making a WEBS Mystery Blanket? There’s a Knit-A-Long and a Crochet-A-Long, something for everyone!

Our first square will be revealed, FREE!, on February 26th right here on the WEBS Blog. So get your yarn ordered and get swatching!

You can find all the information about yarn, needles, hooks and gauge here. We can’t wait to share this project with you!

Pattern Dictionaries – Springboard to Creativity

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015
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Greetings from the Weaving Room!

As the daughter of a reference librarian, I grew up loving books and using them to learn about the world. It was only natural, then, when I moved into the fiber world to continue to rely on books for knowledge and inspiration. One of my favorite things to do is sit down with a pile of pattern dictionaries and page through them looking for ideas, leaving a path of colorful page markers in my wake.

Weaving pattern directories - available at yarn.com

Weaving pattern dictionaries are books that present a plethora of pattern ideas that you can then use to create a project. They will show the threading, tie up and treadling for one repeat of the pattern and usually include photos of the resulting cloth. Oftentimes you will see multiple variations in treadling or tie up to produce different patterns from the same threading. My favorite books for weaving include the vintage and ever-popular A Handweaver’s Pattern Book  by Marguerite Davison and The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory by Anne Dixon which are both for 4-shaft looms. A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patternsedited by Carol Strickler is great for the 8-shaft looms and for rigid heddle weavers there is Jane Patrick’s wonderful Weaver’s Idea Book.

Four Shaft Twill Towels, Valley Yarns Draft #33 - available at yarn.com

One of the things I love about these books is seeing the variety of patterns that can be achieved with one threading, just by changing the tie up or treadling. I feel like I’m getting more bang for my warp, so to speak, and can put on a long warp and weave lots of things without getting bored with the pattern. When I designed the Four Shaft Twill Towels (Draft #33), I put on a long warp in natural and then varied things by changing the weft colors and also by changing the tie up. It felt like each towel was new, which kept it fun, and it allowed me to make sets of towels (and you know how much I love sets that are matchy but still uniquely individual!)

Exploring huck patterns with Valley Yarns 5/2 Bamboo - available at yarn.com

Learning this process of translating a weaving pattern into a project draft has been very liberating for me. I often fall in love with the feel of a specific yarn and then get stuck trying to find a draft that fits. Last summer as we prepared for Convergence, I knew I needed to dress a 4-shaft loom for the floor model. I wanted to use our Valley Yarns 5/2 Bamboo which is soft and drapey and perfect for scarves and shawls. I looked through my pattern dictionaries, fell in love with a huck pattern and the result is the Lemongrass Scarf (draft will be available for sale in April).

So cozy up with a good book and start translating inspiration into handwovens! I’d love to see what you create.

Road to China Lace

Friday, January 30th, 2015
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Road to China Lace from The Fibre Company available at yarn.com
I will often have a chat with Stephanie, our Store Manager, and paw through her desk to see what’s new. Sometimes I’m not bowled over, but this afternoon when I stopped by to say howdy (well, actually, I stopped by because she keeps an excellent cookie stash), she just held up a gorgeous skein in a warm topaz color of the most delicate laceweight yarn I’ve seen in a long time. This beautiful new friend is The Fibre Co’s newest, Road To China Lace, and it comes in 14 smoky jewel tones. I took at look and thought that Peridot would be my go-to, but it was a hard choice. The combo of baby alpaca, silk, camel, and cashmere wound into a drapey 2-ply laceweight version of one of my favorite yarns to paw, Road To China Light, would make delicate and warm hats, shawls, scarves, cowls, or sheer sweaters to layer over a long-sleeve tee. I might use it for this cowl I’ve been thinking about making for my yoga buddy. It would be perfect to throw on under a jacket on the way to class.
How do you treat yourself with yarn? What’s your favorite luxury fiber?

 

The Bleak Season

Friday, January 2nd, 2015
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Now that the holidays are in the rearview mirror, it seems like time to embark on a project to make winter pass a little more quickly. I’ll drop a hint here that we’ll be helping you find a big project to go through the bleak season in a few weeks, so stay tuned! You’re going to learn stuff that is fun, and you’ll have a big ol’ yummy blanket to give or keep by the time the lilacs start to creep out.

Flares and Graces PDF, Plymouth Cashmere Passion and Filatura Di Crosa Zara Kid - all available at yarn.com

In the meantime, I’m going to cast on for a sweater–I haven’t had a big project like that on the needles in almost a year! I thought I’d give our “Flares and Graces” pullover a try. I love the shape of this textured knit designed for us by Guest Designer Fiona Ellis. The sleeves and yoke have a really intriguing cable pattern that will stand up to some binge-watching of “Grey’s Anatomy,” my new addiction. The waist shaping makes it appear slightly fitted, but I’m going to knit it with a bit more ease, in order to put a silky tee-shirt underneath for total comfort.

I am having a tough time choosing between two yarns that seem perfect for this project, which needs a yarn that will clearly define those chevron cables. Zara Kid is a really soft, springy combination of wool and polyamide, and I like the pine-green color that caught my eye in our store. Cashmere Passion is also a contender; the blend of merino and cashmere create a fabric that would be heavenly to wear. The mauve-y pink is a go-to for me lately.

What are you knitting to help you through the holiday let-down?

New Year – New Weaving

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014
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Greetings from the Weaving Room! As 2014 winds down and we wrap up our 40th Anniversary celebrations, I am looking forward to the new year and the new beginnings that it will bring. I am not much of one for making resolutions, but I do believe in setting goals. I am easily distracted so having goals helps me to stay focused and to move forward. And, of course, there is such a great sense of accomplishment when I achieve them – another chance to celebrate!

Tablet Weaving Made Easy DVD with John Mullarkey - available at yarn.comIn the next year I am looking to stretch myself as a weaver – try new weave structures, looms, fibers. One thing that has been grabbing my interest lately is card weaving, also called tablet weaving. I am fascinated and mystified by how it works. I love the beautiful bands you can weave, and can see many ways to incorporate them into projects. We have a great DVD from John Mullarkey – Tablet Weaving Made Easy – that’s filled with instruction and inspiration. Schacht recently started making cards for tablet weaving that look perfect for beginners – the edges are color coded to help you keep track of which way to turn them. If I really get into it I may even try the six-hole cards from Unicorn.

 

One of the things I love about working at WEBS is the easy access to a great line up of classes and instructors. For those who live in our ‘neighborhood’ (which seems to include most of the Northeast, judging from the folks who have taken classes with me), our weaving classes offer the ideal setting to learn new techniques with hands on instruction. I am excited to take the Rug Weaving class with Jason Collingwood. His designs are beautiful and I look forward to learning from such an acclaimed teacher.

Valley Yarns #37 Finnish Pattern #1 Draft PDF - available for download at yarn.comAnother perk of WEBS is the daily inspiration of my colleagues and our customers. Several years ago a few of us decided to do a weaving challenge and we all chose the same draft and then individually picked our yarns. I took the word ‘challenge’ very seriously and decided to use 60/2 silk (and even chose colors that I never use). It was both terrifying and exhilarating and though I loved the end result, I have stayed away  from fine threads since then. Until now. In the spirit of new (or re-newed?) beginnings, I am going to weave with 60/2 silk again. We have a 4-shaft variation on that snowflake twill I made before and I am going to weave some new scarves.

Many years ago, on the “Cast On” podcast by Brenda Dayne, I heard the phrase “Begin as you mean to go on” and I think of it every time the new year cycles around. I am beginning my weaving year with a warp on the loom and new things to learn. How about you – what will you begin with your weaving in 2015?