Archive for the ‘Products at WEBS’ Category

Jo Sharp Is Back!

Friday, May 8th, 2015
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The first time I worked at WEBS (this is the third time I’ve worked at WEBS, just for the sake of context), I got to work with Jo Sharp to arrange a visit to the store. She did a talk about her designs and explained how those beautiful yarns got to be so beautiful.

And then, her yarns weren’t here.

Jo Sharp yarns and pattern PDFs available at yarn.com

And now, they’re back! And we’ve got them. It really was like meeting up with an old friend as I perused the neat balls in their side-by-side glass cubes in the place of honor in the store. Hello, Silkroad Aran Tweed–remember the fun we had when we made that hat and scarf for my kid? Why, howdy, DK Cotton.  Don’t take it personally, but I’m still passing you by. I love your squishy softness, but cotton is not my thing.  And…RRRROWWWRRR, Alpaca Kid Lustre. You are inspiring me in a major way. There is much I want to knit you up in.

Luckily, Jo and her team have sent tons of patterns for these classics. The Keyhole Vest in Alpaca Kid Lustre is going right onto my needles. The Tweed Cardigan is next. When I send my oldest off to the coldest college in the universe, I’d like him to have The Bistro Sweater packed into his suitcase to remind him that you can, too, knit love.

What would inspire you to revisit a much-loved yarn?

What we’re working on…and a little something extra

Thursday, April 30th, 2015
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In the store, customers sometimes ask us if we knit.  Rest assured, every member of WEBS store staff knits well and has other craft-y pursuits as well–from crochet, weaving and spinning to tatting and embroidery. And our love of yarn extends well into our non-work hours. Today, I’d like to show off some of our WIPs so you can see what we like to work on in our free time.

WEBS Store Staff Projects Spring 2015 - read more on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

First up is a gorgeous linen stitch scarf that Carreen’s been knitting.  The yarn, Misti Hand Paint Sock, comes in a wide array of vibrant colors: Carreen chose #57 polar sunset, #56 edible bright, and #58 corked for her version.  She opted to treat the fringe the way weavers do by using a fringe twister, rather than simply leaving the ends loose.  The best part is there’s no real pattern for this scarf–once you find 2-3 colors that inspire you, cast on the number of stitches that will give you the length you want and cast on.  Knit until the scarf is as wide as you’d like and bind off. That’s it!

Mary is currently enrolled in our popular Top Down Sweater from Measurements class and here is her beautiful cardigan knit in the ever-popular Valley Goshen.  Mary wanted a summer sweater in a vibrant color and this project fits the bill.  Although she’s an experienced knitter, she learned a few more tricks in this class–advanced shaping techniques for a flattering fit and designing that fancy, cabled raglan shaping–a design detail that brings an added layer of sophistication to a classic shape.

Marthe is almost finished with a baby blanket she plans to give to a friend.  She decided on Valley pattern #567, the Maria Baby Blanket, and chose Berroco’s Modern Cotton in a gender-neutral color, #1652 Matunuk.  Marthe knit the 8″ x 8″ blocks and sewed them together by working through the back loops of the bound-off stitches which gives the blanket a professional finish. Two more squares to finish and Marthe will be ready to gift a lucky baby with this heirloom.

And finally, Ashley is working on a new shawl which promises to be a beauty.  She’s using a slightly larger needle size to open up the fabric.  Ashley says, “I love how the designer [Steven West] uses geometry and the contrasts of color in such striking ways in his designs.” She can’t wait to see the finished result and we can’t either!

Pretty impressive, eh? We’re are fortunate to have such a talented, smart group of folks here in the store.  Please take advantage of our knowledge and skill when you’re looking for your next project.  We’re here to help!

Jo Sharp yarns available in the US at yarn.com - read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

And now the little something extra…If you haven’t already heard, Jo Sharp yarns and patterns are available after too long of an absence on the American yarn scene.  The best news is that WEBS is the only store in the US that you can buy these sumptuous yarns and classic but stylish patterns. If you’re a long-time knitter, you know what a big deal this is.  If you’re a new-ish knitter, take the time to explore the world of Jo Sharp. You’ll be as excited as we are to have these yarns at WEBS.

Thanks for reading and knit on…

Keeping Track

Thursday, April 16th, 2015
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Greetings from the Weaving Room! I am re-energized by the signs of spring popping up outside and excited to get started on new projects, both on my loom and in the garden. I am finishing up a rather complex weaving project, one that taught me patience and helped me refine my process for keeping track of my place. It is easy to get lost when your threading or treadling sequence is long, so I thought I’d share some tips that have helped me.

Keeping track of your treadling in weaving drafts - Leslie Ann has some great tips on the WEBS Blog - read more at blog.yarn.com

Break it into manageable bits. I have read that our brains retain information in groups of 4 or 5, so I break the sequences into sections that are either 4-5 threads/treadles long, or contain a run such as 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. I find that I can keep this chunk of information in my mind while working and then look back at my notes for the next chunk.

Write it out in a way that makes sense to you and display it so you can see it while weaving. Rather than working off a a typical charted draft, I rewrite my treadling on paper using thick markers (my eyes need all the help they can get!). I use the Knitter’s Pride Magma Chart Keeper to hold my notes and place it on the castle or on a table next to my loom. It has magnets to hold the paper on, and I can use the strip magnet to mark my place. It keeps my notes close at hand and easy to see and read.

Use visual cues to remind you where you are. The scarf I just finished was an advancing twill with many repeating sequences (see picture) and sometimes I’d have a momentary lapse in attention (okay, it’s true. Sometimes I just zoned out.) and couldn’t remember if I had repeated 3-4-1 two or three times. The sett was 56 epi which added to the challenge of finding my place, plus it just slowed me down to squint at those interlacements! What I did was to mark which side of the loom my shuttle would be on at the beginning of each chunk. You can see in the picture that I used Highlighter Tape (another indispensable tool in my kit) to mark the sequences where my shuttle would begin on the left. It really helped me to quickly identify which point I was at.

Stop only at the end of sequences and mark where you will resume. I try to work through a full pattern repeat before I step away from the loom. In the case of long repeats I will at least finish a complete chunk. And do not fall prey to the voice in your head that says you will remember/will be right back – always write down where to start again. In words that you will understand – cryptograms are best saved for code breakers.

A toolkit of techniques is great to help you stay on track whether your draft is simple or complex. What tips work for you?

A New Spin on Things

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015
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The new Spinning Area at WEBS retail store in Northampton MA, chock full of color and fiber! read more at blog.yarn.com

As the craft of spinning continues to grow in popularity, we wanted to re-vamp our existing space into a beautiful, welcoming area in the store. And we’ve done just that. It’s our hope that experienced spinners and beginners alike will visit us to explore our enticing fibers on offer from workhorses like Blue Faced Leiceister and Romney to more luxurious blends like Frog Tree Meriboo Top (which comes in 10 shades and is on closeout for $2.29 per ounce, by the way). There’s an open space to try out a variety of wheels from Schacht’s popular Ladybug and elegant Matchless to the staff favorite, the Lendrum DT Complete. The back wall features an array of eye-popping color which is sure to inspire lots of new spinning projects! We’ve had such fun putting this new space together, and as the sole member of the store management team who does not (yet) spin, I have definitely caught the bug! Next time you visit the store, please stop by our new spinning area – even if you’re not (yet) a spinner, you’ll likely find yourself enticed to learn – ask me how I know…

First FLASH SALE – Last Chance

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015
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Have you taken advantage of our first ever Anniversary FLASH Sale? If you haven’t yet today is your last chance!

Now is the time to finally pick up a set of Addi Turbo Click or Addi Lace Click needles at only $143.99 for either set. Always have the right needle size and cord length with circular needles that click together! With the Addi Turbo Click Set you’ll get 8 tip sizes and three cord lengths as well as a cord connector to make your cord even longer. Ten needle sizes, five cords of differing lengths and a cord connector are included with the Addi Lace Click Set and both come in a compact carry-along organizer.

Flash Sale pic And not only do we have two cashmere yarns at incredible prices – S Charles Collezione Cashmere 100 at just 34.99 for each 154yd/50g ball(originally $5o.oo) and S. Charles Collezione Blossom 50%Cashmere/50%Silk at just $29.99 for each 177yd/50g ball(originally $43.00), but the ever popular Berroco Ultra Alpaca has been marked down to just $8.39 with over 40 colors to choose from! These yarns are perfect stash builders and never go out of style.

And don’t forget our Deluxe Grab Bags! Each bag contains ten skeins of the same yarn, either 50 or 100 grams per skein, and you can choose a five or ten bag Grab Bag. These are high quality closeout yarns that are available only for a very limited time, get them while you can!

Weaving Sourcebook

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015
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Greetings from the Weaving Room! I hope you have seen our new weaving catalog – the Weaving Sourcebook 2015! I’m especially excited because we have so many new drafts to inspire you. Barbara and I went through all of our drafts last fall and talked about which needed to retire or hibernate for a while and – most importantly and most fun – we had a creative brainstorm and came up with lists of new projects to try. We looked at new yarns, different weave structures that we haven’t featured before, changing up the colorways from the blue spectrum that both us love to work with, and new tools for weavers.  The result is a collection that we are really proud of.

WEBS 2015 Weavers Sourcebook, shop online now at yarn.com

We also have some talented local weavers who created designs especially for WEBS and after keeping these pieces under wraps for a few months, I’m happy to share them with you. Elisabeth (Lisa) Hill has spent years delving into and developing designs in deflected double weave. She came up with the Labyrinth Lap Robe – a beautiful blanket woven with Jaggerspun Heather with strong geometric lines and a wonderful intermingling of colors in this intriguing weave structure. The yarn weaves up into a thick and cozy wrap that is snuggly soft and the heathered colors infuse it with richness and depth.

Dishtowels are a staple item for many weavers – it’s easy to churn out a stack on a long warp and have plenty for gifts and for home. Chris Hammel worked with our new 8/2 Cottolin from Brassard and designed the Cabana Towel – a towel that is refreshingly different, with great texture and pops of color. Easy to weave on 8 shafts, the towel features Canvas and Basket weaves. The Cottolin comes in 37 colors, which means lots of fun colorways to play with. And the cotton portion of the yarn is organically grown, always a plus for me.

One of more recent tools to hit the scene is the Variable Dent Reed from Schacht for use with their rigid heddle looms. It allows you to easily combine yarns of different sizes in the warp and Paula Veleta came up with a stunning scarf that showcases this. The Ginger Chocolate Scarf combines hand painted sock yarn with several novelty yarns to produce a scarf that is stylish and hip. Rigid Heddle weavers have so many possibilities to work with in the explosion of colors and textures these days; let this draft be a jumping off point for your creative appetites.

These drafts are just the tip of the iceberg. The Weaving Sourcebook features 5 more new drafts, 3 updates with new colorways of old drafts and Barbara and I are still weaving many more things from our creative confab last fall. What’s next on your list?

From Afghan to Tunic

Thursday, March 26th, 2015
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In the store’s final salute to National Crochet Month, I’d like to share a terrific garment made by Connie Chisholm. Connie states that she stopped by WEBS to pick up 10 skeins of Universal Yarn’s Classic Worsted Tapestry. This yarn is no longer available, but using Universal’s Classic Worsted will yield the same beautiful results. Originally, her idea was to crochet an afghan. That plan evolved a few times and the final result is a tunic-length pullover which Connie designed herself using a double crochet stitch. You can read all the details about Connie’s first sweater on her Ravelry page.

Customer crochet projects on the WEBS Blog - Read more at blog.yarn.com

Connie says that she loves to crochet because it allows her to design creatively and that “all you need is an idea, patience and time to enjoy the process.” Connie’s garment clearly demonstrates her enthusiasm for crochet and her design skills too.

 

 

My Favorite Child

Friday, March 13th, 2015
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I’m not one of those people who can’t choose a favorite yarn. I know that many will say that it’s like being asked to pick which of their children they like the best. But my children know who I like the best, and it’s a yarn child: Shibui. Almost any Shibui. And we just got some new children Shibui in the store that I’m already playing around with to figure out the perfect pattern pairing.

Shibui Linen available at yarn.com

Shibui Linen is an anomaly for me, because I normally don’t like plant fibers. They can be a little too unyielding for me, and a bit hard on the hands holding the needles. However, Shibui Linen is softer and silkier than most linens, with a chainette construction that gives it some…well, give. I love the Apple color and would absolutely make myself a cap-sleeve tee or loose vest for summer concerts in the park.

Shibui Twig available at yarn.com

Shibui Twig is Linen’s next-door neighbor, or cousin, or step-sister. It’s a more matte version of Linen, with a mix of linen, recycled silk, and wool in a slubby, tweedy amalgam that would stick to most wooden needles. It’s a true DK weight, getting 5.5 stitches to 1″ on a US size 4/3.5mm needle. What would I make from this yarn? It has so much personality in the skein that I’d want to let that shine. Maybe a drapy open cardi? Or a simple summer shawl for when our air-conditioning gets a little too aggressive.

Shibui has some beautiful pattern support for these two newbies. I really like the Japanese aesthetic in their design; it speaks to my love for clean, uncluttered simplicity. Take a look and see what inspires you!

Start a New Crochet Project Today

Monday, March 9th, 2015
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The long winter has me itching to start new things, which is terrible for my WIP list, but great for discovering new (and new to me) patterns. Since March is National Crochet Month, I decided maybe I’d flex my crochet muscles and took a peek at what we have for crochet PDF patterns. I love PDF patterns for several reasons. They don’t clutter up my house, I can store them on my phone or iPad, so I have them right there with me, and I can make notes on the patterns with several of the PDF apps that are out there (and save my notes for future projects).

Perusing our collection of PDF crochet patterns, I have encountered a small problem. I want to make every pattern I’ve looked at. I guess I haven’t been keeping up with our PDF patterns because, wow! There are some incredible patterns available.

Sweet Clementine by ChickenBetty

I’m a big fan of hats, because I’m often cold, and if you’re having a less than stellar hair day, you can always throw a hat on! Sweet Clementine by ChickenBetty (who happens to be our own Sara Delaney) is high on my to-crochet list. I have loads of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in my stash, and already have two hats made from it, so I know it’s great for just this purpose.

Fresh Stitches Crochet Patterns

I want to crochet every single one of the adorable amigurumi patterns from Fresh Stitches by Stacy Trock. Flavia the Unicorn, Forrest the Gnome, Murray the Squirrel, Jackie the Cow, the Choose Your Own Adventure Dragon – I don’t know where to start! These are a great gift for your favorite child. One of my favorites (my godson) is turning two later this month, and he may be getting at least one of these as part of his gift.

Crochet Patterns by Linda Permann

All the time I’ve been spending inside lately has made me want to make some changes around the house, and Linda Permann, in addition to having some spectacular garment and accessory patterns (we did a CAL with her Sugar Sparkles Shawlette), has a lovely pillow that I can picture on my couches. The Everyday Lace Pillow has a fabric cover underneath, and since I’ve also been dabbling in some sewing, this project will be a great way for me to combine that in.

What PDF patterns do you want to download right now and start?

We’ve got crochet hooks!

Thursday, March 5th, 2015
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Of every shape and color! Whether you use a traditional hook, or prefer tunisian, we have a hook to fit your style.

Crochet hooks available at yarn.com - read more at blog.yarn.com

From the classic Susan Bates Silvalume and Quicksilver hooks, to steel hooks for fine thread work and large plastic hooks for for super bulky and rug working projects you’re sure to find the crochet tools you’ll need on our site or in our retail store.

addi color coded crochet hooks available at yarn.com - read more at blog.yarn.com

Skacel offers some great hook options in their addi line. The color coded hooks are available individually and in a full set. Their ergonomically shaped Swing hooks can help ease hand strain and they even have a set of click hooks for your tunisian work.

Knitter's Pride Dreamz crochet hooks available at yarn.com - read more at blog.yarn.com

Knitter’s Pride offers an almost unbelievable assortment of hooks. In the Dreamz line you have individual classic hooks and tunisian hooks as well as full classic sets and tunisian sets and you can purchase additional cables for your tunisian hooks. the also offer a specialty Symfonie Rose set with decorative Swarovski Crystals. Their newest Waves hooks feature color coded comfort grips and are also available individually and as a set. There’s also the line of Bamboo hooks, individual or in sets and as well as individual tunisian hooks and tunisian hook sets.

Do you have a go-to hook brand? Do you change it up based on the project or fiber your using? Tell us all about your favorite hooks!