Archive for the ‘Products at WEBS’ Category

Spinning my Wheels

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016
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My passion for fiber and color runs deep and I love to knit, weave and crochet, but I resisted the siren song of spinning because I was afraid. And then, two years ago I accidentally volunteered to be captain of the WEBS Spinzilla team and my worst fears were realized – I loved spinning! Down the rabbit hole I went and another fiber obsession has been added to my bag of tricks. I was afraid that spinning would distract me from weaving – and it has – but it has also given me another way to create and deepened my understanding of fiber and yarn and how they work and interact – useful information for my other creative outlets.

Of course, learning to spin opened me to a whole new world of color, texture and fiber and the overwhelming desire to have it all at my fingertips! I kept finding more things I wanted WEBS to carry and started organizing spinning events to learn more about the craft. More fiber, more spinners, life is good, right? The success of Spinzilla and the feedback from spinners at our events has brought a resurgence in spinning at WEBS. Steve and Kathy want to further strengthen our spinning area and decided to create a position to oversee that. I am honored that they asked me and excited to add spinning to my role at WEBS as Weaving and Spinning Manager.

Spinning fibers from Louet, Spunky Eclectic and more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

We still have a few fiber specials from Spinzilla to take advantage of. The fiber packs we put together with Louet are a great way to learn about how to spin different breeds. Each pack has just enough of each breed  to develop your skill in spinning and enough variety to keep boredom at bay. There’s also some great colorful braids from Spunky Eclectic in the Autumn Welcome colorway she designed for us with 2 fiber options – easy to love and spin BFL or a luscious Polwarth/Mohair/Silk blend. To round out the sweet deals, we have what my friend Liz calls a box of crayons – the Lamb’s Tail Medleys from Frabjous Fibers. Also in 2 bases – superwash BFL or Merino/Bamboo/Nylon – these are a random assortment of colors with unlimited possibilities.

I am looking forward to expanding the fibers, tools and classes for spinners. Please feel free to contact me with suggestions; I want to hear what you’d like to see here!

Sometimes Bigger IS Better

Friday, October 7th, 2016
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Knitting folk, you know I am usually all about the smaller yarn. I think somehow it looks nicer, you can do more with it, the stitch definition is usually better, and also, those are the needle sizes I have lots of. So…expedience.

I recently was lucky enough to be in on a presentation given by Stacy Charles, whose name is probably familiar to all of you knitters. Their new yarn, Sherpa, was really popular at our recent Knitting Retreat, and at first glance, I thought “absolutely NOT.” It’s everything I thought I didn’t like in a yarn: fuzzy, big, random little boucle dots of natural color along the fiber. However, I then saw this yarn knit up in this absolutely gorgeous pullover with matching cowl, and it’s the antithesis of what I don’t like in bulky yarn.

Stacy Charles with Tahki Yarns Sherpa, available at yarn.com Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The Zest Pullover has a drapiness that I could compare to a superstar sportweight or DK yarn, not boxy or puffy, but smooth and shapely. The fuzziness of Sherpa is soft, not like a fuzzy yarn that you don’t want next to your skin. That cowl is about to be on my needles and I’ll finish it in a day, I bet.

What’s the last yarn that changed your opinion? Let us know in the comments, below.

New Valley Yarns designs from Vickie Howell!

Monday, October 3rd, 2016
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We’re beyond thrilled to have partnered with DIY Queen and craft enabler, Vickie Howell for a collection of fun, modern patterns as well as an exclusive set of colors for our NEW Valley Superwash Super Bulky!

NEW! Valley Superwash Super Bulky in exclusive Vickie Howell colors, read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

These quick knit and crochet accessories are the perfect projects for gifts, travel or just treating yourself before the first snow flies! The Arrow Head Hat features a simple combination of Fair Isle and textured stitches in 3 colors that is a terrific first colorwork project. The Ziggy Scarf get’s its twisty pop from the simplest cable, another great starter project! The Upward Spiral Beanie is a fun crochet tube of post stitches, cinched at the top for that great slouchy look and topped with a lively pom pom. And the Curvaceous Cowl is a cozy and warm combination of cables and seed stitch, perfect for bridging the seasons.

NEW! Valley Superwash Super Bulky in exclusive Vickie Howell colors and 5 brand new designs! Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Vickie also designed the Kitchmas Stocking to add a bit of her signature style to your holidays. Chose two of Vickie’s exclusive colors: Cast Away Coral, Aqua Oasis, Moontower Mustard, Gray Gardens, Tiki Turquoise and Boss Byzanthium, or combine them with one of our 12 other colors!

NEW! Vickie Howell patterns! Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Which of these new patterns will you make first?

Time For A New Bag!

Friday, September 23rd, 2016
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My favorite project bag is falling apart. It’s the cutest Erin Lane bag ever, in a fabric that I think they don’t use anymore–white skulls on a black background. The best part is that some of the skulls have little pink hair ribbons and it is just subversive and cute at the same time. However, I’ve carried it from East to West and it might have even traveled to another country and it’s shredding. Time for a new bag!

Binkwaffle Dumpling bags and more favorite project bags on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I certainly have a lot from which to choose. I’m a bit picky about my bags, because I like the kind that can stand (or sit) on their own, without falling over and taking up a lot of room. This Binkwaffle Dumpling bag comes in two sizes and seems highly useful in both. They’re both reversible and close ingeniously by simply pulling the handle through a grommet. Ta dah! comfy on your wrist and the big one is sturdy enough to sit quietly without misbehaving beside my chair.

Erin Lane is always reliable (and the fabrics they use are delightful). I particularly like Self-Standing Bucket Tote, big enough to throw my wallet, keys, and sunglasses in along with a project or two. Lots of choices of color and print, too.

If I was going to give a wishlist to a caring husband, I’d certainly encourage a Namaste purchase. The Hermosa Bag is big enough to throw a laptop in and maybe a sweater in case it gets cold (along with the sweater you’ll be knitting, of course). These bags last forever and they are easily mistake for a high-end handbag.

You know, there’s a lot of knitting time before the holidays hit us. Why not indulge in a new bag now for all those gifts you’ll be creating?

Our Fall 2016 Catalog is here!

Friday, September 9th, 2016
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Our Fall 2016 Catalog is now available for you to view online and will be arriving in mailboxes over the next few weeks! We have almost 2 dozen new yarns for you to discover from companies like Blue Sky Fibers, Berroco and Artyarns and over 40 new patterns, including 9 new designs from Valley Yarns!

WEBS Fall 2016 catalogs are mailing out now! Learn how you can get a copy on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Whether you peruse online today or wait for your copy to arrive, you’re sure to find plenty of yarns and projects to fill your mailbox!

WEBS Fall 2016 catalogs are mailing out now! Learn how you can get a copy on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

If you’re not yet on the mailing list sign-up here!

 

 

Summer Pick-Me-Up

Friday, August 26th, 2016
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It’s the last weekend before the “official” start of autumn; here in Massachusetts, that means kids are starting to go back to school, colleges are welcoming freshmen for their orientation, and we’re starting to see the store fill up with parents of boarding school-ers and college students who see WEBS as the destination they come here for AFTER they drop off the kids.

Planning your last summer project with Amy on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Since it’s still pretty hot, I thought about knitting a “Last Gasp Of Summer” project, and with a minimum of searching I found the perfect top: Baby Cocktail “White Sangria” sleeveless top, designed by Thea Colman. It’s a gorgeous confection of eyelet patterning and a flattering shape–a super-feminine A-line with a fitted bust and the option to tailor the “skirt” for your figure. It won’t take long to make, since the details, while beautiful, are fairly simple, and although Thea used Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Cotton, I think I might gravitate toward one of our Rowan closeouts like Pure Wool Worsted Superwash in a discontinued color. Grasshopper is a minty light green, almost a neutral; but Vintage (a mauve-y purple) would carry your top into the warmer days of September over jeans or some white capris (if you want to break some fashion rules!). Check it out, and let us know in the comments what your end-of-summer project is.

Kits = Best Thing Ever

Friday, July 29th, 2016
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Kits seems to be the New Thing. I think that I’ve never seen so many kits in the store as I did on a recent meander through the yarns. I hasten to add that I think kits are a fabulous thing, because you have every single thing you need to knit or crochet (or weave!) a project with no need to make any kind of decision whatsoever, other than what color palette you most enjoy. There are so many different project kits I’m just dying to use that I thought I’d let you in on some of my favorites.

Project and specialty yarn kits available at yarn.com Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The Fair Isle Box of Itty-Bitties captured my heart. If you’ve ever done Fair Isle knitting you know that you use about a yard of each color and it makes no financial sense to buy 10 different skeins of yarn and use a quarter of each to make a hat. This beautiful box of teensy skeins of sport weight yarn in 8 colors will turn into a beautiful Fair Isle hat in your talented hands. Three different colorways give lots of options.

More options await you in the Wonderland Yarns “Mad Hatter” kits. Included in each kit is a large skein (344 yards) and 5 smaller skeins (86 yards each) for a total of 774 yards of lovely sport weight yarn. That’s plenty to make the “Which Way” shawl that is free with the purchase of one of the 6 color options.

Artyarns has also conspired to seduce fiberlovers with Gradient Kits. These are colors in the same family that range from light to dark, perfect for shawls and scarves in ombre or gradient designs. WEBS carries several different color palettes including 3 that are exclusive to our customers. And Merino Cloud yarns are deeeee-lightful, a merino/cashmere blend that is twisted for beautiful stitch definition.

There are plenty more to drool over–Zen Yarn Gardens Cordoba Shawl kit, using Superfine Fingering yarn in their signature intense colors, Lorna’s Laces String Quintet kits in Shepherd Sock, Baah Yarns “Wings” cowl kit in Baah Yarns’ La Jolla, pattern included in the kit. I think you’ll have a hard time deciding to make just one project. Tell us what kits you love the most in the comments!

A Few New Yarns to Tempt You…

Thursday, July 21st, 2016
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Even though the summer is just beginning to heat up, our fall yarns have begun to arrive. If you’ve been to the store, you’ve probably noticed swatches of most of the yarns on offer, Store staff knit these to provide you with an example of how the yarn looks, not only in stockinette stitch, but also in a stitch pattern.  The swatches are labeled with all pertinent yarn information in addition to suggestions for use.  Knitting swatches also gives staff an opportunity to get to know new yarns so we can help you even knowledgeably.

Discover Valley Yarns Pocumtuck on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The newest from Valley Yarns, Pocomtuck, is a dk weight cashmere. Karen knit a decorative swatch to show this yarn to its best advantage.  She found it to be a luxurious knit, and states that “it lends itself to a wide variety of garments and accessories.”

Discover Plymouth Yarn Tuscan Aire on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Marthe’s swatch of Plymouth’s Tuscan Aire  shows this bulky yarn’s adaptability to stockinette and textured stitches.  Comprised of 90% merino wool and 10% nylon,  “this light and lofty fiber is just perfect for lightweight yet warm ponchos, cowls and scarves.”

Discover Plymouth Yarn Cannoli on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Mary M. chose another new Plymouth yarn, Cannoli, to try out.  She thought it was an exciting, fast knit and would use it for accessories and gifts. The construction (it’s a single) makes it bouncy and the colorways are very tempting.

Discover Berroco Cotolana on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Berroco Cotolano has become a new staff favorite and Maryanne knit the swatch.  This wool, cotton and nylon blend is remarkably soft and would make a fine three season garment. Cables and other textures are really enhanced in this yarn.

This is just the beginning.  Stay tuned for more as fall yarns continue to roll in.  Happy knitting!

Babies = Blankets

Friday, June 17th, 2016
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I know of two babies on the horizon, one arriving in September and one arriving in December. Both of the new mothers are good friends, good enough that a tiny baby sweater isn’t enough. I decided to go full-on baby blanket with these special wee ones. I have just enough time (I think) to make crib-sized blankets for each, and I’ve settled on two patterns that are calling to me.

Valley Yarns Haydenville and great baby projects on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Miss September Baby is a much-anticipated girl who has two older brothers. I want her to have her very own special gift so I’m making a Valley Yarns pattern, the Snowdrop Blanket. However, you know how I feel about plant fibers, so no go on the Longmeadow. Instead, I’m going to use some lovely Valley Yarns Haydenville, probably in Silver, because White, or even Natural, seems like a set-up for disaster, since you all know what babies do on blankets. It’s neutral enough to match her nursery and distinctive enough to be an eye-catcher in a Mommy and Me group.

Baby #2 is a mystery, so I’m going to go with a bold pattern I love, the Valley Yarns Pattern Grayson Set. The stitch is simple enough to be knit while watching “Game of Thrones,” and the color changes are just challenging enough so the project won’t be tedious to finish. I’m going to use Haydenville for this one, as well. I’m going to completely switch up the colors, however, and go with Slate Blue as the main color, banded with Natural and to make it pop, a stripe of Yellow. Could read as masculine or feminine, and I am so hoping it becomes the blanket that baby can’t sleep without.

What is your favorite baby pattern? Let me know in the comments, below!

Gifts, Just Because

Friday, June 3rd, 2016
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Normally, this time of year means Father’s Day, graduations, weddings, all kinds of big-ticket events which require big-ticket gifts. But as a mom, I’ve found that this time of year is also the time to think of babysitter gifts (thank goodness WEBS is located in the middle of 5 colleges. My kids had babysitters for any occasion.), teacher gifts, playdate-host-mom gifts…the list can be endless. While many of my friends/babysitters/kids’ teachers are fiber crafters, sometimes they aren’t. WEBS has lots of fun stuff that doesn’t necessarily require that you know the word “gauge” to enjoy.

Gift ideas on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Frabjous Fibers produces the cutest little notion bags I’ve seen in a long time. The bags come in varied sizes and shapes, like this itty bitty sheepy, this “Mama Sheep” scalloped-edge envelope, and this fun brightly-colored bag big enough to hold tissues, a juice box, and your phone. You can also get an adorable felt “embellishment” which I’d put on a backpack or pin to a hand-made hat for a special caregiver.

If you want to get a little fancier, what about a shawl pin? They don’t have to go on a knitted or crocheted shawl, you know. This Moving Mud Shawl Closure is so stunning that I’d wind it into a scarf or onto a bag. This is a great gift for a harried mom who has driven carpool for so long that she dreams in Cheerios.

The lovely Beckys Glass stitch marker charms look as good made into earrings as they do adorning your knitting needles. Or maybe you could string them onto an inexpensive chain to be used as a grown-up-looking birthday gift for a party princess?

I hope this gives you some ideas for fun presents that don’t have to break the bank. If you have a particularly difficult personality to buy for, throw a skein of yarn and some needles into a gift bag, and promise your skills as a teacher. The gift of your time is always appreciated!