Archive for the ‘Products at WEBS’ Category

What to buy with your WEBS Gift Card – Project Bags

Monday, December 15th, 2014
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Every knitter, and crocheter, I know has multiple projects going at any one time and project bags are the perfect way to help corral the clutter that can result. Whether you’re looking for the perfect little last minute gift for a friend or contemplating your after-holiday gift card purchases here are a few of our favorite bags.

Project Bags available in all sizes and styles at yarn.com - Namaste Harlow Bag, the Attenti Caddy in peacock, and the Hadaki Multitasker Pouch

For your smaller projects the Hadaki Multitasker Pouch and the Blue Sky Alpacas Pretty Cheep project bags can handle anything from socks to large lace shawls, scarves and hats. For your larger sweaters and baby blankets the Atenti Caddy and our exclusive 40th Anniversary Della Q Large Eden Drawstring Bags have a surprising amount of room for yarn supplies and your growing project. The Lantern Moon Repurposed Plastic Tote would be perfect for large afghan projects and is one of the sturdiest bags we carry. And if you’re just looking for something stylish that can double as the perfect purse we highly recommend the Harlow Bag from Namaste. Not only does it have plenty of room inside for your wallet, keys, tablet(or laptop!), and gloves but you fit a couple small projects in there as well! How do you transport your projects?

 

Gifts for Weavers

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014
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Stumped by what to get for the weaver in your life? It can be tricky when you do not speak the language or know the tribal customs of this particular breed of fiber enthusiast. But fear not, for I am a professional weaving enabler and I can provide insight into this dilemma. As with most of my gifting, I try to look for something special, something that the giftee might not necessarily buy for her/himself. The choices range from tools to enhance the weaving process to luxury fibers to make a unique woven piece.

Schacht variable dent heddle for rigid heddle looms - available at yarn.com

 

Schacht’s Variable Dent Heddle (for the Flip Rigid Heddle Loom) allows weavers to create one-of-a-kind pieces by combining different yarns together in a single warp. The heddle consists of a frame with sections of varying dents that can be combined in any order, providing limitless possibilities for beautiful woven projects!

 

Yarn to Yards Balance - available at yarn.com

 

Those of us who have been grabbed by fiber lust often find ourselves with mystery cones and skeins with no labels, leaving us to wonder if we have enough yarn to weave that special *thing*. The Yarn to Yards Balance is here to answer those questions with a simplicity that is ingenious. A length of yarn is balanced on the device and then measured to find yards per pound. No fuss, no muss, and no batteries needed.

Another tool new weavers often delay getting is the indispensable Bobbin Winder. Sturdy and simple, these tools last forever and take the drudgery out of winding bobbins of thread to weave. They offer a distinct advantage over homemade options by allowing a degree of control that produces a better wound bobbin (one of the keys to good selvedges).

Jade Sapphire Silk Cashmere - available at yarn.com

 

Silk. Cashmere. Need I say more? Okay, maybe some specifics – how about a skein of Jade Sapphire Silk Cashmere, the epitome of luxury in a skein. These skeins have great yardage, with enough in one skein for weft for a softer-than-soft scarf. It pairs beautifully with our 2/10 Merino Tencel as warp (ask me how I know).

Schacht Inkle Loom - available at yarn.com

 

Then we have a fun loom for kids and adults alike – the Inkle Loom. This loom is for weaving narrow bands that are great for belts, guitar and camera straps, and as strips to piece or weave together into larger projects. We sell the Schacht Inkle Loom individually, or as a gift set that adds in a shuttle to weave with and Anne Dixon’s great book, The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory, which is filled with colorful, inspiring designs in addition to basic weaving instructions. A smaller version of the loom is also available, the Ashford Inklette.

And, finally, no wish list would be complete without mentioning gift cards, the present that fits everyone regardless of size, color and fiber preferences!

Surprise your favorite weaver with something special and watch the fun as the creativity is unleashed!

What to buy with your WEBS Gift Card or eGift Card – Blocking Tools

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014
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Hopefully you’ll be the happy recipient of more than one WEBS Gift Card or eGift Card this holiday season. Deciding what to spend them on can be overwhelming with so much to choose from, but whether you’re a veteran knitter or a newbie crocheter there is nothing that finishes your work quite like a good blocking, and the right tools can make all the difference.

Blocking tools for every knitter and crocheter available at yarn.com

First you’ll need a surface to block on and we carry 4 great options. Our large and small Blocking Boards feature a grid that helps you easily lay out and measure your work and they fold up for easy storage. The Blocking Mats from Knitters Pride can be arranged in different shapes to accommodate shawls and sweater pieces, and the Block n Roll Mat also features a grid to keep your edges even while blocking and rolls up for convenient storage.

Once your blocking surface is all set up you’ll need something to keep your finished piece in place while you steam or while it dries after a good soaking. If you’re working on a lace piece the Lace Blocking Wires can turn a tedious job of pinning out points into a quick and easy task! If you’re working on a larger and more substantial piece you may want to consider the Knitter’s Pride Knit Blockers, these easy to handle tabs have multiple pins to make the process go even faster. And there’s always the standard T-pins, perfect for every project!

Consider what blocking tools are right for you as you plan your after holidays shopping, and remember you can always add items to your wishlist to share with family and friends as well!

Candle’s Glow

Friday, December 5th, 2014
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It’s almost Hanukkah! Hanukkah is really such a minor holiday in the Jewish lineup, but it gets a lot of play because it usually happens within a month or so of Christmas, which obviously gets major play. I think a lot of folks think it’s the counterpart to Christmas. In any case, it starts on December 16th. I’m sure a lot of you will be giving knitted, crocheted, or woven gifts for the Festival of Lights. I’ve compiled a few ideas that would go well with latkes and sufganyiot (the delicious fried jelly doughnuts that are traditional at Hanukkah).

knitted menorahNo discussion of menorah-craft would be complete without an homage to this fantastic pattern designed by my dear friend Ping Wood: A knitted menorah with knitted candles, and a pocket to keep them in! Genius, I tell you. She even designed a spin-off, a knitted Advent Candle hanging. Candles and pine boughs are always classy.candles and pine boughs

While poking around on Ravelry, I found this menorah pillow in Melanie Falick’s beautiful book Handknit Holidays, which has gorgeous knitted gifts for every winter holiday. This pillow is knit in creamy white, and I think it’s set off beautifully.

creamy white menorah pillow

Photo credit: Moontea

Quirky woodcut holiday cardsLastly, my enormously creative co-workers have designed some holiday fun that you’ll enjoy year-round. Jamie Sweeney did quirky and cool woodcut cards that would be fun to include with a gift or sent on their own to friends to say “howdy.” Gail Callahan, AKA KangarooDyer, dyed these luxurious silk scarves that are not only gorgeous but useful (under a scratchy turtleneck, or to add flair to a woolen overcoat). Proceeds from both of these gifts goes to Safe Passage, a local institution that provides shelter and necessities to women and families who have been victims of domestic violence.hand-dyed silk scarves for Safe Passage

Enjoy this winter’s joys!

Optical Twill Rug – new draft from Jason Collingwood

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
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Weaving a rug is one of the great satisfactions of a weaving life and we are happy to feature the striking Optical Twill  Rug from Jason Collingwood in our series of drafts celebrating WEBS 40th Anniversary. Jason is known internationally as a teacher and weaver, and continues the family legacy of rug design and weaving.

Optical Twill Rug draft designed by Jason Collingwood, woven with 8/5 Wetspun Linen Warp and Valley Yarns Collingwood Rug Yarn - draft and fibers available exclusively at yarn.com

What I love about this rug is that Jason has set it up as a simple 2/2 twill and then shows how to add motifs that reverse the direction of the twill. His version has a central motif with two smaller ones at each end, but the instructions show how you can vary the size and placement of the motifs to create a unique rug.

The rug features Collingwood Rug Wool, an exclusive line offered by WEBS, with 36 beautiful colors. The broad color range allows you to match the decor of any room. And the wool is spun specifically for rugs so it will hold up to any tap dancing hordes that inhabit your home.

Optical Twill Rug draft designed by Jason Collingwood, woven with 8/5 Wetspun Linen Warp and Valley Yarns Collingwood Rug Yarn - draft and fibers available exclusively at yarn.com

The other feature of this rug that I find so beautiful is the edge finish. Jason uses a half-Damascus edge which creates a braided look along the edge that matches the braided fringe. The result is a professionally finished edge that looks beautiful and will wear well.

One of my goals as a weaver is to ‘clothe’ my house with handwovens. I’ve made the piles of dishtowels, some lovely table runners and blankets and I’m working on the design for lace curtains. This rug would look great in my front entry and I may have to wander past the rug yarn today and contemplate colors. What have you woven for your home?

Seeing Red

Friday, November 21st, 2014
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Red is not only a very Christmas-y color, it’s also one of my personal favorite colors. It has to be the right red, however; not orange or blueish red. I like a rich, true, warm red, and maybe it’s my imagination, but it seems to make prettier presents.

I looked through the store for some eye-catching reds to knit a little holiday fun and came up with quite a few that I’ll tell you about. Folks from my tribe, never fear: I’ll do a Hanukkah blue-and-white post next time and include a little pattern fun in that one!soft and squishy warmth

HiKoo Zumie is a big luscious hank of yarn. It’s a bulky yarn that knits up at 2 or 2.5 stitches/inch on a US 13 needle, but it really goes a long way. It’s an acrylic/wool/nylon amalgam, with a slight fuzz. We’ve made the cowl pattern that you’ll find on the inside label of the yarn (free gift for you!) in Crimson and this would be a great quick knit for when you’re heading down the finish line for gifts.

loft and warmth make great giftsLouisa Harding Susurro is a chainette constructed 100% alpaca yarn, so it’s light and lofty and will knit up in a jiffy. It’s a true worsted-weight, with a gauge of 4.5 sts/inch on US size 10 needles. Louisa Harding yarns are so reliable and I’ve used several over the years. The color of this skein is called Rosehip, which makes it sound like yummy tea. This would make such a nice, warm hat for a favorite cousin, or a throw for sitting in front of a fire as you roast chestnuts. Does anyone actually do that? I hope so.luxurious cashmere and silk

For your beloved, go get a skein or two of Jade Sapphire Silk Cashmere in Seeing Red. Don’t even think about it. It’s just the softest, silkiest, most true red I’ve seen. You’ll have to take a deep breath to reconcile the price ($37.00 a skein), but it’s a whopping 400 yards, at a fingering weight, so a lacy short shawl or scarf is just right for one skein.

I’m breaking with tradition for my last pick–Rowan Brushed Fleece. It doesn’t have a great warm red, but there is a snowy, ivory color called Cove that would make a great accent. You could stripe a hat, knit the heel and toe of a sock, or make a long candy-cane swirled scarf. I just love Rowan and this bulky behemoth would knit up in a flash if you’ve left a gift for the night before Christmas.halo of creamy white

To paraphrase the Starks on Game of Thrones…Christmas is coming. What will you be making for the holidays?

Gifts to Give – for the Spinner

Thursday, November 20th, 2014
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Whether there’s an experienced spinner in your midst or someone who’s interested in getting started we have everything you’ll need for great gifts this season. Fibers from wool to silk in gorgeous colors from Malabrigo, Sweet Georgia and Frabjous Fibers. Amazing resources like Ply magazine, The Intentional Spinner with accompanying DVD and the Spinner’s Book of Fleece. And all the tools any spinner could need from yarn gauges and niddy noddys to drop spindles and Spinning Wheels.

spinning promo

If you’re local to our retail store in Northampton MA, or you’ve been thinking of taking a trip to visit us, this weekend is the perfect time. It’s Bag Day in Northampton this weekend and we’re offering 20% off any one, regular priced, in-stock item for in-store customers only! If you have been thinking about buying a wheel for that someone special (or yourself!) stop by the store on Saturday 11/22 from 10am – 5:30 pm or on Sunday 11/23 from noon – 5pm and take advantage of the Bag Day special.

Please remember the Bag Day discount applies only to items that we have in stock in either our Northampton store or our warehouse, no special orders.

Gifts to Make – Quick and Stunning Crochet

Monday, November 17th, 2014
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With so many amazing patterns to choose from it can sometimes be daunting to narrow it down to the few that you can reasonable get done before the holidays, and enjoy the process. Occasionally the perfect yarn crossed your path and solves all your problems. The Cheshire Cat 5-skein Pack from Wonderland Yarns is a combo of 5 mini skeins in gorgeous ombres or coordinated color stories, and they’re perfect for gift making!

Wonderland Yarns Cheshire Cat 5-Skein Packs - available at yarn.com

Try the Stellar Beret or Circle Scarf from Linda Permann, Breda’s Cowl from the Fibre Company, or add stunning yoke stripes to the Icelandic Turtleneck from Crochet Me (pair it with Anzula Cloud for the additional yardage you’ll need for a sweater.) What projects will you make with the Cheshire Cat 5-Skein Packs?

Limited Edition Knitter’s Pride MarblZ Designer Set

Monday, November 10th, 2014
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Looking for something special to add to your wishlist this season? Check out the limited edition Knitter’s Pride Marblz Interchangeable Circular Needle Designer Set.

Knitter's Pride Marblz Interchangeable Needle Set

This set includes 9 pairs of Marblz interchangeable needles in US sizes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.5 & 11, four cables in lengths of 24”, (2) – 32” & 40”, a needle gauge, and a set of cord connectors. Everything you need comes in a lovely box with and open window that displays these gorgeous needles.

Marblz are beautifully patterned acrylic needles. The tips have a wonderful point and the needles are super smooth without being too slick. They also warm nicely in your hands and are incredibly light..

Personally, I’m a big fan of metal needles and use them almost exclusively, so I was a little skeptical giving these needles a try. I found myself to be pleasantly surprised! They were really quite lovely to knit with. I was already a fan of Knitter’s Pride circular needles, both fixed and interchangeable, since there aren’t many projects I don’t use circulars for, so I knew I would enjoy that part. I have previously tried acrylic needles but didn’t like them because they were too grabby, or squeaked. I didn’t have either of those issues with Marblz.

This set definitely deserves a place on your wishlist. It’s limited edition, so make sure you grab it while you can!

 

Shuttle Shenanigans

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014
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Beginning to weave is an exciting adventure that opens the door to so much – creativity, color, texture, pattern and more. It is also overwhelming at times to learn the new language (sley? heddle? tromp as writ?!) not to mention the huge variety of tools.

One of the most basic tools is the shuttle, which holds and carries the yarn to weave the cloth. Sounds simple enough, right? Then why are there so many different ones and how am I supposed to know which one to use?! It’s enough to make you cry, but that will stain the wood, so let me break it down for you. We’ll start with the major types of shuttles.

boat shuttlesBoat Shuttles

Boat shuttles are longish, narrow wooden shuttles that are open in the center with a long metal shaft that holds the bobbin of yarn. Boats can be open underneath the bobbin or closed (solid wood) underneath. The profile of a shuttle refers to its height; a slim shuttle will be shorter and fit into a narrower shed (the opening between the threads that the shuttle passes through). Double boat shuttles can hold two bobbins of yarn. The yarn in a boat shuttle feeds off the bobbin and through a slot or hole in the side of the shuttle.

Stick Shuttles

stick shuttlesStick shuttles are thin flat pieces of wood that have notches at both ends. They also come in a variety of lengths, anywhere from 6” up to 30”. It is much easier to work with a shuttle that is slightly longer than the width of your project. If it is too long, you will end up whacking the walls and doing a bit of flailing; too short and you will have to reach into the shed  to grab the shuttle. A Belt shuttle is a short stick shuttle that has one beveled edge so that it can be used to beat the yarn in. Belt shuttles are often used with inkle, card and backstrap weaving.

Rag, Rug & Ski Shuttles

rag, rug & ski shuttlesRag shuttles look like two thin tapered pieces of wood with columns in between. This is so you can wind a lot of strips of cut or torn rags, which are rather bulky, onto the shuttle.

A rug shuttle is used as its name suggests – to weave rugs. It is a solid, square-ish piece of wood with groves along the sides and notches at the end to hold the yarn (I think of it as a stick shuttle on steroids); it needs the extra heft to carry the heavier rug yarns. As with stick shuttles, choose a rug shuttle based on the width of your project.

A ski shuttle has a wooden base with upturned ends (like a ski!) and an upright center to wrap the yarn around. It can be used for yarns that are too bulky for a boat shuttle, but it slides along the warp which is an advantage over a stick shuttle.

How to Choose a Shuttle

First you have to choose the type that is suitable for your loom and project. Boat shuttles feed yarn more evenly and quickly because of the bobbin and are generally the shuttle of choice for multi-harness looms. Rigid heddle weavers will sometimes use boats, though in my  personal experience I limit them to narrower warps as they can nose dive to the floor on wider warps. Stick shuttles work well for rigid heddles and other smaller looms, as well as for some hand-manipulated weaves on larger looms. Rug and rag shuttles – self-explanatory.

Photo by Lindsey TophamBoat shuttles have a number of variables to further influence your choice. Open or closed bottom? Closed bottom will glide more smoothly, open bottom allows you to use your fingers as a brake on the bobbin and are lighter in weight. Weight is an important factor in choosing a shuttle. In general, you want to pick the lightest shuttle that serves your weaving needs, to lessen the strain on your hands, though on occasion you may need something heavier to throw across a wider warp.

If you have the chance to try shuttles in person, take advantage of it. Hold it in your hand and mimic your throwing motion. Evaluate how it fits in your hand, how easy it is to grasp. As with many fine tools, it often comes down to personal preference so listen to your body and don’t be afraid to experiment with different shuttle types. You will probably also find that different projects require different shuttles (which is how we end up with a variety on the shelf next to the loom!).

WEBS 40th Anniversary Shuttle