Archive for the ‘Products at WEBS’ Category

Some Holiday Thoughts

Friday, November 8th, 2013
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Tis the season, as they say. My family celebrates Hanukkah, which comes way too early this year (November 28, to be exact). I’m postponing it until Decemberish, when I can get my wits about me. While I have time, I’m casting a curious eye through the store to store up some holiday gift ideas for some knitters or lovers of knitwear on my list. I like to make small projects like fingerless mitts, hats, or cowls, since they’re fast. I also like to use some unusual yarns that I wouldn’t ordinarily use for my personal knitting, to keep it festive.

Any gift I give this year will be accompanied by these stunningly beautiful gift cards featuring photographs by the very talented Debbie Cook, who runs the Flayvors of Cook Farms store, and works at our retail store (lucky us!). The photos are spare and charming at the same time, and perfect with some elegant silvery or dark wrapping paper.

Buffalo Wool Company has a yarn called Sexy, and how can you not give someone a lacy shawl made with Sexy yarn that’s half Bison down and half silk? Very festive.

The colors are deep and lush, and even though it’s a laceweight yarn, I could probably whip out an open-work pattern for a shoulder-covering shawl in no time, from this often-used book.

I’d also use a Blue Sky Alpacas yarn I’ve been mulling over for a long time, Metalico. It’s another 50/50 yarn, this time alpaca and silk. It’s got a sheen that is tempered by the fuzziness of the alpaca, and I think it would make a great cowl or hat to go with a Little Black Dress.

And since the holidays are glittery and fun, I’d think about using a one-off sparkler like Artyarns Silk Mohair Glitter. Lots of fun colors and a shot of silver or gold thread will give you tons of ideas for lacy scarves or ornamental cuffs to wear with a holiday dress to a caroling party.

 

Knitting Season is Open

Friday, September 13th, 2013
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My last post, which ran a few weeks ago, had a glaring error, and it is this: I took it for granted that I am famous enough for the entire world to know who I am.  I am indeed the new Education Manager, and my name is Amy Greeman. This is what I look like:

Amy Greeman, Education Manager

Amy Greeman, Education Manager

Ok, on to my pick this week. I lovelovelove Fall and Winter, which makes me an outcast in most groups. Knitters, however also love these seasons, because crisp air and cool temperatures mean lots of knitting. As I wander around the store, a few new yarns caught my eye and I thought I’d share them with you for your Fall knitting pleasure.

Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino is the Queen of the fingering-weight set. We haven’t had this particular yarn in the store for a VERY long time and I am thrilled it’s here now. There are loads of beautiful colors and it’s just begging to be knit into socks or hats, or a gorgeous shawl.

Shibui Pebble reached it’s sporty-weight hand out and grabbed me as I walked by our showcase for it. I’m a sucker for a sport-weight, and this blend of silk/wool/cashmere is balanced just right–not too stiff and not too drapey. I would make any sweater that incorporated a lacy or knit/purl pattern stitch with this.

Clockwise: Infusion Handpaint, Koigu, Eco Highland Duo, and Pebble

Clockwise: Infusion Handpaint, Koigu, Eco Highland Duo, and Pebble

Universal Yarn Infusion Handpaint was a surprise to me. I’m not that thrilled with a lot of variegation, because I like to do very textured knitting, but this wool/acrylic blend feels beautifully soft and the colors are really blended nicely. I could see a nice, thick winter scarf or shrug to keep in a chilly office in this superwash yarn.

Finally, my new favorite yarn, I must confess, isn’t new at all. It’s a luscious Cascade standby I recently discovered, Eco Highland Duo. I’ve knit a cabled cowl in it, and am using it for a much more technical knit now, this Kira K design that will be a gift for my mom.

What is your new Fall discovery? What will you be knitting while you watch football (or the new season of Homeland) on TV?

Tahki Stacey Charles yarns featured in Interweave Knits

Thursday, September 12th, 2013
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Interweave Knits has released it’s Fall 2013 issue and it features two great patterns using yarns from our friends at Tahki Stacey Charles.

First up is the Crinoline Tee designed by Andrea Babb and knit in TSCArtyarns Tranquility. TSCArtyarns is a collaborative effort using yarns from TSC dyed in gorgeous colors by Iris Schreier of Artyarns. We’re loving the subtle, tonal stripes that happen with this yarn and the gentle ruching detail at the shoulders.

Second we have the Mistral Stole designed by Susanna IC and knit in Filatura Di Crosa Nirvana.  The modern yet organic stitch pattern is worked outward from the center for symmetrical edges. And if you haven’t yet tried Nirvana, you are missing out on an incredible, washable, lace-weight merino yarn!

What projects are you looking forward to making from this issue?

Schachenmayr My Mountain Yarns and Hats

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
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Have you heard about Schachenmayr’s My Mountain collection? It is a great collection of quick to knit and quick to crochet yarns and patterns geared toward the active lifestyle.

Schachenmayr is offering loads of free hat patterns to knit and crochet. Our own designers Kirsten Hipsky and Sara Delaney also designed a few hats that are available for free on our website. You’ll want to check them out!

In conjunction with the launch, Schachenmayr held a hat design contest. There were 215 entries and 18 semifinalist were chosen. Voting is now taking place for the top 5. You can head over to Facebook to vote. (Mobile users can vote here.)

My hat, Punctuated, was chosen as one of the semifinalists (Hi! I’m Mary, the Marketing Manager here at WEBS. We may not have met, but you may have seen me in our Show & Tell features on the blog, at a Stitches event, or read some of my past posts here on the blog.) and I couldn’t be more excited. I haven’t designed many items, so for this to be chosen was huge for me.

Here’s a little back story about my design: My favorite colors are pink and gray, so when we received Schachenmayr Boston and I saw the neon pink, I knew I had to do something with it (I’m a sucker for bright pinks and fuchsias). It may seem silly, but I have a favorite punctuation and it is the interrobang, which is this: ?! (it is also expressed as a single, combined character, but I prefer this version). My friends know that I love using it and it usually shows up at least once in an email or text conversation. The interrobang asks a question in an excited manner, expresses excitement or disbelief in the form of a question, or asks a rhetorical question.

The last two years haven’t been easy for me personally, so the interrobang and its expression of disbelief in the form of a question really resonated with me and fit in to how I was feeling. In the end, the hard stuff (and there was a lot of it) was worth it because I know how many amazing people I have in my life who truly care about me. So in a way, the interrobang will always be a reminder to me that even when stuff gets crazy and stops making sense, there are folks to ground me and let me know that it’s going to be okay.

You can vote for photo one per IP address, per day. I’d appreciate it if you would vote for my hat when you’re selecting your favorites.

Make sure you also check out all of the My Mountain yarns and patterns from Schachenmayr. It’s a great way to get a jump start on your gift-making! :)

Are 4 (or 5) Needles Better Than One?

Friday, August 16th, 2013
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Although my poor grandmother tried to teach me to knit when I was nine years old, I had absolutely no patience for fine motor skills at that point, and was much happier playing with her jewelry. I didn’t learn to knit until I was an adult, and I learned very traditionally: straight needles, follow a pattern, make a bottom-up sweater with set-in sleeves and a crew neck. When I started working at Webs shortly after I had gained some mastery of the craft, I was astounded at the variety of designs, techniques, and yarns I encountered. It was overwhelming, but I wanted to try it all. The one thing I stuck to was knitting any sort of tube with double-pointed needles. I honestly tried to use Magic Loop, two circulars, anything but DPNs. However, I don’t love knitting socks ( I have made exactly three socks) and I loved the way my DPNs made hats, baby booties, and sleeves on sweaters look. I’m always on the lookout for really great needles, and I think I have found my DPN mecca: Knitters Pride Karbonz. I recently knit baby sweaters for twins to be born in September, and the pattern was a beautifully easy top-down raglan with the sleeves picked up and knit on DPNs. I did one sweater with my old faithful Dreamz needles, but picked up a set of the Karbonz to try on sweater #2.

Reader, it was heaven.

All kinds’a’Karbonz at Webs!

The Karbonz shaft gripped the yarn just right–it slid easily but didn’t slide off. The tips are sharp and glide-y but they didn’t split the yarn, and there was no discernable bump or glitch at the place where the tip met the body of the needle. Best of all, they look super-badass. Shiny silver tip attached to a matte black needle made me feel a little naughty, even though the project they were attached to was the most adorable peach and lime green baby kimono. Karbonz are available in circulars as well, and we’ve just added interchangeable sets, too. They are well worth the slightly higher price point, and will last until your granddaughters refuse to learn to knit with them.

Debbie Bliss Crochet Living

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
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Debbie Bliss has released a new collection of crochet projects for the home, Crochet Living.

There are some simple but visually stunning blankets and home accessories, like pillows and table linens, as well as cozy, wearable accessories. With lots of colors available in Baby CashmerinoCashmerino Aran and Rialto DK you can take any of these patterns and make them your own.

I’m really loving the simple grey poncho with that pop of color from the orange buttons.

 

What Do You Get When You Cross a Knitting Bag with an iPad?

Saturday, July 6th, 2013
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Bonnie totes her tech!

You get the Yarn Pop Commuter and Mini Commuter. When I first worked in the store at Webs, customers would bring in their patterns, sometimes tattered and illegible, when they searched for yarn. Nowadays, most of our clientele has moved their pattern library onto their iPad, Kindle, iPhone, or Android device. And why not? Technology has it all over in the world of fiber. Check out this blog post by my co-worker, J, on the many, many apps, tricks, and techniques that knitters and crocheters can use on their notebook computer. Wouldn’t it be great to carry your iPad or Mini around in a case that also holds your needles, scissors, and stitch markers? Yarn Pop, maker of great totes and project bags, has come to the rescue again with the Commuter and the Mini Commuter.

Multi-tasking Commuter from Yarn Pop

It comfortably holds an iPad or Mini securely in a clear plastic case that allows fingertip access, and has a dedicated space protected by a microfiber panel, for circular and double-pointed needles. The handy zipper pocket even holds a small skein of yarn or the beginning of a project so you can knit on the go. I think the best use for this ingenious gadget sherpa is to carry along with your project bag, so that your pattern, tools, and yarn is right at your fingertips. No more screen scratches from an errant needle, no more guessing at yardage because you don’t have your pattern with you at the LYS. There’s a Mini version for e-readers and the new iPad Mini, in great patterns as well.

 

The Buzz at WEBS – May 31, 2013

Friday, May 31st, 2013
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The Buzz at WEBS

This week, the staff at WEBS is buzzing about…

I can’t believe I finally finished the Valley Yarns Amethyst Brook Crocheted Afghan. Around the time that this pattern was released (almost 3 years ago!) I was looking for an afghan pattern where I could have fun playing with one of my favorite yarns, Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. (It’s even in our Anniversary Sale for only $6.99 a hank!) Sara Delaney’s pattern was a perfect fit. While working on this project the past couple years, I was able to develop my crochet skills, have an easily portable project, and learn that randomly placing hexagons can be a beautiful thing. I love my new blanket so much. But what I didn’t expect after making and joining so many hexagons, I kind of want to start another one all over again. For more pictures and details about my afghan, you can visit my Ravelry project page here. > Dena C.

I am having a blast crocheting with the 3/2 Valley Cotton. It has a lovely sheen, and I think the fabric will drape very nicely when I am done. Also, despite being a good sturdy weaving cotton it is fairly soft. I’m crocheting a Shell Brimmed Cloche as a gift, and I think I want one for myself! > Kristin L.

Working at WEBS, a lot of new books come across my desk, and this one really stood out. Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out is full of fantastic patterns that are two projects in one by flipping it inside out. A dog house that transforms into a dog, a bunny that transforms into a sheep, even a chicken that transforms into a fox! These projects look fun to knit, and twice as much fun to give. Kids can easily turn the project inside out to reveal the surprise. I know plenty of adults who would love these as gifts too. > Grace H.

The Buzz at WEBS – May 17, 2013

Friday, May 17th, 2013
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The Buzz at WEBS

This week, the staff at WEBS is buzzing about…

I have been frantically knitting another supply of these Ruffle Washcloths for thank you gifts, Mother’s day and end of the year Teacher gifts. I knit a bunch every year and every year they are out the door as quickly as I can knit them!  They pair nicely with a fun bar of soap and pretty ribbon. I have found that they knit up nicely in almost any cotton but I think they would be beautiful in Bristol Yarn BradfordClassic Elite Seedling, or Rowan Handknit Cotton. Back to washcloth knitting! > Amy S.

The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs by Sarah Anderson – This fantastic compendium of spinning delights began to excite and inspire me as soon as I cracked it open. I sat down with it recently, began poring over its well organized chapters, and then immediately dove into my stash of handspinning scraps and started to combine them in new ways. The book is beautifully photographed and thoughtfully designed for easy reference. It includes a set of handy cards that can be used right at the spinning wheel to check your work during spinning, like the angle of twist or the structure of a multi-stranded yarn. This is a must have smorgasbord of inspiration and juicy tidbits of information that will bring new textures and dimensions to your handspun yarns! > Ashley F.

The inviting aroma of lavender drew me in to the Milk and Honey Lotion Bars as I walked by them in the warehouse one day. I had to buy one! Molded into decorative cakes, these all natural lotion bars are a compact alternative to liquid lotion bottles. Made from beeswax and infused almond oil, they not only moisturize your skin, but leave a heavenly lasting fragrance. I love the calming scent of lavender, and use this lotion at my desk whenever I need a little pick-me-up. The lotion bars are great to toss in your project bag, as some fibers will dry out your hands when you work with them. Snagging yarn on dry cuticles is the worst! A little does go a long way, your body heat will melt the oils and absorb into your skin. This lotion bar doesn’t leave my side! > Deb S.

The Buzz at WEBS – May 3, 2013

Friday, May 3rd, 2013
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The Buzz at WEBS

This week, the staff at WEBS is buzzing about…

One of my favorite yarn and pattern combos is the Plymouth Yarn Select DK Merino Superwash and Rebecca Danger’s Monster Chunks pattern. The yarn is super soft and comes in a lot of great colors. The Monster Chunks pattern is quick and easy, and it’s the first time I knit something so many times in a row without getting sick of the pattern.  And the Monster Chunks look great with button eyes or safety eyes! > Jackie V.

I designed this cowl, The Bramble Cowl, for my older daughter who lives in England. Even though it’s spring, it’s still cool and blustery there. She loves chunky cowls but not the weight. I couldn’t resist all the beautiful colors of Madelinetosh Vintage that we have in the store. I just kept picking up skeins and putting them together. After I knit one for my oldest daughter, my younger daughter wanted one too, then I wanted one.  I can’t quite stop knitting these.  I have yarn for at least three more in beautiful color pairings. > Amy S.

I have been on a serious cowl kick recently. This one is The Wave Cowl, made with Noro Ayatori. I have been wanting to work with this yarn for a very long time but couldn’t figure out what to make with it. Right before a long car trip I decided to buy two skeins and make something. When all else fails, knit a cowl! That seems to be my current motto. Before the trip even started I knit up a cowl that turned out to be the perfect weight for a chilly spring or summer evening. This yarn is so soft and light. Of course I had to pick up another two skeins so I had something to knit on the trip. I have another one on the needles right now! > Amy S.

Amy has some great stories to tell. You can read more about her Bramble Cowl, her Wave Cowl and more on her blog, http://ms-ellaneous.typepad.com/ms_ellaneous/