2704 West 3rd Street
PO Box 965
Sioux Falls SD 57101
Are you headed to Stitches West this weekend? If you are, make sure you print out this coupon for half off admission! It does not apply to online ticket purchases, and you must have the coupon with you.
Come visit us in booths 604-612, 703-711! And we’ll have lots of yarn packed into that 10 booth space. We’re bringing favorites from Malabrigo, Madelinetosh, and Berroco. We’ll also have closeouts like Noro Kureyon Discontinued Colors, Noro Silk Garden Discontinued Colors and more!
If you’ve had a chance to view our spring catalog, you saw the new Valley Yarns garments. We’ll have many with us at Stitches, so stop by the booth and see them in person. We’ll also have 514 Burning Branch Shawl knit in Valley Yarns BFL Fingering which will be our next KAL starting here on the blog on Thursday.
We hope to see you in Santa Clara!
I am writing this post as I jet across the country to Portland, OR for Sock Summit 2011. I can’t believe two years has passed since the first Sock Summit.
I will be tweeting and such from the show all week and will give you all a full report when I am back next week.
For those of you also making the pilgrimage, here’s some info:
*We can be found in booths 502-508. This is a smaller set-up than we did last time and much smaller than our Stitches set-up but we will be packed with awesome sock yarns, needles, accessories and more! We’ll even have some exclusive items
*We’re planning on lots of fun for everyone. When you visit our booth you’ll have the opportunity to play Sock Summit Plinko and win a cool prize, you can show off your hand knit socks and join our “Who Are You Wearing” wall of fame and you can possibly win a cool prize pack by tweeting about us during the show!
*Be sure to stop by. I’ll be joined at the show by Kirsten our Valley Yarns Designer, Cara our Assistant Store Manager and Tina our Education Manager
See you in Portland!
Typos courtesy of my iPad
As many of you know Steve & I were in Long Beach over last weekend to attend TNNA – the Spring/Summer buying show for the yarn world. It was tough coming right out of New Year’s and getting on a plane almost immediately. I had to leave on the Wednesday after New Year’s as I serve on the Retail Council and had meetings and such ahead of the show. Although being away from home has gotten more difficult as the boys have gotten older, the early arrival allowed me a couple of extra evenings to catch up with some of my dear friends like Betsy of Classic Elite Yarns & Beth of Lorna’s Laces. The opportunity to grab dinner with folks like them and catch up on things is truly priceless.
Steve & had a great show, saw lots of wonderful yarns, caught up with even more friends and met lots of new ones. The show is always a whirlwind and somehow we never have enough time to do everything! We did find lots of new goodies that will be arriving in the coming weeks. Sparkle (introduced here) came along for the adventure and let me tell you, that little penguin made the most of his time in Long Beach.
He thoroughly enjoyed the view from our room – looking out over the Convention Center:
He loved the way the lights changed color at the hotel bar. He was particularly fond of the blue:
He met Beth from Lorna’s Laces while checking out the hotel bar and felt a strong allegiance to her display on the New Products Table at the Convention Center:
Sparkle enjoyed the Fashion Show. Here is Joel from Lantern Moon opening the show with a lovely wool-clad wee one.
Some of the lovely new designs featured in the show:
After the Fashion Show we headed to a local restaurant to grab dinner with the crew from Berroco. We were early and were able to enjoy a little down time and music:
Saturday morning the show kicked-off and it was time to get down to business:
First stop was Fiesta Yarns and our friends Jeannie & Brad:
We stopped by the Dream in Color booth to check out yarn and the latest items in the Herdy Collection. Yes, those are sheep salt & pepper shakers (we bought them) and there is also a sheepy bank not shown (bought that too!):
Of all the booths at the show, I’d have to say that Lantern Moon won for most beautiful, most creative, most – whatever – it was gorgeous. Sparkle loved it too. The vase you see here (and there were several in their booth) are filled with rice that was dyed by the talented Gina of Alchemy Yarns.
Sparkle was busy sucking up to talking to Beth at Lorna’s again and I was loving this yummy new design:
Beth makes string pretty:
Amy at Madeline Tosh is no slouch either. Her booth was INSANE. The small twist skeins you see behind Sparkle represent new colors – there were 10 or 12 of them. All magical.
Sparkle also has very discerning taste. Here he is wrapped in a 1 skein scarf made from Artyarns new 3-ply cashmere glitter. Needless to say it was not pretty getting him to leave Iris & her lovely yarns:
But like most of us, Sparkle is fickle and soon forgot the cashmere and was cuddling up to Be Sweet’s Bambino Taffy. Lovely colors and Nadine is just so nice, Sparkle was smitten
When we got back to the hotel after the show, we ran into our friends from Plymouth – Jen & Terry who were very happy to meet Sparkle.
I think in Sparkle’s excitement from being at the show all day, he might have gotten a bit carried away Saturday night:
Sunday we visited with our friends from Abstract Fibers. I love their stuff. We currently carry some of their fiber but wanted to add more. Sparkle gave his vote of approval:
We ended up adding to yarns from Abstract as well. Although all of their colors are beautiful, “Pheasant”, shown below across several different fiber bases, really spoke to me. I don’t think this picture does it justice but even so, it’s not a color that I would normally get excited about “Pheasant” really spoke to me.
On Sunday evening, it was apparent that Sparkle had “arrived”. He had the privilege to meet Debbie Bliss:
We made it to Monday and the last day of the show. We visited the Universal booth and Sparkle not only found his kind (more sparkle-y yarn) but this particular piece is woven, not knit. Smart little penguin:
Finally it was time to come home. We endured a red-eye out of LAX which was not nearly as bad as the three of us were anticipating. We were all very happy to see the East Coast.
As you can see, we have lots of great new products on the way. We had a blast and as hard as it is to be away, it’s always productive. But it’s also always good to come home. Keep an eye out on the website, here on the blog and in email blasts for the arrival of the products highlighted above and more! Not on our email list? You can sign up here.
I hope you enjoyed our recap. What are your thoughts on Sparkle’s adventure?
Steve & I have just wrapped up our annual trip to the Spring TNNA Show which was held in Long Beach, CA this year. We are actually flying home in just a few hours. I don’t normally choose to fly on a red-eye but J1 has a hockey game tomorrow night and even a crack-o-dawn flight back home was cutting it too close. Turns out we were smart to book the red-eye as we have a classic Nor’easter barreling up the east coast for tomorrow night and into Wednesday.
I’m planning to give you a full update on the show but I want to first introduce you to someone. Our holiday catalog featured the adorable penguins & polar bears.
When we first started talking about creating penguins, I really wanted at least one that incorporated beads for a little glitz. Our designer Kirsten made several attempts but none turned out like the vision I had in my head. In fact, one attempt had a frightening resemblance to Anthony Hopkins’ Dr. Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs!
So color me surpised when I popped into my office over the holidays to find a this sitting onmy desk from Kirsten:
This is Sparkle – the sparkly version of our original penguin. I love him. I never even had a chance to ask Kirsten what yarn she used. Sparkle hit the road with Steve & I this weekend and really made the rounds at the show. Tomorrow I’ll show you what the three of us have been up to!
Fall is definitely in the air! With Labor Day behind us and the first day of school checked off the list, the amazing summer weather we had has disappeared and has been replaced with reasonably warm days and cool, crisp nights. The official start of fall is only a week away! Crazy, but also invigorating – even for this lizard.
Fall is a tremendously busy time at WEBS. New classes are now starting and are posted on-line. We have a great line-up of special events too! One of our favorite events of the year is our annual bus trip to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY! This year we have two buses reserved and we’re looking forward to a great time.
The buses will depart the WEBS parking lot on Saturday morning, October 16th at 7am sharp! Bring your own coffee or morning beverage of choice and we’ll provide the baked goods. The trip to Rhinebeck is always fun with trivia contests, giveaways and anticipation of the day to come. Once in Rhinebeck everyone is welcome to enjoy the festival at their own pace. Everyone should be back to the buses by 4pm for an on-time departure back to WEBS. The bus trip is really the way to – skip the stress of driving, parking, etc and just sit back and enjoy the foliage (hopefully), some great camaraderie and especially your purchases on the trip back.
Cost of the trip is $45.00. We are well into the second bus already so if you don’t want to miss the opportunity, it’s time to register!
If you are planning to make a weekend of it, two other items of note. We are the official sponsor of three of the teachers who will be running workshops over the course of the weekend. Our own Gail Callahan, aka The Kangaroo Dyer will be teaching on Saturday, the lovely Edie Eckman is teaching on Sunday and the faboo Melissa Morgan-Oakes will also be teaching on Saturday.
On Saturday night, the annual Ravelry party will be in full swing and we are happy to be a sponsor of this not-miss event! More details to follow!
On this week’s episode of Ready, Set, Knit, Steve highlighted three yarns from our Anniversary Sale, along with a few new closeouts, 2 new books and some new della Q products.
Anniversary Sale Yarns
New Closeout Yarns
New Books & Accessories
New England Knits by Melissa LaBarre & Cecily Glowik MacDonald
Two At a Time Socks from the Toe Up by Melissa Morgan Oakes
Dual Interchangeable and Circular Needle Case from della Q
Large Cotton Project Bags from della Q
Regular Cotton Project Bags from della Q
We had the chance to catch up with XRX President, Ben Levisay. We talked about the upcoming Stitches show in Atlanta which is happening April 22-25. Steve and several members of the WEBS team will be there so be sure to check out the show and stop by and say “hi”. Complete show information can be found here.
Lastly, Pixie & I finish the KAL. We also had a VERY big announcement this week. We are sad to share that Pixie is leaving the WEBS family for a move to her cottage in France. Next week will be her last show so be sure to tune in!
It’s been awhile since I’ve reviewed a book here on the blog, but when our lovely friends at Berroco unleash a new publication it’s time to stop and take notice.
Comfort Knitting & Crochet Afghans – More Than 50 Beautiful, Affordable Desings Featuring Berroco’s Comfort Yarn by Norah Gaughan, Margery Winter & The Berroco Design Team has just been released. As the title says, it is packed with more than 50 afghan patterns knit and crocheted using Berroco’s very price-conscious Comfort yarn.
For 150 or so pages, I was treated to project after project that simply tickled me. I love that the book is a blend of knit and crochet AND that they are pretty equally represented (27 knit afghans and 24 crocheted afghans to be exact). Crochet projects are often thrown in as a token gesture or after thought but the team creating this book, lead by Norah and Margery, did the crocheters proud.
With so many patterns to choose from, it was hard to select favorites. In fact, it seemed my favorites kept changing each time I took another look. I finally narrowed my picks down to 5:
Although Garter Stripes is “the ultimate in easy knitting” I make no apologies for loving it.
It’s simplicity speaks to my own personal aesthetic of minimalism. Since Berroco Comfort features over 95 colors, the possibilities for customizing this blanket are endless. There are three panels that are joined at the end to create an afghan 66″w x 60″ long.
Although the color selection doesn’t speak to me despite its ties to the history of this particular design, Crazy offers a very interesting construction using only single crochet and decreases at the beginning and end of rows.
Inspired by crazy quilts of the 1880’s, the afghan is a series of 6 squares constructed by creating 4 individual triangles and joining upon completion. Having said that, upon further inspection I now realize that the shapes that constitute the squares aren’t all exactly triangles but since my high school geometry is failing me at the moment, just cut me some slack. (NOTE: My very mathematically inclined Berroco rep, the lovely Andra, just returned my call and she was able to solve the mystery – of course, they are simply quadrangles. I remembered trapezoids and parallelograms but not the simple quadrangle – thank you Andra).
Staying with crochet for the moment, we must take a look at Pinwheel:
Comprised of 140 squares, each is “composed of open-grid filet crochet, which is then embellished with a pinwheel of crocheted chain stitch” There was no way I could have explained that any better so why try? Once all of the squares are completed they are simply chain stitched together using a contrasting color.
Not overly difficult, but certainly time consuming, Pinwheel is a good travelling project. Small and compact you don’t need to lug a lot around with you and you can alternate between creating a bunch of squares and then doing the embellishment and then back to squares to keep things interesting.
Nordic Holidayis bold and modern and it just intrigues me. It was pointed out to me by my math consultant that it has vague resemblance to a lovely handwoven rug by Jason Collingwood that we have on display at the store.
Again – no intricate knitting is involved here but some smart design techniques result in a graphical wonder. Love the red stair steps! Directions are included for both a large blanket and smaller throw.
Herringbone is an afghan I would by in a store if I saw it. It’s modern and classic all at the same time – I can easily imagine it in the Calvin Klein bedding section of Bloomies.
I love this blanket. It speaks to me and I want it. What more is there to say? It’s a great project for those of you who have been intimidated to try cables – the herringbone pattern is created using cables and twisted stitches. The afghan is finished with a lovely 2-row crochet edging.
Now a few words about Comfort yarn. Comfort comes in four weights – sock, dk, worsted and chunky. It’s 50% super fine acrylic/50% super fine nylon. Don’t go making faces or saying impolite things about Comfort. It is a fine yarn – a might fine yarn at that. This is not your typical acrylic yarn. It’s soft and sophisticated and not at all icky. The worsted and chunky retail for $5.75 per ball with 210 and 150 yards respectively. DK is only $3.25 per ball with 178 yards while sockis $7.50 for 440 yards. Comfort is machine washable and I would even hazard to say machine dryable – just be gentle!
I think overall the book is fabulous. It is soft cover, lovely paper that are a joy to turn, gorgeous photography. The page numbers are microscopic – I’m all for the “design elements” of a piece but it bugs me when it’s they are not functional. The instructions from what I’ve gathered assume a certain level of basic knitting and crochet skill meaning not every last thing is spelled out. I don’t find this problematic but it’s important to point out. At $19.95 it’s a book you should seriously take a look or two at.
If you will be attending Stitches South in two weeks, you are in for a great treat in the WEBS booth! The lovely Andra has been working overtime (as have her knitters/crocheters) to create large squares representing 16 of the designs in the book. They will be on display at the show and I can probably arrange to have them in the store after that.
Finally, on Monday, we will have a VERY special Q&A post with Norah Gaughan herself. I asked her a series of questions about the book and it’s creation. I’m thrilled to have Norah share her thoughts with all of us! Stay tuned for Monday!
It’s been a crazy few days with Steve being at Stitches West, Olympic Knitting, hockey, “the foot” and life. I definitely lost control here on the blog. I have a variety of odds and ends I’ve been wanting to share with you so in order to get myself back on schedule I”m going to lump several things into this post.
1. Thanks to everyone who came out for our Superbowl Event. I wasn’t able to attend but Karen our Store Manager and her team did a FABOO job! She sent me these pics a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been behind in posting them.
It was a great afternoon of fiber fun, food and prizes!
2. Our Launch Party for Gail Callahan’s new book “Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece” was an absolute blast on Sunday 2/21. We had a great crowd, those Gail holds near and dear were present and I had a great time dyeing my first skein of yarn!
Gail has provided me with the supplies I need to finish dyeing my skein. We went through the complete process but it was a little rushed and a little stressful following Gail’s instructions in front of a crowd of people! My skein currently has many “white” or “bare” areas which some folks love. Me? Not so much. I want my skein solid, so I need to do a little more work on it. The spots are visible in the last picture above.
3. Well? How did you all do on your Olympic Knitting? Inquiring minds want to know so PLEASE leave a comment! Me? Well – I certainly didn’t win a medal but made a respectable showing. The two hats that were on my list were finished and given that they are belated Christmas gifts I am thrilled I got them done. Here’s the first one finished, which I had previously posted:
And here’s the second:
Same pattern, this time using Misti Alpaca Chunky and our basic Hat from Measurements pattern. It only took one skein which was great – especially since I didn’t swatch and therefore didn’t get gauge and therefore was freaking out it would be too small. . . . In the end it all worked out. I even had J2 model it to reassure myself the size would be okay for the recipient:
I also got past the halfway point on the never-ending Blue Sky Alpaca Worsted scarf.
The chicken and the crochet scarf? Well. . . . . .not so much. I knew the crochet scarf was a stretch so I’m actually okay with the fact it didn’t come to fruition. The chicken bums me out. I don’t know why I have such a mental/knitters block on this project. I did get side tracked with some super secret swatching and I did lose some time obsessing over the gauge issue with the 2nd hat but in the end they are simply excuses. The chicken parts and pieces and the crochet scarf will be coming on vacation with me so there is still hope.
It’s a great cardi and both yarns are currently on closeout at WEBS so it’s now a very affordable project as well!
5. Our thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth at Stitches West. Although I stayed home this year, I know the entire crew was thrilled to see so many familiar faces and make so many new friends. I’ve been hearing snippets of the antics of Sunday night but as Della of Della Q reminded me today “What happens at West, stays at West” so I guess that’s all I’ve got.
6. The main reaon I stayed home and more important than my annoying foot injury was the fact that it was the last week of winter term at our boys’ school and that always means special activities, performances, etc. For J1, it meant the end of his term in drama and that means a play:
It’s not a classic, it was a quirky ensemble piece that they performed beautifully. Having watched this crew in plays since kindergarten it’s amazing to see them as 5th graders and how far they’ve come. It’s also really cool to see how comfortable they are on stage and with each other. Job well done.
The end of winter term in 3rd grade means only one thing – the Biography Fair. Two years ago, J1 wrote his report and presented himself as Tom Brady. Although I had hoped J2 would step up and channel some amazing historical individual, the sports gene runs long and deep in this family so I wasn’t surprised when he decided to study a famous hockey player. What was surprising was his choice:
Yes, just days before the USA played Canada for gold, J2 profiled and channeled Marty Brodeur. Now remember, J1 is the goalie, not J2. If you want my professional “mom” opinion on all of this, I think that J2 just wanted and excuse to wear all the gear:
I was pleasantly surprised when he opted to wear our goalie pads from street hockey vs. J1’s ice hockey pads.
The street hockey pads are MUCH lighter and easier to transport. On my own and with an injured hoof, I was grateful for the lightened load.
7. While we’re talking hockey. . . . . I would be remiss if I didn’t share my thoughts on the USA/Canada gold medal game. First and foremost – what a great game! My heartfelt congratulations to the Canadian team and fans. Job well done. Ryan Miller, the USA goalie rocked the games and reminded our young goalie that things don’t always work out. Even the best of the best let in goals. It was a good, although painful lesson all around. To John Quick – 3rd goalie on the US team and former goalie at UMass right here in Amherst – congratulations. We were all thrilled when our hometown hero made the team and although he only had limited playing time (another good lesson quite honestly) it was exciting to know he was a part of the Olympics.
So now we turn to 2018. Why not 2014 you ask? Well, those games will be fun to watch, but as J1 and J2 see it, 2018 is the first year they will be eligible to participate. It’s unlikely but there’s nothing wrong with dreaming and trying. I’m certainly not about to discourage them
I”m sure there are a few other loose ends I’m forgetting, but I’ve covered a lot of ground. Please leave a comment and let me know how your Olympic knitting turned out!
This week on Ready, Set, Knit we opted not to have a guest. Pixie has missed a couple of weeks due to illness, so this week and allow Pixie a chance to catch up on our Fearless Finishing discussion.
Steve & I discussed some new yarns and happenings at the shop as well.
Just a reminder, Steve & many members of our team will be at Stitches West later this week. Be sure to stop by and visit us, we’ll be in Booths 701-709 & 800-808. I won’t be making the trip out this year. End of term activities for the kids at school, plus I don’t think my foot is quite up for all the Stitches West can be!
You can listen to Ready, Set, Knit! via our website or you can download the podcast on iTunes.