Archive for the ‘Yarn & Craft News’ Category

Knitcircus Spring Issue Plus a Giveaway

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
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Hi Everyone,

The spring issue of the online magazine Knitcircus went up recently, and it’s definitely worth more than a once-over!

In this issue, you’ll find gorgeous shawls, beautiful garments for adults and kids, and great accessories. There are also a couple crochet patterns – a lovely shawl and a baby blanket and hat set. Here’s just a sampling of what you’ll find.

I’m particularly drawn to the socks that are pictured above. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been knitting socks, pretty much exclusively to try and catch up on a sock club I’m part of, and I think these would be great to have in my sock pattern collection. They look simple enough to knit up fast, but with enough interest so I actually want to knit them.

Gerberada is a pretty shawlette that is knit in Valley Yarns Franklin. I love the touch of lace on the edge with the addition of a few beads for a hint of sparkle!

The issue is also packed with interesting, informative articles you can read for free, including one on Aran design and another on armholes. There is also a recipe for hazlenut macarons that is quite tempting. To download all of the patterns, it is $7.99, or you can get a 5 issue subscription for $23.50.

We’re giving away two spring issues and one subscription. To win, head on over to Knitcircus and take a look. Come back here and leave a comment with which pattern you want to cast on for right away. Winners will be selected randomly and announced Friday. Please leave your comment by Thursday, February 10th at 11:59pm EST.

Happy Browsing,


How to Dress a Bull

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011
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Hi Everyone

Overnight I received a comment on my “Feeling Bullish” post that included a link to a video showing Olek dressing the bull!!!  Here’s the link:


Amazing!  Thanks to PATP for sending this link along.



Feeling Bullish

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010
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Hi Everyone

I was cruising around Twitter and found this via Guy Kawasaki, founder of among other things:


New York-based artist Agata Olek aka “Crocheted Olek” covered the entire Wall Street Bull in crochet.  According to Ms. Olek’s blog this was her  “. . . Christmas gift to NYC and a tribute to the sculptor of the bull, Arturo di Modica, who in another guerrilla act, placed the bull on Wall Street in Christmas of 1987 as a symbol of the “strength and power of the American people” following the 1987 Stock Market crash.”  Reports are that the covering was removed after about 2 hours by city officials, which is unfortunate.

I only wish Ms. Olek gave more background into the design process, how long it took to make, what yarn was used, etc.    The piece fits the bull so perfectly. . . . . .

What do you think?



Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
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Hi Everyone

I have a couple of industry tidbits to share with you all today.

First up is some exciting news from Artyarns.  Owners Iris & Eliot.  They were selected by American Express to participate in a brand makeover that was video taped.  There are three episodes that have been posted on Amex’s OpenForum and are described as follows:

“This video is part of our Project RE:Brand web series in which small businesses undergo brand makeovers from design experts. “

Below is the link to episode 1 of 3.  The other two are shown as thumbnails to immediately to the right – just click on them to see them as well:

As someone who has and MBA in Marketing and has spent the better part of 20 years in the field one way or another, I was completely intrigued by this.  Iris & Eliot recently visited and shared the link along with many aspects of the project.  They had mentioned this to us at TNNA but we really didn’t “get” what the project was about.  The insight from the design team they received along with the collateral materials are amazing.  What a tremendous opportunity for them.  Check out the videos and watch the process and learn more about Artyarns!  Also, be sure to check out Iris’ new blog at   There you will find out about her latest designs and escapades.  Plus there are a bunch of great FREE Patterns!  Congratulations again to them and we couldn’t be happier to carry their gorgeous, luxury yarns!

Next up, I received a link to Amazon’s “Best Books of 2010: Crafts:

First and foremost, let’s all give our very own Gail Callahan, a.k.a. The Kangaroo Dyer a HUGE round of applause!  Her book, “Hand Dyeing Fleece & Yarn” was ranked #3!!!  Way to go Gail!  We all knew her book would be tremendously awesome, even when she was doubting the book.  Although it’s her baby, we are a proud group of aunties & uncles at WEBS!

What is even more exciting is that Gail is in very good company!  Congratulations also go out to:

Kari Chapin author of “The Handmade Marketplace“.  This is a great book.  We were fortunate enough to host a book signing with Kari and we are just tickled that she came in at #1!

Fellow shop owner Joelle Hoverson checks in at #4 with her much anticipated follow up to “Last Minute Knitted Gifts” with “More Last Minute Knitted Gifts“.  We all loved the first book and we all love the second just as much!

In at #7 is “Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders” from Judith Durant and the lovely folks at Storey Publishing.  We love the entire One Skein series particularly because there are many designs across the series that were submitted by members of our faboo staff!

Rounding out the list at #10 is Julie Turjoman’s acclaimed “Brave New Knits“.  Another fabulous author that we had the pleasure of hosting, Julie’s book has been a great hit!

We are thrilled for all of these authors and the success they have enjoyed this year.  Any of these books would make great holiday gifts.  Don’t forget that books count towards the WEBS discount!



Yankee Candle Mob Dance

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010
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The Yankee Candle Flagship Store (and their corporate offices) are located just 15 minutes north of us.  The story of Yankee Candle is inspiring whether you have entrepreneurial tendencies or not.  Steve & I are big fans of the store not only because we love their products but we love just walking through the store – watching and observing (I know -we’re a barrel of fun on a Saturday night, aren’t we?).

This morning one of J2’s baseball coaches sent along a link to a video that his son wrote, sung, directed, choreographed, and produced.  Tyler is also featured front and center in most of the video.  Producing a piece like this is no small feat and Tyler did a great job.

If you are like me, then the concept of a “mob dance” was not something I was familiar with until this morning.  In doing a little research, I found out this:  A “flash mob” occurs when groups of people come together for a spontaneous demonstration after an alert is sent out through a social network, such as Facebook or Twitter.  Obviously this video was pre-planned and not organized via any social media platform but I still love it.

How much fun would it be for a mob dance to erupt in our warehouse??



Odds & Ends

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
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Hi Everyone

Just a few things to share today.  This is been a crazy week at WEBS – both yarn and beads!

1.  I came across this great “yarn bombing” on

The photo was taken in Rome by Flickr user Start The Day.  It is just so cool and I love that it’s crochet!  No more tea cozies – it’s a car cozy!  This smart car looks adorable.  I don’t think my SUV would look nearly as darling and think about how much yarn I’d need!

2.  We recorded this week’s episode of Ready, Set, Knit and our guest is our lovely Berroco rep Andra.  She did a training session this morning for the staff.  The best part is getting to see many of the garments in person and to try them on.  While at the shop she picked buttons for a darling sweater she knit using Remix:

It’s on the cover of the dedicated Remix pattern book #303:

Andra owns her individuality with a fierceness I just love.  Here’s her “stamp” on this sweater:

I only wish my boys were small enough to wear it!  The buttons are from JHB for anyone who is interested.

3.  We’ve added a great selection of large-hole beads to the bead site.  These will fit perfectly on those cool bracelets that everyone is sporting these days and they are MUCH more affordable – only $6.99 each!  Be sure to check them out!



Elle Decor & The Kangaroo Dyer

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
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Hi Everyone

Late last week I received a lovely email from Gail, The Kangaroo Dyer.  It’s always lovely to hear from her and recently our paths have not been crossing as much lately as I would like in the store.  She wanted to share a link with me that she thought I would like:

Check out the url above.  Yes.  That is THE Elle Decor Magazine URL.  This is what you see when you click the link:

That is a hand dyed silk scarf done by Gail and featured in the “Trend” section of  I flipped out. This is HUGE!!!  Elle Decor is one of the leading home dec publications out there!

Over the weekend I had a chance to indulge in a little R&R on our back deck.  It was stunning lizard weather on Sunday and I enjoyed catching up on a variety of magazines and catalogs.  In my pile was this:

Yes, I am an Elle Decor subscriber.  As I perused the magazine I came upon page 64:

Trend Alert.  The top left corner caught my eye and THERE WAS GAIL’S HAND DYED SCARF!!!  Look at it up close:

That’s her scarf, her name and her url on page 64 of Elle Decor magazine!  That is huge!  That is cooler than cool!  Go Gail!  Go Gail!  Go Gail!!!

I realize my enthusiasm may be a tad biased but just stop and think about this for a minute.  Think about how many budding designers, established designers for that matter would kill for the opportunity for one of their products to be featured in a magazine of this statue, never mind on the “Trend Alert” page!  Having previously worked in marketing for a large footwear company, these types of editorial placements were gold nuggets.  Yes, of course in some instances there is a little quid pro quo going on but trust me –  Gail will not be running a full page ad or any ad or anything anytime in the near future in Elle Decor.

This is cool.  I have no idea what it means for Gail – maybe she’ll spend the next 6 months dyeing fabric for someone, maybe she’ll get a handful of orders for silk scarves.  Regardless of the metrics, I think it’s just awesome and I am absolutely thrilled for Gail.  Let’s give Gail some much deserved love in the comments!

I wonder if she could hand dye me some pom-poms?


2010 Needle Artist Survey Sponsored by TNNA

Monday, March 29th, 2010
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Hi Everyone:

The National Needlearts Association is in the process of conducting an industry-wide survey.  Both wholesalers and retailers have been asked to participate and now it’s your turn!

Please complete the 2010 NeedleArts survey at The needlearts community needs your advice and opinions, whether you are a beginner or an expert! This survey is only conducted every few years. Your input is very important and will be included in a published national report.

Your answers are anonymous. No one will use your survey responses to market to you.

In return for your participation, you will receive valuable benefits:

  • Gain a chance to win one of five $100 needlearts gift certificates.
  • Ensure stores and suppliers provide what you want.
  • Explore your needlearts interests.

Your valuable input will help the needlearts community, too:

  • Advocate for more programs to support the needlearts, such as Helping Hands Needlearts Mentoring, Stitch N’ Pitch, and Stitching for Literacy.
  • Help independent retailers and family-owned suppliers succeed by giving them the customer feedback they need.

As a thank-you for completing the survey, The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) is offering the chance to win one of five $100 needlearts store gift certificates. To enter the sweepstakes simply fill out the survey at and then click on “Sweepstakes Entry” on the page you see after submitting the survey.  The sign up for the contest is separated from your responses to ensure anonymity.

The 10-minute survey asks about your experiences with the needlearts you enjoy: crocheting, cross-stitch, embroidery, knitting, or needlepoint. Let us know which types of projects you prefer, the kinds of new products you want, and what you’d like to see needlearts shops do better.

The survey is sponsored by The National NeedleArts Association, a business organization dedicated to supporting the needlearts community. Hart Business Research is conducting this survey for TNNA and compiling the results into a major national report, The State of Specialty Needlearts 2010. Please complete the survey right away at Survey closes April 19, 2010.

We are members of TNNA and we have already completed the “retailer” survey.   Please consider taking a few minutes to complete the survey and enter the contest!

Thank you!


Knitting on The Today Show

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010
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On The Today Show this morning,  a new segment was launched.  “Your Life Calling” with Jane Pauley will be a monthly segment focusing on the question “what’s next” for folks over 50.  The segment is being sponsored by 

 The inaugural segment that aired this morning was a feature on Betsy Lee McCarthy, LYS owner and author of Knit Socks.  Here is the link to the segment and other information:

I was just so tickled to see that this was about knitting!  As the segment was being set-up I thought of the many stories in our fiber-focused world that fit the bill and nearly fell out of bed when it was knitting-related.  (Note:  We are on vacation – I am not normally lounging in bed at 8:30am unless I”m deathly sick).



Full Disclosure

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
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The Federal Trade Commission recently revised their “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials” to encourage bloggers who review products to discolose if they received the products for free when making a favorable review.    Breaking these new rules could result in fines or other liability.  These guidelines were developed specifically for bloggers who participate in pay-per-review programs.  Given these new guidelines, I feel it’s important to clarify my stance on this topic.

It is rare that I review or discuss a product that we don’t carry.  I define “carry” as product that we have purchased at wholesale to sell at retail.  Occasionally I may reference a yarn that is used in a project in a magazine or book that we don’t carry, but that is about the extent of it.

We often receive advance samples of yarns – some that we buy, some that we don’t.   Again, it’s rare that I would reference a yarn on the blog that I was sent for free, as a sample to consider for purchase.  It’s not out of the realm, just not common.

As for books, I receive a lot of advance copies of books.  We are on what is called “autoship” for pretty much every new book that is published meaning we have a standing order for X copies of each new book.  They are automatically sent to us and we are charged for them.  The advance copies I receive are free but ultimately our autoship arrives and we then sell the purchased copies at retail.  I may review or discuss a book in advance of our autoship, based on the advance copy I received.

Going forward I will notate in my posts if any products I am talking about are products I received for free or as an advance sample and whether we will be carrying the product for resale, if it’s not in stock already.

I have never reviewed or discussed any products on this blog for payment nor can I imagine a time when I would do that.  If that ever were to happen, I would disclose that information.

I do not view the sending of advance copies or samples as compensation.  There is no expectation by any of our partners that I will discuss or review their products here on the blog nor do I feel any obligation to do so.  If I do discuss a product, I do not feel any obligation to write positively about the product unless I genuinely feel that way.

This policy is less applicable to this blog as it’s associated with our retail business.  Still, I wanted to state my position so that you were all clear.  This blog is a very positive place – I like to talk about yarns and books and products that I like, if not love.

Now, back to our regular programming.  Wait until you see the new Malabrigo yarn that came in today!  It will be up on the website tomorrow!  More then!  Plus I’m going to be announcing a great new contest!