March 29th, 2014

Ready, Set, Knit! 350: Kathy talks with Norah Gaughan

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This week Kathy talks with Norah about her newest pattern collection, Norah Gaughan Vol.14, the Best of Berroco for WEBS special collection (you can read more about the E-book here) Some of her favorite designs and stepping down from the Design Director position at Berroco.

Anniversary Sale! Starts next Tuesday April 1! No April Fools jokes here! with over 40 yarns on sale, needles, hooks, spinning fiber, and weaving fibers we’ve got something for almost everyone. Watch Steve preview the sale!

Steve’s Yarn Picks From the Anniversary Sale!:

  • Plymouth Encore at $4.19
  • Cascade 220 at $5.59
  • 220 Superwash at $7.39
  • Hand dyers for the first time!
  • Prism Delicato at $20.99
  • Lorna’s Laces Solemate at $18.19
  • Zen Yarn Garden Serenity DK at $22.39
  • Put these into your wishlist now!

Reminder:

Be sure to stop into the store and see all the new Spring garment models! And don’t miss the Classic Elite Yarns Trunk shows.

Upcoming Events:

The Boston Marathon runs on April 21st and you can help the Boston Marathon Scarf Project. They are working towards  providing a scarf for each participant in the marathon this year. Check out the Ravelry group for more details on how to help!

Boston Strong Hat pattern from designer Lisa McFetridge is a colorwork hat design featuring the words “Boston Strong” and the Boston Skyline. Lisa has included additional charts so you have options to really make this hat your own. All proceeds from the sale of this cap pattern will go to OneFundBoston to help the victims.

Join the KNIT-IN with Lisa McFetridge, designer of the Boston Strong Hat, Rebecca Lane of “Blankies for Boston” & the Old South Knitters/Crocheters Saturday April 5, 2014 2-4 pm at the Old South Church in Boston – the church at the Finish Line 645 Boylston Street, Boston – at the Copley T

Have you knit a Boston Strong Hat or a Blanket to donate to a survivor? Do you have a scarf to drop off for the Boston Marathon Scarf Project? You are cordially invited to bring your handcrafted treasures to Old South Church …stay and knit, meet and exchange stories with fellow crafters. If you haven’t begun a hat, scarf or blanket (or two or three), there is still time. A special Boston Strong Hat in progress will be there. Anyone dropping off a hat, scarf or blanket is invited to add a stitch or two to the hat and place their signature on the roll. Truly a group project, this hat will find a special home in the future.

Right click or CTRL+click and Save As to download the MP3 of this Podcast Subscribe to Ready, Set, Knit! in iTunes Subscribe to the Ready, Set, Knit! Podcast RSS Feed
March 28th, 2014

Is Summer Knitting An Oxymoron?

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While our store may be a little less crowded in the summertime, it’s not because our customers aren’t knitting. Conventional wisdom dictates that nobody wants to be working with wool in the summertime, and hauling a sweater’s worth off to the beach is an invitation for a bottle of sunscreen to spontaneously open up onto your cabled cowl. But I personally knit all year ’round, and with the plethora of lightweight cotton and natural blend yarns there are to choose from, summer knitting doesn’t have to mean wool sweaters. As I looked through the Sale Flyer for the WEBS Anniversary Sale, I found a lot of options for summer shawls (when there’s too much air-conditioning) or light, airy sweaters to throw around your shoulders as you head off for ice cream with the family.

DELICATOPR.PEONY.zoom.1Prism Delicato Layers, made from Tencel, is a lovely, silky smooth yarn that I would use for any lacy pattern. The stitches would stand out clearly and any lace pattern would be beautifully showcased. Regularly this yarn sells for $30 per 630 yard skein, but for the month of April, (while we have it in stock!) it’ll be available for $20.99.

Sport and DK weight yarns lend themselves to lighter garments in openwork patterns, and I couldn’tMAGNOLIACL.5449.zoom.1 find anything nicer than Classic Elite Magnolia. Classic Elite regularly does staff meetings to showcase their new season’s garments and yarns, and when I saw the variety of knitwear one could make with Magnolia, I was sold. The blend of merino and silk has a sheen that makes anything you knit or crochet look like it was crafted by a master knitter. The store price is $10.95, but sale price is just $7.69 for a 120 yard ball. Incredible!

And finally, a truly luxurious yarn that has a really interesting nubby texture with flecks of colorful bits of fuzz, Rowan Summer Tweed (even the name is summery!) would be summer tweedperfect for a short-sleeved sweater or vest to throw over a tee. The worsted weight would make a quick knit that you could finish in a week, and throw in a suitcase for a weekend at the beach. Normally we sell this silk/cotton blend for $10.95 per 131 skein, but the sale price of $7.69 means you should grab it now before it’s gone.

What will you be knitting or crocheting (or weaving) this summer?

March 26th, 2014

Ribbon Twill Towel from Carol Birtwistle

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Today we’re excited to reveal the third of our twelve Guest Weaver Drafts, the Ribbon Twill Towel. Carol was a WEBS employee when we were still located on Kellogg Ave in Amherst and has been a favorite weaving teacher for years.

Carol offers the following advice for the newer weaver. “Pay close attention to the color arrangement of the warp and take your time winding the warp. After beaming the warp, count the total number of heddles needed on each shaft (you don’t want to have to add heddles in the middle of threading your warp). The threading draft shows you will be threading either a straight draw, a point twill or M & W. Watch the direction of the straight draw – it changes. Before you begin threading the heddles, it’s a good idea to study the threading draft and count off, from the cross, the number of warp ends you feel comfortable threading at one time. Then count the number of heddles needed on each shaft and begin threading the warp. If you find an extra warp end, it can be eliminated by just throwing it off the back beam. On the other hand, if you need to add a warp end, measure the designated color 2 ½ yards long, thread it through its proper heddle and weight it off the back beam. If, after threading the small group of warp ends you have heddles left over or not enough heddles, you have probably made an error in counting the number of warp ends, counting the number of heddles or made a threading error. You should correct these errors before continuing. After completing the threading, carefully sley the warp through the reed, tie the warp onto the cloth beam, check for threading errors, sleying errors and crossed warp ends. Then adjust your tension and you are ready to weave your towel. Enjoy!”

About her history with WEBS she says, “In 1984 we moved from California to Amherst. That spring my daughter and I flew east to find housing and look into schools. Driving around Amherst (and yes we did get lost and couldn’t find any street signs) we passed a big yellow house on Main Street with a WEBS sign out front. Having done a little research I knew there was a yarn store in Amherst and we had found it! Coming to an abrupt halt we found a parking spot and found our way into WEBS. It was an exciting moment talking to Barbara and I knew that I was going to be perfectly happy moving to Amherst. By the time we returned in the late summer WEBS had moved to the large grey house on Kellogg Ave. I renewed my acquaintance with Barbara and she asked me to teach a section of the Beginning Weaving Class. Thus my association with WEBS began. I also worked for a time at the store on Kellogg Ave. before it made the big move to Northampton. Through out all these years I have been teaching various weaving classes and enjoying every minute. My thanks to Barbara and WEBS for the opportunity.”

If you’re a weaver be sure to check out our weaving contest, there’s still time to enter!

March 26th, 2014

National Crochet Month Special Techniques – Invisible Single Crochet

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This week our focus is invisible single crochet decreases. This is a great way to decrease when you’re working in the round making stuffed animals or amigurumi.

Most single crochet decreases leave you with a gap in the fabric on either side of the decreased stitch which can be really unsightly when that fabric is stuffed. This decrease keeps the same density of stitches to your fabric and is nearly invisible.

This is a great stitch to use on our Valley Yarns Spring animals, the bunnylamb and Robin! Try it out and let us know what you think.

March 25th, 2014

Tuesday’s Tip – Keeping Track of Alternate Increase Rounds

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It’s National Crochet Month! To celebrate, we have some wonderful crochet tips to share with you. This week’s tip is from Sara, WEBS Marketing Coordinator and crochet designer.

I like to use 2 linked stitch markers in different colors when my pattern asks me to increase every other round. When I start a round with increases, I’ll use the green marker. This tells me that when I come back to that marker I can Go-Go-Go! No reason to stop and think about the work; just one stitch in each stitch.

When I do start that round with NO increases I’ll mark it with the orange one (better if it was red!), this way when I get back around to that marker I know I need to STOP and make sure that I’m working my increases in this round. This is a great tip for both knitting and crochet!

March 22nd, 2014

Ready, Set, Knit! 349: Kathy talks with Betsy Perry

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This week Kathy talks with Betsy about the line of new Spring yarns from Classic Elite.

New Yarns include Meadowlark and it’s patterns, Bella Lino with its pattern book and a free wrap pattern, Cerro (a dyed version of Canyon) and the accompanying pattern book. And Kathy’s favorite patterns of the season are the Geneva Shawl in Soft Linen(check out the Classic Elite blog post about choosing colors!) and the Lady of Grace sweater knit in Ava, both of which appeared in our Spring 2014 catalog. Keep an eye out for brand new yarns from Classic Elite in June and July as well as new pattern books each month of the year!

Reminder:

Be sure to stop into the store and see all the new Spring garment models! And don’t miss the Classic Elite Yarns Trunk shows.

Steve’s Yarn Picks:

Upcoming Events:

Our 40th Annual Anniversary Sale is coming up, April 1 – May 31!

The Boston Marathon runs on April 21st and you can help the Boston Marathon Scarf Project. They are working towards  providing a scarf for each participant in the marathon this year. Check out the Ravelry group for more details on how to help!

Boston Strong Hat pattern from designer Lisa McFetridge is a colorwork hat design featuring the words “Boston Strong” and the Boston Skyline. Lisa has included additional charts so you have options to really make this hat your own. All proceeds from the sale of this cap pattern will go to OneFundBoston to help the victims.

Join the KNIT-IN with Lisa McFetridge, designer of the Boston Strong Hat, Rebecca Lane of “Blankies for Boston” & the Old South Knitters/Crocheters Saturday April 5, 2014 2-4 pm at the Old South Church in Boston – the church at the Finish Line 645 Boylston Street, Boston – at the Copley T

Have you knit a Boston Strong Hat or a Blanket to donate to a survivor? Do you have a scarf to drop off for the Boston Marathon Scarf Project? You are cordially invited to bring your handcrafted treasures to Old South Church …stay and knit, meet and exchange stories with fellow crafters. If you haven’t begun a hat, scarf or blanket (or two or three), there is still time. A special Boston Strong Hat in progress will be there. Anyone dropping off a hat, scarf or blanket is invited to add a stitch or two to the hat and place their signature on the roll. Truly a group project, this hat will find a special home in the future.

Right click or CTRL+click and Save As to download the MP3 of this Podcast Subscribe to Ready, Set, Knit! in iTunes Subscribe to the Ready, Set, Knit! Podcast RSS Feed
March 20th, 2014

The Thornes Pullover from Amy Herzog

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Your response to our first two guest designer patterns has been wonderful. It’s time to highlight the third pattern from our first round of specialty yarns and designers. Amy Herzog designed the Thornes Pullover to be a classic silhouette with special details.

 

About the design Amy says, “The Thornes Pullover from Valley Yarns is a classic, comfortable turtleneck pullover that adds understated elegance to any outfit. The reverse stockinette stitch fabric lends a soft, approachable look to the sweater and makes the color changes in this slightly variegated colorway more subtle. The ribbed trim and twisted stitch detailing give a bit of flair to an otherwise basic staple. I was thrilled to be given such lovely materials for my design for WEBS’ 40th Anniversary celebration. Thornes is worked in their Valley Yarns Superwash DK, in a special color dyed by Madelinetosh called “Magnolia Leaf”. To me, this is the perfect blend of autumn colors. It’s slightly darker than shown in these pictures, like looking at the pattern of fall foliage across a hillside. Incredible.”

And while the gorgeous Magnolia Leaf colorway of the 40th Anniversary Valley Superwash DK hand-dyed by Madelinetosh has sold out this sweater works up beautifully in the solid colors of our Valley Superwash DK, like the Forest colorway.

 

March 19th, 2014

Behind the Skeins

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The fantasy of working at a yarn store conjures up images of frolicking through bins of beautiful yarn, caressing skeins of luxurious cashmere, hobnobbing with the knitterati and knitting behind the counter while chatting with customers.  The reality includes all that (except for the knitting at work, alas, and without the symphonic soundtrack and dream sequences) plus the mundane and pedestrian tasks of running a retail business. We thought you’d like to see a Day in the Life at the store, so join us “Behind the Skeins” for a look at what goes on behind the scenes.

vacuuming WEBS

 

 

 

 

  We start the day wearing our housekeeping hats – vacuuming, putting things back in their places, wiping counters, getting things ready so we can open the doors.

 

 

 

 

 

Garment on WEBS blog

J tries on garment on WEBS blog

Often we have early morning meetings with reps from the yarn companies to learn about the new yarns and patterns for the season.  We get to try on sample garments – a great way to see how they actually look on real people.

 

 

 

Every day Bill brings us boxes loaded with new products and restocks.

Bill delivers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, it’s fun to see and touch the New.

3/7/14 A new shipment of Madelinetosh has arrived in the store!

3/7/14 A new shipment of Madelinetosh has arrived in the store!

 

 

 

 

And then we have to put it all away!

 

 

 

 

And, of course,  we have to find it again! We put a lot of time into staying organized, a big challenge considering how often we move the yarn. We map the store and update our lists and just when we think we know where everything is, we get a shipment of the next season’s yarns and we start moving and updating again. Ever wonder what happens when we disappear to find more yarn for you?

stockroom

We are practicing our orienteering skills in the stockroom!

We all learn pretty quickly that the one constant in our jobs at WEBS is constant change. Interruptions are part of the job as we move back and forth between helping customers and stocking shelves. Customer service is our priority and the other tasks take a back seat to that, so never hesitate to ask us for help!

It all makes for a lively day. It’s great to be surrounded by all the colors and textures and we are continually inspired by the creativity of our customers and colleagues. And, thus it is nice to turn off the lights at the end of the day and head home, because we can hardly wait to work on our latest project while relaxing in a comfy chair!

Turning out the lights

March 19th, 2014

National Crochet Month Special Techniques – Extended Stitches

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This week our focus is extended stitches. You can extend almost any crochet stitch with one simple step, when you have finished the set up for your stitch yarn over and pull through just one loop on your hook first, then finish the stitch as you normally would.

To make an extended single crochet stitch: insert your hook into the next stitch, yarn over and bring up a loop, yarn over and pull through one loop, yarn over and pull through two loops. The right side of a few stitches have been highlighted above so you can see the difference in length.

Extended single crochet still gives you the nice dense fabric that you usually get with single crochet but with a bit more movement and drape. And since the stitches are a bit taller the work goes quicker! This is a great stitch for crochet socks, like our Cosmos pattern!

To make an extended half-double crochet stitch: yarn over, insert your hook into the next stitch, yarn over and bring up a loop, yarn over and pull through one loop, yarn over and pull through all three loops.

Extended half-double crochet gives you the height of double crochet stitches without being as open as double crochet. Again you can see the difference in length in the highlighted stitches.

To make an extended double crochet stitch: yarn over, insert your hook into the next stitch, yarn over and bring up a loop, yarn over and pull through one loop, yarn over and pull through two loops, yarn over again and pull through two loops.

Extended double crochet stitches give you the height of triples/trebles without being terribly leggy. You can see the difference in the highlighted stitches above.

Have you ever used extended stitches?

 

March 18th, 2014

Tuesday’s Crochet Tip – Finger Crochet

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It’s National Crochet Month! To celebrate, we have some wonderful crochet tips to share with you. This week’s tip is from Sara, WEBS Marketing Coordinator and crochet designer.

Arm Knitting has taken off like wildfire this year and there’s no reason why crocheters can’t get in on the action! Grab a few skeins of yarn and NO Hook and make yourself a scarf in less time than it takes to watch your favorite sitcom.