January 22nd, 2016

WEBS is featured at Cut Out + Keep

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There’s a lovely piece about us on the Cut Out + Keep Blog in their Shop Showcase.

cut out and keep

Learn a bit about us, and check out a few free stitch tutorials!

January 21st, 2016

Weaving White Sale!

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I have always loved a White Sale–that January staple where you can load up on all the things that you need for your house but never seem to buy during the rest of the year. This year WEBS is holding our version of a White Sale, a Weaving promotion that is too good not to take advantage of.

weaving white copy

From January 22 through January 29, customers who buy 3 cones of Valley 8/2 Cotton or Valley 6/2 Cotton will receive a free download of our new weaving eBook, Favorite Five Dish Towels. The best part, for all of our readers and customers, is that the White Sale will be online as well as in-store! We’ve included some very well-loved drafts as well as a few newbies, and a bonus small dish cloth is yours as well.

The drafts are written for both 4-shaft as well as 8-shaft looms, and they all work well for both 8/2 and 6/2 cotton. You’ll be able to make Carol Birtwistle’s sprightly Ribbon Towels, Chris Hammel’s beautiful and evocative Garden Towel with either a summer or winter weave structure, two of Barbara Elkin’s designs, the Modified Star Work dish towel and the Waffle Weave Buddies, as well as a new draft, the Crepe Towel. Your bonus, the Petite Dish Cloth, is a tiny work of art, and would be perfect as a housewarming gift along with some handmade soaps and a lovely soap dish.

It’s not often that you get to make your own White Sale! Let us know your color choices and the delighted reactions you see if you decide to bestow one of these designs on a deserving friend for the bleak midwinter.

January 19th, 2016

Fit Fiber Crafters: Project Care

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As the new year begins, many like to focus on shaping up and getting healthier. Each Tuesday in January, our Fit Fiber Crafters series will give you tips on getting your personal yarn world a little healthier, from the health of your stash to the health of your body while crafting, keeping your finished project looking healthy, and exercising your brain when your craft.

Project Care Choosing the Right Technique

How do you care for your handmade finished fiber projects? This is a question that gets asked often. Many times, the items we make are outerwear, so they don’t have to be laundered as often, but it’s important to know how you’re going to clean something before you create it.

One of the benefits of swatching or sampling is that you get to practice taking care of your finished project. Launder your swatch or sample they way you plan on taking care of it once it’s done. Taking a little extra time at the beginning of your project helps go a long way towards ensuring that you won’t have a sweater that grows into a dress, or a towel that shrinks so much it becomes a washcloth.

As far as laundering goes, you’ll want to check the care instructions that came with your yarn, then consider what the purpose of the project is. You probably want to be able to machine wash, and even dry, a baby blanket, or a kitchen towel, but a shawl or even an adult sweater would be fine to live its life being hand washed. Before even starting your project, you want to make sure it’s going to last. If your swatch comes out of it’s first trip in the washing machine looking a bit worse for the wear, your entire project will probably behave the same way.

On the other hand, if you throw that swatch or sample in the washing machine and it comes out looking just beautiful, you want to keep the finished project looking that way. Sometimes, especially on wool, our usual laundry detergent can be a little too harsh. A wool wash, like Eucalan is not only great for handwashing, it’s also perfect for using in your machine like regular detergent. It’s great for woolens, but also other delicate items you may have in your life.

Before you wash your project, take a quick look at it (whether your hand or machine washing) and make sure there aren’t any stitches that need fixing or ends that need weaving. You don’t want to wash your gorgeous sweater with a small hole that later becomes a giant, tangled mess, when it could have been prevented.

A little care in the health of your finished projects will go a long way in ensuring they’re in your life for years to come.

Check out this great video about washing your projects, too.

January 18th, 2016

Valley Yarns Amherst – perfect Winter knitting

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As seasonal cold weather finally settles over New England I’m feeling the urge to knit something warm and cozy but I’m not sure if I want a blanket, poncho, sweater or a pile of accessories! As I was thinking about what yarn I’d like to use I remembered our Valley Yarns Amherst, 100% Merino yarn with 2 dozen colors to choose from.

Valley Yarns Amherst available at yarn.com

Knowing that it’s 100% wool means that I won’t have to worry about a larger project sagging out of shape after time. Being Merino it will be nice and soft, and with lots of color choices I can fill in gaps in my wardrobe, or coordinate with my home decor. I don’t find wool to be too scratchy so I’m comfortable wearing it against my skin, I don’t own any pets, and I don’t mind hand-washing projects so this one seems like a great fit.

Valley Yarns pattern 663 - The Oatmeal Afghan, knit in Valley Yarns Amherst. Available now at yarn.com

After going through all the great patterns that are available for Amherst (and you can too by clicking the “Related Patterns” tab at the top of this page), I decided that what I really wanted was a new blanket for my favorite chair at home, and the Oatmeal Blanket is perfect. While it may look like a big complicated counterpane pattern it’s actually much easier! The whole blanket is simple triangles that are whip-stitched together. Super portable until the very end. Now I just have to decide on color.

What’s your favorite project in Valley Yarns Amherst?

January 16th, 2016

Ready, Set, Knit! 429: Kathy talks with Andra Asars

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This week Kathy talks with Andra Asars about all the great, new Spring Yarns from Berroco.

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #429 - Kathy talks with Andra Asars. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Mykonos – If you loved Seduce you’ll love this one! And there’s great pattern support, Berroco #368 Mykonos with some great accessories and easy wear garments.

Corsica – A gorgeous cashmere and cotton blend. Berroco Book #37 0 Corsica is a dedicated pattern book with knit and crochet patterns.

Elba – 100% Cotton, in a tube ribbon. Lots of comfortable garments in Berroco #369 Elba to add to your wardrobe.

Indigo - New colors! and a great new pattern book, Berroco #371 Indigo Vol. 2

Berroco #374 Picnic – new patterns for Remix, Weekend, Weekend DK and Modern Cotton with lots of casual patterns for kids and adults.

The Amano Collection Trunk Show! Saturday, January 30th from 1-4pm, join Andra to learn all about the new Amano yarns! Try out the yarns, check out all the garments and enter to win the door prize.

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Reminder:

Sunday, February 7th from 12-4pm,  join us for our 10th Annual Pre-Game Escape!

Upcoming Events:

Team WEBS will be at STITCHES WEST February 18-21. Join us at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.

Be sure to check out all of our upcoming Events here.

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

January 15th, 2016

To Poncho or Not To Poncho…

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I’ve been thinking a lot about ponchos lately. I used to think ponchos were for the lazy knitter, they had no shape, they made a body look boxy and shapeless. Remember that big poncho crazy a few years ago, caused by, of all things, Martha Stewart in a poncho emerging from jail? Everyone was poncho-crazy and I thought that was awful.

Poncho patterns from Blue Sky Alpacas. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Fast-forward to now, and I am looking with a more kindly eye upon the poncho. I’ve seen more than one pattern for very cute ponchos that look like they are wearable by grownups of a certain age. These Blue Sky Alpacas garments were a huge hit when we had their trunk show in the store this fall. The Two Harbors Poncho is knit in scrumptious Extra (used by me for a very fun cowl a few months back) and the big ribbing swatches will draw the fabric in enough to give it shape and drape that are flattering. The Bianca Wrap is simplicity personified. ONE seam. Light, warm, and comfy. Blue Sky Suri Merino is feather-light with a very nice halo that makes this garment more functional than a shawl or a scarf.

My favorite aspect of ponchos is that they are like a sweater without the sleeves–they go over your head and they stay put. I don’t like open cardigans, nor do I like futzing around with shawl pins or winding scarves so they don’t flop open at the first gust of wind. As my office-mate correctly identified it, “they’re like wearing a blanket.” And who doesn’t want that, when it’s icy outside?

What do you think about this new poncho trend? Which one will you make?

January 14th, 2016

Big Game Day Escape 2016

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This year marks our 10th annual Big Game Day Escape!!! Once again, we’re planning a relaxing afternoon of yarncrafting, snacks and fun prizes for the hours leading up to the Big Game!!

Our 10th Annual Pre-game Sunday Escape at WEBS. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

On Sunday, February 7, 2016, from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. join us at WEBS retail store in Northampton. MA, to escape the pre-game coverage, and be sure to bring your current knitting, crocheting, spinning or weaving project along to work on while you’re here!! You’ll be surrounded by beautiful yarns, yummy nosh and lots of like-minded folks (football attire and chat is entirely optional). This is a free event, but registration is required, so please sign up online or call Customer Service to let us know you’re planning to be here. We look forward to seeing you!!

January 13th, 2016

Knitted Knockers at STITCHES West

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Our friends at STITCHES West have teamed up with Knitted Knockers for a fundraiser with a pretty great incentive. They’ll be donating a STITCHES Prize package (worth $1945 – $2309) that will be won by someone who donates $10 to Knitted Knockers, you can find all the details here.
Knitter Knockers at STITCHES West 2016. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com
They’re also hosting a STITCHES West knocker drive with a goal of 1000 knit and/or crocheted knockers. You can knit or crochet knockers then send them, or bring them, to the Knitted Knocker booth (stuffed or un-stuffed). You can bring your knit or crochet knocker to the show and drop them off at the Knitted Knockers booth. Of you can mail them to XRX, Inc. by February 1, 2016 at the address below. Please include a note with your knit or crochet knocker(s) with your name and address.
   XRX, Inc.
Knitted Knockers
2704 West 3rd Street
PO Box 965
Sioux Falls SD 57101
If you have the yarn you want to work with, that’s great, but please remember that knockers need to be made of soft, washable, non-wool and of either sport, or DK weight. Our Valley Yarns Longmeadow is a great option! If you’re looking for patterns or technique videos to get you started, you can find those on the Knitted Knockers ‘Make a Knocker’ page.
January 12th, 2016

Fit Fiber Crafters: Sitting Pretty

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As the new year begins, many like to focus on shaping up and getting healthier. Each Tuesday in January, our Fit Fiber Crafters series will give you tips on getting your personal yarn world a little healthier, from the health of your stash to the health of your body while crafting, keeping your finished project looking healthy, and exercising your brain when your craft.

Sitting Pretty Good Posture and Breaks Prevent Injury

We all dream about being able to sit down and knit, crochet, spin, or weave all day, but our bodies are not especially excited about that idea, especially if we’re not being careful to take care of them as we craft. It’s important to avoid injury when crafting so you don’t miss out on extended periods of time doing your favorite activity.

Some things to keep in mind when crafting:

Lighting and Seating
You want to make sure your area is well lit. Having to strain your eyes takes the fun out of your favorite activity and can lead to things like headaches. When you choose where you’re going to sit, it’s best to choose a comfortable spot that has plenty of support where you can sit up straight. I’m guilty if sitting on the couch turned sideways without much care for which way I’m sitting, and I know that leads to pain.

Take Breaks and Stretch.
As much as we love a long session of crafting, breaks are incredibly important. Every half hour or so, get up and take a walk around the house. Go get a glass of water, play with your pet, or go through a stack of mail. Do some stretches. Stretch your hands and wrists, and your shoulders and back. Do some shoulder rolls and get everything a little loosened before you sit back down to go back at it.

Be Mindful
When we’re working on something really complicated, a lot of us hunch up so our shoulders they’re touching our ears. Try to be mindful of where your body is as you craft. A simple readjustment in your body position can also give you a break from a difficult task you’re trying to get done, and it’s long enough to come back at it with new eyes. Maybe a lightbulb will go off!

Most importantly, listen to what your body is telling you. If you’re hand is going numb, or your back is starting to feel funny, it’s time for a break and reevaluation.

January 11th, 2016

The Downton Abbey Collection

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Whether you’ve been following the saga of the Crawley family since the sinking of the RMS Titanic, or you’ve just binge watched seasons 1-5 to get ready for the last episodes, if you consider yourself a Downton fan you’ll want to get your hands on some of the new yarns in the Downton Abbey Collection.

Downton Abbey Collection yarns available at yarn.com

Lady Mary is a soft, chain-plied blend of acrylic and metallic thread for a touch of sparkle in a versatile DK weight yarn that’s perfect for elegant accessories.

Downton Abbey Collection yarns available at yarn.com

Lady Sybil is a sport weight blend of acrylic, mohair and polyamide with a gentle halo,  in softly heathered colors that will turn into gorgeous sweaters, hats and accessories.

You’ll also want to check out Branson and Matthew as well as a great collection of FREE patterns that celebrate your favorite characters.