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.

January 9th, 2016

Ready, Set, Knit! 428: Kathy talks with Amy Greeman

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This week Kathy talks with WEBS Education Manager, Amy Greeman about the top patterns of 2015 at WEBS.

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #428 - Kathy talks with Amy Greeman. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

#1 pattern of 2015 was from Blue Sky Alpacas – The Lanesboro Vest

#2 is from Debbi Stone, at Stitches of My life Designs – the Wanda Estelle

#3 comes from The Fibre Company – the Keswick cardigan

#4 is another from Debbi Stone – the Sproutlet Baby Blanket

#5 Jo Sharp is back with the Garter Stitch Jacket

They were So close to the top 5 we couldn’t help but mention #6 and #7, both from Shibui, the Facade scarf and the Emboss jacket

And don’t forget to check out the Valley Yarns eBook – Last Minute Knits with some great chunky, cold weather knits.

Amy’s Yarn Picks of the week: The Downton Abbey Collection!

Reminder:

Saturday, January 30th from 1-4pm, join Andra from Berroco and learn all about the new Amano yarns!

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

Upcoming Events:

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 8th, 2016

The Martin Storey Knit Along 2!

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Rowan Yarns has teamed up with Martin Storey for another incredible Blanket Knit-a-Long.

Rowan Yarns 2016 Blanket Knit-a-Long in Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The fun kicks off when the first square is released on January 28th. For this year’s blanket Martin looked to Northern European knitting traditions for inspiration, drawing patterns and textures from the Shetland Isles; the Faeroe Isles; Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland. 8 squares will be released every two weeks over the course of the project, each knit 6 times, culminating in a stunning design made up of 48 squares in total. The final, and ninth release,  May 12th features the edging design.

Rowan Yarns 2016 Blanket Knit-a-Long in Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.comAlso new this year, you can choose from four suggested palettes in Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted, chosen to fit in with most popular, interior colour schemes. A very soft and natural palette: a calming, blue palette; a fresh green and a zingy, and a warm spice palette.

And don’t worry if you’re new to knitting! this KAL has been designed with the beginner knitter in mind.  In this blanket you’ll create motifs in one color and two color squares.  Delicate motifs in simple texture, lace and  a further option that introduces the beginner knitter to a simple bead technique, patterns and different stitches.

Keep an eye on Rowan Yarns’  YouTube channel for an exclusive interview and tutorials from Martin himself.

January 6th, 2016

Baby Blankies

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I’ve always loved making things for babies. It’s such a joy to celebrate their arrival and a great opportunity to surround them with our love in the form of woven/knitted/crocheted snugglies. Baby things are usually quick and for weavers a baby blanket is the perfect palette to play with design and color ideas and sure to get oohs and ahhs from the new parents. We just received Tom Knisely’s lovely book Handwoven Baby Blankets. Tom has created a soft and cozy collection of beautiful, colorful designs with projects for both 4- and 8-shaft looms. He also covers what size to make, materials and finishing. The blanket drafts cover a wide variety of structures and most could easily translate to larger throws.

Valley Yarns weaving drafts available at yarn.com Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

We’ve got some great drafts designed for our Valley Yarns line as well. One of the recent baby blankets was designed by Lisa Hill using our 6/2 Unmercerized Cotton. XOXO Baby Blanket (Draft #87) is a deflected doubleweave that creates sweet circles of color and a squishy softness that is perfect for babies. Each side of the blanket features a different interplay of the colors and the yarn is machine washable, making it perfect for the on-the-go life with children.

Another favorite draft is the Bouquet of Hearts Blanket – 40th Anniversary Draft #12 woven on a rigid heddle loom. Lace heart motifs are created using a simple technique called Brook’s Bouquet and the blanket is woven in two panels that are then sewn together. We have a video tutorial for the Brook’s Bouquet to make it even easier to pick up. The blanket is woven with Valley Yarns Longmeadow, another machine washable cotton blend that is cushy soft. The blanket is soft and cuddly and the lace creates a great texture for tiny fingers.

Valley Yarns weaving drafts available at yarn.com Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Rounding out our picks of the baby blanket drafts is Barbara Elkin’s Blooming Leaf Baby Blanket – Draft #59. A 4-shaft pattern in Shadow Weave, this blanket is woven with 5/2 Cotton and creates a beautiful heirloom blanket with classic appeal. As with the other drafts, different colorways can be chosen to highlight bold, pastel or neutral tones.

It seems like babies come in waves; suddenly 3 friends, a neighbor and a nephew are all expecting a new addition to the family. Blankets are so quick and easy – add an extra yard of warp and weave a second blankie to have on hand for the next little bundle. One of my favorite things to do when giving handmade baby gifts is to tell the parent it comes with a string attached – they have to send me a picture of the baby wearing or wrapped in the present. That way I get a lovely picture of the baby, plus a picture for my weaving archives.

January 5th, 2016

Fit Fiber Crafters: Stash Health

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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 you craft.

Stash Health

The stash! Most of us have one, but we don’t always think of the best ways to keep it healthy. We’ve pulled together a few tips to help you maintain the health of your stash so it’s ready when you reach for it with the perfect project in mind.

Organization
The new year is the perfect time to get organized. Many of us are dealing with colder temperatures that make outdoor activities harder, and less enjoyable. Spend a little time every day to organize your stash, so you know what you have. You can check out previous blog posts we’ve done on organizing and cataloging your stash.

Check for Unfriendlies
The word many yarn-lovers live in fear of – moths! There are a few different critters that can get into and damage your yarn, so while you’re organizing, it’s a good idea to check for them. If you’re already organized, take a little time every so often to inspect your yarn and fiber well. You can store your yarn in zip-top bags, or plastic bins. Again, you’ll want to let some air in every so often to keep things healthy. Keeping a generally tidy space can also help deter critters from hanging out in your stash.

Enjoy It
One of the most fun things about having a stash, is rediscovering yarns that you loved and just needed to have. Keep your stash healthy by showing it a little love.

December 31st, 2015

No Resolution

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I have NEVER been a resolution-setter, and I know if I did make myself a list, I’d cheat before the Ides of March. I have, however, been giving myself a stern talking-to about my lack of organization when it comes to knowing what I have in my stash. In the last month, I’ve brought home three different patterns, knowing I had yarn in my stash to make them. However, once I crawled on all fours through the closet where I keep my stash yarn (piled into plastic bins, no system whatsoever), I realized that I didn’t have enough of one yarn, didn’t have the needles I needed for another…it was anarchy.

Getting organized in 2016. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

If I was going to run down the organization rabbit-hole, I think I’d need to go through every single needle and set I have. I’d need to record it somewhere (there’s an app for that!) so I always have it with me. I’d need to really sort out the yarn I have, by weight, and if I was super-insane, by fiber. I’d need to go through every single pattern I have lying around in various formats and find a place to keep them free from coffee-spillage and my own absent-mindedness.

If I were to be an organized knitter in 2016, WEBS has a few items that I think would help. This Grellow and Gray Sirka Counter would enable me to finally get rid of about 10 different, useless, row counters and stitch markers. It keeps track of up to 3 separate counts and doesn’t move unless you advance it. GENIUS.

I could know what needles I have by knowing where they are–and this Knitter’s Pride case holds a multitude of different sizes, even crochet hooks and tools. And they’re gorgeous.

Chic.a clear zipper-front pouches are just the thing for all my tools. Cable needles, blocking pins, stitch holders, probably even my double-pointed needles. I can just peek inside and wave to all my goodies.

And time. Time is what we all need more of. In 2016, I definitely plan to take more time to do the things I love to do.

For help in getting yourself organized be sure to check out our “31 Days to Get Organized” series of blog posts!

December 31st, 2015

2015 Year End Blowout Sale: Stash It!

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Our Annual Year End Blowout Sale is a always a great time to add some staples to your yarn stash. Sweater quantities of workhorse yarns and single skeins of something special for perfect accessories.

Great stash yarns in WEBS Year End Blowout Sale. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Berroco Weekend Chunky is a fantastic yarn to have on hand for quick, warm weather garments. A chunky blend of cotton and acrylic means you’ll have all the cool properties of cotton yarns but the acrylic content means that it won’t lose it’s shape!

For larger garments and home decor items that need to be 100% washable Loren Patik can’t be beat. With almost 2 dozens colors, this yarn is the right choice for afghans and blankets. A whole bag, 10 skeins, is only $19.99 and you’ll have 2,290 yards to work with!

If you’re looking for some fun color play Cascade Casablanca is a self striping, single-ply yarn available in beautiful, self-striping color blends from neutrals to rich jewel tones. Light and soft, with a slight tweedy texture from the silk and a halo effect from the mohair, this yarn is perfect for those special accessories.

And nothing is more luxurious than silk! Debbie Bliss Luxury Silk is an incredibly soft and smooth yarn, with a silky glow. A delight against the skin, this yarn will knit into lovely warm weather sweaters and accessories.

What will you add to your stash from this year’s sale?

December 29th, 2015

2015 Year End Blowout Sale: Kits and Sets

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Our annual Year End Blowout Sale is in full swing and with over 50 yarns at up to 55% off but there’s lots of great stuff in the sale that isn’t just yarn!

The Year End Blowout Sale at WEBS, through January 4th 2016. Yarn, Kits, Needles and more! Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

The Knitter’s Pride Marblz Interchangeable Circular Needle Designer Set  is a Limited Edition set in colorful, patterned acrylic. The acrylic is hand-mixed, creating patterns that are unique to each needle! The set includes 9 pairs of  needles tips from US size 4 to 11, as well as cables, connectors and more for only $89.99.

The TSCArtyarns Zara Slip Stitch Layette Set includes the patterns and all the yarn you’ll need for an adorable 3-piece set. Make a hat, booties and a blanket in one of three colorways: It’s a Boy!, It’s a Girl!, and We Don’t Know Yet!

Now that all your holiday gifts have been made and given you can work on something for yourself! The Dream in Color Chelsea’s Cowl kit is available in 2 colorways of their gorgeous Jilly yarn and includes a link to the pattern.

Why not get started on some beautiful ornaments for next year? At just $14.99 each the Nelkin Designs Beaded Lights Adornments Kit and Beaded Stars Adornments Kit are just perfect for adding an extra bit of sparkle to your holiday decorating.

And why not a bit a whimsy? The next time your favorite knitter or dancer has a birthday surprise them with more than just a card, give them a sheep or ballerina from Mochimochi Land. These kits come complete with enough fingering-weight yarn and stuffing to knit two or three itty-bitty things. Make them into pins, ornaments, or just fun little trinkets!

And don’t forget we have LOTS of great deals that are only available in our retail store. If you’re in the Northampton, MA area before January 4th be sure to stop in and check them out! What will you take home from this year’s sale?

December 26th, 2015

Ready, Set, Knit! 427: Kathy talks with Carol Sulcoski

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This week Kathy talks with Carol Sulcoski for their 6th annual year end review!

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #427 - Kathy talks with Carol Sulcoski. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Kathy and Carol talk about big trends in the knitting and yarn world as well as trade shows, retreats and some of their favorite products.

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week from our Year End Blowout Sale! : 

Reminder:

WEBS will be closing at 4pm Dec 31st and closed  Jan. 1st.

Year End Blowout Sale runs through Jan 4th.

Upcoming Events:

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