August 3rd, 2015

Introducing Valley Yarns Sunderland

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Our Valley Yarns line is growing by leaps and bounds this year and Sunderland may be our favorite new kid on the block! A 100%, super soft baby alpaca yarn, at a versatile DK weight, in over a dozen softly heathered colors. What’s not to love?

Valley Yarns Sunderland now available at WEBS and yarn.com

Our first pattern for Sunderland is the Atrium Hat. Our Valley Yarns Design Manager, Kirsten Hipsky, has combined lace and garter stitch into a pattern that has a great architectural feel while taking advantage of the drape and luxury of the fiber.

Valley Yarns Sunderland now available at WEBS and yarn.com

Between the rich colors, the barest halo, and the buttery softness of the fiber you’ll spend almost as much time looking for reasons to use Sunderland as you do knitting or crocheting with it! What do you think your first project in Sunderland will be?

August 1st, 2015

Ready, Set, Knit! 409: Kathy talks with Carol Sulcoski

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This week Kathy talks with Carol Sulcoski about her newest book Lace Yarn Studio, a wonderful collection of patterns, from some of the best designers in the business, that celebrates using lace weight yarn for more than just lace knitting.

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #409 - Kathy talks with Carol Sulcoski. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Be sure to check out Carol’s other books, patterns, her line of yarn and fiber, and her teaching schedule at Black Bunny Fibers.

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week :

Reminder:

Stitches Midwest happens next weekend, August 6-9. WEBS will be there and you can save 50% on admission with a coupon from us.

Sign ups are open for our annual bus trip to Rhinebeck – get your seat now!

Upcoming Events:

Bathroom renovations are happening in our retail store starting August 23rd. Please plan ahead for restroom stops before and after your visit to help alleviate lines for our customers and staff.

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

July 31st, 2015

Knitting Through the Years

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Recently, a friend told me about her mother, a knitter and crafter, who has been having some memory problems. She wants to keep knitting but she has problems counting her stitches, and following patterns if they aren’t right in front of her, clearly marked. It made me think about what we carry here that would be helpful, and I thought I’d let you in on what I found.

Knitting tools to help with memory and keeping track of projects, on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

First of all, the Knitter’s Pride Large Pattern Holder seems like a lifesaver. It’s big enough to hold a pattern straight up, or any series of charts so that you don’t have to keep shuffling papers around (my friend’s mother has NO use for technology, so unfortunately paper patterns are her go-to). The magnetic straight-edge holds everything firmly against the backing, and also can be used as a row marker so she doesn’t lose her place.

The Bryspun Rainbow Rings are great stitch markers; colorful enough to stand out from your stitches, and rubber, so they stay put. They come in a variety of sizes, so they’ll fit on pretty much any size needles. The Clover Split Ring Markers are good for hanging on your stitches; if you have a pattern repeat you can mark it off so that you don’t have to remember where to start or how many stitches are in the repeat. They’re easy as pie to move around, too, so that if you increase or decrease, you don’t need to worry that you’ve lost any stitches.

Everyone’s favorite row counter, the Clover Kacha Kacha Knitting Counter, makes a very definitive CLICK and goes up to 99, which is a lot of satisfying clicking. I’ve used one of these since I started knitting and I’ve never had to replace mine. They last forever. Clover also makes a locking row counts, called a Mini. The beauty of this one is that if it gets pushed around in your knitting bag, it won’t change numbers accidentally. It also has a little loop that you can thread some yarn or string through to  make it a pendant so you don’t forget about it if you get up from your knitting chair to get a cocktail glass of iced tea.

The CocoKnits Knitter’s Keep is the most brilliant thing ever. It’s a slap bracelet (that makes SUCH a satisfying sound) that comes with metal cable needle, stitch markers, all kinds of things you need to keep track of while knitting or crocheting. And you just attach them to your bracelet and it holds it for you. Genius. No more turning around in circles while you try to locate a stray needle.

If you are a crocheter, Addi makes ergonomic hooks that don’t tax arthritic fingers. I’m told that the Knitter’s Pride Cubics needles serve the same function, but I bet there are needles specifically for sore hands and wrists out there.

The last thing I thought might be a great addition to a knitting bag are the Nancy’s Knit Knacks Project Cards. You can note what the project you knit was, for whom it was knit, the start and finish date, and any notes – for instance, if you cut out a set of increases, or made the sleeves shorter. Frankly, I could use these myself, since once I finish a project, I often throw it right out of my mind as I hurtle onto the next knitted object.

What have you seen in your LYS that might help you keep crafting as you age? Because I certainly want to keep crafting!

July 30th, 2015

It’s time for our End of Summer Sale!

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WEBS End of Summer Sale,  July 30 - Aug. 22, 2015 at yarn.com Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

We can’t believe it’s the end of summer already! We’ve got to clear some space for all the new Fall yarns that are starting to come in which means that you get to take advantage of some incredible deals in our End of Summer Sale.

Schachenmayer Lova Fan in the WEBS End of Summer Sale,  July 30 - Aug. 22, 2015 at yarn.com Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

It’s the perfect time to stock up on Schachenmayr Lova Fan, a bulky wool blend yarn in great sports color combinations. This yarn works up very quickly into mittens, scarves, and great hats in no time. I made a hat in less than 2 hours, in orange and black, to wear at my daughter’s field hockey games once the weather turns colder, and the yarn did all the striping! Just 2 skeins, less than $10, and a I used our FREE Last Minute Hat pattern, or you can check out all the FREE hat patterns in their My Mountain Schachenmayr Design Contest Winners eBook.

Noro Shiraito, shown here in the Asymmetric Shawl, in the WEBS End of Summer Sale,  July 30 - Aug. 22, 2015 at yarn.com Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I’ve always been a fan of Noro yarns and the Shiraito has caught my eye. I love the idea of pairing this yarn with a coordinating solid, like you see in the Asymmetric Shawl, we even carry the Baby Cashmerino they recommend in the pattern! 2 skeins of each yarn plus the pattern will cost you less than $60 and you’ll have a gorgeous, and stylish shawl to show for it.

Blue Sky Alpacas Techno, shown here in Valley Yarns FREE Last Minute Mittens pattern, in the WEBS End of Summer Sale,  July 30 - Aug. 22, 2015 at yarn.com Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Blue Sky Alpacas Techno has been one of my favorite yarns since it came in! Alpaca and merino blown into a silk mesh tube so you end up with a bulky yarn that is light as air, and it comes in eye popping colors. I used the yarn doubled and knit a pair of our FREE Last Minute Mittens in my daughter’s favorite green. Just 3 skeins of Techno would make 2 pairs, that’s just $15 per pair! There are also a few great FREE patterns from Blue Sky Alpacas for this yarn.

With over 50 yarns to choose from in our End of Summer Sale you’re sure to find some great deals to get you started on wonderful fall and holiday projects, as well as some great classic yarns to enhance your stash. The Sale starts today and runs until 11:59pm EDT August 22nd, so stock up now, quantities are limited! Which yarns are you excited about?

July 29th, 2015

Couldn’t Be Any Cuter

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Blue Sky Alpacas Royal Petite Baby Knit Kits available for 6 adorable animals. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Look what arrived in the store from Blue Sky Alpacas! These darlings comprise their new Royal Petite Babies Series. There are six knit kits to choose from including Marcel the Monkey, René the Rhinoceros, Lisette the Lion, and Georgette the Giraffe.

We had to show you how adorable these kits are so we made two store samples: Marthe chose to knit Hector the Hippopotamus and Meg decided on Emilie the Elephant. Marthe found the pattern to be clearly written and fun to knit. Now she wants to knit all of them!

Each kit comes complete: everything you need to make the animal of your choosing — the eyes and stuffing are even included! The yarn used to knit the animals is 100% royal alpaca which is the finest grade of alpaca fiber available, making them irresistibly soft. Please stop in soon to see how wonderful these animals are–I bet you’ll be inspired to knit at least one of your own!

July 28th, 2015

Design Inspiration with Fiona Ellis

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My goodness half of my Designer in Residence year is over and my fourth pattern was just launched! So I just did a quick review of what I’ve chatted with you about over the past few months; geometry, the humble I-cord and Morphing Cables. I guess it’s time I talked a little about how I find my inspiration. The best way I have found of generation my ideas is by taking photographs. Back on Sept 1st 2007 BI – that is “Before Instagram” (I can hardly believe it), I committed to taking photos to illustrate my journals. Up until that point my photo taking was more haphazard, but from that day on I have tried (and mostly succeeded) in taking a photo every single day. This kind of practice helps you develop a more artistic view of the, mostly mundane, everyday things that surround us. Or put another way it forces you to look at things that you see all the time (and mostly overlook) in a new light.

Ironwork - design inspiration for Fiona Ellis, WEBS 2015 Designer in Residence. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

As you can imagine I have amassed quite the collection of photos over these past 8 years. And through this process my fascinations have become very apparent. I have become very aware of my re-occurring themes/sources of inspiration. Collar Your Dreams springs from one of my favourites – ironwork, and more specifically the Eiffel Tower. OK you got me…the Eiffel Tower is hardly mundane and everyday, but the practice of looking at those objects transfers into my picture taking when I’m somewhere exotic like Paris.

Design inspiration with Fiona Ellis, WEBS 2015 Designer in Residence. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I’ve used ironwork as an inspiration source many times, but what is a little different with this design is that I wanted to incorporate the openwork feel that the tower, for me, epitomises. It’s not just about the lines, but the spaces in between the lines. There is almost a lightness or airiness to the structure,and that was what I wanted to try to capture. If you have ever been lucky enough to see it up close, maybe it has struck you as it did me, that when you walk around it each vantage point produces yet another beautiful curve or line with amazing geometric shapes nestled in between the main structural braces. So I placed arcs of eyelets holes between the cables, cables that I hope capture something of the graceful lines of this beautiful structure. If you are interested in hearing about my latest fascinations I would love for you to join me on my website on the 9th of each month when I post about what I’m currently finding inspiring. This month it’s all about my recent trip to the UK.

July 25th, 2015

Ready, Set, Knit! 408: Kathy talks with Ben Levisay

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This week Kathy talks with Ben Levisay of XRX, and Knitter’s Magazine about the upcoming Stitches Midwest show. If you’re going you’ll find over 130 vendors, more than 100 great classes and lots of new teachers!

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #408 - Kathy talks with Ben Levisay. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

If you can’t do classes AND all the great vendors try one of the Market Sessions!

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week :

Reminder:

Northampton Sidewalk Sale is happening this weekend. Shop today at WEBS, and the rest of the weekend downtown.

Now through Monday 7/27 save  an extra 15% off Noro, Sirdar, and Sublime Closeouts.

Upcoming Events:

If you’re local to our retail store we’re hosting another American Red Cross Blood Drive on Wednesday July 29th, more info here.

Are you headed out to Stitches Midwest August 6-9 in Illinois? WEBS will be there and you can save 50% on admission with a coupon from us.

Bathroom renovations are happening in our retail store. Please,plan ahead for restroom stops before and after your visit to help alleviate lines for our customers and staff.

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

July 24th, 2015

How to Wear It – The Breezeway Pullover

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Summer is in full swing but that doesn’t mean that you need to abandon your warmer knits or that a few cool evening aren’t going to sneak up on you! The Breezeway Pullover from our recent Valley Yarns catalog is a great transitional wardrobe piece that works well all year long and in almost any climate.

How to Wear It - The Breezeway Pullover. Show us how YOU wear your Valley Yarns knits, more info on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com #VYwearit

The loose, unstructured shape give this pullover versatility across multiple styles, and as a layering piece you can wear it in any season! We’re focused on summer looks here but you could add this over a great oxford with dress pants, or pair it with leggings, a cami, and some killer boots, topped off with a big statement necklace.

How to Wear It - The Breezeway Pullover. Show us how YOU wear your Valley Yarns knits, more info on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com #VYwearit

Hatfield is a 100% baby alpaca yarn in over 2 dozen lightly heathered colors so you’re sure to find a color to match this season’s trends or your tried and true wardrobe favorites.

We’d love to see your finished garments! Anytime you’ve made a Valley Yarns pattern be sure to tag it with #VYwearit We may feature you here on the blog, highlight you on our Facebook page, or repost you on Instagram!

July 23rd, 2015

Introducing Valley Yarns Hatfield

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We’ve launched some great New Valley Yarns this summer, and with even more arriving in the coming weeks we thought we’d take some time to introduce them.

Valley Yarns Hatfield now available at WEBS and yarn.com

First up is our Valley Yarns Hatfield, a 100% Baby Alpaca, lace-weight yarn with over 400yds per skein. While it might seem a little early to talk about Holiday knits, who wants to think about winter when it’s 90+ outside, we only have a little over 20 weeks before the gift giving begins! This gorgeous yarn may be the perfect starting point. Light enough to be knit outdoors on a hot summer day without making you’re hands overheat, it will keep the wearer plenty warm when the cold winds begin to blow. Think shawls, lacy cowls, and even transitional sweaters!

Valley Yarns Hatfield now available at WEBS and yarn.com

And we already have 2 patterns to get you started on that gift list. The Breezeway Pullover is knit at a loose gauge into a roomy, casually shaped sweater that makes a great multi-season layering piece. The Composition Cowl uses a classic lace stitch, combined with garter stitch, for great texture without tons of work, and the length is totally adjustable! Or choose your favorite pattern that calls for a laceweight yarn. I’m thinking that maybe the Hazel Shawl, or the Greenway Shawl, is going to end up on my needles soon in Leaf Green, it’s my sister’s favorite color! What projects will you plan in Hatfield?

July 22nd, 2015

Vacation Weaving

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We have reached the dog days of summer and time for vacation. Days of relaxing on the porch, sipping iced beverages and, of course, creating something with fiber. For many years my projects centered around knitting, mostly because it is so portable. But two years ago my sister hauled her 4-shaft table loom along and I became inspired to venture outside my usual travel boundaries.

Weaving on your summer travels. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Last summer I had just learned to weave on an inkle loom and decided that our family vacation would be the perfect time to learn new techniques and play with ideas. I picked up Anne Dixon’s The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory and packed up my trusty Inklette and some yarn and headed off. I felt pretty confident with the basic warping and weaving, so I chose to tackle something more adventurous and turned to the section on pick up. The book is not only filled with gorgeous, inspiring bands, it gives you multiple design options on a single warp. So I warped it up and started to play with weaving different motifs and patterns. It was fun watching the designs emerge and since it was for sampling, once I got bored adept with one, I’d move on to another. And the best part – when I pulled it off the loom I cut it into sections and gave my family “commemorative” bookmarks from our vacation.

This summer I plan to continue my newly created tradition of learning new techniques and giving family members a handwoven souvenir from our week at the lake. I’m still debating whether to take my Zoom Loom or forge ahead with my newest weaving obsession – tablet weaving. (Who am I kidding? They are both going into the suitcase!)

Do you weave on your vacations?