November 28th, 2016

It’s almost time for the Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage!

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In what has become a yearly tradition for WEBS, our employees will be walking and running in the Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage on December 4th. Now in it’s 13th year, and with this being our 6th year of participating, this event has become an important part of our lives.

Team WEBS memories from the Hot Chocolate Run over the last 5 years. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Some of us walk with our knitting, or spinning, some with our mothers, some with our spouses and children, or pets, some of us walk to support survivors we know, and in the hope that someday we won’t need fundraisers like this.

We participate for the good-natured competitiveness of the fundraising (you can make a donation here), for the team building excitement on race day, and for the positive impact it has in our community. We’re on track to meet our goal this year, $15,000!

To all of you who have donated in the past, and those of you who have participated yourselves, we say, “Thank You.”

November 25th, 2016

Arranmore by The Fibre Co.

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I wanted to write about this wonderful stuff a few months ago, but we went through a dry spell and didn’t have it in stock (that’s the sign of a great yarn–you have to suffer through a drought before the good stuff rains down). Now we are fully stocked and you should know about it because once you try it, you won’t want to knit with anything else.

Arranmore is a beautiful example of a true Donegal tweed yarn, spun in Ireland. In colors that capture the Irish coast, it’s a true aran-weight yarn, meaning it is toothy and authentically wooly, with flecks of color throughout highlighting the earth, sky, and water tones of the yarn. Composed of wool, cashmere, and silk, Arranmore has a springy, sturdy feel and a substantial crispness that relaxes and blooms once wet-blocked. at 3.5 stitches to 1 inch on US size 8 needles, your projects will fly off your needles quickly, and the twist ensures no splitting or catching on your needle tips.

The Fibre Co. Arranmore on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Of course, The Fibre Co. has great pattern support, and thoughtful garments and accessories showcase this colleen of a yarn to it’s finest. I think if I wasn’t drowning in gift-knitting, I’d probably be casting on The Lake Isle tunic. It’s a fascinating combination of plain stockinette and colorwork, with an unexpected funnel neck to keep one warm in the chilly UK winter weather. Or the chilly New England weather. Try it and see; you won’t want to stop knitting.

November 23rd, 2016

Table Dressing

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One of my favorite things about holidays is gathering with family and friends and sharing good food. I’ll admit I don’t get too fancy with house decorations, but since once of my weaving goals is to clothe my house in handwovens I have taken to dressing the dining table with festive runners. Over the years I have woven everything from simple to complex. There are the last minute runners woven in plain weave on my rigid heddle loom using sparkly sock yarns and some lacy ones with elaborate fringes.

Last year Barbara designed a set of runners in 4-shaft twill that are elegant and beautiful. The Holiday Runner Draft #90 is shown in both Christmas and Hanukkah colors. This year I decided to change up the colors in the draft to create a Thanksgiving runner. It was fun to play with color possibilities in an autumn palette to create the warp and then I tried out a few options for the weft. Each gives a distinct look, with textured areas where the weft and warp are the same color. I usually put on extra warp so I can experiment with weft colors and find the best look. If you try this, be sure to step away from the loom and view the weaving from a distance to see how the colors balance, this can be quite different from what you see close up.

Valley Yarns Holiday Runner Draft #90, see alternate colorways on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I’m kind of taken with this idea and plan to weave for other seasons and occasions. Maybe one in red, white and blue for the Fourth of July family reunion? What special events will you use as inspiration for woven table dressings?

November 19th, 2016

Ready, Set, Knit! 467: Kathy talks with Kate Oates

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This week Kathy talks with Kate Oates, designer and  founder of Tot Toppers, about her new book “Grown“.

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #467 - Kathy talks with Kate Oates. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Kate talks about her knitting journey, how she became a designer, and how her line of children’s hats turned into 2 traditionally published books and her newest self-published endeavor. See all the designs from “Grown” here, and check out the blog tour!

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Reminder:

Northampton Bag Day is happening today! In-Store Only! Saturday, November 19th (12pm-5:30pm)

Take advantage of a rare opportunity to shop WEBS on a Sunday. We’ll be open from noon to 5 pm, starting this weekend, November 20 through December 18!

Upcoming Events:

The Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage is happening Dec 4th! Help Team WEBS with their fundraising effort here!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots of great new products, contests and fun!

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

November 17th, 2016

Valley Yarns Haydenville in Vogue Knitting

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The Holiday 2016 issue of Vogue Knitting has some truly stunning pieces, but we are totally enamoured by the Mosaic Poncho Pullover designed by Norah Gaughan.

haydenville post

Raglan sleeves and a bicolor ribbed neck give this pullover the feel of a sweater, but the swingy open sides are all poncho. It’s knit in Valley Yarns Haydenville, a soft blend of superwash merino and microfiber. The vivid front and back mosaic panels are knit first; the sides are picked up along the panel and worked outward in two pieces, with the sleeves worked separately after the raglan shaping is complete.

Use Haydenville in Soft Grape and Grey, as shown in the sample, or choose your two favorite colors!

 

 

November 15th, 2016

New designs in Valley Yarns Sunderland

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Just in time for the cooler Autumn weather we have two new designs in Valley Yarns Sunderland, our 100% baby alpaca in a super versatile DK weight!
The Rays Cardigan designed by Nataliya Polyakov is really the perfect outer layer for Fall.  With it’s 1×1 ribbing throughout, and the super soft baby alpaca, this piece is equally stylish with a decorative cami or  over your favorite sweater! Nataliya learned to knit from her grandmother and started designing to create pieces she just couldn’t find anywhere else.  With an abundant yarn stash and an eye for design inspiration in everyday life, Nataliya designed the Rays Cardigan to take advantage of the incredible softness and drape of Sunderland, “This yarn rocks!”
Get your copy of the Rays Cardigan PDF and Valley Yarns Sunderland at yarn.com Read more on the WEBS blog at blog.yarn.com
We’ve already been lucky enough to publish two designs from Tian Connaughton this year and are thrilled to add one more! The Ansonia Shawl gets all of the hard work out of the way first with a gorgeous twisted stitch lace border and then it’s smooth sailing through a stockinette stitch body to the end. Knit in next-to-the-skin soft Sunderland this shawl is just the right extra layer over a longsleeve to or under your coat. Tian is planning a full wardrobe of knitted items for herself this holiday season. The Ansonia Shawl is a great project to start with!
Get your copy of the Ansonia Shawl PDF and Valley Yarns Sunderland at yarn.com Read more on the WEBS blog at blog.yarn.com
What will you make with Valley Yarns Sunderland this holiday season? Will it be a gift for yourself, someone else? Will it be an original design or an old favorite?
November 12th, 2016

Ready, Set, Knit! 466: Kathy talks with Sara Delaney

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This week Kathy talks with Sara Delaney about Team WEBS fundraising efforts for the Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage.

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #466 - Kathy talks with Sara Delaney. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

This is the 13th year of the event! From a humble start in 2004 with just 500 participants that helped raise $6,000 to an incredible day of fun and unity celebrating our desire to help change and better our communities with 6,000 participants, as well as countless observers and volunteers, that raised almost $500,000 last year.

If you’d like to help you can make a donation to Team WEBS here. Or purchase one of these patterns, the full purchase price of each goes directly to Safe Passage!

Safe Passage Hat and Mittens, Sixth Button Mittens, Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear, Hot Chocolate Run Penguin

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Reminder:

Local Artist, Author, & Designer Meet & Greet is happening today, November 12 from 1:30pm–3:30pm!

Upcoming Events:

Northampton Bag Day is coming next weekend! In-Store Only! Saturday, November 19th (12pm-5:30pm)

Take advantage of a rare opportunity to shop WEBS on a Sunday. We’ll be open from noon to 5 pm, starting next weekend, November 20 through December 18!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots of great new products, contests and fun!

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

November 11th, 2016

The More You Know

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I tried out a new circular needle recently and it was a game-changer. Knitter’s Pride Royale fixed circular needles are wood with metal tips, which I like (somehow, metal seems pointier). What I really love about the Royales are that they SWIVEL at the join. Come on! Yes, they do. No kinking up, no twisted joins, just smooth sailing. This swivel is only available in the fixed circular needles, not in the interchangeable sets, alas. But what a great reason to stock up on sizes you may need for your holiday knitting! They’d be a great stocking stuffer for a knitting group buddy, or an in-law at a gift exchange.

Knitter's Pride Royale Needles on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I’ve been making some deadline projects lately, but once I free up my time and buy the right size Royale, I’ll be casting on the Genevieve Baby Cardigan for a special baby arriving in December. So fast, so delightful on the right needles. Check them out!

November 9th, 2016

3D What??!!

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When I was at Convergence this summer I looked across the aisle and saw a table piled with what looked brightly colored UFOs. Imagine my surprise when I saw the person at the booth pick one up at start spinning yarn with one! My curiosity was piqued and I went over to check it out.

Snyder Spindles now available at yarn.com  Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I met Scott Snyder, the spindlemaker, and he told me the brightly colored arms on his drop spindles are made on a 3D printer. Talk about a modern twist on an ancient craft! I wondered about the plastic he used and he said he uses Polylactic acid (PLA), which is derived from renewable resources like cornstarch and tapioca roots and is biodegradable.

These spindles are like a Turkish-style drop spindle, with arms that slide out of the cop, giving you a beautiful center-pull ball of handspun yarn.The Destiny features 4 arms that interlock on the shaft and is a hybrid variable weight spindle. It’s made of 3D printed plastic arms, hand turned hardwood shafts and steel screws. The combination of materials used allows for the mass to be on the outside of the spindle, to increase duration of the spin. The screws are removable so you can fine tune the weight of the spindle. You can choose either Mini or Medium depending on your size needs.

Scott also makes a Turkish Glider, available with either 3D printed arms or finely polished wood. The Glider arms swoop outward with a slight upward tilt at the end, allowing the spinner to spin a lot of fiber in one cop.

In addition to the fun and playful colors of the 3D printed spindles, we are also carrying the beautiful wood spindles that Scott makes. These also feature a shaft that is hand-turned on a lathe and have a small final at the top to hold the half-hitch. The wooden spindles are available in turkish and glider styles and, because I love anything sheep-ish, we brought in some that have sheep cut outs on the arms.

If you like to carry your spinning with you and want a beautiful, portable tool, be sure to check out our new toys!

November 7th, 2016

Join the Kitschmas Stocking CAL!

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Join designer, Vickie Howell for a holiday prep Crochet-along!

Join the Kitschmas Stocking CAL Nov 17th - 22nd. Find out more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Starting November 17th you’ll chain on for the Kitschmas Stocking, a granny-striped decoration that can be crocheted in mere hours — that’s right, folks, hours! That means it may actually be attainable for more than one person in your family to get a handmade stocking this year. (Vickie will attempt to make enough for her family of 5. Can she do it? Nobody knows — least of all her!)

We’ll be using Valley Yarns Valley Superwash Super Bulky in any 2 colors. Use the code VHCal1 at checkout to get the Kitschmas Stocking Pattern for the discounted price of just $2.99 when you purchase 3 balls of Valley Superwash Super Bulky!

You’ll need 3 balls of Valley Superwash Super Bulky (2 balls of the main color and 1 ball of the contrast color), and a U.S. M (9.0mm) crochet hook.

Head on Over to Vickie’s Facebook Page and join the CAL event! Just post a comment letting her know, “I’m in!”

Feel free to post photos on the events page for others to see. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask questions and share tips. Vickie will be there to lead the conversation, answer questions, and fawn over your mad crochet skills!