September 26th, 2014

Foolish Love

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We are all so excited about the first in-store appearance by Linda Niemayer, founder of Blue Sky Alpacas! But I have a secret, and it’s this: I’m more excited about their newest yarn, Extra. I am thrilled to have Linda here, along with her Destination Collection garments, which I can’t wait to see, and the swatching bar, and all the yummy stuff that comes along with a store event. But…I fondled a swatch of Extra today in my favorite pea-greeny color (Marsh, if you’re interested) and I can’t stop thinking about all the patterns I could use this yarn to knit and knit and knit.soft and richly colored Extra

Extra is a luscious blend of baby alpaca and fine merino wool, and comes in big 200+ yard hanks that knit at a worsted gauge of 4-5 stitches to the inch on size 7-9 needles. You could make a cabled cowl with a hank and a bit, or a scarf and a matching hat with 2 skeins. Extra’s construction is nicely twisty without being fuzzy or loose; you’d be able to see every stitch and cables or textures would stand out beautifully.

Cane Bay Wrap featuring ExtraI think the first pattern I’d knit, just to have something on the needles, would be the lovely Cane Bay Wrap, which would knit up in a flash and serve as a great present for the upcoming winter holidays.

Has you had a foolish love for a fantasy yarn? What was it?

September 25th, 2014

Flares and Graces by Fiona Ellis

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Fiona Ellis is the latest designer to offer one of her beautiful designs in celebration of our 40th Anniversary.  The Flares and Graces sweater features clever chevron cable patterning, designed to highlight the wearers face and hands. Both the slightly flared sleeves and gentle waist shaping gives a slightly fitted silhouette to the body. Set-in sleeves complete the elegant look.

Flares and Graces designed by Fiona Ellis, knit in Valley Yarns Colrain - available exclusively at yarn.com

Knit in Valley Yarns Colrain, in the new Ocean Heather colorway, the cables really stand out due to the shine from the tencel fiber in the yarn. The remaining merino content gives the yarn a great springiness that helps the sweater feel cozy and soft, even imparting a fine halo effect. This pullover is sure to become a wardrobe go-to sweater that can be dressed up, paired with feminine skirts, or down, with your favorite jeans.

September 24th, 2014

Heirloom Diamonds: twill towels draft by Sharon Alderman

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The newest weaving draft celebrating our 40th Anniversary is the Heirloom Diamonds twill towels by Sharon Alderman woven in Valley Yarns 40/2 Linen on 16 shafts.

Heirloom Diamonds: twill towels draft by Sharon Alderman woven in Valley Yarns 40/2 Linen on 16-shafts - available exclusively at yarn.com

Valley Yarns 40/2 linen is perfect for fine linen towels as it is capable of rapidly absorbing liquids and allowing that moisture to evaporate just as quickly. Linen cloth can absorb as much as 20% of its dry weight in liquid before even feeling damp! This 16-shaft draft will produce two heirloom quality towels for you to keep or give as cherished gifts.

Heirloom Diamonds: twill towels draft by Sharon Alderman woven in Valley Yarns 40/2 Linen on 16-shafts - available exclusively at yarn.com

You’ll notice that there is a border not just at the selveges or at each end, but all the way around, framing each towel. The threading creates this border. The towels are woven so that the same borders happen along each selvege and at both ends. The treadling for the first end border is shown on the draft, the border at the other end is woven by treadling in the opposite direction.

 

September 23rd, 2014

Chemo Caps for charity – Drop them off!

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TNNA Chemo Cap Patterns featured in the October 2014  issue of Woman's Day Magazine - visit www.tnna.org for more information

WEBS is proud to work with The National NeedleArts Association in promoting their national campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer. Knit or crochet a chemo cap and you can mail it in or drop it off at our retail store at 75 Service Center Rd, Northampton MA. Choose your own pattern or use the patterns that TNNA had designed just for this promotion – and they’re FREE!

You can download your free knit or crochet cap patterns here.

TNNA-chemo-cap-crochet-250We’re happy to be a drop-off point for caps knit and crocheted which will be sent on to those in need, or you can mail your caps directly to TNNA at:

The National NeedleArts Association
Attn: Chemo Caps
1100-H Brandywine Blvd
Zanesville OH 43701-7303

The October issue of Woman’s Day magazine has been on sale since September 9, and the promotion will run through January 1, 2015.

And don’t forget, our 11th annual Knit and Crochet for the Cure is happening on Sunday, October 5th from 1-4pm! The event is always popular and fun as dozens of crafters sit in groups of chairs spread throughout the store, chatting and stitching, creating beautiful, soft and cozy gifts for those living with cancer. Our partner in this event is Cancer Connection and they will distribute the finished projects to the community they serve at their haven at 41 Locust St in Northampton. The event is Free but we do ask that you register in advance.

September 20th, 2014

Ready, Set, Knit! 372: Kathy talks with Sarah Smith

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Kathy talks with Sarah Smith, Director of Development at Safe Passage about the Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage and the prevention work their organization does in Northampton and Hampshire County. Safe Passage was founded in 1977 to provide comprehensive services for victims of domestic violence. Their core mission is to make people feel safe while offering counseling and advocacy programs.

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TEAM WEBS will once again be walking and running in the Hot Chocolate Run. You can donate to Team WEBS, or choose an individual person on the team to make a donation to.  You can join us for #HotChocolateHolidays and get going on your holiday crafting while supporting Safe Passage, check the Class Page on our website starting October 1st for those classes and more details. You can also purchase a copy of the Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear pattern, all proceeds from the pattern go straight to Safe Passage, and you can even knit the bear and send it into us at:

WEBS –

Attn: HCR Polar Bear

6 Industrial Parkway

Easthampton, MA 01027

Steve’s Yarn Picks :

Upcoming Events:

Join Linda Niemeyer of Blue Sky Alpacas for her first ever in-store event! Next week, Sept 27th 1-3pm. The even t is free but please register.

It’s time for our 11th annual Knit & Crochet for the Cure! Join us on Oct 5th from 1-4pm. Please remember to register.

Spinning and Weaving Week is coming up Oct 6- 11, Lots of workshops and demonstrations to enjoy!

8th Annual Bus Trip to Rhinebeck – Saturday Oct 18th. the busses are filing up, get your ticket now!

We have an amazing line-up of guest teachers this year!
Amy Herzog in SeptemberSusan B Anderson will be here Columbus Day WeekendDora Ohrensten is doing a weekend of crochet classes in November!

And 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
September 19th, 2014

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature – the Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear

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Every year WEBS participates in the annual Hot Chocolate Run to benefit Safe Passage. This year we’re even more committed to doing good in our community and having fun doing it! Not only is The Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear adorable and cuddly soft, being knit in Valley Yarns Superwash Bulky, but all proceeds from the sale of the pattern will go to Safe Passage. We’ll be keeping track of the Polar Bear’s progress as if the sales of his pattern were donations made to a team member participating in the Hot Chocolate Run.

The Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear knit in Valley Yarns Superwash Bulky - available exclusively at yarn.com

You can help support the our team by purchasing a copy of the pattern or by making a direct donation to the team or any individual team member. We’re also accepting finished bears knit from this pattern to be given as comfort gifts to the children helped by Safe Passage. We’ll be hosting a Knit-a-long of the Polar Bear in October, feel free to get your pattern, Valley Yarns Superwash Bulky and the rest of your supplies now! Once your bear is complete you can send it to us at:

WEBS – America’s Yarn Store

Attn: HCR Polar Bear

6 Industrial Parkway

Easthampton, MA 01027

September 18th, 2014

The Cirro Tee from Linda Permann

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The Cirro Tee by Linda Permann is a simple yet gorgeous crocheted tee designed in Valley Yarns Northfield Hand Dyed by Malabrigo. Everyone is looking for that perfect t-shirt pattern and this may just fit the bill! An easy to memorize two row pattern creates a textured and flexible fabric that results in a lightweight and very wearable crochet garment. The simple cap sleeves and understated waist shaping make this a flattering shapes for almost everyone.

The Cirro Tee designed by Linda Permann and crocheted in Valley Yarns Northfield hand dyed by Malabrigo - available exclusively at yarn.com

Linda is a designer and author that has lived all over the US. Her work has been featured in many of today’s top knitting and crochet publications. “Crocheting is my passion, but I love to sew, knit and quilt too. I wear many hats: I’m a crochet and craft designer, writer, editor and a crochet/knitting teacher. I work full time at Craftsy.com, and I also teach. I love creating modern patterns using quality yarns, showing crochet in its best lightl!”

The Cirro Tee designed by Linda Permann and crocheted in Valley Yarns Northfield hand dyed by Malabrigo - available exclusively at yarn.com

We love what Linda creates, too! Crochet your own Cirro Tee in our gorgeous Valley Yarns Northfield Hand Dyed by Malabrigo or try one of our solid colors of Northfield.

September 17th, 2014

Hidden Treasures for Weavers

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You know how you can walk by the same thing time after time without really noticing it? Or you get so focused on looking for the new that the regular scenery just fades? I love those moments when I rediscover something wonderful that’s been there all along. Here are some of the hidden treasures I fell in love with again as a weaver:

great weaving drafts and technical informationWeaver’s Craft magazines are a gold mine of information and drafts. Jean Scorgie, a former editor of Handwoven magazine, publishes these little gems and we carry nearly 20 different issues. Each issue features a topic (laces, overshoot, baby blankets, etc.) with information, illustrations, ideas and projects. I recommend these all the time to newer weavers because she really explains the concepts and then provides easy drafts to put the techniques into practice. I am steadily building my collection of these as part of my weaving reference library.

Two of my favorite issues illustrate just how much is packed into a small space. April/May 2000 focuses on twills and includes a discussion of twills, plus sections on floating selvedges, smiling selvedges and how to fix them, gamps, and threading heddles. And it has drafts for 5 different dish towels! The Spring 2001 edition is all about weaving overshot and has articles about drawdowns, tromp as writ, designing name drafts and more, plus drafts for placemats, table runners and a drawstring bag. And all of these can be woven on a 4-shaft loom!

gorgeous weaving projectsAnother overlooked booklet on the magazine rack is Kismet, published by Hill Country Weavers. This is gorgeous, glossy eye candy for weavers loaded with inspiration for thinking (and weaving) outside the box. The projects are woven on rigid heddle looms with knitting yarns and incorporate knit and crochet details. I find the designs to be refreshing and creative and more about new ways of envisioning woven wearables than the specific type of loom used to weave the cloth. Fifteen designs are presented in full detail, ranging from scarves and shawls to blankets, skirts, and fingerless mitts. There is also a wealth of technical information including hemstitching, fringes, seaming, picking up for knit or crochet, reading a draft and a step by step pictorial guide to direct warping a rigid heddle loom.

And, speaking of hidden treasures, did you know we have our own series of weaving drafts designed specifically for the Valley Yarns line of yarns? This year we are showcasing designs created especially for our 40th anniversary in addition to dozens more that have been drafted by WEBS founder Barbara Elkins and other talented weavers over the years. Visitors to the store have the good fortune of not only being able to see them, but also to touch and investigate the drape and details of the pattern Online shoppers can find drafts on our website in a few ways. If you are looking for something to weave with a specific yarn, you will find a tab on that yarn page called “Related Patterns”. Click on it and you will be shown all the drafts/patterns we have created for that yarn. You can also find drafts on the drop down menu for Weaving and Spinning on the home page. You can narrow your search by number of shafts or just ogle the many possibilities while suffering from loom envy.

beautiful colorful woven twill towelsAvailable drafts span the full spectrum of projects, from wearables, like scarves and shawls, to blankets, bags, table runners, placemats and the ever-popular dishtowels. And, yes, dish towels are the number one drafts we sell, with the hands down favorite being Carol Birtwistle’s 40th Anniversary Ribbon Towels. There’s something for everyone from rigid heddle weavers – Draft #55 Charlemont Lace Scarf – to 4-, 8- and 16-shaft designs.

Have you discovered any hidden treasures in your wanderings? Let us know!

 

September 13th, 2014

Ready, Set, Knit! 371: Kathy talks with Rita Petteys

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Kathy talks with returning guest Rita Petteys about this year’s Spinzilla Event.

EVENTSWEBSSPINZILLA.zoom.1

 

Rita Petteys joins us to discuss Spinzilla. This year, WEBS has a Spinzilla team.

What is Spinzilla?
It started as a way to increase knowledge of handspinning in the fiber world. It helps raise money for the Needle Arts Mentoring program that TNNA (The National Needlearts Association). Spinning and Weaving Week is the first full week of October, and that is when Spinzilla takes place (October 6-12).

How can you get involved?
Visit spinzilla.org and find out about the teams, the competition, the mentoring program, and more. There’s also a blog and blog tour that includes a ton of information on spinning, fiber prep, and more. There are still many teams to get involved with. There are about 400 spaces left on teams, so there’s still plenty of room for you to sign up and join in the fun! It doesn’t matter where you live in relation to your team. You can join a team that fits your personality, or one that fits your goals.

You can also sign up to “Spin Rogue” and not join a team.

Check out the site to find out details on prizes, not only for spinning the most, but there are also random prizes.

The Needlearts Mentoring Program (NAMP) is one of TNNA’s charitable components. Their goal is to help mentors in communities to provide needlearts education to the children they work with, so that they can share with children the appreciation of needlearts. Last year’s donations ($6000 from Spinzilla) allowed the addition of spinning and weaving to the program. Goals for the future include NAMP chapters in every state and better supplies for the children to use.

While you’re on the Spinzilla site, make sure you check out the sponsors. Without them, it wouldn’t be possible.

Steve’s Yarn Picks :

Upcoming Events:

Classic Elite Fall 2014 Event –  THIS WEEK! Sept. 18th 6-7:30pm – The event is free but registration is required.

Don’t miss the eBook that Classic Elite created just to celebrate our 40th Anniversary!

Join Linda Niemeyer of Blue Sky Alpacas for her first ever in-store event! Sept 27th 1-3pm. The even t is free but please register.

It’s time for our 11th annual Knit & Crochet for the Cure! Join us on Oct 5th from 1-4pm. Please remember to register.

8th Annual Bus Trip to Rhinebeck – Saturday Oct 18th. the busses are filing up, get your ticket now!

We have an amazing line-up of guest teachers this year!
Amy Herzog in SeptemberSusan B Anderson will be here Columbus Day WeekendDora Ohrensten is doing a weekend of crochet classes in November!

And 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
September 12th, 2014

Stay Classy

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It’s back-to-school time — the time of year that Staples and Office Max love the most. It’s also “back-to-knitting/crocheting/weaving/spinning” time around WEBS, and we have some great classes for anyone wanting to learn a new craft or brush up on a current one. When I plan the classes for each semester, I try to come up with something entirely new at least once or twice each time, something that I’d tell my friends about or that I’d want to hear about from a fiber friend. This time around I have a few that I’d love to take myself, so I’m going to tell you about them so that you’ll feel cnabled compelled to take them yourselves!

jazerant, cabled and beaded

Emma Welford’s Jazerant Set was designed especially for our Fortieth Anniverary and the pattern is knit in the most beautiful Valley Yarns Northfield, hand dyed by Malabrigo just for us. We are so lucky that Emma works here at WEBS and is generous enough to teach a class to show knitters how to make this gorgeously cabled and beaded hat and cowl. You don’t have to use Northfield, of course, because no matter what you use, the end result is going to be stunning. That class starts soon, so hurry before all the seats are filled! (NOTE:  Unfortunately, this class has been cancelled.)

Another class I’d take in a heartbeat is Heather McQueen’s Tunisian Crochet Infinity Scarf class. Tunisian Crochet is so fascinating–it’s fast, like crochet, and produces a really unique-looking fabric that resembles knitting. This 4-week class will have students using up those novelty yarns hiding in your stash as well as learning some more advanced Tunisian techniques. The scarves are fast and fun, and look amazing.silky lace and tunisian stitch

I am completely impressed with myself for hunting down some great guest teachers this semester–none more so than Susan B. Anderson, who is a designer, author, knitter, spinner, and all-around-lovely-person. She’ll be here for a weekend in October to teach not only some great garment classes, but we are lucky enough to have her show her students how to make her knitted toys, which are a great holiday gift as well as ideal decor for a nursery or little one’s room.Sock Yarn dragon fun!

Check out all our classes here, and just remember: Shopping at WEBS for supplies is way more fun than shopping at Staples for binders and notebook paper!