October 25th, 2014

Ready, Set, Knit! 377: Kathy talks with Heather Zoppetti

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This week Kathy talks with designer and author Heather Zoppetti. Her new book, Everyday Lace, is just out and she talks with Kathy about how she learned to knit and her journey to create the book.

Ready, Set, Knit! Episode 377 with Heather Zoppetti - listen at yarn.com

In this episode they discuss Kathy’s favorite pattern from the book – The Millersville Blouse, as well as the Narvon Wrap, the Bellmont Cardigan and the Engleside Cowl-Neck Pullover.

Steve’s Yarn Picks :

Upcoming Events:

Tomorrow is the start of Free Shipping Week! Free shipping for you on orders of $75.00 or more – Continental US only – everyone else will receive a $10 shipping credit. Check the website tomorrow for more details.

Nov. 22 – Is Bag Day in Northampton! Get your shopping lists planned.

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

Don’t forget that we’re collecting Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bears for Safe Passage, you can read all the details 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
October 24th, 2014

Winter Is Coming

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I’ve had that line from “Game of Thrones” in my mind for a while. For me, it’s excited anticipation, but I understand that there are some folks for whom winter is a dirty word. I’m sympathetic, but when I think about winter, I think about luxurious small knits and quick projects that keep me warm. I usually knit about one Big Thing (sweater, throw) each winter, but I really like projects that are fun, fascinating, and don’t take up too much of my time. I have a lot of yarn, people. It has to get used up before I die.

In that vein, I thought I’d showcase a few projects I’m going to try to get done before the winter holidays this year. I’d love to make Melissa LaBarre’s September Circle cowl, knit in a self-striping sock yarn or a variegated or hand-dyed Melissa LaBarre's textured cowl patternfingering weight yarn. I am not a sock knitter, so I don’t have sock yarn on hand, but I’d use Madeline Tosh Merino Light in a deep colorway, like Wicked. At first, it looks brown, but a closer peek reveals rusty pink, gold, and dark purple accents. It would be amazing paired with a camel-colored sweater or jacket.

I love Kristen Nicholas‘s color sense and simple but eye-catching designs. The Coleus Scarf is just my cup of tea, a warm, not-too-long scarf in her signature deep colors. Even though it qualifies as “colorwork,” it’s just not as headachey as Fair Isle or Estonian stranded knitting. Of course, I’d use Kristen’s Color by Kristen yarn, distributed by Classic Elite, in some yummy blues and greens, with some fuschia pops here and there to liven things up.

Rich colors in a simple pattern

Photo credit: Kevin Kennefick

I’d also love to go back to that thing I never did: socks. I have knit exactly 3 socks in my whole life, and even though 2 of those socks were supposed to be a pair, they were entirely different sizes. I’m going to give the lame excuse of lack of focus and young children, and since my children are older now and I have the wherewithal to concentrate on it, I think I might make one last attempt at knitting a pair that look like a pair. My choice? Susan B. Anderson’s Popsicle Socks, in a bunch of different colors of Spud and Chloe Fine. I made some long fingerless mitts in this beautiful yarn a few years ago, and I have some colors left over, so I could scout around for a few that complement my existing shades of deep orange and pine-y green; I’d love to throw some purple or dark brown in there for a wintry feel.fun stripes in a quick pattern

What’s your winter knitting? And what is your dream project or yarn?

October 23rd, 2014

Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear – KAL Week4

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It’s time to knit the legs and get our Bears assembled! The legs are knit top down and can be stuffed a bit more than the arms and head. Once they’re stuffed seam the legs by folding the opening in half and using a quick whip stitch to close the opening.

#PolarBearKAL Week 4 - assembling the bear. Join in the KAL at yarn.com

Now for the Assembly! Here you can see we’ve indicated where each part should be placed. The head gets seamed to the front of the body so that the point of the body is about 3/4 of the way up the back of the head. The arms should them be sewn on along the two visible increase lines along the bear’s side, and the legs can be sewn on at the purl ridge at the bottom of the body.

#PolarBearKAL Week 4 - assembling the bear. Join in the KAL at yarn.com

It may be useful to pin every piece in place before you begin seaming so you can see the relative proportions of the bear and make any adjustments before you begin sewing. We used a simple whip stitch to bring our bear together.

#PolarBearKAL Week 4 - assembling the bear. Join in the KAL at yarn.com

If you’d like to join in the pattern can be found here. We began the KAL here, we knit the body here, and last week we knit the head and arms here. Next week we’ll add his face and his accessories. Remember that the price of every pattern purchased will go directly to fund Safe Passage through the Hot Chocolate Run. You can track how much the Polar Bear has raised, or make an additional donation, on his fundraising page.

October 21st, 2014

Shop our Holiday 2014 Catalog!

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Our Holiday 2014 Catalog is online now. You can shop for gorgeous luxury fibers from Jade Sapphire, brand new Marblz needles from Knitter’s Pride, and new patterns from Valley Yarns, Classic Elite and more. And have fun decorating for the season with our Snow Family and Evergreens pattern featured on our cover.  Stock up on everything you need to make the perfect gifts this year. If you’d like to get a physical copy of the catalog you can sign up here. If you’re already on our mailing list the catalog should arrive in your mailbox in about 2 weeks.

Webs Holiday 2014 Catalog - online now at yarn.comSnow Family and Evergreens, Marblz Interchangeable Needles set, Cobblestone Socks in Valley Yarns Leyden and Jade Sapphire Silk Cashmere in the Seeing Red colorway.

October 18th, 2014

Ready, Set, Knit! 376: Kathy talks with Dora Ohrenstein

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This week Kathy talks with designer and author Dora Ohrenstein. Her newest book The Crocheters Skill Building Workshop is due out in early December and it is a great reference guide for beginners right through to advanced crocheters. Not only is it a stitch guide but it covers shaping in pattern as well as different ways to address tension issues.

Dora Ohrenstein's new book The Crocheter's Skill Building Workshop will be available in December 2014.

Dora will be here November 15th and 16th teaching a Master Class in Crochet Fabric, Crossed and Cabled Crochet Stitches, as well as an Introduction to Lace Crochet. There are still seats open in these classes, sign up now!

Steve’s Yarn Picks :

Upcoming Events:

Today is the last day you can check out the WEBS 40th Anniversary Weaving Contest Gallery Show, 10-5pm.

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

Don’t forget that we’re collecting Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bears for Safe Passage, you can read all the details 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
October 16th, 2014

Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear – KAL Week3

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This week we’re making the head and arms of the Polar Bear. These pieces are worked from the bottom up.

WEBS #PolarBearKAL Week3 - knitting the head and arms - visit yarn.com for more details

You’ll increase for both at a sharp angle and then decrease at a much slower rate towards the top for a tapered look. Remember to tuck the ears down to the outside as you bind off for the head or his ears will be stuck on the inside! Give yourself generous tails when you cast on and after you bind off, that way you’ll have plenty of yarn to work with when seaming these pieces closed and when sewing them onto the body.

Seam the bottom of the head and the bottom of the arms closed carefully, I like to use a faux grafting stitch so they appear seamless. Then it’s time to stuff.

week 3 two

Be careful of over stuffing! Just like we talked about last week, you want to be sure to have enough stuffing to give your knitting shape and stability but not so much that it’s over stuffed. And for the arms I only put the smallest amount of stuffing down at the fingers. This helps the arms to lie a little flatter on his tummy.

Next week we’ll get his legs knit and talk about assembly!

If you missed the materials list and you want to join in check out the first post for this KAL here, and we knit the body in last’ week’s posts here. How are your bears coming along?

October 15th, 2014

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature – Russian Sage Shawl

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In the Russian Sage Shawl budding branch shapes swirl around in a breath-taking lace crescent. Little branch and leaf shapes create an overall elaborate effect without conflicting with the bright colors of variegated Valley Yarns Leyden, our newest yarn.

Russian Sage promo

The designer, Kirsten Hipsky, says, “The process for designing this shawl was a lot of fun: I took one of my favorite crescent shawl shapes (as seen in the Foxfire Shawl and the Iced Branch Shawl), started it, and improvised a little lace within the shapes as it grew. Once I was satisfied with the basic lace motifs, I repeated them for the rest of the shawl. Like a kaleidoscope or making a snowflake – there’s so much beauty to be found in symmetry and repetition. And I think the results are just stunning!”

October 12th, 2014

Weaving Contest Gallery Show

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Our yearlong celebration of WEBS 40th Anniversary has included a wide variety of fiber-related events, special yarns, drafts and patterns. One of my favorite parts has been the 40th Anniversary Weaving Contest, which focused on WEBS’ beginnings as a weaving store.

cones tencelThe concept of a contest sounded great to us – show us the beauty you can create with our yarn. However, we had no idea what kind of a response we’d get and as the months passed by with only a few responses, we felt like the kid wondering where the party guests were and had everyone forgotten? And then the floodgates opened and we were overwhelmed with the huge outpouring of ideas that had been developing on the looms of our weaving friends. We ended up with more than 140 entries from 30 different states across the country!

Aside from the sheer volume of entries, we were amazed and impressed by the skill of the weavers and beauty and workmanship of their pieces. Although we specified four categories for entries, the works spanned everything from scarves, shawls and clothing, to towels, table linens and curtains, to decorative and artistic wall hangings, rugs and bowls.

 

 

beautiful woven jacketWhat I found equally fascinating were the stories that came with the pieces. I grew up surrounded by classical music so I was delighted when I read that Deborah Lewis-Idema designed the cloth she wove for her beautiful jacket using the first four measures of Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata. Another design, from Cindie Kitchin, came out of a weaving guild challenge. They each pulled the name of a country out of a hat and designed something inspired by that. The result is her lovely Iranian Tiles Scarf.

 

beautiful woven tencel scarf

 

 

The 40th Anniversary Weaving Gallery Show will present all of the weavings that were selected as finalists in the contest. Free and open to the public, the show will take place at WEBS retail store at 75 Service Center Rd, Northampton, MA. The show will kick off with an opening reception from 6 – 7:30 pm on October 16th and then be open from 10 am – 5 pm on October 17 & 18. Please join us to see the exquisite beauty and to celebrate 40 years of WEBS and weaving.

 

woven runner

 

October 11th, 2014

Ready, Set, Knit! 375: Kathy talks with Steve from Stitches East

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This week Kathy talks with Steve from the Stitches East market floor.

booth at Stitches

We have a new set up this year, we’re featuring lots of small projects and unique yarns from Mrs. Crosby, Zen Yarn Garden, and Zauberball, our last 40th Anniversary YarnCharlemont hand dyed by Dream in Color, Noro Yarns, our new yarns Valley Superwash Bulky and Leyden, Madeline Tosh and the new Knitter’s Pride Marblz needles are in the booth. There are also exclusive Stitches East Specials!

Keep an eye on the blog and facebook for a great promotion that we’re running with Classic Elite next week!

Steve’s Yarn Picks :

Upcoming Events:

Later this month you can check out the WEBS 40th Anniversary Weaving Contest Gallery Show. We have an opening reception on Thursday Oct 16th 5:30 – 7:30, and the exhibit will be open to the public October 17 and 18th 10-5pm.

Don’t miss out on a weekend full of classes with the amazing Dora Ohrensten in November! And be sure to check out all of our upcoming Events here.

Don’t forget that we’re collecting Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bears for Safe Passage, you can read all the details 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
October 10th, 2014

#HotChocolateHolidays Workshops Are Open for Business!

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As many of you know, WEBS is a big supporter of Safe Passage, an organization here in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts that helps women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. Safe Passage produces what is arguably the most fun way of raising money every year, and that is The Hot Chocolate Run, a 2-mile walk/5K run in early December. The Hot Chocolate Run (and yes, Virginia, there IS hot chocolate at the finish!) has grown from a few hundred intrepid runners in its infancy to over 5,000 runners and walkers, all of whom are united in raising money to help this worthy cause, and in their dedication to drinking hot chocolate from the mugs that are handed out to each participant.

Your customized lip balm

WEBS has sponsored this event for many years, and this year, fresh off some exhausting fund-raising I did last year for Safe Passage, I thought I’d join in the spirit of giving in a bigger way and conceived the #HotChocolateHolidays Workshops. Three local crafting entities have joined with WEBS to host a fun-night-out to teach a DIY skill  that can be a gift for a special someone for the winter holidays or even a gift you give yourself. The best part is that a percentage of the kits bought to make the crafts will go right to Safe Passage.

hot chocolate beads and charmsThe Haberdashery is a way-cool space in a neighboring town and they bill themselves as “Gifts and Guidance for Crafty Homesteaders,” and that encapsulates their mission. Melody Litwin will teach budding fashionistas how to make lipstick and lip balm on October 30. The Northampton Beadery ‘s Brenda McGirk will showcase some hot-chocolate colored beaded bracelets with AMAZINGLY CUTE hot chocolate and running shoe charms on November 13.

gorgeous gift bags

 

And Tess Poe from Beehive Sewing Studio, a maker-space right down the street from us, will help attendees make a gift-bag set and give out beautiful handmade gift tags. All the workshops are only $10 each, and are held right here at WEBS.It would be great to have theseworkshops fill right up, and that’s where you come in! Sign up, bring a friend, learn a craft, give a wonderful organization a chance to help as many victims as possible. It’s not to soon to start stockpiling those gifts for the moment you realize that you need a fun stocking-stuffer or gift bag and it’s 8:00pm on a Sunday night. Join us!