Posts Tagged ‘40th Anniversary’

Weaving Contest Gallery Show

Sunday, October 12th, 2014
Share Button

 

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

 

Hidden Treasures for Weavers

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
Share Button

 

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!

 

The Centuria Tam from Franklin Habit

Thursday, June 12th, 2014
Share Button

As we approach the end of the 2nd Quarter of our 40th Anniversary celebrations we wanted to focus on the third design done in the Valley Yarns Huntington Hand Dyed by Lorna’s Laces, The Centuria Tam designed by Franklin Habit.

The Centuria Tam designed by Franklin Habit, knit in Valley Yarns Huntington hand-dyed by Lorna's Laces - available exclusively at yarn.com

About the design, Franklin says, “When WEBS asked me to celebrate their anniversary with a pattern, I decided (as I often do) to look to knitting history for inspiration. What is an anniversary, after all, if not a time to think over the past?
In 1874, exactly a century before WEBS opened its doors, the legendary American magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book tempted subscribers with an octagonal counterpane that mixed texture and lace to very striking effect.
I wasn’t in the mood for a counterpane, but I did think something of the kind would look well as the top of a perky little tam. Here it is– perfect for keeping off the autumn chill or for flinging into the air in a celebratory fashion.”

The Centuria Tam designed by Franklin Habit, knit in Valley Yarns Huntington hand-dyed by Lorna's Laces - available exclusively at yarn.com

With the Huntington held doubled throughout this project the yarn creates a dappled appearance and is squooshy and soft while still holding great stitch definition. And just as Franklin suggested, it IS great  for flinging into the air in a celebratory fashion!

The Centuria Tam designed by Franklin Habit, knit in Valley Yarns Huntington hand-dyed by Lorna's Laces - available exclusively at yarn.com

 

Foxhead Dish Towels from Scott Norris

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
Share Button

This month we present our 5th Anniversary Draft, The Foxhead Dish Towels from Scott Norris woven on 4-shafts in Valley Yarns 20/2 and 40/2  linen. Scott loves weaving with our fine linens and has put together a gorgeous draft that shows off this fiber’s beauty and versatility.

Foxhead DishTowels in Valley Yarns 20/2 and 40/2 Linen - available exclusively at yarn.com

 

About the draft Scott says, “Towels woven with fine linen are a pure pleasure. The combination of Valley Yarns 40/2 linen (warp and tabby weft) and 20/2 for the pattern weft is perfect for this delicate overshot pattern. Linen may have a reputation as hard to work with, but if you follow the instructions for these towels you will find that with a little care you will come to love the process and the product!”

Foxhead Dish Towels designed by Scott Norris in Valley Yarns 20/2 and 40/2 linen - available exclusively at yarn.com

He is a long time friend of WEBS and one of our most popular teachers. Scott will be here this summer teaching Beginning Weaving – One Week Intensive and in August, the once-monthly Weaving for the Advanced Beginner.

The Sermilik Shawl from Kristin Omdahl

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
Share Button

At the beginning of April we introduced you to our 3 new designs with Valley Yarns Huntington Hand Dyed by Lorna’s Laces. Our featured crochet design, the Sermilik Shawl, is from the wonderfully talented Kristin Omdahl.

We were thrilled when Kristen said she would design a shawl for us! Inspired by the blue icebergs of the Sermilik Fjord in Greenland, Kristin has designed a  simple triangle shawl made of stacked double crochet shells with a delicate and lacy bottom edge that that gives this shawl a real wow-factor. Though the stitches are densely packed the open nature of the fabric means that the shawl has beautiful drape and movement while really showing off the beauty of the hand dyed yarn colors.

The Sermilik Shawl designed by Kristin Omdahl and crocheted in Valley Yarns Huntington Hand Dyed by Lorna's Laces - available exclusively at yarn.com

Kristen learned how to knit when she was young but didn’t really get going until she was in her twenties. She has been designing and teaching, both knit and crochet for over 10 years and can’t imagine doing anything else, when she’s not kayaking or hiking that is!

The Intemporelle Pullover from Marcy Vandale

Monday, May 12th, 2014
Share Button

Another friend of WEBS, Marcy Vandale, has taken our 2/14 Alpaca Silk and transformed it into a wardrobe staple with timeless style and class, the Intemporelle Pullover.

Intemporelle Pullover designed by Marcy Vandale in Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk - available exclusively at yarn.com

This long, flowing pullover knit in one piece from the bottom up features an accompanying cowl. The body, as well as the cowl, is knit with the yarn held double while the sleeves use a single strand, making a piece that transcends the seasons. The neckline is adorned with a decorative crab stitch border and the cowl adds just enough extra warmth for those cool mornings or evenings.

Intemporelle Pullover designed by Marcy Vandale with Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk - available exclusively at yarn.com

About her design and history with WEBS:

I  live only an hours drive from WEBS, just far enough not to be a problem (winkwink). A customer of WEBS for the past decade, I was fortunate enough to develop a friendship with Kathy on a more personal level, bonding as moms sharing similar experiences. Our kids are roughly the same ages and equally as active. Social networkers can find us trading updates from rinks and courts, fields and courses.

When Kathy asked me to design for the 40th Celebration, I was thrilled. I have dabbled in designing over the last few years while raising my 4 kids. My designs reflect my “always on the go” lifestyle in both style and knitting ease and somewhat selfishly, what I need for my wardrobe. I get dressed for the day early in the morning when the kids get ready for school. This time of year, temperatures are unpredictable but I am on the go all day and into the evening. I designed a classic sweater that could be layered as needed and will get you from volunteering at school to the grocery store and to an evening meeting after driving the practice carpools. The fabric is lightweight and comfortable and the accessory cowl allows the sweater to be a timeless wardrobe staple over several seasons. I designed this sweater to also be knit on the fly, waiting for appointments and at fields and during games. I love wearing what other moms have seen me knitting during the season.

I learned to knit in my dorm my freshman year in college, not exactly the “show and tell” my parents hoped for after that first semester. I knit occasionally over the following years but became a Knitter with a capital K over the last decade as I took classes, grew a stash, began teaching knitting and eventually designing. My designs are purposefully simple but functional to fit the lifestyles of active women and knitters.

Lattice Weave Scarf from Virginia West

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
Share Button

This month puts us one third of the way through our 40th Anniversary year, it is flying past! To celebrate the end of this fourth month we have the next Anniversary weaving Draft, the lovely Lattice Weave Scarf from Virginia West. With a combination Of Valley Yarns 8/2 Tencel and 5/2 Bamboo your possible color combinations are almost limitless!

About the draft Virginia says, “The draft for Lattice Weave depends on the relationship of two yarns: one for the cells and a larger contrasting size for the outlines. I had previously used a similar draft to produce medallions, with curvilinear outlines in a heavier silk. This time I designed a geometric lattice weave of paired “cobblestones” in a mosaic of scattered color cells. The secret is to use a neutral weft to allow the rainbow colors to emerge with no reduction in chroma. The versatility of the draft is that  you can restrain color to two values, if you wish. Or you can use leftovers for the “cells” provided there is a contrast for the lattice. I have tried all these versions in a variety of yarns with success.

Pair a colorful warp with a neutral weft for lots of color interest.

About her history with WEBS she says, “In the late 70’s I received consistent repeat orders for my book WEAVERS WEARABLES ( and later for DESIGNER DIAGONALS) from a weaving shop in Amherst under the label Valley Fibers. I had a hunch this was a growing business. When I met Barbara and Art Elkins at Convergence my hunch was confirmed and I was bowled over by their yarn collection, now trading as WEBS. Barbara invited me to teach a workshop, the first of many, in Northampton, and these were mutually successful events for us. Still later, when I took over the revised edition of FINISHING TOUCHES from Interweave Press, the orders came as before, likewise with A CUT ABOVE.” If you’re a weaver be sure to check out our weaving contest, there’s still time to enter!

The Nikiya Cowl from Tanis Gray

Thursday, April 17th, 2014
Share Button

Earlier this month we introduced our latest 40th Anniversary yarn, Valley Yarns Huntington hand dyed by Lorna’s Laces. Just as we did for the first quarter of 2014, we have partnered with some truly talented designers to bring you some fantastic patterns for this yarn. First up is Tanis Gray‘s Nikiya Cowl.

About her relationship with WEBS, “Growing up in southeastern Massachusetts, I had heard of Webs, but we rarely drove out that way across the state. Webs seemed like some far off Mecca where yarn was as plentiful as snowflakes were in winter. When I started working at Vogue Knitting in New York City after graduating from RISD, I had the opportunity to finally go to Webs in person. It was everything I had dreamed about and I still remember that feeling of amazement, surprise and sheer joy when I walked through the doors in the back to the warehouse. Talk about a kid in a candy store! After my 4-year tenure as the Yarn Editor ended when we moved to Washington DC, my relationship with Kathy Elkins and her husband grew stronger as I became a guest on their podcast, making multiple “appearances” with each of my book releases. When knitters learn I am from Boston, the next question out of their mouth is usually “Have you been to Webs?” I am honored to be part of the anniversary collection for this wonderful store, which has turned so many knitters into the best knitters they can be.”

With just one skein you’ll knit a seamless, swirling, delicate lace cowl. What color will you choose?

Our 40th Anniversary Celebrations Continue!

Monday, April 7th, 2014
Share Button

It’s time for the second round of specialty products to celebrate our Anniversary! We’re so excited to share our Valley Yarns Huntington hand dyed by Lorna’s Laces.

We’ve chosen 9 of Lorna’s Laces’ richest colors and they’ve dyed a special Ruby Slippers colorway for our Anniversary.

Three more designers have joined us to bring you stunning designs made with our specialty yarn.

Tanis Gray has designed The Nikiya Cowl, a swirling and delicate lace cowl, the ideal accessory for Spring.

Kristin Omdahl drew on her Viking heritage to bring us the Sermilik Shawl.

Franklin Habit has worked his magic again and found an historical counterpane pattern to translate into the modern Centuria Tam.

Della-Q has another limited edition bag for us with a print that is the perfect burst of color for Spring.

We’ll also have three more weaving drafts from long-time friends of WEBS, and don’t miss out on your chance to enter the Weaving ContestFull details and contest rules are available on our website.

And we’ve still got so much more for you this year. Be sure to check out our 40th Anniversary Sale, going on now, and if you’re in the area join us for our Annual Tent Sale and Fleece Market in May. Follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle +Instagram, or on Ravelry for all the latest.

Ready, Set, Knit! 351: Kathy talks with Art and Barbara Elkins

Saturday, April 5th, 2014
Share Button

Play Now: 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

This week Kathy talks with Art & Barbara about the second decade of WEBS’ history.

WEBS former homes copy

They talk about buying their first building, moving their inventory, starting the mail order portion of the business, and the genesis of Valley Yarns.

Steve’s Yarn Picks – the Anniversary Sale!

Upcoming Events:

The Boston Marathon runs on April 21st and you can help the Boston Marathon Scarf Project. They are working towards  providing a scarf for each participant in the marathon this year. Check out the Ravelry group for more details on how to help!

Boston Strong Hat pattern from designer Lisa McFetridge is a colorwork hat design featuring the words “Boston Strong” and the Boston Skyline. Lisa has included additional charts so you have options to really make this hat your own. All proceeds from the sale of this cap pattern will go to OneFundBoston to help the victims.

Join the KNIT-IN with Lisa McFetridge, designer of the Boston Strong Hat, Rebecca Lane of “Blankies for Boston” & the Old South Knitters/Crocheters Saturday April 5, 2014 2-4 pm at the Old South Church in Boston – the church at the Finish Line 645 Boylston Street, Boston – at the Copley T

Have you knit a Boston Strong Hat or a Blanket to donate to a survivor? Do you have a scarf to drop off for the Boston Marathon Scarf Project? You are cordially invited to bring your handcrafted treasures to Old South Church …stay and knit, meet and exchange stories with fellow crafters. If you haven’t begun a hat, scarf or blanket (or two or three), there is still time. A special Boston Strong Hat in progress will be there. Anyone dropping off a hat, scarf or blanket is invited to add a stitch or two to the hat and place their signature on the roll. Truly a group project, this hat will find a special home in the future.

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