Posts Tagged ‘Ravelry’

In Which I Finally Find a Sweater to Knit

Friday, February 28th, 2014
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My personal knitting lately has been cowls, mittens, fingerless gloves, and hats. Occasionally, for a good cause, I’ll work my way into a scarf. I just keep making excuses for not knitting a sweater, and I tell myself (and everyone else) that I just don’t have the time. That’s what knitters say when they are unmotivated, I think…”Oh…(sigh)…I wish I had the time to knit that sweater with the shawl collar, the mirrored cables and the steeked cardigan front. But…sigh…I’ve just been so BUSY.”

Well, forget it. When wandering in the store a few days ago, the most gorgeous sweater caught my eye, and once I turned it inside-out to check the construction, I realized that there was nary a seam to be found. And, it was completely flattering on anyone who put it on, no matter their shape or size.  Here you see it modeled by Andrea, our Website Coordinator.Andrea in Caramel    The pattern is called “Caramel” by Isabell Kraemer, and it’s available as a free download on Ravelry. If you click on the project gallery for the sweater, you’ll see it in the most adorable striped in a wide variety of fibers. Our test knitter, Susan Drew (hanoverknitter on Ravelry) used Shalimar Homage DK in Byzantium (the purple stripes) and Black Truffle (the gray background color). I wish you could feel how soft and delicious this sweater is, and see how beautiful the combination of superwash merino, cashmere, and silk can be. HOMAGEDKSH.BYZANTIUM.zoom.1

I hope that you local folks will check this garment out if you are in the store; and if you’re more than a car-ride away from us, take a peek at who on Ravelry is working on this superstar sweater. It’s going in my queue! What’s your next project? Sweater, socks, or more winter woolies? Let us know in the comments below!

WEBS <3s You!

Monday, February 10th, 2014
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WEBS <3s You!

It is amazing to us that we’ve reached 40 years in this business and we wanted to take a week to say thanks. Thank you to all our amazing customers, you are the reason we’re here!

Over the course of the next week we’ll be giving away one $40 WEBS gift card each day on a different social media site.

Winners will be randomly drawn and may only win once, though you can enter to win on each site.

At the end of the week we’ll be giving away a Della Q bag stuffed with 5 skeins of our Limited Edition Madelinetosh dyed Valley Superwash DK in our 40th Anniversary Ruby colorway to one random winner selected from everyone who entered.

Participation is open between 12:00am(midnight) and 11:59pm EST on the day indicated. Any entries posted before or after that time period will be disqualified from entry.

Here’s the schedule:
2/10 WEBS Blog – And our winner is Michele, who commented, “I connect with Webs mostly via Facebook but also check the blog and Ravelry group.” Congratulations!
2/11 Twitter - And our winner is Kristen, who tweeted, “Love Color by Kristin! #WEBS40th ” Congratulations!
2/12 Google+ – And our winner is Heather, who said, “I love Tonia Barry’s designs. From sweaters and wraps to shawlettes and scarves her patterns are always an enjoyable knit, clearly written, flattering and have a great attention to detail. Doesn’t hurt that she is a super-wonderful person as well! There always seems to be at least a few of her patterns in my favorites or my queue.” Congratulations!
2/13 Ravelry – And our winner is jchant, who said, “Last year at the WEBS booth Stitches West I purchased a skein of Kangaroo Dyer BFL Fingering Hand Dyed specifically to knit Kirsten Hipsky’s Burning Branch Shawl. I am knitting the shawl now (I’m on the last leaf) and I’m really enjoying both the pattern and the yarn.” Congratulations!
2/14 Facebook  - And our winner is Shari, who said, “About three years ago my local knitting group became yarn enablers and recommended WEBS. I also found links to WEBS – America’s Yarn Store on Ravelry.com” Congratulations!
2/15 Pinterest - And our winner is Tracie, who said, “I love webs – so nice to have such a variety available and to hear them on their podcast.” Congratulations!
2/16 Instagram - And the winner is thepesin, who said, “#WEBS40th berrocco zazanna, almost done.” Congratulations!

Photo by Amy Stephens

And our Grand Prize winner is Kathleen who entered on Pinterest on Saturday and said, “I love WEBS discounts and the fact that I can find ANYTHING I need there! #contest #WEBS40th” Congratulations!

Let the Games Begin!

Friday, January 31st, 2014
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I’m almost finished with the sweater I’m knitting, and not a moment too soon: I’ve entered into the madness that is the Ravellenic Games. Ravelry, the social-media site for all things fiber, holds it’s own version of the Olympics, complete with teams, medals, training, reportage, and a ceremony for awards. It’s the Ravellenic Games, and I’m a proud member of Team Knitting Dead — we who are devoted to the television show “The Walking Dead.” The idea is that you cast on your project at the exact beginning of the Opening Ceremony, and you have until the last minute of the Closing Ceremony to complete your work.

STEPPINPDFHUDSON.zoom.1 Because I’m a big bet-hedger, I’m making a cowl. The Hudson Cowl by Steppingstone Fiber Creations really appeals to me. It’s simple but not boring, and I think I’ll be able to make at least one before the torch is extinguished in Sochi and makes it’s way to wherever the heck the next Winter Games are being held.

What to make it in, you ask? Why, some absolutely jewel-like 40th Anniversary MadelineTosh, our own Valley Superwash DK hand dyed by the geniuses at MadelineTosh. I think Baltic will make the texture of this 40THSUPERD.BALTIC.zoom.1neckwarmer stand out and coincidentally matches a lot of my winter sweaters. I think I’ll bring home the gold before the zombie apocalypse strikes!

Ravelry KAL: Valley Yarns 574 Safe Passage Set

Thursday, November 14th, 2013
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We’re at just about the halfway point of our KAL for Valley Yarns 574 Safe Passage Set. How are your projects coming along?

Valley Yarns 574 Safe Passage Set - MittensI’ve started on the mittens and I’m at the colorwork section. They are speeding right along now that I’ve finished the ribbing (for some reason, ribbing seems to take forever to me). As you can see, I chose a different set of colors. I went with black, gray, natural, and just a pop of color. It’s very similar to my wardrobe! I’m loving the way that they’re knitting up.

I’m really excited to finish this project, and not only because it’s getting cold and I need mittens and a hat, but because I feel so strongly about supporting Safe Passage. If you don’t know about Safe Passage, it is an organization that is local to us at WEBS that offers survivors of all types of domestic violence hope and support. You can learn more about Safe Passage by visiting their website.

A team from WEBS will be walking and running in the Annual Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage. If you’d like to donate to our team, you can do that here. WEBS is going to generously match all of the donations that we as a team receive. Last year, with the match, we were able to raise over $8,600. We’re hoping to beat that number by leaps and bounds this year!

Don’t forget, you could win a $50 WEBS gift card! Check out the details in our Ravelry group, All Things WEBS. Work up this mitten and hat set (or just the mittens, or just the hat) and be entered to win!

Amy Herzog Can Help You Make the Perfect Sweater

Friday, October 25th, 2013
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Do you remember your first sweater? I remember mine. I actually learned how to knit by making a sweater. I got such satisfaction from showing it to people and saying airily, “yeah, I just made that.” Well, I don’t know who I was fooling. Of course you could tell I made it. The shoulders had a Michael Jackson-esque largeness from clumsy seaming, and one sleeve was a tad (noticeably) longer than the other. And I guess I didn’t notice myself that for one inexplicable row I changed from knit to purl and stopped halfway through and returned to knit. Plus, it was about five sizes too big.

There are 2 main reasons why most sweaters don’t fit:

Measurements (yours, incorrectly done)

Gauge (also yours, maybe incorrect)

Amy Herzog, designer of the best-ever sweaters and author of the groundbreaking book Knit to Flatter, has developed a software program that she just rolled out called CustomFit. By the way, this link takes you to my CustomFit home, so don’t go messing around with my measurements! She’ll be at WEBS on Saturday, November 2 from 11:00am – 2:00pm to show off the site and show customers our unique partnership with her website.

acorn-trail-2

Amy herself, in Acorn Trail

 

Here’s how it works: users establish an individual online account that contains their detailed body measurements.  Based on that information, knitters have the opportunity to design a customized sweater from a seemingly infinite number of styles and design details.  Here are a few examples to whet your appetite. I am a CustomFit account holder myself and am about to get busy on a gorgeous scoop-neck pullover with hemmed neck, bottom edge, and sleeves that will fit me like a glove because I spent quite a bit of time making sure my measurements were correctly done.

Amy’s store event will make that part of it a breeze, since WEBS is partnering with her to have our very own CustomFit account. We will record customers’ measurements and this information will be stored under the WEBS account in CustomFit. This gives WEBS the opportunity to provide personalized service in the form of sweater choices and yarn consults on your customized patterns.

If you love Amy’s iconic designs, you can use an existing pattern of hers, which now have CustomFit adaptations and instructions. She even has an FAQ section (which she’ll answer in-store on Saturday, November 2) so that you don’t get frustrated or lost.

It’s really perfect. So we’ll see you on November 2 from 11:00am – 2:00pm, tape measure in hand and ill-fitting knitwear in the trunk of your car, en route to a landfill or Goodwill.

 

Ready, Set, Knit! 331: Kathy talks with Sara Delaney

Saturday, October 19th, 2013
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This week Kathy talks with WEBS Marketing Coordinator, Sara Delaney, about the October KAL/CAL.

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Kathy and Sara discuss the October KAL/CAL happening in the All Things WEBS group on Ravelry, this month’s theme is Stuffed Toys.

Details
What are we making?: knit and/or crocheted stuffed toys
What’s the timeline?: Begin anytime in October, post your finished pictures in the October KAL/CAL Entry thread by 10/31 at noon Eastern.
What’s the prize?: One randomly selected entry will be chosen and will receive a $50 WEBS gift card.

Rules

  • Must be a member of the All Things WEBS group.
  • Must be a stuffed animal (or monster, doll, etc.) – knit or crocheted (or both).
  • Must cast on October 1st (or after) and finish by October 31st at noon Eastern.
  • Must include a photo of the finished object in the KAL/CAL Entry thread. Only one entry (post) per project, but you can enter with more than one project. Just create a new post with the picture.
  • We encourage you to use a yarn (and/or) pattern that you’ve purchased from us, or one that we carry (your handspun is okay too), but it isn’t required.
  • We will lock the thread at noon Eastern on October 31st and the winner will be chosen randomly and posted the next day.

You can find a great selection of knit toy patterns here, crochet toy patterns here as well as the Valley Yarns Creatures! both knit and crochet. And check out our Pinterest Board for even more ideas.

Coming up in November we’ll be running a KAL with our NEW! Safe Passage Set. All proceeds from the sale of this pattern go to Safe Passage. Get your copy of the pattern and yarn today so you can cast on November 1st!

Steve’s Yarn Picks:

Upcoming Events:

Stitches East is coming up! November 8-10 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT.  There are still lots of open seats in classes and the Market is not to be missed!

Adventures in Yarn Farming Book signing with Barbara Parry, November 14th from 6:30 – 8:00pm

Reminder:

Ready, Set, Knit! listeners are you up for a challenge?!   The KnottyGirls Knitcast issued a challenge and started the Ravelry Podcaster Throwdown. They claimed that their listeners will turn in more hats for Halos of Hope by the end of Stitches West 2014 than any other podcast out there. You all know that Kathy has a competitive streak a mile wide and can’t resist a challenge! Steve has even stepped in and said that he will ship all the collected hats to Stitches West! Here’s what you need to do:

Make as many knit and/or crochet hats as you can (check here for preferred fibers and free patterns) and get them to us by February 1, 2014. Make sure each hat and package is labeled with “Team RSK!” Please mail all packages to:

WEBS
Attn: TEAM RSK!
6 Industrial Pkwy.
Easthampton, MA 01027

If you’re posting about your progress on Facebook or Twitter please use #PodcastThrowdown. And please join the Podcasters Throwdown Group on Ravelry and show your support in the Team RSK thread! If you’ve sent in hats let us know who you are.

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

WEBS October KAL/CAL on Ravelry

Sunday, September 29th, 2013
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We’re running our latest KAL/CAL over on the All Things WEBS Group on Ravelry.  This month’s theme is knit and/or crocheted stuffed toys.  Details are below but be sure to click through to Ravelry to participate.

Details
What are we making?: knit and/or crocheted stuffed toys
What’s the timeline?: Cast on October 1st (or later), post your finished pictures in the October KAL/CAL Entry thread by 10/31 at noon Eastern.
What’s the prize?: One randomly selected entry will be chosen and will receive a $50 WEBS gift card.

Rules

  • Must be a member of the All Things WEBS group.
  • Must be a stuffed animal (or monster, doll, etc.) – knit or crocheted (or both).
  • Must cast on October 1st (or after) and finish by October 31st at noon Eastern.
  • Must include a photo of the finished object in the KAL/CAL Entry thread (which will go up on 10/1). Only one entry (post) per project, but you can enter with more than one project. Just create a new post with the picture.
  • We encourage you to use a yarn (and/or) pattern that you’ve purchased from us, or one that we carry (your handspun is okay too), but it isn’t required.
  • If you want to chat about your project, or ask for advice on a technique, post project ideas, or progress pictures, please post them in this thread.
  • We will lock the thread at noon Eastern on October 31st and the winner will be chosen randomly and posted the next day.

Be sure to check out the knitted toys and crocheted toys pattern selection on our website for lots of great ideas!

Crochet Trends in May

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
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Local and regional Fiber Fairs can be wonderful places to discover new yarns and Indie Dyers that you won’t find at Big Box stores, or your local yarn stores.

While the knitting world has embraced hand-dyed yarns crocheters seems to be a bit hesitant. I say go for it! Hand dyed yarns are perfect for crochet. Where knitters can sometimes run into issues of color pooling, with the short colors sections of these yarns, the very nature of crochet stitches takes advantage of these color changes.

There are plenty of wonderful patterns out there that would be perfect for a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind skein of  yarn picked up at a fair. Mary Beth Temple’s  Arches Cowl would be perfect as it can be worked till you run out of yarn. Sometimes you get lucky and find a hand-dyed bulky weight yarn; the Berme pattern from Berroco could help you turn that into a quick and perfect sweater.

And don’t forget socks, there are so many hand-dyed choices in sock yarn it can make your head spin, but it’s not just for socks. Linda Permann’s Stellar Beret and our own Iris Shawl can be made with sock weight yarns.

This weekend is the annual Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair, I’ll be there looking for yarns that inspire me to crochet. For a list of Fairs in your area check the Knitter’s Review calendar of upcoming events.

So choose a few patterns, check the yardage you’ll need, and hit the fairs!

 

31 Days to Get Organized: Digital Patterns

Saturday, January 19th, 2013
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In the last few years there has been an enormous increase in the number of patterns, magazines and books available in digital format. There are a lot of advantages of digital patterns over paper patterns.

  • They take up less physical storage space.
  • Some digital versions are cheaper than the paper version.
  • Some patterns are only available digitally.
  • You can download them instantly. No waiting.
  • If a pattern has errata (errors or updates), it’s much easier for the designer to update the pattern.
  • If you own an iPad, eReader, or tablet, you can carry your digital library wherever you go.
  • If you prefer to work from a hard copy, you can print out a copy of a digital pattern as many times as you need to, taking notes on the copy as you work through the pattern.
  • You may find that a digital pattern will have additional content such as extra notes from the designer and quick links to relevant websites, tutorials, and instruction videos.

With the increase in availability of digital knitting and crochet patterns (WEBS carries over 16,000 downloadable knitting and crochet patterns and eBooks!) and the ease of purchasing and downloading them, you may have discovered you suddenly have a lot of files floating around your computer.

First thing I would suggest if you haven’t done so already, is to have all of your files live in one place on your hard drive. You might have some in folders, but there might be others sitting on your desktop or downloads folder. Once you’ve moved them into one parent folder such as Knitting, Crochet, or Crafts, start creating subfolders if you have more than a few pattern files. Create similar sub-categories that you use for organizing your single patterns. I mostly like to organize my digital patterns by designer, but it might make more sense for you to sort by type of project. It depends on what’s in your digital pattern library.

In addition to patterns, I store other files related to knitting and crochet here such as tips, files I need for my blog, and customized graph paper.

If you have an iPad, eReader, or tablet, there are apps available (Adobe PDF Reader, Goodreader, iBook) that let you view your pattern PDFs on your device. There are even some apps (Remarks) that allow you to annotate PDFs, perfect for making notes or tick marks as you work through a pattern.

If you don’t want to store your PDF files on your device and want access to all of your pattern files on any of your devices, consider using a cloud-based solution such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

Many of you also purchase digital patterns and eBooks through Ravelry. This is a good option since you don’t need to download purchased patterns until you’re ready to use them. Ravelry does a nice job of incorporating these patterns into your Ravalery pattern library.

Share some of your favorite tips and solutions for managing your digital knitting and crochet patterns. 

- Dena

31 Days to Get Organized: Tracking Your Yarn Stash

Thursday, January 10th, 2013
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Sorry to have missed posting an organizing task yesterday. Between digging myself out of what looked like a yarn stash explosion (I was right, it does look worse before it gets better) and dealing with a persnickety computer glitch, the hours slipped away from me.

Now that we’re done weeding out the yarn we no longer want, today’s task is to update our yarn database and notes about our stash. But maybe you don’t have anything set up to keep track of your yarn. Here are a few things to help you decide if tracking your yarn stash is something you want to do.

WHY TRACK YOUR STASH? – A lot of us have some sort of record of what is in our stash, but if you don’t, why is it useful to keep track of your stash?

  • After your stash has grown beyond a certain amount, you might not be able to remember what you have. Write it down and you don’t have try to keep it in your brain anymore. There’s no way I can remember every color of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool that I have. It’s so much easier to look a my list than it is pulling it off the shelf and checking all the labels.
  • Especially if you keep an electronic database of your stash, it’s easier to sort and search through your yarns to find out what you have. See below how I can easily sort by color on Ravelry.
  • Check your list while you’re shopping and you’re more likely to buy what you need and not find out later that you already have something similar.

HOW DO YOU TRACK YOUR STASH? – It really comes down to two basic ways, handwritten notes or an electronic list.
  • If you’re an old school kind of crafter, you may like to just keep a handwritten list of your yarns in a notebook, journal, or on index cards. If your stash isn’t crazy big, this is a nice solution since it’s easy and portable.
  • Ravelry has been around for awhile now. And it’s hard for a lot of us to remember what it was like without it. If you’re not familiar with it, think of it as a social media platform for knitters and crocheters, but with so much more. Keeping track of our stashes is just one reason why we love Ravelry. 99% of the time I try to add a yarn to my Ravelry stash, it already exists on Ravelry; it’s so comprehensive. If you want to know more about the benefits of using Ravelry to track your stash, I recommend reading Fresh Stitches blog post on the subject.
  • Another online way to track your stash is Nimblestix. You can track your stash, show off your latest project, and interact with others like you.
  • Excel and other spreadsheet programs provide an organized way of listing your yarn and if you set them up well, they can also be great at sorting your stash by weight, color, location…whatever you need.
  • Got a smart phone, well there are a lot of knitting/crochet apps if you haven’t checked lately. Knit Keeper, Ewe Stash, Vogue Knitting Knit Buddy, and Stitch Stash are just a few.
WHAT YARN INFORMATION DO YOU TRACK? – You can get as detailed as you want here. But for simplicity’s sake, just track the information that is useful for you later. If you use an electronic program, don’t feel compelled to fill in all of the information just because there’s a field to fill in. Here are some attributes of a yarn you might want to track.
  • Brand and name of yarn
  • Photograph of yarn, especially nice if you can get an accurate color representation
  • Color name and number, and dye lot if you have it
  • Amount of yarn you have including the weight and yardage
  • Details like yarn weight, yds/ball, type of fiber
  • Recommended hook and needle size
  • Care instructions
  • Notes of where you store the yarn so you can find it when you need it
  • Purchase date, location and amount spent

If you do use electronic tracking of your stash, I would recommend occasionally backing up this information somewhere. Last year I lost 3 years of my exercise log because of a couple of poorly-timed electrical storms. It was really time consuming to recreate. If you use Ravelry, it takes just a moment to download an Excel spreadsheet of your stash. Click on the little green Excel icon in the top right of your stash page. Bam, you’ve got a backup copy now.

Do you keep track of your stash? What keeps you from not tracking your stash or from keeping your tracking up to date?