Posts Tagged ‘Stitches Midwest’

Ready, Set, Knit! 322: Kathy talks with Steve

Saturday, August 10th, 2013
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Guest: Kathy talks with Steve from Stitches Midwest.  Steve and the team traveled out to Schaumburg Illinois earlier in the week to set up our booths, between aisles 500 and 600. The sales floor is open to registered students on Thursday evening and opened to the public starting Friday morning through Sunday afternoon.

We have an exclusive debut of the new Madeline Tosh yarn ASAP, a limited supply of Perfectly Plush Single Ply from Dream in Color, and we’re also the only vendor at Stitches Midwest with kits for Chelsea’s Shawl to benefit Chelsea’s Light.

 Steve’s Yarn Picks

Be sure to check out the My Mountain Hat contest on the Schachenmayr website or on their Facebook page.


A copy of Big Foot Knits will be e-mailed to the following, randomly chosen, winners from the contest last week:

#1 – Sally who said, “I can knit a generic sock. Knitting a sock that fits is a different story. Thanks for writing this book.”


#2 – Naiaha who said, “This book would be great for me! I sometimes knit socks for myself (women’s size 5.5) but I more often knit socks for DH (men’s size 10.5.) When sock patterns provide only one size, it just doesn’t cut it!”

Thanks to everyone that commented, you had some great reasons for wanting (or needing!) this book:

- hubby has huge feet
- Because I collect GOOD sock books
- My son-in-law … wears a size 16-17 shoe… no patterns go this large.
- my feet are two different sizes so I’d like to learn how to make socks that fit both my feet!.
- Because I have so much sock yarn sitting around that I bought from WEBS!
- I love knitting awesome socks for my fabulously large feet.

– I … have, ahem, curvy foot proportions!

Upcoming Events:

Registration has opened for our 7th Annual Bus Trip to the NY Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck!

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Stitches Midwest

Sunday, August 4th, 2013
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Stitches Midwest is this coming weekend, August 8-11, 2013. We’ll be there in booths 513-519 and 612-618. We’ll be there with a fantastic selection of yarns, patterns, and more. Here’s a bit of a sneak peek of what we’ll have.

Have you heard about the wonderful Chelsea’s Shawl Kit that Dream in Color has put together to benefit Chelsea’s Light Foundation? Each kit includes 2 skeins of Smooshy in colors exclusive to this kit, and Stephen West’s Akimbo shawl pattern. Dream in Color will be donating $10 from every kit sold to Chelsea’s Light Foundation. It’s definitely worth checking out and purchasing! Shawls are fun knits and even better when you know you’re helping out.

Do you love quick projects? You’ll want to check out My Mountain from Schachenmayr. My Mountain is based on a grass-roots initiative that started in Germany and trended across Europe like wildfire. Schachenmayr has brought My Mountain to North America and it is fun! Check out the hat design contest they’re running (there’s still time to enter your design). You don’t want to miss out on the yarns either. Lumio has reflective fiber in it, so it shines when a light hits it. Boston is a great, quick to work with blend that comes in tons of colors. Bravo Big and Bravo Big Color will fly off your needles or hook at 2 stitches per inch! Add some color and fun to your winter with My Mountain.

We’ll also have amazing closeouts at great savings, plus gorgeous yarns from Madelinetosh and Malabrigo. We’re also bringing a great selection of our own Valley Yarns yarns and patterns.

If you’re coming to the show, you can print this coupon and save on admission. It cannot be used for online admission purchases.

If you’re nearby, we hope you’ll stop by and check out what we have. We can’t wait to say hi!

Ready, Set, Knit! 321: Kathy talks with Andi Smith

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013
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Guest: Kathy talks with first-time guest Andi Smith, designer and author of  Big Foot Knits. Originally from Yorkshire England, Andi has been knitting and crocheting for as long as she can remember. 10 years ago she met Shannon Oakey of Cooperative Press and on a drive back from Rhinebeck they talked about socks,how they didn’t fit, what Andi had been doing to alter sock patterns so they would fit and the book idea was born.

The first section of the book is all about helping you to make socks that really fit you. There is some math involved with figuring out your specific measurements and your gauge but then you are ready to make all kinds of socks that fit you well!

Copies of the book are available through Cooperative Press and Ravelry. Comment on this post and tell us why you need Big Foot Knits to win your own copy! Comments must be posted by 11:59pm EDT on Monday, August 5, 2013. 2 Winners will be chosen and will be announced on the show next week. Please make sure to include your e-mail address in the comments so we can contact you if you’re one of our winners!

Steve’s Yarn Picks

August Sale Yarn Highlights – our End of Summer Sale runs through August 31st

Upcoming Events:

Stitches Midwest is happening NEXT weekend! August 8-11 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center in Schaumburg, IL.

We will have yarn and hat samples from Schachenmayr yarn’s new My Mountain collection at our booth. We will also be partnering with Dream in Color yarns to offer a shawl kit to benefit Chelsea’s Light. Check out the recent podcast from Ben Levisay, The Fiber Hooligan for more details.

Registration has opened for our 7th Annual Bus Trip to the NY Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck!

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Ready, Set, Knit, #275: Kathy & Steve discuss the August Sale

Saturday, August 4th, 2012
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Guest: Kathy and Steve Talk about Stitches Midwest , look for us starting at booth 513. They also discuss the August Sale.

Highlights from the Sale include Reynolds Rise and Shine, Artful Yarns Serenade,  Cascade Yarns Soft Spun, Cascade Cloud 9, S. Charles Collezione Panne, S. Charles Collezione Tinka, 4/8 Wool Millend, 2/8 Wool Millend, Ironstone Brushed Mohair, Valley Yarns 60/2 Silk, Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk, and Valley Yarns  Rayon Chenille. Be sure to check the website for additional sale yarns that are not listed on the mailer.

The new 2012 Weaving Sourcebook has been mailed, you can request a catalog online.

New Fall classes will post in the next few weeks.

Steve’s Yarn Picks:

Steve and Kathy had a small guest in the studio that agreed with all of Steve’s yarn picks!
Upcoming Events

No Podcast next week but we’ll be back with a new show on 8/18/12!

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Ready, Set, Knit #274: Kathy Talks with Pam Heschke

Saturday, July 28th, 2012
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Guest: Pam Heschke, Founder and President of Halos of Hope and 8 year cancer survivor, talks with Kathy about her organization and her mission to comfort patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Our own Valley Yarns Valley Superwash would be a great yarn to use for hats to donate to Halos of Hope. 

They also talk about the incredible volunteers who have made and donated over 72,000 handmade hats and the ongoing fundraiser that will culminate at Stitches East in October.

Steve’s Yarn Picks:

Upcoming Events
Listen close, Steve mentions a brand new Valley Yarn that will debut at Stitches Midwest!

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Ready, Set, Knit #273: Kathy Talks with Andra Asars

Saturday, July 21st, 2012
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Guest: Andra Asars, our Berroco Yarns Rep., talks with Kathy about the new Fall yarns from Berroco.

They chat about the new engineered yarns, Cirrus and Elements as well as Boboli and Boboli Quick.  Andra mentions a pattern she’s working on from Norah Gaughan Vol. 11, and two free pattern from the Berroco website: the Checkerboard Throw and the Woodhaven mittens.

They also discuss Andra’s conversion to Knitter’s Pride Interchangeable Needles, Stitches Midwest and Kathy’s second Super-Big-Exciting announcement for the Fall schedule.

Kathy and Andra’s Yarn Picks:

Upcoming Events

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Events Past, Present, Future

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009
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Hi Everyone

To say we have a lot going on in October would be a MAJOR understatement.  It’s only October 7th and we’ve already been busy and we have three events still to come this week alone!

Before we get into what we have upcoming, a couple of belated thank yous.  First to the fabulous Amy Singer who was at the shop just two short weeks ago.  For those who made it to her “No Sheep for You” presentation, it was a great evening. 

I only had time to make a quick introduction and snap a couple of pictures before I had to speed up to the boys’ school for Back to School night.   As I left the classroom, it was already full of laughter.  Her class the next day was a hit and then – she was gone.

Last week we hosted author and designer Mary Beth Temple.  She was in the shop on Thursday night to sign copies of her latest book Hooked 4 Life and offered a free class on Friday that she’s in the process of refining. 

This past Sunday was our annual Knit for the Cure event.  We once again partnered with the Cancer Connection and this year we knit chemo caps.  Thanks to everyone who came and participated.

I told you it’s been busy!

Tomorrow, October 8th, we are tickled to welcome Ysolda Teague to WEBS.  She’ll be in the shop from 6-7:30pm signing copies of her book (which we’ll have for sale), selling some of her single patterns and most importantly, displaying many of her garments.  Should be a fun time so be sure to drop by!

This weekend is Columbus Day weekend.  The hockey schedule shifts into full game mode and we are also participating in two major events here in our valley. 

The first is in partnership with Yankee Candle.  If you listened to last week’s podcast, you already know what’s going on.  The Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf will be a the Yankee Candle Flagship Store  in South Deerfield, MA over the weekend.  Each Day from 12-4pm folks visiting Yankee Candle will have the chance to knit a row on the scarf to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  We are donating the needles and yarns to the cause and are truly thrilled to be partnering with such a great company.  For more details, visit the Yankee Candle site

In addition to the Yankee Candle event, we are also going to be participating in the Paradise City Arts Festival.  For those of you not familiar with Paradise City, it is a high-end, juried craft show.  The artists who participate are truly gifted.  Several of our customers participate in the fall show and it’s always great to see them.  This year, we’ll be doing a variety of demos and participatory activities geared towards kids.  Here’s our schedule:

Sat 12-1pm Spinning Demo with Ashley
Sat 1-2pm Wet Felting with Gail (aka The Kangaroo Dyer)

Sun 12-1pm Kool-Aid Dyeing with Gail (aka The Kangaroo Dyer)
Sun 1-2pm Weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom with Leslie Ann

Mon 11:3o-1pm Beading with Janet

If  you’re planning to be in the area this weekend, I highly encourage you to check out both of these events and of course swing by the store to say hi and to check out a GREAT trunk show from Filatura Di Crosa.  We have 10 or so amazing garments that will be in the shop for the next couple of weeks.

Also coming up later this month:

10/17 Bus Trip to Rhinebeck - my last update showed only 7 or 8 seats left!

10/19 & 20 Annie Modesitt will be at WEBS.  She’s teaching a class and although we haven’t scheduled a formal booksigning, I’m sure if you are loitering about with her book in hand, she’ll be happy to add a little signature!

10/20ish We’ll be receiving a Trunk Show from Judy’s Colors.  It’s really time to get inspired for holiday and her stocking kits are just the thing to get us rolling!

10/23-25 Stiches East in Hartford.  Did you listen to the podcast a couple of weeks ago?  Did you hear our big announcemnt? 

 We are partnering with the amazing Tina Newton of Blue Moon Fiber Arts and will be carrying a wide array of her yarns, including the Socks that Rock family in our booth at Stitches East and after the show, back at the shop

It’s so beautiful and exciting I can barely stand it.  Tina is one of those amazing women that I just wish lived closer so I could just be around her more often.  We are incredibly honored to be carrying her yarns.

We will not be carrying any BMFA on our website and it will not be discountable.

November is pretty jam-packed as well and we kick things off on November 7th with the lovely Clara Parkes.  She’s teaching a class and will be signing copies of  her NEW book The Big Book of Wool

She’s also our guest on this week’s podcast so be sure to tune in!

There’s more, but I think that’s enough for now!  What events are you most excited about?  Anyone we haven’t had at the shop that you are hoping to see on the schedule?


Tossed Salad

Sunday, November 16th, 2008
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This entire last week has been nothing short of a blur.  I have a bunch of random items to share, so I’m just going to toss ‘em all out there.  That way we’ll be all caught up and current.

Stitches East - Stitches East was a grand time.  Love getting to visit with customers we don’t usually get to talk with in person!  Thanks for all of the lovely comments about our podcast, Ready, Set, Knit!  This is our check out area with our fancy new logo table clothes.  This was my home for the entire 3 1/2 days of the show.

You don’t have to feel too sorry for me though because this was my view across the aisle:

Anyone care to guess who’s delicious yarn I stared at all weekend?  First correct answer will get a skein sent them from my personal stash, so let’s name the yarn!  (NOTE:  WEBS Staff are not eligible and those who came to Stitches with us need not guess.  MMO – you’re excluded too, cuz I know you know the answer even if you weren’t there).

Great crowds all weekend:

The hot news of the show was this:

That’s right folks, Stitches East will be in Hartford next year.  Actually for the next 3 years.  We’ll talk more about it as we move into ’09, but you can be sure we’ll be doing something super special!

Speaking of super special, we found a restaurant in Baltimore that I just have to tell you about.  Steve was hankering for some sort of Asian fare.  We prefer to try to find local places when we travel, rather than chains.  The Renaissance Hotel by the harbor recommended Ten 0 Six, which is located at 1006 Light Street in the Federal Hill area.  We took cabs but you could walk it from the Inner Harbor area or convention center in about 15 minutes (albeit an uphill walk going there).  They serve American and Thai cuisine and are family owned.  The place is small, but the food is exquisite.  I don’t normally photograph food, but our servings were works of art:

Speaking of works of art, we saw some amazing knitting, but what I am about to show you is so mind boggling incredible, I suggest you take a deep breath.  Ready?  Okay, here it is:

This is a Chuppah, knit out of 3 cones of our 5/2 Valley Cotton.  This is love.  The mother of groom created this masterpiece.  Look at these closeups:

I told you it was mind boggling.  The design was done by the owner of Not Just Plain Jane Knits and the pattern is available (sorry, I seem to be having trouble finding the link). 


We came back and launched the new website!  Thanks to everyone for your wonderful comments and constructive feedback.  We’ve worked through many of the kinks and I’m sure there will still be some troubleshooting this week.

We met with one of our favorite suppliers, Tahki Stacy Charles.  Diane and Stacy, the owners brought the new line and many of the designs for Spring ’09 to show us:

Let me just say publicly, they have a GREAT spring line.  I cannot wait for their yarns to arrive!

I think that basically catches me up.  A quick shout out to Kristin Nicholas, who was at the shop yesterday – thanks Kristin!  For those of you who were waitlisted for her class, she will be coming back in the spring.

Also, another quick thank you to our friends from Fiesta Yarns, Jeannie & Brad Duncan.  They spent Friday & Saturday in the shop doing a trunk show.  It was awesome getting to visit with them this weekend!

Don’t forget there is a very special skein of yarn up for grabs if you can guess the name of the yarn company that was across from us at Stitches East!  Leave your guess in the comments!


Stitches Midwest – The Recap

Thursday, August 28th, 2008
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Whew – what a show! We had such a great time at Midwest. Always so much fun to see our Midwest customers (and those of you who travelled even further). Thanks to everyone for making the weekend such a blast.

I thought I’d try a bit of a different twist in sharing Stitches with all of you. I did take a lot of pictures, some of which I will share with you, but first, I’d like to share this:

Yes, I know, probably not the safest video ever taken, but I was excited. I promised Steve I would not do this again.

We arrived at the convention center and here’s where things stood:

Finally, time to call it a show:

I have to interim sections that just don’t seem to be cooperating tonight including one great video of some of the Berroco garments. I am out of patience Blogger, so will leave you with these for tonight and the following questions. More tomorrow.

I’d love to know what you all think of the video. I promise (a) I will get better at it and (b) not include this many videos in any one post on a regular basis. I am excited. I’ve had this little Flip video cam ever since I saw Kim Werker with it – nearly a year ago. Not only is it adorable and super functional – it’s orange, which I love.

I do have some cool photos from the show as well, which I will discuss tomorrow!


Abandonment Issues

Monday, November 19th, 2007
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Hi Everyone – I am posting this message but I am not a happy camper. Blogger is not being friendly, it is deleting pictures and not letting me upload them again. I’ve spent over 2 1/2 hours on this post and just need to let it fly. Maybe Blogger and I will be able to work together in the morning, but for now, crappy formatting, missing pictures and all, I have to be done. Trust me, this blog will be migrating in the not-so-distant future. I am so done.
It’s been 41 days since my last post. Where have I been? What have I been doing? Am I okay? Have I abandoned the blog and all of you who read? The answers are “here”, “so much I cannot keep it all straight”, “yes, I am fine, tired, but fine” and “no, I have not abandoned the blog or you in any way”.
I know I last left you with a frenetic post that worried many of you. Thank you for caring and I’m sorry to have caused worried. I’ve been a bit bogged down with work/life. With each passing day, the blog became a bigger, more insurmountable mountain. How would I ever catch up? I had so many pictures on my camera it was like slogging through quicksand to download them all. There has been so much I’ve wanted to share that I know I will forget some things and people and acts of kindness, so I hope you will forgive me.
This post will bring us up-to-date and from here, I’ll be back on track. A picture is worth a thousand words and since I’ve spent the better part of 3 hours over the course of two sessions, organizing and arranging my photos, lets let the shots of the past few weeks speak for themselves.
So, I last left you on my way to Stitches East. What.A.Show. We had a blast.
We arrived to the daunting task of set-up:
We were tourists at the Harbor:

We found this sentiment, so appropos:

We finished and were ready to go when the show opened:

Which made these lovely, “First In Line At Stitches East” shoppers VERY happy:

We met fellow Ravelers, which was awesome! Meliabella gave out pink and green ribbons and we had so much fun meeting everyone:

We had an appearance from Kaffe:

And Teva Durham, too, but I never got to take a picture!

We had young shoppers:

And many adult beverages while cheering on our beloved Red Sox:

We had a marathon outside our hotel window on Saturday morning:

And marathoners shopping with us later that afternoon!

As we all stood in awe, they explained that they had “ONLY’ run the “HALF” marathon. Yeah, whatever ladies, you rock way more than you give yourselves credit for.

We made new BFF’s – meet Kaci and Debbie of Blue Moon:

(I have totally forgotten your friend’s name – I am so, so, sorry. . . . .) Debbie and Kaci are the type of people you want as your neighbors – they are fun, they make you laugh, they say nice things about your children, I mean, our yarn and they sit and knit in a bar, cheering for our Red Sox and ordering wine by the bottle. Yeah, we’re going to be spending some serious time with Deb & Kaci at future shows (see you in Santa Clara – let’s plan dinner!).

So, we are now a whole 4 days after my last post. Yeah, that’s all. I haven’t even thanked the most fabulous lady (again, another name lost) who stopped by the booth on Saturday morning with these, these. . .cookies – vanilla wafers – BIG ones, dunked in chocolate – thick, rich chocolate. She read the last post and was worried about me and figured I needed chocolate. The cookies are a Baltimore specialty, they were a lifesaver!

Then there was the lovely lady who brought me a dollar bill folded into the shape of a dinosaur. I carry it with me every day. Thank you.

I left East early to fly home on Sunday morning for Kim Werker’s book launch. The timeline was incredibly tight. The event started at 2pm and I landed about 1pm, with a 45 minute drive, luggage to get, shuttle to the parking area, etc. I made it to WEBS at just minutes past 2 – they all waited for me and I was so grateful. (And yes, I probably stretched the boundaries of the speed limit on the way) I was beyond excited and honored to be hosting this event.

Kim’s husband Greg was able to be there, along with a dear friend and many family members. It was an awesome afternoon:

I learned some great things and just simply enjoyed Kim and her energy.

And Babette was there too!!!

It was utopia for this crochet-lover. If you haven’t checked out her book yet, Crochet Revolution, make sure it is on your holiday list. It’s a must have!

Okay, we’re now a full 5 days past my last post. We’re cookin’ now!

So, the next day Steve & I dragged ourselves into work to start buying for Spring ’08! Our lovely Rowan rep Jess was quite accomodating given how tired we were. She brought her adorable pug who hung out with us:

Too cute!

Then, it was off to Berroco to see their Spring collection. It was our first visit there and so much fun to be able to see all of the new garments that Norah and Margery designed. It was a great day and very inspiring – it’s going to be a fun spring for all of the knitters and crocheters!


Here is the office that Norah and Margery share with their assistant Deana. Yes, this is where the magic happens:

As the mayhem continued, it was refreshing to get a reality check from none other than our 6 year old (almost 7) Jonathan. We were home alone, I was working and he was playing outside. Suddenly, he comes screaming in the house “MOM, IT’S THE HARVEST MOON. YOU HAVE TO COME SEE IT RIGHT NOW. OUTSIDE!” Here is what I saw:

The picture doesn’t even do it justice. I was so thrilled that he was so thrilled by it and that he made me stop and appreciate the simple beauty of it. I know I am biased but he’s a pretty magical kid. It was an awesome moment.

Next up, our annual “Knit for Hope” event. We partner each year with a local non-profit that provides services, support and hope for folks dealing with cancer. We ran it on a Friday night this year and although we had a smaller turnout than usual, it was still an extremely moving evening. I think the smaller gathering actually made it more personal and intimate. We knit scarves for patients going through chemo/radiation and attendees shared their stories of survival. Gail Callahan, our Kangaroo Dyer, created a custom color of Franklin (our sock yarn) which we sold throughout the month and donated all of the profits to Cancer Connection.

Next up was Halloween. Since I have shared pictures of Steve here that he has, at times, not been thrilled about, I have to share one of me. I give you, my really bad channeling of Chrissy Hynde:

And our very handsome trick or treaters in their respective hockey and Red Sox attire:

As you know, Jackson is playing hockey and Jonathan is now very motivated to keep up. Here we are at the first practice, at O-WAY-TOO-EARLY-FOR-ME-TO-BE-UP-MUCH-LESS-AT-A-RINK:


He started this session off using a “bucket” and after about 30 mins, pushed it away and made up his mind to just figure this skating thing out. He’s coming along. . . .

There was another “don’t go so fast and let life pass you by moments”. Behold, what I saw off of my deck one Saturday evening when Steve and the boys were off to a UMass hockey game.


I have seen some incredible sunrises and sunsets in my life, but this was, well, beyond words.

Finally, we are nearly current. I leave you with scenes from last week – the last days before Thanksgiving break for the boys. We had plays, back to back. First up, Jonathan in The Judge:


Featuring Jackson as the monster:

Then, it was Jackson in “Compost Happens – The Sequel” (they’ve been studying the environment):


It’s great when you have a captivated audience:


That’s it folks. The last 6 weeks in a nutshell. You can’t say I wasn’t thinking of you – I did all of the photo-documentation, it’s just been the sitting and blogging itself.

Thanks again for sticking with me.


(Note #2: Came back today and Blogger let me upload the pictures it refused to upload last night. I will look into Flickr to see if that works better for me. I am seriously still considering migrating. . . .but I’ve been around long enough to know the grass is not always greener with a different platform).