Posts Tagged ‘weaving’

Local Weavers “Help Our Kids”

Monday, April 14th, 2014
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January 30, 2014 -- Local weaver Vicki Patillo weaves the first of 5 blankets that will be donated to Help Our Kids, a local nonprofit organization for foster children. Patillo is one of several members of the Pioneer Valley Weavers Guild who are donating their time.

January 30, 2014 — Local weaver Vicki Patillo weaves the first of five blankets that will be donated to HelpOurKids, a local non-profit organization for foster children.  She is one of several guild members who donated their time.

Members of the Pioneer Valley Weavers guild recently completed a service project in which they handwove approximately 20 blankets for foster children and babies in the Western Massachusetts area.  Five of the blankets were woven right here at WEBS America’s Yarn Store and donated, along with over 15 other handwoven, knit and crocheted blankets to local non-profit organization HelpOurKids.  

WEBS founder Barbara Elkins began thinking about the project in October of last year and was pleased by the response from the guild and other customers at WEBS.  “There will be some children that will have something of their own and that’s very special.  When they are transferred to a new foster home, a (security) blanket can be very helpful,” Elkins said.

HelpOurKids director Noryn A. Resnick said that the focus of foster care is “too often limited to just being sure that they (foster children) have a place to sleep and enough food.  The part that is missing is athletic equipment to enable them to join a team, music lessons, a prom dress a backpack etc.”  Resnick decided to start HelpOurKids to help foster children fill in specific needs beyond the basics “that make every child feel like a ‘normal’ part of society.”

Guild weaver Pat Kapitzky of Florence, MA chose to participate in the project because she knows how special blankets can be for growing children.  She said, “the idea is that the foster children, when they move around, they have a pretty blanket they can take with them.  I remember my blankie and my two children’s blankies, and they were very important”.  They offered “comfort and security,” she said.

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February 17, 2014 — Dorothy Schimel of Florence, Massachusetts, measures the length of a blanket to donate to foster children at local non-profit, HelpOurKids. 

Elkins volunteered use of an 8-shaft Schacht loom on display in the store and all of the necessary materials for the project.  During the months of January and February weavers came into the store during normal shopping hours to work on their blankets.  Elkins said, “I volunteered the loom and materials because it is in line with WEBS’ values of contributing where we can.  We have a history of donating yarn to causes we support.”  Guild members who could not weave on the loom at WEBS chose to weave individual blankets at home.

March 3, 2014 -- WEBS founder Barbara Elkins, left, and Pioneer Valley Weavers Guild Representative, Deb Adamczyk, right, cut hand woven blankets from the loom.

March 3, 2014 — WEBS founder Barbara Elkins, left, and Pioneer Valley Weavers Guild Representative, Deb Adamczyk, right, cut handwoven blankets from the loom.

The loom was dressed with enough warp to weave up to five blankets.  Elkins and store manager Leslie Ann Bestor set up a striped 3/2 cotton warp with accenting stripes of variegated cotton flake.  All blankets needed to be machine washable and soft and have a finished size of 30 inches wide by about 36 inches long.  Elkins kept the terms and conditions of the project pretty loose allowing weavers to showcase their creativity and skill.

News of the project spread throughout the various social groups at WEBS, inspiring knitters and crocheters who were not connected to the guild to also participate.  Local customers in the weekly drop-in groups at WEBS donated another dozen knit and crocheted blankets.

Elkins said that the blanket project is one of several socially worthwhile projects the guild takes on every year.  “I can’t say the effort was a surprise; it wasn’t.  We have a history of concern for others and an interest in spreading the word about weaving.  I was very pleased by the amount of participation.  Weavers are a generous bunch of people,” she said.

According to Elkins, over WEBS’ 40 year history they have always tried to contribute where they could.  In the years since Kathy and Steve took over those efforts have only grown exponentially.  “It is important that we give back because we have received such overwhelming support from our customers,” she said.

March 3, 2014 -- WEBS founder Barbara Elkins, surges hand woven blankets.

March 3, 2014 — WEBS founder Barbara Elkins, prepares handwoven blankets to be cut and finished by weavers at home.

Blankets were hand delivered to HelpOurKids Director Noryn A. Resnick at the once a month guild meeting held at WEBS.  When she addressed the group, she thanked them for their donated time and effort.  According to Resnick, foster children are often moved around without any belongings.  “This will stay with them when they go to their emergency foster home and then when they go into their permanent foster home.  It provides them stability and some consistency.”

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March 11, 2014 — Director of local non-profit, Help Our Kids, Noryn A. Resnick, (center), received over 20 handmade blankets from weavers, knitters and crocheters at the once a month guild meeting held at WEBS America’s Yarn Store.

Acknowledging the amount of care and skill woven into these blankets, Resnick said that these pieces will likely be heirlooms for the children as they grow older.  “I said to Barbara, you’re not only warming their bodies, but you’re warming their minds because they’re afraid, they’re frightened and just to have something that’s their own and that they can depend on and cuddle, it’s just really wonderful.  Someday when they’re in a stable environment, they’ll get to keep this and know that someone really did care about them and that they were not forgotten.”

For more information about HelpOurKids or to make a donation, please visit http://www.helpourkidsinc.org/.

Ribbon Twill Towel from Carol Birtwistle

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
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Today we’re excited to reveal the third of our twelve Guest Weaver Drafts, the Ribbon Twill Towel. Carol was a WEBS employee when we were still located on Kellogg Ave in Amherst and has been a favorite weaving teacher for years.

Carol offers the following advice for the newer weaver. “Pay close attention to the color arrangement of the warp and take your time winding the warp. After beaming the warp, count the total number of heddles needed on each shaft (you don’t want to have to add heddles in the middle of threading your warp). The threading draft shows you will be threading either a straight draw, a point twill or M & W. Watch the direction of the straight draw – it changes. Before you begin threading the heddles, it’s a good idea to study the threading draft and count off, from the cross, the number of warp ends you feel comfortable threading at one time. Then count the number of heddles needed on each shaft and begin threading the warp. If you find an extra warp end, it can be eliminated by just throwing it off the back beam. On the other hand, if you need to add a warp end, measure the designated color 2 ½ yards long, thread it through its proper heddle and weight it off the back beam. If, after threading the small group of warp ends you have heddles left over or not enough heddles, you have probably made an error in counting the number of warp ends, counting the number of heddles or made a threading error. You should correct these errors before continuing. After completing the threading, carefully sley the warp through the reed, tie the warp onto the cloth beam, check for threading errors, sleying errors and crossed warp ends. Then adjust your tension and you are ready to weave your towel. Enjoy!”

About her history with WEBS she says, “In 1984 we moved from California to Amherst. That spring my daughter and I flew east to find housing and look into schools. Driving around Amherst (and yes we did get lost and couldn’t find any street signs) we passed a big yellow house on Main Street with a WEBS sign out front. Having done a little research I knew there was a yarn store in Amherst and we had found it! Coming to an abrupt halt we found a parking spot and found our way into WEBS. It was an exciting moment talking to Barbara and I knew that I was going to be perfectly happy moving to Amherst. By the time we returned in the late summer WEBS had moved to the large grey house on Kellogg Ave. I renewed my acquaintance with Barbara and she asked me to teach a section of the Beginning Weaving Class. Thus my association with WEBS began. I also worked for a time at the store on Kellogg Ave. before it made the big move to Northampton. Through out all these years I have been teaching various weaving classes and enjoying every minute. My thanks to Barbara and WEBS for the opportunity.”

If you’re a weaver be sure to check out our weaving contest, there’s still time to enter!

Lake Superior Sandstone Scarves from Judie Yamamoto

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
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Today we reveal the second of our twelve Guest Weaver Drafts.

Judie designed the lovely Lake Superior Sandstone Scarves in both 16 and 8-shafts and each has  wonderful drape because of the 8/2 Tencel.  With the sandstone cliffs of her childhood vacation spot in mind Judie pulled together the saturated colors of tencel and gently undulating curves for the 16-shaft draft and while the 8-shaft version lacks the waves, there are stunning ripples and bands of color.

Judie discovered WEBS in the ’80s and says, “I first met WEBS in 1986 when visiting my late in-laws, Hugh and Lucy Raup.  They lived in a big house on the Common in Petersham, and a friend of theirs, whose daughter was a weaver, told me about this Wonderful Yarn Store over in Amherst. We took an afternoon and drove over to see the place – and it was love at first sight. For several years, my big treat on our semiannual visits to Massachusetts was a trip to WEBS.

Somewhere in there I approached Barbara about teaching a color class on our next visit, a plan to which she readily agreed. I don’t remember the date, but I do remember the kids-in-a- candy store looks on the faces of the students when I announced that their materials fee included anything in the warehouse – the deal was “all you can weave” during the two days of the class. “

Judie teaches and lectures nationally, and writes about weaving and related topics for magazines. Notable for its use of color and blending, her woven work, polymer clay jewelry and Temari have been featured in Handwoven, Weavers’ magazine and Complex Weavers Journal, and seen at a variety of fiber shows, galleries and shops.

If you’re a weaver be sure to check out our weaving contest!

Ready, Set, Knit! 343: Kathy talks with Leslie Ann Bestor

Saturday, February 1st, 2014
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This week Kathy talks with our Retail Store Manager, Leslie Ann Bestor, about more of the great products coming up during our 40th anniversary year. If you’re a weaver be sure to check out our weaving contest!

They also discuss our year of Guest Weaver Drafts. First up is the Escher Scarf designed by our founder, Barbara Elkins.

Escher Scarf

Steve’s Yarn Picks:

Upcoming Events:

Our 8th Annual Big Game Day Escape, IS TOMORROW! Feb. 2nd from 12-4

Reminder:

We’re STILL collecting Hats for Halos of Hope. Our thanks to everyone that has already sent in hats, keep ‘em coming! You can now make a donation in lieu of hats and help out as well! Each $5.00 contribution counts as 1 hat in our total. Donations can be made here.

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

More Employee Wishlists

Monday, December 9th, 2013
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We’ve asked a few more of our employees what’s on their personal wishlists. After all, if it’s on the wishlist of a WEBS employee you know it’s a good choice for the fiber enthusiast in your life!

amys wishlistHi, I’m Amy S. and I’m a knitter and weaver.  Amy is our Mutimedia Assistant and a Sales Associate in our Retail Store.

My holiday wish list includes:

1  Harrisville Designs Cone Holder - My cones are rolling everywhere when I’m winding a warp.  This would make it much easier for me to start my weaving projects!

2  Knitter’s Pride Karbonz 6” Double Pointed Needle Set -  I really feel like I should never need to buy any more needles, but I can never seem to find my smaller DPN’s.  I love the way the Karbonz feel.  It would make it so much easier just to have the whole set.  Don’t you think?

3 The Original Thera Glove -After hours of knitting my hand can get sore.  This just might be a way to get a couple more hours in.  I’ve heard great reviews from customers who use it.

4 Knitter’s Pride Needle Gauge –  They aren’t expensive but I’m going to need about 10, one for every project bag.  As far as I’m concerned you can’t have enough of these.  It’s a great stocking stuffer too.

5 Large Blocking Board – I can’t believe I don’t own one of these yet!
Hi, I’m Ping and I’m a knitter. Ping is a Sales Associate in our store and a Valley Yarns designer.

My holiday wish list includes:

1  Reisenthal Allrounder Medium Bag - You know that boy scout saying “be prepared”, the same applies for knitters. Since I am constantly driving my kids to various appointments and activities, there is always a project bag ready and waiting for me. I love the Reisenthal Allrounder Medium bag. Size of the bag can accommodate a variety of projects, from shawl to color work sweater project – it fits. The hinged satchel is reminiscent of a doctor’s bag; no fumbling around something. With plenty of roomy interior pockets, tools, keys and even your phone have a place.

2  Run, Run, Run Lunch Tote - Okay, I believe you can NEVER have too many bags.  This one is stylish and oh so practical. What is not to love? It folds down to nothing so it’s a great emergency bag. It’s reflective, insulated interior lets you see inside your bag with ease. The finish is smooth, so it’s easy to clean. Plus, the interior is made from recycled water bottles. It comes in four cute colors; each has a little message. My heart is set orange bag. I love how it reminds me to keep taking chances.

3  Lantern Moon Stitch markers -  These stitch marketers are the embodiment of cute! WEBS carries a wonderful assortment of these charming and whimsical stitch markers. Whether it’s the tiny crocheted blue birds, bees, sheep or flowers, there are six in a package. They are lightweight and won’t weigh down your knitting. Each crocheted image is mounted on a metallic marker ring that ensures snag free knitting. My daughters have threatened to use my Lantern Moon stitch markers as earring charms, so I really need to stock up!

4  Knitter’s Pride Karbonz Interchangeable Deluxe Set - When someone asks me why I have a need for so many different types knitting needles, I tell them that knitting needles are tools, and like any tool, a crafter does not have just one. Have you ever asked a woodworker how many drills, hammers, screw drivers, or chisels  he or she has? Or how many knives and pans does the serious home chef own? Does a painter only paint with one brush? Enough said. The yarn and the project often dictate the best knitting needle to help you accomplish your creative endeavor.  As I age, I find my hands are more sensitive surfaces and weight of my tools. I want warmth and flexibility without comprising speed and sight. This is why I find the Knitter’s Pride Karbonz needles so appealing. The carbon fiber is warm, flexible and lightweight. The metallic tip allows me to see the stitches even in indoor evening light. More importantly, unlike most  interchangeable sets, the Karbonz interchangeable deluxe set includes sizes 2.5 and 3 – perfect of lace and sock knitting. Most interchangeable sets stop at size 4. These needles would be a perfect complement to my needle toolbox.

5  Warping Board - In 2013, I learned dress and use a 4-harness loom. This was an amazing learning experience. My education as a weaver has only just begun. The tool that fascinates me the most is the warping board. Made from hardwoods, the simple rectangular frame and strategically position pegs appears rather unassuming, but this ingenious tool enables you to consistently measure your warp ends. For example, the Schacht 14 yard warping board is only 36 inches across. The methodical manner of winding the yarn under, over and around the different pegs is quite calming and rather meditative.

6 WEBS classes -  I believe the opportunity to create with one’s hands something beautiful and entirely personal is truly part of the human condition. There are so many wonderful classes offered at WEBS; knitting, crocheting, weaving, spinning, dyeing, felting - all my favorite tactile sports! The classes satisfy my curiosity and my need to create, to learn and to broaden my appreciation of the fiber arts.  There are just not enough hours in the day to pursue all the things I wish to make. However, when I take a class, it gives me the chance to learn and to create in a very focused manner.

 

Hi, I’m Amy G and I’m a Knitter. Amy is our Education Manager.

My holiday wishlist includes:

1 I would love a huge supply of  T-Pins because I always seem to have “just enough” and I’d love to not have to worry that I’ll run out.

2 I would love a sweater’s worth of Madeline Tosh Merino Light in Badlands, a dark, interesting color I fell in love with at Stitches West this year.

3 It would be great to have the Barbara Walker Treasury of Knitting Patterns, the 4th volume, which is the only one I don’t own.

4 Hey, how about a set of Karbonz double points in sizes 4, 5, and 6? Those are my most-used sizes and I love using dpns, especially these pointy-tipped beauties.

5 Mostly what I’d love is a comfy sofa, good light, hot coffee, “Breaking Bad” streaming on my iPad, and three days’ worth of knitting. And then a nap.

 

 

Hi, I’m Jamie and I’m a knitter! Jamie is our E-Mail Marketing Manager.

My holiday wishlist includes:

1 Knitter’s Pride Nova Special Interchangeable Circular Set — It seems like every time I find a new hat pattern to knit I end up needing one or two new 16″ circular needles. I love using the Novas that I already have – they’re nice and smooth and the tips are pointy, but not too pointy. With the Special Interchangeable Circular Set I’d never have to worry about not having the right needles for a hat pattern, and I could have two (or three, or four) on my needles at once!

2 Fibre Company Tundra — I cannot get enough of this yarn. Seriously, can I have all of it? It’s great for quick hats for gifts (I love Greta’s Tundra Hat pattern), and now that the Tundra Elements collection is out there are even more warm and soft projects to whip up!

3 Weekend Hats by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre — I’ve been on a hat knitting kick lately, and I’d be really excited to get this book. The book’s presentation is lovely, and it features hat patterns from a who’s-who of knitwear designers!

4 Knitter’s Pride Lace Blocking Mats — I’ve grown tired of pinning my damp finished objects to the carpet. It seems kind of gross both for the projects and the carpet. The Lace Blocking Mats are a great solution —  they don’t take up too much space but can expand for larger pieces.

5 Lee Highlighter Tape — As I’ve done more lace patterns, I’ve found myself frequently wishing I had Highlighter Tape. My current system consists of resting my pencil next to the row I’m on. It’s not very good system, as the pencil frequently rolls down the page or gets knocked off-course by a curious dog.

Employee Wishlists

Monday, November 25th, 2013
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Every year we put together a few posts and  videos to help our customers find those extra and special little gifts for the fiber enthusiast in their life.  This year we thought we’d ask our employees what’s on their personal wishlists. After all, if it’s on the wishlist of a WEBS employee you know it’s a good choice!

Hi, I’m Katie and I’m a Knitter and Dyer. Katie is a Sales Associate in our retail store but has also worked in our Warehouse.
My holiday wishlist includes:
1. Namaste Oh Snap! Pouches -These bags are great because they won’t snag your yarn and you can see the project inside! This is a great product for and knitter or crocheter who has multiple projects going at the same time.

2. Jade Sapphire Brigadoon and Getting Purly with it Cowl pattern - I love this cowl pattern and the yarn; who doesn’t want washable cashmere?

3. Wild Color by Jenny Dean - A friend loaned me this book when I told her that I was interested in natural dyeing. It is filled with useful information for both the new and experienced dyer.

4. BFL Fingering, natural hanks - In the dye experiments I have done, this has been my favorite yarn with which to dye. It takes the color beautifully and is such a lovely wool to wear as well.

5. Lantern Moon embroidery scissors - I need some small, sharp scissors for my tool kit and these would make a great stocking stuffer! Plus, Lantern Moon uses sustainable practices in all areas of their business, so
you can feel good about supporting them!

Hi, I’m Greta and I’m a knitter and crocheter. Greta is one of our Website Coordinators but she has also worked in our retail store.
My holiday wishlist includes:
1. Sweet Georgia CashSilk Lace - because…Silk! Cashmere!

2. The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt - I don’t have it yet and not owning it makes me feel like an irresponsible knitter.

3. The Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie M. Wiseman - My goal for 2014 is to FINISH some of my many, many works in progress.

4. A skein of Freia Lace in the Dusk colorway - I’m totally obsesses with Amy Stephen’s Rooshed pattern and I’m excited to see what it would look like in this beautiful ombre lace yarn.

5. Knitter’s Pride Bamboo Crochet Hook Set - I only just took up crochet this year, but I’m very excited about it! I would like a crochet hook set so I don’t have to worry whether I have a particular hook size or not!

 

 

Hi, I’m Ashley and I’m a dangerous fiber nerd. Ashley is a Sales Associate in our retail store and our resident spinning expert.
My holiday wishlist includes:
1.Abstract Fibers 40/40/20 - Raw Merino/Superwash Merino/Silk, hand dyed blended fibers

2. Ashland Bay Organic Polwarth wool fiber - Super soft, springy wool that takes dye beautifully and spins up smoothly. Processed ecologically

3. Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere - Having a love affair with this super soft yarn, which wants to become new garments for me to snuggle with, in hand dyed colors that pop!

4. Be Sweet Bamboo - Gorgeous hand dyed colors in cable-plied 100% bamboo, which I recently made my first pullover with, and the drape and softness of this yarn makes me want to knit another one right away.

5.  Zealana Willow DK - Following the thread of cashmere addiction running through my wishlist, this blend of 70% New Zealand Merino and a whopping 30% Cashmere content makes visions of cozy soft hats and snug wintertime socks dance in my head…

Hi, I’m J, aka Young Man, and I’m a knitter and weaver. J is a Sales Associate in our retail store.
My holiday wishlist includes:
1. Eucalan, lavender scent - To give with gifts, samples and full size bottles, please.

2. Fix-a-Stitch lace - My current method is Okay but this is perfect.

3. Knitter’s Pride Karbonz 6” DPN set - Love these DPNs; one word: smooth.

4. Schacht baby Wolf 26” – four now, four later - It’s a wishlist and this is definitely what I wish for.

5. Buffalo Wool Co. Sexy in the Royalty colorway - Bison down and silk, thank you very much.

WEBS Staff Spotlight – Debby

Thursday, October 24th, 2013
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Spring Garden Tee by Alana Dakos knit in Valley Yarns LongmeadowDebby is part of our amazing store staff team, and happens to be an incredibly talented knitter and weaver. She continues to impress us all by her projects despite a very busy life outside of WEBS. Debby’s family owns Cook Family Farm, where she lives and works every day of the week. Their restaurant, Flayvors of Cook Farm is a local favorite, especially for the ice cream!  With 5 children, 2 dogs, many chickens, 13 turkeys and about 200 cows to tend to, it’s amazing she finds the time to knit and weave.

How long have you been knitting and weaving?
I’ve been knitting for almost 9 years and I’ve been weaving for just over 2 years.

How did you learn to knit?
I’m a self taught knitter. After I learned how to knit, I realized how much I didn’t know! So then I took classes here at WEBS. I was inspired to knit by my Mom, but it was my grandmother in law, Mimi, who pushed me to learn. I had told Mimi that “someday I’ll learn to knit and make sweaters”. And she said, “Don’t wait for someday because you don’t know what the future holds.You may loose your sight or maybe have severe arthritis, whatever it may be. If you want to learn or do something, do it now!” She was a very wise woman.

What is your favorite yarn to work with?
I love Malabrigo yarns!  They are such a joy to knit with that it never feels like “work”. I have grown very fond hand dyed yarns, especially monochromatic styles.

Dishtowels woven with Valley 5/2 Cotton.Dishtowels woven with Valley 5/2 Cotton.

Do you have a favorite fiber project you completed or one you’re most proud of?
Some of my favorite projects that I’ve finished are hand woven dishtowels. They get used every day and somehow in their functionality,  any “flaws” seem lost. I just love having them around.

What fiber project are you working on right now?
Right I’m working on the Feather weight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig. I’m also weaving a small rug for our bathroom…and hoping that I am able to get 2 or 3 rugs from this warp so that I may also get a Christmas present or 2 done.

What is your favorite fiber art?
I like weaving, but honestly don’t seem to make the time to  get a project started. So knitting is my favorite fiber art…it’s just so  portable!! Quick to find a project, which then becomes a birthday gift,  baby shower present or Christmas gift.

The Amanda Hat by Gina House in Classy with CashmereDishtowels woven with Valley 5/2 Cotton.

How else do you like to express yourself artistically?
Well, I don’t know how artistic I am, but I really enjoy photography. I got the chance of a lifetime this year to venture down to Argentina, the Falkland Islands and then onto Antarctica. It was so amazing and the pictures I came home with made me fall in love with photography. I’ve started making cards with some of my favorite pictures from our family farm. Now if I just had some more time…

Do you have a favorite non fiber related project you’ve completed?
My best marathon time is just 13  minutes shy of qualifying for Boston!

Knitting Pure and Simple 9724 in Plymouth Encore

How do you like to spend your free time?
I work full time at our family farm store. I work at WEBS 1 day a week. We have 5 children, 2 dogs, many chickens, 13 turkeys and about 200 cows. I have no free time. However, I love spending time with my family, especially outdoors. So we go for bike rides, hikes and day trips.

Debby has been working at WEBS for about 5 years now, and says she hopes to be here forever! “My husband encouraged me to apply  in order to support my yarn addiction and to be able to spend more time with  fiber crazy people.  And I’m so grateful that he did.”

In Which I Became a Weaver for 2 Hours

Friday, October 11th, 2013
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If you’ve been reading this blog you know it’s Spinning and Weaving Week. We’ve had some fantastic demos and the store has been filled with new faces. I barely have time to take classes these days, but I remembered a favorite class from a few years ago, Introduction to Rigid Heddle Weaving with Leslie Ann Bestor. I had a lot of preconceptions about weaving–the looms are gigantic!! You need a ton of fiber!! It takes months to make a napkin!

Weaving on a rigid heddle loom.

Leslie Ann proved all those things wrong. I had the most gorgeous scarf ever in less than two hours, and in Madeline Tosh Pashmina Worsted, to boot! Using it as both warp and weft resulted in a very cool plaid-like fabric, and I wear it all the time now. Weaving on a rigid heddle loom is very manageable, it sits very neatly on a tabletop and barely takes up any room at all. There’s no warping board necessary, no intricate warp-winding, no cones of yarn rolling around. The back-and-forth action of the shuttle is very satisfying, as is the way you slam the heddle down on your fabric to make it nice and firm. And did I mention a scarf in 2 hours? with lovely tasseled ends?

Check out our looms–we have some very un-intimidating rigid heddle looms and if those are too much for you, check out these cuties.  Bonus: if you buy a loom (or a spinning wheel) within a week of taking a class, you get a 10% discount.

Check out our weaving and spinning class schedules. I know we have one that will get you looking at fiber in a different way.

Spinning & Weaving Week: Must-Have Weaving Book

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013
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Today, Debby Cook shares with us her the must-have book for her weaving shelf.

Deb Chandler's Learning to WeaveMy “must-have” weaving item is Deborah Chandler’s Learning to Weave. Because I also knit, work full time AND part-time and have a full family life, I can sometimes have months go by between starting new projects.   Deb Chandler’s book always has the answers I need to jumpstart my memory!  It keeps me on track from winding my warp, warping back to front, right through treddling and finishing techniques.  Oh, and the reed substitution page is well worn! This is the one book I would be lost weaving without.

What’s your must-have weaving book?

Spinning & Weaving Week: Make Sleying Easier

Monday, October 7th, 2013
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Make Sleying the Reed Easier

This week, we’ll be sharing with you a few spinning and weaving products that WEBS staffers can’t live without. First up, we have Amy Stephens. Amy is an incredible crafter and you may remember seeing her in one of our staff spotlights. Check out what she has to say about the Harrisville Designs Combo Threading/Sley Hook in Brass

Soon after taking the beginning weaving class at Webs, I purchased a loom. Weaving is still a very new craft for me and dressing the loom can still be a little stressful. During the class I used the 7 ½” Schacht Heddle Hook to thread the heddles and the reed. When I moved to my bigger loom I appreciated the length of the Schacht even more for threading the heddles. I did have trouble threading the reed with it though. I mentioned my issue to a seasoned weaver at work and she suggested the Harrisville Designs Combo Threading/Sley Hook in Brass. It made sleying the reed so much easier! When I weave, I have both tools on hand and it makes dressing the loom that much easier for me.