Posts Tagged ‘yarn’

Be Sweet yarns featured in Interweave Knits

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013
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The new Interweave Knits  Fall 2013 issue  features a great pattern using yarn from our friends at Be Sweet.

The No. 6 Shrug, designed by Maria Leigh, is knit using the new Skinny Wool.

Worked from each sleeve cuff toward the center back, this shrug has a great lacy detail at the cuffs and around the collar.

Which color of Skinny Wool would you use?

Knitting Season is Open

Friday, September 13th, 2013
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My last post, which ran a few weeks ago, had a glaring error, and it is this: I took it for granted that I am famous enough for the entire world to know who I am.  I am indeed the new Education Manager, and my name is Amy Greeman. This is what I look like:

Amy Greeman, Education Manager

Amy Greeman, Education Manager

Ok, on to my pick this week. I lovelovelove Fall and Winter, which makes me an outcast in most groups. Knitters, however also love these seasons, because crisp air and cool temperatures mean lots of knitting. As I wander around the store, a few new yarns caught my eye and I thought I’d share them with you for your Fall knitting pleasure.

Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino is the Queen of the fingering-weight set. We haven’t had this particular yarn in the store for a VERY long time and I am thrilled it’s here now. There are loads of beautiful colors and it’s just begging to be knit into socks or hats, or a gorgeous shawl.

Shibui Pebble reached it’s sporty-weight hand out and grabbed me as I walked by our showcase for it. I’m a sucker for a sport-weight, and this blend of silk/wool/cashmere is balanced just right–not too stiff and not too drapey. I would make any sweater that incorporated a lacy or knit/purl pattern stitch with this.

Clockwise: Infusion Handpaint, Koigu, Eco Highland Duo, and Pebble

Clockwise: Infusion Handpaint, Koigu, Eco Highland Duo, and Pebble

Universal Yarn Infusion Handpaint was a surprise to me. I’m not that thrilled with a lot of variegation, because I like to do very textured knitting, but this wool/acrylic blend feels beautifully soft and the colors are really blended nicely. I could see a nice, thick winter scarf or shrug to keep in a chilly office in this superwash yarn.

Finally, my new favorite yarn, I must confess, isn’t new at all. It’s a luscious Cascade standby I recently discovered, Eco Highland Duo. I’ve knit a cabled cowl in it, and am using it for a much more technical knit now, this Kira K design that will be a gift for my mom.

What is your new Fall discovery? What will you be knitting while you watch football (or the new season of Homeland) on TV?

Ready, Set, Knit! 325: Kathy talks with Linda Pratt

Saturday, August 31st, 2013
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This week Kathy talks with Linda Pratt of Westminster Fibers about Schachenmayr Yarns and the exciting My Mountain yarn and hat pattern promotion.

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Kathy and Linda talk about the bright crochet and knit hat trend that began last Spring in Germany and is taking off here for the Fall. Lots of colorful and fun, FREE hat patterns are available from Schachenmayr. They’ve also been running a design contest through their Facebook page which ends this week.

The six core yarns are all available from WEBS in the full color range from each: Boston, and Boston Style, Lova, Bravo Big, Bravo Big Color, Lumio. As well as 4 exclusive WEBS free patterns.

Steve’s Yarn Picks

Upcoming Events:

Our Fall class schedule is live on the website and should be arriving in mailboxes soon, classes begin in mid-September.

It’s Labor day weekend! WEBS will be open normal hours today, 10:00am – 5:30pm but closed, tomorrow, Sunday Sept. 1 and Monday Sept 2. for the holiday.

Registration has opened for our 7th Annual Bus Trip to the NY Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck on October 19th!

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Valley Yarns featured in Twist Collective 5th Anniversary Issue

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
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We can’t believe it’s been 5 years since Twist Collective debuted. The Fall 2013 issue is out and we’re thrilled that it features two great patterns using our own Valley Yarns! Valley Yarns have been featured in many issues and we’re always excited to see what other designers are doing with our yarns.

First up is the Doverfell Cardigan, a zippered hoodie pattern available in both adult and child sizes.

We love the simple textured stitches that frame the zipper and continue down onto the inset pockets. The adult version is made in Northfield while the child’s version was knit in Valley Superwash DK.

Second is the Ossel dress knit in Valley Yarns Northampton.

This pattern features some gorgeous cables in combination with moss stitch for a body hugging dress that really shows off your curves, and with the saddle shoulder construction those sleeve cables aren’t interrupted at the shoulder.

What’s your favorite pattern from this collection?

If you haven’t begun following them on Facebook yet you may just want to! Twist Collective is celebrating their 5 year anniversary with all kinds of goodies and give-aways.

Are 4 (or 5) Needles Better Than One?

Friday, August 16th, 2013
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Although my poor grandmother tried to teach me to knit when I was nine years old, I had absolutely no patience for fine motor skills at that point, and was much happier playing with her jewelry. I didn’t learn to knit until I was an adult, and I learned very traditionally: straight needles, follow a pattern, make a bottom-up sweater with set-in sleeves and a crew neck. When I started working at Webs shortly after I had gained some mastery of the craft, I was astounded at the variety of designs, techniques, and yarns I encountered. It was overwhelming, but I wanted to try it all. The one thing I stuck to was knitting any sort of tube with double-pointed needles. I honestly tried to use Magic Loop, two circulars, anything but DPNs. However, I don’t love knitting socks ( I have made exactly three socks) and I loved the way my DPNs made hats, baby booties, and sleeves on sweaters look. I’m always on the lookout for really great needles, and I think I have found my DPN mecca: Knitters Pride Karbonz. I recently knit baby sweaters for twins to be born in September, and the pattern was a beautifully easy top-down raglan with the sleeves picked up and knit on DPNs. I did one sweater with my old faithful Dreamz needles, but picked up a set of the Karbonz to try on sweater #2.

Reader, it was heaven.

All kinds’a’Karbonz at Webs!

The Karbonz shaft gripped the yarn just right–it slid easily but didn’t slide off. The tips are sharp and glide-y but they didn’t split the yarn, and there was no discernable bump or glitch at the place where the tip met the body of the needle. Best of all, they look super-badass. Shiny silver tip attached to a matte black needle made me feel a little naughty, even though the project they were attached to was the most adorable peach and lime green baby kimono. Karbonz are available in circulars as well, and we’ve just added interchangeable sets, too. They are well worth the slightly higher price point, and will last until your granddaughters refuse to learn to knit with them.

Yarn Cake

Friday, August 2nd, 2013
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In the retail store, customers sometimes look at our ball-winder-and-swift set-up and ask us if we can wind their skeined yarn for them. “No,” we say gently. “We can show you how to do and you can get right on it.” There’s usually a look of panic, or a plea (“just for me? I can’t possibly.”) but we’re firm–because the beauty of a ball winder and a swift is that you can wind up any skein of yarn with less than three minutes of instruction, and it will usually take about 17 seconds for a long, twisty skein to turn into a firm, compact yarn cake. In my first years of knitting, I used to make my husband hold his arms out like a robot to wind a skein into a ball, and when he wasn’t around, I’d have my kids do it. However, it didn’t take long for them to become bored and annoyed at the constant demands on their time (very important things to do! Pokemon cards to look at! Legos to leave on the floor so that I step on them, barefoot, and cry!), and I’d start bribing them with candy, and then with cold, hard cash.

A tasty skein of Northampton Sport, wound into a cake!

A friend and co-worker convinced me to invest in a ball-winder and swift combo. I was really hesitant about doing this, because for some reason I thought that once I had the tools, I was expected to be a SERIOUS KNITTER. But the first time I hooked a skein onto that plastic swift and twirled the handle of the ball winder around for less than a minute, I was hooked. It was amazingly simple and the results are instantaneous. Ball winders, by the way, have a hilarious instruction manual in the packaging that is translated from Japanese and makes it all worthwhile. I have the plastic and metal swift, but we also sell a beautiful wooden swift that is much larger, and will probably be around when you teach your granddaughter or grandson how to knit. Spinners, weavers, dyers, and knitters can all benefit from a little fiber help, and these two indispensable tools will make your life a billion times easier.You can use either of these products separately–swifts can be used to wind spun fiber, and ball winders are great for coned yarns. Webs offers a fantastic deal on the two if bought together.

Now you can eat the M&Ms by yourself without having to parcel them out to the child who complains about how itchy the baby alpaca feels.

Ready, Set, Knit! 320: Kathy talks with Betsy Perry

Saturday, July 27th, 2013
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Guest: Kathy talks with Betsy about the new line of Fall yarn from Classic Elite as well as all the wonderful pattern support they offer.

They discus 3 brand new yarns and their accompanying pattern booklets; Ava and booklet #9227 – Ava, Wynter and booklet #9230 – Wynter (Wynter is a dyed version of Blackthorn though the dyeing process changed the hand of the yarn they are interchangeable in patterns),  and Horizon with booklet #9228 – Horizon.

Betsy and her team were also in Northampton earlier this week with the Fall 2013 trunk show, our employees and customers had a great time! Go to the trunk show if it’s in your area, it makes a difference to try on the samples and see the sweaters on different body types.

Steve’s Yarn Picks

Sidewalk Sale is happening in Northampton this weekend! Stop in to the store today and see what we have happening today, the store is open till 5:30.

Upcoming Events:

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

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

And don’t forget to check out our new streamlined cashwrap area the next time you stop into the store! The major remodel work is done and we’ll be finishing the new check out counter with some new graphic work and a few more fixtures.

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Blocked!

Friday, July 19th, 2013
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I know there are many of you out there who block their FO’s on the living room carpet, an unused couch, your guest bed’s mattress, or (I don’t want to know) not at all. I also know that many of you come through the fire with garments that are curly, ravelly, mis-sized or misshapen, or crooked. Your lace is delicate and airy when blocked, scrunchy and meh-looking when unblocked. Your sweaters are rolling at the edges, with one sleeve longer than the other and too tight in the hips until you loosen up the fibers with a cool bath and some Eucalan.

I used to do all of that, too. My garments looked so much better once I invested in a blocking board, which has changed my knitting. Really. It has clearly marked measuring squares for perfect symmetry for sleeves or waist shaping. It is big, so you could potentially block a scarf or medium-ish-sized shawl on it. It is padded, so pins really dig in and don’t move or pop out. It has a felt backing, so it won’t slide around on whatever surface you use. The most genius part: It folds in half and has a convenient handle so you can tote it to the craft room, the den, the deck, or to your drop-in class at Webs to show off your fibery skills.

This could be your sweater!

We carry these boards in two sizes, the small, which measures 18″ x 24″ and is more portable, and the larger size, measuring 33″ x 51″. I really recommend the larger one, since you’ll be able to use it for so many different projects, and you won’t regret the investment. For most garments, a dunk in some cool water to which a capful of wool wash has been added is the way to start. Don’t swirl it around, and for heaven’s sake, don’t squish it dry–if it’s anything but cotton or superwash wool, it will felt. I drain my wet garments in a colander for an hour and then roll them in a towel to just damp. Then, pin away–these T-pins are the best I’ve found. Let it dry, and voila! Art has been made.

WEBS Retail Store is getting a fresh new look!

Sunday, July 14th, 2013
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Starting on Monday, July 15th we’ll be doing a bit of remodeling in our Northampton Store. We’ll be open during all the work but thought we’d let you know what to expect as we work through these changes.
Early in the week we’ll be relocating and shifting some of the yarns as we make room for a new register area at the front of the store. By Wednesday we’ll be removing our old register desks and settling into our new space.

Later in the week we’ll be setting up some new fixtures and moving all the yarns into their new homes.

We’ll be quite busy with lots of extra people in the store to help with all the moving and shifting of yarns and fixtures and our amazing Store staff will be there the whole time to make sure your experience is still friendly, helpful and knowledgeable; exactly what you expect when you come to WEBS.

 

Ready, Set, Knit! 318: Kathy talks with Andra Asars

Saturday, July 13th, 2013
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Guest:
 Kathy talks with Andra about the new Berroco yarns and pattern books for Fall.

They also discuss Norah Gaughan Vol. 13 which is an entirely top-down collection.

Andra’s favorite design from this collection and current WIP – Hume, and Kathys’ favorite sweater – Gibson

Steve’s Yarn Picks

Reminder: 

The New England Weavers Seminar (NEWS) is happening this weekend on the Smith College campus.

Upcoming Events:

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

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

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