July 20th, 2012

The Buzz at WEBS – July 20, 2012

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The Buzz at WEBS

This week the staff at WEBS is buzzing about a beautiful, lightweight shawl that’s perfect for warm weather knitting. Also, a warm and cozy cowl for when winter finally returns! And two fantastic book reviews from our weaving expert Barbara and our spinning expert Ashley.

For my first mystery shawl KAL, I decided to be good and went stash-diving. I unearthed a forgotten skein of Ella Rae Lace Merino and gave it some love by knitting up this airy lace shawl. The Lace Merino blocks out better than I dreamed, soft and drapey with crisp stitch definition. And as luck would have it, the autumnal red tones and lacy leaf motif go together perfectly! > Emma W.

It might be 100 degrees out right now, but we can’t forget that winter will come again eventually. Cowls are my favorite accessory and I wear them outside under a warm coat, as well as around the office on chilly mornings. The Valley Yarns Bell Lace Cowl is the perfect length. I can wear it long as an accessory, or wrapped around twice to be kept extra warm. It’s knit in super soft Northfield so its perfect to be worn up against the sensitive skin on your neck and face. > Grace H.

I like to spin on my Ladybug in the summer while I sit out on the deck in the evenings and I realized the other day that all my bobbins were full so I’ve been plying up a storm! From Left to right: Creatively Dyed Yarn fiber in the colorway Goat, Optim Merino from Ms. Gusset (a gift Kirsten H. brought back from Sock Summit last summer) and a batt of mystery fiber from Kathy Elkins massive destash event back in May. Now I have 7 empty bobbins to fill with singles! > Sara D.

The weavers among us are excited about a new book that just came in. It is Custom Woven Interiors, by Kelly Marshall, a Minnesota weaver and the owner of a production company of the same name. The book is part pictures of the warp rep rugs, throws, blankets, pillows, curtains and table fabrics in her home and part instructions for those projects. The drafts are mostly for 8 shafts, with some 6-shaft and some 10-shaft projects. Because the fabrics use a lot of colors of 5/2 cotton, but not a lot of each color in the warps, this seems like a great study group project. If each participant provides a few colors, the cost can easily be shared and everyone would come out with a great fabric. Sturdy looms required for the sett of 48 epi! > Barbara E.

Entering the complex world of natural dyeing can seem daunting, but Jenny Dean welcomes her readers to the exploratory process with clear and engaging information in Wild Color. All the equipment you’ll need and how to make sure your choice of dyepot doesn’t change your color results, how to mordant different types of fiber and choose the safest one to use for the color results you want, and how to safely work with toxic chemicals and plants without worry for your family or the environment. Color modifiers, Ph charts and a cool recipe for achieving 25 different color results from one dyebath! My favorite feature of this book is the copious information on the dye plants themselves, from flowers and leaves to barks and roots, with how to grow and/or harvest for the best color results, how much plant material is needed and the many different colors that can be drawn from the same plant. Last year’s dye experiments, guided by this wonderful compendium, yielded great results. I’m already harvesting new plants to add to my dyepot and looking forward to exploring all these wild colors. > Ashley F.

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Grace

Customer Service Liaison at WEBS - America's Yarn Store
I started working at WEBS in September 2010. I learned how to knit 5 years ago and have been crocheting since childhood. When I'm not knitting, I love to be outside with my Black Lab, Ellie.
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