December 9th, 2016

Introducing the Blue Quartz Cowl

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It’s the perfect time of year to wrap yourself up in the squishy comfort of an extra long cowl. Whether you prefer to wear it long like a scarf or scrunch it up doubled for extra warmth the Blue Quartz Cowl is the ideal piece to add to your winter wardrobe.

The Blue Quartz Cowl in Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky now available. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Designer Fatimah Hinds drew on her background as a geologist to craft an interlocking matrix of cables and lace that evokes the beauty of a quartz crystal. Worked sideways and seamed this pattern can be easily customized to your perfect length. And when knit in Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky, with it’s combination of incredible loft and softness, it easily becomes a go-to knit for that perfect holiday gift.

How will you wear your Blue Quartz Cowl?

December 7th, 2016

It’s the little things

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I love unusual little things – handy tools that tuck into pockets or small pouches, ordinary accessories that are made with a special touch, small gifts that don’t break the bank yet bring smiles and joy. Naturally, that means I delight in the holiday season and the chance to search for little treasures to surprise my family and friends. Part of the joy for me is finding something special that the giftee can use in creating things. Don’t get me wrong, nothing beats a box of bonbons, but I am a practical person and want the gift to be useful and long lasting.

With that in mind, I cast my eye around the weaving and spinning realm to see what little delights fit the bill. First there are the unsung heroines of weaving – the Floating Sues, made by Jim Hokett. These beautiful gadgets fall into the category of “that’s so simple, I could have made it myself”, which then leads to “but why would I make them when these are so beautiful and such a great deal”. Floating Sues look like a spindle with hooks on both ends and a beautiful chunk of wood in the middle. They are made to hang on floating selvages or to weight down broken warp ends. After years of dealing with canisters of pennies and fishing weights, I love the simplicity and ease of these. They come in 2 size options and if I need more weight I can add something on the bottom hook.

Floating Sues from Hokett make a wonderful addition to any weaver's tool box. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

For spinners, we recently started carrying Snyder Spindles, wonderful little Turkish drop spindles made from beautiful woods or with colorful 3D printed arms. I wrote about them in the this post last month, so it felt like cheating to go on about them again, so I turned my gaze farther afield and spied the shimmery braids of 50/50 Merino Tencel Top from Frabjous Fibers. I know it’s a bit fluffy to stuff into a pocket, but it’s a wonderful gift, nonetheless. It’s something new and different, the colorways are dreamy and that shine! I envision spinning a lightweight 2-ply to knit into a sensuous shawl.

And for those of you in our neck of the woods, drop by the store to see the gift table up front. There are many small trinkets we brought in just for the holidays, all of them fiber-related and fun – gift tags, mugs, laser-carved wooden gauges and ornaments and more. They are here for now and in small quantities, so you will only find them in the store. Come in and take a look!

December 3rd, 2016

Ready, Set, Knit! 468: Kathy talks with Della Q

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This week Kathy talks with Della Q about the origins of her company and the great products she makes for knitters and crocheters.

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #468 - Kathy talks with Della Q. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Learn all about how she sources her fabrics, and how hard she’s worked to make sure she’s making the best, most useful product. Browse the full line of bags and needle/hook organizers at WEBS and be sure to check out Della’s Ultimate Needle Tracker.

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Reminder:

The Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage is happening tomorrow Dec 4th! Help Team WEBS with their fundraising effort here!

Take advantage of a rare opportunity to shop WEBS on a Sunday. We’ll be open from noon to 5 pm now through December 18!

Shipping Deadlines! To avoid expedited shipping costs you’ll need to have your orders in by these dates:

Westcoast 12/15, Midwest 12/18, Eastcoast 12/21

Upcoming Events

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots of great new products, contests and fun!

Check out all of our upcoming Events here.

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

November 28th, 2016

It’s almost time for the Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage!

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In what has become a yearly tradition for WEBS, our employees will be walking and running in the Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage on December 4th. Now in it’s 13th year, and with this being our 6th year of participating, this event has become an important part of our lives.

Team WEBS memories from the Hot Chocolate Run over the last 5 years. Read more on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Some of us walk with our knitting, or spinning, some with our mothers, some with our spouses and children, or pets, some of us walk to support survivors we know, and in the hope that someday we won’t need fundraisers like this.

We participate for the good-natured competitiveness of the fundraising (you can make a donation here), for the team building excitement on race day, and for the positive impact it has in our community. We’re on track to meet our goal this year, $15,000!

To all of you who have donated in the past, and those of you who have participated yourselves, we say, “Thank You.”

November 25th, 2016

Arranmore by The Fibre Co.

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I wanted to write about this wonderful stuff a few months ago, but we went through a dry spell and didn’t have it in stock (that’s the sign of a great yarn–you have to suffer through a drought before the good stuff rains down). Now we are fully stocked and you should know about it because once you try it, you won’t want to knit with anything else.

Arranmore is a beautiful example of a true Donegal tweed yarn, spun in Ireland. In colors that capture the Irish coast, it’s a true aran-weight yarn, meaning it is toothy and authentically wooly, with flecks of color throughout highlighting the earth, sky, and water tones of the yarn. Composed of wool, cashmere, and silk, Arranmore has a springy, sturdy feel and a substantial crispness that relaxes and blooms once wet-blocked. at 3.5 stitches to 1 inch on US size 8 needles, your projects will fly off your needles quickly, and the twist ensures no splitting or catching on your needle tips.

The Fibre Co. Arranmore on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

Of course, The Fibre Co. has great pattern support, and thoughtful garments and accessories showcase this colleen of a yarn to it’s finest. I think if I wasn’t drowning in gift-knitting, I’d probably be casting on The Lake Isle tunic. It’s a fascinating combination of plain stockinette and colorwork, with an unexpected funnel neck to keep one warm in the chilly UK winter weather. Or the chilly New England weather. Try it and see; you won’t want to stop knitting.

November 23rd, 2016

Table Dressing

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One of my favorite things about holidays is gathering with family and friends and sharing good food. I’ll admit I don’t get too fancy with house decorations, but since once of my weaving goals is to clothe my house in handwovens I have taken to dressing the dining table with festive runners. Over the years I have woven everything from simple to complex. There are the last minute runners woven in plain weave on my rigid heddle loom using sparkly sock yarns and some lacy ones with elaborate fringes.

Last year Barbara designed a set of runners in 4-shaft twill that are elegant and beautiful. The Holiday Runner Draft #90 is shown in both Christmas and Hanukkah colors. This year I decided to change up the colors in the draft to create a Thanksgiving runner. It was fun to play with color possibilities in an autumn palette to create the warp and then I tried out a few options for the weft. Each gives a distinct look, with textured areas where the weft and warp are the same color. I usually put on extra warp so I can experiment with weft colors and find the best look. If you try this, be sure to step away from the loom and view the weaving from a distance to see how the colors balance, this can be quite different from what you see close up.

Valley Yarns Holiday Runner Draft #90, see alternate colorways on the WEBS Blog at blog.yarn.com

I’m kind of taken with this idea and plan to weave for other seasons and occasions. Maybe one in red, white and blue for the Fourth of July family reunion? What special events will you use as inspiration for woven table dressings?

November 19th, 2016

Ready, Set, Knit! 467: Kathy talks with Kate Oates

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This week Kathy talks with Kate Oates, designer and  founder of Tot Toppers, about her new book “Grown“.

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #467 - Kathy talks with Kate Oates. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

Kate talks about her knitting journey, how she became a designer, and how her line of children’s hats turned into 2 traditionally published books and her newest self-published endeavor. See all the designs from “Grown” here, and check out the blog tour!

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Reminder:

Northampton Bag Day is happening today! In-Store Only! Saturday, November 19th (12pm-5:30pm)

Take advantage of a rare opportunity to shop WEBS on a Sunday. We’ll be open from noon to 5 pm, starting this weekend, November 20 through December 18!

Upcoming Events:

The Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage is happening Dec 4th! Help Team WEBS with their fundraising effort here!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots of great new products, contests and fun!

Check out all of our upcoming Events here.

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

November 17th, 2016

Valley Yarns Haydenville in Vogue Knitting

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The Holiday 2016 issue of Vogue Knitting has some truly stunning pieces, but we are totally enamoured by the Mosaic Poncho Pullover designed by Norah Gaughan.

haydenville post

Raglan sleeves and a bicolor ribbed neck give this pullover the feel of a sweater, but the swingy open sides are all poncho. It’s knit in Valley Yarns Haydenville, a soft blend of superwash merino and microfiber. The vivid front and back mosaic panels are knit first; the sides are picked up along the panel and worked outward in two pieces, with the sleeves worked separately after the raglan shaping is complete.

Use Haydenville in Soft Grape and Grey, as shown in the sample, or choose your two favorite colors!

 

 

November 15th, 2016

New designs in Valley Yarns Sunderland

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Just in time for the cooler Autumn weather we have two new designs in Valley Yarns Sunderland, our 100% baby alpaca in a super versatile DK weight!
The Rays Cardigan designed by Nataliya Polyakov is really the perfect outer layer for Fall.  With it’s 1×1 ribbing throughout, and the super soft baby alpaca, this piece is equally stylish with a decorative cami or  over your favorite sweater! Nataliya learned to knit from her grandmother and started designing to create pieces she just couldn’t find anywhere else.  With an abundant yarn stash and an eye for design inspiration in everyday life, Nataliya designed the Rays Cardigan to take advantage of the incredible softness and drape of Sunderland, “This yarn rocks!”
Get your copy of the Rays Cardigan PDF and Valley Yarns Sunderland at yarn.com Read more on the WEBS blog at blog.yarn.com
We’ve already been lucky enough to publish two designs from Tian Connaughton this year and are thrilled to add one more! The Ansonia Shawl gets all of the hard work out of the way first with a gorgeous twisted stitch lace border and then it’s smooth sailing through a stockinette stitch body to the end. Knit in next-to-the-skin soft Sunderland this shawl is just the right extra layer over a longsleeve to or under your coat. Tian is planning a full wardrobe of knitted items for herself this holiday season. The Ansonia Shawl is a great project to start with!
Get your copy of the Ansonia Shawl PDF and Valley Yarns Sunderland at yarn.com Read more on the WEBS blog at blog.yarn.com
What will you make with Valley Yarns Sunderland this holiday season? Will it be a gift for yourself, someone else? Will it be an original design or an old favorite?
November 12th, 2016

Ready, Set, Knit! 466: Kathy talks with Sara Delaney

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This week Kathy talks with Sara Delaney about Team WEBS fundraising efforts for the Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage.

Ready, Set, Knit! episode #466 - Kathy talks with Sara Delaney. Listen now on the WEBS Blog - blog.yarn.com

This is the 13th year of the event! From a humble start in 2004 with just 500 participants that helped raise $6,000 to an incredible day of fun and unity celebrating our desire to help change and better our communities with 6,000 participants, as well as countless observers and volunteers, that raised almost $500,000 last year.

If you’d like to help you can make a donation to Team WEBS here. Or purchase one of these patterns, the full purchase price of each goes directly to Safe Passage!

Safe Passage Hat and Mittens, Sixth Button Mittens, Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear, Hot Chocolate Run Penguin

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the week:

Reminder:

Local Artist, Author, & Designer Meet & Greet is happening today, November 12 from 1:30pm–3:30pm!

Upcoming Events:

Northampton Bag Day is coming next weekend! In-Store Only! Saturday, November 19th (12pm-5:30pm)

Take advantage of a rare opportunity to shop WEBS on a Sunday. We’ll be open from noon to 5 pm, starting next weekend, November 20 through December 18!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots of great new products, contests and fun!

Check out all of our upcoming Events here.

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