December 22nd, 2014

I’m Looking Ahead

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This year, I didn’t throw myself into the knitted-gift frenzy that has made the last few years a little dicey in terms of holiday engagement. (That means I was the Grinchiest Grinch ever as I glared at every recipient of the scarves, hats, mittens, and cowls that I was knitting for them. Poor planning is my defense.) I’m taking the long view this time around. I’m looking ahead to 2015, because I’m thinking about what I might want to do differently in the coming year.

I don’t make resolutions. Too much commitment. I make vague goals and if (when) I don’t end up fulfilling them, well…lesson learned. Move on.

Most thorough technique book ever!Next year, I’m really going to concentrate on the details. I’m going to move past my go-to Long Tail Cast-On and Knitted Bind-Off. I’m going to experiment with cast-ons and bind-offs that are complementary to my project and look beautiful.

I’m going to learn how to do Kitchener Stitch. I’ve done so much to avoid this necessary fact of knitting life, and it now seems ridiculous. How hard can it be? (stop laughing). I’m also going to learn to read charts. I can protest all I want but I love stitch patterns and cables and those babies are charted. Once again, how hard can it be? (see above.)color chart

Lastly, I’m going to stop making the thought of perfection ruin a perfectly good knitted piece. Only I know that I bumbled a knit stitch into a purl. Nobody will ever see the mismatched decrease except me. I want my knitting to be fun and comforting, not a showpiece. That’s why I started knitting in the first place.

I might add, in a self-serving way, that some of these things can be learned in a class. And that leads me the now open-for-business winter/spring class registration! Check out our offerings and see what you might like to tackle in 2015.

December 20th, 2014

Ready, Set, Knit! 383: Kathy talks with Yonca Ozbelli

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This week Kathy talks with Yonca Ozbelli, co-owner of Universal Yarns.

Ready, Set, Knit! ep. 383 - Kathy talks with Yonca Ozbelli, co-owner of Universal Yarns. Listen now at blog.yarn.com

Yonca talks about founding the company with her husband Hal, relocating to the US and the different yarn lines they carry. They also discuss how they choose and produce yarns.

Steve’s Yarn Picks from our Year End Blowout Sale :

Reminder:

Drop-ins are on hold for the rest of the holiday season and will pick up again the first full week of January.

Winter/Spring 2015 Classes are on the website now, register before they fill up!

WEBS will be open on both Christmas and New Year’s eves until 4pm and will be closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Check all our holiday hours here.

Upcoming Events:

The Year End Blowout Sale is currently running online and begins in store on December 26th, both run through Jan. 3rd.

Be sure to 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
December 18th, 2014

WEBS Gift Cards

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This week finds us in the midst of Hanukkah and just a week from Christmas. It may be too late for us to get an order shipped out to you in time for gift giving but WEBS Gift Cards and eGift Cards could save the day!

WEBS Gift Cards and eGift Cards available at yarn.com

Gift Cards can be purchased and used both online and in our retail store. If you are purchasing through yarn.com Gift Cards are typically mailed by the next business day, and there is no shipping charge if you choose Standard Shipping. If you’re local to the store be sure to check our store hours and you can stop in to pick up as many as you need!

eGift Cards can be purchased online and immediately shared with the recipients.

Please note – WEBS eGift Cards can ONLY be used online and cannot be used in our retail store or over the phone.

December 16th, 2014

The Long Collared Vest by Sally Melville

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As we approach the end of 2014 we still have a few exciting 40th Anniversary projects to share with you and one of our favorites is the Long Collared Vest by Sally Melville. We were so thrilled when Sally expressed an interest in being part of this year’s celebrations! Working with the Burgundy color of our Berkshire Bulky she has designed a cozy knee length vest that we all wanted to curl up in when it arrived in the office.

Long Collared Vest pinterest promo

The large shawl collar hugs you around the shoulders and neck while the textured bodice stitch helps to give the vest structure and visual interest. And just for fun there’s a decorative button band on each side of the ribbing that makes a great place to showcase your favorite decorative buttons. The Long Collared Vest is a great winter knit and the perfect layering piece. With over 3 dozen colors of Berkshire Bulky to choose from which will you cast on with?

December 15th, 2014

What to buy with your WEBS Gift Card – Project Bags

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Every knitter, and crocheter, I know has multiple projects going at any one time and project bags are the perfect way to help corral the clutter that can result. Whether you’re looking for the perfect little last minute gift for a friend or contemplating your after-holiday gift card purchases here are a few of our favorite bags.

Project Bags available in all sizes and styles at yarn.com - Namaste Harlow Bag, the Attenti Caddy in peacock, and the Hadaki Multitasker Pouch

For your smaller projects the Hadaki Multitasker Pouch and the Blue Sky Alpacas Pretty Cheep project bags can handle anything from socks to large lace shawls, scarves and hats. For your larger sweaters and baby blankets the Atenti Caddy and our exclusive 40th Anniversary Della Q Large Eden Drawstring Bags have a surprising amount of room for yarn supplies and your growing project. The Lantern Moon Repurposed Plastic Tote would be perfect for large afghan projects and is one of the sturdiest bags we carry. And if you’re just looking for something stylish that can double as the perfect purse we highly recommend the Harlow Bag from Namaste. Not only does it have plenty of room inside for your wallet, keys, tablet(or laptop!), and gloves but you fit a couple small projects in there as well! How do you transport your projects?

 

December 13th, 2014

Ready, Set, Knit! 382: Kathy talks with Steve

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This week Kathy talks with Steve about their years running WEBS since purchasing the company from Steve’s parents.

Ready, Set, Knit! ep. 382 - Kathy and Steve wrap up our 40th Anniversary celebrations

Kathy and Steve discuss upgrading the website, our registers and point of sale programs, as well as developing the Valley Yarns line. They also talk about the multiple building upgrades and our expansion in 2012.

Many thanks to our Team, their friends and families, and for everyone who donated to our team menebers for the Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage. We raised over $19,000.00! We continue to welcome donations through December 31st. Thank You!

Holiday Shipping Deadlines are as follows:

West Coast – December 15th by 3pm

Midwest and South – December 18th by 3pm

East Coast – December 19th by 3pm

Steve’s Yarn Picks and Gift Ideas :

Reminder:

Winter/Spring 2015 Classes are on the website now, register before they fill up!

WEBS retail store will be open only ONE MORE SUNDAY! Tomorrow, December 14th from 12noon till 5pm!

WEBS will be open on both Christmas and New Year’s eves until 4pm and will be closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Upcoming Events:

The Year End Blowout Sale begins in store on December 26th and Runs through Jan. 3rd.

Be sure to 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
December 12th, 2014

Hot Gifts -Gild your Knits!

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Last Fall we noticed a trend on fashion runways that we thought was super exciting, gilded knitwear! Sweaters and accessories where sections had been covered in silver or gold leaf. And while we’ve seen a few pieces in some high end department stores and online shops we thought this is something we can do for ourselves and so can you!

Gild Your Knits! Learn how to add metal foil accents to your knits on the WEBS blog.

We started with some bulky yarns – there are only days left to Hanukkah and Christmas after all! We knit up the Lodge Pole Cowl in Valley Yarns Northampton Bulky, the project was blocked before we began the next step.

Then we stopped by our local craft store and picked up sizing(the glue), pouncing sponges, and gold foil all from Martha Stewart. Be sure that you are using the right glue for your project! Just any old glue won’t do the job!

Working at a nice flat and stable work surface, dab the sizing onto the areas you’d like to highlight with the foil. We used a liberal amount of the sizing since the fiber will absorb some of it and you need enough on the surface to dry and become tacky before applying the foil. Once that was done we left it to dry according to the package instructions. The time may vary depending on how humid it is where you are so check on your glue every 10 minutes or so until it is tacky without being sticky.

Once the sizing had dried enough to be tacky we started to gently apply the gold foil. It will only stick to the glue but you may find that tiny pieces will tear off and float around your work area. You may want to keep a vacuum handy! Once the foil is applied and has covered all the glue use another one of your sponges to press it firmly into the fabric removing any excess foil and fly-away bits. This not only helps to set the foil in place, but burnishes the surface giving it some extra shine and helps to break up the foil so the shapes of the individual stitches show.

Gild Your Knits! Learn how to add metal foil accents to your knits on the WEBS blog.

This technique should work on most smooth yarns so avoid mohair, alpaca, angora or anything with a halo. The sizing is also water soluble so this is not a washable surface, you’ll need to spot clean any projects made with this technique. This could easily work on crochet and woven fabrics as well. So go forth and gild your knits and crochet! Make something just to try out the technique or use it to spiff up an older, but well loved accessory, and show us what you’ve made!

December 11th, 2014

Ask WEBS – We want your questions!

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Early in 2015 we’re going to start answering your fiber queries twice each month but first we need to know: What do you want to know?!

Ask WEBS! Tell us what you really want to know. http://blog.yarn.com

Tell us what you have trouble with. What totally stumps you? What do you wish you could understand more clearly? We have experts on hand in knitting, crochet, spinning and weaving so bring on the questions! Ask WEBS and let us offer you some expert answers.

December 10th, 2014

Gifts for Weavers

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Stumped by what to get for the weaver in your life? It can be tricky when you do not speak the language or know the tribal customs of this particular breed of fiber enthusiast. But fear not, for I am a professional weaving enabler and I can provide insight into this dilemma. As with most of my gifting, I try to look for something special, something that the giftee might not necessarily buy for her/himself. The choices range from tools to enhance the weaving process to luxury fibers to make a unique woven piece.

Schacht variable dent heddle for rigid heddle looms - available at yarn.com

 

Schacht’s Variable Dent Heddle (for the Flip Rigid Heddle Loom) allows weavers to create one-of-a-kind pieces by combining different yarns together in a single warp. The heddle consists of a frame with sections of varying dents that can be combined in any order, providing limitless possibilities for beautiful woven projects!

 

Yarn to Yards Balance - available at yarn.com

 

Those of us who have been grabbed by fiber lust often find ourselves with mystery cones and skeins with no labels, leaving us to wonder if we have enough yarn to weave that special *thing*. The Yarn to Yards Balance is here to answer those questions with a simplicity that is ingenious. A length of yarn is balanced on the device and then measured to find yards per pound. No fuss, no muss, and no batteries needed.

Another tool new weavers often delay getting is the indispensable Bobbin Winder. Sturdy and simple, these tools last forever and take the drudgery out of winding bobbins of thread to weave. They offer a distinct advantage over homemade options by allowing a degree of control that produces a better wound bobbin (one of the keys to good selvedges).

Jade Sapphire Silk Cashmere - available at yarn.com

 

Silk. Cashmere. Need I say more? Okay, maybe some specifics – how about a skein of Jade Sapphire Silk Cashmere, the epitome of luxury in a skein. These skeins have great yardage, with enough in one skein for weft for a softer-than-soft scarf. It pairs beautifully with our 2/10 Merino Tencel as warp (ask me how I know).

Schacht Inkle Loom - available at yarn.com

 

Then we have a fun loom for kids and adults alike – the Inkle Loom. This loom is for weaving narrow bands that are great for belts, guitar and camera straps, and as strips to piece or weave together into larger projects. We sell the Schacht Inkle Loom individually, or as a gift set that adds in a shuttle to weave with and Anne Dixon’s great book, The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory, which is filled with colorful, inspiring designs in addition to basic weaving instructions. A smaller version of the loom is also available, the Ashford Inklette.

And, finally, no wish list would be complete without mentioning gift cards, the present that fits everyone regardless of size, color and fiber preferences!

Surprise your favorite weaver with something special and watch the fun as the creativity is unleashed!

December 9th, 2014

What to buy with your WEBS Gift Card or eGift Card – Blocking Tools

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Hopefully you’ll be the happy recipient of more than one WEBS Gift Card or eGift Card this holiday season. Deciding what to spend them on can be overwhelming with so much to choose from, but whether you’re a veteran knitter or a newbie crocheter there is nothing that finishes your work quite like a good blocking, and the right tools can make all the difference.

Blocking tools for every knitter and crocheter available at yarn.com

First you’ll need a surface to block on and we carry 4 great options. Our large and small Blocking Boards feature a grid that helps you easily lay out and measure your work and they fold up for easy storage. The Blocking Mats from Knitters Pride can be arranged in different shapes to accommodate shawls and sweater pieces, and the Block n Roll Mat also features a grid to keep your edges even while blocking and rolls up for convenient storage.

Once your blocking surface is all set up you’ll need something to keep your finished piece in place while you steam or while it dries after a good soaking. If you’re working on a lace piece the Lace Blocking Wires can turn a tedious job of pinning out points into a quick and easy task! If you’re working on a larger and more substantial piece you may want to consider the Knitter’s Pride Knit Blockers, these easy to handle tabs have multiple pins to make the process go even faster. And there’s always the standard T-pins, perfect for every project!

Consider what blocking tools are right for you as you plan your after holidays shopping, and remember you can always add items to your wishlist to share with family and friends as well!