April 17th, 2014

The Nikiya Cowl from Tanis Gray

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Earlier this month we introduced our latest 40th Anniversary yarn, Valley Yarns Huntington hand dyed by Lorna’s Laces. Just as we did for the first quarter of 2014, we have partnered with some truly talented designers to bring you some fantastic patterns for this yarn. First up is Tanis Gray‘s Nikiya Cowl.

About her relationship with WEBS, “Growing up in southeastern Massachusetts, I had heard of Webs, but we rarely drove out that way across the state. Webs seemed like some far off Mecca where yarn was as plentiful as snowflakes were in winter. When I started working at Vogue Knitting in New York City after graduating from RISD, I had the opportunity to finally go to Webs in person. It was everything I had dreamed about and I still remember that feeling of amazement, surprise and sheer joy when I walked through the doors in the back to the warehouse. Talk about a kid in a candy store! After my 4-year tenure as the Yarn Editor ended when we moved to Washington DC, my relationship with Kathy Elkins and her husband grew stronger as I became a guest on their podcast, making multiple “appearances” with each of my book releases. When knitters learn I am from Boston, the next question out of their mouth is usually “Have you been to Webs?” I am honored to be part of the anniversary collection for this wonderful store, which has turned so many knitters into the best knitters they can be.”

With just one skein you’ll knit a seamless, swirling, delicate lace cowl. What color will you choose?

April 14th, 2014

Local Weavers “Help Our Kids”

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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/.

April 12th, 2014

Ready, Set, Knit! 352: Kathy talks with Rhonda Fargnoli

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This week Kathy talks with Rhonda about her work at RISD, her Coastal Colors line of hand-dyed yarns including her new Roman Holiday Collection, and the special classes she and her students are offering with the RISD Day of Creativity here at WEBS on April 27th.

 

Steve’s Yarn Picks From the Anniversary Sale!:

 

Reminder:

WEBS is at Stitches South this weekend! If you’re in Atlanta come see us.

Upcoming Events:

The Boston Marathon runs on April 21st and you can help the Boston Marathon Scarf Project. They are working towards  providing a scarf for each participant in the marathon this year. Check out the Ravelry group for more details on how to help!

Boston Strong Hat pattern from designer Lisa McFetridge is a colorwork hat design featuring the words “Boston Strong” and the Boston Skyline. Lisa has included additional charts so you have options to really make this hat your own. All proceeds from the sale of this cap pattern will go to OneFundBoston to help the victims.

Join the KNIT-IN with Lisa McFetridge, designer of the Boston Strong Hat, Rebecca Lane of “Blankies for Boston” & the Old South Knitters/Crocheters Saturday April 5, 2014 2-4 pm at the Old South Church in Boston – the church at the Finish Line 645 Boylston Street, Boston – at the Copley T

Have you knit a Boston Strong Hat or a Blanket to donate to a survivor? Do you have a scarf to drop off for the Boston Marathon Scarf Project? You are cordially invited to bring your handcrafted treasures to Old South Church …stay and knit, meet and exchange stories with fellow crafters. If you haven’t begun a hat, scarf or blanket (or two or three), there is still time. A special Boston Strong Hat in progress will be there. Anyone dropping off a hat, scarf or blanket is invited to add a stitch or two to the hat and place their signature on the roll. Truly a group project, this hat will find a special home in the future.

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
April 11th, 2014

The Future of Design Featured at WEBS

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I love fashion and anything to do with fashion. I love reading wrap-ups of Fashion Week in New York City, I love “Project Runway” and “The Face,” and I especially love that the Rhode Island School of Design is so close to us (less than 2 hours-ish) that students come here for inspiration and supplies for their projects in Apparel and Hand Knitting Design classes. Now we are able to showcase the work these talented soon-to-be-grads are doing in what we’re calling “A Day of Creativity with RISD” on Sunday, April 27. It’s like our own “Project Runway!” While I know that only those local to WEBS will be able to take the classes, we are making the patterns for these fun garments available once the classes have run, so everyone will have a chance to make them! And who wouldn’t? This baby sweater is the cutest thing ever, knit in Valley Yarns Longmeadow for a special infant. Fiona baby sweater

If you’re thinking that a cowl can’t be worn once the temperature climbs into the 60′s, you’re so wrong. Linen stitch cowlThis linen-stitch cowl in light, silky Valley Yarns Goshen will protect you from aggressive air-conditioning in a restaurant or movie theater in style. And the Commelina Shawl, knit in featherweight Charlemont Hand-Dyed Yarn, is a lovely light layer for a summer wedding. commelina shawl

WEBS is making the Day of Creativity a fund-raiser for our local animal shelter, Dakin Animal Shelter. They do wonderful work to make sure all animals in their care are well taken-care-of and you all can do your part by clicking on their wish list to see what they can use as we head into the summer.I hope I’ll see you all at one or more of the classes. There are still openings, and we’ve set the fee at an all-time low of $10 each plus a donation to Dakin Animal Shelter so that everyone can join in the fun.

April 9th, 2014

New Store Samples to Inspire You

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When you first walk through WEBS’s doors, you might be overwhelmed by the wide array of colorful yarns and sample garments on view. Sample garments are the first impression you’ll get of a yarn and we try to offer as many samples as we can for you to enjoy. You’ll find the garments and accessories located throughout the store; often you’ll have to look up to see samples on the tops of bookcases!

From now on, we’re making our sample sweaters in the medium size, rather than the typical small size, to accommodate a more realistic range of body types and sizes. If you’re interested in a particular design, please feel free to try on the sample and ask questions about it. Our associates are always happy to help you.

We try to keep our store samples updated and fresh for each new season. This month we’ve added several garments and accessories that show off some of our new spring yarns and familiar yarns as well.

When Katia Big Ribbon arrived for spring, I was bowled over by the variety of colors and knew this yarn was made for a fun, summer-y accessory. This free crocheted slipper pattern, modeled by Mary Anne, is available free of charge on the Knitting Fever website. One ball of this super bulky yarn is sufficient for a pair of solid color slippers. But if you buy two colors, you can mix and match them as we’ve done and have enough yarn for two pair!

katia slippers     katiacloseup

We’ve carried Freia Fine Handpaints Ombre Lace for several months and, as gorgeous as it was in the ball, it needed to be knit to truly illustrate its’ beauty. I chose KnitWhits “Sonoma Scarf” which is available as a PDF on our website. Our laceweight sample was knit in the Grapevine colorway but please check out the other beautiful colorways we carry.

freiashawl   freiaclose

Our next store sample was knit in one of the most sumptuous yarns we carry—Jade Sapphire Silk Cashmere which comes in over 20 solid and variegated colorways. I chose Ravelry pattern, “Boxy” by Joji Locatelli, for a few reasons: it’s a contemporary design that can be casually worn with jeans or dressed up when paired with your favorite skirt; it can be knit with a variety of fine gauge yarns; and most important, many women of all shapes and sizes have knit this pattern and they look fantastic! Mary Anne is sporting our sassy version of the pattern in Silk Cashmere color #201, aptly named “Seeing Red.”

boxy      boxyside

“Surf,” designed by Martin Storey and featured in the newest Rowan magazine 55, is an explosion of spring and summer color! Knit in Rowan’s mercerized Cotton Glace in 11 glorious shades, this slightly cropped pullover is classic but stylish and looks perfect on our model, Bonnie.

surf              surfside

We’re excited about these new store samples and we hope you do too—please visit the store soon and check them out!

 

April 7th, 2014

Our 40th Anniversary Celebrations Continue!

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It’s time for the second round of specialty products to celebrate our Anniversary! We’re so excited to share our Valley Yarns Huntington hand dyed by Lorna’s Laces.

We’ve chosen 9 of Lorna’s Laces’ richest colors and they’ve dyed a special Ruby Slippers colorway for our Anniversary.

Three more designers have joined us to bring you stunning designs made with our specialty yarn.

Tanis Gray has designed The Nikiya Cowl, a swirling and delicate lace cowl, the ideal accessory for Spring.

Kristin Omdahl drew on her Viking heritage to bring us the Sermilik Shawl.

Franklin Habit has worked his magic again and found an historical counterpane pattern to translate into the modern Centuria Tam.

Della-Q has another limited edition bag for us with a print that is the perfect burst of color for Spring.

We’ll also have three more weaving drafts from long-time friends of WEBS, and don’t miss out on your chance to enter the Weaving ContestFull details and contest rules are available on our website.

And we’ve still got so much more for you this year. Be sure to check out our 40th Anniversary Sale, going on now, and if you’re in the area join us for our Annual Tent Sale and Fleece Market in May. Follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle +Instagram, or on Ravelry for all the latest.

April 5th, 2014

Ready, Set, Knit! 351: Kathy talks with Art and Barbara Elkins

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This week Kathy talks with Art & Barbara about the second decade of WEBS’ history.

WEBS former homes copy

They talk about buying their first building, moving their inventory, starting the mail order portion of the business, and the genesis of Valley Yarns.

Steve’s Yarn Picks - the Anniversary Sale!

Upcoming Events:

The Boston Marathon runs on April 21st and you can help the Boston Marathon Scarf Project. They are working towards  providing a scarf for each participant in the marathon this year. Check out the Ravelry group for more details on how to help!

Boston Strong Hat pattern from designer Lisa McFetridge is a colorwork hat design featuring the words “Boston Strong” and the Boston Skyline. Lisa has included additional charts so you have options to really make this hat your own. All proceeds from the sale of this cap pattern will go to OneFundBoston to help the victims.

Join the KNIT-IN with Lisa McFetridge, designer of the Boston Strong Hat, Rebecca Lane of “Blankies for Boston” & the Old South Knitters/Crocheters Saturday April 5, 2014 2-4 pm at the Old South Church in Boston – the church at the Finish Line 645 Boylston Street, Boston – at the Copley T

Have you knit a Boston Strong Hat or a Blanket to donate to a survivor? Do you have a scarf to drop off for the Boston Marathon Scarf Project? You are cordially invited to bring your handcrafted treasures to Old South Church …stay and knit, meet and exchange stories with fellow crafters. If you haven’t begun a hat, scarf or blanket (or two or three), there is still time. A special Boston Strong Hat in progress will be there. Anyone dropping off a hat, scarf or blanket is invited to add a stitch or two to the hat and place their signature on the roll. Truly a group project, this hat will find a special home in the future.

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
April 4th, 2014

Thank You

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With the first quarter of 2014 is coming to a close we wanted to take a moment to thank some of the people that have made it such a success.

To Amy Herzog, Melissa LaBarre and Doris Chan,
Thank you for your creative vision, and for turning our yarns into works of wearable art.

To Madelinetosh,
Thank you for sharing your gorgeous colors with us.

(If you haven’t yet gotten any, there are just a few skeins left of our 40th Anniversary Valley Superwash DK hand dyed by Madelinetosh. When they’re gone, they’re gone!)

To Della Q,
Thank you for the perfect project bag.

(There are just a few of these limited edition bags left. Get one while you can!)

To Barbara Elkins, Judie Yamamoto, and Carol Birtwistle,
Thank you for creating amazing textiles with our yarns.

To Norah Gaughan and the Berroco team,
Thank you for breathing new life into some classic Berroco designs, just for us.

To Stamell Stringed Instruments,
Thank you for letting us come home one more time, and for being a beautiful location for photography.

(The house that Stamell’s occupies is the former home of WEBS)

And thanks to You, our customers,
You have made the start of our 40th Anniversary year just amazing. Thanks for being here with us.

We’ve got so much more to share with you! Our second round of celebrations launch next Monday, April 7th. More yarn, more designs, and more specialty products!

April 1st, 2014

It’s Finally Here – Our Anniversary Sale!

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WEBS Anniversary Sale All April and MayIt’s April 1st, and many of you know what that means! No, don’t worry, we won’t be playing a practical joke on you! (Though you may want to keep your wits about you in case someone else decides to.) It is the start of our Anniversary Sale. This year, we’re celebrating our 40th Anniversary and you’ll find some amazing things in the sale.

If you haven’t shopped our Anniversary Sale before, it is a unique opportunity to save on our regular-priced yarns for the entire month of April. Then, once May 1st hits, we have a whole new collection of wonderful yarns at great sale prices.

As always, we have Cascade 220, Cascade 220 Superwash, and Plymouth Encore on sale for both the month of April and the month of May. This year, we’re super excited to have added a fourth yarn that will be on sale for both months – Classic Elite Color by Kristin. This blend of wool, alpaca, and mohair comes in a lovely range of colors chosen by our friend, Kristin Nicholas.

Are you looking to add some needles or crochet hooks to the stash you already have? We have great needles and sets from Knitter’s Pride, Kollage, and Colonial Needle Company in our sale. (I know someone who would appreciate the Knitter’s Pride Nova Special Interchangeable Circular Set.) You can view everything that is on sale here.

You don’t want to miss out on these savings. It’s a great time to stock up on yarns that you’ll need for future projects. I might be starting to think about gifts I may want to give in the near (and far) future and planning ahead.

What’s on your must-buy list this month?

March 31st, 2014

Valley Yarns featured in Knit Simple

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The Spring/ Summer 2014 issue of Knit Simple is out and features 2 great designs with Valley Yarns Amherst and Longmeadow.

The feather-and-fan lace gently scallops the bottom edge of this charming capelet, while dotted ribbing adds flattering vertical lines. Knit with just 4 balls of Amherst this is a quick and inexpensive project to brighten your spring wardrobe. Which color will you choose?

To work this charming striped blanket, start at the center and knit your way out. Increases form symmetrical diagonal lines, while punchy colors and super-soft yarn make it a perfect companion for your favorite tot.  With almost 20 colors of Longmeadow to choose from you can pick 6 of your favorites for endless color combinations.