September 20th, 2014

Ready, Set, Knit! 372: Kathy talks with Sarah Smith

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Kathy talks with Sarah Smith, Director of Development at Safe Passage about the Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage and the prevention work their organization does in Northampton and Hampshire County. Safe Passage was founded in 1977 to provide comprehensive services for victims of domestic violence. Their core mission is to make people feel safe while offering counseling and advocacy programs.

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TEAM WEBS will once again be walking and running in the Hot Chocolate Run. You can donate to Team WEBS, or choose an individual person on the team to make a donation to.  You can join us for #HotChocolateHolidays and get going on your holiday crafting while supporting Safe Passage, check the Class Page on our website starting October 1st for those classes and more details. You can also purchase a copy of the Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear pattern, all proceeds from the pattern go straight to Safe Passage, and you can even knit the bear and send it into us at:

WEBS –

Attn: HCR Polar Bear

6 Industrial Parkway

Easthampton, MA 01027

Steve’s Yarn Picks :

Upcoming Events:

Join Linda Niemeyer of Blue Sky Alpacas for her first ever in-store event! Next week, Sept 27th 1-3pm. The even t is free but please register.

It’s time for our 11th annual Knit & Crochet for the Cure! Join us on Oct 5th from 1-4pm. Please remember to register.

Spinning and Weaving Week is coming up Oct 6- 11, Lots of workshops and demonstrations to enjoy!

8th Annual Bus Trip to Rhinebeck – Saturday Oct 18th. the busses are filing up, get your ticket now!

We have an amazing line-up of guest teachers this year!
Amy Herzog in SeptemberSusan B Anderson will be here Columbus Day WeekendDora Ohrensten is doing a weekend of crochet classes in November!

And 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
September 19th, 2014

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature – the Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear

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Every year WEBS participates in the annual Hot Chocolate Run to benefit Safe Passage. This year we’re even more committed to doing good in our community and having fun doing it! Not only is The Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear adorable and cuddly soft, being knit in Valley Yarns Superwash Bulky, but all proceeds from the sale of the pattern will go to Safe Passage. We’ll be keeping track of the Polar Bear’s progress as if the sales of his pattern were donations made to a team member participating in the Hot Chocolate Run.

The Hot Chocolate Run Polar Bear knit in Valley Yarns Superwash Bulky - available exclusively at yarn.com

You can help support the our team by purchasing a copy of the pattern or by making a direct donation to the team or any individual team member. We’re also accepting finished bears knit from this pattern to be given as comfort gifts to the children helped by Safe Passage. We’ll be hosting a Knit-a-long of the Polar Bear in October, feel free to get your pattern, Valley Yarns Superwash Bulky and the rest of your supplies now! Once your bear is complete you can send it to us at:

WEBS – America’s Yarn Store

Attn: HCR Polar Bear

6 Industrial Parkway

Easthampton, MA 01027

September 18th, 2014

The Cirro Tee from Linda Permann

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The Cirro Tee by Linda Permann is a simple yet gorgeous crocheted tee designed in Valley Yarns Northfield Hand Dyed by Malabrigo. Everyone is looking for that perfect t-shirt pattern and this may just fit the bill! An easy to memorize two row pattern creates a textured and flexible fabric that results in a lightweight and very wearable crochet garment. The simple cap sleeves and understated waist shaping make this a flattering shapes for almost everyone.

The Cirro Tee designed by Linda Permann and crocheted in Valley Yarns Northfield hand dyed by Malabrigo - available exclusively at yarn.com

Linda is a designer and author that has lived all over the US. Her work has been featured in many of today’s top knitting and crochet publications. “Crocheting is my passion, but I love to sew, knit and quilt too. I wear many hats: I’m a crochet and craft designer, writer, editor and a crochet/knitting teacher. I work full time at Craftsy.com, and I also teach. I love creating modern patterns using quality yarns, showing crochet in its best lightl!”

The Cirro Tee designed by Linda Permann and crocheted in Valley Yarns Northfield hand dyed by Malabrigo - available exclusively at yarn.com

We love what Linda creates, too! Crochet your own Cirro Tee in our gorgeous Valley Yarns Northfield Hand Dyed by Malabrigo or try one of our solid colors of Northfield.

September 17th, 2014

Hidden Treasures for Weavers

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You know how you can walk by the same thing time after time without really noticing it? Or you get so focused on looking for the new that the regular scenery just fades? I love those moments when I rediscover something wonderful that’s been there all along. Here are some of the hidden treasures I fell in love with again as a weaver:

great weaving drafts and technical informationWeaver’s Craft magazines are a gold mine of information and drafts. Jean Scorgie, a former editor of Handwoven magazine, publishes these little gems and we carry nearly 20 different issues. Each issue features a topic (laces, overshoot, baby blankets, etc.) with information, illustrations, ideas and projects. I recommend these all the time to newer weavers because she really explains the concepts and then provides easy drafts to put the techniques into practice. I am steadily building my collection of these as part of my weaving reference library.

Two of my favorite issues illustrate just how much is packed into a small space. April/May 2000 focuses on twills and includes a discussion of twills, plus sections on floating selvedges, smiling selvedges and how to fix them, gamps, and threading heddles. And it has drafts for 5 different dish towels! The Spring 2001 edition is all about weaving overshot and has articles about drawdowns, tromp as writ, designing name drafts and more, plus drafts for placemats, table runners and a drawstring bag. And all of these can be woven on a 4-shaft loom!

gorgeous weaving projectsAnother overlooked booklet on the magazine rack is Kismet, published by Hill Country Weavers. This is gorgeous, glossy eye candy for weavers loaded with inspiration for thinking (and weaving) outside the box. The projects are woven on rigid heddle looms with knitting yarns and incorporate knit and crochet details. I find the designs to be refreshing and creative and more about new ways of envisioning woven wearables than the specific type of loom used to weave the cloth. Fifteen designs are presented in full detail, ranging from scarves and shawls to blankets, skirts, and fingerless mitts. There is also a wealth of technical information including hemstitching, fringes, seaming, picking up for knit or crochet, reading a draft and a step by step pictorial guide to direct warping a rigid heddle loom.

And, speaking of hidden treasures, did you know we have our own series of weaving drafts designed specifically for the Valley Yarns line of yarns? This year we are showcasing designs created especially for our 40th anniversary in addition to dozens more that have been drafted by WEBS founder Barbara Elkins and other talented weavers over the years. Visitors to the store have the good fortune of not only being able to see them, but also to touch and investigate the drape and details of the pattern Online shoppers can find drafts on our website in a few ways. If you are looking for something to weave with a specific yarn, you will find a tab on that yarn page called “Related Patterns”. Click on it and you will be shown all the drafts/patterns we have created for that yarn. You can also find drafts on the drop down menu for Weaving and Spinning on the home page. You can narrow your search by number of shafts or just ogle the many possibilities while suffering from loom envy.

beautiful colorful woven twill towelsAvailable drafts span the full spectrum of projects, from wearables, like scarves and shawls, to blankets, bags, table runners, placemats and the ever-popular dishtowels. And, yes, dish towels are the number one drafts we sell, with the hands down favorite being Carol Birtwistle’s 40th Anniversary Ribbon Towels. There’s something for everyone from rigid heddle weavers – Draft #55 Charlemont Lace Scarf – to 4-, 8- and 16-shaft designs.

Have you discovered any hidden treasures in your wanderings? Let us know!

 

September 13th, 2014

Ready, Set, Knit! 371: Kathy talks with Rita Petteys

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Kathy talks with returning guest Rita Petteys about this year’s Spinzilla Event.

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Rita Petteys joins us to discuss Spinzilla. This year, WEBS has a Spinzilla team.

What is Spinzilla?
It started as a way to increase knowledge of handspinning in the fiber world. It helps raise money for the Needle Arts Mentoring program that TNNA (The National Needlearts Association). Spinning and Weaving Week is the first full week of October, and that is when Spinzilla takes place (October 6-12).

How can you get involved?
Visit spinzilla.org and find out about the teams, the competition, the mentoring program, and more. There’s also a blog and blog tour that includes a ton of information on spinning, fiber prep, and more. There are still many teams to get involved with. There are about 400 spaces left on teams, so there’s still plenty of room for you to sign up and join in the fun! It doesn’t matter where you live in relation to your team. You can join a team that fits your personality, or one that fits your goals.

You can also sign up to “Spin Rogue” and not join a team.

Check out the site to find out details on prizes, not only for spinning the most, but there are also random prizes.

The Needlearts Mentoring Program (NAMP) is one of TNNA’s charitable components. Their goal is to help mentors in communities to provide needlearts education to the children they work with, so that they can share with children the appreciation of needlearts. Last year’s donations ($6000 from Spinzilla) allowed the addition of spinning and weaving to the program. Goals for the future include NAMP chapters in every state and better supplies for the children to use.

While you’re on the Spinzilla site, make sure you check out the sponsors. Without them, it wouldn’t be possible.

Steve’s Yarn Picks :

Upcoming Events:

Classic Elite Fall 2014 Event –  THIS WEEK! Sept. 18th 6-7:30pm – The event is free but registration is required.

Don’t miss the eBook that Classic Elite created just to celebrate our 40th Anniversary!

Join Linda Niemeyer of Blue Sky Alpacas for her first ever in-store event! Sept 27th 1-3pm. The even t is free but please register.

It’s time for our 11th annual Knit & Crochet for the Cure! Join us on Oct 5th from 1-4pm. Please remember to register.

8th Annual Bus Trip to Rhinebeck – Saturday Oct 18th. the busses are filing up, get your ticket now!

We have an amazing line-up of guest teachers this year!
Amy Herzog in SeptemberSusan B Anderson will be here Columbus Day WeekendDora Ohrensten is doing a weekend of crochet classes in November!

And 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
September 12th, 2014

Stay Classy

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It’s back-to-school time — the time of year that Staples and Office Max love the most. It’s also “back-to-knitting/crocheting/weaving/spinning” time around WEBS, and we have some great classes for anyone wanting to learn a new craft or brush up on a current one. When I plan the classes for each semester, I try to come up with something entirely new at least once or twice each time, something that I’d tell my friends about or that I’d want to hear about from a fiber friend. This time around I have a few that I’d love to take myself, so I’m going to tell you about them so that you’ll feel cnabled compelled to take them yourselves!

jazerant, cabled and beaded

Emma Welford’s Jazerant Set was designed especially for our Fortieth Anniverary and the pattern is knit in the most beautiful Valley Yarns Northfield, hand dyed by Malabrigo just for us. We are so lucky that Emma works here at WEBS and is generous enough to teach a class to show knitters how to make this gorgeously cabled and beaded hat and cowl. You don’t have to use Northfield, of course, because no matter what you use, the end result is going to be stunning. That class starts soon, so hurry before all the seats are filled! (NOTE:  Unfortunately, this class has been cancelled.)

Another class I’d take in a heartbeat is Heather McQueen’s Tunisian Crochet Infinity Scarf class. Tunisian Crochet is so fascinating–it’s fast, like crochet, and produces a really unique-looking fabric that resembles knitting. This 4-week class will have students using up those novelty yarns hiding in your stash as well as learning some more advanced Tunisian techniques. The scarves are fast and fun, and look amazing.silky lace and tunisian stitch

I am completely impressed with myself for hunting down some great guest teachers this semester–none more so than Susan B. Anderson, who is a designer, author, knitter, spinner, and all-around-lovely-person. She’ll be here for a weekend in October to teach not only some great garment classes, but we are lucky enough to have her show her students how to make her knitted toys, which are a great holiday gift as well as ideal decor for a nursery or little one’s room.Sock Yarn dragon fun!

Check out all our classes here, and just remember: Shopping at WEBS for supplies is way more fun than shopping at Staples for binders and notebook paper!

September 11th, 2014

Classic Elite Celebrates WEBS 40th Anniversary!

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Our 40th Anniversary year has already been full of so many great pattern and yarn collaborations and the newest one is no exception. Betsy Perry and the staff at Classic Elite Yarns have pulled 3 beautiful patterns from their vaults and given them new life in new yarns and colors, and on top of that they’ve designed a gorgeous cardigan just for our anniversary!

Joni from Classic Elite Yarns, knit in MountainTop Vista - pattern available exclusively at yarn.com

 

Joni is worked in Vista, a squishy soft blend of super fine alpaca and wool with a subtle halo. This sweater is sure to become one of your 3-season favorites. You can see the original sample pictured on a teenage Uma Thurman, a one-time resident of Amherst MA. where our first store was located!

Roberta from Classic Elite Yarns, knit in MountainTop Chalet and Majestci Tweed - pattern available exclusively at yarn.com

Roberta is a classic drop shoulder cardigan with beautiful color work on the front panels worked in a combination of Chalet and Majestic Tweed.  The updated color scheme and combination of solid and tweed yarns really make this a stand out wardrobe piece.

Olivia from Classic Elite Yarns, knit in Color by Kristin - pattern available exclusively at yarn.com

 

The fun argyle accents on the Olivia pullover can add the perfect pop of color to your fall wardrobe, especially when knit  in the vibrant colors available in Color by Kristin.

Dianna from Classic Elite Yarns, knit in CSoft Linen - pattern available exclusively at yarn.com

 

Finally Classic Elite has unveiled a brand new design for us in their lovely Soft Linen yarn. Dianna is a long, cabled, open front cardigan, the perfect layering piece.

Each of these patterns is available individually or together in one eBook. And you can see all of the garments in person at our retail store on Sept. 18th when Betsy Perry and her staff stop by to introduce us to all of the new Fall yarns and full line of designs. The event is free but please register.

September 10th, 2014

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature -the Arbor Pullover

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The Arbor Pullover, worked in valley Yarns Amherst, is a simple set-in sleeve pullover with a pop of texture at the yoke. With a classic crew neck, ribbed cuffs and hem this stockinette pullover could be boring and bland but the addition of a textured slip stitch pattern at the yoke livens it up and gives it a bit of polish.

arbor promo

You could use two high contrast colors of Amherst as we’ve done for the sample or be more subtle and choose two tones of the same color like Balsam and Navy or Light Grey and Charcoal. Which colors would you use?

September 6th, 2014

Ready, Set, Knit! 370: Kathy talks with Linda Niemeyer

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Kathy talks with returning guest Linda Niemeyer, owner of Blue Sky Alpacas.

Growing up Linda dreamed of being a graphic designer and having a horse farm but the realities of graphic design left her bored and wanting more. After seeing a special on PBS she bought her first alpaca and the rest is history! Listen as Linda tells Kathy about the history of the company and how they develop their yarns. And check out their newest yarn, Extra!

Join Linda at WEBS on Sept 27th from 1-3pm Spend some time with Linda Niemeyer , check out the Trunk Show and try your hand at the “swatching bar,” Be there for a fascinating and educational day and a prize drawing! Please register if you plan to attend.

Steve’s Yarn Picks :

Upcoming Events:

Classic Elite Fall 2014 Event – Sept. 18th 6-7:30pm – The event is free but registration is required.

8th Annual Bus Trip to Rhinebeck – Saturday Oct 18th. the busses are filing up, get your ticket now!

We have an amazing line-up of guest teachers this year!
Amy Herzog in SeptemberSusan B Anderson will be here Columbus Day WeekendDora Ohrensten is doing a weekend of crochet classes in November!

And 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
September 5th, 2014

Valley Yarns Pattern Feature – Essential Accessories eBook

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Our Fall 2014 Catalog is online and will begin arriving in mailboxes in about a week (if you don’t get our catalog but would like to you can sign up here). One of our favorite things in this issue is the Valley Yarns Essential Accessories eBook. With 5 patterns in some of our favorite Valley Yarns like Stockbridge, Northampton, Huntington, Franklin and Amherst, this is a pattern collection you’ll keep coming back to for all your seasonal accessory needs.

Valley Yarns Essential Accessories eBook available exclusively at yarn.com

And if you’re really in need of just one great hat or the perfect fingerless mitts, all five pattern are also available individually! The Essential Accessories eBook, containing all 5 patterns is just $11.99 but the Basic Hat from Measurements, Basic Heel Flap Sock, the Simple Shawl, Essential Fingerless Gloves, and the Knit and Purl Cowl are all available  for just $3.99 individually. Which one will you make first?