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Preview: WEBS Yarn Store

WEBS Yarn Store



The official blog of WEBS - America's Yarn Store. Follow owners Kathy & Steve through their adventures in yarn and life.



Updated: 2015-09-16T17:09:57.782-05:00

 



Let's Migrate!

2008-10-17T15:41:03.659-05:00

As promised! The new blog is ready!

Check it out at http://blog.yarn.com.

Be sure to update your links, bloglines, feeds, etc. Any problems - just email me at kathy.elkins AT yarn DOT com.

Comment on the new site and let me know what you think!

Kathy



Tomorrow's the Day!

2008-10-16T18:03:44.966-05:00

I can barely stand it! Tomorrow I will be redirecting to the new blog! Woohoo! It's taken much longer than I anticipated - somehow these tech things always do. I am very excited about the new blog, how it looks and all of the flexibility I have with the new platform.

So - tomorrow we'll celebrate (hopefully you will like it as much as I do) and then next week I'll be back to a consistent blog schedule!

Kathy



Coming Along

2008-10-07T18:50:45.178-05:00

Steve & I are back from our mini-vacation. Just a few short days away - no kids, no work-related reason for the trip. It was wonderful. Highlights - lots of downtime, great food and two holes where I out-drove Steve :) To clarify, I was playing from the ladies tees, he from the back, BUT, that is how a golf course is designed to work and although I didn't hit it as far as he did, I did out drive him.

I know I announced our migration to Wordpress a while back. Between our trip and the usual workings it takes to make these things happen, it's taking a tad longer than I had hoped. It is looking GREAT though! A few more days is all I think it will be, so please bear with me :)

Most important item right now - please be sure to join this Sunday from 12-4 for our 5th Annual Knit/Crochet for a Cure. We will be creating squares this year that will become blankets. If you are a spinner, come on in and bring your wheel. For those of you with Rigid Heddle Looms - bring them in as well. We're adapting a design for "strips" that you can weave and contribute to the cause. This is always a fun day, so please stop by.

Snacks and such as always. Raffles a definite. Come and join in this very worth cause to benefit the Cancer Connection right here in Northampton.

Kathy



On The Move!

2008-09-30T05:42:00.877-05:00

Tons to post about but it seems I am out of time! Steve and I are off for a few days of R&R - sun and golf which is our favorite kind of trip.

Most importantly, I want to let everyone know that this blog is on the move. I am migrating to Wordpress, which is something I've been planning for awhile. Many of you know my frustrations with Blogger and ultimately, I need more control over the blog for a variety of reasons. Stay tuned for the redirect and be sure to update your links when the move is complete. I'll keep you posted! Just bear with me and the tech team while they get this accomplished.

Kathy



The Week+ In Review

2008-09-21T16:20:10.155-05:00

September has been quite the whirlwind. Last I left you all, I was off on a trip to St. Louis. I was gone for 3 days, which isn't all that long, but long enough to unsettle the schedule. I was originally suppose to be gone longer, but Mom responsibilities called and Steve had to travel to Manhattan to speak at the Big Apple Knitters Guild Annual Luncheon. He didn't take any pictures, but I sure would've liked to have been a fly on the wall watching him and 87 knitters!I left again last Tuesday to head to Cleveland for the second season taping of Knitting Daily TV. I was pretty nervous when we went for the taping last April, but this time was much less stressful. Steve once again stayed home. We've been away so much this year we really felt we couldn't leave the boys again unless it was necessary for us both to be somewhere. In this case it wasn't.I was met at the airport by the lovely Shannon Okey, who was kind enough to give me a bit of a lift. It was greatly appreciated given that I did not have time to ship all of the "stuff" for my segments in advance so I had one huge suitcase with yarn and props for seven segments along with a second smaller bag packed with seven different outfits. I was also carrying with me yarn that she was in need of for a rush project, so the helping hands worked both ways! Thanks Shannon - great to see you!I went directly to the studios to prep for my segments and then the next day was taping day!I did take a few snapshots to share. Here's Liz Gipson and Eunny Jang prepping in the "Green Room" - it really is green.Here's Shay Pendray working a project in between segments. She is one of the loveliest people I have ever met. Here's Kim Werker on set prepping for a segment with producer Kathy.It was great fun to do the TV thing again, but I was equally happy to head for home again.The night before I left for Cleveland, the WEBS crew gathered for a surprise shower for Mary. I was in charge of carrying out the cover story and getting her to the restaurant on-time. She thought we were meeting our designer and one of our printers for dinner to discuss business. When we walked into the retaurant, she instead found this:She was completely surprised and we had a lovely celebration. The wedding is only 3 weeks away and we're excited to share in her special day! I flew home from Cleveland in time to record this week's podcast which featured Norah Gaughan! She was in town for a store appearance that night so it was the perfect opportunity to have her back on the show. I was a little delirious from the traveling and started out the interview by calling one of Berroco's yarns by the wrong name. Consumate professional - yep, that's me. We finished the recording and Steve and I headed over to UMass to make a presentation to a marketing class. It was great fun but a little tough since Steve had written the presentation while I was gone. I think we muddled through pretty well.Then it was back to the store to prep for the event with Norah. As exhausted as I was, the event was GREAT! We had many of the Fall '08 garments on hand and most in two sizes. Our sales rep Andra and Berroco Designer (and former WEBS staffer) Cirilia modeled: I picked this picture in particular because of the garment. I apologize that the shot is a bit blurry. This is Assemblage from NGV3 (Norah Gaughan Book volume 3). Norah explained that initially she had envisioned this cardigan with a wrap that would attach. She brought along the piece and attached it for us to see the look. I love Assemblage as is, but I like it this way too! It's knit in Pure Merino DK. I am also including this picture of Portrait (knit in Inca Gold), also found in NGV3 for a reason. The design inspiration for this garment is a knitted cable. Norah, with the help of Margery, pixelated what a knitted cable looks like and incorporated it into this design. When I first saw this garment, I did not see the cable. In fact, depending on the person, it has[...]



Wrap Ups and Ramp Ups

2008-09-10T11:52:21.222-05:00

Sorry for not posting sooner. The weekend was crazy with Twist and I took off yesterday for a business trip.

Twist was an absolute blast! Thanks to everyone who came out - especially those of you who made the trek in the remnants of Hanna. It was such a great community event - Lexie & Cory you guys rock!


(image) (image)
Here's our own LA demoing the Rigid Heddle Loom on Friday evening.


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I manned the show on Saturday and the interest in the loom was incredible.

Here's Christa & Tina from WEBS! Christa was selling her beautiful handknits while Tina makes amazing necklaces.

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For those of you who missed the event, rumor has it that a Twist 2.0 may be in the works, so be sure to stay tuned!

Now, as much as I hate to say goodbye to summer, there's no question that fall is just around the corner. Our new fall catalog is arriving in homes and I have to say a great big "Thank you" to everyone who has taken time to email or post a comment or blog about it. We are really proud of this issue as it incorporates many new ideas I've been working on. If yours hasn't arrived yet, don't despair! The catalogs are at the mercy of the USPS so please have patience. If you aren't currently on our mailing list and want to receive a copy, simply email customerservice@yarn.com with the request and be sure to include your name and mailing address.

For those of you who have already dog-eared several pages, what projects are you planning to make? Time to get fall knitting in full swing!


Kathy



Ready, Set, Knit #95 Yarn, Events & Carol Sulcoski

2008-09-07T11:41:43.048-05:00

This week on Ready, Set, Knit Steve & I discuss more new yarns and upcoming events.

While Pixie is still on holiday, I invited back one of my favorite guests, author, indie dyer and blogger, Carol Sulcoski! Carol is co-author of the lovely book Knit So Fine and she has a second book due out this December, which we discuss. You can see Carol's gorgeous yarns at www.blackbunnyfibers.com and read her blog at www.goknitinyourhat.blogspot.com.

You can get Ready, Set, Knit at http://www.yarn.com/ or on iTunes!

Enjoy!

Kathy

P.S. If you have suggestions for topics, KALs or special guests, please email me at readysetknit@yarn.com! I'd love to hear from you!



Interweave Crochet Fall '08 Preview!

2008-09-05T14:53:49.447-05:00

Just posted is the preview for the Fall '08 issue! Check it out here http://interweavecrochet.com/issue/2008/materials_fall08.asp#ridgeswing.

The designs are really beautiful and I have to admit to being partial to the Stepping Stones Cardigan by Kristin Omdahl. She used our Valley Yarns Deerfield and the finished cardi is really stunning! Can't wait for the issue to arrive.

More updates from Twist are coming too!

Kathy



Twist is Tomorrow!

2008-09-04T16:12:48.744-05:00

Kicking off tomorrow is the first ever Twist here in Northampton. Twist is the creation of Lexie Barnes and her husband Corey. From the website: "Twist is a fresh kind of fair, showcasing original handmade goods and art from over 50 of the region's most talented crafters and artists. Two days of shopping start Friday evening on 9/5 with DJ beats and adult beverages."

In speaking with Lexie over the past few months about this endeavor, I know she and Corey were passionate about having a cool, hip event which would provide the opportunity for anyone to come and check out incredible art at affordable prices. I also know they are hoping to provide the artists with a showcase for their talent as well as an opportunity to sell their goods.



Steve & I are totally psyched to be a part of this event. We'll be there doing demos, there will be yarn to test drive, our Bead Store will be there as well. If you are in the area or are simply looking for something interesting to do this weekend, come on out to Noho and check out Twist!



The event runs Friday from 5pm-9pm and Saturday from 10am-8pm. The first 100 people will receive Twist Swag Bags. Admission is cheap - $3 for adults, $1 for kids 12 and under and FREE for those 5 and under. Hope to see all of you there!

Oh, and as promised:



(image) It was the first day of school. Second and fourth grades. How the heck did that happen?

Kathy




You Won't Believe This

2008-09-03T16:03:52.092-05:00

Seriously. I hope you are sitting down and if you aren't I suggest you do before you read any further. What I am about to show you is, well, going to come as a bit of a surprise, especially coming from me. So here goes. Ready? I present to you knitting:Knitting done by ME! I know, I know, it's pretty amazing. Owner of one of the largest yarn stores/websites in the country, who blogs about said store and yarn, is actually blogging about her very own knitting project. Shocking, isn't it?My Staghorn Cabled Tunic is coming along! I am quite pleased with it and have really enjoyed working on it. Look at the lovely cables:I am just about to work the armhole shaping and such to finish up the front then onto the back. Yeah, we finished this weeks ago on the Ready, Set, Knit KAL, but I never claimed to be a speedy knitter. Little bit here, little bit there. . . . There's even a shot I'll have this beauty done for Stitches East! I am using our own Valley Yarns Northampton, (which is the yarn called for) in dark grey. The store sample was knit in light grey and I almost went with black (big surprise for those who know me and see me on a regular basis). I'm glad I opted for the dark grey. I was able to get gauge using the suggested needle size, which is a rarity for me. I started out on Colonial's Rosewood Circs (a personal fave) but the dark yarn and dark needles were not working out. I resisted the change until it was forced upon me (call it a mini-intervention). Next thing I knew I was on Skacel's Addi-Naturas, which I had not previously used. Love them! Not too pointy, nice and smooth with a perfect join. The cord is not quite as cooperative as the Colonial's but it's a minor intrusion.In other news when is a crochet hook case not just a crochet hook case? A question I am sure many of you have pondered. Here, is the Lexie Barnes Dottie in the Diablo print:Innocent, yet very functional crochet hook case. When interpreted by a nine-year old boy about to start fourth grade, it morphs into this:The coolest pencil case EVER! J1 spied this at the store yesterday and asked if he could get one for school. ABSOLUTELY! He's loaded and locked and ready for the first day tomorrow! Woohoo! J2 goes back too! Double woohoo! Truly, it's been a most awesome summer, but folks when I say it's time for them to be back to school, I mean it's really time. Even they are ready! Watch for cute, first day of school brag pictures tomorrow!Kathy[...]



Good Times, Good Memories

2008-08-31T16:52:28.822-05:00

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone! After a very wet, "Florida meets Kansas" kind of summer here in the northeast, we are being rewarded with an absolute gem of a weekend (well, at least today and tomorrow). I've got a few photos from Midwest that I want to share, in addition to the videos I've already posted.First, I think all of you are aware of my penchant for warm weather. The morning I left for Midwest, this was the temperature here (top = outdoor, bottom=indoor):Yes, it can get very cold here in New England, but that is pushing things for mid-August. A reminder of things to come from Mother Nature I suppose. Makes it even more important to me to savor days like today.We dined at the Weber Grill in Schaumburg with one of our suppliers and his lovely family. Unfortunately, the mini-van didn't have quite enough room for everyone. Steve lost the draw:I was completely taken by this lovely scarf. I wrote down her name and have no idea where that little slip of paper is. It will turn up, but in the meantime, isn't this adorable?She called it her diamond square scarf, as the crocheted squares are attached at the corner, thus looking like diamonds. She used SWTC Tofutsies in an array of colors. Here's a closeup.I just love it. This next shot also tickles me. Far from the only sighting of a WEBS purchase over the weekend, but this was on Thursday evening after the market preview in the lounge at the hotel. What doesn't come through as clearly as I would have liked is that the bar is lit and the WEBS bag was glowing. Lastly, here we all are in our exhausted glory. Show over, everything packed up and we were tired and hungry, but happy:Thanks to Pete, Andra, Kirsten and KT for a SUPER effort. You guys rocked.Before I put Midwest completely to bed, there's something else I want to share. Over the course of any show, there are what I will categorize as "moments". In the scope of the show, they are the memory makers for us. Working these tradeshows is hard, grueling work. This show, I made a point to try to keep track of some of the funnier "Quotes from Schaumburg" to share with all of you. Now remember, they might not seem as funny and entertaining to all of you, as they did to us at the time. Here goes:"If I don't see fencing, I'm going to kill someone""You haven't seen Glenn Garry, Glenn Ross and I still married you?""There's a Grim Reaper in all of us" - Wanda, IA"It feels like someone is breathing on me""He probably just smells cats" - owner of Daniel the Golden Lab"My Noro people are here, should I smoke the credit card?" - anonymous"What, are you chicken?""Yarn.com was here."With that, need I say more? See you all in Baltimore for East!Kathy[...]



Ready, Set, Knit #94: Interviews with Rick Mondragon & Lexie Barnes!

2008-08-30T12:34:05.971-05:00

This week on Ready, Set, Knit Steve & I interview Rick Mondragon, Editor of Knitters Magazine. Get some insight into what it takes to bring each issue to life, Rick's thoughts on the fall issue and more!


We also had the pleasure of having our friend Lexie Barnes join us this week as well! Lexie and her husband Corey are producing a new event here in Northampton called Twist, which will be held Friday & Saturday, September 5th & 6th. Here from one of the participating artists, Sarah of Ansel Blue Designs as well! We hope to see you there next weekend!


You can get Ready, Set, Knit at http://www.yarn.com/ or on iTunes!


Kathy



Mastering Technology

2008-08-29T15:34:06.593-05:00

I think I simply wore Blogger out last night in trying to upload these videos. Sorry to have left you with the middle of the Oreo missing, but here we go.

All set and ready for the knitters!

allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.blogger.com/video.g?token=AD6v5dwbPjsP0gbnlOGZ01zWFColndAv_b0JmF6JgBfe1Hw1g99r-QXybstlr7gvg28WvslnmFZG_AoYf6Ww8alR' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />

Here is a quick tour of the Berroco section of our booth. In particular, check out the Babettes (Andra's and Pixie's) and the beautiful Assemblage Sweater. I "heart" Assemblage. There are three lovely versions for you to see!

allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.blogger.com/video.g?token=AD6v5dx51aV5KH46uPBB5UVn_wKEScibHVpavHYzj9QzqNzDF6IfSr8nUK74StM1WChKLM0MSNLyGHkC_WF2YslboQ' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />

I have some regular camera shots from the show that still need to be posted, so stay tuned for those.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Remember, our retail store will be CLOSED Sunday (as always) and Monday in observance of the holiday! You can always order anytime at www.yarn.com!

Kathy




Stitches Midwest - The Recap

2008-08-28T19:24:47.575-05:00

Whew - what a show! We had such a great time at Midwest. Always so much fun to see our Midwest customers (and those of you who travelled even further). Thanks to everyone for making the weekend such a blast.

I thought I'd try a bit of a different twist in sharing Stitches with all of you. I did take a lot of pictures, some of which I will share with you, but first, I'd like to share this:

allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.blogger.com/video.g?token=AD6v5dzO7yrfTt2J6L-K6-mbe_tLl8U_uz4saLLZ8MjRVOodhbRHOprxsV_lfBZhzdzqvbMRTfLwNluIA8ZSeq772g' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />

Yes, I know, probably not the safest video ever taken, but I was excited. I promised Steve I would not do this again.

We arrived at the convention center and here's where things stood:

allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.blogger.com/video.g?token=AD6v5dxpJL5BUEY_Kc1aMQN3WDbsntiSGHyedbBeUvpIEZPDx4rw9sEuKg3UhVaIyXaAo7_LTXsbLYTvJIo5q7djgQ' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />

Finally, time to call it a show:

allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.blogger.com/video.g?token=AD6v5dxdwUbptavPZzbA7zH4Td6oFIO0S5PTezSLdhBEUcltW7kfNm0r1DdUvmXKIHgL2QBv7Pt-sauZ3kNqz-kztQ' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />

I have to interim sections that just don't seem to be cooperating tonight including one great video of some of the Berroco garments. I am out of patience Blogger, so will leave you with these for tonight and the following questions. More tomorrow.

I'd love to know what you all think of the video. I promise (a) I will get better at it and (b) not include this many videos in any one post on a regular basis. I am excited. I've had this little Flip video cam ever since I saw Kim Werker with it - nearly a year ago. Not only is it adorable and super functional - it's orange, which I love.

I do have some cool photos from the show as well, which I will discuss tomorrow!

Kathy




Ready, Set, Knit #93: Interview w/Betsy Perry of Classic Elite Yarns

2008-08-25T14:28:27.330-05:00

This week on Ready, Set, Knit Steve & I interview Betsy Perry of Classic Elite Yarns. Here all about the new fall yarns and designs!

You can get Ready, Set, Knit at http://www.yarn.com/ or on iTunes!

Kathy



And We're Off

2008-08-22T07:42:37.810-05:00

Just a quick little post from here in Chicago. Our flight, set-up and opening night all went flawlessly. We could have opened at noon yesterday. If I do say so myself, we rocked the free world.
(image)


The Market Preview, which was last night, is for registered students only. They were quite an enthusiastic bunch and we had a blast seeing many familiar faces but meeting some new ones too. We had lots of nice comments about Ready, Set, Knit. It always freaks me out a bit to realize that people do actually listen. A few people commented how weird it was to be hearing our voices and seeing us in person.

After the market closed, we stayed here at the hotel for some appetizers. Stitches is a marathon and we've learned to pace ourselves.
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I have to comment on the hotel. It is only two years old and it is lovely. Seriously lovely. The architecture, the decor, the details, the staff. . . .we're pretty pro-Marriott people and have stayed in many, across all the brands they have. This Renaisssance is among the best. I may never leave (I realize that could cause a multitude of issues, so just let me bask in my fantasy for a bit longer, okay?). Look at this - this is a feature in the bathroom of our standard room:
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Love this place.
Kathy



Chicago Bound

2008-08-19T18:35:14.231-05:00

Stitches Midwest is nearly upon us! This year's show is in a brand new location in Schaumburg, IL. Our home for a few days will be the Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center. It's a brand new facility and we'll be the only show happening. Registered students can shop the market on Thursday evening from 5-8pm. The market is open to the general public Friday and Saturday from 10-6pm and Sunday 10-4pm. We will be in booths 513-618. Our crew this year includes Pete our Ops Mgr (in other words, he makes sure your orders get picked, packed & shipped), KT our Asst. Store Manager, Kirsten our Design Coordinator, Andra our most faboo Berroco rep and of course Steve & I. Be sure to stop by, say hi, do a little shopping, check out our Valley Yarns and garments (including all the new ones for fall!), Berroco's fall line and garments (Andra will have both of her Assemblages on display, plus lots more). We'll have some Kauni in the booth (get it while it lasts) and lots of great deals.In other news, last week we received the new Nectar pattern book from Rowan. It's stunning. We also have Kim Hargreaves Heartfelt and this great garment is on display in the store. Knit in Kid Classic - isn't it lovely?And I love the necklace (courtesy of WEBS Beads):When we received in Artyarns Silk Pearl and Beaded Pearl & Sequins, I was in love. But we all know I am the slowest knitter around, so when Leslie Ann commented that she was wanting to give it a whirl on the Rigid Heddle Loom, I knew we could accomplish two things at once: Isn't it gorgeous. I know, the photo doesn't do it justice. I am bringing home a Schacht Flip Loom after Midwest and I am making one of these in every colorway. This beauty took one hank of Silk Pearl for warp and one skein of Bead Pearl and Sequins for weft. LA - I cannot thank you enough!In other news, several of us had the chance to celebrate the upcoming wedding of Mary. Here's the lovely bride and groom. We had a great time and are looking forward to the wedding this fall. Oh and look at this creation - a wedding cake made from towels! People are so clever! It was very cool.J1 & J2's epic summer continued last week with our 3rd Red Sox game of the season. This one was extra special because (a) I won tickets and I NEVER win anything and (b) the raffle I entered help to contribute to medical expenses for a very sick child in our town.The seats were incredible:We even had a waitress and menus!Fenway franks never tasted so good!I hope to see lots of you in Chicago!KathyP.S. Don't forget - I am now on Facebook and have created a WEBS Page. It still needs some work, but it's coming along. If you are on Facebook, look me up as a friend and certainly join the WEBS page![...]



Podcast Show 92: Interview with Karen Morris

2008-08-16T16:23:06.120-05:00

This week on Ready, Set, Knit Steve & I interview Karen Morris, author of "The Beading Answer Book" which is a terrific reference book for beaders of any level. Be sure to visit WEBS Beads!

Pixie & I wrap up the Staghorn Cabled Tunic KAL!

You can get Ready, Set, Knit at http://www.yarn.com/ or on iTunes!

Kathy



Tax Free Weekend!

2008-08-15T10:52:19.351-05:00

This weekend is Tax Free Weekend here in Massachusetts. All purchases of taxable goods under $2500 will save the standard 5% sales tax! We are fortunate that yarn is not taxed here, but there are lots of items that are! Things like looms, spinning wheels, knitting needles, books, bags and other accessories. That means if you've been thinking about purchasing a spinning wheel, this weekend you'll save the 5% sales tax. On some of these larger ticket items, we could be talking about enough savings to cover the gas to get here, or even lunch!

But wait! You know Steve and I like to make things extra exciting so in addition to saving 5% on the sales tax, we'll also take 10% off the original price! Now we're talking some serious savings!

Remember, this applies to in-store, in-stock purchases only. For those of you considering a loom, this applies only to a single purchase with a price under $2,500.

This is a great opportunity to get a jump start on some holiday shopping. Think about getting that special knitter a set of 24" Addi Turbo circs in the complete size range - now that would be a GREAT gift and you'd save quite a bit of money (approximately $50.00 savings!). Okay, so maybe that's a bit extravagant, but you get the idea!

We look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow - it's going to be a great day!

Kathy



Thoughts from Cape Cod

2008-08-09T16:30:10.091-05:00

We are wrapping up our week here at the Cape and it has been a great vacation. The trip has not been the reason I haven't blogged. The blog was locked down by Blogger late last week. Their software identified a bunch of blogs as potential "spammers". It was fixed within a day or so, but I didn't realize this. It was posted here on "Blogger Buzz", but I was waiting for an email response to my request for a "review" of my blog. Oh well, we are on vacation after all so it's not as if I would have been posting everyday.Unfortunately, I am now late to the party with a few important happenings and such.1. Last Friday, the much anticipated Twist Collective went live. Twist Collective is a new on-line magazine that was developed by Kate Gilbert and a trio of very talented friends. The premise was to bring together talented designers and writers and provide them with not only a platform for their work, but also provide them with more flexibility with usage of their work. I interviewed Kate on Ready, Set, Knit, last week and we had a great conversation about her new venture. Overall, I love Twist Collective. I think the format is fresh, the designs are terrific and the content is well done. Twist Collective will be published quarterly and will have smaller updates in between. If you haven't already checked it out, you should take a few minutes to do so.2. On Monday, another new on-line knitting magazine went live - Knotions.com, published by Jody Pirello. Jody's take is all about knitting smarter. She has made the patterns printer friendly, charts that are clickable and easy to enlarge. She offers technique tutorials along with interesting articles. I especially liked the Fall '08 color trends story. Jody will be our guest on this week's podcast, so be sure to check that out on Saturday, 8/9!3. WEBS' August Sale is in full swing! Amazing savings on yarns for knitters and weavers!4. Stitches Midwest is only two weeks away! The show will be held at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center in Schaumburg, IL. This is a new location for the show and we are pretty excited about it! Not that we didn't like Rosemont, but in Schaumburg, the convention center only hosts one event at a time plus the facility is pretty new, so it should be a lovely knitting extravaganza! We will be there in booths 513-618 with all of our Valley Yarns, Berroco, including all of the new fall yarns, pattern books and many, many, many of the actual model garments for you to see! Plus, we'll have some other fabulous yarns along with some great closeout deals. If you are planning to come to the show be sure to stop by!5. I forgot to mention that WEBS Beads is participating in our August Sale as well! They will be having weekly specials throughout August. If you live in the area or plan to be during August, be sure to stop by and see what they've got on special! This week we're offering 15% off all findings and stringing materials. Savings in-store only!6. Our Fall Class Schedule is posted on-line! We have an incredible selection of classes for knitters, crocheters, weavers, spinners, dyers and more! We've got some great guest teachers coming as well. Clara Parkes, Kristen Nicholas, Susanna Hansson and Galina Khmeleva will all be at WEBS this fall! What is sure to be "the" event of the season happens on September 17th, when Norah Gaughan returns to WEBS! This is a rare chance to spend time with Norah, discuss the new fall yarns and designs with her, learn how they came to be and try on all of the amazing garments! Be sure to check out all of[...]



NY Sheep & Wool

2008-07-31T16:39:16.080-05:00

WEBS will be hosting another bus trip to this year's NY Sheep & Wool Festival. The date is Saturday, October 18th. We've reserved two buses and need to have enough registrations to be sure we're covering the costs for both by the middle of August. Last year's trip was a sell-out, so I am confident we'll fill two buses this year. We'll depart WEBS around 7:30am and return around 6pm-ish. We'll provide a continental breakfast for everyone, but please bring your own coffee! There will be lots of fun on the trip out to Rhinebeck including fun games with prizes! Bring along your latest project, relax on our motor coach bus and enjoy a phenomenal day in Rhinebeck! Cost of the trip is $65.00 all inclusive. Get yourself registered today so you don't miss out!


On another note, this summer has been wrought with really bizarre weather here in Western Massachusetts. We've had a couple of reported tornadoes, over 12" of rain in the past month (record breaking) and more severe thunderstorms than I can remember in one summer. Now, you all know I am a weather buff and I've been loving a lot of this, but things have really gotten out of control. This afternoon we had a shower come through, a couple of distant rumbles of thunder and some wind. It was tame in comparison to what some of our storms have been like. I hurried the kids in, got the windows closed, fielded a call from a neighbor and then, I turned around and my patio umbrella was gone! I looked all around the yard and scanned the neighbors' yards, but couldn't find it. Once the heavy rain stopped, I sent the boys out for a look and sure enough, they found it:


(image)

Yes, it's on the roof, where else would it be? Only 7 and 9 year old boys would even think to look up!

Kathy




Seasons Collide

2008-07-30T17:12:18.953-05:00

Our annual Summer Sale is on! This sale is all about clearing out closeout inventory. There are some great deals and steals to be had this year - Steve took no prisoners and is serious about making some room out in the warehouse. For those of you who have ever shopped the store, you know we always have a $2.00 bin. This is where odds and ends land. Well, Steve has added a $2.00 bin to the on-line sale this year! Fun for all! Be sure to check out the great buys on some really nice yarns for knitters, crocheters and weavers. Just remember, when they are gone, they are GONE!We received our copies of Vogue Knitting Fall '08 a few days ago. I will readily admit that I don't run to the receiving area to grab my copy like I do when Interweave Knits comes. Usually there are a couple of patterns I like, but that's usually it. Well, Fall '08 is a completely different story. It is a really, really, REALLY nice issue. Look at the cover - LOOK AT THE MITTENS:Designed by Jared of Brooklyn Tweed fame, those are mittens - serious mittens. Called Green Autumn, they are classic, beautiful, challenging - perfect. The entire mitten spread has some great designs, some a bit more out there then others (from my perspective, but that's just me and my own personal aesthetic). Overall, very nicely done.As I turned the page I was hit with this:OMG - it's stunning. Secondly, it's designed by Robin Melanson, who I had the chance to meet briefly and is lovely and thirdly, she used Blue Sky Alpaca Melange. Then there's this:I love this too! Knit in Torino Bulky means it will move along. It's seed stitch surrounded by ribbing and knit from the top down. It's rated as an "intermediate" pattern (whereas the other two are "experienced" so won't be showing up on my needles anytime soon) so maybe I'll take it on. We'll see.At this point, I am loving VK Fall '08 and as I continue to flip the pages (liking other things along the way, not just the ones I'm mentioning here) I come to this:Norah Gaughan design using Berroco Peruvia. What else needs to be said?Last, there is this one by Elsebeth Lavold:Another "experienced" knit so unlikely to be knit by me, but it sure is pretty.So, hat's off to Trisha Malcolm and her team - fabulous job one and all! Plus the editorial content is quite good too including articles about the Canadian knitting scene and our friends Jess and Casey at Ravelry. This is a nicely done issue.Okay, what else? Oh, I received a wonderful surprise in the mail about a week or so ago from Iris at Artyarns:It's beautiful and I was very touched that she thought to send it to me. Cashmere and crochet - what more could I ask for? This will be some pretty intense crocheting since the cashmere is her single ply Cashmere 1 and the pattern calls for a "C" hook. All of the circles are crocheted separately and joined as you go-ish. It's definitely going in the queue! Thanks Iris!Last night, several of us went out to fete the lovely and talented Cirilia. Many of you know her from the store and others from our catalog. She has been with us since she graduate 3 years ago and has brought so much to WEBS. Well, she is leaving and we are very sad. Fortunately, she is staying in the industry so I know we will still get to cross paths and such. I am not sure if I am at liberty to say where she is going (she wasn't sure either) so I'm going to play it safe and say nothing other than "Go Get 'Em Cirilia!"Lastly, a Happy, Happy Birthday to Barbara Elkins! B - we hope you are enjoying your day - we [...]



Knitting Daily TV Launches!

2008-07-28T17:54:06.459-05:00

Interweave's Knitting Daily TV has finally arrived! WEBS is thrilled to be one of the major sponsors of this exciting new PBS show!The website is now live and full of information about each episode. Interweave purchased the rights to Shay Pendray's Needlearts Studio and completely revamped the show. Hosted by Eunny Jang, Kim Werker, Liz Gipson and Shay Pendray, KDTV covers a wide variety of fiber crafts, although knitting is certainly the main focus. They all did such an amazing job!There are thirteen total episodes in this first season and cover topics from "The Sweater", "Knitting Lace", "Cables" and so much more. Each show features segments that are geared towards the show's topic and include things like "Getting Started" or a "You Made It" where the host and a guest discuss and highlight a single project made and interpreted by different people. There's also the "Progressive Project" in which a project is covered step by step from start to finish. There are lots of great tips and tricks and general information.As I've blogged about previously, I had the opportunity to tape several segments of the show. I have a set of the DVDs sitting here at my house and I have to be perfectly honest - I haven't had the courage to watch them yet! I know, I am being ridiculous. The first time we recorded the podcast it was torture listening to myself back. Now, it's not big deal and I can honestly assess when I've done a reasonable job or where things could have been done better. I have no doubt that will be the case with these shows, but it's still intimidating!For those of you right here in Western Mass (actually, Massachusetts in general) neither of the PBS stations (Boston & Springfield) are carrying the show. Although there is a wee little piece of me that is just an itty, bitty bit relieved, the reality is the shows are super and deserve air time. It's important to note that PBS programming is not within Interweave's control. Each PBS station can independently decide if they are going to carry the show. If you want the show in your area, now is the time to write a letter, send and email or make a phone call. Here is the contact information for Springfield and Boston. You can get more information on this at the Knitting Daily TV website.Also on the website you will find many of the patterns that are demonstrated and discussed on the show, along with some show clips, etc. Be sure to check it out!The highlight of the day today was an impromptu visit from Marianne Adams, owner of The Yarn Boutique in Lafayette, CA. She and her husband Bob are on an East Coast Adventure and made time to stop by for a visit. Marianne & I have been friends for awhile now and although we chat on email and such, we only see each other at tradeshows, which is far from conducive for socializing in any meaningful way. This was such a nice treat and the first time I've been able to meet her husband. I only wish my day hadn't been so hectic, but it was great to catch up, if even for only a little bit. I've never had the chance to visit her store, but if any of you find yourself in her area, be sure to check it out!I also owe a shout out to Katkoe on Ravelry. She has a great avatar featuring stitch markers she crafted herself. I commented to her that I loved them and she was nice enough to send me a pair! I was so touched! There is nothing better than surprise gifts:These so epitomize my knitting, it's almost NOT funny! It is a good reminder for me that is only [...]



Got Yarn?

2008-07-25T16:00:30.380-05:00

Um, yeah, we've got yarn, a lot of yarn. So much yarn has come in this week, I gave up trying to take photos and document it all. It's truly mind boggling!We received in all of Classic Elite fall yarns, all of Tahki/Stacy Charles and Rowan! Seriously, the staff is on such overload at this point, everyone is sort of just wandering around babbling with dazed looks on their faces. It's been a lot to process both physically and mentally. I will touch on a few highlights, but please understand, this is merely the tip of the yarn mountain.Kaffe Fassett introduces a new chunky weight yarn called Colourscape. It is so beautiful. I will take a picture of it on the store shelves (forgot today - remember the babbling and dazed looks, I'm there too). It knits at 3.5 sts = 1" on 10.5 needles and has 175 yards for $23.95.Classic Elite Ariosa is a roving style yarn that is 90% extrafine merino/10% cashmere. It feels awesome! It also knits at 3.5 sts = 1" on 10.5 needles and has 87 yards for $11.99. Classic Elite has also introduced another collection of gorgeous designs to support all of their new yarns.Plymouth has a new yarn in their Bristol Gallery Collection called Ashton. Ashton is 50% baby alpaca/40% fine merino/10% silk. This DK weight yarn has 122 yards and is just scrumptious. This is one that would make some great scarves for holiday gifts!From Filatura Di Crosa, we've added a yarn called Ricciolo. This yarn is a blend of 51% mohair/49% acrylic. It's a light, lofty multi-colored boucle. It's fun, its fancy and Steve and I felt strongly that we needed to mix things up a bit. Ricciolo knits at 3 sts =1" on a 10.5 needles. Each ball has 66 yards and because of it's Italian heritage, retails at $12.95/ball. This yarn will make great trim, hats, scarves, etc.Okay, that's it for yarns for now. Be sure to go through our list of New Yarns to see everything (and I know there will be more up this weekend!)Earlier in the week, Mary and I headed off to Mt. Skinner State Park for our fall photoshoot. It was hot and muggy and sticky and icky - not the best of days for wearing sweaters, carrying sweaters, styling sweaters and looks, etc. What I can say is that every sweaty moment was SO worth it. Here are a few outtakes:Pretty awesome view. We live in such a beautiful place! This shoot was not for the faint of heart. From the drive up the mountain, to the "don't let the model fall over the edge" moments, we worked really hard to capture some amazing shots. Our model Amy was such a trooper! Nothing phased her and despite the heat, humidity and rough terrain, she was upbeat, pleasant and cooperative throughout the entire shoot. We made sure every shot was ready to go before wrapping her in wool, alpaca, silk. . . . . . Towards the end, Mary spied this bird. We were all immediately taken with it's intense blue color: My picture doesn't do it justice, but trust me when I say it was incredible. We didn't know what it was. It was small-ish like a bluebird, but way too insanely blue to be one. Back at the ranch, we were told it's an Indigo Bunting. I am not a huge bird person but let me tell you, Indigo Buntings are welcome at my house anytime! Last weekend, we escaped for a couple of days to visit friends on Cape Cod. There were fried clams, steamed clams, lots of fun and laughter and of course the beach! Here's Jackson at Nauset Beach at the National Seashore: The waves were pretty strong that day and all of the k[...]



Fast and Furious and a little Freddie

2008-07-21T16:39:36.109-05:00

There is all sorts of stuff happening and new products arriving faster than I can photograph them and get them up here. I'm going to get right to things.First up, we are thrilled to introduce five brand spanking new colors from Fiesta Yarns. What makes these extra special? They are exclusive to WEBS! Woohoo! Here they are in Baby Boom, a personal fave:The color names are (from left to right) - Chesapeake, PB&J, Autumn Lace,Sangria Swirl, and Mulberry Tree. These colors will also be available in other Fiesta yarns and stay tuned for more collaborations with Fiesta!As I've blogged about many times, going to TNNA is a chance for me to search for cool new accessories and such. One of the items we picked up this year is The Fibersphere (I feel like there should be an echoing sound coming through your computer as I type that!)It's actually a pretty cool little product. You can safe encase your working ball of yarn into the sphere, protecting it from pets, kids, the elements, etc. If you need/want to take the ball out of the sphere, all you have to do is unsnap it. No cutting of your working yarn. Pretty clever!Plus, when you purchase this pink version, a portion of the proceeds are donated to Cancer Research. Cost is $20.00.Blue Sky Alpacas also ventured into the project containment realm and introduced these adorable little project bags:They are called "Pretty Cheep Project Bags" and are made from 100% cotton muslin, measure 12" square and are washable! Each bag has a red tag affixed to it for jotting notes about the project contained in the bag! At only $6.50, they are a "bahgain" (as we Bostonians say) and way cuter than a ziploc!On this week's podcast, Steve & I have the pleasure of interviewing Michele Orne, author of the just released book "Inspired to Knit - Creating Exquisite Handknits" from Interweave Press. We actually had the opportunity to meet Michele at TNNA and she is just lovely, as is her book. Rather than approach design from the purely technical standpoint, she delves into the inspirational side of design and how things in everyday life can invoke an idea or concept. Michele is a big proponent of Mood Boards and discusses how to compile and use them. To top off this lovely book, there are 21 stunning designs. Here are a few of my faves:The Amber Beaded Cardigan:This cardi actually started out as a shrug. You can see it in the sketch.Michele decided to add the skirt on after and it created a completely different garment. I personally love it as is and love the shrug version as well. What is also interesting is that the beads are sewn on after the garment was completed.The Seed-Stitch Poet Jacket appeals to me for it's beautiful lines and gentle shaping:I also love the Tiny Twists Camisole:Finally, this coat, the Winter Wonderland Coat took my breath away:I could go on, but I'll stop here. You need to buy this book. The interview is on this week's podcast which is now up on iTunes and our website.Last up, I didn't even realize this was in the store already, until I spied it on the shelf:I took it and put it in my office so I can enjoy an entire year's worth of Yarn Harlot witicisms. I'm telling you all now - if you know of anyone who will want or love this as a gift, buy early, buy often. Do not email me three days before Christmas begging me to send you my copy - I adore you all and would do almost anything for you, but I'm not coughing up the calendar.Fin[...]