Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Something most people don't know about me is I don't sleep soundly most nights. I often have a 2 or 3 a.m. staff meeting with myself. I rarely get up, I sometimes jot down a note, but mostly I lay in my bed quietly just letting my brain process all of the things that don't get processed during the day. I often have very good ideas at this time of night, I sometimes remember things I forgot to do. These meetings usually last about an hour then I fall back to sleep. I'll go through spurts where I'll wake up at exactly the same time, give or take a minute or two, for several nights in a row. Seriously, 2:19a.m. for 4-5 nights straight is not uncommon.

But I rarely dream. Nightmares are truly scarce.

But not last night.

Last night I had a nightmare. I dreamt I was on the Mass Pike in car in a thunderstorm, going to the Harlot event. Which was being held at my mother's house. Now mind you, my mother is two hours away and lives in very small house. Next, I am in the dark, dank, icky basement with Stephanie. We are talking, waiting to go upstairs to give her speech. Many of our regulars are in my mom's kitchen. We are in the basement for a very long time. I look at my watch and realize the time is wrong - not sure if I had the watch on wrong or if it stopped. I go upstairs and everyone is gone. I go back to the basement and tell Stephanie that everyone is gone and it's really 10:15p.m. We decide to drive back to WEBS to see if we can find anyone. Then I wake up - sick to my stomach.

I then proceed to conduct a 1 1/2 hour staff meeting with myself, going over all of the details for today, checking and rechecking my mental lists.

So, in case anyone is confused - the event is at The Calvin Theater here in Northampton. Not at my mom's house.


Monday, May 28, 2007

The Harlot Cometh

We are less than 48 hours away from the event of the YEAR! The Yarn Harlot's return to Northampton and WEBS! I am so excited and so stressed about all of the details, I'm not sure which emotion I'm feeling at any given time.

Orchestrating an event of this size is no small feat and it involves not only a lot of planning, but an immense amount of teamwork and cooperation from all of you!

As of today, our pre-registration has officially gone over the estimated attendance at the book launch at FIT! Little ole’ Northampton will beat the largest metropolitan area in the United States! Now, I know this may not matter to Stephanie, she has much higher goals with her tour than simply numbers. But as I've said before, I am competitive - wicked competitive. Call it a fault, call it what you want. I was asked to deliver Knitters to Represent - I take my job and this particular assignment seriously (and a bit personally). As of this morning, we have 602 pre-registered attendees. I did the happy dance. Now to just make sure we don't end up with a mess of knitters on our hands!

So, here's the info you need to know, the links to find it, etc. Please take the time to read all of this. It will also be coming to those of you pre-registered via email tomorrow (if you opted to provide us with an email).


The doors to the Calvin will officially open at 5:00 PM. For those of you coming from outside the area, we’ve posted information about directions, parking and local restaurants on our website. Here are the links to each one.

Directions to the Calvin

Parking in Downtown Northampton

Nearby Restaurants


We are supporting two charities with Stephanie’s visit that are very important to us, so we hope you will find time to support one or both of them while you are here. First is the Northampton Survival Center’s Kids’ Summer Food Program. This critical program feeds kids all summer long that ordinarily receive free breakfasts and lunches at school. When school is out, the Survival Center is their only food source. Let’s fill their coffers for the entire summer. The link below details the foods we would like folks to bring. Please bring them to the store, not to the Calvin as we won’t have the ability to collect food there.

Kids' Summer Food Program - Food List
Scroll down the page to see the list!

For those of you who have been working on hats for charity, please bring them to the store and we will make sure they are distributed. Please bring them to the store, not to the Calvin as we son't have the ability to collect hats there.


Everyone in attendance will receive a goodie bag with yarn donated by Webs and needles donated by Storey Publishing/Boye. During Stephanie's talk, we would like you to knit a square and those squares will be sent onto Warm Up America to be sewn into afghans and distributed to a variety of individuals who are in need.


Finally, as there are 600+ folks joining us, we are going to have a process for getting your books signed at the store. Stephanie will be pre-signing a group of books that will be available for purchase at the store if you don’t want to stand in line after the talk.

If you would like to meet Stephanie and get your book signed, we will be handing out cards at the Calvin with designated times for folks to come back to get their books signed. Cards will be handed out based on your time of arrival at the Calvin. The only exceptions are the elderly, handicapped, anyone with a small child or expecting – you get to go to the front of the line. This is Stephanie’s rule!

If your time is later, you may want to grab a quick bite to eat or an adult beverage at any one of the nearby establishments in downtown Northampton (caution: the bars near WEBS are a little scary!)

Of course, you are more than welcome to join us any time at the store for a little yarn shopping (there is some nice Regia sock yarn in the warehouse!), but we’d like to try to keep the line from snaking all around the warehouse. You are also welcome to just come back to the store, find a spot and hang out an knit!

The store will open at 10:00 AM on Wednesday. We'll be open during the entire event, including Stephanie's speech and we will not close until the last person leaves!

We will have plenty of staff in the store and at the Calvin to help you out. This is going to be a great night! I hope Northampton is ready for us!


P.S. IT'S DONE! The catalog project that is standing in my way of every other project I want to do is done!!!

The Sheep are in the House

So here we are with our first full weekend off, together, as a family since our trip to Florida in March. We even opted to not send the boys to school today (private school schedule - don't ask). The weather is perfect, everyone is healthy and there's lots to do around here this time of year. So what's the pick of the weekend? The Massachusetts Sheep & Wool Festival of course! An entire weekend without yarn-related activities? Not for this family.

Sunday morning we trekked off to Cummington, MA and the fair grounds. The boys were excited to see the animals, "but do we have to look at more yarn too??" Yes, boys, we do.

Here are some of the wonderful furry creatures we got to see:

I didn't take pictures of the itty-bitty angora bunnies, but boy were they cute! One more, "can we get a bunny mom?" and I just might have given in, except for the memories of Abigail our cat and her "fetish" for bunnies. . . . . I saw that train wreck coming at me in plenty of time to avoid it (for once).

We saw fellow blogger and FOW (friend of WEBS) Melissa-Knits, Mr. Wonderful and Girl:

There were bunches of vendors with amazing yarns and more:

I scored three skeins of beautiful handspun merino/alpaca in a lovel greyed-raspberry color. Yeah, like I don't have enough alpaca or alpaca blends in my stash. But really, none of them are like these skeins! I think it will make a mighty fine wrap:

And then as we were heading out, there was a shearing demonstration going on. If I could've rescued this sheep, I would've. He/she just looks so. . . . . embarrassed:

There were two llamas, who were not in the photogenic mood. The biggest disappointment was that there weren't any alpacas. Maybe next year.

The funniest thing that happened was that several of the vendors at MS&W also participated at our Fleece Market last weekend (was that ONLY last weekend??). They asked if we'd consider ALSO doing an event in the Fall. Of course Steve's mind immediately started churning and I spouted out "WEBS Harvest Festival". . . . a new event may have just been born. Our staff will be so thrilled with joy. . . . . :)

So, Yarn Harlot this Wednesday! We've officially topped the 600 marked which thrills me to pieces. I will be making another post later today with all sorts of info that has been requested. I have to admit, I'm getting a bit nervous about being on stage to MC this event with 600+ of you in the audience! I've also get to get a CD burned so we can have some music playing as you all arrive. Any requests? No promises, but I'll do my best.

Now off to finish this darn last project for the catalog that has been hanging over my head. I'm close, but today is it for time. I have about 60 rows to go. . . .


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Stay Away from the Clams!

So from the craziness of Tent Sale weekend, Steve & I zipped off to Boston for a 3-day conference. We figured although we'd be tired, the conference promised to be great and we'd have a couple of evenings to dine out as adults. Plus, Boston is still "home" to a certain extent. As you read along, you will understand why there are no accompanying pictures.

Well, the plan was great until we arrived there on Monday and decided to grab a quick lunch at the "fancy" restaurant in the hotel we were staying at. Steve usually balks at hotel restaurants as they are usually so overpriced, but he was happy to accomodate my request, especially since we were short on time. It all went down hill from there.

I ordered clam chowder and a small Caesar salad. He, being the smart one, ordered a burger. Leaving the hotel and walking over to the convention center, I told him I didn't feel very well. The feeling continued most of the afternoon. By the time we went down to the exhibitor hall/shopping with drinks, I was mumbling about NOT going to dinner at all. We had reservations at one of our fave places. After walking around a bit and glass of cheap white wine, I decided I felt okay and we should go. We now start to careen down the hill.

We sat at the bar and I had salad and the teeniest, tiniest piece of steak on the menu. I ate all of four bites. On the way back to the hotel, I really started feeling yucky and by the time I got to the room, I knew I was in trouble. I was now on the bobsled track at full speed.

Needless to say it was a long night.

Tuesday, I dragged myself to the keynote address and multiple sessions all day. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach, had a headache, and was working on 3 hours of sleep. By 4pm I looked at Steve and said "i've got to go back to the hotel". I walked back because the cab line was too long. I got into bed at 4:30 and did not get back up until 8:30 this morning. I feel better, not great and still feel like I could sleep for a week, but at least the hurting tummy is gone. Haven't eaten much today, but trust me, it will be a long time before clam chowder is on my menu again.

I promise more knitting/yarn-related updates in the next couple of days.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

More Tent Sale Mania!

Well, as I write this post, Tent Sale 2007 is just winding down to a close. WOW! What a weekend! It was truly incredible. Yesterday the weather was chilly and a bit ominous. Steve was worried there wouldn't be a good turnout. I reassured them you would come. And did you ever! Yesterday was the biggest tent sale Saturday ever! Nobody cared it was chilly, nobody cared it was damp. The day actually improved as it went on, although the temp didn't move very far.

We started out the day with our first ever, live broadcast of Ready, Set, Knit! We normally record during the week and the show airs on Saturday morning here locally and then it's up to podcast-land. I thought it would be fun to go live and give everyone a real feel for the event. I know the radio folks were way more stressed than Steve and I were. It wasn't even that we would slip and use some terrible language or say something completely politically/socially incorrect. I think they were most worried that we wouldn't have the timing right. In recording the show, they can always do some "editing" if we are grossly off on the time, which we've never really been. But with live radio, you've got to hit the mark. And we did! It was so much fun! I think my years as a gymnast & figure skater, back in the day paid off. I may not have been good enough for larger-than-life glory, but both sports instilled a strong sense of timing. You had to end when the music ended in skating and floor exercise. Balance beam and bars had time restraints as well. Here's a snapshot of the set-up:

Our thanks to Julia, Scooter and Jimmy who all got up really early on a crummy Saturday morning to pull this off for us!
And the tent as we kicked-off:

I heard at one point that it was easier to get from one side of the store to our office area on the other side of the building, by going outside.

We were also holding our annual Fleece Market. We had 9 or 10 vendors this year. One brought a bottle fed lamb that was sold during the day. We love this part of this event - it's so awesome to give our local shepherd's another venue to showcase their beautiful fleeces, rovings and yarns.

I think a discovery of mine during the late morning hours, really summed up the day for me, the staff and anyone around who knows me:

These are my feet. I left the house sans socks - I pretty much refuse to wear closed-toe footwear after May 1st. I don't care what the fashionistas say, this is my rule and I'm stickin' with it. I realized before the radio broadcast that a day like yesterday was not one to challenge with naked toes, so I grabbed these samples that were destined for the sale bin. I not only left the house with mismatched sandals, I put the socks on without realizing I had mismatched sandals. It wasn't until I was in conversation with a couple of people about my sock/sandal combo later in the morning, that I realized what I had done. Now, I am usually a pretty pulled-together gal, at least on the outside. Everyone thought this was most fitting on a day like yesterday.

Quote of the day - in the tent, shortly after opening:

Woman on cell phone: "hello? oh hi! Guess where I am? The WEBS Tent Sale! I don't see you here, so I guess you're not coming? Well, that's just too bad for you. I've got to go and shop" Bye!"

We saw lots of old friends and made many new ones as well. Congratulations to the woman from Ohio who travelled to come to the sale. I believe you came the farthest. If someone reading knows this not to be true, knows someone who came further than Ohio for the sale, please let me know!

I also wanted to something I saw along the way to a meeting last week in the far reaching corner of Western Massachussetts:

Yes, these two signs represent the same stretch of road. This coupled with my mismatched footwear really sums up the last couple of weeks.


Friday, May 18, 2007

Tent Sale Mania

Tomorrow is our 4th Annual Tent Sale and Fleece Market. It shoulf be an awesome day, despite the weather! We are all so excited! We have incredible yarns, awesome savings, great special purchases just for this weekend, not to mentioned incredible buys on yarns in the store that HAVE TO GO to make room for Fall '07.

Plus, we've got model garments that have to go, overstock books, magazines. . . .

AND that's not all!!!

We have 12 Fleece Market vendors with their incredible fleeces, yarns and more. These are items that are local to our area, what more could you want?

Steve and I will be doing our first LIVE edition of Ready, Set, Knit! starting at 9am. Usually we record in advance and it is simply run by the push of a button. Tomorrow, all bets are off! We are flying with no safety net! I think the radio station folks are WAY more worried and stressed than we are.

We hope to see you all tomorrow and Sunday. It's always a great event. We are open both days from 10am until 5:30pm. Feel free to come by early tomorrow to watch the show and maybe even end up on air with us! No fear, heck if we can do it, any of you can too!


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Spring, Sprang, Sprung

Although I frequently complain about the weather here, we are quickly moving into my favorite time of the year. Today is clear blue skies, 82 degrees and perfect. The flowers are blooming, the trees are either budding or better yet in that "baby leaf" period. Yes, I'm sure there is a more technical term for it, but that's what I call it. When the leaves just start to burst and are that magical spring green color. It's the perfect green, not too pale, not too bright and not spoiled by the sun and chlorophyll (gosh, I hope I'm remembering my high school science correctly - I might just check with one of the boys who I KNOW will have the right answer). The color just truly tickles me.

This time of year reminds me why I love living here. I grew up in the Boston area and for anyone who has spent time in Eastern Massachusetts, you know that Western Massachusetts really doesn't exist to those folks at the other end of the state. Seriously. Bostonians for the most part think that this entire third of the state is either one big forest or one big farm. If you had told me when I was 10, 15, even 25 years old that this is where I would be living I would have laughed hysterically at you.

But here I am and I wouldn't trade it for anywhere else (until of course November, when I'll start complaining all over again about the weather). I had the chance to drive on one of my favorite local stretches of road yesterday, dropping the boys at a playdate. Besides being intoxicated by the spring-green, baby-leafed trees and the flowers and such, the farmers were out prepping the fields and there was just this incredible vibe in the air.

It's like that at the store right now too. Tent sale is next weekend, Yarn Harlot at the end of the month, a new knit-along starting on the podcast, photoshoot for the next catalog, new yarns. . . . . . it's a very exciting time. But there are some loose ends I must clear up before getting to far along on other things.

First, the top down sweater. This is the last picture I will post of my sweater until it is done. My progress is going to slow. I will finish the second sleeve today, only 3 or 4 more rows and I'll get the body started, then it has to take a back seat to other projects. One project in particular, that I am late with for the next catalog, which is not good. Everyone else finished in time. . . . kind of embarrassing, but this top-down sweater really hooked me. I've decided on a yarn for the edging and the stitch - I'm going to crochet it.

And here is Pixie's sweater. She is completely done now. I love the edging on the sleeves:

And Kirsten's version done in our 2/14 alpaca/silk on #8 needles - love this!

Several folks have asked how to post pictures of their finished sweaters. All you have to do is email the picture to me as an attachment at and I will get it posted here on the blog. A few of you have already sent in your photos. I will work to get those up shortly.

The "hooked" reference above is also why I need the sweater to take a back seat. I have fallen head over heels in love with a pattern from the latest issue of I love the apron top - even if everyone at the store thinks I've lost it. I swatched for it today during our staff meeting. Poor Steve was making a point, I got up and left the room, all the while he thought I was getting something to help support his commentary. No, I had finished my swatch and needed to get a needle gauge to see if I was getting the right gauge. I think this top, in all black, will be darling. I'm going to use our Southwick, which is a cotton/bamboo blend. I have an idea for my center panel to jazz it up a bit. I wonder if I can get this done in time for our trip to Columbus for TNNA (the buying market). I would love to wear it.

Lastly, I've got to get started on the EZ Baby Surprise Jacket for the next knit-along. I picked my yarn today. I"ll be using Art Yarns Supermerino in color 155. I was thinking of Blue Sky Alpacas' Organic Cotton, in the natural colorations initially. I think it would make a stunning jacket - sophisticated, with a sort of heirloom quality to it. But, I decided on the Supermerino simply because I think Iris' variegated colors will be incredible for this project.

Then, when that is all said and done, I am log-cabinning and nobody, no other project, shall stand in my way! Oh, well, maybe that crochet blanket idea that is floating in my head might intermingle in there too, but really, that's it.


NOTE: This post was written on the 8th, but life and issues with uploading the pictures have stood in the way. Sorry it's been so long!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I Can't Believe It

I found out today that an original design of mine has been accepted and will be published in an upcoming book this fall. It's nothing fancy, nothing intricate, but it was my idea from start to finish, with some input from our faboo Customer Service Manager Linda who helped me figure out how to make my idea come to life in yarn. I'm so tickled I can barely stand it.

Oh and I would be remiss if I forgot to mention that several other members of our equally faboo staff also will have their projects included as well. They are all so talented! Congratulations to Linda, Kirsten and Karen (I hope I'm not forgetting anyone - I know you'll tell me if I did!).

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