Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Most Wonderful Time. . . . .

Yes, I love this time of year, but what I love even more is having cool stuff to share with you. Steve and I like happy customers, we love it when you find just what you wanted/needed and we love being able to "surprise" you every now and again.

Today my cherished blog readers, today you have hit the jackpot. We do our best to bring you fresh and new and exciting products and events and today, today is the Perfect Yarn Storm. What is most magical is that this is traditionally not a time when we get much "new" in. This is partially the nature of the industry and partially our own design, given how busy it is.

First up is new, gorgeous luxury - meet Artyarns Ensemble:

I am rarely at a loss for words, but this yarn, there are no words. It's beyond yummy, it's beyond faboo, it's beyond every Kathy-ism I have for the best of the best yarns. The ones that make my little ole heart go pitter-patter. This yarn makes me twitchy and for those of you that know me, when something makes me twitchy, well, it's something beyond words.

Now I realize, this yarn is on the high-end. It's 75% silk/25% cashmere and it's $50.00/hank, discountable. It's put-up in 100gm hanks, with 256 yards and knits at 4 1/2 sts = 1" on #7. It is the holidays folks and this is the time to splurge a little - whether you are getting the yarn to create a most special gift or are ASKING for the yarn from your non-knitting-shopper, this has the WOW factor.

Next up - I need all Noro Fans and Sock Knitters to sit down. I want you take a deep breath - hold it for 3 seconds and exhale. Please repeat. I give you. . . . . . Kureyon Sock Yarn:

Breathe, remember to breathe folks!

Kureyon Sock is 75% wool/25% nylon and is put-up on 100 gram balls (one ball makes a pair!) and has 471 yards for $18.95. There are twelve incredible colors. I nearly fainted when I realized color 40 was among the selection.

Here's the deal. This yarn is NOT HERE YET. We are taking pre-orders. Go to the website or call customer service (800.367.9327) to place your order. We are expecting the yarn to arrive in early December, barring any issues coming through customs. The website indidcates our inventory on each color is OUT OF STOCK. Please ignore this and go ahead and place your order. We will not charge your card until we ship the yarn. If you order additional items, we will hold those until the sock yarn comes in.

This last yarn is one that there has experienced tremendous chatter on blogs, forums, etc. It's been one of those elusive, yet coveted yarns. The folks on the WEBS group on Ravelry are the ones that really got the ball rolling for this yarn, so to them I say thanks and all of you should do the same. Because of their enthusiasm, insistence and shear will, we will now be carrying Kauni Effekt from Denmark. This is the 100% wool, fingering weight yarn that has extremely long color repeats and is truly like nothing else in the marketplace today. This yarn is not without it's quirks. The skeins are "approximately" 150 grams - some a bit bigger, some a bit smaller. The approximate yardage is 660 yards and we will be selling it for $17.99/skein, discountable. There are two IMPORTANT points with this yarn. First, like the Kureyon Sock Yarn, it is a PREORDER. Ignore the "out of stock" and order today! Second, our order has been broken into two shipments based on availability. The first shipment should (and I do emphasize SHOULD) be here in a couple of weeks-ish. It will contain the following Kauni colors:


The second shipment which should follow approximately two weeks later will have Kauni colors:


We'll see how we do, reorder or add where we need to.

Changing gears a bit, I want to mention this week's Ready, Set, Knit! podcast. We will be featuring an interview with Melissa Morgan Oakes, friend of WEBS and to me personally. I've mentioned before that her FIRST book, 2-At-A-Time-Socks is debuting later this month. We're having a big party on December 16th (click here for details, to register for the event and PREORDER the book). Check out the podcast this week to learn more about the book and about Melissa.

Next, a wee bit of show and tell. Our own Leslie Ann Bestor was definitely "Queen" for the day today. Leslie Ann works in the store, teaches, designs, does just about any fiber art you can imagine and does them exceptionally well. Today, she brought in her latest weaving project. It's a blanket for her daughter for Christmas. What is extra special about this blanket is she used Tahki/Stacy Charles Mosaic. It is a stunning piece:

Also, the latest issue of Interweave Crochet arrived today and in it is one of LA's designs! Be sure to check out the darling Chevron Bag she created!

Finally, a few special moments over the last week that I'd like to share. The first picture is from Thanksgiving Day:

Although Jackson insisted on eating his turkey once again with ketchup, it appears everyone ended the day quite satisfied. They are cuddled under a Malabrigo woven blanket :)

Then, on Monday morning, Steve and Jonathan noticed this outside:

And this:
We were in awe and I was a fright to see in my robe and penny loafers in the yard taking these shots. It was well worth it though! The rainbow was to the west and stretched from behind one neighbors house over the street and down behind another house. It was gone in a matter of minutes as a cold front was moving in.

Last, but again, far from least is Freddie:

Freddie is a neighborhood cat who hangs out at the store. He is a love to the "nth" degree. He cuddles, he purrs, he lays on our desks and keyboards to prevent us from working. He flops on the floor of the store in front of customers. On this day, he cuddle with our Blue Sky Alpaca critters and was a bit annoyed when I disturbed his nap.

Well, that's it everyone, I've got nothing left. I've given you all I've got and I've gots no more.

Plus, it's almost time for Grey's.



Friday, November 23, 2007

So What's on Your List?

I'm sure there were many of you braving various shopping venues today, be it the mall or your LYS. Nice to see so many faces at WEBS today as well - thanks for finding the time to stop in!

It was interesting to see what people were buying - there's definitely been a shift to holiday projects. At the same time, I was tickled when a couple of customers said that they were buying yarn for themselves. I got to thinking that as knitters, crocheters, even weavers and spinners, our time is dominated with creating gifts for friends, family, co-workers, school teachers over the next few weeks. Most of us have probably overestimated what we can accomplish. So when it's all said and done, what are you hoping for this holiday season? A pair of needles? Maybe a set of crochet hooks? A few skeins of that yummy yarn that is just a little more than you want to spend on yourself? Maybe a gift certificate for a class?

For me, there are two things that are interrelated. The first is time. Granted, this is something that I need to control as much as anything, but I would love to feel I have the time to go to one of our drop ins and just hang out and knit or crochet. I've made attempts to do this, but it just never seems to pan out. Gail, the Kangaroo Dyer is determined to get me up to her house to do some dyeing - again, it's simply a matter of making the time. I know some of you will say that if it was important I'd "find" the time. To a certain extent, I guess I can't argue that point but it's not as if I"m wasting time or making excuses.

The second thing, dependent on the time issue, is to continue to build my skills. Pixie and I will be talking about this towards the end of the year on the podcast. We had some goals in mind this year for our KAL's and the skills we wanted to tackle. I'm pretty pleased with our accomplishments and want to make sure we build new skills into next year's KAL. If it works out that my own personal goals can be incorporated then that is the best of both worlds.

I would love to hear your thoughts and what it is you are hoping to unwrap over the next few weeks of celebrations.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had a lovely celebration and the food turned out great. After three years there is no doubt, brining is the only way to prep a turkey.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Holidays - Part 1

So here we are on Thanksgiving Eve. The WEBS team is off to their respective celebrations - sorry we didn't get everyone out earlier!

Last night, Steve, the boys and I watched the classic - Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. I grew up watching the Peanuts holiday series. I love them all. I love that my children love them and feel the same excitement watching them with the boys, the thrill of getting to stay up a bit late. . . it's a tradition.

I love the holidays - every last thing about them. I always have. I love that this special time of year has been enhanced by adding Hanukkah to the mix. From now until New Year's is a magical time at our house. I'll share more of this as we work our way through the next few weeks, but right now, it's turkey time!

(Happy 7th Birthday Jacob!)
We keep Thanksgiving simple. My family doesn't come - they are two hours away and well, we work retail. We are open the day before and after Thanksgiving. I think they got tired of being "moved" in and out a bit briskly. It's all good. We're a pretty practical group. So tomorrow we'll celebrate with the boys and "B and Grandpa" and have a lovely meal. What more could 4 1/2 people want than a 17 lb turkey, four veggies, stuffing, gravy, appetizers, salad and dessert? If you don't hear from us on Friday, we're just comatose at our house - send help!

It's been a funny year here at WEBS and for the Elkins Family. The year has been on fast forward since January. I've blogged about it and talked about it on our podcast, Ready, Set, Knit!. I'm still feeling that we're somewhere around late August or so, but the calendar tells me to cook a turkey, so I will oblige. It's also been a really good year and we have so very much to be thankful for.

It's also been a tough three weeks for us. At the end of October we lost someone we considered a friend and important business associate. She was killed in a car accident on her way to work. It is a a tremendous loss on so many levels, but especially for her husband and two teenage daughters. Then, just last week, we found out one of the owners of the family run office supply store next door to us had passed away unexpectedly after a long battle with cancer. Again, someone who had been nothing but helpful and supportive of us, with two teenage daughters and a wonderful wife. Two amazing, vibrant people gone in the blink of an eye. Yeah, we've got a lot to be thankful for and a lot of sadness to process. As we enjoy tomorrow and celebrate, our thoughts will be with both of these families.

We are thankful so much and without getting completely mushy, I do have to say "thanks" to all of you who take time to read this blog -as erratic as it is, for listening to the podcast and for shopping with us, be it in the store or on-line. We don't take any of it for granted. We are grateful that you choose to shop with us, listen to us, read what we have to say. We know how crazy life is and that choices have to made, priorities set. The simple fact that we are included in your life is something that we truly appreciate.

We hope that each of you enjoy your day/weekend. Whatever your traditions are.

With that, I will ask, what do you cherish about Thanksgiving and what are you thankful for this year? Also, what are you knitting/crocheting as you work your way through the next few days? Personally, I've got a special crochet project in the works. I just hope I can get it done in time!
You will find that these will be recurring questions over the next few weeks. For those of you who receive our holiday catalog, you'll see that our staff was kind enough to share some of their holiday memories with all of you and I'll also try to share what they are working (in general) for the holidays.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007


This is what we woke up to this morning:

We ended up with an 1" or 2". Just enought to coat the grass and trees. It's been well documented that I am not a winter person, but the first snowfall is magical nonetheless. My biggest issue with winter is the duration. If we could transition to spring around February 1st, I would be a happy camper.

I've got a few other updates and such to share. These are in no particular order.

1. Starting this weekend, WEBS will be open Sundays from 12-5pm through New Years.

2. We are closed Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving, but we're open tomorrow, Friday and Saturday from 10:00-5:30pm.

3. For those of you shopping on-line with us, in order to get your items by Christmas, WITHOUT expedited shipping charges, your order must be received by the following cut-off dates at 3:00pm: WEST COAST - December 14th, MIDWEST/SOUTH - December 17th and EAST COAST - December 18th. We can continue to ship past these dates, but you will have to upgrade your shipping to 2nd Day Air or Next Day Air. We hate to see anyone pay more money for shipping than necessary!

4. WEBS' Year-End Sale will run from Wednesday, 12/26 through Wednesday, 1/2. We will be CLOSED on New Year's Day. Remember, this sale is both in the store AND on-line. We'll be mailing the flyers mid-December-ish, so shuffle through those holiday cards and look for our logo!

5. The latest project for the Ready, Set, Knit! podcast KAL is posted. Since this is a "mystery" bag, we are doling out the instructions and photographs as we go.
6. Our Winter/Spring Class schedule will be posted this coming Monday, 11/26. We have a great line-up of classes and events and we're excited to welcome Beth Brown-Reinsel, Melody Macduffee and Cat Bordhi to WEBS!
7. Oh, and speaking of special events, if you are in the area, be sure to join us on Sunday 12/16 from 2-4pm for a VERY special event. We will be celebrating the launch of Melissa Morgan-Oakes new book "Two-At-A-Time Socks", being published by Storey publishing. Melissa is a faboo designer and teacher extraordinaire and a dear friend as well. We are so excited about her book. She will be giving a short presentation about the book, the making of the book, the technique, etc. She will be signing copies AND if you buy the book at WEBS, you will receive an EXCLUSIVE sock pattern using her technique! We'll have refreshments and much merriment, so be sure to be there!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Abandonment Issues

Hi Everyone - I am posting this message but I am not a happy camper. Blogger is not being friendly, it is deleting pictures and not letting me upload them again. I've spent over 2 1/2 hours on this post and just need to let it fly. Maybe Blogger and I will be able to work together in the morning, but for now, crappy formatting, missing pictures and all, I have to be done. Trust me, this blog will be migrating in the not-so-distant future. I am so done.

It's been 41 days since my last post. Where have I been? What have I been doing? Am I okay? Have I abandoned the blog and all of you who read? The answers are "here", "so much I cannot keep it all straight", "yes, I am fine, tired, but fine" and "no, I have not abandoned the blog or you in any way".

I know I last left you with a frenetic post that worried many of you. Thank you for caring and I'm sorry to have caused worried. I've been a bit bogged down with work/life. With each passing day, the blog became a bigger, more insurmountable mountain. How would I ever catch up? I had so many pictures on my camera it was like slogging through quicksand to download them all. There has been so much I've wanted to share that I know I will forget some things and people and acts of kindness, so I hope you will forgive me.

This post will bring us up-to-date and from here, I'll be back on track. A picture is worth a thousand words and since I've spent the better part of 3 hours over the course of two sessions, organizing and arranging my photos, lets let the shots of the past few weeks speak for themselves.

So, I last left you on my way to Stitches East. What.A.Show. We had a blast.

We arrived to the daunting task of set-up:

We were tourists at the Harbor:

We found this sentiment, so appropos:

We finished and were ready to go when the show opened:

Which made these lovely, "First In Line At Stitches East" shoppers VERY happy:

We met fellow Ravelers, which was awesome! Meliabella gave out pink and green ribbons and we had so much fun meeting everyone:

We had an appearance from Kaffe:

And Teva Durham, too, but I never got to take a picture!

We had young shoppers:

And many adult beverages while cheering on our beloved Red Sox:

We had a marathon outside our hotel window on Saturday morning:

And marathoners shopping with us later that afternoon!

As we all stood in awe, they explained that they had "ONLY' run the "HALF" marathon. Yeah, whatever ladies, you rock way more than you give yourselves credit for.

We made new BFF's - meet Kaci and Debbie of Blue Moon:

(I have totally forgotten your friend's name - I am so, so, sorry. . . . .) Debbie and Kaci are the type of people you want as your neighbors - they are fun, they make you laugh, they say nice things about your children, I mean, our yarn and they sit and knit in a bar, cheering for our Red Sox and ordering wine by the bottle. Yeah, we're going to be spending some serious time with Deb & Kaci at future shows (see you in Santa Clara - let's plan dinner!).

So, we are now a whole 4 days after my last post. Yeah, that's all. I haven't even thanked the most fabulous lady (again, another name lost) who stopped by the booth on Saturday morning with these, these. . .cookies - vanilla wafers - BIG ones, dunked in chocolate - thick, rich chocolate. She read the last post and was worried about me and figured I needed chocolate. The cookies are a Baltimore specialty, they were a lifesaver!

Then there was the lovely lady who brought me a dollar bill folded into the shape of a dinosaur. I carry it with me every day. Thank you.

I left East early to fly home on Sunday morning for Kim Werker's book launch. The timeline was incredibly tight. The event started at 2pm and I landed about 1pm, with a 45 minute drive, luggage to get, shuttle to the parking area, etc. I made it to WEBS at just minutes past 2 - they all waited for me and I was so grateful. (And yes, I probably stretched the boundaries of the speed limit on the way) I was beyond excited and honored to be hosting this event.

Kim's husband Greg was able to be there, along with a dear friend and many family members. It was an awesome afternoon:

I learned some great things and just simply enjoyed Kim and her energy.

And Babette was there too!!!

It was utopia for this crochet-lover. If you haven't checked out her book yet, Crochet Revolution, make sure it is on your holiday list. It's a must have!

Okay, we're now a full 5 days past my last post. We're cookin' now!

So, the next day Steve & I dragged ourselves into work to start buying for Spring '08! Our lovely Rowan rep Jess was quite accomodating given how tired we were. She brought her adorable pug who hung out with us:

Too cute!

Then, it was off to Berroco to see their Spring collection. It was our first visit there and so much fun to be able to see all of the new garments that Norah and Margery designed. It was a great day and very inspiring - it's going to be a fun spring for all of the knitters and crocheters!

Here is the office that Norah and Margery share with their assistant Deana. Yes, this is where the magic happens:

As the mayhem continued, it was refreshing to get a reality check from none other than our 6 year old (almost 7) Jonathan. We were home alone, I was working and he was playing outside. Suddenly, he comes screaming in the house "MOM, IT'S THE HARVEST MOON. YOU HAVE TO COME SEE IT RIGHT NOW. OUTSIDE!" Here is what I saw:

The picture doesn't even do it justice. I was so thrilled that he was so thrilled by it and that he made me stop and appreciate the simple beauty of it. I know I am biased but he's a pretty magical kid. It was an awesome moment.

Next up, our annual "Knit for Hope" event. We partner each year with a local non-profit that provides services, support and hope for folks dealing with cancer. We ran it on a Friday night this year and although we had a smaller turnout than usual, it was still an extremely moving evening. I think the smaller gathering actually made it more personal and intimate. We knit scarves for patients going through chemo/radiation and attendees shared their stories of survival. Gail Callahan, our Kangaroo Dyer, created a custom color of Franklin (our sock yarn) which we sold throughout the month and donated all of the profits to Cancer Connection.

Next up was Halloween. Since I have shared pictures of Steve here that he has, at times, not been thrilled about, I have to share one of me. I give you, my really bad channeling of Chrissy Hynde:

And our very handsome trick or treaters in their respective hockey and Red Sox attire:

As you know, Jackson is playing hockey and Jonathan is now very motivated to keep up. Here we are at the first practice, at O-WAY-TOO-EARLY-FOR-ME-TO-BE-UP-MUCH-LESS-AT-A-RINK:

He started this session off using a "bucket" and after about 30 mins, pushed it away and made up his mind to just figure this skating thing out. He's coming along. . . .

There was another "don't go so fast and let life pass you by moments". Behold, what I saw off of my deck one Saturday evening when Steve and the boys were off to a UMass hockey game.

I have seen some incredible sunrises and sunsets in my life, but this was, well, beyond words.

Finally, we are nearly current. I leave you with scenes from last week - the last days before Thanksgiving break for the boys. We had plays, back to back. First up, Jonathan in The Judge:

Featuring Jackson as the monster:

Then, it was Jackson in "Compost Happens - The Sequel" (they've been studying the environment):

It's great when you have a captivated audience:

That's it folks. The last 6 weeks in a nutshell. You can't say I wasn't thinking of you - I did all of the photo-documentation, it's just been the sitting and blogging itself.

Thanks again for sticking with me.


(Note #2: Came back today and Blogger let me upload the pictures it refused to upload last night. I will look into Flickr to see if that works better for me. I am seriously still considering migrating. . . .but I've been around long enough to know the grass is not always greener with a different platform).

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