Sunday, May 25, 2008

Catching Up - Yet Again

I know - when am I not catching up on posts? I really need someone to figure out how to add a 25th hour to the day, at a minimum. Or maybe I need to slow down? What makes me feel better is that in reading other blogs and talking to friends and such, I am not alone. I think we're all running harder, in more varying directions than ever before.

Take the fact that it's Memorial Day Weekend. I swear, we were just in Orlando in Florida. That was 2 months ago, but it feels like last week. The boys are done with school in just a couple of weeks - they will officially become 2nd and 4th graders. We won't even broach how that has happend. Especially given I had the chance over the past few days to hang with a couple of moms with new bambinos (more on that later).

So, I still owe you more info on the SWTC yarns. I've got my notes, but honestly, I don't feel like chatting about yarn right now (sorry Joe & Jonelle). I promise I will give you the low down on their great new products soon. There are lots of other bits and pieces I'd like to get taken care of in this post.

1. The day before the tent sale was our shoot for the Valley Yarns Catalog. I love doing the shoots and the VY one is always a favorite. What fun to showcase our yarns and designs! It's always a busy day and organization is key:

Thanks to Mary and Penny for keeping us on track!
For this shoot, I decided we would work with two models. I always struggle with the look and variety of the shots. We were privileged to have the lovely Cirilia once again agreeing to model for us. Our own KT, who also models, was both willing and available for the shoot as well. One of the concerns I always have in terms of "look" is the age factor. We tend to strive for that "ageless" look. I was a bit nervous that Cirilia and KT's youthful beauty might not be quite right for us, but I am just thrilled with how the shots came out! I can't wait to share the final catalog with all of you. Until it's ready, here are a few behind the scenes shots:

2. After the tent sale, I headed to Orlando for a conference. It was a learning opportunity for me, but I was also a speaker on a panel. Talk about a reality check! This was not a yarn conference - so I wasn't exactly with my people. Needless to say, there was a lot to take in and more than a few nerves prior to the presentation. Fortunately all went well and there was even a knitter in the audience!

3. Came home from the conference, got life a bit under control (how do two small boys and one dad produce SO MUCH LAUNDRY in just a couple of days?). Then it was off to visit our friends Iris and Elliot at Artyarns. We had never been to their studio/offices before so this was a real treat. I only took a few shots, as I didn't want to share too much of their operation. Look at this luscious yarn:

4. Got into the store on Friday morning to find an email from Brooklyn Tweed! Yes - THAT Brooklyn Tweed! He was going to making a visit to the store with Jess from Ravelry and Adrianne from Hello Yarn "tomorrow" which I read as Saturday. It was only a couple of hours later when I found them in the store:

Tomorrow really meant "today" since Jared sent the email on Thursday evening. It was great fun to meet him, especially after having interviewed him on the podcast.

5. After reading Brooklyn's email and getting myself all excited I could barely stand it when I got an email titled "Coming to WEBS" - from none other than January One herself!! I've been a HUGE fan of her blog for quite awhile and although I've had the opportunity to speak with her I'd never met her. So yesterday after J2's little league game, I zipped down to the store to spend some time with her and her beautiful Meli:

The pictures she posts of her on her blog are spectacular, but this is one of the most gorgeous babies I have ever seen and as good as the pictures are, there's nothing like seeing her in person. Seriously. I told Cara that she needs to hook Meli up wth Lexie Barnes' son "C", who is too cute for his own good as well.
Along the way of this past week, I got my first serious dose of him when Lexie came into visit and not only is he cute, he's charming. It's great fun to enjoy all of these babies and not have all of the work associated with them. As overwhelming as it is at times that J1 and J2 are getting so big, I love every milestone they achieve, I love their independence and I love that they can't call it a day until I've tucked them in and done "acts" with the stuffed animal of choice for the night's cuddle.
6. To top of the blog-tastic week that was at WEBS, Steve and I interviewed Carol from for this week's show! She is also a fave blogger of mine and is the co-author of a faboo new book, Knit So Fine. Check out the podcast and more importantly the book! Carol will be coming to WEBS in June for a book signing. Date to be announced so stayed tuned!

So now it's Memorial Day weekend. We completely missed Mass Sheep and Wool, which is causing me some guilt. I love going and feel we need to support the event as much as possible since many of the folks involved support us. Unfortunately, we can't be everywhere and a big breakfast at home with the family took priority this year.

Enjoy the unofficial start of summer - it's my favorite time of year :)


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Wrap It Up and Put A Bow On It

And let's call it a Tent Sale! What a weekend! I mean, how else would someone like me celebrate a birthday? At Tent Sale! I've only got a few minutes to post - I'm in Florida for a conference. Never a dull moment.

We kicked off Saturday with a live broadcast of Ready, Set, Knit! So much fun, especially since we had the pleasure of Cat Bordhi joining us on air.

Then the staff decided it would be a good idea to sing Happy Birthday to me while we were on the air. I did score an adorable and delicious cake:

Then the shoppers came.

Thanks to everyone who came out for the event. Thanks to all of our local shepherds who came on Saturday for the Fleece Market. Finally, a great big thank you to our amazing staff. Once again, you all did an outstanding job!
The Anniversary Sale contines for another week o so, be sure to get your orders in before it's over!


Friday, May 16, 2008

Tent Sale & Fleece Market Tomorrow!

Yes - it's that time again! That crazy wonderful, let's clear out as much yarn as possible time of year! The WEBS Annual Tent Sale! Our two day extravaganza kicks off tomorrow at 10am and runs until 5:30pm. We'll be back open on Sunday at 10am for Tent Part Deux! Steve has put together some incredible deals and steals under the tent, we'll have garments for sale, many books marked down 30% PLUS all of the anniversary sale yarns are still on sale!

Tomorrow has some extra fun excitement built in. First, we'll be recording our weekly radio show/podcast, Ready, Set, Knit! LIVE from the tent!! This will be the second time we've done a live show. If you live in the area or are on your way to the sale, tune into WHMP 1400 or 1240 at 9am! We'll also be interviewing a SUPER special guest! We've got a knitting rock star in the house this weekend!

We have our entire WEBS team working tomorrow - we'll have SEVEN registers running (5 in the store and 2 in the tent). In the store, the three regular registers will be running, plus three more in front of the windows. There will be ONE FEEDER LINE FOR ALL FIVE REGISTERS. Every register will have one person ringing and one person bagging. We should be able to keep up pretty well. We have staff on the store floor, in the tent and in the warehouse. We have a team of folks dedicated to just restocking the tent and the store.

In addition to the sale itself, Saturday always features our Annual Fleece Market! We have 12 local farmers/shepherds coming this year and they will be selling their fleeces, yarns, etc. I think we may even have a couple of alpacas in the house! I love alpacas, so this would particularly thrill me :)

WEBS Beads will also be participating at their location down the street. They have their own tent with special deals. Plus, we have a ton of new inventory! Alison and I attended a show last Saturday and brought back so many new items - more pearls, more semi-precious, more faceted semi-precious strands, wood, bone and porcelain. We also just added gorgeous lampwork beads from World Peas. We have beads and larger focal beads PLUS some goddesses! Be sure to stop into the bead store if you come by this weekend! They will be open both days as well.

We look forward to seeing everyone this weekend!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Last week on our podcast, Ready, Set, Knit!, we had the pleasure of interviewing Joe Raffino, owner of Southwest Trading Company (SWTC). It was extra special because Joe had just been at the NENA show, only 45 minutes from the shop so he was able to be in-studio with us when we recorded. He had samples of the new yarns they are introducing and not only did he share info about the yarns on the podcast, but he also allowed me to photograph the items he had for the blog!

The first new yarn they have is Therapi, which is a wool/silk/jade blend. Yes, jade. We had heard about this yarn and to say the least, I was skeptical. What the heck would jade add to yarn? What was it's reason for being, other than being an interesting conversation piece? Jade is considered the most valuable of precious stones and among other things is considered a symbol of tranquility. Knitting and crochet are known to be stress reducers (when we're not fighting with a project) so the theoretical link between the jade component of the yarn and the zen we achieve when knitting or crocheting (again, when not fighting with a project). The yarn itself is quite lovely - the silk and jade add a nice luster to the wool and the fiber has a soft hand. It knits at 5 sts = 1" on a US #7 needle.

Look at those beautiful colors!

Now I have to admit something - I left my other notes on the other yarns at work! Yikes! I guess we'll have to have SWTC part 2 tomorrow!

I hope all of you Moms had a great Mother's Day. I had a wonderful one myself. I got to sleep in a bit, I received great gifts from the boys' and then we went and golfed as a family. The weather was perfect and it was just a great day.

Jonathan presented me with this:

This is not your average bouquest of construction paper flowers. Look what you get when you pull each flower out of the vase:

A list of the chores he was willing to do so that I could relax on Mother's Day. Here's the only one that really mattered to me:

Jackson brought me this:

And this:

I particularly love #10. The reason? I did NOT get him an iPod. Dad did (sorry honey).

More SWTC tomorrow and photos of Pixie's Babette from our Crochet-A-Long!


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

This and That

So, I think we've sufficiently recovered from the Harlot. I personally did not have much time to really recover before I had to prep for yet another major event. This one was not yarn-related, but equally important. Last Friday night was the annual fundraising auction at the boys' school of which I was chair. The event raises much needed money for financial aid and last year's event was a bit of a bust, so the pressure was on. Ultimately, the event came off wonderfully, but by Saturday afternoon I was ready to curl up in the produce section at Whole Foods. I consider myself someone who is a pretty tough cookie with good stamina, but this past week was just over the top. It's all behind us now with only things like Tent Sale, end of the school year, TNNA, Convergence, etc., ahead of us. Piece of cake after this past week.

I have a few random items to share, so here goes:

1. On Monday Steve and I attended NENA - the New England Needlearts Association annual tradeshow. This is sort of a mini-TNNA. Many of industry's vendors show here, but on a much smaller scale than at TNNA. Although we've done a majority of our fall buying already, we still go to see some smaller vendors, follow-up with reps and just be supportive of the show. It's only 45 minutes from the shop, so it would be rather strange to not go. I scored a couple of skeins of yarn from J Knits:

This is a hand-dyed line out of Amesbury, MA that we currently do not carry. Not sure where we'll end up with this, but I grabbed a couple of skeins of their new sock yarn (the bottom skein) not only to consider for the store, but also for Melissa, who was unable to attend the show and just might have a need for sock yarn for some project involving knitting socks and lots of words, compiled together.. . . .at some point. I haven't given her the yarn yet, you like MMO?

It's 60% superwash merino/15% bamboo/15% nylon and 10% silk.

2. Speaking of sock yarn, in the madness that was last week, our newest Valley Yarn arrived. Huntington is a 75% wool/25% nylon with 218 yarns on a 50 gram hank. It knits at 7-8 sts to the inch on a #2 or #3 needle. It's available in 11 solid colors and it is just scrumptious! It's soft, it has a lovely twist and it knits like a dream. Huntington retails at $4.29/hank which means you can have a pair of scrum-dilly-icious socks for $8.58!! Don't forget - sock yarn is not just for socks! Huntington would be great for handwarmers, baby items or even a lovely shawl/wrap for the summer months.

3. So there appears to be a theme going on here - unintended, but still a theme. Steve and I see a lot of yarn. We see yarn from our wholesale partners, we see yarn from mills, we see yarn from small independent folks who may be hand dyeing yarn or raising their own animals and spinning their own yarn - I am talking a TON of yarn. We see amazing yarn and some yarns that make us say "what were they thinking?". Every now and again, a very memorable yarn comes along. The skein I am about to show you was shown to me at least 8 months ago. At the time, the producer was not in a position to take us on as a customer due to the scope of her operation. Well, the sales rep was in the other day and put this skein of yarn in front of me for a second time. This skein has stayed with me since I first saw it - it was love at first sight. Primarily due to the colorway. It takes a lot to make me stand up and take notice of a yarn, but this skein did just that and did it again yesterday when it was pulled out of it's bag. I *heart* this skein:

The even better news? This little company is ready to start doing business with us. Now, I'm going to be a bit of a tease and not reveal the source until the yarn is in the house. Sorry, I know, not totally nice, but I'm so excited I had to share so you could all be excited too. It should only be a couple of weeks until the yarn is here and then I will reveal all.

Tomorrow/Friday I'll be updating the blog with our current Babette CAL from Ready, Set, Knit! with pictures of Pixie's beautiful creation and, well, shots of the yarn that I chose (I am such a laggard). Plus, I've got some info on the newest yarns from SWTC that I can also share with you. Joe Raffino joined us this week for our podcast so be sure to listen this weekend to the show!

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