We are Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre, co-authors of the upcoming book New England Knits: Timeless Knitwear with a Modern Twist (Interweave, July 2010). We both live in Massachusetts, but at opposite ends of the state. We've known each other since before knitting ever took over our lives, but our shared love of the craft has made us a team.
Our favorite outdoor knitting spots are frozen, the New Year is upon us, and are hands are numb from all our last-minute knitting last week. We just wanted to pause for a bit and wish you the happiest of holidays and a fantastic New Year!
Here on this blog we plan to give you a glimpse of many New England yarn shops. From the earliest planning stages of our book, one Massachusetts yarn store had a special role. Since we both have family and friends in the Northampton area, Webs became a regular meeting place for us. We met up many times over the course of a year, buying new yarns to swatch with, having conference calls with Tricia Waddell in the parking lot, and the heading over to the nearby Northampton Coffee to figure out details on paper.
A few months after the writing and designing process was complete, Melissa started a part-time job at Webs. Read on and she'll give you a little tour...
Melissa - Ahh, Webs. What can I say? Family-owned for over 35 years and located in Northampton, Massachusetts, WEBS is rumored to be the largest yarn store in the States. Judging from the stunned looks on the faces of new visitors, I believe this to be true. This place can be a lot to take in, at first.
These are some shots of the main part of the store. Looking at them, I realize that I haven't even captured most of the front and right side!
That's the store. But if you walk through the double doors in the back, you're entering a whole other place--the warehouse! This place is a visitor's favorite. There's one aisle filled with all of Webs' own Valley Yarns, and the next 7 aisles are organized by weight, and filled with amazing yarns at a fraction of their original cost. There are shopping carts here for a good reason!
On any given day, the store is staffed by people interested and knowledgeable in many different fiber arts. Knitters, crocheters, spinners, dyers and weavers can all be found here. The staff are always working on new projects so you can see the yarns and fibers in action. I'm particularly fond of the wreath filled with miniature mittens!
If you can't make it out to visit WEBS in person, they're always open at Yarn.com . You can find the same closeout yarns and discounts available on the website. The owners, Kathy and Steve Elkins have a podcast called Ready, Set, Knit! and a blog, where you can keep on top of what's new at WEBS.
Wishing you a New Year filled with joy and finished projects,
Melissa and Cecily