June 29, 2012 § 6 Comments
Even though I have enough yarn to outfit a flock of sheep (ok, perhaps a small flock of small sheep), I was SO excited to go to WEBS, America’s largest yarn store (or at least I think it is?) with my aunt and my mom three weekends ago. We didn’t make a trip specifically to go see WEBS, though, we’re not that crazy…yet. (We did have so much fun that we are planning next time we go visit my aunt to see the New Hampshire town of Harrisville, a national historic district, where Harrisville Mill is located.)
Anyway, after hanging out with my aunt, uncle, cousin, her husband, and their two kids on the first day, we took the second day to drive a few hours west to attend my mom’s high school reunion, located in the western part of Massachusetts. My mom attended a prep school about 45 minutes from Northampton, meaning after the luncheon for the alumnae we high-tailed it out of there, heading south to the yarn capital of North America. We got a little yarn crazy and even a bit yarn-dorky, since my aunt took my picture both in front of WEBS and in the warehouse. (Photos not shown due to massive embarrassment on the subject’s part.)
My mom and aunt both knit, but not really actively anymore. Despite that, they still were really excited to see the store due to its fame, size, and wide selection of yarns. I think actually they were a little surprised at how little I bought, since they kept saying, “Oooh, that’s cute! I bet you could make that!”
They also liked to say, “Wow, I don’t think I could ever make this!”…despite the fact that my aunt is currently working on a cabled aran sweater, and my mom has knit several sweaters herself. Hilariously, right after insisting a raglan pullover is too hard for her, my aunt was then heard telling my mom that cables are really easy.
One of the things I loved most about WEBS was how many shop models they had on display. We must be a Rowan family, because we all admired these gorgeous sweaters.
Before shopping the front room, I went to explore the famed warehouse. Definitely do not miss it, there are some great deals back there. I saw lots of yarns that I really wish I could’ve gotten, but I resisted the urge and only came out of the warehouse with one bag of Rowan Purelife Organic Cotton DK, one of my favorite yarns OF ALL TIME that Rowan cruelly took away from me.
After scouring every aisle, I decided that it was time to browse through the pattern books. I scooped up Rowan 48 to make a cape, and two Amy Butler for Rowan pattern books that I hadn’t been able to locate online. So, since I was there, I got the yarn for the Rowan cape, Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds DK in Mid-Brown Jacob.
While I chatted with other knitters and the extremely helpful staff at the store, my mom found some yarn for a friend of hers, and my aunt apparently just enjoyed soaking in the colors and textures.
My mom said she also repeatedly went back and checked on a cute cropped sweater model from Plymouth, so while at checkout when we found out that we were only a bit short of the $120 discount, my mom insisted I go get the pattern and the yarn. My aunt and I picked out some Rowan (yes, more Rowan!) Felted Tweed Aran in a gorgeous cranberry red for the cardigan. Actually, I just checked the photo caption and this is colorway 732 Cherry, but my aunt has lived in New England for the vast majority of her life, so I guess it’s only natural that she’d call that color cranberry and not cherry.
Anyway, for those stash-busters following along, I traveled more than 500 miles to get to WEBS so purchasing yarn was ok by my cold-sheep rules. I did try to practice restraint though, so I only got enough yarn to finish off some leftover yarn from my Rowan crochet shrug/cardigan, and then enough for one additional project (the cape). The cranberry/cherry yarn is a gift for my aunt in sweater form, so that’s cool too under my cold-sheep rules.
Oh and speaking of cold sheep, here’s one made from BEADS that sits right by the entrance. (I think the beads are from the nearby WEBS bead store, actually.)
So, is it worth the drive? I’d say if you are in western New England, and you’ve got a free afternoon, it’s definitely worth it to stop by WEBS. Our only regret is that we didn’t have enough time to explore the area around WEBS, since Northampton and the surrounding area are supposed to be quite charming, so perhaps I should say it’s worth it if you’ve got a free day.