Yarn Shop Review: WEBS

Yes, it’s true … until last week, I had never been to the famous WEBS, located in Northampton, MA! I know, I know.  It’s only a couple hours away, and I actually head that direction all the time … for family vacations, and for dog agility trials. How is it that I’ve never been there before? For one thing, I guarantee you the Wrath of Bored Children if I scheduled a stop at WEBS halfway to our family vacation destination (Nana and Boppa’s lake house in upstate New York). For another thing, dog agility trials usually take place during business hours — making yarn shop stops difficult. Also, showing up at a yarn shop tired, dirty, and covered with dog hair … not the best plan.

So, there you have it — all my excuses rolled up together.  You can imagine my delight when my friend suggested we visit together! I was thrilled.  She had a business meeting in the area, and asked me along for the ride — and the side trip to WEBS.

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I have heard stories of how overwhelming this Mecca of yarn shops can be, so I made sure to have a list (with photos!) of what projects I would consider buying yarn for.  I also was willing to consider speculative yarn purchases, though it had to be a great deal AND yarn I loved in order to qualify. I’m pleased to say that I refrained from buying off-list, and managed to spend a mere $65 (after WEB’s generous discount — they even let me and my friend combine purchase totals to get the best possible discount).  Details follow, after a quick review.

WEBS is huge — at least four times the floor area of any shop I’ve been to before.  They had many, many gorgeous yarns, including most (all?) of the Madelinetosh yarns, a good selection of Blue Moon Fiber Arts, and several yarns I’ve never seen before.  It was great to be able to feel their own yarn line (Valley Yarns) in person. I peeked into the classroom area (jealous!), and the discount shelves in the back warehouse were impressive to say the least.  There is a whole section devoted to spinning, and a lot of weaving yarns too.  (I successfully bypassed those areas — I don’t need any more hobbies!)

Staff were plentiful, friendly, and helpful.  I was pleased to have my latest FO (a Catkin in Tosh Light, French Grey and Byzantine) recognized and praised. Turns out one of the staff is a Catkin fanatic — what fun!

On to the purchases: I bought some beautiful Madelinetosh Prairie in Turquoise — 840 yards of gorgeous merino laceweight single-ply yarn, enough to make a Mariposa of my very own.  In fact, I’ve already cast on! 🙂

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I’ve had Escargot in my queue for quite a while.  Love the swirl! I’ve had a hard time finding the right colored yarn for this project … so I popped it on the list for the WEBS trip. I’m pleased to say I found Valley Superwash in shades of plummy Mulberry and cheerful Grass green that suited my fancy. I’m sorry to say that I can’t seem to photograph the yarn to reveal true colors — the plum looks more like hot pink in my photos :(. The stock photo from WEBS is a better match.

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Last but not least, I found yarn for a Lavenda Droplet Jumper. I had hoped to find the right fingering-weight solid-colored yarn in WEBS famous back warehouse shelves. Alas, I struck out.  Instead, I settled on some Cascade Fingering in Ruby Red.  The store only had six skeins, in two different dye lots.  But, lucky me, the “other” warehouse had the eight skeins I required, all in one dye lot! Because I was in the store but the skeins were not, WEBS offered to ship them to me for free.  It’s not quite as nice as taking home the yarn, but UPS claims the yarn will be with me soon — getting pretty yarn in the mail is fun too!

 

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