Monday, June 30, 2008

Exceeded expectations

Not to brag or anything, but I've been to a few yarn shops in my time. I've been to every Stitches for the last decade. I worked at a yarn shop for five years. I sell yarn out of my house! And so when I tell you, nay admonish you, that you simply must go to WEBS, you must believe me.

My expectations were high, I'll admit it. So when I drove up to that cheery blue awning, I was a little nervous. Could a yarn shop possibly live up to all the hype? I mean, this place has "" as its URL. Would I be disappointed?

I didn't have to worry. For inside was the biggest, most amazing yarn shop I've ever been in. Ever. When I tell you that WEBS has everything, I mean everything: from Araucania to Zitron with everything in between. It is truly a knitter's nirvana.

The first thing I saw was a lovely table (with fresh flowers!) with Knit So Fine beautifully displayed on it.

I was distracted from the huge selection of yarns in the front room by some of the kindest, warmest people that ever graced a yarn shop, like Karen and Cirilla (did I spell it right? it's such a pretty name to go with that gorgeous face) and Gail (we're going to talk dye) and I even got to meet Pixie the crochet goddess, of webcast fame.

They plied us with popsicles (what we Philadelphians call "wadder ice") and lemonade and chilled spring water, and didn't make fun of me at all when I spent fifteen minutes looking around me with wide eyes, blubbering incoherently in shock and awe. But I had been forewarned by my crack research team to go straight for Teh Back Room, so as soon as I regained the power of intelligible speech, I asked Karen if she'd pretty-please take me there.

I'd heard, you see, that there are grocery store shopping carts (what old-school Philadelphians call "coaches") in Teh Back Room and quite honestly, I thought people were just joshing me (you know, like when you tell someone that the word "gullible" isn't in the dictionary?).

There are shopping carts in Teh Back Room.

Gentle readers, I filled mine.

My able assistant Elvis, who did a bang-up job of reading the map the whole way (saved me about twenty bucks' worth of gas in wrong turns, too) helped me traverse the aisles. You can't imagine what it's like. You look up one aisle,

and it's all Adrienne Vittadini closeouts (did I miss the announcement that they are no more?) in those luscious subtle colors they do did so well. Across from you are discontinued colors of some amazing yarn, say Berroco Pure Merino (you were right about that one, Franklin, it's a great yarn). Then something catches your eye and it's some fab Rowan yarn that you can't live without. Then, of course, I simply had to throw in a couple skeins of Nashua Superwash for the homeless veterans (you know how much I love my country).

It was insane.

Elvis, who is not the seasoned yarn shopper that I am, retired to the couch area to eat homemade brownies (thanks, Carol!).

I then tried to work my way through the front part of the store, but it was really just too much, even for me. I managed to snag some pattern books that I'd been ogling -- the new Elsebeth Lavold, Norah Gaughan No. 3 and Noro Joy were among them -- and then I met Hyphenated Carol's posse.

Kris and blogless Sara (no 'H') were fun and I've loved Carol for a while now, and I greatly, greatly appreciated that they drove all the way from Boston to see me. I also made a new friend, Knitting Dragon, who was on a massive road trip of his own:

And I got to meet Some Bunnys Love who is a Ravelry pal. (FYI, Mr. Some Bunnys Love: she did the right thing in bringing all the bunny photos. I loved them!)

Karen gave me the full tour (yes, WEBS is so big there are entire WINGS in addition to the store and Teh Back Room) and did everything but teach me the secret WEBS employee handshake (maybe next time?). I quite love Karen. I gave her three hugs before I left and I still think I owe her about two or three more hugs.

So when I tell you that you simply must go upstairs right now, pack a little bag (only a little one; you want to make sure there's lots of room in the trunk for all the yarn you're going to bring home) and pull out the atlas and find the fastest route to Northampton, MA, I'm not kidding. Even if you live in Togo or lower east Anchorage and you think you don't need to go to the real shop, because WEBS has a kick-ass website, let me tell you a little secret: there's stuff in the shop that is not on the website.

It's true.

Even Elvis wants to come back. After some amazing ice cream in charming Northampton, a dip in the outdoor pool AND the indoor pool

and several quarters in the Austin Powers pinball machine later,

he was in heaven, too. The next morning, I found Elvis filling out the hotel "How was your stay?" postcard. Where it said "How likely will you stay in this hotel again?" he had checked "Very likely."

Something tells me Elvis and I will be making that drive again real soon...

Thanks, Kathy and all the WEBS folks, for such a special visit! And thanks to the folks who came to the booksigning, too! Y'all rock.


Franklin said...

Zowie. Talk about a great time.

I foresee a future for Elvis as your personal tour manager. Excellent.

We need to get you out here for a Midwest/Chicago tour. You know you have a place to stay, and I will keep my promise of two locked doors between you and Dolores during sleeping hours.

ponyknit said...

Awesome! Glad you and Elvis enjoyed. I told you it's insane!!!

Anonymous said...

Ohhhhhhh- I so want to go! Yay, Elvis!

Laura Sue said...

Mmmm. Sounds so yummy. You might have talked me into it. A bit of a drive from NC, but not nearly so far as Togo.

pandop said...

Must go. Must win lottery, but must go.

Anonymous said...

You know, that Elvis is some handsome guy.
And you can tell him I said so.

Oh, right.
So where's my Silk Garden??

Anonymous said...

I believe you Carol - I believe that Webs is yarn heaven and that we must "experience" Webs. And gosh darn, we should all have such a fantastic companion for the trip as you do! Happy the book signing went well. Terry

Carol said...

Favorite Friend Kathy,
I got up there and realized I didn't know whether you wanted original Silk Garden or Silk Garden Lite. (You know how I love the fine yarns.) Sigh.

But don't you have some other major project you should be working on, sweetness?

Kathy said...

Glad it was great and REALLY wish I was there!!

Hey - that awning is 100% VINTAGE baby - original logo and all. When it comes down and I put it up for sale on Ebay - I'll be happy to take check or cash (cuz' you know you want it) :)

P.S. I "heart" Karen too - she rocks.

Unknown said...

So. Very. Jealous!!!

Anonymous said...

man, has elvis grown a foot taller since the summer started or what?

I second nell.

can I ride shotgun on the next trip? pretty please?

turtlegirl76 said...

I think I would die if I were to go to Webs. I'm not sure I could handle it. You did well!

Anonymous said...

Oy. You are, as always, too quick for me.
I bow.