- store: WEBS
- address: 75 Service Center Rd, Northampton, MA 01060
- website: www.yarn.com/
- date of visit: January, 2012
If you live on the East Coast, WEBS is a legend. You’ll hear people talk about the deal they scored, the selection available and the magic of the ‘back room’ in almost any setting where yarn is being discussed.
So, now that I live in Connecticut (only an hour away from WEBS), I had to check it out, right?
WEBS is the storefront for yarn.com, and it’s true that they sell nearly every yarn and brand currently carried in LYSs. In fact, I’m not even going to bother to list brand names… if you want it, it’s probably there, including a number of yarns from indie dyers.
Aside from the large selection of yarns, WEBS also has a fabulous selection of fiber (for spinning) and yarn on cones (for weaving). The only other store I’ve been in that compares in the realm of spinning and weaving supplies is the Yarn Barn in Kansas… so such stores are few and far between!
Oh, and needles and hooks… don’t worry! There’s an entire wall, containing any brand/style you could want.
The Back Room
The back room is legendary: it’s where the deals are.
And, it’s pretty awesome! It’s a giant warehouse-like space that contains all of the discontinued yarn at discounted prices. And it’s not just ugly stuff! Yarns (and colorways) get discontinued frequently, so you can grab some really lovely stuff.
Even if you’re not in the back room, you’ll get a discount on your yarn if you purchase a certain dollar amount, so this is the place to stock up for your big projects!
WEBS isn’t your cuddly little yarn store. It’s huge: like, department store huge. Aside from the Walmart-esqe fluorescent lighting, the front half of the store maintains the feeling of being in a Local Yarn Store.
There are samples of popular patterns in new yarns carefully displayed. All of the yarns are neatly organized and displayed. There’s even a little place to sit up front.
I think it’s worth repeating: this isn’t really like an LYS. The employees aren’t knitting or crocheting. They won’t cheerfully ask you what you’re working on and offer suggestions. If you want help, you need to walk up to the front desk and ask for it.
The store is just one aspect of what’s really a huge business (the online store), so you may even stop an employee who doesn’t really know much about yarn. This happened to me: I stopped a staff member to ask a question, but she was the website girl. Guess that happens when a store’s so big!
WEBS is certainly worth a visit if you’re in the area… it’s got a stock like you wouldn’t believe, and it’s nice to see the yarns in person (rather than online).
And because WEBS is so large, they can offer a variety classes and events that your average yarn store just couldn’t tackle. It’s an experience worth having!
If WEBS is too far away from you to visit… you might want to consider coming to the North East Coast for the I-91 Shop Hop.
The Shop Hop is a weekend in late June where about a dozen stores on the I-91 Corridor (from Connecticut to Vermont) are open all weekend and have special events and prizes. WEBS is one of the stops (just a minute off I-91), so that’d be a great excuse to make the trip!