Midwest Yarn Iowa City- Guest Blog

Joanne writes from Iowa today….

“Just like my friend Ruth, I search out yarn shops when I travel, hoping to find local yarn.

I’m visiting my daughter in Iowa this week and made a quick visit to the Home Ec. Workshop.

Located in a lovely old red Victorian-style home, the shop offers supplies and inspiration for quilting, crafting, sewing, and a full selection of mostly natural-fiber yarns for knitting and crochet.

It was fun to visit and chat with the owner Codi Josephson, who shared that the shop was recently featured in Better Homes & Gardens Quilt Sampler magazine (Spring/Summer 2022 issue). I came away with a few treasures …. a fabric project bag and some fabric to make a few more. And I found a locally dyed yarn called Ewe & Lea. I loved all the colors, so ended up with five skeins …. wonder what projects I’ll be knitting up!” —Joanne

P.S. You can shop online, if you aren’t headed to Iowa City anytime soon. I bought some sock yarn (on sale) for a friend. -Ruth

The fabric- teacups, teabags and colorful buttons
The yarn by Ewe & Lea
Jen Hewett Project Bag holding the Punkin Head hat Joanne is knitting for her grandson
(click for Tara Thomsen’s free pattern)
This emblem was on their website!

North East – More Than a Direction

There is a town in Pennsylvania called North East. Yes, that’s the name of the town, not just a direction. About 150 miles north of Pittsburgh, near Erie, it turns out it’s the northernmost town in PA.

My friend Roberta went to the North East Farmer’s Market and saw a vendor with yarn! There were chairs behind the display table and knitters sitting and knitting. She told them about her friend the knitter (me) and that I’d even been on a knitting cruise to Norway with Arne and Carlos . (If you’re unfamiliar with this creative duo who live in a Norway, you can click their name to learn about their creative designs.)

Sunday night Roberta came over to my front porch to celebrate my birthday. We shared Taiwanese takeout she had brought with her, Blackberries on vanilla ice cream and pizzelles were dessert.

Then I opened a surprise birthday gift she brought. It’s so cool she chose such lovely yarn for me and although she’s not a knitter, she knows I have a passion for it.

Yes, she knew I’d love the yarn from the Three Tulips Yarn Company …dream up magical colorways in tiny, individual batches so that your project will be truly unique. We love yarn and believe that each stitch should be a joy to create.”

You can meet the team at Three Tulips Yarn Company here

Here is what she gave me

Colorful and feels so squishy and a teacup on the birthday card!

Hand-dyed Micro Batch Yarn by Three Tulips Yarn Company I think to make a Hat on the left /Socks on the right.

World Wide Knit in Public Day

These photos are from World Wide Knit in Public Day 2017 post at Carnegie Library McKeesport branch.

Where will you knit today?

World Wide Knit in Public Day was founded by Astrid Salling. Click link to find a location (Japan,Hungary, Cape Town, Acapulco, or Millvale PA wherever you are – find location where fellow knitters will meet and knit.)

“BETTER LIVING THROUGH STITCHING TOGETHER!”

IMG_0002
IMG_0004
IMG_0011
IMG_0012
IMG_0013
IMG_0014

A Felted Bowl

My friend Ann in Colorado invited me to join her knitting group (via Zoom) one Friday afternoon. Everyone was knitting a woolen piece to be Felted into a bowl. it was fun to knit with them , virtually.

You have to use large knitting needles and 100% wool yarn to be sure it will felt. I was trying out Germantown yarn worsted by Kelbourne Woolens made in the USA. Our local yarn store, McWalker Yarns , had just gotten some in stock. I chose one 100 gram skein of Sage Green.

It took me a little under two hours to knit. I ran it through the front loader in hot water with old canvas sneakers, twice. A top loader is preferable for agitation and a quicker result.

Note:There are free knitting patterns to search online to make felted bowls. The pattern I used is in a book so can’t copy it.

The finished Felted bowl

Resolutions or No?

This little gift (sent at Christmas from my friend Joanne) spoke to me today when I picked it up to put it away. Some days it’s a challenge but I’ll put it on the shelf near my sink so I can be reminded.

Daily!

If there’s one resolution to make, I will make this one.

Do you make resolutions? I used to make a list. you know, the usual – read more books, exercise, get organized….

The Quotable Matches Resting on a Christmas Hat
I finished just yesterday. Disciplined myself to learn Norwegian Knit and Purl technique and except for the last decreases with purl 2 together, I accomplished this personal challenge.
Jawbreaker colorway of Knittinbro Bulky yarn

Quotable Cards makes the matches, mugs, cards, calendars and ornaments.

Arne and Carlos videos for Norwegian knitting technique

Bringing Joy

A little handmade gift is especially appreciated by someone who makes handmade gifts. You know what they put into it! ❤️

Thank you dear Pam, a fellow sock knitter.
Thank you dear Tookie. Your beaded ball and mitten are great additions to the garland.
.

And sometimes you get totally surprised by a generous spirit, thank you dear Carrie,who created and sent an Advent box, opening a new little package of yarn each day . Just look at the colors! –

And Maine surprises-chocolate lobsters, Moose Poop and maple syrup.

I’m going to knit a Simple Stripes sweater, a fingering weight pattern.

Unraveling

A piece of knitting that’s taken hours to achieve a length, can be returned to a ball of yarn in no time at all.

Ten hours of knitting? Can be undone in less than two minutes! But if it’s necessary? Wrong size, a mistake, wrong gauge, disappointing fabric, the wrong needle and/ or wrong stitch count.

My problem was I cast on 72 stitches for one sock then promptly forgot that I did so on the second. I cast on 64 stitches, my usual number. Rip, rip, rip! 8 stitches make a difference, in this case an inch in the circumference. You want matching socks. You NEED them to match as best you can . To fit! One thing I’ve learned is it will not remedy itself if you keep going. Face it! And rip. Carefully.

You just grit your teeth and do it. don’t think too much. No groaning.

There. It’s back to a ball of yarn. Now go cast on the correct number snd reknit. About ten hours worth of knitting. Love this handdyed yarn from Knittinbro Yarns of Pennsylvania.

Front Porch Find

In sweeping up some leaves, a stitch marker turned up by the pile.

From front porch knitting.

You never know where they’ll appear. Between couch cushions, too. Have yet to find one in the bottom of any bowls of soup!

After I posted, I saw on IG The Crafty Jackalope in Vancouver BC, asked followers to “Tell me you’re a knitter without telling me.” She had posted a photo of yarn hanging out of a car door. I messaged her this photo I took yesterday and she sent back a fun emoji!

Landscaping Goats at Knit Night

Six HaveUHerdLandscaping Goats have been munching some undesired vegetation behind Tupelo Honey Teas in Millvale, PA. They’ll eat anything, I’m told. Even poison ivy!

We were knitting at knit night on the back porch of the shop, and I snapped a few shots of the goats.

Taking a well earned rest

Knitter Extraordinaire Celebrates a Special Birthday

Happy Birthday Bonnie. May your special birthday be the beginning of a happy new year. March 24th is the day!

When Bonnie was preschool age, her mother gave her fabric and a needle to work alongside her while she sewed. Various aunts and relatives taught her to crochet and then later to knit. being a crocheter first, she knits Continental, holding the yarn in her left hand. Her skill is exemplary.

Last week I photographed Bonnie and many of her lovely knitted things- I met Bonnie a couple of years ago at an in-person Sunday Afternoon Stitch Group held at McWalker Yarns store in Millvale Pennsylvania. This past year during the Pandemic we have “met” online a couple times a week on the Zoom Sit and Stitch groups sponsored by McWalker. Some of you from the Pittsburgh area may have shopped for yarn more than a decade ago in her former store – Bonnie Knits in Monroeville. She has a vast knowledge and experience and is always willing to answer questions or help another knitter decipher pattern directions. Need a little math assistance to figure out gauge? Ask Bonnie.

I haven’t been inside anyone’s home for a long time. We spent a couple of happy hours together and she gave me a peek into her knitting life and home. There are drawers, bins and closets filled with beautifully hand knitted sweaters, skirts, dresses,socks shawls, mittens , gloves and hats Handmade rugs from her mother and a gorgeous quilt made by her great grandmother were heirlooms to admire.

Bonnie welcoming me to her home.
Knit in Rowan Felted Tweed.
Heart Leaf Boxy Jumper by Dee Hardwicke
Four generations photographs. Bonnie is the baby in the middle photo. And the dark haired mother on the right in the far right photo. What a treasure to cherish. Her daughter Kate framed the three photographs together.
Here’s the tile -now look at the rug her mother made below.
Bonnie’s mother made this hooked rug, based on the above tile’s design.
Bonnie showed me her current project.
An Oslo Hat by PetiteKnit -Fibernymphs Grant Avenue colorway Bedazzled Yarn paired with Rowan Kidsilk Haze Mohair from McWalker Yarns
Bonnie’s Bell Collection
Her great grandmothers 48 States quilt embroidered with state flowers.
Pattern
Y-680 Ladies Jacket by Eisaku Noro & Co.,Ltd knit in 2different color-ways of Noro Kuryeon
State Flower Quilt detail
Meet one of her cats- Kisa. Loki was in the basement waiting until I left to come out and sniff where I’d sat on the couch.
Wonder what pattern Bonnie will knit next?
Planted in 1971, her crocus return ever year,