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!

My Sister’s Magical Trick

This photo was taken in NYC 2011 but in the mid fifties this teeny elephant assisted my sister in making me stop crying. She’d be in charge (babysitting) and I’d be sad my parents went out. She would make this elephant appear and then she’d make it fly away and disappear. I’m not sure how many times she repeated this act but I remember believing it was magic.

Don’t know who crocheted this little elephant

Real Lancashire Eccles cakes at Afternoon Tea

This week I received a package of yarn and goodies from a Woolswap knitter who lives in the UK. Amanda included a tin of Traditional English Tea and a packet of Real Lancashire Eccles Cakes with Real Butter.    She mentioned her husband likes to dip his into his tea. This afternoon I was inspired to make a tea party for one on my front porch. The Eccles cake  was delicious and went perfectly with the English Afternoon Tea. I added a drop of milk. There are three cakes left so three more tea parties on the porch.    Here’s what the bakery says on their website

 

The Eccles Cake is a traditional product, which is believed to have originated in the town of Eccles, approximately five miles from our bakery.

The Edmonds family recipe and method of manufacture has been handed down through generations. Our Eccles Cakes are handmade and consist of a mixture of the finest Vostizza currants, raisins, butter and sugar enclosed in a shell of flaky buttery pastry.

 

 

Woolswap Chat Episode 3

Most people who follow the blog know I like to knit. A lot!

I joined Woolswap in 2018. Gayle Stone, of Australia, created the international program in 2016. I have “met” the loveliest woolswappers in many different counties by participating in the program. Gayle does a great job matching up fellow knitters with similar interests.

This evening Gayle filmed our Woolswap Chat -an interview filmed at McWalker Yarns in Millvale Pennsylvania. It’s about 40 minutes long. You can click the link to view if you wish.

Here’s a quick pic of Gayle in Brisbane and me in Millvale at the yarn store. Thanks Amy and Gayle.

Woolswap Zoom interview
Brisbane,Australia/ Millvale Pennsylvania

Our Grandmother Made This

My sister sent me this photo of the doily our paternal grandmother made. It sits on a chair at my sister’s home. Years ago, I’d stitched it onto the solid fabric pillow.

It’s a good way to display an old fashioned hand crocheted doily. The shape suggests it was to protect the chair back where your head would rest.

Certainly we’ve spent a lot of time at home this past year.

McWalker Yarns Sweater Party NaKniSweMo 2019

Saturday afternoon the November sweater knitters gathered in Millvale Pennsylvania.  McWalker Yarns was the place to celebrate participation in the National Knit a Sweater in a Month Challenge.  50,000 Stitches, cast on just after midnight on November first.   The sweater was to be completed (ends woven in and blocked) by midnight November 30th.

If you follow me on IG you know my sweater was 24 hours and 15 minutes over the cut off.

Here is Clarissa,  the Grand Prize Winner of NaKniSweMo 2019 holding her prizes- a generous gift card to McWalker Yarns to buy yarn for the NEXT sweater and a very cool magnet/bottle opener.

 Trove by designer Emma Durcher.  Yarn is BC Garn Semilla Melange Sport Weight

Detail below of Trove.  PomPom Magazine Autumn 2019

Jes sporting her very fine knitting SC1 by Allison Brookbanks design  Yarn Neighborhood Fiber Co Loft

 

Robin designed her sweater.  The design name is Hauplande  Yarn Loch Lomond by BC Garn worsted weight.  I think she has 150,000 stitches in her design. WOW!

IMG_2041
Hauplande designed by Robin

 

Jes photographed me wearing The Purl Code Sweater Designer Isabell Kraemer. Yarn- Baa Ram Ewe Winterburn DK weight in Rhubarb colorway,  Using the Morse Code Alphabet provided in the pattern there are phrases, words, place names, favorite movies and books, song lyrics and people I love,  knit right into the sweater.


Christine is holding a gift bag with the sweater she crocheted as a surprise gift.

Her sweater (which she translated into Crochet from Knitting) will be added after the holiday season.  Christine brought cheese ball and crackers and spinach dip to round out the party fare.  McWalker Yarns Shop owner Amy McCall baked a delicious and moist chocolate cake with sweater decoration.

 

Below see Shop Owner, Hostess, Sponsor and Chief of Inspiration for the NaKniSweMo 2019 Challenge, Amy McCall.  Making the Local Yarn Store a welcoming community for all.

 

Spruce Point Pullover designer Amy Herzog               Baa Ram Ewe Winterburn yarn

 

Feistywoman Knit Hanefjed Sweater  click for details 

BC Garn Loch Lomond Bio GOTS certified  and Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool

 

https://www.ravelry.com/projects/feistywoman/hanefjed-womens-version

 

Arachne and NaKniSweMo2019- You Need Fifty Thousand Stitches

In Greek mythology (and later Roman mythology), Arachne (/əˈrækniː/; from Greek: ἀράχνη “spider”, cognate with Latin araneus) was a talented mortal weaver who challenged Athena, goddess of wisdom and crafts, to a weaving contest; this hubris resulted in her being transformed into a spider.” Wikipedia

Sunday afternoon you can get together and work on holiday (or other projects). The stitch circle is open to all.   It’s a lively and creative group, talented, too.  I dropped by to get some help on achieving gauge for a sweater project. I knew it was off. Proper gauge is important, (just ask my friend Deb in this Previous blog post illustrating the multiple factors that affect gauge) 

After being advised by Jes and another master knitter, it was clear that even after the second opinion, I needed to rip out and start again. It was barely an inch of knitting I had on the needles.  Perhaps an hour’s work.   After reluctant deliberation and a bit of consternation I ripped out the one inch I’d started Saturday night. Jes had advised me to make the next size or it would be a form fitting tube on me which is never a good look on my body.

Here is Jes.  If she is not teaching Choral Music or Band, you could find her working out at the gym or working at McWalker Yarns in Millvale.   She is a prolific knitter of garments. Perhaps you saw the hat I knit with hearts  last winter?  Love Actually Hat. Jes taught that Knit Along (KAL)

Jes is wearing her recently completed Arachne Sweater by Untangling Knots.

Lauren knit an identical sweater and was on McWalker Yarns Facebook post here 

The yarn Jes used is BC Garn Semilla. 

See below Jes’ photo for information on NaKniSweMo

Jes in her handknit Arachne Sweater

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE SWEATER IN a MONTH FASHION SHOW FROM LAST YEAR’S BLOG POST

November is National Knit-a-Sweater-In-A-Month   NaKniSweMo 2019

An Excerpt from McWalker Yarns Latest Newsletter by Amy  –

Are you ready for NaKniSweMo?

As I mentioned in an earlier newsletter, we are going to do another NaKniSweMo challenge at the shop.  We had so much fun last year, we’d love to have more of you join us.  As a reminder, NaKniSweMo is a challenge to knit or crochet a sweater of at least 50,000 stitches in November. You can cast on no earlier than 12:01 a.m. on November 1, 2018 and must be completely done (including weaving in ends, sewing on buttons, etc.) by midnight, November 30, 2019.  To be eligible for prizes here at the shop, you must be stitching using yarns from McWalker Yarns.  

We are meeting here at the shop on Saturdays in November (except Small Business Saturday, 11/30) from 2-4 p.m. to work on our projects.  Those who are participating and attend each Saturday will be eligible for weekly prizes drawn at random from those who attend.  Those who complete their sweater within the parameters will be eligible for grand prizes, including a $50 gift certificate to McWalker Yarns, to be drawn at random from those who complete the challenge.  Official national rules are here:  https://www.ravelry.com/groups/nakniswemo-kal/pages/NaKniSweMo-Rules-FAQ.  If you can come on November 2nd at 2 p.m., then you can sign up in person.  If not, just shoot an e-mail to yarns@mcwalker.us with the subject “NaKniSweMo” letting me know you are participating

There’s still time to stop in the shop to purchase yarns, supplies or finalize your plans so you are ready to go on the 1st!  #MYnakniswemo2019

And don’t forget to tune in and watch the 1990 film Arachnophobia