This week I received a package of yarn and goodies from a Woolswapknitter 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.
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.
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.
Troveby designer Emma Durcher. Yarn is BC Garn Semilla Melange Sport Weight
Detail below of Trove. PomPom Magazine Autumn 2019
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!
Sleeve Detail with Button
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Monday afternoon, McWalker Yarns in Millvale unveiled the beautiful line of Primrose Yarn Co, an Indi-dyed yarn company featuring a variety of weights and fiber content. A huge box bursting with softness and luscious colors was just shipped from Philadelphia and is now displayed at McWalker Yarns.
Joanna had seen the yarn at Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival and has used Primrose Yarn Co for many sweaters, She’s an ardent fan of it. See her model one of her creations below.
It was a great Primrose Premier Party at the yarn store, with a spread of spanakopita, hummus, carrots, fruit flavored Italian sodas, cheese and crackers, topped off with chocolate covered marshmallows and Peanut Butter Cups. Mmmmmmmmm.
Each attendee received a gift of a colorful mini skein of Primrose Yarn. Christine got right to work on a crocheted octopus and was borrowing some fiber fill to stuff it, right as we partied.
I’m not sure why I didn’t photograph her eight legged creature but am kicking myself now.
It was a nice party
Joanna in her Primrose Mohair Yarn Sunday Cardigan
Nicole checks out the pom poms
Pattern is Storm Shawl by Joji Locatelli
One skein of colorway Forbidden Forest ( 100% Superwash Merino Single) makes this gorgeous Storm Shawlpattern by Joji Locatelli available at McWalker Yarns via Ravelry
More goodies to munch on
Joanna knit this cowl using 4 mini-skeins and has enough leftover for a hat
These fancy peach cookies, which are more like a full scale dessert item, were created by Rebecca. She’s going to be in her friend’s wedding and she’ll be baking six dozen peach cookies for the big day.
I met Rebecca while I was taking a Sunflower Granny Square Crochet Class, taught by Sarah at Yarns by Design in Oakmont. Rebecca brought a dozen of these peach cookies to share with the Knitters and crocheters. A trial baking run. The verdict was unanimous-excellent job, Rebecca! Delicious.
There are many steps to making these. Baking, hollowing out center to make room for cream. Peach Schnapps is involved. Big sparkly sugar, pastry cream, maraschino cherry for the center. She’ll add a tiny green stem and leaf to the ones she makes for the wedding.
We called Dyed in the Woolin the North Hills from RaggZ because they were going to close at 4 PM and weren’t open on Sunday and in order to finish the Yarn Crawl and get their pin and stamp I needed to hightail it out of the village of Forbes Road and get to Babcock Boulevard. We skipped lunch and made it in plenty of time to meet “….Carol Briggs Dragos and Lynda Bowen. We love yarn in all its glorious phases, fleece, roving and yarn. We love to spin, weave, knit and crochet with it. Join us in our fiber journey. All we can promise is fiber, fun and friendship” from the website
SUNDAY at Noon Sewickley YarnsOpened and I got there close to their opening.
A beautiful summer day to drive down Ohio River Boulevard to the town of Sewickley.
Owner Robin welcomed me, assisted by her daughter Clair. Store hours are going to be changing soon -Tues Thurs and Sat- 10-4 with a late knit night open on Wednesday 10-8 PM. Friday 10-7 with Knitting Happy Hour 5-7
I asked Robin what Sewickley Yarns sells that is unique to the area and she showed me Koigu, Baa yarn and Shibui.
Raku Ceramic Buttons
Sewickley Yarns carries Koigu Yarn
The Yarn Crawlers who complete the eleven store crawl are put into a random drawing to win a prize basket with yarn and accessories from all of the stores
The Grand Prize Baskets waiting for a random number to be drawn
Donna accompanied me on the Steel ValleyYarn Crawl. I picked her up and we went to the Dor-Stop (in Dormont) for a freshly grated potato pancake and eggs breakfast, downed some coffee and then put the address for Tonidale Yarn and Needlecraft store in Oakdale PA into the GPS and we were off!
Meet Ingeborg Saveikis She was incredibly knowledgable, patient and showed us around as we oohed and ahhhed at the wide variety of yarns in her shop. We received a couple of free patterns and collected the pin for the bag and had the passport stamped.
We felt inspired as we started the day.
This is Inge the shop’s owner
Triple Drop stitch, so pretty
Expertly Knit by Inge
Look at this gorgeous doily, I would frame it!
Special for the yarn crawl
All the sock yarn samples
Silky, shimmer, soft
Inge had some help from the official “stamper” who stamped my passport.
_____________________________________________________________________________________Our second stop was Kid Ewe Knotin Bridgeville PA hosted by shop owner Heather, surrounded by colorful yarn. She is preparing for a fall trip to Ireland with a group of avid knitters
Luccadot Yarn Trunk Show
Lots of texture and color in this yarn from Tennessee
Ellen and Craig Master Crocheters and teachers at Kid Ewe Knot How about that clock Craig made? and Ellen’s bag? A Dragon Glove? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________Donna and I got back into the car and headed south to Washington PA Ross Farm Mercantile
Meet the store manager of Ross Farm Mercantile– Anna- who does it all!
Cotswold Leicester Longwool, Shetland, Hog Island, Tunis, Gulf Coast Native, Cheviot, Jacob, Romney, Florida Cracker, CVM Eleven Breeds of Sheep on the Ross Farm
Here is the undyed natural yarn from all eleven breeds They have the sheep’s photo on the label see below