Crocheted street sign pole at the corner near Laura’s house.
Crocheted street sign pole at the corner near Laura’s house.
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.
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.
Here’s a quick pic of Gayle in Brisbane and me in Millvale at the yarn store. Thanks Amy and Gayle.
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.
My sister sent me this photo from the Farmers’ Market New York City.
Such gorgeous colors.
Makes me want to knit.
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!
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.
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
BC Garn Loch Lomond Bio GOTS certified and Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool
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
And don’t forget to tune in and watch the 1990 film Arachnophobia
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.
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.
Saturday my friend Vincie and I got an early start and made our way to Harmony PA to
Owner Lisa Krack introduced us to Naturally Nazareth yarn
_____________________________________________________________________________________RaggZ Fiber Art in the village of Forbes Road
We hit the turnpike and went about an hour’s drive to Forbes Road PA where we met Toni at RaggZ Fiber Art Vincie spotted these giant knitting needles and the welcoming archway.
Toni showed me Living Pelts Felted on the back The sheep (which she keeps) are ALIVE and the backs of the pelts are Felted.
We called Dyed in the Wool in 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
Dyed in the Wool shop Owner Carol
So three stores in a day and pins and stamps collected but ONE more pin and stamp needed to complete the crawl.
SUNDAY at Noon Sewickley Yarns Opened 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.
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
After I completed the crawl I went to knit a bit with a nice group at McWalker Yarns in Millvale and photographed Jennifer and Joanna in the Photo Spot.
Support your independent local yarn stores so they don’t disappear. Take a class and learn something new. Click the shop links for more information.
*The first post of the Steel Valley Yarn Crawl featuring Kathy’s Kreations in Ligonier and McWalker Yarns in Millvale is here
*Pittsburgh Yarn Company and Yarns by Design in Oakmont are on this post