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,

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

An Angel of Friendship Delivered on a Sunday

Sunday morning I was sipping coffee and knitting a sock and Steve said, “there’s a package for you.”

A surprise delivery.

I opened it up and there was an unexpected gift of a Willow Tree Angel of Friendship with a lovely message. ❤️ I have her where I can see her when I’m “working” in my former dining room, now transformed into a workshop space.

Thank you, Carrie.
A friend and fellow knitter I “met” through the Woolly Thistle Knitting Buddy Program during the Pandemic.

I’m in Pittsburgh but Photographed by Friend in Australia, Guest Blog

Friday night McWalker Yarns hosts a Sip and Stitch Zoom meeting. A great way to connect during the Pandemic.   While we were knitting and chatting, we started talking Halloween.  One of our participants lives in Australia, so our evening meeting is her morning coffee time.  Gayle was saying it will already be Halloween for her at next Friday Night’s Sip and Stitch Zoom meeting. I thought, wait I will don the mask that is on my dining room table.  I sewed this costume for my son Mark in the early 80s.

So here I am sporting the ET mask and Gayle in Australia photographed me and sent it.  With her gracious permission I am sharing her photo of me.

I “met” Gayle through the Woolswap program she runs, as well as many other knitters around the world, sharing fiber, creativity and inspiration with one another.

 

It’s me. You can see my knitted shawl peeking.

What’s Your Comfort Food?

Last Thursday on our virtual knitting Zoom, my friend Joanne showed this lovely watercolor painting titled Comfort Food.

I had to smile cause I knew Ina Garten’s Modern Comfort Food cookbook was to arrive at Joanne’s house in Florida the very next day. I’d ordered it as a gift.

Here’s Joanne’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Tomato Soup painting, Thanks for sending, Joanne.

And here’s the cover of the new cookbook

Can’t wait to cook some of these recipes

And the back cover. Black and White Cookies.

What is your go to comfort food in the Pandemic?

My Friend’s Geraniums are Magical

These glorious geraniums on my friend’s porch are coming to the end of their blossoming season. But they’ll return next summer! We visited on her from porch this morning and captured these blooms, so amazing.

The very same plants. I’m not kidding.

How does she do it?

Here’s her method. Works for 5-7 seasons.

Get a large brown paper lawn bag, NOT plastic.

Take the geraniums out of the window boxes and knock off (gently) all the dirt that clings to the roots.

Place into the large paper leaf and lawn bag.

Carry to the basement. ( here in Pittsburgh we have basements, not sure what to advise other regions)

Thank you, TW. They are luscious.

And my friend wrote the directions I omitted -! “To continue those directions: next year, on May 1st, take the geraniums out of the bag. they will look very dead, leaves and flowers dry and brown. Cut the stems way back to where it looks green. Replant and water with Miracle gro. It will take a good month or more and all the sudden, you will see tiny leaves appear. Then, they grow on from there. A sure sign of hope and new life”. TW

Star Wars Spectacular Handknit Socks

Monday afternoon I popped over to McWalker Yarns store in Millvale.   Robin was working and helped me get a pattern and some Rowan Felted Tweed yarn to make a sweater for the NaKniSweMo Challenge -to knit a sweater in the month of November.  I’ve seen Robin on Zoom Stitch meetings for several months but it was great to see her in person.  AND lucky for me she had the Star Wars socks with her, the ones we’ve been watching the progress on as she knit them during our virtual meetings.

All I can say is WOW. They are something to see.  She is an advanced knitter, clearly.

Meet Robin, attorney by day, knitter extraordinaire on her days off.  Here she is showing her pair of hand knit Star Wars socks.  Amazing work. She says they are a true labor of love and the recipient is a real SW fan so they are going to be thrilled when they unwrap them at Christmas.  Don’t think the recipient will  be seeing the blogpost but want to keep the details vague.  Look at her expert knitting letters with tiny stitches May the Force Be With You. Alas, she created the designs herself by finding a multitude of charts on the internet and adapting them for the scale of socks but perhaps they will inspire you to design your own Star Wars socks.


Posted with gracious consent. Thank you.

 

 

 

Doll Hair Gone Wild

I heard from a friend a couple of weeks ago that her daughter’s doll was having some wild hair and could I possibly knit a doll hat?  Of course. They came to the front porch, masked,  the other morning and brought the dolls so I got to take a before and after photo.  We even had an impromptu knitting lesson with some worsted and those kid needles, where one needle is red and one blue.  I am sure a followup lesson in is our future.

Our favorite hairstylist Lauren suggested a good Dawn Liquid shampoo and a drop of conditioner MIGHT help revive the doll hair.