Reports from Joanne in St. Augustine Florida – Guest Blog

Here is what is happening with my friend Joanne in St. Augustine.

A guest blog report in gallery form.   It was actually Joanne’s  idea to post photos from friends in different locations showing what they have been doing as they shelter in place and are isolated from friends and family.  Since she has been updating me daily I’m a bit overwhelmed cause she has been doing A LOT.   Her to do list and the documentation of it is lengthy.  Here are some of the photos that tell the story of her activities in St. Augustine Florida (where my sister and I visited just last month) Thanks for sharing Joanne.  I am posting your crossword still life first.

It tells a story all by itself. She titles them Isolation Day Activities.  Here’s the gallery with her photos.  One thing I can tell you for sure is that is a lot brighter where she is than Pittsburgh PA.

These photos were taken throughout the week, not just one day. Phew!

Then she and Dan visited through a sliding glass door window

Arne and Carlos Quarantine Knitting from Norway

Remember when I traveled to Norway for the Arne and Carlos Knitting Cruise in September 2018?  That’s where I met Arne and Carlos, who are well known knitwear designers and authors of creative books. During these difficult and anxious times of COVID-19, they are videoing daily from their home  Quarantine Knitting with Arne and Carlos. It’s on their YouTube Channel 

Even if you aren’t a knitter or crocheter they are entertaining and fun to listen to. They are generous and kind.  There will some cooking on the episodes, too.  Their neighbors will deliver the ingredients to their porch. Because they had just travelled out of the country, they are in quarantine in their home.

We are all having to “shelter in place” as the brave nurses, doctors and medical workers have to go to help others.  Grocery and pharmacy workers and other essential services are at risk as they continue to work with the public every day. Challenging is an understatement.

Join their public Facebook Group Quarantine Knitting with Arne and Carlos They are welcoming dialogue, comments and engagement from viewers. Joining in can help you feel less isolated and anxious.  They are encouraging knitters and crocheters to continue to support their local yarn stores during this shutdown of small businesses. Because social distancing is necessary and the physical stores in Pittsburgh are closed, McWalker Yarns in Millvale is offering creative options for yarn delivery and Yarns by Design in Oakmont is offering Free Shipping through Apr 15th. Knitting groups and classes are cancelled but they’re even trying to have a virtual knitting circle, stay tuned.

Here are the links to Episodes one and two

 

 

 

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

 

One Week to Go – an inch of ribbing and two sleeves

One week to go in the NaKniSweMo challenge. Sponsored by McWalker Yarns of Millvale PA.

At least 50,000 stitches total in your completed sweater-  Bound off, blocked, all ends woven in. Cast on was November first to be finished by midnight November 30th. The sweater party will be held at McWalker Yarns Saturday December 7th at 2PM.

You can check out last year’s sweater fashion show here 

I’m a little behind this year. A lot behind.

An inch of ribbing and two sleeves. My arms are pretty long. I’d better stop blogging and knit.

With houseguests, touring the city and travel to Ohio I didn’t knit the past five days.   Uh-oh.

Rhubarb colorway of Winterburn Yarn by Baa Ram Ewe spun and dyed in Yorkshire. The pattern is Purl Code Sweater by favorite knitwear designer Isabell Kraemer.

I’ve knit lots of words into my sweater using  Morse Code alphabet.

No names of aristocrats for the guillotine, as the memorable character Madame DeFarge knits in Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities. We had to read it in high school but fifty years later I still remember.

The knitted messages I knit into the sweater are the people I love, place names, favorite lyrics and favorite books from childhood.

All you need is love.

Be Kind and Sport a Cardigan November 13th

 

World Kindness Day is Wednesday November 13.

 Wear your cardigans for World Kindness Day  article in Tribune Review by Shirley McMarlin and remember Mr. Fred Rogers who exhibited acts of kindness as a way of life.  And wore cardigan sweaters on his television show.

Here’s what Mr. Rogers said about his mother making his sweaters.

“She makes sweaters for many different people,” he told the camera, after showing a picture of his mom and pointing out the intricate details in each piece. “But, that’s one of the ways that she has of saying that she loves somebody.”   from article by Samantha Sutton  In Style Magazine

One of Mr. Rogers’ sweaters at the Children’s Museum in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

Maura poses with one of Mr Rogers’ sweaters At the Children’s Museum Pittsburgh

Watch Mr. Rogers suitcoat turn into a cardigan as I pour in the hot water from the kettle.

Knit for Laura with lots of love  in 1984 by my dear friend’s mother- Karlene

Cardigan-wikipedia The cardigan was named after James Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan, a British Army Major General who led the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War.[2] Thank you Mister Rogers:  Music and Memories new album just came out October 25th  click for more information  They arelaunching a campaign to declare November as “National Thank You, Mister Rogers Month.” Everyone is welcome to support the effort by going to www.thankyoumisterrogers.com for more info and to share their memories of Fred.

One of my photographs was selected to be used in promoting the album. 

 

On the Southside of Pittsburgh Fredasaurus previous blog post

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 

Troll Crossing in Norway One Year Ago

Trollstigen (Troll’s Road) in Norway.  If you click the link you can see pictures of the winding Troll’s Road.

One year ago I was on the Arne and Carlos‘ Knitting Cruise going up the coast of Norway on MS Finnmarken.   Thanks to Pam from Massachusetts, my knitting colleague and ship roommate for sending this pic today. Yes that was a wonderful trip of a lifetime and there are many great memories.

I was so happy to receive an email today with this photo of myself that Pam took by the  Troll Crossing sign.  I was able to go and find the one I took of her, too.

Our tour bus was to drive up the winding roads but due to bad weather, the Troll Road was closed. (After looking at the photos of the road I think I am a bit relieved it was closed)

Thanks again for the fun memory, Pam.  I’m glad you follow the blog. Hope you like this post!

The weather that day
Troll Road Closed

Philadelphia’s Primrose Yarn Arrives in Millvale PA

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.

One skein of colorway Forbidden Forest ( 100% Superwash Merino Single)  makes this gorgeous Storm Shawl pattern by Joji Locatelli available at McWalker Yarns via Ravelry

Timbre Hat designed by Meghan Fernandes from current issue of Pom Pom Magazine knit by Amy using a skein of Classy DK with the addition of a strand of Primrose Plume Mohair yarn

Yanr

Peach Cookies Practice Run

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.