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.

 

Steel Valley Yarn Crawl 2019 is Complete

Saturday my friend Vincie and I got an early start and made our way to Harmony PA to

Darn Yarn Needles and Thread Shop.  

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.

Here is an article about RaggZ Fiber Art by Deborah Weisberg

 

Toni showed me Living Pelts  Felted on the back   The sheep (which she keeps) are ALIVE and the backs of the pelts are Felted.

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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

Lynda waits on customers

 


A new knitter’s first project from taking a class at Dyed in the Wool

So three stores in a day and pins and stamps collected but ONE more pin and stamp needed to complete the crawl.

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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

The Grand Prize Baskets waiting for a random number to be drawn 

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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.

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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

*If you missed a post of the Yarn Crawl you can click here for 3 Yarn Stores in a Day Oakdale, Bridgeville and Washington 

Oakdale, Bridgeville and Washington PA 3 Yarn Stores in a Day

 

My friend Donna and I had an adventure today.

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.

_____________________________________________________________________________________Our second stop was Kid Ewe Knot in 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

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

Yarn from 11 breeds of sheep

Handmade ceramic yarn bowls.

Seven yarn stores visited for the Steel Valley Yarn Crawl- Four to go by Sunday afternoon.  I have a plan!   Stay tuned 

Ross Farm Mercantile is the red building on the right #80 Main Street Washington PA ____________________________________________________________________________________

Click to see Post  Kathy’s Kreations in Ligonier and McWalker Yarns of Millvale 

Click to see Post  Pittsburgh Yarn Company in Wilkinsburg and Yarns by Design of Oakmont