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
Dan through the glass
Joanne through the glass
Made some comfort food (banana bread and tuna casserole) from my very first cookbook I bought in 1971. Made extra to give to my neighbor
Craft time with champagne cork
Watching Portrait Artist of the Year 2020 on YoutubeKnitting a sock that’s been dormant for a few years
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 Oakmontis 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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com 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
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!
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.
Joanna in her Primrose Mohair Yarn Sunday Cardigan
It was a nice party
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.