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

Steel Valley Yarn Crawl Off to a Great Start

August 2- August 11 are the dates to participate in the Steel Valley Yarn Crawl.

It’s not too late to join the Steel Valley Yarn Crawl.   (click for more info)

Here are the two stores I visited today.

There are 11 yarn stores on the “passport” where the yarn crawlers get a stamp and a cute pin to put on the specially printed bag, finishing the center of each of the flowers in the design. Every store has different types of yarns, accessories and supplies for sale.

The bags were/are for sale at each store (if they haven’t already sold out). My friend Vincie and I started the crawl this morning, wending out way out to Ligonier and visiting Kathy’s Kreations  on East Main Street. Thirty nine years in business!   See photos below.

Three Knitters from Altoona were going to ALL eleven yarn stores in a single day!  

Kathy’s Kreations in Ligonier Pennsylvania

How about the detail of this gorgeous dragonfly?

Stop #2__________________________________________

McWalker yarns in Millvale PA

McWalkers Yarns just celebrated their first anniversary in April. 

This Yarn Crawler visited FIVE yarn stores the first day!  See her pins on her bag. 

At the end of the day, Friday evening, my daughter Laura drove me (and my grandkids Charlie and Maura) over to Millvale to get in on the extended hours at McWalker Yarns.   I wanted to get a few more photos for the blog to generate some more excitement for the crawl.

Although this is the sixth year for the Steel Valley Yarn Crawl, it’s my first time to join in on the fun.

My grandkids Maura and Charlie pose for a photo at McWalker Yarns in Millvale

Christine and Amy pose in their Steel Valley Yarn Crawl Photo Spot at McWalker Yarns.

Exclusive COLORWAYS at McWalker yarns

Jes is always ready to help you select yarn and figure out what you need to create your design.  She is a great teacher and a prolific knitter.

 

NEXT STOP  YARNS BY DESIGN In OAKMONT PA

 

Sam Barsky and His Famous Landmark Sweaters Arrive in Oakmont

An April 2018 New York Times Article by Laura M Holson  It’s Sweater Weather Forever states:

Samuel Barsky has gained a measure of fame online for posting photographs of himself in front of famous landmarks with his handmade sweaters.”

Thursday afternoon, Yarns by Design, a local yarn store in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, hosted

Mr. Sam Barsky, a Baltimore native.

Traveling with him and on display were some his famous landmark sweaters.  You may have seen him on the internet, posing in front of famous landmarks, sporting the sweater he designed and knit of that very landmark.  He showed one sweater he knit with Ellis Island on one side and the Statue of Liberty on the other side.

He’s even knit a sweater for himself and a matching dress for his wife, too.  Click his name in the beginning of the above paragraph for link to see a photo.

The attentive audience got to ask Mr. Barsky questions after his presentation, showing his artistic hand knit sweaters which on average take him a month to complete. He said knitting has really helped him in his life and health.

After the photos were taken, he was teaching a two hour workshop on his technique.

Here are some photos of the event.

Natalie and Michelle of Yarns by Design with artistic knitter Sam Barsky and his sweaters

Posing with Sam (in his Pittsburgh sweater) and Deborah (his wife seated on left), with the audience modeling his colorful knitted sweaters

 

 

 

 

The famous HOLLYWOOD sign on the left and the Eclipse of the Sun on the right.

Thanks for inviting me, Natalie.  Got home just in time to have fun capturing Mr. Barsky and his colorful knitted sweaters.

 

Here’s Natalie Belmont with her latest knitting Work in Progress in hand. 

Die_Wollnerin in Berlin Live Video

This afternoon at Die_Wollnerin, (That’s the name to follow on Instagram)local yarn store in Berlin, a cool duo were filming a live Instagram video. I was able to send the video to some knitting friends in the states while it was happening. It’s up for another 19 hours. Yes it’s in German but look at the gorgeous yarn.

Meet Sabine Bornemann, owner of the Yarn Store Die Wollnerin and fabulous hand dyer of lovely colorful yarn.  Every time I visit Berlin, I stop by to visit and buy yarn souvenirs.

Here are the Instagram Live Video creators Diana and Stefanie  so much fun to meet them and watch the action  https://feierabendfrickeleien.com/

for more info about their podcast 

Die_Woolnerin, a local yarn store in Berlin. there was an Instagram Live video recording happenings

McWalker Yarns Hosted a Poetry Reading in Millvale

Thursday evening in Millvale, Amy McCall, owner of McWalker Yarns hosted poets Sheryl St. Germain and her former MFA student at Chatham U, Michael Bennett.

The yarn store was a wonderful backdrop for Sheryl St. Germain’s reading. Surrounded by skeins and skeins of colorful yarn, Sheryl read her powerful essay (from Stitching Resistance:  Women, Creativity and Fiber Arts  edited by Marjorie Agosin). She told of the role crochet has played in her life since childhood, but focusing on how crocheting with yarn helped her cope while parenting a son who was in trouble with alcohol, drugs and the law. She also read poems about her son’s dying of a heroin overdose from her book The Small Door of Your Death.  Her words touched the audience as she described the helplessness and grief, her numbness, as she centered herself every evening after a long day- crocheting an afghan for her son.  The repetition of hook into yarn loops as a meditation, an ease from depression and the stress of hopelessness. A healing.

 

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Pittsburgh native Michael Bennett read his poetry first and opened for Ms. St. Germain.  Michael  has worked for three years with Words Without Walls program, teaching incarcerated Juvenile offenders, teenagers being tried as adults.


Cellist David Bennett and McWalker Yarns supporter introduces the poet and provided delicious desserts  by Millvale Baker Jean-Marc Chatelier


New Orleans native Sheryl St. Germain has published six poetry books, two collections of essays, and co-edited two anthologies. The Small Door of Your Death, a collection of poems about the death of her son from a heroin overdose, appeared in 2018 with Autumn House Press. A forthcoming book, Fifty Miles, is a collection of essays about healing that include a couple of essays about working with yarn. Sheryl directs the MFA program in Creative Writing at Chatham University where she also teaches poetry and creative nonfiction, and is co-founder of the Words Without Walls Program . She was named Louisiana Writer of the year in 2018. Sheryl is an avid and accomplished crocheter, and a much less accomplished knitter. See: www.sheryl-stgermain.com/ for more information.

 

Desserts  created  by  Jean-Marc Chatellier French Bakery

Meet Squirrel The Angora Bunny

Look at this soft snuggly bunny rabbit who helped feature the vibrant “Dye Happy” colorway.  A table display was overflowing with beautiful and colorful soft yarn. Steve and I popped over the river for a few minutes to see the trunk show, held at  LYS McWalker Yarns in Millvale PA, Sunday afternoon. I needed some double pointed knitting needles, too for a new project.

Meet Squirrel, held by Marissa of The Spun Bunny.  

I should have taken a video of his little nose twitching.  So fluffy and Marissa said the scale tips between 4 and 5 pounds so the fur is light, even if it is long.

You have to see and touch the squishy and brilliantly colored yarn to see what Squirrel and his family can produce.  (with a little help from spinner and owner Marissa of course)  I asked how many rabbits and Marissa responded “12😁 2 are full english angoras (ember and cinnabun) and the rest are french x english.”

Can you find his pretty eyes?

And I lifted one of McWalker Yarns photos from Facebook Timeline (thanks Amy) so you can see the gorgeous yarn  Didn’t think to photograph the yarn,  as I was mesmerized by Squirrel and all his cuteness.

 

 

Millvale Welcomes McWalker Yarns

Millvale welcomes McWalker Yarns A wonderful new LYS (Local Yarn Store)  Opening Day tomorrow, Saturday April 21st at 9:30.  I had the pleasure of photographing the owner, Amy Walker McCall today.  How nice she made time to give me a tour when she was super busy, readying the store for opening tomorrow.  303 Grant Avenue is just across the street from the gas station. Tuesday and Wednesday the store will be CLOSED but open every other day of the week with the tagline “Yarns at a variety of price points with hours for working crafters.”

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Stitch Party Yarn dyed locally in Millvale.

Three Pittsburgh area LYS have closed in recent months and what a loss to our community.  How fortunate that Amy created a business plan and put in a lot of preparation and hard work to make her creative vision a reality.  Millvale is a happening place, you’ve read many posts of mine before featuring all it has to offer.  And it is just over the Allegheny River, not a long ride at all.

The store is laid out by the weight of the yarn which is so helpful when you are trying to find just the right yarn for a project you are dream knitting in your mind.

Need help finding something specific? Check out this thorough colored labeling system.

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A basketful of possibility 

These O- wool yarns are organic “yarn that is environmentally responsible, affordable, and made locally in Philadelphia and the USA.”

Allergic to wool?  Lots of alternatives to choose from.  Here is some soft cotton with a hint of nylon in it  Check out the Cumulus below

Be sure to see and feel  the variety of Swans Island Yarn from Maine.  The Bicycle Hat is a bit blurred but if you know a cyclist, I know they’d love you to knit them the hat!

 

IMG_2575Looks like an inviting couch and chair to sit and knit a bit! Wishing you all the best, Amy,  as you launch your wonderful McWalker Yarns store tomorrow!