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 

McWalker Yarns in Millvale Celebrates First Anniversary

You might remember my post last April of McWalker Yarns opening in Millvale PA.

Click McWalker Yarns website for class schedules, hours and directions.

Today knitters and friends gathered in the LYS (Local Yarn Shop/Store)  to celebrate the first anniversary.  

 Hospitable, knowledgeable and skilled staff on duty. Owner Amy Walker McCall second from left and Jess, Joanna and Lauren,    Ready to welcome you to McWalker Yarns and assist you in choosing the perfect yarn for the projects you want to create, whether it be knitting, crochet or spinning.

Class schedules, Monthly Knit Alongs and Knitting Community gatherings and events are listed on the website. and on FB page here 

It was a happy celebration with  Chocolate cake and champagne.  Congratulations McWalker Yarns and wishing you many more anniversaries to come. 

 

 

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!