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.

 

 

McWalker Yarns Sweater Challenge Fashion Show

Saturday afternoon McWalker Yarns in Millvale PA hosted the November Sweater Challenge (NaKniSweMo) Fashion Show.

All of the sweaters were made with yarn from McW Y, had at least 50,000 stitches and were knit between 12:01 on 11/1 and midnight 11/30.

Knitters were to wear their sweaters if they knit them for themselves.

One sweater knitter had to be at work today and was unable to attend the fashion show but we’ll try to add a photo.

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Margaret “Maggie” Toth  brought her husband Chris who was modeling the sweater she knit for him – Berocco Man’s Sweater free pattern “Dan”.

She used Cascade ECO yarn– colorway Shire.

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Here’s Lauren Eicher modeling Jamestown Sweater knitty.com by Amy Christoffers 

Yarn Malabrigo Rios “Archangel”

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Christine’s niece Rebecca baked Gingerbread Men cookies sporting Holiday Sweaters IMG_0736

And here is Christine modeling her Free Range Kimono  Corner to Corner Crochet

Pattern by Jess Coppom    Yarn Cascade Wave “Nightshade”

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Christine  standing by the display showing yarn she used for her Free Range Kimono

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Meet Barb McAbe modeling her Sideways sweater designed by Joji Locatelli in Laine Magazine #6  Autumn/Winter 2018    Wow, look at those cables!

She used Shepard’s Wool in the Mint Colorway

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Here is Denise Kaliowski wearing her Kimono Cardigan by Linda DeRuiter

Yarn is Painted Mist in Misty Rainbow (6 skeins)  She made notes that it is very drapey and soft and she loves the colors.  We did too.

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Amy McCall (owner of McWalker Yarns) knit Selenity by Annie Rowden Laine Magazine #6   Yarn  Scout Colorway Blue Heather

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IMG_0730Here I am sporting Humulus Sweater designed by Isabell Kraemer

Photographed by Amy McCall

Yarn-   Lore by The Fibre Company (Earthy colorway) and Sunflower Heather is by Scout 

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Aimee Benswanger cheered us all on as we modeled our sweaters and here she is with her Entrelac Scarf  www.frecklesandpurls.com  Berocco Remix  Colorway Pool

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Denise is working a baby hat

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Already onto the next sweater. Amy McCall inspired us to complete our November sweaters.  We had a fun afternoon. The challenge produced a lot of creativity and camaraderie.   Amy gave us all a sheet of Temporary Knitting Tattoos for participating.

There was a grand prize drawing for a $50 store credit and the ticket was drawn by a Sock Club member.  I was fortunate to win so am planning my next sweater to start AFTER Christmas.

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!