Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival

Registration is open! You may now purchase tickets for admission, classes and special events. Click here to get started.

The website has been redesigned and has a new look and format. The changes we have made will make it easier for you to navigate. If you have any questions we have added a new FAQ page to assist you in finding your way around the website.

We look forward to seeing you at the Festival!!

Heartland Fiberalooza

A day of yarn, fun, fiber and food! Come see, touch and purchase gorgeous yarn, spinning fiber and finished items from Midwest vendors- most of whom raise, shear, spin and dye their own fiber. Take a class, have breakfast or lunch at our 5 Star Cafe’ Yarnia and shop for unique items only found HERE! Admission for the day is $3 which includes your name in our drawing of fabulous giveaways provided by our generous vendors. Stay tuned for more details!

Socks & Shawls & Cowls…oh my

My friend Mary lives out in Kingston (same town I live in) and she’s a very good knitter.  She loves to knit socks, but she also knits shawls, hats, sweaters, cowls, felted clogs, dishcloths, scarves, mitts, ponchos, and baby items.  Here are just a few of her finished items.

Prairie Socks by Kay F Jones using Lolo Did It’s Everyday Sock.  This pattern is available on Ravelry.  I just love all these speckled yarns out now.  Great job Mary!

Next, Fireflies Rising Shawlette by Helen Stewart.  Mary used Fancy Image Yarn Merino Tencel Fingering!  This looks like spring spring spring. This too is a Ravelry pattern.


 

Finally, her 3 Color Cashmere Cowl by Joji Locatelli.  Mary used Juno Fibre Arts Alice for the Oyster & Stone colors and then Blue Sky Fibers Alpaca Silk for the Orange.  I just love that pop of color with the neutrals.  Orange is such a happy color too.  Don’t you find some patterns just have it “IT” factor?  If think this one does, it has a cult following.  I really want to knit one.  Again, Ravelry for the pattern.

Thank you Mary, so much, for sharing your work!!!  Remember you can click on any of these photos to see them larger.

* Good Prices *

Hey Everyone — So, last weekend, I took a trip down south (south Washington) to visit a couple of yarn shops.  Teva, at Loose Ends Fiber Arts had been asking me to come and visit her store.  Working full time, working America’s Knitting, knitting and walking my dog keeps me pretty busy, but my husband Wes & I thought we’d take a drive last weekend down south, to check out her store.

Loose Ends is in the town of Centralia, Washington, which is south of Olympia, Washington’s state capital.  We had a dry but chilly day for our drive, but I knit in the car while Wes drove.  We brought Mae with us, and she got a nice little walk in with Wes while I visit the yarn shop.  Loose Ends is located in the original downtown area with parking on the street.  They call the area, the antique district as there are lots of antique shops, for your antiquing pleasure.

When I arrived, the store had a couple of customers, and the owner, Teva, was in.  She quickly greeted me and I introduced myself.  It was a surprise visit, as I didn’t even know I was going to be making the trip when I got up that morning.  I guess I could have called when I was on the way down….but I just thought of that, so it was a surprise.  She was happy to see me and meet me.  She was busy with her customers, a mother/daughter knitting team.  She was winding their purchases, so I just looked around and took pictures.

My first observation was that she carried lots of Cascade Yarns.  That’s not really surprising, as this is a local company to Washington state, and their line of yarns is vast and wide.  But, I also saw Noro, Madeline Tosh, Juniper Moon Farm, Malabrigo and Universal Yarns.  The second thing that I noticed, was that another customer had come in.  The prices were very good.  I know that there is suggested retail on things, but the owner does have some discretion on what they want to charge for things, and what goes on sale, or if they need to charge more for things, depending upon their overhead that has to be covered every month.

I saw, what Teva called the ‘fiber room’.  That is where she keeps the roving, fiber, top…..I’m not a spinner so I don’t know the lingo or what I’m talking about – but she had a room for it.  Also, in the back was a room with a table where she holds knit night and classes.  Before I left, a group of young gals came in to shop as well.  It was a busy Saturday at the store.  

While I was there, I purchased some self striping sock yarn (I’ve never knit with that kind of yarn before, I’m excited), and a Valentine card.  Teva had the cutest cards in store for Valentines Day.  I could tell Teva was a very comfortable, friendly gal that could quickly become your friend.

If you are headed to Centralia to go to Great Wolf Lodge, the outlet stores, or possibly Dicks Brewing…or maybe you’re on your way to Portland, Oregon.  Stop in to Loose Ends Fiber Shop — you have to have lunch anyway.  Teva has really good prices on yarn, and the vintage feel of downtown is so relaxing.  You won’t be sorry!  Loose Ends Fiber Arts is on Facebook and Instagram, so follow her and her store~

**You can click on any of these photos to see the larger version of them**

La Vita Lopi

Come wool it up with us as we celebrate Istex Lopi.
This January and February we will be celebrating Lopi Love with a Trunk Show and gathering provided by Berroco, who now represents Istex Lopi, on Sunday, January 29th from 1:00 to 3:00 and a LOPI KAL in February. Lopi purchases over $50.00 for the the January event or KAL will be entered into a special raffle to be drawn on January 29th.

FROM 1:15 TO 2:15 HEATHER WILL BE TEACHING STRANDED KNITTING WITH TWO HANDS AND 2:15 TO 3:15 CATCH HER DEMO WORKSHOP ON STEEKING YOUR LOPI PROJECTS.

 

Happy New Year Hat

Hat’s are so popular, and HELLO it’s Winter, and baby it’s cold outside!!

Sherri over at Rainy Day Yarns in Gig Harbor, Washington is a prolific knitters.  Seriously, she gets so much done, I’m always in envy of her work.  This hat is not just a hat to keep warm…one you throw on because you are having a bad hair day, or you are so lazy, throwing a hat on ‘is’ you doing your hair that day.  This hat has style!  This hat is going to say to people, look at her, she always looks so nice…love her!

Here are all the deets:  Nollie Hat by Monika Sirna; yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Mecha #33 Cereza, which is a bulky weight yarn, so this hat knits up FAST; knit by Sherri, Rainy Day Yarns, Gig Harbor, Washington. It’s a pattern for purchase over on Ravelry.

So to quote the “Plucky Knitter” — ‘when in doubt, knit a hat’!

 

Annual New Year Report AND Purly Shell

Todays blog post will combine two things; a trip to a yarn shop on Thanksgiving weekend, and our annual LYS report that happens every January!

Diana Cripe is our moderator over in our Ravelry group.  She and her husband took a little camping trip over the Thanksgiving weekend with some friends.  Here is what she had to say…

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, we stayed at Cape Disappointment State Park with friends.  When we went to check in, I noticed the gal helping us was wearing what looked like hand knit fingerless gloves.  When I asked if she knit them, she said she had, and that there was a great yarn shop in Ilwaco, just a short distance away.

On the Friday, my friend and I went for a visit.  The store is called Purly Shell, and the owner, Heather, was very nice and let me take photos and ask her some questions.  She is a spinner and has her own handspun in the shop. She has it displayed on the walls hanging in nets, which I thought was quite clever, as Ilwaco is a fishing town.  The Christmas tree has a couple of Wingspan shawls that are draped like garland, also fun and creative.  The business also carries brands that you would recognize as well as her specialty dyes.

I bought a beautiful hand dyed yarn from a Portland area dyer that she had.  The color way I got is called University of Washington but the colors are more subdued than typical UW colors.  I’m anxious to see how it knits up!

Now on to the 2016 LYS report.  Every January I report on the yarn shops.  Startups open, shops close, and shops certainly move around…but here is how the numbers shake out for 2016.  We started 2016 with 1,089 yarn shops and finished 2016 with 1034 shops…that is a deficit of 55 yarn shops.  When I started America’s Knitting in August of 2007 we had 1,445 yarn shops with a decline every year since.  Having a discussion of why the LYS is in decline, takes on many forms — an over saturation of the market? — a decline in the craft? — a tightening economy where folks have less disposable income?  You will have to give this some thought and decide for yourself as to why local yarn shops are on the decline.

One thing I do know, when you support small business of the local yarn shop, you are directly impacting families and communities.  They are open for us daily with their commitment to the craft.  They teach and build community through classes and open knit groups – you meet your friends at the local yarn shop.  With a store front, you can see and touch the yarn, and see how it knits up into samples.  With a local yarn shop you can be inspired!

America’s Knitting is a yarn shop registry with a heart!  We humanize yarn shops, so they can be remembered through stories, pictures and people, not merely data!  I help yarn shops tell their story.  You can have 12 yarn shops in a major city and they are all different, because they are owned by different people with a different story.

If you visit a local yarn shop on your travels, please take a few snaps and email them over with a few lines~