Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Pittsburgh Yarn Crawl, Part 2

Time for Part 2 of the yarn crawl. These were the second set of three yarn shops I visited.

Stop 4: Sewickley Yarns
Stop 1 on day 2, stop 4 in total was Sewickley Yarns in Sewickly, PA. This is a very quaint town and I wish I had more time there to explore.

The yarn shop had a lot of hand-dyed and indie dyer yarns, including several local yarns.

1 skein Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock, Bewitched colorway
1 skein Feederbrook Farm Entropy DK, Potential Energy colorway

This was probably my favorite stop, certainly the most memorable. Tonidale is in Oakdale, PA, just west of Pittsburgh. Most of the yarn at the shop is cheaper yarn, acrylic or acrylic blends. There is nothing wrong with that. Not all customers in a region are looking for $25 or more skeins of yarn. That being said, they do have higher-end brands such as Plymouth Yarn Company, Juniper Moon Farm, and Urth.

At Tonidale, I met Richard, the husband of the owner of the shop. Richard and his wife have been in business for 30 years. Richard was filling in for his wife that day. I wandered around the shop and then went to a back room where the higher-end yarn was. Richard was there having an issue with his laptop. While I was deciding what to purchase, I helped Richard with the computer issue and helped him learn something new that day. I want to be vague about what I helped him with to respect his and his wife's privacy. He was grateful for my help and I was glad I could help. :)

The next time I'm in the Pittsburgh area, this is definitely a shop I will return to. 

1 skein Juniper Moon Farm Findley Dappled (fingering), Hay colorway 
1 skein Plymouth Yarn Co. Happy Feet 100 (fingering), 207 Ice Grey colorway

Stop 6: Kid Ewe Knot
I must have spent an hour to an hour and half at this shop in Bridgeville, PA. The people there were wonderful. I wore my Woodbridge scarf into the store. Sandy, an employee there, and I started talking about it. She showed me a scarf that she had designed and gave me the pattern. (I've already started making it. I'll post here and on Instagram about it when I'm finished.) She looked up my scarf on Ravelry and I saw that someone at the shop had favorited my pattern. :D

Toward the end of my time at the shop, I talked with the owner of the shop, Heather, about my scarf, which she really liked and about things to do and eat around Pittsburgh. It was a very thorough list, which I appreciated.

Another shop I will definitely return to when I visit again.

1 skein The Fiber Seed Sprout Sock, Rock Creek colorway 
1 skein Manos Del Uruguay Alegria, Cinnamon colorway
1 skein Manos Del Uruguay Alegria, Natural colorway
A retractable measuring tape
A potato chip bag clip
A pen

Monday, November 12, 2018

Pittsburgh Yarn Crawl, Part 1

This past weekend I was in Pittsburgh for a wedding. I decided to do a two part yarn crawl around the city a couple days before the wedding. In my travels across Pittsburgh, I visited 6 yarn shops, three each day.

I enjoyed Pittsburgh a lot and will hopefully be returning in the not too distant future. Check out these yarn shops if you are in town.

Stop 1: Yarns by Design

My first stop was Yarns by Design in Oakmont, PA. It was right off the interstate so the easiest for me to get to coming into town. I liked the selection of the yarn that Yarns by Design has. I also liked their prices. They were lower than what I expected, which I liked. Although I didn't see a lot of indie dyed yarn, I did see a lot of Malabrigo, including sock, which has been difficult for me to find in Maryland.

2 skeins Malabrigo Sock, Turner colorway
1 skein Malabrigo Sock, Eggplant colorway
1 skein Madeline Tosh DK, Plaid Blanket colorway
A retractable measuring tape

While I was in Pittsburgh, I also attended Yarn by Design's knit night on Thursday. It was great meeting new people and experiencing a knit night in another state. Congratulations to Katie for finishing her five-year scarf! It looked great.
In the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, Yarns by Design is spearheading a project to make tree of life squares for blankets. You can find the knitting pattern here on Ravelry and a crocheted pattern here. The squares they have received so far are 8"x8" to 9"x9". The knitting pattern link also has their address that you can send your squares to.

Stop 2: McWalker Yarns
My second stop was McWalker Yarns in Millvale, PA. This shop is a bit smaller than Yarns by Design, but it had a larger selection of indie dyed yarn, including locally dyed yarn. One local yarn I purchased was Stitch Party, which is dyed by two women in Millvale. Other local yarn they had were Yarn Rehab from Meadowcroft Dyeworks (Pittsburgh area), Shalimar Yarns (New Market, MD), and Glenfiddich Yarn (Pennsylvania).

I was going to attend their Friday knit night, but the timing didn't work out with when a friend flew into town.

2 skeins Stitch Party Palooza (their fingering weight yarn), Market Square colorway
1 skein Shalimar Yarns Breathless (also fingering weight), Enchanted colorway

Stop 3: Dyed in the Wool
Stop number 3, and the last stop for day 1, was Dyed in the Wool. This was the smallest shop I went to, including on day 2. There was a knitting group going on when I arrived, so I didn't interact much with the staff, unlike the other shops I went to. All the yarn I purchased was local. Shalimar again and Pichinku. The story behind Pichinku, I was told, was that a woman from Pittsburgh had gone to Peru and set up a fair-trade yarn company that employs local women and uses natural dyes.

1 skein Pichinku Tawa (sport-fingering), Nube colorway
2 skeins Shalimar Yarns Aerie, Chamois colorway

 Stay tuned for Part 2!