Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival Day 1

Day 1 of the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival was amazing!  I started the day with the Color Lunch.   The Color Lunch opened at 10 am with a box lunch (turkey and cheddar).  We also got swag bags with some Berroco yarn, a color wheel, some quilting squares, and other little goodies.  I sat at a table of ladies from around the State and another from West Virginia.  We had a great time talking and getting to know each other.  The Color Lunch started with a block printing craft by creating patterns on stamps and making stamps on cloth.  This activity was presented by Nora Peters of The Stitch Party  Then we did another color exercise by Julie Stunden to see how colors react with each other.  Oh, and did I mention that I won a prize too?  A set of circular knitting needles!  Now I really need to learn how to knit.

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Yarnapolooza II: The Marcus Adventures

Yesterday was our second annual Yarnapolooza.  Connie and I took the day off of work for our birthdays.  For Christmas this year, I adopted an Alpaca for Connie from Willowbrook Alpacas.  So this year’s Yarnapolooza was named for Connie’s adopted alpaca, “The Marcus Adventures.”  She even made t-shirts for us to wear, with Marcus pooping yarn!

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We started off our day visiting Marcus at Willowbrook Alpacas.  We were able to hang out with the alpacas and pet and feed them.  They are all so cute and we didn’t get spit on!  Bonus.  We also got to visit with horses, a goat, and Magnus, the chocolate lab.  Such wonderful hospitality!  Now I want an alpaca.  I wonder how my cats would react.  lol

This year we ended up going to three local yarn stores and Hobby Lobby.  Kid Ewe Knot is my regular yarn shop and one of my favorites in the area.  I just think the selection here is awesome and the owner is so nice.  I found lots of pretty yarn to add to my stash here including a beautiful Mohair yarn.  What’s funny is I bought this same yarn in a different color last year.  At least my taste is consistent.

Next up was Hobby Lobby.  I was able to but a really soft lining for the hat and cowl that I made.  I found brown yarn that I was looking for to make a wig for Halloween.  I also bought some scrubby yarn.  I just think Hobby Lobby has the best yarn available outside of a yarn shop.

We drove out to Sewickley and stopped at Sewickley Yarns.  I ended up buying some cute sock yarn and this gorgeous yarn from Manos del Uruguay.  I’ve used their yarn before and just love it.  Connie also commented that I always find the best yarn and she never sees it.

We ended the day at Dyed in the Wool.  They has this amazing baby alpaca yarn that I was so tempted to buy, but I refrained myself.  I did end up with this amazing angora yarn.

I have a yarn addiction, and this annual trip really feeds my addiction.  Connie says I’m a yarn snob.  I think I just love yarn.  As the one woman said at Sewickley Yarns yesterday, “Why are all the yarns I like so expensive?”  And I responded, “Because you have good taste.”

Next year Connie says we should go on the road for Yarnapolooza.  Hmmm.  Taking a trip to another city to yarn shop for our birthdays?  That could be a lot of fun!

Note to Self: Always Buy an Extra Skein of Yarn

I’ve been seeing these hats with the fur pom poms and I wanted to make myself one.  I also wanted texture.  So I looked around for free patterns and didn’t find anything I liked, then went to Etsy and found a really cute pattern and bought it.

I started making my hat the week between Christmas and New Year.  I was up New Year’s Eve until midnight trying to finish it.  I got so close, I just needed maybe 3 or 4 more rows, but I ran out of yarn.

Note to Self

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Yarnapolooza

My friend Connie and I share the same birthday.  So last year we decided to take the day off and go on a whirlwind tour of the Pittsburgh area yarn shops.  We called it Yarnapolooza.  I did a search of the area for yarn shops and came up with seven shops in and around the city to visit.  So we took the day off of work and went on our yarn shop tour.  This was the first time we visited most of these shops, so it was an exploration mission as well as a shopping extravaganza.

FYI.  I would love to own a yarn shop.  It’s like my dream job or at least a happy little fantasy in my head.  So I love to visit yarn shops.

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Spinning Yarn

A little over a year ago, my friend and I were at a Fall Festival at a historic house outside Pittsburgh.  We got to the festival and explored the house and checked out the vendors and exhibits.  While we were looking around, we saw a lady on a spinning wheel.  I stopped and asked her questions and asked if I could try it, and she let me spin my own yarn on the spinning wheel.

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Photo Op at the Fall Festival.

OMG!  I was hooked; it was so cool to sit there and pull wool and make yarn!  I was able to spin a little bit of my own yarn on the spinning wheel and I thought this was the most incredible thing ever.  I was ready to run out and buy my own spinning wheel, but common sense told me to slow down a little.

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A little piece of yarn I made at the Fall Festival.

I did however do a little research and I found some drop spindles that are a lot more affordable and I found a YouTube video with a tutorial on how to use the drop spindle by MegganERisk.  I enjoyed this video and some of her others, she’s fun and I found her  easy to follow, not too slow and not too fast.

So, I went and bought a drop spindle on Amazon and I bought some roving and I started to spin my own yarn.  As predicted, my yarn spinning days were short-lived, so I’m glad I did not invest in the spinning wheel right away.  lol  There is just not enough time in the day to do all of the crafts I want to do.  And I guess spinning took a back seat, but I have gained an appreciation of the art of making yarn.  I still want to spin yarn and I think I will continue to do it as time permits, but it is not my primary hobby.

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My first spun yarn on a drop spindle.