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Barb is relaxing at the beach

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Festival Update

 

Barb is relaxing at the beach

alpacaWhile the summer is winding down, and the kids are back in school, we are relaxing on the beach in Virginia. It’s one final week of R&R until we dive full swing into final plans for the Fall Bedford Springs Knittreat and continue with plans for the Festival.

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go to Stramba Farm Alpacas and More with a friend and my sister Ann for an afternoon of studio play. Not only did Terri Stramba give us a full tour of the mill, we worked with the feltloom, making centerpieces for the dinner and luncheons for the Festival. You can see photos from our day that Ann posted to our Facebook page, including the friendly alpaca pictured at left!

At the Festival, there will be an opportunity for you to play on the feltloom, too. We will have a full size loom there, and a free project for you to make on it. The possibilities are endless, from one-of-a-kind jackets, coats and scarves to creative artwork for your home.

We are planning another afternoon studio play day within the next couple weeks. Please let me know if you would like to join us. We’ll have space for about 10 in the group.

With Warm Regards,

Barb


Fair posterA Fair in the Park takes place this weekend

A Fair in the Park takes place Sept. 6, 7, 8 at Pittsburgh’s Mellon Park. This free event is 45 years old, and features a variety of crafters from across the country. There is music, food and lots of shade in the park. Several of our Festival teachers and vendors showcase their items at the Fair, so be sure to stop by and see them if you can!


Barb’s yarn review: Rimu

Rimu yarnI have finally had a chance to review another yarn I picked up in June at TNNA from Zealana. Rimu is a yarn made from the New Zealand brushtail possum.

Yes, possum. I realize that the immediate visual most of us have is that dead critter by the side of the road, but this isn’t the same animal at all! New Zealand’s brushtail possum yarn is as soft as merino, but without any itch associated with some animals. The Rimu is a blend of NZ fine merino and brushtail possum. It’s evenly spun, does not split, works up well and is very soft. It is the perfect yarn for every project on your list, from sweaters to small projects. The yarn comes in a variety of beautiful colors and is machine washable.

Using the possum is actually a form of management for the species’ overpopulation. According to information taken from Zealana’s website: “Since its introduction to New Zealand by fur traders in the late 19th century, the non-native brushtail possum population has reached staggering proportions, largely because of the lack of natural predators that would otherwise maintain an ecological balance. The consequences of their rapidly increasing numbers are many, including damaging impacts on New Zealand’s native flora and fauna.”

Consider that New Zealand’s human population is 4.4 million, and its possum population is 70 million! And that every 24 hours, these animals consume 21,000 metric tons of grass and plants.

Zealana is committed to the responsible management of the brushtail possum in New Zealand. So when you choose their yarns, you’re choosing to be part of their sustainability story.


TWO Sweepstakes Prizes, courtesy of Annie’s Crafts

McKenna bookThis month, we have two crochet pattern books from Annie’s Crafts:

If you’re looking for a great booklet that covers the basics, try Elegant, Fashionable, Chic Accessories to Crochet by Karen McKenna. It covers six
Unique Accessory sets made using fingering, sport and worsted weight yarns.

Guzman bookFor more advanced crocheters, there’s Learn Drop Stitch Crochet by Kim Guzman. The booklet explains a unique crochet technique made by using a crochet hook and a single knitting needle!

HOW TO ENTER THE SWEEPSTAKES: Simply send an email (one entry per person per prize, please) to pghknitandcrochet@gmail.com by Oct. 1, 2013, with the subject line of either “Crochet Accessories” OR “Drop Stitch Crochet.” Please include your name and a phone number where you can be reached. The two winners will be drawn randomly from the entries and announced in the next issue of Festival Update.


Epstein knit book Epstein crochet book

Sweepstakes winners announced

Beth Kuzma of Erie, PA, was the randomly drawn winner of the Nicky Epstein Knits for Dolls book, while Ruth Glass of Cranberry Township, PA, was the randomly drawn winner of the Nicky Epstein Crochet for Dolls book. Congratulations to them both!


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