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Festival Update

March 27, 28, 29, 2015

Westin Pittsburgh


International Quilt Market: Fantastic!

Westin Pittsburgh

Last weekend, we had the good fortune to attend the International Quilt Market, here in Pittsburgh at the Convention Center. Wow! It was like being in a huge art gallery… the colors, textures and patterns of fabrics are as amazing as yarns, and quilters are equally as passionate about their fabrics as we are about our yarns! It won’t take much for me to start sewing again.

We saw many new faces, and some familiar faces, too. With the crossover of many of our sponsors, and trade show vendors carrying supplies for many hobbyists and artists, we spent time learning about many new products.

Martingale, one of our longtime Knit & Crochet Festival sponsors, publishes a plethora of books, pattern books and magazines. They will be our sponsors for the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival in August. I have a book of theirs for our review and sweepstakes prize, along with some Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Serenity (silk lace) yarn.

Knittreat update

As Ann and I are expanding our horizons with the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival, I have decided to step down from the role of organizing the Knittreat. Although it is always such a wonderful retreat, it was also a lot of additional work.

I am pleased to announce that Elaine Smith has agreed to continue the Knittreat at Bedford Springs Resort, with details listed at www.knittreat.com. I promise to stop in and visit, but since I will be wearing a different hat, I hope to be able to play for a change!

With Warm Regards,


Busy weekends coming up

This weekend, I’ll be enjoying PyroFest at Hartwood Acres, and next weekend I will be at the Pittsburgh Public Market with our friend (and Festival Teacher) Deb Jacknin’s fundraiser. Market After Dark: A Special Night of Music, Food, Drinks, & Shopping takes place Friday, May 30, 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $20; the event benefits the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association, Western PA Chapter.

Review/Prize PACK:

Lavish Lace: Knitting with Hand-Painted Yarns… PLUS, a skein of Claudia Hand Painted Yarns!

Mommy and Me book cover Mommy and Me book cover

As a collaborative effort by two gifted and talented ladies, Carol Rasmussen and Cheryl Potter, Lavish Lace: Knitting with Hand-Painted Yarns is a breath of fresh air from many nations, and cultures.

This book honors the memory of Carol Rasmussen Noble, a popular knitwear designer who wrote knitting books on subjects ranging from Fair Isle mittens to Orenburg shawls. What makes this book unique is that we are told where the designers and dyers got their inspiration.

“Chancay Morning,” a square scarf designed by Carol, was inspired by the Peruvian Coast sands, the driest desert in the world. The Chancay people buried their textiles in shallow pits in the ground, hence the color of the shawl shown is a colorway that Cheryl created using all vegetable dyes called Indian Summer. The golds, fuschias, pinks and mauves are as rich today as many intact museum pieces from that area and time period.

Each pattern and piece shown has an intricate explanation of how and from where their inspiration was drawn. “Peacock’s Pride” truly is like the peacock’s brilliant tailfeathers. “Rosebuds and Climbing Roses,” “Frost Flowers,” “Amazonian Jungles,” rich in greens with flashes of color as parrots might appear, and even a shawl inspired by Keat’s poem, “To Autumn.” There is sure to be a shawl or scarf for everyone, with rectangular, square and triangular options, and easy-to-follow instructions and patterns. An added bonus in the back section of the book includes Cheryl’s Basic Dye Methods.

This is lovely, brilliant work, a rich and timeless book that you’ll use over and over again. My favorite is “Peacock’s Pride,” a feather and fan pattern with a twist stitch interlacement.

To accompany this book as this month’s Sweepstakes Prize, we have a skein of Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Serenity silk lace yarn. “Blue Fields” is a beautiful, year-round-suitable color, with 1,100 yards! Soft and luscious, it can be used with just about any lace pattern.

HOW TO ENTER THE SWEEPSTAKES: Simply send an email (one entry per person, please) to pghknitandcrochet@gmail.com by MAY 31, 2014, with the subject line of “Lavish Lace.” Please include your name and a phone number where you can be reached. The winner will be drawn randomly from the entries and announced in the next issue of Festival Update.

Congratulations, winners!

Knitted Mitts book cover Mommy and Me book cover

Many readers participated in the chance to win these fun books, both of which were reviewed in our last issue. We’re pleased to announce that Cindy Gordon, Loveland, OH, has won a copy of Knitted Mitts & Mittens by Amy Gunderson, while Anna Hopper, Kittanning, PA, has won a copy of Mommy & Me Crocheted Hats by Kristi Simpson. Congratulations to both!

Festival Update is published by

Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet

P.O. Box 7706, Pittsburgh, PA 15215 / (412) 963-7030

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