Summer is finally here!


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Festival Update


Summer is finally here!

Butler installation
Copyright Babeth Raible

At long last, the rain has stopped. It’s hot, still humid but it finally feels like summer. I was beginning to feel like I lived in Seattle! I have all of my summer dresses out, but had to put away the sweaters. Too hot to wear a sweater, and even too hot for those sweet evening shawls. Check out our merchandise page for fun summertime alternative “knitted and crocheted” apparel.

Although the weather is hot, it is never too hot to knit or crochet, with so many alternative yarns and fibers available. I have a new yarn that I have reviewed for this issue that I thought it would be too hot to handle, but I was pleasantly surprised to find otherwise.

This might also be a good time to check out one of the many video classes offered at Craftsy, or take a class at your local yarn shop, try a new technique, or brush up on an old one. Stop on out to Cranberry Township where the Yarn Bombed trees are on display. The trees were part of the Community Day Celebration last weekend, but the trees are still on display. Our friends, the Butler Spinners and Weavers Guild members, adopted several trees and even decorated the fences with flowers. A very lovely display!
The photo above just shows a tiny part of it… you can see a gallery online courtesy of guild member Babeth Raible’s Flickr album (thanks for sharing, Babeth!).

Knit the Bridge is moving full speed ahead, with an Aug. 10 installation date. Volunteers will meet up at The Spinning Plate where all of the pieces and panels are being assembled and there is still a need for volunteering from now until the date it will be installed. If you’d like to help, see the details here… maybe I’ll see you there! Please be sure to make that special trip into downtown Pittsburgh to see the Andy Warhol Bridge once it is up; I’m hearing that it will be the biggest yarn installation in the world.


With Warm Regards,


Just a few spots left for Knittreat

Knittreat logoHave you registered for our annual Knittreat in Bedford Springs, PA, yet? There are just six spots left! Don’t delay, send in your registration form today. We will not be opening up any classes to the public; however, we will announce an Open Market Day at a later date. We’ll announce when we are full. Visit for all the details.

Barb’s Yarn Review: Colinton Australia

Colinton Australia logoWhile I was at The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) Summer Trade Show, I was given a skein of Colinton Australia Ultrafine lace fine kid mohair to review. I was surprised to find that all of the yarn felt soft and non-scratchy.

Typically, our immediate association with mohair is itch, however, this is not the case with Colinton yarn. The yarn feels like silk to the touch and works up beautifully. I’ve been working with it while traveling lately, and I also found that it never felt hot while holding it. In this heat, many people are apprehensive about using wools and fibers other than cottons, linens, silks, bamboos and other plant-based yarns. But mohair can be an ALL-SEASON fashion fiber.

Mohair is a naturally soft fiber that is enhanced by modern processing. This ultrafine lace should go on your list of summertime yarns!

Mohair is the fleece produced from the Angora goat, and Angora is the fleece produced from the Angora rabbit.



  • Wicking: Quality that promotes beautiful and even absorption of dyes. Mohair readily absorbs moisture from handling or humid climate conditions that will alter the overall weight.
  • Highly Lustrous: Smooth, natural characteristic resulting from widely spaced microscopic platelets on each strand, providing a greater uninterrupted surface area to reflect light.
  • Fine Handle: Cool, silky quality. Mohair does not cling together in direct opposition to wool, which has a raised outer cuticle layer along each strand (also known as “hooks”).
  • Halo Quality: Adding to the luxury, it is also responsible for the yarn to suffer from shedding. This is one of the reasons for blending with wool.
  • Blending: Mohair can be spun into yarn without the blending of wool because of the strength, firmness and overall length of fibers.

Tangerine yarnThis extremely fine and unusually soft yarn has the least amount of “halo” of all of the Colinton yarns. It is unique in the market, as it is unbrushed with minimal halo or shedding. The colors are rich and lustrous, with 335 yards to a skein, making it plenty for a shawl. There are a variety of different weights and colors available… my favorite was the tangerine, which is the color I chose.

For a fun read and a peek at some very sweet baby goat photos, check out Colinton Australia’s “Our farm background” link. It is a family-owned farm, with Brandyn, her husband and two daughters all pitching in to be part of the operation.

Yellowstone River Scarf kitSweepstakes winner(s) announced

Theresa Grochalski of Butler, PA, was the randomly drawn winner of our most recent sweepstakes. She receives Mountain Colors‘ Yellowstone River Scarf Kit.

We had a nice bonus: An extra kit was found in our stash, so we pulled a second name. Jan Rodgers of Mars, PA, was the lucky recipient. Congratulations, Theresa and Jan!

Sweepstakes prize: Luxury Yarn book

Durant bookAlthough we don’t have any Colinton Australia yarn for a giveaway, there are many lovely lace weight patterns in the book that IS our Sweepstakes Prize this issue: Luxury Yarn, One Skein Wonders, 101 Small Indulgences, edited by Judith Durant. You are certain to find a pattern for Colinton Australia or any other yarn in your stash.

HOW TO ENTER THE SWEEPSTAKES: Simply send an email (one entry per person per prize, please) to by AUG. 1, 2013, with the subject line of “Luxury Yarns.” 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.

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