It’s almost here - the 2017 Steel Valley Yarn Crawl! What is a “Yarn Crawl”? you ask? Basically it’s a shop hop that focuses on yarn shops, and there are a few rules. But don’t worry, the rules are pretty simple, and mostly apply to how to participate if you are trying to win prizes.
Let’s start with the basics. The crawl runs July 29th - Aug. 6th. Which means you have 10 days to get to as many of the 11 shops as you are able. The participating shops are (in ABC order):
Beaver Yarn Shop (Beaver)
Darn Yarn (Harmony)
Dyed in the Wool (Pittsburgh, Babcock Blvd.)
Kathy’s Kreations (Ligonier)
Kid Ewe Knot (Bridgeville)
Knit One (Pittsburgh, Murray Ave.)
Knitsburgh Yarn Shop (Blawnox)
Raggz Fiber Art (Forbes Road)
Sewickley Yarns (Sewickley)
Tonidale Yarn & Needlecraft (Oakdale)
Yarns by Design (Oakmont)
To participate, all you need to do is purchase a passport at any of the participating shops - including Darn Yarn. Passports are $12 and include a limited edition tote bag, and 11 tickets to be used in the shop drawings (more on that later). Once you have your passport, you can round up your fiber friends and start planning your route(s). The people who enjoy the crawl the most plan on visiting a few shops a day, eating at little cafes along the way, and visiting other shops in the area - as many of us are located in quaint neighborhoods.
Really that’s it! All you need is a passport to participate. When you visit a participating shop, they will stamp your passport. But there are prizes, and that’s where the rules apply, and there have been a few changes to them this year.
This year, if you turn in a completed passport - meaning you have it stamped at all 11 shops - you’re entered into a drawing to win a prize basket chock full of stuff from each of the shops - worth over $1100. Also, new this year, you’ll receive a coupon good for 10% off a return visit to the shop in which your turn in your passport. So plan your trip accordingly and turn in your passport at the shop you want to return to - most often this will be the shop local to you.
We’ll still have basket give-aways at the shops too. This year each shop will have 2 prize baskets and a shop gift certificate drawing. Remember those 11 tickets that came with your passport? They are white this year. You get 11 because there are 11 shops - 1 for each shop. You pick which shop(s) and basket drawings you want to enter and put your tickets in that basket’s drawing. You don’t need to use one at each shop, divide them up as you want, they are “universal” tickets meaning the white ones are usable at any of the 11 shops.
When you make a purchase at a shop, you get more tickets. These tickets are shop specific, they may only be used in drawings at the shop in which you made that qualifying purchase. Each shop can only accept the white tickets and their shop specific tickets in their drawings. Any other tickets will be forfeit.
We’ve changed the pattern program this year too. This year each shop will have a featured yarn. The featured yarn is on sale, 10% off. When you purchase the featured yarn, you receive that shop’s yarn crawl pattern, which uses that yarn, for free. Darn Yarn’s pattern is for fingerless mitts - worked flat! Both a knit and crochet version are available.
That’s it, I think. Basically, the rules are about the prizes and how to be eligible. Otherwise, it’s pretty much an excuse to visit other shops, spend some time with a friend or two, plan your holiday projects, and take a mini- fiber related staycation.
Which brings me to another question I often hear: “Why should I participate in the Yarn Crawl?”. For starters, we are creatures of habit. This is an excuse to plan trips to shops you may not usually patronize. And since each of the 11 shops has a distinct personality, it’s fun to visit ones that may be out of your stitching style comfort zone. Sure, the goal is to visit all 11, but no one says that you must visit all 11 to participate. There are a number of people who only visit 3 or 4 every year, they just pick a different 3 or 4 every year and plan to make a day (or two) of it by planning their meal stops and non-yarn related shopping excursions.
Participation is limited too. We know how many passports are sold each year, making participants an exclusive group! What does that mean to you? You meet other likeminded yarnies whose paths you might not normally cross. And then later when you run across someone with a limited edition yarn crawl bag, you can strike up a conversation about which shops each of you visited, what your favorite things were, and how you plan on attacking the crawl next time.
With the crawl coming up, Darn Yarn has a few extended hours to help crawlers get to us in the 10 day time frame - but if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice that most of them are regularly scheduled groups/events. So please, if you were planning on attending one of the regular groups, keep it on your schedule! It might get busy, but it might not - especially for Sunday, July 29th’s Spin-In and Tuesday’s Cricket Club. And even if you’re not planning on doing the crawl, note the extended hours/groups and join us! We might as well make it a party.
Friday, July 28th: 10 am - 4 pm.
Saturday, July 29th: 10 am - 4 pm
Sunday, July 30th: 1 pm - 5 pm (Spin - In)
Monday, July 31st: CLOSED
Tuesday, Aug. 1st: 10 am - 8 pm (Sit and Stitch @ 10 am; Cricket Weaving Club @6 pm).
Wednesday, Aug. 2nd: 10 am - 4 pm
Thursday, Aug. 3rd: 10 am - 7 pm (Sit and Stitch @ 5 pm until ?)
Friday, Aug. 4th: 10 am - 8 pm (Life List and FO Show & Tell @ 10 am 6 pm).
Saturday, Aug. 5th: 10 am - 4 pm
Sunday, Aug. 6th: CLOSED