Monday, April 15, 2019

All Toned Up!

Do you live a colourful life?

By that, I mean, do you knit, crochet, embroider and/or quilt by following patterns exactly -- right down to the colours used?  Or do you take the pattern and run with it, colour-wise?

I confess I'm of the latter group.  I love to play with colour -- and use colours that make me feel good or that suit the person for whom I'm creating, regardless of what the pattern's designer originally used.


I wasn't always this way, though -- especially in my quilting life.  When I began as a quilter about 25 years ago, I bought pre-selected bundles of fabric -- where all the fabrics were co-ordinated -- or I bought and assembled kits.

Over the years, though, I studied some Colour Theory, and have learned a LOT!
Source: Color Wheel Artist
In addition to the primary hues (red, yellow and blue) and the neutrals (black, white and grey, which aren't hues), there are tints (hues with white added) and shades (hues with black added)...

And there are tones -- hues with grey added, as you see in the picture on the right.

Tones are popular because the grey that's been added to the original hue(s) reduces the intensity.  Just the right amount of grey creates a more complex colour that is also often considered more sophisticated than true, bright colours, which are often associated with children -- especially in the realm of clothes, toys and/or furnishings.

In the last few years, for both fabric and yarns, tones -- greyed colours -- have been offered up in layers of tints and shades, for what's referred to as a "tonal" effect.

And we have as this week's Super Special such a yarn, which will give you a fabric that is textured with tints and shades of a single colour.  It's chunky, so it's just right for hats, scarves, mittens, boot toppers or cowls, when you're in the mood for accessories that have subtle texture, and perhaps just a bit of sophistication.



100% Acrylic
100 grams = 152 metres (166 yards)

Regular price: $8.00

Sale Price: $2.00!!

Note how it knits up to show off the tints and shades of the tones of colour:

Pattern: Mountain Nights Slouch Hat
Designer: Kelly McClure
Free Ravelry Download



Pattern: Veronica Cardi
Designer: TLYarn Crafts
For sale on Ravelry

Time to tone up!

See you in the shop!


*Written by Margaret, who prefers toning with yarn to toning at the gym!  😉

Monday, April 8, 2019

Thanks - New 75% special

When the first 75% off sale is sold out on Monday, we offer a second option - store policy!

The Cozy Soft Chunky was such a great deal it has all been sold!!

Second chance for this week -

Kilt
by Katia
46% virgin wool, 46% acrylic, 8% polyamide
Machine wash
50g/60m 
Reg. $12.00
Sale
$3.00
Limited quantity!!


Teaser - On April 17, the Lacombe Kinsmen are hosting a Silent Auction, fundraising for the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre. Note: The Crafty Lady is a board member of the LPAC.

Our donation to the Silent Auction is this shawl - knit from KFI's Luxury Collection Albina - gorgeous colour changes, soft and comfortable to the touch, light and warm.


Please come out to support the Community Fundraising Event!!

Easter vs Spring?

What does Easter mean for you and your family?

Image result for passover clipartPassover, also called Pesach, is the Jewish festival celebrating the exodus of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery in the 1200s BC. The story is chronicled in the Old Testament book of Exodus.

Jewish people celebrate Passover with a ceremonial meal called the Seder. During the Seder, foods with symbolic significance are eaten, prayers and traditional recitations are performed. 

Pagan Origins
In pagan celebrations, Easter was typically a celebration of fertility. Many cultures associated the celebration with the Germanic goddess of fertility, Eostre, which is where the holiday’s name came from. 
The Easter Bunny is a result of folkloric tradition. Their association with the holiday comes from their ability to procreate, making them symbols of fertility. German settlers brought the Easter Bunny tradition to America in the 1700s.
Easter BilbyIn Australia, the Easter Bilby delivers eggs rather than the Easter Bunny, as bunnies are viewed as an agricultural pest. The city of Haux, France, make an omelet big enough to feed 1000. The dish is often has about a 10 inch diameter. Easter is an important holiday in Greece, where on the island of Corfu, residents toss pots of water out of windows, following the Venetian tradition of breaking pots in celebration. They also bake cakes in the shape of doves, called kolompines. Guyana flies homemade kites, a tradition often participated in by citizens of all religions.
Related image
Countries all over the world celebrate Easter differently. Italy holds reenactments of the Easter story held in the public squares. Cyprus holds bonfires in the yards of schools and churches. In Germany, eggs are set in trees, called Easter egg trees, similar to the Christmas tree.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia have several unique Easter traditions. One features the males of a family spanking females with a homemade whip decorated with ribbons. The spanking is lighthearted and is believed to bring health over the next year. The men may also dump cold water on them in some areas. It is also a day for men to pay visits to objects of their affection.

In the United Kingdom, observers participate by rolling eggs downhill. In some areas they also perform the Pace Egg play. A big part of Jamaican celebrations is to eat a spiced bun that may contain raisins with cheese. In Scandinavian countries, like Norway, people ski and relax at mountain cabins. Some areas feature children in costume going door to door for candy or flowers. Nordic countries include salmon or another type of fish with the feast. 

Many Christians begin the celebration with an Easter Vigil the night before, sometimes called Easter Eve or Holy Saturday. Church services on Sunday typically follow regular church service tradition with a sermon or songs concerning the Easter story. Some churches hold mass or other services at sunrise. Other common traditions include: 

Image result for easter clipart free
The Easter egg hunt originated with pagan spring festivals that celebrated fertility. Like many pagan traditions, Christians intertwined the practice with religious significance. Easter egg hunts feature eggs hidden by the mythical Easter bunny, which may contain candy or other prizes. Hard-boiled eggs may also be used. The children will go looking for eggs to put in their Easter egg basket. On the day before Easter, many families decorate hard-boiled eggs with paint to use for the hunt. Eggs are also part of the tradition because of the ban on eggs during lent in Medieval Europe, meaning they were often included in the Sunday feast.
  • Churches are often decorated with flowers. A significant theme for Easter is rebirth, which flowers can emulate and symbolize. Traditional Easter flowers include Easter Lilies, which are believed to have grown in the Garden of Gethsemane, the site of Jesus’s arrest. Other Easter flowers include pussy willows, daffodils, narcissuses, and red tulips, which symbolize Jesus’s shed blood.
  • Including the candy hidden inside of Easter eggs, many children are given a basket of goodies at the day’s beginning. A common gift is a chocolate bunny. Note: Easter is the 2nd most popular time to give chocolate, just behind Halloween. 
If you are planning to create Easter treats in yarn, this week's 75% off special is just for you!


Image result for Ella Rae Cozy Soft 215








Cozy Soft Chunky
Ella Rae
75% acrylic/25% wool 
Machine washable
100g/120m

Reg. $8.00

75% Off
$2.00

Written by Anne, TCL employee who has planned Easter dinner, but not knit any treats




Monday, April 1, 2019

Cotton: Part III

I'm writing this on a cloudy, chilly Sunday afternoon, having driven home from Lacombe an hour or so ago.  It was snowing there -- the big, fat flakes associated with spring snow.  Blessedly, as I travelled farther East, the snow stopped.

Snow -- and tomorrow it's April.  Sigh.

The photo at left is of a robin I spotted on the ornamental cherry tree in my front yard on March 17 -- 2013.  I don't recall seeing one that early since -- and that wee fellow looked distinctly shivery at the time!

Will Spring ever arrive this year?!

In last week's post Crafty Lady colleague, Anne, refused to predict anything.  I don't blame her.  As she said, it's a given that the weather in Alberta reflects what I hold is Mother Nature's truest personality trait: unpredictability.

That said, Spring eventually does arrive, followed (whether quickly or slowly) by Construction Season Summer.

In anticipation of those eventualities, The Crafty Lady is once more enticing you with cotton.  While you can use our Super Special offering for home decor items, the bright colours we have in stock will make for fun in the sun in a beach cover up, or as a tee-shirt top to pair with shorts or Capri pants.

If a home decor item is your preferred project, these yarns will work for place mats or facecloths or dishcloths...but are also ideal for funky market bags for picnics or Farmer's Markets or road trips to your favourite Alberta craft shop(s).  😉

Without further ado...here are the cotton yarns we've put on Super Special this week -- the Circulo sisters:


Anne




100% Mercerized Cotton
#5 Weight
500 meters (547 yards)

Regular price: $11.00

Sale Price: $2.75

and

Clea


100% Cotton
1000 metres (1094 yards)
#10 Weight

Regular price: $11.00

Sale Price: $2.75

Why wait for Spring?  Start your Spring/Summer cotton wardrobe now!  See you in the shop!


*Written by Margaret, happy TCL employee who has to admit that at her age, her "beach body" is best hidden under a cotton beach cover-up!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Spring?

Related image


Is it really spring? I am a born and raised Albertan. Those of us raised on the prairies know the weather can change quickly and in interesting ways. Many times we quote "if you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes".

The weather for the last week or so has been a gift reminding us spring is around the corner, but it is here to stay. The snow is disappearing, the geese are back and the willows and poplars are starting to bud. I had not yet seen any open water on local ponds/sloughs but this was my view of the Blindman at Bentley this weekend.

Last week was the Spring Equinox, and the last "super-moon" for 2019.

We have had three in a row.  According to some astrologers, a super-moon is when the moon is closer to the earth. As the moon controls water and tides, say old tales, therefore the moon will have a stronger pull on our emotions and tides will be higher.


One UK headline recently read: "Super-moon triad WARNING: Tonight's Equinox Full Moon is a 'prophetic sign of APOCALYPSE'. . . Because of its rarity, some doomsday preachers and conspiracy theorists have dubbed the Super-moon an incredibly sinister portent of doom, especially as we have had 3 in 3 months. The Super-moon coincided with the Spring Equinox (March 20), which has not happened in 19 years and will not repeat itself until the year 2030."

I am not predicting ANYTHING.  I do believe there is something to the superstition regarding the phases of the moon, especially relating to tides and emotions. There are many things we do not understand in this world. Though I do "believe" Old Man Winter is not done with us yet, and is going to provide us with one last blast to prove he is alive and well.

It is just interesting to note, our political situation is building to a peak, our southern neighbour is struggling with their politics, while Thailand has recently struggled to elect a democratic government after 5+ years of military rule.


The super-moon is not responsible for the wrongs people do to each other. We CAN knit, crochet, cross-stitch or any craft to create our own sanity space, providing us with time to meditate, find the love in our hearts and be kind to ourselves and each other.


We are currently in the Lenten season, as those of us who attend a Christian church are aware, we are preparing for Easter. I have been encouraged not to give up something for Lent, but to add something.



Image may contain: text that says 'DO YOU WANT TO FAST THIS LENT? In the words ofPope Francis Fast from hurting words and say kind words. Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude. Fast from anger and be filled with patience. Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope. Fast from worries and in God. Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity. Fast from essu and be prayerful. Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy. Fast from selfishness and compassionate to others. Fast from grudges and be reconciled. Fast from words and be silent so you can listen. pietrafitness.com'

Speaking of spring, one of the things I look forward to is getting my cotton yarns to make spring colored projects. For really helpful information on cotton, please see Margaret's blog from last week.

Originally denim was primarily made from cotton fibre. To create the hard wearing denim, the weft/horizontal fibers pass under/over two or more of the weft/vertical threads. The warp threads are usually dyed blue, and the weft threads are white. This creates an interesting diagonal pattern to the fabric while causing the fabric to be blue on one side and white on the other. Denim is a by-product of cotton. It is different from other cotton fabrics, due to the weaving techniques.


This week, The Crafty Lady has chosen a denim yarn to feature for the 75% sale. This denim yarn is made from recycled cotton fibres, giving it the tweedy look of denim fabric. It is very durable, will fade over time and is machine washable. It is a perfect choice for lace, cables or sweaters.



original denim
Rowan
100% cotton
50 gm/91 m
Reg. $6.00
75% OFF
$1.50
Limited quantities, limited colours.
When they're gone, they're gone!

Come in to The Crafty Lady and we can help you plan your spring projects. 
Posted by Anne, happy TCL employee who is busy planning spring, Christmas . . . 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Cotton: Not Just for Dish Cloths

There seems to be an attitude in These Parts (and probably elsewhere, too!) that cotton yarn is for knitting  or crocheting dish cloths.  And maybe 'spa cloths'.

But that's about it.

With Spring (aka the March Equinox) coming soon (less than a week to the Official Start!) and Summer not far behind, we at The Crafty Lady are here to dispel that notion!



Yes, we carry "dish cloth cotton" -- it's a brand from Estelle Yarns appropriately named "Sudz" because..well...you get the idea.  It comes in small balls of a sturdy cotton that's ideal for dish cloths, towels, place mats and more home decor items.  It's reasonably priced, colourful, easy to work with and care for.  What's not to love?

Alas, you probably wouldn't want to wear it.

For one thing, it's heavy -- so your finished garment would be heavy -- and for another, like as not, it wouldn't hold it's shape all that well.

For garments that say "It's warming up!  I'll be colourful and comfortable to wear through late spring and all summer long!", cotton also fills the bill -- but it has to be the type of cotton that suits garments in particular.

Yes, it needs to be colourful.

Yes, it should be machine washable (beware a bit of shrinkage if the water is too hot!) and machine dry-able -- but it also has to be a quality of cotton designed for both stitch definition and drape, meaning that not only could you cable with it (!) but also you could create a garment that would hang beautifully as a summer tank top, a more tailored summer tee-shirt, or an over-the-bathing suit top for lakeside, pool-side or beach...and would even look well in baby items such as booties!

To do all of this well, cotton has to be not only sturdy but also soft and comfortable -- and usually it costs more than "dish cloth cotton" on a per metre basis. Sigh.

However, what we're offering this week for our Super Special Sale will fill the bill for a garment, and  be cost-effective too!


Universal Yarns
Cotton Supreme




100% Cotton, plied
100 grams = 165 metres (180 yards)
Gauge:16 - 20 stitches = 4" on 4-5 mm needle (U.S. 6-8) 
or 5-6 mm hook (U.S. H - J)

Regular Price: $13.00 per skein

Sale Price: $3.25 per skein

Limited quantities, limited colours.
When they're gone, they're gone!

See you in the shop!

*Written by Margaret, who has to admit that while she likes to wear cotton, she'd rather knit with wool.  Ah well... 😉

Monday, March 11, 2019

Snow Myths

Image result for groundhog lied

I have seen two really cute cartoons cross my computer recently, above is the first (if you are not aware this is supposed to be Punxsutawney Phil, a notoriously accurate groundhog, well-known for predicting spring's arrival).

The second is:
Image may contain: meme, text that says 'I'M GIVING UP WINTER FOR LENT. WHO'S WITH ME?'

I was recently reading the Old Farmer's Almanac for 2018-2019. The comments regarding their predictions for spring are very interesting. Several people are critical this year's spring prediciton seems to be so far off the actuality we are experiencing. Then a person from Winnipeg wrote on Mar.9,  the predictions to date are right on. I do admit - I have not been following Manitoba weather! Alberta weather and the curling are enough to keep me out of trouble (?) along with all of my recent knitting projects.

My current projects are socks! No, these are a unique and easy - if you follow the pattern. My husband has a new knee which is apparently causing water retention issues. The Crafty Lady (my boss) has created a knit pattern for socks which he has declared very comfortable and easy to wear. I have now completed one each of two different yarns. Now I must finish both pairs! ASAP - I know my Ukrainian ex-military husband will NOT wear these two as a pair. If you would like to knit a pair, we have very interesting, delectible sock yarns in stock, and the pattern is available at ravelry.com.
My Tiger
Skunk Sock? aka Cop Sock













The pattern name is Lorigami Sock, written by Guru1.

Knowing The Crafty Lady often thinks outside the box, and thinking of sock yarns, I have just completed a Shetland lace shawl from sock yarn for my sister who is a first time grand-mother!! Yes, Baby and Mom are doing well, thanks. This is the pattern our grandmother knit for our mother, mom knit for us, I knit for my children and grandchildren and now nieces and nephews. It really is a family treasure. (P.S. I plan/hope to be able to knit for the next generation!)
This was knit is Comfort Sock yarn, making it completely washable! It should also wear well. Berocco Comfort Sock is 50% nylon/50% acrylic. Who would have thought we would be returning to sock yarns for baby blanket?

Gold star

Staying on "socks", The Crafty Lady has just been approached by a well-known Canadian sock yarn company interesting in publishing her Lorigami Sock pattern!!  This is equivalent to a scientist being published in a very reputable paper!! Gold Stars to our teacher and leader.

We will keep our customers and readers updated as news develops!!

If you are interested in following Margaret's success and recent projects completed, you can also follow her blog, Margaret Blank: Thoughts from a Textile Artist.

Moving from the Comfort Sock - to another 100% acrylic yarn . . . this week's 75% off yarn is perfect for spring projects.This bright a vibrant, multicoloured self-striping yarn will knit to most double knit patterns while adding fairground fun to your garments! This yarn is machine washable and can be dried on "Cool" setting - perfect for our changing weather patterns.


FAIRGROUND dk
James C. Brett
232 m/100g
Reg. $8.00
75% OFF
$2.00

This makes this a really great buy!! Last week we sold out of our sale yarn TWICE!! I think you missed our 75% off sales during our Anniversary Month of Sales!

P.S. As I write we have new yarns arriving in the door. These are brand new lines, new colours and very touchable.



Written by Anne, Politics aside, I can personally guarantee 2019 will only be boring if you want it to be. We at TCL will do our best to add colour, texture, successes and new skills to your repetoire this coming year.