Monday, July 24, 2017

A Taste of Italy

Church of San Giacomo di Rialto,Venice, Italy
"What news on the Rialto?" asks Shylock, at the opening of Act 1, Scene III of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.

Before, during and after the time of Shakespeare, the Rialto area of Venice has housed everything from an abbatoir and courthouse to a variety of markets -- and it does so still today.  You can still find fish and seafood at the pescaria, and buy veggies to accompany il pesce and flowers for your table decor at the green grocers.  Stop for a coffee break at the Drogheria Mascari, or pause for a light lunch of cichetti accompanied by crostini and a sparkly wine cooler called spritz.

Can't travel to Italy?  Want to hold a bit of it in your hands?

Some of our loveliest yarn offerings are spun in Italy, including this week's special sale offering, the chunky version of the Rialto line of yarns from British designer, Debbie Bliss.

Composed of 100% Extra-fine Merino wool, treated to be "superwash" for easy care, Rialto Chunky will delight your fingers even as it knits up quickly on 6.5 mm (U.S. 10 1/2) needles or hooks.  Two balls will make a cable hat with gorgeous stitch definition.  Add a third ball, and you can made a soft scarf; five will make a lovely baby blanket.

Enjoy a taste of Italy -- and a bit of Bliss -- this week only at 75% off!


Rialto Chunky
by Debbie Bliss and Designer Yarns

100% Extra-fine Merino
Superwash
60 metres (66 yards)
50 grams per ball


Regular Price: $9.50
SALE: $2.38

No special orders...
When it's gone, it's gone!



Posted by Margaret, happy TCL employee who's been to Italy...but not to the Rialto.  Bucket list!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Time to Sparkle?



Canadians travel more over the three or four months of spring/summer/fall than we do over the winter months. We travel to family gatherings, summer weddings, holidays - even a weekend getaway. This past week the staff of The Crafty Lady have had a couple of people looking specifically for a project to work on while travelling. 

Families volunteer to host a gathering when most of it can be outside and informal. While travelling is a great time to visit craft shops outside your area and some airlines are now allowing people to take projects along on a flight.

While someone else is driving - crafty people finish projects or make great headway on a current project. These create fabulous opportunities for you to display your newly completed project and show off your skills. 

These are also great opportunities for the shutter-bug the family to take those photos you do not want posted to Facebook, or displayed Period.

People love to see the picture of a grandfather teaching a youngster to make a willow whistle, how to recognize deer prints versus dog prints or a grandmother playing with the grandchildren, or making the cookies as grandchildren spill something all over the last batch of cookies.

Several years ago, as I was taking the last batch out of the oven - counters still covered in flour - my granddaughter jumped onto the counter to get out the glasses for juice . . . kicked the jug of orange juice - Well you can image whether or not I can even read the page in that cookbook. Getting the glue created with orange juice and flour off the counters took weeks. I found it in the most unusual places and it was so easy to remove. 

Family photos create memories we treasure for generations. Having inherited a number of photos of ancestors I cannot put a name to, please carefully label all of your older photos. How many of you had a child or grandchild say "That's not you, Grandma, it couldn't be - you sure have changed." Not the most flattering thing to hear as we all tend to think we are aging very well. 

As a grandmother, I have been told this is the year of the sparkle! There is sparkle nail polish, sparkle hair clips, sparkle flipflops, sparkle dresses, sparkle eye-shadow . . .  wherever someone can put sparkle, there it is. I am surprised at the amount of sparkle some brides want on their wedding dresses. 

Some projects with sparkle are very complex, others are quite simple. This week's special would make a really easy project for any person who loves needle work - and sparkles!! It is a cotton acrylic, polyester blend, so cool and easy to work with.

75% off 

Cristallo

by Filatura Di Crosa
42% cotton, 41% acrylic, 17% polyester




Regular price $13.00
Sale $3.25



Posted by Anne Homenuk, very happy employee who loves sparkle and sunshine


Monday, July 10, 2017

Celebrate Canada


Image result for canada 150 logo
Image result for expo 67 logo



Fifty years ago, Canada celebrated the 100th anniversary of confederation with a world fair.  Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau promoted the world exhibition theme, focusing on "Man and His World". Women of the World: How would you react today celebrating "Man and His World"?

Expo '67 was the first international celebration in North America. Many of the countries of the world created pavilions/displays representing part of their culture and heritage. If you were lucky enough to be able to attend, it was a wonderful and diverse experience. Do you appreciate the adaptation of the 100th logo to create the logo for 150? 

Do you also remember we celebrated our diversity and our heritage? Do you remember learning every province is different - and you can tell the difference in each one. The differences include: climate, scenery,  wildlife - as are the people. All our beautiful, unique with stunning scenery - diverse and very different culturally. 

Enough of the lecture and history lesson . . .  We have a very avid birder living near Gull Lake, who is following the offspring of a pair of Northern Owls who successfully mated and had three chicks. At present, he is aware of one of the fledglings.

Which leads us to this week's 75% off special. This would be a great starter project as the eyes, beak and tassels are completed. The pattern is easy to read crochet. Most of the work is either single or double crochet. The end project is very wearable 


Katia Kid's Cap Owl 
100% acrylic
Regular Price: $13.00
Sale Price: $3.25

Posted by Anne Homenuk, knitter who would like to improve my crochet skills








Monday, July 3, 2017

What's Better than Heavenly?

That's a tough question.

I'm writing this on the far end of Canada Day -- Canada 150, that is -- and know full well that tomorrow will be Just Another Day.

The morning after the day before, when the day before is Very Special -- like Christmas, or New Year's Eve, or your wedding day or your birthday,  or even the first (or last) day of school.

And it's July, so it's been hot and unpredictable...thunder clouds rolling in...and rolling out again.

How to recover the sense of anticipation, the excitement, the surprise, the delight of a holiday?  How to inject a bit of Heaven in your day?  How about a light, fluffy, colourful yarn (with a little glitz)?

Something more than Sublime...something Divine!





Booklet #466 - front cover

This yarn can turn into light and loft cowls; cozy slippers, ponchos or shawls; pretty finger-less gloves, hats and scarves.  Even with it's slight halo, it shows off a lacy pattern -- like the popular 'Feather and Fan' -- with aplomb.

A note of caution: it's a bit 'thick-and-thin' which may slow down the process...but that can be a Good Thing in these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.  :-)

Booklet #466 - back cover










Need more good news?

While we may have been closed on July 1 for the Canada Day celebrations, WE ARE OPEN today (Monday, July 3) at 9 a.m. as usual, so you can drop by and view this Weekly Special -- and all the other goodies we have to offer!





75% OFF

Sirdar Divine

72% Polyester
28% Acrylic
160 yards - 150 metres
in 50 gram balls

Original Price: $9.00/ball
On sale this week
for $2.25/ball

Now that's what we call 'better than heavenly'!


Posted by Margaret, happy employee who thinks pretty much any and all yarns are 'divine'.  :-)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Summer Time = Luxury ??



What do you think? What is your "luxury"?

 Miriam-Webster defines luxury as: something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary. 

Image result for golden fleece headpieceSpun golden fleece headpiece is luxury? Summer is lazy, hazy days of luxury . . . and as children "summer" equals freedom from school, routine and much of the adult supervision we endured during the winter. What luxury!

Holidays are considered a luxury (as well as a benefit). When you go to a hotel, staff do many things for you, i.e. clean, laundry, cook and serve meals. Luxury! When you go camping, you do not have the same standards as you do at home - luxury! 

Treading quicksand - we are lucky to live in a country where we have the luxury to voice our opinion, practice our faith, criticize others actions/decisions - with little to no consequences. I was totally startled to hear a lawyer state "Currently our legal policy is to find nine guilty people innocent rather than convict one innocent person."  What a luxury! Most of the world is working from the concept we are guilty until proven innocent. 

For many centuries making your own fabric an clothing was a necessity, now knitting and creating your own are artistic crafts! And often considered a luxury.

Working with one of the wide-variety of yarns we carry is a luxury - and an opportunity to create artistic luxury for ourselves or loved ones. Llama yarns come from the fine undercoat of the animal. The other, heavier coats are used for household items and outer garments. Silk is the oldest and strongest natural thread and, for centuries, considered a luxury. This week's special is from Diamond's Luxury Collection.

4060914837_7e185b4c78_n75% off

Tafi

60% Llama, 40% Silk
93 meters/skein

Original price $13.00
Sale - One week only
$3.25 




Monday, June 19, 2017

Chunky Can Be Beautiful

I take after my father and his family -- an entire line of people built like a box: short and square.  I've fought my weight (and shape) most of my life.  When I was a pre-teen in the early 'sixties, They (yes, Them; the Ubiquitous They) came up with the idea of 'half-sizes' for children who were...um..."chunky".  While the clothes (dresses especially) fit well and made the wearers look pretty good, they were labelled "chubby" sizes, which made the wearers feel decidedly not good!

Maybe that was the idea...or maybe it was the crush I had on a certain guy in Grade Seven. Whatever the impetus, non-athletic, bookish me worked hard and lost weight, so I could fit into "normal" clothing.  It worked.

And yes, I dated the guy too...at least for a while.  But that's another story!

Today, if you Google "chunky fashion for girls" you'll still find references to "chubby girls".  A slight improvement is one reference to "curvy girls" but then there's this one from that font of visual interest, Pinterest: "25+ Ideas About Thick Girls' Outfits" (Thick!  Aaargh!)

If you check for images of 'chunky pre-teens' online you get lovely photos of pretty youngsters who -- for the most part -- look healthy, decidedly not 'chunky', 'chubby', or 'thick' (and blessedly not very 'curvy' either!)

Female fashion aside, there are "chunky" things in the world that are absolutely lovely...like chunky chocolate bars...




chunky chocolate chip cookies...



chunky chocolate ice cream...


And other treats guaranteed to, well...make you "chunky".  

Sigh.

The loveliest "chunky" thing of all, though, is "chunky" yarn which, like 'us gals', can range in size from 'true' or 'slightly' chunky to 'bulky'...but we won't go there!

Let's focus instead on the fibre of said yarn, which can range from squishy acrylics to woollens and this week's Special Sale Offering: an alpaca-wool blend.
  
It's perfect for quickly-knit hats, cowls, scarves and shawls.  It will make up into a cozy cushion cover or an even cozier sweater -- with decent stitch definition, too!  And...given that it's made by our friends at Berocco, it has excellent pattern support.  What's not to like...especially at this week's Special Sale Price!


50% Peruvian Wool, 50% Superfine Alpaca
131 yards/120 metres per 100 grams




Regular Price: $14.25
Sale Price: $3.56


Written by Margaret, happy Crafty Lady employee who's learning to love all that is 'chunky'.  :-)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Life is a Cabaret . . .



As Lisa Minnelli sang "Life is a Cabaret" - Life does not work according to plan. Recent weather cancelled plans for many, such as washed out bridges causing long delays and detours. I especially sympathize for those who have changed their plans and now have "bored" children under foot. When I was growing up, we went out and played in the rain, came into a fire and a warm drink (read hot chocolate), thinking we were so lucky. In the summers. we were in a cabin, with no heat, insulation and the plumbing was the outhouse. My mother did not complain about the wet clothes or boots, as she had quiet/productive time while we were all out.

Dress code for playing in the rain: shorts, jacket and rubber boots with hand knit socks. Our feet were warm and dry. Our legs dried more quickly than slacks or jeans AND easier to wash. children are not made of sugar - they do not melt in the rain.

One of the really special joys of working at The Crafty Lady - we get some very interesting questions. We can not always have "the" perfect answer, we do have fun assisting, or pointing people in a different direction. Life is a cabaret - you often do not know how your day is going to go.
Summer knitting can be a challenge if you are not comfortable with working on the afghan or bulky-weight sweater. Lighter weight yarns can be easier and more fun. Summer projects can be smaller and more portable. You can take your knitting to the beach, out in the boat or camping. Weekend projects can create escape time for you.

This week's special is smc Cabare, a cotton polyester blend. You can create a number of different looks using this yarn. Life is a Cabare - and what a special at 75% off!

Cabaré


by SMC Select
Bulky: 78% Cotton, 22% Polyester


Image result for smc cabare image


Regular Price: $10.00
Sale Price: $2.50


Posted by Anne Homenuk (happy employee who is thoroughly enjoying her new position, as there is almost no stress).