Tuesday, March 29, 2016

What Do I Do With It?

Have you ever wandered into a yarn shop, seen a yarn that you think is gorgeous and then said "what do I do with this?"

Answer: It doesn't matter. Buy the yarn while you can get it. Because if you don't, you will find the pattern perfect for it, run down to the yarn shop, and that gorgeous yarn will be gone. That is especially true of sale yarns.

I used to be the type that would find a pattern and then look for a yarn that I could use. It's still a good way to do it and I still do it that way - sometimes.

But working in a yarn store means that I'm around yarn all the time. ALL THE TIME. Yarn diet? Forget about it. That's like going to Italy and not eating pasta. I guess it can be done, but why put yourself through the torture?

But there is a handy dandy tool to find the perfect pattern for that yarn that you did break down and buy. We use it all the time in our store. It's called Ravelry.

Most of you are nodding your heads, already full time long life members of this evil website that sucks up your time. Although, you can knit and drink coffee and eat chocolates while you surf, so it's not all a time waste.

Some things I've discovered you can do with Ravelry:

Find patterns - what do you do with 400 m of sock yarn besides make socks? Look on Ravelry. Important! Use the sidebar that narrows things down for you. Believe me, you'll want to narrow things down. Even putting in the word "shawl" will bring four billion five hundred and sixty five returns. It doesn't matter how much coffee you have, you will never see them all.

Find yarn - that pattern you have calls for a yarn that you don't have access to, can't wear, or is too expensive. You can look up the yarn - even long discontinued yarn - and find out what it's made from, what the weight is, and how many meters in a ball - enough information to make a substitute. Suddenly all those old patterns that Grandma hung onto are new again. See, the old lady wasn't just a crazy pattern hoarder. She was a clairvoyant who could see the future.

Database - This is my favorite part. You can record all your yarn, all your patterns, all your needles, and it will keep track of this for you. You can set up a list of projects including the yarns you will use for it. Once you've put everything in, you can search your own database without yanking stuff out of the closet, under the bed, from the cookie jar, inside coat sleeves, behind the books on the bookshelves and from the old unused aquarium hiding in the garage. When you find a pattern, it will make suggestions for yarn from your own stash. You can put in your magazines and books. No more paging through piles of patterns when you can look for them instantly on your database. Okay, I know that's relaxing and fun, and you can still do it - you just don't have to. The only drawback I have with this, is that other people can see your stash too, and they will want it and ask you for it. Do not give in! Just because someone wants something doesn't mean you have to say yes. I wish there was a privacy setting for this because ...
She might be carted off in a white jacket. 

Designers - Have a favorite designer? Look for them on Ravelry. You can see what else they've designed and how to get it. You can even send them a message and ask them questions. Believe me, designers want to hear from you. They don't get to walk red carpets or get noticed at restaurants and airports from people who want pictures and autographs. They work in their little caves making patterns for you to use and would love to know that there are people out there in the world who know they exist.

Groups - Find other people with the same interests. Join a knit along or a challenge group. Ask questions. Discover that there are other people as crazy as you are. Admit it. You are crazy. Best to accept the fact and quit fighting it.

So why do I bring this up on a sale blog?

Because sometimes people look into our sale bin and say "It's a great price. What do I do with it?"

Now you know.

Our sale this week is a selection because none of them alone have enough color choices for you. So we've combined them to make a really nice sale. All are worsted weight and all have a tweedy look about them, just in different ways. 



100% Recycled Fibers
30% Nylon, 27% Cotton, 24% Acrylic, 10% Silk, 9% Linen
100g, 216 yds, 200 m.


65% Wool, 25% Mohair, 10% Angora
50 g. 130 yds. 119 m.


75% Acrylic, 25% Cotton
50 g. 109 yds. 100 m. 


Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who would love to go to Italy and eat pasta).

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Romantic Yarn Follow Up

Guess what? It's Monday and although Charly and Zara agreed to try it out for a week, they have eloped!

That's right. Most of you didn't even get a chance at buying this week's sale special. You didn't even have a moment to read the lovely story that went along with it (although it's still there so you can have a look.) Charly and Zara are gone!

So to give you all another chance and because it's only Monday, we have decided to offer you a special sale on another yarn.

This guy has done this before, but we thought you might like another chance at him. After all, a good yarn is hard to find.

SMC Tweed Deluxe is a chunky yarn. It's 54% Alpaca, 32% Wool, 14% Polyamide. There's 80m/87yds in each ball.

There are enough of two of our colors to make sweaters and possibly a third color could make one too. There are other colors as well for hats and scarves. These are handsome colors and appropriate for men although women can wear them too (we women can do everything).

So come on in. We have no idea if these will last.

SMC Tweed Deluxe
Regular Price: $9.00
Sale Price: $2.25

Remember, once it's gone, it's gone! And the earlier you come in, the better selection you have. 

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who's woolfuddled at how fast Charly and Zara left)

A Little Romantic Yarn

Sale post.Hope you like it. I spent about an hour and a half on it.


She looked up at him. He was handsome, sturdy, and had a wide smile. “You must be Charly.”
He pulled out a chair and placed his coffee cup on the table. “So we finally get to meet. I’ve heard a lot about you.”
“Good, I hope,” she took a sip of her coffee grateful that he didn’t stand her up in the busy cafĂ©. Not that she couldn’t have handled it. She had a book with her.  “It’s odd that we haven’t run into each other before, since we work for the same company.”
“I’m in the wool division, and Fil keeps me busy.” He was glad that she was waiting for him. Not that he couldn’t have handled it. He had a book with him.
“Fil? You’re on that kind of terms with her? She makes us all in Merino call her Fila.”
“Oh, well, it’s just something that the other guys and I call her behind her back. To her face she’s Miss Di Crosa.” He put a mock serious look on his face, frowning and drawing down his eyebrows.
“Of course.” She smiled at him. “Let’s not talk about the boss away from the office.”
“Agreed.” He looked at her over his cup. She was lovely. Sensible he gathered. Not wispy like some of the other girls. She had substance. “Let me guess. You’re a DK.” Sure he fudged that a bit. Better to under guess than over.
“Aran actually. And proud of it. I firmly believe that beauty comes in all sizes.”
“I’m an Aran too! Isn’t that lucky. And yes, you're right. Beauty comes in all sizes. Look at me."
"Yes, look at you," Zara laughed out loud. He didn't come across as boastful, just a little goofy. The right amount of goofy.
"Besides, you know what they say about mixing between the weights. It doesn’t generally work.” Charly said.
“Not generally. Although I had some fun with a sport but you know how those guys are. Still, not as bad as a fingering. I don’t need to go into details there.”
Charly chuckled. “My last girlfriend was a lace. She was strong, but I don’t know, a little too much of an airhead for me.”
“It wasn’t Nirvana, was it?”
“Oh, you’ve heard of her.”
“She was in merino too until she left. I can’t quite picture you two together.  I hope you don’t mind me saying so.”
“Not at all. She was a lovely girl. She just wasn’t right for me.”
“I understand completely.” Zara sighed. “I tried telling my friend Cento that.”
“Cento? Not Centolavaggi? I know that guy. Always after the ladies. I met him through Nirvana.”
“Yeah, that lace weight is no airhead. He has an angle for everything. Problem is, there’s often too many holes in his plans. Still, he’s a good friend.”
“He’s the one that told me about you,” Charly beamed at her. “I guess he figured if he didn’t have a chance, then maybe someone else could.”
Zara laughed. “Hey, I never said you did.”
“You didn’t say I didn’t either.”
“Fine. So let’s stop the wool spinning and get down to the hooks and needles.” Zara put her cup down. “Frankly, I am more than ready for a change. I’ve been in the same place for far too long. I’ve seen others come and go on to bigger and better things, and I’m ready for a new project.”
“I was saying the same thing just the other day. It can be hard to see friends move on while you’re stuck in the same place doing the same thing.”
Zara nodded. “Are you ready to take a chance?”
Charly leaned forward. “I am. I have a proposal.”
“Well, it’s a little too early for that.”
“Very clever. No, I was thinking smaller. I propose that we see each other every day for a week. Monday to Saturday. As much as possible. And if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. We go our separate ways and wish each other well, but if it does…”
“Who knows?” Zara raised an eyebrow.
“Exactly. Who knows?”
Zara looked down. She liked him. She liked him a lot.
Charly looked down too, thinking the very same thing.

This week’s 75% off sale is…
Filatura Di Crosa
Charly (aran, 100% wool, 65m/71y)
Regular Price: $7.00
Sale Price: $1.75
Filatura Di Crosa
ZARA PLUS (100% merino, aran, 70m/77yds)
Image result for zara plus image

Regular Price: $10.00
Sale Price: $2.50
Think about lovely hats, scarves, cowls, and mitts. Both these yarns come in bright solid colors and are smooth and soft to knit with. Perfect for cables and other specialty stitches. You could make two of each. One for you, and one for someone special.
Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who thinks romance is just spinderful).

Friday, March 18, 2016


About a decade ago, DMC floss prices jumped from 69¢ to 79¢ and even though there has been another cost increase since then, The Crafty Lady has held off increasing to 89¢ for the past five-ish years (due to a certain big box store selling them at a loss just down the road). Now our wholesalers have dropped the bomb that, due to production costs increasing exponentially, the next suggested retail price is jumping to $1.10.

Yes, you read that right: $1.10 per skein for regular cotton floss.

I have not yet been told how the increases affect the specialty flosses or Coton Perle.  All I know is that I am giving you - my loyal customers - a heads up. I am posting the new price increase to happen two weeks after I start paying the new cost.  That means you will have to the end of March to stock up on your colors before I change the prices in the computer. The downside to this deal?  If there is an empty hook where your color of choice should be, you will have to special order the colors you need and then pay the new price.

So to avoid disappointment and sticker shock, come in and stock up NOW!

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Part of the Story Twain Didn't Tell

Do you remember the story that Mark Twain told about Tom Sawya? Yes, I know it's spelled Sawyer, but it's pronounced Sawya - I've got that on good authority. It's the one where Tom Sawya has to whitewash the fence, but he convinces his friends to do it for him because it's so much fun. He even charges them for the privilege, and before long his friends are all out there painting the fence while he lounged around.

What Twain didn't tell you, is that while Tom Sawya was lounging around, he was knitting.

I bet you didn't know that.

So you see, he wasn't just being lazy. He was doing something productive. And then after the fence was done, he taught the other fellas how to knit.

I bet you didn't know that either.

So before long these fellas would gather and knit together. Fishing was the best excuse. You could sit on the riverbank of the Mississippi and stick your pole in the ground while you sat back waiting for a bite and knit. Sometimes they'd have sword fights and javelin throws with the needles, but for the most part they used them for knitting.

Huck Finn thought the whole thing was stupid, (except for the sword fights and javelin throws) but then everyone has friends like that. That is until Tom Sawya gave him a scarf one winter. Huck was so shocked that someone would give him anything and he pledged to be Tom's best buddy forever.

Becky Thatcher was impressed that Tom Sawya could knit. It warmed her heart and gave her an excuse to hang around him while he taught her how to knit. Before long they were happily knitting side by side. Tom even told her once "as soon as I saw ya, I knowed you was the one for me."

The other fellas found out that girls liked boys who knit too, and before long the boys and girls were exchanging knitted love tokens.

The adults just shook their heads and said "those crazy kids - what will they think of next", but they didn't bother stopping them since it kept them out of trouble for the most part except for the time that Jack Harper got harpooned by a knitting needle but that was because he was making a play for Alfred Johnson's girl, so everyone understood.

Of course you all know that Tom Sawya and Becky Thatcher got hitched, and the Sawyas happily knit for the rest of their lives.

In memory of Tom Sawya's knitting career, we present to you Sawya, a worsted weight (4) yarn. It's 60% pima cotton, 25% alpaca and 15% silk and we have it in 11 brilliant colors.

75% Off Sale

Mirasol Sawya

Regular Price: $7.50

Sale Price: $1.88

We sold out last week. The earlier in the week you come in, the better selection you have. Once it's gone, it's gone!

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who loves knitting stories)

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Faroe Tale

Once upon a very, very, long time ago, in the ancient country of Egypt, there was a great pharaoh who was in a bad mood all the time.  Nothing made this guy happy. Not the beautiful palace he lived in, the handsome horses he rode, the succulent food that he ate, or the people that bowed down to him and obeyed his every wish. He was always having tantrums and was generally miserable to be around. Even he thought he was miserable to be around. Nobody liked him and he didn't really like himself although he didn't know it.

One of his jobs was to sit on his ornate throne and listen to the pleas and complaints of the people. He hated it. He was so bored that he would throw large pebbles at people cheering whenever he made contact. Hitting a face got the most points. The least was when it bounced and hit a foot. No one knew when it was coming and he threw them at the smallest peasant to the most important aides.

One day his wizard and chief confidant took him to the side and showed him two short sticks.

"Those would be fun to throw," the pharaoh said.

"They are not for throwing," the wizard said. "They are magic sticks and they can make wondrous things and help you calm your mind."

"How do they work?"

So the wizard produced some string and showed the pharaoh how to knit with the two sticks.

The pharaoh was a good student and learned quickly. He was soon knitting everywhere he went but he discovered something. Whenever he tried to take his knitting off the sticks, the stitches would fly back on. Even more distressing, he could only put his knitting down when he went to sleep, or when he was holding a baby or hugging a friend. Otherwise, the knitting flew back into his hands. At first this dismayed him, and he thought about severely punishing the wizard,  but because he really enjoyed knitting, he chose instead to continue to knit. He knit while watching the chariot races, he knit while he ate, he knit while he was at his meetings with his advisers, he knit in his bathtub, and most importantly, he knit while he sat on his ornate throne listening to the complaints and pleas.

Because he was knitting he felt calm and focused. He no longer wanted to throw pebbles at people. He listened carefully and began to make wise and caring decisions. He no longer had tantrums and when he met with his aides he wasn't interested in making huge empty buildings as tributes to himself. Instead he wanted to help the people produce wool and other animal fiber. He lent money to set up silk farms and cotton fields. The woodworkers became experts at refining the magic sticks. Soon the country prospered as the people learned to make this wonderful new fabric and the materials for it and because they were happier they became productive and were better able to provide the needs that a city has.

Meanwhile the pharaoh kept on knitting. He knit and knit and knit, and the scarf he was making grew and grew. The scarf inched its way through all of Egypt and went up north. At first the people didn't know what this thing was that was so lovely and just crept along. They studied it and soon figured out that they could cut it and join it back together and the people were happy with their new scarves. They also figured out how to make their own knitted clothes.

When the scarf made its way up to the north countries they studied it and decided that they could do this marvelous work too and use a bunch of different colors to make patterns and pictures. They also discovered that by making these items they were doubly warm.

In one country a young woman accidentally put a hole in her work and then decided to put more holes in her work and so liked the effect that she showed everyone and the people began to make beautiful lace shawls.

And when it crept back down to the western countries by the great ocean, they figured out how to make all kinds of twisting stitches that meandered over the fabric and made interesting designs.

One day when the pharaoh was old he went to his wizard. "You cursed the sticks, and forced me to knit," he accused his adviser.

"I did," the great wizard admitted. "But I took the curse off long ago. You have chosen to knit all these years."

The pharaoh put down his needles and they didn't fly back into his hands. "But why did you do it?" he asked.

"Look out the window," the wizard said.

The pharaoh looked and saw the beautiful gardens and the happy productive and prosperous people who waved at him with big smiles. "There are no poor, no beggars, for the ones who can't provide for themselves are provided for by those who can. You have done a great thing here. Far better than any statue or pyramid could do."

And so the pharaoh picked up his sticks and continued to rule with his knitting in hand. And the people loved him.

As a tribute to this pharaoh, this weeks 75% off yarn is Faroe, a chunky acrylic, cotton, wool blend that would make lovely hats or a scarf. We have four colors so come in early to grab it.

75% OFF


Regular Price: $6.00
Sale Price: $1.50

Remember, this special sale is only until Saturday, and once it's gone it's gone!

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who with others is in de Nile about her knitting stash.)

Oh stop rolling your eyes and groaning. You knew that was coming.