Monday, June 27, 2016

The Silence of the Llamas

I can see fine. Just give me
 the keys to the car..
So I'm reading up on llamas and I come to an interesting piece of information.

Llamas are naturally docile, can easily be trained to be led, and are pleasant to be around. However, if they are coddled as babies, bottle fed, and treated with love, when they are in their youth, they become nasty. They'll spit, and kick, and try to neck wrestle with their care givers.

Sound familiar?

They become teenagers! Entitled teenagers who turn on everyone.

You know who I'm talking about. That wonderful bundle of joy that you had years ago which brought rejoicing to your family, until
Sigh. Do I really have to explain this
again? It's like a mix between punk,
techno, and hair band. And it does
not sound like a screaming cat. 
he decided that crying at the top of his lungs was a great way to
spend the night.

You lovingly fed this child, being careful to only give him the best and most nutritious food to throw on the floor.

You cuddled that child along with the smelly teddy bear.

When she got sick you stayed up all night cleaning sheets and bringing cool cloths.

You stayed up late baking cupcakes for an entire class on her birthday, and then on top of it had an actual birthday party.

You drove her to soccer and ballet and piano lessons, eating dinner in the car and then sat through hours of recitals where other kids mangled their instruments and tripped over their feet, and more hours of matches where you heard other parents scream at the kids and hurl abuse at the referees, just so you could support your little darling.

It's not too much make-up. My hair is
not a weird color. My skirt is not too
short or too tight. Everybody has
cleavage. And the other girls are
doing it. Like chill. Oh, can I
get a piercing in my nose?

Dude. We was just hanging out. Okay
my grades suck. Do we have to do
this now? My buds is waiting for me.

You found my retainer under my bed?
Yeah, I was looking for that. And it
ain't my fault that the dishes under
there got moldy.
You helped with his homework, including that stupid messy volcano, and you read to him the same book over and over again until you wished that the hungry caterpillar would eat itself.

He embarrassed you when he fell on the floor in a full blown tantrum in the middle of Wal-Mart because you wouldn't buy him slime and everyone looked at you as if you were the worst parent to ever exist.

And the biggest test of your endurance - Dora, Barney, Teletubbies and the song that never ends.

Yeah, that kid, that now hisses and spits and rolls their eyes so much they should get dizzy and pass out.

That's what a well-loved and cared for llama becomes as a teenager.

As for the rest of the llamas, they give us lovely light, warm and soft yarns that are often non-allergic because it contains no lanolin or oils. And they do this while they speak Spanish. I can't speak Spanish so I'm impressed.

This week's sale!

75% OFF

Diamond Luxury Collection Llama Silk
40% wool, 30% llama, 30% silk (chunky)

We have four colors and none of them are
this one. I blame it on teenage llamas.

Regular Price: $17.00
Sale Price: $4.25

 Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who has lived for the past twenty years with llamas.)

Dude, it wasn't my fault. Some wheezer
was baking a cake and was totally obliv
to the emerald circle. If they had gunned
then I wouldn't have slammed.. No one
got trashed. Chill about the wheels. I
can knock out the dents.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Travels in Peru

If you travel from Machu Picchu in the Andes Mountains in Peru, and find the hundred year old man (he claims he's a hundred, but records show that he is far older than that) who calls himself Mike, he will lead you through the land of butterflies and into the mountain of dreams, which involves strange rituals and hidden buttons that reveal magic doorways into the mountain.  You will eventually come out of the mountain if you've managed to escape the deranged ones, into a valley where the Lustra Sheep live.

The Lustra Sheep thrive on the unique vegetation in the valley which makes their coats long and lustrous. They are a rainbow of color as they graze and roll lazily in the sunshine. If you watch quietly they will tentatively come to you, nudging your arm and asking for attention.

Look! There's a brilliant blue one and there's the green one beside her. A more sedate brown one drinks from the lake where the friendly lake monster resides, it's long sleek body curling up and down from the surface. It smiles at you and throws you a fish in greeting as you pet the golden lamb that has curled up in your lap. You watch as it sings a goodbye and slips beneath the surface. Mike informs you that the serpent is magic, and sometimes takes the form of a lady who will grant your deepest wish.

The sheep play with the rabbits and the goats, all exquisitely colored from the plants that they eat in the hidden valley.

Mike shears a small section from one of the sheep and hands it to you. He tells you that you only need a little to spin into great big balls of wonderful, shiny, yarn.

You leave reluctantly. The sun will soon be going down and  you must make the trek back through the mountain, past the deranged ones and through the land of butterflies, before the sun is gone or you will be trapped forever there.


Berroco Lustra
50% Peruvian Wool/50% Tencel

Regular Price: $15:00
Sale Price: $3.75

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who has got this trip on my bucket list)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Needleworkers Rejoice! (That does not mean you stab your neighbor with tapestry needles)

We love yarn! We take it and put it in a pile and roll around in it. Not naked though because that would be too weird.

We carry other supplies as well, because we know many of you love needlework. In fact two of us (neither one named Lori) are also needlework veterans.  We know it's important to you to be able to get your needlework supplies locally.

Dimensions Kit - Christmas Eve Fun
Sleigh Ornament Kit
Just this past week we got in several boxes of various embroidery books and charts, Dimensions and Heritage cross stitch kits, and needlepoint canvasses.
It's been like Christmas, especially when we open up a box and see - Christmas. 

Yes, we have Christmas in June and now's the time to start on those

Reindeer Ornament Ki

Come check out the beautiful stockings and the adorable ornament kits.

Personally my favorites are John Clayton's Elegance ladies - back
John Clayton Elegance - Rachel
John Clayton Elegance - Abbi
when women wore hats! Now admittedly English women wear hats but some of those hats look like the designers got stoned while watching Twilight Zone reruns. Don't believe me? You should check out hats at the Royal Ascot or Will and Kate's wedding. Yes, you will find some beauties, but the others - someone is playing Truth or Dare and no one is telling the truth.

Anyway, when John Clayton does his Elegance Ladies, they really are elegant, both hatless and hatted.
John Clayton Elegance - Vanessa

Mirabilia - Mermaid of the Pearls
Mirabilia - Enchanted Dreamer
If you like John Clayton's Elegance you probably like Mirabilia.  Nora Corbett is one of my favorite designers and she specializes in fairies, mermaids, elegant ladies, and beautiful children.

The nice thing about these two designers is they make breathtaking patterns using basic cross stitch supplies. No travelling to far off lands and through deserts and into magic mountains to find your supplies.

For the bird lovers we have Valerie Pfeiffer's Trios. These guys are really popular because people like to see birds argue.
Valerie Pfeiffer - Three's a Crowd

Valerie Pfeiffer - Sitting Pretty

Valerie Pfeiffer - Three Little Maids

If you don't like birds arguing, we also have hummingbirds, butterflies and flowers. None of them argue.

Dimensions Embroidery Kit -
Hollyhocks in Bloom

Dimensions Kit - Sheltered
Dimensions Kit - Three Bird Watchers
I know there are cat people out there. Crafters often are cat people and have to pick out cat hair from their projects.
 We have a few scenery charts that will take you places as you stitch them even if you can't live there and the only scenery you see from your chair is the ugly rock stucco of the house next door.

Dimensions Kit - Beacon at Daybreak
Dimensions Kit - Cliffside Beacon

Because I'm from the west coast I love lighthouses although I don't think I would want to live in one, because then I would have to be a crazy light house keeper.

We have wedding, anniversary and birth announcements. I remember one cross stitch piece I made for my daughter's wedding. Only it never got to her wedding. She got it at a Christmas. I missed a Christmas Eve party trying to frame it.

Peter Underhill - Wedding Celebration

Like a little whimsy, or a little kooky, or something for that man in your life or the crazy cat lady that isn't you?
Heritage Crafts - Crazy Cat Lady
Heritage Crafts - Man Cave

Dimensions Kit - Whimsical Owl

This is just a sampling. Come check out the books and needlepoint canvasses as well and the other designs I didn't post. 

And to let you know what else we have for you stitchers...

  • We carry all the DMC floss and tapestry yarn 
  • A selection of aida, evenweave, and monk's cloth. (One day I'll tell all you avid aida people the benefits of evenweave.) 
  • Kreinik threads 
  • Pearl cottons
  • Valdani silk, (and a few other specialty threads). 
  • Q snaps and hoops
  • Organization boxes and bobbins
  • Magnifiers and lamps and magnifying lamps 
  • LoRan tools
  • Needles, embroidery scissors, and beeswax
  • Mill Hill beads and other beads, buttons, and charms
I did consider writing all that out in a poem set to the Lone Ranger music or something similar but decided that I didn't feel like it this time.

So whether you're an expert who has done needlework for a hundred years, or you're just starting out, we have something for you. I think we even have a Heaven and Earth pattern around here (expert needleworkers will know what I'm talking about and how big and detailed those ones are). This one is small. A mere 350 x 444 stitches. Here it is.

HAED - Snow Princess Rising

Okay, stop panicking. Not every cross stitch chart is that big. Just the Heaven and Earth ones are. Breathe. And then come down to pick up your new stitching supplies.

Update: We've been selling these kits and charts already. So if you see something here and you come in and we don't have it, we can order it for you.

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (needleworker who has a ton of stash and still drools over everything)

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Day at the Races

"It's a beautiful sunny day out here in Pollin Fields. Great day for a race, right Ally?"

"It certainly is, Rick. Welcome everyone to the Annual Great Pollinator Race. I'm Ally McBee...

"And I'm Rick Stingfield...

And I can't wait to see what these teams will do. The Stripers have had a lot of buzzing going around about them. I would say they would be the team to beat."

"Speaking of buzzing, Team Golden Rod has had its share of drama lately. Everyone's talking about it."

"Well, investigations are underway as to the death of their Queen. It was suspicious."

"But no arrests have been made, so for those buzz feeds out there, the team has not been disqualified."

"Not yet, anyway, Rick. But stay tuned, Anything can happen."

"I don't think we can ignore the sad news about the Honeys."

"No. The entire team got wiped out by an intruder. They died bravely protecting their city."

"Let's take a moment to remember those brave members who gave their lives."

"All right, the teams are lined up. Ally, why don't you explain how this race works."

"It's a relay. Each bee will race the others to find the pollen in one field and transfer it to a receptacle. They need 10 mims* of flax, 10 mims of cotton, 10 mims of soy, and 10 mims of corn. Once a bee has collected and deposited , they will race back to their team members and the next bee in line takes a turn."

"Pretty simple."

"Simple yes. Easy no. These bees will be exhausted when they're done."

"Well, you would know, Ally. You were on the winning team last year."

"I certainly was, and it was hard."

"I was on a winning team too."

"Not last year."

"No, not last year."

"It was a long time ago wasn't it, Rick?"

"I wouldn't say it was a long time ago."

"I don't think I was born yet."

"Okay, the teams are lined up and ready and raring to go. In the lineup are The Stripers, then the Clovers, The Golden Rods, the Hornets..."

"Gotta watch those guys. They aren't actually hornets, they just like the bad boy reputation..."

"And they've earned it. Nasty bunch."

"They certainly are, Rick, and the judges keep a close eye on them. They've been disqualified in the past for nasty tricks."

"Beside the Hornets are the Hair-dos. I don't understand that name."

"Well, Rick, it's a play on words. The humans named a hairstyle the Bee Hive."

"That's stupid."

"I know."

"Okay, beside the Hair-Dos are the Dusters. Look! We've got supporters of them out there holding up signs saying 'Eat my dust'."

"Well, everyone's got a favorite, Rick. Oh look. The countdown begins. 3, 2, 1..."

"And they're off!"

"We agreed that I would say that, Rick."

"No, we didn't."

"Yes, we did. I remember the conversation."

"Oh, we talked about it. But we didn't agree...And look at number 23 from the Hair-Do's go! She's really flying!

"That's Janet Beigh. I hear her team mates admire her. She keeps her word."

"And look, right behind her is one of the Hornets. Number 6."

"Buzz Lightning. Has a bad rep among the ladies. Tells them one thing and then does another."

"Look, Team Golden Rod is inching up on the Hornets! While we watch the race why don't you explain this year's theme, Ally."

"This is the Year of the Fabric. As you all know, humans create coverings for themselves because they have nothing to protect them from the cold and the sun."

"Poor beasts."

"Yes, and so to help them we work hard to pollinate the plants that they make these coverings out of. It's really quite interesting how they do it. I would say that humans are almost as evolved as bees."

"They are indeed a fairly intelligent animal species. It's too bad they're trying to wipe us out." 

"Not all of them are trying to wipe us out, Rick."

"No? Well what about the one that killed the Honeys, Ally?"

"I don't think this is the place to talk about that, Rick."

"Only because you're in a corner and can't get out, Ally."

"Only because I refuse to have a conversation with someone who supports a political candidate who wears a ridiculous wig, dyes himself orange and thinks of himself as King Bee!"

"Oh yeah!"

"Good comeback, Rick. Now let's get back to the races!"

"Why is everyone jumping around the field?"

"Because the race is over! We missed it!"

"This is your fault."

"Just like a man. Can't take responsibility for anything."

"That's a sexist thing to say, Ally."

"You should know, Rick."

"Who won?"

"I have no idea. Maybe we should ask King Bee."

"It's not a wig. It's his real hair."



Okay, so this week our sale special is...drumroll please...


Patons Beehive Baby Sport
70% Acrylic, 30% Nylon
DK, 100g/328m/359yds

Regular Price: $5:30
Sale Price:$1.33

Does anyone else think it's weird that the beehive yarn contains no fibers that relate to bees, and that they call it a sport when it's a DK?

So I'll mock the name even more and make a suggestion. This yarn would also be honey sweet for adult sweaters. That's right! Adult sweaters with baby yarn. It can be done. Especially when the yardage is so generous!

And of course you can make your baby items from this too. We have six soft colors and not all of them are traditional baby colors.

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who thinks that bees are awesome but can't find a reason for hornets).

* A mim is a unit of measurement in the bee civilization. I know this because a bee told me so.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Knit in Public Day - June 18

Who says size doesn't matter
On June 18 you can come out of your closets, your pantries, and your basements and fully embrace who you are!

You are a KNITTER! (Or a CROCHETER - we don't discriminate around here).

If you're a WEAVER or a SPINNER, or a DYER (not to be confused with dying or the angel of death on Touched by an Angel who's real name is John Dye - no I'm not making that up) - we like
you all!

I know, I know, it's hard to admit to it. Especially when yarn arts are associated with grandmas and even though you may have grandchildren you are not that age yet (talking to myself here).

He can knit for me anytime.
But yarn isn't just for old people anymore. Or just for women. Yarn is ageless and genderless and can be celebrated by all.

No one says you actually have to know how to knit.

We have four things for you on this special day of days.

Apparently aliens knit too
1. If you post a picture of yourself knitting in public on our Facebook page, you will get a FREE Crafty Lady Exclusive pattern of your choice! Yes, Lori will be giving away her patterns.

2. If you post a quality comment that lets us know that you read this post then you will be entered in a draw to win a Crafty Lady Exclusive Kit! Lori hasn't decided yet what that will be but we will reveal it pretty soon. By quality I mean that "nice post" doesn't cut it. Nor does "I read it" mean anything. It has to be a comment about something specific.

Run out of people to knit for? Even trees need love.
For an extra draw ticket, comment on one of the other blog posts as well (same rules apply - you have to say something specific). Let us know which blog you posted on in this post.

3. Come down to the store and sit in our comfy couches and knit (or crochet)! It doesn't cost you a thing and we could all have a great time!

4. And just for fun you can pick up a bingo card at the store before the big day. Yes, we have bingo cards! If you can fill it out (honestly) then reward yourself. If you don't know what to reward yourself with - we have suggestions.

Evil laugh

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who is not ashamed to admit "I am a KNITTER (and a crocheter)

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Continuing Adventures of a Pharaoh

Remember the Faroe story I told you a little while back? If you need a refresher - here it is.

A Faroe Tale

Well, there's more to the story. The pharoah lived a very long time and when he died his people grieved tremendously, wrapped him in the fine Egyptian cotton that he loved to knit with, and shut him up in a pyramid with all his favourite things and piles of gold and jewels - because that's what they did back then. They wanted to make sure that his journey to the Shadow Lands would be comfortable.

Except - he never did make it to the Shadow Lands. Instead something else happened.

The same wizard - wizards live a very very long time for they are not completely human -  who had placed the curse on the pharaoh had enchanted the cotton he was wrapped in, and while he slept for two years, the cotton began to shimmer and glow and it warmed the cold dead body of the pharaoh, changing his molecular structure, growing his organs and his brain, and causing blood to rush through his veins. He grew stronger until he suddenly awoke and broke the bands of the cotton strips that engulfed him.

He looked around at the jewels and gold that had been packed away with him and he roared in anger at the waste that could have been put to better use for the kingdom. So he burst through the sealed doors of the pyramid breaking free from his prison. As he ran through the desert sands he discovered that he had speed, strength and endurance  that he had not had when he was alive.

Plus he had hair on his head.

He saw as he zoomed through the streets of his city, that in the short time he had been dead, the people had suffered greatly. Beggars were in the streets, children were carrying heavy loads instead of being in school, and he saw a man crack a whip over the back of a woman. He stopped for a moment, grabbed the whip wrapped it around the man and tied him to a pole. Then he dashed in faster towards the palace.

When he broke through the palace doors, the arrows that struck him didn't make a mark, and the new pharaoh, who was not his son, but instead an enemy, demanded to know who he was, for the pharoah was now in his full youthful appearance and unrecognizable to everyone.

The pharoah ignored the arrows that bounced off him as he strode towards the throne. He shook off the guards that lay hands on him. An ax ricocheted off his body and fell on the floor. The man on the throne, terrified by this supernatural being lept from the throne and ran but the pharaoh was too fast and grabbed him before he got off the dais.

"I am Egypto, Pharoah of this Kingdom", he roared, holding his enemy high in the air with one hand.

"But you can't be," the new pharoah whined. "Egypto is dead."

"Not anymore," Egypto roared. Then he flung the man down and ordered the guards to take him away.

"Bring me my needles," he called out and knitting needles and yarn were brought to him. He sat on the throne, and knit while he listened to his people and made decisions. He had the kingdom back to the way it was during his reign, in a matter of weeks.

When he was pleased with his kingdom he handed the crown over to his children who had learned wisdom and kindness from their father and agreed to work together, and he travelled the world, righting wrongs and helping to make the world a better place.

And he knitted.

He's still out there now, wandering the world as Captain Egypto (think low male voice with echo) defender of all who are oppressed. He leaves knitting needles and yarn as a calling card.

As for the cotton that brought him back to life, the wizard retrieved the cotton bandages and planted them in the ground where they grew and produced some of the world's finest cotton which he named after the great pharoah.

And that's what our sale is this week. It's a fingering weight that you can use for sweaters, shawls and even pure cotton socks. We have four colors.


SMC Egypto Cotton Color
Fingering (1) 100% Cotton

Regular Price: $8:00
Sale Price: $2.00

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who wouldn't mind if Captain Egypto came in the store and swept me away)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Nuna, Nuna, Nuna - Isn't That Fun to Say!

I am in a quandary.

A few weeks ago we got Nuna in. Nuna from Mirasol is a sportweight yarn made with 40% merino wool, 40% mulberry silk, and 20% bamboo viscose.

This stuff is gorgeous darling (say that with Barbra Streisand's voice). The colours are brilliant, vivid, jewel tones. Not neon. There's a definite sheen to it. And it's soft. It is so soft. It is throw it in a big pile and sink into it, dreaming of cloud puffs on warm sunny days with gentle breezes soft.

So what is my quandary? I can't decide on a colour.

Do I pick one of each and make a gradient shawl using that technique where you knit with two strands and gradually blend them along.

Or do I pick one exquisite colour and make a beautiful lace scarf? Except - which colour do I pick? I can see all of these colours in a beautiful lace scarf.

L-R: Lapis, Emerald Jade, Gold Rush, Campfire,
Cherry Bomb, Orchid - $12.00 175 m

Look! Not an ugly colour to be found! Do you see my problem here? First I decide on the green. Then I go "no blue!" Then I think, but that red is gorgeous! And even that yellow or that orange would make a lovely, colourful, lace scarf - and let's not forget that pretty pink. 

I can't decide! Other women have definite colours that they love, and know which colours work for them and they are faithful to those colours, But me, when it comes to colour, I can't be faithful..

I am colour promiscuous.

There I said it. I am Anna and I am colour promiscuous. 

Oh sure, it started innocently enough. I gravitate to what I call peacock colours - blue, green, purple, but I also have a great love for reds and pinks, and even for neutral shades like browns and grays. 

Then I started working here.

I am surrounded by colour! It entices me. It wrapped its evil, elegant, tendrils around me and pretty soon I was swooning over orange. Orange! I was never a huge fan of orange, believing it was fine for oranges and carrots but not much for anything else. And yet - I want to drink in some of those oranges. And yellow! I have embraced yellow again, a colour that was a childhood favourite but lost it's way because it got muddied up by other colors. But now? Show me a brilliant sunshine yellow that makes me long for warm sunny days, or a soft delicate butter and I'm toast for that butter.

As long as I work here, colour is my drug and there is no known recovery. I will have to revel in colour and repent later. 

As for the Nuna, sigh. What shall I do? What shall I do?

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who is also colour promiscuous and admits it)