Monday, September 30, 2019

T'is the Season

Hi, it's Lori, The Crafty Lady
Yup sorry, you get me today.

September is a busy season here at the store: prepping for Creativ Festival in Edmonton and Calgary, bringing in extra staff for the Prairie Fibre Festival at the LMC the Saturday between the big shows. Everybody's working, some are getting run down, and with all the mixed up schedules the blog is late and written by yours truly. ;)

September is also the month when all the students are back at school and our routines seem to get back to normal. Hmm, snow this early shouldn't be normal, but this is Alberta and I won't put anything past her when it comes to weather. But, I also won't complain about the snow. It reminds people that handmade gifts take time and time is running out.

This week's sale is magical yarn because it can be used two different ways. It can be a super bulky (i.e. warm) multicoloured masculine scarf or a frilly feminine scarf. I've also seen it used as trims on purses and little girls' skirts.  So, he-e-e-ere's Frilly!

Regular $10.00
this week only $2.50!
written by Lori, happy TCL owner who's looking forward to seeing all the crafters who just realized how little time is left! ;)

Monday, September 23, 2019

It's Elemental

Do you know your chemistry table?  Not your times tables -- that's math.  Your chemistry table.  It looks like this:

Photo Source:
Oh that table!  πŸ˜‰

Now look at it carefully.  Can you find element #16?  Here's a hint: it's in the upper right section, in a blue square.

Found it?  Good!

The square for this element on this Periodic Table may be blue, but the element isn't.  In its natural colour when a solid (i.e. at room temperature) is a soft yellow.  

Photo source: Wikipedia Commons

It's symbol on the Table is "S" for sulphur (or sulfur)...and according to Wikipedia, it's not only very common in and on the earth, but it's also elemental -- meaning that it plays a key role in human life.  It's been around...well, pretty much from the beginning of time as we know it (and even before that).  In the Bible, it was referred to as "brimstone" -- as in "fire and brimstone".  Most of the time though, it's found in minerals referred to as either 'sulphides' (sulfides) or 'sulphates' (sulfates), and it's usually obtained as a by-product when contaminants are removed from natural gas and/or petroleum.

amino acid
containing a thiol group
Source: Wikipedia
Today it's used in fertilizers, matches (remember the smell when you strike one?),  insecticides and fungicides.  It causes our noses to wrinkle at the "rotten egg smell" when we smell natural gas leaking somewhere -- and that can save our lives!

But it's not just found outside and around in nature.  It's also found inside us!  It's an element in organosulphur (organosulfur) compounds which include three amino acids (cysteine, cystine and methionine) and two B vitamins (biotin and thiamine).  

It's part of the compounds that make up keratin -- which means it plays a part in the make-up of skin, hair and feathers.  And it plays an essential role in the biochemistry and macronutrition -- for all living creatures!

Yep. It's an elemental element! 

"Sulfur" is also the colour name for this week's Super Special Yarn:

from Berroco Yarns

50 grams = 140 metres (153 yards)

51% Wool
49% Nylon

Made in Italy
Hand-wash in cool water; hang to dry.

Regular Price: $14.00
Super Sale Price: $3.50!

Although at least one "Raveler" has reported that she felt it was rather delicate for a full sweater, six or seven balls would do for one -- but only two or three are needed to wrap you in a bit of gold softness, like this cowl or this shawl.  Glowing elegance, odour-free!  πŸ˜‰

Thanks to all our customers who came out to support our shop in the CreativFestivals (Millennium Place in Sherwood Park and Spruce Meadows Equiplex in Calgary), and here at home during Lacombe's third annual Fibre Festival at the Lacombe Memorial Centre.  We hope we'll continue to.,.

See you in the shop!

*Written by Margaret, whose work at The Crafty Lady is an elemental part of her life!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

A Crafty Lady Special Edition

As most of our faithful readers know, The Crafty Lady rarely (if ever) writes a blog post.  But recently she posted these notes about one of her newest patterns, and it was too good not to share.  😊  Here she is, in her own words...

I might be giving away a trade secret here but -
Did you know that the reason patterns for self striping yarns rarely photograph a ‘perfect’ sample is so that the customer doesn’t have unrealistic expectations that the suggested amount of yarn is going to help them perfectly replicate what they see.
I tried. I really tried. The back worked out almost perfectly symmetrical. Out by one garter ridge. So I was going to just start from the other end of the ball to ensure that it wasn’t perfect. Because I like to work from the inside of the ball, I decided to rewind the ball. I counted the pattern repeats in the ball. I had more than enough to make a perfect sample. NO. START FROM THE CENTER LIKE YOU PLANNED!
I started from the center. I got the second front halfway completed. Left it at work so that I wouldn’t rip it out at home. Got to work the next day and worked a couple more rows … placed a lifeline at the joining row and, you knew it was going to happen, I frogged the front, joined the yarn in the appropriate place in the striping queue and proceeded to make my perfect vest. I mean, look at the second picture. Even the shoulder striped lined up!
When I cast off the front, I eyeballed what was left of the yarn. I may not be able to make matching cap sleeves. Perfect. Wait. I don’t need as much yarn for the size 2 as for the size 4. Can I? I’ve succumbed so far. Why not? I weighed the remnant and marked the second starting point so that both would match if the weight was right. I barrelled forward and wouldn’t you know, after the second cap sleeve, I had 13 meters left. But more about that in a bit.
I was sitting knitting at Music in the Park, wondering how I would verify my calculations on a dimensional body since I didn’t have an appropriately sized mannequin at the store, and no sooner had I cast off the last stitch, a small boy came running straight for me, his mother in hot pursuit! My mom stopped him, and as his mom caught up, I asked how old he was. 2 yrs old. Cool. I just finished this. Do you think he would let me put it on him so that I can be sure it fits? Sure. He did. It did. My 90 yr old aunt has a saying. God has a plan.
Did you check the yarn amount used above? Have you done the math? God also has a sense of mischievous humour, don’t you know.
I decided to grab my scissors after tucking in all my ends. Never do this after playing yarn chicken. I ‘knew’ all my ends were tucked in, ran to the other room for the scissors - snip, snip, snip - oh S#!T. I knew as soon as I snipped the top of the cap sleeve I had missed tucking in that end. It’s a store sample. A little bit of glue when I get back to the store and no one will be the wiser. Except the first stitch had unravelled by the time I got to work. Out came the tiny circs I keep as a lifeline. Picked up the stitches on either side of the first row of the cap sleeve. Threaded a needle with a length of yarn same colour as the body’s last shoulder row and proceeded to do surgery with a garter Kitchener Stitch.
It was a harrowing experience but it was worth it to get this visually perfect sweater. I’ll get smart next time though and knit the entire ball the width of the back and rip back to the appropriate rows in order to achieve absolute perfection because that’s who I am ;) Will it happen before I’m 103? Depends on God’s plan.
NOTE: Lori (The Crafty Lady Herself) will have the yarn and pattern for this cute garment at the CreativFestival this weekend -- September 20 and 21 -- at Spruce Meadows Equiplex, south of Calgary.
If you can't be at the show -- or live too far away -- you can purchase the pattern online from The Crafty Lady's Ravelry Store.  

Monday, September 16, 2019

104 Year Old Senior raises a bar!

This 104 year-old senior was declared the world's oldest street artist after joining a team of guerrilla knitters in 2016.

Wome from Selkirk, Ettrickbridge and Yarrow, in the Scottish Borders who are a team of "guerrilla knitters" have decorated local landmarks with crochet and knitted art. See Centre Press story CPKNIT. A 104 year old knitter who has Ãyarn bombedà her local town is thought to be the world's oldest street artist. Grace Brett is a member of a secret band of guerilla knitters, who have bedecked their town in artful knitting. Called the Souter Stormers, the group hit various landmarks in Selkirk, Borders, with their yarn work last week, following hours of preparation.  Members of the yarn bombing team are mainly over 60, but Grace à the oldest à has lived over a century.

According to the news article: During the guerrilla war absolutely  no animals were harmed in the creation of the project! 

The group hit various landmarks in Selkirk, on the Scottish Borders, following months of preparation. Many of the Souter Stormers are over 60. Grace is the oldest. 

Grace is one of  the people proving the urge to create starts early and appears not to diminish with time. Similar human needs are to be needed, to contribute and to be respected. 

Image may contain: one or more people

Crafting is Art! Hand-made is "Crafted with Love" whether it be knitting, cross-stitch, crocheting, tapestry, weaving, woodworking, etc.. Every project is different, as we use different woods or metals, different yarn(s) or colours.

The young people are back in school - and we start thinking of the seasonal festivities on the horizon. This is the time of the year local yarn stores start to suggest you plan many of your projects.

Lori, Margaret and Anne have all started their planning - Lori has actually started her Christmas projects! Even with the 2 trade shows she takes half the store to! She was working on one project at the show 10 days ago in Sherwood Park and discovered she made a mistake - in her own pattern. Our Crafty Lady has designed 61 patterns and claims to have approx. 4,863 still roaming around in her mind. Careful planning (I am learning) is one of the most important secrets to a pattern's success.

As she is busy writing a new pattern, setting up, taking down our booth and teaching at the CreativFestival Show in Spruce Meadows this coming weekend - she is also ordering new yarns.

Come see us in Spruce Meadows Friday or Saturday. Bring your Crafty Lady bag and save the same 5% discount as you do in the store.

As an easy creation for your quick project list - this week's 75% Off Special is a great way to shorten your project list.

from Nova Plus 
80% acrylic/20% polyester

Complete with Pompom

Reg. $ 12.00
75% Off

You cannot buy this quality of pompom at this price - much less the yarn for the hat! We only have limited stock, so . . . 

Speaking of seasons, praying harvest goes well for all farmers!

Written by Anne, hoping to see you at Spruce Meadows this weekend!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Here We Go Again...

Canadians generally mark the Summer Season thus:

  • START: Victoria Day Weekend -- aka "the May Long"; and
  • END: Labour Day Weekend -- aka "the September Long".

Photo credit: The Weather Network
While it's been Hot To The Max in the Eastern part of our country, out here we've been hard pressed to find even a week's worth of actual summer.  You know: days of clear blue skies, soft, light breezes and typical summer activities from dawn till after dark.  Long walks, gardening, catching some rays, swimming, boating, dining al fresco with veggies and steaks or burgers or whatever on the barbeque, and topping the evening off around the fire pit.

That didn't happen here much this year.  There were high winds, thunderstorms, crop-destroying hail storms, funnel clouds, and drizzly days that were more like October than June, July or August.

And now?

Labour Day has come and gone; the kids are back at school and vacation time is but a memory.  If the weather remains cool, chances are there won't be any need to mow the lawn -- even one last time.  Instead, it's time to find space in the shed for that new 'fire burner' or lawn furniture you bought -- and got to use (maybe) three times.  

And it's time to check your wardrobe -- or those of others in your family -- to ensure that all the fall and winter-wear is ready and waiting.  No orphaned mittens or gloves.  No scarves with holes.  No toques that are now too small.

And if there are gaps in that wardrobe, it's time to cast on!  

Fortunately you have us -- The Crafty Lady -- to help you find the right project and/or the right yarn for you to knit or crochet up quick toques and such so that you're ready when our early mornings turn frosty.

One such yarn is featured as our Super Special this week -- in the perfect autumn orange hue:

Baby Chunky
Hayfield Yarns

70% Acrylic
30% Nylon

100 grams = 155 metres (170 yards)

Regular Price: $8.50

Sale Price: $2.13!

And here's a reminder -- this month you can find us in two places (at once!):
  • In the shop -- Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. except Thursdays, when we're open till 9 p.m.; and
  • At Creativfestival at the Spruce Meadows Equiplex south of Calgary: Friday (9 a.m. - 6 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.) September 20 & 21.  Ask at the shop for a two-for-one entry coupon!
See you in the shop -- or at our booth!

*Written by Margaret, who'll be serving you with a smile in Lacombe while Lori, Anne and Muriel are at the Show.  😊

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Something for Everyone

My friends and colleagues at The Craft Lady know this about me: I'm a sock knitter.  I also enjoy knitting shawls, mittens and hats -- all with yarn that requires needles that are 6 mm around (that's a US 10).  I often quip that using larger needles gives me the heebee-jeebees!

Some yarn-crafters, of course, are fans of each and every weight of yarn, but you have to admit, Dear Readers, that usually folks have favourites.

What about you?  Are you a lover of fine fingering (American 2), sweater-created double knit (American 3) or utilitarian worsted/aran-weight yarn (American 4)?

Sweet Paprika's "Crescendo" Fingering

Worsted, from Estelle Yarns

Or do you desire more Instant Gratification when you knit or crochet?
If so, then you'd go for a chunky/bulky (American 5 or 6)  or perhaps even a super bulky yarn (American 7), eh?

At The Crafty Lady we pride ourselves on carrying a wide range of yarn types -- acrylics, wool, alpaca, cotton, silk, various blends thereof -- in a wide range of weights.

As the only full-service yarn shop on the Highway 2 (QE II) corridor running between Calgary and Edmonton, we like to have something for everyone!

That's why this week, it's time to GO BIG -- with this super-bulky yarn!

from Gazzal via Ice Yarns

97% Wool
3% Other fibres

Regular Price: $25.00

Sale Price: $6.25!

YIKES!  What can I make with this?!

You might try a bold, quick-knit tri-colour toque created with one three-coloured skein, 
split into its individual colours:  

Or you might try this super-bulky, neck-warming cowl, aptly named "Gigantico":

There you have it!  Instant Gratification Knitting at its finest -- and two holiday gifts created well in advance!

Remember now, at our booths at the up-coming Creativfestival shows this month, those of you in those two centres -- and 'round about -- will see a sampling of this variety.  Some of our shelves at home in Lacombe might be a tad bare from September 5 through 7, and 19 through 21 -- but never fear!  We'll still try to give our best service to those not going to the shows, and set aside yarns for you to pick up on a lay-away basis if need be.

Check out LAST WEEK'S BLOG POST for a printable "2 for 1" entry coupon!

And The Crafty Lady says that our NEW website is up and running at last -- so you can see what's on offer there.  Even better, if you register (create a customer account), you can shop!  Please note that there are likely to be a few hiccups along the way, as we learn to navigate our Shop in Cyberspace, so please be patient with us on our new adventure!  πŸ˜“

As for those heebee-jeebees I mentioned's how I like mine:

The Heebee Jeebees at TEDx Calgary... πŸ˜‰

NOTE: this video is long (13+ minutes), so enjoy as desired!

*Written by Margaret, who's working on yet another pair of socks.  Go figure.