Monday, September 20, 2021

Who Ordered This Cold Air?

In case you haven't felt it yet, Fall is in the air.
The wind at the markets is bitingly cold. During the summer months, I looked forward to 18 degrees because it meant changing from my shorts to my capris and maybe covering my shoulders. Now, because of that wind, 18 degrees means pulling out the third layer (shirt + sweater + coat) and wearing thick socks inside my winter boots! I'm really glad there are no outdoor markets in the winter. And, no, sadly my pop up store does not translate into indoor markets.
For some markets, this is the second last (outdoor) market of the season. On display will be Estelle Worsted and Estelle dk, both of which are easy care wool/acrylic blends. Cozy Alpaca, a light worsted alpaca/acrylic blend, will also be available.

To go along with these solid coloured yarns, there will also be a few blends that will play nicely with them, specifically Viva, Mira, Mille Colori and Huenique.
The only one I haven't had a chance to play with is Viva, but I am sure it is just as wonderful as the other three.

While you are in the pop up store petting the yarn, don't forget to check out the needle and hook sets we have. They make great Christmas presents! 😄

written by Lori, usually warm-blooded TCL owner, who is super happy this time of year that she can keep the pop up store's door closed and the furnace on until each market opens.


Monday, September 13, 2021

How Many Socks Can You Make Before Christmas?

As crafters, we all know the mad rush to the yarn store so we can make ALL the presents before the gift giving season only to realize once again that we really need to start these projects on Boxing Day for next year.

To make life a little easier this year, make socks or mitts TAAT (two at a time), hats, baby or child sweaters, and even shawls from sock yarn. It comes in various sizes (thicknesses) from 3 ply (for light airy shawls) to 8 ply (for sturdy work socks).

You can see from the photos that the store has a large range of colours (neon bright to subtle) and styles from bold stripes to fades to solids and hand-dyed's. There are also some merino, cashmere and bamboo blends available!

Make sure to get into the store this week, especially if you are in the Camrose area. This is the last week for the outdoor market there and I can't bring the rv indoors when they resume the market inside the Bailey Theatre for the winter months. All the other markets will be winding down as well with most ending by September 30. Lacombe and Red Deer will be finishing up just before Thanksgiving so that gives you less than a month to take advantage of no shipping costs.

written by Lori, TCL owner, who took almost six months to finish a birthday sweater (just squeaking in under the deadline) so I hope you are more successful with your handcrafted gifts this year than I have been so far.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Winding Down the Season

Fall is definitely in the air which means the outdoor Farmer's (and Community) Market season is winding down. Because the first final day is coming up shortly (Sept 16 for Camrose), I've decided to do something a little different for the next few weeks. (My valid excuse for this blog being late this week.) Instead of just swapping out last week's yarn for this week's, I am also putting the following week's yarn (or at least most of it) in the overhead cabinets as a way to preview the yarn, especially if the customer won't be there the next week. That means that you can shop the cotton, silk flax and hemp this week as well as scope out most of the sock yarn.
I will continue this until the end of the season. And, who knows. That may become the new normal in the pop up store.

The final market days are as follows:

Ponoka Community Market (outdoors) Sept 27
Stettler Farmer's Market (outdoors) Sept 28
Ponoka Farmer's Market Sept 29
Wetaskiwin Farmer's Market Sept 29
Lacombe Farmer's Market Oct 8
Red Deer Downtown Farmer's Market Oct 9

If you are wanting to take advantage of the free shipping (aka delivery to the market) make sure to place your order no later than the Monday before the final week. Any order placed during the final week may not be able to be picked in time to be delivered and then you'll either have to pay shipping or make arrangements to pick up at the warehouse.

As for the pictures of the sky, God was out with his paintbrush leaving beautiful brushstrokes in the air on Saturday when it was still bitingly cold. When I was taking these pictures, one of the other vendors offered to take my picture for me. He thought I was trying to take a selfie in front of my motorhome so I pointed out the beautiful show the clouds were performing that he'd been too busy setting up to notice. Sometimes it's the little things in life that make things alright.

And right now we need those little things. With the mask mandate back in full swing, I will be layering up in more ways than one.

There is a new sign in the store.

Since the mask rules are for indoor venues, along with the door being open, I will be keeping open all vents and windows to allow for outdoor style ventilation, which means it may get pretty chilly in the pop up store. During inclement weather, I will require masks because only the door will be open those days. So pray for beautiful weather until Thanksgiving!

written by Lori, TCL owner, who has thoroughly enjoyed the market season so far - meeting new people, reconnecting with others and actually getting a tan in the process. 😀


Monday, August 30, 2021

Do You Yarn?

Have you noticed how the weather is trying to tell you that it is time to start 'yarning'? This is a new verb that I have learned over these past few months as a market vendor. People have been praising me on my ingenious (their word, not mine) use of my motorhome and want to check it out even though they don't yarn.

"Oh, I don't yarn but my aunt does." "I never learned how to yarn." and similar comments have been heard on a daily basis this summer. Now I understand that not everybody yarns. I don't expect them to. I know that there are a number of people out there that fabric. Or paper. There are even a number of Facebook groups for people who rock and then leave them around for other people to find.

Thankfully, my customers and I know that there are a number of different ways to yarn. One can knit or crochet or weave or felt. One can even gather. ??? Surely you've heard that working with yarn and collecting yarn are two separate hobbies? 😁 Anyway, this week's offerings are primarily yarns from Gathering Yarn, a great little Canadian company that uses both local (to them) and imported yarns (mostly Italian), many of which are hand-dyed right here in Canada (BC). The remainder of the yarns are from other suppliers (both Canadian and American) that will play nicely with the Gathering Yarns.

 written by Lori, amused TCL owner, who hopes to meet many more yarners with the goal of turning them into knitters, crocheters, etc.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Pluff Will Keep Us Together by The Captain and Chenille

Flutterby Animal Print, regular Flutterby and Dolphin

Bella Chenille and Pluff

 Please tell me you groaned at the title. That would mean you are old enough to understand it and I won't feel so bad about using it. Besides its not the worst earworm you will have ever had to deal with. 😉
It dawned on me last week that most of the markets end around Thanksgiving weekend. That means from now on, every yarn on display will be the last time you get to pet it before it goes back into the warehouse for the winter. Then its online ordering only for the next six months!

I am working on setting up classes at LPAC (Lacombe Performing Arts Centre) this fall/winter and will post details as soon as they are confirmed so there will be some yarn petting/purchasing available at the classes. In the meantime, have fun playing with the yarns of the week with some fun patterns from Ravelry.

Pluff is a great alternative to Bernat Blanket and will make these slippers or adorable Yipyips for storage.
Flutterby (regular) can make a squishy receiving blanket with just two balls. Bella and Dolphin would require three. This cute sweater will fit up to a size 10 child using the same amount of yarn. 😊

The Animal Print Flutterby is super chunky and one ball will make a super quick cowl if you need a last minute gift for someone.

One thing to note about all chenille yarns: put a knot in the yarn at the end of the tails (beginning and end). You can't feel the knots once they are woven in but without the knots, the yarn will unravel and there will be no saving your project.

written by Lori, TCL owner, who is looking forward to seeing how many more people take advantage of free shipping before the markets are over.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Brain Fog or Haze Brain?

I have no stories to tell this week. Either I'm tired or it's the smoke-filled skies that are robbing my brain of oxygen. Either way, this week's blog will be short and sweet.

It is the second last week of the second rotation of yarn this market season which means you are about to see most of the yarns for a third time before the snow flies, after which only online ordering will be available. So make sure you take advantage of the pop up store while free pickup / no shipping charges are still an option!

This week's yarns are Merino roving, hairy/furry yarns and the few ruffly scarf yarns still in my inventory. The fur peeking out under the earflap and acting as a brim is Furreal by Knitting Fever. The fur portion of this hat is Moscow Hat. The outer portion is not a pattern, just me playing around with Lumiere to experiment with a double thick hat for those who need it.

written by Lori, wheezy TCL owner, who is hoping all the rain forecast for this week clears the air of all the haze.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Adventures of a Mobile Store

It may not look like much to you but that is a new solar panel on the roof. "But Lori, I thought you already had solar on your rig." I did. Which brings me to an interesting story.

July 21rst I was driving from Wednesday night's market in Wetaskiwin to Camrose, as is my weekly habit, looking forward to a peaceful sleep before a morning spent adventuring around Camrose before setting up for the market in the afternoon. Shortly after rounding Justamere Farms' corner, I started to hear an unusual racket. My first instinct was to assume that my pegboard wall that holds the needles and hooks had decided to unlock itself, which it does occasionally, and that I was not going to get that leisurely evening of Facebook and YouTube viewing that I was looking forward to but instead spend the rest of my evening cleaning up after the earthquake that was happening. Then, just before the Gwynne hill, something caught my eye in the driver's side mirror. It was my solar panel flying off into the middle of the road and bouncing a couple of times before coming to rest on the dotted line!

Thankfully, no vehicles were directly behind me! But before I could pull over and collect it myself, a kind gentleman in a van, who had seen the whole thing happen, stopped and was moving it out of the line of traffic. He offered to put it in his van and drive it up to the rv for me and, as grateful as I was for the offer, I graciously declined because I needed to express my negative energy toward the panel as I hauled it back to the rv myself and get it out of my system before I got back behind the wheel.

I initially just threw it onto the floor of the motorhome because I have no outside storage that could accommodate it, but it was obvious that it couldn't stay there. I mean, how could the customers shop around it! Rather than inconvenience them, I made it impossible to use my washroom. That thing just fit into my tiny rv bathroom but only because I could get it in at an angle with a 1/2" to spare to shut the door. It stayed there until the Saturday afternoon once I finished four more markets where I had to 'rough it' like all the other vendors and use the public washrooms.

Fast forward to August 8 and while I'm sitting in church, the lovely gentleman from SunFrog Solar who sold me (but did not install) the original panel installed this lovely replacement so I don't have to worry about driving around just to boost my house battery in order to have enough power to run my till, make coffee, etc. every work day. For those of you who are curious about the initial installers, I am perfectly happy with all the other work they have done on the rv and therefore am not going to put anything negative into the universe because I chose to have someone other than the guy who knew the system backwards and forwards put it on my roof. Some lessons are hard.

One other thing I learned through this experience, I really don't need the solar power, but it sure is nice to have.

Now for the part you were really looking for this week - this week's yarn selection. The store will be filled with James C. Brett's Marble in all its incarnations: Chunky, DK, Baby, and Baby Chunky, as well as Universal Major and a few other self striping / patterning acrylic yarns. These yarns work well with a number of my patterns, making it obvious what I think of them. 😉

written by Lori, grateful TCL owner, who is over the moon to have her solar power back!