Thursday, January 29, 2015

Why Acrylic?

Note: For the purposes of this post acrylic refers to man-made fibers

We have so many beautiful yarns in our store! Cushy alpaca, lovely llama, smooth silk, soft as can be merino, so why would anyone choose to knit with acrylic?

Not only do we have lovely yarns but we have lovely yarn snobs. They are the people who swear that if they walk down the acrylic aisles, the yarn jumps out and attacks them. They claim the yarn squeaks so shrilly when they work with it that the dog has to cover its ears. They are convinced that if they buy acrylic yarn and put it next to their expensive wool, then they will turn into
horrible mutated mutt skeins.

If you can knit with gorgeousness, why would you choose acrylic?

Well, there are lots of reasons.

James C. Brett
Top: Marble Chunky
L-R Dk,, Baby
1. Not all acrylic is horrible. We carry high quality acrylic. It's lovely, it's soft, it's easy to work with, and even some of our beloved yarn snobs will knit with James C. Brett's Marble because it's just that good.

2. Some people are allergic or have skin sensitivities to wool. Even the softest wool. Wool has come a long way since the 80's and it's not all scratchy anymore, but there can still be issues. A few years ago, my sister who lived far away surprised me with a beautiful sweater she had knit out of wool. It was gorgeous! And I couldn't wear it. It was made with high quality wool but it made me itch like crazy. If I put it on I was doing interpretive dance. None of my children could wear it either because they inherited my wool allergy. Sadly, I had to give it away.

Berocco Yarns
L-R Comfort WW, Dk, Sock
When I first started working here, I had to wash my hands a lot. Touching wool would make me itch all over. And it wasn't psychosomatic. Often I would have no idea what I had touched when my hands would start itching.

Miraculously, I can touch most of the yarns in the store now, even the wools, - I guess I built up some kind of immunity - but you still won't find me playing with the roving, learning how to felt, or even knitting wool socks (the idea of sweaty feet in wool reminds me of that fairy tale of the girl who couldn't stop dancing). However I am enjoying merino!

Schachenmayer Bravo Mezzo and Bravo
When you come in to make a gift out of wool, are you sure that the recipient can wear it? If it's for a baby, do you know if baby's sensitive skin is sensitive to wool? Sometimes choosing acrylic is the smarter choice. After all you don't want Mother tearing her hair out trying to figure out where the rash came from. Most mothers don't want to be bald.

3. Easy Care. You are making a beautiful blanket for baby. You have chosen the softest merino wool, or alpaca and you are lovingly creating each stitch for that adorable baby girl in the prettiest pinks and purples you can find. Then you present it to baby's mother with the instructions - you have to hand wash this, lay it flat, then you might have to block it whenever it gets out of shape.

Top: Sirdar Snuggly, Patons Beehive
Baby Sport, James C. Brett Flutterby
Middle: Bernat Pipsqueak
Bottom: Bernat Baby Coordinates
Suddenly that lovely gift has turned into another chore for mom. She may even sincerely promise to take good care of that layette set, but babies are messy. They spit up, they poop, they snot, and moms get busy and suddenly lovingly taking care of that beautiful blanket becomes one more thing in between all the other stuff she has to do. Do you really want her cursing you under her breath every time she has to wash that blanket? Either that blanket will end up in the regular laundry and be ruined, or it will make it's way to the bottom of a drawer never to be seen again.

And if by some chance as baby grows she gets attached to that blanket, then think superman cape, sailboat, flying carpet, stress reliever, sleeping pill, hula skirt, rope to tie up brother, - well, you get it. That blanket will be used for everything and although wool will hold up to it, it won't hold up in the washer and dryer.

So unless that beautiful blanket is destined to be an heirloom used at a christening ceremony, or hung up on a wall where vomit doesn't go, then acrylic is probably best.

And if you think a young man is going to lovingly take care of a wool garment, then guess again. Even superwash wool can't be thrown into the dryer. Basically, if he can't throw it in the washer and dryer then don't do it in wool. He may send his suits and ties out to the cleaners, but probably not a toque.

Bernat Super Value 389 m $7.00
  and Softee Chunky 99M $3.80
4. Price point. We believe everyone should be able to knit, no matter what their economics dictate. Not everyone can plop down a hundred bucks for a sweater. They have other things to think about, like rent and food. Even if you have a woman who's willing to go hungry to buy yarn, she may have a husband and children that wouldn't agree. So for her, she may only be able to afford acrylic yarn and plastic needles. We appreciate her too.

We also have people coming in who want to learn how to knit. Now as we all know, learning something new can lead to a wonderful addictive hobby, or it can mean one more thing buried under that mountain in the closet that everyone denies exists, because if it's acknowledged it will have to be cleaned out. So it makes sense to start with inexpensive yarn and needles. Once the addiction happens, then the wooden needles and flying sheep occur.

Berroco Vintage 52% Acrylic
40 % Wool, 8% Nylon
James C. Brett Aztec Aran
90% Acrylic 10% Alpaca

5. Acrylic materials are frequently blended with natural fibers. In socks that can mean that nylon is added to wool for strength. Or it can be added to create an easier to care for garment. Or it can lower the price. Often when you touch these blended yarns you can't feel the acrylic at all! Although the James C. Brett Aztec has only 10% alpaca, it feels like 100%!

So the next time you feel like you need to carry a wooden cross through the acrylic aisle, just remember, acrylic can be our friend.

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee that loves acrylic too)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Caress and Blush or Blush and Caress (Does That Sound Too X-Rated?)

Did I get your attention?

Okay, now that I've intrigued you, the answer is Diamond Yarns! I guess blushing and caressing can lead to diamonds.

Diamond Luxury Collection: Blush  100m $9.00

Top: Moby Grape
L-R: King Crimson, Blue Cheer, Mellow Yellow, Purple Haze,
Green Tamberine, Moody Blues, Green Onion
Oh, go look at the link. The colors are gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

Tonals! Which means you get variations of the same color. Want to do a solid color sweater? Well, you can only with a little extra oomph. You can do cables and lace stitches and they will still show up! And you can do really interesting fair isle, intarsia, and color blocking.

And it's sooooo soft! I didn't want to blog about it because I'm afraid it will all disappear before I get to buy any!

This is alpaca! 100% DK weight. We have ALL the colors!

Diamond Luxury Collection: Caress  75m $13.00

L-R: Fawn, Polar Bear, Bunny
Caress is a chunky yarn with 68% alpaca (yes alpaca, don't you just love alpaca?) and 32% polyamide.

Think comfy cozy sweaters, cuddly scarves and cowls. and warm hats.

The colors are go-with-everything neutrals. White, gray and tan.

Did I mention how soft this yarn is? It's really, really, really, soft. You'll want to hibernate with it.

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee, although Lori is evil for bringing in yarns that make me want to spend my paycheck). 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Show & Tell

Our good customer, Brenda O, brought show and tell today.

Three top down cardigans of her own design (one short sleeved) created to fit a 6 month old!

Each sweater took one ball of Ice Yarn's Magic Baby.

The two long sleeved cardi's used yarn purchased right here :)

Aren't they gorgeous?

Here are the colors in stock.
         22033 Baby Rainbow                                   21920 Fall                                         21917 Primary         

Thursday, January 22, 2015

More Diamond Yarn and Some Very Special Needles:

New yarns! Remember to click on the links so you can get a much better idea of how these yarns look. They do a far better job of taking pictures than we do.

Diamond Alpaca Gold

We've brought in some more colors of Alpaca Gold. This is 100% baby alpaca sport weight (2) and it's sooooo soft. You'll want to buy a hundred skeins and lay them all on the floor and strip down naked and roll around in them until you fall asleep.
L-R Ruby, Damson, Azure

That's not the way we recommend using this yarn, but, if that's what you want to do, we won't tell.

We have the following colors in stock:

1400 Pearl
1401 Anthracite
1402 Natural
1403 Sand
1408 Azure
1409 French Navy
1410 Ruby
1411 Damson

133 m $13.00

Diamond Soxy Lady

Who doesn't love sock yarn! And remember, sock yarn isn't just for socks anymore. Fingering weight (1) is versatile. Shawls, scarves, mittens, cowls, even sweaters! Sure it takes a little longer but knitting isn't a race - well, unless you have a bet going or something. It's a pleasurable cruise, breathe in, breathe out, admire the view, stretch, get the most out of your yarn by taking the time to enjoy it.

L-R Tunisia, Green River, Caravan, Mood Indigo
Soxy Lady - now there's a name! - is made up of 60% superwash wool, 20% alpaca (we love alpaca) and 20% nylon. This yarn is soft. You will be running on clouds. We would suggest wearing them with high heels so your feet don't ache at the end of the day or evening, but frankly that's not a very good look.

We have four colors in stock.

19 Night in Tunisia (now wouldn't I want the adventure that goes with that name)
25 Green River
26 Caravan
27 Mood Indigo

400m $17.00

Okay, all these names take me to different places in the world. I'll have to knit the socks and travel.

And now, as promised, those very special knitting needles.

We have several sets of Lantern Moon needles for you straight needle knitters. These wooden needles are a thing of beauty. You'll want to wear them in your hair or on your lapel instead of just knitting with them. Just think, a hair decoration that you can whip out and make a sweater with.


4.5 mm Rosewood

4.5 mm Rosewood, Blondewood

4.5 mm Rosewood, Blondewood, Ebony
8 mm Rosewood

Saturday, January 17, 2015

New Berroco and Diamond Yarns

We have some new yarns in!

Espresso has beautiful variations of colors within one skein. 50% cotton, 50% acrylic which makes it easy to care for.

It's a chunky weight, (5) so it will work up quickly and is suitable for chunky patterns, cowls and hats. This picture doesn't do this delicious yarn justice so click on the link to see those colors.

138 yds/145 m $28.00

It's so hard to pick just one!

Colors in stock:

7933 Gelato
7956 Fico
7957 Limone
7959 Pistacchio
7961 Fragole
7962 Cioccolato
7963 Melone

And if you're drooling over the yarn but don't know what to make with it, Berroco has put out a book especially for Espresso which we have in stock. Four sweaters, a shawl, a cowl and a purse. Book #356 $12.00

Berroco Fiora

Fiora is a DK (3) weight that is made up of all kinds of fibers. Cotton fans? 40%. Love alpaca? 15%. There's also a touch of rayon, viscose, nylon and wool.

Fiora comes in 15 deep rich colors. Click on the link to see!
We have all these wonderful shades in stock.

3805 Georgia
3808 Savannah
3812 Tybee
3814 Elberta
3818 Buford
3820 Marietta
3828 Ray
3830 Holly
3832 Augusta
3835 Bristol
3837 Mary
3846 Daisy
3855 Peach Tree
3856 Cornelia
3860 Grape

246yds/225m  $12.75

The corresponding booklet #355 has 4 sweaters, a dress, a pair of socks, a shawl and a hat. $12.00

 Berroco Indigo

Indigo is a worsted weight (4) yarn made from 100% recycled materials. Made out of 95% cotton and 5% other fibers it has the look of slightly faded denim. Machine wash and dry flat.

219 yds/200 m  $14.00

We have all 12 beautiful colors in stock!


6402 Cut Offs
6407 Relaxed
6410 Faded
6434 Night
6463 Denim
6470 Boyfriend


6441 Mermaid
6442 Bell Bottoms
6444 Tangerine
6452 Monroe
6453 Skinny
6457 Aubergine

The Berroco Indigo Book #353 is filled with some really wonderful patterns using lace and cables. Four sweaters, a tunic, a large shawl, a purse and a scarf. $12.00

Diamond Fine Merino Superwash Lace

L-R Watermelon, Blueberry, Saffron, Apple, Heather, Robin Egg 
Do you love the look of fine lace (1)? We have it here for you. 100% Merino wool. It is so soft and we have six beautiful colors. They are slightly heathered so you'll get a lovely depth to your finished project. The colors oh so subtly change as you work. We have six colors in stock. The picture doesn't do these colors justice. The Watermelon is much more pink and far prettier. Click on the link to see the real colors!

You can also double up lace yarn to get a bigger gauge. And at 400 m and only $8.00 it's easy to do. This yarn is also machine washable. Lay flat to dry.

5 Saffron, 6 Watermelon, 7 Apple, 8 Robin Egg, 9 Blueberry, 10 Heather

With a new year it's time to start a new project, so we look forward to seeing you. And remember, we do mail order too.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Our Sheep Has a Name!

After millions of entries from hopeful contestants, our sheep has a name.
Lori congratulates Della.

It wasn't easy. You people can be very clever.

The winning name is Ewenice!

We liked the play on words, not just the Ewe part, but the nice part too.

Because several of you suggested the winning name we put those people in a draw. And the winner is (drum roll) - Della Quick!

Della wins a Crafty Lady kit: Lori's own Celtic Heart Bag pattern, a skein of Galway yarn and a skein of Poems, plus the knitting needles, markers, and darning needle needed to make the bag.

As the official model of the Crafty Lady store, Ewenice gets her clothes changed every now and then.

Currently Ewenice is modeling Berroco's Linsey, a beautiful cotton/linen worsted weight (4) blend that comes in variegateds and solids. We have twelve colors and the variegateds coordinate with the solids. Linsey is discontinued so once it's gone it's gone forever.

To see some of the colors better you can click on this link. Berroco Linsey.

We have the following colors in stock:
Oak Bluffs
Hart Haven
Lamberts Cove
Ocean Park
Salt Water