Friday, February 20, 2015

Lori Patterns: Lorigami Gloves

When I saw Lori designing this thing it looked like a spider web of cables. I was expecting one of them to reach up and strangle someone, like in a movie I saw when I was a kid, where plants managed to creep into people's houses and climb up on them and squeeze them until they died of suffocation.

Yeah, like that. My mom was really good about letting me watch bad horror movies. I think she just didn't want to watch them alone so it was nice having a six year old hold her hand when she got scared.

Anyway, that spiderweb of cables turned into the Lorigami glove. Made with one skein of Katia Darling. You can use 190 m of fingering or sock weight yarn. More if you want a longer glove.

She calls it her most difficult pattern.

But that isn't going to dissuade you knitters, now is it? Not those of you who are tried and true and like a challenge.

Message from Lori:

Customer's gloves
I received this email earlier today and I was so moved by it that I had to share (with permission, of course).

"Hello The Crafty Lady!
I received a ball of yarn and the pattern for the Lorigami Gloves as a Christmas present, from my Mother-In-Law.
I phoned your store in January, as I wasn’t sure I had enough yarn for the project – I was assured that I did, have enough (1 ball of Katia Darling, colour201 – beautiful!)
I decided to try out the pattern with some spare sock yarn before committing whole-heartedly to the “Good Stuff”.
It took me 3 tries to figure it all out – an Evil Genius created this pattern!!
My sample glove was knit on size 3mm needles, as specified in the pattern – I found them a bit snug, so I moved up to a 3.25mm needle.
I was distracted by a few socks that needed to be knit in the interim, but finally finished my gloves this week.
I LOVE them!
They are warm and give all my knitting friends the “willies” trying to figure them out. wink emoticon
I will definitely make several more pairs of these – perhaps in the longer version to more fully cover my wrists.
As to the yardage on the yarn……..I finished with 5 yds remaining – a bit scary, but, as promised, Enough. wink emoticon
Lori, you truly are a genius and an “outside-the-box” thinker.
I greatly enjoyed the figuring-out of this pattern, and seeing it all come together.



So if you're looking for something different, something exciting, something challenging, then I dare you! 

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who plans to make these one day)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Blankets for Canada

We love Blankets for Canada and here at Crafty Lady it's a charity we happily support.

Blankets for Canada began in 1998. Blankets for Canada takes donation of handmade blankets and distributes them to the homeless and other people in need of warmth.

Imagine being homeless in Alberta. A blanket can be make a huge difference in surviving the cold winters.

Blankets also provide a sense of security and it is a message to those who are often alone, that someone cares.

Some beautiful blankets!
Homelessness can happen to almost anyone. Many Canadians live paycheck to paycheck. An illness that prevents someone from working, an abusive marriage that requires sudden flight - often with children in tow, mental illness, alcoholism, unemployment, or a series of bad breaks can cause someone to be homeless. Many of these homeless are women with children, or teenagers escaping abusive homes.

It would be nice to be able to provide safe homes for everyone, but until that happens, every little bit we do can be helpful.

More beautiful blankets!
We have ladies who volunteer their time making these blankets and we like to be able to provide them with the yarn to do so.

We not only accept donations of the blankets, but we also accept donations of worsted weight acrylic yarn. Yes, wool is warmer, but it doesn't keep someone warm who is allergic to it, and wool requires more cleaning care.

Squares waiting to be sewn
together. Great opportunity
to do some designing!
So check your stash. Is there some worsted weight yarn that you could give up? Those big box stores' large balls are perfect.

We're also looking for volunteers to sew together knitted and crocheted squares. We have quite a few of them sitting in bags (squares not volunteers. Putting volunteers in bags would not be nice).

For more information about Blankets for Canada you can visit this website.

Minke Tilma with her 300th Blanket for
Canada. This picture was in April 2013.
She's almost at 400 now!
Blankets for Canada

So right from this store there are several ways you can participate.
  • Volunteer to knit or crochet either full blankets or squares - it's a great way to still do  your favorite hobby, especially if you've already knitted or crocheted everything you and your loved ones want.
  • Volunteer to sew together already knitted and crocheted squares
  • Donate worsted weight acrylic yarn to the store so that we can pass it on to the knitters and crocheters
And as an incentive to giving up your yarn, we occasionally have a bag of yarn given to us that cannot be used for blankets. You are welcome to look through it and take skein for skein if you like what you see.


Want to start right now?

Find a afghan pattern you would love to do, grab some worsted weight acrylic and start knitting or crocheting!

Here's some patterns if you want to do squares.

Basic Materials:
New worsted weight yarn (machine washable) You can use leftovers from other projects. A great way to use up that stash!
4-5 mm knitting needles or crochet hood (or size needed for gauge)

Basic Patterns

Any pattern can be used to make the square. This is a great way to practice a new pattern! But if you need more direction, here's a couple of patterns. Squares are 8"x 8".

Crocheted Version

Chain 27 (or number required for your gauge)

Row 1: Dc in 3rd chain across from hook, then in every ch across.
Row 2: Dc across the row. C2 and turn.
Repeat row 2 until piece measures 8"x 8"

Each blanket is made up of 48 squares to create a 48"x 64" blanket.

If you choose you can make strips instead of squares which cuts down on the joining process.

Knitted Version

Cast on 40 stitches (or the number needed for your gauge of 8")
When your piece measures 8" tall cast off and weave in ends.
Garter Stitch - Knit every row until piece measures 8"x 8".
Stocking Stitch- Row 1: Knit all stitches. Row 2: Purl all stitches.

Other variations can be found at Blankets for Canada.

Knitted versions
Crocheted versions

And remember, we don't make mistakes. We make ORIGINALS!

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who thinks Blankets for Canada is a great opportunity for anyone to volunteer their help).

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Store

In 1994 Lori Nowochin opened up The Crafty Lady in the basement of her parents' hardware store. "I've always wanted that name," Lori said. "People tried to talk me out of it. They said it was boring, or that it wasn't politically correct. Yet they have a hardware store where the jingle is 'home of the handyman'."

In the beginning The Crafty Lady carried a little bit of everything. Pom-poms, felt, styrofoam balls, and paper mache forms filled the store. She specialized in nothing and had just a small selection of yarn.

But like us all The Crafty Lady evolved as crafting needs changed. When decorating with wood became popular, she carried wood products and tole painting supplies, and when needlework became the rage she bumped up the cross stitch supplies.

In 2000 The Crafty Lady moved out of the basement and into the light. Her parents owned the building behind the store, but after careful consideration it was decided that it was unusable. They tore it down and built one that fits right into the city scene. You can't tell that it isn't as old as the other heritage buildings in the downtown core. An apartment was created above the shop and Lori lives above her business.The commute to work is very short.

Crafts go in and out of fashion and Lori has been able to keep up with the changes. When she first moved to her new location she carried, only about 25% wool, 25% art supplies (tole painting was huge), and the rest were basic craft supplies.
This is how wide the store is.

And this is how deep it is.

Now, fifteen years later, tole painting isn't popular anymore, the dollar stores carry the basic craft supplies, and Lori has become an expert knitter and a knit wear designer.

We have been known to lose our heads.
At the age of 21, The Crafty Lady is more focused on doing one thing very well while still supplying some basics in a handful of other crafts. Now the focus in on yarn for knitters, crocheters and weavers. We also carry basic needlework, beading, quilling and pergamano supplies as well as a few things like felt, glue and elastic for bracelets.
Beads! Beads! Beads! And this is
just the packaged ones.
A cozy place for our knitters night. You'll
also see Lori here designing new
creations. Margaret and Anna hang
out here too.

A full line of DMC embroidery floss.
This is not the floss for your teeth.
So what has Lori planned for the future? Who knows, but it will be awfully hard to tear her away from knitting now. She is  a knitting machine! She is planning to open up an online store this year, so stay tuned on that.
Rowan. Rowan. Rowan on the river.
Oh stop groaning. I couldn't help

By the way, we don't carry knitting machines. We like doing things the old fashioned way around here.
Dishcloths! Of course we have dishcloth
yarn.  Hey, if you have to wash dishes
by hand, you should do it in style.

We welcome customers from all over. We even have a regular customer from Ireland. Now there's a commute to go shopping.

Babies deserve the best. 
 Located halfway between  Calgary and Edmonton, we are in a perfect location for those  road trips - we love road trip  ladies!

Knitters Pride and Knit Picks needles.
And more knitting needles.
 This is one place you have to  see. So come on down, or up, or sideways, depending where you live and say hi.

The staff here love our jobs and it shows.

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who thinks this store is pretty awesome.)

Monday, February 9, 2015

The All Grown Up and Now We're Legal Sale!

We are turning 21!

That's right. It's been 21 years since Lori opened up Crafty Lady in the basement of her parents' hardware store.

She has her own space now, and we want to celebrate our birthday. So we have something for everyone!

All you yarnies out there, we are having a 50% off sale on selected yarns. I can't tell you which ones they are, you have to come in and see.

Jewelry makers! This sale is the sale for you. In the deep recesses of Lori's cave she has kept a green monster. This monster has hoarded bags and bags of beads. Lori will be selling them off, 10 cents on the dollar. She is determined to get this monster tamed!

And not only that, but beading tools will be half price!

Neeldeworkers! Mill hill beads will be 25% off. Kreinik, floss, tapestry yarn, and perle cotton will also be 25% off. You know you've got all those patterns hiding somewhere. Drag them out and kit them up.

Some of you know that we just got rid of all our paint. Well, we are also getting rid of any remaining art supplies. Come down and see what we have. They will be 50% off.

Do you have a little girl in your life? We have two doll houses that we would like to see go to good homes. 50% off on those.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who loves a sale)

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Animal: Merino Wool

We really love merino wool in this store.

It's soft, even soft enough for a lot of people who have skin sensitivity to wool. It's warm. It blends well with other fibers and it comes in beautiful colors.

Merino wool comes from merino sheep - see sometimes things do make sense. Originally from Castille, Spain, they baa with Spanish accents. Okay they don't. At least not the ones that are raised in Australia. Those ones have Australian accents.

Features of Merino wool are:

  • Provides warmth and wicks away sweat
  • Stays warm even when wet
  • Contains lanolin
  • Considered the softest wool around

Merino's are raised specifically for their wool and must be shorn at least once a year otherwise they get too hot and the wool gets so long it makes their face disappear and they suffocate. Alright, I don't know the suffocation part for sure, just a natural supposition based on the fact that they're wool doesn't stop growing. Apparently they do go blind though so it's actually a nice thing to strip them naked at least once a year.

Before the 18th century the merino sheep was so prized that if you were caught exporting it from Spain you could be put to death. Who knew that peaceful little shepherds lived a dangerous life?

1905 Merino Sheep Champion

Looking at the picture to the left, Lori said, "Can you imagine cuddling with it?"

I guess shepherds wouldn't need a blanket. Or maybe they knit straight from the sheep. 

We have several different yarns in different weights that feature this amazing fiber. 

To find out more about  merino wool you can read about it here. 

Just some of the yarns that we carry that contain merino wool. We don't carry the sheep.

Berroco Abode
Berroco Cirrus
Berroco Pure Merino
Debbie Bliss Rialto DK and Aran
Diamond Luxury Fine Merino Superwash Lace
Diamond Luxury Footloose
Diamond Luxury Merino Bamboo
Harmony Pure NZ Merino
Malabrigo Cereza
Malabrigo Roanoke
Malabrigo Sock
Manos Artesanas Camino Color Dip Dyed Sock Yarn
Manos Silk Blend
Rowan Fine Art Premium  Hand Painted Sock Yarn
Schachenmayr Merino Extrafine Color 120 and 85
SMC Select Merino Cotton

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who loves merino wool in spite of an allergy that has disappeared somewhat since working here)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lori's Patterns: Summer Dress and Corner to Corner Blanket

Summer Dress

Isn't this the cutest thing ever? Okay, maybe not as cute as the actual baby girl, but if you've got one of those, then this would be adorable on her.

18 inch chest (6 month)

This particular one was made with Red Heart Boutique Sassy Fabric (the skirt) and Diamond Luxury Milky Way. You can substitute a DK weight yarn for the Milky Way.

 Corner to Corner Blanket

Nope, that's not a real baby sitting on the blanket (we get asked that all the time).

This one (the blanket not the baby) is made out of James C. Brett Flutterby and Berroco Circus. Chenille and boucle together! It's nice and soft and perfect for cuddling.

Lori's patterns are available only at the store. So come in or give us a call - we do mail order. All of her patterns are only $5.00.

You can also find some of Lori's other patterns on ravelry.