Monday, February 27, 2017

It Was Just My Imagination...Running Away With Me

  1.  (of light or a source of light) shine unsteadily; vary rapidly in brightness.
        "the interior lights flickered and came on"      
  2.  make small, quick movements; flutter rapidly. "her eyelids flickered"
  3.  cause of many sleepless nights from knowing there's something just out of reach  in your mind and if you could remember it you could make millions of dollars and rule the world. "inspiration flickered in and out in her mind often enough not to let her sleep and caused her to kill her husband the following morning when he asked "what's for breakfast"

We've all had flickers. Flickers of intelligence, flickers of hope, flickers of inspiration, the song Flipper going through your head with the word flicker instead and then the realization that Flipper is a dolphin and Flicka is a horse who is your friend but they are not remotely alike although Flipper was a friend too, so I guess they are alike.

Flickers of inspiration are elusive. Here and gone. Brilliant and then nothing. Hopeful and then utter despair. Those flickers come at times when you're doing something else, like making meatloaf and not being able to write down the flicker because your hands are covered in raw ground beef and barbecue sauce. Or while you're driving through the city of Calgary and your road is about to veer off in the direction you don't want to go sending you to Banff or Medicine Hat. Or the middle of the night when you know if you get up to do something about it, you'll come back to find your partner sprawled across the bed, wrapped in all the covers and drooling on your pillow.

So you wait to do something about it, promising yourself to remember it, only instead of remembering it, you remember the words to Stairway to Heaven and the time that that guy whatshisname left you alone on the middle of the dance floor. But the flicker?  It's gone. Sometimes forever.

There's something sad about a flicker. It rarely fully commits. It taunts you, making promises it won't keep, offering you hope and then abandoning  you. It's unsubstantial and unreliable. 

But sometimes all you need is the flicker. A flicker can turn into a flame. A flicker can give you just enough reason to get up and keep going. A flicker is enticing and can add just the right amount of zing to something that is lovely and good on it's own, but becomes better with the flicker, like the right amount of spice in a dish.

And so we present to you Flicker, beautiful soft tonal yarns with just a flicker of sparkle in its chain construction.

75% OFF

87% Baby Alpaca, 8% Acrylic, 5% Other Fibers
50 g/189 y/175 m Worsted Weight (4)

Regular Price:$16.00
Sale Price: $4.00


Another yarn that is pretty much the same thing only from a different company. Chain construction and flickers of shiny. 

Diamond Luxury Collection Stellabella
87% Baby Alpaca, 9% Polyamide, 4% Nylon
50 g/175 m Worsted Weight (4)

Regular Price: $12.00
Sale Price: $3.00

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who has flickers of inspiration to direct a play in Ponoka which is opening this Saturday)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Anna One, Anna Two, Anna Three...

We're doing inventory right now.

You would think a word like inventory would mean "inventing a story" but no. It's nowhere near that much fun.

Although if you were the Count from Sesame Street you would have great fun going "One, uh, uh, uh, uh, Two. Uh, uh, uh, uh. Three, uh, uh, uh, uh. The Count would have a wonderful time. The people who would have to work with him not so much. Even Big Bird would be plotting ways to kill him and Elmo would swear at him and Ernie would hit him in the head with his rubber ducky. Bert would just set a whole cage full of pigeons on him.

It's a good thing The Count doesn't work here. We wouldn't be so kind.

We do have someone new working here! Anne Homenuk has joined the Crafty Ladies. Lori decided to give her a trial by fire by making her count inventory. If she gets through this and still wants to work here then we know she's crazy and eligible to stay.

Anne is a knitter, crocheter and needleworker, plus she has a background in newspapers and writing, just like Margaret and me - only Anne actually owned a newspaper. I just wrote stuff.

Best of all, she's counted the tapestry yarn and the Mill Hill beads so I don't have to.

Frankly, as I write this at the end of a busy Saturday, my feet hurt and I'm exhausted and I'm running out of time. So, here's the sale.

75% OFF

Schachenmayr Bravo Mezzo
100% Acrylic
100 g/165 m/ 180 y (Chunky 5)

Regular Price: $6.00
Price: $1.50 

I usually like to tie in the yarn to the post somehow, so here it is...

I am directing a play that will be performed in March. It's called "Things My Mother Taught Me". Come and see it and when it's over, stand up and say "Bravo!"

Okay, shameless plug over.

By the way, the yarn comes with a free hat pattern on the ball band.

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee - although not really right now because of that whole counting thing).

Monday, February 13, 2017

We Have Absconded with Valentines Day!

A long, long, time ago, back when Friends and Seinfeld were on TV the first time around, most of us didn't have computers or the internet (news was transmitted by the ancient inventions of radio and TV), and we were thrilled by the freedom of a cordless phone at home, but had no concept of ever carrying one in our pocket, Lori opened up a magical store.

Not a magic store. That's something different and involves whoopie cushions and card tricks.

No, a magical store where you could wander in and pick up eyes of newts and toes of frogs and make your own wonderful creations.

The store has evolved over time. The eyes and toes have disappeared and in their place is fantastical magical string that comes to life with a little bit of awe and wonder.  There are wands that come in different shapes and sizes made out of woods that come from enchanted forests and metals from mountains where ancient dwarves mine. A flick of the wrist, a twirl of the fingers, a breath of air and a wish of love, and before long, scarves, sweaters, hats, shawls, socks, slippers, and afghans appear in rainbows of colors, mountains and valleys of textures and clouds of softness.

With a little silver stick and multi-plied cotton harvested and dyed by fairies, pictures of mermaids and tigers appear on blank fabric. Round little pebbles with holes, long protected by fire breathing winged dragons, become delicate art to adorn wrists, ears, and necks. Paper milled from the talking trees take odd shapes and bloom into flowers, fans and hearts.

It has been twenty-three years since Lori's shop of awe and wonder appeared, disguised as an innocent looking brick and mortar store on main street Lacombe.

In celebration we offer you our annual anniversary sale. Lori has chosen not to divulge what will specifically be on sale. You will have to come in to discover the mystery.

Sale is on Tuesday February 14 from 9-6.

Yes, it's our valentine to you.

And speaking of sales. We are still doing our weekly 75% off sale too! As always it starts at 9 am on Monday and ends on the following Saturday at 6 pm (unless we sell out of it first).

In honor of Valentines Day we present to you...

Red Heart Heart & Sole
73% Wool 27% Nylon
50 g/187 y/171 m sock weight (1)

Free knit Cap pattern on Red Heart Website
Uses 1 ball each of 2 colors

Free Crochet Pineapple Shawl pattern on
Red Heart Website
Uses 4 balls
Regular Price:$6.00
Sale Price: $1.50

Free Knit Shawl pattern on Red Heart Website
Uses 2 balls of one color, 1 ball each of 2 other

Two balls will make a pair of socks. But you don't need to limit yourself to socks. There's a free scarf pattern on the ball band and more freebies for this yarn can be found on the internet.

Red Heart Heart and Sole Website

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who hates Valentines Day but loves many many people, places, and things.)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Because You Need One More Project

Want to do a knit along?

Now I can imagine Buddy the Elf jumping up and down saying "A Knit Along! I want to do a Knit Along!"

We are excited about the Knitterati Afghan Knit Along by Cascade Yarns and Vogue Knitting. It's a mystery so we have no idea what it will end up looking like other than it's a bunch of squares and at the time of this post we've only seen two of the squares. Each square is designed by a different designer.

Mysteries are fun. I've always loved a good mystery. Although there's no murder in this one unless you get so frustrated that you use your needles as a weapon. We suggest that you don't do that and you leave your spouses intact.

The great thing about knit alongs like this is that you just have to do a little bit each week to keep up. So you don't have to stop doing your million other projects. I mean really, what's one more when you're already up to a million? It's already started but there's only a couple of patterns out right now.

Because it's done through Cascade Yarns, they suggest Cascade, however we have some really lovely alternatives and you can put together your own color ways because in knitting, you're allowed to do that.

I know! Put together your own color ways? It can be done! It calls for five colors, but that doesn't mean you can only use five colors. I've even seen people do the fair isle square in one color by purling on the knit side, so if you want to do one color you can. Or you can pick a whole bunch of colors. Do an entire garden of colors if you want!

And you don't have to buy all your yarn at once. You can buy a few at a time. Even dye lots wouldn't really matter

What are your favorite colors? Or, is there a room in your house that's just calling for a throw? Pick those colors.

So our suggestions:

For a less expensive throw, we have Cascade Yarns Anthem. Yes, a Cascade Yarn! It's 100% Acrylic Worsted Weight, costs only $6.00 a ball and comes in several lovely colors. It's our basic afghan yarn. Fully washable. 170 meters. We tend to run out of this fairly quickly so it's a good idea to get all you need if you can.

If you want a wool blend that you can throw into the washer, we have two beautiful options. Estelle Worsted, 50% Acrylic, 40% Wool, 10% Nylon at $10 a skein for 200 meters. It comes in lots of bright clear colors or neutrals.  Or you can choose Berroco Vintage. 52% Acrylic, 40% Wool, 8% Nylon, $11.50 a skein for 200 meters of worsted weight. This yarn comes in lots of dusty colors and neutrals which works great for home decor. It's also interchangeable with Estelle Worsted, so you can mix these yarns around.

You could splurge on alpaca. We have Ella Rae Cozy Alpaca. It's lovely and soft and comes in warm hues perfect for home decor. $13 a skein for 167 meters of worsted weight. 70% Acrylic and 30% Alpaca.

Want a cotton blend? Modern Cotton comes in beautiful colors. 60% Pima Cotton (the best), 40% Model Rayon. $10.50 for 191 meters.

And for you pure wool enthusiasts we have two superwash suggestions. Ella Rae Superwash Classic Wool is $11.50 for 200 meters and comes in warm tones. Rowan Pure Wool Worsted is $11.00 for 200 meters and also comes in warm colors. These two yarns are interchangeable with each other.

For those who love wool but don't want to pick colors, Lori has made up two kits for this afghan. One is pinks, purples and beige in Rowan, and the other is blues and greens in Rowan and Ella Rae.

Also if you wanted to make your afghan smaller and lighter you could make it out of a DK weight instead. We have Rowan Pure Wool DK for those who only want wool. Berroco Vintage DK for a wool blend.  Schachenmayr Bravo, Berroco Comfort DK,  and  Snuggly DK are acrylics and Sirdar Cotton DK is a pure cotton.

So there are lots of options. For more information you can go to Knitterati Afghan Knit-Along to sign up for the patterns. They are free the first week they come out. After that they are only a dollar, and that dollar goes to a worthy cause. From the ravelry site...

"Cascade Yarns® will be making a donation to Haiti Babi equal to the amount that it receives from Ravelry for the sale of this pattern. Haiti Babi, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, is dedicated to training and employing struggling mothers in Haiti. Rather than merely providing a meal or housing, Haiti Babi provides training and jobs to moms in Haiti so they can earn a sustainable living wage, provide for their children, and keep their families together. We encourage you to visit Haiti Babi’s website to learn more about their cause. In Haiti, one in ten kids lives in an orphanage, and 80% of kids in orphanages have a parent, or parents, who simply cannot afford to care for them."

So it's a win/win either way!

I've been eyeing the colors in the Estelle Worsted, so I'll be making my afghan out of that. The hardest part is choosing the colors. I love them all! So maybe I'll be doing a garden.

I know, I know, quit blathering away. You want to know what's on sale...

I mentioned Pima Cotton earlier. It's the best cotton with long staples. It's the kind of cotton used for luxury bed sheets that you find in hotel rooms and make you wish that you never have to get out of bed. We have it. Well, not the bed sheets. We don't do bed sheets.

75% OFF

85% Pima Cotton, 15% Baby Alpaca
50 g/100 m DK

Regular Price: $7.00
Sale Price: $1.75

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who is thinking about growing a garden through her knitting needles).