Monday, December 31, 2018

Out With the Old....

December 31...time to bid 'adieu' to 2018.  Maybe it's been a terrific year for you, filled with new friendships, new opportunities, new projects, a new location or achievement -- so perhaps you're sad to see it go.

Or...maybe you've been challenged with illness or loss or just all the trouble in the world -- so you're glad to be rid of 2018, in the hopes that 2019 will bring a fresh start all 'round.

Maybe it's time to pick up a new skill, such as knitting, crochet, beading or embroidery.  Maybe it's time to refresh an old skill -- such as...well, you get my point!  😉

However you travel from 2018 to 2019, The Crafty Lady and her staff hope your journey will be smooth sailing -- blessed with health, perhaps a little wealth, and many, many blessings.  We'll be here to help you with your yarn and/or needlework projects, to show you new colours and introduce new materials.  We'll help you brush up rusty skills or learn new ones.

And we hope you'll join us in February as we celebrate 25 years in business in downtown Lacombe!

Meanwhile...please note the following IMPORTANT INFORMATION for this week!

Another short week = NO Super Special Sale.  😞

 New Year's Hours:
Monday, December 31: 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 1: CLOSED.  Happy New Year!
Wednesday, January 2: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Thursday, January 3: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. -- Knit Night!
Friday, January 4: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday, January 5: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

"Back to Business as Usual" on Monday, January 7! 

And in with the New...

So here's to our customers -- thanks for making 2018 a Very Good Year for The Crafty Lady!  Have a Happy New Year's celebration -- and we'll see you in the shop!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas is Coming

It's Christmas Eve.  

In the Northern Hemisphere, the longest night and shortest day have passed and we look forward to the light staying longer in the sky -- even imperceptibly -- as we edge into a New Year and ever-so-slowly toward spring.  Our friends South of the Equator, on the other hand, have turned a corner with their Summer Solstice, and now it's their turn to bemoan the ever-shortening days and diminishing light.

An Icelandic sheep (Wikipedia)

Merino sheep (Wikipedia)
Ah well.  On both sides of the Equator there are "Yarn People" -- from the HebridesShetlands and Orkney Islands of Scotland to the hardy Icelandic knitters and south to Fair Isle colour creators; to the Estonian, Latvian and Scandinavian traditions; to the fashionable knits on the runways of Paris, Milan, Rome and New York -- all drape and style; to the plain, simple, utilitarian knits of Maritime and Prairie provinces and states, and onward again south to the colours and natural dyes produced in the highlands of Peru, Chile and Uruguay...and from there across to Australia and New Zealand -- and the delicious merino that comes from their herds.

(And lest you wonder...the Japanese in recent years have come forward with developments in both quilting and knitting -- adapted in part from Western traditions, and blended with their own!)

At The Crafty Lady -- the only full-service yarn shop in the centre of Alberta, just off the Queen Elizabeth II Highway that runs between Calgary and Edmonton -- we're a bit of all of the above.

We carry cool cotton and cotton blends; and wool -- sturdy, soft and sometimes blended with acrylic or nylon for easy care.  We carry camelids like alpaca and llama.  We carry silk.  And...we carry 100% acrylic fibre from suppliers in the U.K. whose mills have the remarkable ability to turn a quasi plastic substance -- a polymer -- into something soft, easy to knit or crochet and definitely easy to care for in the way of garments and blankets appreciated by busy parents everywhere.

There is room at the table for everyone 

-- and that's what makes our work at TCL so rewarding.  

This past year we've taught new knitters from ages 8 on up.  We've helped others learn to turn heels, create thumb gussets for mittens, knit in the round with one (very short) circular needle or one longer circular needle (and a Magic Loop) -- or by juggling three double-pointed needles while they knit with a fourth.

We've given advice on various stitches in crochet.  We've started others down that crochet road with the basics -- and at our weekly Knit Nights we've watched knitters learn to crochet and crocheters learn to knit!

We moved our location so we'd have a brighter space with better storage -- and so our customers had better access to parking.

In the New Year...there's more to come!

We've got some new cottons from Katia (including a wonderful stretchy sock yarn) to look forward to in the spring.  We have more one-of-a-kind fingering yarns coming from Sweet Paprika and Zen Yarn Garden.  We're plumping up our sock yarn collection altogether, while maintaining our supply of double-knit, worsted, chunky and bulky yarns.  For those who love to felt -- whether it's wet felting or needle-felting or both -- we've found a new supplier for roving!  AND there'll be some Shetland roving for those whose felting frenzy focuses on the currently popular 'dryer balls'.

And the Really Big Deal?!
For the entire month of February, The Crafty Lady will be celebrating 25 years in business 
in downtown Lacombe!!

There'll be specials in the store the entire month!!

So...while during this short "Christmas Week" there's NO Super Special Sale (Awwwwwwww....😭), there's so much to look forward to, we thought we should just let you know that Lori (The Crafty Lady Herself), Anne and Margaret ALL wish you -- our dear readers and customers -- a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year -- full of family, fun, creativity, good food and good times.  

May your yarn-crafting (or embroidery or beading) make special memories for those who receive the gifts from the work of your hands.


Monday, Dec. 24: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 25 (Merry Christmas!): CLOSED
Wednesday, Dec. 26 (Happy Boxing Day!): CLOSED
Thursday, Dec. 27: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. -- Knit Night!!
Friday, Dec. 28: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 29: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 30 (as ALL Sundays): CLOSED
Monday, Dec. 31: 9 a.m - 4 p.m.
Tuesday, January 1 (Happy New Year!): CLOSED

We leave you with this reminder.  Whether it's yarn-crafting, or hand-stitching, or just gathering with friends and family, it's an opportunity to Lean in Toward the Light, because "...there's room at the table for every one".  See you at Knit Night - Dec. 27 -- 6 p.m. onward.  Merry Christmas!  Joyeux Noel!  Blessings to all!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Controversy - Baby, It's Cold Outside

Yes, I am aware the CBC has re-thought their decision to not play the seasonal oldie "Baby, It's Cold Outside". Thank you CBC! 
Christmas is a time to wander down memory lane, and it was my grandmother's favourite time to quote the Serenity Prayer:
    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
     Courage to change the things I can;
     And the wisdom to know the difference. 
With all of the "interesting" issues some people are deciding to make a stand on, it might be a reaaallly great time to reconsider: what can I change? who can I influence? and what is beyond my scope? How can I help to create a better world for my children, grandchildren and all future generations - and yours!
May I suggest we start the New Year with one small change to make a better world. At a recent gathering, one person was commenting for the past 10 years they have been making one small change each year. They now compost, and recycle which is reducing their "garbage" by over 50%. 
Continuing on memory lane . . .
Another old favorites I have not yet heard this year is Silver Bells:
    It's Christmas time in the city
    Ring-a-ling, (ring-a-ling) hear them ring (ting-a-ling)    Soon it will be Christmas day    City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
    Dressed in holiday style    In the air there's a feeling of Christmas     Children laughing, people passing 
    And on every street corner you hear
    Silver bells, (silver bells) silver bells (silver bells)

    It's Christmas time in the city
    Ring-a-ling, (ring-a-ling)
    Hear them ring, (hear them ring)
    Soon it will be Christmas day

    Meeting smile after smile
    Strings of street lights, even stoplights
    Blinkin' bright red and green   
    As the shoppers rush home with their treasures    
    Hear the snow crunch, see the kids bunch
    This is Santa's big day
    And above all this bustle you hear
    Silver bells

What a wonderful world it would be if every child found treasures under the tree, if every parent could afford to provide the treasures - without robbing the food budget, if everyone had a roof over their head each and every day. 

Speaking of Silver Bells, this week's special 75% Off sale is 

City Lights
70% Wool, 25% Acrylic, 5% Lurex
34 m/100g

Reg. $15.00
75% Off

Please note: between now and December 22, we are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays (still closed Sundays).  We'll likely close early Christmas Eve, and we will be closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Posted by Anne, treasuring my memories and planning to create new ones this year - and my Christmas knitting list is almost complete! Merry Christmas to all, Happy Hanuka. This is the season of love 😍🎄

Monday, December 10, 2018

Seeking Shelter

Here in these northern climes, winter storms can creep in slowly, with plenty of warning -- or roll in on a wild wind with no warning whatsoever.

I know that as a yarn-crafter, regardless of how a snow-blow arrives, I'm happiest when I've successfully found shelter in my living room or cozy bed -- knitting projects at the ready, and a cuppa something hot nearby.

Photo: USGS Minerals Information
Down in the southern hemisphere -- in Uruguay, to be specific (see it there at left, just below Brazil, on the east coast?) -- weather can be equally unpredictable, especially on the ocean, in a country with a dearth of mountains that usually act as weather barriers.  As a result, though the climate is considered temperate, anywhere you live in Uruguay, you'll find rapid changes in weather and a particular vulnerability to high winds.

Taking shelter is a challenge!

"Abrigo" is the Spanish word for 'shelter'.  "Mal" means -- as it does in the French -- well..."bad".  And there are several towns on the continent of South America named "Mal Abrigo" ("Bad Shelter") -- meaning that they're not very good places to be amidst those unpredictable winds and stormy weather patterns!

One of the places named "Mal Abrigo" happens to be in Uruguay.  This is the place after which the yarn in this week's Super Special is named.  Especially back in the day when folks rode on horseback from place to place, the little village of Mal Abrigo was reputedly a very bad place to stop for the night, especially in stormy weather!

But...when the family that founded Malabrigo Yarns was looking for a name for its company, it decided -- inspired by novelists such as Faulkner and Garcia Marquez -- to name it for a quasi-imaginary village of the same name as one that really exists.

That's the explanation given on the company's website, anyway. And it makes some sense when you read that they create their yarns out of 100% Uruguayan merino wool, and kettle dye them in colours inspired by the nature, art, and culture of Uruguay.

They produce yarn in smaller quantities because of their business practices, which are founded on tradition and environmental sustainability.  This means their yarns are often difficult to come by and arrive in smaller amounts.

We've been blessed to carry Malabrigo yarns for some years...but at the moment, we have only a limited quantity.  This week's Super Special is...

Malabrigo Worsted

100 grams = 192 metres (210 yards)

100% Merino wool
Hand-wash, dry flat

Regular Price: $18.00

Sale Price: $4.50

Lest you wonder what you can make from this, be advised that a whopping 137,555 projects listed on Ravelry feature this yarn!!  Many shown are hats and mittens that require one skein or less.  As there are 500 pages of such projects (!) I'm not even going to begin to pick out one or two to show here.  Rather, I suggest you follow the links and find one that suits your needs and time frame (if you're knitting something last-minute for Christmas).

And don't forget felting!  If you want to knit up and wet-felt some slippers, or use it in a needle- or wet-felted landscape or 'critter' project, this very lightly spun merino will work beautifully for you.

So...before another winter storm moves in, stop in for some yarn-filled shelter at The Crafty Lady, and have a look not just at our Super Special, but at all we have on offer.

Please note that between now and December 22, we are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays (still closed Sundays).  We'll likely close early Christmas Eve, and we will be closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

See you at the Shop!

*Written by Margaret, who takes shelter with yarn every chance she gets, in all kinds of weather!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Great News!!

Were you out shoveling over the weekend? Were you alone or was it a family/neighbourhood project?

On Saturday, as the snow was lightly falling in front of the store, I was told I was just making room for more and to leave until later. My father taught me many light loads are easier than one very heavy load, especially when it looked like it was going to get icy under foot. By the time the day was done, I had shoveled, Muriel had shoveled and then Bill shoveled a couple of times over the weekend!

Working for The Crafty Lady, I was more concerned all our customers and those in town for the Christmas Faire on Saturday were able to navigate safely. 
Then a truck with two young children and their grandparents pulled up, with a locally grown Christmas tree!! 

To make your life just a little simpler, for the month of December - The Crafty Lady is open 9 am - 9 pm - Monday thru Friday and 9 - 6 on Saturday starting today!! We  hope this will make your Christmas projects a little easier to finish. 

We have Gift Cards, for those who wish to give yarn, but not sure which colour they should gift.

The Crafty Lady did it! 

In a planned move to make room for new yarns arriving in time for our 25th Anniversary sale in February, we have moved several yarns to the Sale wall at 25% off. 
Come and See!

When The Crafty Lady informed us which yarns were going on sale, I asked if I could pay off my bill in installments. I was informed I could take my wages out in yarn, but could not take now and pay later. What a Grinch?

Please note: In her defense, my proposed bill was approx. $400 . . . and that was only the first selection. As I have four large army trunks of yarn at home, do I really need more?


We have felt for your decorating projects . . . .


As a domino of the store moving from the old location and The Crafty Lady's mother house cleaning (now the garden is out), they have been sorting through things. 

The found 2 racks full of ribbons, trims, fringes and tassels - prices as marked!! Do we have a specific ribbon? Maybe, come in and see. If we do not have your specific, maybe we have something that is an interesting substitute. The prices are what was on the item when it went into the bin several years ago, so there are some great prices!

Margaret and I have been advised - we can cut lengths to suit your needs. We have Christmas ribbons, Christmas green trims - with beading, gold embossed, cream fringe for antique style lamps (and other colours). Some of the trims are suitable for clothing, and would be great for dolls or little/big girls outfits. 

The Crafty Lady is primarily a yarn (knit/crochet) store - but we are so much more. We have beading supplies, some cross-stitch/tapestry supplies, the most complete selection of DMC both floss and wool in Central Alberta, patterns, and temporarily  . . . ribbons, tassels, trims and fringes!

So, to the highlight of this blog? This week's 75% off Special is

Estelle Yarns "Union"

100 grams = 91 metres (100 yards)
50% wool
46% Acrylic
4% Nylon (Polyester)

Regular Price: $13.00

Sale Price: $3.25!!

Posted by Anne, very happy TCL employee who loves working with all the staff at The Crafy Lady!!