Monday, March 19, 2018

Something Shaded This Way Comes

Brush off your high school French, and try this word on for size: ombré (awm-bray).  Once more, with feeling!  😉  There!  Now you've got it!

Now...having mastered the accent, do you know what it means?  😊  Don't confuse it with "hombré", which is Spanish for 'man'!  Ombré is defined (per the Cambridge English Dictionary) as "having different shades (= strengths) of colour, gradually going from light to dark."

Photo credit: Lounge Hair Studio
And ombre colour-ways have become very popular of late, to create a gradient of colour in a fabric, yarn and -- believe it or not -- hair!

I can't say whether or not The Crafty Lady herself will seek a new look for her long, lovely red-headed locks, but I can tell you that yours truly is developing her own natural ombre hair colour -- even in my short style -- as my hair moves from chestnut to dark brown to silvery grey thanks to the aging process!

And I can tell you that we love ombré yarns here at The Shop.  We have in stock "Berroco Alpaca Tonal", which is a variation on the strict ombré look.  We also have lovely packaged sets of "Crescendo" -- skeins of gradient hand-dyed fingering-weight yarn from Sweet Paprika Yarns.

But the best news of all this week, is that we have selected one of our ombré yarns for our Super Special Sale!  That's right!


NAKO Ombre

100 grams = 190 metres (208 yards)
75% Acrylic
25% Wool

Regular Price: $10.00

Sale Price: $2.50

I can vouch for it's look and feel, as I made a hat for my son out of some of it for Christmas 2016.  It's easy to work with, soft in the hand, and easy for a busy thirty-something fellow to care for. took only 2/3 of a ball (about 114 metres).  Two balls would get you a hat and mitts!

Pattern derived from the 

What's not to love?  See you in the Shop!

*Written by Margaret, happy TCL employee who's not averse to getting shady with her knitting!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Just a Taste


Almost every day at The Crafty Lady, we encounter customers who won't buy wool -- unless it's soft.  It matters not the project they're planning -- there's a lingering memory of wool from decades ago, and that memory is sturdy and itchy.

Then one of us on staff will hand the customer a ball of wool -- from the Merino sheep.  "Oh," is the response.  "This is wool?"

Merino sheep produce very soft yarn -- especially the 'Extra-fine' or 'Super-fine' grades.  It's lovely for anything meant to be worn next to the skin -- particularly the torso or the neck.

(Side note: it's okay for socks...if it is a lower grade (i.e., less soft), and/or tightly spun and/or spun with nylon.  Otherwise, one ends up with soft, slouchy socks that wear out quickly.)

It's such a special type of wool that if it's included in any yarn, it has to be labelled as such.  It's sort of the "champagne" of wool.

The quality, the softness, the drape, the specialty of the breed...all of these things mean that, yes, Merino yarn is more expensive than your Everyday Acrylic (even your Best Brand Everyday Acrylic).

But this week?

We have just a wee bit of Merino our Super Special!

Schachenmayr Merino Extrafine170

50 grams = 170 metres (186 yards)
100% Wool

Regular Price: $8.00

Sale Price: $2.00


Debbie Bliss Rialto DK
(Extrafine, Superwash)

50 grams = 105 metres (115 yards)
100% Wool

Regular Price: $9.50

Sale Price: $2.38

And there's just enough for a cozy cowl or a pair of mittens.  A little bit of luxury can go a long way...

*Written by Margaret, who loves all things woolly but....ahhhhh....Merino!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Spring Storms bring ? ? ?

Did you search anything on Google last week? After all of the very interesting Google doodles for the Olympics, the doodle for Holi 2018 fit right in - bright colourful and celebrating spring.

Holi is a Hindu spring festival celebrated all across India and Nepal and among Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan as well in countries with large Indian subcontinent diaspora populations, according to Wikipedia. 

Central Alberta was experiencing snow fall and icy conditions late last week. Albertans have survived one of the coldest February's on record. A couple of nicer days, but overall - the lowest temperatures in decades, according to The Weather Network.

The end of February and the first of March often signal the "dreaded tax time" as T4's must be sent to employee's and people are starting to collect their paper work for Revenue Canada. We still have until the end of April, but deadlines do sneak up on many of us - Yours truly included (and maybe especially!). My stack of projects always seems to have a couple of URGENT projects. This does often lead to many things getting completed.

As The Weather Network was predicting a severe storm including several centimeters of snow and blowing winds, with freezing road conditions, several of our customers stocked up and then hunkered down at home last weekend. Here's hoping you were able to get some of them completed.

One of our staff members is already planning her garden, seeds have been ordered, tools cleaned off and excitement is brimming. She was really excited about the snow over the weekend!! The snow is going to add moisture to the garden soil, and wake up the fruit trees. I have noticed the willow buds (commonly known as "pussy willows") are popping!! They were showing a month ago - they tease and retreat, and tease again.

We do know spring is coming, and there are lots of projects teasing our fingers before Spring does arrive.

Our 75% Off sales are not a "tease" - they are For Real.  This week's featured yarn is:


Merino Extra Fine 85

Aran -100% Wool - Merino
93 yards(85 meters) - 50 grams (1.76 ounces)

Reg. Price $8.00

75% Off


 Posted by Anne, who is being teased by many projects, beautiful yarns and not enough "snow"  . . . 

Monday, February 26, 2018

It's a Colourful World

Photo credit: Reader's Digest
Whether you work (or play!) with paint or crayons or beads, fabric, or fibre or (embroidery) floss -- or you don't -- just walk into a shop where these sorts of things are on display.

Or just walk into an art gallery, a florist's shop, a farmer's market or even the produce section of your local grocery store.

You will be surrounded by colour.  Every where you turn you'll see colours, light and dark and in between.

If it happens to be a yarn-and-craft shop, the colours will pull you in to touch the textures.  The floss will call you to stitch; the yarn, to knit or crochet something -- be it for yourself, for someone else, or simply for the pleasure of it.

Nowadays, yarn is more colourful than ever before, and there's so much
selection!  You can combine solid colours to create vivid stripes or colourful intarsia (pictures) or stranded patterns.

Photo Credit:
 Sweet Paprika Yarns
You can employ tonal or gradient-dyed yarn for a gentle journey from dark to light.  You can find yarns that are dyed so they form stripes or Fair Isle effect patterns, and you can find yarns that are 'variegated' -- ones that produce random colour patterns, streaks and pools of colour.

And its a variegated selection that is the star for our Super Special Sale this week!

Berroco Vintage Colors

100 grams = 198 metres (217 yards)
50% Acrylic
40% Wool
10% Nylon

Regular Price: $11.50

Sale Price: $2.87!

So add a little (more) colour to your life: make a hat, a pair of mittens, a cute cardigan for your favourite tot...and most of all, have fun! 

After all, it's a colourful world!

Written by Margaret, happy TCL employee who revels in the colours around her every day.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Luxury -- and Lace!

Remember that luxurious Baby Alpaca Aran yarn we posted about yesterday for our Super Special?

But never fear!  We've moved from LACE.
Our Second Super Special this week features not one, not two, but THREE lacy yarns, perfect for decorative trims, scarves or arm-knitting:

Berroco Glee

Ice Yarns Tango
Ice Yarns Cha-cha-cha
Berroco Lacey
Regular Prices: $22 - $24.00
Sale Pries: $5.50 - $6.00

Monday, February 19, 2018

Time to Celebrate??

Note: The Crafty Lady is 
Closed for Family Monday, Feb. 19, 2018 

Did you celebrate Family Day in Lacombe? With family? How will you be  celebrating?

Last week I learned Chinese New Year is celebrated for two full weeks! It is a time of family, friends, food and celebration!

Canadians tend to be just a little less flamboyant in our celebrations. Would it be possible to encourage Canadians to be more outgoing and showy in public? In the depths of winter - our outdoor activities are often more sedate. Lots of fun, and lots of food - despite (or in spite of)  the weather.

Family is the focus of most celebrations and we all have memories of that incredible food we ate at one or more celebrations.

For some of us in the Christian traditions - some of us are marking Lent. We were raised to "give up" or "fast from" something during Lent, chocolate, sugar and fat were some of the items. For a couple of years, we were encouraged to donate a dime (10 cents) daily for a cause. If memory serves correctly, many of these causes now would be considered racially inappropriate. We all know fasting from anything specific is not a long-term positive lifestyle.

Last year someone shared what I thought was a much more constructive list of things to "give up" for Lent. I would like to pass the list along as "food for thought".

  • Fast from hurting words and say kind words
  • Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude
  • Fast from anger and be filled with patience
  • Fast from worries and have trust in God (or any form of higher power you believe in)
  • Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity
  • Fast from pressures and be prayerful
  • Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with jou
  • Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others
  • Fast from grudges and be reconciled
  • Fast from words and be silent so you can listen

Not an easy task list. I know I will not be able to live up to these suggestions, but we all need goals and even more we need hope. Human nature is such that we need to be respected and complimented, a touch of luxury does not hurt - especially when it is cold outside.

This week's 75% off sale yarn may be just the touch of luxury you are hoping for. From Diamond's Luxury Collection, The Crafty Lady is featuring one of my personal favourites . . .

Baby Alpaca Aran

Spun in Peru 
100% Baby Alpaca
50 gm/93 m 

Reg. Price $13.00
Sale $3.25

Come in and feel a touch of luxury - so you too can work with a beautiful yarn

Posted by Anne, who loves to work with luxury yarns

Monday, February 12, 2018

Got Your Mojo Workin'?

noun  mo·jo  \ ˈmō-(ˌ)jō \
Definition: a magic spell, hex or charm; broadly, magical power
-- Merriam-Webster Dictionary, online version

: a quality that attracts people to you and makes you successful and full of energy:

He's definitely lost his mojo.

He needs to get his mojo working if he's going to win the election.
-- Cambridge Dictionary, online version

Here in Central Alberta, February is living up to its reputation to "puff and blow, fill the ditches full of snow".  Even  as our daylight starts a bit earlier and ends a bit later each day, it might seem as though each time we venture out of the house we're in a battle with Mother Nature to stay upright on our feet and safe on the roads.

Many (dare I say 'most'?) days I, for one, would just like to crawl back into bed and stay there.

You might just say I've "lost my mojo" -- at least as far as enjoying the outdoors is concerned!  😉 at The Crafty Lady, our 'mojo' doesn't come from the Great Outdoors.  While others are fighting drifts and icy roads, we're working our magic with yarn, knitting needles and crochet hooks.  

We like to think of these as our "super powers".

We're energized by the 29 bales of yarn that landed in on us last week. (Yes, you read that correctly: 29. bales. of. yarn!)

These are just a few of 'em!

To showcase all of those new arrivals in The Shop, we've got to make some room.

This week, we've got two ways we're going to do that.

That's right: TWO ways.

1. It's The Crafty Lady's 24th Anniversary on Wednesday, February 14.  
We'll be celebrating with a  

One-day Anniversary Sale!

Sorry, though.  No sneak peeks...But...
let's just say it includes a lot of our well-loved brands at great prices.

Just come by Wednesday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and enjoy the fun!

Does this mean we won't have our Super Weekly Special this week?  
You've got to be kidding!  We can't let a week go by without that! 

2. Our Super Special this week is guaranteed to restore any mojo that's been blown about by the wintry winds or frozen in a snow bank!  

Berroco Mojo

100 grams per skein = 90 metres (98 yards)
56% Wool
35% Manufactured Fibers - Acrylic
5% Manufactured Fibers - Nylon / Polyamide
4% Goat - Mohair

Regular Price: $20.00
Sale Price: $5.00!

This is a thick-and-thin bulky yarn (7 - 8 stitches = 4" on a 10 mm. needle or hook) that's perfect for a quick project like those hats and mittens and cowls you need right now to keep you cozy as you clear the back-yard ice rink or just try to start your car in a cold, windy parking lot!

"Michelle" Cowl
Free pattern - Berroco Design Team

"Grace" Mittens
Free Pattern - Berroco Design Team

"Mushroom Cap"
Available through Ravelry or IN STORE 
Designer: Lori Nowochin - The Crafty Lady!

And just in case you  need to crank your mojo just a bit till Spring's a blast from the past to help you out...

Muddy Waters - "Got My Mojo Workin'"

Written by Margaret, who gets her mojo from knitting, when she's not boppin' to the beat of Muddy Waters.