The Crafty Lady (Lacombe, Alberta) store front closed a week ago, and Tuesday through yesterday I helped the owner, Lori, her mom, and my colleague-of-several-years, (Helen) Anne, sort through, count and pack the inventory for removing it from the bricks-and-mortar and placing it in storage for two new ventures: an online shop -- and a shop-on-wheels that will be popping up all over central Alberta come spring. (The former isn't very user-friendly just yet; the latter is under construction...but if I know anything about Lori, both will be up and running as soon as she can "git 'er done"!)
The focus of the shop will be yarncrafts (knitting and crocheting) but there is still some stock of stitching and embroidery etc. to be cleared...so do not despair! It will be available for purchase online...until it's not.
Want to fondle yarn? Sign up to get an e-mail to follow the store's blog...and/or "like and follow" the shop on Facebook. That way you'll know when and where the mobile store will be available.
"So...are you retired?"
That's the question I got from some of our customers...and some of my friends, brows furrowed. "Will you be okay?" (financially) "What will you do?"
I've worked part-time one or two days a week at TCL for going on seven (!) years. I will, indeed, miss it. I've had to reconfigure my finances to replace the lost income. I'm still processing the change in routine.
But...let's be clear, Gentle Readers. I was a customer for several years before I worked there; this means I have a decades-long relationship with dear Lori and her shop. Working there, I got to have my brain stretched as I helped people pick yarn weights and colours suited to their chosen projects. I taught customers about yarn weights, yarn composition (wool, other natural fibres, synthetics). I taught some about embroidery options: fabric types, thread counts, etc. I taught others how to knit (I don't crochet), how to turn a heel, how to make a heel flap on a sock; how to read their knitting so they'd be able to fix errors. There was lots and lots and lots of instruction on yarn weights and yardage (meterage) and colour theory.
I used every tool in my tool-belt.
I will miss that.
BUT...I am first and foremost a textile artist. And one of Lori's last gifts to me was this cutting table -- used in The Shop mainly as a surface on which to put patterns etc. I have added it to the very worn table I've had for 15 years, currently in my studio, a table that has lost its function on one side (stripped bolts). The photo -- taken from the door-way looking into my studio, the largest bedroom in my wee home -- shows the new table up front-and-centre. It's a tight fit, but it works, and I have room to move around it. I may just have to bite the bullet and invest in a larger cutting mat (mine is 18" x 24")...(and yes, that is a wool pressing mat on the left side, just beyond the iron.)
|Thank you Lori!|
I will admit...today I laid low. After four days on my feet for 6 to 7 hours each day, bending, stretching, counting, packing...well! I slept well last night...and had two (2!!) naps today. And I have been very quiet on line.
Why so quiet? After this week's events in the U.S., the involved-with-the-world part of me had to lie low and lick its wounds. I have many friends and family there...and my heart is breaking for the systematic, calculated, seemingly-irreversible damage being done to a country that is MY country's closest neighbour and once-upon-a-time ally. I don't often allow politics to infiltrate my "art space" in this forum...but there is at least one more "statement" piece in the works, Gentle Readers...so be fore-warned.
By the end of each of those very full four days at The Shop this week, I've been able to accomplish nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada.
In the early mornings, I might get a few rows of sock knitting done, and at Lori's home on Thursday's Knit Night (where that will continue on an RSVP basis -- phone or e-mail or send a FB message) -- I managed to get to the decrease rounds on a hat. I've no photo (yet) of the hat...but the sock...well...let's just say I'm now only 8 rows from finishing the leg chart on the first sock of the pair. If I can get the entire sock finished by Feb. 14 1/2...I might just meet the Socks From Stash February 2020 challenge!
Pray for me, if you think it will help! 😉
And so...off I go for now...linking up to dear Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday...and thinking ahead to a week wherein I won't be driving 43 km (about 25 miles) down the road to Lacombe for work at The Shop.
Tuesdays and Thursdays won't be quite the same...but there will be the work of my hands that I am called to do...and I will do it.
Have a great week, dear friends!
"May the favour of the Lord be upon us and our lands,
and establish for us all the work of our hands..."
-- Adapted from Psalm 90: 17