It’s getting pretty warm here in the Land of Lakes! From top to bottom of the state, it seems like the tide is turning toward spring. Soon it will be time to get in gear for the fun things to do in this season. Right now is the perfect time to be tapping maples for syrup production and, if you’re in the Twin Cities, we have neighbors who are doing just that. The Hamel Maple Syrup Co out in Hamel, MN makes some sweet, pure maple syrup every spring. With the warming weather, hiking and biking seasons might as well start too! In the Duluth area, the favorites are the Superior Hiking Trail and Gooseberry Falls State Park. If you time your visits right you may catch the falls melting and the ice crumbling.
As the leaves begin to pop and life returns to the tundra, we hope you enjoy all the unique sights and opportunities Life in the Land of Lakes offers.
We’re Off to a Good Start
Well, folks, 2015 is off to a roaring start at Tradition Creek. We’ve got a whole line up of new stores we’ll be stocking in this year around the Midwest, the country, and even across the ponds! Yes, that means Britain and Japan. And ladies, keep your eyes peeled for coats cut just for you; we know you’ve been looking forward to them. As for the team here, we’re hunkered down bearing the cold bursts of Minnesota, sewing coats, looking forward to a warm spring, and gearing up for another great (and busy) year of producing some of the best American-made garments and accessories on the market.
We hope you’re all managing this winter with ease and enjoying it. Whether you’re under 100″ of snow on the East coast or sunning yourself on the West, keep your heart in the Land of Lakes; we’ll see you there.
We hope everyone’s holidays were safe, healthy, and filled with good company. It certainly was an eventful 2014 for us here at Tradition Creek and a good part of that is thanks to you. From a new line of American made clothing, a new address, photo shoots, trade shows across the country, and new partners and customers, we certainly have much to be thankful for and a good foundation to move forward on.
So we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne, and welcome 2015!
Though we’ve had some unseasonably warm weather this past week, it is December and that means it’s cold throughout most of the United States. And we can tell! People are wearing wool, flannel, scarves and hats. Preparing for this season has kept us busy and things have even gotten a bit hectic at times, especially for those of us sewing here at TC headquarters. But for those of you out there wearing a Sawtooth Cruiser or a Superior Double Back Double Front, we hope that it’s not just the wool of your coat keeping you warm. It is our hope that knowing of the pride and care we’ve taken in crafting that garment may also warm your heart.
So, from all of us here at Tradition Creek, have a happy holiday and a blessed new year.
Rugged, Dependable, and Comfortable
Biddeford Pool, Maine – As a Master Maine Guide, Instructor at the Jack Mountain Bushcraft School, and Owner of Pole and Paddle Cedar Strip Canoes, Don Merchant knows a thing or two about keeping warm in the great outdoors. That’s why he trusts his Tradition Creek Sawtooth Cruiser for the rugged and dependable performance in the wilderness. The basic, yet comfortable design, lends itself to many different applications outdoors such as moose hunting, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and bird watching (as seen here).
It’s been quite a year at Tradition Creek. Certainly there’s been business growth; a new website, a new blog, new designs. But there’s also been growth for us in other ways. We’ve met new friends travelling to shows in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Folks have come on to sew and sell with us. New customers have become loyal customers.
So as the holiday season starts off, we’d like to say thank you to those who have been a part of our story so far. You have been a blessing to us and we hope to retain your trust and fidelity going into the holidays and the new year.
As many of you know, Tradition Creek is an organization founded by an Afghanistan War veteran in 2008. As we celebrate Veteran’s Day today we continue to thank our service-members and military families for the sacrifices they make. We are forever grateful for the hard work and tireless efforts they put into making this country safe. Happy Veteran’s Day from all of us at Tradition Creek.
It seems obvious that we would suggest you buy a wool coat this winter, and leave it at that (you should by the way); but why focus on the specter of impending frigidity? There are so many great things to do in the North when winter is here! Grab your cup-o’-soup, some chopper mittens, and the wool and head out into a true winter wonderland to discover the beauty of that most dreaded season.
Perhaps you’re a sportsman? Fishing and hunting don’t conclude when the leaves are gone and the snow flies, drill a hole in the ice and drop a line. Pheasant, grouse, and deer seasons extend into winter months too. Check with the state’s DNR for all the details. Athletes: welcome to the land of odd outdoor activities, and some normal ones too. Curling and dog sledding are some not-so-common favorites. For those more conventional exercise enthusiasts there’s hockey, cross-country, and downhill skiing. State and county parks will often have groomed trails and rinks, so look into it!
Regardless of your summer month passions, there is sure to be something to keep you active and entertained in this cold time of year; whether you snuggle up or head out, be sure to make the most of winter in the Land of Lakes.
Some Good Facts About Wool
Wool’s scaling and crimp make it easier to spin the fleece by helping the individual fibers attach to each other, so they stay together. Because of the crimp, wool fabrics have greater bulk than other textiles, and they hold air, which causes the fabric to retain heat. Insulation works both ways: Bedouins and Tuaregs use wool clothes to keep heat out and protect the body.
Felting of wool occurs upon hammering or other mechanical agitation as the microscopic barbs on the surface of wool fibers hook together.
The amount of crimp corresponds to the fineness of the wool fibers. A fine wool like Merino may have up to 100 crimps per inch, while the coarser wools like karakul may have as few as one or two. In contrast, hair has little if any scale and no crimp, and little ability to bind into yarn. On sheep, the hair part of the fleece is called kemp. The relative amounts of kemp to wool vary from breed to breed and make some fleeces more desirable for spinning, felting, or carding into batts for quilts or other insulating products, including the famous tweed cloth of Scotland.
Wool fibers readily absorb moisture, but are not hollow. Wool can absorb almost one-third of its own weight in water. Wool absorbs sound like many other fabrics. It is generally a creamy white color, although some breeds of sheep produce natural colors, such as black, brown, silver, and random mixes.
Wool ignites at a higher temperature than cotton and some synthetic fibers. It has a lower rate of flame spread, a lower rate of heat release, a lower heat of combustion, and does not melt or drip; it forms a char which is insulating and self-extinguishing, and it contributes less to toxic gases and smoke than other flooring products when used in carpets. Wool carpets are specified for high safety environments, such as trains and aircraft. Wool is usually specified for garments for firefighters, soldiers, and others in occupations where they are exposed to the likelihood of fire.
A lot of Smoke, Soon – Fire
At a lot of the trade shows we have been going to folks have been asking where they can purchase a Tradition Creek Sawtooth Cruiser or other garment. Currently we are selling online, at our factory store in Norwood Young America, and at consumer shows across America. We are in the early stages of a national wide effort to enlist retailers around the country to sell our products. Duluth Pack Store in Canal Park is carrying our scarves, and we are looking forward to other folks wanting to carry our product. Before you know it, our products will be at your local fine outdoor apparel store! There is a lot of smoke, and soon, fire!
Fall in the Land of Lakes
Leaves are really changing here in Minnesota, from the shores of Superior across the Range and down through river country. Crisp mornings are now the norm as well. Hot coffee and sweaters, perhaps a wool coat, are more of a necessity now rather than a suggestion. Some of our comrades from around the country may dread this time of year as it rings in the end of the warm months, but we Minnesotans embrace it!
As we alluded to, travel around the state to see some of those colors. Duluth will be buzzing with activity as many folks have the same idea, but travelling south toward Lanesboro you may have an easier time finding seclusion (and a place to stay) to enjoy autumn colors. This is also the prime time of the year to visit your local orchard or pumpkin patch. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen is brimming with fall activities, including apple tastings in the visitor center and a pumpkin “labyrinth.”
Get out there and enjoy fall in the Land of Lakes!
We have been getting a lot publicity for our American made brand on different blogs and websites around. As good Minnesotans we are certainly humbled by all this press. We’d like to think people appreciate a high quality made-in-America garment even if it is a few dollars more because they appreciate the idea that it will last, that it truly is an investment.
This Thursday, September 25th, our founder will be discussing this idea with students at the University of Saint Thomas, hoping to teach a new generation of entrepreneurs the idea that if you make something good, are ethical, and on time, people will believe in your product.