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Archive for February, 2014...

Maine Loves Darn Good Yarn

February 27, 2014

Nicole Snow, Darn Good Yarn creator, owner, late-night-picture-taker of new merchandise, over-achiever, arm-knitting fiend, and generally all-around fabulous entrepreneur, is kind of a rock star in Maine.  No, seriously.

She lives in Piscataquis County in Maine, in a town called Sebec.  According to the US 2010 census, 630 people live in Sebec.  But with a trusty internet connection and FedEx delivery trucks, her reach has extended across the state and across the world.

As Darn Good Yarn expands and more people learn about our support of families across the world, responsibly sourced materials, and gorgeous products, more and more people are supporting us and our goals.  And we love the support! One of the folks that supports us? The governor of Maine, Paul R. LePage.

Nicole and Governor LePage

Nicole was even invited to the “State of the State” address earlier this month.  Governor LePage is all amount micro-enterprise business.  He spoke all about it in the address:

“We are a state of entrepreneurial “doers.” There are 40,000 small businesses in Maine. Our state has roughly 130,000 micro-businesses. They employ 170,000 people. They drive our economy. If they could each add one more job, that would transform our economy.

Nicole Snow of Sebec is a very successful micro-entrepreneur. She created Darn Good Yarn, and she does all of her business online. Nicole is growing her company into a million-dollar business—thanks to the internet. Nicole, please stand.”

*Insert Wild Applause Here!* :)

How fabulous is that?  Thanks, Governor LePage!

Not only that, but Nicole’s local paper has hopped on the Darn Good Yarn train as well. :)   The Piscataquis Observer featured the Darn Good Yarn story on the front page!  Check it out!

Thanks to the Piscataquis Observer for your support as well!  We have so much love for everyone out there who helps spread the word about the great things Darn Good Yarn is doing, and all of the great stuff we provide!

We want to continue to expand, offer more great products, and be able to employ more great people around the world.  Help us out if you can – talk to your local yarn shop about carrying Darn Good Yarn, share us on Facebook and Pinterest, and, if you have a website of your own, look into becoming a Darn Good Yarn Affiliate.  Thanks so much to everyone who already supports us and loves our yarn and craft supplies.  We love ya!

Happy Crafting,

Marissa :)

 

Crafting for Charity

February 21, 2014

From chats on Facebook and many inspiring emails, I know lots of you Darn Good Yarners do lots of great crafting for charities of all kinds.  There are so many great places to donate knitted and crocheted items!  It’s great that so many people are inspired to give to great causes.

Here at Darn Good Yarn we are all about supporting people.  Supporting the families in India, Nepal and Chile that make our yarn, and supporting everyone that love and support us in every way that we can!  Now we have a whole new way in which we want to support everybody out there that is crafting for charity.

If you have a charity event that you are crafting for, or items that you are donating for a raffle – anything for a good cause – we’d love to give you a great deal on our fabulous Assorted Chiffon Ribbon.

You can get great discounts on packs of chiffon and make excellent projects that will bring in the money for charity.  Don’t know what to make?  We might have a few ideas… :)

Interested?  Want to get crafting for charity right away?  Just tell us all about it by emailing info@darngoodyarn.com, and we’ll let you in on all the great deals available!

Happy Crafting!

Marissa :)

Darn Good Fashion

February 19, 2014

Kristina Vetter, a design student in Germany, was glancing through Facebook one day and saw an ad for Darn Good Yarn.  Little did she know this would be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.  She says, “It was all by coincidence on some ad on Facebook. I wasn’t even looking for it. Isn’t that how all good love stories start?”

All images courtesy of www.christian-bacher.com

 

Kristina knew she wanted to put together a collection around the theme of “Catastrophism”.  She was wrestling with the topic somewhat.

“I only had some silhouettes and a vague idea of the topic of the collection. It´s called ‘Catastrophism’ and I thought it had to be all dark and spooky. As I wanted to incorporate redesigned pieces from the very beginning, starting to work with the fabrics and old clothes and dye them, I realized that it´s not only the generic idea of a dark colour that could carry the message of a world after catastrophe.”

She had discovered Darn Good Yarn a few months earlier, and had become truly inspired by the unique art that imbues every skein.  She found some new directions she could take in her own work.

“The idea blossomed that it was the story that those recycled and redesigned pieces carry that show the brutality, but also the comfort, of the topic. It’s all about making the best out of a new start with the little you have out of a lost world. And there is nostalgia and happiness in this. DGY carries exactly that. It has the same story. The fringes. The unperfect. The getting thinner here, thicker there. The many knots and ties and seams. The changing colours, starting here, stopping there. I love the organic ever changing texture and colour. It feels like it lives. Carrying the history of a past life as a sari or whatever else, assembled to something new. DGY very much inspired the topic and the designs.”

All images courtesy of www.christian-bacher.com

 

Some of the pieces were specifically inspired by certain yarns.  Olga’s yarn, shown to gorgeous effect in this sweater, was one of them.  (We no longer carry this rope-like yarn, sorry!  But at least you can marvel at it’s loveliness here. :) )

All images courtesy of www.christian-bacher.com

 

“Darn Good Yarn inspired certain pieces, such as the sweater out of Olga’s Yarn. I saw that yarn. And I had that sweater in my head and I knew it couldn’t be out of anything else. Unfortunately, I can’t knit. My aunt did all the knitting for me.  It was mainly the accessories that are made out of DGY. But I feel they complete the outfits and make the colours within the clothes in the outfits work together.”

Kristina has since been tentatively learning to knit herself.  All the pieces in the collection were made by her very talented aunt, who has been knitting for 25 years and knit some commercially when she was younger.  Like so many of us, Kristina is a bit of a craft-addict.  Her most recent favorite craft is the Japanese art of fabric dyeing called Shibori.  (You can learn all about it here.)

“I love about any craft I am fortunate enough to lay my eyes on. It’s amazing what people can do. But my favorite craft that I practice myself is Shibori. It is also incorporated in the collection. I love the changing of colours when you dye something yourself. It’s like it’s out of one’s control, but still you try to control it through the binding and folding, and every piece is unique.”

You can see the fun results she achieved with Shibori dyeing especially well in this piece, along with more lovely Darn Good Yarn accessories.

All images courtesy of www.christian-bacher.com

 

When asked if she had any tips for other designers or creators, she was very humble. “I don’t think I’m really someone to give tips about designing as I’m only in the beginning of a long process.”  And aren’t we all?  She did pass on some important things to remember though.

“What is important to me is that I don’t want the things I can’t do interfere with the things I want to do.  …Whenever I have the feeling I HAVE to work with a certain material, or that I really would like to realize a certain product, I will find a way to incorporate it in my work… on the skill level I have. That includes so much trial and error. But that process is so much fun and you can discover so many new looks or ways to use something you weren’t even looking for. Just let nothing ever stop you. If you have that inner drive, try it, learn from what you try and enjoy it.”

Great tips for creating in general, especially with wild and quirky materials like Darn Good Yarn!  I love the mix of starkness and drama, against the comfort and color of the DGY pieces in Kristina’s work.  Truly lovely and inspiring!  For more gorgeous photography, make sure to check out Christian Bacher’s photography here.   What will Darn Good Yarn inspire you to create?  We love when you share!  Feel free to email me at marissa@darngoodyarn.com.

Happy crafting and creating!

Marissa :)

Darn Good News!

February 9, 2014

If you have been following us on Facebook, or are an avid reader of this blog, (especially this post)  you know all about how much we love FedEx here at Darn Good Yarn.  Along with enabling Nicole to ship yarn from all over the world to a tiny town in Maine and then get it out to you as fast as possible, FedEx also made it possible to greatly expand our efforts with their Small Business Grant that Darn Good Yarn won last year.  A few weeks ago, Nicole and another Small Business Grant winner, Danny Catullo, went out to Memphis, TN to visit the FedEx World Hub.

While there, they got to share their own experiences and successes with their businesses, as well as helping inspire the folks that are applying this year.  FedEx’s Josh Rosa recently posted some great stories about their visit.  He writes,

“Watching the two small business owners enjoy their rigorously scheduled “vacation” to Memphis, I think back on the last 48 hours. Since meeting for the first time, Danny and Nicole have spent hours telling and re-telling their story to attentive listeners at FedEx, each other and anyone else who would listen. Each story contains a few variations or things not mentioned before, but each rendition is delivered with the same enthusiasm as the first.”

It’s a fantastic article, and I would highly encourage you to take a look at the whole thing here.

 

More exciting FedEx news – we have discovered a better (and cheaper!) way to ship to Australia!

Regardless of where you live, we want you to be able to get your hands on great yarn!  And did you know there’s even a special Darn Good Yarn Australia Facebook page?  It’s true!  Right here.   Here’s the low-down: every 2-3 weeks, Nicole will be shipping Australian orders all together to Karleigh (our fabulous Darn Good Yarn Australia coordinator and crafter) in New South Wales.

Karleigh: The Woman You Can Trust with Your Yarn :)

From there, she’ll be able to ship out individual orders through the regular Australian post system.  It won’t get there faster (when will someone invent instant teleportation?) but it will be only half as pricey to ship, get through customs way more easily, and be simpler to track!  Yay!  So if you live in Australia or just want to send yarn there, it’s now a whole lot easier.  What will you do with all the money you save on shipping?  I would wisely invest it in more yarn. ;)

 

Thanks for all you do, FedEx!  And as always, happy crafting!

Marissa