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Darn Good Yarn & FedEx Both Love Small Business!

January 20, 2014

Thanks to all the support of fabulous Darn Good Yarners, a unique and innovative business plan, and the dedicated passion of DGY owner Nicole Snow, Darn Good Yarn was the first Grand Prize winner of the FedEx Small Business Grant last year.  We won $25,000 to help expand Darn Good Yarn, support more women in India, Nepal and now Chile, and bring the best products to you!  Working with FedEx has helped Darn Good Yarn reach more people, save money along the way, and ship faster despite being located in a tiny, often snow-bound town in Maine.

See FedEx in action and see the lovely video created after Nicole won the grant last year here.

After the success of the first Small Business Grant, FedEx is offering another one this year!  Hear more about what Nicole and one of the other winners, Danny Catullo, were able to accomplish with their winnings.

Darn Good Yarn is a very small business indeed (feel free to get to know all of the Darn Good Employees here!) and we try to support other small businesses.  Not only do we support micro-enterprises and small businesses in India, Nepal and Chile, we also try to help out Darn Good Yarners and their businesses with our great wholesale opportunities.  (Learn about those here.)  FedEx wants to help small businesses too!  They are again giving away $50,000 in grants to 10 small businesses.  Check out their grand announcement here.

If you have a small business, or know one you’d like to support, make sure you tell them all about this great opportunity.  Here’s the vital stats:

Register your business or vote for one you’d like to support at

Need tips on the best way to win?  Check out recommendations from last year’s winners, Nicole included,  here.

Spread the word and make sure to support the business you love!  And in the meantime, Happy Crafting.  :)


Darn Good Projects from Darn Good Yarners

January 12, 2014

Here at Darn Good Yarn, we love getting pictures and stories of projects Darn Good Yarners have created using our many products.  These are a couple we wanted to share!

Some gorgeous projects that caught our eyes are by a husband and wife team of Larry and Julie.  While they both have day-jobs, they both are dedicated and talented crafters on the side.  Larry makes lovely wood-turned vessels – you can check them out on his blog here.  I took a wood-turning class myself once, and absolutely loved it.  I did discover that: a) wood shavings get EVERYWHERE when you are working, b) I would have gouged a line through my own nose if it wasn’t for the very important precaution of face-shields, and c) people who can make a balanced, evenly-walled wood-turned vessel are amazing craftsmen and artists.

Julie is a very talented quilter with a great eye for color and pattern.  I’m still sleeping under an amazing quilt my mom made for me when I left to go to college, so I have a soft spot for a great quilt.  She has a fantastic blog where you can avidly follow her latest creations here.  (As a quick aside, did you know Darn Good Yarn has great sari fabric you could use for your own quilting?  We do!  Check it out here.)

This crafty team joined their wood-turning skills and fiber skills to create some unique and interesting work!

Julie told me all about her process: “Larry had turned a thin-walled (about 1/8th inch thick) hollow vessel from a box elder log, but hadn’t done anything else with it.
I had recently ordered some of DGY’s newspaper yarn, intending to use it instead of ribbon when wrapping gifts.  Then a light bulb moment happened.
I finished the interior of the vessel using Annie Sloan’s Emperor’s Silk (red) chalk paint and a coat of her dark wax.  Then I settled in and started wrapping the exterior with DGY’s newspaper yarn.  I started at the bottom; soaking the yarn with thick white glue then pressing it onto the vessel, applying pressure until the tacky yarn stayed in place.  Slowly, I wound my way to the upper edge.  As the glue dried, it hardened the yarn and created a clear durable finish.  Late Breaking News has gotten rave reviews from all who have seen it in person.”
Using a similar method with Mod-Podge and 2 skeins of our Blender Live Wire Sari Yarn, she also created this beautiful piece:
Julie had some other great ideas to share using this same technique: “Re-purpose a boring clear glass florist’s vase to create something unique.  Wrap the exterior of a chipped or worn bowl (display with seasonal fruit or holiday items).  Re-purpose and wrap a sturdy box to create storage for magazines or books.  Wrap a wreath form, then decorate.”  She also said she uses her own Darn Good Yarn stash for: “…wrapping gifts.  I’ve even used some to tie special ornaments on our Christmas tree (think ‘tying your shoe laces’).   Fabulous colors and textures!”  Thanks, Julie and Larry!  We love your work!
Want to share your own unique Darn Good Yarn project with us?  Email me, Marissa, at or Maggie at
Happy Crafting!
Marissa :)

Get Cozy with Darn Good Yarn

December 13, 2013

Darn Good Yarn has hit Hollywood.  That’s right, the crafters you know and love now have famous fingers.  Their knitting needles and crochet hooks shall be bronzed for prosperity.  Ok, not that last one, because then they would be difficult to use.  But some fun and silly cozies made by Darn Good Yarners have been featured in a nation-wide commercial!  Check it out:

As you may know, Darn Good Yarn won a FedEx Small Business Grant at the beginning of this year.  Watch a super cute video about it here, and read even more about it here.  When they wanted to make this fun commercial all about cozies, the FedEx folks came right to Darn Good Yarn.  Nicole rounded up her troops, had us all crafting madly, and made it out to LA all in about 1 week!  But who made what, you ask?  Let’s see:

Joie, one of the owners of Foxcroft Agway, a store near where Nicole lives in Maine, made 2 of the granny squares on the refrigerator cozy, and also helped out on the Christmas tree cozy.

We love our Cozies!

I (Marissa, your faithful DGY blogger) made the other 6 granny squares on the fridge, and also made the toaster cozy.  Nicole (our crafty leader) made the dog cozy, worked on the Christmas tree cozy, and helped put everything together on the set.


Tail cozy!

(The separate little tail cozy on the dog may be my favorite!)

Olga -- yarn-bomber extraordinaire and faithful Darn Good Yarn fan, check out her fabulous work here -- helped on the Christmas tree as well (that was the largest project!) and also made a cozy for a bush right outside the window.  It’s hiding right here:

Sue, Nicole’s wonderfully crafty Mother-in-Law, made the commercial’s crowning glory that is the kid cozy.

Also helping out finish the giant Christmas tree cozy were Wendy and Cathy -- local friends of Nicole’s who helped her out -- as well as Jackie, a fellow dedicated Darn Good Yarner, and Beth, a friend of Nicole’s from California.  I’m sure we have all tried not to let this overwhelming fame go to our heads.  ;)

If you have a silly cozy or other fun project, especially made using Darn Good Yarn, I’d love to see it!  Email me at

Happy warm and cozy holidays and happy crafting!


Darn Good Yarn is on Flickr!

November 21, 2013

Have you ever needed to show off Darn Good Yarn products to generate yarn-envy in your friends, neighbors, or yarn store owners that you know?  Well, Natasha, Darn Good Yarn’s glamour yarn photographer, has given you a great way to show off Darn Good Yarn to everyone.  Our very own Flickr account!

Get up close and personal with our Silk Bubbles Yarn -

Or show off the different colorways of Silk Cloud:

All of these and more are available on our Flickr page.  Just click here to check them out!

Share them with everyone!

Marissa :)

Help Darn Good Yarn Take Over the World!

November 13, 2013

As you (hopefully) know, Darn Good Yarn was founded with the idea of not just bringing you amazing and fabulous fiber, but also helping people along the way.  Darn Good Yarn currently helps families of India and Nepal earn a living wage by producing the gorgeous yarns and other products we provide.  But why stop there?  Let’s help families everywhere!

Darn Good Yarn is all about supporting micro-enterprises -- small business ventures that have a big impact on families.  Earning a living wage from these kind of businesses can allow men and women the financial stability to send their kids to school and help their communities.   And Darn Good Yarn owner Nicole’s vision of supporting these families this way is shared by other people around the world.

Jorge del Carpio is doing much the same work with the Aymara llama herders in Chile.  He has created Royal Llama Yarn, which supports a dwindling llama population and the people who work with them.  And to top it all off, they have discovered a way to process the llama fiber in a way which makes it deliciously soft and great to work with!  Find out all about Royal Llama and how they work here.

Some of the people (and llamas!) DGY wants to visit!

Here’s where you come in.  Nicole, Maggie and Natasha -- the core Darn Good Yarn Girls -- want to go to Chile to meet Jorge, the Aymara people, the llamas, simply everyone and everything involved in the operation.  After that, we can start bringing this wonderful fiber to you!  Llama fiber that is still wonderfully warm, great for knitting, crocheting, or spinning -- but isn’t itchy at all!  How can you miss out on that?

In order to make this visit and join in with this great company, we need your help.  We need the funds to make the visit!  We are running it just like a Kickstarter campaign, if you are familiar with those.  There is a great reward for you regardless of how much you donate!  And the more you can give, the bigger the reward.  Nicole will give you the low-down:

Read even more about Royal Llama and donate what you can here.

So go ahead, donate a dollar.  How about 5?  Whatever you can.  Tell your friends!  Tell people at your local yarn store!  Tell random people you meet at the grocery store!  Go nuts! :)

Remember, visit our Chile project page here to donate.

Thanks for all your help and your support of Darn Good Yarn!

Marissa, Darn Good Blogger :)

Expand your Business, Love your Local Chamber of Commerce!

October 29, 2013

Recently Nicole Snow, owner extraordinaire of Darn Good Yarn, had a chat with Denise Buzzelli, the Executive Director of the Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce.  Piscataquis county, according to Google, is the least populous county in Maine.   You can totally invite the Director of the Chamber of Commerce over to your house for a chat if you live there.  You especially can if you’ve been working together to help local small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs!  In this video, Nicole discusses how awesome it is to have community support, the need for diversification of industry, and some courses she will be teaching at the Chamber of Commerce.  These classes may be going online, so keep an eye out!  You can also subscribe to the Darn Good Yarn YouTube channel here.

-Marissa :)


New Pattern: Sari Ribbon Cowl

October 25, 2013

An excerpt from Patterns

If you are like me, you may find you cannot stop yourself from buying gorgeous yarn even if you have no idea what project you will use it for.  "This Recycled Sari Ribbon yarn is amazing!" you may find yourself saying. …

continue reading this pattern →

How’d You Do That? Discover Unique Ways DGYers Use Their Yarn

October 22, 2013

With the wonderful and unique yarns that Darn Good Yarn offers, we often get to see that yarn used in unique ways!  Sharon of Abingdon, Virginia put her very own spin on her Darn Good Yarn purchases.  In more ways than one.

She sent us this picture of her great project, a beautiful table runner she made as a gift for her new daughter-in-law.

In this project, she used about 9 skeins of silk sari ribbon in bridal white and a purple/turquoise mix.  Need to snap up some sari ribbon of your own?  Just click here.

When I first saw this project, I had no idea how it was made.  I emailed Sharon and she let me in on the secret.  She wove it on her very own traditional peg loom.  Now, I consider myself pretty die-hard in my fiber appreciation, but I had never even heard of it.  She had anticipated this, and sent me this helpful picture:

Now, of course, I want one of my very own.  You get to weave without a giant intimidating loom!  I plan on looking one up soon.  But Sharon didn’t just weave her ribbon, she put her own “spin” on the fiber – with her Ashford Country Spinner II spinning wheel.  She described her spinning for me: “I spin custom yarns, mostly for my mother, who is a weaver.  My yarns are different than traditional yarns, not really artsy with bling, but more raw and natural as I try to keep the integrity of the locks and fiber intact.  I spin mostly Alpaca and Sheep wool – I try to use the local farms as much as possible.”  She spun the ribbon just enough to put a light twist into it, and added her own turquoise and purple merino wool with the ribbon in the center.  Here’s a closer look at her work:

Have these gorgeous hues inspired you to get out your spinning wheel?  Darn Good Yarn has roving and batts for spinning!  Find them here.

Sharon definitely thinks outside the box when it comes to fiber manipulation.  She told me all about her newest project: “My newest venture is spinning the silk and fabric from old weddings gowns into a useable yarn for brides to make a shawl, purse, or keepsake blanket.  There are so many wedding gowns in attics not being used!  I try to balance the spinning between work, my horses and my chickens.  :)   Although, if I could, I would spin 24 hours a day!!!”

I fully agree with her there.  She said she would welcome any questions about her spinning projects, peg looms, or custom orders.  Just email her at!

Want to share your Darn Good Yarn project with other fiber lovers?  Just email me at

Happy Crafting!

Marissa, Darn Good Yarn blogger

New Pattern: Gorgeous Banana Fiber Shawl

October 15, 2013

An excerpt from Patterns

If you’ve been following Darn Good Yarn on Facebook, you probably saw this amazing shawl a few days ago. If you haven’t been following DGY on Facebook, why not?  Hurry and click here to get all the news about new…

continue reading this pattern →

New Pattern: “Athena’s Dream” Bracelet Tutorial

October 15, 2013

An excerpt from Patterns

Our prolific jewelry designer and friend of DGY Ambre has shared another great project with us!  This one is a quick and fun crocheted bracelet.  The only stitches you need to know are the slip stitch and half-double crochet stitch. …

continue reading this pattern →