Darn Good Blog


Donations for Bihar

 Looking to donate to the floods in Bihar? 

Over the past few days, India has been devastated by flooding. Many artisans have been forced to evacuate their homes and are now without food and shelter.

We need your help! From now until Tuesday, August 30th, 100% of our profits will be donated to help our Artisans and their families in India. Thank you so much to those of you who have already contributed and for those who have asked how they can donate, you can use the link above and donate through Paypal. Every bit of your donations will go directly to those who have been and are being affected by the flooding. 

  • Nicole Snow

6 Tips For Bringing Knitting Supplies on Airplanes

Darn Good Yarn

Hop on the Bus, Gus!

I don't know about you but I love to travel! There is nothing more exciting to me than planning a trip and then putting that plan in to action. I love a balance of down time and adventure time. For me, it is both about experiencing culture and place with a sufficient amount of r & r! Which for me means reading and (w)riting! And heaps of yarn!

Make a New Plan, Stan!

Planning is essential for a good trip so I always bring books, writing paper and pen(I like to go tech-free as much as possible when traveling), and a bag loaded up with my yarn projects. For longer trips, I bring more than one project so I have something easy and something more challenging. I mean, I would freak if I didn't have more than one project to work on! Each time I pack my project bag, I consider that the rules for carry on are ever changing. Here are a few suggestions that I have learned:

  1. Leave your favorite needles at home. You will not cry over cheap supplies, so bring  just things you know you can part with if confiscated.
  2. Leave your metal needles at home, and bring only those made of plastic or bamboo. They are more flight friendly and they are not usually considered dangerous by the authorities.
  3. No thread cutters! These are strictly forbidden. Scissors are not accepted either.However, for cutting the extra yarn, bring a pair of children scissors instead. You are permitted to keep scissors smaller than 4 inches in your carry-on baggage.
  4. Place all your knitting supplies in a transparent bag, so they can easily be seen, without the security staff having to fiddle with them. Personally, I bring a zip lock bag with my tools but have a fun bag for the actual projects because that matters to me!
  5. Be sure to bring lots of cool Darn Good Yarn so you have a zen-ful trip!
  6. Always check the list of forbidden items on flights prior to embarking on a plane. Since different countries may have different rules when it comes to this, for international flights, make sure you are up to date with all their regulations.
All My Bags are Packed, I'm Ready to Go

I love that you can go to the TSA website and learn what is accepted. Also, take note that there is a search bar located on the upper right where you can ask "when I fly can I bring my...". This helps me with questions but I also find it doesn't answer more specific questions about crafting tools and notions.

The TSA states "even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane". So again, referring to #1 above, if you have something that you really love for crafting, it might be best to leave it home!

Big ol' jet airliner

So yeah, I like to keep my traveling simple but it does require a bit of planning. I have never had an incident with my crafting projects or tools because I take the time to pack my projects bag. With a tad bit of planning and  sensible thinking, you will be able to travel with your crafts. After all, why would you ever leave them behind? Personally, if I can't craft, I can't go!!!!

Retreat from the Everyday - Darn Good Yarn

Get out there and adventure! Wishing you safe travels from the gang at Darn Good Yarn!   xoJanis


Darn Good Baby Contest

Nicole & Mike are EXPECTING and want you to be a part of this special occasion! P.S. It’s a girl.

How to Win:

Nicole and Mike will select their 2 favorite pieces from each category (1 original design, 1 design created from a pattern). There will be 6 total winners.


  • Headwear/Hat
  • Clothing
  • Accessory

Original Pattern

Submit your own original pattern (one that you have created) for a hat/headwear, article of clothing or accessories and we will select one winner from each category to win a $250 Darn Good Yarn gift card. Don't forget...your original pattern can be posted on our site!

Created from a Pattern

Submit your hat/headwear, article of clothing or accessory created from a pattern and we will select one winner from each category to win a $50 Darn Good Yarn gift card!

Submissions will be accepted from August 22nd, 2016 - September 22nd, 2016 and the winners will be announced September 28th

How to Enter

  1. Email: info@darngoodyarn.com
  2. Use Subject Line: Darn Good Baby Contest Entry
  3. Submission Category: Headwear/Hat, Clothing, or Accessory
  4. Type: Original (attach pattern) or Created from a Pattern
  5. Contact Info: Name, Address, and Phone Number
  6. Attach: 1-2 pictures of your completed project 

Official Contest Rules


  1. Eligibility: This Campaign is open only to those who sign up via email at info@darngoodyarn.com and who are 18 or older as of the date of entry.The Campaign is only open to legal residents of the United States, and is void where prohibited by law. Employees of Darn Good Yarn, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, and suppliers, (collectively the “Employees”), and immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of Employees are not eligible to participate in the Campaign. The Campaign is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited.
  2. Agreement to Rules: By participating, the Contestant (“You”) agree to be fully unconditionally bound by these Rules, and You represent and warrant that You meet the eligibility requirements. In addition, You agree to accept the decisions of Darn Good Yarn as final and binding as it relates to the content of this Campaign.
  3. Campaign Period: Entries will be accepted online starting on 8/22/16, 12:00pm est  and ending 9/22/16, 11:59 pm est. All online entries must be received by 9/22/16, 11:55pm est.
  4. How to Enter: The Campaign must be entered by submitting an email to info@darngoodyarn.com The entry must fulfill all Campaign requirements, as specified, to be eligible to win a prize. Entries that are incomplete or do not adhere to the rules or specifications may be disqualified at the sole discretion of Darn Good Yarn
  5. Prizes: The Winner(s) of the Campaign (the “Winner”) will receive either a $250 Darn Good Yarn Gift Card (3 winners) or a $50 Darn Good Yarn Gift Card (3 winners). Actual/appraised value may differ at time of prize award. The specifics of the prize shall be solely determined by Darn Good Yarn. No cash or other prize substitution shall be permitted except at Darn Good Yarn discretion. The prize is nontransferable. Any and all prize-related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, state, and/or local taxes, shall be the sole responsibility of Winner. No substitution of prize or transfer/assignment of prize to others or request for the cash equivalent by Winner is permitted. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission for Darn Good Yarn to use Winner’s name, likeness, and entry for purposes of advertising and trade without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.
  6. Odds: The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  7. Winner Selection and Notification: Winner will be selected by Nicole & Mike  under the supervision of Darn Good Yarn. Winner will be notified by email within five (5) days following selection of Winner. Darn Good Yarn shall have no liability for Winner’s failure to receive notices due to spam, junk e-mail or other security settings or for Winner’s provision of incorrect or otherwise non-functioning contact information. If Winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim the prize within 10 days from the time award notification was sent, or fails to timely return a completed and executed declaration and release as required, the prize may be forfeited and an alternate Winner selected. Receipt by Winner of the prize offered in this Campaign is conditioned upon compliance with any and all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. ANY VIOLATION OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES BY WINNER (AT Darn Good Yarn]‘S SOLE DISCRETION) WILL RESULT IN WINNER’S DISQUALIFICATION AS WINNER OF THE CAMPAIGN, AND ALL PRIVILEGES AS WINNER WILL BE IMMEDIATELY TERMINATED.
  8. Rights Granted by You: By entering this content (e.g., photo, video, text, etc.), You understand and agree that Darn Good Yarn, anyone acting on behalf of Darn Good Yarn, and Darn Good Yarn’s licensees, successors, and assigns, shall have the right, where permitted by law, to print, publish, broadcast, distribute, and use in any media now known or hereafter developed, in perpetuity and throughout the World, without limitation, your entry, name, portrait, picture, voice, likeness, image, statements about the Campaign, and biographical information for news, publicity, information, trade, advertising, public relations, and promotional purposes. without any further compensation, notice, review, or consent. Optional verbiage for Contests: By entering this content, You represent and warrant that your entry is an original work of authorship, and does not violate any third party’s proprietary or intellectual property rights. If your entry infringes upon the intellectual property right of another, You will be disqualified at the sole discretion of Darn Good Yarn. If the content of your entry is claimed to constitute infringement of any proprietary or intellectual proprietary rights of any third party, You shall, at your sole expense, defend or settle against such claims. You shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Darn Good Yarn from and against any suit, proceeding, claims, liability, loss, damage, costs or expense, which Darn Good Yarn may incur, suffer, or be required to pay arising out of such infringement or suspected infringement of any third party’s right.
  9. Terms & Conditions: Darn Good Yarn reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Campaign should virus, bug, non-authorized human intervention, fraud, or other cause beyond Darn Good Yarn’s control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, or proper conduct of the Campaign. In such case, Darn Good Yarn may select the Winner from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by Darn Good Yarn. Darn Good Yarn reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Campaign or website or violates these Terms & Conditions. Darn Good Yarn has the right, in its sole discretion, to maintain the integrity of the Campaign, to void votes for any reason, including, but not limited to: multiple entries from the same user from different IP addresses; multiple entries from the same computer in excess of that allowed by Campaign rules; or the use of bots, macros, scripts, or other technical means for entering. Any attempt by an entrant to deliberately damage any website or undermine the legitimate operation of the Campaign may be a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such attempt be made, Darn Good Yarn reserves the right to seek damages to the fullest extent permitted by law.
  10. Limitation of Liability: By entering, You agree to release and hold harmless Darn Good Yarn and its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers, and directors from any liability, illness, injury, death, loss, litigation, claim, or damage that may occur, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not, from: (i) such entrant’s participation in the Campaign and/or his/her acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize or any portion thereof; (ii) technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunction of any computer, cable, network, hardware, or software, or other mechanical equipment; (iii) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions, telephone, or Internet service; (iv) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Promotion; (v) electronic or human error in the administration of the Promotion or the processing of entries.
  11. Disputes: THIS Campaign IS GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES AND NEW YORK, WITHOUT RESPECT TO CONFLICT OF LAW DOCTRINES. As a condition of participating in this Campaign, participant agrees that any and all disputes that cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Campaign, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively before a court located in New York having jurisdiction. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances shall participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to, punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, including reasonable attorney’s fees, other than participant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. costs associated with entering this Campaign). Participant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.
  12. Winners List: To obtain a copy of the Winner’s name or a copy of these Official Rules, mail your request along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Darn Good Yarn, 22 N. College St., Schenectady, NY 12305. Requests must be received no later than 9/22/16 11:59 pm est.
  13. Sponsor: The Sponsor of the Campaign is  Darn Good Yarn, 22 N. College St., Schenectady, NY 12305
  14. Facebook: If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a contest or sweepstakes, include the following: The Campaign hosted by Darn Good Yarn is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.

15. By checking here, You, the Contestant, have affirmatively reviewed, accepted, and agreed to all of the Official Rules.

How to Crochet, Knit, or Weave a Rug for Your Home

Rugs Rugs Rugs

Rugs Rugs Rugs

Rugs provide such cool accents in our homes! Are you needing a welcome mat at your front door or something to keep your toes warm while loading the washing machine? Buried in my pattern collection. I have a great pattern for crocheting a bath rug and I so want to find it and try it with some sari silk yarn. Hard to choose just one fiber but I love the multi colored one inch ribbon below for crocheting rugs!

Practical or Pleasureable

Multicolored Finished Edges Sari Silk Ribbon 1" Wide

So can we talk berber? Without being technical, berber is a textured feel and look that has a more nubbly, bubbly feel...wow, that was far from technical! I have a cat named Bob who loves berber rugs so he has one (not that Bob is in charge or anything)!!! I have now realized that I could make something like a berber rug using strong fiber such as hemp. Beyond cats, a hemp rug could be great outside the door for wiping boots! Thanks for the suggestion, Bob!

Hemp Rug

Rag or Recycled Rugs

Reclaimed Cotton Rug

Rugs like the one above are made from old bed linens and t-shirt cotton. They whip up quickly once the cloth is cut into long strips and can be worked up easily using a larger crochet hook or big knitting needles. This example is in an easy crochet circular pattern. Not sure you want to go through the work or cut up your t-shrits? DGY does carry reclaimed cotton, too!

Back and Forth

Darn Good Yarn Cotton Rug

True confessions! I am a weaver wanna-be! I have a rigid heddle loom and not a lot of space. Well, that is until recently. We put a full cellar where our crawl space use to be and one of the first things to come down out of the hot, overcrowded attic was my RH! Yahoo! I can't tell you how excited I am to have that standing up so I can work on weaving when ever I have a few minutes. I totally want to play with rug making and can't decide which fiber to play with first! Suggestions?


Darn Good Yarn Welcome Rug

Rugs speak to us about opening our doors, our homes, our hearts. This knit rug pattern above is super easy and totally puts a bit of zest in your nest. Texture, color, and homemade quality speaks of warmth and a cozy feel. Reclaimed fibers make this a wonderful welcome mat or a great new home gift!

Still looking for more ideas on creating a rug? How about this very cool crochet bath mat from www.mamainastitch.com? They suggest using rope but this could be so cool and soft with some sari silk ribbon! The pattern is great and remember that you can use whatever you want for your fiber. Consider your needs and your traffic and adjust the gauge accordingly.

We here at DGY love sharing what we do and what we learn about. Rugs are just one more cool way to use our unique fibers. We're rolling out the welcome mat for you and looking forward to your visit!!! So how do you feel about rugs and what unique fiber can we help you find? xoJanis

  • Janis Minshull

Advice I Wish Someone Gave Me Before I Started Knitting

The Joy of Knitting

The Joy of Knitting

Knitting is the rage right now and with such a busy, crazy world around us it is super wonderful to sneak away from it all and chill with the sweet meditational repetition of knitting. I learned to knit as a child and while for me it is just something I do on a regular basis, it wasn't always that way. I know my Mom felt it was important for me to know how to knit and I was an anxious beginner as I couldn't wait to get started!

Now as a grandmother, I am pondering when my granddaughter will be ready to knit. Being a retired librarian, I have a wealth of experience in working with people, and kids in particular. My grand-girl loves the idea of knitting but I am considering this carefully because I want her to love the fibers and appreciate the artistry, too. There is no rush for her to be a knitter and I am working through a few thoughts I have on what all beginning knitters should know to start this journey.

Do Re Mi

30 Minute Arm Knit Scarf 

"Start at the beginning - it's a very good place to start". Think about color and what fibers you want to work with. Starting with a basic fiber will give you a chance to just play around with yarn. The options are endless but as a beginner it is best to learn a bit about fiber and what to expect. Whether using a wool or cotton or something else, each has characteristics. It's wonderful to try an arm knitting scarf where you can really learn about the qualities of fiber. 

Best Sweater Ever

Knitting is a great, soul-filling past time.Think about why you want to knit! If it's to make that gorgeous sweater pattern you saw online, think again! Simple is key to learning basic knit stitches. Keep that goal of making a sweater but to start,  I highly recommend practicing a basic garter stitch (all knitting) with around 20 stitches on a needle. This may end up being a wash cloth or a scarf and will give you practice!

Perfect Pairings


Not feeling confident about doing this on your own? Do the buddy system where you and your teacher work on a scarf together! They do some rows in one color and you do some rows in another color. Talk about the differences, mistakes, and improvements. Knitting involves practice and please don't set yourself up for frustration - enjoy the process. We all learn from out mistakes and we love helping each other!

Yarn and Needles 

Needles and yarn are perfect for getting started. Yes, there are many notions and tools that you can use when knitting and you aren't going to need them...yet! I recommend using a larger needle at least a size 8 or higher and a bulky, worsted yarn. The reason for this is that your project will work up easier and you will see results quicker. Notions and tools will come in handy once you get the basics down and are ready for the next step!

SOS (Stuck On Stitch)

Simple is key to starting and move forward as your confidence builds.You will get to that sweater pattern! Take small forward steps in your knitting and know their are basic patterns that are great to start with. I also recommend kits for beginners because you will have the yarn you need a long with the pattern so it takes some of the mystery out of knitting. Make it easy so that you do find the joy in knitting.

Stuck on a stitch and need help asap? Sometimes it is best to put down the project and come back to it another day. Getting sucked in to tangles, twists, and holes can be a very dark and frustrating place to be. Take a break and come back tomorrow. After all these years of knitting, there are still days when I need to put down the needles and come back to it another day!


Find support if you need it! Try a YouTube video! Is there a local yarn group? Does your library have a knitting club? Knitters are universally willing to help new knitters and love sharing their passion for this avocation. Don't be timid if you are stumped and remember the gang here at DGY loves to help you and to get you excited about your knitting journey! How can we help you today?  xo Janis

  • Janis Minshull

5 Famous Female Knitters and Guys, Too

Firecracker Recycled Resolution Silk Yarn 

Famous Knitters

Knitting  is something that have come full circle. Our parents, grandparents, or greats choose to knit. Often, it was essential to have home made hats, mittens, or socks to ensure members of the family were warm and comfortable. Then it seems like we gravitated toward buying store bought for so many things. Knitting lost its cool for a bit, but whoa, not any more!

Now all types knit; famous, not-so-famous, and from every walk of life. Also, we find that we want to be more careful about our waste and here at DGY we seriously consider the importance of taking care of Mother Earth! Recycled materials are finding great value in our re-aligned sensibilities! And with this flourish to re-cycle, up-cycle and bi-cycle, knitting has become super trendy. You are not only doing good for the world, you are grouping yourself with the following famous knitters:

1.Christina Hendricks -  We all know that knitting is great therapy, right? In her downtime on the set of Mad Men, Christina loves to knit. She advocates for her love of knitting and speaks about it at interviews. How cool is that? We knitters have someone promoting this wonderful and therapeutic craft! We all can use a bit of inspiration from time to time!

2.Kate Middleton - While, I am not sure of how much time Kate has to knit, she took up this hobby while on a trip to Scotland in 2013. She certainly has some royal babies to knit for! Whether beginner or expert, the inspiration page at DGY gives some excellent ideas for beginner or pro.

Kate Middleton

3.Hannah Dakota Fanning is an American actress and model. At age seven, her performance in the 2001 film I Am Sam earned her a nomination for a Screen Actors Guild Award at age eight in 2002, making her the youngest nominee in history. As a child actress, she went on to appear in high-profile films such as Man on Fire, War of the Worlds and Charlotte's Web. And guess what, Dakota loves to knit! She has knit gifts for famous actors like Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington.

Great to see the younger knitters coming along and here at DGY we have some really cute patterns for your cell phone or perhaps you want to try one of our cool kimono jacket kits! Encouraging younger people to knit creates an infinite thread of creation for the future!

4.Felicity Huffman - This star of "Dangerous Housewives" was into learning Italian and French but that all changed once she had kids. She states "my brain turned to mush and I took up knitting,"  Her knitting even inspired the title of a TV movie starring her husband, actor William H. Macy, called "The Wool Cap". Great to see this knitting passion spread far beyond the end of our knitting needles!

Hope Springs

5.Meryl Streep - I love Meryl and find her to be such a class act. I love her acting, her conviction for what she believe in and now her passion for knitting. She spend her time knitting between takes, but she is also known to introduce her costars to the many benefits of knitting.  Wow, now this person I am totally in awe of just got better. She is now on a pedestal, a yarn pedestal, with me! Or is that a chair woven with sari silk?!!!

And the winner is...

So let's not think this is just about how cool it is for WOMEN to knit. I have given a lot of thought to this and here is my favorite famous guy knitter. Drum roll and spot light please!

6.David Arquette has achieved celebrity status as both a knitter and a celebrity knitter. He has appeared on the cover of  "Celebrity Scarves 2: Hollywood Knits for Breast Cancer Research," an instructional tome of knitting projects from Hollywood's foremost hobbyists. Take a peek at this book to see what all the famous knitters are sharing for crafting ideas.

David Arquette

And yeah, I have no idea why men knit less than women but here is a great link to men who knit and I love the humor of this post from auntpeaches.com! Thanks to you guys and gals who love to knit and promote it. Thanks for caring about the earth and what we create.

Our DGY story is super amazing and we love doing what we do and that we have so many reclaimed yarns to inspire crafters, famous or not! Knitting is wonderfully popular and we are proud to be part of this movement. It's great to have all these famous knitting advocates spurring us on, and I am wondering if you have any famous knitters to add to our list? xoJanis

  • Janis Minshull