Darn Good Blog — fair trade


The Women Behind It All: Meet Biwi

This is absolutely going to be my favorite part of each of these 3 part series. I get to introduce you to the amazing women artisans who make our products; the very reason this company is what it is. I couldn't be more thrilled <3 

So without further ado, meet Biwi Chunni. She works with one of our cooperatives and makes the yarn many of you use. There are 10 people in her family and include herself, her husband, 4 sons and 4 daughters. (And I thought just one was a handful.) :)

4 Romantic Ways to Gift Creative People Monthly

Romance lives on! In a world that can often feel full of challenges, romance can bring love, excitement, and share joy in our lives.  And remember, romance can come in so many ways so why not be the one to put that sweet "I Love You" idea out there. 

While Valentine's Day is a holiday to let your loved one or ones know just how much you care, why not give them a delivery each month? In sending a monthly subscription from Darn Good Yarn, you are reminding that special someone just how much you care! How romantic is that? Here are three of our subscriptions to get you started:

1. Our Darn Good Yarn of the Month subscription is a sweet deal and a fine way to say "I Love You" every month. The really neat thing is that each month your recipient will get a pattern, a skein of one of our unique fibers, and a crafting "goodie". Oh, and this one might be great for self-gifting!

2. Have a bead loving crafter in your life? Our Darn Good Beads of the Month subscription is really going to bring some heartfelt bling to their doorstep! Each box contains high quality beads, facets, and a seasonally themed project with step-by-step instructions for any skill level. With each delivery, you will deliver new techniques and provide new and exciting fair trade materials to that someone special!

3. Perhaps you want to send some of the best of the best each month? The Premium Darn Good Yarn subscription does just that! Bundle your love up with a special delivery each month that will inspire and give options for exploring new creative pathways. We pack each box with the joy of creativity just for the one you love!

Every month, the person you gift will receive a perfectly curated box with 200 grams of yarn, a surprise sample card of yarn and a pattern. The inspiration for our monthly boxes come from artists just like you! Each month, we carefully select an Artist of the Month whose pattern will be featured in an upcoming Darn Good Yarn Club box.

4. Our monthly subscriptions can be a romantic way to keep that love and happiness coming in a special delivery. Here's yet another thought for that creative person- the gift of choice! A  Darn Good Yarn gift card!  At our house, we say "options are a good thing" and you can get a downloadable gift subscription for Valentine's Day or whenever. We love creating happiness!

Gift cards come in may denominations so pick what works for you and it comes as a speedy download!  Why, you could give a gift card  every now and then, knowing that your love and thoughtfulness gives the wonderful gift of choice! 

Our DGY romantic ways to gift creative people are ideas that keep on giving. Add a bottle of wine, a night out, or a sweet card. Whatever your style, the Darn Good Yarn team would love to hear how you wrapped your romance with Darn Good Yarn!



5 Darn Good Projects from Our Friends

What inspires you? And what makes you happy? Every now and then, the Darn Good team gathers up some of the most amazing creations that our family of crafters has made and posts them in a blog. Why? Because we are exponentially inspired by our Darn Good Yarn family and it makes us happy to see what you are making! So, of course, we want to share that inspiration and happiness with all of you!

1. Our new friend, Sandra, shared with us her very first arm knit scarf. Our 30 Minute Arm Knit Scarf Kit is the perfect introduction to arm knitting and our reclaimed chiffon ribbon.  Have you tried chiffon ribbon? Sandra likes it so much she had decided to order more!!! She's also really jazzed about the DGY commitment to bettering people's lives.

2. Gifts are just one way that we can reach out and bring a bit of happiness to those we love. Sharing her joy over her wooden yarn bowl, @knittingknight got this gorgeous yarn bowl from her Mom and we love that she wanted to let us know how much she loves this beautiful and practical gift. And look at her gorgeous project!

3. Sari Ribbon at Darn Good Yarn is one of our masterpiece collections. It's not only a recycled fiber, this ribbon also provides fair trade, sustainable work for women in India!  Its uses are many and we absolutely find this silk GI tract to be one of the most unique and beautiful pieces we have seen! Thanks to @theartoflfed  who used our sari silk ribbon for this GI tract creation and our "gut" tells us this is one amazing piece of fiber art!

4. This hat! So many of us are really loving this eye-catching hat! Remember that sometimes combining fibers can make for such a beautiful partnership! Our DGY friend, @whimsicallyhooked, combines our delicious Spice Market recycled silk and a cotton blend and what a combo! The dark cotton makes the Spice Market really pop, which is what this yarn loves to do anyway!

5. Think green! A DGY team member, Lynneamae, loves to design and play with ideas! She took our Natural Nettle, a plant fiber, and made this sweet satchell!  What would you use this adorable nettle bag for? While she has no pattern, @lynneamae is working on putting one together for us!

We love seeing what our Darn Good Yarn family makes. The creations amaze us and we want to hear from you!  Be sure to contact us here, find us on facebook, or other social media! Our inspiration for creating happiness comes from seeing what you are making! Please do be in touch! Sharing inspiration creates more happiness!

Handcrafting Sock Ideas

Happy Feet!

Socks, do you make them or buy them?  I totally understand that sock making is not for everyone so I have thoughts on both making and buying! That being said, do you feel that socks say something about you? Do you have socks that are favorites? Or silly? Or festive? 

I totally get this and love when I have my "best-est" handcrafted socks on. I plan my socks choices for entertaining! Funny, right? It is, but how cool is is when I have "happy feet" -wearing them for get-togethers when we take off our winter boots, etc, and can share our cool-ness with others! Yep, its silly but definitely part of my cold weather happiness! 

Handcrafted Socks That You Don't Have to Make!

So, yeah we have some really awesome handcrafted, fair trade wool socks from our Nepal co-op. I wanted to share these because not everyone is up for making socks and turning a heel.  Our wool socks are lined with fleece which makes them super soft and if you want warm, this is the winter sock for you. Let us know your color preferences and we will do our best to honor your wishes!

We are really pleased to carry these Fleece Lined Socks because this provides valuable and sustainable employment for women in Nepal. Not only are you giving some one happy feet, you can bring more happiness as this makes "happy souls" globally! A win, win!

Soulful Selections

Alright, so are you up for knitting your own socks? Let me tell you, I am not an expert! I started making socks about 7 years ago. This was my first foray into using double pointed needles and I love using them.  I tend to just make different color socks and haven't ventured far so I guess you might say I am sock stuck!  However, I love the process!

The yarns I use are DGY fine, lace type yarns because I love wearing my socks with shoes and boots. Silk lace yarns are excellent as they are fine in weight but also give you the durability you need in socks. And oh so soft!

Speaking of soft, try our linen yarn in a slightly thicker sport weight. Excellent for even those summer socks with delicious color options, this yarn gets softer over time so this will have you smiling with your happy feet!


Looking for a heavier sock? Lots of patterns have modification options so that you can make socks using a thicker worsted weight, not necessarily for fitting in a shoe but nice for keeping those toes toasty!  We have some seriously sweet worsted weights with colors that are going to have you doing the happy dance!

With the multiplicity of sock patterns out there, I thought I would just throw a few of the more  ideas I've seen. I know I need to branch out into different sock design and here's what I learned today:

  • Tina's handicraft blog has some really sweet sock ideas- check out the socks with bows!
  • Of course, Pinterest and Ravelry have lots and lots and lots of sock patterns (be careful as you might just get lost with all the amazing stuff)
  • Thanks to allcrafts.net  for over 500 sock patterns!

And Don't Forget Crochet!

Crochet socks? Yes, this is true though I haven't tried them. I feel that most of the patterns I looked at were more sock related but here is one for Basic Crochet Socks thanks to allfreecrochet.com. Haven't tried the pattern though it sounds not too tricky...just wanted you to know there are options!

Soulfully Yours

We are a soulful bunch at Darn Good Yarn and really focus on what matters for our customers! We love supporting you in your crafting and absolutely get that we all don't do every craft. So whether you are knitting or crocheting socks or buying handcrafted socks to fit your creative lifestyle, know that your Darn Good Yarn purchase brings together a world of happy feet and warmth!


8 Valentines Day Gift Ideas for Creative People

Feed the Passion

Crafters are passionate about what they do, the materials they use, and creating incredible handmade gifts.  This is the season of love, though all things at Darn Good Yarn "start with love", and we want to share with you some really awesome Valentine's Day ideas for gifting your crafter and those seeking the creative lifestyle.

Yes, we love our wine! We love our chocolate! Here is what really will set our creative hearts a-flutter this Valentine's Day! Pick out a gift that really sparks our fires and makes us fill up with love and happiness. Here are a few suggestions of what Nicole and the DGY team are loving right now:

1.We created this one just for you! Ogle over our Best of Darn Good Yarn Packs which will give your crafter both an amazing selection of our yarns and a darn good sale price! Note the gorgeous "Struck by Cupid" color choice-perfect for your love! 

Struck by Cupid contains 1 skein of white yak, 1 skein of pink suede ribbon, 1 skein of pink windswept ribbon and 1 skein of red multi-colored banana fiber.  All packs come with a free DGY silk bag! What's not to love? 

2. Hand crafted yarn bowls are the perfect gift for the knitter, crocheter, or fiber arts person in your life! These amazing bowls are better than candy because they have over 550 great reviews AND provide work for over 50 people. Providing sustainable work is something we can all feel happy about and is oh, so sweet!

We offer several options for bowls so check it out. Our Designer Craft Pack makes another almost-better-than-chocolate Valentine's gift! With fiber, pattern, needles, bowl, and bag this is an impressive gift all in one! This is going to have you looking good!!!

Writing You a Love Letter


3. Honestly, with crafters if you buy any beautiful fiber, you have it covered. The truth is we all have a fiber addiction and you may as well feed it! Take a look at our gorgeous fiber options and throw together skeins of love. This wool is "Love Letter! Believe me, you can't go wrong with that Valentine's gift!

4. Does #3 above make you a bit nervous? Hey, we want to make this fun so don't go there. If you are not sure about what to choose (though you can't go wrong), how about giving the gift of choice? The Darn Good Yarn gift card allows you to encourage your crafting person the extreme pleasure of choosing fibers, clothing, or other goods right from our site!

Wrapped with Love

6. Speaking of clothing (yes, we support the creative lifestyle even if you are not crafty), have you seen our amazing skirt line? Through Nicole's collaborative efforts with co-ops in India, we are able to carry the most amazing, fair trade handmade skirts while providing year round work for women! Buy this Gift Giver Pack for all your loves!

7. Or how about our cotton skirts? Our maroon maxi skirt has a feel of Valentine's colors with an exotic flair. Our cotton skirts, with amazing color choices, might just be perfect for your vegan love, too!

Special Delivery

8. Wanna give a gift that keeps on giving? Over the moon in love and want to have a Valentine's Day gift that goes far beyond a one time gift? We love creating happiness and our monthly gift subscriptions are the perfect way to have a special delivery go to that special someone! Check this link for details on how they work!

We offer both yarn and bead subscriptions so if you have a mixed media artist in your life, the monthly bead delivery is just perfect for keeping those heartfelt feelings going! A great way to put a bit of sparkle in your love life, we know this one is sure to win hearts!

One of Nicole's goals for this year is to create happiness. The Darn Good Yarn Team is on it and taking action on ways to bring more happiness to you. Whatever and whoever you love, this list of things we are passionate about is sure to be a hit-and hey, be sure to gift yourself this Valentine's Day! xo


A Maroon Maxi Skirt and 7 Reasons to Have One

Just wanted to make a quick note to all of you! We have some amazingly beautiful skirts and today I want to run by you the incredible 100% Cotton Skirts. Available in different lengths and colors, I am loving the maroon maxi and will focus on that!

1. Having grown up in the 70's when maxis were huge, I am excited that the style is coming full circle. Our ankle length is approximately 33" in length, perfect for covering what needs to be covered!

Marooned in Maroon!

2. As found, in dictionary.com, the definition of maroon as an adjective pops and I know this is true of the skirts! 

    1. Dark brownish-red.
    2. Chiefly British
       1. a loudly exploding firework consisting of a cardboard container filled with gunpowder
       2. a similar firework used as a danger or warning signal, as by railway brakemen
Maroon is an eye-catcher, for sure! The fireworks definition was new to me but is so true!
3. Another reason to wear maroon? The color represents courage, bravery, and strength. Wearing our gorgeous maroon maxi gives you confidence to get out there and tackle whatever the day brings knowing you look amazing while doing it! Wearing what makes us feel good makes us happy! We choose happiness every time!
4. Did you see the colors we pair with our rich maroon? This really opens up options for what to pair with our maxi skirt (and we all love options)!  I am loving the orange with the maroon as it's snappingly (okay, so I make up words!) beautiful and two colors I would not think to partner! Break out that beautiful peasant blouse!


5. Speaking of pairing, I have a few other suggestions for what to wear with your maroon maxi!  Boots are so in and look great with these skirts. Add a turtle neck and your warm sweater for a great winter look. DGY skirts also looks great with a pair of flats and a solid t-shirt and for warmer climes and vacations, tanks and sandals will do it. 
6. Not sure you are ready for the confident, strong maroon design? Then please consider our  black and white skirts, there is nothing gray about this decision! Perhaps a bit more subtle, black and white patterning still leads you to many color and clothing choices! Think accent colors!

Fair Trade

7. Our cotton skirts provide sustainable fair trade employment to women around the globe. Your purchase helps families to have meaningful work to support their families year round! Now that is happiness!
Whatever the day brings, how we dress influences our day! Our 100% cotton skirts provide you with options for dressing for the creative lifestyle and feeling beautiful inside and out. Bring it on and bring on happiness!