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8 Historical Photos of People Crafting

Okay, so I love black and white photography. I find that surprising because I am such a color fanatic, but it's true. Something about the light and shading that completely captures my eye. The photos show emotion so well with the lack of color.

And older photos can get me to thinking....I almost climb into the photo. One of my favorites is French photographer, Jacques Henri Lartigue, because it feels like one can discover humor, love, and live in his stories. I can just imagine the back story.

I digress! I thought it would be fun to share some photos of crafting. I'm going to add some captions but do take time to venture in to these photos as well. Did you see the net repair photo? Our fiber arts tradition began with fishermen!  Fiber arts are a huge part of our lives today but it's fun to consider the past through these photos!

Happy Knitter

1. This one cracks me up as it looks very contrived. Perhaps a cover for a catalog at one time?  I certainly love my knitting but rarely dress for the occasion and never sit in a straight back chair!

I Think I Dropped a Stitch

2. Okay, so this is not a photo. I love this painting of the Monk Knitting by Lytras Nikiphoros. This looks like the knit project may be done, but certainly the monk is deep in thought. You know how we inspect our handwork!

Bottom's Up

3. Fiber arts are such a broad craft area. This Haidi woman of Massat is weaving a basket. Look closely as this work requires great detail. Note the carving in the background. What an amazing photo! Looking for a simple basket idea? We've got you covered!

We Love Unique!

4. Yep, we are all about creativity, unique fibers, and creating happiness!  The stilt shepherds of Landes, in southwest France, were able to care for their sheep in marsh, scrub, and boggy lands because of their stilts. This fellow is working with wool while on his stilts! Talk about multi-tasking!

Hooked

5. Crochet was absolutely a past-time for royalty such as Alexandra Petrovna- Grand Duchess of Russia.  Note her head-wear and adornments are crochet projects that many of us don't know of today! While times have changes, it's exciting to know that what brings us joy has been around for quite some time!

The World Keeps Spinning

6. Spinning is something I would love to learn and is on my crafting list!  Being an amateur weaver, spinning seems like a logical progression. I'd love to grab some of our Pulled Silk Fiber and sit right down with these ladies. Imagine the knowledge these ladies could share with us!

Off the Grid

7. This old photograph cracks me up. Mixed media art is definitely the theme of class today. Students have their yarn and their canvas-looks like some type of needle work? For me, I would much prefer a cross stitch kit from Darn Good Yarn!

Sew What? 

8. Some of us remember home ec class in school. I have vivid memories of struggling through the sewing portion of that class and the hot pink, wide wale, corduroy jumper that I made. Yuck! Sewing surely has come a long way, baby!

Whatever your craft, we love supporting your creativity. It's fun to look at historical photos to put our traditions in perspective.  One of our goals for this year is to create happiness so please ask the Darn Good Yarn team if you need support or have a question!

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!

8 Ways to Become a Better Knitter and Crocheter

It's that time of year when we consider ways to become better. Better at taking care of chores, ourselves, and those around us. Sometimes our resolutions and reflections on how to be better are attainable and yahoo to you for reaching your goals! Sometimes we set ourselves up for failure and that's okay, too!

Today I want to write about happiness! Keep your goals in mind and remember to have your goal be happiness at the end, not "better". For me, happiness comes in doing for others and I have some great suggestions for how to incorporate impacting others with my love of knit and crochet projects!

1. Love what you do! Stay away from the guilt train. You love crafting and why not make that super cute, scarf for your grandchild? The chores and errands will be there, no doubt!  Consider the happiness you personally get from finding the next project and who it will be for.

 

2. We crafters are a generous bunch! Yes, I am stereotyping and yes, I think this is 100% true! I do love to make a pair of socks or scarf for myself, but what gives me greatest joy? Craft projects where I am knitting or crocheting every stitch with my dear loved one in mind that I am giving it to!  Love that ripple affect!

3. Projects for those we do not know is also just part of what we do. Have you seen the recent blog post about some of our Darn Good Yarn family?  Be sure to read about our friend Janet who is  making plarn mats for the homeless! Or in Canada, there is a project for making scarfs for the Special Olympics or in the U.S., blankets for Project Linus! I make baby blankets for the needy and also chemo caps for Hope Lodge.

By now you must realize my thought process for being a better knitter or crocheter is about happiness. Being a better knitter or crocheter is not necessarily about your level of skill, as we pride ourselves in reaching out to others. The joy of creativity has broad ripples and brings much happiness!

4. Start at Love is how Darn Good Yarn was founded and almost 9 years later, we continue to work hard and with thought-full intent to make the world a better place!  Creating jobs for over 600 women around the globe where year round sustainable work means families now have improved education, services, and quality of life.

5. Recycled fibers and skirts make of reclaimed sari silk are another way that your DGY purchase brings happiness to the world! Along with providing employment, DGY has kept over 1 million pounds of sari remnants from going to landfills. Caring for Mother Earth is essential and thanks to you, we continue to offer a large line of recycled materials.

6. Are you wanting suggestions on how to become a better knitter as far as skills?Here is another blog post thanks to nobleknits.com that offers a list of knit skills to aspire to. Guess I am not ready to tackle charts but I do like the idea of increasing my abilities. Keep in mind that Nicole has a flair for being on camera and has some entertaining and useful tutorials to help you with crafting.

7. Another avenue for becoming a better knitter and crocheter is our yarn bowls! Did you know that our Indian Rosewood Yarn Bowl has gotten rave reviews on our website? While we love that, it's the 50 plus jobs we are able to provide that makes this a beautiful way to bring happiness to your life and many others, too!

8. Take time for yourself (see #1 again)! Better is just a word and yes we all want to improve on something. Why not take some of that Darn Good Yarn philosophy and "retreat from the everyday"? Becoming a better knitter or crocheter might just mean doing what you love, allowing yourself to be creative, and giving back. Happiness is a far "better" goal!

The Darn Good Yarn team supports you in your endeavors. Smile! It may just be the start of something!

 

 

 

 

http://blog.nobleknits.com/blog/2016/9/1/ways-to-supercharge-your-knitting

How to Meld Super Bowl LI and Crafts

Okay, so I love to have fun with writing blog posts for Darn Good Yarn. I think I've really scored with this idea and its super simple! Embrace football and other things that give you time to craft!

Like me, perhaps you have been following American football for many decades? Like many New Englanders, the Patriots are my team. But I also need to make a confession. I am not really engaged with a lot of what this game is about; I know my team and will engage in conversation with my husband, but over the years I have become surreptitiously engaged in winter crafting!

Show Me The Numbers

My husband knows players stats like we had them over for a "bar-b" last week! He remembers plays from years ago and last week as well (though has no clue where he left his car keys)!  From August through February, our social life is dictated around game schedules (including all other months for trades, deals, and NFL data)!  So what's the super bowl to me?

Yep! I love my wooden yarn bowl and use it religiously. I chuckle quietly through the Fall as we head toward football playoffs. Just like those teams, I have a strategy and stealthy plan for my season of projects. I learn new techniques (like the players) and thrive on challenging new moves! My play book is my patterns, my equipment is my unique fibers.

Yes, I craft year round but I also know that I want to spend time with my husband as we both work hard and value our time together. Between my never ending quest to understand why people want to pummel each other  to get a pigskin and my desire for time to craft, this is a coin toss where all win! He queries me about my knit or crochet project and we all our happy!

Time Out

So, yes! For those of you who never have enough time to craft, I recommend football, a sport that is on several days and can literally take up your Sunday. With my minor attraction to the game and my major attraction to my crafts, this has been a great score for family time!

Designated family time is tricky in our busy lives! In our home, we love our football time together. Conversation varies from  a call on the field that I don't understand to what my "next" project will be. Yes, Super Bowl has a whole different meaning for me but we love our time together. And sometimes, I even know the score!

Super Bowl LI is Sunday, February 5th this year and here are a few other details about the game.  Good friends and family, good food, and good craft projects will make for a great finish to another strong season of crafting!!! Darn Good, you might say with a super bowl finish!