Written by Kate Curry
As of 2022, 40 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with some form of anxiety disorder. (source)
One of the most important milestones to living with anxiety is finding out which coping mechanisms work for you! Some examples of anxiety coping mechanisms are:
- Meditating & doing yoga
- Venting to your loved ones
- Playing or listening to music
- And my favorite - CREATE SOMETHING!
Fiber arts have been proven to have mental health benefits (source). When your mind is focused on your craft of choice, you can see benefits such as:
- Reduced anxiety & depression
- Lowered blood pressure
- Mental distraction from pain
Personally, I love that fiber arts are a part of my coping mechanisms! When I’m focusing on my loom or counting my stitches, I find it difficult for my mind to wander off to the darker parts of life that tend to cause my anxiety to spike. It’s hard to think about something embarrassing I did 2 years ago when I’m trying to find a dropped stitch! 🤣
With my fellow anxious friends in mind, I’ve come up with the top 10 knitting, weaving, and crochet anxiety-reducing projects that you’re sure to love!
I adore the 30 minute arm knit scarf kit. These simple kits don’t require much time or any fancy notions. You just need your arm! Let your fingers do all the world winding up the yarn while you wind down!
Craft: Arm Knitting
Most pet owners claim that their animal buddies often help calm them down and much like crafting, pets have shown to have a positive effect on mental health (source)! Why not knit a matching scarf for you and your friend?
Disclaimer: Yes, cats can wear this scarf! Fish, snakes, birds, and hamsters seem to have some difficulty.
Yarn painting is very easy and can be very calming. Originating from the Huichol people, one of the native tribes of Mexico, we have created a modern day tutorial that you can follow to create a stunning yarn painting!
Craft: Yarn Painting
This woven tassel lanyard kit comes with the yarn you’ll need to make your very first woven project! All you’ll need is a piece of cardboard that you can cut up to create a makeshift loom!
Punch needle projects are interesting! The repetitive motion of poking the needle through the taunt canvas is very soothing. With these two kits, you’ll be able to create a gorgeous punch needle piece!
Craft: Punch Needle
[Music] Everyone, I'm Nicole. I'm the founder and CEO of Darn Good Yarn and today I'm gonna make a video and it's gonna be kind of a fun one because we're doing a little bit of R&D with the Oxford punch needle which is my favorite tool of all time. Like if I did this before knitting I might have only been a row hooker, so don't tell - don't tell my knitters that. But for this video, what I'm gonna do iswalk you through some of our most popular yarns here at Darn Good Yarn and show you how they actually work.
Through this particular punch needle I have a frame this is monks cloth of course and I used the Rose Pearlman method, who she's like one of my favorite artists. So, I stretched monks cloth just on a 12 by12 frame and just stapled it to the back. Except my stapling is a little bit messier than her she's a lot neater than me, but it creates a nice - a nice surface. And then for my demoing today I have two needles here for my thicker yarns. I'm using a size 9 and then for some of our thinner yarns, just to test out, I'm using a size 14. And some of them are gonna work great and some are not going to work great and I just want to show you the difference between the two.
So for this first for this first demo, this is our bliss super washed chunky yarn it's 100% merino wool. You can see it just has a really cool effect. Here we just did a little testing right before we turn the camera on and it has a really fluffy effect so I do know this one's gonna work really quite well and when we're done we'll put some pictures up on the website and you can see maybe more effects that way. But, so just getting the threaded here and I'll just do like a couple of rows and I'll show you the effect. So this is when I'm drawing the needle back out it does have a nice fluffy effect on the working side and then I'll just turn it around here.
It's funny we're trying to figure out how will I do this effectively when I just I usually punch like this in my room. I'll just do three rows of this and yeah, I love this because it's this is like instant gratification yarn because it's so thick and fluffy and it fills up the area so you can see just even with three rows here how quickly that filled up. I have, you know, about a fingers width of material that's gone there. So I'm gonna cut this off, we'll move on to our next fiber. It's gonna be a longer video too, so you'll see how even it is when I cut that it fluffs off so if you are looking into doing some really cool dimensional stuff on your project. Again this is a bliss super wash chunky and you can find this at Darn Good Yarn dot com, but you can see here how nice and fluffy and filled in that looks. So I kind of really love that and it's very very soft so this would be great for a like a pillow cushion or something that's going to be felt a lot on bare skin.
Alright, so that's the way a lot of yarns gonna be. Fun! I've been looking forward to making this video all day. So, the next one is our banana fiber, so I just have this really nice time flower yellow here and I'm gonna try for this one again. I'm going to try my number 9 for the thicker yarn because it is actually a very dense fiber. And we're just gonna go for it and see what happens. This one has like it's a little bits more slubby like there's thick and thin parts to it and so we'll see how that works through the cloth. It's fun to experiment with this stuff! Alright, so here we go - we have there's two other people in the room here with me, so we're like- I'm we're just waiting to see what happens. So here's the banana fiber, so as I work this through this is actually pretty cool.
There's a little bit of a sheen just that happens with the banana fiber and I actually like this. It gives it a really nice organic look, it's tighters it's it's a similar stitch than then that superwash. I just had done one, sorry nothing super wash the chunky yarn I just had before and it does bounce out of the needle just a little bit, so you are gonna have to just watch your attention and I think this does work out really nicely though. But, again I do think it does bounce a little bit out of the needle. So if your canvas isn't really tight this is gonna pop right out of it. So I'm just gonna go down the other line here and go down this way. You know it's funny, you know you watch people do crafts on these videos and it's actually - I feel like I'm on the spot right now because I am. It's hard to do crafting like that. I think so the one thing that just happened here. You can see this might be the best if you - there's like a little bit of a slub here that you work this in smaller sections. So, this would actually the banana fiber would be an excellent accent fiber if you just want something interesting in your work and and I wouldn't do this for larger areas like that first yarn.
So, take that out and alright so that's that one and again we'll take pictures, but you can see there's kind of a nice little fuzziness to this. You could use this almost like if you were gonna do a hair like if you have a little person and you wanted to do hair around it. That's the kind of cool effect then it does fill in really very nicely and again super super soft.
The next yarn here is our firecracker, this is a hundred percent recycled silk and the hand spun in southern India every skein is a totally different color, so you can see here and I'm sure you can lookon the website as well there's just a lot of color variation and it all changes a little bit. So give this, is the firecracker, I'm again going to use the 9 - the 9 punch on this the number 9 punch and I'm gonna draw this through and you know the silks are slippery so they always bounce a little bit. I'm gonna, definitely not gonna back up a little bit here and give myself some leverage here so again this is the firecracker and this actually is really cool. You just have to make sure that that needle tip does not come off. I can tell it doesn't come off the cloth but the cool thing you can start to see if you get that color like that pop of color instantly, if you are like a color lover like I am. I just need rainbows in my life all the time, but if you are loving color and like a lot of vibrancy this is actually a really cool fiber to work with and there's just this beautiful sheen on it.
I'm gonna do another row because this is just so fun and because the way it's-it's spun when it amps up is so fun. There's just weird twists like you just get all these different colors that just sort of surprise you so I'll do borrow coconut maybe a million when she's making this. We'll fast forward this part because I'm having such a good time and again I have a very tight canvas.
I think, you know that's probably one of the best tips I can give you guys - making sure that this - that your canvas, when you're working with fibers that aren't your typical wool for for this kind of project it has to stay really tight because there is a little bit of a slippy. Here's how what that looks like, so kind of almost blooms on the other side and it's soft and there's actually a little bit of a sheen here as well so it looks really really good. So that's firecracker.
The next one is our worsted weight. This is a very popular yarn, it comes in - it comes in your first month yarn in the Month Club box. When you get it from darn good yarn, so this is again or worsted weight. We have a lot of colors of this yarn. This is an all silk yarn it's 100% recycled I think this is some random colorway though so I don't think we have a sunset. This was a sample- a sample colorway. For this one I am gonna actually use the 14 needle that's meant for smaller or any lighter weight yarns, so I'm just threading that through. Now and let's draw this through. I think that maybe the trick. Alright, so let me get punching on that so that this works pretty well again because it's a little bit slippery. You need to make sure that you're leaving enough lead on your working yarn as it comes off the ball so I could tell even just with it I felt a little bit of tension there and I knew it's gonna pop all of my loops out so I'm going to turn this around. This has a finish this is a very typical yarn finish in terms of stitches but I like it because you still get a little bit of tonal variation that's just sort of the natural characteristic of the yarn and noili is just it's just a fancy word for recycled silk but this is just been machines fun which is sort of nice and we get this from southern india as well with this awesome co-op and the supplier that works with me. He's really about building his local community which is why I've been working with him for almost a decade now. Very special to me.
Alright, so here's how I'll show you we just clip this off. Again this is the worsted weight, tons of colors of this and I used the smaller needle so this is how this looks and again for this needle because it's the 14 it is gonna be a smaller loop size just for the purpose of this video but of course you can use a longer stem size of other needles if you wanted so that's- a that's very nice. It has a little bit of like this organic texture to it. We'll take a close-up of it up picture. And it's all done!
Alright, let's see here we have a lot more to go through, but I can do this stuff all day. Um this one I know you guys are gonna love. This is the darn good worsed twist and this isn't Machu Picchu which is like my favorite color way of all time. I'm definitely gonna use the larger needle offer this is a nine and this is a nice thick yarn and there's some SuperDuper blocks to it which reminds me of you know more of the typical - the typical yarns that you would use traditionally with this art. So wait until you see the color on this though. This is gonna be one of those ones I just work on for a while so this is one of those like instant gratification yarns because it's so chunky and there's just so much color going on in it. You're going to-I could just fill up a whole canvas with just this yarn honestly cuz it's so colorful and cool. So you're gonna have to wait and see when I show you as it progresses. I'll point it this way so you're going into like some mulberry colors and then transitions into like these cool sea greens and yellows it's just so pretty. One more-oh so you can really get the full effect but again just in three rows this is just like the first yarn it's like a fingers width so you do get a lot of bang for your buck here. And let's see I'll finish this off you know it's like children you're not supposed to have your favorite but this is like oh so. This is what it looks like on the back side and this is what it looks like this one on the front side. Isn't that so cool?! So again that one is the darn good worsted twist.
And then let's see here this next one is our 80/20 and this is in burgundy blossom. This is a pretty thin one too again we're experimenting a little bit while we do this video. I'm feeling this one's going to pop just because of the thickness of it but hey we're here let's do it right. So again this is the 80/20 and threading stuff on camera is also a skill that I have to get really good at I guess so let me try this. I can definitely give myself some leeway here because if you have any tension coming out of that ball it's gonna pop that yarn right out. I get very serious when I do my fiber art so yeah this one is just sort of jumping right out I mean you can project you have patience you can do it but it's kind of very sloppy and it's jumping the stitches are jumping on they're uneven so I think if you're like me you're gonna get frustrated with this, like you'll have stitches that will jump out and then you'll have to fix them on the back end. So I wouldn't use the 80/20 for punch needle so I'm gonna pull that out of there.
And then the next one I have this is our darn good fancy twist in pink flamingo. This is a really popular yarn, if you look at our hashtag hashtag darn good yarn on Instagram a lot of people use this to show off their-they show off their projects with it this is sort of an in-betweener. I'm going to try the size 9 punch on this so but it's kind of good like the weight of it on my maybe needs this more and we'll see yeah this is cool. I think you can go in between using this needle or the other one on depending on what you want, but the nice thing is the colors change pretty quickly. I'd say like you get it's a very slow turn in the color in the shading so like you're changing colors every four to six inches which is really pretty cool. So, this would be this particular colorway which is pink flamingo.
This would be cool for like kind of fancy like fantasy sort of skies and sunsets that's just me though. That's where am I thank those it's always the sunsets or the ocean. Let's see here, so this is really vibrant very soft it's a nice smooth finish. Again this is an noili yarn as well recycled silk. I'll show you what the front and the back look like. Does your craft room look like this like you have stuff all over the place? Right, so, here's the back and then check out the front you can see how it opens up and blossoms as well. So again they're really like a lot of bang for your buck and it just sort of like fills up your work area really quickly. So, so far so good right? We have a couple more to go through.
This next one is sparkle not Sparkle worsted this is our lace weight and again I think this is a little bit too thin but I'll just show you. I'll go on the UM, well maybe it won't be because this sparkle might give it enough grip actually so again experimenting. I'm using the 14 punch on this. This is perfect when you actually do use a yarn ball and to think that we have yarn bowls all over here and I'm not using one right now is pretty hilarious. It's all good! Sometimes you just have to go with it and try to Bob Ross things, not take it too seriously. So, it jumps a little bit- it's very very pretty though because there's the sparkle. I would tell you that you can use this as long as you don't pick your needle up off the cloth at all and you have a very very very tight canvas and I would actually sell you like kind of push each stitch over into itself like as you go up each row to make sure you have it filled in and it's nice and dense, but the color on here is freaking awesome. Again, if you're into really vibrant colors like I am, well you probably wouldn't be watching this video if you weren't because this is darn good yarn and we do a lot of bright colors, but this is this is just really cool for like a really fun color work piece.
I'll do one more row here so you can see yeah you know what I thought this one wasn't gonna work but it actually is pretty cool. You just need a little bit more patience sometimes more than I have. I guess that's what crafting is for to teach us lessons. So, I'll show you how this looks so here's the front it's the one with the sparkle and then here's the back side of it and it's almost it's a surprising we've all looked at it so it still it opens up really nicely. Um, if you're a person that likes to show off the back of their work I would do what I was telling you and push the stitches into each other but if you're showing off this part of your work I would still evenly spaced and even leave like a slight gap on the back side because it does fill in and fluff up really pretty.
Alright next one. So the next one- what should I do? I have five more I'm going to try the three ply nettle for you. This is coming hands spun from Nepal. I did try the hemp off-camera it was way too like rugged and stiff to even try to get through so we're not gonna bother on this one I'm going to try the 14 again. Depending on the thickness of it though because this one always has variation just the way it is made. Um, you might have to bump it up to these-oh yeah I'm definitely gonna use the larger needle on this one. I could feel like there's a little bit just because it's hand spun. The thickness varies just a little bit so you need to give yourself out anyway but we'll try with this. They have was definitely like I said that was a no-go I almost like I just have to get my crafting you move on with my life.
Alright, so this is a three play nettle, I'm punching my desk as I go along yeah. I had the same problem with the other stuff it doesn't actually want to lock into the monks cloth and it's just the fiber characteristic so I'll try to keep it. One more go, maybe you guys ever have a little more experience can do this but I don't have a hard time. Oh, let's see alright that first the first couple of goes you just have to take it really slow. I think if you move slowly, yeah it bounces out you can see here it bounces out of the needle which if you're just using it as an accent alright you can do a couple of inches but I would not use this as a filler piece. You would- you'll be cursing me if you do so I don't want you to curse Nicole Snow's name so I'm gonna say that this is like into a maybe but you can see on the back side the loop said it makes so it's kind of a cool effect but you just need the patience of a saint to do it. That's fair, right fair.
Alright, next one is our black and hue worsted weight and this is in the color mystic shadows. Just super pretty, I'm gonna use the nine again and again annoyance ilk which you know I really like these and I wasn't you know when you're brought up and you take like a nice class and you're using like seal- a seal Harbor is an amazing company for wool yarn and I love them. Like, their whole company is awesome so you that's how I learned and then I actually came back to during two yarns my own company else let me try the silks in them so it's been like a complete um. It's just been like oh let's just try this out let's see how this works. So, this is a great this is a great yarn to work with this goes runs right through it's nice and smooth again this is the black and hue and it just has a little bit like just a touch of the black in there and then it does come in quite a few colors which is pretty nice too but it kind of gives it like if you've done your own cooking and you've dyed your own rolls it has a kind of multi tunnel effect that you get when you hand dye. Which I always really love it just makes your piece is really interesting and multi-dimensional. So, let me do one more quick row here that last one was sloppy you are exposed to something. Sometimes I get carried away just punch right into another loop completely I don't know I myself sometimes. Alright, so here's this one again this is black and hue and you can see this is how it looks on the backside and then look at the front side. Those beautiful loops and it's just so fluffy. Again, so you can have a lot of fun with these and just in terms of like just the additions of what you can add to your projects like I always like to do. Maybe solid colors and then maybe you want to add it's a really interesting texture like these noil silk yarns are and even the recycled silks are awesome to use.
Alright, so for this yarn I'm using a hundred percent Italian wool. We have so many colors of these and probably we're going to put them up on the website in just assorted packs because the colors are all over the place they're so cool. So, for this this is how they come you get about kind of like a yard and a half of yarn and I just thread this through my size 14 and just show you what that looks like and this is great for just a little accent color. I've been working on a project that's actually just sort of fills in small little pieces of color and it's it's very abstract so these are perfect for it and I'm actually using other yarn samples for it. So. when I- as I punched this I'm actually I generally don't do this but I'm going into almost every square of the mogs cloth and it's giving it a beautiful like the thickness of it gives it a beautiful uniform look. Let me turn it around, here you go, back the other way and make sure I have all of the threading with me but this is really pretty and it's the color is so super rich. I mean this is like a really high-quality well and we also have in terms of other colors and materials. I have a hundred percent cotton as well that comes in every single color in the world we've been joking about it because we have some boxes here that are dead stock, so if you want to hurry up and get it. But, let me show you what this looks like. I'll just cut this you can see very nice and even on this side and then check out this side though it's really pretty and rich. So, that's with me going into every single hole of the moms cloth so yeah on to the next one, it's three more to go!
This one is speckled tweed, this is the color begonia, so I'm going to use the same needle-I'm sorry the same punch on this and I'm making a knot my mother-in-law-mother-in-law Sue. We've always had a joke she's gotten me into so many fiber arts thank God and but like she gets the worst- not I've ever seen when she knits or does any fiber art and I just started calling them sue knots because I'm like how did you do that and I I'm starting to follow her sink now maybe she needs to yarn ball to you know. Alright, so this ones speckle tweed again, really awesome and the beautiful thing is I'll show you when I turn back around here is the way especially in this colorway which is begonia. It's just this really sultry color transition from this like deep beautiful indigo into this like Rockstar fuchsia and it's really cool it's very it's very inviting and it brings you in. And now I'm kind of transitioning into this rich deep plum and this is it's very very satisfying. Let's go other way to describe it let's see here alright so again three rows. Gives you quite a lot gives you just under your like a fingers-finger width in terms of what like what your gauge would be. There-here's the front side of it and I know I'm supposed to be poking these through but I'm taking enough of your time. So, here's that side and then check out the back side here and it's this one so it looks so pretty and again it fluffs out. This would be really pretty if you're doing flowers in your work just the way it sort of like goes into really pretty very feminine colors that are very powerful as well.
All right so for this next one this is our DK weight. It's naturally dyed it's in the color rose and it's actually dyed with rose petals which is awesome. Southern India for this and I'm using the 14 needle and you do need a little bit of patience in a very tight very tight a canvas for this because it does want to jump a little bit so I can't go my normal Nicole speed, which is way too fast but it does looks awesome. I'll just go one more time around here maybe not you know what because we're gonna move forward on the video I can't keep you here forever. Alright, so I'll just show you one row you see it's very nice and then on the other side it's it just fluffs up a little bit just like the other nolis do. The noili recycled silk so really nice soft color and then there's just a little bit of like there's just organic miss to it just because of the nature of the yarn.
And then our last yarn is our sari ribbon. Now, I get a lot of questions about this, if then you need to know about the sari ribbon is that it gets sewn into and every like 12 to 16 inches and I think that you should actually cut these apart because this is not going to go through your needle and again I don't want anyone cursing my name so I'm warning you in advance. So, I'm actually going to cut this off here and use this strip so then it becomes more like traditional rope cooking. I'm using the size 9 punch on this, thread this puppy through and this came off over at one of our five-yard cards the five yard cards are a great way if you're new to sorry ribbon to get some really cool colors and you don't have to get like a whole skein of any one color it's a nice way to fill out your collection. It was an idea I had what I was taking a shower a couple of years ago so it's like most ideas and during video so this is working out really nicely. I mean, you have to move just a little bit slower than you would with a traditional yarn just to line everything up really pretty but really nice even stitches and I really love this a lot you can see all the fibers in the UM in the ribbon itself and we just have so many colors of this and I have actually a couple pieces of home at home that are made out of just sari ribbon and there's just so much tonal variation it just makes it a really fun and exciting project. So, this is the back and then here is the orange one this is the front of it so it looks really cool and it gives us a really neat texture so you put that in in with other wools and it definitely gives us some cool depth and texture.
So, that's it and yeah if you have any questions reach out to us here over at email@example.com, comment and follow us on social media just any of the handles at darn good yarn I'll talk to you later bye
Knitting looms are very easy to learn. It’s very easy to fix any dropped stitches and you can stop at any time without having to worry about losing your spot or your work unraveling! Our Mesh Tote kit comes with luxurious lace weight silk yarn that is handmade by our artisans in India.
Craft: Loom Knitting
If you have been interested in weaving, you may be interested in rug hooking and these kits are perfect for you! This beginner kits come with everything you need and is totally risk free!
Craft: Rug Hooking
One of the more difficult projects on this list, the market tote kit is well worth the work! The yarn that comes with this kit is our reclaimed chiffon ribbon yarn. Each skein is one of a kind and has a super soft texture. The bag created is of a nice size and can hold a ton of snacks, crafts, or farmers market goodies.
Craft: Knit or Crochet
This bag reminds me of a mandala, which are often used in creative art therapy projects (source). This gorgeous kit comes with our herbal dyed recycled silk yarn and comes in a variety of fabulous herbally dyed colors!
What’s more relaxing than collecting seashells by the seashore? This crochet scarf kit is the perfect accessory for starter crocheters. Made with lace weight silk yarn, the scarf is lightweight and will look great on you for those chilly beach days!
I hope one (or more) of these kits helps you relax and find some peace - because you deserve it!