Embracing the holiday spirit

Over the years, our team at Laurel Hill has cultivated a culture of philanthropy, donating to many charities and participating in non-profit events. But one organization in particular has touched our hearts and motivated our spirits: Laurel Hill’s charity of choice Knots of Love. With the holidays approaching, we are inspired to do even more to help Knots of Love help others. We want to encourage our Laurel Hill community to knit or crochet with a giving heart. As Knots of Love founder Christine Fabiani says, “Cancer does not take a holiday.”


What is Knots of Love? Under Christine’s leadership, the organization donates caps to men and women, including veterans, undergoing chemotherapy, burn victims, brain surgery patients, head trauma patients, and individuals with Alopecia. They also donate tiny blankets to fragile new lives in incubators.


Taught to crochet by her grandmother when she was six, Christine began making scarves and afghans to give to friends and family. It was her son Geoffrey who encouraged Christine to make caps. A friend who was a cancer survivor told Christine that she wished she had had a cozy cap to don after a day’s wearing of her wig, and the inspiration for heartwarming, head-warming Chemo Caps was planted.

Christine felt so good making caps for cancer patients, she thought other yarn crafters might like to make them too. Knots of Love was born in 2007 “out of a desire to brighten the lives of people in need, in a loving and caring way.”

Since then Christine and her team have sent more than 300,000 caps to cancer centers, oncologist’s offices, and infusion centers across the nation. Christine and the organization have garnered many humanitarian awards as a result of their efforts.

How can you help this holiday season? We’re so glad you asked!

*Buy a Knots of Love kit (http://www.laurelhillonline.com/knots-of-love-kits/) and create a warm expression of comfort for someone who needs it;

*Donate funds directly to Knots of Love, 98 percent goes directly to the charity, with only two percent for administration fees;     https://knotsoflove.givingfuel.com/donations     

*Purchase a beautiful Knots of Love jewelry piece from Sears  http://www.knotsoflove.org/shop      and six percent is donated to Knots of Love.

Due to the sensitivities of those helped by Knots of Love, please use only yarns recommended on the Knots of Love website. We are honored that Laurel Hill is Knots of Love’s preferred supplier of crochet and knitting tools because of our comfortable, handmade products at reasonable prices.

Christine says, “Made from exotic woods, Laurel Hill crochet hooks are so wonderful -once you use one you won’t want to use anything else. The wood helps keep warmth in my hands hopefully warding off arthritis in years to come. Laurel Hill takes great pride in providing sustainable products to their customers.”

Watch for more news about Christine and the wonderful volunteers at Knots of Love. We are proud to be connected with this compassionate organization and look forward to getting more involved in 2016!

Happy Yarn Crafting!






Family Ties: A Passion for Crochet through the Generations

From the time she was eight years old, Karen loved yarn crafting – from shell stitching to embroidery to quilting. But her first love is crochet, a passion that grew from Karen’s warm memories of her mother patiently teaching her and inspiring her with her creativity. Sitting on the front porch as a young girl, stitching away, remains for Karen the beginning of a lifelong passion for the art of crochet.

There is great joy in teaching the next generation to crochet.(illustrative photo - not Karen and daughter)
There is great joy in teaching the next generation to crochet.(illustrative photo – not Karen and daughter)

Years later after Karen married and she and her husband had a daughter of their own, Karen carried on the tradition of teaching her little girl how to crochet too. With her own mother living with them, it quickly became a three-generation passion and Karen remembers that it was a rare time when her mother did not have a needle or a hook in her hand. She was thrilled that her own daughter took to the craft even before she was a teenager, increasing her skills during college and beyond.


Along the way, Karen discovered Laurel Hill’s ebony crochet hooks and selected them as her favorite. Last Christmas, when she was thinking about the perfect gift for her daughter she knew that a complete set of Laurel Hill ebony hooks was the answer. And, as it turns out, her daughter was delighted.


Crochet hooks handcrafted from beautiful ebony
Crochet hooks handcrafted from beautiful ebony

“I have always been so happy with Laurel Hill’s quality products and extraordinary customer service,” says Karen. “My daughter feels the same way and has told me time and again how smooth and wonderful the hooks are to work with.”

Karen’s passion bridges the generations, creating memories that last a lifetime. At Laurel Hill, we are thrilled to be part of a family legacy, one that ensures a bright future for crochet and yarn crafting.

From a Yarn Crafter’s Holiday Wish List: I Wish I Had the Whole Set!

At Laurel Hill we are lucky to meet yarn crafters from far and wide – our friends hail from California to New York, from Norway to the UK, from the Midwest and beyond.  We’ve learned that whether young or old, new knitter or veteran crocheter, they share a love for the finest fiber art tools on the market today.  And even better than the single set of knitting needles or the lone crochet hook is the Holy Grail, otherwise known as “the complete set.” Ask any yarn crafter and she or he will tell you that having every size option at your fingertips, all matching and in perfect order, is something to aspire to, to wish for, and sometimes even to dream about.


Because we know this, we have made it very easy to fulfill that wish.  Our dedicated web page includes many complete sets that can be purchased and shipped in time for the holidays.  Imagine how happy your favorite knitter or crocheter will be when she or he receives a beautifully packaged complete set of needles or hooks that are beautiful to look at, beautiful to touch and so comfortable to hold.

symfonie rose cubics deluxe ic set

“I have let my husband, my daughters and my friends know what I want for the holidays,” said knitter Vicki B. “I even gave them the link for Laurel Hill’s website since those are my favorite needles.  I am just hoping someone comes through!”

Thinking of a gift for a knitter but don’t want to buy the whole set?  Laurel Hill also has great ideas for stocking stuffers – like coconut palm knitting needles that start at $5 per pair.

We’ve made it easy – one stop shopping for an unbelievable selection of fiber arts tools at Laurel Hill in just a few clicks. You will discover the perfect gift for your special knitter or crocheter….or for yourself!

Happy Yarn Crafting from your friends at Laurel Hill!

Thinking Outside the Stitch: Profile of Laurel Hill friend & yarn crafter Carole Fanning

In the book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. With that premise in mind, Carole Fanning is most definitely a master in yarn crafting. Nearly half a century ago, when Carole was expecting her first child, her husband suggested she take up knitting. “Isn’t that what pregnant women are supposed to do?” he queried. And the rest is history.

Carole immersed herself in books and magazines, promptly teaching herself how to knit. Soon after, she went rogue and instead of following patterns to a tee, she deftly figured out how to do things her way, improving on every project she took on. Some years later she taught herself crochet and has participated in and led a myriad of knit and crochet groups along the way.

Carole created the pattern knitted this beautiful baby blanket.
Carole created the pattern and knitted this beautiful baby blanket.

Fast forward to today, Carole lives in the Georgia mountains where she teaches knitting and crochet, bakes world-class wedding cakes, makes filet crochet lace-enhanced porcelain figurines and much more.

“I love to make things,” she explains.

Always a leader, Carole shares a story of a favorite yarn shop that had to shut down, leaving her yarn crafter group “homeless.” Instead of giving up, Carole went to the coffee shop down the street and asked if they could open on Mondays, a day when they were usually closed, if she promised to bring a bevy of crafty women who craved coffee and treats during their sessions. The group was back in business in no time.

Carole’s knit and crochet projects are beautifully crafted, heirloom quality and truly treasured by the recipients of her gifts. One sweet example is a collection of layette sets she made for triplet girls, color appropriate for their names: Violet, Rose and Ivy. So treasured were these outfits by the family that although the girls have long grown out of them, they now adorn three prominently displayed Cabbage Patch dolls.

Originally knitted for triplets Ivy, Rose and Violet, Carole's beautiful creations now adorn the girls' collectible dolls.
Originally knitted for triplets Ivy, Rose and Violet, Carole’s beautiful creations now adorn the girls’ collectible dolls.

A lover of natural fibers, Carole explains that she is a “wood fanatic” who is loyal to Laurel Hill because their fiber arts tools are “SO smooth, SO beautiful and they move very easily without worrying that the stitches will move off the needles or hooks.”

Carole adores her complete collection of Laurel Hill wooden hooks in their “gorgeous” case. She exclaims that after discovering Laurel Hill at an Atlanta yarn show more than five years ago, Carole says she will never go back to metal.

What’s next for Carole? She has numerous projects in the works and dozens of students who depend on her generous advice. Carole embraces her role as a mentor and is the epitome of #StitchItForward to continue her yarn crafting legacy.

Carole’s words of advice ring true whether one is discussing knitting, crochet or life:

“Don’t be afraid to try.”

“You can do it.”

“You don’t have to follow the pattern – use your judgment and make it work for you.”

For more on the exotic wood knitting needles and crochet hooks Carole uses, visit LaurelHillOnline.com

Fun & Functional Tools for Easier Yarn Crafting

Every pastime has a host of accessories to enhance it, and yarn crafting is no exception.  Everyone knows you need yarn, and you need needles and/or crochet hooks – but did you know that there are literally thousands of fun, pretty, clever and cute accessories that can make your experience even better?  It’s true – and I am going to share just a few favorites from Laurel Hill.

Clover Chibi with Darning Needles – for fixing, seaming or weaving in – not only are these the perfect solution, but the cute little case and lid make this a nice accompaniment to your collection of crafty goodies.


Knitter’s Pride or Lacis Ball Winders – tired of knotted up clumps of yarn that are impossible to detangle?  A ball winder is the answer – a simple, fabulous device that does the job better than this:


Take a look:


Now your yarn can stay smooth, beautiful and neatly wrapped into easy-to-use cones.kp_ball_winder

Clover Katcha Katcha Counters – whether in the mini or regular version, this tool is essential to any yarn crafting that involves a pattern that requires counting.  No more worries about keeping count in your head and losing that train of thought as soon as someone starts a conversation. No more wondering where you left off.  Wouldn’t this make your life so much easier?


You have to admit that accessorizing makes yarn crafting even more fun, and there’s a myriad of options to explore at Laurel Hill.  With everything online, you can take your time to browse and shop without any pressure.

Personally, I love the darning needle sets and the colorful, clever locking stitch markers from Clover – these accessories add a contemporary flair to an ancient art.

Please tell us more about your favorite yarn crafting tools and accessories.  We would love to hear from you!

All the best from the Laurel Hill family!

Ruth Tillman & the Art of Crochet

Passionate…creative…ambitious – those are the first three words that came to mind yesterday after a brief conversation with crochet artist and teacher Ruth Tillman. Honestly, I could have listened to her talk about her adventures in yarn craft all day long, but we both had to get back to work.  We were more than 3,000 miles apart, but I could feel her passion strongly emanating from cyberspace and it made me want to pick up a crochet hook (from Laurel Hill of course) and learn how to do it immediately. Lucky for me, Ruth’s new teaching videos are nearly complete and I will be among the first to watch them.

Who is Ruth Tillman?  In case you haven’t heard of her, let me fill you in.  A self-taught crocheter, Ruth started her craft nearly seven years ago when she decided to make a hat for her daughter.

il_170x135.799091684_ia38il_170x135.798875711_5mye The project was an amazing success – so much so that she started bringing her hats to the children’s clothing shop where she worked at the time – and they were flying off the shelves. Each hat reflects Ruth’s sense of whimsy, extraordinary creativity and excellent craftsmanship.  She soon realized that she had found her calling.

With so much time spent crocheting, Ruth soon noticed that her hands were strained.  Then, about five years ago when she was browsing in a yarn shop, she spotted a Laurel Hill Nam OC hook – after that moment, Ruth has never looked back. “I have tried every kind of hook and now will only use the ones from Laurel Hill,” she explains. “They are so smooth and have little grips that help me hold  them without holding too tight – my hands can totally relax.  Now I have the whole set.”


What started out as a gift for her daughter has grown into Ruth’s passion in life – as she puts it, “to bring the art of crochet to everyone.”  How will she accomplish this ambitious goal?  Ruth’s business, Ruth Tillman Designs, is dedicated to educating the world about crochet and yarn craft – through patterns, mentoring young people, developing after school programs and more, Ruth is spreading the word.  And she’s not stopping there.  Ruth has reached out to the world-famous MakerFaire to include yarn art in the mix, plus she has big plans for a spontaneous “yarn bombing” event taking place in the near future.  What’s more, she is making overtures to the corporate world to educate executives on how technology can meet yarn crafting for incredible results in the workplace.

If you haven’t heard of Ruth Tillman yet, you most likely will soon – she is on the forefront of a whole new world of crochet, and Laurel Hill is honored to be included! Watch for more on Ruth – we will be posting her videos and her special custom-designed patterns on our website soon!

Today’s Highlight: Fiber arts tools from Laurel Hill that offer comfort for your hands

Like music to your hands:

Laurel Hill features Symfonie Rose Cubic knitting needles

Lovely Symfonie Rose Cubics single-pointed needles
Lovely Symfonie Rose Cubics single-pointed needles
Symfonie Rose Circular Needles
Symfonie Rose Circular Needles

Those with arthritis or joint or muscle pain in their hands will welcome these beautiful knitting needles from Laurel Hill. With the strength of birch wood and the beauty of rosewood, Symfonie Rose Cubic needles are highlighted by sharp points and an easy-to-hold shape. As a result of their unique design, Symfonie Rose needles are included in Laurel Hill’s selection of arthritis-friendly fiber arts tools.

Made by hand, the Symfonie wood needles reflect the same quality as Laurel Hill’s vast selection of knitting needles and crochet hooks. Because these needles are resistant to water absorption, they cannot warp and remain straight and strong for years of use.

The Symfonie Rose Cubics are offered in rosewood textured densified laminated wood in needle sizes from 2.0mm (US 0) to 8.0mm (US 11). For further details and to view the video visit:


Have you tried these or any of Laurel Hill’s other fiber arts tools?  Please let us know what you think!  More soon!