Hands together for helping hearts

Music to her hands

A piano teacher for more than 30 years, Pam Craver knows how to make beautiful music with her hands. And from the time she was in 8th grade, her hands have also created thousands of knitted items to help others. In fact, Pam and her Sunday School knitting group have made 450 wash cloths per year for homeless shelters, prayer shawls for the sick, hats and scarves for low-income schools, baby blankets and hats for missionaries, and much, much more. It seems like their busy hands never stop.

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Pam Craver and her Sunday School group

Sew a dress, or learn to knit?

So how did it all get started? Pam recounts that when she was in 8th grade, her Home Economics teacher asked if the class would prefer to spend the last two weeks of school sewing another dress, or learning to knit. Fortunately for Pam, they chose knitting and the rest is history. She knitted her way through college to reduce stress, and ultimately learned to crochet as well when she was an adult. Today, she finds knitting to be more comfortable for her hands.

Sharing the legacy

Not only is Pam an accomplished yarn crafter, she has been instrumental in passing on the legacy to others. She has taught eight others in her Sunday School group to knit, adding exponentially to the number of items they can donate to charity. What’s more, she taught her daughter to knit and crochet, crafts she continues to do even while caring for Pam’s 22-month-old grandson. Pam and her daughter even consult on designing their own patterns together.

Discovering treasure at Laurel Hill

An avid collector of knitting needles, Pam discovered Laurel Hill on an online knitting site. She has been a fan ever since – reading Laurel Hill’s newsletters to see all that’s knew and clicking on to LaurelHillOnline.com to browse and shop through thousands of unique, beautiful, easy-to-order yarn craft accessories. Pam laughs when she shares that one time Laurel Hill’s owner Rick Brown called her personally to make sure her order of eight sets of the same size needle was correct. Yes, she told him – they are Christmas presents!

Excited for the next chapter

When Pam is not knitting, she is still helping others. She works as a GED tester at a Fayetteville, NC community college – for two more years at least. Once her tenure there is over, she will move on to a new chapter – continuing to knit for charity, and spending more time with her family.

Thanks to Pam for sharing her story with Laurel Hill – we are lucky to know you!

Share Pam’s easy, convenient, wonderful online shopping experience as you explore Laurel Hill’s vast selection of unique and beautiful yarn crafting accessories at www.LaurelHillOnline.com.

All the best from your friends at Laurel Hill – Happy Yarn Crafting!

 

 

New!Fresh & Aromatic Cedar Sachets

Since the dawn of time, cedar has been known for its beauty, a rich aroma and its qualities as an insect repellent. At Laurel Hill, we have years of experience using cedar sachets to protect and to freshen our fibers and handcrafted garments. And now, for the first time, we are offering these lovely sachets to our customers with two color options: purple haze or tie-dyed.

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Laurel Hill has introduced the Purple Haze Sachet
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And the tie-dyed version!

Each handmade sachet is filled with a custom blend of Eastern Aromatic Red Cedar Shavings and Lavender Oils that absorb moisture and unpleasant odors. An aromatic oil in the cedar wood emits a pleasant aroma and it is also a natural moth repellent, keeping away the harmful larvae.

A member of the juniper family, aromatic eastern cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is native to the forests of the South Central United States. Many species of cedar exist, but only aromatic cedar possesses the qualities so valued by people throughout the world and throughout history.

We look forward to your comments on the sachets, and please let us know if there is anything Laurel Hill can do to enhance your yarncrafting experience!

To learn more or to purchase your own sachets, visit us here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspired by New Ideas

When it comes to knitting and crochet, Paula Susan Lesko Meyers does not hesitate to seize a new idea and run with it. A self-described “Renaissance woman,” Paula mines the internet for the latest patterns and the highest quality fiber arts tools, unafraid to try anything at least once.  Her vast internet research is what led her to Laurel Hill where she was thrilled to discover her new “gorgeous set of wood crochet hooks” that she says are “so lovely and warm in my hand.”

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Paula added, “I love, love, love them – they are so comfortable to hold.  The artisans who create these handmade wood hooks are extremely skilled in their craft.”

Those accolades are not to be taken lightly, especially when they come from an experienced yarncrafter like Paula. Spending cozy childhood summers in the Pocono Mountains, Paula learned to knit and crochet from her aunt/godmother before she was 10 years old. She caught on immediately, asking for spare yarn, extra hooks and whatever pattern books she could get her hands on. Her first projects included pet toys for the family’s menagerie. Off and running, Paula began trying out new ideas and new patterns as fast as she could find them.

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A former administrative assistant who now has more time to explore her many interests, Paula’s repertoire of projects has grown substantially to include: pot scrubbers, dish cloths, material lined crochet purses, crochet evening clutches, rosary pouches, rag rugs, and so much more. She has even delved into “plarn,” bags and door mats crocheted from plastic bags for recycling.

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Plarn: Crafts crocheted from plastic bags for recycling!

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Paula has amassed so many patterns and projects that she keeps a cache of three-ring binders on hand for reference! And when she is not yarncrafting, one can often find Paula in her garden or creating colorful floral arrangements. As she says, “I embrace everything.”

Mindful of those less fortunate, Paula devotes a great deal of time crocheting projects for local church auctions, and she also creates “silent” rosaries for members of the military. We learned that soldiers out on missions have to be absolutely quiet to protect themselves – hence the need for crocheted rosaries that do not click together during prayers. Kudos to Paula for fulfilling that special need!

Anticipating an upcoming move from New Jersey to Pennsylvania, Paula has already started planning how she will move all her binders and yarncrafting accessories. As an inspiring and inspired Renaissance woman, she is determined to continue her passion uninterrupted! 

Let Us Know

We are always eager to hear your comments and feedback, and your input keeps our offerings fresh and relevant.  What inspires you to knit or crochet?  Please share your stories with us and learn more at http://www.laurelhillonline.com./

 

 

 

Girl Power Strengthens Knots of Love

At Laurel Hill, we are always inspired by stories of people doing good in their communities. We are moved even more when we learn about young people who reach out to help others, giving compassionately from the heart. A perfect example is Samantha Hirata, a college student from Fountain View, California.

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Sammy Hirata has been involved with Knots of Love since she was 15.

Since the age of 15, Sammy has been involved with Knots of Love, an amazing, award-winning 501c3 organization that donates knitted and crocheted 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. For Laurel Hill, Knots of Love is our chosen non-profit, the cause we stand behind every day. And Sammy does too.

Kudos to Sammy for attaining the Gold Award, the highest achievement within the Girl Scouts of the USA, earned by Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts. Only 5.4% of eligible Girl Scouts successfully earn the Gold Award.

We could explain all that Sammy has done for Knots of Love, but we think she says it best in her own words:

“I became involved with Knots of Love when I was 15 and starting to work on my Gold Award Project for Girl Scouts. I wanted to find something that would be sustaining, and when my mom saw an article in the Register about Christine Fabiani and her organization, Knots of Love, we knew this would be a great fit.

 image2Christine herself patiently worked with me to teach me how to knit, and I began to create caps for patients undergoing chemotherapy.

 My involvement with Christine has been phenomenal!  She was so excited when I contacted her about working with KOL for my Gold Award. She has always been extremely supportive, and involved every step of the way. It is really such a great experience to work with someone who is so passionate about what she does – Christine volunteers countless hours of time, energy and love, with her only expectation being that she will be able to bring comfort and love to others as they struggle through their difficulties.

 KOL is important to both my mother and me since we have been able to see and experience firsthand the impact KOL has made.  Thanks to Christine, we were able to actually hand deliver caps to chemotherapy patients, and to see their expressions when we presented the caps and told them they could pick out any one they wanted at no charge. The experience was priceless.  They were quite surprised, and many were brought to tears over receiving the caps.  Although I have completed my Gold Award, my mom and I feel the need to continue to be involved with KOL and do as much as we can to help Christine help others.

 That’s why even though I am away at school for a good part of the year, I try and volunteer whenever I come home, and will continue to help well into the future.

 Currently, I attend San Francisco State University, majoring in Child and Adolescent Development. 

 When I begin my teaching career, I plan to introduce my students to KOL, and help the younger generation learn how to knit or crochet, since this seems to have gone by the wayside.  Many times I hear people say, ‘Oh I remember my grandmother used to knit or crochet,’ but the younger generation doesn’t often have these skills. Not only would it be great if they could learn, but it will be even better if they are able to touch lives in a positive way through Knots of Love.”

 Getting acquainted with Sammy has been a true highlight here at Laurel Hill. The future is bright when young adults are so generously giving back, creating a legacy of caring for generations to come.

Let Us Know

We are always eager to hear your comments and feedback, and your input keeps our offerings fresh and relevant.  Do you knit or crochet for good causes?  Please tell us about it. We would love to share your good deeds with our readers!

Interested in getting involved with Knots of Love?  Visit http://www.laurelhillonline.com/knots-of-love-kits/ for kits to get started, including a discount as our “thank you” for your generosity.

 

 

 

 

K1, P2, Give 200+

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Wrapping newborns in love

President of her own software company and lead software developer Carolyn Alexander may be ruled by her head during the day, but at night, her compassionate heart most definitely takes charge.  During the past year and a half alone, Carolyn at last count has knitted 230 cozy-soft, animal-embossed baby blankets to snuggle the tiniest premature NICU babies in 50 neonatal units throughout the U.S.  A familiar face at the offices of Knots of Love, Carolyn hand delivers stacks of these comforting missives at a time, watching as a team of dedicated volunteers tags and prepares each one for delivery to a waiting infant and his or her worried parents.

Knots of Love is our preferred non-profit

If you are not familiar with Knots of Love, it is an amazing, award-winning 501c3 organization that donates knitted and crocheted 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. For Laurel Hill, Knots of Love is our chosen non-profit, the cause we stand behind every day.

Founded by Christine Fabiani, Knots of Love has attracted hundreds of philanthropic yarn crafters, and like Carolyn, they are impressed by Christine’s passion and dedication.

Committed to giving back

“My mom taught me to knit when I was four years old,” explains Carolyn. “But it wasn’t until a year and a half ago that I started knitting again.  It was because I found Knots of Love on the internet and when I met Christine, her commitment and her ability to get out there were so inspiring. Did you know she calls each knitter or crocheter personally to express her thanks? She is amazing, and I was eager to get involved. I knew this was a way I could give back.”

And give back she has…hundred fold. Carolyn started by creating caps but when she realized the need for NICU blankets, she stepped it up to super hero level, completing a new blanket every two days. What’s more, Carolyn has designed her own patterns comprised of 40 different animals, sailboats or other fun images to comfort parents and babies.

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“Every time we tag and send off a baby blanket, I am thinking of the parents,” said Carolyn. “Their newborn is hooked up to technology and they are full of fear and anxiety. I am hoping that for just a moment, they can look at the blanket, take a deep breath, and realize how much love has come their way.”

Love has indeed come their way…via Knots of Love, and straight from Carolyn’s heart.

Let Us Know

We are always eager to hear your comments and feedback, and your input keeps our offerings fresh and relevant.  Do you knit or crochet for good causes?  Please tell us about it. We would love to share your good deeds with our readers!

 

 

 

 

High Hopes for High Tea

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Sue Stone volunteers for Knots of Love, Laurel Hill’s preferred non-profit organization.

Sue Stone has been amassing knitting needles, crochet hooks, and balls of yarn for weeks. You might wonder if she is adding to her stash, but in fact she is in charge of collecting prize giveaways for Knots of Love’s High Tea, one of the organization’s most highly anticipated events of the year.  Taking place on April 2 at 11:30 a.m. at Spring Field Tea Garden in Fullerton, CA, the raffle and silent auction are poised for great success under Sue’s care.

In case you are not familiar with Knots of Love, it is an amazing, award-winning 501c3 organization that donates knitted and crocheted 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.

Sue started knitting caps for Knots of Love more than five years ago after reading an article in the local newspaper about the organization.  She had learned to knit from her mother and grandmother as a small child growing up in Australia, but had put her needles down for some time until she was inspired by the Knots of Love story.  Since then, Sue has made more caps than she can count and has become a dedicated volunteer, stepping up this year to help organize the High Tea.

Apparently an expert in time management, Sue is also a full time labor and delivery nurse, and she is on the board of the National League of Young Men, an organization she participates in with her two high school aged boys.

Sue explains that for her, knitting is a great stress reliever, even helping her keep calm when she went back to school from 2013-2015 for her nursing degree. Knitting helped her stay focused during what she calls “that crazy time.”

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While she was in nursing school, Sue Stone found that knitting was a great stress reliever.

For Sue, volunteering for Knots of Love is truly an act of love.

“I love doing it,” she says. “I have so many nurse co-workers with cancer, and my Dad was just diagnosed with lymphoma this week – it’s important for me to help those who are suffering and to show them some love.”

All of us at Laurel Hill are grateful for the good work Sue and her team are doing, and we wish all the best to Knots of Love for a fun and successful High Tea! We can’t wait to see the photos!

If you live near Fullerton, CA and you want to know more, visit KnotsofLove.org for more information on the event.

Let Us Know

We are always eager to hear your comments and feedback, and your input keeps our offerings fresh and relevant.  Do you knit or crochet for good causes?  Please tell us about it. We would love to share your good deeds with our readers!

 

 

 

 

ChiaoGoo arrives at Laurel Hill!

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Laurel Hill is known for listening to our customers and providing them with their favorite fiber arts tools and accessories.  That’s why we are thrilled to announce the arrival of ChiaoGoo to our vast selection of high quality knitting needles, crochet hooks, gift sets and accessories.  We now carry many of ChiaoGoo’s bamboo/wood and stainless steel Single Points, Double Points and Circulars, as well as several fabulous accessories.

The Story of ChiaoGoo

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Yarn crafters love ChiaoGoo for their pointy tips and gentle touch.  Did you know this line has a rich, exotic history? The Zheng brothers were born and grew up in Linan, China, “The Bamboo Capital of China.” Grandfather Zheng was a bamboo craftsman who spent the majority of his life traveling from town to town with his bamboo tool kit making household goods such as chairs, tables, mattress sheets, rice barrels, baskets and steamers. Father Zheng followed in his father’s footsteps and was able to build a workshop in the early 1980s. Father Zheng’s workshop produced similar household goods, but the primary product was bamboo knitting needles.

Demand for the needles originated with Mama Zheng.  She is an excellent knitter and knit in order to keep her family warm during the long, cold winters. Mama Zheng would often knit extra items and sell them to neighbors and friends to make some extra money for her family of seven. She was the needle “tester” and frequently asked for special needles to meet her needs. Mama Zheng is the inspiration for the ChiaoGoo brand name which means “highly skillful and crafty lady.”

Coming to America

In the 1990’s, the youngest son, Leon, established Westing Bridge LLC in Troy, MI for the marketing and distribution of the bamboo needles outside of China. Leon came to the US in 1997. He attended West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV where he received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering with a specialty in Laser Technology. After graduation, Leon upgraded the family business replacing key machinery to improve product quality, productivity and working conditions. He purchased a special laser to imprint the ChiaoGoo name and size on each needle produced.

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Let Us Know

We are always eager to hear your comments and feedback, and your input keeps our offerings fresh and relevant.  Please let us know what you think about the addition of ChiaoGoo and if there’s anything else you would like to see at Laurel Hill, your one stop web shop. And please remember to “like” us on Facebook and follow us on our new Instagram account, LaurelHillKnitCrochet.