If you are a knitter or crocheter, or if you love someone who is, you will know that you can never have too much when it comes to the tools of the craft. At www.LaurelHillOnline.com, your one-stop fiber arts tools online shop, you will discover the perfect gift for someone near and dear to you, or treat yourself to a set of heirloom quality tools to be passed on and cherished. Laurel Hill has been known for more than a decade for the exotic woods of Ebony, Nam Oc, and Trai that comprise a variety set. All crochet sets include a beautiful multicolored fabric case to protect the following size hooks: D, E, F, G, 7, H, I, J, K, L, M.
Seeking the perfect stocking stuffer? Whether you select beautiful handcrafted knitting needles, a practical stitch counter, or cedar sachets to protect your beautiful creations, Laurel Hill has thousands of accessories to choose from. Even the yarn crafter who has “everything” will be surprised and delighted with something brand new that shows how much you care and appreciate her (or his) passion.
An amazing selection, reasonable prices, and the ease of ordering online make Laurel Hill your go-to for holiday shopping. Simply visit www.LaurelHillOnline.com for a wonderful, user friendly, shopping experience.
And from all of us at Laurel Hill, we wish you Happy Holidays, a Happy, Healthy New Year, and a 2017 filled with Happy Yarn Crafting!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Profile of Laurel Hill friend & yarn crafter Danette Bartelmay
Our conversation took place over the phone with a distance of 1,265 miles between us, but talking with Danette Bartelmay was like sitting together on a cozy couch with a hot cup of tea. Her warmth and vitality carried over the miles as Danette shared her story, a richly woven tapestry of love, family and yarn crafting.
Danette’s passion for the fiber arts began at the age of 16 when the woman who eventually became her beloved mother-in-law taught her how to cross stitch. This gradually led to crewel and embroidery, a carefully stitched journey that ultimately resulted in learning crochet from her co-worker at a beauty salon. Then, about 30 years ago, she added knitting to her vast repertoire.
A certified crochet teacher by the Yarn Craft Council, Craft Yarn Council Danette has become so skilled that she not only teaches crochet out of her home, she can repair damaged projects, and even create patterns from existing pieces. In between, she devotes family time to her husband, two daughters, four grandchildren, and close-knit extended family.
Amazingly, she still has time to stock her Etsy shop, Front Porch Knits, and publish a blog entitled “Rose Petal Tea”. In addition, Danette knits for charity and participates annually in the local craft fair in Morton.
All of her accomplishments have not come without their challenges. Suffering from rheumatoid arthritis since she was nine years old, Danette also fights the pain of lupus on a daily basis. While a compromised immune system keeps this former bank teller at home much of the time, Danette’s doctor strongly encourages her to keep up with yarn crafting. For Danette, crochet and knitting are everything – she has created a world where friends and students gather round, enjoying each other’s company, learning and crafting together. It is warm. It is cozy. It is a community.
Of course we asked Danette about her fiber arts tools, and her response was very gratifying. She explained that she had been on a lifelong hunt for good quality crochet hooks – she never could find just the right ones. Then a few weeks before Christmas, she googled “rosewood or ebony crochet hooks” and discovered Laurel Hill. For Danette, there is no going back. She is “hooked” on Laurel Hill for so many reasons.
“I LOVE the length and weight of the hooks,” Danette enthuses. “Not too long, not too heavy and they glide just beautifully. And how amazing to learn that they are arthritis-friendly!”
Danette says she is very picky about the way hooks catch, and Laurel Hill’s easily let go.
“The hooks are made exactly right and I love the points, no other hooks have points like these,” adds Danette. “Plus, they are wood and so warm in your hands.”
Danette exclaims that she will not use any other crochet hooks but Laurel Hill’s. We’re delighted that she is so happy, and even more delighted to have a new and wonderful friend. Another cup of tea?
For more on the warm, comfortable and beautiful crochet hooks Danette uses, visit LaurelHillOnline.com
Have you ever thought about how you respond to others’ expectations of you, or your expectations of yourself? I have become very interested in this question since reading Gretchen Rubin’s books and listening to the weekly podcast she produces with her sister Elizabeth Craft.
One of the topics they ponder is how to discover the secret of making or breaking a habit. According to Gretchen, to change our habits we first have to figure out ourselves.
She explains it as follows:
“When we try to form a new habit, we’re setting an expectation for ourselves. Therefore, to change our habits, it’s crucial to understand how we respond to expectations.
We all face outer expectations (meet deadlines, observe traffic regulations) and inner expectations (stop napping, give up sugar).
To help us figure out how we respond to expectations, Gretchen has devised the “Four Tendencies” framework: Here’s a brief summary:
Obligers. These are people who are fantastic at meeting outer expectations — for friends, loved ones, co-workers and so forth — but not as good as meeting inner expectations, or those they make of themselves. Knowing that other people are depending on them is what impels them to get things done. Most people are Obligers.
Questioners. These people resist outer expectations until they are sure those expectations are valuable, worthy or fair. They tend to take a long time to make decisions because they’re busy crunching numbers or doing other research. However, questioners do well with inner expectations.
Upholders. Upholders tend to meet both outer and inner expectations. Deadlines? Appointments? No problem. If you’re checking things off a to-do list every day, chances are you’re an Upholder.
Rebels. They have a tendency to resist both outer and inner expectations. No one else can tell them what to do. Rebels are the smallest group in the framework.
As an Upholder, I have figured out a lot about myself, my family, friends and co-workers. And as a public relations professional who writes and blogs for Laurel Hill, a company dedicated to providing sustainable, hand crafted fiber arts tools, I couldn’t help attributing the Four Tendencies to different types of yarn crafters. Here’s my take on the Four Tendencies for Knitters and Crocheters:
You, fellow upholder, follow every knit or crochet pattern to the letter, purchasing all recommended yarns and tools on the materials list. You set a timeframe for completing each project, and you are adamant about working on only one project at a time no matter how much you yearn to start a new one in between.
Sweet, kind obliger – you also adhere firmly to directions but you never create a project for yourself. You are a serial gift giver – creating baby blankets and booties even for your most casual acquaintances. If you ever do make something for yourself it will only be because your knitting or crochet group holds you accountable until you do.
Why should I follow the pattern? Why would I use a #10 needle when a #13 needle will get the job done faster? How come I can’t make my own pattern? Wait a moment while I calculate the new measurements that will improve this. Our intrepid questioner will always think of a new and better way.
Don’t be surprised if there’s a project in progress and six more stashed in the closet in various stages of completion. Oh, wait – crochet hooks, who needs crochet hooks? I am going to use my fingers, or a giant novelty tool I just invented. And this project – I am going to do it from the bottom up rather than the top down – why? Because I feel like it!
Where do you fit in? Gretchen has created a short quiz so you can determine your tendency:
Last week, during the Super Bowl festivities, people talked about a variety of things from who their favorite players were to the team they hoped would win the big game. And while those are pretty standard conversations for Super Bowl season, there was something else that attendees couldn’t stop talking about: Knitting! Volunteers from 46 states around America knitted blue and white scarves for this special event. Every Super Bowl volunteer and many VIP’s received one of the scarves as a thank you and a little something extra to stay warm!
There is a new form of graffiti hitting the streets, but it is extremely pleasant. Urban knitting, also called “guerrilla knitting,” is being spotted more and more in the streets and in public places all over the world.
A group of inspired knitters, who call themselves the “Knittas,” started the urban knitting trend in August 2005. The group began when the soon-to-be-Knittas were discussing their deep frustration over unfinished knitting projects: balls of yarn gathering dust and half knitted sweaters. Once the group knit its first door handle the rest was history – Knitta was born!
The Knittas knit everything from trees to public monuments and utility poles. Visit the Knitta photo gallery to get inspired!
Legend has it that sailors wore sweaters with their family pattern knit into them so that their bodies could be identified if they died at sea. Morbid as it may be, it is a notable application of the craft.
The actual origins of knitting are unknown. Historic evidence of knitted pieces has been found in countries such as Egypt, England, Holland, Scotland, Spain, Germany. The earliest evidence of knitted clothing found were fragments of socks that were made in Egypt sometime between 1000 and 1300 A.D. However, even this is disputed since some scholars say that these socks were not knitted, but were the result of nalebinding, an ancient Scandinavian craft similar to knitting.
In the Middle Ages, knitting prospered and became a prominent industry. The manufacture of stockings was particularly important in Britain, and a number of knitting schools were established. However, despite popular belief, it was men (and not women) who were the first to make a career in knitting!
The first trade union devoted to knitting professionals was founded in 1527 in Paris, which was run solely by men. Soon knitted stockings became extremely popular and knitting became a household activity. This is when women took over the craft.
The decline of knitting began in the 1980’s when machine knitted items cost less than the price of knitting the same item yourself. However, an increased interest in traditional values has contributed to a sudden resurgence in knitting. Knitting has become cool again.