Holiday Gifting: Laurel Hill has the solution

knit-birds-tree-425If 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.

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Crochet hooks handcrafted from beautiful ebony

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.

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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!

 

 

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./

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Giving back from the heart

Cindy Stickney is the first to donate to Knots of Love via Laurel Hill’s new program

It was Cindy’s sister Becky who first told her about Knots of Love (www.KnotsofLove.org), an amazing nonprofit 501c3 that 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. And Cindy, a breast cancer survivor herself, wasted no time in becoming involved.

A self-taught crocheter, Cindy has already created 12 hats for Knots of Love.  She explains that she can relate to the difficult journey others are experiencing, and it is her way of giving back.

Coincidentally, Cindy began crocheting for Knots of Love  around the same time that Laurel Hill , the source for beautiful handcrafted crochet hooks, knitting needles and fiber arts tools, announced that the company would donate a portion of all sales to the organization.  Laurel Hill’s goal is to equip the yarncrafting community with the tools to knit or crochet with a giving heart.

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Cindy created these beautiful hats and sent them to Knots of Love for donation to cancer patients.

Right after the big announcement published in Knots of Love’s monthly newsletter, Cindy discovered Laurel Hill  and placed her first order knowing that she had found another way to donate to Knots of Love, and hopefully some helpful, comfortable tools for her craft.  Here’s what she had to say:

“I just wanted to let you know that I received the Laurel Hill crochet hooks, and I love them!  The day they arrived, I decided I needed to sit down that evening and give them a try.  They are so lightweight in your hand and glide through the yarn very nicely.  They’re very comfortable in my hand, so I can understand why they would be great for those with arthritis.  I only wish that I’d purchased more!”

We are honored and delighted to welcome Cindy to the Laurel Hill family and to thank her for her giving heart and generous spirit.

Happy Yarn Crafting!

 

 

 

 

 

A Cup of Tea & Warm Company

Profile of Laurel Hill friend & yarn crafter Danette Bartelmay

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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.

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Danette loves spending time with her family: pictured here with her husband and their granddaughter Gabby.
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.

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A beautiful creation by Danette

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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