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.

 

 

 

 

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.

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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

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:

http://www.laurelhillonline.com/dreamz-symfonie-rose-cubics/

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

Hello, Knitters & Crocheters from Laurel Hill Knitting & Crochet News!

Hello, Knitters & Crocheters! I am delighted to contribute to Laurel Hill Knitting & Crochet News. We look forward to providing you with the latest trends in knitting needles and crochet hooks, yarn crafters’ stories and exciting new projects.

I am grateful and happy to join the Laurel Hill team – a group of great people who comprise an innovative, environmentally friendly company dedicated to producing the highest quality exotic handmade knitting needles, crochet hooks, and accessories. As a socially responsible company, Laurel Hill sources natural sustainable products at affordable prices (www.LaurelHillOnline.com). Plus, they are a pleasure to look at, to hold, and to create beautiful results!

Knitted baby dress
Knitted baby dress
Knitted throw with cables
Knitted throw with cables

A little about me: When I was 15, the fabulous woman who would one day become my mother-in-law shared her love of knitting and patiently taught me.  I quickly associated knitting with a warm, loving environment where I felt safe and learned to revel in the “zen” of yarn craft.  To this day, the touch of yarn enhanced by the gentle clicking of needles can take away the day’s stress in an instant. In my work life I am a public relations professional who loves to write content, work with the media and help my clients grow their businesses.  Working with Laurel Hill will allow me to fulfill both my passions!

I am excited about the opportunity and truly look forward to opening a dialogue with you, our readers, and learning more about what you are looking for in the world of knitting needles and crochet hooks.

As one of my favorite knitters once said, “My needles are as much a part of my craft as my yarn.” We hope you agree!

Looking forward to sharing news and getting your feedback. Happy yarn crafting!

All the best,

Phyllis

Knit (or Knot) Some Love

Heart Yarn What better day to announce our partnership with Knots-of-Love than Valentine’s Day! Through this partnership, we’re offering exclusive Knots-of-Love starter kits for knitters or knotters to create a chemotherapy cap for a cancer patient.

The Knots-of-Love starter kits include everything you need to make a chemotherapy cap including two forest palm knitting needles, two exotic wood crochet hooks, a skein of Caron Simple Soft Yarn, a pattern and instructions on where to send the cap when you’re done..

“We’re thrilled to be part of this project,” says Rick Brown, co-owner of Laurel Hill. “For each kit purchased, Laurel Hill will give $3 to Knots-of-Love.”

“We are very grateful for Laurel Hill’s involvement in Knots-of-Love,” Founder Christine Shively adds. “We know with their help we will reach more cancer patients with handmade-with-love chemotherapy caps.”