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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

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

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.

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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:

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Take a look:

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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?

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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!

New Year’s Resolutions For Fiber Artists

We all make New Year’s resolutions related to our health, breaking bad habits, exercising more, and other such matters. As fiber artists, we make resolutions, too.

Whether you want to learn something new, finally use up some old yarn or finish and old project, there are many great resolutions for fiber artists.

1. Use up your yarn stash

As fiber artists, we love to buy yarn; it’s sort of a guilty pleasure. This year, make a goal for yourself to use up your old yarn before you purchase new yarn. Go through your yarn stash and evaluate each thing you have purchased. Obviously, you only want to use yarn that is still in good condition.

2. Complete a project before you begin a new one

Every fiber artist has a pile of unfinished projects. It is human nature to lose interest in something as new opportunities are presented.

This year, go through each unfinished project and figure out why you abandoned it in the first place. Was it the yarn you didn’t like? The pattern? We feel a sense of accomplishment when we complete old projects.

3. Teach yourself new patterns

Every fiber artist, no matter what level, has something he or she has not tried before. We tend to get in a rut with what we create if we do not challenge ourselves.

Take the initiative to learn new patterns that challenge you. Purchase a book full of interesting patterns or take a new knitting or crochet class.

4. Create more time for yourself to knit or crochet

Most knitters and crocheters would like to knit or crochet more but just simply lack the time. Take an hour out of your day to sit down and work on your current project. If this is difficult for you to do, join a knitting or crochet group! Besides, knitting and crochet offer many health benefits.

5. Knit and crochet something for yourself

Remember every once in a while, between projects for family, friends or charities, to make something for yourself; it’s ok to flaunt your talent every once in a while!