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Portrait of Sierra Roberts

Ah, Valentine’s Day. The holiday that spurs romantic gestures and broken hearts, alike… And this year it seems a lot of snowy weather too! Either way we don’t want anyone to feel left out in the cold. We hope you’re staying cozy and crafty so we’re offering Free Shipping* on orders over $50, from now until Wednesday February 15th!

FREE SHIPPING: Just enter this code when you checkout or call: HVAL2017

Now, you might be wondering what those pink lumps are in the above photo. Those are Demi-Carded Silk Bundles, and they’re every bit as soft as they look. We carry them in three colors, and I thought the rose/antique gold ones looked great for a Valentine themed project! If you’re like me, you’re probably also wondering how on Earth you put these bundles of silk to use. Well I did my homework so you wouldn’t have to, and I’m going to share some ways I found for you to incorporate this beautiful silk into your own projects.

You can kind of tell from the photo that these are very loose, thin sheets. They pull apart super easily (sometimes even when you don’t want them to), and thus can be used for a number of different fiber arts. Use strips of various sizes and shapes to add textural interest to wet felted pieces, or as an add-on to a woven project. These sheets can also be drafted and spun from directly, or blended with other fiber to create any number of different types of yarn. Yes, this silk can be carded- but keep in mind that it’s very delicate and fragile, making it similar to silk noil but way softer and with less “nubs”. I’ve seen this silk used a lot with blending boards, creating the most beautiful little rolags.

 

Whatever you decide to make next, we hope you’ll love it. Give yourself or someone you love a fiber treat – or get creative and make something together! In fact, that’s a great idea; here are a few other fun snow day projects you and friends or kids could work on together:

This Felted Soap Balls Pattern - Merino Fiber - Pattern download tells you everything you need to know to make these handy little soap balls, and it’s wicked fun to choose your colors! You’ll need some fiber, though; check out Merino Top Wool Fiber, Felting Fiber: Peace Fleece Rainbow Pack, or Ashford NZ Wool Fiber to Spin and Felt.

 

The Rooster Needle Felting Kit, Sugar Skull Needle Felting Kit, Chinese Dragon Needle Felting Kit, and Folk Art Sheep Needle Felting Kit are a fun challenge, and they can be completed relatively quickly. These are a great way to try your hand at needle felting, without worrying about that tricky third dimension….

 

Maybe rug hooking is more your style? Harrisville Traditional Rug Hooking Kit is another great learning project that is both quick and adorable!

Classic potholder looms and simple peg looms are a great tool for playing with color and making quick projects and gifts. They’re easy to set up and a great way to start learning the basic ideas of weaving.

 

Last but not least, it goes without saying that just about anyone would love to participate when you pull out the Tie Dye Kit Indigo Tie Dye Kit. Regardless of what age you are, this kit will have you tearing through your dresser in search of something to dye!

 

These are just a few suggestions, but in the fiber world the possibilities are truly endless…

 

Remember, Free Shipping on orders over $50! Now through Wednesday February 15th with code:  HVAL2017

* Free shipping applies to standard ground delivery, within the contiguous USA (lower 48) only. Offer excludes bulk price three and special order items. Offer ends at midnight, EST, Wednesday February 15th. Order value must total at least $50 before tax and shipping are calculated.

 

Related items of interest:


Portrait of Gretchen

It seems there’s some serious stash-busting and craft-room-cleaning happening out there… We’ve fielded quite a few questions recently about where to donate knit or crocheted items, as well as where to donate extra yarn. There are so many generous people who want to give their time, talents, and extra yarn to others in need. As people who love making things with yarn, we know the joy of color and texture, and the magic of giving or receiving something made by hand. The generosity of fiber folks warms the heart – and also hands, heads and more!

If you’re looking for some great projects to make for others, generally downsizing your stash, or are in the mood to use up some old yarn to make room for new, the organizations below do a lot of good work with your handmade goods.

  • Warm Up America – Warm handmade blankets, scarves, hats, and handmade baby clothes for neighbors in need. You can donate finished pieces or 7 x 9″ knit or crochet squares. Patterns and lesson plans are available on the website.
  • Project Amigo – Knit squares for afghans to be distributed to families in rural Mexico. Details are here, plus a Free Pattern. Project Amigo also provides terrific community resources in Comala Mexico, with a focus on advancing educational opportunities for children in Colima. Get even more involved and Sponsor a Scholar, or take a “work week”,  where volunteers help with arts and literacy programs while exploring and learning the culture of this beautiful region.
  • Knitted Knockers – Knit and donate handmade prosthetic breasts for women who’ve had a mastectomy. More comfortable and affordable than silicone versions, and made with love. Over 8,000 have been donated, and more are needed!
  • Knots of Love – Provides knitted and crocheted chemo caps, as well as tiny incubator blankets for ill or premature babies. Patterns, collection sites, and other great ways to help.
  • The Red Scarf Project – A program of the Foster Care To Success organization, handmade red scarves are given to college students who are part of the foster care system. Knitters are encouraged to include a card and other small gifts. These practical scarves are a great way to let someone know they’re not alone and to share a little handmade warmth.
  • Octo Project – What started in Denmark has become a worldwide phenomenon. Crocheted octopus have been found to comfort premature babies in incubators. The tentacles mimic the umbilical cord and help reassure preemies. Be sure to use premium cotton and do not add adornment that can be hazardous. Use the free pattern on the Danish site, and contact your local hospital to make donations.
  • Project Linus – Provides handmade blankets to critically ill children. Free patterns available, and there are chapters and drop-off sites all over the country. Check the website for one close to you!

If you’ve got extra yarn, and no time to make a finished piece with it, your stash can still do lots of good! To find a spot where your extra yarns will be knitted, crocheted or woven into something wonderful start local! Many community centers, schools, and nursing homes welcome donations of yarn or other craft supplies. Always check first to see what they need, and make sure what you’re providing is in good, usable condition.

Do you have a favorite worthy cause that would benefit from yarn or handmade items? Know of an organization that could use yarn or handmade donations? Please let us all know in the comments, and thanks for sharing the yarn, and the love!