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My daughter once asked me to teach her to knit. I did what any self-respecting mother did, I went to the library and rented a video. It turns out I was not adequately prepared. Most people talk about how the simplest thing to knit is a square or a  basic scarf. I, however, defied the odds and kept creating these bizarre triangle pieces. My knitting days seemed to be over, but my daughter, who went on to take a mini-course at her middle school, ended up being a pretty skilled knitter.

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I tell this tale because you are not likely to find me in the yarn section of the local craft store. I prefer to buy my items premade. So you can imagine my friends confusion when I started telling them about Darn Good Yarn. Whether you have a craft room filled with ribbons and yarn or, like me, wouldn’t have a clue what to do with a knitting needle, they have something for you.

What initially drew me to them were their gorgeous skirts, one of a kind silk sari wrap skirts that came in an array of unique colors, are reversible, and can be worn in dozens of ways. I watched a video on their website of all the different ways to wear a skirt (think strapless dress, shawl, and summer top to name just a few).  With the new school year approaching I wanted to buy some new clothes and I wanted my purchase to make a difference. Being somewhat adventurous with clothes the idea of purchasing a “one of a kind” skirt without ever having seen it was a bit like those old time grab bags I loved as a kid. I waited in anticipation for my skirt to arrive. When it did (rather quickly I might add), I tore into the package like a kid on Christmas. It was FABULOUS!  I loved the colors, the different variations based on which direction you wrapped it (4 options just as a simple skirt) and all the fun possibilities of different ways to wear it. I am not sure if it was that day or the next, but I ordered two more, both of them I am equally happy with. The first few weeks of school I have worn those 3 skirts in at least 5 different ways and I still have numerous options to go before I repeat a look. Talk about bargain shopping. Each one was like buying five skirts for the price of one.

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Please take the time to head over to their website to learn more about their inspiring story. This is an excerpt about their story.

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Darn Good Yarn was started by Nicole Snow, a US Air Force Veteran. After leaving the Air Force, she decided that she wanted to “unwind” with yarn. In early 2008, Nicole Snow decided to take two of her passions in life—art and helping others—and combine them. The result was “Darn Good Yarn”.  The mission was simple: provide phenomenal quality fibers to enthusiasts, while helping the women of Nepal and India become autonomous and self-reliant. The problem was, as Nicole describes, that many of these women were caught in a cycle where, because of their gender, they had no opportunities available to them. They had to resort to begging on the side of the street in order to scrounge together money for their family. At the same time, they would keep their children home from school to work… not because they wanted to… but because there was no other option if they wanted to have enough to eat that day.   The women who work for us are hand-selected for their skill and given a wage that not only allows them to survive, but thrive. This affects the rest of their family as well. Their children can stay in school and get an education. That is only half of Darn Good Yarn: The other half is phenomenal products. All of our yarns are handmade in small batches and undergo extensive quality control. This also means that all of our yarns are, essentially, mirrors of the amazing women who create them.   When you invest in Darn Good Yarn for your projects, you are not only using yarn that is helping a family eat, have proper medical care, and send their children to school… but you are making a final piece that carries a history within each stitch that in turn enhances the beauty of the overall story. We invite you to join the change, spread the joy and discover the story inside of you.

You really can’t ask for more in a company: ethically traded, women empowering, environmentally friendly, supportive of the economic development of developing nations, and high quality.

Oh, and for the record, their yarns looks so amazing.  I bought some as well and I am going to ask my daughter to help me knit a scarf on one of the round looms I got her. I love that I am going to be able to create something that has gone through so many hands in India or Nepal as well as right here in the US. These are real people whose lives are being made better.

So stay tuned for the update and pictures.  Better yet, head over and buy some yarn yourself, knit something wonderful, and share your pictures with us.  

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Written by Barbara Seidle

1 Comment

Lily

I’m pretty sure I know how you ended up with triangular knitting, since the same thing happened to a friend of mine in college. You were likely increasing one stitch on every row, by knitting two sides of the lower loop on your first stitch. You have to make sure the knitting you just did is nice and straight and the yarn is pulled down before starting the next row, so that it is clear what (single) bit of yarn you should be knitting into. I’m sure you could learn to knit without creating unruly triangles!

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