Nicole shared with us that her company, begun 2008, was a way for her to get her own hands on great fibers to create with, while learning to knit! A Darn Good Yarn gathers recycled fibers and offers about 90% reclaimed through their various products. Many of the fibers are collected by about 300 families and contains silk, saving it from landfills. Thus taking care of families in India, saving waste and filing regular taxes as a business all of which contribute to global economy.
Nicole began knitting with a scarf of recycled yarn. Her mother-in-law taught her and she found help to better her skill with online videos. She has kept her craft fun and whimsical for herself and others. also knitting on a simple level, because she needs the creativity, the colorful textures in her life but without the complicated, time consuming challenges that knitting can become. She found her first materials ‘didn’t mean anything to her’ and had another business (she refers to it as her “Fisher-Price” business) where she imported rugs and things from India. Through that she found responsibly sourced materials and followed through to A Darn Good Yarn! The Website: http://www.darngoodyarn.com/Anamika Silk Yarn (It’s from silk waste! and fairly traded)
The yarns are of three categories: Ribbon, Hand-spun and Fabric Strips. Ribbon is created by torn silk saris with the edges are sewn together. Some is kept in the orignal colors, some of the colors can be stripped and overdyed to acheive another brilliant, multitonal yarn. Hand-spun might be silk remnants including banana fiber, hemp, newspaper which is hand-spun generally by drop spindle and the Fabric Strips are mechanically spun but hand-dyed.
A Darn Good Yarn was operated out her house from it’s founding. When she and her husband moved to Schenectady, NY, get made the big leap to a brick and mortar store there, opening in December, that has been warmly received by the community. They are supporting those women and their families in Nepal, so they offer ready-made articles as well. The items include clothing and accessories, home decor. A Darn Good Yarn also supplies to local yarn stores through wholesale, which is a large portion of the company’s income.
Finding that through business, she can change the world, Nicole hopes to continue offering items to an admittedly mostly women audience supporting mostly women in impoverished circumstances. For instance, on her most recent trip to India, she met a 17-year-old girl who spins the banana fibers, who says she’s saving to go to medical school. That yarn may become a wonderful scarf or shawl to adorn a knitter in a warm climate like the fine piece of knitted jewelry that it really is!
If you are not able to travel to New York, A Darn Good Yarn is excited to be coming to Stitches West next month follow them to hear about their special promotion that they are putting together at either the Facebook page or the Ravelry group. Marly has made Nicole promise to come to the Pajama Party!
If you didn’t get to hear this live, it is archived where it aired originally: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2015/01/23/nicole-snow-a-darn-good-yarn or at iTunes: