I’ve recently discovered the thrill of adding beads to my knitting projects.

They can provide just the right elegant, sparkly accent to a fancy stitch or spice up a plain one.

And thanks to some very smart friends, I’ve learned a lot about making them easy to add to your work.

Check out how perfectly this “oil stain” bead makes this little stitch “pop”:

 

 

 

 

 

A few tools make the process of beading super easy: A tiny crochet hook ( I used a size 1.0 mm) and a bead holder.

 

I got my set of tiny crochet hooks on Amazon for $14.99.

It came with 10 hooks ranging in size from 0.5mm to 2.75mm

with a super cute zippered bag.

There are several types available, but I’m just thrilled with the set I got.

 

 

 

You can buy a bead holder, but I made this one from an old cd case and a piece of clear packing tape.

It holds the beads securely until I’m ready for them. It closes nicely and holds my tiny crochet hook.  And it fits inside my project bag.

Do yourself a favor and preselect your beads so you know your crochet hook will fit through them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here’s how the magic works:

First, using removable stitch markers,

mark the places you want to add beads, before you start to knit the row.

By eliminating counting, this will make beading so much easier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knit your pattern and when you come to a marked stitch pull it off your left needle.

Don’t panic. The stitch marker will prevent the stitch from dropping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With your crochet hook, select a bead and load it onto the hook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using the crochet hook pull the stitch through the bead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place the stitch back on the left needle,

remove the stitch marker and your beaded stitch is ready to work in your pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a little preparation and the right tools, you can add sparkle to any project with ease. So get beading!!

Our new base Poppy!

Our new base Poppy is so fun! 430 yards and 100 grams of Superwash merino/nylon to add poppin’ texture to all your summer projects. You may have seen Poppy at Four Purls Yarn Shop in Winter Haven, FL during the Orange Blossom Yarn Crawl. You may have seen Poppy on Four Purls’ Facebook and Instagram, paired with Emma’s Yarn in a beautifully woven scarf. Four Purls is the only place you can get Poppy in the Miss Poppy, Mango, You’re a Peach, Faded Jeans, Surf and Lilac You A lot colorways. Soon, new colors of Poppy will be available from Stash – A Place for Yarn, in Tampa and St. Petersburg, FL. You can only buy Poppy from Four Purls (www.fourpurls.com) and Stash (www.stashstpete.com).

So, why can’t you buy Poppy on our website? We made that decision, because we feel that sustaining our Local Yarn Shops during this time is important. Local Yarn Shops provide our communities with so much more than just yarn. Throughout the Corona stay at home period, local yarn shops have strived to continue to provide support and entertainment through virtual knit nights, face-time shopping, curbside pick-up, free shipping, make-a-longs and other activities. We want them to be there when this is over! So for now, please buy Fat Bunny Yarn from these Local Yarn Shops.

We hope you love the look of Poppy and want to make something beautiful with it. On our needles, is the Kinikin Cardigan, by Tara-Lynn Morrison. Holding 1 strand of Poppy and 1 strand of Fat Bunny Leap sport weight yarn, both in Periwinkle, its turning out to be a gorgeous combination! Follow Fat Bunny Yarn on Instagram to watch as we complete this quick knit and to see new colors of Poppy and our other yarns. Stay safe, stay cozy, and wash your paws.

Two weeks ago, I was sitting in the living room at Four Purls Yarn Shop in Winter Haven,FL chatting with customers, hanging out with my friend Caleisha, at a meet and greet for my trunk show, part of the festivities Four Purls hosted for their 10th Anniversay celebration and the Orange Blossom Yarn Crawl. It was a very good, very fun, very yarny day. I stopped at a restaurant on my way home and got crab cakes and when I got home life was good.
Many of you probably had an equally good weekend, with friends and family and activities, loaded with hugs and handshakes. Little did we know that soon the Corona virus that seemed so far away would pull us apart and keep us in our homes, away from friends and family and our favorite restaurants, and activities.
And we went to work, and we went to church and we visited our grandparents. We went to restaurants and sporting events, concerts and weddings, and the beach. Groups of less than 100, then 50, then 10. Stay 3 feet apart, no better make that 6 feet apart.
The oak trees in my backyard have showered me with their allergy causing pollen for the past 10 years. Everything is covered in yellow dust. I wake up in the morning coughing. I'm scared. Do I have it? Who did I touch? Who did I kiss? Did I give it to my niece at her wedding? I have some coffee and a Claritin. I'm fine. I go to work.
Everyone is talking about it. Except my one co-worker. She's coughing...a lot. Is she ok? Wait, where was her husband traveling? People start to get upset. She is sent home. We wipe down her desk and those close to hers with Chlorox wipes, realizing that if she has the virus, she infected us days ago.
Companies are starting to send workers home to work. When will we go home? We complain to our boss, she sends us home. We get more work done, but to quote Major Tom, its lonely out in space. We start having lunch time conference calls just to talk and stay in touch.
I call my 87 year old mother...no answer. Is she okay? WHERE is she? Did she go out? Is she insane? She calls me later. "Oh, I was at church" Again...no answer. Is she okay? WHERE is she? "Oh, I was at Publix." Despite our offers to do her grocery shopping, she refuses. But mom...she doesn't want to hear it.
My daughter calls. She is at her apartment with her roommates 200 miles away at college. She's fine, but just returned from Atlanta for spring break. They didn't do much...concert was canceled, the aquarium closed. They have 3 rolls of toilet paper, some peanut butter and a package of Hawaiian rolls. I send her an Amazon pantry box full of non-perishables. I get the shipping notice...it will arrive not in 2 days, but in 10. I am helpless. I put more money in her checking account. They survive a day on their peanut butter on tiny rolls. They adult their way to Target at 7am and stand in line for toilet paper and groceries. They are fine.
I haven't seen my boyfriend in 2 weeks. We talk everyday. Sometimes the conversations are silly, sometimes they are serious, sometimes scary. I am supposed to drive over to his house 2 hours away on Thursday...I chicken out. I leave Friday after work. Traffic is horrible. I almost start to cry, but I hold it back. We make dinner and drink pineapple flavored vodka and watch a movie. In the morning, we make our typical amazing breakfast. He brings out a box full of seeds. We spend the next couple of hours planting all the seeds...peppers, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, basil, lettuce, flowers. It is 2pm. I am on my phone constantly, checking, checking, checking...everyone is fine. We find a u-pick farm and go pick blueberries. We come home, shower, nap and make curry. Everything is fine.
Despite my worrying. Every one I love is fine. So, I am going to pay attention to reaching out and staying connected, but I am going to stop worrying. I can only do a small part in slowing the spread. I have a big mouth and a lot of words. I can write about my own experiences. I can show you pretty pictures that might help you realize the their are spots of sunshine amongst the cloud hanging over us. I can show you the yarn, I just wish you could feel it.

This weekend is going to be one of the yarniest weekends ever!

Yarn Lounge (yarnloungeco.com) comes to Lakeland, FL on Saturday, March 7th from 2-6 at Yard on Main.

Four Purls Yarn Shop has their 10 year anniversary party all weekend long. Check their website (fourpurls.com) for the details on all 3 days of fun!

Fat Bunny Yarn will be at Four Purls on Sunday March 8 for a meet & greet from 12-2. Come check out our new base Poppy only available at Four Purls during the Orange Blossom Yarn Crawl!

The Orange Blossom Yarn Crawl begins Friday March 6th with lots of great yarn shops throughout central Florida. Continuing through March 14, fun and prizes and 6 participating yarn shops!

This bunny is so excited about all the fiber friends and shopping and knitting and crocheting and spinning and weaving and all other sorts of yarntastic things. Our shop will be closed over the weekend and we will be doing yarnventory through Wednesday, March 11th.

Please look for the Fat Bunny Yarn logo on a tote bag at all these events. I’ll be carrying it and will be wearing a bright orange and pink shawl. My name is Maria and I hope to meet you!!

It the most magical time of the year for yarn lovers in Florida. Spring means more than just beautiful weather, its Yarn Crawl Season!
What’s a Yarn Crawl, you say? Prepare to be excited! It’s a week to 10-day local yarn shop extravaganza, featuring specials, sales, activities, indie dyer trunk shows and extended shopping hours. A group of shops participate, often offering an incentive for visiting all the participating shops. Completing the crawl can be a little challenging, but here are some expert tips to help you make your yarn crawl successful:
We talked to Kristy Glass of the Kristy Glass Knits channel on YouTube and she suggests:
• Don’t forget your water and snacks!
• Research each shop to see what they are doing, i.e., yarn crawl specials
• Audit your stash so you buy with purpose

Susan Reitmeyer, President of the Bay Area Knitting Guild recommends:
• Make a plan
• Group your stores together to get as many visits in an area as you can

Great advice! As an avid yarn collector myself, I can say that in the excitement of yarn crawls past, I have often purchased just one hank of beautiful yarn. Then it sits in my stash unused because I don’t have enough for a project. This year, I am looking at my Ravelry queue of projects, considering what I already have in my stash and planning my purchases ahead of time so I make instead of just stash.

Local Florida Upcoming Yarn Crawls and Events:

Bay Area Knitting Guild: The Bay Area Knitting Guild (www.bayareakg.com) hosts their Yarn Crawl each February in the greater Tampa Bay Area. This year’s crawl features 9 yarn shops across 5 counties from February 21st through March 1st. While the crawl is open to the public, members receive special discounts and those visiting all the shops can enter their stamped passport for a chance to win the grand prize drawing featuring hundreds of dollars of beautiful yarns and notions from shops on the crawl.
Shops in the 2020 BAKG Yarn Crawl are:
1. A Good Yarn -Sarasota (Trunk shows: 2/22-Cadet, 2/29-Shibui, Custom colorway from Kittybea
2. Needlefish Yarns – Venice (Trunk show: Emma’s Yarn)
3. Bit O Yarn – Englewood
4. Fab Fiber – Gulfport
5. Stash-A Place for Yarn -St Petersburg (Trunk Show: 2/29-Olive and Two Ewes)
6. Criativity Epic Yarns – Largo (Trunk Show: Berroco)
7. Fiber Art Gallery – Odessa
8. Stash Tampa – Tampa
9. Four Purls – Winter Haven (Trunk shows: Berroco, 2/21-Heddle Loom)

Orange Blossom Yarn Crawl: Mark your calendar for March 6th through March 14th for the 7th Annual Orange Blossom Yarn Crawl, in Central Florida. This year’s crawl features 6 yarn shops across 4 counties. A passport can be obtained on the crawl’s website: www.orangeblossomyarncrawl.com/passport/. Each of the shops on the crawl will have a drawing for a prize basket. Crawlers with completed passports with stamps from all the yarn shops can enter to win a grand prize. Shops in the 2020 Orange Blossom Yarn Crawl are:
1. KNIT! – Longwood
2. Knit and Stitch -Cocoa
3. The Black Sheep – Orlando
4. The Knitty Gritty – Vero Beach
5. She Sells Yarn and More – Ormond Beach
6. Four Purls -Winter Haven:(trunk show:3/8-Fat Bunny Yarn, and an exclusive colorway by Emma’s Yarn)

Yarn Lounge Lakeland: Yarn Lounge brings the Yarn Party to Yard on Mass in Lakeland on March 7th. Featuring fabulous fiber vendors, regular giveaways and big fun for knitters, crocheters, spinners, weavers and friends. Yarn winding for a donation for Lake Wales Care Center will take place during the event. Free and deluxe tickets are available on Eventbrite.com. Tickets aren’t required but will enter you into the giveaway drawings. See www.yarnloungeco.com for details.
Vendors for Yarn Lounge Lakeland are:
• The Yarn and Us
• The Traveling Yarn Yogi
• Fairway Fibers
• Olive and Two Ewe Studios
The Yard on Mass offers food trucks, a tap room with A/C, some shaded seating outside and plenty of room for you to set up your own beach chair.

As we all know, Fiber Friends are the Best Friends, so get yours together and road trip out to these awesome yarn shops for great shopping, special events and don’t forget your project. Enjoy!

Trunk Show at Stash Tampa, Saturday November 9th 11am to 4 pm!!

Fat Bunny Yarn brings their cozy yarns to Stash Tampa this Saturday. We will have our extra squishy Bulky, our so soft Lucky Sock, our luxurious Petal Silks and our original Lil Hop sport weight yarns. Come see the beautiful new fall and winter shades and give them all a squeeze.

My friend Hannah Seigmund is a crochet and knit designer and host of The Cozy Cottage Crochet podcast. She just recently released a beautiful new cowl design, Vanya cowl. She made the original with Fat Bunny Yarn Petal Silk in the “Dahlia” colorway. It is beautiful. You can see it on Ravelry here: https://ravel.me/vanya-cowl

Hannah is also hosting a CAL – Crochet A Long featuring the Vanya. Check out #VANYACAL Chatter Thread on the cozy cottage crochet podcast forum on Ravelry. Also Hannah is offering a coupon code to get $1.00 off the price of the pattern for Vanya through 10/31/19. And you can get 10% off Petal Silk yarn on the Fat Bunny website through 10/31/19 using the same coupon code VANYACAL

A few years ago, I met a young woman named Joy at a craft event. We shared pictures of our girls over mandalas and sugar skull sketches. Mine was a senior in high school and hers just a baby. The next day I got a Facebook friend request from her. I accepted and have had a backseat to a journey that no one should ever have to take.
Joy tells the story of how she and her husband sensed something was wrong with their beautiful little girl Aubrey. How they searched for a diagnosis, while watching her lose her speech, her motor skills, all the firsts they’d seen her achieve as she passed all those baby milestones we all see our babies have.
Just as most parents are struggling through the terrible twos with their kiddos, Joy and Bob learned that Aubrey had Rett Syndrome. ( https://www.girlpower2cure.org/our-cause/what-is-rett-syndrome/ )Who had even heard about Rett Syndrome?? It affects mainly little girls and strikes about 1 in 10,000 children. It presents challenges to purposeful hand utilization, and the ability to speak, breathe, eat and walk.
I’m sure there have been moments of the deepest despair, but I’ve never seen Joy with a negative attitude. The positive energy that she pours into Aubrey and her care, and their family and her business is contagious. I admire her like no other young mom I’ve ever known, like no other people I know. I pray for them every day…that God will give them strength and healing…that God will help a cure be found…that God will renew this mom’s energy so she can love and care and fight for her girl.
October is Rett Syndrome Awareness month. Girl Power 2 Cure (www.girlpower2cure.org) is an organization that provides education, support for Rett families and helps to support research. Fat Bunny Yarn will donate half the purchase price of their colorway Somebunny<3U to Girl Power 2 Cure. Not just during the month of October, but every time someone buys it. So, if you are browsing around our site, if you buy 1 hank of yarn from us, buy Somebunny<3U. It’s a great colorway and every hank sold helps a little girl and her family fight this battle against Rett Syndrome.

Why do we love the yarn sooooo much? Is it the Squish? That tangible need to touch and squish every skein? I’m a sucker for a big squishy hank of yarn. We make sure all our bases are super soft and extry squishy.

Is it the color? I don’t ever remember getting as excited at a big box store yarn wall, as I do when confronted with a couple of indie dyers at a yarn shop or show. So many colors, so much inspiration. You can say blue to a hundred indie dyers and they will come up with 100 different yarn colorways. How exciting is that??? We get our inspiration from all kinds of things: flowers birds, butterflies, fish, fruit, trees, water, music. Inspiration is everywhere!

Is it YOUR color? We all know how GG likes orange and Kristy likes pink. My favorite colors are both orange and pink, but the color yarn I have the most of in my stash? Green-turquoise-teal-blue-aqua! I can’t explain it. When I’m in a yarn store, something comes over me and those bluegreens drag me in and just slay me.

Is it the pure potential? The thought that you can take that beautiful yarn and make something! Something that will be loved and admired. Something that someone might treasure. Something so packed with all your love and talent and time, that it heals and warms and lifts a person’s spirits. That is some powerful yarny stuff!

So, I figured out a few things about my website and I took down all the yarn and I’m putting it back up in a different way. I’m really anxious to get back to dyeing having taken the summer down a few notches to spend some time on peopling and not yarning. I’ve still done some yarns things: personal knitting and color studies, natural dye research and shopping, uh, I mean market research. But boxes of undyed yarn are heading my way and I’ve got a few summer chores to wrap up, but then I’m just gonna’ dye. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

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