Author Kari Chapin

Author Kari Chapin was the guest on this Happy Tuesday episode of Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird. Marly had seen her book ‘Handmade Marketplace in the bookstore and feel in love with it, wrote her herself to be on the program.

Kari Chapin told us in her background story that she lived in Denver, Marly’s neck of the woods, and remembers a bookstore she loved and being especially excited to go back and see her book in it’s shelves. Growing up, Kari actually split her time between two sets of parents, her one set who were very entrepreneurial and bohemian and the other traditional. She realizes she identifies with the one side more. She learned a few stitches of crochet in grade school to make Easter Baskets and that began her knowing that creating things by hand became her passion. She still crochets, embroidery, pottery, needle felting and of course writing.  When she fell in love with needle felting, she was inspired to write Feltlicious with Kerri Wessel, published in 2013. She has also worked with creating collages and work with her art background. She admits she wanted to be involved in the arts by way of promoting them, but not by being in the limelite. She says it was more important to her that artists be properly supported (or paid) and in promoting them.

Kari met a woman who recycled wool sweaters and create stuffed animals beginning in the late 1970’s, Crispina, author of the Sweater Chop Shop, and learned about her creatures called ragamuffins. Kari actually was asked to write an ariticle about her. Kari spent at a lot of time with the local retail store manager and at one point that person offered Kari her own job which also required that she be the buyer for the store, which Kari did, leaving her career as publicist and marketing.  Etsy became popular at about that time and she looked there for products for the store, also traveling to New York and other places to search for items at craft fairs. This was difficult work because the she and the goods producers didn’t seem to be communicating the same language, so Kari began coaching them with printed materials that educated the producers about how to sell their items by wholesale, and she began to be approached by those needing advice about how to work with other markets.

The owner of the store (who wasn’t Crispina) decided she was done with homegoods, so Kari was about to be out of a job. During the closing out of the store, she met an editor from Story Publishing and she approached with an idea. That began her writing career with ‘Handmade Marketplace‘ using those materials she’d been sending to those she’d been doing business with.

The book is divided into three sections (Getting to Know Yourself and Your Business, Spreading the Word — and Images (Marketing), Getting Down to Selling) and includes the experiences and advice from those that have forged their way, in her Creative Collective.  Not just in fiber crafts, either, which is important to remember.  Sara Delaney is her cousin and is featured in Kari’s Creative Collective. among many others of many different crafts.

Kari also hosts a podcast! AIM, which stands for Action, Inspiration and Mindset, is Kari’s way of gathering information from successful handcraft businesses for herself and sharing that with the rest of us. This is a new project, just begun in November, so it will be easy for us to catch up.

Follow Kari’s website, you’ll find her books in your local bookstores like Marly did or at your library like Tammy did.

If you missed getting to hear this episode LIVE, it is still available at the original air location as an archive: or in iTunes.

How to Crochet: Sidewalk Shawl

Get the Free Sidewalk Shawl Pattern Here, and get tips and tricks for how to crochet the Sidewalk Shawl with the video from Marly Bird Here.

One of the most fun parts of doing the videos for Red Heart is being able to look at their MANY FREE PATTERNS and choosing which ones I like and think you would like to know how to make. The hard part is only choosing a few instead of the whole library :-) But hey, that’s job security, right?

The Sidewalk Shawl by Kimberley McAlindin is one of those pieces that will stop you in your tracks and make you say , “WHOA! I gotta make that!” It’s no wonder that it is one of the top patterns at Because of that, I figured I would show all of you how to begin this pattern which is made up of increasing pineapple stitches.

The pineapple stitch is a quintessential crochet stitch, just as the granny square is. But, the pineapple shawl can look a little intimidating if you have never done it before. Not to worry, in this video I show you exactly how to get started with this pattern all the way through row 10. I tell you how to use stitch markers to your advantage to know where the last stitch of your row is, and I tell you what stitches you are using and why you are using them to better help you understand the overall construction of the piece.

Better yet, I’ve had a chart made for this pattern that I am offering to you for FREE. Simply click here to download the chart. If you are not sure how to read a chart but it is something that interest you be sure to check back here as I do a video for reading this particular chart and it will be published VERY soon!

Okay, here is a heads up, this video is one of the longest videos I’ve done but I felt it was worth the time to walk you through step-by-step how to do this fantastic pattern. You do not have to watch the whole thing now. I’ve broken the video up into sections so you can certainly work on each section as you have time or you can grab your yarn and hook, download the free pattern here and get started now!

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Craft Yarn Council’s Mary Colucci

Craft Yarn Council’s Mary Colucci joined us for a special MONDAY edition of the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird, because sometimes we need to Make Someone’s Monday! Did this make yours?

Stitch Away Stress (1)

Mary Colucci is Executive Director of the Craft Yarn Council which is in organization trade organization that represents the larger publishers and consultants in the yarn industry. She came to this from her career in publishing and through TNNA. Primarily CYC’s goal is to keep the craft alive and to teach future generations.

One of the first program was to certify teachers of knitting and crocheters. Currently they work with Michael’s stores to have certified teachers leading classes at a local level.MaryColucci

I Love Yarn Day is a special event organized by the Craft Yarn Council, happening in the fall when all the new yarns are often introduced and includes knitters, crocheters, weavers, spinners… everyone who loves fiber. It’s hoped that participants gather with others to celebrate their love of yarn! Since the beginnings four years ago they heard so many about the health benefits that they have begun…

#StitchAwayStress campaign, collecting stories and sharing the evidence that proves we are Healthier and Happier because we knit or crochet. We know that we feel creative when we are working with yarn, but we also find our confidence boosted, stress is relieved and we find we can concentrate better. Those with chronic illness/pain find those symptoms are eased and slows loss of memory. During the month of April, you can enter to win prizes and Twinkie Chan has created a cute little Lemon Stress Ball — there is patterns for that in knit and crochet with a video about it! Other programs include a Teens Learn to Knit or Crochet and Warm-Up America.

Marly asked how does Mary stitch away stress? She revealed that end the day she finds working a few rows of her projects helps her de-stress, but taking it to work and while waiting for appointments also helps.

If you weren’t able to join us LIVE, you can still listen to the archived recording at or in iTunes.


How to Crochet: The Yo Yo Scarf

LW4582_YoYoScarf_600Get the Free Yo Yo Scarf Pattern Here, and get tips and tricks for how to crochet the Yo Yo Scarf with the video from Marly Bird Here.

One of the most fun parts of doing the videos for Red Heart is being able to look at their MANY FREE PATTERNS and choosing which ones I like and think you would like to know how to make. The hard part is only choosing a few instead of the whole library :-) But hey, that’s job security, right?

Well, I don’t know about all of you but I am always looking for a fun little shawlette/scarf to wear during the year. No matter what time of year it is, I need a little something around my neck to beat the chill. Couple that need with the desire to make more things with Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable Yarn and I think I found the perfect pattern!

It’s called the Yo-Yo Scarf by Alessandra Hayden

Now, you too can make this fun and fast scarf. With the free crochet pattern and the free video tutorial taught by me, Marly Bird you will have nothing but success.

*Disclaimer: this post includes affiliate links**

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