Whole Parenting Family

where do i get my knitting & sewing materials?


A fellow crafter asked: where do you get your great yarns and threads?? I thought, is she talking about my clothing because these are all maternity hand-me-downs from Molly. Then I realized oh, no, she means my fabric & yarn. Like she said. When it takes you that long to process this much in a live conversation . . . problems. Right here in River City.

Ginny from Small Things does a read & yarn post on Wednesdays if you’re looking for inspiration. Lydia from Small Town Simplicity is an AMAZING yarn craftswoman. I mean, I swoon over her stuff for her kids.


But back to me and my sourcing:

Threads! Fabric! Oh, my flaming passionate love affair with fabric. I am making a concerted effort not to buy new until I’ve used my copious stash up. I *may* have picked up two little fabrics when I was in my favorite local shoppe the other day getting fabric for an actual order.

I sewed as a little girl. Atrocious things by hand. But then never did again until my mom bought me a sewing machine as an engagement present. To say I was dubious is an understatement. Somehow we shuffled through the lessons that accompanied the purchase and although she dropped by the wayside (who was going to watch the children so I could sew??), we did learn the basics of the machine. The rest, as they say, is history. But really, I wanted to make beautiful things for me & my baby(ies) so that’s really how my etsy shop got started.

whole parenting goods bandit bib

Treadle Yard Goods: real live store a few miles from my house. Love the ladies there!

Crafty Planet: a fabulous spot over in Minneapolis–harder to get to for me, though. They always have a ton of modern quilting cottons.

Fabricworm: online spot. Great modern quilting fabrics. Rare stuff and great sales. Sign up for their newsletter and you get sale updates!



Yarn. Oh, again, lovelies lovesis. When I was in the eighth grade our neighbor Claire (hi Claire! No way you read my blog.) who was a year older than me taught Molly and I how to knit. We began knitting in earnest. We’d have contests “fastest needles in the west” and the like. Basically my first few projects were as horrific as you can imagine.


Random yarn + eighth grade taste.

But after dropping small fortune after small fortune on really high end yarns and making a few awful things like botched mittens and weird hats, I finally got pretty okay. I still hate reading patterns, but I love to knit. As a very grown up, my favorite fake auntie (second mom, basically) taught me how to crochet a granny square.


Consider me hooked. (hahahahahaa.) The sweet thing is she also had taught my maternal grandmother how to about 40 ago and that’s how we all were gifted with great afghans from her as children. Circle of crochet life.

I only knit with wooden needles. They have great grip and traction. I generally always work with circulars unless I’m doing a big blanket with these bad boys that my friend Abby gave me.

Crocheting I use my grandmother’s 1970’s metal hooks. If I were to buy my own, I’d invest in an arsenal of wooden ones but for now, these suffice.


The Yarnery: mere blocks from my house, this local shoppe has everything yarn related. I could just touch all their inventory for hours.

Crafty Planet: they have a small but lovely yarn selection too. Don’t mind if I dO buy both at the same place.

Knitpicks: my girlfriend Anna told me about them. Really reasonable prices and great periodic sales!


Now you know everything I do. Go take on your sewing machine & needles.


  1. Laurel on August 29, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    This is fantastic! (And I may never be allowed to read your blog again…. ;))

    I was just thinking last night of writing you, as you are a seasoned knitter and I’ve only just begun over the past year or so, to ask you your preference in needles {wooden or metal} but I woke up this morning to the answer….and more! One more question for you, though — how do you gain confidence to break away from simple knitting to more complex patterns? I’m afraid of them.

    • Natural Mama Nell on August 30, 2014 at 11:18 pm


      Pick a pattern that’s a bridge. I just did a knit blanket this past year that was a stretch for me. It had a faux cable look (so no real cabling–don’t get crazy now) and required me to look at the book every line or so for the complex stitch. Then I realized it’s just like a math equation. It’s not creative; it’s obedient. Follow the directions very carefully and you’ll get a great result. Which is why I prefer not to follow patterns because I’m not good at obedience. I buy knitting books when they’re on sale–ones with beautiful photos of babies wearing things I’d actually like. Then I ask my aunts or the ladies at the shoppe to go over it with me before I start. Email me and I can help, too!!

  2. Rachel on August 30, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    I totally agree on high quality fabrics and yarns! If you’re going to put that much time into something it better be built to last!:) I don’t knit or see personally but my sister does, and hand deys yarn! Her shop is All for love of yarn! I think her stuff is at the yarnery you should check it out I think you’d love it!

    • Natural Mama Nell on August 30, 2014 at 11:16 pm

      Great to know, Rachel! Thanks so much for sharing about your sister’s art work. Can’t wait to check it out!

  3. Kristin Sanders on September 2, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Thank you for sharing where you get some of your awesome supplies!! I grew up crocheting and am currently teaching myself how to sew. Definitely coming back to get more ideas! 🙂

    • Natural Mama Nell on September 3, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      Love it! Welcome!