Saturday, October 17, 2015

I Love Yarn Day - October Fun for Crafters

Balls of yarn
 The Craft Yarn Council (CYC), which represents the leading yarn companies, accessory manufacturers, and magazine and book publishers in the yarn industry, created I Love Yarn Day to share their affection for yarn and “stitch it forward” by teaching at least one newbie to knit, crochet, weave, spin or bomb.  It's a way to honor all those who create in the fiber arts and is held on the second Saturday of October.

My favorite crafts involve yarn – thus, there's nothing I like better than to talk about the projects my fellow fiber fans and I love to create.

The Crochet Crowd

My main (and favorite) yarn craft is crochet, a craft I've been doing for more than 40 years.  I taught myself to crochet as I am left-handed and no one could seem to teach me as everyone I knew who crocheted did it 'backwards'. (Well, maybe I'm the one who is backwards!). :) 

Plush Penguin in handmade crochet
Plush Soft Toy Penguin
My favorite items to crochet are plush animals, especially soft toy penguins.  I make them in all the colors of the rainbow, including the actual black and white tuxedo penguin. 

Penguin is crocheted in a round and roly-poly Amigirumi style and measures about 5 x 5 inches.

Handmade penguins in this round style are very popular as a child's playtime pet plush animal, as it's just the right size for little hands to hold. This one is particularly adorable!

My plush penguins can be found in my Etsy Shop (Coastal Crochet Crafts), along with a whole bunch of stuffed animals and plush toys. 

Crochet Your Own Plush Animals


If you love to crochet plush animals, this pattern book called Edward's Menagerie has over 40 patterns for soft and snuggly toy animals in four different sizes, giving you 160 different possibilities.  The patterns use simple crochet techniques with step-by-step instructions which enable even a complete beginner to get started right away.

It's available on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon. 

The Nifty Knitters

I've tried knitting in the past, but will never be as expert at it as these knitters whose work I admire.

Lots of knitters make handmade hats and scarves, afghans and sweaters, but a few make really unique and one-of-a-kind items.  A group of Australian crafters (two daughters and their moms) have banded together to produce a a shop (Made with Altitude ~ the "Store Where Your Imagination Will Soar!") filled with four different crafts from 4 unique individuals whose stories and perseverance will amaze you.  My admiration for them and their work amazed me when I read their story.  

Knitted Flower handmade in yarn
Smiling Sunshine Flower

Since this is an article about yarn crafts, I chose to feature here the shop's unique knitted item called Smiling Sunshine Flower, a flower toy hand-knit with a splash of love, and a little ray of sunshine.  Flowers always bring smiles and delight, and with this handmade knitted flower you can have flowers all year through.  Smiling Sunshine Flower has big full blooms measuring 9 ½ inches across, and is 15 inches long.  A wonderful gift to brighten someones day. 

Plastic Canvas Projects

Crafting designs on plastic canvas with yarn is a fairly new endeavor for me.  I began just a few years ago when I realized that my little balls of yarn leftover from my crochet projects were filling up an entire plastic bucket.  Since plastic canvas crafts, such as coasters and tissue box covers, take only a very small amount of yarn, this craft is a great way to use it up. Waste not, want not… as they say! 

The most enjoyable part of working with plastic canvas is watching the design come to life as you stitch with various colors.  My favorite project to create in this medium is beverage coaster sets. 

Handmade Pineapple Beverage Coasters
Pineapple Beverage Coasters
This is a set of four (4) beverage coasters with a design of a pineapple. The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality and friendship, particularly throughout the South, so using coasters with this design in a social situation is perfect.

Pineapple coasters measure 4 x 4 inches. Created in acrylic yarn colors of yellow, gold and green for the pineapple design on an eggshell white background. Each coaster is trimmed in light green. The pineapple design is outlined in embroidery black outline stitch with crochet thread.

A pretty set of Pineapple coasters for your tabletops. They also make a lovely hostess gift for a holiday dinner invitation or a housewarming gift. Lovely home d├ęcor for any home.

The design is created on plastic canvas using acrylic yarn in harvest colors. The set has since sold, but you can request another in a custom order in my Etsy Shop, Coastal Crochet Crafts.

A Favorite Etsy Yarn Crafter


Halloween themed tic-tac-toe games handmade by GailCrafts
Halloween Treats Tic-Tac-Toe Game

Gail of Gails Crafts on Etsy has a very clever line of Tic-Tac-Toe games created with plastic canvas and yarn.  She makes these games for a variety of seasons and holidays and each one is cute and creative.  

This set includes a game board and 10 game pieces (5 each Jack-O-Lanterns and candy corns) and two fabric storage bags.

Game board is made from 7-mesh plastic canvas and 4-ply yarn. Game board is a 7”square  This and other sets, along with a wide variety of plastic canvas projects and other creative crafts, can be found in Gail's Etsy Shop called Gail's Crafts

Helpful Hints for Yarn

Beverly Owens, one of our creative crafters here on Review This, has reviewed a very handy tool every yarn crafter needs ~ the Stanwood Yarn Ball Winder.  If you have a large 'stash' of leftover yarn, like I do, this tool is perfect!

Now that you have your scraps of yarn neatly wound, check out these ideas from Favecraft on ways to use up those scraps. You don't even have to be a knitter or crocheter to find creative ways to use yarn.

50 Yards of Fun

50 Yards of Fun Knitting Book Cover

This book is perfect for using up your yarn stash.  There are patterns for a delightful collection of over 30 irresistible toys and each project uses only about 50 yards of yarn!

Knit just five basic body shapes, each shown in several variations, to create knitted animals, robots, monsters, and characters of every description.

Celebrate I Love Yarn Day

So, for 'I Love Yarn Day' or any day, grab your skeins and balls of yarn, your knitting needles, crochet hooks or yarn needle and begin a new project.  Hand-crafting with yarn is a very relaxing hobby and your finished projects are a delight to behold.

*I Love Yarn Day was written by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. That football tic-tac-toe game is adorable! And I've always loved your penguins.

    1. Thanks, Dawn Rae. Hope you get to enjoy 'I Love Yarn Day' today. :)

  2. Happy "I Love Yarn Day"! My favorite yarn craft is crochet as well. I've always got a WIP or two in the works. I also like to work with the plastic canvas.

    1. Always delighted to share stuff with a fellow crochet crafter, Beverly. Enjoy 'yarn day'. :)

  3. I had no idea Oct. 17 was "I Love Yarn Day"! Honestly, I didn't even realize there was an official "I Love Yarn Day". I love seeing the rows and shelves of yarn in Hobby Lobby. It always seems to beckon me to do something creative and I really do love touching the softer yarns. When I was a lot younger, before the internet days, I hated searching for the needed number of skeins in the same dye lot. Used to drive me crazy! There always seemed to be only 3 or 4 skeins of the color I had selected when I needed 6. As a result, I started buying colors that I liked and could find 8 skeins. Then I would decide on a project. That was truly rather backwards :) Oh, btw, I Love Yarn!

    1. I Love Yarn Day is only 5 years old, but yarn crafts go back hundreds of years. I love looking at rows and rows of yarns too, Mouse. Dye lots are much easier today as most (at least in the acrylic yarns) don't have a dye lot, so all match.

  4. I Love Yarn Day! Who knew? Cute stuff here!

    1. Thanks, Heather. Yarn crafters love showing off our 'stuff'!

  5. I always learn something new from you! I am happy to learn that it is I Love Yarn Day and my bins full of it will attest to that fact. I am also going to check out that yarn winder.

    1. If you get that yarn winder, Linda, you could have Max wind your leftover yarn for you. He'd love it, as Beverly's grandchildren do. :) My yarn 'stash' is enormous too. Yet, I always find myself buying more. Can't resist those gorgeous colors in a yarn store.

  6. Love your article and all of your cute projects. Happy I Love Yarn Day to you!!

  7. Happy Yarn Day to you, too! I never heard of this before but I shouldn't be surprised. I always learn something new when I read your blog. It is all very interesting even though I don't knit or crochet. As a very young girl, I did learn to do both but have totally forgotten it. One of these days I may take it up again. Thank you for sharing all your knowledge with us.

    1. Yarn crafting can be very rewarding, Carol. You'll have to try it out again one day.

  8. Lol at the Turkey Coasters! Love that. If I ever start to crochet again I'll never getting anything else done. Just looking at the yarn here at the top of the page gives me the urge.

    1. Crafting in yarn can be very addicting, I agree, Barbara.

  9. Love these resources! This time of year, when the leaves change color and there's a chill in the air, I always get the urge to pull out yarn and a crochet hook. Time to get working on a project, or finish the one I started last year!

  10. Love these resources! This time of year, when the leaves change color and there's a chill in the air, I always get the urge to pull out yarn and a crochet hook. Time to get working on a project, or finish the one I started last year!

    1. Lots of crafters only like to work with yarn in the cooler months of the year, Susan. I do it year-round ~ it's just my thing. :)

  11. Always appreciate the handmade crochet and knitting work - it's so beautiful - that tic-tac-toe crocheted pumpkin set is a great idea - what a lovely gift to bring to someone's home, a hostess gift.

    1. Glad you enjoyed my salute to 'I Love Yarn Day', Barbara. My friend on Etsy makes those TTT games and they are adorable. She has them for every holiday and occasion.

  12. I should get my needles going again. I used to crochet and taught myself to knit as well. But lately I think I have been lazy......retirement will do that to you! Plus instead of knitting or crocheting, I go swimming, it's better for me not to be sitting so much....Happy Yarn Day, I love all your creations.

    1. Thanks, Olivia. Working with yarn is as beneficial as swimming - not as much for your body, but for your mind, as it has a calming influence. Proven to be true. :)


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