I did a thing

Vesuvius handspun from awesomeyarn.comSo I did a thing.

I’ve been selling my handspun yarn since 2006 as part of Happy Fuzzy Yarn. HFY is mostly hand dyed yarn and fiber and almost exclusively wholesale now, and I’m not selling the handspun yarn wholesale. So…I realized I haven’t really been spinning that much in the last several months because it’s hard for me to justify spending time making something that isn’t selling (I’ve got a backlog of handspun yarn waiting for projects for me, trust me!).

The thing is, I need to spin. Spinning makes me happy. Not spinning makes me sad. I am a spinner.

It occurred to me that HFY had sort of become two different businesses.

Since handspun yarn is awesome, I decided to call it what it is. Awesome Yarn. Ladies, gentlemen, and non-binary friends, I present to you, Awesome Yarn. Huzzah!




Meet the Designer: an interview with Andee Graves


Andee Graves

This is the second in a series of interviews with designers who have worked with our yarns, whether we have published their designs, they’ve published the designs themselves, or they’ve been published elsewhere.

Ebb n Flow Scarf - Andee Graves M2H Designs

Ebb and Flow Scarf by Andee Graves

Andee Graves used Happy Fuzzy Yarn Merino Tencel Fingering to design the Ebb and Flow Scarf.

Happy Fuzzy Yarn: How long have you been designing?

Andee Graves: I have been designing specifically in yarn crafts for approximately 20 years. I sold my first design as a professional designer in the Spring of 2009, and have been going strong for the past 7 years.

HFY: How did you get started?

AG: I took a class online with Mary Beth Temple called “Designing for Print Publication”. As part of that class I had to submit a design proposal to a magazine or yarn company. That was the first design I sold.

HFY: What does your day look like?

AG: I really don’t have a set schedule for my day. I plan my work goals over the week or month. My daily schedule needs to stay flexible as I deal with multiple responsibilities: caring for my kids, tutoring math at our elementary school, the administrative tasks of owning my own business, my design work, and teaching crochet classes at local yarn shops.

Spiraling Xs Hat - Andee Graves M2H Designs

Spiraling Crosses Hat by Andee Graves

HFY: How would you describe your style?

AG: I would call my design style “Geek Chic”. I like to create designs that are interesting to crochet and challenge some of the stereotypes of what crochet can be. Geometry and math play a big role in what I create.

HFY: Does your design style match your personal style or are they different?

AG: They differ a little. I like to design lacy wearables the most. Living on a mountain in somewhat rugged conditions though means that I don’t always have an opportunity to wear some of the more delicate pieces regularly.

HFY: Tell us about your design process. How does a piece go from a glimmer of an idea to a finished garment or accessory with a published pattern?

AG: I have a number of notebooks that I scribble ideas into. I always have one with me wherever I go, since a great idea can strike anytime. Later, when I’m back in my work space, I will sit down with my notebooks and plan out the designs I want to work on for the next month. Next I’ll pick a yarn out of my stash to swatch and experiment with to see if I can make the idea into a reality. Many times I’ll discover that the original idea might not come together like I envisioned it.

Once I’m happy with my swatch, I will write out my pattern fully and check my numbers. If I need more yarn to complete the sample this is when I will contact the yarn company. Then I either crochet the sample myself or send it to one of my stitchers to complete. During the stitching process of the sample the pattern is tested and corrected if needed.

At this point it depends on if the design is going to be published by me or if it is going to another publisher. If I’m publishing it I take photos of the finished sample and create the pattern pages as it will be published. Next it goes to my technical editor to review. If the design is for another publisher I send it to them along with the sample once it is finished, generally they will do their own photography and tech editing.

Spiraling Xs Gauntlets - Andee Graves M2H Designs

Spiraling Crosses Gauntlets by Andee Graves

HFY: Where do you find inspiration?

AG: I find inspiration in a lot of places, but my favorite source is yarn. I love looking at yarn catalogs in print or online when I’m needing to get motivated. I go to local yarn shops or dig around in my stash touching the yarn and thinking about what the yarn would work best for. I try to attend at least one TNNA trade show a year in order to see new yarns too.

HFY: What attracted you to Happy Fuzzy Yarn?

AG: The gorgeous colorways and plethora of fine-weight yarns.

HFY: What’s your favorite design?

AG: This is always such a difficult question for me to answer. Generally the design I am working on is my favorite at the moment, then I’m onto the next thing and the new design is my favorite.

HFY: Any advice for beginning designers?

AG: Keep experimenting with your work. Learn as much about your craft that you can. Work on techniques that might scare you. The more you know, the more you can do.

HFY: Where can people buy your designs?

AG: In my Ravelry shop: Andee Graves/M2H Designs.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us!



Time to register for Spinzilla!

SpinzillaI have no idea how it got to be September already. I think I lost a month. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could get all the time we’ve lost back at a lost and found?

Anyway, it really is September, and that means Spinzilla registration is open!

You want to sign up for Team Happy Fuzzy Yarn, right?

We’re planning a trunk show and a couple of spin-ins at Spun in Kerrytown, and I am really looking forward to trying to beat my own personal record.

Whether you’ve been spinning for years or you’re a brand new spinner, we would love to have you on our team! You just have to be able to have time to spin the week of October 3-9. The goal is to spin as much yardage as possible, so ideally you’ll be able to devote a lot of time that week to spinning (forget cooking and cleaning. Make someone else do it or order pizza, and a little dirt never hurt anyone. You’ve got spinning to do).

You can read more at the FAQ. And you can register here!



What time is it? Michigan Fiber Festival time!

It’s that time again! Time to go to Allegan and fondle fiber and tell all the sheep and goats how cute they are!

We have a much needed double space this year, so stop by the no longer claustrophobic Happy Fuzzy Yarn booth! We will be there Friday through Sunday in building 8B. Since we now have a double space, we’re in a different spot than last year. We’ve moved to space 100-101.

We have several new colorways, and a new base yarn, Merino Silk Lace. If you like laceweight yarns, you’ll want to roll around naked in it, I promise.

A close up of Merino Silk Lace

The Michigan Fiber Festival is held at the Allegan County Fairgrounds in Allegan, MI. You can read more about festival dates and hours, events, and a lot of other stuff at the festival website.




Not in the Plans

After putting it off for over a year, I finally made an appointment for an eye exam. I have no idea why I kept putting it off, but I was getting tired of things being blurry so I finally made the call. I had my exam Friday.

See that dark spot?


That is a shadow. A shadow cast by a cataract. A cataract in my eye. I have one in each eye.

I have cataracts.

That means that even when I get new glasses, things will still be blurry. And they’ll continue to get blurrier.

Eventually the cataracts will be bad enough that they’ll remove them, but they’re a 1 now, and they won’t remove them till they’re a 4.

Wondering just how bad my vision is going to get, I did some googling and found this.


And this.


So basically, everything is going to look like it’s far away and I’m not wearing glasses, whether it’s far away or not, and even though I’ll be wearing my glasses.

I’m trying not to freak out (everyone says “oh, cataract surgery is a breeze these days!”), but I am. No one talks about how long you have to deal with impaired vision before the surgery. I am a knitter. It’s not just something I do; it’s what I am. It’s my identity.

I like to design some simple things, but I really like to design complicated things. It’s the way my brain works. And I need to see what I’m doing to do that. Will I still be able to do that? I have to.

This was not in the plans.




Meet the Designer: an interview with Diane Zangl

birdseyebackThis is the first in a series of interviews with designers who have worked with our yarns, whether we have published their designs, they’ve published the designs themselves, or they’ve been published elsewhere.

Diane Zangl is the designer of two Happy Fuzzy Yarn patterns, the Bird’s Eye Shawl and the Burwick Tam. Watch for her new mitten pattern this fall!

Burwick TamHappy Fuzzy Yarn: How long have you been designing? How did you get started?

Diane Zangl: I’ve been sewing and crocheting since I was seven and knitting since my teens. I began my professional knitwear career in 1984 after receiving encouragement from Elizabeth Zimmermann to publish my designs. That was at the first of her camps I attended. I’ve gone every year since then, except for one. Her daughter, Meg, runs them now. My first design was published in Knitter’s issue #14, and since then I’ve had the good fortune to have over 600 published designs to my name.

HFY: What does your day look like?

DZ: My office/studio is upstairs and I usually head up there sometime around 8-9 am to check the emails and Facebook to answer any questions that have come in, etc. till around noon. I used to spend the afternoons and evenings knitting, sometimes 8-10 hours a day, but since I’m sort of semi-retired now I usually only knit in the evenings – unless there is a deadline looming. Now that summer is here, I spend good chunks of the afternoon outside in my gardens.

HFY: How would you describe your style? Does your design style match your personal style or are they different?

DZ: My philosophy is that of creating classic, yet current, garments that can be enjoyed across several seasons. Unique stitch combinations and knitting techniques are the things I like to do most. They fit my lifestyle pretty well, as I prefer classic, easy-to-wear garments. I’ve never been into lace or froufrou very much either in my personal style or my designs.

Diane's idea boardHFY: Tell us about your design process. How does a piece go from a glimmer of an idea to a finished garment or accessory with a published pattern?

DZ: I do what I call a “scribble sketch” first. I still keep a small sketchbook handy and when something comes to mind I’ll scribble a small, very basic sketch with a few notes in that.

I’ll also tear pictures from a magazine or catalog – usually a fabric garment with an interesting detail that I think can morph into knitwear. That’s my seamstress background popping up.

I revisit the book from time to time and refine the idea, most often after I see a yarn that especially speaks to me. I don’t start swatching until the idea firms itself up more. I don’t do a tremendous amount of swatches for each design. If it’s not working after 3 swatches at the most, I’ll drop it for a later revisit. As for choosing yarn, more often the properties of the yarn tell what it wants to be.

HFY: Where do you find inspiration?

DZ: Nature inspires me a lot, also classic garments that can be adapted to today’s styles. I live on the edge of a National Wildlife Refuge and the colors there are great inspiration.

HFY: What attracted you to Happy Fuzzy Yarn?

DZ: Definitely the colorways. I especially like the Semi-Solids.

HFY: What’s your favorite design?

DZ: Usually whatever I’m working on at the moment, although I do have a saddle-shoulder gansey I knit in 1987 that I wear constantly. It’s from a huge cone of yarn I picked up when a local yarn/weaving shop went out of business a few years before that. Berroco ‘Lambswool something’ that is a very high-twist yarn, sturdy, much like what was used in the ganseys of old. It looks good as new, even with all the wear, and being my default sweater for many occasions, I still get compliments on it.

Diane's drawing boardHFY: Any advice for beginning designers?

DZ: If you’re really serious about being a designer, you have to want to devote the time and effort to it. There are a lot of wannabees out there now that put a cable pattern into a plain sweater, write about it on a blog, or put it up on Ravelry and voila!, think they’re a professional. Good pattern writing skills are a must. I think a lot of knitters will agree, there are a lot of very poorly written patterns out there.

HFY: Where can people buy your designs?

DZ: Most of my designs are done for yarn companies or knitting magazines, but I do have others under my Stitch Witch Designs label that are available on Patternfish.com.

DZ: I’m working on new ideas right now that I’m hoping to have finished this fall and will have those available on Ravelry. Knitters can also keep up with what I’m doing on my Facebook page, Stitch Witch Designs.

HFY: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us!

You can see all of our Happy Fuzzy Yarn patterns on Ravelry.








Looking for a sock pattern that’s easy but interesting?

SnakecharmerSocksIntroducing Snakecharmer Socks!

These top down socks are a delight to knit and to wear. Cables and reverse stockinette in a checkerboard pattern mix up the colors of the yarn and provide a stretchy fabric that fits well.

These socks are very stretchy and elastic, allowing each size to fit a range of measurements. Instructions are included for women’s S, M, and L. I wear a size 8.5 shoe (women’s US), and I made the size M for myself.

One skein of Corrie Sock is more than enough. Shown here in Enchanted.

You can buy the PDF on Ravelry.



Yes, it’s 1000 degrees outside, but in a few months you will want to wear this scarf!

I know it’s 1000 degrees outside, but in a few months it will be cold. Honest! You’ll want to wear a scarf then! If you knit a scarf now, you’ll have it when you want to wear it.

Planning ahead. I know, it’s radical. Plus there’s always, you know, ahem, holiday knitting.

Our newest scarf pattern, Mimicry, is beautiful, soft, and cozy.

Designer Michelle Trudeau Fleming combines one of her favorite cable patterns with a flanking complementary lace design in this scarf. The lace design seems to mimic the cable, or is it the other way around? A simple seed stitch border finishes it off and prevents the stockinette in the lace from curling. She loved the idea of using cables and lace in the same design, so she was happy when she was able to figure out how to combine this beautiful cable with a lace that fits so well with it.

It uses two skeins of Merino Mono, shown here in Verdigris.

Buy the PDF on Ravelry.


Do you like cables? Do you like hats? Check out our new Ishtar Hat pattern!

Ishtar HatIf you like cables and hats, I have a hunch you’ll like our new pattern by designer Carol Ullmann.

Ishtar is a Babylonian goddess, representing the forces of love and war. She is passionate, powerful, fearless, and feared. Carol’s friend Alison, who is both strong and incredibly nurturing, inspired the making and naming of this hat. She also cannot hold on to any cabled hat she’s knit for herself, so clearly she needed a little help from a friend.

The Ishtar Hat is knit from brim to crown in Happy Fuzzy Yarn American Worsted in Neptune. Instructions are given for two sizes, and with and without a fold up brim.

You can buy the pdf now on Ravelry.




What’s the point?

I was going to upload another pattern today, but I’m too depressed. This week’s headlines are just too much. Even though it’s just more of the same, it’s just TOO MUCH.

I am so sick of people being murdered because of their skin color or their religion or their sexual orientation or their gender identity or or or or or…

I mourn for our entire human race. I feel like I should just wear all black all the time.

Writing about yarn and patterns and knitting seems so trivial. I feel like I should just chuck it all in and go live in a cave somewhere where I don’t have to deal with people or hear about the horrible things people are doing to each other.

Or dye all the yarn black. And design everything for black yarn.

I won’t. I love color. And knitting with black yarn is hard on my eyes.

But damn.

Be kind, people. Please, be kind.


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