posts / 🧶Sprinkle that stuff on everything…

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🧶Sprinkle that stuff on everything…

TW: This week’s newsletter includes sensitive mental health topics. Sending all of our love our beautiful readers, family and friends ❤️. 

“I had two options. I could either let it wreck me and disrupt my life, or I could inspire myself and others, share my story, and use it to help raise awareness.”

These are the wise words of Laura Salisbury – nurse educator, dyer, designer, and owner of Always Be Kind Yarn.

I learned about Always Be Kind Yarn while filming with Season 9 Knit Star Gary Boston last week in Palos Verdes, California. Gary was an absolute font of information about up-and-coming dyers, thanks to all of his make-along fundraiser work for AIDS Lifecycle.

While sorting through Gary’s abundant self-striping yarn stash, this set jumped out at me. I was struck by the name “Always Be Kind” and the happy colors. I sensed there was an important story behind this yarn…

“Always Be Kind Yarn was inspired by my late daughter, Kaylan,” Laura explained when we connected over Zoom earlier this week. “She battled mental illness for years and died by suicide at the age of 25.”

“Suicide affects too many, and it’s easy to ask ‘Why?’ but a better question is ‘What?’ – what can we do to support others…to let others know you care,” Laura said. “You can always be kind!

Laura has been a nurse for 25 years and has been teaching nurses for the last 15 years. When she lost Kaylan four years ago, she wanted to create a way to honor her and support suicide awareness and prevention.

“Kaylan loved rainbows and bright colors. I’ve been knitting for 20+ years and socks have always been my favorite thing to make. In fact, I was in the process of making Kaylan a pair of rainbow socks, and just had the toe left to go, on the day she died.”

“What I am doing with yarn, it is something she would have loved and appreciated. She was a very knitworthy individual. I hope she would be proud of the impact it is making.”

“I dyed up the ‘Rainbows for Kaylan’ colorway and I could just feel her looking at the yarn and saying, ‘That’s really pretty mom but what are you going to make for ME with it? So I designed a sock pattern with the same name. I shared it with the Facebook groups I was in, and they said you should sell that…”

“What started as small batches of 4-6 skeins has grown into thousands, all with Kaylan as my original inspiration. A portion of all my proceeds go to support suicide awareness and prevention efforts – all sorts of groups, local (in Oregon) and national including NAMI, AFSP, and The Trevor Project,” Laura said.

Laura has since designed a total of eight patterns, available on Ravelry and her own website. The two most popular are the two she’s most proud of – “Rainbows for Kaylan” and “Diamond Heel Sock.” This genius pattern, written for cuff-down or toe-up, incorporates the heel in such a way that you don’t lose your stripes.

There are lots of great ways to shop and support Laura’s efforts…

She offers a variety of yarn and accessories including a really fun array of stitch stoppers on her site, and has a monthly yarn subscription called the Kindness Club – you can read about it and join here.

And of course, there are all sorts of craveable colorways in every color of the rainbow on Laura’s website.

“There’s a mental health-specific color called ‘You Matter’ in purples and blues. I have several colorways that are Kaylan-related – several rainbow self-striping yarns, a set of galaxy colorways because she loved all things galaxy, and others inspired by Jack and Sally from ‘Nightmare Before Christmas.’

“The main thing running through everything that I do, the message is kindness. The connection we can all have, that everyone matters and that tomorrow needs YOU.”

“My goal is to make Kindness not just a statement but a lifestyle!”

Laura was vending at a yarn show last weekend, and a family came into her booth, “Mom and dad looking at yarns…and their daughter who was about 13 picked up one of my stickers that said ‘you matter’ and I could see in her face, she just felt it. I went over and hugged her and she told me she really needed to hear that.

“I feel that through yarn I’ve created this open invitation to share your struggles, your story, your connection, your reality with me and with others.”

“Lately I’ve been contemplating my why,” Laura said. “I don’t love the business side of this, but If I can help one single person know that they matter, that they’re not a burden, and that tomorrow needs them, I’ll have done an ok thing. And if yarn is the vehicle to help me spread that message, then I will gladly share my yarn with you!

“My purpose is to spread love and kindness and hope. Sprinkle that stuff on everything!” she said.

Follow Laura on Instagram @alwaysbekindyarn
Shop her website here.
Join her yarn club here.

xoxo,

 

 

For the non-sock folks…take heart! Two more of Laura’s designs are great for using up minis in your stash.

Wrap Yourself In Kindness” is a large rectangular wrap using a main color and multiple contrasting-colored minis. You can customize the length and width determined by your preferences and the number of colors you choose to use.

And the Chunky Rainbow Hat is a simple hat that lets you get creative with pops of color.

Check them both out, and know that with each pattern purchase, you’re helping support suicide awareness and prevention. ❤️

image credit Taste of Home

Strawberry Spinach Salad

I asked Laura for a go-to recipe, and she instantly thought of this strawberry spinach salad! “It’s my go-to for a BBQ, party, whatever…if I don’t bring this salad they always ask where it is!”If you decide to make this salad or cast on any of the projects from the newsletter, we’d love for you to post a picture on your own socials and tag us @knitstars – and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz washed baby spinach
  • 1 lb sliced fresh strawberries
  • ½ cup roasted sliced almonds (optional)
  • Crumbled feta cheese (optional

For the Dressing

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar / stevia or other sugar substitute
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar / stevia or other sugar substitute
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp olive oil  1
  • tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Instructions:

  1.  In a large bowl add washed baby spinach and sliced strawberries.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the dressing and mix well.
  3. Set the dressing aside and wait to add dressing right before serving.
  4. Top with roasted sliced almonds and feta cheese crumbles optional.

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Happy Sunday, beautiful reader! Do you ever have ...
Read More

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Hello dear reader, How’s it going in your ...
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We talk a lot around here about how ...
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Join Our Newsletter!

(Required)
Experience level(Required)