Girl Power!

As you may (or may not) know, Mr. Yarnista (aka Big Mike Mike) is a pretty darn good guy. Like, a really good guy. When we opened Firefly Fibers in the spring of 2010, I was quite honestly... TERRIFIED. (And this is a huge understatement.) I left a well-paying, comfortable job that not only provided benefits like health insurance, vacation & sick time, but also regular paycheck. I want to say that we "gave things up", but the truth is, we just had to put things like days off, family vacations, and extra spending "on hold" while I focused on getting the shop up and running. 

I wasn't ever confident that I could make this work (starting a new business is never a sure thing), but Mike was betting on me and that kept pushing me forward, especially on the hard days. Over the last 8 years, he has never wavered in his reassurance that I could (and would) be successful as an entrepreneur. Today, I'm barely able to keep up with the knitters (some days I can't) and I'm so proud of and thankful for Firefly Fibers and its knitting community. Ya'll are the best!

So, what does this have to do with "Girl Power"? Well, I know that not every woman has the support, encouragement, or financial opportunity from their partner, friends, or family to go out on a limb and take a chance on a life-changing career path. And... today is International Women's Day, so I'd like to pay it forward and help other women be successful. Did you know that the first National Women's Day was in 1909 (in the United States) after women protested working conditions in the garment industry and the United Nations started celebrating it in 1975 during International Women's Year? More dates here on the United Nations website and even more on International Women's Day here on the official website

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women's Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first arch WD gathering supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

Over the last few weeks, Mr. Yarnista's kind heart has been focused on International Women's Day and he shared his beautiful idea during our last podcast - to help other women around the world achieve their entrepreneurial dreams via micro-lending with the Firefly Fibers lending team on! Of course, we're partial to women in the textile industry, but lending to anyone (man or woman in any industry) to help them achieve their entrepreneurial dreams is the end goal.

WHAT IS MICRO-LENDING? Sometime in the early 2000's, I read Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus and was moved by how a small amount of money (a micro-loan) can literally change someone's life (he also inspired the Kiva founders). Unfortunately, Kiva wasn't yet born at that time and micro-lending wasn't a matter a of just a few clicks on the Internet to help someone on the other side of the world. Thankfully, Kiva has changed that and is changing lives $25 (or more) at a time.

HOW DOES KIVA WORK AND IS IT SAFE? Yes, there's always a chance that a loan could default, but Kiva has a 96.9% loan repayment rate (when they repay, your money is returned and you can loan it out to someone else) and they've been around since 2005. Read more about the loan process and how it works here on Mr. Yarnista has yet to have a loan default. *knock on wood*

AM I LOANING ON KIVA? We both are! Mike's been at it for a while (he actually gave Kiva gift cards to family members as Christmas gifts this year) and I signed up for a Kiva lending account today, joined the Firefly Fibers team, and set up 2 loans in less than half an hour.

In keeping with International Women's Day, I loaned $25 each to help these women achieve their loan fulfillment (click through to read more about each, to see their loan progress, and support them):


Amani is in Palestine and she's 25 years old. Her loan is for a sewing machine, yarn and fabric.


Hli is in Thailand and her loan is for raw materials for weaving as she transitions into the role of main breadwinner of her family.

Again, as a woman-owned and operated business, Mike and I want to help other women in the textile industry achieve their entrepreneurial dreams, but we/you can loan to anyone! 

I hope this has inspired you to join our Kiva team and support entrepreneurs around the world! If you have any questions about micro-lending (or anything else really), just leave us a comment.


Simple Knits | Jars in June

It's no secret that I have a bit of an obsession with canning jars. I really LOVE them. I always have. I grew up in the Colorado mountains and I have some beautiful vintage jars from there - I don't recall if they were found in our house, our "barn" (previously the town distillery/brewery), or from the random rubble I loved to scavenge in the forest - and my collection has only grown since then. 

The humble Mason Jar has a daily presence at our house - from beverages to divvying food servings to making cold-brew coffee to vases (especially the beautiful vintage blue glass). We've also been known to (on occasion) use canning jars for... canning. *wink*

Because of my jar love (aka obsession), when I first discovered Cuppow Drinking Lids, I was over the moon and had to find a way to carry them at Firefly Fibers, so I decided to design a... Canning Jar Sweater.

Silly? Maybe. Fun? FOR SURE!

Sadly, my current jar sweater needs to be retired (badly and some fellow knitters shot down my idea of darning it), so I'll be knitting a new one and I thought you might like to join me with this fast and fun project! 

The Canning Jar Sweater uses 35-60 yards of worsted weight yarn (it's a super fast knit) and the favorite shop yarn for this project is Spud & Chloe Sweater - the cotton in this yarn is perfect for absorbing a bit of extra moisture and ideal for warm weather. When it comes down to trying to choose a color, it might actually take less time to knit the project.

So... are you in? 

If so, if you don't have the pattern yet, for the next 2 weeks (through Saturday, June 20th) you can get the PDF pattern for the special price of $2 ($1 OFF) in two places:

  • :: the pattern is already on sale, so all you need to do is add it to your cart and check out - we even have Cuppow Drinking Lids in stock.
  • :: add the pattern to your cart and enter discount code 'SIMPLEKNITSKAL' for the $1 OFF.

I hope you'll join me this month in knitting some sweaters for your canning jars!



PS - I did finish May's project, Reminisce by Truly Myrtle, a couple weeks back and it's lovely! I'll share this FO and others soon!