ABOUT NEEDLE & FRED
Libby started Needle & Fred company in 2018 when Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) stopped her from knitting. Read more…
Creating stunning yarns is the core of what we do, but we aim to do this as sustainably as possible. Reducing use of plastic in both our dyeing and packaging is a key focus.
We aim to be as inclusive a brand as possible, strongly supporting disabled, those struggling with mental health and BAME/BIPOC makers.
Our story continued…
Before I created Needle and Fred, I was like any other yarn lover contentedly knitting (and occasionally crocheting) away. Knitting was a meditative escape and a path to making new friends (a surprisingly difficult task as an adult, particularly an introverted one).
Then one day my hands started cramping. The pain crept into my daily life, using a mouse became difficult and simple dexterity that you take for granted was a struggle. I kept knitting, yet found the discomfort steadily increasing, to the point where even a row or two was near impossible. Eventually seeking medical advice, I was diagnosed with Repetitve Strain Injury (RSI) and advised I would need to rest my hands for several months. Months? I was, quite frankly, devasted. I tried to find creativity in other mediums; dexterity it turns out is integral to most crafts and nothing filled that void in my creative soul.
On a cold December morning, my mind strayed to the dyes I had bought on impulse at a yarn festival earlier that year. That night I raided my kitchen for supplies and took the plunge. The moment I saw the dye strike the yarn, that spark came back.
I decided to put that out into the world and (not to go all Marie Kondo on you but…) spark that joy in others. By creating stunning yarns which would invoke that feeling that only crafters know. You know the one. The one you get when you walk into a yarn shop or a fabric store and you just go ‘ahhhhh’ as you contently absorb the visual feast. I’ve never really understood ‘art’ but for me textiles are my art, both to admire and create.
Along the way I’ve leant into many a learning curve. Recreating colourways into repeatables – always write it down, because you will not remember; ensuring photos are colour accurate – hello white balance! Twisting yarn so it’s not a tangled mess (and your RSI doesn’t flare up).
Through it all, I’ve met amazing people, sent out hundreds of delicious yarny parcels all around the globe, seen amazing projects grow out of N&F yarns and the Purlfriends community keeps on growing and flourishing.