Interview with a Yarn Lover: Marly Bird

Crocheters, knitters, crafters – we have a few things in common. I think one of the main things are health and wellness benefits we get from engaging in our favorite hobbies. The other thing – a deep and abiding love of yarn!

Recently, I got the chance to chat with one of the most famous yarn lovers around these parts – Red Heart National Spokesperson Marly Bird! We talked about yarn of course, but we also talked a bit about how helpful and therapeutic it can be!

Marly Bird, National Spokesperson for Red Heart Yarn

Most of us have gotten a peek inside Marly Bird‘s studio in her many YouTube and Facebook videos, on her own page as well as the Red Heart Facebook page. But I’m one of the very lucky ones to have gotten to see it in person!

Moogly and Marly Bird in Merry Yarning!

Her studio is any yarn lover’s dream, full of gorgeous yarns and colorful inspiration. Her Chic Sheep by Marly Bird is a bright and happy addition that debuted just in the last year or so – and I’ve used it, it’s amazing stuff!

Marly Bird and Chic Sheep by Marly Bird Yarn!

Marly shares a lot of her life online, but I wanted to know more about how she got started on this journey and asked her about it.

“When I was in second grade, I remember buying a skein of Red Heart Super Saver in a rainbow colorway and taking it to school to show my friends.” Marly says, “At recess, I would sit in the woodchips and make lo-o-o-o-o-o-ng finger knit necklaces. I thought I was the coolest girl in school because I could actually make something with pretty rainbow yarn!”

This is just one of the things I’ve found we have in common – I got my start with finger knitting as a child too! I wonder how many of us that holds true for? A lot, I’d bet! And clearly, that was just the start!

Marly Bird and her Grandmother with a white afghan

“Other than that I didn’t do anything with yarn. BUT, I remember going to my grandma’s house over the holidays and watching her crochet on a blanket for my mom. I always asked her to teach me and she would say, ‘one day.’ Well, that one day was the Saturday before Thanksgiving, 1999.”

With that, Marly was off and running, saying, “When I started to crochet I felt like I was born to use the hook. I was completely obsessed. Then, I learned to knit several years later and the feeling was intensified. I just KNEW that I was not only supposed to be a crocheter and a knitter but that I was supposed to be in this industry.”

Marly Bird's yarn stash - dream big!

The allure of yarn is so strong! I had to agree with Marly when she added about her own yarn line, “I love the yarn wool, I love the twist of the yarn, and I love love love the colors!” While yarn can gratify that need for color and creativity, it has further benefits as well.

I would certainly consider Marly to be an “expert yarn lover,” and I wanted to know why she thought knitting, crocheting, and crafting with yarn was so particularly helpful to people’s mental health and wellness.

“I think working with yarn is meditative,” Marly mused. “You can get lost in the simple making of a stitch. I don’t have to worry about what happened during my day or what I have to do tomorrow, I can just let the yarn slide through my fingers and work it with the hook or needles and create. I love to create.”
Marly Bird - National Spokesperson for Red Heart Yarn
That meditative aspect of yarning is a huge health benefit to many! Just the act of crocheting and knitting have been shown to reduce stress and increase calm – and you can create something beautiful and useful in the process, which is yet another boost.
But I had to ask Marly, with her lovely room full of yarn, how she felt about big yarn stashes – does having all that yarn bring comfort or anxiety? As expected, she’s quite happy to hoard all the lovely yarns!
“Um…have you seen my stash? LOL. I find immense comfort from my stash. I always tell my husband, some people why shot glasses to remember a special location or occasion, I buy yarn.”
Marly Bird's Yarn Wall
Every crocheter, knitter, and crafter I know would say yarn has altered their lives for the better. Marly agrees: “Yarn changed my life. My love for yarn and the craft of knitting and crochet has allowed me to build a career I love. If I won the lottery tomorrow I would still do what I am doing today (just maybe with fewer deadlines).”
What do you think? Do you agree with Marly – do you take comfort in your stash and find peace in the stitches? If you’re considering taking up yarning, give it a try! As Marly says, “It is just stick(s) and string. If you can tie your shoe, you can do this!”
Interview by Tamara Kelly with a Yarn Lover: Marly Bird