It’s been one week since we launched the Lion Brand notebook and it’s been a real thrill reading all the comments. I especially liked the one from Laura, who wrote from Argentina. She said, “even though your yarns are not available in Argentina, I just want to thank you for all the interest(ing) things I find at your place. . . I can’t buy your products, but I love to see the patterns and all the tips you give us.”
You may wonder why I was so pleased at a comment from someone who can’t even buy our yarn. It’s because when Lion Brand can encourage someone to knit and crochet, I believe we have done something good. I am thankful for the fact that I am part of a business that helps make peoples’ lives better. Yarn provides people with a way to de-stress, a way to express themselves creatively with color and fiber, a way to share something handmade with others and so much more.
You may even be surprised to know that I work with my competitors (I like to refer to them as my friendly competitors) several times a year to come up with ways to promote and encourage crafting with yarn. I’m chairman of an organization called the Craft Yarn Council which, among other things, organizes the annual Knit Out, now held at the Mall of America in February.
Loving my work means loving the business I’m in as well as believing in our products.
This is our first Q & A post so we’d like to share how the questions come to us. Lion Brand customer service associates answer questions by phone and email. We respond to over 12,000 email questions each month. This Q & A feature is culled from the most commonly asked questions. If you would like to submit a question, kindly do so in any of the following ways, rather than through this blog:
You may email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about an order you already placed, you may email or call 800-661-7551. If you need phone support to help you work through a pattern, you may call 800-705-8636. Keep in mind that these phone numbers are available only weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Q – I’m trying to find an crochet afghan in Vanna’s Choice that is easy enough for someone who knows simple stitch patterns.
A - The best way to find just what you are looking for is to use our Pattern Finder. With over 1,900 patterns to choose from (and growing daily), this great tool will save you lots of time. We used the pull-down menus to select “crochet” as the craft, “Vanna’s Choice” for the yarn, “easy” for the skill level and “afghans/throws/blankets” for the item type. The Pattern Finder located 14 afghans for you.
Try this with any requirement you have. Whether you looking for a baby blanket in Babysoft, a sweater in Wool-Ease or a scarf in Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, the Pattern Finder is the shortest route to get to those patterns.
If you want to fill in the search bar instead of using the drop-down menus, you can enter words describing what you want. The results will not be as accurate as they are when you use the drop-down menus, but if you prefer this method, use what works for you!
Give the Pattern Finder a try and let us know how it works or if you have any questions about it.
Our customer gallery is a spot on our site where you can see what other people are working on or upload your own images. Here’s one we loved, submitted by Jessica Basciano, of a picture that she takes annually of her children wearing sweaters knit by her grandmother. Here’s what she says: “My 84 year old Grandmother, Betty Harris, has made an annual event of making sweaters for 4 of her Great-Grandchildren, Cate, Julia, Colin & Aaron, and having their photo taken. She always uses Lion Brand Yarn and is thrilled to see her work displayed on your web-site. Thank You!
In each episode of our podcast, YarnCraft, my co-host Liz from our Design Department and I like to share some interesting tips about knitting, crocheting, and yarncrafting.
In the podcast episode, “Yarncrafting with Kids,” we were joined by technical editor Jackie from the Design Department to talk about teaching kids. Here are five tips:
Hi, I’m David Blumenthal, President of Lion Brand Yarn Company, and I’d like to welcome you to Lion Brand through this notebook. As a family business with a long history (Lion Brand has been around since 1878), we are passionate about yarn and dedicated to upholding the values that our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents have instilled in us. Several times a week we’ll share ideas, information and thoughts about crafting with yarn and we’d like to hear your comments.
The picture above is a sign that greets visitors in our corporate offices Carlstadt, New Jersey offices. There is also a bronze plaque in our reception area with the following quote:
The ideals set forth by our parents for this company will ever remain the guiding spirit in our efforts to promote lasting friendship and fair dealing.
We’ll be bringing you answers to your most asked questions, tips and technical support for crafting with yarn, information about the community of knitters, crocheters and crafters, and knit and crochet events. Please check this notebook regularly for up-to-date news and information about new products and plans for an exciting new endeavor that we’ll share with you soon.
We’re looking forward to the conversation. We hope you’ll become part of our extended family. Please feel free to leave a comment, introduce yourself and say hello.
The Knitted Mile is a project created by fiber artist, Robyn Love, for the exhibition Gestures of Resistance. The exhibition was held at in Dallas Texas, from February 20th to March 22nd.Robyn worked with fifty volunteers to knit a mile-long yellow stripe that was installed in the center of a road in Dallas. The concept was that a knitted median line on a highway interrupts the daily fast-paced movement of life with a lovingly handmade element. Hand-knitting and crafts in general, involve taking ones time and creating one-of-a-kind objects that express our individuality. The exhibition showed that this is an option to mass production, instant gratification and uniformity. The road stripe was knit in garter stitch, 4 inches wide in Vanna’s Choice, mustard color yarn provided by Lion Brand Yarn Company.
Over the past couple of weeks we came across a couple of bloggers who have created some beautiful afghans with our Cotton-Ease yarn.
Bella Dia uses a granny square pattern similar to our Happy Baby Blanket pattern to create her granny square blanket project.
Stardust Shoes takes some yarns and plays around with them to create some VERY cute flowers!
There is also a great group for those of you registered on Ravelry, for people who use Cotton-Ease, called Cotton pickin’. It’s there for anyone and everyone to share Cotton-Ease love and has some wonderful suggestions for new items using the yarn.
Additionally on Bella Dia, she suggests a great way to pick out swatches for upcoming projects using our website.
We had a lot of fun visiting Etsy a month ago. David, Zontee, Liz and I went to their offices, located in a beautiful building called the Clocktower in an one of the many areas of New York named with an acronym: Dumbo. That stands for down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass.
Etsy is an online marketplace for buying and selling anything handmade. We did a podcast while we were there and interviewed some of the staff about this phenomenon. We found a very creative group of people and a devotion to customer satisfaction that was impressive. Their site is fun to look at and as crafters, we particularly value anything made by hand.
Etsy featured an exclusive interview with Vanna for their web site.
After our visit, we enjoyed an over-the-top lunch at the famous Junior’s Restaurant.
The American Museum of Natural History in New York City merged science and art on Tuesday, April 8. Using yarn donated by Lion Brand, they have crocheted an entire coral reef ecosystem and discussed some the current issues facing reefs today, as well as actions that can be taken in the future.
Margaret Wertheim, director of the Institute for Figuring, and Kate Holmes, a marine biologist for AMNH, lead a discussion about the plight of coral reefs, and “hyperbolic crochet,” while touching on handicraft, mathematics, marine ecology, conservation activism, and collective artistic practice.
To learn more about the Institute for Figuring, you can check out the article we wrote in our newsletter.
As someone who is also personally interested in coral reefs and their survivability, I also recently saw an article in The New York Times about some of the efforts being done to rebuild and sustain the reef community. One of these efforts is taking place in Delaware, where they are using old subway cars to create a thriving reef with trains taken from the New York City MTA. It’s very cool!
In each episode of our podcast, YarnCraft, we feature a segment called “Stash This–Ideas for Your Crafting Life.” It’s a chance for me and my co-host Liz from our Design Department to share with you some interesting tips about knitting, crocheting, and yarncrafting.
In podcast episode about “Selling Your Knit/Crochet Items on Etsy & Tips on Customizing with Color,” our “Stash This” was about working with color, the meaning of colors, and personalizing patterns. Here are five tips from episode #12:
For more ideas, check out the podcast every other Tuesday by visiting YarnCraft.LionBrand.com, and tell us what are some ways you’ve used colors to personalize a project!