Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for June, 2008

Teaching Math With Knit and Crochet

June 29th, 2008

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It turns out that some of the best ways to understand mathematical concepts and to solve mathematical problems is by expressing them with knit and crochet models. Daina Taimina, a math professor at Cornell, was the first to crochet a model of hyperbolic space. Hyperbolic crochet was also used to show the coral reef by the Institute for Figuring.

On our web site you can find a pattern for basic hyperbolic shapes using these concepts.

In Science Magazine Carolyn Yackel, an assistant professor of math at Mercer University in Atlanta is quoted as saying that “Crochet, knitting and other crafts allow people to visualize, recontextualize and develop new problems and answers.”

Thanks to Jack and Marlene in Sales for pointing us to this interesting information.

Breaking Ground for The Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City

June 26th, 2008

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Lion Brand Yarn Studio

It’s been a dream of mine for over 10 years–to have a flagship store, a studio space at our Manhattan location, where we can display our yarns and inspire customers with our images and garments in a way that truly reflects the Lion Brand vision. My goal is for it to become the center of the yarn universe.

Here is the facade of the building under construction. We’ll be telling you more as time goes on. Since we do want it to be a surprise until we have our grand opening, peeks will be limited. But, as a reader of this blog, you’ll be offered a few exclusive preview days before we open to the general public. Watch this blog and look for announcements in our newsletter in September.

In all of New York City, there are so few places to buy Lion Brand, we think you’ll enjoy the opportunity to purchase our yarns when you’re here. But there will be so much more to the Lion Yarn Studio. There will be classes, book signings, fashion shows and more! I am truly excited.

Seen in the Yarniverse: Quitting Smoking

June 26th, 2008

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quitting the habitKnitting and crocheting are not simply hobbies for relaxation, can be very useful to kick habits like smoking as well! Chapel Hill News chronicled Riva Econopouly, a woman who put down her cigarettes for knitting needles, and has been smoke-free ever since. This is an incredible story of a woman who used to smoke up to three packs a day, but thanks to her knitting needles, was able to kick the habit. In fact,’s guide to quitting smoking suggests picking up portable hobbies such as crocheting or knitting to control the urge. Rocky Mountain News wrote that even teenagers are knitting to get rid of their nicotine dependence.

If you have any stories about how crafting helped someone quit smoking, we’d love to hear about it. Send us your comments.

5 Ideas for Knitting & Crocheting in Groups

June 24th, 2008

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Whether it’s for a charity or just for fun, being around others can truly enhance the experience of knitting and crocheting. In YarnCraft (our 30-minute downloadable audio-show) episode #17, my co-host Liz and I shared ideas for gathering to knit and crochet in a group.

WristersHere are a few tips:

1. Do a pattern together. Whether you each create a rectangle for a Warm Up America! afghan or you all make the same pattern (like in our knit-along), you can find support (as well as expertise and advice) in numbers.

2. Add your own influence. Take a pattern like our basic wristers and personalize it. Each person can make it in their own colors, adding their own embellishments, etc.

3. Try new yarns. Throw a “yarn-tasting” party by gathering some friends and passing around some new yarns. Everyone can make a swatch of each yarn to take with them, so that you all know how the yarn works up and you have a record of the colors you like.

4. Teach new people. Bring new knitters and more experienced knitters together and hold a class. This is a great activities for mothers and daughters, girl and boy scouts, groups of new mothers (maybe make it a baby shower activity) and more.

5. Create for a cause. Make items to donate to the charity (find one at our Charity Connection) of your choice. It’s always nice to know that your handiwork is going to a good cause.

For more ideas, as well as some great pattern recommendations, visit the YarnCraft blog post on this episode.

The Afghan That Was Created From Our Swatch Experiment

June 20th, 2008

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In last week’s post I talked about how we design based on experimenting with swatching. Last week I shared a peek into the process by which we decide on color sequencing.

Here is the afghan we created with the new Vanna’s Choice colors that was based on that swatch.