Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame

Archive for August, 2008

Knitting Into Nature

August 15th, 2008

Pin It

There is so much creativity in the world of knitting and crochet, and sometimes we get to see amazing works of art that use these crafts. Back in May, we shared with you a preview of artist Amy Catarina’s exhibit, “This used to be real estate, now it’s only fields and trees.” Amy used Fun Fur to knit forest animals and patches of “grass,” all set in a room with photographic murals of the forest, that I find just enchanting. As promised in our first post, we have photos from the show:

Part of the exhibit

Amy Catarina at the exhibit

The exhibit is currently showing at the Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California, and it will be there until August 24th, so if you’re in the area, definitely check it out. For more information, check out Amy’s website,

Related post:

What Would YOU Do?

August 14th, 2008

Pin It

Your oldest and dearest friend is about to celebrate one of those big birthdays that end in the number “0”. For the last 3 months you have been working on a gift for her. It’s made with a beautiful color of yarn–you found the exact shade of her favorite color and you’re putting a lot of love and time into making this one-of-a-kind gift by hand. You’re about to leave for the party and you hold the finished item up to the light to admire it one last time before you wrap it. Uh, oh, you see a mistake. It’s not a big hole but it is a visible (if you look closely) imperfection in the stitching of one of the rows that would take an extra day to fix.

What do you do? Do you give her the gift on her birthday with the recognition that mistakes do happen and are even acceptable or do you tell her you have knit or crochet this special gift but it isn’t ready in time for her birthday, feeling that it’s more important to make it perfect?

BK4K Has Fun with Food!

August 13th, 2008

Pin It

Delicious SandwichBK4K is our monthly kids’ newsletter that’s perfect for kids and the adults that craft with them, from parents and grandparents to teachers and scout leaders.

In this past month’s issue of BK4K we were inspired by summer picnics and the fun of make-believe. We shared patterns for a sandwich with knitted, crocheted, and spool-knitted “ingredients,” as well as a crafted drink can that you can personalize and fast to make carrot sticks.

Want more sandwich options? You can make all sorts of cold cuts and veggies for your sandwich simply by knitting or crocheting rectangles or circles in the colors you want and embroidering or using duplicate stitch to add details such as the seeds on a “hamburger bun.” Combine these items with our egg pattern and bacon pattern. If you like these patterns, look out for even more yarn foods later this fall!

For more great kid-friendly ideas each month, subscribe to BK4K. If you already have a Lion Brand account, you can simply add it by clicking on “My LBY”, and selecting it under “My Subscriptions.”

Blogging about Lion Brand

August 12th, 2008

Pin It

We found this post by a young mom who did some informal marketing research with her daughters to find out if they liked the Bebop Cardi. (This adorable cardigan was originally designed for Vanna White’s daughter, Giovanna.) The test subjects in question responded by squealing!

Cupcake – Sweet and Stylish

August 8th, 2008

Pin It

Cupcake YarnI generally believe that everything–whether tool, material, or method–has a purpose to which it is ideally suited. In my opinion, sewing is good for some things (dresses and bags), knitting works best for others (socks) and crochet is ideal for still others (amigurumi and afghans). And I think every yarn has unique characteristics that tell you what sort of project it should be.

Smooth, classic yarns (Vanna’s Choice, Fishermen’s Wool, Wool-Ease, and Lion Wool) are good for detailed, textural stitches, like the cables in the Tree of Life Afghan. Textured yarns like Homespun are usually soft, lightweight, and look great when knitted or crocheted at a slightly looser gauge – making them perfect for quick afghans, shawls, and scarves.

When we set out to design a new baby yarn, we used this line of thinking. We asked: what does a yarn need to make good baby afghans, hats, and sweaters?

  • Softness: 10 out of 10 babies agree: a baby yarn should be as soft as possible. (Or at least they would if babies could talk.)
  • Bouncy texture: Babies love to snuggle up in a cuddly blanket or sweater, and a project needs enough body to stand up to lots of love and wear!
  • Light weight: Don’t crush that baby under pounds of heavy yarn! A security blanket ought to be lightweight enough for year-round companionship.
  • Fast to knit or crochet – We all know that babies come on a pretty specific schedule, so being able to use big hooks or needles helps you finish projects on time.
  • Bright, Fun Colors – Lively colors celebrate the joy of being a kid.

We mixed all these different ingredients together and came up with: Cupcake. It’s super-soft; easy to use; looks great in simple stockinette, garter, or granny squares; is machine washable and dryable; and comes in fantastic colors. Whether you want to craft an Unsquared Afghan or a Sunny Side Up Hoodie, Cupcake is a wonderful choice.

Think Pink Cupcake PatternOf course, all rules are meant to be broken, and sometimes the real fun can start when you take a material and use it for a new purpose. Imagine our delight when we experimented and found out that our ideal baby yarn also makes flattering and comfortable fashion garments. The Sophisticated Options Cardigan and Scarf and the Half Moon Shawl are just two examples. I’m tempted to make a joke about sweet surprises here–after all, Cupcake does lends itself to punning. (See the Think Pink Cupcake for a visual example.)

So next time you’re looking to experiment with a new yarn, treat yourself to Cupcake.