Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for September, 2008

Kid-Friendly Projects from YarnCraft Episode #23

September 16th, 2008

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In episode #23 of YarnCraft — our half-hour audio show — we featured great patterns to make with and for your kids. We featured great craft projects from lanyards to bookmarks, knit and crochet items including great sweaters for fall weather and geometric monster dolls, and a fun fingerless gloves pattern from the book, Crochet Kid Stuff, which we featured in the E-Newsletter.

Crochet Fingerless Gloves Monster Dolls

Listen now to get ideas for projects to do with your kids, or fun ideas to bring out your inner child! For over 15 project recommendations, click here to listen to episode 23 [MP3].

A Hat of My Own — with Sparkle

September 15th, 2008

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Jessica\'s HatAs one of the new interns here at Lion Brand, I thought it might be fun to share a knitting story.

When I started working here last week, I knew there was something I had to do: knit a hat. You see, my grandmother taught me many things when I was young, like crocheting, baking, stitching, and gardening. One day, she gave my twin sister Casey and me this hat that she had knit many years prior. It was a floppy beret knit out of black yarn with silver glitter. Of course, it was way too big for our heads, but it was fun to carry around.

As we got older, Casey and I became far more interested in this hat. We developed a sort of joint-custody situation. She has the hat right now, so my poor head gets cold. I decided to knit an alternative inspired by my grandmother’s classic.

My version isn’t a beret, but it’s still got sparkle. I used Wool-Ease Chunky in Tinsel White on size 9 needles. I cast on 60 stitches and went from there. Since I wasn’t following a pattern, I just knit and purled my way around until I finished. I was pretty surprised that it fit my admittedly large head, but it’s a perfect fit! Best of all, it only took me a weekend to complete.

Have you ever been inspired by a family member’s project? Tell us about it!

Lion Brand Associates Team Up to Knit & Crochet a Baby Blanket for a New Addition to Our Family

September 15th, 2008

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This post is from Rose, who works in the Lion Brand sales department.

For the past six months, I have been teaching a crochet class for Lion Brand associates. A few months ago, a Lion Brand associate mentioned that he and his wife were expecting their first child. Our crochet group joined together to create their first baby blanket. Each member crocheted or knitted two squares with Vanna’s Choice Baby. The result was a beautiful baby blanket, which we presented to our co-worker Michael and his wife Tracy during their baby shower on September 8, 2008.

We are grateful to Lion Brand Yarn, who donated the yarn, and to all of those associates who contributed to the gift with their handiwork.

Our knit and crochet team are (from left to right): Gina, Ling, Anny, Mily, the future parents Tracy & Michael, Marlene, Maya and Carla, (bottom row, left to right): Carolyn, Nicole, Danielle and Rose. Hilary is not in the photo, but also participated as knitter.

Crochet-Along: A Doll Sized Blankie!

September 11th, 2008

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When I saw how great the Lion Organic Cotton looked in these sweet and simple stitches I couldn’t help but want to make a quick and cute version of the blanket. So if you aren’t up for a huge blanket, how about a doll or baby sized blankie?

I’m using Lion Organic Cotton and chose to assign a color to each block type: Almond for Block 1, Cypress for Block 2, and Vanilla for Block 3. The blocks themselves worked up so quickly and I was really satisfied with them. Even enjoyed weaving in the ends! Sometimes I can get into this nice little end-weaving groove and get into the task, go figure. I hoped that groove would continue into sewing things together, but no such luck. I’ve really been dragging my feet on this part. Then I realized one reason why it was so frustrating. All my blocks looked the same size, but didn’t have row counts that matched up easily. If I add another 2 rows to Block 3 (1 more row of clusters and a last one of sc), I would be able to match rows as I seamed the blocks together, so I decided to go back in and add to Block 3. This gave me a chance to throw in a quirky bit and I used the Bark color way for these last two rows. It adds a cool, unique stripe into the mix and I rather like it.

Using a 6.5 mm K hook on each block:

Block 1: (make 3)
1 skein (82 yards) of Lion Organic Cotton in Almond

Ch 19
Work in pattern with 18 stitches in each row for 22 rows total.
Gauge: 3 1/2 sc and 3 rows of sc = 1″
finished block is 5 1/2″ wide x 6 ” tall

Block 2: (make 3)
1 skein (82 yards) of Lion Organic Cotton in Cypress

Ch 18
Work in pattern with 17 stitches (1 turning chain and 16 dc in dc rows) in each row for 15 rows total.
Gauge: 3 dc and 2 rows (1 row of dc and 1 row of sc) = 1″
finished block is 5 1/2″ wide x 6 1/4″ tall

Block 3: (make 3)
1 skein (82 yards) of Lion Organic Cotton in Vanilla and 1 skein of Bark

Ch 18
Work in pattern with 17 stitches (1 turning chain and 8 clusters and 1 dc in cluster rows) in each row for 15 rows total.

Gauge: 3 clusters = 3″, 2 rows (1 row of cluster and 1 row of sc) = 2″
finished block is 5 1/2″ wide x 6 ” tall


The finished blocks aren’t exactly the same size, but stretch to match each other and having matchable row counts makes it so much easier in my opinion!

Joining the sides of the blocks, working through the sides of the stitches on the edge of each block:

Block 1 to Block 2: match sc rows to sc rows and 2 sc rows to each dc row.
Block 1 to Block 3: match sc rows to sc rows and 2 sc rows to each cluster row.
Block 2 to Block 3: match sc rows to sc rows and 1 dc row to each cluster row.

Yes, I am seaming these blocks together!  For my full size blanket (now nicknamed “the Purple Monster”) I will be using a single crochet border and slip stitch to join, more on that in the near future…

For this doll sized number I’m using 9 blocks total. If you wish to make a baby size simply work with these smaller blocks, but make enough to make the size you’d like! You can also make a smaller blanket with the larger blocks by using fewer blocks.

I don’t have the border planned out yet, will keep ya posted! TO BE CONTINUED….

Next Post: Stepping through each of the 3 blocks…

Knitting Circles in the News

September 11th, 2008

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The Daily News reports on the popularity of knitting circles among younger knitters in hip neighborhoods of New York City.  Of course we know you don’t have to be any particular age or demographic to knit.  If you’d like to find a group to knit or crochet with, check out our Club Finder.  You can search by zip code and interest and you can even add your own group to the list and welcome new yarn-loving friends.