Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for October, 2008

Instructables Craft Skill Contest Winners

October 27th, 2008

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The Instructables Craft Skills Contest was so much fun! There were tons of amazingly creative entries ranging from furniture to lighting to notebooks to the yarncrafts. Congratulations to the winner, SFHandyman, for his great Instructable on multi-strand finger loop braiding. You know, you could even use this technique to make friendship bracelets, ropes, belts, and so much more! Try it with Wool-Ease Thick and Quick for a totally different way to create a scarf or belt*!

The contest also received some great yarncrafting entries. Check out the tutorials on knitting cables, knitting picot edges, felting, changing yarn when crocheting, and making stitch markers. A really funny one is on how to crochet a mustache hat costume, with Homespun yarn!

If you enjoyed those entries, don’t forget that you still have time to enter the DIY Halloween Contest going on now at!

(*Liz, my co-host on the YarnCraft audio-podcast talks about some great ways to do this technique with yarn in episode 23.)

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The Lion Brand Yarn Studio – So Much Yarn…

October 24th, 2008

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I’ve never seen so much yarn in my life. We’ve been working from sun up to sun down to get the Studio ready. In the last week over 120 cases of yarn have walked though our front door…that’s a lot of yarn! Yesterday we got most of the yarn up on the shelves. It’s beginning to look exciting around here.

Speaking of “we,” I thought I’d take this opportunity to introduce some of the team you’ll be meeting at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio.

James is the former owner of the beautiful Woodstock Wool Company. We are so lucky to have him. Originally from Minnesota, James loves color and has a soft spot for double pointed needles.

Will recently moved from Washington State, where he has been working in yarn stores since he was a teenager. Will loves Fair Isle; knitting socks on two circular needles and is not afraid to steek (a fear I am committed to getting over this year . . . taking scissors to my knitting still makes me break out in a cold sweat!)

Tracey was a dancer who has worked with Alvin Ailey. She’s a passionate crocheter and knitter who has taught knitting & crochet at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology, here in New York City). Tracey has spent the last week drooling over Vanna’s Glamour and Lion Wool.

Michelle comes to us from Washington D.C., where she had extensive event management experience. A sock knitter who has a freaky memory for color names, Michelle also loves to crochet, and she can knit a mean swatch.

As for me, I love cables & lace, and do everything on circular needles. I also love to felt!

So that’s a little bit about us. We can’t wait to meet all of you and find out about YOUR yarncrafting!

The Presidential Poll of Knitters and Crocheters

October 23rd, 2008

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The results of our presidential poll are in.  With 8,975 9,009 9,550 people voting, here is the breakdown:

John McCain – 40.3%

Barack Obama – 56.0%

Other – 1.5%

Undecided – 2.2%

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Make a Cap, Save a Life

October 23rd, 2008

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Are you starting to knit or crochet for the holidays? This year, add one more special gift to your to-do list.

Save the Children and Warm Up America! Foundation have teamed up for the Knit One, Save One initiative. This project asks knitters and crocheters to donate homemade hats for infants in developing countries. Just one hat is enough to save a child’s life.

Patricia Arquette's cap

Join celebrities (and yarncrafters!) Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rebecca Romijn (Ugly Betty), Debra Messing (Starter Wife), Lisa Edelstein (House), Patricia Arquette (Medium), Vera Farmiga, and Mischa Barton in this effort to help children internationally. As the children receiving the caps are often low birth-weight, caps should be on the smaller side. A circumference of 9 to 11 inches is ideal, but any size will be accepted. Any soft, washable yarn can be used. Donations will be accepted until December 31, 2008.

To find out more information, get patterns, see more celebrity hats, donate a hat of your own, or write a personal note to the next President asking him to help, visit the Save the Children website.

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Technology for Stitch-Counting

October 20th, 2008

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For most projects, it’s important to keep track of your stitches. If you’re like me, you use stitch markers and stitch counters — or you make a tally in the margin of your pattern. If you love technology, then there’s a new way to track your stitches on your iPhone or iPod Touch: the free StitchMinder application.

This handy little program keeps track of your stitches, rows, increases, and decreases. The developer Quilt2Go’s website notes, “Counters can be configured to count upwards or downwards, and your counts are always stored when you close the program or if you are interrupted by a phone call.” How convenient!
You can check out the StitchMinder at the Quilt2Go website.

How do you keep track of your stitches?