Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for December, 2008

Cable Luxe Tunic Knit-Along: Cables, Sleeves, and Sewing

December 18th, 2008

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Cable Luxe Tunic KAL BadgeI’m now into the heavy-duty knitting part of this tunic. I really like looking at the cables going in different directions in this sweater, and I’m also having a great time seeing pictures of some of your tunics grow as well! Have I made mistakes along the way? Well, I always do! But I tell my students that in order to be a good knitter, you have to be a good ripper. When I was working a couple of 3/3 cables instead of 4/4 cables in that center cable panel, back I ripped. I’m glad I did as it would have been one very uneven center cable if I hadn’t fixed it.

After I finished the back I could have worked the front (which is identical to the back) between the sections that I marked off for it. Instead, I decided to work on one of the sleeves, so that we could look at how the sleeve grows from that original cable yoke strip. For the small size, I needed to pick up 46 stitches between areas marked for the front and back. I started with what will be my right sleeve and picked up my first stitch right next to the back. Unlike the back, the sleeve does not have a center cable, just 2 slipped stitches between the smaller cables as you can see in the picture.

The increasing at the sides of the sleeve is identical to the back. I wanted to get going on this sleeve to show something that will be very important to finishing the tunic and make the sleeves fit correctly. Some knitters who have done this tunic have had a problem with the armholes ending up much too narrow. After looking at some of the pictures of the finished tunics on Ravelry, I think the problem is in the finishing of the underarm seams. Before sewing up the side and sleeve seams, make sure to sew together the front and the backs to the sleeves along the areas where you first did all the side increases and ended up casting on stitches.

I have sewn the first of these 4 underarm seams here to show you, and once again I sewed them together with right side facing me. This seam will be under your arm and will give your tunic great shape and enough width.

My first sleeve is going very well, and I was surprised to see that after you do those first side increases and cast on stitches, that you just work evenly from that point on. Only the front and back flare, while the sleeves stay the same width all the way to the end. Now with the sleeves and the front to be finished, I will be keeping extra busy with the two weeks that will pass until my next post in the New Year. Thanks to those of you who have been answering (and asking!) questions, and I wish you all the best this season! Keep Knitting and Happy Holidays!

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Snowflakes with Sparkle

December 17th, 2008

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With all that goes on during the holidays, make decorating simple and add a lot to your windows or tablescapes with this simple idea.

To get the Lion Brand Yarn Studio (and our lion!) ready for winter, we hung these simple, fast crocheted snowflakes from the ceiling if our window display. They add sparkle and a little holiday cheer to our window!

Want to crochet snowflakes like ours? Download our free snowflake pattern and use it with Vanna’s Glamour yarn. The subtle metallic shine of Vanna’s Glamour will make your snowflakes sparkle. We recommend the colors Diamond and Platinum for gorgeous snow, or Topaz for a little extra glitz. And for that extra-stiff look, we dipped the finished snowflakes in a mix of equal parts water and non-toxic children’s glue, and let them dry.

These crochet snowflakes would also look great as coasters or hanging off your tree.There are so many ways of using these fast-to-make decorations.

A Yarncrafter’s Perfect Gift

December 16th, 2008

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This is a guest post from our intern, Lindsey. Her last blog post was about her great Homespun Ruffled Scarf.

I am an indecisive person and, after making all my decisions for what to make everyone for Christmas, I wondered, what will I knit after the holidays? Sometimes, I feel that I spend more time on Ravelry and the Lion Brand Pattern Finder than I do actually knitting or crocheting. So, for my Christmas gift I’ve asked my family to decide on projects for me.

Each of my family members is picking a pattern, either for me, or them, or both, and giving me the yarn and necessary materials to go with it. I’ve shown them the Lion Brand Pattern Finder, which gives them plenty of options for how to search for patterns. I’ve also let them know what my skill levels are in both knit and crochet, and also that I’m always willing to try new things that push my skills.

For me, it’s perfect: every family member gets to pick a piece that is unique, something they will enjoy, and something they put just enough thought and effort into to feel good about giving me. They get to put thought and effort into it without worrying whether or not I’ll love it, because no matter what I will enjoy making it.

Show Your Stuff!

December 15th, 2008

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In our Customer Gallery, over 1,700 people have taken pictures of their yarn creations and shared them.  Here is a picture from a customer who tried our Short and Sweet Child’s Cardigan with her comment:

“This is the best fitting little cardigan I have ever made. I absolutely love it.

Katharina Mills –“

We hope you’ll share your photos and stories of the items you make with Lion Brand yarns.

To see the other photos of customer projects, click here.

Cable Luxe Tunic Knit-Along: Solving Problems & Making Progress Together

December 11th, 2008

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This last week I have learned the true definition of “knit-along.” When I was asked to host this KAL, I thought I would only be showing my progress on making the Cable Luxe Tunic and also give some advice along the way. What I have found, to my surprise, is how we really are doing this together, and those of you working on this project are not only asking some great questions, but answering others’ questions, giving great advice, and even finding a couple of “hiccups” in the pattern.


The first part of this back has raised more than a few questions, so I will explain why certain parts of the back are worked the way they are – and give a few hints on increasing. After I picked up the stitches for the back, the instructions ask for increases at both sides of back. The increases are done one stitch at a time on each side for a few rows, and then the pattern calls for casting on a number of stitches all at the same time.

Here is a picture of the left side of my back (as I am looking at it) and you can see the stitches that have increased on the edge. This increased edge will later be sewn to the same increased edge of the adjacent sleeve to create a nice seam under the arm. Although this looks a little unusual, it will give the tunic great shape under that arm!

Now, many of you have asked about that slipped stitch that is between the cables. It is simply made by slipping the stitch on the right side of your work and purling it on the wrong side. When I increased for the underarm, I placed one more slipped stitch 2 stitches away from the edge cables. It is in these areas where there are 2 purl stitches (between the slipped stitch and the cable) where I will work the increases to make the tunic start to flare.

Here is where that “hiccup” is in the pattern. After the “Shape the Waist” section of the pattern, the instructions tell you to work your increases on row 3 of the Center Cable Pattern and on row 3 of the 3/3 cable. The increases should be worked on row 3 of the second repeat of the Center Cable pattern, but that makes that row actually row 7 of the 3/3 cable. I’m sure many of you just kept working your cable patterns repeats as written, but the pattern has been corrected.

Some of you have asked where to work your increase in the purl sections between the slipped stiches and the cable patterns. I did a “make 1” purlwise (raised-bar increase) on each side of the cable patterns. This picture shows how invisible this increase can be — the bottom part of the picture has 2 purl stitches between the cables and the slipped stitches, and the top has 3. If you have never done the “make 1” increase, the Lion Brand Learning Center has a great tutorial to show you. Click here for instructions.


I will increase like this for the next 2 times I am on row 3 of my center cable pattern. Then I will increase no more on the back and can just work up straight. It’s all downhill after this point, because the front is the same as the back!

In New York City for the holidays? Stop by the Lion Brand Yarn Studio to see our Cable Luxe Tunic on display!

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