Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for December, 2008

Cable Luxe Knit-Along: Get Your Badge!

December 11th, 2008

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Cable Luxe Tunic KAL badgeJust a reminder: If you have a blog/website/Ravelry page, add our Cable Luxe Tunic KAL badge to your blog/site/Ravelry page, and show that you’re knitting along!

Simply right-click the badge and “Save image as” to save it to your computer — Ctrl+click and “Save image as” on Macs — and then upload it to your blog/site/Ravelry page as you would a picture.


“This Group is a Lifesaver”

December 10th, 2008

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That’s the way the women at the Peitz House cancer support center feel about a different kind of support group.  While a group of about 20 women sit together knitting and crocheting, they relax with the uplifting and kind words of others who share stories and laugh.  At the same time they are making shawls, lap robes, hats, scarves, buntings and angels for the local craft fair.

“You can come here feeling so down,”one woman said,  “and it’s a real pick-me-up.”

If you’d like to inspiring stories about how knitting and crochet has been a lifesaver for others in the Lion Brand community or if you’d like to share your own story, click here.

The Generosity of Yarncrafters

December 10th, 2008

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Sunday December 7th was our very first Charity Knitting/Crochet day at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio.  We had a great turn out and everyone had a ball.

If you live in the New York area and would like to visit the Studio (34 W. 15th Street New York, NY), it’s not too late to participate.  You can still come by and pick up a folder with information and patterns.  You get 10% off on all the yarn you buy in the Studio for the charity hats and when you turn the hats in you will receive a 20% off coupon for your next purchase in the Studio as our thank you.

(For those who do not live close by, you can participate in Knit One, Save One by visiting Save the Children’s website and downloading an action kit. Also, find out more in our earlier blog post.)

Here’s a few pictures of the fun:

Here’s just one afternoon’s worth of knitting & crochet!!!

5 Last Minute Gift Ideas from YarnCraft #30

December 9th, 2008

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Crochet Ruffle ScarfIn Episode 30 of YarnCraft, our audio-podcast, my co-host Liz and I prepare for the holiday season by discussing great last-minute gift ideas. We’re joined by Cat, host of the popular video podcast Let’s Knit2gether, who tells us about how she started podcasting and about her holiday experiences with handmade gifts. To help with holiday stress, we share tips for relaxing while crafting for the holidays. Click here to listen [MP3].

As a sneak peek, here are 5 fast finish presents for the holidays:

  1. Cascading Colors Baby Blankie: This easy blanket works up quickly in stockinette stitch, but the colors make it look much more time-consuming.
  2. Crochet Ruffle Scarf: This fun scarf is great because it’s fast, it’s unique, and it only takes one ball of Homespun to make!
  3. Crochet Driving Gloves: These fingerless gloves keep your finger frees, and they whip up in no time.
  4. Easy Knit Mittens: These one-ball mittens are quick, cozy, and classic.
  5. Crochet Cottage Slipper Socks: These thick, warm slipper socks are a fast gift, perfect for cool weather.

Join us next Tuesday for New Year’s resolutions, new tips, and new ways of getting in touch with yarncrafters!

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Design Your Own Kooky Holiday Sweater

December 8th, 2008

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Cozy sweaters are one of the best things about winter. During the holidays, colorful, over-the-top Christmas sweaters are everywhere. This fun website [Flash Player required] lets you “create” wild and wacky holiday sweaters without wasting any yarn. You can even e-mail your finished creation to your friends. Go ahead and make it as crazy or as funny as you want!

Do you have a silly sweater story? Share it with us!

Cable Luxe Tunic Knit-Along: Take It Step by Step

December 4th, 2008

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Well, I’m thankful I had two weeks between my first and second post for the Cable Luxe Tunic KAL because life has been full of family, fun, and food this Thanksgiving! Not a lot of time for knitting, but I have actually found working on this sweater enjoyable, since it is done one step at a time. I have been thrilled to hear from all of you who have joined us! For those who feel a little pressed for time during the holidays or think that this tunic may be too complicated for you, here is my advice: Take this sweater step-by-step. This sweater doesn’t have different parts worked on at the same time, but instead each part of the sweater is worked in order.

In my last post, I had started the cable strip that goes around the upper part of the sweater. I’m making the smallest size for my daughter, and the instructions stated that I should end at 44″ and with row 2 of the 16 row cable repeat. I’m betting that not too many ended up exactly at their measurement – and I ended up at around 43″. If you’re not at the exact measurement when you hit that last row 2, just end at the row 2 that is the closest to your measurement, and then bind off on the next row. Why end on row 2? Well, this is a good break to sew together the beginning and end of the strip. I noticed that the cable strip curled quite a lot on the edges, so like I almost always do, I dampened the piece with a spray bottle of water and let it dry completely. It eased considerably and made it easier to sew and pick-up stitches–and I was able to shape it to the 44″ asked for in the pattern!

Sewing knitted pieces together is probably over half of what I have to teach to my students. Many of them are so surprised when I show them that the best way to sew most of their pieces together is to have the right sides facing them while sewing. So, to show how to sew the cabled strip together, I’m showing the progress of my sewing in this picture with contrast thread (my needle is inserted in the next stitch to be sewn – I took the yarn out of the needle so you can see the needle!)

Here it is, all sewn with the pink Wool-Ease. See how the cable continues through the seam since we ended with row 2?

Now, I have the completed the cable strip, which the rest of the sweater will grow from, starting with the back. In this sweater, as important as your needles, will be stitch markers to guide you. I love the split-ring type of markers that you can attach to either your knitting or on your needles. I need to mark my strip 7″ on each side of the cable strip seam. I will mark exactly where my back, front, and sleeves will be before I pick up for the back. This way I can make sure both the front and the back are the same width, and that both sleeves will measure the same as well. I have to pick up 82 stitches for the back, so between the back markers, I will evenly space 3 other (different color) markers to make 4 smaller spaces where I will pick up 20, 21, 20, and 21 stitches. This makes picking up the total 82 stitches so much easier, and I know they will be picked up evenly.

Some of you may have already noticed that the instructions now split-off for the different sizes. This looks complicated, but I have already circled all the instructions for the small size I’m doing, including the parts that give instructions for all the sizes. Now I will be working on that back this week, but the nice thing is that I am only working on the back and don’t need to think about what I will need to do for the front, sleeves, and yoke yet. That’s my type of holiday knitting with so many other things that need to be done on my to do list!

For those of you in the New York City area, stop by the Lion Brand Yarn Studio to see a sample of the Cable Luxe Tunic live!

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BK4K: Create Amigurumi without a Pattern!

December 3rd, 2008

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Amigurumi LionBK4K (By Kids, For Kids) 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 the December issue of BK4K, we encourage you to share your creativity by making your very own own amigurumi. What is an amigurumi? The name comes from the Japanese words for “yarn” and “stuffed toy.” They are cute creatures like our lion (left).

AND with just a few basic skills, you can make your own fun creatures, from animals to people (like in this earlier blog post)!

Pieces for amigurumiIn this issue, we share some basic shapes that can be used in your own designs. Rectangles, triangles, and circles are easy geometric shapes that can be combined to make an endless amount of creations. Decorate with i-cords (click here for i-cord directions) and French knots (click here for French knot directions). You can also add buttons, ribbons, pom-poms, and anything else you can think of!

If you’d like some inspiration, simply search for amigurumi. We have dozens of free animal and food amigurumi patterns.

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.”

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