Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for January, 2009

Superbowl Sunday Pom Poms

January 29th, 2009

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For quick Super Bowl party decorations, make big, colorful pom poms in your team’s colors.  Here’s a color chart of yarns that work for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals.  See tomorrow’s newsletter for an idea of something fun to crochet during the game.

You can use a piece of cardboard to make pom poms or our handy pom pom maker in a variety of sizes.

Black (Wool-Ease Black)           

Gold (Lion Wool Goldenrod)     

Red  (Wool-Ease Ranch)          

White  (Vanna’s Choice White) 

Are You Straight or Circular?

January 29th, 2009

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Most people have a preferred type of knitting needle.  We’re wondering, what’s your preference and why?  Do you tend to use one over the other?  What are the pros and cons of each?

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Meet the LB Collection

January 29th, 2009

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The brand new LB Collection is (finally!) here! This collection is something we’ve been working on for a long time and I’m so excited that these yarns are making their way out into the world! We’ve heard lots of great comments and questions from you! The LB Collection is a range of specialty yarns produced in small batches, and is only available on our website, through our catalog, and at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in Manhattan. Made from high quality natural fibers, they are still highly affordable. Take a look at what the LB Collection has to offer.

LB Collection Cashmere is made from pure 100% Italian cashmere. It is a luxuriously soft, lightweight yarn with exceptional warmth, ideal for timeless accessories like scarves, hats, and cowls. For pure indulgence, try a pair of socks or a pair of booties for a special baby. LB Collection Cashmere is available in 6 classic colors with great choices for both men and women.

Combining the softness and drape of bamboo with the durability of cotton, our beautiful LB Collection Cotton Bamboo yarn is a wonderful choice for warmer weather projects. I know right now it seems like spring will never come again, but when it does you will love Cotton Bamboo for women’s tops, lightweight throws, and gifts for summertime babies! It’s available in 8 hues inspired by nature.

We have added to our environmentally friendly yarns with a classic worsted-weight LB Collection Organic Wool. It is perfect for sweaters, felted projects, and winter accessories. It is 100% organically produced wool and dyed with low impact dyes, certified according to Global Organic Textile Standards by the Institute of Marketecology. It is available both in an undyed cream and 5 beautiful jewel-tone colors.

Finally, a 100% wool yarn that is also machine-washable! Soft, luxurious, and warm, our LB Collection Superwash Merino wool is the perfect weight for baby items and women’s garments. This versatile yarn comes in 10 great colors. If you know someone who thinks wool is itchy and uncomfortable, you may want to introduce them to this silky and smooth merino.

This unique LB Collection Wool Stainless Steel yarn creates unique pieces that keep their shape. Strong, yet lacy, it’s great for ethereal wraps or beautiful original jewelry. Combine it with other yarns to add texture and strength to sweaters and accessories. It is also great when knit double-stranded. Available in 4 colors.

Want to see how these yarns look when knitted or crocheted? Check out our patterns for the LB Collection yarns, request a catalog, or visit the Lion Brand Yarn Studio to test knit or crochet a swatch.

Studio Snippets: Favorite Felted Hat

January 28th, 2009

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We loved this hat and had to share it.  This is a customer’s own design, made from her stash and felted.  If you haven’t tried felting before, check out the amazing patterns for Lion Wool.  As you can see from the water that beaded up on her hat . . . felt is amazingly water resistant.  Try your hand at felting, you’ll love it!


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Do You Love Cables or Lace?

January 27th, 2009

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Cables and lace patterns are two beautiful ways to add texture and interest to your projects. Does a preference for one over the other say something about you?

Which do you prefer: cables or lace?

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Studio Snippets – Two of Our Favorite Animal Visitors So Far

January 26th, 2009

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One real (wearing the cutest little sweater . . . knit out of Wool-Ease!):


One not so real, but just as adorable:

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Cable Luxe Tunic Knit-Along: My Finished Product!

January 22nd, 2009

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The Cable Luxe Tunic is done — woo-hoo! As a designer, many times I have to work on wooly projects in the summer and cool lightweight projects in the winter, so it was a pleasure having this wonderfully warm project on my lap these last few weeks when the temperature was rarely reaching double digits!

After sewing up the seams, I wove in the ends and ta-da! Here is the tunic right after I finished it:

My students often have questions about weaving in ends and the Learning Center has a section just about weaving in your ends.

So, what is really the final step in finishing your tunic? Wash it! A garment always looks better after it is cleaned. Just make sure to follow the instructions on how to wash your tunic by looking at the instructions on your yarn label. I used Wool-Ease and no wonder “ease” is in its name — I just washed it gentle, cold water, and a gentle cycle for the dryer as well. I also turned it inside-out for the wash and it turned out so soft and pretty.

Speaking of pretty…the tunic has finally met up with its intended owner, my oldest daughter, Lizzie. A perfect fit — and look at that smile!

This will be a super warm and easy-care sweater for her to take to college in upstate New York next fall. (I think I was smiling just as much or more seeing her wearing it)!

This has been a wonderful Knit-Along and I thank all of you who have participated, asked questions, given advice, or even have this tunic on your “to do” list. You can access all of the posts for this KAL (and the first KAL for the “Tree of Life” afghan) by clicking here. We’d also love to see all of your finished projects! Add them to the Lion Brand Customer Gallery OR our Flickr group!

Happy knitting everyone and enjoy your tunics!

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The Rewards of Learning to Crochet

January 21st, 2009

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This the first post from Marc, assistant to Lion Brand President David Blumenthal. Raised in a family of yarncrafters, Marc has been enthusiastic about learning to crochet. This is his first scarf:

I did not think I would ever finish! After a lot of trial and error, along with much time pulling it apart and starting over, I finally finished a scarf. I never knew that crocheting could be so difficult to learn and yet so relaxing after you get started! I used Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in coordinating colors Barley and Oatmeal for my first project. I like the bulkier yarn because I can see my stitches, making it is easier to work with during a project.

As a beginning crocheter, I asked a lot of questions, did much reading, and became obsessed with getting this scarf finished. This is the product of lunch breaks and my commute to and from work. It looks like it will be warm, which is great because I finished just in time for the severe cold weather for this week. I’ll see how it does when put to the test.

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5 Cozy Winter Patterns from YarnCraft Episode #32

January 20th, 2009

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In episode 32 of YarnCraft, our audio podcast, my co-host Liz and I discuss how to keep warm both indoors and out. We also visit the Lion Brand Yarn Studio to see what the staff and customers have on their hooks and needles. Click here to listen [MP3].

Here are 5 great cozy classic patterns that we discuss:

Join us next week for a brand new podcast, including fabulous fashion advice and upcoming trends.

Greetings from the Heartland: Michelle Edwards’ January Report

January 19th, 2009

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This is a guest post from Michelle Edwards–a life long knitter and the author/illustrator of many books for children including the 2006 Gryphon award winner, STINKY STERN FOREVER and CHICKEN MAN winner of National Jewish Book Award. Michelle lives in Iowa City, Iowa with her husband and three daughters. She is a frequent contributor to the Lion Brand Weekly E-Newsletter.

Greetings from the Heartland,

It’s well below zero here, the wind is rattling the windows and everywhere I look is ice and snow- perfect knitting weather.

On my needles right now is Cashmere, from the new LB Collection. I’ll be writing about my adventures with the queen of luxury yarns in this month’s essay which will appear in the January 23rd newsletter.

And for those of you who have been wondering about the one skein charitable knitting commitment, I’m happy to report I’m still contributing to the washcloth brigade. January: two washcloths, one half a skein so far. I’m using the simplest of patterns, the classic washcloth one. (Click here to see the story and pattern.) For fun and a touch of fancy, I like it to blanket stitch edge them in a contrasting color.

LB Collection Cashmere and Lion Cotton, that’s my January report.

Happy knitting and stay warm,

Michelle Edwards, Iowa City Iowa

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