Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for January, 2009

Studio Snippets: Customers Helping Each Other

January 19th, 2009

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A few days ago there was a woman sitting at the project table happily knitting away.  A few minutes later her friend joined her, spread out her work and they started working on her sweater together.  After a short time had passed I heard the second lady say, to whom I had assumed was her friend, “Thank you so much for all your help.  What days do you work here?”

It was then that the first woman informed her that she didn’t work here — she was just knitting and was happy to help.

Only at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio do you find EVEN the other customers are helpful!

Studio Snippets – Ready for Jan. 20th!

January 16th, 2009

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1/20 - 2

This Lion Brand Yarn Studio customer’s making Obama finger puppets for all her Inaugeration party guests!

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A Heartfelt Thank You from the Lion Brand Yarn Studio

January 15th, 2009

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The Knit One Save One Campaign is over and I just wanted to share a few statistics:

  • 102 knitters & crocheters involved
  • 209 crochet hooks used
  • 258 pairs of needles used
  • 36,750 yards of yarn knit & crocheted
  • 525 heads covered
  • 1,050 grateful parents

Thank you!


Special Evening with The Friday Night Knitting Club Author

January 14th, 2009

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On Monday, January 5, 2009 in our Lion Brand Yarn Studio, we had the pleasure of having guest author, Kate Jacobs, author of bestseller The Friday Night Knitting Club, read passages from its sequel Knit Two. She also answered questioned and signed copies of her book. The Friday Night Knitting Club is going to be made into a movie starring Julia Roberts.

Didn’t make it to see Kate Jacobs? Listen to interviews with her on two episodes of YarnCraft, our bi-weekly audio podcast.

And join us on February 5th for our next special event, featuring the popular and talented knit & crochet designer, Nicky Epstein. Visit the Lion Brand Yarn Studio’s news & events page for more information on how to RSVP.

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Studio Snippets: A Bit of Customer Wisdom

January 14th, 2009

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Two friends were looking at the new workshop schedule and one pointed out the Gauge class to her friend, commenting that she could use that class.  Her friend said, “Oh a gauge workshop, the class nobody wants to take and everybody should.”


Make a Penguin Family!

January 13th, 2009

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This is a guest post from our intern Lindsey, whose last post was on the perfect gift idea for a yarncrafter.

While checking out various knit and crochet projects, I saw that our adorable amigurumi penguins have company — a realistic, fuzzy baby penguin from Kendralc on Instructables!

This baby penguin has Fun Fur to keep it warm for its first winter. Make one of these and some Amigurumi Holiday Penguins for a whole family of these sweet penguins. (And if you’re looking to keep the realistic look, just leave out the hat and scarf of the Amigurumi Holiday Penguins.) They make great winter companions — enjoy!

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Studio Snippets: Bringing Your Own “Shopping Cart”

January 12th, 2009

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You know you’re buying a lot of yarn, when you bring your own cart (or stroller!) and fill it up…

Cable Luxe Tunic: Nearing the Finishing Line

January 8th, 2009

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It’s hard to believe that I’m near the “finishing line” of this Cable Luxe Tunic! Actually, I still have one sleeve to finish–and I will try it on my daughter before I finish the sleeves. The yoke was very fun to do, and I realized that at the end that I could have done this yoke in the round on the 24″ circular needle. If you decide to do that, just remember that you have to knit one round and purl one round to get the garter stitch. Also, if you work in the round with garter stitch, you will still get a “jog” (or a line) at the beginning of the round when you switch between the knit rounds and the purl rounds. Here is what the back of my yoke looked like when I finished:

I bound off on the wrong side of my yoke to create the purl ridge at the top of yoke – which is very pretty. If you do this in the round, then you may want to bind off purlwise at the top. It really took very little time to sew the back yoke seam because sewing up garter stitch is basically sewing under each ridge from both sides.

There is a great tutorial of this sewing technique in the Lion Brand Learning Center. Now here is the yoke seam all finished!

OK, now the only sewing left to do is the side seams, but make sure you sew the underarm seams first that was shown in my fourth post. The sleeve and side seams are just reverse stockinette stitch. Again, I am sewing them with the right side facing, and I simply sew into each purl “bump” at the sides.

I found my edges curled quite a bit, so I spritzed them with a spray bottle and let them dry. This eased those edges to make the edges easier to sew. So now I just have to finish that last sleeve, get the right sleeve measurements, and weave in those ends! Thanks to all of you (especially Connie) who have been answering questions and keeping this KAL very fun! I better get my camera charged to take a picture of my finished Cable Luxe Tunic–and maybe have it modeled as well!

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Weaving Blankets/Making Connections

January 7th, 2009

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This is a guest post by Travis Meinolf, a public textile artist and teacher in San Francisco. He has presented his work at numerous art shows and workshops, as well as taught and published pieces on weaving and fiber arts. His newest project, the Weaving Place, allows visitors to learn weaving and produce loom woven pieces.

The Weaving Place is an installation I was invited to bring to the Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada by my friend, artist Kai Althoff. It is a room with six stations for a sculptural weaving device that I have been working with, which is made from a piece of laser-cut plexiglass. Kai made some instructional drawings, which are enlarged and mounted around the room so that people can learn to weave using the looms, spend some time enjoying that process, and either take home what they’ve made or leave it to be stitched into patchwork wool blankets to be distributed later to people who might need them. Basically, I want to provide this experience of production for its own sake, understood as leisure but also realizing something that will actually function to keep somebody warm.

Sherry Stewart and Kathleen Lemieux at the Vancouver Art Gallery have been really helpful in involving their volunteer and public programs departments. They have recently informed me that participation is so great that they are running out of the yarns that I collected, including a generous donation from Lion Brand! This is just another example of how people coming together can make connections, both physical and social, that enhance our lives.

The show runs until February 15th, and for more information you can visit Vancouver Art Gallery’s website at To see some pictures of the space see, and for more examples of my work  go to (I will be installing more little looms for 4-10 year-olds at the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose on January 17th!)

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5 Brand New Patterns from Our New Catalog

January 6th, 2009

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Lacy ShawlIt’s a new year, and the latest episode of YarnCraft–our audio podcast–is all about new resolutions, new yarns, and new designs! My co-host Liz and I share our yarncrafting resolutions, as well as some of our listeners’ goals. We also introduce seven of our newest yarns and some great designs from our latest Lion Design catalog, which will be arriving in homes this month. Click here to listen [MP3].

As a preview to the catalog, here are 5 great featured patterns that we discuss:

Join us next Tuesday for a new podcast featuring our favorite cozy winter crafts.

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