Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for February, 2009

Studio Snippets – Ode to Blocking

February 24th, 2009

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A customer came in the other day to our New York Store, and asked if there was a trick to keeping her gauge consistent.  She was working on an afghan made up of many knitted squares.  She knew she would be knitting them over a long period of time and wanted to know how to make every block exactly 1 foot square.  I told her, “Easy, blocking!”

Blocking is the final step to make every yarncraft project perfect.  It can even out your stitches, and make each piece exactly the size you want it to be.  If you live in New York, come by the Studio for more information on the the products we carry for blocking, and or blocking class.

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Knitted Car Cozy

February 20th, 2009

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Brooklyn artist Cynthia Ruse’s knitted car cozy, “This Year’s Model,” is currently on display at art space Chashama in New York as part of art collective CoLAB’s window display. If you’re in the area, stop by and see it on West 37th Street in Manhattan.

Knitting Can Delay Memory Loss

February 19th, 2009

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Researchers from the Mayo Clinic found that people aged 50-65 who had been busy reading, playing games or engaging in crafts like knitting were found to have a 40% reduced risk of memory impairment.

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Social Fabric: Weaving Makes a Statement

February 18th, 2009

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Watch “Social Fabric,” a short film about our friend Travis Meinolf, an artist who uses weaving in public to advocate weaving and the personal production of blankets and cloth goods as an empowering act. Click here to see it on YouTube.

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Crochet On! Working with Two Strands Held Together

February 16th, 2009

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Thanks to everyone for your comments on my first crocheted scarf. After that project, my co-worker Mily introduced me to crocheting with 2 yarns. At her suggestion, I worked with our Lion Cashmere Blend yarns in navy and camel. My tendency right now is to make tight stitches. So I concentrated and used a large hook to crochet the scarf. I used a pattern that Mily and I deemed the “Vanna Pattern” because it is the pattern used in the give-a-ways on the Rachael Ray show. It is similar to the One-Skein Beginner Scarf with a slight modification. After ch row, I started the second row with dc and alternated with sc making sure to end with a dc. Then I would repeat, starting each row with a dc and ending each row with a dc and alternating in between with the sc.

After completing the scarf I saw Zontee’s post about a crochet hat pattern. I made the hat, and it was quite fun learning to crochet in circles. Once I finished it, though, I realized I am not a crochet hat person. I will save the yarn for something else. I can see now that I will develop a habit of modifying or creating my own patterns to fit my needs and abilities. Mily used the same pattern but with different yarns and a different hook size, which showed me how different yarns give a different look and feel depending on the size of the hook and the yarn.

I’ve started a third project and have many lined up. I will share them with you as I complete or discover something. My next project is a mat for my front door. Be sure to check out my profile under Meet the Bloggers.

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Seen in the Yarniverse: Knitting the Brain

February 13th, 2009

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Ten years ago, semi-professional artist Karen Norberg set out on a difficult task: to knit a scientifically accurate brain. With one year, lots of textbooks, and even more yarn, Norberg achieved her goal. Her true-to-life brain is now receiving ample media attention, including an article from Scientific American. Click here to read the story, or visit the Museum of Fabric Brain Art to see Norberg’s knitted brain exhibited next to other scientifically accurate hand-crafted brains.

Fashion Show at the Studio with Designer Nicky Epstein

February 12th, 2009

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Last Thursday, the Lion Brand Yarn Studio had the pleasure of hosting Nicky Epstein, renowned designer and author of Knitting on Top of the World, Knitting on the Edge, Crocheting on the Edge, and many other books.

The evening started with a few questions that our Studio Manager Patty had collected from attendees, which Nicky answered with great humor and sincerity. One question I thought was particularly interesting was, “Where do you get your inspiration?” Nicky spoke about how she draws inspiration from everyday life, from a tapestry in her hallway to pottery she spots in a museum.

Nicky then shared some of her beautiful designs, some from Lion Brand — including the Tree of Life Afghan and the Temair Throw — and some from several of her books, including her newest, Knitting on Top of the World. The fashion show was so fun and interactive as audience participants got to model Nicky’s amazing designs.

Nicky also brought with her beautiful silk scarves, which are available exclusively at the Studio. The evening ended with more conversation and excitement as Nicky signed books for her fans. Some signed books are still available, so stop by the Studio!

If you missed Nicky Epstein, listen to her on our podcast YarnCraft, and don’t miss my good friend Lily Chin next month! Sign up for the Studio News and Events feed to be the first to know about events and new products, and RSVP!

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Last-Minute Handmade Valentines

February 11th, 2009

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Etsy just featured a round-up of quick, little Valentine’s Day projects, including our Amigurumi Love Birds.

Check out all of the other projects by clicking here.

Studio Snippets: Our Customer-Made Scarf

February 11th, 2009

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A few weeks ago, Claire — one of our fabulous Studio staffers — unpacked the Cricket Weaving Loom, read the directions, and set it up in no time.  She picked out a whopping seven different kinds of yarn to play with: Vanna’s Choice, Wool-Ease, Microspun, Homespun, Moonlight Mohair, Vanna’s Glamour and Cupcake.  After getting it started, we left the loom on the table and encouraged customers over the next few weeks to try their hand.  Some were conservative, doing a row or two of the yarn on the shuttle. Others were more creative freely mixing yarns, while others were down right daring, holding two yarns together creating a stunning effect.  The bottom line is: anyone can create a work of art with no training. Just pick out some yarn and start weaving!

Here’s some close ups of all our customer’s work on one magic scarf:


scarf 2

Here’s the final result:


By the way, if the customer scarf ever “goes missing” from the Studio . . . it’s because it’s found it’s way home with our own Will.  He has his eye on it!


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Meet Us at the Knit-Out & Crochet Event!

February 10th, 2009

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Last year, over 50,000 knitters and crocheters came to the annual Knit-Out & Crochet at the Mall of America!

This year’s Knit-Out & Crochet event at the Mall of America will feature all your favorite knit & crochet designers, celebs like bestselling author Debbie Macomber, workshops, fashion shows, and so much more! Stop by the Lion Brand booth and check out all of our newest yarns and patterns! Meet the ladies of YarnCraft or take a picture with the Lion!

Click here for more on the event.