Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for April, 2009

Join the Textured Circle Shrug Knit-Along!

April 30th, 2009

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Our last knit-along of the Cable Luxe Tunic, was a big hit, and we’re ready to start another one! This time we will be working on a very special pattern — the Textured Circle Shrug from the book Glam Knits! We’re so excited to offer you this pattern for FREE, courtesy of North Light Books.

Knit-alongs are a great opportunity for people all over the world to connect on the blog and work together on their own versions of one particular pattern — it’s a chance to learn, make new friends, and expand your knitting abilities by helping each other through the pattern.

Our KAL host will be none other than the shrug’s designer, Stefanie Japel! Stefanie is the author of Glam Knits and Fitted Knits (click the titles to see/purchase the books). She also runs a great blog, Please introduce yourself, tell us about your skill-level, and where you’re from!

Stefanie’s first post will be next Thursday, so download the free pattern and collect your supplies! There’s no need to sign up. Just follow along with the blog and chat with us here, on Ravelry, or on Flickr — work at your own pace, share your pictures and thoughts, and have fun. We look forward to knitting along with you!

New to KALs? Read our beginner’s guide by clicking here.

NOTE: Looking for new knit-along entries by Stefanie? Click on the “blog” button above to go back to the main blog page, where all entries are shown in reverse-date order OR click on “knit-along” under Categories (in the right-hand bar) to see all knit-along-related entries.

5 Mom-Friendly Patterns from YarnCraft #39

April 30th, 2009

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Mother’s Day is almost here and in episode 39 of YarnCraft, our bi-weekly radio-style podcast, Liz and I celebrate the moms (grandmothers, aunts, etc.) in all our lives. We have great stories from listeners about the important women in their lives. Plus we share gift ideas for all types of moms–from Traditional Mom to Glamorous Mom, we have gift ideas for all the special women out there.

In our regular segment, Stash This: Ideas for Your Crafting Life, we offer ideas for buying gifts for other yarncrafters.

Here are 5 of our great Mother’s Day gift ideas:

To listen to the entire episode, click here [MP3]. For more information about the podcast or this episode, visit the YarnCraft blog. Join us next Tuesday for an episode dedicated to wedding ideas!

Studio Snippets – A Proud Student’s First

April 29th, 2009

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The great thing about taking classes, is it allows you to break out of you yarncrafting rut and try something new.  Recently we taught a class on knitting in the round, make a hat.  This wonderful student has been knitting for years, but never tried knitting in the round.  I was so thrilled the other day when she took the time to come in and show off her finished product.  I was so proud of her adorable hat, but I was mostly thrilled with how thrilled she was.

Hat pattern here

April Showers… at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio

April 28th, 2009

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Every month, the Lion Brand Yarn Studio creates a beautiful display to showcase its yarn of the month. April’s feature is Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton, which also has seven new colors (for a total of 14). The Studio did an amazing job decorating with umbrellas, rain boots, and (my favorite part) amigurumi birds. If you’ve guessed this month’s theme, you can probably guess next month’s! AND if you’re in New York City, swing by the Studio to see this fantastic creative display in person!

A Special Event at FIT

April 27th, 2009

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It’s not often I have an opportunity to write on the blog as my family and business responsibilities keeps me quite busy. I thought it appropriate to share about an event that was very special to the Blumenthal family and those that knew my father, Isidor Blumenthal, of blessed memory (1909-2003) that took place last Monday, April 20, 2009.

At the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City, a division of the State University of New York, Lion Brand Yarn dedicated a seminar room to Isidor Blumenthal. In addition to being my father, Isidor was President of Lion Brand Yarn from 1957 until his passing in December 2003. He was truly the driving force behind our family and family businesses – Lion Brand Yarn Company and Orchard Yarn & Thread, Inc.

My father was a soft-spoken, modest individual with a passion for education. The importance of learning and teaching were among the most essential things in the world to him. It is most gratifying to have a seminar room named after him at an institution of higher learning and one that he thought so much of and to which he and our company are connected.

Dr. Joyce Brown, President of FIT, and Lisa Braverman, Dean of Students, spoke at the dedication regarding Lion Brand Yarn and its affiliation with FIT through scholarships, the endowment of the seminar room, and, on the occasion of Lion Brand Yarn’s 125th anniversary in 2003, by sponsoring an exhibit at the FIT museum.

During her remarks, Dr. Brown announced the establishment of a new award by Lion Brand Yarn for the student that shows the most creativity in hand knitting and/or crochet in the field of textiles.

We at Lion Brand are blessed with a wonderful heritage of helping others and providing a superior quality products that people enjoy working with.

Yarn Meets Math Meets Art

April 24th, 2009

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As every yarn lover knows, it takes a lot of math to make an item, from gauge to garment measurements to modifications. Therefore, we’re excited to support PS 122 in New York City, a well-known performance space and gallery, featuring an exciting exhibition entitled Yarn Theory: Knitting, Crochet, Math and Science.

This exhibit features innovative work from 15 yarncrafting artists, including Robyn Love’s Knitted Mile. Visitors are invited to join in on the art by knitting and crocheting on the scaffolding outside; materials will be provided at PS 122. Yarn Theory will be on display from April 25-May 17 at 150 First Avenue in New York City. For more information, visit the PS 122 Gallery website.

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Cake as Yarn!

April 22nd, 2009

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Birthdays are always a fun occasion here at Lion Brand, but sometimes it gets extra special. We recently celebrated Lion Brand Yarn Studio manager Patty’s birthday. Our very own Michelle and Nili helped make a fabulous chocolate cake shaped like a ball of yarn! Check out this amazing cake for this amazing lady!

Patty was surprised and ecstatic, and so were the customers in the store that day — they got to partake in this delicious chocolate cake with raspberry filling!

Even Chickens Like Sweaters

April 21st, 2009

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It’s amazing to see what people can do with their yarncrafts. For instance, we saw on BBC that an English woman has gotten very creative with her knitting. She uses eyelash yarn to make sweaters for rescued hens who have lost their feathers. To learn more about this story, click here.

Vintage Lion Brand

April 20th, 2009

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Recently, I visited Tucker’s Yarn of Allentown, PA, an old time customer of Lion Brand, with my nephew Evan. Tucker Yarn is a great family business that’s been around since 1949, run by 87 year-old Phil Tucker and his daughter May. Because they’ve been Lion Brand customers for so long, they have a huge collection of our yarns through the ages.

Entering the store was like entering a time-warp back to the 1950s. Throughout the store we found 17 skeins of vintage, now discontinued, Lion Brand yarns, as well as our current yarns. Some of the vintage yarns they had included Charmette, Tic Tac, Finelon, Sayelle Pompadour, Aree, Co-Co, Glitterknit, Jasmine, La Difference, Molaine, Bianca, 100% French Angora, Unique, and Lion Chenille Sensations. They also had vintage Wool-Ease and Jiffy in their old labels.

Evan hadn’t even heard of some of these yarns, despite having grown up in the family business, since many of them were around before he was born!

These yarns came from all over the world, from the U.S. to Italy, Israel, Belgium, France, and Turkey. It is interesting how the yarns are still in great shape, but that you can tell that they’re vintage by the ball bands.

What’s great about knitting and crocheting with these vintage yarns is that it’s like working with a piece of history.

Nili Demos Machine Knitting with Michelle of

April 17th, 2009

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When we started carrying the LK-150 knitting machine, lots of people asked us what it was like — although machine knitting has been around for a long time, many yarncrafters have never tried it or seen it, but it’s a wonderful (and fast) way to create.

Click below to watch our video demo!

The yarn being used is LB 1878, a fingering weight 100% wool yarn on cones (making it easier for machine knitters), but you can use any yarn up to category 5 (bulky) on this machine. The LK-150 comes with a user’s manual and all the parts you see here.

AND if you’re in the NYC area, call or visit to find out how you can take lessons on the machine at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio.

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