Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for May, 2009

Quick Poll: What’s Your Style?

May 13th, 2009

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Do you tend to make one favorite pattern over and over again when you knit or crochet for yourself and for friends or do you look for new patterns for your next project?

Share Your Story at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio

May 12th, 2009

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We always love to hear stories from our customers — from the Customer Gallery to the Story Collection, there are many opportunities to share your stories with other yarncrafters

Now, the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in NYC offers another chance to share. Its June special event, Spinning a Yarn: an Evening of Stories at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, will feature storytellers Michaela Murphy and Jeffrey Rudell, as well as stories from customers like you!

Join us on June 4th if you’re in the New York area, or share your story (no matter where you are) for a chance to be included in the show!

For more details about how to attend or how to share your story, click here.

Visit Us in Portland, OR!

May 10th, 2009

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If you’ll be in the Portland area for the Knit & Crochet Show this weekend, stop by the Lion Brand booth and say hello! We’ll be giving away free patterns, showing off some of our newest yarns, and raffling off books!

The show will feature vendors, classes, workshops, speakers, and so much more with thousands of knitters and crocheters.

Can’t make it? Join us at the summer show — August 6 to 9!

Fore more information on both shows, click here.

One of the Greatest Family Fun Events!

May 8th, 2009

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If you’re looking for an amazingly entertaining, educational and fun outting, join about 85,000 people of all ages in the San Mateo County Expo Center at the end of May. Lion Brand will be a sponsor of Maker Faire for the third year in a row.  Other sponsors include Whole Foods, Google, and Yahoo.   You’ll see the do-it-yourself movement in full swing with exhibits and hands-on activities that include science, technology and crafts.

Stop by our booth for a special crafting project created especially for this event.  In June, we’ll introduce patterns for these beginner-level yarncrafting projects on our website!

Spring Handmade Cavalcade

May 8th, 2009

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If you’re in the NYC area, drop by the Spring Handmade Cavalcade, presented by the {NewNew} , an Etsy street team. The Handmade Cavalcade is a showcase/marketplace of handmade things from local artists, artisans, and crafters — stop by either Saturday or Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm at the Bell House in Brooklyn. It’s going to be a great opportunity to get some beautiful clothing, jewelry, home goods, and more — often from the people who made them!

Show up early and you may even get a goodie bag, with fun things, including a gift from Lion Brand!

Click here for more information.

Textured Circle Shrug Knit-Along: Gathering Your Materials and Getting Ready to Cast On!

May 7th, 2009

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Gathering materials for the Textured Circle Shrug

Hello and welcome to the Textured Circle Shrug Knit-Along!  This is one of my favorite patterns from my newest book, Glam Knits, and I’m so happy to get to share it with you here.

Before we get started with the knitting, let’s take some time to gather up our materials and all of the information we’ll need.

First, you’ll need the pattern, which can be downloaded here.

Once you have printed out the pattern, start on page 1 (page 83 in Glam Knits,) and read through the information section.

The first thing you need to do is choose a size to knit. The pattern is sized for a range of bust measurements 32-34 (36-38, 40-42, 44-46, 48-50, 52-54).  You can simply choose the size that is closest to your actual bust measurement.  The shrug doesn’t actually cover the bust, so if you want to double-check that the size you choose is the right one for you, you can check out the schematic on the second page of the pattern.

Textured Circle Shrug Schematic

Take a look at the measurements given at the bottom edge of the drawing (for a larger schematic, click the drawing or refer to your pattern): 17.75 (19.5, 21.25, 23, 25, 26.75)” This is the cross-back measurement of the shrug.  (The measurement of the shrug across the back, lying flat.) You can measure across your own back, from under arm to under arm, and compare these numbers to your own measurement, then choose the size that you think will fit you the best.  Because this is a top-down knit, you will be able to adjust the size as you go.  (We’ll talk more about adjusting the size in a later post.)

Now that you have chosen your size, go on to the next section: YARN

You will need aproximately 882(1078, 1176, 1470, 1666, 1862) yards of worsted weight yarn.  I have chosen to knit the shrug in LB Collection Organic Wool in the Toffee color.  You can knit yours in any worsted weight yarn, and will get a great result, as long as your gauge is the same as given in the pattern.

Some alternative Lion Brand Yarns are:

Now that you’ve chosen your yarn, take a look at the next section in the pattern: NEEDLES

The needles that I recommend are given as a guide.  You’ll need to knit a swatch and make sure that the gauge that you come up with is the same that is given in the pattern (18 sts and 26 rows in 4″ of textured stripe pattern using the larger needle.) If you end up with more stitches per inch, you may need to choose a larger (US9) needle, and if you end up with fewer stitches per inch, you’ll choose a smaller (US7) needle.

The larger US 8 (5mm) needle is used to knit the body and sleeves of the shrug, and the smaller US 6 needle is used to knit the trim.  Do not worry too much if you can’t find the exact lengths given in the pattern.  Needles from 24″ to 40″ will work just fine.

Once you have located your needles, gather up your NOTIONS

  • Stitch markers (you will need 4 markers)
  • Scrap yarn (this is used to put the sleeve stitches “on hold” while we work the body of the garment…if that makes no sense to you now, STAY TUNED, we’ll talk more about it later!)
  • Darning needle (for putting the sleeve stitches onto the waste yarn, and later for weaving in ends.)

Now that you’ve got all of your stuff together, start on a GAUGE swatch.

The gauge is given in the pattern as 18 sts and 26 rows in 4″ (10cm) in textured stripe.  SO, when you knit your swatch, you’ll want to knit it in the stitch pattern as written on page 84.


  • Rows 1-5: work in Rev. St. st
  • Rows 6-13: work in St st.
  • Repeat rows 1 – 13.

I usually try to make a nice generous swatch, so I cast on 25 sts and work in stitch pattern until the piece looks approximately square.

Here’s my swatch hot off the needles (you can click on the images to enlarge):

gauge swatch before blockingAnd here it is after blocking, showing stitch gauge measurement:

stitch gauge measurement…and row gauge measurement.

row gauge measurementYou can see from the photos that I do get about 18 sts and 26 rows in 4″ square. (about 4.5 sts per inch and about 6 rows per inch.)

In the next blog post, we’ll cast on together for our shrugs and work through the yoke!

We’re also happy to annouce the two winners of our random drawing for a copy of Glam Knits, commenters #743 Zora and #1017 Mette. Congratulations and enjoy your book!

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Lion Brand Visits the Westchester Knitting Guild

May 6th, 2009

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This is a guest post from Rose, in our Sales department:

On Monday night, April 27, Jack and I attended the Westchester Knitting Guild meeting at the Chappaqua Library in Chappaqua, NY. We met with Olive McNeil and the Westchester Knitting Guild members, who are a group of highly skilled knitters and crocheters. The women meet monthly, bring their current projects, and have show-and-tell. The Guild also discusses upcoming events, and the members help each other with their projects. Many of the projects the women were working on were colorful projects with very detailed stitches.

At the meeting, Jack spoke about Lion Brand’s history, yarns, and the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. The guild members were excited to learn about the history and yarn. Most of all they were thrilled about the Studio and the great service we provide to our customers. Some mentioned having visited the store and complimented us on how nice the space was and the great service they received.

Guild members then viewed a Lion Brand video describing various recent accomplishments, products, and online services. During Jack’s presentation, he shared an assortment of Lion Brand yarn such as Recycled Cotton, Vanna’s Choice, Vanna’s Choice Baby, Fishermen’s Wool, Vanna’s Glamour, and the LB Collection. Jack passed the yarn around so that the guild members could see and feel the different textures of the yarn. All the yarns were well received, especially a new wool that will be announced later this year (look out an announcement soon!) and the LB Collection of affordable, luxury fibers. Toward the end of our meeting, Olive presented Jack with an honorary membership to the Westchester Knitting Guild.

Overall, the evening went well and guild members expressed to us that they are looking forward to Jack’s next visit. Members are eager to take a trip to Lion Brand Yarn Studio and experience the sampling wall, see our current window display, and attend some of our special events.

Have a group of 50 or more in the tri-state area? E-mail to arrange for Jack to come speak to your guild or yarncrafting group!

For more on your local guild, visit the Knitting Guild Association’s website or the Crochet Guild of America’s website.

New Video from Double Stitch

May 4th, 2009

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The ladies of Double Stitch – It’s Not Your Grandma’s Crochet are back and in this episode, they show you how to make a 3 Panel Scarf step-by-step. We always love to see what wonderful creations people make with our yarns, and this beautiful accessory happens to be made with Homespun, Lion Suede, and Vanna’s Choice. Click here to watch the 3 Panel Scarf episode!

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