Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for June, 2009

Party Like It’s 1959

June 29th, 2009

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Recently I have been noticing a trend of people going back to when things were simpler. It seems that the state of the economy is forcing people to realize that it is truly the little things in life that are the most important. I recently came across an article called “Why We Party Like It’s 1959” that I feel describes this trend perfectly. In the article it explains how today’s youth seems to be gravitating back toward the simplicity of things, such as knitting clubs, homemade baked goods, and dinner dances. Even thought we live in a world full of excessive internet-use and text messaging, there is a growing number of young people who seeking more human interaction and simple fun. The article explains how inexpensive activities like knitting are calming and meditative experiences and can help alleviate the stress that these hard times have brought to everyone’s daily lives.

I came across a book the other day called The Craftster Guide to Nifty, Thrifty, and Kitschy Crafts which is comprised of various craft projects from the Fifties and Sixties. I feel that this book is a perfect response to this retro movement. All of the projects in the book are inexpensive and easy to make. With the summer quickly approaching, these cute creations such as the Merry Monsters and Powder Room Poodles (both fun, yarn creations), would be perfect for summer projects.

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When Knitting is Healing

June 27th, 2009

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A woman who survived the Oklahoma City bombing stopped knitting because of the trauma.  She returned to her knitting to help her with the healing process.

Has knitting or crocheting ever played a part in recovering from challenges in your life?

Studio Snippets: A Very Special Wedding Present

June 25th, 2009

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A few months ago, a wonderful blogger and knitter named Sinje Ollen came in to do a blog post about the Studio.  While she was here, her eye fell upon the LB Collection Cashmere.  We keep the cashmere (along with lots of other wonderful yarns) on the needles on the project table for people to play with.  She sat down and started to swatch a beautiful lace pattern.  She scooped up 15 balls of the Natural color to design the perfect garment for her friend’s wedding.  We made her promise to come back and show us when she was done.  A few days ago, She came back to show off . . . WOW!

The main piece was a large square with two slits for the arms.  The sides of the arm holes had button holes that lined up with the buttons on these amazing gloves

She then folded over the front and used the Lion Brand Yarn Studio’s beautiful One World Button shawl pins to close it.  The top of the square simply folds over creating this wonderful shape in the back

As if this gift wasn’t already special enough, Sinje added this beautiful detail of a tree (inspired by Nicky Epstein’s Tree of Life) that was the tree on the wedding invitation and the tree her friends were getting married under.

A truly beautiful wedding gift, and we were honored to have her share it with us.

Lion Brand Visits the Danbury Crochet Club

June 24th, 2009

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Over the weekend I had the pleasure of visiting the Danbury Crochet Club in Danbury Connecticut. What intrigued me about this wonderful group of women was their latest project called the “Butterfly Project”. The main goal of this project is to create 1.5 million butterflies in remembrance of each child that perish in the Holocaust; each of these butterflies will be displayed in the Holocaust Museum in Houston, TX. I think this it is such a beautiful way of honoring those children who lost their lives in such a horribly tragic way. Over 400,000 butterflies have already been completed by this group.

Even though this group was small in size their passion for Lion Brand Yarn was larger than life. It is always exciting to see such adoring Lion Brand Yarn fans, one woman was wearing one of Lion Brand Style American Gothic Art tee shirts from yesteryear and another brought her ultimate Lion Brand tote bag. Their enthusiasm brought forth tons of insightful questions and fantastic suggestions. I wish them the best of luck on their current project and hope to meet with them again in the future!

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!

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5 Modern Baby Projects from YarnCraft Episode #43

June 23rd, 2009

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Knit Playdate Hoodie

Expecting a little bundle of joy? Have a friend, child, or sibling who is? You’ll want to listen to the latest episode of YarnCraft for great ideas about fun, colorful, and contemporary baby projects, as well as tips on colors and materials that are baby- (and parent) friendly.

Here are just a few patterns that you’ll definitely want to check out:

Click here for this episode’s guide, and click here to listen to episode 43 [MP3].

What’s YarnCraft? It’s our radio-style audio-show available right over the internet, anytime you want it. If you’ve never listened to it, but want to start, summer’s the perfect time — we’re featuring not only our regular series, but also Summer Crafting with Kids, a special series filled with ideas for entertaining and bonding with your kids this summer. Want more info about YarnCraft? click here for our FAQ about the show.

Find us on Facebook!

June 22nd, 2009

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Are you on Facebook? Become our fan, upload your photos of projects, and share your comments with us! Click here to visit our Facebook page.

If you’re on Twitter, you can follow also follow us. Click here to visit us on Twitter.

Did You Knit In Public?

June 19th, 2009

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Last weekend was part 1 of World Wide Knit In Public Day.  If you participated, tell us where you knitted and what the scene was like.  This weekend is the final weekend of the event.  If it’s still raining where you are, remember there’s always your local Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, or mall.  Share the time and place here and maybe you’ll find some people to join you!

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More Famous Men Knitting: Cary Grant

June 19th, 2009

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After posting the wonderful picture of FDR knitting I have been on the hunt to find more pictures of other famous men knitting. I find it very inspiring to see men knitting and crocheting because unfortunately it isn’t something you see very often. During my research I came across another great picture of one of the great actors of all time, Cary Grant, knitting. This photograph was taken during the filming of the movie Mr. Lucky. I love how this picture illustrates his intensity for the craft. I hope you all enjoy this one as much as the last one.

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Textured Circle Shrug Knit-Along: Final Post!

June 18th, 2009

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Hi Everyone!  It’s been fun knitting with you these past few weeks!  Time really flies!

Today’s post is my last, and will focus on the second round of increases, casting off, and sharing an FO (finished object in knit-speak)!  My FO is a little bit lopsided, since I added about 10 stitches to only one sleeve (so that I could show you how that looks), but I still think it looks awesome and will actually wear it!  (You can’t even tell that one sleeve is about an inch wider!)

Increase round 2 is performed much like increase round 1.  It just brings us back to k1 p1 ribbing. You simply work a M1P (Click here for a video for M1, but instead of knitting the bar between the stitch just knit and the next stitch on the needle, you’d purl it.) between the two knit stitches in every wide rib between the sleeve markers.

Then, for the finale, we switch to seed stitch (also called moss stitch in the UK) and work a few rounds, then cast off. I recommend casting off in stitch pattern (if you are supposed to purl, purl, then pass the cast-off loop over, and vice versa if you’re supposed to knit.) Click here for a video. This will create a more elastic cast-off edge.  I also recommend casting off with a needle size that’s 2 sizes (1 whole mm) larger than the needle you used for the rib…so…use your “body” needle to cast off.  I cast off my shrug a few rows early, your seed stitch border will be a few rows wider than mine.

When your shrug comes off the needle, the seed stich border may seem a little bit wavy.  You’ll just want to lightly steam this edge, so that it will lay flat. If you find that your edging seems too loose (this may be the case if you’ve added a large number of stitches at the under arm) your best bet is to mist the ribbing lightly with water and stretch it lengthwise. Let it dry like this, and it will be tighter and less floppy.

In my photos, I’m wearing my shrug pinned at the front to show what this looks like, since we’ve had a few questions about adding a button.  If you want to add a buttonhole to the front edge, a good point to do that is in the first few rows of the seed stitch border.  You could just do a “yo k2tog” which will make a small hole.

Here’s the back.  My husband took the photo and didn’t tell me that the collar wasn’t lying exactly flat…but you get the idea! :)  I could block this so that the back is flat, but I like the ribs that the Textured Stripe pattern creates, so I’ll probably leave it like this.

This has been a lot of fun!  I can’t wait to see all of your FO shots in our Flickr Group! Or share them with us in the Customer Gallery (like this one from Mary Jo).

Look out later this summer for our charity KAL/CAL!

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Celebrate Independence Day with BK4K!

June 17th, 2009

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BK4K (By Kids, For Kids) is our monthly kids’ newsletter that’s perfect for kids and the adults that craft with them, from parents and grandparents to teachers and scout leaders.

Summer is officially in full swing, so celebrate with cook-outs, picnics, and pool parties! This month’s BK4K is all about celebrating Independence Day and other summer holidays with fun crafts for parties. Set your party table with patriotic place cards and knitted napkin rings.

Want to make party favors for your next barbecue? Make crocheted Summer Magnets to match the food that you’re serving for a great gift your friends will love to use.

For more great kid-friendly ideas each month, subscribe to BK4K. If you already have a Lion Brand account, you can simply add it by clicking on “My LBY“, and selecting it under “My Subscriptions.”

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