Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for June, 2009


Oceanic Desk Decorations

June 17th, 2009

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Like most offices, Lion Brand’s New York offices are filled with beautifully decorated desks. From personal pictures to swatches of new yarns, each person finds a way to decorate his or her desk in a beautiful and charming way. I decided that my desk needed to have an underwater theme, so I have been crafting sea creatures during my lunch breaks and when the internet has been slow. Meet my friendly desk creatures, Anglie the Anglerfish and Archibald the Octopus.


The pattern for my anglerfish came from Hansi Singh’s Amigurumi Knits. I used four different shades of Vanna’s Choice to add a personal touch. Everyone who visits my desk loves to ask questions about her.


Little Archibald was made from Vanna’s Choice Baby in Aqua using our popular Amigurumi Octopus pattern. He makes a friendly and adorable addition to my desk.

I’m always looking for more sea creatures to add to my desk, so feel free to suggest a knit or crochet pattern to me!


Wood, Plastic or Metal?

June 16th, 2009

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What type of material do you prefer your knitting needle or crochet hook to be made of?  Do you always use the same material or does it vary depending on the project?


Lion Brand on Long Island

June 16th, 2009

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Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Long Island Knitting Guild. We had an excellent turn out of almost one hundred people, which is one of the largest turn outs I have ever seen at a guild. It was such a delight to speak to these wonderful women, who are so passionate and knowledgeable about their craft. I couldn’t wait to tell them all about our new Lion Brand Yarn Studio and all the exciting things it has to offer. They loved getting a back stage pass into our company and were so intrigued by its family history.

What I love most about speaking at guilds are the thought-provoking questions and customer feedback. I think also it’s great when people give us fresh ideas for new colors and textures. Talking first-hand with the people who use our yarns is one of the most rewarding parts of going to these guilds.

Thanks again to everyone at the Long Island Knitting Guild for being so gracious and welcoming me into your circle!

Have a group of 50 or more in the tri-state area? E-mail jack@lionbrand.com 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.


Get Your Hat Design Published

June 15th, 2009

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It’s always great to see how many people are excited about sharing their designs with others, and with the advent of the internet, it’s easier than ever to share through Ravelry, your own blog or website, and online magazines. Still, there’s something great about seeing your design in a book.

If you’ve always wanted to see one of your creations in print, now’s your chance!

Our friends at Quarry Books are currently inviting knitters to submit their knit hat designs for a chance to be included in the forthcoming collection, 1000 Fabulous Knit Hats, presented by Annie Modesitt. There will be cash prizes for the top 3 designs, in addition to the excitement of having your work in this cool compendium.

Designs are due July 1st. Click here to see all of the details on their website [PDF].

Want to get more advice on taking your yarncrafting to the professional level? This August, Daniela and I will be giving a talk at the Crochet Guild of America’s Professional Development Day, a day for people who want to get involved in knitting and crochet on a professional level. (Click here for more info.)


Studio Snippets: A Very Special Group Visits the Studio

June 14th, 2009

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The Lion Brand Yarn Studio was pleased to host a very special group of yarncrafters two week ago.  The families from the Ronald McDonald House came by for an evening of yarn, patterns, laughter and fun.  For those of you who don’t know the wonderful work of the Ronald McDonald House, they provide families of ill children a way to stay together, in proximity to the treatment hospital, and be comfortable and cared for during their stay.  They also arrange recreational outings for the families.

Everyone was so excited to search through all of the free patterns online.

After much discussion and back and forth cries of “what do I start with?” , Ruffles yarn caught their eyes. Next came a demo on how quick and easy it was to work with Ruffles, and they fell in love. (Click here to see a Ruffles demo for yourself.)

Before we knew it, time had flown and it was time to go.  There were “thank you”s all around, but truly, the pleasure and honor were all ours!


Video and Pictures from Maker Faire

June 12th, 2009

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Maker Faire 2009 really was an extraordinary event, and even bigger than past years. We met hundreds of people at the LBY booth and taught yarncrafting, knitting, and crochet. We also saw some amazing things (my favorites were the Tesla coils and the R2-D2s, both of which we also saw last year, in addition to the new weaving demos and leatherworking stations that were great).

While there, Liz and I had the pleasure of speaking to our friend, Natalie Zee Drieu, senior editor of Craft at Maker Faire. See her pictures and video from our booth by clicking here.

And here are just a few of my pictures:

We taught 10 knit & crochet classes throughout the weekend.

These two young gentleman joined us in a crochet class on Saturday, and on Sunday they came back to show us the above — an entire ball of Wool-Ease Thick & Quick that they had chained and crocheted together!

Maker Faire isn’t just for crafters — from people who build robots, grow food, create art pieces to people who do something in-between (like this amazing steampunk snail vehicle), there were all kinds of people making amazing things.

We also met all kinds of creative characters. This gentleman was wearing a crocheted beard/mustache given to him by his girlfriend (and purchased on Etsy) since he couldn’t grow his own.

So that’s it from Maker Faire 2009 — We hope that if you can make it next time, you’ll stop by our booth and say hi!

Related links:


Textured Circle Shrug Knit-Along: Increase Round 1

June 11th, 2009

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Hi Everyone! I hope you’re having a great week!

In our last installment of the Textured Circle Shrug KAL, we picked up all around the neck opening and started working on our ribbing.

In this installment, we will proceed to Increase Round 1.  In this round, we work a few RLI (in every other knit rib) between the markers that we placed to denote each “sleeve” portion of the shrug. (The pink arrows in the picture below show the stitches over which the increases are worked.)

You work your ribbing from the beginning of round marker to your sleeve marker, then begin the increases.  Work increases all the way around to the second marker.  Then, work normal ribbing across the top / back neck of the shrug, all the way to the second sleeve.  You’ll work increases all the way across this second sleeve section, and then work regular ribbing across the back.

  • NOTE: If you’ve added stitches at the under arm, you will have placed markers as in the previous post to keep those stitches separate.  Do not work increases across those extra stitches, only across the original number of sleeve sts as denoted in the pattern instructions.

I talked a little bit about the RLI at the end of last week’s post, if you’re just joining us, be sure to check it out.

Here, again, is the link to the video on www.knittinghelp.com that shows how to do a RLI.  In this pattern, RLI means to knit into the right leg of the stitch below the next one on the left hand needle, and then knit the next stitch.

I took some photos of how this looks in our shrug:

Here is how the stitch pattern starts out, with a k1 p1

Next, we knit into the right leg of the stitch below the next one on the needle:

Next, knit into the next stitch on the needle.  (Once you do this a few times, this step will become very fluid.)

Here is what the ribbing looks like after this step.  Every OTHER knit rib (between the markers that denote our sleeve sections) has two knit stitches.

Now, just proceed in this new rib stitch until we get to Increase Round 2.  Next week, we will work this second round of increases and FINISH THE SHRUG!

How are you coming along with your shrug? Where are you up to? Let us know!

And, for those of you who are finished already, share your project with us in the Customer Gallery.

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A Night of Stories Shared

June 10th, 2009

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Last Thursday, at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York, we hosted an amazing night filled with stories, laughter, tears, and the common bonds of yarncrafters. Michaela Murphy and Jeffrey Rudell, both amazing professional storytellers (listen to them on The Moth Podcast), along with 5 of our customers whose stories were selected from dozens of submissions, shared stories about how knitting, crocheting, and crafting have effected their lives.

Click here to see Patty’s post (and photos) about it on the Studio’s blog.

I had so much fun, I invited Michaela to share her story on YarnCraft — our audio-podcast — so that you can hear her story, no matter where you live. Click here to listen to episode 47 [MP3], in which Michaela joins us to share her extremely funny story of crafting inspiration.

Do you have a funny or poignant story about  yarncrafting? Share them with us at Our Readers’ Stories page. Click here.


5 Beautiful Beach Patterns from YarnCraft #42

June 9th, 2009

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Make Stylish Projects for Summer & Quick Grad Gifts. Episode 42 of YarnCraft, our audio podcast, is the first of our shorter-format summer series — great for listening to on the go or for taking a 15-minute mini-break for yourself.

Liz and Zontee share great ideas for summer crafting, as well as special graduation gifts. The ladies of YarnCraft also share interviews with designer Lily Chin and the charity organization afghans for Afghans.

Here are 5 great projects for beach season:

For more summer project ideas, click here to listen to the full episode [MP3].

Join us today for the first of our summer miniseries, Summer Crafting with Kids. Click here to find out more.

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One of the Greatest Parts of My Job

June 9th, 2009

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I was delighted to receive a beautiful thank you note from the Westchester Knitting Guild last week. It made my day to know that my hard work and efforts were so greatly appreciated. One of the greatest parts of my job is going to speak at guilds and other yarn-loving organizations because it allows me to share the Lion Brand story and interact with our customers on a personal level. Meeting with the Westchester Knitting Guild is always such a pleasure; they are such a delightful group! I would especially like to thank Olive McNeil for being so gracious and welcoming. You ladies are the greatest!

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