Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for July, 2009

Every Stitch Makes a Difference. Join Us For a Special Virtual Event

July 16th, 2009

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For Lion Brand, charity is a part of what we do and we know it is part of your lives as well. Instead of the regular knit and crochet-alongs, this summer, we have decided to try something different — we want to encourage you in joining us in giving back to others in a charity knit & crochet-along.

In the next five weeks, join us as you:

  1. Pick a charity and gather materials
  2. Set your goals
  3. Share your progress with yarncrafters around the world
  4. Send off your finished contributions

Please comment on this post and make a promise to make something for charity by the end of this summer. When you name the charity, please tell us why they have touched you. If you need help finding a local/national/ international organization, click here to use our Charity Connection.

Join us next Thursday, and every Thursday for the next few weeks, for new ideas, stories shared, and more.

David the Lion: Birthday Fun with Amigurumi

July 15th, 2009

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Here at Lion Brand, we’re big on birthdays. Since our president and CEO, David, was celebrating a big one at the beginning of this month, we decided to come up with some fun gifts. Here in the Marketing department, I thought it would be fun to make a big version of Leo the Lion (simply by using Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, in place of Wool-Ease, without changing the pattern!). Amigurumi work up quickly, but with his birthday fast approaching, we decided to make it a team effort.

Jess made the head and hind legs, while I made the body and front paws. PT practiced his newfound crochet skills by working on the front legs and tail. Lindsey helped with all the embroidery, the claws, and face. Jess, Lindsey, and I all worked on the mane out of Fun Fur in Lava. And Ilana added the final touch — a pair of glasses that had cut-outs of David’s eyes to make “David the Lion” look distinctly recognizable.

We gave the lion to David today, and he loved it. His first remark? “It has my eyes!”

David the Lion & David

David & David

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Tour the Lion Brand Yarn Studio with the Studio Squirrels!

July 13th, 2009

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If you haven’t had a chance to make it to our special retail store in New York City, the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, we’ve got a special treat for you! Two friends of ours are going to take you for a special virtual, pictorial tour!

Meet the Studio Squirrels! Sadie and Hazel (short for Hazelnut) show you all the fun things you can do at the Studio.  Hazel tries yarns at the Sampling Wall, picks a pattern, gets a private lesson from Will, and even helps ring up customers at the register!  Sadie winds a ball on the ball winder, shops around for various yarns and accessories, and learns to machine-knit.  Follow Sadie and Hazel on their Studio adventure by clicking on the slideshow below!

And if you have a chance to visit the Studio, say hi to Sadie and Hazel! They will be part of our new window display until the fall! For information and hours about this special retail location go to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio website.

Studio Snippets – When Bad Things Happen to Good Yarn

July 9th, 2009

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Here in the Studio, we have a customer, Jodi.  She’s a great gal, great knitter, but she has one terrible habit.  Dumping lots of yarn in a bag and dragging it all around New York City until it becomes a tangled mess:

She came in the other day and our trusty Michelle helped her with her mess.  I told them I call this picture

“The Tangler and the Untangler (or friends don’t let friend’s tangle their yarn)”

If this is a problem for you, and you’re in the NYC area (or stopping by on vacation this summer), stop by the Studio and pick up a project bag (or two) to keep your yarn organized, OR read some of the “tips of the day” from customers on for useful storage ideas.

Textured Circle Shrug Round-Up

July 8th, 2009

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Thanks to everyone who has participated in our Textured Circle Shrug KAL! We’re so impressed by your finished garments that we want to show them off. Here are some fantastic examples:

Vivette’s shrug in Vanna’s Choice

Mary Jo’s shrug in Cotton-Ease

roocmc’s shrug in Cotton-Ease

jellycat’s shrug in Cotton-Ease

Congratulations to everyone who has finished so far. If you’re still working on yours, keep up the great work! Feel free to share your pictures and ask questions in our Textured Circle Shrug KAL Ravelry group. Don’t forget that we’ll be starting a charity KAL/CAL later this summer!

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Get Ideas and Inspiration on Your Commute with YarnCraft!

July 8th, 2009

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This summer, we are featuring shorter 20-minute episodes of our YarnCraft podcast, along with a special series, Summer Crafting with Kids, filled with tips for parents, teachers, scout leaders, camp counselors and babysitters for crafting with kids.

Load episodes onto your MP3 player, just like you would a song or audio-book and listen to episodes on the go. It makes for a perfect commuter companion, whether your hands are busy with yarn or not. Our most recent episodes?

YarnCraft Episode 44 :: Easy Ways to Sell Your Knit & Crochet Goods Locally
The latest YarnCraft episode is all about simple ways to sell your knit & crochet goods and make a little extra cash from this hobby. Click here for this episode guide.

Summer Crafting with Kids Episode 03 :: Teach Your Kids to Knit & Crochet
Our most recent Kids episode focuses on tips and techniques for teaching your kids to knit and crochet, from finger knitting and crochet to supplies to rhymes, we have great suggestions. Click here for the episode guide.

Summer Crafting with Kids Episode 02 :: Have Fun with Group Craft Projects
Get ideas for crafting with kids in groups, whether it’s for day camp, a birthday party, or just a group session on the blog, there are all sorts of fun and creative things that your kids can make with yarn. Click here for this episode guide.

Want to listen? Just go to the iTunes store and search for “YarnCraft” OR go to the episode guides above to listen to the episodes online. For those who want to load them to your MP3 player, but you don’t use iTunes or another podcatcher: right-click (Ctrl+click on Macs) the “Direct Download” link at the bottom of the episode guides to save them to your computer, then load them onto your MP3 player like a song or audio-book.

Sending Support and Shawls for the Women of the Afghan Parliament

July 7th, 2009

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Recently, we spoke with our friends at afghans for Afghans at the Knit & Crochet Show in Portland. This incredible non-profit organization collects handmade sweaters and garments for Afghan children and people in need, and works with organizations to distribute them in Afghanistan.

Their most recent project has been very special. American and Canadian volunteers made shawls for the 91 women in Afghanistan’s parliament, as a show of support for these courageous women. The following is information from their website:

The afghans for Afghans project presented a gift of a tea party and new wool shawl to each of the 91 women members of the Afghan Parliament in Kabul. These beautiful, lovingly made shawls were hand-knit or crocheted by American and Canadian women to show support and admiration for the women leaders of Afghanistan. We wanted to salute the courage of the women members of Parliament, bolster their souls, and warm their hearts. We wanted to do something special for these women leaders working very hard to serve their people, rebuild their war-torn country, and role model for girls.

These shawls, along with letters of support from American female politicians like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, were then presented to the women by teacher and afghans for Afghans volunteer, Elsie de Laere, in a special ceremony.

Click here to see a video and read the article on ABC’s site about this special event.

Want to know more about afghans for Afghans? Listen to the interview with the great volunteers and founder Ann Rubin from the Knit & Crochet show on our podcast, YarnCraft. Click here to listen [MP3].

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What Motivates You When Selecting Yarn?

July 6th, 2009

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What is the main reason you choose a yarn:  color or texture?

From Football to Needlecraft

July 6th, 2009

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I got some great comments on my earlier Cary Grant knitting blog post that suggested I highlight one of the great professional football players, Rosey Grier. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Rosey, he was three times All Pro and played for both the New York Giants and the Los Angeles Rams. Grier was also apart of the “Fearsome Foursome” which is one of the greatest defensive lines in the sport’s history.

Not only is he an athlete, he is known for his needlepoint and has always been associated with that image. Rosey even wrote a book call Rosey Grier’s Needlepoint for Men which consists of projects which are all geared toward men. Although he doesn’t knit or crochet this shows how even a professional football player can be involved in needlecraft. I hope you all find this inspiring.

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Have You Seen the Winning Entries in the Vanna’s Choice Contest?

July 2nd, 2009

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Here is a link to the winning entries.  Click each photo to see it enlarged.  The 32 winners were truly amazing examples of creativity and skill!