Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for August, 2009

Learn to Knit: Increasing and Decreasing

August 28th, 2009

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We’ve created 5 more videos to help you learn to knit and teach others. This round of videos is all about increasing and decreasing. These techniques change the shape of your item, giving your garment a better fit. If you prefer written directions, visit our Learn to Knit page for detailed instructions.

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Design Inspiration from the Crochet Dude

August 27th, 2009

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Recently, I was at the Knit & Crochet Show up in Buffalo, and I got to chat with popular blogger the Crochet Dude, Drew Emborsky, who came all the way from Austin, TX and was gracious enough to tell us about his design inspiration in this week’s YarnCraft episode. Want to listen to our interview for yourself? Click here to launch the episode [MP3].

Drew has a new line of small pattern books out with Leisure Arts, some of the patterns of which I got to see at the show. I especially love the handbag book, featuring projects in vibrant and easy-care Vanna’s Choice (I saw a great green tote on the runway of the Knit & Crochet show fashion show that I adore), as well as a collection of quick crochet dishcloths (great gift items) in fashionable colors of Cotton-Ease. These  dishcloths are almost too pretty to be used!

Interested in seeing some more of Drew’s handbags? Click here to see the slideshow from the Knit & Crochet Show.

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What’s Stitching at the Studio

August 25th, 2009

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If you love to see what the staff here at Lion Brand is working on — from Lindsey’s great scarf to our group-made Lion — then you’ll definitely want to stop by the Lion Brand Yarn Studio‘s blog (for our retail store here in NYC), and see what the staff there has on their hooks and needles. I know I’m certainly impressed with all of the projects they are making for personal pleasure (in addition to the great things they are always making for the displays)!

Click here to see their great projects!

Picture and Video From Our Annual Barbecue

August 21st, 2009

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We had our annual company Barbecue on August 18th.  It was one of the hottest days of the year but they set up tents and giant fans.  Anyway, we were having so much fun we hardly noticed.  Our chief administrator of fun, Mike D. oversaw the entertainment, which consisted of Karaoke and competitive games, from a free throw contest to a trivia challenge.  The barbecue was a feast of steaks, chicken and hot dogs on the grill along with salads, pasta and vegetarian choices.

Here is the winning team in the trivia contest. Holding their trophies left to right top row: Carolyn head of Customer Service, John of IT, India of Design, and left to right on bottom row: Danielle of Sales and Debbie from Customer Service.

Our CEO, David, was a real sport and let us share this video clip from his Karaoke performance.  Enjoy!

Enter Our Twitter Contest for a Chance to Win $50!

August 20th, 2009

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In honor of our newsletter’s new Tip of the Week, we’re having a Twitter contest! Simply tweet your favorite knitting, crocheting, or yarn-related tip @LionBrandYarn by Friday, August 28th. Be sure to use the #LionTip hash tag to make it easy to spot. Only one entry per person, please. Our favorite will win a $50 gift certificate to the store. What are you waiting for? Start tweeting!

Not a member of Twitter? Don’t worry. We’ll be having another contest soon, so keep an eye on our blog for more chances to win.

You can also always share your knit and crochet tips on by clicking here.

**Only tweets (Twitter posts) are eligible. Tweets must be up by 11:59:59 pm EST Friday, August 28th.

How Did You Do on Our First Puzzler?

August 17th, 2009

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How did you do on our first Puzzler?   The answers are in this newsletter.  We’d love to know what you thought about this new newsletter feature.  Was it too difficult? too easy?  Do you like crossword puzzles or would you prefer another type of puzzle?

A Very Late Gift

August 17th, 2009

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While most people are looking forward to the holidays and holiday gift making, I am looking back on last year’s gifts. And I don’t have to look back too far. It’s August and I just finished my last Christmas 2008 gift. Let me explain. Every year my friends and I have a holiday party where we play White Elephant: everyone brings one gift; each person picks a number out of a hat and goes in order picking a gift, but they can pick a wrapped gift or “steal” from someone who has already opened a gift.

My gift was a ball of yarn with a note that the recipient could pick anything (within reason) for me to custom knit for her. After being “stolen” the maximum number of times, my friend who received it looked at patterns with me and decided on the Brooke’s Column of Leaves Scarf on Ravelry.

She picked her yarn (Vanna’s Choice in Mustard) and I told her I could have it within a couple weeks. But as it turns out she was leaving for Europe before I could finish the scarf. So the scarf was hibernating while I worked on other holiday projects, and spring and summer projects, until a couple weeks ago. Finally, the scarf is finished, just in time for her return to New York.

If you’re looking to get ahead on your holiday crafting, check out these recommendations from YarnCraft or click to listen to that YarnCraft episode [MP3].

Charity Knit & Crochet-Along: Sending Your Finished Items

August 13th, 2009

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Over the past few weeks, you’ve made some fantastic pledges to charities and have (hopefully) finished up some projects. Here are a few helpful hints to make sending your donations as easy as possible:washcloths

1. Double-check that your item meets the charity’s requirements. If your item is complete but fails to meet specifications, consider donating it to a different charity, hospital, or shelter.

2. If you are washing an item before sending, make sure to use a frangrance-fr
ee detergent. This is to prevent any potential allergy issues or skin sensitivities.

3. Include your yarn label or a note specifying fiber content and yarn care instructions.
This will help the charity if they have any yarn requirements, and it will help recipient keep the item in great shape.

4. Place your item in a plastic bag. This will keep your work clean and dry, even if you’re delivering the item by hand.

5. Deliver or send your item! Don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishment. You’ve done a fantastic job.

Are you finished with your donation? Leave us a comment to tell us about your progress and share your final donation!

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Making Friends in Buffalo at the Knit & Crochet Show

August 12th, 2009

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Click to start the slideshow; keep your cursor on the box to read captions.

Last week, we were at the Knit & Crochet Show in Buffalo, checking out the workshops, classes, fashion shows, and more. On Tuesday, India and I attended the CGOA’s Professional Development Day (PDD), where we gave the luncheon speech on the behind-the-scenes activities of Lion Brand. We also attended workshops with designers, writers, and editors including Lily Chin, Edie Eckman, Kj Hay, Myra Woods, and Drew Emborsky. Lion Brand also provided the yarn for the charity project, and it was amazing to see how quickly people whipped out hats for children and women in need.

From Wednesday to Sunday, Michelle and I manned the booth at the Knit & Crochet Show’s marketplace. We were lucky enough to be located next to Annie Adams Adornments, where Annie Adams herself showed off her beautiful accessories and shawl pins (we carry Annie’s shawl pins at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, so stop by and see them if you’re in NYC).

At the booth, we met tons of Lion Brand fans and YarnCraft podcast listeners. We also had time to hang out with our designer friends including Mary Beth Temple (of the Getting Loopy podcast), Rita Weiss & Jean Leinhauser, Margaret Hubert, and so many more people. LBY fans showed off their amazing projects and lots of them entered our raffle — we had over 50 winners!

It’s always fun to meet you, the users of our products in person, and we hope to see you at a future show!

For even more of the Knit & Crochet Show, listen to the next episode of YarnCraft on Aug. 25th for interviews.

A Beautiful Alaskan/Canadian Vacation

August 10th, 2009

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When we’re not working at Lion Brand, many of us are lucky enough to take beautiful vacations. This summer I went on a unique trip around Vancouver, Canada and various cities in Alaska. The weather there was actually much warmer and sunnier than New York City at the time! I did visit one very cold spot, though — the Mendenhall Glacier, near Juneau, Alaska!

Jess on the Mendenhall Glacier

Before leaving New York, I knit up a pair of Fetching gloves in LB Collection Superwash Merino (click here for my project page on Ravelry). While it was around 80 degrees each day in Juneau, it was only about 30 degrees on the 12-mile-long glacier. After taking a group helicopter ride to the glacier, our tour guide gave us a brief history of the ice, including how old the glacier is, how underground (or under-ice) rivers are formed, and how quickly the ice is moving downstream. We were even able to drink from one of the glacier’s many streams.

Fetching gloves

It was a fantastic vacation, full of beautiful scenery, plenty of whales, and lots of delicious food.