Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for January, 2010

Tips for Reading a Pattern

January 19th, 2010

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For both crocheters and knitters, learning to read a pattern can be like learning a different language. However, if you take things step-by-step, reading a pattern can be easy. For this example,Ruffle Colors Scarf follow along with the Ruffle Colors Scarf.

1. Read the gauge information. Click here for more information on making a gauge swatch.

2. Write out what every abbreviation means. Stitch explanations can be found in the “Stitch Explanation” section above the main body of the pattern and in the “Abbreviations/References” section at the bottom of the pattern. For example, the Ruffle Color Scarf begins, “Ch 177. Row 1: Work 2 dc in 3rd ch from hook and in each ch across” In this case, you would write, “Chain 177. Row 1: Work 2 double crochets into the 3rd chain from your crochet hook. Work 2 double crochets in every chain across the row.”

3. Focus on one stitch at a time. It’s easy to read the entire row and get a little overwhelmed. Doing each stitch individually allows you to stay focused and makes each row a lot more manageable.

4. Write out the repeats. Many patterns include repeats. For example, Row 3 says, “Ch 3, turn, dc in same sp, dc in next st, *2 dc in next st, dc in next st; rep from * across.” In this case, it may be beneficial to write out, “Double crochet twice in the next stitch. Double crochet in the next stitch. Double crochet twice in the next stitch. Double crochet in the next stitch.” This is especially helpful when the pattern repeat includes 3 or more stitches.

With those 4 easy steps, you can be on your way to reading patterns!

Did You Know…? You Can Share Your Comments with Facebook Connect

January 18th, 2010

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Did you know that you can now use your Facebook ID to write comments in our blog?  And you’ll also have the option of posting your comment to your Facebook wall if you choose!

Here’s how you can do that. You may have noticed a blue icon with the word Connect in the comments section of each blog post.

Simply click on the blue icon and sign in with your Facebook ID. Doing so will let us remember you next time you visit our blog.

Once logged in with your Facebook ID, you can leave comments on any blog posts without having to enter your details each time. Facebook will also prompt you to publish your comment to your Facebook wall.

Once you enter your comment and click publish, your comment will be simultaneously posted to our blog…

…and your Facebook wall where it will be visible to all your Facebook friends!

Isn’t that neat? Go ahead and try it, log on with your Facebook ID and leave us a comment below :-)

Announcing Our Winter 2010 Knit-Along!

January 14th, 2010

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Each season we host a knit- or crochet-along, a virtual event in which yarncrafters come together here online to work on one pattern together, share their experiences, and to learn together. You don’t need anything special, and there’s no need to sign up. Simply work on your sweater and check the Lion Brand Notebook at your leisure for new posts with helpful hints and tips (which come out weekly) and share your comments and progress if you’d like!

A few weeks ago, we asked you to vote for our NEXT project. Well, you voted and the results are finally in!

Announcing our Winter 2010 Knit-Along, featuring the Inishturk Sweater! (Click the photo to see/download the pattern).

Our host Heather’s first blog post will be next Thursday, so gather your supplies (or start thinking about what color and size you might want to make this pattern in) and get ready for this beautiful pattern to become part of your repertoire! Heather will be working on the pattern for the next 6 weeks, but you can work at your own pace.

If you have a blog, add the badge below to show that you’re participating (Right click or Ctrl+click on Macs to save the image to your computer; then upload it to your blog). You can also join our Ravelry group here and our Flickr group here.

In the meantime, leave a comment and introduce yourself! Who are you? Where are you from? Who are you making this sweater for?

FAQ: Dye Lot Dilemmas

January 12th, 2010

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Q: I ran out of yarn and the store where I purchased it no longer has the same dye lot. If I have to purchase more in a different dye lot, how do I make the color change less noticeable?

A: If you have run out of yarn, try taking a small sample (such as a swatch or a clipping) with you when purchasing additional yarn. Select the yarn that best matches your original yarn. Remember that colors can look very different depending on lighting, so try to view the yarn in both natural and artificial light if possible. Once you have a sufficient amount of yarn, alternate between the different dye lots every two rows. This will make any color change less noticeable.

Remember that the best way to avoid a dye lot dilemma is to check dye lots at the time of purchase and to buy enough for your project AND any samples or gauge swatches that you might want to make before starting. Once you have purchased your yarn, it can be very difficult for the store to go back and match dye lots for you. Please note that is unable to match dye lots from prior purchases.

Got a common question you need answered? Check out our FAQ page by clicking here.

Does Knitting Or Crocheting Make You Better? New Contest!

January 8th, 2010

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This blog post inspired me to think about how to make 2010 a great year.  It’s by friends at a company called Daily Grommet, that finds and shares information about extraordinary products.  They feature a book called Better Because Of You.  The book reminds us that small things can make a difference, that gratitude is an important practice, and that we need to remember our core values in the midst of active days.

So, taking a “page” from their post, we’re running a contest.  Comment below and finish one of these two sentences:

Knitting makes me better because. . . .


Crocheting makes me better because. . .

We will select our favorite by January 15th at 3:00 p.m. e.s.t.  The winner will receive a $35 gift certificate toward any products on our website to be shipped to an address in the United States.

There is no purchase required and the contest is open to anyone age 18 or over, except employees of Lion Brand Yarn Company and their immediate relatives.

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Help Us Plan Our Blog Topics for 2010

January 7th, 2010

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We would appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to answer a survey about what you’d like to see us write about in this blog for 2010.  We are always eager to hear your opinions and would welcome any ideas about information you would like to see that we don’t already offer.

Please click here to answer the survey.  We appreciate your feedback.

When Science Meets Yarn

January 6th, 2010

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One never knows that you will find out there in the yarniverse. The other day I received an interesting article from my cousin from Discovery Magazine which featured a variety of different science projects that were knitted or crocheted, including the periodic table sweater above (made in Wool-Ease by Avital P.) that we tweeted about last summer and a mobius strip cowl. I though it was so interesting that I wanted to share it with all of you.

Here is the link to the website for your viewing pleasure. Happy knitting and crocheting!

Related links:

Fashion Statements in Crochet

January 5th, 2010

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As long-time blog readers know, I love the nexus of fiber, art, and fashion, so for today’s blog post, I wanted to share the work of fiber artist Cielo Pessione, whose gorgeous crochet neck-pieces combine traditional fibers with unconventional materials like hematite beads and even hedgehog quills!

These sophisticated one-of-a-kind art pieces really emphasize just how versatile crochet can be.

Via 2Modern Design Talk.

Want to make your own crochet necklace? Check out two great patterns on — click on their titles to see them: Lace Necklace and Ruffle Necklace Scarf.

Related links:

An Afternoon Of Knitting Or Crochet Uses 500 Calories

January 4th, 2010

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Learn to Knit workshop
Image by amber in norfolk via Flickr

Check out #21 in  this article about 50 ways to cut 500 calories a day!  In addition to all the other benefits of knitting, we now discover that you’re using up calories as well.  And that doesn’t even count the calories you save by not eating while you knit.

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Less Than A Month Left To Enter the Vanna’s Choice Contest!

January 2nd, 2010

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Show your creativity by using any one of the Vanna’s Choice yarns and enter as many times as you want in 4 categories: afghans & throws, babies and kids, hats and scarves,  and gifts and crafts.  There are 33 prizes including a grand prize of $1,000 and a trip for 2 to Los Angeles to meet Vanna White.  For complete rules see the Vanna’s Choice website.

If you would like to see last year’s winners, you’ll find them here.  The grand prize winner is shown below with Vanna White.  It’s easy to enter.  Simply go to the Vanna’s Choice website, fill out the entry form, and upload one or more photos of your creation.  If you would like to enter by mail, you may print out the form and mail it in with your photos.

Last year’s winner, Sarah Karnes showing Vanna her afghan.  Can you picture yourself in the picture?

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