Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for March, 2010

Sharing Hope Through Crocheting

March 31st, 2010

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Rupali I always love to hear about new charities that incorporate yarncrafting for hope. Rupali Saiya was inspired to help women in India learn to crochet in order to earn their independence and support themselves. She founded Crafts of Hope in 2008 and has received an overwhelmingly positive response. Thank you, Rupali, for doing such fantastic charity work.

Want to find a charity in your area? Click here to use our Charity Connection.

Fabric Prints Inspired by Crochet

March 30th, 2010

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It’s really interesting to see how artists who work in other media can still be inspired by yarncrafts and what yarncrafts like crochet and kniting represent for these artists. For instance, artist Shana Anderson has created graphic fabric prints inspired by the crochet doilies and needlepoint projects of her aunt and grandmother, invoking a sense of home and comfort. These eye-catching designs are bright and whimsical.

Via MoCo Loco.

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Cozy Up to Fun Fur Art

March 29th, 2010

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Artist Amy Caterina is at it again.  We first blogged about the mixed media artist here when we heard about her Pseudo-Sod, grassy looking material knit from Fun Fur.  She has used the material to create topiary animals and even a car cover! Her most recent exhibit, part of Actions, Conversations, and Intersections at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, extended the concept by creating an inviting forest scene, complete with deer and grass against forest images. Amy uses different colors of Fun Fur to represent different stages of grass life, but unlike real grass the “faux” Pseudo-Sod won’t be itchy.

Laying in a fuzzy field of “grass” sounds like a wonderful way to spend a little time!  Click here to see a video of Amy lounging in her Pseudo-Sod Forest.  The exhibit has ended, and I can’t wait to see (and maybe experience) what she comes up with next.  This summer she has a residency scheduled at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, CA.

Related Posts: Shuts Down For Earth Hour!

March 26th, 2010

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earthGet involved in the Earth Hour movement! Turn off your lights for one hour on Saturday, March 27th, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm local time.  Click here to say you’ll be a part of this effort and join hundreds of millions of people around the world who have pledged to save energy.  The savings of just one hour shows how our individual efforts become powerful and significant when we all work together.

Last year lights were turned off on the Empire State Building, all New York Broadway theater marquees, the Las Vegas Strip, the Golden Gate Bridge, St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, London’s Big Ben, and other important landmarks around the world.

For us at Lion Brand, there is even more of a point to be made.  Knitting and crocheting are relaxing activities that do not require technology.  We have a way to spend our time in a valuable and creative way when we step back from our computers, televisions and phones.  Use a candle and enjoy a taste of days gone by this Saturday night while being a part of an important movement.

Design 102: Designing with Squares

March 25th, 2010

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Once you’ve gotten past the basics of knitting & crochet, you may be thinking about how to branch out and create your own unique items. Designing your own pieces doesn’t always have to involve complicated calculations and planning.  By piecing together blocks in creative ways, you can create many different accessories, home goods, and more.  So many of the things we make are rectangular–afghans, bags, pillows, scarves, etc.  Using squares that are different textures and colors is a fun way to design your own items!

The crochet Patchwork Bag is a great example of a project made from squares. It’s four squares for the front and four squares for the back, stitched together with contrasting yarn for the handles and embroidery to add interest. Here are a few other examples of designs made with just basic squares or rectangles like the crochet Granny Squares Scarf:

Or even the knit Curtain Call Shrug and the crochet Acorn Shrug (both made from folded rectangles):

In addition to using a unique stitch for sewing your squares together, you can make squares from any stitch pattern–see our Stitch Finder for some great ideas!  Using different stitches for small squares is a great way to test out a pattern stitch without commiting to a larger project.  Piecing squares together is also a great way to use up your gauge swatches.

Whether you’re designing your own home decor, children’s toys, or anything else you can imagine, we’d love to hear about your project.  Comment below or post pictures in our Customer Gallery.

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Cool Cotton Baby Dress

March 24th, 2010

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Bella DressThe warmer spring months are the perfect time to try cottons and cotton-blends. Yarns like LB Collection Cotton Bamboo, Cotton-Ease, and Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton are breathable and cool, making them ideal to wear all spring and summer. A great way to experience new yarns is by making smaller items, such as baby sweaters, booties, and dresses.

Our friends at Interweave Crochet have made this sweet little dress just in time for Easter and other spring holidays. LB Collection Cotton Bamboo comes in a range of 8 cheery spring shades, including Hyacinth (pictured), which makes it great for adorable baby garments. The ribbon bow adds a cute finishing touch to the dress.

To get this pattern, pick up the Spring 2010 issue of Interweave Crochet (on newsstands now), or click here to visit the Interweave Crochet website.

Photo by Joe Coca, courtesy of Interweave Crochet.

Scarves in the City

March 23rd, 2010

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Last weekend I came across the Bill Cunningham’s regular “On the Street” photo article in The New York Times. This week’s edition was called “The Loop”, which featured a wide variety of hand knitted/crocheted scarves that were found around New York City. I always get excited when I open any publication and see a yarn feature. Some of the scarves featured in this article are just fascinating and completely unique. Click here to see the video version of this article. Hopefully this article will help inspire you to try a new and exciting project.

Discover over 450 scarf patterns on by clicking here. Enjoy!

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Spring 2010 Crochet-Along Vote

March 22nd, 2010

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It’s time for another Crochet-Along, where crocheters from around the world gather to work on the same project.  With the help of our leader and the virtual community, you’ll be able to finish a project that pushes your skills to the next level.

Before we can get started on the next Crochet-Along, YOU need to vote on what project you want to make. Click here to vote!

We’ll announce the winner at the beginning of April, so be sure to check back on the Lion Brand Notebook.

New to Crochet-Alongs?  Click here for a Guide to KALs/CALs.

Want to check out the patterns above? Click on the photos to see their patterns.

Aran Inspiration

March 19th, 2010

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Aran sweaters with cables galore are a classic knit staple. Drawing inspiration from these gorgeous sweaters, Gearoid Muldowney of the Irish design studio, Superfolk, has created a series of reversible knit and leather Aran laptop bags. It’s so neat to see how they’ve taken this knit style that is traditional in Ireland and incorporated it in a modern way.

If you’re as inspired to try your hand at some classic aran cables as I am, I hope you’ll try your hand at them. Consider checking out our beautiful Cabled Cowl pattern below, a great, warm accessory for both men and women.

Via MoCo Loco.

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Spotted: Fashion Blogger in Wool-Ease Thick & Quick

March 18th, 2010

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13 year-old fashion blogger Tavi recently made headlines at Paris couture shows for blocking reporters’ views with her giant bow hat (not pictured), but for us the more exciting news from her week in Paris was her Wool-Ease Thick & Quick scarf! The cool chain-link scarf is made with a variety of colors; Tavi said on her blog that it was purchased on Etsy.  It’s always great to see how chic yarncrafted items can be!