Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for April, 2010

Show Your Stash in Your Facebook Profile Picture

April 21st, 2010

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On Monday, we changed our Facebook profile picture to a picture of our yarn stash.  We want everyone to celebrate their stash and show it off in their Facebook profile picture.  Changing your profile picture is easy.  In case you forgot how, here is a quick reminder:

First, go to your profile and put your cursor over your profile picture.  In the upper right corner of your picture “Change Picture” and a little pencil will come up.  Click on the pencil to bring up this menu:

Select “Upload a Picture” and then browse to find the picture on your computer.  Now you can upload a picture of your stash–whether it’s big or small, messy or organized–and participate in Show Your Stash Week.

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Lion Staff Bowling Night

April 20th, 2010

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This is a guest post from Mike D. in our New Jersey office:

At Lion Brand, we enjoy a company get-together that is casual and gives us a chance to talk, knit or crochet, and play at the same time. Sure it may seem odd to walk into a bowling alley, and see people knitting or crocheting in between frames, but luckily we have a couple of ringers (Debbie with the high score in the first two games) so when people walk by and take a look up at our scores, we are not too embarrassed.

It was a great time to mix and mingle with co-workers that you may not necessarily have time in the work day to chat with.  I enjoyed watching Laura, who is awesome in Customer Service, brainstorm with Dean, one of the owners of the company, about what bowling shirts we should be wearing (for example, showing a lion bowling but with a ball of yarn in place of the bowling ball), and Ed (who runs one of our warehouses) told us all how he hasn’t bowled in 20 years but of course he bowled a strike with his first ball.

We had a great time, even though half of us had no idea what we were doing, but most of all, we enjoyed creating friendships with our co-workers. Part of what makes bowling night fun for our company is that people are there because they want to be there, and not because they are forced to participate.  About a year ago, we had our first bowling night and we barely had enough bowlers to fill two lanes.  A year later we take up four lanes.  If you work for a company that is looking for an inexpensive, but wonderful evening out, I would recommend bowling night.  When topped off with delicious nachos, it was the perfect event.

Beautiful Bear

April 19th, 2010

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One of the great things about having a large family is that someone is always working on a great knit or crochet project. My aunt Amy recently posted this adorable knitted bear on her blog. She used Homespun in the Ocean colorway and a pattern from Susan B. Anderson’s Itty-Bitty Toys. The result is a super soft and colorful stuffed animal. I love the finished project, but I’m sure that my little cousins love it more! Maybe next time she’ll knit a lion.

We Are Serious About Marketing

April 18th, 2010

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I snapped this photo of our marketing team (minus me behind the camera) last week.  What are they doing?  Why, assessing retail trends in the seasonal aisle of a craft store, of course!

I wanted you to meet the team and to show that we do love our work, we wear a lot of hats and, while we are serious about marketing, it does take a bit of whimsy to be creative.

This photo deserves a caption.  Any ideas?

Beach Cardi Crochet-Along: No-Chain Foundation and Working the Body

April 15th, 2010

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It’s been great reading all of your comments and hearing how excited you are about this crochet- along. I’ve sure been making progress this past week, creating the front and back panels then joining them to work the majority of the body. Traditionally beginning a crochet project means creating your starting chain then working your first row back into it, but personally I like combining those steps with the “no-chain foundation”. This technique simultaneously creates a starting chain and your first row of stitches, half-doubles in this project, resulting in a very clean and stretchy edge.

Here’s how to do it: For the half-double starting chain, begin by chaining 3, then yarn over and insert your hook into the third chain from the hook. Yarn over and draw up a loop, then yarn over and pull through only the first loop on your hook. Then yarn over once more and pull through all three loops left on the hook. Voila! It may not look like much yet, but that’s your first chain with its attached first half-double stitch. It’s just like working a half-double, but with the addition of drawing through one loop before the final yarn over and pull through three — that additional loop is essentially creating the starting chain.

You can click on the picture to make this image larger.

First one done! Now just repeat, working into the bottom stitch indicated in panels 3 and 4, labeled “first chain”. Again, yarn over and insert into chain created previously, yarn over and draw up a loop. Yarn over and pull through first loop only, then yarn over and pull through remaining three loops. See the video below for the full process!

Repeat until you have the correct number of half-double crochets (hdc) – this will be one less than the number of chains indicated by the pattern, but the same as the number of hdc indicated at the end of row 1. In my case for the small, I made 54 for the back and 28 for the fronts. Once you have the number of stitches you need, just turn and proceed as usual, remembering you are already on Row 2 and to work into that first chain 2 at the end of the row.

Of course, you are more than welcome to use a standard chain to start as well, just wanted to share one of my favorite crochet techniques! Please feel free to ask any questions here in the comments or in the Ravelry group; my user name there is UberOrange.

Having completed both the back and two front pieces, it’s time to join them for the body (Row 15 in the pattern).  This is pretty simple: just work across the Right Front, then into the corner of the back and across, then into the corner of the Left Front and across, resulting in one long row to work. One thing I did as I joined was work in the ends of the pieces by crocheting over them as I worked into the stitches.  This just saves time so there aren’t as many ends to weave in when you’re finished, something I hate doing!

The instructions are a little wordy, but just remember you are maintaining that 5 hdc border on each edge for this join row. Row 16, however, is where you switch to creating chain 1 spaces all the way across, with the border only at the beginning and end, and repeating this for another 13 inches (more or less if you prefer to change the length). I’m going to get going on the rest of this body, and next week I’ll talk about the armhole shaping, blocking and seaming!

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