Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame

Archive for July, 2010

Perfect Sweaters for Your Body

July 29th, 2010

Pin It

Everyone knows that dressing for your body shape is important, but crafting for your body shape is even more important.  It’s easy enough to try on something in the store and say, “This is so flattering” or “This does not suit my body shape”, but when you’re planning on working on a sweater for hours and hours, you want to know it’s going to come out looking just right on whoever gets to wear it.

First of all, you need to know your body shape.   As you can see below, what differentiates one body type from another are the proportions between shoulders, waist, and hips.

Once you have a good understanding of your body shape, you can pick projects that flatter your figure.  Here are a few patterns we thought would flatter each body type.

Banana (or rectangle) means that your shoulders, waist, and hips are all similar sizes. We suggest the Airy Lace Shell which is slimming, or the Ginger Sweater, which gives the illusion of curves.

Apple (or Inverted Triangle) bodies are wider across the top and more narrow in the hips.  We suggest shapes like those seen in the Ardsley Jacket, the Essential Jacket, and the Peplum Cardigan to balance things out and give the illusion of hips.

Pear (or Triangle) shapes are widest in the hips.  We suggest balancing this out with oversized collars, as with the Middlemarch Cardigan, or something that fits loosely over the hips, such as the Dinner at Eight Top.

Lastly, hourglass figures are about the same size in the hips and shoulders, but smaller in the waist.  Anything that is fitted in the ribs or waist will be most flattering.  We suggest the Circular Yoke Vest, the Empire Top, or the Short and Chic Cardi

The great thing about making your own clothes is that you can customize anything to be just right for your body. When making garments for other people, it’s especially helpful to have an idea of  the general shapes that are going to flatter them.

These patterns are just a few suggestions, and we’d love to know what your favorite flattering garments are.  Leave a comment below to let us know.

Related Links:

Photo Round-Up: Yummy Yarn-Inspired Cakes

July 28th, 2010

Pin It

Recently, while browsing Ravelry, I read a thread all about scrumptious cakes decorated to look like yarn and yarncrafting accessories. Some of these cakes were SO incredible, I just had to share them with you. (Click on the photos or highlighted text below to learn more about the cakes and their creators.)

The first was an amazing detailed yarn basket cake created by Charm City Cakes (of Ace of Cakes fame) and shared by EndlessSimmer:

The second was an delectable creation by Pink Cake Box (click the photo for more detailed photos!):

Crochet Knitting Cakes

The third, by Louise of CakeJournal, even has a tutorial on how to make your own! (Click the photo to link to her tutorial.) I love that she gives you step-by-step instructions on how she made it:

Not included in this thread, but amazing nonetheless, I also wanted to share these incredible cupcakes made of marzipan from VeganYumYum. (Click the photo to link to her blog post and see a video of her on the Martha Stewart Show explaining how she made them!) They are really adorable:

And finally, the thread made me think of our very own variegated-yarn-inspired cake from Patty’s birthday last year:

Mmm, who knew yarn could be so delicious?

Well, if cakes that look like yarn are a little out of your league, perhaps yarn crocheted up in the shape of cakes is more your style! Go to and type “cake” or “cupcake” into the search box to find patterns.

What incredible look-alike creations have you seen made from yarn (or cake)? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Learning from the Best

July 27th, 2010

Pin It

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Knit and Crochet Show in Manchester, NH. It was really great to get the chance to meet our customers in person to hear first-hand how much you enjoy our products and our service. The highlight of the week for me was the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) Professional Development Day that Lion Brand sponsored. Hearing all of the successful designers and teachers share their knowledge with the others in the room was really wonderful, and I picked up (and shared!) quite a few great tips and tricks during the breakout sessions in the afternoon.

There were three sessions, and I really had a tough time choosing where to spend the afternoon! I sat down first in Edie Eckman’s group (Edie was the host of our Hexagon Afghan Crochet-Along), where I learned all about preparing for the pattern publication process. Since I deal with the patterns after they’ve already been chosen, edited, and published, it was very refreshing and insightful to see what designers (and publishers!) go through during this process. I followed Edie’s session up with the always fabulous Lily Chin, who gave our brains a great creative workout by having us find design inspiration in our surroundings. I finished up with Karen Klemp’s session on handling teaching challenges, which gave me some really great new ways to think about helping customers with pattern questions.

My biggest take-away, though, was seeing the camaraderie and sharing that was going on throughout the day. Kristin Omdahl and Lily Chin had started the day with an unvarnished snapshot of what it’s like to be a full-time crochet professional. It’s not easy, and this is a group of people in direct competition with each other for publisher and student dollars. In spite of that, not once did I see anyone hesitate to answer a question or give out detailed information — everyone was clearly invested in helping everyone else in whatever way they could. I know first hand how rewarding it is to pass on the knowledge I have, since I get to do that with our customers every day, and it was wonderful to see that there is a whole community of designers and teachers out there who clearly feel the same way.

Want to learn more about working in the yarn industry? Come to a future Professional Development Day, and also listen to our radio-style podcast, YarnCraft, episode 21: Sharing Your Designs with Others for more about publishing your designs or episode 70: Tips & Tricks on Teaching Beginner & Advanced Knitting & Crochet Skills for more on teaching.

Related links:

Yarn on the Covers of Magazines & Catalogs

July 26th, 2010

Pin It

Recently, I received a Garnet Hill catalog in the mail and was really excited to see yarn on the cover. Being in the yarn industry, I like to collect various memorabilia that relates to knitting, crocheting, and yarn. Over the years I have collected magazine and catalog covers that feature yarn; it’s always great to see yarn on these covers because it means that people feel that knitting and crocheting are a part of their daily lives.

Below, I have provided pictures of some of my favorite covers. Enjoy!

(If you’re looking at this blog post on the website, click on the slideshow to move to the next photo. If you’re viewing this blog post in your e-mail and you’re having trouble with the photos, please click the title to see it on the website.)

Where have you seen yarn in popular culture that made you happy? Tell us about it by leaving a comment!

Knit-Along with Me! Join Me on Knitting Daily TV All Summer Long!

July 22nd, 2010

Pin It

Earlier this spring, I flew out to Cleveland, Ohio and spent a couple of days with the crew of Knitting Daily TV. Not only did I get to meet Interweave Knits Editor Eunny Jang who is also the host of KDTV (that’s us on set, to the right), but I also got to film three knit-alongs with her for this summer’s season of Knitting Daily TV. I also got to meet many other different designers and yarn-world figures who make an appearance on this season.

Although I’ve made a bunch of videos for our YouTube Channel and I’ve done some local TV interviews, I’ve never done a series of TV segments before. Although it looks quite warm and relaxed on set, it really takes the energies of quite a few people to make everyone look good, sound good, and to make the knitting and crochet process make sense on screen. It was fun for me to see how much filming could be squeezed into a couple of days and how many people it takes to make sure that all the pieces fall into place.

This summer, you can join me on Knitting Daily TV as I knit the Fallen Leaves Scarf, the Little Lamb Sock Critter, and the Tabard Vest–three projects that will be sure to expand your knitting skills. We’ll cover things like slip stitch knitting, cabling, and reading lace charts. It’s going to be a busy summer!

The season’s just starting, so click here to check out associate producer Annie Hartman Bakker’s preview of the first five episodes. Then click through to and click on “TV schedules” at the top to find out when the show’s airing near you! This season is the 500 series, so any episodes starting with a “5” are new. I can’t wait for you to join me!