Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for July, 2010

What’s in Your Project Bag?

July 12th, 2010

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Most of us store our knitting and crocheting projects in bags, but what else do we keep with us? Here’s my current project bag and what I always carry with me.

Here’s my project bag. Let’s see what’s inside.

Of course, I have my yarn (LB Collection Superwash Merino), my needles, and my pattern.

Here are the notions that I always keep on hand. I have stork scissors (just like my mom’s), a few large-eyed blunt needles for weaving in ends, some stitch stoppers, and a soft tape measure. I keep them all in a coin purse at the bottom of my project bag.

What do you keep in your project bag? Share your must-have crafting accessories in the comments!

How-To: Kool-Aid Dye with a Microwave

July 8th, 2010

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I love the new colors of Sock-Ease, but I needed a small amount of bright yellow yarn for an upcoming sock project. My solution: dye Sock-Ease with Kool-Aid! This method works great for any animal fibers, including wool, alpaca, mohair, and more. Nylon will also absorb the dye, so sock yarns are great for dyeing. Here’s the process that I used. You’ll need your yarn, some sugar-free Kool-Aid or other comparable drink mix (1 or 2 packets per ounce of yarn dyed), a microwave-safe container, plastic gloves, some scrap yarn, and food coloring (optional).
step 1
Step 1: If your yarn isn’t already in a hank, wind it into a large circle. I wound my Marshmallow Sock-Ease around a binder. Loosely tie a few pieces of scrap yarn around your yarn as shown to keep everything untangled. Note: If you tie the scrap yarn too tightly, the sections of yarn under the ties won’t get dyed!

Step 2: Soak your yarn in some lukewarm water and mild soap. If your yarn isn’t machine washable, be careful not to felt it!

step 3
Step 3: Put on your rubber gloves. Add your sugar-free Kool-Aid to water and stir until the powder is fully dissolved. I used one packet of Lemonade Kool-Aid and a few drops of yellow food dye to make my color really pop. Next, place your yarn into the dye bath and add enough water to completely cover the yarn. Don’t worry if you add a lot of water; this will not dilute the dye.

Step 4: Microwave your yarn in its bath for about two minutes. Let the yarn sit for a minute or two, and then check the color of the dye bath. Repeat the microwave/rest process until the dye bath is clear.

Step 5: After the yarn cools, remove it from the dye bath. Wash the yarn as in step 2 and hang to dry. After the yarn has dried, you can wind it into a ball.
Finish product
My finished yarn was the perfect beautiful, bold yellow, and it’s still machine-washable! I’m so happy with my results that I want to Kool-Aid dye everything.

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Scarves Meet Bows

July 7th, 2010

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If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile, you probably know that I love fashion–the colors, the cuts, and the creative (re)use of classics–and I love coming across ideas that I can use to spice up my own wardrobe! Browsing one of the design blogs I like, I came across photos of New Zealand designer Juliette Hogan’s Winter 2010 Collection, which included this very creative styling of a classic garter stitch scarf, which she simply ties around the neck in a big bow!

What I love is that the simple texture of the knitting stands out, it’s very elegant, and it’s not your everyday use of a scarf! Plus, most knitters have a garter stitch scarf that has probably been relegated to the back of the closet in favor of more advanced projects–well, here’s your chance to revive it and wear it proudly!

PLUS, if you have a fashion-forward friend you want to teach to knit, you can show her this photo for inspiration! A garter stitch scarf is the perfect first project! Click here for a beginner pattern for a garter stitch scarf. Tip: For this bow look, you may want to add an additional ball of yarn to this pattern and make it longer, so you have more length to work with as you tie the bow around your neck. (Bonus tip: If you need help tying a perfect bow, just go to and look up the many tutorials on tying a perfect bow. My mother always ties perfect bows, but sometimes the rest of us need a little reminder of just how to make that happen.)

Via Oh Joy!

Have you seen some creative uses of knitwear? Tell us about it!

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Store-Bought Sweater Inspired by Hand-Knitting Yarn

July 6th, 2010

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Sometimes the sweaters and garments that we knit or crochet are inspired by something we see in a store or on a runway.  But the other day while I was shopping, I couldn’t help but notice this sweater, which seems to be inspired by one of our popular yarns! Doesn’t it look like a few of our fun self-striping colorways of Sock-Ease? Sure looks like Red Hots, Cotton-Candy, and Lemon Drop to me!

I love the idea of using a fun self-patterning yarn for embellishments on a solid sweater.  Even if you don’t knit yourself an entire sweater, you could spruce up an old sweater with hand knit or crocheted embellishments!  Check out our StitchFinder for flower motifs.

Here is a close up of the retail sweater for inspiration:

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Happy Independence Day!

July 2nd, 2010

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We just want to wish you a happy Independence Day weekend! Are you picnicking or barbecuing with family? Have you knitted or crocheted anything for the occasion? Will you be knitting or crocheting at the festivities with others? Tell us about it!

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Congratulations, Lola Contest Winners!

July 1st, 2010

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Two weeks ago, we asked readers of the Weekly Stitch, our newsletter, to write the caption to Lola. We were blown away by the great responses we received, and we’ve selected our five favorites to share with you! Congratulations to Claranne, Cindy, Debbie, Nicole, and Kim! Each of our winners will receive a $25 credit to Click on each image to see it full sized.