Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for August, 2010

Suggested Size: Choosing the Right Needles or Hook to Get Gauge

August 31st, 2010

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It’s easy to get so caught up in following pattern instructions that you lose sight of what’s really important: gauge. You’ve probably already purchased the yarn for your project (or decided which of your stash yarns you’d like to use) by the time you sit down to work your gauge swatch, and you’ve probably just grabbed the needles or hook suggested by the pattern.

That’s a great place to start, BUT the important thing to remember is that the needle/hook size given in a pattern is just that: a suggestion. All it means is that the designer (or possibly the pattern tester) got the gauge specified in the pattern using that particular combination of yarn and needle. Don’t forget that everyone knits or crochets a little differently, and you may need to go up or down a hook size or two — or even more! — to get the correct gauge.

For more on how to make a gauge swatch (and why), please see this FAQ.

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If You Could Only Use One Word. . .

August 26th, 2010

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We love being a part of your lives and your knitting & crochet experiences and it means a lot to us when you share your experience with us.  Today, we are asking you to share with everyone who reads this blog,  what Lion Brand means to you in just one word. What one word comes to mind when you think about Lion Brand?

Fill out the form below to tell us your word, and next week, we’ll show you an image, known as a word cloud that illustrates your answers.

If you’re looking at this post in your blog reader or e-mail and can’t see the form, please click the title of this blog post to view it online with full content.

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See Nathan Vincent’s Crochet Taxidermy in NYC until Sept. 30

August 26th, 2010

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If you didn’t have an opportunity to see crochet artist Nathan Vincent’s fascinating yarn taxidermy when it was at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio back in late 2009 (as seen above), and you’re in the New York City area, you now have a second chance to see them! Nathan’s pieces will be on display from now through September 30 at Volume Black, a gallery in downtown Manhattan, located at 89 Washington Street.
From the artist’s website:

My work explores gender permissions and the challenges that arise from straying from the prescribed norms. It questions the qualities of gender by considering what constitutes masculine and feminine. It critiques stereotypical gender mediums by creating “masculine objects” using “feminine processes” such as crochet, sewing, and applique.

Want to learn more about Nathan’s work? Listen to our radio-style podcast YarnCraft’s episode 60 :: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Fiber Artists Ruth Marshall & Nathan Vincent to hear more about his fascinating pieces in his own words.

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FAQ: What is Intarsia?

August 25th, 2010

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Intarsia is a color work technique that is used to create individual fields of color in one piece. Yarn is not stranded horizontally (like in Fair Isle knitting); rather, each section of color has its own working yarn that moves vertically. You can usually identify intarsia because the color work does not continue over the course of the entire row. Thus, it would be pointless to strand a yarn over a row in which it is not used. Here’s an example that I knit up.
Intarsia front
While I only used two colors of yarn, I used three different strands of yarn: one purple piece for the center, one mustard piece for the left, and one mustard piece for the right. Here I have recolored my swatch to show where the matching mustard piece is.
Back recolor
As you can see in this close up, it is important to twist your working yarns when you change colors. This helps to prevent holes from forming when you change colors.
Intarsia back

And what can you make with intarsia? Click here to see seven knit and crochet intarsia patterns.

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On the Road: Customer Projects at Stitches Midwest

August 24th, 2010

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This past weekend I had the great pleasure of going to Stitches Midwest in Schaumburg, IL.  It was so fun being surrounded by crafters all weekend and seeing knitters everywhere we went.  As I’ve said before, one of my favorite things about going to shows is seeing customer projects.  Some stop by to show off their work, while other are stumbled upon in hotel lobbies.  Either way, seeing the finished work (or work in progress) is always so satisfying for me.  Here are some of the beautiful projects from this weekend:

Please keep your mouse over the slideshow to see the captions. Unless the name of the pattern is specified in the caption, we do NOT have the pattern available. If you’re viewing the photos in your e-mail, please click on the title of the blog post to view it on our website in order to see the captions.

We’re headed to Maker Faire NY in September and Stitches East in October, and we’d love to see you there!  Even if you can’t make it to a show you can share your projects in our Customer Gallery.

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