Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for December, 2010

What’s Your Favorite Color of Amazing?

December 13th, 2010

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Color changing yarns are fun and turn simple projects into stunning creations.  Amazing has been such a popular color changing yarn that in its first year, we already doubled the line to 14 colors! Check out how the color changes of Amazing look by clicking here, then vote on your favorite color below. (If you’re viewing this blog post in your e-mail or in an RSS reader, please click the title of the blog post to view it online and use the survey form.)

Win $250 in Yarn! Enter Our Caption Contest!

December 10th, 2010

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Here in New York, the holiday windows are a fun and festive tradition during the winter season, and at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, we’re excited to be a part of it. This year’s window features a skating lion and his penguin friends–click here to visit the Studio’s blog and see more photos.

To celebrate the new window, we invite YOU to write a caption for it, and the winner will get $250 to spend on!

Contest ends on December 17th, 11:59 pm EST. Please note that you MUST use the form below (if you’re viewing this blog post on an RSS reader or in e-mail, please click on the title of the blog post to view it in its entirety). Only one entry per computer. You may return to this blog post and edit your entry at any point before the contest ends. Open to residents over the age of majority of the US and countries to which ships (please click here to see a list of international countries to which we ship).

6 Stocking Stuffers for Yarncrafters

December 10th, 2010

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It’s getting very close to the holidays. If you’re like me, then you’ve purchased all of your large gifts, but you still have to pick up a few stocking stuffers and small gifts. Here are 6 easy ideas that you can pick up almost anywhere.

1. Tape measure. Crafters can never have too many measuring devices. Tailor’s tape or a retractable, flexible tape measure can be purchased up at craft, art, and department stores.

2. Scissors. Small, portable scissors are a must-have for any crafter on the go. For a special gift, select embroidery scissors come with an ornate design. Another great option is a pair of folding scissors. Find a pair at your favorite craft or department store.

3. Highlighter tape. This is handy for marking a pattern without leaving anything permanently. Pick up a roll or two at any craft, department, or office supply store.

4. Hand lotion. Cold weather can dry out the skin. It’s especially important for knitters and crocheters to keep their hands moisturized.

5. Special yarn. Every yarncrafter has a special yarn that she or he really desires. A few skeins of alpaca, cashmere, or sparkling yarn make the perfect indulgence. Be sure to buy enough to make a small project.

6. Gift certificates. These are the perfect gifts for the crafter who has everything. Check out our gift certificates here.

Buy and Sell Handmade Gifts

December 8th, 2010

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Handmade gifts are especially appreciated during the holiday season.  Selling your handmade accessories and gift items on websites like or is a great way to supplement your crafting and holiday budgets.  The reasons to sell may vary; for example, sometimes I like to make the same project over and over, but I only have so many people to which I can give the gifts.  Selling your handmade gifts is a great way to share your crafting with people who don’t knit or crochet. We’ve talked about selling goods both online and locally on these great episodes of YarnCraft: Episode 53 :: Discover Handmade Artisans and Find Out How You Can Get Started Selling for Free and Episode 44 :: Easy Ways to Sell Your Knit and Crochet Good Locally.

You can also make your handmade gifts even more special by adding unique purchased items.  Why not add some handmade soap or candles to a beautiful knitted or crocheted spa kit?

Are you buying or selling handmade gifts this year?  Tell us about it in the comments.

Related Posts:

Last Minute Holiday Knitting & Crocheting

December 6th, 2010

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Every year, I contemplate hand-making my Christmas gifts, and every year I come to a different conclusion. Two years ago, I knit and crocheted, made ceramics, and baked–exhausting, but satisfying and budget-friendly. Last year, I decided to concentrate on finishing a sweater for myself (I rarely make things for myself, so I considered it a real treat) and forgo hand-making gifts.

This year, I decided to go with a hybrid model. I’m concentrating on small, relatively quick projects that used up my stash yarns for my friends and family, and I’m combining them with gift certificates to their favorite stores. I’ve already made a whole bunch, and I’m hoping to get a couple more done before Christmas.

What projects did I decide on? I picked free patterns from our website and, or I improvised designs. They are…

…clockwise, from the top right:

What else am I planning on making this season? I’m currently working on a hat in LB Collection Baby Alpaca, then I hope to make the Cottage Wrist Warmers in the same yarn for my mom, and I’m also planning on making a cowl made with Superwash Merino Cashmere and Vanna’s Glamour.

I like that all of these projects are relatively quick, with patterns that are easy to memorize, perfect for last-minute crafting on the go!

What projects are you making for this holiday season? When do you usually start yarncrafting for the holidays? Do you usually make or buy your presents? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

Angora Tam Round-Up

December 5th, 2010

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Looking for a fast and easy crochet gift? The most popular project around the office right now is the Angora Tam! The open stitches crochet up super quickly, and the project only costs $8 using the suggested LB Collection Angora Merino! Here are some of our Angora Tams:

My tam is in Parchment LB Collection Angora Merino. I used a size J-10 hook to make mine a little floppier.

Vanessa used Avocado LB Collection Angora Merino.

Claire’s hat is in Pewter LB Collection Angora Merino.

Kendra used the same color as Claire.

Lindsey made the tam into a beanie by using a smaller hook and LB Collection Baby Alpaca in Silver Grey Heather.

Claire’s second tam is very colorful in Glacier Bay Amazing.

What’s your favorite fast project for gifts? Let us know in the comments!

Our Most Popular Toys and Gifts for Babies

December 1st, 2010

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With over 500 free baby gift patterns to choose from, it’s hard to decide.  We’ve culled through them to give you a selection of some of the favorite, most highly rated patterns.  Whether you are making something for a newborn or toddler, we hope this carefully selected group of patterns inspires you to knit or crochet a gift we know that everyone will love.

Here are some of the comments from people who rated this pattern:

“just LOVE this pattern! It was so quick and simple! Everyone in my family think it is so cute!”

“This is the perfect gift to make for a baby shower, especially if you don’t have time to do a bigger project. Change up the colors for variety. Match the baby’s room if you know it.”

Make a caterpillar family for your baby.  Babies love the bright colors of Vanna’s Choice Baby, and the texture created by the rings is fun to hold on to and play with.  Everyone who rated this gave it 5 starts.

These colorful, soft blocks are so fast and easy to crochet.  Pick colors to match the baby’s room.  One reviewer of the pattern stitched letters on them and taught her baby the alphabet.

People tell us this is a great shower gift when you have to make something last minute and want to give a present that will “wow” everyone at the party.  Several people shared their photos of this adorable stacking toy.

There is magic in this little giraffe.  The many different lengths of protruding pieces are perfect for babies to latch on to.  Don’t be surprised if this is the toy that the little one in your life decides to take everywhere.

Toys are us!  With a wide selection of animals to choose from, many people often choose this cheerful parrot.  If you want to create a jungle themed menagerie, add a lion and monkey.

This is the most popular baby pattern right now.  The combination of an easy pattern, with beautiful, self-striping Amazing yarn, makes it an impressive looking gift.

Who could resist this easy crochet baby poncho, in the feminine shades that make up the Homespun color of Coral?  Nine people rated it 4.7 out of 5 stars!

Choosy mothers choose this Cascading Colors Afghan made with Jiffy yarn.  The way the colors blend make this beginner pattern look like a designer original.

Make an afghan and hat  in this unisex color combination for about $16.00.  Designed with Wool-Ease, it’s both warm and washable.

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