Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for January, 2011

Warming Up To Leg Warmers

January 21st, 2011

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Leg warmers, the fashion accessory made famous by Jane Fonda and her exercise program as well at Flashdancers in the 80s, have been regaining popularity.  They are appearing in Urban Outfitters, American Apparel and Uniqlo, a sure sign that a younger generation is taking to this practical and fun fashion.  We’ve got them if you want them.  Try some of these great free patterns from our library of 23 leg warming patterns.

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Announcing Our Winter 2011 Knit-Along

January 20th, 2011

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Each season we host a knit- or crochet-along, a virtual event in which yarncrafters come together here online to work on one pattern together, share their experiences, and to learn together. You don’t need anything special, and there’s no need to sign up. Simply work on your sweater and check the Lion Brand Notebook at your leisure for new posts with helpful hints and tips (which come out weekly) and share your comments and progress if you’d like!

Last week we asked you to vote for the next project, and your choice was clear: the Saturday Morning Hoodie will be our Winter 2011 Knit-Along project!

Our wonderful KAL host Heather will start with an introductory post next Thursday. In the meantime, you can start thinking about who to make this hoodie for. It comes in a variety of sizes for men and women, so you can make it for anyone in your life. Make it the warm Wool-Ease Chunky recommended, or try something different like our colorful Tweed Stripes or Homespun yarns. You can even make it in cotton-blend Baby’s First for a piece that will transition nicely into spring!

If you have a blog, add the badge below to show that you’re participating (Right click or Ctrl+click on Macs to save the image to your computer; then upload it to your blog). You can also join our Ravlery group here and our Flickr group here.

While you’re waiting for the KAL to get going, comment below. Who are you? Where are you from? Who are you making this sweater for?

FAQ: What is Superwash Wool?

January 19th, 2011

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LB Collection Superwash MerinoSuperwash wool is a wool yarn that is machine washable and, therefore, will not felt.

Each hair of wool is made up of scales. Felting occurs when these scales bind together. The superwash process prevents the scales from binding in one of two ways. Some superwash wools are given an acid bath that removes its scales. Alternatively, the yarn can be coated with a polymer or resin; this is essentially a protective coating for the yarn to prevent felting. A yarn can be treated with either or both methods to become superwash.

It’s important to remember that excessive heat (such as with a hot setting on a washing machine or dryer) can damage a superwash coating, which may lead to felting. That is why we recommend cold washing and flat drying with our superwash wools. Also, keep in mind that superwash wools tend to stretch a little more than normal. This is because the scales of the yarn cannot bind together. It’s especially important to do a proper gauge swatch with a superwash wool to see how your yarn will stretch.

A final thing worth noting is that not all washable yarns are superwash. This is because superwash is a patented process. Washable wools that are not superwash may have very different washing and drying instructions, so it’s important to always follow your yarn label’s care instructions.

Want to try some superwash wool? Check out our LB Collection Superwash Merino and Superwash Merino Cashmere. For more answers to popular questions, visit our FAQ.

Deer in Knits: Cozy Creations from Artist Rachel Denny

January 18th, 2011

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Winter always makes me think of ski lodges, roaring fires, pine trees, and knitwear. In that vein, artist Rachel Denny‘s work combines a classic ski lodge staple with yarny goodness for a look that’s unexpected, cozy, and perfect for winter decor.

Made of foam, wood, and yarn, these beautifully carved deer heads have a touch of whimsy. In addition, Rachel’s yarn-covered work extends beyond just deer, with rabbits made of angora yarn.

In the last year, we’ve seen artists decorate everything from cars and bicycles to driftwood and fences with yarn. What do you hope 2011 will bring from the world of fiber art? Leave a comment and let us know!

Via 2Modern Design Talk.

Related links:

Vote for Our Winter Knit-Along!

January 13th, 2011

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It’s time for a new knit-along! We think that January is the perfect time to start knitting a sweater, and we want YOU to help us decide on a pattern. Click on any image below to view its accompanying pattern, then click here to submit your vote by Wednesday, January 19th. Remember, you must submit your vote through SurveyMonkey for it to count!

Saturday Morning HoodieMidnight Glamour PulloverLace Inset Cardi

We’ll announce the winner on Thursday, January 20th. Heather, our friend and frequent KAL/CAL host, will once again be guiding through the project step-by-step. We’re excited to see which pattern you select!

Are you new to the knit-along experience? Check out our Guide to KALs/CALs for more information.