Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for March, 2011


Gestrickt Planeten! (Knitted Planets!) Mochimochi Worlds in Berlin

March 29th, 2011

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If you’re going to be in Berlin from April 6 to 10, stop by the Pictoplasma Festival–an annual celebration contemporary character culture–to see a whole solar system made in yarn!

Our friend Anna Hrachovec, the amazing knitter behind the popular blog Mochimochi Land and the book Knitting Mochimochi, will have a new installation called “Mochimochi Worlds” held at the Smallspace gallery. Learn more about the project on her blog.

The adorable planet bodies include a snowman and a big yarn-ball sun, in addition to the bear planet above, and are all made with Hometown USA and Wool-Ease Thick & Quick.

We wish Anna a great show, and we hope that if you’re in the Berlin area, you’ll check it out!


FAQ: Selling Items Made with LB Patterns

March 28th, 2011

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Many people have asked us if they can sell items made with our patterns. The short answer is most of the time. You have permission to sell any finished item you make using a Lion Brand copyrighted pattern. So, for example, you could crochet and sell a completed Fast and Easy Cowl.

When you sell an item from one of our patterns, there are two rules. First, you cannot sell or give away our patterns; if you want to share our patterns with others, you should either use the “Email” function on our patterns or direct your friends to LionBrand.com. Second, you cannot reproduce our photographs, as they are copyrighted. Remember, your own photography will be the most accurate depiction of what you’re selling; after all, your customer is buying your handmade goods, not ours!

While the vast majority of patterns on our site are owned by Lion Brand, select patterns are sampled with permission from books, designers, etc. If the caption under the photo of the pattern indicates that the pattern is reproduced with permission, please contact the original copyright holder to find out their policies. Click here to view some of the patterns that are reproduced with permission. We also carry a selection of physical patterns from other designers; again, please respect their copyright and policies.

Of course, if you have a question, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Click here to get in touch with your questions.


Round-Up: Knit & Crochet Toy Food

March 24th, 2011

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When I was a child, one of my favorite games to play was “kitchen.” I loved creating food to serve my brother and my dolls, a love that’s translated into a passion for cooking as an adult.

For creative crocheters and knitters, making your own toy food for your kids (or maybe even your pets) can be a fun way to use yarn scraps. Here are a few patterns from LionBrand.com that you might want to check out:

(Click on the photos to see the full patterns.)


This jumbo burger is a mouthwatering crochet project.


Not the burger type? Try this sandwich with knit and crochet elements.


Pair your sandwich with a drink!


These cupcakes make a great little dessert.

Finally, if you’re looking for something special for that feline friend, perhaps these little guys will do the trick:


Fill these sardines with a little catnip to make it kitty’s favorite toy.

Have you created your own knit, crochet, or crafted food? Leave a comment and share your tips and suggestions!

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Loom-Inspired Chair

March 22nd, 2011

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Last week, Zontee shared yarn-covered chairs.  The chair above isn’t just covered with yarn, but it’s actually made with yarn!  Asa Karner of Alvi Designs recently unveiled this awesome loom-inspired chair in Stockholm.  The futuristic design celebrates Sweden’s crafty-past with silk threaded through its oak base.

(via Inhabitat)


How to Help Japan

March 21st, 2011

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In response to the devastating tsunami and earthquake in Japan, many crafters have asked us how they can help. As crocheters and knitters, it is our natural inclination to want to donate handmade goods. However, I want to encourage you not to try to donate your goods directly to Japan at this time. As pointed out by this article, the country’s infrastructure has been severely damaged, making it virtually impossible to ship donations and have them distributed.

The most important way you can help right now is through monetary donations. If you still want to support relief efforts with crafting, consider raffling or selling your goods and donating the proceeds. There are so many fantastic organizations currently accepting donations. Here are just a few of them:

  • The American Red Cross is assisting the Japanese Red Cross Society. Click here to donate to the cause on their website, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10.
  • Save the Children is operating the first child-friendly space in an evacuation center. You can support their efforts by donating here.
  • AmeriCares is working to provide life-saving medical care and supplies to the region. You can submit your donation here.

In addition, the group Handmade for Japan will be auctioning handmade goods on eBay from March 24th-27th. Started by Japanese-American ceramic artist Ayumi Horie, the auction will donate 100% of proceeds to Global Giving. You can check out the auction here on March 24th, and you can view more details about the project here.


Round-Up: Whimsical Yarn-Covered Chairs!

March 18th, 2011

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Last month, I was reading Craft‘s blog, and I saw this blog post by our friend Becky Stern that included an amazing  aran chair sweater. Whimsical and just generally delightful, I love the idea of a cozy knitted chair! It may not be a project for everyone, but it’s certainly inspiring to see the amazing techniques that can be used to make these cool covers.

The blog post also reminded me that yarn-covered chairs come in many flavors. Here are two of our chairs from Maker Faire San Mateo 2009 (photos by Craft’s editor Natalie Zee Drieu):

Maker Faire 2009

In addition to Maker Faire, you may recognize the Fair Isle/pom-pom chair from such shows as CHA Winter 2009, TNNA Summer 2010, and Vogue Knitting Live Winter 2011. It’s quite well-traveled!

Maker Faire 2009

This i-cord chair, I’ve nicknamed the “muppet chair” because that’s what it reminds me of.

In addition to these chairs, there is also a cool blog dedicated to the world of knitted chairs. Click here to check out “The Knitted Chairs” blog.

What unconventional uses of yarn have you spotted out in the world? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Selecting the Perfect Sweater Size

March 17th, 2011

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When crocheting or knitting, it can be difficult to select the right sweater size. Here are a few tips to help you make the perfect sweater.

Boyfriend Cardigan1. Accurately measure yourself. This tutorial from our friends at BurdaStyle shows you how to measure yourself. Remember not to pull too hard on the measure tape, as this will make your measurements too small.

2. Judge the ease of the sweater. Ease is essentially the fit of the sweater. If you’re making a fitted garment, you’ll want to select the sweater size that matches your exact measurements (zero ease) or has slightly smaller measurements (negative ease). Remember that garments with negative ease will hug your body. To make a looser garment, select measurements that are a few inches larger than your own. The style of the sweater will often dictate the amount of ease that you’ll want. For example, our Midnight Glamour Pullover is meant to be worn with negative ease, so you would select a bust size that is smaller than your actual measurements; our Boyfriend Cardigan is an oversized style, so you would select a larger bust size.

3. Think of how you’ll wear the sweater. If you’re going to wear many layers under your sweater, consider going up a size to accommodate your layering.

4. When in doubt, measure your favorite sweater. Since you already know how that sweater fits you, you can easily use those measurements to select your sweater size. Make sure that it’s a similar style to your pattern, as you wouldn’t want to measure an oversized sweater to select a fitted sweater size!

Now I’ll use these tips in an example. Let’s say that someone with a 40″ bust wanted to knit the Boyfriend Cardigan (pictured above; click the image to view the pattern). If she knit the small size because it matches her bust size, then she would end up with a very fitted cardigan. To match this sweater’s oversized look, she should knit at least the size medium (44″).

Do you have any great tips for selecting a pattern size? Share them in the comments!


Q&A with 2010 Vanna’s Choice Contest Winner

March 16th, 2011

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Andrea Larson, the winner of the 2010 Vanna’s Choice Contest got to meet Vanna White last week!  We caught up with her and asked a few questions.

What kind of yarncrafter are you? What are your favorite types of projects?
I have tried out almost all yarn crafts out there, but my favorite is knitting.  I usually have several projects on the go at any one time and usually have something small like socks or mittens in my purse for waiting in lines or at my kids’ gymnastics lessons.  My favorite projects are baby hats and sweaters.  They knit up so fast and are adorable.

What inspired you to make your winning entry for the Vanna’s Choice Contest?
I love entering contests and challenging myself so a knitting contest sounded like fun.  I wanted to make something that was totally different and that my kids could play with afterward, so I decided that a play-mat village would be a neat way to use all my yarn crafting skills in one project.

What was it like meeting Vanna White in person?
I was really exciting and kind of surreal.  It didn’t feel real until I was actually there at the Wheel of Fortune set meeting her in her dressing room.  She is so friendly and nice, I just wish I could have spent more time getting to know her.

What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on a few things.  I have a double nine-patch quilt, a silk shawl, a pair of children’s socks and a sweater on the needles at the moment and I just finished a knitted anatomical model of the heart that I made for an art contest at school (it came in second).

Check out Andrea’s winning contest entry here.


Saturday Morning Hoodie Knit-Along: YOUR Projects!

March 11th, 2011

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Thanks so much for joining us during our Winter 2011 Knit-Along! It’s been so great working with everyone on your projects, and we’re excited to see the photos that are appearing in our Ravelry group, our Flickr group, and on the LionBrand.com Customer Gallery! Here are just a few of YOUR versions of the Saturday Morning Hoodie:

On Ravelry, Anne stuck to the recommended Wool-Ease Chunky (but in the color Nantucket), creating this great toggle-less version:

Barbbbacca on Flickr made this Homespun version with buttons instead of toggles:

sat morning hoodie

Susan K. posted her finished hoodie, made with Tweed Stripes, in the Customer Gallery:

Once again, if you’ve finished your hoodie, we’d love to see photos! Be sure to post them in one of the places listed above. If you’re still knitting away, don’t worry — all of our blog posts will be archived under the “Knit-Along” heading, found under the “Categories” in the left-hand bar of the Lion Brand Notebook. Good luck as you finish this sweater, and we hope you’ll keep commenting and keep sharing photos!


Fun & Fashion at Stitches West

March 8th, 2011

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A few weeks ago, Lindsey, Kendra, and I attended Stitches West, one of the four fantastic Stitches yarn conventions that happen around the country*. It was my second time at the Santa Clara, CA show, and we had a blast!

Of course the great gang from XRX/Knitter’s Magazine was there, as well as the awesome crew from Ravelry, along with many of our great designer friends. Over at the booth, I interviewed designers Lily Chin, Edie Eckman, and Candice Eisner Strick–a sort of “live and in person” version of what I do twice a month on our podcast, YarnCraft–in addition to meeting hundreds of Lion Brand fans who came to check out the latest in yarns and designs. A couple of Lion Brand even lovers brought their projects to show off! Here are photos of one woman’s cowl made in Amazing:

For a similar cowl pattern on LionBrand.com, click here.

In the big fashion show, we had several garments made in our LB Collection yarns–these are luxe yarns available only on LionBrand.com, through our catalog, and in our NYC store–including the Sunset Raglan Tee, Lace Crochet Bolero, and the Chevron Tank Tunic. You can see photos of the bolero in the show from XRX/Knitter’s Magazine here and here.

Another highlight of the show was hanging out with Heatherly (that’s designer YarnYenta, for you sock lovers)and her daughters. (Often, in the yarn community, you only run into your yarn-crafting friends a few times a year at these sorts of shows!). Here is teenage Tirzah in the cropped cardigan she knit in Vanna’s Choice!

As always, we love seeing you live and in person, and of course, we love seeing your projects! Keep an eye on the blog for announcements of other shows we’re going to be attending this year!

*If someone asks you what a yarn convention is like, just tell them it’s like “Comic Con” (the hugely popular comic/gaming/sci-fi convention) but for people who love yarn. Both have a lot of people who dress up specially for the occasion, geek out on “celebrities” that are only really famous in that circle, and tons of cool booths to check out. I find this explanation works particularly well on guys.

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