Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for March, 2011

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 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, click here.

In the big fashion show, we had several garments made in our LB Collection yarns–these are luxe yarns available only on, 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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