Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for April, 2011

Spotted: Knitting Comics

April 18th, 2011

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Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of meeting with the Long Island Knitting Guild. I always love speaking to ladies who are as passionate about yarn as I am; it creates such a wonderful rapport and allows for great questions. As I was leaving the meeting, one of the ladies presented me with three comic strips from her local paper, each of which were about knitting. [Click the photo above to enlarge.]

Not only was I excited because I collect knitting and crochet-related memorabilia, but I was also excited to see this because it reminded me of our very own Lola comic. Lola has been the most popular aspect of our Weekly Stitch newsletter for years and she’s is an important lady here in Lion Country. To check out what funny thing she is going to do next, subscribe and stay tuned for our next newsletter or you can check our new Lola comic book.

Have you spotted other knit/crochet-related comics? Tell us about them by leaving a comment!

Want me to visit your group? Groups of 50 or more in the tri-state area can contact me at regarding speaking at an event.

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Tips for Weaving for the First Time

April 15th, 2011

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After a long time contemplating weaving (and even giving a back-strap loom a few passes of the shuttle), I finally took the time to set up and get going on a Cricket Loom.  I thought I’d share a few pictures and tips from my first attempts at weaving.

1. Set up with a friend. It really helps to have an extra hand when putting the Cricket Loom together.  It was pretty simple, but I was happy to have the help.  Also, as someone who is relatively unfamiliar with weaving terms (I know they are all related to weaving, but I can never remember which word means what), it was helpful to read the directions for setting up the warp out loud and decipher it together.  Plus, it’s just more fun with a friend.

2.  Plan your project width.  Learn from my mistakes. I thought we’d start the warp all the way at the end of the heddle and just go as wide as we wanted, but this caused our warp to be off center and the weaving to get a little funky. You don’t need to know the exact length of your final project. Overestimate the length to ensure that your warp will be long enough.

3. Don’t be afraid of mistakes. Even though I made plenty of mistakes, I had a lot of fun. When we were setting up the warp, I accidentally skipped the sixth hole in the heddle. I decided I’d just skip every sixth, and I think it made for an interesting effect. We made plenty of other mistakes, but instead of getting the perfect project, I’m learning a lot about weaving and all that you can do with it.

4. Play with color and texture. I played with fun color and texture combos. I used Sock-Ease in Green Apple for the warp. I started weaving with Cotton-Ease in Golden Glow and I liked how the two colors worked up together. When the first shuttle started running low, I decided to try something else, Fishermen’s Wool in the new Birch Tweed. I loved the way it worked up! Even though it’s a neutral color, the texture and flecks of color made it exciting to work with. Working with beautiful yarns is great motivation for finishing a project.

Overall, I really enjoyed learning to weave!  The Cricket Loom was easy to understand and the directions were pretty straight forward.  It was also nice and light so I could move it around as needed. For my next project, I think I’d like to try the Boyfriend Scarf. I love the design and think I’m ready to try following a pattern.

Trying weaving? Tell us about it by leaving a comment!

How Does Spring Influence Your Crafting?

April 14th, 2011

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Spring crochetingNow that it’s finally starting to feel like spring, I feel rushed to finish one last wool sweater before the weather gets too hot. During the cooler months, I almost exclusively knit and crochet sweaters; once the temperature hits 75, I only want to make socks, hats, and other small, portable projects. However, I still use my favorite fiber, wool, in the same jewel-toned color palette all year long.

How do the changing seasons affect your yarncrafting? Do you change the types of projects you make like I do, or do you use a different fiber like cotton or bamboo during the warmer months? Are you inspired by a different color palette? Let us know in the comments!

Design Doppelgängers: Finding Inspiration in Unlikely Places

April 13th, 2011

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If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I really enjoy interesting furniture design, as well as interesting fashion design. A few weeks ago, I stopped into ABC Carpet & Home, a wonderful home furnishings department store with a great philosophy, where I spotted a very cool-looking chair. It immediately called to mind the new necklace I had sitting on my desk back at Lion Brand (and recently featured in our YarnPlay monthly newsletter; click here to subscribe).

The combination of these two things reminded me of the blog Oh Joy! and its This/That feature, showcasing a fashion and home item whose styles are reminiscent of each other. Isn’t it neat when design concepts converge?

Where do you get inspiration when you knit & crochet? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Talks from the Yarniverse: Watch Interviews at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio

April 12th, 2011

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Each month at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, we are lucky enough to have a special guest join us. We have had wonderful designers, fiber artists, authors, and teachers who come in for our free special event night. The store is closed and customers who RSVP’ed fill the audience for these great talks, presentations, and trunk shows. With all the yarn, stories, and yarncrafting, a great time is had by all.

Since not everyone can join us here in NY, we film an interview and put it up on YouTube so the whole world can join in on the fun. Here’s a playlist of interviews so far (click the left and right arrows to browse all the videos):

Planning a trip to the NYC area? Be sure to check out the Lion Brand Yarn Studio’s blog for upcoming free events! We hope you stop on by!