Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for August, 2011

How to Connect with a Person at Lion Brand

August 31st, 2011

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We want you to know that we are here for you to support your yarn crafting needs.  There are many ways to “talk” to someone at Lion Brand, and not only that, but depending on how you choose to connect, you can also share with other yarn crafters.

Find us on Facebook by searching for “Lion Brand Yarns”. There are a lot of great conversations going on over there.  You can read other peoples’ comments, you can comment yourself and you can ask us a question.  You’ll find about 190,000 fellow knitters and crocheters there.  Everyone can post pictures for the community to look at, and if you do, you’ll find that other community members may even comment on it.  You can participate in our polls and be the first to hear about special offers.  If you stop by, say hello to Jess, who works with our Facebook community.

Click the email link above to ask us a question about patterns, yarns, tools, and more. You’ll find it easy to reach the right person depending on what type of help you need.  You can make suggestions or pattern requests, ask about an order you placed. Did you know that we answer questions about our patterns if you get stuck? Don’t hesitate to drop us a line if there is any way we can help.  We answer these questions within a day or two during business hours, Monday through Friday.  We have a team of people who answer emails including Laura, Barbara, Carolyn, Zontee and more, because we want to take care of everyone’s needs as quickly as possible.

Comment on a blog post
Well, here you are at the blog.  We really love to hear from you when we post! Please feel free to comment on these posts. Tell us what you think or ask a question. We will comment back to you on the blog.

There aren’t as many of you on Twitter, but for those who are, we’re there and talking to anyone who talks to us! We share interesting links to yarny fun stuff and we tweet away about everything you can do with yarn.  We’re at @LionBrandYarn and Jess is there during the week, so say hello if you’re new.

We are active on Ravelry.  If you haven’t discovered Ravelry yet, you’re in for a treat. It’s a community of knitters and crocheters and there are always people to talk to, any time of day or night.  There are many fan-run Lion Brand groups where we love to hear what you have to say, like Lion Brand Lovers, Lion Brand Cafe, Vanna’s Choice Fan Club, and more. You can also find a group for our podcast, YarnCraft, and a group for our NYC store and education center, Lion Brand Yarn Studio.

Awesome Autumn Wedding Accessories

August 30th, 2011

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Will you be attending a wedding or getting married in the upcoming months? Fall is a popular wedding season, and I mean, why not? A wedding with fall color accents can be very beautiful.  I personally love to see the rich brown, gold and red hues in wedding decor.  Even a simple outside wedding with fall foliage in the background can be breathtaking.  Below you’ll find some patterns for wedding favors or decor inspirations.  Some of the pattern samples are designed in white, but take a look at these with alternative yarn colors for autumn themed creations.

Monogram Letters
Crafted with: Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton (Almond) 

Click here for pattern.

Other color suggestions in Nature’s Choice Organic
Spice, Mustard, Mocha

Lace Vase Cozy
Knit with:Sock Ease (Marshmallow)

Click here
for pattern. 

Other color suggestions in Sock Ease:
Green Apple, Circus Peanut

Wedding Favor Bags
Knit with Vanna’s Glamour (Topaz and Gold) 

Click here for pattern.

Other color suggestions in Vanna’s Glamour:
Copper, Bronze

Flower Hair Accessories
Crocheted with Vanna’s Choice Baby (Berrylicious, Goldfish,
Sweetpea, Lamb)  

Click here for pattern.

Ring Bearer’s Pillow Cover
Crocheted with Microspun (lily white)  

Click here for pattern.

Other color suggestions:
French Vanilla, Mocha

Amigurumi Bunny Topper
Crocheted with Vanna’s Choice 

Click here for pattern.

Congratulations to the couples to be wed in the remaining months of 2011! Wishing you plenty of joy and love!

Eek! I Ran Out of Yarn! (Or How to Finish a Project with a Coordinating Color)

August 29th, 2011

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Darn that Zontee. I was looking through past blogs for something to send to a customer and I happened on her blog post from last summer about upsizing the Bebop Cardi by using larger yarn. I’ve actually seen her sweater in person and it’s fabulous. I meant to make it back then, but then I sort of forgot about it as other projects took priority. But when I saw the post again, I knew I had to go ahead and chain on.

In the original blog, Zontee notes that she went up to a category 5 yarn and made the small. I’m a little larger than Zontee, so my choices were to either go all the way up to a category 6 yarn, or stick with the category 5 and make a larger size. Since I had two balls of Tweed Stripes in Caribbean handy, I went with the latter option. I did my swatch, found that the large was going to be the size for me and chained on.

The yardage from the two balls of Tweed Stripes should have been plenty, but I remembered that I’d used a bit of it for another project awhile back. Not much, though–just a few yards. That wouldn’t matter, right? (Stop laughing. You know denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.) Sure enough, I ended up about 3 rows short. Grrr. They were three short rows, too!

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I could have just bought another ball of the Tweed Stripes when I got to the office the next day–it wasn’t quite the same as when you run out of a discontinued yarn that you just can’t get more of, or can’t find a matching dye-lot or something like that. Working at a yarn company does have its privileges and sitting on top of a warehouse full of said yarn is one of them. But I wanted to be done with this thing, and I was mad! How dare my yarn betray me like that! I’d show it! Who needs the original yarn when you can just finish up with a coordinating yarn?

So that’s what I did: grabbed a partial ball of Vanna’s Choice that I’d had laying around for a long while and that also happened to coordinate perfectly with one of the colors in the Tweed Stripes. I finished off my three rows and it looked okay, but just okay. What I really needed to do to make it look as if I’d planned this all along was add more of the Vanna’s Choice in another location. It’s a bit of a cliche, but it’s true: if it occurs once, it’s a mistake; if it occurs twice or more, it’s a design feature.

What I decided to do was add a border all the way around the outside edge (meaning the open sides and the bottom, since the color was already at the top of the sweater) and then also around the sleeves. I probably could have also done just a couple of rows of dc at the bottom of the sweater, obviating the need to do the sleeve edges. One more note: Vanna’s Choice is actually a category 4 weight yarn and not a category 5. I know this, but I also know that Vanna’s Choice is at the thicker end of the category 4 spectrum, so I was pretty sure it would work okay with the same hook. It did turn out to be a little tighter in gauge than the rest of the sweater — enough so that I ended up working one fewer round than called for in the pattern. So do definitely keep in mind your gauge and what weight yarn you need to work with to obtain that gauge when you’re choosing a replacement yarn like this.  (Just in case you’re wondering about the “design” I used for the border, it’s just a simple *sc, ch3, sk next sc. rep from * all the way around the sleeves and on both side edges. The bottom edge I just worked a sc in each stitch across.)

I really love the way this one came out–it might be one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. So I guess instead of darning Zontee for leading me down this path, I should be saying, “Thanks, Zontee!”

Related links:

Baseball + Yarn = The Perfect Double Play

August 28th, 2011

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Play Ball! August is wrapping up, which means we’re heading into the home stretch of this year’s Stitch N Pitch season. If you’re not already familiar with it, Stitch N Pitch is an event organized by the National NeedleArts Association that brings yarn crafters to major league ball games. As someone passionate about both yarn and sports, there is nothing I love more than to see people yarn crafting supporting local sports.

Upcoming games in September:

Sept 10 – Chicago White Sox
Sept 13 – New York Mets
Sept 15 – Cincinnati Reds
Sept 25 – Detroit Tigers

As we get to the end of Stitch N Pitch season, I hope that those of you who have already attended your local Stitch N Pitch games had a great time, and I hope you’ll leave a comment sharing your experiences.

Stitch N Pitch in New York
My fellow New York Stitch N Pitch committee members and I have been working hard to top last year’s event, during which we set the World Record for most people crocheting in one place. This year, we’re planning–with the help of yarn crafters like you–to yarn storm (or “yarn bomb”) Citi Field. If you’re in the NYC-area, click here to learn more about how you can drop off swatches at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in Manhattan and come to our seaming party to help seam up the swatches into pieces that will decorate Citi Field! I am extremely excited for everyone to see the yarn storming that will place at Citi Field. It will truly be something to see.

So come one, come all as we cheer on the New York Mets as they battle the Washington Nationals. Again, the game is September 13 and it starts at 7:10 pm. To purchase tickets for the game, visit the Lion Brand Yarn Studio.

Related links:

Round-Up: Fall 2011 Fashion Trends

August 26th, 2011

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Without a doubt, fall is my absolute favorite fashion season. The rich colors and luxurious fabrics are just what I need to get me through the winter months — even if I can only dream about wearing them!

Just recently, I saw a breakdown of fall trends on New York Magazine’s website that appealed to the yarncrafter (as well as the fashionista!) in me. According to their fashion reviews, two of fall’s biggest trends are Victorian-style lace collars and fur coats.

Seeing these trends got my imagination going — what patterns, I wondered, could I make that would hearken back to these luxurious, heirloom styles? I checked out our Pattern Finder®, and here are my favorites among the patterns I found.

Victorian Lace:

Crochet Lace Scarf 

This scarf is made of very Victorian, thick floral lace. Use it to add interest to a turtleneck or wear it as a shawl during transitional weather.

Pale Gray Lace Cowl 

This cowl hints at the lace collar trend without looking fussy. Try tucking it under a blazer for a polished look.

Ruffle Necklace Scarf 

The possibilities are endless for this fun, feminine accessory. For a more delicate look, try using a laceweight yarn like LB 1878. For a true Victorian lace look, use a DK weight yarn like LB Collection® Superwash Merino.



Knit Segment Scarf  

Fur goes a little bit rock ‘n’ roll with this long scarf. Wear it to toughen up a casual look or to distinguish your formal look from the crowd.

Wendy Collar 

They won’t know it’s faux! This jaunty collar has the luxurious look of fur with the added plus of being animal-friendly.

Knit Vest with Fun Fur Trim 

The trim on this rugged vest uses two colors of Fun Fur® for an authentic look. The body incorporates Scattered Seed stitch for durability.

Do you like to incorporate fashion trends into your projects? Tell us in the comments!