Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for August, 2011

An Invitation to Guest Bloggers

August 25th, 2011

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If you’d like to write a guest post for the Lion Brand Notebook, we’d love to hear from you.

Over the past four years the Lion Brand Notebook has been a resource for inspiration and support in the worldwide yarncrafting community.  From interviews to detailed how-to articles, the Notebook covers subjects that are interesting and helpful to crafters and aspiring crafters.

We’re looking for relevant, unique content that readers here are interested in. We would love to share your unique insights, teachings, and creativity with our community.

Interested? Submit your proposal to be a guest blogger on the Lion Brand Notebook by emailing the following details to

  • Your Name
  • Your Blog’s Name/URL
  • What topics that you are interested in writing about (remember, we stick to yarncraft-related subjects)
  • A description of why you are interested in guest blogging for the Lion Brand Notebook

We look forward to hearing from you.

Finding Lion Brand Yarns at Your Local Store

August 24th, 2011

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Many of you have written to us about not being able to find your favorite Lion Brand yarns at your local stores and have encouraged us to offer more there.  We thought we would give you a little behind-the-scenes info about how our yarns end up in your local store to help you understand what you’ll find.

Lion Brand offers over 800 different yarn colors and over 45 different types of yarns.  The major retail chains that carry yarn–Michaels, JoAnn Fabrics, AC Moore, Hobby Lobby and Walmart–as well as the smaller stores, could not possibly have room for all of our yarns in the space they have available in their yarn department.  Of course, we would love for them to offer a wider selection of Lion Brand but we don’t control what retailers offer.  As a result, you will often find a good selection of the most popular Lion Brand yarns like Vanna’s Choice®, Homespun®, and Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® in many retail outlets, but you may not see some of our cult favorites like Cotton-Ease®, Wool-Ease®, or Recycled Cotton.  But even if you find a popular yarn like Homespun®, no one store will carry nearly 60 colors.

We know that everyone has her favorite yarns and colors so if you’d like your local store to carry your favorites, don’t hesitate to ask them.  You can write on their Facebook page, if they have one, you can email their corporate office, or you can ask a store manager for the yarn and color you like.  When enough people demand the same product, it may push your local store to carry it.

If all else fails, we have every single yarn and color on our website,  Plus, we have something extra online, which is the exclusive LB Collection of fine fibers at value prices.

How to Make Bracelets with Yarn

August 23rd, 2011

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If you host a girl-scout troop, after-school club, or just the neighborhood kids, it’s always have to some great craft projects in your back pocket for a rainy day…or perhaps you’re hosting a wine & crafts night (or a bridal shower, baby shower, birthday party, etc.) for your friends and you’re looking for some group-friendly activities that are fun and light-hearted. Either way, bracelets made of yarn can be a fun project to do together.

Whether you’re just crafting (by wrapping and gluing, knotting or braiding) or you’re knitting and crocheting, has a great selection of bracelets and cuffs to check out. Here are just a couple of options, but as always, you can use the search box on to look for others.

Wrapped Bangle Bracelets Wrapped Bangle Bracelets

Recycle sections of old mailing tubes or dress up plastic bangles with sparkling yarn. Just wrap and glue the yarn! This basic craft project can be done with kids of all ages in just about any yarn.

Click here for the pattern.

Craft Blue and Green Bracelet Wrapped & Braided Blue and Green Bracelet

Wrap a foam ball in yarn to create a bauble for your braided bracelet. Glue, yarn, and a foam ball are all you need to make bracelets of all sorts.

Click here for the pattern.

Knotted Friendship Bracelet Knotted Friendship Bracelet

You may remember knotting lanyards or embroidery thread as a kid to make bracelets for all of your friends. Relive those days–or pass this easy skill onto a child in your life–with this beginner pattern.

Click here for the pattern.

Glittering Knit Bracelet Glittering Knit Bracelet

This cable-knit bracelet is a stylish project that all your friends will love. Practice your cabling skills and make them in different colors so you can share!

Click here for the pattern.

Pink Sparkle Crochet Bracelet

Pink Sparkle Crochet Bracelet

This 5-star pattern is quick & easy, even for the novice crocheter. Make multiples in different shades of sparkling Vanna’s Glamour for party favors!

Click here for the pattern.

Increasing “In Pattern”

August 22nd, 2011

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When you are increasing stitches on a patterned garment, perhaps for a sleeve or some waist shaping, you may encounter the instruction “increase in pattern” or something similar. This is so that you won’t have something like a big weird unmatching section of stockinette at the side of your sweater — if your sleeve is worked in a patterned stitch like seed stitch or a lace pattern, you want the whole thing to be in that pattern, even as it gets wider.

It can be a little confusing when you’re adding stitches to both sides. The end stitches are easy to figure out, but the beginning stitches can seem a little tricky. You really just want to work the new stitches on the next row as if they were always part of the pattern. In seed stitch, for example, your first 5 rows will look like this if you cast on three and increase 1 stitch at each end of every other row:

Row 1: kfb, p1, kfb
Row 2: p1, k1, p1, k1, p1
Row 3: kfb, p1, k1, p1, kfb
Row 4: p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1
Row 5: kfb, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, kfb

And so on. You need to be able to identify the components of your pattern to determine where those new stitches belong. In the above example, the most important thing to remember about seed stitch is that you are working every stitch the opposite of what it appears to be, so if it looks like a knit you purl it and if it looks like a purl you knit it, and they’re alternating in a 1×1 pattern. When increasing in pattern like this I generally find it’s easiest to just look for the first recognizable stitch I can and then count out what I should be at starting the row (e.g., in seed stitch if I see a knit stitch three stitches in, I know I should purl that one, so the one next closest to the tip would be a knit, and the then the first stitch will be a purl). When you get to the end, you’ll just continue in pattern alternating knit and purl and that will work those new end stitches in correctly.

This strategy can be used with pretty much any stitch pattern, no matter how complicated: identify a stitch that you know where it falls in the pattern, then work backwards from there to determine which stitch you’re starting with. You may have to fudge occasionally…let’s say your pattern is something like k3, k2tog, yo, p2. If you’re increasing in single stitches, at some point the “correct” stitch to begin with will be either half of the k2tog or the yo–neither of which is really feasible. When that happens, just knit (or purl if it looks better) the edge stitch and begin using that stitch in pattern again on the next row.

Increasing in pattern doesn’t have to be tough–just take it slow and remember that your goal is to maintain the overall patterning as you work across.

Related links:

Crafting with Kids Before School

August 18th, 2011

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The days are nearing where the kids will be off to school and you worry less about what daytime activities will keep them occupied.  BUT, before you get ready to send them back to school, why don’t you cherish this time left and craft some projects together (or tell the kids to create some of these easy crafts to show you when you get home).  No needles or hooks required!

Paper Box Vases
Add some yarn flair to your containers with this simple craft great for pen/pencil holders, flower vases and more.

Crafted with Homespun.
Skill Level: Beginner

Click here for free pattern.

Blue Bayou Tassle Necklace
Stylish teens and younger children can have fun crafting this unique necklace. There are so many different color combinations to be made!

Crafted with Fun Yarn.
Skill Level: Easy

Click here for free pattern download.

Pom-Pom Caterpillar
Playing with caterpillars can be fun when they’re made out of yarn! Sew your pom-poms together to make this little critter.  It’s a great toy for a child, baby, and even a pet.

Crafted with Fun Yarn.
Skill Level: Beginner

Click here for free pattern.

Wrapped Bangle Bracelets
Make a few of these bracelets in different sizes and layer them for a night out.  These can make a great accessory for a simple outfit; try a different look with some sparkle from Vanna’s Glamour.

Crafted with Vanna’s Choice.
Skill Level: Beginner

Click here for free pattern.

Star Street Necklace and Bracelets
Have the kids craft their own jewelry set that you don’t have to worry about them losing or needing repair!

Crafted with Homespun.
Skill Level: Beginner

Click here for free pattern.

Check out some more crafting ideas from Lion Brand Yarn here! If you decide to craft any of these projects, we strongly encourage you to review our patterns.  Don’t forget, you can always post final projects to our customer gallery.  Happy Crafting!