Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for October, 2011


5 Trick or Treat Bags to Make for Halloween Candy

October 17th, 2011

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As the 31st of October approaches, families everywhere are getting ready for Halloween with special costumes, decorations and traditions. Whether you’ll be handing out treats this year or helping little ones collect them, here are 5 great treat bags you’ll love. And don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time to make these quick projects before the big day!

This crocheted Felted Candy Corn Bag is perfect for kids and grown ups who want to get into the holiday spirit. The lined bag makes a great felted lunch bag for the season, a bag to hand out candy or a nifty handbag for trick-or-treat chaperones.
If you’ll be home handing out treats this year, don’t be left out of the fun! Miss Spider’s Treat Basket is a great crafting project to make with kids before the holiday, and then use to hold candy for trick-or-treaters. Make several of them this year and use tiny spiders in different colors to make each one special.
Get the trick-or-treater in your life ready for the holiday with these knitted Spooktacular Candy Bags. Roomy and colorful, these bags are festive and perfect for any costume. Embroider ‘Trick or Treat’ across the front, or use another phrase you decide on together like ‘Boo!’ or  ‘Happy Halloween!’
This crocheted Pumpkin Candy Bag is a new, re-usable twist on the old fashioned plastic Jack-O-Lantern treat buckets so many of us remember from childhood.
This Felted Halloween Trick or Treat Bag is knit with a sweet jack-o-lantern smiling on the front. Show off novelty Halloween buttons by stitching them on where you attach the handles.

With treat bags like these, it’s important to remember that volume and sturdiness are two of the most important qualities. Lining, felting and keeping regular gauge in your crafting will help keep all Halloween candy safe and secure. For even more patterns for Halloween treat bags, click here to view them all on LionBrand.com.

Are you making any Halloween projects this year? Tell us in a comment below!


A Colorful Scarf for Our Lion

October 16th, 2011

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This is a guest blog post from Carolyn, our customer service supervisor, about how she decorated the little Lion statue by the entrance of our NJ offices.

Was it a kind gesture to the Lion–or was it deliberate yarn bombing?

This is the statue of the almighty prowler that greets us every morning at our Carlstadt office. One day, he found his way to us (brought to the office by Jack) and I named him “Ramon.”

It is getting chilly now, so I thought he could use a little scarfy scarf! The scarf is made with Martha Stewart Crafts Roving Wool yarn and trimmed with Fun Fur. To make it, I chained about 2 feet, single crocheted one row, double crocheted the next row, and single crocheted the last row. Then I single crocheted around the borders with Fun Fur. For the pom-pom, I just wrapped the remainder of the roving wool around four of my fingers and tied it in the middle, then trimmed. (Editor’s note: click here for a video on making and using pom-poms.)

I think he looks fabulous!!


October 14th is I Love Yarn Day

October 14th, 2011

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The Craft Yarn Council has declared October 14th “I Love Yarn Day”; I’m sure all of you wonderful crafters profess your love for yarn all of the time, but now, there is an “official” day we can all unite and do so. In celebration of this day, you are encouraged to knit/crochet in public (as if you don’t already do so!), do something for charity, wear a knit/crochet item or even teach someone how to knit or crochet. On this day, Lion Brand would like to thank all of you for your support; we love our yarn crafting community! We thought including a roundup of some Customer Gallery submissions would be very suitable for this celebration, go ahead and take a gander.

(Pattern information is only available if the customer noted pattern on their submission.)

Commemorative Police Throw
Commemorative Police Throw
Created by: Laura Hanson
Craft: Knit
Yarn: Vanna’s Choice
Weekend Retreat Cardi


Weekend Retreat Cardi

Created by: Margaret Mealia
Craft: Knit
Yarn: Vanna’s Choice
Crochet Lola Doll
Crochet Lola Doll
Created by: Sheila Sessions
Craft: Crochet
Yarn: Vanna’s Choice
School Colors ScarfSchool Colors Scarf
Created by: Bump Shannan
Craft: Knit
Yarn:Wool Ease Thick & Quick
Knitting Bag
Knitting Bag
Created by: Joan Livernois
Craft: Knit
Yarn: Amazing
2 Bears
2 Bears
Craft: Crochet
Yarn: Homespun
CowlCowl
Created by: Brenda Taulbee
Craft: Crochet
Yarn: Amazing
Whimsical OwlWhimsical Owl
Created by: Yvonne Odegard
Craft: Crochet
Yarn: Vanna’s Choice
Cable Ready BagCable Ready Bag
Created by: April Wood
Craft: Knit
Yarn: Wool Ease Thick & Quick

Have you been previously informed that today is “I Love Yarn Day?”, if so, how will you celebrate? If you didn’t know before, now you do- so go out and represent your love for yarncrafting!

(Please note, due to holiday observances, our offices and Lion Brand Yarn Studio and Lion Brand Yarn Outlet are closed today and tomorrow.)


Wisteria Shawl Collar Pullover Knit-Along: Working the Front!

October 12th, 2011

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Welcome back to the Wisteria KAL! I hope your progress has been going well and your pullovers are coming along nicely. I know I’ve been enjoying seeing the colors change in Amazing. Now that we’ve tackled the back (the largest piece by the way – congratulate yourself on completing it!) it’s time to move on to the front. As I mentioned last week, the front is worked much like the back for the first 11.5 inches, if you are following the pattern as written. Alternatively, if you have altered the size of the sweater, work the front as for the back until the length is 2.5 inches shorter than the back was to the armhole shaping. Time for neck shaping!

The initial shaping for the neck opening is achieved by binding off 18 stitches in the middle of the row, leaving an equal number of stitches on either side to continue working. However, in order to work both fronts at the same time, you will need to attach another piece of yarn to one of the sides to keep working. After the bind-off row you will work back on the wrong side with the yarn still attached, but once you reach the bind-off gap you will notice there is no yarn to work with!

gap

To remedy this, simply join a new strand of yarn by using it to purl the first stitch after the gap and continue across, just as you do to join a new ball when your yarn runs out.

gap 2

Now the fun begins – if you look ahead in your pattern, you’ll notice 2 things: one is the description of how to proceed with the neck shaping, and the other are those four little words we all should be hunting for when working a pattern: AT THE SAME TIME. What this means is that while you are keeping track of decreasing at the neck edges every 8 rows, you also need to notice when your piece measures the same as the back to the armholes (14 inches or your desired length) and simultaneously work the same armhole shaping as we worked for the back. Knowing your row gauge is also very useful at this point – I knew that I was getting 6 rows/inch and I had started my neck shaping 2.5 inches before I needed to worry about the armholes. After 12 rows past the neck bind off (about 2 inches), I measured after every row to be sure I wouldn’t miss the 14 inch length point. When I was sure I was there, I pulled out my completed back piece to measure against so I was sure they would match.

Now comes keeping track of two sets of instructions at the same time. This is why it’s nice we already did the back with just armhole shaping because you already have a sense of how to work the armholes. At this point I’m keeping notes so I know where I’m at: I make a hash mark for every row I complete so when I get to the 8th row, I do my neck decreases then start a new set of hash marks for the next row. By doing so, when I have 6 (7, 7, 8, 10) groups of marks I know my neck decreases are complete! While this is going on I am also referring to armhole shaping instructions from the back section of the pattern, which is worked over a total of 8 (12, 16, 18, 20) rows. My best advice is to make whatever notes you need to in order to keep track of what is going on so you don’t miss any of the decreases.

Once you have completed your decreases, count the number of stitches remaining on each side of the neck to make sure they match what the pattern says you should have left for binding off – 17 (18, 20, 21, 22), then do a happy dance – the shaping is over and you have the stitches you should! If for some reason your numbers don’t match, see if you can determine where the mistake was made and rip back to correct it, keeping track of how many rows you rip out so you know where you are in the pattern. Once you’re all set with the decreases, work even until the armhole depth matches that of the back (this may be quite soon after the neck decreases are completed) and bind-off both sides. Another piece done!

front

Next week we’ll move onto the sleeves and talk about blocking your pieces for seaming. Have a great week and enjoy!

Related links:


Tips & Tricks for Reversing Shaping

October 11th, 2011

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It is common practice in cardigan patterns to write out shaping for only one front and then indicate that the knitter or crocheter is to “reverse shaping” for the second front. The practice developed because in print, leaving out those instructions means that there is room for something else (like an additional pattern or a more extensive explanation of a stitch pattern or another picture of the garment) and leaves less room for error (in terms of conflicting information or directions). Some people are bothered by this , but I actually really like that it gives me a chance to see what the structure of the garment is rather than just blindly following along with the pattern. Regardless, there are really only two ways to efficiently and effectively reverse shaping, and which method is appropriate will depend on the particular pattern.

The simplest way to reverse shaping is to simply shift all the shaping a single row. So if you were originally working the shaping on the RS rows, for the other front you will work it on the WS rows. For example, “Row 1: k24, k2tog; Row 2: p across” would simply become: “Row 1: k across; Row 2: p24, p2tog”. Note that the stitches and decreases are worked in the same order using this method–all you’re doing is shifting rows. (Crocheters, this is the same for you–just substitute, for instance, “sc” instead of “k” and “p”.) You’ll end up with an extra row on one side or the other, but unless you are working at an exceptionally large gauge, this won’t make a difference once you’ve got the sweater put together.

The more complicated method involves actually reversing the rows. In the example above, you would still have “Row 1: k24, k2tog; Row 2: p across” for your first front, but then for the second front you would  work “”Row 1: k2tog, k24; Row 2: p across”. This method is most useful when you’re doing something that involves a lot of patterning, where shifting the decreases would result in a noticeable difference or in the situation noted above, when you’re working at an exceptionally large gauge. If you’re going to follow this method, I strongly recommend that you actually write out each shaping row reversed before you start working.

A couple of other things to think about: Remember that if you are working in a reversible stitch pattern, like garter or seed stitch, there is no need to actually reverse the shaping. Just make two fronts exactly the same and flip one over! Also, if you’re finding something confusing or something doesn’t seem right, take a moment to sit and think about it…often there will be a common sense, logical answer that will straighten everything out. For instance, if you’ve bound off for the armhole at one edge and now you’re finding that what should be the neck decreases are also on that edge, something has obviously gone wrong and you need to take a moment to go back and review what’s going on with your work. Usually a quick check against the original shaping instructions will get you back on track, and you’ll be well on your way to have two mirror-image fronts for your cardigan.

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