Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for November, 2011

Knit Some Cozy Cables This Season

November 16th, 2011

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Cables are a great way to add accents and sophistication to a knitted project. Cabled accessories and garments are quite popular this season, just step into any clothing store and you’re bound to find inspiration for your next hand made project. Instead of buying that beautiful cabled scarf, try making your own! In the links below, you’ll see that cables can be added to practically any project for some extra texture and flair.
(Click on the pictures for free patterns.)

Cabled Cowl
Cabled Cowl
Cabled Cowl
Simple Cable Cowl

A lot of people seem to enjoy a nice chunky seed stitch or garter stitch cowl, but take your cowl to the next level by incorporating cables.  The cowl on the far left is knit in Fishermen’s Wool and the Simple Cable Cowl to the right is knit in Martha Stewart CraftsTM Roving Wool.  Both are at an intermediate skill level.

Faux Cable Scarf
Faux Cable Scarf
Grey Cabled Scarf
Grey Cabled Scarf

Cable knit scarves are definitely popular this season, and if you’re more of a beginner knitter, you can whip up a “faux” cable scarf for a holiday gift.  The Faux Cable Scarf is knit in Wool Ease Thick & Quick to help your project move even faster.  If you have a more advanced skill set, you might want to try the Grey Cabled Scarf knit in Vanna’s Choice.

Cabled Pattern Hat
Cable Pattern Hat
Lauren Cabled Hat
Lauren Hat

Skip the plain beanie/cap this winter and have some fun with cabled hats.  The Cable Pattern Hat in Martha Stewart Crafts TM/MC Merino on the far left is for a more advanced knitter, but beginners can try their hand at it as well with the Lauren Hat in Vanna’s Choice.

Cos Cob Throw
Cos Cob Throw
Erin Afghan
Erin Afghan

We all love the traditional granny square afghan, but try a more modern look for your afghans with cables.  With a complex pattern, crochet border, and tassels on the bottom, the Erin Afghan is sure to impress!

Elegance Socks
Elegance Socks
Cable Ready Bag
Cable Ready Bag

Surprise someone this holiday season with luxurious cable knit socks.  The Elegance Socks featured on the left are knit in Superwash Merino from our exclusive LB Collection, which features a rich color palette.  Who knew cables on a bag could look so good? The best thing about this Cable Ready Bag in Wool Ease Thick & Quick is that you don’t need to be an advanced knitter to create it, check out the free pattern here.


Have problems with cabling? Be sure to check out our previous instructional posts on “How to Use a Cable Needle“.  While you’re at it, learn “How to Cable Without Needles” as well.

What have your cabling experiences been so far? Are you intimidated by cables, or do you absolutely love them?

And the Winners of the Halloween Caption Contest Are…

November 15th, 2011

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This year we received hundreds of entries into the Halloween Caption Contest. After much consideration and review we are ready to announce the 5 winners! Each winner will receive a $25 credit in their name on And the winners are…

Ghouls’ night out!
– Amy H.

The perfect Halloween treats: High in fiber, low in fat!
– Whitney H.

Oh no, it’s Halloween and we haven’t knitted our costumes yet!
– Veronica C.

“Oh Count, you are such a knit-wit!” “Please Witchie, I yarn for you!”
– Debbie V.

No more Halloween candy for me, I’m stuffed.
– Brenda C.


If you’re like us and can’t get enough of these adorable amigurumi, click here to see the patterns for Wanda the Witch, Cody the Count and the Amigurumi Headstones.

5 Things Everybody Should Know About Knitting for Men

November 14th, 2011

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This is a guest post from Johnny Vasquez, knitwear designer and founder of Craftory Media which produces fiber related web shows like,, and You can find all of his work at He lives in Loveland, CO with his wife, Lacie Lynnae. For a free men’s hat pattern designed by Johnny, click here.

There is one major challenge women face when knitting something for the opposite sex; they aren’t men. And that’s okay. The problem is many of us guys have difficulty expressing what exactly it is that we like when it comes to clothing. Recently my knitwear designer friend decided she wanted to make her husband a cardigan. When she asked him what he liked about his favorite sweater his response was, “I don’t know. It fits.” So in an effort bridge the communication gap, here are 5 tips for knitting for men, from me (a guy), to you (probably not a guy). Disclaimer: These are not hard and fast rules. They are just the opinion of a male knitter. I have my own taste and preferences when it comes to color and design. These are only guidelines.

1. Keep it simple. There is a reason that most department stores have an entire floor devoted to women’s clothing and only a small section for men. We don’t need as many options. Fashions for men haven’t changed much since World War II. Simple garments may not be as challenging to knit, but they will probably be worn more often. Here are a couple great examples of simple classic pieces. Click each image for the pattern.

Men's Grey SocksEasy Tweed HatBasic Scarf

2. Men love dark colors. I like a little pop of color here and there, but black, grey, brown, and dark blue are the foundation of my wardrobe. I’ve encountered many ladies who dislike knitting with black, and you don’t often see patterns shown in that color, mostly because it doesn’t photograph well. But think how great sailors look in pea coats or Danny Zuko looks in a black leather jacket.

If you want to knit with more than just black, try heathered colors like Claret or Charcoal in Wool-Ease Thick & Quick. Earth tones like those in Fishermen’s Wool are great options, as is a green like Olive in Vanna’s Choice.

3. Variegated should be avoided. So should sparkle, halo, and art yarn. There are two exceptions to this: A dark monochromatic variegation, when used for accessories, and socks. We guys do like to express our personality through things most people can’t see, such as socks.

Try one of these simple sock patterns in Lemon Drop or Red Hots:

Basic SocksFather's Day Socks

By the way, there are no exceptions for sparkle.

4. A little pattern goes a long way. Simple stripe or argyle patterns are a great way to incorporate color into otherwise simple sweaters, scarves, or socks. Cables are a great accent on sleeves or even one or two on the front of a garment. For example, the limited use of cables on the Northshore Cardigan adds interest to the piece without being overwhelming.

5. When in doubt, ask. I said earlier that men tend to have trouble expressing why they like something. This does not mean they will be unable to guide you in the right direction. The key is to give them choices. Have them look through patterns with you to see if anything strikes their fancy. Show them a few different colors swatches so they can see what they might look like knitted up. Try on some sweaters at the department store to see how things fit best. By including him in the entire process, he’s not only more likely to love the finished product, he’ll have a better appreciation of how much work goes into it. Who knows, he might even want to learn how to do it himself!

Gregory Patrick’s (Mad Man Knitting) Knit Bear Winner!

November 14th, 2011

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Gregory Patrick Hand Knit Bear
CONGRATULATIONS to Jessica C. from Alaska on winning Gregory Patrick’s hand knit teddy bear!  You will receive the bear pictured above, knit in Fishermen’s Wool.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest, many of you shared some truly heartfelt stories, making it hard to choose a final winner.

We’re so happy that our readers felt for Gregory the way we did, your support has helped him sell numerous bears within the past couple of days, and provided Gregory with much needed positivity.  Head on over to Gregory’s blog to read about his “most amazing week” in his newest update, and don’t forget to check out his bears! (Please note that if you do not see bears, he has sold out, but you can “Request Custom Item” on the left side tab of the shop).

Decorate for Thanksgiving with Your Own Personal Style!

November 13th, 2011

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Are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner this November 24th and want to create decorations that show off your style or follow a theme? Whether you’re looking to create projects that will last a lifetime, a stylish sophisticate, or simply young at heart, we’ve got the perfect combination of yarncraft projects for you to use this Thanksgiving! (Click the pattern names or pictures to access the patterns on


Place Setting

Party Favor


To many of us, sharing tradition is what makes Thanksgiving so special. Decorate your dinner table with pieces that are sure to become family heirlooms.

Knit Fall Wreath Crochet Fall Wineglass Decorations /
Crochet Bountiful Napkin Rings
Crochet Leaf Sachet


Sophistocated shapes and an understated color palatte make these projects the perfect decor for a Thanksgiving that’s all grown up.

Crochet Felted Leaves Table Runner Crochet Felted Leaf Coasters Knit Felted Soap Cozy with Acorn


Bring the spirit of the kids’ table into your dining room! Decorate with a whimsical touch that’s sure to be a hit with guests of all ages.

Crochet Tom Turkey Crochet Harvest Bowl /
Crochet Adorable Acorn Accents
Crochet Amigurumi Happy Pumpkin