Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for February, 2012


Welcome March In Like a Lion with Lion Amigurumi!

February 29th, 2012

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February’s almost over, so let’s welcome March as it comes “in like a lion” with these lion amigurumi friends!


Click on the lions below to see the free patterns to knit, crochet or craft them yourself (you may be asked to log into LionBrand.com).

And stay tuned, because we’re hoping that this month will “go out like a lamb.”

Wrapped Lion Knitted Lion Crocheted Lion
Wrapped Lion Knitted Lion Crocheted Lion

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How to Use the Yarn Pages on LionBrand.com

February 28th, 2012

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A few weeks ago, I shared a Customer Tip of the Week in our Weekly Stitch newsletter from Elaine B., who said:

“I only just realized that at the bottom of each yarn’s detail page on LionBrand.com, there is a section called “Patterns for this Yarn.” This is VERY helpful to someone like me who will buy a bunch of yarn when it is on sale, and then wonder what to make.”

This got me thinking that it might be useful to highlight what else you can find on a yarn’s individual page (which you can find by clicking on “Our Yarns” at the top of LionBrand.com and then click on a particular yarn).

What’s on Each Yarn Page

For each of Lion Brand’s yarn lines, the top of each of these product pages has a description of the yarn, along with all of the important details (the size of the ball, what it’s made of, its weight category (thickness), recommended hook & needle size, and its care instructions).

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Yarn Dyeing: Selecting the Right Dye for Your Fiber

February 27th, 2012

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Select the right dye for your fiberDyeing your own yarn is the perfect way to customize your yarncrafting project, but not all dyes will work on every fiber. Before you begin, it’s critical to make sure you use the correct dye to ensure that your color comes out great. Consider this your cheat sheet for which common dyes will work with which fibers.

“Pantry” dyes: This isn’t an official term, but it’s how I cluster together food-safe acid dyes like sugar-free Kool-Aid, food color, sugar-free Jell-O, and Wilton icing dyes. These dyes are easy to use, so they’re great for blossoming dyers (click here for our Kool-Aid dyeing tutorail). These dyes work on animal fibers (wool, mohair, angora, alpaca, etc.) and blends with high animal fiber content.

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5 Simple Ways to Relieve & Prevent Hand Pain

February 24th, 2012

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When your work with your hands as much as knitters and crocheters do it’s important to remember not to strain or overwork your body. 

Knitting and crochet should be hobbies that help you relax and relieve stress. There are several ways to reduce stress on your hands and body, and these simple tips will help you avoid injury and treat existing symptoms.*

5 Simple Ways
Seated Pay attention to how you are sitting. 

Sit down as though you were about to begin crafting. Is your back supported? Is there enough light to see well, and enough room to move your elbows and arms freely as you work? You may be straining your hands to try and compensate for one of these other issues. Examine the places you craft for simple fixes you can make to add light, support and space.

Remember to take breaks while you craft. 

While it can be tempting to power through a few more rows when you are tired, listen to your body and put your project on pause. Breaks should vary the motion of what you are doing; try doing small, rewarding activities during your break like taking a short walk, watering houseplants or playing with a family pet.

Massage and stretch your hands. 

This is a wonderful (and relaxing) way to rejuvenate your fingers, wrists and palms. Try different methods and go easy on yourself; only rub or stretch your hands to a point that feels comfortable. There are some great hand stretch suggestions on LiveStrong.org (click here).

Ergonomic Crochet Hook Set Choose ergonomic tools

If you’ve only ever tried straight knitting needles or metal crochet hooks, it might be time to try something new. Many knitters prefer using circular needles when possible because of the bounce-back of the cord that connects them, and crocheters are raving about this ergonomic crochet hook set that fits in the palm of your hand.

Stress Relief Gloves Wear stress relief gloves. 

Wearing these stress relief gloves allows the muscles of your hand to relax while you work. These gloves have been specially designed with crafters in mind, so they are completely fingerless and stand up to long-term use.

There are many ways to improve your crafting life and alleviate stress on your body while you work. How have you made your crafting more comfortable? Share your tips to help others in the comments section below.

*If you are experiencing recurring or intense pain, please follow the recommendations of your physician for treatment.

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Welcome to the Custom Raglan Cardi Knit-Along! Let’s Get Started!

February 23rd, 2012

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Each season we host a knit- or crochet-along, a virtual event in which yarncrafters come together here online to work on one pattern together, share their experiences, and to learn together. There’s no need to sign up; simply follow along with the blog posts at your own pace as you knit your sweater.

Hi, my name is Lauren, I work at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, the Lion Brand flagship store and education center, in New York City. In addition to working on the sales floor, I teach knitting classes, and for the next several weeks, I’m going to be your knit-along host!

For this knit-along, the project we’ll be working on together is the Simple Raglan Cardi. However, we won’t just be making the pattern as-is, as we’ve done for previous knit-alongs. Instead, I’m going to be giving you ideas on how you can use the basic pattern as a starting point for your own design! We’re going to customize this project just for you! This is particularly exciting for me, as I don’t think I’ve ever knit a sweater without making at least a couple of changes to the written pattern.

Custom Raglan Cardi Knit-Along BadgeThe first thing we’ll need to do is choose a size. You’ll notice that underneath where the pattern says “Size”, it says “Finished Chest.” This is the actual measurement of the garment, which is a much more accurate way to pick a size than just choosing based on the small, medium, large tags. After all, when shopping at clothing stores, I’m sure we’ve all been one size in one store and a completely different size in the next! If you’re not sure of your measurements, get a flexible tape measure and measure around the fullest part of the bust. You should also measure yourself wearing whatever you plan to where under your cardi as this can also affect the size that you will make.

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