Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for April, 2012


Making a Patchwork Baby Blanket for Liz’s Baby Shower

April 11th, 2012

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One of the best things about working at Lion Brand is the great people that you get to work with. When I first started here, one of the first people I became friends with was Liz, who works on yarn development. When we decided to launch the Lion Brand podcast–YarnCraft–back in 2007, Liz was definitely a go-to person for interesting yarncrafting facts and stories to share. Eventually, she and I began co-hosting the show. We’ve done over 100 episodes, sharing pattern recommendations, techniques, stories, interviews with influential yarncrafters, and in doing so, we’ve also found ourselves with a lot of amazing listeners who share their comments and stories with us, some of whom have been with us for years.

Because of my friendship with Liz, I knew that when the company was recently planning her baby shower (for her first baby!), I wanted to do something special for her. I also knew that it would be wonderful to get not only my coworkers involved, but also our wonderful YarnCraft listeners.

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Be a Part of “A Memorable Yarn”

April 10th, 2012

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Brenda Dayne is a knitter and a storyteller who knows the power of stitch memory. She is the host of the wildly popular knitting podcast, Cast On and has been telling stories through her knitting for years.

I first fell in love with her podcast in the summer of 2006.  It was my last free summer before leaving for the Jersey Boys tour.  I used to be a Stage Manager, but my real passion was knitting.  Listening to Brenda talking about following her passion was a big part of my quitting my 22 year career in theatre to pursue knitting full time, and two years later, joining Lion Brand to open the Lion Brand Yarn Studio (our retail store & education center in New York City).

Now I’m sooo excited that Brenda is launching her North American tour at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio on May 3rd.   Brenda will be collecting yarncrafter’s memories as part of her art piece called “A Memorable Yarn.”  The finished piece will exhibit at the Wool Museum in Wales through the summer of 2012.  This is where you all come in. 

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5 Tips for Photographing Your Projects

April 9th, 2012

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So you’ve spent hours working on an incredible project, and it’s finally finished. What’s the next step? Take a picture to document the items (and maybe to show off on Facebook or Ravelry). You don’t need an expensive camera or photography classes to take great photos! These 5 tips are quick and easy to execute, so you’ll be taking great photos in no time!

1. Turn off the flash! Use natural light instead. Flash tends to flatten an image, which can make it difficult to see your beautiful stitches. Natural light will make your photos look more true-to-life, so try to photograph during daylight hours. Avoid the direct, harsh midday sun, though — this will wash out your image, just like the flash does. In the picture below, you can see that the photo taken with flash made the colors appear harsher. The image is also flatter and sharper, making the yarn appear shiny (which it is not in real life). The natural light photo shows both the colors and textures much more accurately.

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Custom Raglan Cardi Knit-Along: A Round-Up of 6 of YOUR Projects

April 6th, 2012

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We’ve had such a great time knitting with you guys during our most recent knit-along. It’s been wonderful to see how you’ve customized your projects! From selecting different yarns to adding stitch patterns and length, each cardi has turned out unique and wonderful.

Here are just a few of the projects that you’ve shared on our website and on Ravelry:

Taking a cue from the raglan eyelet, misscreek added a the same lace detail along the fronts of her cardi in Cotton-Ease.  SheilaAnn also used Cotton-Ease in Cherry to make her stylish cardi.

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How to Make Your Own Easy, No-Mess Easter Basket Grass

April 5th, 2012

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Easter-Basket-HeaderMaking Easter basket grass yourself is a great idea; it’s a simple, fun activity you can do with kids, and helps get everyone into the holiday spirit with egg-hunt anticipation.

Making your own out of yarn secured inside the basket also means you’ll have a lush, great-looking basket and no more plastic grass all over your house or yard. This easy tutorial will show you how to create a festive Easter basket in any color.

What you’ll need:

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Michelle Edwards Shares Tips to Help You Get The Most Out of Your Project

April 4th, 2012

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In a recent essay in our newsletter, The Weekly Stitch,  Michelle Edwards, author of A Knitter’s Home Companion, discusses project sustainability. Michelle writes,

“Sustainability is about working a project from the first to last stitch, sewing it up, and weaving in loose ends. Blocking it, if needed.”

Her essay discusses the importance of managing your projects, and considering the different factors that help you decide what the purpose of your project is (who is it for, time allotment, yarn needed, etc).

For example, when you see that luxurious, super soft, richly colored skein of yarn, ask yourself: Do you just have to have it? Can it work into a project you have in mind?

Michelle shares her tips with us to help become more efficient yarncrafters. Maybe after you read her story you’ll start tackling some of those WIPs (Work In Progess) that are laying around in storage!

Click here to read Sustainability by Michelle Edwards.

What do you do to ensure that your project is sustainable? Share some of your tips and thoughts with us int he comments.

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3 Tips for Yarn Substitution

April 3rd, 2012

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Do you ever seen an amazing pattern and think, “Wow, I love that, but I wish it were made in a different yarn”? Substituting a different yarn is an easy way to make a pattern truly unique. There are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a different yarn. Let’s use the Inishturk Sweater as an example to illustrate each of these tips.

1. Check your gauge. You’ll get the best results when you substitute a yarn with the same or similar gauge. But what if you’re browsing yarn in a store? You can’t just pull out your hooks and needles and do a gauge swatch without buying the yarn! In this case, look for a yarn within the same weight category, and then gauge swatch after your purchase. In our example, the Inishturk Sweater is knit in Fishermen’s Wool, which is a worsted weight yarn, so you could consider substitution yarns like Amazing, Vanna’s Choice, Cotton-Ease, and more. If you really want to use a yarn with a different gauge, you’ll need to do some math. Click here for a blog post all about substituting different yarn weights.

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Our 2012 Fashion Show: Emerging Designers from Around the Globe

April 1st, 2012

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Early each year, Lion Brand hosts our annual fashion show, showcasing the amazing things that can be done with yarn. For me, it was a special fashion show, not only because I got to co-host the show with our spokesperson, Vanna White, but also because of the unique designs we featured.

This year, we worked with design students and emerging designers from all over the world (from Paris, Tokyo, Helsinki, New York, San Francisco, and more) who created spectacular, one-of-a-kind pieces out of your favorite Lion Brand yarns. They explored the theme, “Yarn Is Art.”

These designers and design students truly showed just how incredible yarn creations can be, and we hope you’re as inspired by their creativity and energy as we are.

Click here to learn more about the designers and their creations.

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