Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame

Archive for June, 2012


Are You Participating in the Ravellenic Games?

June 28th, 2012

Pin It

Ravellenic GamesThe London Olympics are less than one month away! If you’re a member of Ravelry, you know what that means: The Ravellenic Games! Formerly known as the Ravelympics, this event brings together yarncrafters from around the globe as complete yarncrafting projects during the duration of the Olympics. Each participant selects a team (think of it as your country) and participates in special yarn-related events, including Sock Put, Sweater Triathalon, Synchronized Stash Busting, and more. There are just two rules: challenge yourself and finish the project during the Olympics (July 27th – August 12th)! For more information, be sure to visit the Ravellenic Games Ravelry board.

In the meantime, we want to help you prepare! Get 15% off your LionBrand.com purchase of supplies for the Ravellenic Games; just enter code rav2012 at checkout! This coupon is good for US orders now through 11:59pm EDT on Friday, July 6th, so you’ll be able to receive your supplies in time for the mass cast-on during the Olympic opening ceremony. Still looking for a group to join for the Ravellenic Games? I kindly suggest our friends at the Vanna’s Choice Fan Club.

So, what are your plans for the Ravellenic Games? Do you have a project in mind? Share your ideas in the comments!


6 Easy-to-Make DIY Hair Ties

June 27th, 2012

Pin It

Hair Ties for Any Occasion!Making your own hair ties is a great way to get creative with your favorite yarns, colors and textures. It’s a wonderful way to try out new yarns, or to use up scraps. Your finished decorated hair ties make excellent gifts for girls sports teams, clubs, girl scout troops, or you can make them as party favors (and don’t forget to make a few for yourself while you’re at it)!

First, check out these step-by-step instructions with pictures we wrote on how to create your own crocheted hair tie. In this post, I’ll show you how to expand on those basic instructions to create a variety of looks by using different textures, colors and techniques.

Here are some inventive variations you can crochet to make your hair ties (or those you are make for others) extra special!

The Sparkling, Fluffy Hair Tie


Technique: Add a second yarn in a new texture for a stunning visual impact
Yarn Used: Vanna’s Choice and Martha Stewart Crafts Glitter Eyelash

Get this look by using a straight yarn like Vanna’s Choice for the first round in double crochet, and used a strand of Martha Stewart Crafts Glitter Eyelash to create a border! Once you’ve completed the first round, join the second yarn and make one single crochet stitch loosely into each stitch and chain-1 space. If you find your stitches are tighter than you’d like, single crochet into each stitch but chain one stitch in between, to add more give to the finished project.
(more…)


D.I.Y No-Knit, No-Crochet Yarn Crafts for July 4th

June 26th, 2012

Pin It

July 4th is a great time of celebration where we recognize the Independence of the United States from Great Britain in 1776.  Now, we’ve all come to appreciate this holiday as a great day to turn on the grill, hit the picnic tables, and spend quality time with loved ones. And who can forget the fireworks!

Since there are so many BBQs and parties happening this day, I thought it’d be fun to share some easy projects for festive red, white, and blue decor to add to your celebration. Wow your guests with DIY yarn craft projects that requires no crochet hooks or knitting needles.  Get the family involved as well, this is a great project for the kids who will be out of school!

(more…)


How Much Yarn Do I Need?

June 25th, 2012

Pin It

How Much Yarn Do I Need?That’s one of the most popular questions on the Lion Brand FAQ section. Maybe you don’t have a pattern with you when you shop or you want to design your own creation. Having a general idea of the amount of yarn you will need for a project can be helpful in the planning phase before you get started.

Click here to see an approximate yardage for a variety of projects from afghans to scarves and get an idea how much yarn each project takes in some of our most popular yarns.

Did you know that we offer so much more than patterns and products on our site?  We’ve developed a wide range of information that is designed to help expand your yarn crafting horizons.  From a helpful list of pattern abbreviations to a virtual encyclopedia of stitch patterns, you’ll find a wealth of useful facts, images, and instructions that help you grow your skills and hopefully bring you more enjoyment when you pick up your hooks and needles.

If there anything we don’t have that you’re looking for, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Related links:


Glittery Shrug Crochet-Along: Seaming and Finishing Touches

June 21st, 2012

Pin It

Glittery Shrug Crochet-Along BadgeHello everyone! For those who are following along live, this week we’re done! Please post pictures as you finish your project!

Seaming

After your blocking is completed, the final step is seaming the two halves together. With crochet, seaming is very easy because you can simply crochet the two pieces together! You will first be seaming the two longer edges of the upper and lower halves. When you crochet, you will be holding the pieces with the right sides together. I laid them flat in the picture so that it is easy to see where to insert the crochet hook.
(more…)


15 Must-Read Blog Posts for Beginner Knitters & Crocheters (or What You Need to Know When Starting Out)

June 20th, 2012

Pin It

If you’re beginning to knit or crochet, you may have noticed that there are a TON of resources online that help you along your way. BUT sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what you need to know (or what you should be asking questions about).

Here are some of our most useful blog posts for beginners, organized by topic. Read through each of them and you’ll have a better sense of the basic skills that you’ll need for every project!

Just the Basics

(more…)


How to Russian Join Yarn in 7 Easy Steps

June 19th, 2012

Pin It

Hate weaving in ends? The Russian join is an excellent technique for attaching a new skein of yarn or for changing colors. Best of all, it creates a secure join, so you can keep crocheting or knitting without worrying about yarn ends! Here are instructions on how to complete the Russian join in 7 easy steps. I’ve used 2 different colors of yarn, but this is a great technique for attaching a new skein of the same color yarn, too!
How to Russian Join Yarn in 7 Easy Steps
1. Thread a blunt needle with one end of yarn.
2. Work the needle through the plies of your yarn for a few inches. Don’t worry if this looks bunched up now.
3. Pull your working yarn through, leaving a small loop at the end. This is where the second piece of yarn will be attached.
4. Thread your needle with the second piece of yarn, then insert the needle into the small loop you created before.
5. Pull a few inches of yarn through the small loop.
6. Like you did before, work the needle through the plies of your second piece of yarn.
7. Give each strand a little tug to smooth out the bunching. You now have a secure join! Trim off any excess ends.

That’s all there is to it! Depending on your yarn, you may notice that this joined area is slightly thicker than the rest of your yarn. I find this isn’t very noticeable when I’ve worked my projects, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

Related links:


Dress Up a Hair Tie: Make a DIY No-Sew Scrunchy

June 18th, 2012

Pin It

Create your own designer hair ties with this quick and easy method for turning any hair elastic (or plain old rubber band if you’re daring) into a fabulous scrunchy! Scrunchies make great party favors, gifts for girls’ sports teams or fun accessories for any occasion. Cute scrunchies are useful and always add a note of celebration – even for grown ups! Adding a scrunchy to a bridal shower goodie bag, making them for bride’s maids or crocheting enough for a spa day or girl’s night are all clever ways to give handmade scrunchies as gifts.

Materials:

  • Hair elastic/rubber band. Any elastic that works well in your hair will work well for this project.
  • Crochet hook. Try using a hook slightly larger than you usually would with the yarn of your choice. You want volume in this project with  looser stitches.
  • Yarn of choice. I’ll be demonstrating how to create these stitches with a strand of Vanna’s Choice so you can easily see the stitches. But scrunchies like these are extra special in novelty yarns like Vanna’s Glamour, Fun Fur or Martha Stewart Crafts Glitter Eyelash.

(more…)


Glittery Shrug Crochet-Along: Front/Back Post Stitches and Blocking

June 14th, 2012

Pin It

Crochet-AlongHello everyone! I hope everyone’s projects are still going well. The good news is that we’re coming close to finishing our shrugs, and after next week we’ll be done and able to wear them! At this point, we have finished the upper and lower half and completed the finishing border on the lower half. This week I am going go over the beginning of the finishing of your Glittery Shrug, which is the upper half border and the blocking. The border on the upper half uses the same front and back post double crochet stitch that the cuffs use. After doing the upper half border, you will be completely prepared to do the sleeve cuffs next week!

Front/Back Post Stitches

The upper half border starts with one plain row of single crochet and then one row of double crochet. The pattern calls for two single crochet stitches in each of the mesh stitches. This means you will be working two single crochet stitches into each chain space along the edge of the upper half. When you get row 3 of the edging, the special stitches are abbreviated as BPDC for the back post double crochet, the first of the two stitches that you will be working, and FPDC for the front post double crochet, the second of the two stitches. The difference between a standard stitch and a post stitch is that in a regular stitch, you are working horizontally, inserting your needle underneath a little “v” along the surface to create your stitch. With a post stitch you are working the around the base of the stitch from the previous row instead of in the top of this stitch. This is quite easy with the double crochet, as it is a taller stitch, and easy to work around the post.
(more…)


Let’s Celebrate World Wide Knit and Crochet in Public Day!

June 13th, 2012

Pin It

World Wide Knit in Public DayIt’s that time of year again: World Wide Knit (and Crochet!) in Public Day is upon us! I love this unofficial holiday because it encourages crafters to come together and celebrate their amazing skills. Now through Sunday, people are gathering all over the globe to show off their yarncrafting skills in public. If you’re in the New York area, you might see some familiar faces at Saturday’s event at the Brooklyn Public Library!

Are you interested in finding a gathering near you? Click here to search the official WWKiP Day website. If there’s no meet up scheduled in your area, you can still celebrate! Simply take your yarn, hooks, and needles to your local coffee shop, park, restaurant, or other public space and start crafting. Make today and every day your own personal WWKiP Day!

Are you celebrating WWKiP Day this year? Where do you plan to crochet or knit in public? Let us know in the comments!

Image courtesy of wwkipday.com.