Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for June, 2012

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

June 20th, 2012

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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


How to Russian Join Yarn in 7 Easy Steps

June 19th, 2012

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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

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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.


  • 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.


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

June 14th, 2012

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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.

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

June 13th, 2012

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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!

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