Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for July, 2012


Summer Cramp

July 11th, 2012

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I was a bookish kid. Not studious–schoolrooms and chalk dust made me itch–but bookish. The way other kids had teddy bears, I had books. I read them, hugged them, toted them about, hid them under my pillow, and kept them to hand while I took baths. I spent so much time raiding the stacks of our tiny local library that the children’s librarian grudgingly agreed to raise my weekly check-out limit from the customary “no-more-than-two” to “no-more-than-you-can-carry-to-the-desk-in-one-trip.”

When summer came, every adult in my orbit did his or her best to pry the books away and plant me on a soccer field, a beach, or any other sun-swept, wind-blown stretch of ground far from the nearest shelf. “School is out!” they insisted, firmly shutting the screen door behind me. “Put down that book and go run around in the fresh air!”

Now, in the third decade of my legal majority, the bookish child has become a knittish adult. The way other grown-ups have smart phones, I have knitting. I keep it handy, I fondle it on the sly, I pull it out and play with it at every opportunity.

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How to See All of Our Facebook Posts in Your Feed

July 11th, 2012

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Have you liked our Facebook page? If so, you should see all of our tutorials, questions, pictures, and conversations in your Facebook news feed. However, recent changes to the Facebook have made it so that not all of our posts may make it into your feed, even though we’re still updating our page frequently. Thankfully, there’s a super easy solution to make sure you catch all of our updates!
How to Follow Our Facebook Posts
First, visit our Facebook page. After you’ve liked the page, you’ll see a “Liked” button. Simply click that, then make sure the “Show in News Feed” option is checked. That’s all there is to it! If you use interest lists on Facebook, you can also add us to a list for easy content sorting. Now you’ll be able to see our posts directly in your feed instead of having to come to our page.


A Behind-the-Scenes Look at How Homespun Yarn is Made

July 9th, 2012

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Recently, Jack and I went to the Knit & Crochet Show, a wonderful yarn festival held by The Knitting Guild Association and Crochet Guild of America. I’m always happy when the Knit & Crochet Show is held in Manchester, New Hampshire, because it means that in addition to seeing all of my yarny friends (and experiencing the beauty of converted mill buildings like the one shown in the slideshow below), I get to take a drive out of town to visit the mill that produces our Homespun and Silky Twist yarns.

Homespun: An American-Made Yarn

Over the years, I’ve posted about our visits, and since I often get requests for a look at how this yarn is made, I’m happy to share some photos from our latest visit to New Hampshire and the mill.

Built in 1864, the mill is a facility that’s steeped in New England’s rich textile history, and we’re proud that it makes some of our most popular products. Secret tip: Look out in the coming weeks for an announcement about a brand NEW product from Lion Brand that is also made at this location.

If you want to learn more about Homespun, click here to pick up a copy of our book, The Story of Homespun. 


Part of Our Family History: A Handmade Gift From a Lion Brand Fan

July 6th, 2012

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Growing up in the Blumenthal family, I learned from an early age that gifts made with yarn are also made with care and thoughtfulness.

Being a part of Lion Brand Yarn my entire life, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing many hand-made gifts crafted with yarn and patience. Everyone knows that when they get a home-made gift, countless hours and a great deal of care went into making it. I’ve always felt very honored and lucky to receive gifts given with so much thought.

I like to keep gifts like that out in the open where they can be enjoyed. The piece in this picture hangs in my office at Lion Brand Yarn’s New Jersey headquarters. It was made for my father by my second grade teacher, as a thank-you present for all the yarn he’d given her over the years.
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Announcing a NEW Column in The Weekly Stitch featuring Franklin Habit

July 5th, 2012

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If you’ve ever seen a clever cartoon about a sassy sheep and her knitting, chances are that you’ve met Dolores. The man behind the sheep is writer/illustrator/knitter/teacher/photographer (the man wears many hats!), Franklin Habit.

I first met Franklin in 2011 at Vogue Knitting Live New York, and since then, I’ve had a wonderful time getting to know him and his fantastic work. That’s why I’m so pleased to announce that Franklin will be joining us once a month in The Weekly Stitch, LionBrand.com’s newsletter, with a brand new column!

Excited as I am? Then get in the mood with episode 108 of YarnCraft from earlier this year, in which I got to interview Franklin about why he loves antique patterns, how to shoot better yarn photos, and the classes he teaches. Click here to read the show notes and/or listen using the player below:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Having trouble with the audio-player? Click here instead [MP3].

About Franklin Habit

Writer, illustrator, and photographer Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008–now in its third printing) and proprietor of The Panopticon (the-panopticon.blogspot.com), one of the most popular knitting blogs on Internet.  On an average day, upwards of 2,500 readers worldwide drop in for a mix of essays, cartoons, and the continuing adventures of Dolores the Sheep.

Franklin’s other publishing experience in the fiber world includes contributions to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Cast On: A Podcast for Knitters, Twist Collective, and a regular column on historic knitting patterns for Knitty.com.

These days, Franklin knits and spins in Chicago, Illinois, sharing a small city apartment with an Ashford spinning wheel and colony of sock yarn that multiplies alarmingly whenever his back is turned.

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Happy 4th of July!

July 4th, 2012

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Happy 4th of July from Lion Brand Yarn

From all of us at Lion Brand, here’s wishing you a happy and healthy 4th of July! Since our beginnings in 1878, we’ve been an American family-owned company, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s to celebrating America with barbecuing, fun in the sun, fireworks, and yarn!

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8 Knit and Crochet Sea Creature Patterns

July 3rd, 2012

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8 Knit & Crochet Sea Creature PatternsI absolutely love the summertime, sun and swimming.  I’ll never forget my first snorkeling experience where I was able to actually swim with the fish and look at all of the beautiful, colorful life in the sea. Unfortunately, living in NYC, I don’t get to see much of the ocean life, unless I visit the aquarium.

Thankfully, there are knit and crochet sea creature patterns available so that I can bring elements of the sea home to me!  Below, you’ll find some patterns from Jessica Polka’s book, 75 Seashells, Fish, Coral & Colorful Marine Life to Knit & Crochet.  These patterns are so fun and cute, they’re perfect for creating your your own little seascape without the actual water.  I’d love to crochet the Sea Horse in a bright shade of Amazing, like Mauna Loa for a magical looking Sea Horse. There’s so much fun that can be had with these patterns, see for yourself.

Click here for Crochet Blue Starfish pattern in top left image, Click here for Bullion Coral pattern in top left image.

(Background sea image credit to Flickr user Sarah_Ackerman)

Crochet Pygmy Octopus
Crochet Sea Creature: Seahorse
Crochet Sea Horse
Crochet Sea Creature: Anglerfish
Crochet Anglerfish

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