Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for July, 2012


How to Do a Felted Join on Yarn Ends

July 19th, 2012

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Let’s face it: weaving in ends is not nearly as fun as crocheting or knitting. My favorite way to avoid weaving in ends is the felted join. Also affectionately dubbed the spit splice, this method is the perfect way to add join a new skein to your work. Keep in mind that this will only work on feltable fibers like non-superwash wool, alpaca, mohair, and so on. Here are step-by-step instructions on this fast and easy technique. I used 2 different colors so that you can better see the technique, but this works brilliantly for attaching the same color yarn practically invisibly.
Felted Join Tutorial
Step 1: Carefully untwist your yarn for a few inches and separate the half of the plies. This Fishermen’s Wool has 4 total plies, so I’ve divided my yarn into 2 sets of 2 plies each. 2-ply yarn would be separated into 2 sets of 1 ply each, 6-ply yarn would be 2 sets of 3 plies each, and so on.
Step 2: Take one set of your plies. A few inches down (4-5 inches, just to be safe), break these plies. Now you’ll have a set of longer plies and a set of shorter plies.
Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 on the yarn you’ll be joining.
Step 4: Lay the long sets of plies next to each other. This will be the transition section of your yarn. Because each long piece of yarn only has half the plies, you’ll end up with roughly the correct thickness in your join.
Step 5: Get your yarn wet. You can dip it in water, mist with some water, add some saliva — just get it wet. Remember, felting simply requires heat, humidity, and agitation.
Step 6: Let’s felt! Rub the yarns together in your hands briskly. Continue for a few minutes until the fibers have locked together. You may need to add some more water if your yarn isn’t wet enough.
Step 7: Give both sides of the yarn a gentle tug. If they’re firmly locked, congratulations! You’ve made a felted join! If not, just continue the felting process until the yarn is secure.

Now you’ll have an easy and secure join in your yarn, so you can continue crafting with having to weave in ends.

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Squares, Flowers, Stars, and Ripples: What’s Your Favorite Pattern Motif?

July 17th, 2012

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Incorporating motifs in your pattern is a great way to play around with color work and different stitch patterns.  Motifs also are also perfect for personalizing projects- such as adding skulls to a little boys cap, or butterflies to a girl’s headband.  What fun would it be if all our clothes and home decor just came in solid colors? So – I figured I would include a round up of some of my favorite patterns with popular motifs that might make a great gift for someone you know, or even for yourself!  Below you’ll find a selection of patterns that include flowers, stars, ripples and squares.

Squares

Bauhaus Washcloth
The Bauhaus Washcloth knit by Michelle Edwards reminds me of summers spent on the beach. This sophisticated color palette, paired with a ribbed, basketweave stitch makes for an efficient, yet aesthetically pleasing set of wash/dishcloths.
Patchwork Squares Throw
Play around with color with the crochet Patchwork Squares Throw. This is a great addition for someone looking for a more modern piece for their home decor, or even for a kid’s room.
Tumbling Blocks Afghan
No this isn’t a piece of art, although you could turn it into a tapestry if you’d like – this is the Tumbling Blocks afghan knit in Vanna’s Choice. Follow the pattern chart to complete this unique, eye popping afghan

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4 Reasons You Should Listen to YarnCraft

July 16th, 2012

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In 2007, we started our on-demand radio show (aka podcast), YarnCraftSince then, we’ve aired over 100 episodes, featuring behind-the-scenes stories from Lion Brand, interviews with people ranging from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee to Vanna White to Nicky Epstein, and tons of useful tips and pattern recommendations.

I’ve had the pleasure of working on each of these episodes, first as a producer and then later also as a co-host, and I’d like to invite you to check out the show if you haven’t already.

Here are just a few reasons you might enjoy YarnCraft, straight from our listeners…

Get inspired & learn something new

Each episode features a main theme/topic, as well as other fun segments. We cover topics ranging from patterns for particular seasons to becoming a professional knit or crochet designer.

“YarnCraft inspires me to try things I never would have tried. Hearing advice from other crafters gives me confidence and ideas to create things on my own. I look forward to every podcast and I learn something new each time!” – Erin, Denver, CO

“I just listened to the podcast on shaping…wow, how informative! […] You inspire me to tackle things I would never even consider. Thank you for providing a podcast that is informative and interesting and benificial to increasing my skills and knowledge of yarncrafting.” – Allison, Morton, IL

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Keep Yarn Organized: Learn How to Wind a Center-Pull Ball By Hand

July 13th, 2012

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Center-pull balls of yarn are convenient to use and to store, and are perfectly easy to make! Rest assured: if you can wind yarn into a regular wrapped ball, you have all the skills it takes to make a center-pull ball. Use this one trick to keep your yarn safe and tidy in storage, and stop it from bouncing all over the floor as you work!

You’ll need:

Yarn: Skeins, wrapped balls of yarn, spools and hanks can all be wound with this method. If you’re winding yarn from a hank, you’ll need a swift to keep it spread out (or a volunteer to hold it spread out as you work). For this tutorial, I used a skein of Alpine Wool in Olive.

A smooth, sturdy winding tool: I like to use a thicker-gauge crochet hook or long knitting needle. You could use a pen or a pencil in a pinch, they just have to be clean, sturdy and smooth.
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6 Perfect Patterns for Your Picnic & BBQ Accessories!

July 12th, 2012

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I’m sure many of you are enjoying the summer sun and the opportunities to take your homemade goods with you outdoors.  Picnics and BBQs are summer traditions that I personally love to take advantage of!

So if you’re heading out for a picnic or bbq, or simply just having a fun get together in your backyard – I’ve put together a round up of some of my favorite patterns that are great for outdoor usage.

(Click here for Plant Hanger pattern and tutorial in picture)
Knit Striped Dishcloth

Knit Bright Stripes Dishcloth

Bright and bold colors are all the rave right now, and they’re great colors to incorporate for your BBQ accessories. Knit in the retro-inspired color palette of Kitchen Cotton are our Bright Stripes Dishcloths. Kitchen Cotton comes in many fun colors that allows for great mix and matching, you’ll think of summer whenever you look at these eye catching potholders!

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