Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for August, 2012

Yarn Bombing the Streets of LA

August 31st, 2012

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This summer, artist Ellen Schinderman curated an exhibit in Los Angeles called “Home Is Where the Needle Marks”, showcasing fiber art and exploring the home sphere. Working with Lion Brand yarns, Ellen and her cohorts yarn-bombed several areas of LA as part of the Downtown LA Artwalk to draw attention to the fiber arts. Recently, she shared these photos with us:

Click on any image to view full-screen. Click the left and right arrows to navigate; click the X in the top-left corner to exit. Please note: If you’re viewing this blog post in your email or RSS reader, you may need to click the title to view it online.

Plus, the group of knitters and crocheters who helped Ellen create all of the colorful, textural pieces will be taking all of their leftover yarn and making hats and scarves for homeless in their community.

Have you yarn-bombed something in your community? Tell us about  it in the comments!

Related links:

A Lion Brand Exclusive: Behind the Scenes of Our Offices in NYC

August 30th, 2012

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If you follow Lion Brand on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll sometimes find behind scenes images from photoshoots, upcoming yarn releases – or even pictures of some of the staff crafting, or at events. Today, I’d like to share with you a few “behind the scenes” images from our offices in the New York City location.  We recently invited a few of our favorite craft bloggers to spend a day with us at our Lion Brand offices, and I’d like to share a few of their images that capture some of the creativity and inspiration at Lion Brand.

Design DepartmentKristy from Glass Posse captured this image of Karen Tanaka, the Creative Director of our Design Department.  Karen was sharing some of the Design Department’s mood boards and inspirations. Lion and WalrusHaley from The Zen of Making captured an image of these cute stuffed animals, which were featured in past window displays.  The Lion can be seen here from the Studio’s 1st window display in 2008.


9 Tips on How to Get Your Crafting Organized & Keep It That Way!

August 29th, 2012

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Getting craft supplies organized tends to fall to the bottom of my to do list, “After all,” I think, “it’ll just get messy again as soon as I make something, why bother?” But sooner or later the time comes to clear up all the yarn, organize the hooks and needles, and stow all fabric, glitter and crafting supplies away. Good organization can help us make beautiful, useful projects; after all, crafting is much easier when you know where to look for supplies, and can tell right away if you’re running out of something or need to go out and get a new tool.

Here are some tips to help you get organized and, just as importantly, stay organized all year long!

Give everything a home: Things can’t be put away without a home, but more importantly, homeless tools and supplies are almost always difficult to find when you need them. Tired of retracing your crafting steps to try to remember where your shears or glue gun has gone? Then giving these tools a home could be the solution.

Consider labeling: Lots of folks love handwritten labels or using a label maker, but what if you don’t like traditional labels? How about using a small picture of what you’re putting inside? Tassels of yarn on decorative bins, or paper samples on the edge of scrap booking boxes tell you exactly what’s inside with a visual examples.

First Scarf Favorites; 8 Easy Patterns in Knit & Crochet

August 27th, 2012

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If you’ve recently learned to knit or crochet or are looking for gift inspirations, I’ve got a selection of a few of our favorite knit and crochet scarf patterns that are great for beginner and experienced yarncrafters alike. The scarf selections below utilize basic stitch patterns, which are perfect for getting more practice and improving your skills; if you’re a more advanced knitter or crocheter, these patterns will be helpful suggestions for knocking out quick gifts for women, children and men.


Basic Scarf
Basic Scarf is perfect for practicing the stockinette and garter stitch simultaneously.  This pattern also makes for a great unisex scarf.
Rustic Ribbed Scarf
Rustic Ribbed (Hat) and Scarf is another great unisex pattern that allows you to practice knit and purl combinations, which gives the scarf a ribbed look.
Fall River Scarf
Fall River Scarf is a classic scarf that’s perfect for practicing your stockinette stitch.  Knit in Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, this scarf will work up quickly.
Garter Scarf
The Garter Scarf is great for working on your gauge and tension.  A self-striping yarn is perfect for garter stitch because you’ll have fun waiting to see what color appears next.


Cosmic Color Scarf
Practice double crochet stitches with the Cosmic Color scarf in Amazing.  The double crochet stitches add a great texture to the scarf.
Slate Grey Scarf
Crocheting through the back loop gives the Slate Grey Scarf a defined ribbed look.
Glitzy Accent Scarf
Glitzy Accent Scarf allows you to try a new yarn weight by crocheting with a sportweight yarn. Crochet in Vanna’s Glamour to make a lightweight scarf that sparkles.
Flights of Fancy Scarf
The Flights of Fancy Scarf is great for trying a lace-like pattern.  Crocheted in the worsted weight Nature’s Choice Organic, you’ll love the drape and feel of this super soft scarf.

What type of stitch do you find yourself using for fast and simple projects? Share with us in the comments.

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9 Back to School Projects for Teachers

August 23rd, 2012

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It’s back to school season! Start the school year off right with a yarncrafted classroom. These projects are perfect for any educator, so get your yarn ready. Click each image to view the pattern.

Knit Felted School Colors Laptop Sleeve
This laptop sleeve helps keep computers and tablets safe. You can also use it to store textbooks!
Yarn Wrapped Desk Organizers
Keep track of your office supplies with yarn wrapped organizers.
Fall Nesting Bowls
Nesting bowls help keep your desk neat and tidy. Use them to store paperclips, office supplies, or sweet treats.
Felted Acorn Pencil Case
Store your pencils or chalk in this sturdy felted case.
Greenmarket Lunch Bag
Always keep track of your lunch with this reusable lunch bag.
Super Summer Backpack
Keep all of your school supplies in one handy place with this handy bag.
Amigurumi Apple
Every teacher deserves an apple, and this crocheted one will last for years!
Wise Owl Toy
This owl will watch over the wisdom of your classroom.
Amigurumi Bookworm
A bookworm’s place is in the classroom!

How are you using yarncrafting this school year? Be sure to share in the comments!

Related links:

Blocks, Bears, and Balls for Baby!

August 21st, 2012

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As yarncrafters, I’m sure you already know that when someone announces their pregnancy, the hooks and needles soon come out and the hands are busy making all sorts of wonderful gifts for the expectant mother.  While your mind instantly thinks “baby hat and booties set” or “baby blanket”, don’t forget about the toys! They can be as simple as baby blocks (simply make 6 squares and seam them into a cube around a foam block!) or as complex as a cable-stitch lamb.  Take a look at the patterns below for some baby toy inspiration.

Blocks and balls are classic toys that will never go out of style for babies.  Also something to keep in mind when choosing your colors: babies can see contrasting colors the best; don’t be afraid of more saturated or darker hues.

Soft and Sweet Baby Blocks
Crochet Soft and Sweet Baby Blocks
Loom Knit Playtime Balls
Loom Knit Playtime balls
Babycakes Blocks
Knit Babycakes Blocks


On Trend: 12 Sweaters & Cardigans in Saturated Colors

August 20th, 2012

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In my day-to-day work, I get to spend time working with amazing knit- and crochet-wear designers around the country. Often, as we talk, I ask them what trends they’re seeing–and lately, the trend I’ve been hearing about the most in yarn is rich, saturated colors. Jewel tones and rich colors are flattering on many skin-tones; it’s all a matter of finding the ones that work on you.

These shades are great for hats, scarves, cowls, and other accessories that add a dash of color, but saturated colors can also make for great sweaters and cardigans that are perfect for layering. By throwing these brighter colors over a neutral or monotone outfit, you can add a splash of color without a lot of commitment (you can always take your sweater off!).

Check out the options below or pair your favorite saturated color with one of our 600+ jacket and sweater patterns on

Image of Retro Swing Image of Raglan Sleeve Topper Image of Lace Inset Cardi
Knit & Crochet Retro Swing Knit Raglan Sleeve Cardi Knit Lace Inset Cardi


A Look at Wool-Ease: a Classic Worsted-Weight, Easy-Care Yarn + 9 Fan-Favorite Patterns

August 17th, 2012

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I just came back from Stitches Midwest, a knit/crochet convention put together by XRX Inc. (home of Knitter’s Magazine) – and had a great time talking with different people who love to yarncraft.   While talking to folks in our Lion Brand booth, I realized that Wool-Ease, our traditional worsted weight wool blend yarn is very popular amongst both knitters and crocheters, and for good reason!

Wool-Ease is a great garment yarn which can be machine washed and dried; making it the perfect match for children’s clothes. I personally love the stitch definition and functionality of  Wool-Ease.  Cables work up beautifully, and a scarf or hat knit/crochet in this yarn will definitely keep you warm. Below, I’ve shared some of our popular Wool-Ease patterns in sweaters, afghans and accessories.

Pullovers and Cardigans are perfect projects for Wool-Ease.  Below our Lion Brand pattern image, you’ll also find images of a submitted project from Lion Brand users who used the patterns for their garments.

Alpine Zip-Neck Pullover
Knit Alpine Zip-Neck Pullover
Ladylike Pullover
Crochet Ladylike Pullover
Cabled Women's Cardigan
Knit Cabled Women’s Cardigan
Thanks to Susan Theiss for the submission.
Ladylike Pullover 
Thanks to Carrington Cynthea for her submission.
Thanks to Linda Keigwin for her submission.


Fall Fashion to Knit and Crochet: 12 Capes and Capelets We Love

August 16th, 2012

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Fall is almost here, and if you’re anything like me, you’re already searching for the perfect fall pattern to sink your hooks and needles into. Finding that one must-make pattern can be a challenge, particularly when there are so many beautiful patterns to choose from.

Capes are swinging back into style this fall, according to several sources including this article on

“Capes & cloaks …  for fall 2012 they’re making their move again, pushing the boundaries of fantasy to capture the imagination with new life. From the tailored to the traditional, the Gothic to the bright, capes and cloaks are the thing to throw over your shoulders when the chill hits.”

Looking for the perfect cape for you? Here are 12 of our favorites and why we love them. Follow the pattern links to download the pattern of your choice for free!

Color and beautiful stitch patterns bring these capes to life, and we love the collars incorporated into each design.

Crochet Round Yoke Poncho Knit Galway Poncho


Top 10 Colors for Fall

August 15th, 2012

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Every season, Pantone, the world’s leading color authority, releases its list of trending fashion colors. To help you incorporate these beautiful shades into your yarncrafting, we’ve selected yarn shades that best match Pantone’s 10 shades for autumn. Check out the trends below!

French Roast Martha Stewart Crafts Extra Soft Wool Blend in Mink
Martha Stewart Crafts Extra Soft Wool Blend
in Mink
Vanna's Choice in Espresso
Vanna’s Choice in Espresso
Fishermen's Wool in Nature's Brown
Fishermen’s Wool in
Nature’s Brown
Honey Gold Hometown USA in Las Vegas Gold
Hometown USA in
Las Vegas Gold
Wool-Ease in Gold
Wool-Ease in Gold
Vanna's Choice in Honey
Vanna’s Choice in
Tangerine Tango Hometown USA in Tennessee Tango
Hometown USA in
Tennessee Tango
Vanna's Chocie in Radiant Orange
Vanna’s Choice in
Radiant Orange
Silky Twist in Tangerine
Silky Twist in
Pink Flambé Vanna's Choice in Rose
Vanna’s Choice in
LB Collection Cotton Bamboo in Hibicus
LB Collection Cotton
in Hibicus
Martha Stewart Crafts Extra Soft Wool Blend in Flamingo
Martha Stewart Crafts
Extra Soft Wool Blend

in Flamingo
Rose Smoke Baby's First in Twinkle Toes
Baby’s First in
Twinkle Toes
Wool-Ease in Blush Heather
Wool-Ease in Blush
Martha Stewart Crafts Merino in Milk Glass Pink
Martha Stewart Crafts
in Milk Glass
Rhapsody Hometown USA in Seattle Sea Mist
Hometown USA in
Seattle Sea Mist
Vanna's Glamour in Purple Topaz
Vanna’s Glamour in
Purple Topaz
Martha Stewart Crafts Roving Wool in Lavender Soap
Martha Stewart Crafts
Roving Wool
Lavender Soap
Titanium Superwash Merino Cashmere in Slate
Superwash Merino
in Slate
Martha Stewart Crafts Cotton Hemp in Slate
Martha Stewart Crafts Cotton Hemp in Slate
Vanna's Choice in Silver Grey
Vanna’s Choice in Silver Grey
Olympian Blue Cotton-Ease in Turquoise
Cotton-Ease in
Homespun in Montana Sky
Homespun in
Montana Sky
LB Collection Organic Wool in Dark Teal
LB Collection Organic
in Dark Teal
Ultramarine Green Hometown USA in Grand Rapids Green
Hometown USA in
Grand Rapids Green
Martha Stewart Crafts Mambo in Sea Turtle
Martha Stewart Crafts
in Sea Turtle
Jiffy in Country Green
Jiffy in Country Green
Bright Chartreuse Jiffy in Apple Green
Jiffy in Apple Green
Hometown USA in Key Lime
Hometown USA in
Key Lime
Kitchen Cotton in Kiwi
Kitchen Cotton in

What do you think of autumn’s hottest shades? Let us know in the comments below!