Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for September, 2012

12 Adorable Baby & Toddler Sweaters for Fall

September 30th, 2012

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Whether you’re thinking ahead to the holidays or you’re just looking to make something for the child in your life, a sweater can be a rewarding quick-to-knit-or-crochet project for fall.

“Quick?” you’re wondering. Yup! Since baby and toddler garments are quite a bit smaller than adults’, they are pretty fast to make (and they are a great way to practice garment construction).

Here, I’ve selected 12 of our favorite knit & crochet patterns in 4 styles: Easy, Breezy Classics; Fit for a Princess; Fun Patterns & Textures; and Preppy Favorites.

Easy, Breezy Classics

Image of Baby Kimono Image of Neck Down Cardi Image of Pram Parade Sweater Set
Crochet Baby Kimono Knit Neck Down Cardi Crochet Pram Parade Sweater Set


16 Fun Knit & Crochet Patterns for Halloween!

September 28th, 2012

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Amigurumi Happy PumpkinNow that it’s the end of September, we’re in a “Fall” state of mind, and many of us are already thinking about plans for Halloween.  Since Halloween is still about a month away, there’s plenty of time to begin crafting a costume, gifts for the kids, and even home decor.  I thought I’d share some fun patterns with you so you can get your needles and hooks ready in time!

(Click here for Amigurumi Happy Pumpkin pattern)

Halloween Apparel, Costumes

Pumpkin Hat & Booties Set
Keep the little ones warm in this cute knit and festive Pumpkin Hat & Booties set.
Can D. Corn Bib
Is the baby too young to head out for trick or treating? This Can D. Corn bib is the perfect Halloween accessory so baby isn’t left out of the fun! Click here for bibs in other styles.
Capelet of Invisibility
The Capelet of Invisibility can easily transform into a cape for a Little Red Riding Hood outfit.  Check out Vanna’s Glamour in Red Stone or Ruby Red.


Styling Makes All the Difference: How One Project Can Be Worn Many Different Ways

September 27th, 2012

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Many a clever knitter & crocheter has discovered that one project can do double-duty with different styling. For instance, our Knit Grande Wrap pattern can be work many different ways:

For more ideas about how to turn one project into several different looks, check out these blog posts:

Do you have a favorite styling trick for a knit or crochet project? Share it in the comments!

7 Stress-Free Steps to Making Your Holiday Gifts This Year

September 25th, 2012

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7 Stress-Free Steps to Making Your Holiday Gifts This YearIf you’re planning to make some or all of your holiday gifts, now is a great time to start planning. It may seem early, but the beginning of fall is the perfect time to get started if you’ve got a long list or you love to make complex projects. These seven steps will help you organize your crafting, figure out which projects to make and get it all done in time. No need to stress!

Step 1: Make a List (and Check it Twice)

Start your holiday projects off by making a list first. Include all the people you’d want to make things for, and then check it to highlight the people you are definitely giving a handmade presents. Take a good look at each name to think about the sort of gift that they might enjoy the most, and make notes about possible gifts to purchase instead. As time gets tight, it’s always good to have a gift-giving back-up plan just in case your projects aren’t finished in time.

Step 2: Pick Out Projects

Choose patterns that you’ll enjoy making, or pull out all those patterns you’ve wanted to make and never had time for. You can always make one for yourself in January! You don’t need a complicated pattern to make a gift special, small details like cables or colorwork make simpler projects look impressive.


Back to Basics: How to Knit a Scarf in 3 Easy Steps (with Videos!)

September 21st, 2012

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Already an old-hand at knitting? Why not share this blog post with someone who’s looking to learn and give the gift of yarncrafting to someone new?

The first project that most knitters and crocheters take on is a scarf. This is because it’s a nice long rectangle that allows you to practice your basics.

If you’re a beginner, sometimes it can be helpful to have each step broken out for you. So first off, check out our Beginner Scarf pattern on I’ve chosen it because it’s a super-bulky yarn (thick yarn = quick project), it’s acrylic (a fiber that has bounce or “give”), and because it’s a beginner-level pattern (meaning that we don’t use any abbreviations in the pattern).

You’ll see that the directions for making the scarf are (1) to cast on, (2) work in garter stitch (in other words, knit every stitch in each row), and (3) then cast off.

See the videos below to see how to do each of these steps.

How to cast on

Tip: Once you’ve cast on the number of stitches stated in the pattern, keep the needle with the stitches in your left hand and you’re ready to knit!

How to knit

How to cast off

Tip: Once you’ve cast off, you can weave the tail (the yarn left after cutting) into the fabric so that it’s hidden.

Related links:

Easy, Step by Step Photo Tutorial: Colorful Crafted Headband with Bonbons

September 20th, 2012

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Cathy in HeadbandWith the new release of our mini skein yarn collections Bonbons, Lion Brand invited a few of our favorite craft bloggers to create unique and inspiring pieces that can easily be recreated with Bonbons.

We received a variety of fun and interesting projects from 11 awesome bloggers, and I’m excited to share with you one of our favorite projects.  We love the bright and vibrant colors of this headband wrapped in Bonbons, and the charm addition on top of the band allows you to give it a personal touch.

I will continue to share the rest of the Bonbon projects with you in an upcoming blog post, but for now – check out theWrapped Headband in Candy Colors” by Cathy, author of the blog, Trinkets in Bloom.  Cathy chose her Bonbon colors in the Party and Celebrate assortments.


  • Bonbons yarn: Party, Celebrate
  • 1 Headband
  • 1 Rhinestone pin or other charm (Cathy used a vintage earring with no backing).
  • Small amount of ribbon (not necessary, but helpful).
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue
  • Aleene’s Jewel-it glue
Wrapped Headband Supplies Bonbonheadband Tutorial

Click here for the step by step instructions to create your own Bonbon wrapped headband!

I can’t wait to show you all of the great ideas that these crafty ladies had for using Bonbons.  Have you worked with Bonbons yet? If so, what have you used them for? Tell us about your Bonbon projects in the comments!


8 Fast and Easy Hats to Knit or Crochet this Fall

September 19th, 2012

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Beanies, caps, berets–whatever your favorite style is, a hat is the perfect project to help you kick off the fall season! A hat makes a quick project you can enjoy right away; you’ll finish yours even faster using a thick yarn like Wool-Ease Thick & Quick or DaVinci. Make your own hat to wear as the weather turns chilly, or save it to share with a friend or loved one during the holidays.

These are some of our favorite and most popular hats to knit and crochet. Click on the pattern name or image to see the full free pattern on (you may have to log in first). Want to see more toppers for fall and winter? Follow the links at the bottom of each section to browse through dozens more knit or crochet hat patterns.

Hats to Knit

Hometown Hat Soft Cozy Hat New Moon Hat Ribbed Hat & Scarf

Browse more hat patterns to knit

 Hats to Crochet

Beginner’s Beanie Fleecy Crochet Hat Moon Rock Hat Angora Tam & Lace Scarf

Browse more hat patterns to crochet

Have you made your own hat before? What was it like making your first hat? We’d love to hear your story!

Related Links:

The Dye Lot Issue: How We Can Help

September 16th, 2012

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You’ve probably had the experience of desperately looking through the bins for the color of yarn you need to make sure there are enough of one dye lot to make your pattern.  It’s almost always an important consideration for bigger projects.  No one wants to put all that work into a sweater or afghan, only to look at it in the light of day and see unwanted color shifts.  It’s difficult to find more than a few balls of the same color in stores, and nearly impossible to find many of the same dye lot.

At Lion Brand, we take the worry out of the process.  When you order from, you are guaranteed to get the same dye lot for every color, no matter how many balls you need.  And, you don’t have to worry about being short a ball because you can order extra and return unused balls to us.

It’s a little thing that makes your projects a big success.

Related links:

Craft Your Own DIY Halloween Wreath

September 14th, 2012

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Craft Your Own DIY Halloween Wreath TutorialHalloween is right around the corner, but crafting for the holiday doesn’t have to be a fright! In just 15 minutes, you can make your very own sparkling wreath. All you need to gather is a styrofoam wreath (any size; mine is 6 inches wide), a styrofoam cone (mine is 2.5 inches tall), some glue, a crafting/Xacto knife (be careful!), a writing utensil, 1 ball of Martha Stewart Crafts Glitter Eyelash in Onyx, and one package of Bonbons in Beach. Ready to craft? Let’s get started!


How to Make the Perfect Gift: Quick & Easy Projects to Stitch in a Hurry!

September 12th, 2012

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For many crafters, September means the beginning of the holiday crafting season. Finding the right project for each person can be a real challenge, but don’t worry, help is on the way!

These are some of our favorite fast-finish gift projects for the holidays. Each project has a short description of what it’s like make it and what you’ll need to get started (like measurements or certain skills). There are also links to free knit and crochet patterns in each project category so you can browse, choose, download and print the one looks just right for each person on your list!


A scarf is a great gift to make in just a couple of hours, you can even make one while you watch TV or travel on public transportation! Scarves make excellent, useful, unisex gifts and can be as fancy or as basic as you want. You don’t have to worry about fit or sizing with a scarf, though it’s still a good idea to do a gauge swatch to make sure your finished project will look like the example in the pattern.