Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for October, 2012


Happy Halloween from Lion Brand!

October 31st, 2012

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Click the image to view the pattern for the Crochet Halloween Ghost Ornament.


Awesome Customer Projects Across the Country

October 26th, 2012

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One of my favorite parts of attending yarn conventions and fiber festivals across the country is that I get to talk to Lion Brand customers face-to-face. Sometimes, customers will also come to show us their favorite projects in Lion Brand yarns. It’s always exciting to see what you, our customers, do with our yarn and your creativity. Here are just a few photos from events I’ve been to:

Click on the photos to see them full-screen. Then use the left and right arrows to scroll through them; click the X in the top-left corner to exit. If you’re viewing this blog post in your email or RSS reader, you may need to click the title to see it with full functionality on our website.

Want to show off your latest Lion Brand creation? Click here to browse our online customer gallery and share your own project photos with us!

Or stop by the Lion Brand booth at one of these conventions!

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How to Knit Your Own Coffee Cozy

October 25th, 2012

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knit your own coffee cozyAs an obsessive coffee drinker, I love handmade coffee cozies! The coffee sleeves cafes use always seem to be too thin, so coffee cozies are an amazing reusable alternative. In the winter, they keep my coffee warm and my hands burn-free; in the summer, they keep my beverage cool and my hands dry. No matter what your style is, you can make your own cozy in just a few easy steps. Here’s how to do it!

1. Gather your supplies. Choose a yarn you want to work with and the appropriate hook or needle size. If you’re using buttons, grab some of those as well. Remember that wools are fantastic for insulating beverages, and both wool and cotton will absorb condensation from your cup. For my cozies, I used Martha Stewart Crafts Roving Wool in Sea Glass Blue and DaVinci in Quartz.

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Halloween Fun: Free Pattern from Anna Hrachovec’s New Book, “Super-Scary Mochimochi” (Plus a Video)

October 24th, 2012

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Super-Scary Mochimochi and Sarcophacat

Just in time for Halloween is Anna Hrachovec’s fun new book, Super-Scary Mochimochi!  This is the 3rd book to Anna’s “Mochimochi” collection, and this time, she has turned her cute little plush knits, into toys that are creepy and spooky.  You’ll find pumpkins, vampires, spiders and more, amongst a crew of cute creatures turned scary.  There’s still plenty of time to make some of these adorable toys for yourself or someone you know before Halloween; we even have the pattern for you to make the super-scary Sarcophacat pictured above!

Anna was recently at our retail store, the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City, for a meet and greet and book signing of Super Scary Mochimochi.  While she was here, Anna shared her inspiration behind her new book, and some of the extremely unique patterns featured in it with Patty Lyons, manager of the Studio.  Check out the video below for a sneak peak into the book and to hear about the mochimochi collection from the artist herself!

Interested in hearing more from Anna? Watch her first video at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, where she discusses how her mochimochi came to be.

Have you ever tried to knit any Mochimochi or amigurumi? Share your favorite patterns with us in the comments.

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15 Sweaters, Hoodies, and Dresses for Kids, Tweens, and Teens

October 22nd, 2012

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Earlier this month, I showcased some of our great patterns for babies and toddlers, but if you’re looking for a great project for a school-age child in your life, here’s a round-up of some of my favorite Lion Brand patterns for girls and boys:

Sizes Up to 5-6

Image of Perfect Sundress Image of Child's Hooded Cardigan Image of All Dressed Up Dress
Knit Perfect Sundress Crochet Child’s Hooded Cardigan Knit All Dressed Up Dress

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Styling Fun with Claire from the Lion Brand Yarn Studio

October 18th, 2012

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This is a guest post from Claire, Floor Manager of the Lion Brand Yarn Studio.

Working at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio and helping people pick projects and yarn every day has taught me many things, not the least of which is that a cowl is a cowl is a cowl — except when it’s a hood! I’m sure all of you are familiar with two or three ways to wear a scarf, but have you tried experimenting with your other handmade items?

Cabildo Cowl styling

With a long infinity scarf style cowl like the Cabildo Cowl (pictured in Cincinatti Red Hometown USA), it’s easy to change up your winter look. Wrap it twice around your neck for an extra snuggly style or pull the second loop up over your head as a hood when it really starts to blow! Leave it long when you get inside and it becomes an accessory focal point for your outfit.

Knit Spring Ruana styling

For the brisk fall weather, you might want to toss a wrap on before heading outside to play in the leaves. The Knit Spring Ruana adds a little bit of warmth and a lot of pizazz! You can leave the garter panel to the back for a traditional look, or turn it sideways and add a shawl pin for a less drapey look.

Cropped Turtleneck styling

The Cropped Turtleneck is a fun garment to turn on its head — literally! Worn as is, it’s a cute cropped sweater with a generous turtleneck. Turned upside down, it becomes a dramatic fitted piece with a fun boatneck.

Now it’s your turn to look through your hand-crafted items and see what you can make of them. And next time you’re buying yarn, remind yourself that you could be getting two sweaters for the price of one!

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Preserve and Discover the History of Knitting & Crochet

October 17th, 2012

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Recently I was invited to the Knitting Heritage Museum Symposium in Madison, Wisconsin. The symposium, which takes place in November, focuses on preserving the history of knit and crochet.

The whole symposium is about history, which I’m very fond of. I love my family history and I love Lion Brand history and that’s what intrigues me about this opportunity. The museum contains many historical knit and crochet pieces on display for anyone to see. I treasure the pieces I have from Lion Brand and make sure that they are preserved in our archive.

At the event, I’m looking forward to broadening the knowledge I have of knit and crochet history. I already know a lot about Lion Brand history but I want to learn more about knit and crochet history. I think it’s important to collect things, archiving them and cherishing them and giving other people the opportunity to experience them. Sharing with others is inspiring and is something I always try to do.

I’m also excited get to have a meet and greet with the Madison Knitters Guild while I’m there. As a member of the board of directors of the Crochet Guild of America, I’m always pleased to meet with guilds all over the country. I can’t wait to meet  such a large guild from Wisconsin.

If you’re as interested in the history of yarn crafts as I am, I hope you’ll also consider attending.

Knitting Heritage Museum Symposium
November 8-10, 2012
Wisconsin Historical Society
Madison, Wisconsin 53706
Click here for more information and to register.


5 Must-Make Purse Patterns for Fall/Winter 2012

October 15th, 2012

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I always switch to a different everyday bag when fall arrives, since my purse is my one essential day-to-day companion. The cool air just seems to call out for accessories in richer colors or textures than the spring and summer.

In stores, you may notice that commercial handbag-makers are featuring a variety of trends this season: cross-body straps, saturated colors, stripes, bold prints, and petite profiles. Here are five bag patterns that fit the bill:

Image of Around Town Bag

Knit Around Town Bag

Cross-body strap + textural cables = functional style. This two-trends-in-one purse is a perfect, roomy tote for this fall. Make it for yourself, or make it as a fabulous holiday gift!

Click here for the pattern.

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Hot New Trend: Matching Accessory Projects & Manicures!

October 12th, 2012

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Wonderful trends in nail art have been all over Pinterest this year, and we couldn’t help but be inspired. Our favorite trend of the year has to be the matching manicures and projects!

These are some of our favorite projects to coordinate with this season’s trends in nail art. Mix & match colors, pair them with your favorite yarn or take your swatch with you to the make up counter!

All the patterns below are free for download from LionBrand.com (you may have to sign in before downloading). Click the source link for each of the pinned nail art images for the guide to creating these manicures yourself.

Rainbows and Bright Colors

Image of Dolce Fingerless Gloves Image of Rainbow Burst Tote
Pinned by: Hillary Louise
Source: iamlala.com
Knit Dolce Fingerless Gloves Crochet Rainbow Burst Tote

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Forever Your Ghoul

October 11th, 2012

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Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.

You might think a nervous type like me, who has palpitations during especially intense action sequences on Curious George, might shy away from the shrieking tomfoolery associated with Halloween. But you would be terribly, terribly wrong.

I can’t help it: it’s hereditary. Three hundred and sixty four days of the year, our little family lived a quiet, unremarkable life of comforting monotony. Then, come dusk on October 31, we turned into a perfectly orchestrated quartet of terror.

Our neighbors put out pumpkins and bowls of candy. We scoffed.

My parents pressed my sister and I into willing service, crafting an entirely homemade carnival of thrills that turned our cookie-cutter ranch house into the set of The Addams Family. We had flashing lights, creepy sound effects, talking scarecrows, hovering ghosts, and giant spiders whose eyes glowed blood-red in the gathering gloom. Of course, we also had candy. But if you wanted a Tootsie Roll from the Habits, you ran the gauntlet or you left empty handed.

We considered the evening a flop if fewer than six kids wet themselves just walking up our driveway.

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