Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for November, 2012


How to Pair Yarns to Create a Unique Look: A Personal Experience with Double Stranding

November 30th, 2012

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Brandyce and cowlI was recently trying to figure out how I can get through some of my yarn stash, and while thinking about stash busting, I was inspired by a new collection of yarns we received.  This inspiration came from Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in metallics. It seems that shimmer and sequins are trending this Fall/Winter season, and I wanted to add a sparkly piece of knitwear to my repertoire as well.

As much as I love the Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in metallics, I wanted a shimmery accessory in a lighter weight yarn so I could wear it during transitional times.  My “A-ha!” moment came when I came across the Moonstone shade of Vanna’s Glamour that was sitting in my bin, and the Fawn Heather shade of LB Collection Baby Alpaca; this combination was perfect!

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Monogramming How-To for the Holidays

November 28th, 2012

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Editor’s Note: We’re excited to welcome Devin, the newest member of our team. With a background in fashion design and patterns published in magazines like Vogue Knitting, Devin will be sharing her own take on trends, techniques, and more. Read more about her here.
Monogramming How-To for the Holidays

As the holidays drew nearer, Kelloggs (my pet bunny) decided he wanted to ring in the season with style, so I made him this festive sweater! For this sweater I used Vanna’s Glamour® yarn in red and Jamie® yarn in white. Although not all pets are as keen to dress up, the technique I used to monogram his initial onto the sweater can be used on any knit project. The “K” is embroidered with a tapestry needle instead of using color-work. There are three reasons that you would use this technique:

  1. Embroidering will make your design stand out more, since it is more 3-dimensional
  2. You can create detail with back stitching that you can’t with color-work
  3. You can do it once the project is finished. This way you can spice up a project you have already finished or personalize a store-bought knit garment.

Hint: the yarn you use for your monogram doesn’t need to be the same type as  the yarn used for the rest of the project, but it MUST be the same weight.

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5 Articles to Help You Make a Sweater That Fits & Flatters

November 27th, 2012

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When you’re making a sweater for yourself or someone else, it’s important to take a few things into consideration. You’ll want to make sure to select a shape that suits you (or the recipient), the right size, and you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got gauge. Here are a couple of articles from LionBrand.com and the Lion Brand Notebook that will help you on your way:

Pattern pictured: Fisherman Sweater & Hat


6 Patterns for Handmade Holiday Crafts

November 26th, 2012

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Thanksgiving is over, the leftover food is eaten, and the holiday season is in full swing! Many of you are probably now switching over from your Fall themed decor, to your winter/holiday themed decor – and as always, you should think of ways to incorporate some handmade elements.  I’ve rounded up some great knit, crochet and craft projects to get you thinking about holiday crafting.  These projects can be a fun activity to get the kids involved as well!

Making handmade holiday greeting cards can be a great family activity. Get the kids into embroidery by starting off with a small project like a card. You can even take this idea and go all out by creating yarn artwork to hang on your walls or fireplace mantle. This type of craft would also be perfect for crafting with a pack of Bonbons, which already come in an assortment of fun colors for you to choose from.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22nd, 2012

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Happy Thanksgiving!

From our family to yours, here’s wishing you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving! We love all of the wonderful friendships we’ve made over the years. Thank you for being a part of our family!

Pictured above: Crochet Tom Turkey


Introducing Rohn Strong: Designer and Author of Southern Crochet Winter 2012

November 21st, 2012

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Rohn Strong and Book CoverRohn Strong is a crochet and knitwear designer who has published numerous independent patterns including a paperback book entitled, Heritage Collection: WWI & WWII: Two Wars. Two Needles. One Extraordinary Response to War, where he combined knitting, history and personal stories to convey the lifestyles and realities of those who were living during that era.

Rohn has just released a new pattern e-book entitled, Southern Crochet Winter 2012, where he combined both his love for crochet and the south. His crochet designs are modern and fashionable, yet timeless; pieces you’ll be sure to wear year after year.  Rohn’s latest patterns are now available on Ravelry; I personally love the Emily’s Sweater pattern crocheted in Fishermen’s Wool.  Find out more about Rohn and his inspirations below!

How long have you been knitting and crocheting?

Rohn: I have been knitting for just over 7 years now. I learned when I was running after school programs for at-risk youth. We wanted to teach them knitting and crochet to give them something to do one day a week.

As for crochet I have been doing that for about 18 years. I began when my Mother decided to begin making an afghan for my father (who mind you, was 6’5″ and weighed over 400 pounds!). She quickly gave up and I taught myself what I was doing. I put it down here and there over the years and within the last three to four years I have been perfecting my craft!
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No Matter Their Style: 15 Gifts to Knit & Crochet

November 19th, 2012

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As we get closer to the holidays, gift projects are often on the minds of knitters & crocheters. Many of us like to make some gifts for those closest to us. If you’re wondering what to make, I often recommend thinking about the gift recipient’s lifestyle and fashion sense. Is he or she a coffee-lover? Why not make a mug cozy? Is he or she really into basketball? Make something in his/her favorite team’s colors!

If you’re looking for a gift pattern for someone with a particular style, below I’ve share some recommendations. I’ve picked items for fashionistas, techies, hipsters, preppies, and sporties. (It’s like I’m starting a new Spice Girls group here!)

Fashionista Flair

Image of Statement Strands Necklace Image of Fair Isle Tote Image of Houndstooth Check Tie
Crafted Statement Strands Necklace Knit Fair Isle Tote Knit Houndstooth Check Tie

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All About Alpaca

November 16th, 2012

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All About Alpaca YarnAlpaca yarns have been gaining in popularity quite quickly over the past few years, and it’s no wonder: alpaca yarn is strong, soft, and warm. But how is it different from other fibers? Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked alpaca questions.

How are alpaca yarns so soft?
Every piece of hair is made up of a series of scales. Animal fiber yarns that are soft tend to have very small, short scales. On average, alpaca fibers have shorter scales than sheep.

I can’t wear wool. Can I still use alpaca?
Give it a try! Alpaca yarns do not contain lanolin, an oil that sheep produce to protect their fleece. That means that people with wool or lanolin sensitivities can still wear alpaca. Baby alpaca is especially great for people with sensitive skin.

Does alpaca yarn felt?
Unless the yarn is superwash, alpaca will felt. Because the scales are small, alpaca yarns will take a little bit longer to felt than traditional wool. However, the results are just as beautiful.

How do alpaca yarns drape?
100% alpaca has a beautiful drape, so it creates gorgeous shawls and accessories.

How stretchy is alpaca?
A yarn’s bounce or stretch is determined by its scales. Since the scales are so short and smooth, they don’t lock together. That means 100% alpaca yarns will have a tendency to stretch, and they won’t shrink back into place like some wools will. This is a fantastic advantage when knitting or crocheting lace, as the stitches will really open up.

How are there so many undyed shades of alpaca?
Believe it or not, there are actually 22 natural colors of alpaca, ranging from neutrals like white and brown to rich golden oranges and silvery blues.

How warm is alpaca?
Super warm! Although it’s very light, alpaca is incredibly warm, even when wet. In fact, it’s my go-to yarn for winter knits because I know that it’ll keep me cozy. It also has great moisture wicking properties.

So now that you know a little more about alpaca, why not give it a try? Our LB Collection Baby Alpaca comes in beautiful undyed shades, and our Martha Stewart Crafts Alpaca Blend combines alpaca with wool and acrylic for an easy care yarn.

Have more alpaca questions? Be sure to ask in the comments!


8 Craft & Crochet Projects Made with Bonbons from Bloggers

November 15th, 2012

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In September, we showed you the Wrapped Headband in Candy Colors by Cathy, from the blog Trinkets in Bloom – who created a bright, sparkly headband wrapped in the Party and Celebrate assortments from our newly released yarn, Bonbons; today, I’m going to share with you a few more  Bonbons projects made by some crafty bloggers.

Bonbons are a great collection of mini skein yarns that allows you to mix and match with color while you craft, knit or crochet.  The projects featured from these bloggers highlight various different ways Bonbons can be used, and with 8 different colors of yarn in one package – there are so many different opportunities for experimentation.  Take a look for yourself!

(When you click on the image or project name, it will take you to the blogger’s page for instructions)

 

Bohemian Twist Necklace
This Mama Makes Stuff
Crochet Chain NecklaceCrochet Chain necklace
Thanks I Made It
DIY String Wall Art
Nail String Art
Creme De La Craft

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Learn How to Style a Cowl with Our YouTube Channel

November 14th, 2012

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So you’ve knit or crocheted yourself a beautiful chunky cowl. Now, how do you style it? In this video, Claire from the Lion Brand Yarn Studio shows us 3 warm and stylish ways to wear the Knit Cabildo Cowl.

Want more styling tips? Click here to visit our YouTube channel for even more videos. Want to see our newest videos as soon as they’re posted? Click here to subscribe to our channel (must be logged in to YouTube to subscribe).

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