Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for November, 2012


Thanksgiving By the Numbers

November 14th, 2012

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1. Guest list. Fifteen.
2. Dining room chairs. Eight.
3. Chair deficit. Seven.
4. Number of guests who will not be horribly put out if asked to eat turkey while sitting on milk crates.Two.
5. Chair deficit. Five.
6. Number of guests who will likely not attend due to influenza, based on World Health Organization’s seasonal forecast. One.
7. Number of chairs neighbor across hall is able to lend. Two.
8. Number of chairs upstairs neighbor would like to borrow from me. Four.
9. Number of chairs gained from neighbor across hall after 50/50 split with upstairs neighbor has been negotiated. One.
10. Number of hand-knit scarves upstairs neighbor will be getting from me at Christmas. Zero.

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10 Projects to Learn New Skills, Pt. 2: Stitches & Construction

November 13th, 2012

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Often, when I am looking for a new pattern for a project, I like to pick something that features a technique that I haven’t tried before. This way, I learn something with each new project. Usually, I pick something on the small side (a hat, scarf, mitts, etc.). But I know more than a few knitters and crocheters who like to “go all in” when they take on a new challenge, picking out large, more complex designs to keep their yarncrafting interesting.

Whether you like a small project or a large one for a new challenge, I hope you learn something with these projects.

Last week, I shared 10 patterns that featured more advanced colorwork skills. In this week’s post, I’ve rounded up patterns for 5 different stitch patterns and construction methods. These are just some of the interesting techniques out there, but I hope you’ll try (at least) one out and add it to your repertoire. It’s by trying new skills that we continue to grow as yarncrafters.

Mitered Crochet

By decreasing in each row to create the “corner turn” of the triangle or square, mitered crochet creates a cool geometric look with just basic skills. Whether you switch colors for a cool striping effect or use a color-change yarn like Amazing to mimic stripes, it looks fantastic. (It will even look cool in solid colors!)

Image of Mitered Crochet Baby Blanket Image of Colorful Mitered Afghan
Mitered Crochet Baby Blanket Crochet Colorful Mitered Afghan

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12 Knit & Crochet Patterns for Thanksgiving Decor

November 11th, 2012

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I grew up in a household where my mother would change the display on our front hall table, dining room table, and living room sideboard with the seasons. In the summer, we might have seashells artfully arranged in hurricane glasses. In the winter, there might be whitewashed branches with delicate glass ornaments hanging from their branches. My mom managed to evoke lovely moods with creative items found or made–on a budget. Since I don’t get to visit my parents’ house as often as I’d like, I add whimsical touches of the season to my own home now.

Knit, crochet, and craft your own decor items for the fall season. I’ve picked out 12 patterns that are great stash-busters (so you can clear space for more yarn!) as well as as items that can be made as a set (so you get the most mileage out of your yarn purchase).

For knitters who like the felt designs below: knit a large rectangle of wool, felt it well, and then cut out the leaf-designs to make your own version. Want to knit your own leaves? Click here for a stitch pattern.

Wreaths

Image of Fall Wreath Image of Fall Foliage Felted Wreath Image of Thanksgiving Wreath
Knit Fall Wreath Crochet Fall Foliage Felted Wreath Wrapped Thanksgiving Wreath

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6 Cute and Cozy Faux Fur Patterns for Both Women and Children

November 9th, 2012

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Faux Fur is still a popular trend for accessories and trims in the cooler months, and you’ll probably be seeing a lot of it this Fall and Winter.  Faux fur can add a touch of warm sophistication to your outfit, or it can add a bit of whimsy and fun.  Whichever way you prefer to wear your faux fur is up to you; take a look at some of our knit and crochet patterns that incorporate either Fun Fur or Luxe Fur for inspiration.

Adults

Snow Bunny Hooded Scarf
No need to search for your hat and scarf with the Snow Bunny Hooded Scarf knit in Luxe Fur.  It’s one accessory piece that keeps both your neck and head warm.
Hippie Chic Vest
This Hippie Chic Vest crocheted in Fun Fur would look great over a thermal top, with jeans and flat boots for staying warm and comfy, while looking trendy no matter where you go!
Furry Neck Warmer
This Furry Neck Warmer knit in Luxe Fur is actually a long infinity scarf, which can be double wrapped as a cowl for extra neck protection. Click on the image to see the cowl in its entirety.

Children

Baby Doll Dress
Add a little whimsy to a garment with a Fun Fur trimming as seen in this Baby Doll Dress.
Pretty in Pink Collar
Peter Pan collars are the new trend for DIY projects, try this Pretty in Pink Collar knit in Fun Fur for the little one.
Baby Cocoon Set
Keep the newborn warm and cozy in a Luxe Fur trimmed Sweet Dreams Cocoon and Baby Hat set.

Have you got on board with the Faux Fur trend? What’s your favorite type of project to incorporate your fuzzy yarn?

Related Links:


A Look at the Different Properties of Wool Yarns

November 6th, 2012

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Sheep And Her Baby/Petr KratochvilAs the cooler temperatures begin to set in, many of you are probably starting to knit or crochet with fibers that have insulating properties for warmth; a common fiber to knit with during this time of year is wool.  Sheep’s fleece is the most popular type of wool fiber because it’s pretty widely available and versatile.  Below, I’ve rounded up a few different wool selections with explanations about their unique qualities, so you can determine which wool might be suitable for your upcoming winter projects.

(image courtesy of Petr Kratochvil)

Fishermen's Wool Fishermen’s Wool is 100% undyed, virgin wool with natural lanolin oil. Lanolin oil is a waxy natural substance found in sheep fleece that acts as a water repellent, which makes Fishermen’s Wool ideal for accessories or garments for skiiers and fishermen. Wool can absorb up to about 30% of its weight in moisture, while still allowing you to feel warm and dry.  Since wool takes dye easily, a skein in Natural or Oatmeal would be nice for experimenting with creating your own hand dyed yarns.  If you’re more interested in learning about dyeing, and appropriate dyes for your yarn, take a look at this previous blog post by Jess, Choose the Right Dye for Your Fiber.

We also love Fishermen’s Wool in it’s natural state to knit up beautiful cables and traditional Aran sweaters, which were worn by Fishermen working off the cost of Ireland in the Aran Islands. Click here for a few Aran sweater patterns.

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10 Projects to Learn New Skills: Colorwork

November 6th, 2012

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Often, when I am looking for a new pattern for a project, I like to pick something that features a technique that I haven’t tried before. This way, I learn something with each new project. Usually, I pick something on the small side (a hat, scarf, mitts, etc.). But I know more than a few knitters and crocheters who like to “go all in” when they take on a new challenge, picking out large, more complex designs to keep their yarncrafting interesting.

Whether you like a small project or a large one for a new challenge, I hope you learn something with these projects.

Join me next week for 10 more projects with which to learn new skills!

Intarsia Knitting

Create elaborate-looking designs with basic stitches when you follow a colorwork chart! By switching colors at various points in the pattern, you create graphic designs that look extremely impressive.

Got the hang of it? Create your own designs  with knitting graph paper.

 

Image of Intarsia Polka-Dot Scarf Image of NYC Skyline Afghan
Knit Intarsia Polka-Dot Scarf Knit NYC Skyline Afghan

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Getting Back to Normal After Hurricane Sandy

November 5th, 2012

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Our offices have reopened today following Hurricane Sandy. We’re just now getting back in the swing of things, so there will be some delay in shipping and responding to your emails and calls. Since our power was out for a week, please allow us time to catch up. We consider ourselves very lucky to be back at work, but our staff is still coping with the latent damage from Sandy.

Most of our staff has made it back to the office, but over in my home neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, transportation is at a stand-still. The subway tunnels are still flooded, buses are beyond capacity, and the East River Ferry stop is out of commission. Grocery stores are completely depleted of bread and perishables. Here’s a look at the bread aisle of my store last night:

Grocery Store in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Even so, I am very grateful that things are looking up. After all, my power and internet have been restored, so I’m able to get some work done from home. I can’t help but smile when I think of the amazing amount of support and love we’ve received through social media. There are still so many without basic necessities like food and shelter, so I encourage you to look into the many ways you can donate. The American Red Cross is a great place to start, and Bev’s Country Cottage has this great round-up of places to donate knit/crochet items. It’s truly inspiring how our community has really come together in this time of need, so from all of us at Lion Brand, thank you!


Lion Brand Offices, Lion Brand Yarn Studio, and Lion Brand Yarn Outlet Currently Closed

November 2nd, 2012

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Over the last few days, we’ve heard from many of our wonderful customers on social media checking in to see how our staff is doing, so I just wanted to log on from my home in Brooklyn to personally thank you all for thinking of us.

Because of Hurricane Sandy, Lion Brand offices in both New York and New Jersey are currently without power and closed. In addition, many of our staff’s homes are currently without power.

For those of you waiting for orders from LionBrand.com, we ask for your patience during this period. From what I understand from news reports, the towns where our NJ offices and warehouses were particularly hard-hit by storm flooding.

In NYC, Patty, the director of the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, tells me that if we get power returned (as we’ve heard should happen) on Saturday, our NYC store & education will open for business on Sunday. Please check the Studio’s website and/or call on Sunday to see if we’re open. We will also be in touch if you booked any classes at the Studio for this past week and/or Sunday to help you with rescheduling/rebooking.

As a New Jersey/New York-based company, this storm has affected us quite personally. For me, growing up in New Jersey and visiting the Jersey Shore have contributed many happy memories to my childhood, and living in NYC for my entire adult life, I have many friends living in affected areas. This weekend, I’m planning on volunteering here in NYC, and I hope that if you can, you’ll consider donating food, supplies, time, and/or money to help those who’ve been affected by the storm.

Thanks again for all of your good thoughts, and we’ll keep you posted as things progress.

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