Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame

Archive for December, 2012

How to Incorporate a Stitch Pattern into a Project

December 27th, 2012

Pin It

Image of Autumn Lace AfghanIf you’ve ever picked up a stitch dictionary or explored our wonderful StitchFinder, you may find yourself in love with a stitch pattern and wondering just what to do with it. Incorporating a stitch pattern into a project can be a fun experiment. Today, I go over a few of the considerations to keep in mind as you get started.

Tips for Flat Projects: Design Your Own Afghans & Scarves

When you’re making an afghan or scarf, start by swatching your stitch pattern in your desired yarn. This will allow you to test and adjust your hook or needle size so that your fabric is as dense or loose as you like. By swatching the stitch pattern, you’ll also know how wide each repeat of the pattern is. Let’s say my swatch shows me that each repeat of my selected stitch pattern is 4 inches wide, then I know that for an 12-inch wide scarf that’s completely in my stitch pattern without a border, I’ll need to cast on for 3 repeats (12 ÷ 4 = 3).

The other thing to decide is whether or not I want a contrasting border (ribbing, garter, seed stitch, etc.). For some stitch patterns, which naturally bow or ripple, a contrast stitch border will not be necessary, since you’ll want to showcase the uniqueness of the fabric’s edge. But for others like lace and cable patterns, you may want a border to give the design a sense of definition and neatness. To factor this into the design, you’ll want to make sure to add in the extra stitches to cast on or chain before getting started.


Different Yarn, New Look!

December 21st, 2012

Pin It

Casey baby bootiesHave you ever substituted in a different yarn than the one called for by the pattern? I’m a bit of an obsessive substituter, so when I saw the gorgeous Rainbow Spots shade of Casey, I just had to knit some baby booties for my cousin’s new baby girl! The only question was which pattern to make. Ever since it was posted, I’ve loved the Ruby Slippers, so I knit a quick gauge swatch, got the right needle, and away I went! The only adjustment I made was leaving off the button band since these booties are for a very tiny baby. Overall, I’m thrilled with how they came out, and I hope little baby Ally is, too!

Isn’t it amazing how a different yarn can make the pattern look totally different?

Related links:

Get Festive: Wrap Gifts & Decorate with Yarn

December 19th, 2012

Pin It

It’s only a few more days until Christmas, but you can still incorporate yarn into your holiday celebration:

  • Wrap your gifts with yarn. Use one of the easy methods in the video below to create 4 stylish gift-wrapping treatments.

  • Knit or crochet an ornament. We have dozens of adorable ornament patterns on to choose from–all fast to make!
  • Festoon your mantle with yarn.This blog post has great ideas, not only for dressing the mantle, but also for additional craft projects.
  • Add a knit or crochet stocking! Handmade stockings are treasured for years to come. See our patterns for stockings for every skill level.

Finally, for those of you who are still looking for last-minute gift ideas, here are a few helpful blog posts:

*If you’re viewing this blog post in your email and can’t access the video above, please click on the title of the blog post to view the full article online.

Make a Statement Scarf That’s Fun and Fast-to-Finish: Introducing Bellini, a New Super Bulky Yarn

December 18th, 2012

Pin It

New from Lion Brand, is Bellini – a uniquely textured wool-blend yarn, perfect for adding extra flair and fringes to your accessories.  Bellini yarn can be used by itself to make bold statement pieces, or it can be used with a traditional yarn such as Wool-Ease, for adding trims to winter accessories. The great thing about Bellini is that it’s also ideal for quick projects, so it will make a wonderful fast finish gift for that friend who enjoys all the latest fashion trends.

One skein of Bellini makes a scarf or a cowl (see the patterns below!); you can even have some fun with it and use small sections of the yarn to create pom-poms.  While we were experimenting with the yarn in the office, we realized you can even make a cowl with Bellini without knitting or crocheting the yarn.  Just slide off the ball band, untwist the hank, and wrap the big loop twice around your neck!

Free Knitting Pattern: Cozy Loops Scarf
Knit Cozy Loops Scarf
Free Crochet Pattern: One Row Crochet Scarf
Crochet One Row Short Scarf
Free Knitting Pattern: Foxy Scarf
Knit Foxy Scarf

Watch the videos below to learn the easy techniques on how to knit and crochet with this yarn:

Click here for the crochet version.

What type project would you like to make with Belini? Share with us in the comments!

Related Links:


5 Irresistible Holiday Knit & Crochet Projects from Craft Bloggers

December 14th, 2012

Pin It

Elfin Baby BootiesI love seeing all of the fun and unique ways people craft to celebrate the holidays, or elements of winter.  It’s always refreshing to see what other people are inspired to create with yarn. For instance, these tiny Elfin baby booties pictured on the left from DIY Maven are perfect for a baby’s first Christmas, and the little bells at the folds add the perfect finishing touch.

I also love how Sarah from Repeat Crafter Me went with the idea of using a basic crochet hat construction, then added felted pieces to turn her hat into an adorable reindeer.  Check out the projects below to see all of the cuteness for yourself!


Repeat Crafter Me Crochet Reindeer Hat
Crochet Rudolph the Reindeer Hat Pattern

Repeat Crafter Me
Planet June Crochet pinecone
Crochet Pine Cone Collection (Paid Pattern)

Planet June
Just Crafty Enough Knit Star Ornaments
5 and 6 point Knit Star Ornaments
Just Crafty Enough
 Holly Gift Topper
Holly Gift Topper
One Sheepish Girl

What do you like to knit or crochet for the holidays? Share your project ideas with us below!

Related Links: