Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for February 13th, 2013

Celebrating Our $1 Million Donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

February 13th, 2013

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Yesterday, as President of Lion Brand, I had the honor of joining my cousin and EVP of our company, Dean Blumenthal and Vanna White, Lion Brand’s spokesperson, at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to present a check representing donations of $1 million. When we first introduced the Vanna lines of yarns and Vanna shared her wish that we donate a portion of the proceeds to this fantastic cause, I had a dream to donate $1 million. Yesterday that dream became a reality.

$1 million dollar check

Pictured: Richard C. Shadyac Jr. (CEO, ALSAC), Dean Blumenthal (EVP/COO, Lion Brand),
Vanna White, and David Blumenthal (President/CEO, Lion Brand)

As the fourth generation in our family-owned business, we learned the importance of giving charity in both our business and personal lives from our parents. The opportunity to tour the St. Jude facility and learn more about what this amazing organization does was truly a highlight of my life.

We heard from one woman who survived leukemia when she was 10 years old. The survival rate was 4% at the time. Today, the survival rate for this type of leukemia is 92%, thanks to the cutting edge research and treatment that this organization provides. We saw the heartbreaking scene of small children who are being treated for cancer. We heard the extraordinary fact that no family every pays for anything related to the treatment of their child. Not only does St. Jude cover all the costs of medical treatment, but they take care of housing for the family and provide emotional support for the siblings and parents.

I knew that we were donating to a good cause, but it was humbling to see the human side of this organization. I was inspired by what can happen with vision.

(Please NOTE: there is a brief ad that appears before the segment)

Courtesy of, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News
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Great Beginnings: Starting Your Crochet Project Right, Pt. 3 – Magic Ring or Adjustable Ring

February 13th, 2013

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Technical editor and yarncrafting expert Kj Hay joins us for several articles on starting your project right. This is the last of her 3-part series on crochet. Click here for yesterday’s article, and click here for the previous day’s article. Join us next week for a 2-part series on knitting.

Adjustable Ring Foundations

Hats, bags, and toys often begin with a tight circle. Foundation chains can be used for this purpose and there are two common methods: 1) Work a short foundation chain (ch 2 for a circle of single crochet, ch 3 for half double crochet, ch 4 for double crochet, etc.) then work the stitches of first round into the first chain made, 2) Work a short foundation chain (but, longer than for first method), join the ends of the chain with a slip stitch to form a ring, then work the stitches of first round directly into the ring (not into the chains). Both of these methods can produce unacceptably large center holes that can be difficult to close.

An adjustable ring (also known as magic ring) is a wonderful alternative to foundation chains. There are different ways to make an adjustable ring. The differences include: 1) whether the working yarn or tail is wrapped into a ring, 2) whether the ring is wrapped clockwise or counter-clockwise, and 3) whether the ring is wrapped around a finger or wrapped in “mid air”. All the variations yield similar results.

 Adjustable Ring Method

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  1. Hold yarn in palm, leaving a long tail extending out the top.
  2. Wrap tail loosely around index finger counter-clockwise (do not allow wraps to cross), until there are two wraps on top of your finger. Insert hook under first strand (tail) and draw the 2nd strand (working yarn) through.
  3. Pinch ring where working yarn and tail cross and carefully remove wraps from finger. Work a beginning ch (e.g. ch 1 for sc, ch 2 for hdc, ch 3 for dc).
  4. Work stitches of first round into ring taking care to cover tail as stitches are worked.
  5. When the first round is complete, pull the tail to tighten center of ring.

Come back next week for tips for starting your knitting projects.