Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for May, 2013

Tranquil Tank Top Knit-Along – A Photo-Finish

May 30th, 2013

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KAL badgeWell, I have finished the Tranquil Tank Top and it is still Spring!  It has been great to see pictures of the finished tops that many of you have created during our Spring Knit Along.   If you have not finished, don’t worry – we will keep the posts of this KAL available long after this final post. (Click here to view previous posts.)

Finishing this top was a fairly quick job, with only 4 seams and sewing the bottom of the left front to the inside of the right front.  No sleeves to set in or stitches to pick up!

After I finished my front, I turned it over and used some detachable stitch markers to make sure those cast-on stitches for the left front would lay flat and even (I could also have used safety pins for this.)  Just as basting is necessary in machine-sewing a final seam, having your pieces in the correct spot with pins or markers assures that the finishing will progress evenly.

Tranquil Tank Top Knit-Along – A Photo Finish
(Click images to enlarge.) 


6 Quirky Knit & Crochet Projects for Father’s Day

May 29th, 2013

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Father’s Day is June 16th, so now is the perfect time to get started on a personalized handmade gift for that special Dad you know.  I’ve rounded up a few fun patterns perfect for showing the father in your life how special he is.  Choose a pattern that really suits his personality, or perhaps one that’s related to a hobby, or his career. Whether your guy likes to rock out on the guitar, or relax and be comfortable on the couch – there’s a pattern suitable for everyone!

Crochet Commemorative Throw
Knit Commemorative Police Throw
Click here for crochet version

Crochet Beard
Dad Style Vertical Stripe Tie
Knit Dad Style Vertical Stripe Tie
Knit Wired Dad Remote Caddy
Father's Day Socks
Knit Father’s Day Socks
guitar strapKnit Felted Guitar Strap
Click here for crochet version

How do you like to personalize your gifts for men? Do you pay attention to the color, does the pattern have a meaningful repeat? Share with us in the comments!

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Beginner Afghans: Quick & Fabulous

May 28th, 2013

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Looking for beginner projects that look spectacular? I ask Jackie Smyth, Lion Brand’s technical editor, about her recommendations on three easy-to-make, high impact afghans that are perfect gift projects.

What are gift ideas for beginner knitters and crocheters?
A classic handknit or hand-crocheted gift is definitely the afghan or throw. You many not realize it, but some of our favorite afghan patterns here in the design department are actually beginner patterns. “Beginner” just refers to the different skills required to make an item, not how it ends up looking. I’ve picked out three really beautiful beginner afghans — that all look more advanced than they really are — to share with you today.

Image of Sunshine Day Baby Throw Image of My  Blankie Image of Candy Shop Afghan
Knit Sunshine Day Baby Throw Knit “My Blankie” Crochet Candy Shop Afghan

Can you tell us a little about them?
The first pattern is our Sunshine Day Baby Throw for kids. It’s made in pieces and each piece is simply made with two different strands of yarn, worked in stockinette stitch. The two contrasting colors work up together to look like tweed, which gives it more depth and interest. The second pattern is called “My Blankie” and it’s also a great gift item. The stripes are also each done in two strands of contrasting yarn, which gives it a tweedy look. Both items are simple, knit blankets perfect for kids because they’re made with washable yarns — the first with Cotton-Ease and the second with Vanna’s Choice.

They’re both really beautiful patterns. What about a beginner afghan as a gift for an adult?
I’d like to recommend our crocheted Candy Shop Afghan in Hometown USA, because it has such vibrant colors and coordinates with any decor. This project is made in pieces that are later sewn together, which makes it portable and easy to make when you’re on the go.

So what are the key take-aways for our readers?
Beginner patterns can be beautiful. Look for patterns that use multiple strands of yarn for visual interest, and look for patterns that are made in pieces for portability.

For more afghan patterns, visit our Pattern Finder.

A version of this article first ran in The Weekly Stitch newsletter in October 2007. Click here to sign up for the newsletter and get articles, free patterns, and exclusive offers in your inbox each week. 

You Can Play with Your Food!

May 27th, 2013

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A few weeks ago, we posted some photos of the food-inspired crochet art of textile artist Kate Jenkins on our Facebook page, and it started quite a conversation! Lots of people found these projects to be super fun; in addition to being decorative, some have also mentioned how great they are for babies and children’s toys. So, in honor Memorial Day and the kicking off of BBQ season, I thought it would only be appropriate to share some of my favorite knit and crochet food patterns!

 Image of Eggplant  Image of Apple Image of Corn on the Cob
 Crochet Eggplant  Crochet Apple Crochet Corn on the Cob


Tranquil Tank Top Knit-Along — Knitting on the Flip Side!

May 23rd, 2013

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Note: This is the fifth installment of our Spring 2013 Knit-Along. To view previous posts, click here.

KAL badgeLast week, I finished the left front of the Tranquil Tank Top and this week I have knitted the right side. I really like how this pattern immediately proceeds to the opposite side of the fronts. The right front is the side that is on the outside and is completely worked from stitches that are part of the ribbing. For the left side, I had to cast on stitches, and although these cast on stitches may appear a little loose or uneven, there are no worries as the cast on edge of the left front will be sewn down and hidden on the inside:

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