Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for June, 2013


An Introduction to Felting: Tips & Tricks

June 30th, 2013

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Felting allows you to take knit and crochet pieces and turn them into thick, sturdy cloth suitable for purses, hats, slippers and more just by throwing your wool items into the washing machine and dryer. This month, Jackie Smyth, our technical editor, gives some tips on felting.

An Introduction to Felting

What is felting, Jackie?
Felting is the process by which wool fibers are agitated and lock together to form a dense fabric. Wool yarn can be felted, but synthetics can’t, but you can change the look of a felted design by working a row or two with a non-felting yarn. If you’ve never felted before, it’s a good idea to read our FAQ about it: click here.

What are some of the benefits of felting?
Felt doesn’t ravel – so you can experiment with cutting shapes or fringes on a felted item. If your felted project doesn’t work out as well as you’d hoped — no worries — you can cut shapes from the felt – like flower petals or dots – and use these as embellishments on other projects.

Wow, you could probably make pins and hair barrettes out of those shapes too. So what are your recommended patterns today?
I’ve chosen these three clutches because they are small, making them an ideal beginner felting project, and because they really emphasize how much we love to embellish simple patterns with things techniques like color-work and embroidery.

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6 Quick & Easy Patterns for July 4th Celebrations!

June 28th, 2013

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July 4th is just around the corner, and you know what that means – BBQs, pool parties, picnics and more! In preparation of the big celebration day, I’ve gathered some fun decorative, and patriotic themed patterns to help you get in the spirit of things. Below you’ll find projects from some creative bloggers in addition to our Lion Brand patterns.  Take a gander for yourself and get ready for some crafting this weekend!

Projects from Blogs we enjoy:

Patriotic Crocheted Stars
Patriotic Stars
Blog: Repeat Crafter Me
Star Spangled Banner
Star Spangled Banner Crochet Bunting
Blog: Petals to Picots
Baby Sandals from Tutus and Tea Parties
Patriotic Barefoot Sandals
Blog: Tutus and Tea Parties

Lion Brand Patterns:


Americana Crochet Evaporative Cooler
Lion Cotton (can substitute for Kitchen Cotton)
Click here for knit version
Barista Cup Cozy Set
Barista Cup Cozy Set
Martha Stewart Crafts Cotton Hemp
Macrame Plant Hanger
Macrame Plant Hanger (Craft)
Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton

Do you like to knit or crochet items for your BBQs or celebrations? Tell us some of your favorite patterns for these occasions!

Related Links:


In Your Words: Readers Share How Knitting & Crochet Make Them Better

June 27th, 2013

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One of the most wonderful things about knitting and crochet is how these crafts enrich our lives. The video above was inspired by you, our blog readers, and we hope that you’ll continue to share your comments below about how knitting and crochet affect you every day.


Celebrate Log Cabin Day with Log Cabin Afghans!

June 25th, 2013

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As you may have already noticed, I’m big on the quirky holidays. The way I see it, each of these silly days is a chance to celebrate something that may get overlooked every other day. An excuse to eat more donuts just because it’s national donut day? Count me in! (National Donut Day was on June 7, actually, but I don’t see why you can’t have a belated celebration.) Anyway, today is National Log Cabin Day! For some people, this probably evokes the smell of fresh cut grass and the feeling of the raw lumber used to construct a grandparent, aunt or uncle’s log cabin in the woods. For crafters, however, the term “log cabin” speaks directly to a very particular variety of quilts and afghans.

The quilts first became popular in the United States in the 1860s, during the Civil War, and their popularity as a traditional style of American crafting has remained for generations since. Traditionally, center squares were symbolically red or yellow, but more modern takes on the style show off individual preferences. These log cabin quilt-inspired afghan patterns range from traditional to contemporary, and can be knit or crocheted in a variety of yarns, colors, and stitch patterns.

 Image of Cozy Cabin Throw Image of Log Cabin Pocket Blankie  Image of Neutrals Log Cabin Afghan
Crochet Cozy Cabin Throw  Knit Log Cabin Pocket Blankie  Crochet Neutrals Log Cabin Afghan

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Sock Tips, Pt. 4: Add an Eyelet Stitch Pattern to Your Sock

June 24th, 2013

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As we continue our series on embellishing your socks, we now introduce a new stitch into our basic sock pattern. Because socks are compact and quick to whip-up, they’re a great opportunity to try out new stitches. In our last two installments, we talked about color-work. In this article, we feature an eyelet sock pattern, adding style to our basic sock pattern with a lacy look.

Child’s Eyelet Sock

Here are a few tips on this eyelet sock pattern:

  • It’s helpful to use light color needles for dark yarn, darker needles for a light color yarn – you’ll be able to see your stitches more easily. This is helpful no matter the project.
  • Socks with an eyelet pattern provide a good fit – the spaces created by the eyelets stretch or contract easily to accommodate a variety of leg sizes.

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