Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for June, 2013

Stories from the Road: Remembering My Father and Deacon Jones

June 4th, 2013

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Stories from the Road | Lion Brand NotebookAs a traveling salesperson for Lion Brand for over 30 years, I’ve crisscrossed the country meeting knitters and crocheters from all corners of the United States and hearing their stories. In addition to yarncrafters, throughout my travels I’ve sometimes been lucky enough to run into some celebrities. Being that I am a huge sports fan, it is always extra exciting when I run into an athlete. During my travels, I have met the likes of Muhammad Ali and Darryl Strawberry.

My father, like me, traveled for the company for over 40 years and he too ran into his share of famous faces. One of my personal favorites that he had the pleasure of meeting was Deacon Jones of the Fearsome Foursome from Los Angeles Rams. Deacon sadly passed away today and it reminded me of my father, how much he loved traveling for Lion Brand, and of his adventures on the road.

May Deacon rest in peace.

[Pictured: my father George Blumenthal and Deacon Jones.]

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Pamper Your Kitty with These Fun Toys!

June 4th, 2013

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June is National Adopt a Cat Month, and if you have a feline friend sharing your home or about to be welcomed into your family, I’m sure he or she would love a new toy! Here’s a roundup of some fun, fast and easy cat toys to knit or crochet for that special cat in your life. Don’t forget to make a few extra for the kitties at your local shelter–they will be forever thankful!

Image of Catnip Mouse: Knit Knit these Catnip Mice in Fun Fur for a furry toy for your furry friend. Use deep neutrals like Taupe, Lava, or Black to create a lifelike mouse, or some of our great new neons for a little splash of color in kitty’s toy basket.
 Crochet this Goldfish Cat Toy with Microspun (or Vanna’s Choice!) for a festive fishy to add to your cat’s toy collection. Image of Goldfish Cat Toy


Sock Tips, Pt. 1: The Basics of Knitting Socks

June 3rd, 2013

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Why are socks so popular? Socks are a great easy-to-carry project and they’re compact and satisfying to make. Over the next month, we will be showing you different ways to embellish your sock patterns. The first project in our sock series is the solid colored sock — the pattern on which all the rest of our socks will be based.

Knit Child’s Solid Sock in Zinnia Knit Child’s Solid Sock in Lemongrass

Here are a few helpful hints about our pattern and sock-making in general:

  • Child-size socks are a great introduction to the world of sock-knitting. The small size means you’ll be finished sooner –- ready to make your next pair!
  • If you’re a sock novice, this solid sock pattern is a good way to get some practice. By making this first pair of socks, you’ll become familiar with the basics of sock construction and with working with double-pointed needles.
  • Read through the pattern before beginning, but just to get a sense of what you’ll be doing. Don’t be intimidated! Just work each step as written.
  • Basically, a sock is a tube with shaping (usually done by working ‘short rows’) for the heel, and simple decreasing to shape the gusset and toe.
  • To cast on, use just one double-pointed needle. Once you’ve cast on the required number of stitches, the instructions tell you to divide your stitches onto 3 double-pointed needles. Simply slip stitches (as if to purl) – one at a time if you’re nervous – onto another 2 needles.