Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for June, 2013

Warm Weather Knitting & Crochet

June 18th, 2013

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Author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knitting & Crocheting Barbara Breiter joins us for her monthly column featuring frequently asked questions. 

As warm weather approaches (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), some may find themselves tempted to put away their knitting or crochet for the summer. But this is the season for baseball games, picnics, taking the kids to the park, and flying and driving to vacation destinations. That’s a lot of down time that could be spent crafting!

I don’t care how low the air conditioner’s temperature is set; when warm weather sets in, I don’t want all the bulk of an afghan sitting on my lap as I knit.

But you can still knit/crochet an afghan in strips or blocks, so they won’t be nearly as warm to work on. Then, when falls comes again you can sew them together!

This Knit Patchwork Sampler Throw is a perfect example and has different stitch patterns so you’ll maintain interest. Another made in strips is the Crochet Cozy Checkerboard Throw; it doesn’t have complicated stitch patterns so you won’t need to refer to the pattern very often, which is great when you can’t really concentrate on your crafting.

Knit Patchwork Sampler Throw Crochet Cozy Checkerboard Throw


Sock Tips, Pt. 3: Knit Crazy Stripes!

June 17th, 2013

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Socks are a great, compact project that can be made on the go. In each installment, we will show you different ways to add color and pattern to a basic child’s sock. Click here for part 1 and click here for part 2. This month’s article is all about stripes.

Striped socks are a fun and friendly way to experiment with color. The patterns below feature stripes of varying colors and widths to make a basic concept more fun.

Apply stripes to other projects too! From afghans to sweaters, knitted and crocheted items look great in stripes.

Child’s Striped Socks


Celebrate Flag Day with Some Hand-Crafted Americana!

June 14th, 2013

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Happy Flag Day to our friends across the US! In celebration of this holiday, and because July 4 is just three weeks away, I wanted to share some of my favorite American flag-inspired knit and crochet projects. Which one will you make to celebrate Independence Day?

Image of USA Afghan Image of All-American Granny Square Throw Image of Lion Country Afghan
Get just a touch of Americana with this crochet USA Afghan, worked up in our very own made-in-America Hometown USA yarn. Perfect for picnics, this blanket is quick to crochet and will be super soft and warm for years to come. Crochet this All-American Granny Square Throw for a patriotic and classic Americana afghan. Make it with Jiffy in True Red, Fishermen and Denim for a stunning throw that’s perfect for picnics or cool summer evenings on the porch. This knit intarsia blanket is one of my favorites. Knit in one piece in 25 different shades of Vanna’s Choice, the Lion Country Afghan is a true work of yarncrafted art.


A Look at Vanna White and Lion Brand’s Visit to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

June 13th, 2013

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On Monday, June 10 on her show Wheel of FortuneVanna White shared a look at her recent trip to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

She visited the facilities in Memphis with Lion Brand President/CEO David Blumenthal and EVP/COO Dean Blumenthal to announce our $1 million dollar donation to this great organization.

If you’re reading this blog post in your email or an RSS reader, please click on the title to view the full blog post and video on our website.

Video courtesy of Wheel of Fortune.

Bind-Offs: Great Endings to Your Knitting Project – Practice Binding Off

June 11th, 2013

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Bind-Offs: Great Endings to Your Knitting Project, Pt. 1Techniques for binding off are as numerous as techniques for casting on. There are bind-offs that produce firm edges, looser edges, stretchy edges, edges that look like the pattern stitch used, gathered edges, decorative edges, and bind-offs that join two edges together. It is wise to begin by learning a basic bind-off technique to use with your first few projects. After you have completed some projects, you may be in the mood to learn some new bind-off methods.

It can be a bit nerve-wracking to try a new bind-off for the first time on a valuable piece of knitting. Instead, knit a swatch or two and practice the bind-off technique on the swatch(es). Using a swatch to practice provides several advantages; you don’t risk messing up an important piece of knitting, you can unravel and practice again and again until you are sure you have mastered the technique, and you can see and handle the bind-off edge, checking that it has the desired properties, before committing to using the technique.

Before making a swatch, study the variety of bind-off techniques available. Select a technique that is designed to produce the type of edge desired (e.g. firm, loose, “in pattern”, stretchy), and matches your personal style (e.g. Do you prefer two-needle bind-offs? Are you comfortable attempting a sewn bind-off?). Then knit a small swatch in the appropriate pattern stitch and bind off following the steps for the technique selected.

Basic Bind-Offs

The swatch can be a simple rectangle, or if you would like to practice and compare multiple different bind-off techniques, try our octagonal or square bind-off samplers. The samplers are a great way to practice and to study the differences between bind-offs. Some of the differences are very subtle, others are quite noticeable. Detailed instructions for each bind-off technique appear following the sampler photos. See the previous blog post for details on the different bind-off methods mentioned below.