Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for July, 2013


Designer Spotlight: Lily Chin’s Versatile Styles and Skills

July 21st, 2013

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Designer Spotlight: Lily Chin | Lion Brand NotebookSomething I love about working in the yarn industry is all of the creative people you meet. Working with designers, artists, and writers constantly inspires me. One of my favorite people in the industry is extremely prolific designer Lily Chin.

Look her up on Amazon.com or Ravelry and you’ll find dozens of books and individual designs, ranging from accessible accessories to complex cables—reversible, no less!

But don’t take my word for it! Here are a few podcasts and videos from our collections featuring interviews with Lily herself:

Want to make your own Lily Chin original? Here are a few patterns she’s designed for Lion Brand that I think are awesome summer projects:

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Learn Skills Online with Craftsy & Lion Brand!

July 18th, 2013

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Do you love the tutorials and how-tos here on the Lion Brand Notebook? If so, you’ll be excited to hear that we’re partnering with Craftsy–the online education experts–to bring you knit & crochet classes the Lion Brand way! Look out for more info later this year!

Here’s a sneak peek at one of the classes we shot earlier this year…Can you guess what it’s going to be?

Sign up for our Weekly Stitch newsletter or keep an eye here on the blog for announcements later this year!

Save Up to 75% Off Online Classes

In the meantime, save on Craftsy’s online classes during their Sweet Summer Sale. Starting today, save up to 75% off select classes. Click here: http://lby.co/195f99E

Check their site each day through this Sunday (July 21) for different online class offerings!

Today’s selection of classes only lasts until midnight, so be sure to sign up and save on your favorites today then check in tomorrow for new online classes on sale. Get unlimited lifetime access once you sign up and learn on your own schedule, in your own home!


Get Inspired by Our Under-the-Sea Window (Plus 9 Patterns for DIY Sea Creatures)

July 17th, 2013

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At the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, our store and education center in NYC, we’re proud to showcase amazing window displays each month. This summer, our window features a fantasy ocean scene, complete with a knitting octopus, sea stars, coral, jellyfish and even a mermaid.

To see more about how our artists created this one-of-a-kind scene, click here to visit the store’s blog.

9 Patterns for Under-the-Sea Inspiration

Although these large-scale art-pieces took several months to complete and combine many different yarn crafting techniques, you can create your own sea creatures with patterns from LionBrand.com

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9 Colorful, Summery Tote Bags to Knit & Crochet

July 15th, 2013

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During the summer, a fun and satisfying project can be a tote bag. Perfect for taking to the beach or on road trips, tote bags can also be a great opportunity to have fun with color. Below are 9 of my favorite tote bag patterns from LionBrand.com!

Image of 4 Ball Market Bag Image of Loom Woven And Knit Bag Image of Rainbow Burst Tote
Crochet 4 Ball Market Bag Loom Woven and Knit Bag Crochet Rainbow Burst Tote

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Gauge & Why It Matters

July 14th, 2013

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Throughout this season, we’re reposting some of our favorite columns by Barbara Breiterauthor of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knitting & Crocheting, previously featured in our Weekly Stitch newsletter. 

Every knitter and crocheter has heard of it. Most ignore it. The smart ones know better. What is it? Gauge, of course.

You’ll see gauge (also sometimes referred to as tension) mentioned in your pattern and on the yarn label. Assuming you are knitting with the same yarn as the pattern used, the gauge on the label may or may not be the same.

The gauge on the label is only a suggestion…a starting point for the gauge of the yarn the manufacturer felt was best. You’ll see a needle size noted too; this is also just a suggestion. All yarn works to a variety of gauges with various needles sizes; in fact, some yarn labels will give you a range of suggested gauges and needle sizes.

If the pattern gauge is different than the label, this is gauge you need to achieve. Ignore the label. Remember, the gauge and needle size of a pattern is only the gauge that particular designer achieved with that size needle. Your mileage may vary. This is why you need to check your gauge before beginning to knit the project. If you fail to do this, you may end up very disappointed at the outcome.

Don’t believe it’s important? Let’s say you are knitting a sweater and the back should measure 20″ across. The gauge in your pattern is 16 sts = 4″, in other words 4 sts = 1″, so the number of sts you’ll work over will be 80 (20 x 4). Suppose you are getting 3.75 sts to the inch instead of 4. Your piece will measure 21.4” (80 divided by 3.75). If you were knitting at 4.25 sts to the inch instead of 4, your piece would measure 18.8″ instead of 20. So, as the math shows you that even a quarter of a stitch in your gauge indeed makes a huge difference! The more stitches you are working over, the larger this difference will be.

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