Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for August, 2013


Crafter Stories: Crocheting at the Cafe

August 5th, 2013

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Crafter Stories: Crocheting at the Cafe | Lion Brand NotebookLast week, we brought you a few stories from our readers about their experiences knitting and crocheting in public. Today, we want to share a longer story from Jessica Leete of Orchard Park, NY.

I often spend my weekend mornings at the local Starbucks for a few hours, enjoying my specialty coffee while working on my most recent crochet project.  Although I love the coffee shop atmosphere, it can often get quite noisy as well, so I usually also bring my laptop and earbuds so I can listen to music or play a TV episode in the background to help drown out the noise.  As a result, I am often zoned into my project, completely oblivious to the sounds and activity around me.    

On a number of occasions, I have looked up from my project to find someone sheepishly standing right in front of me, who has undoubtedly been clearing their throat a few times to get my attention,  while I unaware, had been crocheting away.  

I quickly pull my earbuds out and apologize that I hadn’t heard them.  On most occasions, it is a a woman who simply wants to pass on a compliment regarding what I am ‘knitting’.  I always give a big smile and a ‘thank you’, while politely clarifying that I am actually crocheting, but reassuring them that they are quite similar and easily confused.  I love these small chances to spread a little knowledge on these two crafts and their differences.      

In one instance, I was actually addressed by two guys from the adjacent table.  The one looked at my project and said, “You are crocheting, right?”  Impressed, I replied with “yes” and a smile.  He continued that his grandmother used to crochet all the time when he was young and that he didn’t know crocheting was done any more.  

I definitely had to stifle a laugh.  I told him that crochet is still around and actually becoming quite popular recently.  I loved the opportunity to increase the awareness of my craft.    

My favorite instances though are when kids are around.  They don’t just stare, but they come right up to my chair and stand next to me watching my every yarn over and draw through.  They cannot help themselves—they are just so curious to see something they never have before.  The parents are always embarrassed and try to call the kids away, but I quickly intervene and assure them it isn’t a problem.  I happily answer any questions they have and show them step by step how I complete each stitch.    

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Making Sizing Changes to Scarves and Throws

August 4th, 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.

Leaves of Grass Swatch

You have a throw pattern with a beautiful stitch pattern, but you’d like to make it wider or narrower. Or perhaps you’d like to make it into a scarf. Maybe the converse is true…you’d like to change a scarf into a throw.

It’s not as difficult as it may seem, even if you are a beginner!

There are two vital concepts that must be understood to accomplish this.

Stitch Multiple

The first is the stitch multiple, or the number of stitches needed for one repeat of the stitch pattern. A multiple of 5 stitches means you can cast on any number of stitches that is divisible by 5 such as 25, 30, etc. A multiple of 6 + 1 means you need to cast on any number of stitches that is divisible by 6 plus 1 extra stitch; examples include 25, 37, etc.

Sometimes the pattern will tell you the multiple of stitches used which makes it much easier to make adjustments. If the information is not included, you will need to determine this yourself. You do this simply by adding up how many stitches are used.

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Video: How to Use Stitch Markers in Knitting & Crochet

August 1st, 2013

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Both knitters and crocheters may find stitch markers helpful for many reasons. They can help you…

  • keep track of your stitch count (place them between every stitch repeat in a lace or cable pattern!)
  • mark mistakes that need fixing (split ring markers work best for this)
  • indicate the beginnings of the round on in-the-round projects

Learn more with this short video.

Related links:


Afghans in August! 6 Knit & Crochet Patterns to Get You Ready for Fall

August 1st, 2013

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It’s the first day of August, and you’ve probably already seen some “Back to School” advertisements reminding you that the summer is slowly winding down.  While we still want to enjoy the last month or two of this wonderful weather, it’s also a perfect time to think about those bigger projects you may want to start to have ready for the cooler weather – like afghans.

I’ve rounded up a few afghan patterns that are warm and cozy, and also serve as great home decor projects. Make your friends jealous when they come over and see your beautiful handiwork!

Crochet Americana Afghan
Crochet Americana Afghan
in Heartland
Weekend TV Afghan
Knit Weekend TV Lapghan
in Wool-Ease Thick & Quick

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