Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for October, 2013


Yarn Crafting Seen At New York Comic Con

October 30th, 2013

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New York Comic Con has been over for more than two weeks and I’m still suffering from the post-con depression (i.e. that listless, nostalgic feeling you get when you’ve just returned from Disneyland). However I’m still going through all the photos I took from the event.  To my surprise, I saw quite a few yarn crafts and couldn’t help but share them with you.

They were all impressively creative because the majority required no pattern, just a lot of imagination.

 rwby  drwristers boo
This girl crocheted her entire
Ruby Rose (RWBY) cosplay.
Doctor Who wristwarmers
found on Etsy.
An adorable Boo costume from Monsters, Inc.
 r2d2  pokemon  littlesister-bioshock
This needle felted R2D2
took at least 6 months to make.
She just started to learn crochet and wanted to show off her skills with
this Magikarp (Pokemon) hat.
She said she didn’t know how to sew, and crocheted her props for
her Little Sister cosplay (Bioshock) instead.

Ever tried to crochet or knit an entire costume? Or ever seen one that totally impressed you? Tell us!


Eight Arms to Love You With: My Daughter’s Halloween Costume

October 30th, 2013

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costume

My daughter loves octopuses (or is it octopi?) and is almost never caught without holding one of her 7 stuffed octopuses or wearing one of her growing closet of socks and tees.  When I saw this pattern for an octopus costume there was no contest as to what she wanted to be.  She got so excited and immediately asked that it be made in her favorite colors: purple and “lellow” (yellow) with pink spots.

Crocheting the entire thing would be a feat that would’ve taken more than a month’s planning.  And while I could quilt, the pattern was beyond my skill level.  Thankfully Jackie, our Technical Editor, was an expert seamstress and offered to help out.   Since I love creating new things using yarn, I wanted to add some personal handmade touches.

But I also didn’t want it to be just handmade – I wanted it to sparkle and glitter.

When I first saw the pattern I immediately wanted crocheted medallions for the suckers and the spots.
Vanna’s Glamour fit perfectly with what I wanted, and her mustard gold yarn went well with the deep purple velvet fabric.  Soon I was swept up in a creative moment and started picking out more colors like light gold and pink, which would give the costume a cool, colorful, and textured look.  Even Michala, our Design intern, found it so adorable that she also wanted to assist.  Since I knew she was fast crocheter, I asked if she could make some medallions whenever she had free time.

By the time I looked away, I found a pile of medallions of varying sizes already on the table.  She even had extra time to crochet the eyes and a pink bow too!

Then I saw Martha Stewarts CraftsTM/MC Glitter Eyelash yarn and it all came together.  The sparkly polka dots, the giant eyes with purple eyelashes, even the pink bow on its head. When I showed my daughter the finished product she couldn’t wait to get it on her.

Michala crocheting away The growing pile of octopus spots Sewing it altogether
Michala crocheting away The growing pile of octopus spots Sewing it altogether.

The only bad (or good) part will be trying to take it off her once Halloween’s over.


Video: How to Make a Simple Rubber Band Bracelet

October 29th, 2013

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Learn to use your Martha Stewart Crafts™ Knit & Weave Loom Kit to make a basic rubber band bracelet.

Click here to get the written instructions for this project.


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.


Fall 2013 Color Trend: Burgundy

October 29th, 2013

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One of the big color trends for Fall 2013 has been burgundy. Burgundy is in the deep red color family and is a rich, stylish color for both day and night.  It pairs nicely with with neutrals like beige, gray and brown – even with animal prints like leopard and cheetah.  Make a nice chunky cowl or statement piece with one of the yarns in the selections below, and enjoy the regal color of burgundy.

Patterns featuring burgundy:

Sweetheart Shawl
Knit Sweetheart Shawl
Vanna’s Glamour Garnet
Voluminous Cardi
Knit Voluminous Cardi
DaVinci Wine
Sparkling Top
Crochet Sparkling Burgundy Top
Vanna’s Choice Burgundy
Vanna’s Glamour Garnet

 Burgundy yarn selections: 

DaVinci Wine
DaVinci Wine
Homespun Barks
Homespun Barks
Superwash Merino Wine
Superwash Merino Cashmere Wine
Vanna's Choice Burgundy
Vanna’s Choice Burgundy
Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Cabernet
Wool-Eae Thick & Quick Cabernet
Vanna's Glamour
Vanna’s Glamour Garnet

What do you think of this color trend, would you incorporate it into one of your new projects?

Related Links:

 


Cracking the (Pattern) Code, Part 5: Understanding Gauge

October 28th, 2013

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Technical editor and yarncrafting expert Kj Hay joins us for a series on understanding the different elements of patterns. Click here to read her earlier blog posts.

Cracking the (Pattern) Code, Part 5: Understanding GaugeGauge is very important in all but the simplest designs. The gauge at which you work determines the finished size of the piece and the firmness of the fabric. If your gauge is off your afghan may barely cover a doll, or your slippers may fit the Jolly Green Giant quite comfortably. On the other hand, if your gauge is accurate but the yarn inappropriate for the gauge your sweater may be so firm you can’t lower your arms or so “holey” you could only wear it at home with the curtains drawn.

Gauge is the measure of the number of stitches and rows worked to yield a piece of fabric of a specific size. Gauge is usually given in terms of the numbers of stitches and rows worked to yield a piece of fabric that is 4 x 4 in. (10 x 10 cm) square.

If the size or drape of a finished project is important (and most of the time size and drape are important) take the time to check your gauge. To check your gauge, begin by using the size hook or needles listed. If more than one size of hook or needles is listed, the gauge statement should indicate which of the sizes is intended. Work a piece of fabric (known as a swatch) in the indicated pattern stitch that is at least 4 x 4 in. (10 x 10 cm) square or at least the size specified in the gauge statement, whichever is larger. Lay the piece flat without stretching or bunching it, place a ruler on the piece and count the number of stitches and number of rows over 4 in. (10 cm). Compare these numbers with the numbers in the gauge statement. If the number of stitches in 4 in. (10 cm) of your swatch is less than the number of stitches indicated by the gauge statement, you need to make another swatch using a smaller hook or needles. If the number of stitches in 4 in. (10 cm) of your swatch is more than the number of stitches indicated by the gauge statement, you need to try again using a larger hook or needles. Continue to make swatches using a larger or smaller hook or needles as needed until you achieve the gauge.

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The Cowl: A Winter Favorite

October 27th, 2013

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Our Design Department shares their thoughts on a favorite accessory of theirs.

We have been watching the cowl take off on the runways as this season’s favorite accessory. This face-framing neck warmer is versatile, practical and fashionable. Here are two variations on the theme that show how different a cowl can look, depending on your choice of yarns.

Knit Dobbs Ferry Cowl Crochet Wildfire Cowl
Knit Dobbs Ferry Cowl Crochet Wildfire Cowl

The Dobbs Ferry Cowl in Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, knit by holding three strands of this extra-bulky, easy-care yarn together, features the popular look of large stitches. It not only keeps you warm, but also creates a flattering high collar. The Wildfire Cowl uses only one bright painterly shade of Homespun to make a simple stitch look like a complex mix of different colors of yarn. You’ll love the compliments you’ll get when you wear this eye-popping cowl with your dark winter coat. Wear the cowl long (as pictured) to stay warm indoors, or loop it over again for a cozy accessory that keeps you warm while staying in place.

For a selection of over 60 cowl patterns, click here.

A version of this article first ran in The Weekly Stitch newsletter. Click here to sign up for the newsletter and get articles, free patterns, and exclusive offers in your inbox each week. 


Getting Nostalgic at the Knit and Crochet Show

October 25th, 2013

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Rita Weiss induction into Crochet Hall of Fame.One of my favorite shows to attend has always been the Knit and Crochet Show.  And earlier this month during Crochet Guild of America’s Professional Development Day, I got to hear my fellow colleagues and peers in the yarncraft industry speak about what we’ve all learned this past year.  What always excited me about this show was hearing other people, who were just as passionate as I was about yarn, talk about what they love.

It always felt like a family coming home for the holidays, reuniting and catching up what everyone has been doing since the last show. It was this experience I always look forward to the most.

Crochet Hall of Fame

This year was particularly special because I got to see Rita Weiss be inducted into the Crochet Hall of Fame. It reminded me of the reason why I work in this business and at Lion Brand. She has served as my role model, and was the reasons why Lion Brand got involved with the Crochet Guild of America. How she has become a household name and what she has done for the yarncraft industry is what I hope that Lion Brand will one day become.

Lion Brand Home Movies

Not only that but because I travel so much it also gives me a chance to see what Lion Brand has been working on this past year. When videos of my family and I talking about Lion Brand and Vanna White giving Lion Brand’s annual proceeds to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, it brought a tear to my heart knowing I was seeing on screen what I always want our customers to know about Lion Brand. Just like a family, we are taught to be generous and to care about others, but most of all that family comes first.

Knit and Crochet Fashion Show

This year I also got to see I got to see Lauren and Brandyce model for the Lion Brand segment of the Crochet Fashion show. It always impresses me how much our employees go above and beyond when it comes to showing their love for Lion Brand. Whether it’s working behind a desk or working the runaway to model this year’s designs.

I can hardly wait what the next show will bring but I do hope to see some of you in July…

Want to check out a Lion Brand booth near you?  We’ll be in Hartford, Connecticut for Stitches East from November 10-11!


An Upcoming Birthday: the Lion Brand Yarn Studio Turns 5!

October 24th, 2013

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One of my favorite things about working at our New York offices is that the Lion Brand Yarn Studio is just a short jaunt down the stairs—on the ground floor.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit, I highly recommend that you add it to your visiting-New-York-City to-do list. A showpiece space featuring fiber art, hundreds of shades of Lion Brand yarns, artisan tools, and dozens of classes—the Studio is more than a yarn store, it’s a love note to yarncrafters from Lion Brand, a haven from the busy New York City streets.

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.

Join Us for a Celebration!

The store celebrates its 5th anniversary with a party on November 17th, and throughout the month of November, it will be offering special discounts. Visit its website for more details.

Lion Brand Yarn Studio
34 West 15th Street, between 5th and 6th Aves.
New York, New York 10011
LionBrandYarnStudio.com

New, Informative Labels on Lion Brand Yarns

October 23rd, 2013

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HSTQ label

Have you noticed that we’ve changed our label? Over the past year, we’ve updated the Lion Brand yarn labels to be more helpful for you and your crafting needs.  New additions such as a ruler grid, project icons, and care icons have been added to help you select the perfect yarn for your project. You can find the following label icons under the project image on various Lion Brand yarns.

 Project Icons indicate what kind of project a particular yarn is ideal for:

Trilingual Icons From left to right: scarf, hat, garments, and baby items.

Trilingual Icons

From left to right: afghans, amigurumi/toys, accessories/purses, and socks.

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Crochet Your Own Very Hungry Caterpillar

October 22nd, 2013

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crochethungrycaterpillar
When I heard a friend of mine had crocheted her own version of the “Tickle Monster” for her daughter,
I immediately thought of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

It was one of my favorite books growing up. I would read it over and over, gobbling all the words just like the Caterpillar eating all food.  As result, I’ve become a voracious reader.

I’ve also become a voracious crocheter.

When I saw this pattern by Twinkie Chan (I’d recommend using Amazing® yarn in Rainforest for a gradient look), I was immediately taken back to my childhood and my favorite book. Make one yourself, along with everything the Very Hungry Caterpillar ate, and pick out items as you read the book together with the children in your life.

For those unsure how much he actually ate:

Although he ate so much … remember he did eventually turned into a beautiful butterfly.  Are there any books that have inspired you to knit or crochet the main character?

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