Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for November, 2013


A Great Granny Square Giveaway!

November 29th, 2013

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Margaret Hubert is a legendary crochet designer, and continues to inspire crocheters with great new patterns year after year.  This time around, Margaret has ventured into granny square flowers, and shares with us the amazing versatility of  a simple granny square with her newest book, Granny Square Flowers: 50 Botanical Crochet Motifs and 15 Original Projects.

To celebrate Margaret’s new release, we’ve got an exclusive pattern to share with you, plus – a giveaway of the book, along with all of the LB Collection Silk Mohair you’ll need to make this beautiful “Wild Flower Shawl

 

Wild Flower Shawl Granny Square Flowers book

3 lucky entrants will have the chance to win a copy of Granny Square Flowers, along with LB Collection Silk Mohair in Midnight (2), Iris (1), Azure (1), Sunbeam (1), Sunset (1).

*Contest ends December 6th

»Click here to enter!«

*Update 12/11/2013*: The winners are Alix Benson, Judith Pruski, Indu Kaushal. Congratulations and we’ll be in touch shortly to get your prizes to you!

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At Gift Giving Time, Don’t Forget The Pet!

November 27th, 2013

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For most people, pets are part of the family.  They have their own individual personalities that the family has come to know and love, and in return, their pet loves them back just as much (if not more).

Pets can’t tell you what they want for the holidays, so it helps to have some ideas on what to give your “furry family member.”

Here are some great dog sweater patterns, starting with an easy knitted number modeled by a Boston terrier who is part of my extended family.  He was extremely nervous on the day of the shoot and breathing heavily, hence the extended tongue.

Knit Need for Tweed Dog Sweater Crochet Striped Dog Sweater Knit City Stripes Dog Sweater
Knit Need for Tweed Dog Sweater in Wool-Ease®
Thick & Quick®
Crochet Striped Dog Sweater in Wool-Ease®
Thick & Quick®
Knit City Stripes Dog Sweater in
Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®

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Kitchen-Safe Dyeing, Part 3: Grape Juice

November 26th, 2013

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Sister and brother duo, Elizabeth and Robby Miracle, first created this dyeing series for a Lion Brand newsletter several years ago. Although that newsletter is no longer around, we loved the idea of making kitchen-safe dyes so much, that we’ve updated it and reprinted the series here. 

Kitchen-Safe Dyeing | Lion Brand Notebook

Creating your own dyes can be a fun and exciting way to personalize projects.  This month, we show you how to make all-natural dyes and use them with different cotton and wool yarns.

We used only edible items purchased at our local market, boiling water (and in some cases, salt or vinegar) to make beautiful, all-natural dyes.

After trying our dyes, you will probably want to experiment with other natural food dyes of your own.  Start by using fruits or vegetables that stain and experiment!  You can mix dye baths to make different colors.  You will probably find, as we did, that the colors are all — surprise — “earth” tones!

Because this project requires boiling water, adult supervision is required.

Dye Bath with Grape Juice

This quantity of dye will easily color 2 skeins of LB Collection Pure Wool or , 2 skeins of Nature’s Choice Organic CottonOther options include: Alpine Wool, Fishermen’s Wool, LB Collection Organic Wool, LB Collection Superwash Merino, Martha Stewart Crafts™ Merino, Martha Stewart Crafts™ Roving Wool, Martha Stewart Crafts™ Cotton Hemp, Kitchen Cotton. Click here to see all Lion Brand yarns. 

grape-cottona  grape-woola
Dyed Cotton Dyed Wool

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Cracking the (Pattern) Code, Part 9: Special Phrases and Terms

November 24th, 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 9: Prose Instructions

Special Phrases

There are some deceptively brief phrases used in prose instructions that have a powerful, agreed upon meaning. At first, you should approach patterns with such phrasing cautiously as they assume a higher level of knit or crochet knowledge.

 

End with a RS row

This phrase simply means that the last row you work before proceeding to the next part of the instructions should be a RS row and that you should be ready to work a WS row when you begin the next part. Of course, the opposite is true for the phrase “end with a WS row.”

Tip

The first row or round following a “end with a WS row” or “end with a RS row” often indicate on which side the row or round is to be worked (e.g., Row 1 (RS)). Looking for this reminder can help you be sure to end on the correct side before beginning the next group of instructions.

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May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor with Our
District 12 Cowl Wrap

November 22nd, 2013

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Hunger Games Cowl

Catching Fire, the second film in The Hunger Games trilogy (based on the book series), is out in theaters today! If you’re a fan, you’ve likely watched the trailer more than twice, and fawned over the teaser pictures of Katniss wearing her cowl. Well, you can definitely count our Design Department among The Hunger Games’ fans—they all unanimously wanted to create their own versions of this famous cowl.

While the cowl worn in the movie is actually woven, our Design Department wanted a more wearable interpretation while still maintaining a textured look.  According to Jackie, our technical editor, the Design team created the knit version—that was inspired by the original—by using a stockinette stitch and reverse stockinette stitch. While the crochet version got a little more creative, using bobbles on the cowl, to give its armor-like appearance. The yarn is Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® in Grey Marble, not only because of the colors but because it was also the perfect yarn to create the texture they wanted.

They are very proud of this particular design because it can be a worn as a cowl wrap or just a cowl as a cozy cold weather accessory on its own!

Whether you are from District 1 and wearing it to be fashion savvy, or District 12 and wearing it because it is one of the warmest things you own – our District 12 Cowl Wrap proves this is not just Katniss’ cowl, but everyone’s.


For Crocheters Who Want To Learn To Knit and Knitters Who Want Their Friends To Learn

November 21st, 2013

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learntoknit-blog

If you’re an avid crocheter like myself, you’ve probably always wanted to learn to knit. I’m especially moved to learn how to knit when I know a new baby is on the way.

I think so many people want to learn because they know that it really is a great skill to master … plus, it’s nice to know you have many of options when it comes to creating a handmade gift.

Now you can learn to make precious keepsakes with Lion Brand’s latest Learn to Knit Baby Kit.  This all-in-one kit will teach you to knit while making a hat and booties set for a baby.  We have two kits available: one for girls (pictured right) and one for boys.  This kit includes everything from the instructions, to the yarn, needles, and gift supplies.

Just learn it, make it, and give it. All for 9.95!

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Our Most Popular Patterns from the LB Collection

November 20th, 2013

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Working at Lion Brand allows me to go through thousands of interesting patterns in PatternFinder, our online pattern directory.  I love doing this because I get to discover all of the different patterns Lion Brand has to offer. Of course, this also means that I have a never-ending list of projects that I’ll never get to soon enough!

For those curious about the LB Collection itself, here are some of my favorite patterns:

Crochet Cardiff Cowl Knit Luxe Lace Pullover Crochet Natalia Scarf
Crochet Cardiff Cowl in
LB Collection® Baby Alpaca
Knit Luxe Lace Pullover in
LB Collection® Silk Mohair
Crochet Natalia Scarf in
LB Collection® Angora Merino

(more…)


How to Nip Holiday Crafting in the Bud

November 20th, 2013

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Knit Weekend Hoodie Wine Carrier Yarn Crafted Ornaments
Knit Weekend Hoodie Crochet Wine Carrier Yarncrafted Ornaments

Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo shares her tips for enjoying holiday crafting – avoid feeling overwhelmed as as the season gets closer! Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

It happens every year to the best of us. We get excited about all of the wonderful gifts that we’re going to knit and crochet for everyone we love. Not to mention we want to decorate our own homes with our crafts. It’s thrilling and inspiring but as the holidays deadlines get closer, the cost of the supplies seems more than its worth, the gifts feel like they’ll never be finished, and you haven’t even started the crafts. Suddenly we’re overwhelmed and holiday crafting has become painful instead of joyful.

Don’t let it happen again this year!

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Kitchen-Safe Dyeing, Part 2: Using Skins of Yellow Onions

November 19th, 2013

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Sister and brother duo, Elizabeth and Robby Miracle, first created this dyeing series for a Lion Brand newsletter several years ago. Although that newsletter is no longer around, we loved the idea of making kitchen-safe dyes so much, that we’ve updated it and reprinted the series here. 

Kitchen-Safe Dyeing, Part 2: Using Skins of Yellow Onions | Lion Brand Notebook

Creating your own dyes can be a fun and exciting way to personalize projects.  This month, we show you how to make all-natural dyes and use them with different cotton and wool yarns.

We used only edible items purchased at our local market, boiling water (and in some cases, salt or vinegar) to make beautiful, all-natural dyes.

After trying our dyes, you will probably want to experiment with other natural food dyes of your own.  Start by using fruits or vegetables that stain and experiment!  You can mix dye baths to make different colors.  You will probably find, as we did, that the colors are all — surprise — “earth” tones!

Because this project requires boiling water, adult supervision is required.

Dye Bath Using Skins of Yellow Onions

This quantity of dye will easily color 2 skeins of LB Collection Pure Wool or , 2 skeins of Nature’s Choice Organic CottonOther options include: Alpine Wool, Fishermen’s Wool, LB Collection Organic Wool, LB Collection Superwash Merino, Martha Stewart Crafts™ Merino, Martha Stewart Crafts™ Roving Wool, Martha Stewart Crafts™ Cotton Hemp, Kitchen Cotton. Click here to see all Lion Brand yarns. 

yellow-onion-skin-cottona  yellow-onion-skin-woola
Dyed Cotton Dyed Wool

(more…)


Meeting a Living Legend of the Knitting Industry

November 18th, 2013

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janet-johnson-stephens
With Janet (pictured left) and the other ladies from the Guild

As a fourth generation member of a family-owned business, I’ve always been fascinated with the “living legends” of the yarn industry since, like me, many of them have been involved in the business for 30 or 40 years.

At the Knit and Crochet show last month, I had the pleasure of meeting Janet Johnson Stephens, who won the Honorary Lifetime Member award from the Knitting Guild of America. 

The very talented Janet Johnson Stephens is a particularly influential person. Not only is she a dedicated crafter, but she is an accomplished teacher and designer.

(more…)

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