Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame

Archive for November, 2013

A Great Granny Square Giveaway!

November 29th, 2013

Pin It

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!

Related Links:

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

November 27th, 2013

Pin It

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®


Kitchen-Safe Dyeing, Part 3: Grape Juice

November 26th, 2013

Pin It

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


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

November 24th, 2013

Pin It

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.”


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.


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

November 22nd, 2013

Pin It

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.