Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for December, 2013


Learn a New Stitch: My Slip Stitch Afghan

December 30th, 2013

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myslipstitch

Now that the holiday season is coming to a close, you may be thinking of ways to improve your knitting skills in the new year.  If you’re wondering where to start we have the perfect opportunity for you.

Whether you’re a beginner just learning to knit or you’re a stitch afficionado looking take your afghan knitting to the next level, you’ll want to try “My First Slip-Stitch Afghan,” one of four classes that Lion Brand offers on Craftsy.

Slip stitch knitting is such a beautiful method that creates a woven colorwork effect. It’s an easy but complex looking stitch, but even a novice knitter can handle it. One of the best qualities of this stitch is that you work with just one color per row, no changing colors or stranding. With “My First Slip-Stitch Afghan,” knitwear designer Rhonda Fargnoli, will teach you how to create our Slip Stitch Sampler Throw, which is composed of six different slip stitch patterns.

The great thing about buying a Craftsy class, it’s yours to own; you can watch it as often as you want until you’ll have a newly completed slip stitch afghan.

Order now at $19.99 (original price of $29.99)*
*Price is for a limited time only


9 Classic, Vintage Inspired Patterns for Today’s Crafter!

December 29th, 2013

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The fourth season of Downton Abbey premieres next Sunday, and I’m getting ready by working on another Tea Wrap for a friend of mine who loves vintage fashion.

Like her, some of my crochet and knitting projects are heavily inspired by vintage eras.  My copy of Vintage Styles for Today, featuring vintage Lion Brand patterns, is well-worn from extensive use, and I’m constantly on the hunt to find patterns that evoke a “vintage but modern” feel. Whether you are finalizing plans for your Downton Abbey premiere party or looking for a project to bring the local historical society’s craft circle, here are some modern Lion Brand patterns suited for everyday, modern life but have a vintage-inspired twist.

Knit Middlemarch Cardigan Crochet Embellished Beanie Knit Lauren Scarf
Knit Middlemarch Cardigan
in Wool-Ease®
Crochet Embellished Beanie
in Homespun®
Knit Lauren Scarf
in Vanna’s Choice®

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Our 10 Most Popular Patterns from 2013!

December 27th, 2013

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We’re gearing up for 2014 with lots of surprises ahead, but I wanted to take time to reflect on 2013.

I’m always amazed at how many patterns we have in Patternfinder—I’m often asking myself “how could I have not noticed this one?” Our Design department has been working very hard this year, and we think they’ve really outdone themselves with all new patterns they’ve created.

Now that the holidays are over, you can start working on projects for yourself again; the projects you dreamt about while you knitted or crocheted gifts for loved ones. Or maybe you’re ready to start fresh and you’re looking for ideas!

With that in mind, I’ve collected the most popular patterns of this past year, including our District 12 Cowl Wrap, which turned out to be the most popular pattern of all!

District 12 Cowl

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Lion Brand Yarn Studio Featured on WFUV 90.7FM!

December 26th, 2013

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Lion Brand Yarn Studio

Last week, Lion Brand Yarn Studio was featured on WFUV 90.7FM’s morning program, Cityscape. The segment explored the Studio as one of the many ways you can combat the cold and  “cabin fever” during the winter months.  Listen to our CEO, David Blumenthal and, our Studio Director, Gretchen Fancher discuss how Lion Brand has provided a fun, educational outlet for knitters, crocheters, and crafters alike.

Listen to the podcast here and then visit the Studio and start a new yarn project!


Knit and Crochet and Yarn Trends For 2014

December 23rd, 2013

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1. Big, Bigger, Better

Big, Bigger, Best
1) Arm Knitting. 2) “Speed Stix” Knitting Needles. 3) Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® 4) Homespun® Thick & Quick®

We’ll see people supersizing everything in 2014 with big needle knit and crochet garments and home décor that display chunky, oversized stitches in oversized silhouettes. In 2014 we’ll be showing you a collection of designs that will keep you right on trend. Many of Lion Brand’s yarns are ideal for the “Big” trend including Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®, Homespun®, Homespun® Thick & Quick®, Hometown USA® . . . with more to come in 2014.

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Pairing Your Favorite Afghan With Wine

December 22nd, 2013

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Photo courtesy of  Praktyczny Przewodnik  via Creative Commons license.It may not seem like it at first, but wine and afghans have a lot in common. They’re both diverse and they both come in many colors and varieties. They can evoke a sense of the pastoral just as easily as they can a sense of modernity. Their companionship is appreciated when we curl up with a good book on Saturday night or when they join us for Sunday afternoon movie-watching and snuggling.

Here are a few of my favorite Lion Brand afghans and a suggested wine pairing or two (… or three) for each.

Snow And Sunsets Afghan

Perfect for this time of year, this afghan is great for those cold winter nights when all there is to do is watch the snow fall outside your window.

The natural shade of Fishermen’s Wool® contrasted with the vivid colors of Amazing® make the chevrons in this blanket truly stand out.

I would pair this afghan with a rich-bodied white wine, something a bit spicy like an older German Reisling or a Gewürztraminer.

Vintage On The Bias Afghan

This rustic afghan is crocheted on the bias to create the unique diamond design. The earthy tones of Homespun® Thick and Quick® will have everyone wanting to warm up under this cozy throw.

Pair this afghan with red wines that exude aromas of earth, and maybe a touch of old wood – think Brunello, Cabernet Sauvignon or even a Malbec or Pinot Noir.

Toasty Rose Afghan

The unique border on this mitered rectangular throw gives it a very elegant and feminine look.

If this afghan strikes your fancy, a relaxing rosé would be the perfect match for your tastes!

You may not believe it, but Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are vintners – in addition to actors, parents and humanitarians – and they’re good at it too. Last year they released a rosé the critics loved called Miraval and if you can find a bottle, it’s a very lovely wine.

Modular Cable Afghan

Bring a contemporary look to your living room with this afghan made of cabled hexagons.

A contemporary design calls for a younger wine, so a few pairings I recommend for this afghan are Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio on the white side or a Shiraz or Beaujolais for red.

Slip Stitch Afghan

This afghan has a unique texture and color palette thanks to a combination of both Wool-Ease® and Amazing® yarn, and series of slip stitches.

The slip stitch afghan demands to be paired with a rare varietal. Try a Petite Verdot, a Picpoul Blanc or a Ramnista.

Bonus tip: If you’ve always wanted to try to make a slip stitch, take a look at our newest Craftsy class, My First Slip-Stitch Afghan.

:: Photo courtesy of Praktyczny Przewodnik via Creative Commons license. ::

 


Introducing Keppi: our newest Lion Brand Yarn!

December 20th, 2013

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If you love knitting or crocheting hats for children or just love seeing the bright-eyed look children have when giving them the latest “it” accessory, you’ll love our latest addition to Lion Brand.

Keppi is a our newest yarn; made up of bright pastels and candy-like colors, it’s the perfect yarn for a child’s or even an adult-sized Small hat. This yarn is not only multicolored but multitextured, made to look like you’ve used several different types and colors of yarn.

Keppi is just one continuous strand, no changing colors or yarn.

It comes in 8 fun, exciting, Hello Kitty cute colors like Rainbow Cupcake, Orange Fizz, Taffy, etc. Plus every ball of yarn is topped with a matching colored pompom, like the cherry on a sundae.

Whether you knit or crochet a hat for the kid who wants the new “it” accessory or a children’s charity project to bring a smile to someone’s face, using Keppi will be fun to make, fun to wear, and fun to touch!

Keppi in Cotton Candy Pink
Featuring Rose Garden (#302)
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Sparkle Crochet Hat
in Grape Jelly
Jazzy Knit Hat
in Cotton Candy Pink
Sparkle Knit Hat
in Rainbow Cupcake
Jazzy Crochet Hat
in Taffy

How Visualizing and Completing a Crochet Project Can Change Your Life

December 20th, 2013

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Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo shares inspiration for enjoying all of your craft projects from start to finish. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

visualizing-crochetI believe strongly in the power of crochet to improve quality of life whether you’re suffering from a serious condition like depression or just seeking to experience more inspiration in your everyday life. One of the key ways that I believe crochet can help is through embracing each stage of the project including the process of visualizing, working on, and finally completing the work.

Visualizing a Crochet Project

Many people underestimate the value of this first step of a crochet project but it can be immensely beneficial to focus on it. Truly embrace the process of thinking about what you want to make, how you want to make it, who it will be for, and which yarn you will want to use.

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Video: How to Arm Knit

December 19th, 2013

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Get the look of knitting without using needles. Using the simple technique of arm knitting, you can make a scarf in just half an hour!

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.


Lion Brand Yarn Featured on ABC News!

December 18th, 2013

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Lion Brand Yarn was featured in David Muir’s “Made In America” segment on ABC News!



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Make your own mittens in honor of the U.S. Olympic team with our Heartland yarn, made here in the USA.

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We’ve got the perfect colors too – check out Olympic Blue, Redwood and Acadia.