Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for February, 2014


5 Projects That Take Crafting for Loved Ones to the Next Level

February 21st, 2014

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Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo shares five creative exercises that you can use to show your love through crafting. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

Crafters are a generous lot. We often crochet and knit for others. We craft gifts for birthdays and holidays. We knit and crochet prayer shawls for strangers. We infuse our handmade items with love, and hope that love comes through for the recipient. It’s a wonderful thing. But we can go even further with this intention, choosing ways to craft for and with the people we love, so that the love comes through in deeper and more meaningful ways.

Here are five ideas for making that happen:

1. Appreciation Blanket + Journal. This is a twist on the crochet mood blanket, a popular project this year. Each day (or week) you crochet/ knit either one row or one motif (such as a granny square) that will go into a blanket intended for a special person. Select colors based on the feeling you have for the person each day you work on it. For example, the blanket will have rows of red when you feel love, pink for appreciation, and white for awe. Write down this color code in the front page of a journal. After each row, write a single line expressing why you chose that color for that day. In the end, you’ll have a cozy blanket and this touching journal that will be treasured forever. This is a great gift for pregnant moms seeking to create baby’s first blanket with intentional love. l20643a
Little Boy Blue Blanket

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10 Most Popular Patterns from January!

February 19th, 2014

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Our most popular pattern this month was designed over 10 years ago by Nicky Epstein.  There is something timeless and elegant about this design. The Tree of Life Afghan has special meaning for me because I gave the pattern its name.  (Yes, I’ve been at Lion Brand well over 10 years!)

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The phrase “Tree of Life” has been used by almost every religion and in philosophy and science.  I also like this design because as a person whose first name means “tree” I gravitate toward anything with a tree design on it.

When I think about this design I think about family: growth, roots, and being intertwined.  It makes it a meaningful gift for newlyweds, new parents, and housewarmings.

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A Very Heartfelt Giveaway!

February 17th, 2014

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In recognition of American Heart Month, we’ve partnered up with Laura Zander and Sixth & Spring Books to bring you a very special giveaway.  Stitch Red is a book series created to raise awareness around heart disease and preventive heart health in general. A portion of each sale goes towards HeartTruth®, a public awareness program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.  

Their most recent book, Crochet Red is full of beautiful crochet projects paired with heartwarming stories from prominent faces within the crochet world, including our beloved Vanna White.  

To celebrate Laura Zander’s third book, we have two offerings: 1) we’re sharing an exclusive pattern: the Mitered Brick Throw, and 2) we’re giving you a chance to win a copy of the book and enough yarn to make the Mitered Brick Throw! We’ll be picking three lucky winners on February 28th–enter now and good luck!

»Click here to enter!«

Updated 3/3/14: Congratulations to Elaine Harper, Shannon Sowalter, and Jan Bennett! We’ll be contacting you shortly to get your prizes to you!


Video: How to Do Front and Back Post Stitches

February 15th, 2014

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Maggie Weldon is a crochet expert who loves to share her expertise with those wanting to master the art of crochet.

Make beautifully textured colorwork projects with this simple stitch! Maggie Weldon illustrates how to do front and back post double crochets, half double crochets, and single crochets. Watch the video below to learn these easy techniques:

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.


Featured Pattern: Knit Slouchy Hat

February 14th, 2014

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celebs in slouchy hats

Hats are a more important fashion accessory than ever and the slouchy hat is the most popular style of all.  The slouchy hat is a beanie with an extra flap that hangs down in the back.  Some of the celebrities who have been photographed wearing this style include Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Mary-Kate Olsen.  It’s even popular with men, including Jake Gyllenhaal (who has been spotted in the Lion Brand Yarn Studio on 15th Street in New York City!)

For those of you who love to knit and crochet hats, the good news is that people are wearing them all year round, indoors and out. You can knit or crochet a slouchy hat with a seasonally appropriate yarn like Wool Ease® Thick & Quick® for winter or Cotton-Ease® for spring and summer.  Simply change up the colors and the patterns and you can have a new look every day.

Here are six of the most popular slouchy hats on our site to choose from.

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