Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for March, 2014


A Special Delivery: Baby Squares Storyteller Afghan

March 30th, 2014

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This story is from our newsletter called Pattern Journal which brings a warm-hearted, wholesome story to your inbox to read every month. We’re sharing the most recent story here in the blog. If you enjoy it and would like to subscribe, click here.

What do you give an expectant mother who has everything? Kerry had already furnished and decorated the nursery when she first told Jane the exciting news. She also announced her purchases on social media for the benefit of friends and family. It would be hard to find a shower gift that wasn’t a duplicate of something Kerry already owned.

What Kerry couldn’t buy, though, was the afghan Jane had crocheted. Jane had always known she’d make something unique for Kerry’s baby and when she saw the Baby Squares Storyteller Afghan pattern on the Lion Brand website, everything clicked.

The blanket, of creamy yarn crocheted into twenty textured squares, softy back-dropped bright pictures of animals, numbers, flowers, trees, and objects. Illustrating the pictures had been a blast, from choosing images to the actual embroidery. Jane used the adorably bright Bonbons mini-skeins to outline the darling pictures from Lion Brand’s motif library, creating a collage of color.

Nineteen of the afghan’s twenty squares were illustrated. When the baby arrived, Jane would embroider the child’s name and birthdate on the one blank square.

At the baby shower, Kerry opened Jane’s present last. She held the afghan close, and studied the bright pictures. “This is an amazing gift.” Kerry’s voice was filled with emotion. “I’ll show baby these pictures at bedtime, and make up special stories about them. We’ll treasure this…I can’t thank you enough.”

“When the baby arrives, I’ll embroider his or her name in the corner square,” Jane said.

“Oh, I can tell you that now,” Kerry replied. “It’s Cameron.”

“It’s a boy!” someone cried.

“Maybe.”

“What do you mean by ‘maybe’?” Jane asked.

Kerry smiled and said, “That’s the name we chose, for either a boy or girl.”

That evening, Jane embroidered “Cameron” on the corner square. And a week later, she added:

Cameron Elizabeth Bennett
24 March 2014.

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Selma Moss-Ward is a freelance writer who combines her love of writing and of knitting in her columns, stories, and blog posts. Selma is also an active classical musician and the caretaker of five wonderful pets. She lives with them and her husband in Rhode Island.


Join Our Spring Knit-Along Featuring the… Spring Lace Shawl!

March 28th, 2014

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Each season we host a crochet- or knit-along, a virtual event in which yarncrafters come together here online to work on one pattern together, share their experiences, and to learn together. There’s no need to sign up! Simply follow along with the blog posts at your own pace as you knit your project, and feel free to share your comments and/or photos as you progress. KAL_BADGE_2014
81058adaWe asked you to vote on what knit project you’d like to make, and you picked our Spring Lace Shawl! Almost 6,000 of you voted, and we’re so excited to knit-along with you.Click here to download the pattern for the Spring Lace Shawl and click here to get the kit in Kelly Green or in Silver Blue (free shipping for a limited time).

To get this knit-along going, this week is about gathering your materials so that we can jump right in the week of April 7th. This lovely shawl is made in our Vanna’s Choice yarn, a versatile, easy-care, acrylic worsted-weight yarn that comes in a huge assortment of stunning colors. If you’re more in the mood for a cotton blend, Cotton-Ease is a great substitute, and will be light and lovely as the temperatures get warmer.

As with any yarn substitution, you’ll also need to figure out how many skeins of the yarn of your choice the pattern will require. Here are the number of balls for our other recommended yarns:

Yarn OS
Vanna’s Choice 12 skeins
Cotton-Ease 12 skeins

Click here for our FAQ on substituting yarns.

Starting the week of April 7th, our KAL host Grace DiLorenzo will be posting her progress through the lace shawl project, with updates coming every Thursday. You’ll know it’s a dedicated KAL blog post when you see our special badge in the upper right-hand corner of the post. Don’t forget to join our Ravelry group for this KAL as well!

In the meantime, please introduce yourself below–let us know who you are, where you’re from, and who you’re making this top for!

About Grace: Grace DiLorenzo has been knitting for the last 10 years. What started as a hobby quickly grew into a passion. Her favorite things to make are garments and lace. As a teacher at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City she has been able to share her love of yarn crafting teaching beginning through advanced knitting and yarn dyeing classes. She has lead the first four in studio knit alongs and is excited to do it again! grace_200px

9 Stylish Spring Patterns to Knit and Crochet

March 27th, 2014

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Spring has sprung! Well, it’s still a bit chilly for us in NYC, but we’re eager to start switching our wardrobes. With the sun shining and the cool chill in the air, now is a great time to work on a new transitional piece for the season.

Below is a round up of seasonally appropriate garments for you to browse in preparation for the warm weather!

My First Raglan Cardigan
My First Raglan Cardigan
in Vanna’s Choice
(Also offered as a Craftsy Course,
learn more here)
Top-Down Crochet Jacket
Top Down Crochet Jacket
in Fishermen’s Wool and Amazing

Knit Tabard Vest
in Wool-Ease

(more…)


Lion Brand Recommendations: The Neutral Cabled Afghan

March 27th, 2014

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l32161aJackie Smyth is a Technical Editor in Lion Brand’s Design Department. Today she shares one of her favorite Lion Brand patterns. 

I work in Lion Brand’s New York Design Department, where every day is a bit like a birthday! Wrapped packages arrive every afternoon – each holding a new and exciting design. On a daily basis, we’re all inspired to add way too many new items to our project queues.

When we opened the box containing the Neutral Cabled Afghan, I knew it was something I should put at the top of my list.

A good friend recently moved from New York (a city of steam heat) to less well heated Dublin, so was clearly in need of something to wrap up in on chilly evenings. The colors of the Neutral Cabled Afghan are a perfect match for his color scheme and the cables are lovely nod to his Celtic surroundings.

I’m a big fan of interesting construction techniques, so I was super excited when I saw how this afghan was made. No sewing! And a different stitch pattern on each of the panels means I’ll never be bored.

(more…)


Same Yarn, Super-Sized: Introducing Heartland Thick & Quick®!

March 26th, 2014

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hltq

Whether you love our American-made yarns or have a soft spot for the deep-colored hues of Heartland—you’ll love our newest yarn Heartland Thick & Quick®!

Heartland has been one of our most popular yarns because of its soft and silken make, so we decided to make a super bulky version for people to make their projects bigger and better!

It’s a great yarn to go to for soft-to-touch garments, quick afghans, and plush accessories. Check out a few of  our recent knit and crochet patterns using Heartland Thick & Quick® below:

Knit Ski Lodge Cap Crochet Ripple Afghan Knit Deep V Cabled Vest Crochet Flower Power Hat
Knit Ski Lodge Cap Crochet Ripple Afghan Knit Deep V Cabled Vest Crochet Flower Power Hat
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