Earlier this year Lion Brand unveiled The 7 Wonders of The World — a series of sculptures designed by fiber artist Nathan Vincent. Not only did each sculpture represent one of the 7 Wonders in yarn techniques, but we presented a fashion show where each technique was reflected in a variety of fashions. In the last post in this series we visited texture and it’s importance to knitting, crochet, and felting. Today we present part two: “Stripes & Chevrons.”
|Nathan Vincent’s sculpture of Mayan Ruins; model wearing Crochet Flame Stitch Coat
The Mayan Ruins is our second Wonder of the Yarn World. Chosen to represent bold colors and the spirit of adventure, you’ll find that the patterns associated with this line are fun and perhaps even a little rebellious. Our Creative Director Adina Klein calls this line, “chevrons gone wild!”
With distinct colorways, vertical chevrons and magnificent mash-ups (“coatigan” anyone) – these pieces are well-suited to the yarncrafter who’s looking to spin that afghan on its head and try something new. The yarns featured include Homespun, Homespun® Thick & Quick®, Vanna’s Glamour®, Heartland and our newest super bulky yarn, Heartland Thick & Quick®.
Below we’ve chosen several of the striking designs from the stripes and chevrons collection from our fashion show. In the coming weeks we’ll continue featuring the rest of the 7 Wonders of the Yarn World — from lace to granny squares to modern color work, you’re sure to find inspiration in this amazing collection.
|Drawstring Slouch Hat*
Knit Zig Zag Dress
|Crochet Greenpoint Grunge Cap
Lace Edged Poncho*
|Crochet Sunset Stripe Hat
Radiant Ripple Poncho
|Crochet Zigzag Hat
* pattern coming soon
We featured David Muir on our Facebook page earlier this month, which received an overwhelming positive response. We asked him a few questions about himself and how he got interested in crocheting.
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself, like where you’re from and why you decided to join the military.
I’m originally from Easton, Maryland but I call Pooler, Georgia home now. I joined the Army because of the “adventure” and “awesome toys” — eventually it became more than that. I worked with a group of individuals that became my great friends, and my family.
I was in the Army for 10 years until I decided to seek new adventures. Many of us were stationed together for 6+ years. At that point, others started getting out or changing duty station. It just changed. It wasn’t the same. I needed to try something new. When I got out of the Army in July 2011 I lived in Spain for the summer. I even worked at a scuba dive shop just for fun.
|David Muir and his first afghan,
made with Hometown USA.
After that I moved to Pooler, GA where I lived with my brother, Danny. I worked for Gulfstream as a Quality Engineer but soon missed my Army brothers. When I heard my old unit was deploying to Afghanistan, I decided to look for a job with the slight chance I’ll see them again. Working on the Apache Helicopter is my specialty so our field is quite small. Unfortunately I didn’t get the same base as my old unit, so I’m not in the military anymore. Now I work for DynCorp Aviation.
You’ve just spent hours crafting a gorgeous sweater (or afghan, or shawl, or scarf…honestly, this article applies to any type of project!) and now you need to know what to do when it needs to be cleaned. We’ve all heard horror stories about washing machines eating afghans, and sweaters shrunk in dryers, and it makes the prospect of caring for things we slaved over rather daunting, to say the least. I’ll do my best in the next few paragraphs to try to alleviate those fears for you.
The first thing to consider is the yarn you used. The label (or the yarn’s page on our website if you’ve misplaced the label) will give you a bunch of information about whether the yarn can be thrown in the washer and dryer, taken to the dry cleaner, steamed, etc.
Not sure what all those symbols mean? We’ve provided a handy key for you in our FAQ. Remember, the information on the yarn’s label applies to the yarn itself, not necessarily your project. In other words, just because the yarn you’ve used will not be damaged by machine washing doesn’t mean that’s the best way to care for your item.
Once you’ve checked out the label and seen all the ways you can safely wash the yarn, it’s time to think about the item itself. Is this a baby sweater? An extra large man’s sweater? An afghan? A very lacy shawl? A scarf with a fringe?
Something like a baby sweater, if it is made with a machine-washable and -dryable yarn, can be pretty safely tossed in the machine with no problems (though, as noted in the paragraph below, it will continue to look newer and fresher if it can be cared for more gently). The rest of the items I listed? Not so much. The fringed scarf is going to tangle itself up in all that loose yarn, and all the agitation can be very damaging to the fringe. Your larger sweaters, afghans, and lacy items, are going to get very heavy when they are wet, and the action of the washing machine and dryer will cause the weight of the item to pull on itself, stretching those items out of shape, in some cases quite severely. This can be somewhat alleviated by using a sweater bag with those larger items, as it will keep the item from having room to stretch out.
Finally, think about your expectations for the item. Is this an afghan you expect your rowdy family of five to snuggle up under on the couch every night and the cat to sleep on all day? You probably don’t expect it to look perfect forever, and a little pilling and stretching is going to be par for the course, so throwing it in the machine (in a sweater bag!) is just fine.
Is this a beautiful cabled cardigan you hope to wear for years and years? You’re probably hoping it will continue to look just-off-the-needles for a good long time. As with any delicate item — whether handmade or store-bought — the more gently you care for it the longer it will last and be beautiful.
Hand-washing and laying flat to dry is almost always the gentlest way to care for a handmade item to ensure the best results over time. It’s inconvenient, sure, but isn’t it worth a little inconvenience to keep the project that took so many hours to make looking and feeling great?
There are more great tips on exactly how to handle your project as you wash it in this article.
Yarn crafts should be an enjoyable experience. Pitfalls abound but many of them are our own doing. I hope these suggestions will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed or disheartened as you explore the world of knitting and crochet.
You’ve never knit with circulars? Thousands, if not millions, of people have done it. How hard can it be? You won’t learn a new skill unless you give it a go. Try out the new skill and you’d be surprised how many skills come naturally to you.
Need extra help? Lion Brand can show you other ways you can learn to knit or crochet.
If you’re working a series of instructions [such as this bobble: Knit into front, back and front of next st, turn and k3, turn and p3, turn and k3, turn and Sl1, k2tog, psso] that you don’t understand, try it step by step without thinking ahead. It’s easy to get overwhelmed looking at the entire sequence. By looking at it in steps, it’s easier to break down.
If you’re finding a texture cumbersome or that the yarn is rough on your hands (doesn’t slide, feels like plastic…whatever the case may be), perhaps it’s not the right yarn for you (or this particular stitch pattern). Pick a smooth yarn for more complex stitch patterns and use a simpler stitch when using more textured yarns. Finding the right pairing will make your project more enjoyable.
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And the winners are Susan N. of Lindenhurst, Sally N. of Fennville, Carol L. of Hillsdale, Sheila W. of Sumner, Margaret E. of Millinocket, and Jennifer M. of Oceanside – you will be notified shortly! Congrats and thanks to all who entered!
A doll is often a child’s best friend – dolls are good listeners and they’re even better at keeping secrets. To celebrate Nicky Epstein’s latest books, we have an excellent giveaway that your child and her best friend will love!
Both of Nicky’s books feature 25 patterns and outfits (fitted for an 18-inch doll) that any child will love for playtime dress-ups and tea parties.
We’ll be picking 6 lucky winners to receive a copy of their choice, either Knit for Dolls: 25 Fun, Fabulous Outfits for 18-Inch Dolls or Crochet for Dolls: 25 Fun, Fabulous Outfits for 18-Inch Dolls! Each winner will also receive a package of Bonbons to accompany one of two Lion Brand patterns featured in each book: the Modern Masterpiece (knit) or the Cowl and Critters (crochet).