Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for April, 2014

9 Great Gifts for Mother’s Day!

April 25th, 2014

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With Mother’s Day just a few weeks away, there’s a great opportunity to thank the person who nurtured you and who may have even taught you how to knit or crochet. She could be your aunt, your grandmother, or, of course, your mother — so make a handmade gift to show how much you appreciate her and the time she’s spent with you over the years.

If you’re like myself, you have an abundance of wishlist items, so to help narrow it down, I’ve selected some of my favorite patterns that are great for gifting:

Crochet Romantic Lacy Shawl Knit Everday Glamour Cardigan Knit and Crochet Tunic
Crochet Romantic Lacey Shawl Knit Everday Glamour Cardigan Knit & Crochet Tunic
Knit Tweed Cowl Crochet Skipping Stone Tote Knit Seashell Shawl
Knit Tweed Cowl Crochet Skipping Stone Tote Knit Seashell Shawl
Top Down Crochet Jacket Knit Lace Eyelet Shawl Crochet Open Air Shrug
Top Down Crochet Jacket Knit Lace Eyelet Shawl Crochet Open Air Shrug

What will you be making?

Spring Lace Shawl Knit-Along: Save your sanity with a lifeline!

April 24th, 2014

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KAL_BADGE_2014-300x180Welcome back everybody. Its week three, we’re halfway through the knit along and I’m sure you are all starting to see some progress. Some of you may be cruising along without a care but more likely you’ve ripped back so many times that if you have to do it again you’ll be ripping out some hair as well! This week I’ll show you how you can save the work you’ve already done, and your sanity, with a lifeline.

A lifeline is a piece of yarn that you thread though a row of stitches. Once it’s in place you can rip back to the lifeline if needed without disturbing any of the work below it. I like to put a lifeline in after finishing a pattern repeat or after any part that I’ve struggled with and don’t want to risk having to do it again. To put a lifeline in thread a needle with some waste yarn then thread the yarn through each stitch on your needle.



A Great Giveaway Just In Time for Mother’s Day!

April 23rd, 2014

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Update: Congratulations to our winners, Dixie I., Karen C., and Jamie T.! Check your email for a message from us about collecting your prizes!

Some of my favorite garments to crochet are shawls, or wraps if you prefer to call them that, because of how easy they are to throw over your shoulders whenever there’s a slight chill … and that’s why I’m extremely excited to announce this great giveaway, courtesy of Stackpole Books and Tammy Hildebrand:

Crochet Wraps: Every Which Way by Tammy Hildebrand features 18 original designs for you to try for yourself or make a gift just in time for Mother’s Day! We’re selecting 3 lucky winners who will receive a copy of the book, as well as enough LB Collection® Silk Mohair to make the Purple Passion wrap, a pattern we’ve made available to our readers here.

Contest ends May 7th, so enter now and good luck!

How to Make a Repeating Stitch Into a Scarf or Afghan

April 21st, 2014

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This column by Barbara Breiter, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knitting & Crocheting, originally appeared in The Weekly Stitch newsletter.

You have a throw pattern with a beautiful stitch pattern, but you’d like to make it wider or narrower. Or perhaps you’d like to make it into a scarf. Maybe the converse is true…you’d like to change a scarf into a throw.

It’s not as difficult as it may seem, even if you are a beginner!

There are two vital concepts that must be understood to accomplish this.

Calculating the Repeating Pattern

The first is the stitch multiple, or the number of stitches needed for one repeat of the stitch pattern. A multiple of 5 stitches means you can cast on any number of stitches that is divisible by 5 such as 25, 30, etc. A multiple of 6 + 1 means you need to cast on any number of stitches that is divisible by 6 plus 1 extra stitch; examples include 25, 37, etc.

Sometimes the pattern will tell you the multiple of stitches used which makes it much easier to make adjustments. If the information is not included, you will need to determine this yourself. You do this simply by adding up how many stitches are used.

Here’s a stitch pattern called Twin Rib:

Row 1: *k3, p3; rep from *
Row 2: *k1, p1; rep from *

Leaves of Grass Stitch
 Leaves of Grass Stitch

Row 1 uses 6 stitches (3 + 3) while Row 2 uses 2 stitches (1 + 1). The pattern is a multiple of 6 because that is the larger number and you need 6 stitches for Row 1 to work correctly. Since 6 is evenly divisible by 2, the 2 stitches in Row 2 are more frequently repeated.

Calculating Your Desired Gauge.

Crochet Cable Stitch The second concept is gauge. You might hate working a gauge swatch, but it really is important. Work your swatch in the stitch pattern. Measure how many stitches you get over 4 inches. Now divide by 4 to determine stitches per inch.

The “magic formula” is stitches per inch x desired width=number of stitches to cast on.Keep in mind that given a certain set of parameters, the exact width you wish to make your project may not be possible without making further adjustments to, for example, your gauge by switching either yarn or needle size.

Let’s say your gauge is 5 stitches per inch, you are using a stitch pattern that is a multiple of 12 and you wish to make a throw 33″ wide. 5 (sts per inch) x 33 (desired width)=165, so you would cast on 165 stitches. However, 165 is not evenly divisible by 12, so that won’t work for your stitch multiple of 12. You’ll need to choose the number closest to 165 evenly divisible by 12, which is 168.

Crochet Cable Stitch

Armed with that bit of knowledge, you can now easily adjust any throw or scarf pattern you have, even if it’s not written at the size you really wanted!


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Knitted Toys: Bouncy Bunny Sock Critter

April 20th, 2014

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Writer and avid knitter Selma Moss-Ward joins us for a series of blog posts about becoming a first-time grandmother and knitting toys. Click here to read her previous blog posts.

Maybe because I’m a serious sock knitter, I found this pattern irresistible. Sock construction from cuff to toe cleverly shapes Bouncy Bunny Sock Critter from his neck up. Equally clever is how his legs and body, which are knitted first, flow into the ribbed neckline.

I knitted Bouncy Bunny in a heathery Wool-Ease® color called “Mushroom.” The naturalness of this shade is augmented by subtle black fibers, resembling guard hairs, spun into the yarn.