Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame

Archive for June, 2014

Add Color With Slip Stitch Patterns: An Introduction

June 30th, 2014

Pin It

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

Slip Stitch AfghanSlip stitch patterns are an easy way to add color to your knitting; unlike Fair Isle and Intarsia, you knit with only one color per row so they are less complicated. When knitting slip stitch patterns, some stitches from a previous row are slipped and others are knit or purled with a new color.

When a row is completed, you will have stitches that are slipped which are a different color from the stitches that you just knit with the new color. The slipped stitches will be elongated; this will cause the stitch pattern to pull in, so check your gauge carefully if you substitute one in a pattern that calls for Stockinette or another less dense stitch pattern.

Tips to Know

  1. Slip stitch patterns are most often knit in Stockinette but you will find some that combine knits and purls on the same row; this results in a fabric that is both colorful and textured.
  2. Stitches can even be worked with yarn held in the front or manipulated to create “floats” (strands running across other stitches) for contrast.
  3. Slip stitch patterns can be worked in two or more colors.
  4. Generally you won’t find a stitch pattern that calls for more then 3 stitches to be slipped.
  5. Take caution to make sure the strand from the working yarn that results when slipping the stitch is kept loose (resist the urge to pull that “float” tight) or your fabric will pucker.


New Life in an Old Place: the Open Air Shrug

June 29th, 2014

Pin It

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.

The house was left to Liza. Grammy had known she was its spiritual heir. Liza was the only one who’d never wanted to leave on Sunday nights, who adored her summer vacations there. Grammy’s house — “the old place” — had been in the family for generations. There Grammy taught Liza needlework and baking; there they hand-washed dishes, drying them with Grammy’s crocheted towels.

Liza still couldn’t believe that Grammy was gone — quickly, as if someone had casually switched off a parlor lamp. Walking through the house, she felt Grammy everywhere. If I open the front door, Grammy will be on the porch, crocheting. When she sees me, she’ll smile…


Moving through the quiet rooms, slowly inspecting closets and drawers, Liza found Grammy’s project basket with its neat balls of yarn and metal crochet hooks. She sat in Grammy’s favorite chair, embracing the basket — remembering…aching…

Then she knew what to do. She’d crochet something, just as Grammy used to.

Liza chose the Open Air Shrug pattern. Generous and lacy, it reminded her of all she loved about Grammy. Even the word “shrug” evoked feelings close to her heart — living lightly, without worry. Crocheted from soft Kitchen Cotton, the shrug had a comforting feel. Its color, Blue Ice, was like the noon sky on a cloudless day.


“Where’d you get that lovely thing?” Steve asked. It was Friday and he’d just arrived on a train full of passengers escaping summer in the city. Liza picked him up at the station. Steve reached across the car’s front seat, fingering the openwork sleeve. “It’s very charming,” he said. “Nice to touch.'”

“I crocheted it,” she said, “in only a few days. I’m so glad you like it!”

“I do,” Steve said. “It’s kind of retro and kind of modern, all at once. Just like you.”

“Like me?”

“Exactly like you,” he said. “Romantic, whimsical, beautiful you.”

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.

Lion Brand’s “7 Wonders of the Yarn World” Fashion Show

June 27th, 2014

Pin It

The Lion Brand Yarn Company attends The Craft & Hobby Association Conference and Tradeshow every year and a highlight of the event is our fashion show, hosted by Lion Brand spokesperson Vanna White. At this year’s show, we unveiled The 7 Wonders of The Yarn World – a series of sculptures designed by fiber artist Nathan Vincent. Each sculpture represented one of the 7 Wonders in yarn techniques, and we presented a fashion show where each technique was reflected in a variety of fashions.

The yarns featured in the show include Unique, Tweed Stripes®, Bonbons, Homespun, Heartland, Amazing®, Pound of Love®, Heartland Thick & Quick®, Hometown USA®, Homespun® Thick & Quick®, Wool-Ease®, Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®, Vanna’s Choice®, and Vanna’s Glamour®.

Below is a selection of garments from the show – click the image to get the free pattern. All of the patterns and yarns in the collection are available at

CHA- Lace CHA-lace-homespun CHA-lacework CHA-lacewrap
Knit Fan Lace Tunic
Crochet Painterly Beret
Openwork Knit Shrug
Crochet Two Way Ribbed Scarf
Knit Lacework Cardigan Knit Lacework Hat
Knit Seven Wonders Wrap
CHA-texture CHA-chevrons-pncho CHA-texture-fettucini CHA-texture
Knit Voyager Vest
Crochet Neon Beginner Scarf
Knit Cocoon Cape
Knit Simple Hat
Crochet Fern’s Necklace
Knit and Crochet 3 Color Top
Crochet Williamsburg Hat
Knit Multidirectional Afghan*
CHA-chevron CHA-chevrons-pncho CHA-chevron-poncho CHA-chevrons
Drawstring Slouch Hat*
Knit Zig Zag Dress
Ripple Afghan
Crochet Greenpoint Grunge Cap
Lace Edged Poncho
Crochet Sunset Stripe Hat
Radiant Ripple Poncho
Crochet Zigzag Hat
Chevron Afghan
Color Paneled Coat cha-colorwork(poetic) cha-colorwork(slipstitchpom) cha-colorwork(shadecolors)
Knit Stained Glass Sweater Poetic Colorwork Pullover
Knit Bobble Beret
Knit Slip Stitch Pom Hat with
Knit Slip Stitch Pom Scarf
Knit Shaded Colors Afghan
Knit Ski Lodge Cap

Lola thinks everything should be red, white and blue … well, almost everything.

June 27th, 2014

Pin It

Here is the latest installment of Lola, from its creator Todd Clark.


Want to crochet the 4th of July items seen in this week’s Lola comic? Get the free patterns here and below.


*** *** ***

Subscribe to The Weekly Stitch Newsletter

Get a FREE weekly email featuring patterns, articles and special offers. As a bonus for subscribing, we’d like to offer you 15% off your first order! *

:: Sign up now ::

* offer valid only for first-time email subscribers, one coupon per person.

10 Tips on Preventing, Catching, and Fixing Mistakes for Knitters

June 26th, 2014

Pin It

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


You’re at the end of the row and worked all the stitches but there are still instructions for 3 stitches left. How did that happen?

Most commonly, an error occurred because the knitter failed to pay attention. Distractions are everywhere; family members are talking, the phone rings, the TV is blaring.  If you’re a newer knitter, it’s particularly important to find quiet time to knit so you can avoid errors. Once you become more adept, multitasking becomes easier.

  1. Try to avoid mistakes before they happen. The row may have ended correctly with no instructions or stitches left over, but things may still be askew.
  2. Learn to “read” your knitting. Recognize how a knit stitch looks different from a purl stitch. Watch the direction in which cables move. Look at your knitting frequently as the stitch pattern develops to see if everything appears as it should. It’s easy to knit instead of purl by mistake; if you see the error now instead of 10 rows later, life will be much easier.
  3. Count your stitches after completing every row, especially if you are a beginning knitter. This may seem like a tedious task but you will know immediately if you accidentally dropped a stitch or looped the yarn over the needle and made a stitch when you shouldn’t have.
  4. If the error is on the row you just completed (or even the row you are still working on), you can unravel the row stitch by stitch and correct the error. You’ll find instructions for doing this by clicking here.
  5. Using stitch markers to mark every 10 stitches or 20 stitches when you have a more complex stitch pattern to keep track of can make it easier for you to keep track of your work. You only have to count the stitches in between a given set of markers to know whether that section of your row is correct. Click here for our stitch markers.