Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for June, 2014


Add Color With Slip Stitch Patterns: An Introduction

June 30th, 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.

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.

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New Life in an Old Place: the Open Air Shrug

June 29th, 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.

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

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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 lionbrand.com.

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

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

June 27th, 2014

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

LB4thJulyHat

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

l30274al32357a


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

June 26th, 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.

10tips-mistakes

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.

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Craft Through the 7 Wonders of the Yarn World – Last Stop: Colorwork

June 25th, 2014

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The final stop on our tour of The 7 Wonders of the Yarn World is colorwork. If you’re new to the 7 Wonders series, I encourage you to start at the beginning with the unveiling of seven fiber sculptures by artist Nathan Vincent based on the 7 Wonders of The World. Each sculpture represents a yarn technique that was also incorporated into seven collections for a Lion Brand fashion show. The collections highlight all of the wonderful and sometimes unexpected things each technique can do.

7wonders-colorwork
Nathan Vincent sculpture of the Lion Sphinx; model wearing knit Rhapsody of Color Dress

The Lion Sphinx is our seventh Wonder of the Yarn World. The real Sphinx (or Great Sphinx of Giza) is the largest and oldest monolith sculpture in the world. Our Sphinx’s pedestal is adorned with hieroglyphics, showcasing the amazing detail that can be achieved with colorwork. The patterns associated with this technique are bright, bold, and colorful!

The yarns featured in the colorwork collection are perfect for the yarncrafter in need of colorful combinations for stranded colorwork or intarsia – like Vanna’s Choice®, Heartland®, and Wool-Ease® - as well as vivid self-striping yarns like Amazing®Unique, and Keppi.

Below you’ll find several of the designs from the colorwork collection. We hope you’ve enjoyed your tour of The 7 Wonders of the Yarn World and that you’ve picked up some new patterns and techniques along the way. If you missed any of the other collections, take a look back at all of our posts on The 7 Wonders of the Yarn World: Textures, Stripes & Chevrons, Cables, Embellishments, Lace, Granny Squares, and Colorwork.

Color Paneled Coat cha-colorwork(poetic) cha-colorwork(slipstitchpom) cha-colorwork(shadecolors)
Knit Color Paneled Coat
(pattern coming soon)
Poetic Colorwork Pullover
with
Knit Bobble Beret
Knit Slip Stitch Pom Hat with
Knit Slip Stitch Pom Scarf
Knit Shaded Colors Afghan
with
Knit Ski Lodge Cap

 


Make DIY “Home” Sign with Audra Kurtz from The Kurtz Corner

June 24th, 2014

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Audra Kurtz shows you how to a fun DIY “Home” sign using Lion Brand’s yarn Unique!

If you enjoyed Audra’s tutorial, check out her YouTube channel, The Kurtz Corner!


4 Ways to Combine Different Yarns in One Project

June 23rd, 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.

Some designs, such as the ribbing of a sweater or the brim of a hat, may use a different yarn than the rest of the project. This creates a unique look, much different than if just one yarn had been used for the entire piece – like the Snow and Sunsets Afghan (right) crocheted in Amazing® and Fishermen’s Wool®.

But you can also combine two or even three or more yarns throughout, ultimately creating an entirely new yarn!

One word of caution: be sure to note the care instructions of each yarn. Be sure to care for the project using the instructions of the most delicate yarn.

1. Using Novelty Yarn

You can even combine a novelty eyelash yarn with wool in a felted project; I’ve designed many purses and hats combining yarns in this way. I would suggest you felt a swatch first though to ensure the novelty yarn doesn’t end up with loose loops when felted.

2. Create a Tweed Pattern

Contrasting plain colors create a tweed effect.

3. Muting Colors

Adding a brightly colored yarn can enliven a muted color or adding a more subdued yarn can tone down a color you find too bright.

4. Adding Texture

You can also combine different fibers or types of yarn. Adding a metallic yarn will jazz up a plain yarn. If a yarn is too fuzzy for your taste, adding a plain strand will mitigate the fuzz.

Lastly, Experiment

Swatch and experiment with yarn you have in your stash. You may find that you can use up that yarn that you haven’t known what to do with by combining it with another yarn. The yarns don’t need to be in the same weight category.

Not sure how to get started? Here are a few examples of patterns that combine different yarns:

Marmalade Kimono Knit Team Colors Scarf Fabulous Furry Scarf Multi Strand Top
This cute knit Marmalade Kimono for children is a great example of combining two solid contrasting yarns for a tweed effect. The crochet Team Colors Scarf illustrates the same concept. The knit Fabulous Furry Scarf shows off combining the eyelash yarn Fun Fur with Hometown USA®. This pattern illustrates just how different colors can look when combined with others.

For a refresher on working with multiple strands, see my previous article.

Related links: 

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To sign up for the Weekly Stitch and get columns like this, free patterns, how-to videos and more, click here.


Make a Cabled Hat with Yolanda From the All Crafts Channel

June 22nd, 2014

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DanielleCabledHatprojectYolanda is back with a brand new video, and this time she’s working through a knit pattern. In the videos below, Yolanda helps guide you through the lovely Cabled Hat pattern in Hometown USA. Since this project calls for a super bulky yarn on big needles, it can be worked up relatively fast. Join Yolanda as she casts on with double pointed needles and shows you how to work through this pattern.

Danielle (pictured left), one of our staff members is a big fan of this quick and easy pattern and has already made multiple hats, noting that they can easily be done in an evening while watching television. Here she is modeling her version in Hometown USA Seattle Sea Mist. Watch the videos, and start knitting today!

 

Part 1

Part 2


Argh! Be ye ready for a new “Out of the Loop”?

June 21st, 2014

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We’ve teamed up with Todd Clark, creator of the ever-popular Lola series, to bring you “Out of the Loop,” a regular one-panel comic featuring humorous takes on the world of yarn-crafting.

Enjoy and please share widely!

OOTL_pirate_06162014

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