Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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6 Crochet Projects Just For Baby!

June 30th, 2015

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Some of our favorite summer projects are baby patterns.  The light, bright colors and smaller size make them perfect patterns to work on in the warm weather.  And, one thing for certain is that there will always be new babies to get gifts for, so why not get a jump start and have some finished gifts on hand? Whether it’s a toy, baby booties, or an afghan, you’ll find a gift that’s just right from our selection of the most popular crochet baby projects.

One of our all-time most popular baby projects is the Crochet Bunny Lovie.  It takes just one ball of Vanna’s Choice® in the color of your choice, a little fiberfill, and some scrap yarn for the face.  You can delight a new mom for just a few dollars! Two other popular crochet toys are the Little Lamb and the Bella Blocks.  They’re both easy and small and you can combine several toys for a gift of soft, hand-made toys to welcome a new baby.

The baby afghans we selected take only 3 balls of Babysoft® and can be completed in a weekend.  The Sweetest Baby Afghan is a Beginner skill level pattern, so it’s the perfect first project for those of you looking to go beyond just making simple scarves.  The Bunratty Baby Blanket is made in squares, so you can travel easily with it while you’re in the car this summer or on the go.

Finally, rounding out our selection are the baby booties.  Add an embellishment, like a flower or heart to make customize them.

 

bunny lovie sweetest baby afghan baby love booties
Crochet Bunny Lovie
Made with Vanna’s Choice®.
Crochet Sweetest Baby Afghan
Made with Babysoft®.
Crochet Baby Love Booties
Made with Vanna’s Choice®.
bella blocks bunratty blanket little lamb
Crochet Bella Blocks
Made with Baby’s First®
Crochet Bunratty Baby Blanket
Made with Babysoft®.
Crochet Little Lamb
Made with Homespun® and Wool-Ease®

 

 

Can you crochet? Make a fun 8-bit pixel afghan!

June 29th, 2015

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Can you crochet a granny square? Great! You’re on your way to making an awesome pixel crochet afghan.

What is pixel crochet, you ask? Sarah from Repeat Crafter Me offers this explanation, “basically a pixel crochet blanket is made up of a series of granny squares where each square represents one pixel of the picture. When joined together, the squares (pixels) make a large image.”

So for example, if you wanted to make a Lola afghan, you’d find your favorite Lola image and convert it into a chart using a tool like KnitPro 2.0. Each square in the chart you see below represents one granny square.

lola_afghan

It’s easy and fun to do. Below are some examples of crochet pixel afghans. Click the images for charts and explanations for each project.

Avengers Cupcake Tetris Hello Kitty
8-Bit Avengers Blanket, made by Jessica Jamey – design a pattern with your favorite charts and make it with Modern Baby® * Crochet Cupcake Pixel Blanket by Repeat Crafter Me – make it with Vanna’s Choice® * Tetris Afghan by Bethany A. Hamilton – make it with Vanna’s Choice® * Hello Kitty Afghan made by Tarmine626 – make it with Babysoft® *
Storm Trooper kitty pixel Transformers my little pony
Pixel Storm Trooper Afghan made by InAnotherCastle – check out the chart and make one with Modern Baby® * Pick of the Litter Afghan – make one for yourself (or for our resident cat lady, @ShiraRoars!) with Vanna’s Choice® * 8-Bit Transformer Afghan by AmandaJayne00 – pick your favorite chart and make one with Vanna’s Choice® or Modern Baby® * 8-Bit Pinkie Pie Afghan by AmandaJayne00 – pick your favorite chart and make one with Vanna’s Choice® or Modern Baby® *

* Not a Lion Brand pattern

 

Patterns We Keep Coming Back To: Anne loves the Honest Warmth Shawl made with Homespun®!

June 28th, 2015

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Honest Warmth Shawl

This Pattern Journal comes to us from Anne B. in New Hampshire. Anne shares this story about one of her favorite Lion Brand patterns, the Honest Warmth Shawl.


Erica cast on the three stitches to begin the Honest Warmth Shawl. This would be the third one she had knit. The first, knit in Lion Brand’s Homespun® in Rococo, was for Mum. The soft golds and whites were the perfect color that Mum always liked to wear, and brought out the healthy rose of her skin. The second shawl, for Gram, was Baroque, the purples and blues the colors Gram always loved best. She had knit the shawls one after the other, consciously infusing each stitch with warm memories and love, imagining with each row how the warmth would envelop them like a hug, keeping the cold drafty breezes of New Hampshire off their hips and shoulders. But this shawl was a little different. This one was for Mum’s Japanese sister.

Mariko was visiting in two months time, and her visit was very special. Erica wanted this shawl to show the respect and honor the family felt at receiving this visit. She had researched color meaning in Japan. Mariko was a doctor, and she knew that Japanese culture associated white with the medical profession, referring to nurses as “angels in white”. She also knew that Mariko might appreciate the warmth on a cool New Hampshire evening. She saw the Homespun® in Deco, and knew the light cream was perfect.

As Erica knit this shawl, she thought of the hard work Mariko had done to become a doctor. And she thought of the bonds forged when Mariko had visited the United States as a teenager, living with her host American family for a whole year. Mariko had returned many times to visit over the decades, sometimes bringing her own family to meet her. One time, when she was a little girl, Erica had played for a weekend with Mariko’s daughter and son.

As the shawl grew over the evenings of knitting, Erica recalled the times she had met Mariko as she grew up. The last time she had seen her, Mariko had given gifts to Erica’s own daughters, enchanting the little girls with beautiful origami paper and clever pens. She hoped her gift would show the appreciation and love the families had forged over the years and generations.
Once finished, Erica wrapped the Honest Warmth Shawl in beautiful paper, tied it carefully with a bow and added a fabric flower. It was perfect.

A story submitted by Anne B. from New Hampshire.

Enjoy 20% off the Honest Warmth Shawl kit for a limited time!

Would you like to be featured in an upcoming Pattern Journal? Submit a story, click here.

 

Your Next Baby Project Starts With These 6 Fun Patterns — Featuring Babysoft®!

June 27th, 2015

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If you’re looking for a lightweight, easy care yarn, look no further than Babysoft®. Between its pastel palette and the fact that it’s machine washable and dry-able, it’s a go-to yarn for our favorite patterns for little ones!

We just love how some of our favorite designers use Babysoft®, so we’re sharing six adorable projects from knitters and crocheters who share their patterns on their blogs and on Ravelry — these designes really show off how gorgeous this yarn looks when worked up.

Take a look below, and get inspired to make your next baby project with Babysoft®!

lacy shells crochet toddler top
CabledSleepSackAllFreeKnitting
Lacy Shells Crocheted top by Erica/5 Little Monsters* in Lavender Knit Cabled Sleep Sack by Natalia Price for All Free Knitting* in Pastel Print Peek-A-Boo Ripple Afghan by Rose Marie Brooks* in Pastel Green and White
iseult1124RainbowRippleBabyBlanket QuilerGirlsPuerperiumCardigan richcindisRippleBabyAfghan
Crochet Rainbow Ripple Baby Blanket by Celeste Young* in Lavender Knit Puerperium Cardigan by Kelly Brooker* in Pastel Pink Crochet Ripple Baby Afghan by Aleta Lyn* in White and Pastel Print

*Please note, these are not Lion Brand patterns.

 

 

 

 

 

Sit, Relax, and Enjoy a Nice Summer Read: Book Giveaway

June 26th, 2015

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Summer Reading GiveawayClara Parkes is well-known for her role as editor and chief yarn critic at Knitter’s Review — a biweekly Internet magazine for fiber enthusiasts comprised of yarn reviews, happenings in the yarn world, tutorials, and lots more. Knitter’s Review is a great place for resources and information regarding topics that knitters hold dear to their heart.

Additionally, Clara is also a well-known author who has penned classic and popular knitting books such as: The Knitter’s Book of Wool, The Knitter’s Book of Yarn, and The Knitter’s Book of Socks. And today, we’re giving away 2 copies of her latest book, The Yarn Whisperer. In The Yarn Whisperer, Clara shares various personal essays about her yarn musings and the different ways knitting has impacted her life. The Yarn Whisperer is a great way to still have knitting and yarn on the brain during the hot months of summer!

For a chance to win a copy of The Yarn Whisperer, please see guidelines and entry form below.

Rules & Guidelines:

1. Entries must be received by July 6th, 11:59p.m. EST

2. US entries only.

3. Must be 18 and over to enter.

4. One person per entry

»Click here« to enter the giveaway if the form below does not work for you.

 

Lola Gets Crafty for the Fourth … Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Yarn!

June 26th, 2015

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

LBTreatToppers

You can get crafty too!


Firework Treat Toppers Crochet Independence Day Top Hat Crochet Independence Day Table Mats Knit Flag Pullover
Firework Treat Toppers
Made with Vanna’s Glamour®
Crochet Independence Day Top Hat
Made with Kitchen Cotton
Crochet Independence Day Table Mats
Made with Kitchen Cotton
Knit Flag Pullover
Made with Heartland®

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9 Log Cabin Afghan Patterns to Celebrate Log Cabin Day

June 25th, 2015

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Log Cabin Day One of my most cherished childhood memories is reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classic “Little House on the Prairie” series — seeing what adventures Laura would get into always had me coming back for more. Throughout the series, the Ingalls family lived in a sod house, in the “big woods” of Wisconsin… but perhaps most memorable was the series’ eponymous little house on the Kansas prairie.

Log cabins, like the one in Wilder’s series, are a true American icon. Log Cabin Day — typically celebrated the last Sunday in June — is an event for many in the Midwest states to celebrate a simpler time and help preserve a part of history. Among traditions that date back to prairie times is Log Cabin quilting, named for its construction. Log Cabin patterns in knitting and crocheting are a great way to make use of a wide color palette, as well as a way to get through a stash of yarn!

Log Cabin afghans make beautiful housewarming gifts. Make one for your family, or someone you know! Here, we round-up a few of our favorite Lion Brand patterns for Log Cabin throws, blankets, and lapghans:

log_cabin_afghan striped_squares_afghan vanna_tapestry
Crochet Log Cabin Afghan, made with Wool-Ease® Knit Striped Squares Afghan, made with Heartland® Crochet Log Cabin Afghan, made with Vanna’s Tapestry® and Vanna’s Choice®
arrow_afghan bright_log log_cabin_fishermen
Crochet Log Cabin Arrow Afghan, made with Heartland® Crochet Bright Log Cabin Afghan, made with Hometown USA® Crochet Log Cabin Afghan, made with Fishermen’s Wool
cozy_cabin_throw slip_stitch_sampler baby_log_cabin
Crochet Cozy Cabin Throw, made with Vanna’s Choice® Knit Slip Stitch Sampler Lapghan, made with Vanna’s Choice® Crochet Baby Log Cabin Blanket, made with Vanna’s Choice®

* Not a Lion Brand pattern.

 

Knitting and Crocheting at the Movies: Pattern Recommendations!

June 24th, 2015

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4 Patterns Inspired by Movies & TV
Susan Haviland is Lion Brand’s Design Editor. She loves to knit and crochet in the company of her favorite films and televisions shows.

Thank you to everyone who wrote in with knitting and crochet sightings from film and television.  We discovered some new and inspiring work and we welcome more — leave a sighting in the comments below!

A number of the items you mentioned are very much at the forefront of design right now.  The large, colorful crocheted blanket on the back of the wagon in Like Water for Chocolate is one and the dramatic multi-hue scarf from the fourth Doctor Who series is in line with the recent “mood scarves” trend.


The “Doctor Who” scarf has a neutral beige color that acts like a canvas for the joyful stripes throughout the scarf.  Put together a group of colors based on a photograph or painting that you love and begin!  Design your scarf as you go – it keeps the knitting/crocheting very interesting.  If you feel shy about choosing your own colors, Bonbons or Vanna’s Palettes® have shades that are pre-selected to work together.

kaleidoscope
Tom Baker in “Doctor Who Knit Doctor Who Scarf by Tara Wheeler 
on Ravelry, made with Vanna’s Choice®

Kiera Knightley’s shawl/afghan in “Seeking a Friend For the End of the World” has a cheerful improvised quality.  The colors are warm and the yarn looks cozy in this square, afghan style shawl.  A great combination of circles and squares can be found in a more symmetrical layout in Lion Brand’s Crochet Kaleidoscope Afghan pattern.

kaleidoscope
Keira Knightley in “Seeking a Friend
For the End of the World”
Crochet Kaleidoschope Afghan, made
with Unique and Vanna’s Choice®

You can turn an afghan pattern like this one into a shawl by making fewer motifs.  Using light yarns always give an afghan a shawl–like quality.  Experimenting is a lot of fun and patterns may be used as guides to start you on your own creative journey.

An afghan similar in feeling to the Like Water for Chocolate style can easily be created from Lion Brand patterns:

jellyfish
Crochet Rainbow Squares Afghan, made
with Vanna’s Choice® & Vanna’s Palettes®
Crochet Country House Afghan,
made with Heartland®

These basic granny square patterns can be made as large as you wish.  If you have a lot of leftovers, use them, adding a “main color” or two.  Neutrals often work well for “base colors” which hold many complicated multi-colored schemes together. Or consider using several different packs of Vanna’s Palettes® as we did.  The colors can be arranged in any way that pleases you.

In recent weeks, the Lion Brand design team has had a lot of fun interpreting some terrific knitted and crocheted styles from the “Outlander” TV series.  The designs will be available soon and we think you will enjoy them as much as we do!

 

Cozy Up With These Coffee and Tea Cozies!

June 23rd, 2015

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Coffee and Tea CoziesWell, it’s only appropriate that I write a little tea round-up, seeing as I have become a “Tea Maven” here at Lion Brand. As I search the internet for patterns, the first thing that comes to mind is, “why do such warm things need to be cozied?” But, I’m getting off track.

I’ve realized that with my new web series — Tea with Shira — the perfect gift for my friends this holiday season will be Mug Cozies. You can get super detailed and go all out or do a simple single crochet or garter stich. So I’m going though and checking out which ones are my favorites. The first thing that comes to my mind is “aww” when I see those amigurumi tea-cups; they would make a great keychain or earrings! And that lion-themed cozy? Being the Brand Ambassador of Lion Brand, I have to get on this!

Thinking about making one of these? Wondering what’s next on Tea with Shira? Let me know in the comments!

 

one_stitch_cozy lionheart_cozy owl_cozy
Crochet One-Stitch Mug Cozy, made with Heartland® Crochet Lionheart Coffee/Tea Cup Cozy, made with Wool-Ease® Knit Owl Coffee Cup Cozie by My Knitting Basket* Make it with Vanna’s Choice®
tea_time_amigurumi cabled_cozy brain_freeze
Crochet Tea Time Amigurumi by Misaki-C* Make it with Bonbons. Knit Cabled Coffee Cozy, made with Vanna’s Choice® Crochet Brain Freeze! Ice Cream Cozy by The Crochet Dude* Made with Cotton-Ease®

Of course, that Brain Freeze cozy may not be for tea.. but it’s a cozy for ice cream… cold things need cozies too!

 

* Not a Lion Brand Pattern

 

Celebrate Take Your Dog To Work Day with 6 Patterns for Pups!

June 22nd, 2015

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This Friday is a special day for dog lovers — it’s Take Your Dog to Work Day! If your place of work allows it, consider bringing along your pup to hang out for the day.

Here at Lion Brand Yarn, we’re pretty fond of dogs — two in particular, in fact!

Barkley and Harold are two sweet peas that belong to our Art Director, Janeen, and our Yarn Development Coordinator, Gail.

Both have modeled a few of our dog patterns — Barkley even has a pattern named after him! The two of them come into the office a couple of times of month, but are eager to celebrate officially on Take Your Dog to Work Day.

The day was first developed as a way to help boost dog adoption by celebrating the special bond between people and their pets. We know knitting and crocheting can be healing and relaxing; having your dog with you during the day can do the same!

Gail shared that having Harold in the office is “a benefit for everyone. The dogs get a lot of attention, and it helps us with office camaraderie.”

Janeen seconded this, saying that having her dog, Barkley, around is therapeutic. “They change the energy,” she added.

 

Whether they’re headed to the office with you or not, keep your doggie stylish with these six patterns just for dogs!

 

prep dog poet dog animal lover
Knit Prep Dog Sweater
Made with Wool-Ease®
Crochet Poet Dog Sweater
Made with Homespun®
Knit Animal Lover Dog Sweater
Made with Vanna’s Glamour®
casual friday proud puppy flower garden
Crochet Casual Friday Dog Sweater
Made with Heartland®
Knit Proud Puppy Dog Sweater
Made with Amazing®
Crochet Flower Garden Dog Sweater
Made with Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®

 

 
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