Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Your Next Summer Knitting Project: The Calypso Cardigan

July 28th, 2015

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calypso_titleaOur good friend and knitter-extraordinaire Kristy Glass, leader of the Glass Posse, spotted one of our newest and most popular summer sweaters — the Calypso Cardigan — and loved it for it’s amazing versatility. Made with Modern Baby®, Kristy shows you how to style it in a variety of ways and makes alternate color suggestions too … let’s hear from Kristy!


Can’t see the video above? Click here:

Get the pattern:
Get the yarn:


Flattering Sweater Styles For Women Of Every Age

July 28th, 2015

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sweater_07272015Selma Moss-Ward writes and knits in Rhode Island. She is a regular contributor to the Notebook.

As we get older our bodies change. The clothes I wore in my 20s and 30s wouldn’t suit me now and they wouldn’t fit. But, why should I scold myself because the clothing I wore years ago no longer flatters?

As knitters and crocheters, we’re privileged.  Rather than settling for something cloned and off the rack, we can select customizable designs, choose yarns in colors we love, and craft sweaters that are gorgeous, practical, and absolutely right for us.

That’s where Lion Brand comes in.  There’s an abundance of great designs in the huge Lion Brand pattern database, and so many are flattering to women of a certain age.  Each pattern keys to a perfect match of Lion Brand yarn, so guesswork about gauge and fit is minimal.

I’ll highlight some of the Lion Brand designs I’ve discovered.  They’re comfortable, crafted in lovely yarns, and range from easy to moderately challenging.  All are absorbing to work and beautiful to wear.  When you wear them, you’ll feel attractive and relaxed, as well as accomplished, delighted, and in control of your fashion destiny!

Let’s consider two cardigans, knitted and crocheted.  The knitted Seaside Kimono Cardi requires only 5 skeins of Fishermen’s Wool®.  Its basic shape is squared and loose, but dense cables at the wrist, collar, and lower edge create a gentle blouson that complements many different figures.  The cardigan’s natural tones and rich textures convey an elegant, slightly ethnic sensibility that’s great with jeans, a simple dress, or a skirt.

The crocheted Retro Swing Cardi, in Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®, packs a lot of style into a quick project.  Done with a large hook, it works up swiftly into a gentle A-line jacket that floats over the torso.  This design is great for petite figures, as it doesn’t overwhelm.

There are many reasons to favor cardigans, as they’re easy to slip on and off, and useful if you like to layer.  Much as I enjoy cardis, though, the Level Two Knit Pullover really captured me.  I love the dropped shoulder of the loose, yet sculpted design.  I love the textural interest of the front and sleeves, and the adorable band collar.  For such a sophisticated pattern, it’s hard to believe the skill rating is “easy.”  I can’t wait to knit it in several different colors!


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Knit Seaside Kimono Cardi made with Fishermen’s Wool® Knit and Crochet Retro Swing Cardi made with Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® Knit Level 2 Pullover made with Lion’s Pride® Woolspun®




We Like How You Use Our Yarn: Dunfallandy Heirloom Baby Afghan Made with Pound of Love

July 27th, 2015

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Inspired by stonework found in Dunfallandy, Perthshire, Scotland, designer Terry de Roulet created this gorgeous baby afghan which features cables that turn horizontally and meet – a seemingly impossibly feat!

Using Pound of Love®, she wanted to make a machine-washable heirloom baby blanket that baby fingers and toes couldn’t get trapped in and it looks like she succeeded:



We all fell in love with this afghan as soon as we saw it and we’re so pleased to tell you that this is a FREE pattern, available through

:: Pound of Love® comes in 16 different colorways – color seen here is Denim. ::



It’s a Wrap! 12 Days of Gifts To Finish by the Holidays!

July 27th, 2015

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Over the last 12 days of Christmas in July, we’ve shared over 75 of our favorite projects for holiday gift-giving! From prayer shawls, to children’s afghans, patterns for men, and Christmas home decor, we made certain to offer plenty of patterns to cover everyone on your list.

Best of all, these patterns are all FREE and available to save or look up any time on our PatternFinder. With projects for all skill levels of knitting and crocheting, we hope you’ve found inspiration to get started on your holiday gifts early this year.

Here’s our full Christmas in July gift giving guide. Pin your favorites for easy access, and don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest too! Share a handmade item with a loved one!

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Day 1: Hats Day 2: Scarves & Cowls Day 3: Matching Sets
Xmas_July_shawls_pin Xmas_July_lb_collection Xmas_July_for_men
Day 4: Prayer & Healing Shawls Day 5: Gifts featuring LB Collection® Yarns Day 6: Gifts for Men
Xmas_July_kids Xmas_July_decor Xmas_July_wine
Day 7: Gifts for Kids Day 8: Home Decor Gifts Day 9: Gifts for the Hostess
Xmas_July_stocking Xmas_July_stuffers_pin Xmas_July_scarfie
Day 10: Stockings Day 11: Stocking Stuffers Day 12: Gifts featuring Scarfie

When you finish your holiday crafting, wrap your handmade masterpieces with our Artisan Gift Wrap! 6 of our most beautiful patterns have been transformed into bold and stately wrapping paper. From brightly colored prints, to jewel tones, and a sophisticated neutral, there’s a design to suit a variety of aesthetics. Get yours HERE!

Artisan Gift Wrap


Christmas in July Day 12: One Ball of Scarfie is All You Need to Knit or Crochet a Great Scarf!

July 26th, 2015

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Christmas in July: Gifts to Start Working on Now!Our newest bulky weight yarn is Scarfie, a soft and lofty wool blend yarn with enough yardage to knit or crochet a full length scarf – really, one ball is enough for one whole scarf which is very useful when you’re planning out gifts … which you’re doing, right?

While working with Scarfie, you’ll see a unique self-striping ombré effect emerge (ombré is everywhere!), with gradual shading from one color to the next. The ombré pattern is a sophisticated and tonal blend of solid and heathered hues.

You’ll adore working with Scarfie to knit and crochet stylish garments, accessories, afghans and of course, scarves!

Here are some of our favorite patterns from the new Scarfie collection, each a perfect gift for someone on your list. Scarfie has your back!

effortless_hat one_ball diagonal_shaded
Crochet Effortless Hat & Cowl Set One Ball Crocheted Scarfie Crochet Diagonal Shaded Shawl
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Crochet Pero Poncho Knit Free Spirit Topper Knit Neutral Slant Shawl
checkerboard duo_tone openwork
Knit Checkerboard Rib Scarf Crochet Duo Tone Throw Crochet Openwork Scarf


Christmas in July Day 11: 6 Stocking Stuffers You Can Finish Before Fall!

July 25th, 2015

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Christmas in July: Stocking Stuffers to Start Working on Now!Do you have some free time this summer? In our Christmas in July series, we’ll be rounding-up our favorite gifts to make and give, including ones you can get started on now. Trust us – you’ll be thanking yourself between holiday parties when you’ve got all your gifts blocked and wrapped.

Stocking stuffers are my favorite gifts to give! I love surprising my friends and family with little gifts that I can personalize in their favorite colors. These projects are a fun place to practice techniques that you might be trying for the first time like colorwork or embroidery. Yarns like Bonbons and Vanna’s Palettes lend themselves perfectly for stocking stuffers or make small gifts by stash-busting! Making gifts is a great excuse to make room in your stash for new yarn.

Even though these small gifts might not take long to complete, I like to get started early! I can throw a small project in my purse and work on it when I’m on the train or in the waiting room. It’s a great way to get my holiday knitting and crocheting done without any effort! No need to stress about quick gifts in those hectic days after Thanksgiving!

Knit Snowflake Gift Bag
Made with Bonbons and Vanna’s Choice®
Crochet Kisses Pouch
Made with Bonbons
Knit Purl Stitch Headband
Made with Vanna’s Glamour®
Crochet Gala Clutch
Made with Bonbons
Knit Bows for Headbands and Barrettes
Made with Bonbons
Crochet Heart Keychain
Made with Kitchen Cotton



Lola Loves Everything About Christmas in July … Well, Almost Everything …

July 24th, 2015

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

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus …


Color Pop Felted Knit Stocking Knit Blooming Teapot Cozy Knit Tree of Life Afghan Crochet Ice Princess Throw
Color Pop Felted Knit Stocking — Made with Fishermen’s Wool®, Pelt and Bonbons Knit Blooming Teapot Cozy — Made with Vanna’s Choice® and Vanna’s Palettes Knit Tree of Life Afghan — Made with Wool-Ease® Crochet Ice Princess Throw — Made with Homespun®

For more great Christmas in July patterns, “>click here.

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Christmas in July Day 10: Deck the Halls with these Stockings!

July 24th, 2015

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Christmas in July: Hats to Start Working on Now!

Do you have some free time this summer? In our Christmas in July series, we’ll be rounding-up our favorite gifts to make and give, including ones you can get started on now. Trust us – you’ll be thanking yourself between holiday parties when you’ve got all your gifts blocked and wrapped.

For those who love the winter holidays, there always seems to be a few decoration items they treasure the most. Among mine are a vintage tree topper — which has continued to survive winter after winter since the early ’80s — and a glittery monogrammed stocking from the year I was born. Though I may not remember that Christmas as vividly as my parents do, it’s heartwarming to have a tangible way to reconnect with memories of Christmases past.

Stockings aren’t exactly gifts (they’re more like gift holders), but they’re a piece of the holidays that can be passed down from one generation to the next. A handmade stocking is a true treasure and can be personalized to reflect your family’s memories.

These stockings range from traditional to more modern — make a few to match your holiday decorations, or have fun mixing your family’s favorite colors into individual stockings!

festive_tree pop_felted festive_snowflake
Knit Festive Tree Stocking
Make one with WoolSpun®
Knit Pop Felted Stocking made with Pelt, Fishermen’s Wool®, and Bonbons Knit Festive Snowflake Stocking
Make one with WoolSpun®
striped_colorburst snowflake_stocking sparkly_stocking
Crochet Striped Colorburst Stocking made with Vanna’s Choice®, Bonbons and Romance® Crochet Snowflake Holiday Stocking made with Fun Fur® and Vanna’s Choice® Crochet Sparkly Stocking made with  Vanna’s Choice®, Bonbons and Romance®


Tea with Shira Episode #7: Shira Chats With Lion Brand® Creative Director Adina Klein!

July 23rd, 2015

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On this episode of Tea with Shira, Lion Brand’s Creative Director Adina Klein shares myths about knitting and crocheting (have you heard the boyfriend myth?), tips on what to knit for the men in your life, and gives Shira an adorable vintage gift!

::Can’t see the video above? Click here to watch::

Love the scarf/sweater pattern? Find it here.

If you’re knitting or crocheting a gift, be sure to wrap it in our Lion Brand Yarn wrapping paper! Click here to get some!

Be sure to follow Shira on Twitter and Instagram — @shiraroars — for fun behind-the-scenes photos and giveaways!


Christmas in July Day 9: Hostess Gifts!

July 23rd, 2015

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Christmas in July: Gifts to Start Working on Now!

Do you have some free time this summer? In our Christmas in July series, we’ll be rounding-up our favorite gifts to make and give, including ones you can get started on now. Trust us – you’ll be thanking yourself between holiday parties when you’ve got all your gifts blocked and wrapped.

You might be sweating now with these sweltering numbers outside; however the holidays are right around the corner. This is prime time to start those gifts for EVERYONE you know, you got the air conditioning going so let’s cozy up and get crafty.
I know whenever I go to someone’s house I want to have something to give to the hostess. Maybe you will get the extra piece of cake if you bring them something handmade! My top pick? I love these little hats and scarves for the wine bottles– talk about super cute and, of course, you can get super creative with the colors depending on what holiday you want to represent.

I’m also a big fan of wine glass decorations. Too many times I have gone to dinner parties or parties in general and I have a wine glass and then I put it down and then can’t figure out which one is mine!  These wine glass decorations are an easy solution that anyone would be happy to receive as a great hostess gift or gift in general.

Being a big tea fan myself, I’ve also picked my favorite tea-themed gifts! The Tea Cup Pincushion is a fun project. If you are going to a fellow crafter’s house or simply making gifts for your crafty friends then this is the PERFECT gift for you. Useful and Cute!!

Don’t know what to give? Don’t stress out — I have done the searching for you and found some great patterns that are easy enough but look substantial to score that extra piece of delish cake at the holiday dinner table!


wine_hats wine_carrier wineglass_decorations
Knit Wine Bottle Hats and Scarves made with Bonbons Crochet Wine Carrier made with Vanna’s Choice® Crochet Fall Wine Glass Decorations made with Vanna’s Choice®
blooming_teapot tea_time tea_pin
Knit Blooming Teapot Cozy made with Vanna’s Choice® and Vanna’s Palettes Tea Time Coasters made with Glitterspun® Crochet Amigurumi Tea Cup Pincushion made with Vanna’s Choice®