Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Yay for New Neons! (In Hometown USA)

April 15th, 2014

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I love that our basic yarn lines such as Homespun,Vanna’s Choice and Hometown USA come in such a wide variety of colors; sometimes it’s hard to select colors for a new project!

Before the weather finally warmed up, I knew I wanted to work on a fun, color-pop project as I awaited spring’s arrival, so I started knitting a hat in Hometown USA in Chicago Charcoal and Key Lime. I thought the green would pair nicely with The Pom in Limelight, and that the bright green would have a nice contrast with my base color, gray. My hat is now finished, and I absolutely love it.

After I made my hat, I saw that we were adding new striping colorways of Hometown USA that already pairs the neon and grey for you, and I was so excited. I think the bright intensity of neon colors always pairs nicely with a darker, neutral color in the grey-to-black tone range. But, for a truly bright and summery feel, neons could also be paired with white. Below, I’ve rounded up our neon colors in Hometown USA, and have included a few neutral options to select from as well.

Hometown USA new

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How to Determine if there is an Mistake in the Pattern, Part 2

April 14th, 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

Last week I went over how to read an afghan pattern. Today we’re going to look at a sweater example.

Inez Cardigan

This pattern has a series of increases to shape the collar and decreases for the armholes and shoulders but it’s not tricky to break down the number of stitches you should have. To make this example easier to follow, I’ve eliminated the multiple sizes in the pattern.

Shape Collar

Next Row (RS): K 6, inc 1 st in next st, place marker, sl 1, place marker, inc 1 st in next st, k to end of row – 43 sts.
Next Row: Purl.
Next Row: K to 1 st before first marker, inc 1 st in next st, sl marker, sl 1, sl marker, inc 1 st in next st, k to end of row – 45 sts.
Rep last 2 rows 21 more times

There are 2 increases each time the increase row is worked so 21×2=42

You had 45 stitches to begin; 42+45=87 stitches

The pattern continues: and AT THE SAME TIME, when piece measures 17 in. (43 cm) from beg, end with a RS row and shape armhole.
Shape Armhole
Bind off 7 sts at beg of next WS row. Work until armhole measures same as Back to shoulders, end with a RS row and shape shoulder.

You’ve eliminated 7 stitches.
87-7=80 stitches
Shape Shoulder
Bind off 6 sts at beg of next WS row and 6 at beg of following WS row – 68 sts.

You’ve eliminated 6 stitches 2 times.
80-12=68 stitches

Conclusion

Once you understand the pattern line by line, it will be easier for you to follow it and maintain the right stitch count. Stitch markers can be helpful when there are repeats, so that you can mark each section and keep track of them. If you determine that there is an error, you can send a note to the pattern’s publisher so they can correct it in the future. By breaking down the pattern as we have above, you can also often determine what the correct stitch count will be so that you can continue working on your project.
Finally, if a pattern is frustrating you at the moment, take a break! Leave it and look at it with fresh eyes the next day. Often, when you come back to a pattern later on, it becomes obvious what the issue may have been.

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

*Editor’s note: While we triple-check each pattern for errors here at Lion Brand, an occasional one may slip through. If that happens, you can contact us via LionBrand.com. When we issue a correction, we include a note at the top of the pattern (for people who may have previously printed out the pattern, but we also incorporate the changes into the body of the pattern for new people downloading the pattern so that you don’t have to worry about the correction.

 

Most Popular Patterns from March!

April 13th, 2014

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marchpop

With spring finally here, we’re ready to start fun and colorful patterns like this Geometric Afghan made with Heartland, which was one of our most popular patterns in March. Today, we’re featuring some of the top patterns from last month, and by the looks of it, it seems that many of you might be working on afghans.

In addition to seeing afghans, it’s nice to see that people are still fond of the District 12 Cowl Wrap, and seeing the popularity of the Emily Bronte Topper inspires me to write the next “Great American Novel” while wrapped in Homespun® (wouldn’t that be a cool story to tell).

Check out the rest below and start adding to your crafting wishlist!

Crochet Ripple Afghan Knit Animal Talk Throw Knit Traffic Throw
Crochet Ripple Afghan Knit Animal Talk Throw Knit Traffic Talk Throw

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Do Your Ears Hang Low?

April 11th, 2014

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knitbunny
It’s really adorable to see your child and their furry best friend get excited over anything and everything. Whether it’s some fun at the park or a drive to Grandma’s house – these two are an inseparable pair!

Celebrate their love and friendship with Lion Brand’s knit Bunny Hoodie and Bunny Dog Costume this Easter!  They’ll be the best-dressed couple at the annual Easter Egg hunt!

 

Spring Lace Shawl Knit-Along — Gauge Swatching

April 10th, 2014

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KAL_BADGE_2014-300x180

Hi, I’m Grace and I’m so excited to be leading the knit along for the Spring Lace Shawl.

This is a great project for both experienced knitters and beginners who are ready to advance beyond simple stitch patterns. With an elegant lace pattern and a chunky, multi-stranded construction, this quick knit will be the perfect addition to your wardrobe to curl up with on those cooler spring evenings.

I’ll be posting every week giving you tips for getting through the project successfully.

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Craft Through the 7 Wonders of the Yarn World – Next Stop: Cables!

April 9th, 2014

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7wonders-cable
Nathan Vincent’s sculpture of Easter Island Statues; model wearing knit Oversized Fishermen’s Sweater

Last year, we asked Nathan Vincent to design several larger-than-life sculptures that could be associated with seven yarn techniques or, as we like to call them, “yarn wonders.” Revealed at the Craft and Hobby Association show earlier this year, these sculptures were presented as Lion Brand’s 7 Wonders of the Yarn World. Each yarn wonder was represented in our fashion show, displaying the variety of ways you can use and wear each one. We started with textures (Stonehenge) and stripes and chevrons (Mayan Ruins). Our third Wonder of the Yarn World, the Moai statues of Easter Island, represents timeless and awe-inspiring cables.

According to Creative Director Adina Klein, cabling may look complicated and mysterious but it’s actually a very easy stitch to pick up. This collection of cabled-designs features classic and timeless pieces that you can coordinate with any wardrobe.

We presented several designs that range from classic cabled afghans, to more modern takes on the Fishermen’s sweater. The garments featured were made in a variety of yarns like Heartland, Heartland Thick & Quick®Hometown USA®, Homespun®, Homespun® Thick & Quick®, Wool-Ease®, Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®, Vanna’s Choice®, and Vanna’s Glamour®.

Below you can see a selection of some of the designs featured. Find your own cable inspiration and use this classic technique to make something new and modern.

Knit Neutral Cabled Afghan Knit Cabled Hat CHA-cables Cabled Topper with Pockets
Knit Cabled Hat
with
Knit Fitted Cable Pullover
with
Knit Neutral Cabled Afghan
Knit Striped Cable Hat
with
Knit Oversized Fisherman Sweater*
Knit Weekend Ribbed Hat
with
Knit Cozy Textured Pullover
with
Knit Studio Afghan
Knit Ribbed Poncho*

*Pattern(s) coming soon

 

Finger-knit a Flower Headband with Audra Kurtz from KurtzCorner

April 8th, 2014

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Audra Kurtz shows you how to finger-knit a flower headband in less than 10 minutes using Hometown USA in the color Neon Pinkyou can use any color you like, there are over 65 to choose from!

If you enjoyed Audra’s tutorial, check out her finger-knit love sign tutorial!

 

Enter the Lion Brand Essay Contest and Tell Us Who Empowers You!

April 8th, 2014

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more-capable-krochet-kids-poster

Krochet Kids International is an organization we are supporting this month by donating 10% of the sales from our LB Collection on this website. As you may know, the LB Collection is an exclusive line of 6 different yarns in a variety of fine fibers from cashmere to cotton bamboo.

What we love about the Krochet Kids organization is that they help women live better lives by giving them the opportunity to earn money through hand crafting. They don’t believe in handouts, they believe in empowerment. Thanks to Krochet Kids, hundreds of women and many more hundreds of children have become educated and have learned they have the power to create a better life for themselves.

Krochet Kids sells more than hats and other clothing. They also offer inspirational posters. We selected our favorite to give away to one person at random who enters our contest, called “Who Empowers You?”

poster#

Simply answer the question, enter your name and email address so we can contact the winner and you’ll have a chance to win this poster. It’s a limited edition poster, signed and numbered by the maker. Lion Brand purchased it here so if you want to purchase one yourself, you can do so. There were only 100 posters made so order quickly if you want one! We also framed it for the winning entry.

The poster is a great reminder to all of us. You are more capable than you think.

 

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How to Determine if there is a Mistake in the Pattern, Part 1

April 7th, 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’ve completed a row and something isn’t right. You have 2 sts left. Or you’ve completed the row but the pattern still has instructions for the row you haven’t worked. You try it again and there’s still a problem. What do you do?

It’s possible there is an error in the pattern…it does happen sometimes*. Or despite the fact that you’ve worked it twice now, you may be misunderstanding or skipping part of it.

If you break down the section or row by number of stitches used and number of stitches remaining (if there is an increase or decrease), it will be easier to determine if there is a pattern error or if it’s a knitter/crocheter error.

Let’s look at an example of how to do this.

Cromwell Court Afghan

This pattern is worked over 114 stitches. At the end of this row, you should still have 114 stitches.

Row 3: K3, (k2tog) 3 times, (yo, k1) 6 times, *(k2tog) 6 times, (yo, k1) 6 times; rep from * to last 9 sts, (k2tog) 3 times, k3.

First, let’s look at K3, (k2tog) 3 times, (yo, k1) 6 times,

There are 3 decreases (k2tog) and 6 increases (yo). You have used 15 stitches (k3, k2tog 3 times, k1 6 times [3+6+6]) and you have 18 stitches on the right needle now (3+3+12).

*(k2tog) 6 times, (yo, k1) 6 times; rep from * to last 9 sts,

This repeat has 6 decreases and 6 increases so the number of stitches used is the same as the number you have on your right needle for this section. The yo’s compensate for the k2tog decreases.

There are 18 stitches used (k2tog 6 times, k1 6 times [12+6]) and 18 new stitches (6+12).

This section is repeated 5 times.

We know this because we started with 114 stitches, we used 15 stitches prior to the asterisk, and we will have 9 stitches left to work.

114-15-9=90 stitches worked over the repeat

90 divided by 18 stitches used=5

(k2tog) 3 times, k3.

There are 3 decreases and no increases. So the last section compensates for the 3 extra increases in the first section.
You have used 9 stitches (6+3) and there are 6 new sts (3+3).

So the total number of stitches used is 15+90+9=114
The total number of stitches you now have is 18+90+6=114

Conclusion

Here are four simple tips to help you think there is an error in a pattern:

  1. Try to understand the pattern line by line so you can follow it and maintain the right stitch count.
  2. Use stitch markers, which can be helpful when there are repeats. Mark each section and keep track of them.
  3. If you do determine there is an error, send a note to the pattern’s publisher so can correct it in the future.
  4. If a pattern is frustrating you at the moment, take a break! Leave it and look at it with fresh eyes the next day. Often, when you come back to a pattern later on, it becomes obvious what the issue may have been.

Next week we’ll be looking at another example: a sweater pattern.

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

*Editor’s note: While we triple-check each pattern for errors here at Lion Brand, an occasional one may slip through. If that happens, you can contact us via LionBrand.com. When we issue a correction, we include a note at the top of the pattern (for people who may have previously printed out the pattern, but we also incorporate the changes into the body of the pattern for new people downloading the pattern so that you don’t have to worry about the correction.

 

Lost in Space

April 6th, 2014

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Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.

I figure this as good a time as any to begin this essay, as my knitting is temporarily on hold.

The pattern says to work in stockinette until the piece measures six inches from the cast on edge. I may have hit the target, but I won’t know until I measure it, and I can’t measure it because I can’t find my tape measure.

By “my tape measure,” I mean any one of the thirty or so tape measures with which I share a compact urban living space. How compact? Not New York compact, just Chicago compact–about 1,600 square feet. That means one tape measure for every 53.3333 square feet.

I should not have to look very far for a tape measure.

In fact, my tape measure was right here. I know it was right here because when I sat down to cast on I knew I would soon need to measure six inches of stockinette. So I found (hooray!) (one of) my tape measure(s) and put it right here.

So where is it?

I remember when I was a new knitter and every trip to the yarn store meant spending money on needles and notions. You remember that time in your life? You’d go to the yarn store, see the pattern, pick out the yarn. Then the nice person at the counter would say, “You’re going to need a [stitch holder/row counter/tapestry needle/bag of stitch markers/size E crochet hook/16-inch size four circular]? Do you have a [stitch holder/row counter/tapestry needle/bag of stitch markers/size E crochet hook/16-inch size four circular]?”

You didn’t, so you bought one of those, too.

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