Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Sneak Peek! Knit and Crochet Kits Inspired by Outlander: The Series!

October 9th, 2015

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A little adventure, a bit of time-travel, and an epic romance inspired our latest pattern collection…

In the video below, sneak a peek at our next pattern collection, inspired by none other than the sassenach heroine of Outlander: The Series.

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

Channel your inner Scottish Highlands explorer this season with this gorgeous collection of garments.

Stay tuned for the full launch of kits — for both knitters and crocheters — coming very soon!



FREE DIY Knit Octopus Costumes – One for Kids, One for Pets!

October 8th, 2015

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Our friend Kristy Glass from the Glass Posse channel talks up a few of her favorite costume patterns!

:: Can’t see the video above? Visit ::

Get the FREE patterns here:

Octopus Poncho Octopus Dog Costume
Octopus Poncho,
made with Vanna’s Choice®
Octopus Dog Costume,
made with Vanna’s Choice®

For more great FREE costume patterns, visit Pattern Finder.


Yarncrafting Costumes: Designing a Cleopatra Headpiece

October 8th, 2015

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In this guest post by Gali Beeri, she walks us through the design process for her Cleopatra headpiece. It’s certainly fit for a queen!

With Halloween fast approaching, we would like to share our own take on costuming – which involves yarncrafting, of course!

Last time around I shared my winged superhero costume. It probably comes as no surprise that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. But why limit myself to getting in costume just once a year? Throughout college my friends would often throw “theme parties”, which provided an excellent excuse for costuming and helped shape my love of “playing dress-up” as an adult. Now well into my 30s, I’ve found more communities that love doing the same and attend costume events regularly.

To kick off the design process for my next costume party, I explored ideas that suited the ancient Egypt-influenced theme. Ultimately I decided to knit a snake headpiece.

Drawing inspiration from images of Cleopatra headdresses, I started sketching out a design I thought would translate well to knitted fabric. Searching through the yarn at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, I found that once again Vanna’s Glamour came to the rescue for my costuming needs. I’m so drawn to th
e sparkle! The Bronze colorway fit both the theme and my complexion nicely.

I cast on for a narrow tube knit in the round, and then created the cobra shape by increasing on either side to the widest point of the head. Then I decreased on either side until I reached the tip of the snake’s mouth. To create the forked tongue, I switched to red yarn (LB Collection Superwash Merino in Cherry). I embroidered eyes and nostrils using scraps of black yarn.

headpiece1Next up, I had to figure out how to place the snake on my head! That’s where my narrow tube at the base of the snake’s head came in handy – it was just big enough for a pipe cleaner to fit. This held the snake head upright, and also made it easier to secure the piece to a headband. I wrapped the headband with more bronze yarn. To add interest, I bent gold sparkly pipe cleaners into zigzag shapes and affixed them to the headband as well.

With the headpiece complete, it was time to put together the rest of my costume. I shopped around and found a gold and black sequined skirt. This shaped my color palette for the ensemble, and so I added a black top and created a necklace pile from my gold and glam sparkly necklaces. Weaving a gold ribbon through my braid and adding another to my hair, along with a sequined flower, added even more glam to the look. Gold glitter on my eyes was the final touch to bring it all together.

Here’s my finished costume!



Tea with Shira Episode 11: How to Dye Acrylic Yarn with Rit Dye

October 7th, 2015

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Grab your gloves and aprons – in this episode of Tea with Shira, brand ambassador Shira Blumenthal sits down with Rebecca of Rit Dye to show us how to make yarn colors that pop!

Using Rit Dye and your favorite natural fiber, you can create a custom colored yarn that’s unique to you. Since we’re big fans of easy-care yarns, like acrylic blends, Rebecca also shares a new Rit Dye formula that’s just for synthetic fibers!

Rebecca shares two of her latest yarn dyeing projects and shares tips on how you can use Rit Dye to dress up your projects. Tune in below!

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

Yarns mentioned in this video:

Fishermen’s Wool®

LB Collection® Wool



Let’s Be Brutally Honest About Pattern Difficulty Levels by Franklin Habit

October 6th, 2015

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franklin_400x400Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.

While the emergence of the global online needlework community has undoubtedly been a boon in many ways, for the designer of patterns it is a mixed bag. The sort of mixed bag in which candy corn and miniature chocolate bars mingle with rusty scissors and angry cats. Reach in at your peril.

Answering questions about one’s patterns can be a frightful drain on one’s time, particularly the eternal and ceaseless query, “How difficult is this pattern? Is this pattern too difficult for the likes of me?”.

Publishers have tried to head off this question in the past with various arrays of stars and adjectives, with little success. Why? They leave too much unspoken. How spacious, exactly, is the distance between two stars and four stars? “Easy” for whom?

I shall attempt to pour calming oil upon these bouncy waters with the following verbose and infallible explanation of the most commonly encountered grading system. Where it enters, confusion vanishes. I have no doubt that universal adoption will be swiftly forthcoming.

When, in consequence, my monument is built in the village square, let it be known that I am more partial to bronze than marble. The latter is too easily damaged by pigeons.

Thank you.



Utterly mindless. Requires no skills of any kind. In fact, it finished itself before you reached the end of this sentence.




Requires rudimentary skills and at most a minimal attention span. It will take less effort to complete this project than it will to post a shot of it on Instagram.




A challenge of modest proportions. It will take a couple of hours to knock out, yes; but you can watch an “Outlander” marathon while you do it.




Difficult enough that the naughty bits of “Outlander” will probably prove too distracting. Consider instead a few episodes of “Gilligan’s Island,” “The Brady Bunch,” or equivalent selections from the oeuvre of Sherwood Schwartz.




Turn off the television. Are you listening to me? I said turn it off. No, you may not wait until you find out if they get off the island. They never get off the island. Well, not until the sequels. Stop arguing with me. Are you going to buckle down and focus, or not? Do I need to send you to your room?



If you have coffee, drink it now.




No television. Much coffee. And send the rest of the household to the movies. Failing that, lock yourself in the attic. Better still, lock the rest of the household in the attic.




Are you ambidextrous? Double-jointed? With a keen sense of balance?








I strongly urge you to reconsider what you are about to do.




Expectant mothers should not ride.




I’m not absolutely certain our insurance covers this.



You’re going to need these.






With smaller needles, cast on x=[2/SEC(¶/3)•[lim x→0 x^3+8x+10]^2]/[lim θ→0 sinθ/θ] stitches. Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist.




I wash my hands of you.

Writer, illustrator, and photographer Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008–now in its third printing) and proprietor of The Panopticon (, one of the most popular knitting blogs on Internet. On an average day, upwards of 2,500 readers worldwide drop in for a mix of essays, cartoons, and the continuing adventures of Dolores the Sheep. Franklin’s other publishing experience in the fiber world includes contributions to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Cast On: A Podcast for Knitters, Twist Collective, and a regular column on historic knitting patterns for

These days, Franklin knits and spins in Chicago, Illinois, sharing a small city apartment with a Schacht spinning wheel and colony of sock yarn that multiplies alarmingly whenever his back is turned.