Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Have a Happy 4th of July!

July 4th, 2015

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Happy 4th of July! We’ll be celebrating with barbecues, watching the fireworks, getting together with friends and family, and decorating with Red, White and Blue. We wish you a safe and enjoyable day.

Celebrate the day with a few U.S.A.-inspired patterns!:

9 Patriotic Patterns for Independence Day!

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

Celebrate the Stars and Stripes With These Flag Day Patterns!

 

 

4 Coordinated Color Palettes for Your Next Project

July 3rd, 2015

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Give your pattern a color makeover!Crafters are often intimidated by straying from pattern instructions, but one of the easiest ways to customize a project is by simply changing the colors! Pattern designers do a great job picking colors for their samples, but sometimes you’ll find that although they look lovely, they aren’t your colors. For patterns that are written for one solid color, it’s an easy swap, but what happens when the pattern includes color work? Choosing a whole new color palette need not be daunting!

Vanna’s Choice® is an excellent yarn to work with if you are looking to create a custom palette. With 66 colors currently in the main line, you’ve got a lot to choose from. Add double-stranding into the mix, and you’ve got a whopping 2,145 color options! Vanna’s Choice® is also expertly designed with color matching in mind, so customize your creation with confidence – Vanna’s Choice® colors work together no matter what your desired palette!

To help get you started, we’ve created four kits based on some of our favorite color combinations:

Mystic Mermaid Fetching Fern
Mystic Mermaid Color Palette Fetching Fern Color Palette
Dapper Daisy Happy Harvest
Dapper Daisy Color Palette Happy Harvest Color Palette

Each kit contains 6 skeins of yarn, one in each color pictured. Try combining them in one of these 6 ball patterns, or pick a favorite pattern from your own library. You’ll be amazed at how simply changing the colors can give a familiar project a new look! Did you notice that the two ripple afghans below are actually the same pattern?

Ripple Afghan L40069 Sampler Afghan L0323B Cozy Ripple Lapghan L50064 Crochet Color Blocked Hoodie L20665a
Crochet Ripple Afghan Knit Sampler Afghan Cozy Ripple Lapghan Color Blocked Hoodie

If you’re ready to create your own palettes, there are lots of tools online to help you. Here are just a couple to get you started:

Coolors has an excellent color palette generator (free to use on the web) which allows you to choose a base color and generate matching color schemes with the click of the spacebar. Drag to reorder the swatches, click the lock to keep colors you like, and use the sliders to tweak colors manually.

Photocopa is another nifty color palette helper (also free to use). Upload a photo or choose one from their gallery and Photocopa will generate a palette based on the photo! Choose the ones you like and use the sliders to change the proportions of the swatches.

 

 

 

 

Shark Week is a Great Time to Knit & Crochet

July 2nd, 2015

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Shark Week starts Sunday! Shark Week is an annual, week-long programming block on the Discovery Channel which features shark-based programming, real and fictional.

We think it’s the perfect time to combine one cultural phenomenon with another, knitting & crochet with Shark Week! Here are some fun patterns to get you started:

Space Invaders Blue Whale clownfish giant squid
Stitchfinder: Knit Sea Creature: Angelfish — make it with Wool-Ease® Stitchfinder: Knit Sea Creature: Blue Whale — make it with Wool-Ease® Stitchfinder: Knit Sea Creature: Clownfish — make it with Modern Baby® or Kitchen Cotton Stitchfinder: Knit Sea Creature: Giant Squid — make it with Wool-Ease®
angler fish starfish coral pygmy octopus
StitchFinder: Crochet Sea Creature: Anglerfish — make it with Wool-Ease® StitchFinder: Crochet Sea Creature: Blue Starfish – make it with Wool-Ease® StitchFinder: Crochet Sea Creature: Bullion Coral — make it with Vanna’s Choice® StitchFinder: Crochet Sea Creature: Pygmy Octopus — make it with Wool-Ease®
angel fish octopus shark afghan seahorse
Crochet Amigurumi Angel Fish — make it with Vanna’s Choice® Crochet Amigurumi Octopus – make it with Vanna’s Choice® Crochet Shark Afghan — make it with Hometown USA® StitchFinder: Crochet Sea Creature: Seahorse — make it with LB Collection® Superwash Merino

 

Sabrina Tunic Crochet-Along: Yarn, Sizing, Gauge and Getting Started

July 1st, 2015

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I am so excited to host this summer’s Lion Brand Crochet Along!  I love the project you all voted for… The Sabrina Tunic.  To kick off the first week I will be talking about the yarn, gauge, sizing and getting started with the first few rows.  I hope you are as excited as I am… Let’s get crocheting!!!

Let’s start with the yarn.  This pattern called for Vanna’s Glamour®  in 3 colors.  This yarn is a light weight yarn and is categorized as a size 2 in yarn standards.  The thing I love about this yarn is the hint of sparkle; this will make our project really special!  It’s important to use the same weight yarn that the pattern calls for to keep our tunic looking and fitting just right.  This yarn also has a nice easy stretch to it which will make our garment keep its shape. It’s not too late order your yarn and join us… Lion Brand Yarn will ship it straight to your door.  Click here to view & order the kits at 20% off.

Now it’s time to move on to the most important part of the pattern… Gauge!!!  I know it’s tempting to skip the gauge and just start crocheting.  Since everyone crochets a little differently, uses different style hooks and working with light weight yarn can change our tension, it is extremely important to check your gauge.  It only takes a short amount of time and I promise it will pay off by giving you a better fitting garment.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Save 20% on July’s Yarns of the Month: Kitchen Cotton, Cotton-Ease, Cotton Bamboo and Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton

July 1st, 2015

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July yarns of the month
Kitchen Cotton: Made in the USA, this classic worsted-weight cotton is perfect for kitchen items and bath accessories.
Cotton-Ease®: Combining the absorbency of cotton with the lightweight of acrylic, it is ideal for making year-round garments and accessories for the entire family.
LB Collection® Cotton Bamboo: Combining the softness and drape of bamboo rayon with the durability of cotton, our beautiful Cotton Bamboo yarn is great for year-round projects, such as clothing and baby items.
Nature’s Choice Organic® Cotton: Nature’s Choice is grown and spun without the use of pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals. Nature’s Choice is a soft, versatile yarn that’s so easy to work with and perfect for everything from baby blankets to fashion items. It’s good for your crafting and good for the planet.

All of these amazing yarns are on sale now – SAVE 20% off for the entire month of July!

Below is collection of our most popular patterns using these popular cotton yarns:

 

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.

 
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