Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Celebrate Log Cabin Day with Log Cabin Afghans!

June 25th, 2013

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As you may have already noticed, I’m big on the quirky holidays. The way I see it, each of these silly days is a chance to celebrate something that may get overlooked every other day. An excuse to eat more donuts just because it’s national donut day? Count me in! (National Donut Day was on June 7, actually, but I don’t see why you can’t have a belated celebration.) Anyway, today is National Log Cabin Day! For some people, this probably evokes the smell of fresh cut grass and the feeling of the raw lumber used to construct a grandparent, aunt or uncle’s log cabin in the woods. For crafters, however, the term “log cabin” speaks directly to a very particular variety of quilts and afghans.

The quilts first became popular in the United States in the 1860s, during the Civil War, and their popularity as a traditional style of American crafting has remained for generations since. Traditionally, center squares were symbolically red or yellow, but more modern takes on the style show off individual preferences. These log cabin quilt-inspired afghan patterns range from traditional to contemporary, and can be knit or crocheted in a variety of yarns, colors, and stitch patterns.

 Image of Cozy Cabin Throw Image of Log Cabin Pocket Blankie  Image of Neutrals Log Cabin Afghan
Crochet Cozy Cabin Throw  Knit Log Cabin Pocket Blankie  Crochet Neutrals Log Cabin Afghan

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Get Pink!

June 23rd, 2013

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pink graphic2Pink has been my favorite color for as long as I can remember. Every gadget in my kitchen is pink, from the coffee pot to the egg separator, and so is my luggage, my toothbrush, and, of course, the walls of my craft room. So, when I heard it was National Pink Day, I needed to take the opportunity to share some of my favorite pink yarns! Of course, they’re all my favorites, so take a look at all of the pink colorways available in our yarns. Pink is a great color year-round and perfect for baby girls, but it’s also an important color in October (and year-round) for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Keep these colorways in mind as you take up crafting for a new arrival, a friend who shares a favorite color with me, or charity projects to benefit breast cancer research. Even if you thought you weren’t much of a pink person before, I’m certain that one of these 85 shades of delicious pink yarn might just sway you!
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Learn to Crochet a Granny Square!

June 21st, 2013

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grannies slide openerAfter crocheting what I was sure was the world’s longest crochet chain (it was at least 60 feet long, but far short of the world record) in fourth grade, I finally decided it might be time to learn another crochet technique. I sat with my grandmother that summer at the kitchen table in our shore house as she crocheted a baby pink granny square, walking me through each step. She fastened hers off without disconnecting, so I could practice on the same length of yarn. Once I got the hang of it, I went around and around on that same square, until each successive skein of pink, purple and white ran out, but I always left my grandmother’s square attached. It’s a wonderful memory of her to keep now.

Making granny squares is a great way to learn to crochet, or to try out a new technique. Today, I want to share my grandmother’s lesson to me from 15 years ago with all of you! Check out this step-by-step tutorial to create your first granny square in ten minutes or less.

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Celebrate Flag Day with Some Hand-Crafted Americana!

June 14th, 2013

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Happy Flag Day to our friends across the US! In celebration of this holiday, and because July 4 is just three weeks away, I wanted to share some of my favorite American flag-inspired knit and crochet projects. Which one will you make to celebrate Independence Day?

Image of USA Afghan Image of All-American Granny Square Throw Image of Lion Country Afghan
Get just a touch of Americana with this crochet USA Afghan, worked up in our very own made-in-America Hometown USA yarn. Perfect for picnics, this blanket is quick to crochet and will be super soft and warm for years to come. Crochet this All-American Granny Square Throw for a patriotic and classic Americana afghan. Make it with Jiffy in True Red, Fishermen and Denim for a stunning throw that’s perfect for picnics or cool summer evenings on the porch. This knit intarsia blanket is one of my favorites. Knit in one piece in 25 different shades of Vanna’s Choice, the Lion Country Afghan is a true work of yarncrafted art.

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Tranquil Tank Top KAL: A Roundup

June 6th, 2013

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Note: This is the seventh and final installment of our Spring 2013 Knit-Along. To view previous posts, click here.
KAL badge
The Tranquil Tank Top KAL has wound down, and it’s time to show off some of the lovely finished products we’ve found posted on Ravelry! Some of you followed the pattern to the number, while others added small modifications to make the pattern your own. Click on each photo to see each knitter’s notes on their projects. How did your tank tops come out? Feel free to share photos of your projects with us in the comments, on Facebook, or via Twitter!

 
whooshing’s Tranquil Summer Top in Recycled Cotton (Marine)whooshing’s modification: Using the “Simple Eyelet Stitch” to add some lace to the back of the top, too!  anne1k’s Spring 2013 KAL Tranquil Tank in MSC Extra Soft Wool Blend (Green Eucalyptus)anne1k’s modifications: Using the “moss rib” for a different look to the ribbing, and continuing the diagonal eyelet pattern from the front on the back side.

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Pamper Your Kitty with These Fun Toys!

June 4th, 2013

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June is National Adopt a Cat Month, and if you have a feline friend sharing your home or about to be welcomed into your family, I’m sure he or she would love a new toy! Here’s a roundup of some fun, fast and easy cat toys to knit or crochet for that special cat in your life. Don’t forget to make a few extra for the kitties at your local shelter–they will be forever thankful!

Image of Catnip Mouse: Knit Knit these Catnip Mice in Fun Fur for a furry toy for your furry friend. Use deep neutrals like Taupe, Lava, or Black to create a lifelike mouse, or some of our great new neons for a little splash of color in kitty’s toy basket.
 Crochet this Goldfish Cat Toy with Microspun (or Vanna’s Choice!) for a festive fishy to add to your cat’s toy collection. Image of Goldfish Cat Toy

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You Can Play with Your Food!

May 27th, 2013

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A few weeks ago, we posted some photos of the food-inspired crochet art of textile artist Kate Jenkins on our Facebook page, and it started quite a conversation! Lots of people found these projects to be super fun; in addition to being decorative, some have also mentioned how great they are for babies and children’s toys. So, in honor Memorial Day and the kicking off of BBQ season, I thought it would only be appropriate to share some of my favorite knit and crochet food patterns!

 Image of Eggplant  Image of Apple Image of Corn on the Cob
 Crochet Eggplant  Crochet Apple Crochet Corn on the Cob

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Yarn-Bomb Your Bicycle for Bike Month!

May 13th, 2013

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It’s National Bike Month! Whether you like to cruise through beach towns during vacation or use your bicycle as a primary mode of transportation, there is something so lovely about the riding of a bike. You can cruise carefree, go on an intense workout ride, or travel around knowing you’ve reduced your carbon footprint. Whatever the reason for your ride, why not celebrate Bike Month with a little bicycle yarn-bombing? As we know, temperatures are (finally!) rising, and big, heavy projects can seem even more daunting in the warmer months, but these quick and easy knit and crochet projects are a perfect opportunity to try out new yarns or color combinations and work on great pocket-sized projects. The best part is, when you’re done, you’ll have a truly customized bike that shows off your creative side!

Image of Bike Seat Cover
Knit Bike Seat Cover in Tweed Stripes Crochet Bike Seat Cover (from Ravelry)

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Get Your Stitching and Pitching On This Baseball Season!

May 8th, 2013

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If you’re anything like me, you probably think an event of any sort that actively encourages hours of knitting or crochet is the best kind of event. Though I have some sort of yarn-craft project going during every baseball game we watch or attend, few days are more exciting to look forward to during the baseball season than Stitch ‘n Pitch days. If you’re not already familiar with Stitch ‘n Pitch, it’s a series of events put on by TNNA–The National NeedleArts Association–that encourage all needlecrafters to come on out to Major and Minor League Baseball games for “the perfect double play”. Crafters sit together in dedicated section and spend the game making new friends and often get the chance for special giveaways. The Stitch ‘n Pitch season kicked off in Atlanta on Saturday, May 4, and the next game scheduled is with our hometown team, the New York Mets!

Mets Stitch ‘n Pitch at Citi Field, Flushing, NY (vs. Pittsburgh Pirates)
Saturday, May 11
1:10 pm
Click here for tickets

Discounted tickets in the Promenade Reserved section are available for $25 each, and–perhaps best of all–the first 1,000 attendees to purchase tickets will be receiving this really awesome limited edition Mr. Met Knitting bobblehead. I’ll admit I’m biased, as a Mets with a growing collection of bobbleheads, but I think it’s pretty cool to see a team mascot crafting!

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Celebrate National Barbecue Month with Yarncrafts!

May 7th, 2013

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Though it’s often the 4th of July that we think of for cookouts, May is actually National Barbecue Month! It’s no surprise, really, as May is often the first chance we get to start enjoying warmer weather and pulling the cover off the once snow-covered grill out on the patio. With Memorial Day upon us in just a few short weeks, you may have a barbecue of your own to start preparing for, and why not work on something other than a menu? These patterns, from our site and Ravelry, are the perfect projects to celebrate National Barbecue Month–and enjoy straight through until Labor Day!

 Image of 4th Of July Apron Show off your patriotic side with this easy-to-crochet apron, made with Cotton-Ease. With a pocket in the front for your grilling tools or recipe, this apron is the perfect addition to your barbecue repertoire. Get the pattern here.
These simple grill mitts make grabbing hot skewers from the grill easy as can be. They can be knitted or crocheted in Lion Cotton or Kitchen Cotton in whatever color you fancy. Get the knit version here, or get the crochet version here. Image of Pot Holder / Grill Mitt

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