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


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!

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.


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.


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.
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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.