Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame

Author Archive


Advanced Crochet Techniques Part Three: Textured Stitches

March 18th, 2013

Pin It

Crocheters, are you craving more ways to add texture to your projects after last week’s post on crochet cables? The options for adding texture to your crochet work are seemingly endless, but I’ve rounded up a few good options here for this week’s advanced crochet techniques feature.

For starters, have you used our StitchFinder in the Learning Center? It’s a really awesome tool for when you want to learn a new technique or motif without necessarily tackling a whole larger project. Some of the sampler squares and motifs even make for perfect practice projects that can ultimately be stitched together in a sampler throw or pillow. I rounded up four of the best StitchFinder tutorials for adding texture to crochet.

 
 Post Stitch Spoke Wheel Motif Popcorn Sampler Square

(more…)


Get a Little Irrational: It’s Pi Day!

March 14th, 2013

Pin It

Okay, so maybe you haven’t heard of National Ear Muff Day, which just passed yesterday, but if you’ve been anywhere near a secondary school math classroom in the last decade–or have math nerd friends like I do–you’ve probably heard a thing or two about Pi Day. The Reader’s Digest Version? It’s March 14–3/14–and Pi, the irrational number that is related to the circumference and diameter of a circle, is approximately equal to 3.14, though the decimal places are though to go on forever. You can learn a little more about Pi here, or you can just dive in to some of the fun mathematical-themed knitting and crochet patterns I found on Ravelry to celebrate Pi.

 Knit Irrational Scarf by Anne Bruvold Knit Pi Digits Scarf by Christina J
   
Knit Pi Dish Towel by Shannon Servesko  Crochet Amigurumi Pi by Alicia Kachmar

(more…)


Keep Those Ears Warm on National Earmuff Day!

March 13th, 2013

Pin It

Every day is some kind of holiday, and I’m not talking about the big ones with leprechauns or bunnies. It turns out, today is National Earmuff Day, which obviously means I need to share some of my favorite ear-warming patterns with you. The good news is that all of these patterns are quick to knit or crochet, so you can whip them up in an evening and use them to keep your ears warm in the last dwindling days of cool winter and early spring weather. What do you say?

 Image of <font color=red>Ear</font><font color=red>muff</font>s Image of Ribbed Headband  Image of Beginner's  Braided Headband
 Crochet Earmuffs in Extra Soft Wool Blend and Glitter Eyelash Crochet Ribbed Headband in Amazing  Knit Braided Headband in Wool-Ease Thick & Quick

(more…)


Advanced Crochet Techniques Part Two: Colorwork

March 11th, 2013

Pin It

In celebration of National Crochet Month, I’ll be featuring advanced crochet techniques each Monday on the Notebook. Missed last week’s feature on Tunisian crochet? Check it out here.

No matter what you call it–colorwork, tapestry crochet, fair isle, intarsia, jacquard or otherwise–the art of working a design into the fabric of a crocheted product simply by changing colors is a skill that never gets tired. Though intarsia has long been popular in Scandinavian-inspired knitwear, especially sweaters in rich neutrals, it is a method that lends itself to nearly any personal style, from formal and traditional to the fun, “geeky” project a friend is doing with the logos of favorite video games. Whether you seek to create a colorful abstract jacquard pattern or really want a blanket with your favorite sports team’s logo stitched in, learning colorwork is the way to get there.

As difficult as it may look, the great news about colorwork–which is most typically called tapestry when talking about crochet–is that it’s a relatively easy skill to learn, and only requires the patience of changing colors multiple times and following a chart as opposed to a typical pattern.

step2 colorwork  All you have to do to change a color mid-row is to crochet your stitch except for the last yarn over and pull through.
step1 colorwork The last yarn over will be with your new color, and you’ll pull that color through the two loops left on your hook from the previous color.
step3 colorwork Once you’ve linked that new yarn in, you’ll continue crocheting as you had previously.Just don’t forget to weave those ends in as you would any other end to ensure your treasured project doesn’t unravel!

Now that you know the basics of how to change colors in crochet, take a look at some of these crochet blocks from stitch finder that will put those skills to work!
(more…)


Celebrate National Crochet Month by Learning Tunisian!

March 4th, 2013

Pin It

It’s National Crochet Month, and I’m going to be highlighting some advanced crochet techniques on the blog every Monday in March. Today, I wanted to take a look at some great patterns that utilize the afghan stitch or Tunisian crochet. If you’ve never heard of Tunisian crochet before, you might be surprised by the technique. Like knitting, you’ll keep all of your stitches on your hook at once while doing Tunisian crochet, which is why you’ll generally use a longer hook that’s specific to this style. It looks like a hybrid knitting needle and crochet hook, with a long shaft, an end-cap on one end and a hook on the other. The simple Tunisian stitch creates a sturdy, dimensional canvas that’s perfect for embroidery or crocheting on top. To learn more about Tunisian crochet, check out the About.com guide.

Once you’re ready to get started, you can try your hand at some small, simple projects, like cuffs or a headband crocheted in Bonbons, or you can dive in to an entrelac afghan or sampler stitch throw in the beautiful colorways of Vanna’s Choice to practice all of your newly-learned stitches.

cuffs headband tote
Tunisian Crochet Cuffs Tunisian Crochet Headband Two-Color Tunisian Crochet Tote

(more…)


Luck ‘o the Irish Crafters! Four St. Pat’s Projects

February 28th, 2013

Pin It

It’s almost March, which means St. Patrick’s Day is upon us! Whether you want to celebrate the holiday with fun shamrock designs, or you’d rather channel the more traditional spirit of the Irish with Celtic knots and Irish crochet, I’ve rounded up a few patterns to get you in the spirit. So break out some green yarn and get a head start on some small projects for the festive holiday!

 

 shamrock pin You don’t need any knitting or crochet experience to craft this fun and festive Shamrock Pin, made with Vanna’s Choice yarn in Kelly Green and Fern. Just one skein will outfit a whole group of little leprechauns!
(more…)

A New Arrival for a New Arrival

February 27th, 2013

Pin It

Blanket

I’ve gotten to those years in my life–my mid-twenties–when it seems like everybody I know is about to get married or have a baby! I’ve been busy crocheting baby blankets for every new arrival among my friends and family for at least the last year and a half, trying out a variety of patterns, color schemes and yarn choices. Pound of Love is often my go-to, because I know just one skein will make me a beautiful, soft and delicate blanket. Sometimes, I end up buying an odd skein here and there, to finish a project or just because I like the color. That’s how this blanket came about.

When I heard about the arrival of baby Adriana, I saw I had skeins I had picked out while planning my creations for baby Mitchell, born just a few weeks ago, baby Kiera, born in 2012, and Mackenzie, who would definitely be mad if I called her a baby, since she’s already about to turn six! I pulled together this palette of Babysoft in pastel pink and pink lemonade and Pound of Love in pastel green to create this blanket that looks to me like a field full of strawberries. The pattern I used, our Ocean Waves Baby Afghan pattern, originally called for Cotton-Ease, but given that gauge isn’t as crucial for a blanket as it is for a garment, it was an easy substitution for my stash yarn. I wanted to add some frills to the border and make the bright pink pop, so I improvised a simple, lacy V-stitch border for a few rows until I was satisfied.

Do you have one type of project that you make over and over again? For yourself, gifts, or the local craft show? Share your favorite projects to make over and over again in the comments!

 

Related Links:


The Therapy of Crochet and Knitting

February 25th, 2013

Pin It

Has crafting ever brought you out of a tough time? Often, the meditative and creative aspects of yarn crafts can be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to coping with grief, depression, or that funk you just haven’t been able to emerge from. Though knitting and crochet are often looked at as lighthearted, serene crafts, the emergence of many crafting social groups over the last several years speaks to the release of both the craft and the social component that frequently comes along with it. A new book highlights the healing that can come from crochet.

Crochet Saved My Life chronicles the journey of a college freshman coping with the usual suspects–new school, new state, new friends–as well as the far less familiar, including the surprise diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumor. Author Kathryn Vercillo describes how she found release from her anxiety and stress in the therapeutic nature of each repetitive stitch.

More than telling her own story, which includes the profound motion of dropping a knife from her wrist and picking up yarn instead, Vercillo also shares the stories of other men and women who have found solace in crochet and knitting, as well as the effects these crafts have on those with various mental and physical conditions, including anxiety, depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis.

To learn more about the book, click here.

So many of us have found comfort in the stitches of knitting and crochet. Have these yarn crafts gotten you through difficult times in your life? Share your experiences below. 


The Wonderful Creations of Wool Stainless Steel

February 20th, 2013

Pin It

485SkeinArt

Lion Brand has a huge variety of yarns spanning the spectrum of colors, fibers and textures, but the one that is the most intriguing to me is our LB Collection Wool Stainless Steel. It’s about what you might expect it to be from its name: 75% wool, 25% stainless steel. In a yarn! Crazy, right? It’s lace-weight, so you can make really intricate openwork, but the tiny steel thread gives it dimensional body and weight you wouldn’t find in a different fiber makeup. It’s an obvious choice for crocheted jewelry or knitted lace shawls, but the options are truly endless, especially when used double-stranded or in conjunction with other yarns. Take a look at some of the inspiration I’ve found on Ravelry!

(more…)


Keep Busy This President’s Day Weekend with Quick Projects

February 14th, 2013

Pin It

It’s almost here. The coveted three-day weekend. The opportunity to get that extra day you feel you need every weekend to get those extra household chores done, spend more time recharging, or take a mini road trip. No matter what your plans for the long weekend, one thing is for sure: it’s a perfect opportunity to use some extra downtime finish (or start!) some outstanding projects.

If you don’t already have a great project on your hook or needles, I’ve rounded up a collection of fun, quick-to-knit or -crochet patterns that you’ll be able to cast on and bind off in just one (long) weekend!

60681ba l20053a  90208ada
 Knit Fast Finish Throw  Braided Rug  Crochet 5 1/2 Hour Throw

(more…)

css.php