Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Author Archive

Textile Fusion: A Magnificent Lion on World Lion Day (A Descriptive Process)

August 10th, 2015

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Today’s guest post comes from Suzann Thompson, an author, textile designer, and accomplished crochet designer. Suzann will be debuting her “Mama Lion” Textile Fusion piece at Quilt! Knit! Stitch! in Portland, Oregon on August 13-15th. If you’re in the area, please check out the show and see the piece in person. Read below as Suzann has detailed her methodical process for executing her design.

Since today is World Lion Day, we found it quite fitting to share her beautiful artwork celebrating these majestic beings.


It was a great day in spring, when I learned that Lion Brand® agreed to sponsor the first national exhibit of my TextileFusion artwork at the Quilt! Knit! Stitch! My first thought was “Yay!” My second thought was “How can I possibly show my enormous, heart-felt appreciation?” Well, by making a wall hanging, of course! The subject was easy, because LION Brand; and lions’ manes are absolutely a dream to embroider and embellish. So my daughters and I embarked on a research trip to the zoo.

The lion we saw was so handsome. We admired his profile as he napped on that hot and humid afternoon in Texas. Occasionally, he lifted his nose in the air, sniffing the breezes. I sketched and took photos and tried to memorize how his mane and face merged into each other.

Half an hour later, we moved on to find the lioness lounging on a ledge. She was majestic and alert, watching over her three cubs, who slept in a tangle in the grass below. My original plan changed in an instant. That mama was going to be the lion in my wall hanging.


Christmas in July Day 8: 6 Patterns Perfect for Gifting & Home Décor!

July 22nd, 2015

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Christmas in July: Home Decor pieces to Start Working on Now!
Do you have some free time this summer? In our Christmas in July series, we’ll be rounding-up our favorite gifts to make and give, including ones you can get started on now. Trust us – you’ll be thanking yourself between holiday parties when you’ve got all your gifts blocked and wrapped.

Decorating your home for the holidays can be such a joyous occasion, especially when you’ve got your favorite tunes playing in the background. I hope you’re feeling ambitious because … not only can you knit or crochet gifts for your loved ones, but you can also knit or crochet items for your home as well!

Below, you’ll find a selection of patterns to warm up your home in time for holiday celebrations. Of course, these projects are also wonderful gifts on their own. In fact, several of the patterns below are classics (like the Dancing Cables Afghan or Tree of Life Afghan), destined to become heirloom items that are cherished and passed down for years to come.

Dancing Cables Afghan knit in Heartland® would be a beautiful statement piece for your couch during the winter — or as a gift, which could be passed down from generation to generation. Crochet this Table Runner in neutral or holiday colors for dressing your table when company comes over for the holidays! Try it with Cotton-Ease®Kitchen Cotton or even Vanna’s Choice® or Vanna’s Glamour®! Before those stockings are stuffed with small surprises, make a few for the fireplace mantle or to hang on your wall. Personalize the stocking for each recipient by knitting or crocheting their initials. This crochet Striped Holiday Stocking was made in Vanna’s Choice® and Vanna’s Glamour®.
This Holiday Penguin Afghan crocheted in Hometown USA® is an adorable holiday gift for a child’s room. Use it as a mat, or an afghan for cozying up in the cold. The Tree of Life Afghan knit in Wool-Ease® is the perfect heirloom gift. Lay it out on your bed or couch for your guests to see, and marvel at your work. Make one for a special person this winter! (crochet version here) The Holiday Cheer Table Runner crocheted in Homespun® is another great idea for your dining room decor. If you like to decorate your window for the holidays, you could use this as a window sill place mat for your figurines.


Christmas in July Day 6: 4 Classic Knit & Crochet Patterns for Men – Easy Too!

July 20th, 2015

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Christmas in July: Gifts for Men to Start Working on Now!

Do you have some free time this summer? In our Christmas in July series, we’ll be rounding-up our favorite gifts to make and give, including ones you can get started on now. Trust us – you’ll be thanking yourself between holiday parties when you’ve got all your gifts blocked and wrapped.

It’s July and you’re enjoying the warm summer weather, but as a crafter, you know what’s just around the corner. Before you know it,  December will be here and the list of people you want to give a handmade gift to will be long! Do yourself a favor and get started now.

Below are some free pattern ideas and other resources for you to consider when it comes to knitting or crocheting for the men in your life this upcoming holiday season.

Be sure to check out the list for more ideas under the patterns!

Crochet Brunch with Friends Scarfie
Level: Beginner (Level 1), Basic stitches including increasing, decreasing and finishing skills.
Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®
Knit Simple Hat
Level: Easy (Level 2), Simple stitch patterns and/or shaping.
Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®
Knit My Victory #Scarfie
Level: Easy (Level 2), Simple stitch patterns and/or shaping.
 Perfectly Simple Crocheted Hat
Level: Easy (Level 2), Simple stitch patterns and/or shaping.
Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®

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Tea with Shira Goes on the Road: Come Visit Us at the Knit & Crochet Show in San Diego!

July 14th, 2015

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Every year some of us from the Lion Brand® team head to the annual Summer Knit and Crochet Show, which is held in various cities across the country. This year, we’re headed to sunny San Diego at the Town and Country Resort, and we’re taking Tea with Shira on the road!

The Knit and Crochet Show is a great conference that’ll be taking place from July 22nd through July 25th. The show offers classes for learning and improving your skills, a marketplace for shopping, and many opportunities for meeting and chatting with other fellow crafters. Speaking of meeting and chatting with folks, you can come by the Tiki Pavilion Lounge (a public meeting space) within the resort, and the Lion Brand/Tea with Shira team will be present with tea, surprise goodies, and new yarns and garments for viewing!

Tea with Shira at the Tiki Pavilion Lounge:
Wednesday 7/22: 12-3pm
Thursday 7/23: 12-3pm
Friday 7/24: 10-12pm

We will have some lovely teas on hand thanks to the great folks at Harney and Sons, a family-owned and operated business that sells affordable, quality, fine tea. In fact, Shira sat town with Emeric Harnery, a 3rd generation family member and manager of the Harney & Sons shop in SoHo, New York City, for her 6th episode of Tea with Shira. Check it out here.

We look forward to seeing you!


*Please note we will not be selling yarns at the show*

6 Quick and Easy Patterns: Make Something for Yourself or for Baby!

July 13th, 2015

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Looking through Ravelry and various crafting blogs is always such a pleasure, because you come across so many creative and talented people. These sources are great places to find inspiration for projects you want to work on, or new skills to learn and master. So today, I’m happy to share six projects made in our supremely soft cotton yarns, LB Collection® Cotton Bamboo and Nature’s Choice Organic® Cotton, by various designers and bloggers.

Check out the patterns below, which includes an adorable pouch to keep your accessories in, and precious designs for the little one(s) in your life.

Crochet Rainbow Happy Fun Pouch by Moogly
LB Collection® Cotton Bamboo
Crochet Cotton Bamboo Headband by Jessie At Home
LB Collection® Cotton Bamboo
Easy Knit Baby Hat by Gina Michele
LB Collection® Cotton Bamboo
Beginner Knit Fringed Baby Booties by Mama in a Stitch
Nature’s Choice
Organic ®Cotton
Baby Yoda Hat by Elapine
Nature’s Choice
Organic ®Cotton
Baby Crochet Bath Set Pattern by Petals to Picots
Nature’s Choice
Organic ®Cotton