Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame

Author Archive


Bootie Call by Franklin Habit

April 7th, 2015

Pin It

Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.

I couldn’t sleep a few nights ago so I pulled out a copy of After the Thin Man, the second of the classic MGM films with William Powell and Myrna Loy as socialite detectives Nick and Nora Charles. Have you seen them? You really ought to.

Start at the beginning, with The Thin Man. It was based on a crime novel by Dashiell Hammett, and all the installments are mysteries; but they wear that badge lightly. You don’t really watch a Thin Man film to find out who killed who; you watch it to see Powell and Loy bounce absolutely perfect wisecracks off one another in the highest possible style. Even their romantic moments are agreeably tart.

NICK: Did I ever tell you that you’re the most fascinating woman this side of the Rockies?

NORA: Wait ’til you see me on the other side.

Nick, Nora, and their dog, Asta, form the family unit in the first and most of the second installments. But in the closing minutes of After the Thin Man, Nick notices that Nora is knitting something.

after-thin-still-03

He leans in to take a closer look. “Looks like a baby’s sock,” he says.

after-thin-still-02

A pause.

“And you call yourself a detective,” says Nora.

He gasps. They kiss. Asta wails. The End, until Another Thin Man.

(more…)


Franklin Habit’s Destash Diary

March 10th, 2015

Pin It

Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.

habit-lb-03-15-illo

February 4. Abner was looking for the can opener today and found the sock yarn I’ve been storing in the flour canister. He asked where we keep the flour. We? When was the last time you whipped up a batch of cookies, Abner? I handed him the can opener–from the drawer it’s been kept in since the Carter administration–and told him to get out of the kitchen.

February 5. Abner was snooping again. Found the lace weight in the big roasting pan on the top shelf. So what? We only use it every fourth year when it’s our turn to host Thanksgiving. To keep the peace, relocated the lace weight to the canisters marked TEA and RICE. Wasn’t much tea or rice left anyhow.

February 6. Out all evening, volunteering at the guild’s learn-to-knit night. Terrific thank-you gift, two skeins of kid mohair/wool blend. Not sure what to do with it just yet, so it’s tucked in with the Christmas decorations in the hall closet. Abner has been nice and quiet, holed up in the den clacking away on his computer. Crisis averted? Fingers crossed.

February 7. At breakfast, Abner handed me a typed list of one hundred and thirty eight places around the house that he has found stashed yarn. He wants me to think about what I should do. I’m happy he didn’t look under the porch.

(more…)


Your Year in Yarn: 2015 Horoscopes for the Yarn Lover

February 10th, 2015

Pin It

Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.

habit-lb-illo-02-15
I’ve just this minute come in from my annual check-up with Madame Bobbie Jean, the psychic down the block. (FYI: She also repairs small electrics.) Looks like I’m in for an interesting ride. Since I was there anyhow I asked her to provide forecasts for all of you, as well. It’s my pleasure, really; and she gave me a fantastic bulk discount.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)

Yours will be a year of conclusion and fulfillment. In other words, of finishing. You need not fear the second sock. Should you undertake to knit matching hats for everyone at the family reunion, success will be yours. Yet you will ring in 2016 still not having sewn together that green cardigan whose diverse pieces you completed in March of 2006. You will never sew those together. Ever. You realize that, right? You might as well start using them as dust rags.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Travel is indicated; sometimes over long distances, possibly even across the sea. You’ll do anything to find a skein of that discontinued yarn with the right dye lot, won’t you? Cripes.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Seek opportunities for growth in the company of potentially like-minded people. When these people try to tell you that the fiber guild field trip to the Lion Brand Yarn Outlet is not an excuse for buying fifty pounds of stash yarn, seek opportunities for growth in the company of a different group of potentially like-minded people.

(more…)


Why You Don’t Have Your Mitten Yet

January 8th, 2015

Pin It

Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.

habit-lb-cartoon-01-15

Chances are I am never going to knit anything for you.

It’s not that I don’t like you. Of course I like you. You’re interested in yarn and you’ve come all this way to read something I’ve written; how could I not think well of such a person?

No, it’s not about you. It’s about time, and having too little of it. There is but one of me, and there are many of you. Even if I should promise to knit each of you a single mitten I couldn’t keep that promise before I drop dead.

And what kind of off-kilter gift is one mitten, anyhow?

You make things, so you know how it goes. You learn to make things and are so excited at having learned to make things that you want to make things for everyone. But you are a novice, and it shows. Your work is earnest, but uneven. The things you make are not much in demand.

“Is that…a hat?” says the person in the next cubicle when she spots you merrily stitching away during your afternoon break.

“Yes!” you cry. “Yes, it’s a hat. I’m making a hat. Would you like a hat? I’ll be happy to make you a hat. What color hat do you want?”

“Uh…” says the person in the next cubicle.

With practice your work grows not only even, but accomplished–and possibly splendid. The person in the next cubicle changes her tune.

“Would you make me a hat?” she says. “I would totally pay you. Ten bucks!”
(more…)


Well, Since You Asked…

December 9th, 2014

Pin It

Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.

lb-illo-12-14(web)
In my career I have reached the stage at which total strangers not infrequently write to me to ask for advice. My mother, to whom I am and will ever be The Little Boy Who Somehow Got Tomato Soup on the Kitchen Ceiling, finds this hilarious.

“Not cooking advice, Ma,” I tell her. “Knitting advice.”

“I know,” says my mother. “But still.”

Usually the questions are straightforward:

Q. Should I put lifelines in my lace shawl?

A. Yes.

Sometimes the questions raise an eyebrow:

Q. Do you have any tips on re-sizing a woman’s sweater to fit a guinea pig?

A. You may omit the waist shaping.

Sometimes the questions raise two eyebrows:

Q. Have you ever blended male chest hair into handspun alpaca?

A. Not on purpose.

Questions like these are easily answered.

But then something landed in my inbox that brought me up short:

Q. I have been knitting for almost twenty years and I have always loved it. But lately I’ve lost the urge. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have a project on the needles, and now suddenly nothing is exciting to me. I just don’t feel like knitting. I went to the yarn store twice last week and didn’t even touch anything. Please help. How can I get my mojo back?

Whoa.
(more…)

css.php