Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Get Organized with Crochet and Knit Patterns in 2016!

January 20th, 2016

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Today’s guest post is brought to us by Tamara Kelly, author and designer of Moogly Blog.

New year, new resolutions – and one of the most common ones for us crafters is getting our stash and supplies organized! You can by bins and shelves and all sorts of sorting things… but you can also use your stash to make organizational supplies! Two in one, and so much more fun than store bought items. Here are some great free knit and crochet patterns using Lion Brand® Yarn to get you started!

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1. Valentine Pouch (Lion Brand – Knit): You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to make this pouch – made with Vanna’s Choice®, it will keep all sorts of goodies organized and show your supplies some extra love!

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2. Felted Acorn Pencil Case (Lion Brand – Knit): This pouch, made with Fishermen’s Wool® and Vanna’s Choice®, is excellent for storing pencils, pens, cable needles, stitch markers, and all sorts of notions!

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3. Felted Hook Book (Lion Brand – Crochet): What good is yarn without hooks? Make this pattern with Fishermen’s Wool® or LB Collection® Pure Wool and try felting while giving your tools a pretty new home!

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4. Nifty Needle Case (Moogly – Crochet): Keeping the yarn needles, scissors, and stitch markers out of the couch cushions and carpet can be tricky – but this pattern made with 24/7 Cotton keeps it all under control!

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5. Fettuccini Knit Bowl (Sarah E. White – Knit): A simple knit basket/bowl worked from the circular bottom up with one ball of Fettuccini® – quick, easy and sturdy!

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6. Felted Needle Holder (Lion Brand – Knit): Knit with your needles… for your needles! Perfect for Fishermen’s Wool® or LB Collection® Pure Wool!

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7. Large Crocheted Bowl (Lion Brand – Crochet): Featuring Fettuccini®, this quick crochet project will hold it all, and look good doing it!

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8. Moroccan Basket (Moogly – Crochet): This basket is sturdy, pretty, and big enough to hold several skeins of yarn – made with Heartland® Thick & Quick®!

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What are you doing to get your stash and supplies organized in 2016? Using Lion Brand Yarn to make new containers of course means you need new yarn to fill them – it’s a win win all around! Happy Organized New Year!


New Pattern Journal: Why I Knit by Rebecca Houser

December 27th, 2015

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For the last few months, we’ve been sharing personal stories of healing from those involved with Project Knitwell, an organization dedicated to bringing comfort and therapy to people facing stressful situations through the joy of knitting. We asked you to share your stories and this month we’re featuring one submitted by Rebecca Houser.

I’ve been a knitter for about 40 years now, and have always enjoyed it, but I never needed it more than in the summer of 2010.

My dad called to ask me to come take care of him for a week – my dad, the guy who never asks me for anything. He had taken a bad fall, and at 84, was not able to care for himself. Although the call came while I was working in the garden and totally grimy, I was on a plane within two hours, flying from my home near Tulsa to Las Vegas, where he lived.

I expected to be gone just a week, so I only took a few small, partially completed projects. What a blessing my WIP pile was at that moment, when I couldn’t think about much of anything except getting to my dad.

When I got to his house, I loaded him and my knitting into the car and took him to the ER. He was dehydrated, recovering from a kidney infection, and had broken his tailbone in the fall.

I expected to be able to take him home the next morning, but overnight, his aortic valve collapsed, and he died 3 1/2 weeks later. I was devastated. My husband was stationed in Iraq at the time, so he was not able to be the help and support that I so desperately needed, and I would end up being stuck in my dad’s house for another 2 1/2 months as I settled his estate and packed up the contents of his house. I had never been more distressed.

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Yarncrafting Costumes: Designing Light-up Horns

December 26th, 2015

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In this guest post by Gali Beeri, she reveals a knitted costume perfect for the theme, “wicked witches” …

Just because Halloween is behind us doesn’t mean my costuming adventures have ended! I like to find opportunities for costuming year-round. The last costume party’s theme was wicked witches.

Choosing the project was the easy part – I’ve long been fascinated with the shape and dramatic look of Maleficent’s horns. Then it was time to select my yarn and start designing on the needles. I chose Vanna’s Choice® in Black held together with (you guessed it) Vanna’s Glamour® in Onyx for a touch of sparkle, worked on a US 8 needle.

I cast on a few stitches in I-cord, worked a few rows, and then started increasing and working in the round. I played with positioning of increases and decreases to create the desired slant and twist in the horns. Taking notes along the way, I reversed the shaping for the second horn to create mirror-image horns.

I knitted a flat circle for each horn and seamed it most of the way around each base. A length of jewelry wire bent into shape and inserted into each horn provided some structural support. Then I stuffed the horn with fiberfill and seamed the piece closed.

To affix the horns to my head, I stitched them to a sturdy lace-look elastic headband. Testing the placement of the horns while using the subway car door as a mirror perhaps entertained my fellow commuters!

From the beginning I knew I wanted the horns to have a light feature. In the past I’ve added string LED lights to my hair (for my winged superhero look), which were powered by a pack of three AA batteries. This can be quite cumbersome to carry on the head, so this time I sought out string LED lights with a smaller power source – two coin cell batteries. (I found mine here.) These smaller batteries are much easier to hide in my hair, especially when I added a piece of black lace fabric to my updo as a cover for the battery pack.

I wrapped a string of red lights around each horn, spiraling the wire around the knitted piece. This had the added benefit of helping the knitted piece to keep its shape, and the contrast of the silver wire against the black fabric also highlighted the curvature of the horns.

The horns made a comeback for another costume party. This time I turned my hair into a sculpture of sorts and added several decorative objects into the mix – including a knitted tiny turtle by Mochimochi Land!


6 Fantastic Last Minute Crochet Patterns for New Year’s Eve!

December 22nd, 2015

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Today’s guest post comes from Tamara Kelly author and designer of Moogly Blog. Tamara is sharing 6 diverse crochet patterns that you can complete just in time for your New Year’s celebration.  Whether going out, or staying in, you’re sure to find something here to suit your celebration needs!

The last holiday of “Happy Holidays” tends to be overlooked for crafting – but crochet might be just the touch your New Year’s Eve needs! And after the big gift-making rush, settling in with something sparkly, something fast, and something fun is very appealing! Ring in the new year with these fast (and free!) crochet patterns – all featuring Lion Brand® Yarn!

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Raise a glass to welcome 2016 – and put it back down again without worrying about which one is yours! These Champagne Glass Tassels made with Vanna’s Glamour® are a perfect touch at your party – or a wonderful hostess gift if you’re the guest!

Of course, you need something to fill those glasses with! Bring a bottle along for the party in the Girls Night Out Champagne Carrier – make it up in under an hour with Fettuccini and a big hook!

Bonbons® come in a wide variety of looks and colors – from seaside to glam! Use your favorite palette to make the Crochet Rings Necklace, and give yourself a new look for the new year!

A sparkly new handbag never goes amiss at New Year’s either – and the Moon Water Clutch, another eye catching Vanna’s Glamour® pattern, will hold all your essentials for a hot night on the town!

Whether you’re going out or staying in, the Glitzy Accent Scarf in Vanna’s Glamour® is fun to make and wear – and thin enough to wear indoors or where New Year’s Eve doesn’t require layers to leave the house!

On the other hand, if you are celebrating outside, you might need something warmer – and the Hurry Up Holiday Cowl will do the job! Made with Hometown USA®, it takes under an hour and just one skein to make, so it’s the ultimate last minute pattern! (You can also try Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® in a sparkly color like Starlight or Celebration)

Going out, staying in, cozying up under a crocheted blanket – whatever your plans are, I wish you all a happy, safe, prosperous, and yarny new year!


The Force Awakens: Claire’s Star Wars Amigurumi & Hat!

December 18th, 2015

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Claire Cromwell is the Studio Manager at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City. In this post, she celebrates Star Wars with both knit and crochet projects!

You may have heard about this film sequel coming out today – a little movie called Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Yes, the highly anticipated sci-fi film comes out today and you can bet I’ve got my ticket ready! I’ve been a Star Wars fan for most of my life and here at work I’ve been providing a daily countdown to the new film.

There may not be an iconic crafted item for Star Wars (like Doctor Who’s long stripey scarf), but that doesn’t mean that fans haven’t put their creativity to good use. A few years ago in our staff holiday swap I received a knitted “Gnomda”  – a co-worker adapted a gnome doorstop pattern and turned it into venerable Jedi Master Yoda!

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Also adorning my bookshelves are amigurumi figures of Han Solo, Princess Leia, Wicket the Ewok and Boba Fett (one of my favorite characters). For these, I used patterns published by Lucy Collins and scraps of Vanna’s Choice®, LB Collection® Superwash Merino & Cashmere and Lion Wool. I have some gold Vanna’s Glamour® stashed that’s going to be perfect for C-3PO too!

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For the new film I had the urge to make a new project and paged through the patterns tagged “Star Wars” on Ravelry. Right away the free pattern for The Force Awakens hat caught my eye. I knew that I could get LB Collection® Superwash Merino to work at a sport-weight gauge, so I picked three colors (Night Sky, Charcoal, and Ivory to represent the Empire!) and cast on right away.

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Since I’m going to spending a couple hours waiting in line I brought the perfect travel project with me – socks! Self-striping yarn like Sock-Ease is perfect for my preferred stockinette sock pattern. The yarn does all the work and knitting round and round means that I can speculate about the plot without dropping a stitch.

May the Force be with you!

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