Kohl Crecelius and two of his friends from high school wanted to do something meaningful with their lives and they decided to use their crochet skills to make it happen. When I first heard their idea five years ago — California surfer guy who loves to crochet beanies and wants to use that skill to lift people out of poverty — I could not have imagined how that story would develop.
They weren’t exactly sure how they would use their crochet skills for good until one of the friends took a trip to Uganda. There he met people who had been living in government camps for over 20 years. Rebels had attacked their villages and these people had no other means of survival. They were poor, uneducated and had little hope for their future. A generation of children had grown up in the camps knowing no other life.
The “Krochet Kids,” as they were later described by their local newspaper, taught the women in the camps how to crochet hats, and they then helped them sell those hats back in the U.S. That’s when we got the request in 2009 to help get them started with a donation of yarn.
|Nathan Vincent’s sculpture of Stonehenge; model wearing Knit Modern Varsity Jacket|
Every year, Lion Brand presents an exciting booth display and fashion show at the Craft and Hobby Association Convention in Anaheim California. Past booths have included a Viennese table filled with yarn crafted cakes, cookies and other deserts and a menagerie of giant animal sculptures created with yarn.
Last month, we ramped up the excitement with the 7 Wonders of The World sculptures which were designed by fiber artist Nathan Vincent. Not only did each sculpture represent one of the 7 Wonders in yarn techniques, but we presented a fashion show where each technique was reflected in a variety of fashions. Vanna White was there to emcee the show and all of the patterns we presented are now available on our website.
Our first highlighted wonder of the world is Stonehenge, which was designed to reflect texture and it’s importance to knitting and crochet design, including felting. There was even life-like looking moss around the base of the monument.
One of the best things about knitting and crocheting your own garments is the rich texture you can achieve by using yarns that are super bulky, sparkly, or furry. You’ll find that exceptional look in the yarns that these fashions were made of including Imagine, Homespun® Thick & Quick®, Vanna’s Glamour®, Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® and Romance®.
We hope you enjoy the ideas and unique designs represented in the popular textured fashions from our show. In the coming weeks we’ll be present all of the 7 Wonders of the Yarn World — from lace to chevrons, granny squares to modern color work, you’re sure to find inspiration in this amazing collection.
|Knit Voyager Vest
Crochet Neon Beginner Scarf
|Knit Cocoon Cape
Knit Simple Hat
|Crochet Fern’s Necklace
Knit and Crochet 3 Color Top
|Crochet Williamsburg Hat
Knit Multidirectional Afghan*
Our most popular pattern this month was designed over 10 years ago by Nicky Epstein. There is something timeless and elegant about this design. The Tree of Life Afghan has special meaning for me because I gave the pattern its name. (Yes, I’ve been at Lion Brand well over 10 years!)
The phrase “Tree of Life” has been used by almost every religion and in philosophy and science. I also like this design because as a person whose first name means “tree” I gravitate toward anything with a tree design on it.
When I think about this design I think about family: growth, roots, and being intertwined. It makes it a meaningful gift for newlyweds, new parents, and housewarmings.
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Hats are a more important fashion accessory than ever and the slouchy hat is the most popular style of all. The slouchy hat is a beanie with an extra flap that hangs down in the back. Some of the celebrities who have been photographed wearing this style include Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Mary-Kate Olsen. It’s even popular with men, including Jake Gyllenhaal (who has been spotted in the Lion Brand Yarn Studio on 15th Street in New York City!)
For those of you who love to knit and crochet hats, the good news is that people are wearing them all year round, indoors and out. You can knit or crochet a slouchy hat with a seasonally appropriate yarn like Wool Ease® Thick & Quick® for winter or Cotton-Ease® for spring and summer. Simply change up the colors and the patterns and you can have a new look every day.
Here are six of the most popular slouchy hats on our site to choose from.
Our LB Collection® Cotton Bamboo yarn is a luxury fiber, now on sale at a bargain price. Available exclusively from Lion Brand, this yarn is ideal for making garments that you can wear all year round.
The patterns shown below for Cotton Bamboo are some of our most highly rated patterns, and range from beginner to experienced. Best of all, they can be made for as little as about $10.
The blend of Bamboo and Cotton create a light and luscious fiber that has the soft, beautiful drape of bamboo rayon and the wearable comfort and lightweight warmth of cotton. If you haven’t tried this yarn, now’s your chance to make something for yourself or a new baby expected to arrive this spring or summer.
|Crochet Everyday Cardi||Knit Eyelet Cardi||Crochet Cheerful Squares Baby Throw|
|Knit Mitered Ridges Top||Crochet Serene Shell||Knit Echo Lake Shawl|
One of our most popular yarns in the exclusive LB Collection is Silk Mohair. This lightweight, lofty combination of two luxury fibers–70% Super Kid Mohair, 30% Silk–will help you create beautiful lace, elegant accessories and lightweight garments. The yarn comes in 6 vibrant fashion colors that are flattering to wear.
Now, for a limited time, you can buy this seemingly indulgent yarn for the reasonable price of $7 per ball for 251 yards. Here are a few patterns to inspire you. The yarn has a subtle halo around it and when you give a gift made with Silk Mohair, so will you!
|Crochet South Bay Shawlette||Knit Luxe Lace Pullover||Crochet Featherweight Granny Scarf|
|Knit Berkley Cardigan||Crochet Wild Flower Shawl||Knit Safran Shrug|
NOTE: The LB Collection is exclusively available through Lion Brand via LionBrand.com, the Lion Design catalog, the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City, and the Lion Brand Yarn Outlet in Carlstadt, New Jersey. Because these yarns are specially made in small batches, these yarns are not available through any other retailer.
One of our friends on Facebook called it “the original pig in a blanket” The Mangalista is a breed of pig that was developed in Hungary in the 1930s to provide a fattier meat. The delicacy of Mangalista meat was initially reserved for the Habsburg Royalty, but the rich, fatty flavor made it a popular choice by the end of the 19th century.
Times have changed and tastes and health concerns make the Mangalista a much less desirable pig to eat. It also takes twice as long to raise a super fatty Mangalitsa as it does to raise other pigs, taking over a year for them to reach 300 pounds, rather than 175 pounds.
The curious look of this animal is what we love. Like a character out of Star Wars that sprung from the imagination of a yarn-loving film-maker, the Mangalista post on Facebook turns out to be one of your favorites this year. If you’d like to discover more extraordinary images, stories and ideas, we welcome you to join us on Facebook.
|Do you want a personalized gift for someone with an upcoming birthday?
How about a scarf that is designed for their sign of the Zodiac? The word Zodiac literally means “Circle of Life.” The twelve signs of the Zodiac offer believers insights into their personalities, qualities, and talents. Whether you consider the traits of your Zodiac sign to be light entertainment or a determining force in your life, as a knitter or crocheter, you’ll find that making a scarf designed with a specific birthday in mind is the perfect gift to create something made with them in mind.
Aquarius birthdays are from January 20th through February 18th, and are people who are both generous and known for their charity yarn crafting. If you’re born during this period you have a drive to make the world a better place. You may be involved in your local community or a religious organization and you are a very social person, so knitting or crochet groups are probably part of your life. You love to engage others, so you most likely enjoy teaching people the craft that has given you so much satisfaction.
The symbol of Aquarius is the Water Bearer and Aquarians bring creativity and ideas into the world. As an Aquarius you like to make things your own. What a perfect way to start the year we’ve designated as “You Shine Through.”
These creative people may be a bit quirky but that often goes along with being creative. The colors of the Aquarius scarf are the colors of water and creativity (purple).
|The Zodiac Window Display at Lion Brand Yarn Studio, our flagship studio in NYC.|
We are creators. In our everyday lives, we prepare our own version of recipes for our families, plant colorful or edible gardens to fit our outdoor spaces, and of course knit, crochet and craft with yarn. We start with some basic components—a washable or exotic fiber in a range of heathers or brights that we couldn’t resist—and turn them into something completely our own.
With everything you make, you shine through.
From the colors you choose to the length of a scarf to the initials you embroidered on the baby blanket—the completely original way your knit or crochet creations unfold is how you share your own unique personality to the world.
In the coming year, we are going to celebrate your shining moments and share with you many ideas to customize and personalize everything you make so it perfectly suits the person you are making it for and in every way possible, you shine through in the finished piece.
|1) Arm Knitting. 2) “Speed Stix” Knitting Needles. 3) Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® 4) Homespun® Thick & Quick®|
We’ll see people supersizing everything in 2014 with big needle knit and crochet garments and home décor that display chunky, oversized stitches in oversized silhouettes. In 2014 we’ll be showing you a collection of designs that will keep you right on trend. Many of Lion Brand’s yarns are ideal for the “Big” trend including Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®, Homespun®, Homespun® Thick & Quick®, Hometown USA® . . . with more to come in 2014.