Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Author Archive


Welcome Spring with 9 Patterns in Cotton Bamboo

March 21st, 2014

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I’m thinking about Spring, even as winter continues to dig its claws into us here in New York City.  It’s still light out when we leave work, which is at least one sign that the rest will surely follow.

This spring, you keep knitting and crocheting seasonally appropriate garments and gifts.

We’ve selected 9 of our most popular Cotton Bamboo patterns to inspire you to start dreaming of and working toward your spring wardrobe and spring gifts.  Plan for Mother’s Day, graduations, anniversaries and new baby gifts with this selection of knit and crochet patterns and keep crafting all year long.

Knit Spring Ruana Crochet Everyday Cardi Knit Tiger Lily Tank
Knit Spring Ruana Crochet Everyday Cardi Knit Tiger Lily Tank
Cheerful Squares Baby Throw Feather and Fan Baby Sweater Crochet Knotted Headband
Crochet Cheerful Baby Squares Throw Knit Feather and Fan Baby Sweater Crochet Knotted Headband
Knit Sunshine Shawlette Solid Shell Crochet Jewelry Frame Knit Spring Essential Top
Knit Sunshine Shawlette Solid Crochet Jewelry Frame Knit Spring Essential Top

4 Ways To Learn To Knit Or Crochet

March 17th, 2014

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teachtoknit

Wherever I go, when I mention I work for Lion Brand Yarn Company, people tell me they would love to learn to knit or crochet.  It’s not surprising that so many more people want to learn these crafts.  Not only do you see a lot of younger people and celebrities knitting in the last couple of years, but the stress busting and health benefits of doing these crafts are beginning to be recognized by more and more people.

For people who want to learn, I suggest first finding your ideal learning method.  In many cases that will be sitting side by side with a good teacher, but when that’s not possible, there are many other ways.  Here are my top four ways to learn–with and without a person by your side.

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Who Wins A Free Trip To Meet Vanna White? You Decide!

March 7th, 2014

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2012 Winner
Vanna White and last year’s winner, Nancy Nielsen,
with her “Gramminal” baby hat and bootie set.

It’s time to vote for the winner of the Vanna’s Choice Contest! The contest started in November 2013 and ran until a month ago. Entrants designed a project with at least three Vanna’s Choice colors and sent us their photos.

The Grand Prize winner gets a trip for two to Los Angeles, California to meet Vanna White. There are 15 additional prize winners who will receive yarn. We’ve selected 27 finalists from the many entries we received. They are some of the most clever, beautiful and original ideas we’ve seen from our contests and we think you’ll be amazed as well.

Many tell the story of what inspired them, the moment that the idea occurred to them, and why they chose their colors. Some even took pictures of themselves and their families using their creations.

Last year our prize winner not only met Vanna, but was offered a publishing contract for a book of patterns for her whimsical baby hat and booties patterns.

Help make someone’s dream come true and get inspired at the same time. You can vote once a day so choose one or more favorites and vote often.

Vote Here*

*Note: You will need to use your Lion Brand account in order to vote. If you do not have an account with us, please create one to not only vote for a winner but have access to over 5,000 knit and crochet patterns.


How Three Young Men Used Their Crochet Skills To Change The Lives of Hundreds Of People

March 6th, 2014

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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.

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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.

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Craft Through the 7 Wonders of the Yarn World – First Stop: Textures

February 26th, 2014

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CHA-texture
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.

CHA-texture CHA-chevrons-pncho CHA-texture-fettucini CHA-texture
Knit Voyager Vest
with
Crochet Neon Beginner Scarf
Knit Cocoon Cape
with
Knit Simple Hat
Crochet Fern’s Necklace
with
Knit and Crochet 3 Color Top
Crochet Williamsburg Hat
with
Knit Multidirectional Afghan*

 


10 Most Popular Patterns from January!

February 19th, 2014

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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!)

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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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Featured Pattern: Knit Slouchy Hat

February 14th, 2014

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celebs in slouchy hats

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.

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Get Ready for Spring with Cotton Bamboo, Now on Sale!

February 7th, 2014

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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.

Everyday Cardi Eyelet Swing Cardi Cheerful Squares baby Throw
Crochet Everyday Cardi Knit Eyelet Cardi Crochet Cheerful Squares Baby Throw
Knit Mitered Ridges Top Serene Shell Echo Lake Shawl
Knit Mitered Ridges Top Crochet Serene Shell Knit Echo Lake Shawl

Create Elegant Fashions With Silk Mohair, Now On Sale!

January 24th, 2014

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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!

South Bay Shawletter Knit Luxe Lace Pullover Featherweight Granny Scarf
Crochet South Bay Shawlette Knit Luxe Lace Pullover Crochet Featherweight Granny Scarf
Berkeley Cardigan Wild Flower Shawl Knit Safran Shrug
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.


The Original Yarn Hog

January 19th, 2014

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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.

Mangalista 1 Mangalista2

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