Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Lion Brand Wants to Wish You a Wonderful 4th of July!

July 4th, 2014

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Happy 4th of July! We’ll be celebrating with barbecues, watching the fireworks, getting together with friends and family, and decorating with Red, White and Blue. We wish you a safe and enjoyable day.


Why It’s Important To Celebrate World Wide Knit In Public Day

June 13th, 2014

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wwkpWorld Wide Knit In Public Day takes place June 14-June 22 this year. Now, you might think, “Why do I need a holiday to knit (or crochet) in public?” The reason is that in many peoples’ brains, knitting  and crocheting still reside in a section labeled “old fashioned.” Believe it or not, 10-15 years ago, people were actually ridiculed for pulling out their yarn, needles and hooks in public and they hesitated to do it.

We’ve come a long way. But we’re not there yet.  I was knitting at an airport a couple of weeks ago and a man watching intently spoke up after a while and said, “I haven’t seen anyone do that since my grandmother.”  The man was in his 60s! I wanted to ask him where he’s been but obviously, he hasn’t been anywhere where he has seen people who don’t look old fashioned knitting or crocheting in public.

That’s where you come in.  Make your presence known. Promote your hobby on the train, the subway, the airport, the doctor’s office, the beach, the park,  the hockey game, the local coffee shop or bar. You know how great it is that you have this craft.  It helps you relax. It offers you the opportunity to give meaningful gifts. It allows you to be creative and productive in a tangible way.  Go out. Knit in public.  People will talk to you and you’ll have an opportunity to tell them what they’re missing.

Visit World Wide Knit (&Crochet) In Public Day’s Facebook page to find or lead a group and use the hashtag #wwkipday to find information and share images and info about knitting in public.

Then, let us know how it goes.  We’d love to hear your stories!

 


Make a Charlotte Brontë Cape with Yolanda Soto-Lopez

May 20th, 2014

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Re-visit the Victorian era with one of our most popular crochet patterns, the Charlotte Brontë Cape, made with Homespun® Thick & Quick®. This informative two-part video series, hosted by Yolanda Soto-Lopez of “All Crafts Channel”, offers detailed instructions for making this piece, from start to finish!

Join Yolanda as she walks you through each and every step of this easy project that’s perfect for beginners.

Charlotte Brontë Cape — Part One

Charlotte Brontë Cape — Part Two

“I’m just going to crochet because I cannot help it.”


Enter the Lion Brand Essay Contest and Tell Us Who Empowers You!

April 8th, 2014

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What we love about Krochet Kids International is that they help women live better lives by giving them the opportunity to earn money through hand crafting. They don’t believe in handouts, they believe in empowerment. Thanks to Krochet Kids, hundreds of women and many more hundreds of children have become educated and have learned they have the power to create a better life for themselves.

Krochet Kids sells more than hats and other clothing. They also offer inspirational posters. We selected our favorite to give away to one person at random who enters our contest, called “Who Empowers You?”

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Simply answer the question, enter your name and email address so we can contact the winner and you’ll have a chance to win this poster. It’s a limited edition poster, signed and numbered by the maker. Lion Brand purchased it here so if you want to purchase one yourself, you can do so. There were only 100 posters made so order quickly if you want one! We also framed it for the winning entry.

The poster is a great reminder to all of us. You are more capable than you think.

 

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Make a Simple Shrug with Yolanda Soto-Lopez

April 4th, 2014

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One of our most popular patterns, the Simple Shrug, is an easy project that’s perfect for beginners. The pattern is essentially a long rectangle seamed together at the ends to form a “one size fits all” shrug. Many of you have been excited to start this pattern, but wanted more of a visual explanation about seaming the ends and how the whole thing comes together. Now, we’re happy to share with you this wonderfully detailed video that will help guide you on this pattern journey!

Check out this new video with Yolanda Soto-Lopez of “All Crafts Channel” as she walks you through every step of the way for this pattern.


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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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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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.

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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*

 

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