Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Creating Colors by Double Stranding

January 28th, 2011

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Anyone who has ever counted stitches or calculated gauge knows that math is an important part of knitting and crocheting.  Woolly Thoughts, a pair of “matheknitticians”, designed an afghan that makes 10 colors look like 55!   The design is based on triangular numbers–the number of dots that fit in an equilateral triangle, in case you forgot–and uses 10 colors double stranded in different combinations.


Imagine all the color combinations you can make using all 57 colors of Vanna’s Choice!  Actually, there are 1653 different colors to discover, and that doesn’t even include using Vanna’s Choice Baby!  Double stranding is an easy way to create tweedy colors and make projects look interesting.  Our patterns often use double stranding to add color and texture, such as in the Knit Glowing Colors Afghan and the Crochet Easy Tweed Scarf:

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Announcing Our Winter 2011 Knit-Along

January 20th, 2011

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Each season we host a knit- or crochet-along, a virtual event in which yarncrafters come together here online to work on one pattern together, share their experiences, and to learn together. You don’t need anything special, and there’s no need to sign up. Simply work on your sweater and check the Lion Brand Notebook at your leisure for new posts with helpful hints and tips (which come out weekly) and share your comments and progress if you’d like!

Last week we asked you to vote for the next project, and your choice was clear: the Saturday Morning Hoodie will be our Winter 2011 Knit-Along project!

Our wonderful KAL host Heather will start with an introductory post next Thursday. In the meantime, you can start thinking about who to make this hoodie for. It comes in a variety of sizes for men and women, so you can make it for anyone in your life. Make it the warm Wool-Ease Chunky recommended, or try something different like our colorful Tweed Stripes or Homespun yarns. You can even make it in cotton-blend Baby’s First for a piece that will transition nicely into spring!

If you have a blog, add the badge below to show that you’re participating (Right click or Ctrl+click on Macs to save the image to your computer; then upload it to your blog). You can also join our Ravlery group here and our Flickr group here.

While you’re waiting for the KAL to get going, comment below. Who are you? Where are you from? Who are you making this sweater for?

Window Caption Contest Winner!

January 11th, 2011

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We were absolutely delighted by the overwhelming response we received to our Window Caption Contest! We’ve read through all of the entries, and we’ve selected a winner and 5 honorable mentions!

“Yarnia: The Lion, the Stitch, and the Wardrobe” – Karen Frech
Honorable Mentions:
“Pair Ice Skates: $64.99. One Hour Skating Rockefeller Center: $8.00. Handmade Lion Brand Yarn Sweater: Priceless.” – Lori Decker
“Knitting in a winter wonderland.” – Nicole Cushing
“It’s the true ‘March’ of the penguins! In like a Lion, wooly like a lamb!” – Janice MacDonald
“In the jungle, the quiet jungle, the lion skates tonight.” – Rosie Ankers
“Lions and penguins and yarn…Oh my!” – Melanie Blakeney

We want to thank everyone who entered. You all made this contest a huge success, and we loved reading all of your imaginative captions. Congratulations to Karen for winning; we hope you enjoy your prize!

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A Bull in a Sweater

January 7th, 2011

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We love to see the creative things that people yarn bomb.  It’s always fun when artists add knit or crochet to existing statues, such as Robyn Love’s “Memorials/The Doughboy”.  New York City’s newest sweater clad statue is the iconic Wall Street Bull.  Olek, the same artists who brought us the crocheted bicycle, crocheted this fabulous cozy.  You can see her putting it all together in the video below.

Tell us about the fun places you’ve seen knitted and crocheted art near you.

Resolutions for the New Year!

December 30th, 2010

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My favorite thing about a new year is setting new goals for myself.  In 2010 I accomplished some lofty yarncrafting goals: I knit my first sweater(s), learned complicated lace and cable patterns, and added color-work to my repertoire.  For 2011 I want to focus on organizational goals: keeping my stash organized, finishing all my projects, and sticking to my pattern queue.

What are you’re yarncrafting goals for 2011? Will you learn new techniques? Knit or crochet a pattern you’ve been wanting to try? Donate more finished projects to charity? Share your crafty New Year’s resolutions in the comments below.

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What’s Your Favorite Color of Amazing?

December 13th, 2010

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Color changing yarns are fun and turn simple projects into stunning creations.  Amazing has been such a popular color changing yarn that in its first year, we already doubled the line to 14 colors! Check out how the color changes of Amazing look by clicking here, then vote on your favorite color below. (If you’re viewing this blog post in your e-mail or in an RSS reader, please click the title of the blog post to view it online and use the survey form.)

Buy and Sell Handmade Gifts

December 8th, 2010

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Handmade gifts are especially appreciated during the holiday season.  Selling your handmade accessories and gift items on websites like or is a great way to supplement your crafting and holiday budgets.  The reasons to sell may vary; for example, sometimes I like to make the same project over and over, but I only have so many people to which I can give the gifts.  Selling your handmade gifts is a great way to share your crafting with people who don’t knit or crochet. We’ve talked about selling goods both online and locally on these great episodes of YarnCraft: Episode 53 :: Discover Handmade Artisans and Find Out How You Can Get Started Selling for Free and Episode 44 :: Easy Ways to Sell Your Knit and Crochet Good Locally.

You can also make your handmade gifts even more special by adding unique purchased items.  Why not add some handmade soap or candles to a beautiful knitted or crocheted spa kit?

Are you buying or selling handmade gifts this year?  Tell us about it in the comments.

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5 Ways to Decorate Your Home with Yarn

November 29th, 2010

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Decorating with yarn is fun and easy!  No matter what style your home is decorated in, homemade items add a special touch.  Whether you follow patterns or create your own designs to match your decor, here are 5 great ideas for decorating your home.

1. Pillows: You can never have too many throw pillows!  Pillows are fun to make and easy to customize– just switch up the stitch pattern and colors for a different style.  You can also get creative and whimsical with pillows for kids’ rooms, like the Amigurumi Elephant Pillow above.

2. Vases: Whether you cover a vase in knit or crochet, or even just wrap it in yarn, a  cozied vase is unique and beautiful.  You can create vase cozies for special events, or have everyday vases that brighten up your home.

3. Frames: You can make pictures frames by wrapping a wooden frame with yarn, or you can frame knit or crocheted pieces to hang on your wall, using our Jewelry Frames as a guide.  There is no limit to the colors and stitch patterns  you can use to make this the perfect decoration for your home.

4. Coasters: Coasters don’t just keep water rings off the wood; they add to a simple coffee table or end table.  Choose any shape you want, and simply knit or crochet it densely to make sure it protects your furniture.

5. Table Runners: You can make a beautiful seasonal table runner, or make a simple strip to match your dining room decor.  Whether you knit, crochet, or weave one, use colors that pull everything together to bring your dining room to the next level.

All of these decor items are also great for the holidays.  Make them in holiday colors or patterns and use them every year to celebrate the season.

How do you use yarn to decorate your home?

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Crochet on the Beach

November 19th, 2010

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NeSpoon, a Polish artist, adorned her favorite beach with beautiful doilies.  Her street art often involves using lace as a stencil to to create ceramics and paint public spaces, but for this project she decided to use the actual lace.  The delicate doilies were photographed and moved about by beach goers before eventually giving in to the salt air and disintegrating.  If you could decorate anywhere with yarn, where would you decorate and what kind of adornments would you use?

(via DudeCraft)

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Pearl’s Cardigan CAL Round-Up

November 9th, 2010

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Thank you to everyone who has participated in our Pearl’s Cardigan CAL.  One of the best parts of working with other people on a project is getting inspiration from their finished projects!  Here are a two gorgeous finished projects shared with us on Ravelry.

DinaMarie‘s sweater in Sterling Microspun

cln1105‘s sweater in Lilac Microspun

There are also a few great works in progress that are coming along nicely:

DanaLorz‘s Work In Progress in Ruby Vanna’s Glamour

mmhiscox‘s Work In Progress in Turquoise Microspun

Mudderleigh‘s Work In Progress in Fuschia Microspun

Congratulations to everyone who has finished their cardigan.  Whether you’re finished or still working, make sure to post your pictures to the Pearl’s Cardigan CAL Ravelry group and Flickr group and our Customer Gallery.

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