Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Loom-Inspired Chair

March 22nd, 2011

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Last week, Zontee shared yarn-covered chairs.  The chair above isn’t just covered with yarn, but it’s actually made with yarn!  Asa Karner of Alvi Designs recently unveiled this awesome loom-inspired chair in Stockholm.  The futuristic design celebrates Sweden’s crafty-past with silk threaded through its oak base.

(via Inhabitat)

Q&A with 2010 Vanna’s Choice Contest Winner

March 16th, 2011

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Andrea Larson, the winner of the 2010 Vanna’s Choice Contest got to meet Vanna White last week!  We caught up with her and asked a few questions.

What kind of yarncrafter are you? What are your favorite types of projects?
I have tried out almost all yarn crafts out there, but my favorite is knitting.  I usually have several projects on the go at any one time and usually have something small like socks or mittens in my purse for waiting in lines or at my kids’ gymnastics lessons.  My favorite projects are baby hats and sweaters.  They knit up so fast and are adorable.

What inspired you to make your winning entry for the Vanna’s Choice Contest?
I love entering contests and challenging myself so a knitting contest sounded like fun.  I wanted to make something that was totally different and that my kids could play with afterward, so I decided that a play-mat village would be a neat way to use all my yarn crafting skills in one project.

What was it like meeting Vanna White in person?
I was really exciting and kind of surreal.  It didn’t feel real until I was actually there at the Wheel of Fortune set meeting her in her dressing room.  She is so friendly and nice, I just wish I could have spent more time getting to know her.

What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on a few things.  I have a double nine-patch quilt, a silk shawl, a pair of children’s socks and a sweater on the needles at the moment and I just finished a knitted anatomical model of the heart that I made for an art contest at school (it came in second).

Check out Andrea’s winning contest entry here.

Mix It Up With Multis

March 1st, 2011

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A couple weeks ago, I posted about self-striping yarns.  Another fun way to play with colors is using “multis”, where each strand contains multiple colors.  Whereas self-striping yarns change gradually, multis have either short bursts of color change or different colors plied together.  You can see how the Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton in Wildflowers (left) has short color changes that won’t create stripes when worked up.  Hometown USA multis (shown in Mardi Gras, right) have contrasting colors spun together; it’s as if you were holding a strand of each color and working them at once.


Here’s a project in each of these yarns so you can see how these fun colorways work up (click on the image for the pattern):


What’s your favorite project to spruce up with a multi-colored yarn?


Explore Self-Striping Yarns

February 8th, 2011

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Unlike the mood rings of our childhoods, color changing yarns don’t actually change color according to a change in their environment.  These are yarns that have multiple colors spun together in unique ways for different effects.  “Self-striping” and “painterly” colors gradually change color as you knit or crochet to create stripes of color.  The color changes can be subtle or bold, but they are fun to play with either way.  Of course, different stitches and patterns are going to make the colorways work up differently.  For example, you can see the difference between garter stitch (left) and double crochet (right) in the scarves below, both of which are made using Amazing in Vineyard. Click here to see all the colorways of Amazing. You can also click on the images below to see each of the patterns.

Some of our other fabulous yarns with self striping or painterly colors include Sock-Ease, which has bursts of contrasting colors, Homespun, which subtly transitions from one color to the another, and Tweed Stripes, a traditionally spun yarn with color unique color blends.  I love the way that color changing yarns can turn a simple project into a stunning one.  Two of my favorite patterns (Sunny Diagonal Blankie and Rose Lichen Cardigan, below) cleverly use self-striping colors of Baby Wool to highlight unique construction.

What’s your favorite thing to make with self-striping yarns?

Superwash Merino: My Go-To Yarn

February 2nd, 2011

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I first started knitting with LB Collection Superwash Merino because it was the perfect yarn for a sweater I wanted to make.  It was a DK weight, it knit to gauge, and I loved the Wild Berry color.  So I bought my yarn, making sure I had enough for whatever size I would end up needing, and got started on my Rusted Root (pattern available from Zephyr Style).

Upon finishing this sweater (my first finished sweater, in fact), I realized I had purchased too much yarn. I loved working with it so much that instead of returning it, I promptly starting making a hat.  I had been planning on making a Rose Red (pattern available from Ysolda) for my sister’s birthday, and the LB Collection Superwash Merino was the perfect yarn: soft, warm, and great stitch definition!  My sister was hesitant about me using wool, but I assured her that it would be super soft (and it was)!

After I finally used up all my Wild Berry, I had another pattern that happened to be perfectly suited to the Superwash Merino: the Marigold Sweater from Interweave Knits, Summer 2010.  Because I wouldn’t be finishing it in time for summer, I wanted a yarn that could keep me warm into the fall.  This time I chose Dijon for my perfect fall cardigan.

On my last trip to visit my family, my sister fell in love with the Rusted Root sweater and the Dijon color.  So my most recent project in my new favorite yarn is a Dijon Rusted Root for her.

Quick tip for working with the LB Collection Superwash Merino: Block your gauge swatch!  All of my projects have looked like new after being machine washed and dried, but I was surprised by how much my projects grew after getting wet.  For more information about superwash wool, check out Jess’s blog post “What is Superwash Wool?

What is your go-to yarn?  Post in the comments below.