Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Fiber Arts Shows in NYC

October 11th, 2010

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This month, we’re highlighting the works of various fiber artists currently showing around the country and the world. If you’d like to suggest an artist or an exhibit, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know!

This past week two fun art exhibits in New York City opened featuring some of our favorite fiber artists: Anna Hrachovec and Nathan Vincent.

Anna Hrachovec is best known for her blog Mochimochi Land and Knitting Mochimochi, her book of adorable knit toys.  Her new exhibit at Gallery Hanahou displays an entirely hand-knit world, including skyscrapers and a quirky landscape with a model train running through it.  The exhibit will last through October 29.

Nathan Vincent is a fiber artist who creates typically masculine objects in knit and crochet.  He is one of many artists being featured in the inaugural group exhibit at Klause Gallery through October 31.  You may remember him from the crochet taxidermy at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio or from the Yarn Show on Martha Stewart.

Workshops for a November exhibition at the Textile Arts Center are already underway.  Artist Kim Hall, who believes that every knitter’s first scarf is lucky, is teaching knitting and collecting the resulting scarves for her project, “Virgin Knitters“.  Check out the calendar for more information.

Are there any fiber related events near you?  Let us know in the comments.

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Where have your projects been spotted?

September 14th, 2010

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I recently had the fun experience of seeing one of my finished objects on a clothing website.  I made a Rose Red hat in LB Collection Superwash Merino as a gift for my sister, a fashion designer.  I was thrilled that she thought it was nice enough for a model wear in a photo shoot.

It’s always exciting when other people appreciate your craftsmanship.  We love seeing your projects in our Customer Gallery and at shows.  We’ve also heard about projects winning prizes at local fairs.  Has your project ever been spotted on a blog or in a magazine?   Have you ever won a ribbon for your crafting?  Share in the comments below!

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On the Road: Customer Projects at Stitches Midwest

August 24th, 2010

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This past weekend I had the great pleasure of going to Stitches Midwest in Schaumburg, IL.  It was so fun being surrounded by crafters all weekend and seeing knitters everywhere we went.  As I’ve said before, one of my favorite things about going to shows is seeing customer projects.  Some stop by to show off their work, while other are stumbled upon in hotel lobbies.  Either way, seeing the finished work (or work in progress) is always so satisfying for me.  Here are some of the beautiful projects from this weekend:

Please keep your mouse over the slideshow to see the captions. Unless the name of the pattern is specified in the caption, we do NOT have the pattern available. If you’re viewing the photos in your e-mail, please click on the title of the blog post to view it on our website in order to see the captions.

We’re headed to Maker Faire NY in September and Stitches East in October, and we’d love to see you there!  Even if you can’t make it to a show you can share your projects in our Customer Gallery.

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Keep Track of Your Measurements

August 17th, 2010

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Whenever I start a new garment, I find myself double and triple checking my measurements.  I ask myself, “What was the measurement on that last sweater?” and eventually spend the few seconds it takes to remeasure my bust and waist.  The only trouble is that sometimes it’s awkward to take measurements in public, so I can never commit to a new sweater without a little planning.  Plus, it’s silly that I remeasure myself every time I start a sweater, even when my measurements remain consistent.  I finally decided I needed to write down my measurements and keep them somewhere accessible. Our friends at BurdaStyle have a fabulous downloadable personal measurement card.  The card includes all the important measurements, and you can print it, fill it out and keep it with you wherever you go!  To download it, just go to their size chart page and click “Download Card” (on the right in the “BurdaStyle’s Personal Measurement Card” box).

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Soldiers Learn to Knit

August 12th, 2010

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Teaching people to knit is always rewarding.  I received an email recently from Joy, a soldier serving in Afghanistan who taught her fellow soldiers how to knit!  As many of us know, knitting is a great way to relax, and Joy decided to share her relaxation method with others.  It was heart-warming to hear about her impromptu knitting lessons even in less-than-ideal conditions.

Joy says, “It was extremely dusty and hard to keep anything clean, so we just took the garage sale yarn that my mother in law sent me in a care package. We got pretty creative. I made a pillow for the aid station while the PA Naimiyah made a cute scarf for her daughter.”

We were happy to send Joy and her fellow soldiers beginner supplies to spread the love of yarncrafting, and we hope they continue to enjoy knitting for years to come!

(If you’re looking at this blog post on the website, click on the slide show to move to the next photo. If you’re viewing this blog post in your e-mail and you’re having trouble with the photos, please click the title of the blog post to see it on the website.)

Have you ever taught anyone to knit or crochet?  Who taught you to knit or crochet?

Update 8/13/10: Joy just posted this comment for those of you who are interested in supporting these Combat Knitters further:

Thank you so much Lions Brand Yarn for sending us those starter kits! If supporters are interested in sending knitting materials, I would be happy to receive them and distribute to our Combat Knitters! You can reach me at for my mailing address at FOB Sharana. Thanks for your support!

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Perfect Sweaters for Your Body

July 29th, 2010

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Everyone knows that dressing for your body shape is important, but crafting for your body shape is even more important.  It’s easy enough to try on something in the store and say, “This is so flattering” or “This does not suit my body shape”, but when you’re planning on working on a sweater for hours and hours, you want to know it’s going to come out looking just right on whoever gets to wear it.

First of all, you need to know your body shape.   As you can see below, what differentiates one body type from another are the proportions between shoulders, waist, and hips.

Once you have a good understanding of your body shape, you can pick projects that flatter your figure.  Here are a few patterns we thought would flatter each body type.

Banana (or rectangle) means that your shoulders, waist, and hips are all similar sizes. We suggest the Airy Lace Shell which is slimming, or the Ginger Sweater, which gives the illusion of curves.

Apple (or Inverted Triangle) bodies are wider across the top and more narrow in the hips.  We suggest shapes like those seen in the Ardsley Jacket, the Essential Jacket, and the Peplum Cardigan to balance things out and give the illusion of hips.

Pear (or Triangle) shapes are widest in the hips.  We suggest balancing this out with oversized collars, as with the Middlemarch Cardigan, or something that fits loosely over the hips, such as the Dinner at Eight Top.

Lastly, hourglass figures are about the same size in the hips and shoulders, but smaller in the waist.  Anything that is fitted in the ribs or waist will be most flattering.  We suggest the Circular Yoke Vest, the Empire Top, or the Short and Chic Cardi

The great thing about making your own clothes is that you can customize anything to be just right for your body. When making garments for other people, it’s especially helpful to have an idea of  the general shapes that are going to flatter them.

These patterns are just a few suggestions, and we’d love to know what your favorite flattering garments are.  Leave a comment below to let us know.

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On the Road: Customer Projects at the Knit & Crochet Show

July 14th, 2010

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One of the most fun things about going to shows is seeing all the wonderful things our customers make with our yarn! Last week I got to go to the Knit & Crochet show in Manchester, NH, where a few of our customers stopped by the booth to show off their wonderful projects.  Some were original designs, while others were made using our patterns.  Here are just a few of the finished products I got to see:

Please keep your mouse over the slideshow to see the captions. Unless the name of the pattern is specified in the caption, we do NOT have the pattern available. If you’re viewing the photos in your e-mail, please click on the title of the blog post to view it on our website in order to see the captions.

Come see Lion Brand in August at Stitches Midwest!  If you can’t make it, share your projects in our Customer Gallery.  We always love to see what you do with yarn!

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Store-Bought Sweater Inspired by Hand-Knitting Yarn

July 6th, 2010

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Sometimes the sweaters and garments that we knit or crochet are inspired by something we see in a store or on a runway.  But the other day while I was shopping, I couldn’t help but notice this sweater, which seems to be inspired by one of our popular yarns! Doesn’t it look like a few of our fun self-striping colorways of Sock-Ease? Sure looks like Red Hots, Cotton-Candy, and Lemon Drop to me!

I love the idea of using a fun self-patterning yarn for embellishments on a solid sweater.  Even if you don’t knit yourself an entire sweater, you could spruce up an old sweater with hand knit or crocheted embellishments!  Check out our StitchFinder for flower motifs.

Here is a close up of the retail sweater for inspiration:

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Yarncrafting Fun in the Sun

June 21st, 2010

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Now that it’s summer, we at Lion Brand love to knit and crochet outside! PT shot this a short video of Jess, Zontee, and me working on our projects in the beautiful Madison Square Park. Jess and I are both knitting the Marigold Sweater from Interweave Knits in LB Collection Superwash Merino, and Zontee finished crocheting her adult version of the Bebop Cardi (free on in Baby’s First.

Coney Island Comes to Manhattan

June 11th, 2010

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Those of you who guess Coney Island on the Studio Window Sneak Peak blog were correct!  Here is a picture of the Lion Brand Yarn Studio‘s Coney Island window:

This fabulous knitted, crocheted, and yarncrafted creation is a wonderful way to celebrate NYC in the summer.  Click here to see some of the cool details (like a finger puppet bride and seagull eating french fries).

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