Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Hot New Trend: Matching Accessory Projects & Manicures!

October 12th, 2012

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Wonderful trends in nail art have been all over Pinterest this year, and we couldn’t help but be inspired. Our favorite trend of the year has to be the matching manicures and projects!

These are some of our favorite projects to coordinate with this season’s trends in nail art. Mix & match colors, pair them with your favorite yarn or take your swatch with you to the make up counter!

All the patterns below are free for download from (you may have to sign in before downloading). Click the source link for each of the pinned nail art images for the guide to creating these manicures yourself.

Rainbows and Bright Colors

Image of Dolce Fingerless Gloves Image of Rainbow Burst Tote
Pinned by: Hillary Louise
Knit Dolce Fingerless Gloves Crochet Rainbow Burst Tote


6 Easy Ways to Make One-of-a-Kind Heirloom Baby Booties

October 5th, 2012

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Baby booties make an excellent gift for new babies at family get-togethers and holiday gatherings. You can even make a small pair as a sweet memento or holiday ornament for a baby’s first Christmas!

Here are six of our favorite ways to take a basic knit or crochet baby bootie pattern and make it extra-special for the little one in your life. We’ve also included links to free baby bootie patterns on to help you get started (including the Lavish Booties pictured to the right).


A small initial or simple shape like a star or flower is easy to add, and makes your gift extra-special. You probably already have a large-eye blunt needle for seaming your projects, all you have to do is pick a design and yarn!


Appliqués make perfect additions to your booties! You can add tiny handmade shapes by stitching each one up as a separate piece in any color you like, and then sewing them onto your finished booties. Make sure to stitch them on firmly, as little hands may try to pull at them while playing.


7 Stress-Free Steps to Making Your Holiday Gifts This Year

September 25th, 2012

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7 Stress-Free Steps to Making Your Holiday Gifts This YearIf you’re planning to make some or all of your holiday gifts, now is a great time to start planning. It may seem early, but the beginning of fall is the perfect time to get started if you’ve got a long list or you love to make complex projects. These seven steps will help you organize your crafting, figure out which projects to make and get it all done in time. No need to stress!

Step 1: Make a List (and Check it Twice)

Start your holiday projects off by making a list first. Include all the people you’d want to make things for, and then check it to highlight the people you are definitely giving a handmade presents. Take a good look at each name to think about the sort of gift that they might enjoy the most, and make notes about possible gifts to purchase instead. As time gets tight, it’s always good to have a gift-giving back-up plan just in case your projects aren’t finished in time.

Step 2: Pick Out Projects

Choose patterns that you’ll enjoy making, or pull out all those patterns you’ve wanted to make and never had time for. You can always make one for yourself in January! You don’t need a complicated pattern to make a gift special, small details like cables or colorwork make simpler projects look impressive.


8 Fast and Easy Hats to Knit or Crochet this Fall

September 19th, 2012

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Beanies, caps, berets–whatever your favorite style is, a hat is the perfect project to help you kick off the fall season! A hat makes a quick project you can enjoy right away; you’ll finish yours even faster using a thick yarn like Wool-Ease Thick & Quick or DaVinci. Make your own hat to wear as the weather turns chilly, or save it to share with a friend or loved one during the holidays.

These are some of our favorite and most popular hats to knit and crochet. Click on the pattern name or image to see the full free pattern on (you may have to log in first). Want to see more toppers for fall and winter? Follow the links at the bottom of each section to browse through dozens more knit or crochet hat patterns.

Hats to Knit

Hometown Hat Soft Cozy Hat New Moon Hat Ribbed Hat & Scarf

Browse more hat patterns to knit

 Hats to Crochet

Beginner’s Beanie Fleecy Crochet Hat Moon Rock Hat Angora Tam & Lace Scarf

Browse more hat patterns to crochet

Have you made your own hat before? What was it like making your first hat? We’d love to hear your story!

Related Links:

How to Make the Perfect Gift: Quick & Easy Projects to Stitch in a Hurry!

September 12th, 2012

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For many crafters, September means the beginning of the holiday crafting season. Finding the right project for each person can be a real challenge, but don’t worry, help is on the way!

These are some of our favorite fast-finish gift projects for the holidays. Each project has a short description of what it’s like make it and what you’ll need to get started (like measurements or certain skills). There are also links to free knit and crochet patterns in each project category so you can browse, choose, download and print the one looks just right for each person on your list!


A scarf is a great gift to make in just a couple of hours, you can even make one while you watch TV or travel on public transportation! Scarves make excellent, useful, unisex gifts and can be as fancy or as basic as you want. You don’t have to worry about fit or sizing with a scarf, though it’s still a good idea to do a gauge swatch to make sure your finished project will look like the example in the pattern.