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 LionBrand.com (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
Source: iamlala.com
Knit Dolce Fingerless Gloves Crochet Rainbow Burst Tote

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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 LionBrand.com to help you get started (including the Lavish Booties pictured to the right).

Embroidery

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

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.

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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.

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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 LionBrand.com (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!

Scarves

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.

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9 Tips on How to Get Your Crafting Organized & Keep It That Way!

August 29th, 2012

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Getting craft supplies organized tends to fall to the bottom of my to do list, “After all,” I think, “it’ll just get messy again as soon as I make something, why bother?” But sooner or later the time comes to clear up all the yarn, organize the hooks and needles, and stow all fabric, glitter and crafting supplies away. Good organization can help us make beautiful, useful projects; after all, crafting is much easier when you know where to look for supplies, and can tell right away if you’re running out of something or need to go out and get a new tool.

Here are some tips to help you get organized and, just as importantly, stay organized all year long!

Give everything a home: Things can’t be put away without a home, but more importantly, homeless tools and supplies are almost always difficult to find when you need them. Tired of retracing your crafting steps to try to remember where your shears or glue gun has gone? Then giving these tools a home could be the solution.

Consider labeling: Lots of folks love handwritten labels or using a label maker, but what if you don’t like traditional labels? How about using a small picture of what you’re putting inside? Tassels of yarn on decorative bins, or paper samples on the edge of scrap booking boxes tell you exactly what’s inside with a visual examples.
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Fall Fashion to Knit and Crochet: 12 Capes and Capelets We Love

August 16th, 2012

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Fall is almost here, and if you’re anything like me, you’re already searching for the perfect fall pattern to sink your hooks and needles into. Finding that one must-make pattern can be a challenge, particularly when there are so many beautiful patterns to choose from.

Capes are swinging back into style this fall, according to several sources including this article on Fashionising.com:

“Capes & cloaks …  for fall 2012 they’re making their move again, pushing the boundaries of fantasy to capture the imagination with new life. From the tailored to the traditional, the Gothic to the bright, capes and cloaks are the thing to throw over your shoulders when the chill hits.”

Looking for the perfect cape for you? Here are 12 of our favorites and why we love them. Follow the pattern links to download the pattern of your choice for free!

Color and beautiful stitch patterns bring these capes to life, and we love the collars incorporated into each design.

Crochet Round Yoke Poncho Knit Galway Poncho

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4 Ways Yarncrafting Can Help Kids Heading Back to School

August 10th, 2012

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This time of year it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and anxiety of starting a new school year. Recently it’s become popular to introduce teens and children to yarncrafts as they head back to school; it’s been seen that crafting has numerous benefits that can help all ages during times of stress. Plus, taking a little time to relax can be helpful for kids and adults, particularly when you take some time to enjoy a hobby you love together.

Here are some great ways that yarncrafting can help the kids, teens and grown-ups in your life:

Crafting is something you can do by yourself to relax. Knitting or crocheting a few rows between classes or on the morning bus can lend a sense of value to these hurry-up-and-wait portions of the day. It’s a great way to decompress at the end of a long day, and can help clear your mind as you work.

Yarncrafting can help you connect with other people. Lots of activities for young people seem to be designed to be done alone; but crafting, particularly yarncrafting, can be a great way to spend a little face-time with friends or family. Lots of schools are developing crafting clubs, and crafting with a group of peers can introduce students to new friends.
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How to Easily Carry Your Knitting or Crochet Anywhere!

July 26th, 2012

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This time of year, traveling with crafts is something we hear about (and see around us) all the time. What better way to pass the time while waiting in line, taking long flights or car trips, or enjoying the weather at the beach or by the pool?

Your project bag will hold everything you need for crafting, so take your time choosing the right one for you. Your bag will carry the patterns, tools, writing implements, yarn cutter/scissors and, of course, your yarn. Keeping everything secure and organized won’t be daunting with these tips:

Choose bags with drawstring, snap or magnetic closures. Bags like these will close and open easily for quick access, and won’t damage your yarn. Steer clear of zippers and Velcro, closures like these are notorious for snagging yarn or damaging it beyond repair.

Smaller bags will be easier to carry and manage while you travel. When you’re choosing your project, keep in mind that something smaller will fit better into a small bag and be more manageable to work on. You can always pack more yarn and projects in with your suitcase, so you can grab a new project when you arrive at your destination!

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Untangled Forever: DIY Fix for Never-Tangle Earbuds

July 20th, 2012

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DIY no-tangle earbudsPinterest user Ada(:  recently pinned this nifty project on wrapping headphone cords with embroidery floss, and Apartment Therapy wrote a wonderful tutorial on making it. I love simple, clever projects like this one and knew I wanted to try it on my headphones right away! When the first packs of our new Bonbons yarn arrived, I fell in love with the sparkling colors and got started. I took step-by-step pictures as I used two colors to cover my headphones, and I’ve also included written instructions to help you re-create this project at home. One of the great things about using Bonbons instead of embroidery floss was that I didn’t have to wind the yarn onto a bobbin first, the tiny Bonbons skeins were already the perfect size to craft with.

Here’s the step-by-step story of how I made my sparkling, tangle-free headphones:
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