Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Keep Yarn Organized: Learn How to Wind a Center-Pull Ball By Hand

July 13th, 2012

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Center-pull balls of yarn are convenient to use and to store, and are perfectly easy to make! Rest assured: if you can wind yarn into a regular wrapped ball, you have all the skills it takes to make a center-pull ball. Use this one trick to keep your yarn safe and tidy in storage, and stop it from bouncing all over the floor as you work!

You’ll need:

Yarn: Skeins, wrapped balls of yarn, spools and hanks can all be wound with this method. If you’re winding yarn from a hank, you’ll need a swift to keep it spread out (or a volunteer to hold it spread out as you work). For this tutorial, I used a skein of Alpine Wool in Olive.

A smooth, sturdy winding tool: I like to use a thicker-gauge crochet hook or long knitting needle. You could use a pen or a pencil in a pinch, they just have to be clean, sturdy and smooth.

6 Easy-to-Make DIY Hair Ties

June 27th, 2012

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Hair Ties for Any Occasion!Making your own hair ties is a great way to get creative with your favorite yarns, colors and textures. It’s a wonderful way to try out new yarns, or to use up scraps. Your finished decorated hair ties make excellent gifts for girls sports teams, clubs, girl scout troops, or you can make them as party favors (and don’t forget to make a few for yourself while you’re at it)!

First, check out these step-by-step instructions with pictures we wrote on how to create your own crocheted hair tie. In this post, I’ll show you how to expand on those basic instructions to create a variety of looks by using different textures, colors and techniques.

Here are some inventive variations you can crochet to make your hair ties (or those you are make for others) extra special!

The Sparkling, Fluffy Hair Tie

Technique: Add a second yarn in a new texture for a stunning visual impact
Yarn Used: Vanna’s Choice and Martha Stewart Crafts Glitter Eyelash

Get this look by using a straight yarn like Vanna’s Choice for the first round in double crochet, and used a strand of Martha Stewart Crafts Glitter Eyelash to create a border! Once you’ve completed the first round, join the second yarn and make one single crochet stitch loosely into each stitch and chain-1 space. If you find your stitches are tighter than you’d like, single crochet into each stitch but chain one stitch in between, to add more give to the finished project.

Dress Up a Hair Tie: Make a DIY No-Sew Scrunchy

June 18th, 2012

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Create your own designer hair ties with this quick and easy method for turning any hair elastic (or plain old rubber band if you’re daring) into a fabulous scrunchy! Scrunchies make great party favors, gifts for girls’ sports teams or fun accessories for any occasion. Cute scrunchies are useful and always add a note of celebration – even for grown ups! Adding a scrunchy to a bridal shower goodie bag, making them for bride’s maids or crocheting enough for a spa day or girl’s night are all clever ways to give handmade scrunchies as gifts.


  • Hair elastic/rubber band. Any elastic that works well in your hair will work well for this project.
  • Crochet hook. Try using a hook slightly larger than you usually would with the yarn of your choice. You want volume in this project with  looser stitches.
  • Yarn of choice. I’ll be demonstrating how to create these stitches with a strand of Vanna’s Choice so you can easily see the stitches. But scrunchies like these are extra special in novelty yarns like Vanna’s Glamour, Fun Fur or Martha Stewart Crafts Glitter Eyelash.


4 Yarns Perfect for Your First Dye Project

June 12th, 2012

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Dyeing your yarn is a great project for the warmer months of the year, and can blossom into a hobby that you’ll enjoy year round! When you want to try dyeing your own yarn, here are a few tips that will help you choose the yarn, dye and tools you’ll need to have a successful project:

What tools to use? The first step in dyeing is assembling the right materials. Make your you have a non-reactive pot to heat the dyebath in (try steel or enamel pots), tongs to move the yarn, and protective covering/clothing in case of spills. If you’re working with kitchen-safe dyes, then you can use the pots you cook with, but in general it’s a good idea to have a separate set for dyeing.

Make Your Own Purse or Bag with just 1, 2 or 3 Balls of Yarn!

June 6th, 2012

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All month long, we’re featuring patterns that use 1, 2, or 3 balls of yarn, making them perfect for a quick summer project!

Market totes and reusable bags are some of the most popular projects for the summer. When you make your own reusable bags you’ll get to use comfortable, cool yarns for the season (like cotton and cotton blends), you’ll get to use the finished project right away (unlike a sweater or scarf), and when you use it you’ll carry a light handmade bag instead of a heavy purse or plastic bags. Making a smaller clutch-style bag is a good idea too, that way you can keep your wallet, keys and sunglasses separate and easy to access.

Here are some of our most popular patterns for bags made with one, two or three balls of yarn each. Click on the image of the one you like best to download the free pattern!

(Interested in making the Mini Market Tote in the image to the right? Click here for the free pattern.)