Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Author Archive


Be a Part of “A Memorable Yarn”

April 10th, 2012

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Brenda Dayne is a knitter and a storyteller who knows the power of stitch memory. She is the host of the wildly popular knitting podcast, Cast On and has been telling stories through her knitting for years.

I first fell in love with her podcast in the summer of 2006.  It was my last free summer before leaving for the Jersey Boys tour.  I used to be a Stage Manager, but my real passion was knitting.  Listening to Brenda talking about following her passion was a big part of my quitting my 22 year career in theatre to pursue knitting full time, and two years later, joining Lion Brand to open the Lion Brand Yarn Studio (our retail store & education center in New York City).

Now I’m sooo excited that Brenda is launching her North American tour at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio on May 3rd.   Brenda will be collecting yarncrafter’s memories as part of her art piece called “A Memorable Yarn.”  The finished piece will exhibit at the Wool Museum in Wales through the summer of 2012.  This is where you all come in. 

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Talks from the Yarniverse: Watch Interviews at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio

April 12th, 2011

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Each month at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, we are lucky enough to have a special guest join us. We have had wonderful designers, fiber artists, authors, and teachers who come in for our free special event night. The store is closed and customers who RSVP’ed fill the audience for these great talks, presentations, and trunk shows. With all the yarn, stories, and yarncrafting, a great time is had by all.

Since not everyone can join us here in NY, we film an interview and put it up on YouTube so the whole world can join in on the fun. Here’s a playlist of interviews so far (click the left and right arrows to browse all the videos):

Planning a trip to the NYC area? Be sure to check out the Lion Brand Yarn Studio’s blog for upcoming free events! We hope you stop on by!


Staff Projects: Spring Yarncrafting Inspiration from the Lion Brand Yarn Studio

April 6th, 2011

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Despite the fact that it snowed at the end of March, our thoughts are turning to spring as we head into April. At the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in NYC, that means cottons, lace, knitting and crochet, and trying new things!  Here’s a peek at what some of us have on our hooks and needles:

Me:
This spring, I’m ready to try my hand at my first crocheted sweater. I have always been a big sweater knitter and I save my crochet for scarves and hats. No more. I saw the cover of this month’s Interweave Crochet and it screams out for LB Collection Superwash Merino. I’ve swatched it on two different hook sizes (on for my hips and then the smaller hook for the rest). I know if I hit a problem, I have our expert Crochet Doctor in house–Andrea to the rescue!


Claire:
For my warmer-weather crafting this year I’m branching out (spring pun!) into new territory, trying my first crochet garment pattern. The crochet project is the Circle Vest from LionBrand.com. It’s originally done in Vanna’s Choice, but I’m doing it in the Recycled Cotton for a more summer-wear option. I think this is the perfect stepping-stone garment, since it doesn’t have sleeves for shaping!


Gina:
I’ve been working on the Emmaline short-sleeved top from Knitty.com with Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton in Dusty Blue. It’s almost done, so I might be able to wear it soon if the weather ever decides to stop hating us. Wait, what’s that? Snow forecasted for tonight? Never mind :-(


Grace:
This spring I wanted to explore two of my favorite things, yarn dyeing and lace shawl knitting. I’m experimented with acid dye and the LB Collection Baby Alpaca. Since Alpaca takes dye differently then wool it ended up this great kettle dyed look. Stay tuned for a new dyeing class that I will be teaching in the Studio starting this Summer. Here is the start of my shawl (Little Arrowhead Shawl, a free pattern on KnittingDaily.com).


Sadie:
This spring I’m splitting my time between knit and crochet.

I’ve just finished my crochet garment, the Persimmon Pullover from LionBrand.com. To fit my style, I elongated the pattern and turned it into a tunic to wear over leggings.  I used Superwash Merino Cashmere in Wild Berry.

Not to play favorites with crafts, my knit project in progress is Roman sweater (free pattern on Ravelry.com), and I’m using Cotton-Ease in Cherry.  I was a bit frustrated because although I achieved gauge my first 2 attempts turned out too large.  I tinked (that’s unknitting, knit spelled backwards) those and finally used the X-small size.  We will see how it turns out once I seam it. I plan on spray painting it with a metallic color at the end because I saw a similar sweater in a store recently. I really was attracted to the pattern because of the one shoulder diagonal cable and the fact that it would be a good summer sweater.

Want to show us what you’re working on? Add your project to the Customer Gallery on LionBrand.com!

Related links:


Exploring Stitch Patterns & Techniques

October 17th, 2010

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The Lion Brand Yarn Studio is collecting 7″ x 9″ afghan blocks for Warm Up America.  Our customers are amazingly generous and we have collected over 200 so far!

One thing I love about making small projects is the chance to experiment with stitch patterns.  We’ve had some great knit blocks turned in from customers that used our stitch finder for inspiration.  We’ve seen Basketweave, Moss Stitch, Sugar Cubes and more.

Here are a few crochet blocks from our window that customers have turned in, that looked fun.  Our own Studio crochet expert, Gina, took a look to see how they made their squares–see below to make your own afghan blocks in these patterns.

Dark Blue – front post/back post pattern

Ch 25
Row 1: sc across, turn
Row 2: Ch 3, 2 dc, *fpdc, 2 dc, repeat from * to end, turn
Row 3: Ch 3, 2dc, *bpdc, 2dc, repeat from * to end, turn

Repeat last two rows until piece measures 9”. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Green – basic shell stitch pattern

Ch 25
Row 1: Sc across, turn
Row 2: Ch 1, sc, (5 dc in next sc, skip 1, sc, sk 1) repeat ( ) 3 times, end with sc, turn
Row 3: Ch 3, 2 dc in same sc, (sc in 3rd dc of previous shell, 5 dc in next sc), repeat ( ) 3 times, end with sc in 3rd dc, 3 dc in last sc

Repeat last two rows until piece measures 9”. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Light Blue – easy textured pattern

Ch 23
Row 1: Sc across, turn
Row 2: Ch 3, *dc, sc, repeat from * to the end
Row 3: Ch 1, *sc, dc, repeat from * to the end

Repeat last two rows until piece measures 9” tall. Fasten off and weave in ends.

In the NYC area? Join our collection and stop by the Studio to drop off your blocks; learn more by clicking here. If you’re not in the NYC area and would still like to donate, please click here to visit Warm Up America! Foundation’s website and send your blocks directly to the organization.

What stitches do you like to experiment with? Leave a comment and tell us!


Kate Nash Visits the Lion Brand Yarn Studio

June 10th, 2010

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A few months ago, the amazing indie star Kate Nash came by to spend the day with us at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio.  Turns out she is a long time knitter and she really wanted her new interview for Nylon Magazine to be done in a yarn store…and lucky for us, she picked ours!

Click the video below to see her interview. (Reading this blog post in your e-mail? Click the title of the blog post to see it in your web browser and see the video.)

She planned on spending an hour with us and ended up staying all day. (Sound familiar? Who can only spend 1 hour in a yarn store?)  She knit and talked, and played with our amigurumi.

Kate is an old fashioned girl she doesn’t much care for digital photography; what she does love is her handy Polaroid for instant gratification the old school way.  Here’s her signed picture with me and Will.

As she was leaving, after filling two huge bags with yarn, she declared, “This is the best wool shop ever…ever!”  Kate, we think you are the best indie singer/knitter ever…ever!

Related links:


World Travelers Leave Us With Souvenirs

May 12th, 2010

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At the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, we are thrilled to meet people from all over the world.  We’ve had visitors from every country you can think of, from Australia to Zimbabwe.  We love hearing your stories, seeing your projects, and even finding your change in our cash drawer–okay, we might not love the last one.

Our loose change box has become our own foreign coin collection.  Pictured above is a small sampling of recent finds.  We have coins from Ireland, Great Britain, Canada, the Bahamas and France.

So next time you are visiting us from a far away country and need to visit a currency exchange . . .perhaps you can visit us instead!  Maybe we can make change.

Have you visited the Studio? Tell us where you’re from and how you found the experience!


Brightening Our World With Yarn!

April 7th, 2010

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We all know, yarn makes everything better.  Yarn brightens our lives and our world.  Many of you who have visited us at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio might have noticed the bike rack in front of our store . . .

or our door handles:

A few days ago, spring was finally in the air, the trees were starting to bud, and the city landscape around our us was calling out for a little brightening up.  So, we figured, the pipes and the lamp post deserved a new spring wardrobe.

Yarn just makes everything more cheerful!


170,000 yards of yarn later . . .

December 9th, 2009

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On October 1st we announced we would be knitting and crocheting in the window of the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, to make scarves for charity.  In addition, we announced we would be collecting donations of hats and scarves from our area customers to be donated to our local charity, Partnership for the Homeless.  Many New York area yarncrafters participated, in addition, the blog sparked the interest of yarncrafters around the country to reach out to their own local charities through our Charity Connection.

8 weeks and nearly 170,000 of yards later, we collected from our customers:

170 Scarves

251 Hats

Click here to read about the Lion Brand Yarn Studio staff’s contribution.

It was amazing seeing all the great hats & scarves that were created, and experiencing the kindness and generosity of so many of our customers.

When we were packing up the scarves I recognized a few of my favorite Lion Brand yarns and Lion Brand patterns.

Here’s the Thermal Scarf, done in Fisherman’s Wool.

Here’s the Meandering Rib Scarf done in Wool-Ease


Our Final Scarf-a-Day!

November 25th, 2009

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It’s our final scarf! Today, Claire shows off the simple-looking, but elegant rice stitch!

Over the last two weeks, we’ve shared with you some of the scarves we’ve been making for our Hat & Scarf Charity Drive at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. Today, we finish our 8 days of scarves. Whether you’re making them as gifts or for charity, we hope you’ve enjoyed the inspiration & patterns for easy scarves from the Studio’s staff.

Claire’s Rice Stitch (shown in Vanna’s Choice Beige)

CO 25.
Row 1: P1 *K1tbl, P1, repeat from *.
Row 2: Knit.
Repeat these 2 rows.
Bind off and weave in ends.

*As with all of our scarf patterns shown, we only used one ball for our scarves, but you can use two and make them as long or short as you wish. Vanna’s Choice’s recommended hook size is J-10; its recommended needle size is US9.

Thanks for checking out our scarves. We hope that this handful of our scarves has inspired you this season. Come back after the holiday to see just how many scarves we made AND collected for the Partnership for the Homeless!


Cheery Crochet Checks!

November 24th, 2009

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Andrea shows how versatile crochet can get with crochet checks today!

Over the last two weeks, we’ve shared with you some of the scarves we’ve been making for our Hat & Scarf Charity Drive at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. Today, we continue with 8 days of scarves. Whether you’re making them as gifts or for charity, come back from now until Thanksgiving for inspiration & patterns for easy scarves from the Studio’s staff.

Andrea’s Crochet Checks (shown in Vanna’s Choice Burgundy)

Ch 20
Row 1: *(Sc tbl) twice, (sc tfl) twice, repeat from * to end, chain 1 turn
Row 2: *(Sc tfl) twice, (sc tbl) twice, repeat from * to end, chain 1 turn
Repeat rows 1 & 2 for body of scarf.
Bind off and weave in ends.

*As with all of our scarf patterns shown, we only used one ball for our scarves, but you can use two and make them as long or short as you wish. Vanna’s Choice’s recommended hook size is J-10; its recommended needle size is US9.