Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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16 Tips and Tricks for Beginner Knitters!

February 23rd, 2015

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As a person who’s just learning to knit, I find Lion Brand’s Learning Center to be very useful because of the step-by-step-videos that I can rewind as many times as I need to get a stitch right. In addition to the Learning Center, the Lion Brand® blog is another great resource for tips and little-known tricks to make knitting even more enjoyable.

Whether you’re just learning to knit or would like to try a different method of casting on, check out these great posts:

16-knit-tips


Inspired by New England, Lion Brand’s “Country” yarn changes like the weather!

February 21st, 2015

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:: cant’ see the video above? click here: http://youtu.be/HL0oKnVDfBo ::

“If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.” Mark Twain

Our American-made yarns draw inspiration from cherished American landscapes. Country®, for instance, is inspired by New England’s picturesque scenery.  And like New England, where the weather can change if you just wait awhile, this striped yarn creates an unexpected but stunning heathered fabric as you knit or crochet with it.

It’s super bulky which means it works up quickly and keeps you warm at the same time, especially if you’re working on a large project like the Subtle Stripes Afghan.

It’s the perfect yarn to get you through the last few weeks of bitter cold and snow. Knit up an afghan inspired by your favorite vacation towns with Kennebunk Teal or Mystic Purple or crochet a last-minute winter accessory.

Below is a collection of our favorite Country® patterns:

Knit Colorblock Slipover Crochet Foxy Buttoned Neckwarmer Knit Side to Side Sleeveless Cardi Crochet Subtle Stripes Afghan
Knit Colorblock Slipover Crochet Foxy Buttoned Neckwarmer Knit Side to Side Sleeveless Cardi Crochet Subtle Stripes Afghan
Crochet Rocky Hill Poncho Knit Mountain Mittens Crochet Stonework Afghan Knit Nantucket Hat
Crochet Rocky Hill Poncho Knit Mountain Mittens Crochet Stonework Afghan Knit Nantucket Hat

8 Things To Think About Before Starting Your Next Knit or Crochet Project

February 9th, 2015

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8-things-to-think-about-kcprojectSo you’ve finished a project and are ready to a start new one – congratulations!

Whether you plan to knit a hat or crochet your first vest or tackle a new stitch, there are a few things you can think about before you pick up a hook or needle.

A great place to get started is reading Lion Brand’s nine-part series Cracking the (Pattern) Code. You’ll learn about choosing the right yarns and tools, how to check your gauge, how to read patterns and more.

From there, you may want to continue on to more advanced topics and helpful tips like the ones below:

Are there any pre-planning ideas you recommend before starting a project? Share with us below!

:: Pattern seen in the picture above is the Moody Blue Bag made in Fettuccini® Yarn.


Until February 28th, Save 20% on Homespun!

February 1st, 2015

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pinterest-board-yarn-of-the-month-FEB2014

Homespun® is a soft, silky roving textured yarn that works up quickly and easily. From shawls to sweaters to throws, this yarn can’t be beat for softness and sheer touch-ability. With solids, heathers, and beautiful self-striping ‘painterly’ colors, Homespun® comes in gorgeous shades you’ll love.

With names like Clouds, Herb Garden, Parfait, Sundae Stripes, Abalone, Fiesta, and Mixed Berries it’s hard to choose just one. Best of all for the entire month of February you can purchase Homespun® for 20% off the original price!

Check out our lookbook below for project inspiration:


8 Projects You Won’t Believe Are Crochet!

January 28th, 2015

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crochet-knit
As a crocheter, I’ve always wanted to knit because I love ribbed and welted textures. I’m learning, but it’ll be awhile before I’m confident enough to knit a sweater … so in the meantime, I’ll share some recent crochet projects from Lion Brand’s Patternfinder that I initially mistook for knit — perfect projects for a crocheter like myself!

There are a two common techniques you can use to create a knit effect in crochet.  You can work horizontally, like in the Tiered Tunic, to give the fabric-like appearance you often see in knitting. Or, another technique is to use front and back post stitches to create the ribbed look you see in the Split Collar Capelet.

Below is a collections of my favorite patterns to get you started:

Tied Tunic Crochet Breezy Scarf Earthy Crocheted Hat Split Collar Capelet
Tiered Tunic
in Homespun®
Breezy Scarf in Hometown USA® Earthy Crocheted Hat
in Vanna’s Choice® and Vanna’s Palettes
Split Collar Capelet
in Homespun®
My First Circle #Scarfie Ripple Bolero Simple Shrug Pom Beret
My First Circle #Scarfie in Wool-Ease® Thick &
Quick®
Ripple Bolero
in Heartland
Simple Shrug
in Unique
Pom Beret
in Landscapes®

2 Teams, 2 Scarves – Arm Knit for the BIG GAME with Hometown USA!

January 26th, 2015

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superbowl

When it comes to sports and knitting to show team spirit, I immediately think of Hometown USA®. The bright, bold primary color palette is right for any sports fan. Whether cheering for your NFL favorite or your local Pop Warner team – this easy care, machine washable yarn is perfect for team-supporting projects.

Our Winning Team Cowls are here, just in time for the BIG GAME on February 1st!

Arm-knit a scarf to support the Seattle Seahawks!

Dallas Grey Green Bay San Diego Navy
Dallas Grey Green Bay San Diego Navy

Arm-knit a scarf to support the New England Patriots!

New York White San Diego Navy Dallas Grey Tampa Spice
New York White San Diego Navy Dallas Grey Tampa Spice

Which team are you knitting for?


6 Projects to Celebrate The Big Game!

January 20th, 2015

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The Seattle Seahawks will defend their championship title against the New England Patriots at the Big Game this year – arm knit a scarf to show your support … or if you’re a New England fan, how about a scarf in the Patriots’ team colors?

Whether you’re a big football fan or know a fan who’s planning to watch the game, it’s a great excuse to knit or crochet! I’ve selected some patterns below that are perfect for showing your team spirit on February 1st:

Crochet Footbal Booties Go Seahawks Arm Knit Scarf Crochet Big Game Cup Cozies
Crochet Football Booties Go Seahawks Arm Knit Scarf Crochet Big Game Cup Cozies
Knit Car Blanket School Colors Hat and Scarf Set Knit The Patriot Scarf
Knit Compact Car Blanket Crochet School Colors Hat and Scarf Set Knit Patriot Scarf

8 New Knit and Crochet Patterns to Celebrate Valentine’s Day!

January 16th, 2015

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When I saw these new Valentine’s Day patterns, I immediately thought of Galentine’s Day! For those of you not in the know, it’s the “holiday” that falls on February 13, the day before Valentine’s Day. It was created by the sitcom Parks and Recreations to celebrate the amazing women in your life, whether they’re single or not!

Galentine’s or Valentine’s, these new patterns are perfect for whatever date you choose to celebrate — the Cabled Heart Boot Cuffs for the friend who loves tall boots; the Heartfelt Cozy for the friend who likes to accessorize their phone; the Warm Heart Cup Cozy for the friends who meet up for coffee regularly; and the Valentine’s Day Gift Bag for someone who loves sweets.

Below is a collection of our newest Valentine’s Day patterns – enjoy!

Crochet Valentine's Day Gift Bag Crochet Valentine's Warm Heart Cup Cozy vdaybootcuffs Heart Key Chain
Crochet Valentine’s Day Gift Bag
in Modern Baby®
Crochet Warm Heart Cup Cozy
in Kitchen Cotton®
Knit Cabled Heart Boot Cuff
in Vanna’s Choice®
( 20% off until the end of January)
Heart Key Chain
in Kitchen Cotton®
crochet-necklace Crochet Heartfelt Phone Cozy Crochet Valentine Scarf vday-bootie
Crochet Hearts Aligned Necklace
in Vanna’s Glamour®
(20% off until the end of January)
Crochet Heartfelt Phone Cozy
in Modern Baby®
Crochet Valentine Scarf
in Vanna’s Glamour®
(20% off until the end of January)
Crochet Baby Love Booties
in Vanna’s Choice®
(20% off until the end of January)

Search under “Valentine’s Day” on our Patternfinder for more great Galentine’s or Valentine’s Day related ideas. What will you be making?


Lion Brand’s Top 10 Tutorials from 2014!

January 6th, 2015

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top10tutorials

“How to Knit” and “How to Crochet” were ranked as two of the Top 5 Google Searches for How-Tos in 2014 — so if you haven’t decided on a new year’s resolution yet, why not learn to knit or crochet?

There’s a reason why these two crafts have become so popular.  Research (and lots of anecdotal evidence) tells us that knitting and crocheting helps to relieve stress, makes it easier to get through difficult times, and helps us to feel more productive.

Whether you are an absolute beginner or a long time knitter or crocheter who wants to improve your skills, we have plenty of resources to help you learn.  In addition to Stitchfinder, an amazing collection of stitch explanations for over 200 knit and crochet stitches, our blog is another great place to find tutorials and tips, as well as articles on how knitting and crochet are great for your health.

Check out our most popular tutorials from 2014:

  1. How to Russian Join Yarn in 7 Easy Steps
  2. Video: How to Arm Knit
  3. Make a Simple Shrug with Yolanda Soto-Lopez
  4. The Ups and Downs of Knitting: Counting Your Rows
  5. Make an Infinity Scarf in 30 Minutes with Audra Kurtz
  6. What is Fingering/Sock/Sport/DK/Worsted…Weight Yarn
  7. Keep Yarn Organized: Learn How to Wind a Center-Pull Ball By Hand
  8. How to Crochet Broomstick Lace
  9. Unlock the Secrets of Crochet Cables
  10. How to Use Stitch Markers

What’s your crafting resolution for 2015?


Top 10 Most Popular Patterns from 2014!

December 31st, 2014

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poppat2014
As we wrap up 2014, we noticed this past year was the “year of the afghan” for crafters.  Whether it was knit or crochet, a lot of you found afghans to be the best project to satisfy your knitting or crochet urges. You preferred creative patterns like the Zig Zag Throw and Slip Stitch Afghan, as well touchable textures like the Classic Cable Throw and Animal Talk Throw.

Last year we made a yarn prediction that crafters would use more American-made yarns. True to our prediction, our most popular pattern for 2014 was the Flag Afghan made with our American-made yarn, Heartland!

Another big surprise was you still loved our District 12 Cowl Wrap, a pattern inspired by the Hunger Games movies, which was our most popular pattern from 2013.

Check out below for all of our popular patterns from 2014 to inspire you in the new year!

District 12 Cowl Wrap Knit Zig Zag Throw Knit Cromwell Court Afghan
Knit Disctrict 12 Cowl Wrap Knit Zig Zag Throw Knit Cromwell Court Afghan
Knit Slip Stitch Afghan Knit Classic Cable Throw Knit Striped Boyfriend Cardigan
Knit Slip Stitch Afghan Knit Classic Cable Throw Knit Striped Boyfriend Cardigan
Crochet Ripple Afghan Knit Simple Lace Shawl Knit Animal Talk Throw
Crochet Ripple Afghan Knit Simple Lace Shawl Knit Animal Talk Throw
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