Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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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

You Still Have Time to Knit a Quick & Easy Candy Cane Ornament!

December 24th, 2014

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The holidays are here and I just managed to put up my tiny Christmas tree. Much to my dismay, I somehow lost all of my candy cane ornaments! With some quick, last-minute thinking, I came up with the idea to make these cute knit candy canes using a package of Bonbons.

Check out my tutorial below to make your own.

P.S. Since I have a small Christmas tree, it only took two episodes of Downton Abbey to make about six candy canes! Which means an entire package could make at least two dozen!

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Be Eco-Conscious with our Newest Faux Fur Yarn, Pelt

December 21st, 2014

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321SkeinArt
Pelt is our newest faux fur yarn and it’s made in natural and dyed shades – great for fashion-forward accessories and garments.  For people who love our Fun Fur®, but prefer a yarn that is a bit more glamorous, Pelt is the yarn for you!

It’s the perfect yarn to use if you like the look and feel of real fur, but want to be eco-conscious. You can make textured projects like the Simple Hat, or you can use it as trim for items like the Color Pop Felted Crochet Stocking and the Bristol Bay Hat.

Below, I’ve put together a collection of our favorite patterns that use Pelt – enjoy!

Knit Bristol Bay Hat Crochet Foxy Wristers Knit Dinner in Aspen Scarf Crochet Foxy Buttoned Neckwarmer
Knit Bristol Bay Hat Crochet Foxy Wristers Knit Dinner in Aspen Crochet Foxy Buttoned Neckwarmer
Color Pop Felted Crochet Stocking Knit Winter's Tale Poncho Crochet Fabulous Fur  Scarf Knit Simple Hat
Color Pop Felted Crochet Stocking Knit Winter’s Tale Poncho Crochet Fabulous Fur Scarf Knit Simple Hat

For more patterns using Pelt click here.


How to Make a Fluffy Pom Pom Topper in 4 Easy Steps!

December 20th, 2014

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This article series was featured previously in our Weekly Stitch newsletter. The Weekly Stitch features new products, tips, and more, so if you enjoy this article and would like more content like it, subscribe!

Wrap Your Gift with a Fluffy Pom Pom Topper

Make a big statement with a fluffy pom-pom! Make it one color for a classy look, or combine two colors for something bolder! Once the gift is unwrapped, the pom-pom can also be used as a luggage tag.

For this project, you will need yarn (for the gift on the left, we use Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® in the color Fisherman, coupled with Vanna’s Glamour® in the color Diamond; and for the gift on the right we use Alpine Wool in the colors Chili and Olive), along with a pom-pom maker.  For the tutorial below we used Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® in Starlight.

To make your pom-pom follow the directions on the pom-pom maker package or see below on how to make one using cardboard.

Step 1

pomtutorial1
Take a rectangular piece of cardboard about 2″ X 4″ and use scissors to cut two, half-inch slits. Cut a piece of yarn to a desired length — I cut mine about a foot to wrap around my present — and secure the ends in the slits.
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Dress with a Smile For Annie! 8 Cute Patterns for your Favorite Little Girl

December 17th, 2014

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The newest rendition of Annie comes out in theaters this Friday. Whether you grew up with the film or plan to see it for the first time – it’s a great movie to inspire little girls to believe in themselves.

One of my favorite songs from Annie is “You Are Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile,” so in honor of my favorite song, here are a 8 patterns to inspire you to knit or crochet for your favorite little girl.

Crochet Next Generation Dress Little Sweetheart Bolero Crochet Blooming Cap and Mitts Knit Fresh Picked Color 3/4 Sleeve Cardigan
Crochet Next Generation Dress Knit Little Sweetheart Bolero Crochet Blooming Cap and Mitts Knit Fresh Picked Color 3/4 Sleeve Cardigan
Knit Colorful Cardigan and Hat Crochet Headwrap with Bow Knit Sassy Stripe Leg Warmer Trio Crochet Country Cute Cardi
Knit Colorful Cardigan and Hat Crochet Headwrap with Bow Knit Sassy Stripes Leg Warmer Trio Crochet Country Cardi

10 Most Popular Knit and Crochet Patterns of November!

December 15th, 2014

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This past November, knitters and crocheters alike were deep in gift-making mode. Some of the most popular patterns focused on simple silhouettes like the Canyon Shrug and the Emily Bronte Topper. And whether it was a cat and mouse, reindeer or penguin, novelty mittens were also must-have addition to the project list.

It appears that colder weather was also on the minds of many – the Essential Fall Pullover, made with Heartland, took the lead as the most popular pattern to knit for November! Super-bulky yarns like Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® and Homespun® Thick&Quick® were also popular, likely because they work up quickly and will bring you closer to finishing your gift list for friends and family faster.

Here is a collection of popular Lion Brand patterns that inspired crafters in the month of November:
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20 Projects Featuring Heartland, December’s Yarn of the Month!

December 11th, 2014

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As you can probably tell by the name, Heartland is inspired by prominent American landmarks and landscapes — Kings Canyon, Mammoth Cave, Glacier Bay, and Shenandoah to name a few. Composed of deep heathered and even tweed shades, I often refer to them as jewel-like because of the yarn’s vibrant colors. It is an easy-care yarn perfect for garments, afghans and accessories for kids and adults – best of all Heartland is made in the USA!

Even better, from now until the end of December, Heartland is 20% off!

There are many wonderful patterns that use this yarn — and many are just perfect for the holiday season.

Below you’ll find a lookbook of our favorites. Want more? Visit lionbrand.com.


13 Gifts You Can Make with 2 Balls of Yarn or Less

December 8th, 2014

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blog-ribbed bolero

Every year I participate in a handmade Secret Santa gift exchange. Working at Lion Brand has definitely inspired me to learn to knit, and as a person who usually crochets, I wanted to make something different and challenging this year.

I found the Ribbed Bolero pattern to be a good place to start. It’s a good beginner project to both improve knitting skills, and to make a great gift at the same time. It’s just like making a scarf — just much wider and folded in half.  This pattern is perfect as I had also been looking for a 2-ball project that uses Homespun®.

One of the many skills I gained from this project was learning to differentiate between a stockinette (which the pattern called for) and a garter stitch (which I accidentally did). I was surprised (and relieved) that it still looked similar the picture, except with a different stitch – and it only cost $15!

Below I’ve selected several 2-ball projects that will let you practice your craft and make a great handmade gift at the same time. Let the gift knitting begin!

Knit His or Her Hat Simple Shrug Knit My First #Scarfie Knit Hat in a Flash
Knit His or Her Hat Crochet Simple Shrug Knit My First #Scarfie Knit Hat in a Flash

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12 Patterns Featuring Color and Texture – Perfect Baby Gifts!

December 4th, 2014

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Two of my good friends have recently had babies and while I’m still thinking about making gifts for my friends, I’m also thinking of their newborns this holiday season.

I love making baby gifts that are colorful or have a lot of texture – the extraordinary color palette of Modern Baby® is one of my favorite yarns for color, and for a touchable pattern with lots of texture, I always come back to the symbolic Tree of Life Afghan.  

Earlier this year, when Lion Brand introduced its newest yarn, Ice Cream, I got excited about the Confetti Color Blanket – the variegated colors and knitted indentations give it a touchable, fabric-like appearance – a delightful combination of both color and texture!

To inspire you this holiday season, I’ve selected some of my favorite patterns that feature color and texture:

Colors

Knit Panda Pullover Crochet Little Boy Blue Blanket Knit Sweet Sweater Dress Crochet Modern Ripple Baby Blanket
Knit Panda Pullover Crochet Little Boy Blue Blanket Knit Sweet Sweater Dress Crochet Modern Ripple Baby Blanket
Lemon Squeezy Stroller Blanket Crochet Bella Blocks
Knit Lemon Squeezy Stroller Blanket Crochet Bella Blocks

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Make a Zodiac Scarf for Capricorn Birthdays!

December 1st, 2014

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capricorn-zodiacIf you were born between December 22 and January 19, your zodiac sign is Capricorn. The Capricorn crafter is known to be very familiar with every stitch, their yarn stash is extremely organized, and their project wishlist is always completed.

As perfectionists, Capricorns love to try new stitches and projects and will practice their craft until they get it just right … before moving onto something more challenging. capricorn-sign

Capricorns might appear to be private about their crafting habits, but it’s actually that they are very shy. When it comes to displaying their feelings and emotions, they like to show their caring nature through handmade gifts – discreetly.

Show your favorite Capricorn how much you care with knit or crochet zodiac scarf in colors to match their amazing characteristics: charcoal grey for practicality, grey marble for ambition, barley for resourcefulness, and oatmeal for discipline.

Get the patterns for both knit and crochet!

Don’t know a Capricorn?  Check out our entire collection of Zodiac scarves.

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