Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Color for a Chance to Win Free Yarn

January 25th, 2016

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Grab your pencils, markers, and crayons – it’s time to color again!

Color for a chance to win!

Knit a Quick & Easy Cat Hat!

December 15th, 2015

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Hey cat lovers! Cat-ify your winter look with this quick and easy cat hat! I made mine with one skein of Lion Brand Alpine Wool in Black Pepper. Start with Lion Brand’s Camelot Hat and make the following changes:

  • To make the fabric sturdier instead of slouchy, I used size 9 knitting needles to get a gauge of 3.5 stitches per inch.
  • I used DPNS instead of a circular needle, so feel free to choose whatever you prefer!
  • I decided on a K1 P1 rib (instead of K2 P2) for my hat. You can do either. I knit 10 rows in the rib and then switched to stockinette for 30 more rows.
  • Try the hat on as you go – when you get to the size you want, transfer the stitches onto 2 needles and graft the top together with the kitchener stitch.

Once you have a finished hat, it’s time to sew the ears. Flip the hat inside out and tuck in the two corners – this will create the cat ears. You might want to pin them first and test the fit, but once you are satisfied, sew a short seam in the middle of each ear. Weave in the ends or simply tuck them into the ear points. Flip your hat right side out and meow, you’re ready to go!

Quick & Easy Cat Hat

Christmas in July Day 3: 6 Matching Sets to Knit and Crochet for the Holidays!

July 17th, 2015

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6 Matching Sets to Knit and Crochet for the Holidays

Do you have some free time this summer? In our Christmas in July series, we’ll be rounding-up our favorite gifts to make and give, including ones you can get started on now. Trust us – you’ll be thanking yourself between holiday parties when you’ve got all your gifts blocked and wrapped.

Matching sets make wonderful handmade holiday gifts. They are just the thing for when you want to make more than a scarf for someone, but maybe you aren’t sure of their size or you don’t feel ready to take on a more complex garment. All of these projects are rated EASY, which means they feature basic stitch patterns and simple construction – perfect for beginners!

If you’re not sure what to make, a hat & scarf combo is always a great choice. Choose a yarn that the recipient will love for a gift that easily coordinates with their wardrobe. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try something like our Rectangle Cardigan & Cowl and use the accent color from one piece to create a matching accessory.

Want something a little more grand? Our Neck’s Best Thing series is made for matching! Each of these projects start with a scarf and finish with an afghan. Make both as a set that will keep your loved ones warm at home and on the go. Try the crochet Color Blocks Afghan & Scarf or the knit Neutral Slip Stitch Afghan & Scarf pictured below, and find even more ideas HERE.

sassy_stripes Crochet Afghan & Scarf Set L40643 L40644 Crochet Hat & Scarf Set L32090a
Knit Sassy Stripes Leg Warmer Trio made with Modern Baby® Crochet Color Blocks Afghan & Scarf made with Heartland® Crochet Granny Square Hat & Scarf made with Bonbons
Knit Hat & Scarf Set L40400a Knit Afghan & Scarf Set L40639 L40640 Knit Cowl & Cardigan Set L40690a
Knit Docklands Hat & Scarf made with Heartland® Knit Neutral Slip Stitch Afghan & Scarf made with Lion’s Pride® Woolspun® Knit Easy Rectangle Cardigan & Cowl made with Vanna’s Choice® and Vanna’s Tapestry

4 Coordinated Color Palettes for Your Next Project

July 3rd, 2015

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Give your pattern a color makeover!Crafters are often intimidated by straying from pattern instructions, but one of the easiest ways to customize a project is by simply changing the colors! Pattern designers do a great job picking colors for their samples, but sometimes you’ll find that although they look lovely, they aren’t your colors. For patterns that are written for one solid color, it’s an easy swap, but what happens when the pattern includes color work? Choosing a whole new color palette need not be daunting!

Vanna’s Choice® is an excellent yarn to work with if you are looking to create a custom palette. With 66 colors currently in the main line, you’ve got a lot to choose from. Add double-stranding into the mix, and you’ve got a whopping 2,145 color options! Vanna’s Choice® is also expertly designed with color matching in mind, so customize your creation with confidence – Vanna’s Choice® colors work together no matter what your desired palette!

To help get you started, we’ve created four kits based on some of our favorite color combinations:

Mystic Mermaid Fetching Fern
Mystic Mermaid Color Palette Fetching Fern Color Palette
Dapper Daisy Happy Harvest
Dapper Daisy Color Palette Happy Harvest Color Palette

Each kit contains 6 skeins of yarn, one in each color pictured. Try combining them in one of these 6 ball patterns, or pick a favorite pattern from your own library. You’ll be amazed at how simply changing the colors can give a familiar project a new look! Did you notice that the two ripple afghans below are actually the same pattern?

Ripple Afghan L40069 Sampler Afghan L0323B Cozy Ripple Lapghan L50064 Crochet Color Blocked Hoodie L20665a
Crochet Ripple Afghan Knit Sampler Afghan Cozy Ripple Lapghan Color Blocked Hoodie

If you’re ready to create your own palettes, there are lots of tools online to help you. Here are just a couple to get you started:

Coolors has an excellent color palette generator (free to use on the web) which allows you to choose a base color and generate matching color schemes with the click of the spacebar. Drag to reorder the swatches, click the lock to keep colors you like, and use the sliders to tweak colors manually.

Photocopa is another nifty color palette helper (also free to use). Upload a photo or choose one from their gallery and Photocopa will generate a palette based on the photo! Choose the ones you like and use the sliders to change the proportions of the swatches.




No Ends to Weave In! Join Wool Seamlessly with the Felted Join!

June 3rd, 2015

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Whether you call it the Felted Join or the Spit Splice, this way of adding on a new ball of wool is perfect when you want to avoid having to weave in ends.

A few drops of water help wool fibers bind together — the result is seamless! Please note that this method is for wool yarn only! If you are interested in an invisible join for other types of yarn, check out our Russian Join tutorial.

Take a look at how we’ve done it: