Felting and acrylic aren’t usually words that go together, so when the opportunity arose to try out some of Lion Brand’s “Spinnables” 100% acrylic fiber, I was skeptical. You might recognize this fiber because it’s our Homespun® before it’s spun into yarn! (We wrote about how Homespun® is made HERE.)
|Here is a look at the fiber. It’s incredibly soft and silky. I frequently felt with superfine Merino wool, but even that does not compare to the softness of this fiber! It reminds me more of silk than of wool.|
|Next step was to try felting a simple object. I picked a cat, although I think the result looks more like a gummy bear. So let’s say it’s a gummy cat. The acrylic fiber felted surprisingly quickly and densely! The gummy cat feels very solid, although the surface texture retains some of the fiber’s silky smoothness. I started with a coarse felting needle and moved on to a finer one as the fiber began to firm up.|
|All finished! I only had one color to work with, but with multiple colors it would be possible to add details like eyes if desired (of course, a gummy cat doesn’t need them). Because of its extreme softness, this fiber is better suited to projects with simple shapes and rounded edges.|
|All-in-all, I think acrylic fiber is an excellent alternative to wool and a great way for those who forgo animal products to get into needle felting. I look forward to experimenting with it further and to seeing what others come up with.|
“Spinnables” fiber is available in 3 oz packages of assorted colors – more than enough for several small projects like this. You can find it at the Lion Brand Outlet and on our website. If you are new to needle felting, we also have everything else you need to get started. We hope you’ll give it a try!
Do you love sharks? We do! In celebration of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel we’re bringing you a roundup of some of our favorite shark-themed patterns to knit and crochet while you watch.
|Crochet Shark Hat by Repeat Crafter Me
made with Vanna’s Choice®
|Crochet Shark Time Pouch by Moogly||Knit Whale Shark iPhone Cover by Reuben Briskie||Crochet Shark Pencil Holder
by For His Glory Handiwork
|Crochet Shark Hat by Boomer Beanies||Knit Shark Hat and Mittens by Nuriya Khegay
made with Vanna’s Choice® Baby
|Knit Lemon Shark by Karen Null||Crochet Hammerhead Shark weight by Jazmo
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The Lion Brand Outlet in Carlstadt, New Jersey is more than just a place to get great bargains on yarn. We recently hosted the Summer Chemo Cap Project: a charitable knitting and crochet drive for the patients at Steeplechase Cancer Center in Central NJ, part of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Lion Brand supplied the yarn and many enthusiastic volunteers provided the labor. Lightweight hats were made especially for patients who are undergoing chemotherapy during the warm weather months, when a woolen cap would be too hot. These caps were made with Cotton-Ease® and Nature’s Choice Organic® Cotton yarn for maximum comfort and as you can see, they were knit and crocheted in a wide variety of colors and styles.
We are very pleased to report that the project, which concluded with a “finishing party” on August 4th, was a huge success! The final count is in and together we were able to make almost 350 caps. Thanks to everyone who volunteered – whether it was over the weekend, at the “finishing party”, or by sending a cap in – and special thanks to Pam MacKenzie for organizing!
Read more about this fantastic charitable effort at MyCentralJersey.com!
Many of you have asked for the patterns we distributed so that you can do your own charitable knitting and crochet. Many of our patterns make excellent summer caps. Try the Tranquil Violet Hat (knit), the Spice Solace Hat (crochet), or the Lace Beanie (knit).
If you are in the New York or New Jersey area, we encourage you to come visit us at the Lion Brand Outlet!
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If you were born between August 23rd and September 22nd, your Astrological sign is Virgo, the sixth sign of the Zodiac. Virgo is represented by the Virgin Maiden, and like their namesake, people born under this sign are typically gentle and reserved. Virgos often gravitate to care-taking professions like healthcare and medicine and they make loyal friends and companions.
Virgos are known for their attention to detail. They are intelligent, analytical folks and great problem solvers. Careful Virgos prefer to take their time making decisions and with their slow and calculated approach, they are excellent communicators. For better or worse, people born under this sign are often perfectionists and while this quality may lead them to great professional success, it can also cause them to be too critical of themselves and others.
Famous Virgos include Beyoncé Knowles, Keanu Reeves, Sean Connery, and Sophia Loren.
The colors used in this scarf are inspired by the attributes associated with the astrological sign: sapphire for eloquence, navy for intelligence, colonial blue for helpfulness, and chocolate for loyalty. If you have a Virgo friend with a birthday coming up, they will surely appreciate the time and skill that goes into a handmade gift. Since Virgo loves to analyze, an especially thoughtful gift would be to teach them your craft. Activities like knitting and crochet are great for Virgo’s careful, methodical mindset, so don’t be surprised if your friend wants to make you something in return!
The final stop on our tour of The 7 Wonders of the Yarn World is colorwork. If you’re new to the 7 Wonders series, I encourage you to start at the beginning with the unveiling of seven fiber sculptures by artist Nathan Vincent based on the 7 Wonders of The World. Each sculpture represents a yarn technique that was also incorporated into seven collections for a Lion Brand fashion show. The collections highlight all of the wonderful and sometimes unexpected things each technique can do.
|Nathan Vincent sculpture of the Lion Sphinx; model wearing knit Rhapsody of Color Dress|
The Lion Sphinx is our seventh Wonder of the Yarn World. The real Sphinx (or Great Sphinx of Giza) is the largest and oldest monolith sculpture in the world. Our Sphinx’s pedestal is adorned with hieroglyphics, showcasing the amazing detail that can be achieved with colorwork. The patterns associated with this technique are bright, bold, and colorful!
The yarns featured in the colorwork collection are perfect for the yarncrafter in need of colorful combinations for stranded colorwork or intarsia – like Vanna’s Choice®, Heartland®, and Wool-Ease® – as well as vivid self-striping yarns like Amazing®, Unique, and Keppi.
Below you’ll find several of the designs from the colorwork collection. We hope you’ve enjoyed your tour of The 7 Wonders of the Yarn World and that you’ve picked up some new patterns and techniques along the way. If you missed any of the other collections, take a look back at all of our posts on The 7 Wonders of the Yarn World: Textures, Stripes & Chevrons, Cables, Embellishments, Lace, Granny Squares, and Colorwork.
|Knit Color Paneled Coat
(pattern coming soon)
|Poetic Colorwork Pullover
Knit Bobble Beret
|Knit Slip Stitch Pom Hat with
Knit Slip Stitch Pom Scarf
|Knit Shaded Colors Afghan
Knit Ski Lodge Cap
After a long winter and sluggish spring, warm weather is finally here to stay and just like an explosion of spring flowers, this month’s top patterns reflect a brighter, more cheerful palette. Bold patterns also take center stage with zig-zags, ripples, stripes, and granny squares. With all of the dazzling color changes and stitch patterns, you might assume that these projects are only for the expert crafter, but thanks to the magic of vivid color-changing yarns like Unique and our brand new Vanna’s Tapestry, most of these projects are rated easy! After all, taking up your favorite craft should be rewarding AND relaxing (it’s good for you too!).
It looks like many of you are getting into new crafts as well, so we’re pleased to offer more patterns for our Knit & Weave Loom like the placemat shown below. For those of you who are new to weaving, coasters and placemats are great beginner projects and they also make great handmade gifts!
Finally, May is the time many yarncrafters begin patriotic projects for Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Independence Day, so it’s no surprise that our Flag Afghan is number one again (it’s popular all year round – it was #1 in February and in the top 10 for March!). With our best-selling Heartland yarn that’s proudly Made in the USA, it’s a great way to honor the Red, White, and Blue!
|Knit Simple Lace Shawl in Unique||Crochet Granny Inspired Afghan in Unique||Knit Poncho Pullover in Vanna’s Tapestry|
|Knit Color Rich Afghan in Vanna’s Tapestry and Vanna’s Choice®||Crochet Granny Square Coat in Unique||Knit Zig Zag Throw in Vanna’s Choice®, Vanna’s Glamour®, Homespun® and Unique|
|Loom Woven Placemat in Bonbons||Crochet Modern Ripple Blanket in Bonbons and Pound of Love®||Crochet New Slant Afghan in
One of our most popular patterns, the Simple Shrug, is an easy project that’s perfect for beginners. Many of you have requested that we provide Spanish language support for our patterns, so we are very pleased to bring you this great tutorial by Yolanda Soto-Lopez, now with added Spanish subtitles!
Spanish readers, here are Yolanda’s instructions on how to begin:
En este video aprendera hacer esta linda prenda de dama. Esta prenda es un nivel facil. El patron escrito esta disponible gratis en ingles solamente en el website de lionbrand.com Yo estare traduciendo las instrucciones en los Subtitulos en Español. Necesita bajar el patron numero: 90689D Necesita 4 madejas de estambre de LionBrand Homespun color: Manzana adulzada, un gancho N/13 (9mm) un avuja para estambre. Yo tambien use clips para detener mi prenda para coser los lados. Los materiales estan disponibles en tiendas como Joanne’s, Michael’s, y otras tiendas de lanas/estambres.
Check out the new video with Yolanda Soto-Lopez of “All Crafts Channel”, now with Spanish subtitles!
Gemini is the sign of the Twins and it’s the sign for birthdays from May 21 to June 21. Geminis are witty and inquisitive and, like other air signs, they value intelligence. The dual aspect of this sign means that those born under it are able to see things from multiple perspectives, making them excellent communicators. It’s no surprise that they are also great multi-taskers! People born under this sign are cheerful and personable, so chances are good you’ve got at least one friend who is a Gemini!
The colors in this scarf match the qualities of Gemini: yellow for curiosity, navy for intelligence, sapphire for eloquence, and aqua for optimism.
If you’ve got a friend with a birthday coming up, a handmade gift is always the way to go. Your Gemini friend will probably want to know all about how you made it, so it might be fun to set aside some time to teach him or her your craft. If you are a Gemini yourself, you’ll probably want to make two of these scarves – one for you and one for your bestie!