Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Charity' Category


Learn to Finger Knit with the Knitting Runner, David Babcock

October 29th, 2014

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db_squareFeatured in the New York Times and around the world, David Babcock is the Guinness World Record holder for knitting the longest scarf (12 feet!) while running a marathon, which he did in Kansas City last October. Coupled with a great deal of skill and endurance, David credits his choice in using Lion Brand’s Hometown USA as a factor in his amazing accomplishment! Lion Brand is sponsoring David in the New York City Marathon on November 2nd, 2014 and lucky for us, he’s agreed to write for us leading up to race day! Plus, you can meet David while he’s in New York City!

This Sunday, I’ll be running the New York City Marathon while knitting a scarf. I’m doing it to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s. While training for the New York City Marathon, I was faced with a problem. Due to security concerns I was told that I would not be allowed to bring knitting needles or a crochet hook with me on the run. I respect the great service that the New York Police Department provides and want to support their efforts. So I had to come up with a way to knit on the run without needles.

I tried arm knitting, but a 15 minute scarf doesn’t fill my target 4 hour finish time and the giant loose gauge would not hold up well on the run. I was aware of what is commonly called finger knitting but I didn’t feel that a 4 stitch stockinette would work well either. So I did a little experimentation of my own and in the process I learned more about knitting.

Knitting at its simplest level is just a series of loops inside of loops. Knitting needles are a very helpful tool for holding stitches and picking up and pulling loops through, but learning where to insert them and how to twist them was quite a challenge for me as a beginner.

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Two Knitting Runners: David Babcock Interviews Friend and Fellow Knitting Runner, Susie Hewer

October 11th, 2014

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db_squareFeatured in the New York Times and around the world, David Babcock is the Guinness World Record holder for knitting the longest scarf (12 feet!) while running a marathon, which he did in Kansas City last October. Coupled with a great deal of skill and endurance, David credits his choice in using Lion Brand’s Hometown USA as a factor in his amazing accomplishment! Lion Brand is sponsoring David in the New York City Marathon on November 2nd, 2014 and lucky for us, he’s agreed to write for us leading up to race day!

:: Sponsor David and support Alzheimer’s research — make a donation today! ::

susie_hewer_10082014When someone discovers a person who knits or crochets while running, they’re understandably surprised by the incongruous pairing, even more surprised when they learn that it’s a phenomenon not limited to one person AND even has a bit of a history!

David Babcock interviews the pioneer of yarn-on-the-run, the original knitting runner, Susie Hewer. Susie held David’s record previously and currently she is the Guinness World Record holder for the longest crochet chain made while running a marathon, achieved at the 2014 London Marathon in London, UK, on April 13, 2014.

David: On your blog you share the story of wanting to do something special for the 2005 London Marathon while running for the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK when a friend said that you should ‘act your age and stay at home with your knitting!’. Did you take this as a challenge? What was your process in figuring out how you would use your knitting with the marathon? Had you heard of anyone else that had tried anything like it?

Susie: I most certainly did take it as a challenge! I didn’t act upon it immediately but I turned the thought over and over in my mind, thinking perhaps I’d run in fancy dress as a ball of yarn or a giant knitting needle or even running it dressed entirely in knitted garments, until the idea of actually taking my knitting with me on the run popped into my head. Of course I dismissed that idea straight away as that would be plain silly now wouldn’t it! But the idea festered away in the back of my mind until I decided that I would in fact take my knitting with me with the intention of running for a bit and then stopping to chat to the crowd whilst knitting.

This concept caught the attention of the media and I was featured in a few articles in the Press which was spotted by the people from Guinness World Records who contacted me to suggest that I could turn it into a record attempt. After much tooing and frooing of ideas we came up with the concept of me knitting a scarf whilst running. This of course meant that I would actually have to knit whilst running. Oh my!

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month… You Can Help Make a Difference

October 6th, 2014

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. About 1 in 8 US women (approx. 12%) will develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, so almost all of you are affected by breast cancer either directly or through someone you care about.

Throughout the month of October, Lion Brand Yarn Company will donate 20% of the purchase price of a selection of pink yarns (see below) and our Knit for Life and Crochet for a Cause Kits to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®, while supplies last. BCRF’s mission is to advance the world’s most promising research to eradicate breast cancer in our lifetime. For more information about BCRF, please visit bcrfcure.org.

We’re proud to support BCRF because 91% of the money they raise goes to breast cancer research and awareness programs. They also understand the importance of prevention and they’re happy to share learning and helpful information from outside organizations such as this article from the Mayo Clinic, 9 breast cancer prevention tips from the Mayo Clinic.
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David Babcock, the Knitting Runner, Wants to Make a Trade: Your Alzheimer’s Story for a Scarf

September 30th, 2014

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babcock_knitrun_sept10Featured in the New York Times and around the world, David Babcock is the Guinness World Record holder for knitting the longest scarf (12 feet!) while running a marathon, which he did in Kansas City last October. Coupled with a great deal of skill and endurance, David credits his choice in using Lion Brand’s Hometown USA as a factor in his amazing accomplishment! Lion Brand is sponsoring David in the New York City Marathon on November 2nd, 2014 and lucky for us, he’s agreed to write for us leading up to race day!

Greetings from the Knitting Runner. I have some knit-while-running scarves I want to give away, keep reading …

It’s hard to believe that the fall marathons are nearly here — it’s just starting to get cool enough that I’m thinking about knitting some new hats. I’ll be running the Kansas City Half Marathon on October 18th and the New York City Full Marathon on November 2nd. And yes, I’ll be knitting as I run! I’m deep into my training runs and testing my multi-tasking dexterity.

I’ve also joined the NYC Athletes To End Alzheimer’s team and am actively fundraising – please donate!

So, about those scarves I mentioned …

I want to hear your stories about Alzheimer’s and knitting. Are you a knitter or crocheter who has Alzheimer’s? Do you care for someone with Alzheimer’s and still find the time to knit or crochet? Please share your story in the comments below. If I have your stories in my head and heart as I run/knit, they will lend me more strength and purpose.

On October 30th, Lion Brand will randomly select five people who have shared stories to receive one of my scarves. At least once a week I knit a scarf while on the run and they’re stacking up!

I really want to get connected with my Alzheimer’s community. I know you’re out there and that, like me, knitting (or crocheting) is something you do while doing other hard things too. I am cheering for you!

Sincerely,

David Babcock
knittingrunner.com

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Since its creation in 2009, the Alzheimer’s Association’s NYC Marathon teams have raised well over $2 million. The Chapter offers free support and education to the more than half a million New York City residents who either have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia or are caring for someone who does.

:: Support Alzheimer’s research — make a donation today! ::

Photo: David with a recently-made scarf, finger-knit with Hometown USA while running 10 miles in 80 minutes on September 10th!


Success! When WildCare asked for baby bird nests, the knitting and crochet community said yes!

September 5th, 2014

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Knitters and crocheters really do save lives!

Earlier this year, WildCare, a wildlife rehabilitation hospital based in San Rafael, California, put out a call for knitted nests for the orphaned baby birds they care for. As of today, WildCare has received 3568 nests from 394 knitters and crocheters from all over the world, even as far away as Australia and the Ukraine!

We love this story so much because it shows the power that knitters and crocheters have when they come together to support a common cause. One ten year old featured in an NBC “Making a Difference” segment said, “I’m really glad that I made something and it’s helping an animal live.” His whole family – mom, dad, siblings – knitted nests together! You have to see the little girl knitting in the round on double pointed needles – already an expert at such a young age!

Even though the 2014 campaign for nests has been fulfilled, WildCare says you can make a nest for the 2015 season if you like (info here) or more preferable for right now, they suggest two projects to support for the winter season: The Mother Bear Project and the Red Scarf Project (Lion Brand friend Lily Chin is Red Scarf Project spokesperson).

To add to WildCare’s suggestions, Lion Brand is involved with two great organizations that accept knitted and crocheted donations:

Warm Up America – accepts afghans and afghan sections to circulate to social service agencies, including homeless shelters, battered women’s shelters, American Red Cross chapters, veterans homes, senior centers, hospices and religious organizations serving families and individuals in communities around the country.

Project Linus - accepts afghans for children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. You can visit their web site for drop-off locations near you and if you’re in the New York City area,  we’re proud to say that until the end of November, Lion Brand Yarn Studio at 34 West 15th Street is accepting afghans on behalf of Project Linus. In fact, our Studio window is dedicated to knitting (and crocheting) for charity this month!

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YOU CAN DO IT!

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Summer Chemo Caps at the Lion Brand Outlet

August 8th, 2014

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Chemo Caps at the LBY Outlet

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!

Chemo Caps at the LBY Outlet Chemo Caps at the LBY Outlet Chemo Caps at the LBY Outlet
 Chemo Caps at the LBY Outlet  Chemo Caps at the LBY Outlet  Chemo Caps at the LBY Outlet

Enter the Lion Brand Essay Contest and Tell Us Who Empowers You!

April 8th, 2014

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What we love about Krochet Kids International is that they help women live better lives by giving them the opportunity to earn money through hand crafting. They don’t believe in handouts, they believe in empowerment. Thanks to Krochet Kids, hundreds of women and many more hundreds of children have become educated and have learned they have the power to create a better life for themselves.

Krochet Kids sells more than hats and other clothing. They also offer inspirational posters. We selected our favorite to give away to one person at random who enters our contest, called “Who Empowers You?”

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Simply answer the question, enter your name and email address so we can contact the winner and you’ll have a chance to win this poster. It’s a limited edition poster, signed and numbered by the maker. Lion Brand purchased it here so if you want to purchase one yourself, you can do so. There were only 100 posters made so order quickly if you want one! We also framed it for the winning entry.

The poster is a great reminder to all of us. You are more capable than you think.

 

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How Three Young Men Used Their Crochet Skills To Change The Lives of Hundreds Of People

March 6th, 2014

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Kohl Crecelius and two of his friends from high school wanted to do something meaningful with their lives and they decided to use their crochet skills to make it happen. When I first heard their idea five years ago — California surfer guy who loves to crochet beanies and wants to use that skill to lift people out of poverty — I could not have imagined how that story would develop.

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They weren’t exactly sure how they would use their crochet skills for good until one of the friends took a trip to Uganda. There he met people who had been living in government camps for over 20 years. Rebels had attacked their villages and these people had no other means of survival.  They were poor, uneducated and had little hope for their future.  A generation of children had grown up in the camps knowing no other life.

The “Krochet Kids,” as they were later described by their local newspaper, taught the women in the camps how to crochet hats, and they then helped them sell those hats back in the U.S.  That’s when we got the request in 2009 to help get them started with a donation of yarn.

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A Very Heartfelt Giveaway!

February 17th, 2014

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In recognition of American Heart Month, we’ve partnered up with Laura Zander and Sixth & Spring Books to bring you a very special giveaway.  Stitch Red is a book series created to raise awareness around heart disease and preventive heart health in general. A portion of each sale goes towards HeartTruth®, a public awareness program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.  

Their most recent book, Crochet Red is full of beautiful crochet projects paired with heartwarming stories from prominent faces within the crochet world, including our beloved Vanna White.  

To celebrate Laura Zander’s third book, we have two offerings: 1) we’re sharing an exclusive pattern: the Mitered Brick Throw, and 2) we’re giving you a chance to win a copy of the book and enough yarn to make the Mitered Brick Throw! We’ll be picking three lucky winners on February 28th–enter now and good luck!

»Click here to enter!«

Updated 3/3/14: Congratulations to Elaine Harper, Shannon Sowalter, and Jan Bennett! We’ll be contacting you shortly to get your prizes to you!


A Look at Vanna White and Lion Brand’s Visit to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

June 13th, 2013

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On Monday, June 10 on her show Wheel of FortuneVanna White shared a look at her recent trip to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

She visited the facilities in Memphis with Lion Brand President/CEO David Blumenthal and EVP/COO Dean Blumenthal to announce our $1 million dollar donation to this great organization.

If you’re reading this blog post in your email or an RSS reader, please click on the title to view the full blog post and video on our website.

Video courtesy of Wheel of Fortune.

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