Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Charity' Category

This Holiday Season, We’re Asking You to Craft for A Cause

November 13th, 2015

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We know that many of you generous knitters and crocheters work on projects throughout the year for charity, and as winter approaches, warm blankets and accessories are especially welcomed by recipients. We’ve teamed up with Craftsy to share an important initiative supporting Project Linus, #Crafting4ACause. Project Linus is a 501c3 organization made up of nearly 400 chapters that span the United States, all of which are run by volunteers. We’re asking you to dedicate some time to knit, crochet, or sew a blanket for a Project Linus recipient. These blankets go to babies, children, and teens who are in need of comfort this season, so we hope you can participate and spread the word to your crafting friends about this great cause.

We know that many of you like to get social with your projects, so please tag your photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with #Crafting4ACause so we can see what you’re working on. We hope this social share will also inspire others to think about giving back this season.

»Find more details on where to ship your finished blanket here«

I’ve selected 3 patterns below to get you started on a nice Project Linus blanket, please feel free to browse through our Pattern Finder for more options.

Crochet Sweetest Baby Afghan in Babysoft® Crochet Jolly Baby Throw in Jamie® Knit Next Generation Blanket in Heartland®


Tea with Shira Episode #13: Knit and Crochet for Charity with Warm Up America!

November 6th, 2015

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‘Tis the beginning of the season of giving back.  Knitters and crocheters are always giving; we make things for friends, family members and co- workers. Sometimes that’s not enough — we want to give to others that need the warmth!

In this Tea with Shira episode, I sit down with Mary Colucci, the Executive Director of Warm Up America!, and we talk about how you can give back.

By knitting or crocheting a simple 7″ x 9″ rectangle — just a few or enough to make a whole afghan —  you can help bring warmth to someone this coming winter! Find out how in the video below!

:: Can’t see the video above? Click here to watch – :: 
Yarns mentioned in this video:

Counting Down to The Flower Run with David Babcock, the Knitting Runner!

October 23rd, 2015

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Lion Brand® is sponsoring David in not one but TWO marathons this fall! David is running to raise money for Alzheimer’s research and he needs your support – last year, with your help, David raised $10k, will you help David beat that?

Please donate today:

I love running the New York City Marathon. I get to run through all 5 boroughs and be cheered by enthusiastic spectators for the entire 26.2 miles of the race. Last year I ran while double-finger-knitting a scarf with the words, “I’ll Remember For You!”. This year I’ll be making crochet flowers!

Once again, to respect security restrictions, I will be running without tools or bulky bags. Each flower uses about 12 yards of Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® yarn which I will wear on my arm as individual crocheted bracelets. I’ll use my fingers to crochet flowers while I run and once a flower is completed I’ll give it to a spectator and start another. My flower-per-mile pace is a little slow, maybe one every mile and a half. I’m hoping to finish the race in about 5 hours having made 20 flowers.




I created a pattern with simplicity and good definition in mind. It makes a five petaled flower about 5 1/2 inches across. Because my finger is replacing the hook the super-bulky yarn weight is necessary. Hometown USA® has my favorite flower colors, but I’ll be using Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® because I feel it works better with my sweaty hands. Crochet can be hard, athletic work 😉 . My favorite yarn for this pattern is the cotton Bonbons with a tight 2.75mm hook. It makes intricate, clear and tight flowers that would look great attached to a hat, headband, or scarf.


:: Can’t see the video above? Click here to watch – ::

Why am I doing this? Because it is crazy fun! and I am hoping that it will help bring attention to Alzheimer’s disease and support for caregivers. At “Walk To End Alzheimer’s” events participants hold up flowers for a “Promise Garden” moment of silence and commitment. The color of the flower that they hold represents their connection to Alzheimer’s. A blue flower represents someone who has Alzheimer’s, purple for those who have lost someone to Alzheimer’s, yellow for caregivers, and orange for those who recognize the importance of support and working to end the disease.

I don’t have a specific plan as to how I will choose who to give a flower to. I’ll try to follow inspiration rather than hallucinations from exhaustion. I think that I’ll probably be biased towards people wearing hand-knit items or purple in support of the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s affects far too many people’s lives. I hope that you’ll join me in making some flowers for people that you know who are affected.

—David Babcock, the Knitting Runner and Running Hooker

:: Donate and support Alzheimer’s research — make a
donation to David Babcock’s Alzheimer’s Fundraiser today!



David Babcock

David Babcock ran the 2014 NYC Marathon in 3:56 (a PR) and raised just under $10k for Alzheimer’s research.


How-To Tuesday: A How-To-Knit Guide for Project Knitwell

October 20th, 2015

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How-To Tuesday: Project Knitwell
With our latest publication, Project Knitwell Presents: The Comfort of Knitting, we aimed to bring our craft to those who could benefit most from stress relief. We were inspired by Project Knitwell’s commitment to bring knitting to caregivers in hospitals, and developed the book as a how-to guide for first-time knitters. Whether you yourself are a caregiver, know a caregiver, or want to take up knitting, this book acts as both an introduction to the craft and a wellness guide. You’ll learn firsthand how therapeutic knitting can be!

In this How-To Tuesday, we’ve compiled tutorials tailored to beginner knitters. With these skills, anyone can start on one (or more!) of the seven new patterns found in The Comfort of Knitting. All projects included in the book are portable, so they can be worked on both at home, in a waiting room, or during breaks in your day.

Click on the links below to learn…

How to Make a Slip Knot

How to Start with a Knitted Cast-On

How to Knit the Knit Stitch

How to Knit the Purl Stitch

How to Bind Off

How to Seam Two Garter Stitch Pieces Together

How to Seam Two Stockinette Stitch Pieces Together

Head over to to buy Project Knitwell Presents: The Comfort of Knitting; all proceeds from Lion Brand’s sale of this book go directly to Project Knitwell and the Alzheimer’s Association.


Knitting to Heal: Carol’s Project Knitwell Story

October 19th, 2015

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Knitting to Heal: Carol's Project Knitwell Story
Carol Caparosa is the founder and board member of Project Knitwell, an organization dedicated to bringing comfort and therapy to people facing stressful situations through the joy of knitting. In this piece, Carol shares the story of her first born, and how a difficult time led to her back to knitting.

After 19 hours of labor, my first child was born, a beautiful, healthy little girl we named Emily.  She was discharged in two days and life with a new baby began.  Sleepless nights, lots of staring in the crib, holding and soothing her, navigating the early days of nursing and figuring out what she needed – not an easy task.  At one week old, I noticed that Emily seemed to be breathing funny, a little labored and her coloring a little paler than the day before.  I called the pediatrician’s office and the nurse didn’t seemed to be alarmed but said I could bring Emily in.

My Mom and I drove to the doctor’s office and they took her to a room immediately.  Within a few minutes, several doctors rushed into the room with their stethoscopes and started asking me multiple questions about Emily and my pregnancy. The mood in the room was serious and hurried.  The senior pediatrician scooped Emily into his arms, ran out of the office, down the hallway, out the door, across the street, and into the emergency room.  My Mom followed him, while I went to an office to hysterically call my husband.

The Longest Wait

The ER doctors were uncertain what was going on but they knew that Emily was in kidney failure and shock.  One smart neonatologist had a hunch that it might be a certain heart defect and administered medication that provided some relief.  She was transferred to Georgetown University Hospital and rushed to the pediatric intensive care unit.  We waited as specialists examined our tiny daughter and tests were given.  We called our families and asked for prayers.  Finally, two cardiologists’ and an intensivist sat down with us and one of the cardiologists said “if she makes it through the night, her first surgery will be.”  That cardiologist made a drawing, which I still have, of a normal heart and a drawing of Emily’s heart.  He numbered 4 areas that were defective.  I asked for a priest who came and baptized Emily that night.

The surgery was the next morning and she survived it.  But within 2 weeks, she was losing weight and in cardiac failure due to one of the other defects.  At 3 weeks old, and 5 pounds, she had open-heart surgery.  They kept her in a coma for days after the surgery so she could begin to heal.  She did heal, but faced more surgeries during the next 5 years.

A Welcome Distraction

I lived at the hospital and only came home for very brief periods.  I couldn’t stand being away from her, even though in those days, parents could only be in the ICU’s at certain times.  I spent a lot of time in waiting rooms and slept on a cot with other random parents in a room down the hall.  I couldn’t read, watch television, or talk on phone, when I was at the hospital.  I could literally stare at the same sentence in a book for hours.  There was no internet, cell phones or caring bridge website to let concerned family members know how she was doing.  I could only worry and I did that well.  One day, my husband brought in the mail from home and there was a package with a hand-knit sweater that my sister-in-law’s mother knit for Emily.  I opened it and thought that it was the nicest gift anyone could give a baby.  I knew how to knit but hadn’t in a long time.  A light bulb went off and I thought that I would start knitting for the rest of the time Emily was hospitalized.  Not sure why, but somehow, I imagine this would help me.

The next time I went home, I found some yarn, and needles, because all knitters, even when we aren’t knitting, have a stash.  I knit my way through the rest of her hospitals stays.  At first, I just knit, without really making anything – it was the process, not the end product for me.  Eventually, I got patterns and started to make things for Emily.  Her surgeries were long – 7 plus hours and we didn’t get a lot of updates, but somehow I could manage waiting by knitting.   I knit when I couldn’t sleep and when she was sleeping.   I felt productive when I was knitting even though I never finished anything in the hospital. But once she was home, I continued to knit and completed many sweaters that I still have packed away.

A Happy Present

Emily’s surgeries continued for 5 years, we had another baby, a son, and our life eventually took on a normal pace.  After 15 years, I went back to Georgetown Hospital to volunteer.  I volunteered in the in-patient pediatric unit and told the Child Life Specialist that I would be happy to teach Moms to knit.  It took off, and so did the idea of Project Knitwell.  I wanted to build an organization that would provide knitting instruction and quality materials to people who were in stressful situations in healthcare settings in hopes that they would gain the benefits that I had gained.

Emily, at 21, had to have another heart procedure.  It was suppose to be out-patient, but it turned out to be more complicated and included a stay in the ICU for a few days.  The day of her procedure, I brought with me music to listen to, sudoko puzzles, a book I was reading, my knitting, and, of course, the waiting room had a television.  I tried it all, my book, sudoko, TV, but the only thing I could do was knit and listen to my iPod.  Hopefully Emily won’t need more surgeries but, if she does, I’m only going to pack my knitting and iPod.

One last thing… Emily is now a healthy 25 year old, recently engaged, and a pediatric intensive care nurse in the same unit at Georgetown Hospital where she was cared for as an infant.  I still volunteer at Georgetown and love seeing her in her new role  on the days we are there together.  She knows how to knit too!


Knitting to Heal: Carol's Project Knitwell Story
Project Knitwell Presents: The Comfort of Knitting, is a unique book that focuses on  how to alleviate stress and offer comfort to families and caregivers facing difficult situations. More on Project Knitwell’s mission, as well as 7 new patterns are included in this publication. All proceeds from Lion Brand’s sale of this book go directly to Project Knitwell and the Alzheimer’s Association.