Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Community' Category


New Pattern Book Alert: Gramma Nancy’s Animal Hats (And Booties Too!) is Available Now!

October 21st, 2014

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In 2012, Lion Brand sponsored a design contest to use Vanna’s Choice® yarn and create an original design.  The winner was “Gramma” Nancy Nielsen, who we flew out to California to meet Vanna White as part of her prize.  Nancy’s design was an irresistible baby hat that looked like an elephant head and booties that looked like elephant feet. As you can see, Vanna was charmed by the whimsy and creativity of these designs.

It turned out that Nancy also had a whole range of animal hats and matching booties that she had designed as baby gifts.  There was a Lion set (and of course we looove lions!) and sets that recreated a duck, lamb, monkey, dig, rabbit and more.

We were so taken with the wealth of designs that we spoke to a friend who edits pattern books at Random House about doing a pattern book of animal hat and bootie sets and today, the book is a reality and Nancy Nielsen is an author.

Gramma Nancy’s Animal Hats (And Booties Too!) was just released.  It includes 19 animal hat patterns with many including matching booties and mittens sized for newborns to bigger kids.  In the foreword Vanna White wrote for the book she talks about the interesting reason that Nancy was inspired to have this burst of creativity. I’d like to share a quote from that foreword that we can all relate to:

“As all of us who knit or crochet know, there is nothing more special, and more appreciated than giving something handmade that comes from the heart. . . she has touched the hearts of hundreds of people at a special time in their lives. . . ”

If you you’re a knitter, looking for ideas for your next baby gift or for a birthday gift, you’ll find years’ worth of affordable ideas in this book.  It includes patterns, charming photographs and the amazing stories of generosity that inspired these patterns.

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Lion Brand Wants To See Your Best #Scarfie

October 16th, 2014

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My First #Scarfie

Practice Makes Perfect Circle #Scarfie

I’m A Star #Scarfie

Out On The Town Circle #Scarfie

Do you or your friends love taking selfies?

The “selfie” is a viral phenomenon.  Who knew that with camera phone in hand, people would turn the social media spotlight on themselves? It does make sense, though. It’s an age in which we share what we’re doing 24/7 and what better way to tell that story than to show our selves in the act?

But for those of us who knit and crochet, it’s not just about us. It’s also about what we make, how it looks on us, who we make things for and how it feels to wear something of our own creation.

So we’re asking knitters and crocheters everywhere to photograph that experience. Make a scarf and show us your work. Share it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, your blog, or any other social site and use the hashtag #scarfie.

We’ll share your #scarfie on our site in a beautiful mosaic along with #scarfies shared by other members of the knit and crochet community.

What you make is one-of-a-kind. Started from a simple strand of yarn, your creation is a reflection of you in color, style, and literally in the shape and size of every single stitch.

If you’d like some inspiration for your #scarfie (see some examples above or on Pattern Finder), we’ll be sharing pattern ideas and themes over the coming weeks and months.  Stay close and keep a look out for your fellow knitters and crocheters by searching for #scarfie on your favorite social networks.

Can #scarfie become a trending topic?

Here’s one idea to get you started: show us how you style your scarf!

Try Lion Brand’s free Pattern Finder and find the perfect #scarfie pattern just for you.


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!

(more…)


Create a Creepy Wreath for the Grim Wreather Challenge with the Crochet Crowd!

October 5th, 2014

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DivaDan Wreatj

Sample Wreath by Diva Dan of the Crochet Crowd

We’ve partnered with The Crochet Crowd to bring you a super fun Halloween Challenge in which you use your crafting and crochet skills (or knitting) to create a spooky or fall themed wreath to adorn your door, and celebrate the season!

If you’d like to participate in this fun challenge, check out the Crochet Crowd’s Grim Wreath Challenge page to find out more details.

The challenge ends on Halloween night, October 31st, and the winner will receive $150 worth of yarn from us – Lion Brand! The Crochet Crowd has created a Grim Wreather Flickr page to display the current wreath submissions, so be sure to take a look at the full collection for even more inspiration. I’ve selected a few images below to get you started!

BooWreath
By Angel Morone
PumpkinWreath
By Susan Springer
SkullWreath
By Darrah Mitchell
WitchWreath
By Amanda Weenk
AcornWreath
By Diane L. Suder
GhostnSkullWreath
By Sarah Daugherty

Are you in the spooky spirit? How do you like to decorate for Halloween? Share with us in the comments!


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

***

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!


Lion Brand and Stitch and Pitch!

September 17th, 2014

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Last Sunday was the perfect day to watch a ballgame but there was something particularly special about this game. Lion Brand sponsored Stitch N’ Pitch with the Mets and hundreds of knitters and crocheters had the opportunity to sit together in the stands and enjoy the company of yarn lovers from all over the tri-state area.

It was a special day for everyone at Lion Brand. We were given an award on the field and our Sr. VP and Chief Operating Officer, Dean Blumenthal was interviewed. He discussed how Lion Brand has been able to thrive for over 136 years and we all proudly watched his interview featured on the Jumbotron.

Many Lion Brand associates brought their family and friends to the event to meet the folks they work with every day. It was a memorable and fun outing where sports-lovers and yarn-lovers came together to enjoy the last days of summer.

The next day when we shared the story of Stitch N’ Pitch on our Facebook page and Instagram feed, we heard from you loud and clear — you’d love to see an event like this again and again!


Lion Brand on Pinterest: 6 Reasons to Follow Us if You Knit or Crochet

July 31st, 2014

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Pinterest Blog post imagesAre you addicted to Pinterest? We sure are! It’s just so easy to pin and re-pin project inspirations, recipes, inspirational quotes, and so much more. We never get bored of your boards!

In case you haven’t come across our boards, we’d love for you to check them out.

Lion Brand curates boards on Pinterest with you in mind. We pin hard to provide you with ideas and inspiration for knit, crochet, weaving and craft projects. We’re always pinning silly anecdotes and quotes on our Yarncraft Funnies board, and we often share adorable images of animals in knit or crocheted outfits on our Cute Animals & Yarn board (cats cats cats).

I’ve included a few links to some of our most popular boards below, so make sure you go ahead and follow us!

Pinterest Crochet Inspiration
Find patterns we love from Ravelry, crochet-related blogs, and a select few patterns from lionbrand.com.
Pinterest Knit inspiration
Beautiful stitch and inspirational patterns from bloggers, artists, and Lion Brand.
Pinterest Crafting Help
We’ve curated some great tips, suggestions and techniques to help you with your yarn crafting skills. Learning how to crochet cables seems to be a popular pin in this group!
Pinterest Craft Storage
If you need ideas to improve your yarn storage system, or how to contain your yarn balls as you work – this board has got you covered!

 

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Congratulations to the Newest Member of the Crochet Guild of America’s Hall of Fame!

July 22nd, 2014

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gwen-blakley-kinslerAs a fourth generation family member of Lion Brand, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to meet and talk with very passionate people that are prominent within the yarn industry; people like Janet Johnson Stephens, Rita Weiss, and Gwen Blakely Kinsler. I met Gwen a number of years ago when I spoke to her Guild in Rolling Meadows, Illinois and I was impressed with the many ways she has contributed to the craft industry.

Gwen was instrumental in establishing the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) organization 20 years ago and is also an author, designer, teacher and writer of everything crochet.

This year, the Crochet Guild of America chose Gwen as their 2014 recipient for the Jean Leinhauser Hall of Fame Award. Her passion and determination to host the first meeting with crochet enthusiasts in Chicago is now recognized as an incremental part of yarn history.

For everyone who is passionate about yarn and loves to crochet, Gwen Blakely Kinsler is an inspiration. I’d like to congratulate her on this well-deserved honor.


Throwback Thursday: Crochet from 1861

July 10th, 2014

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1861

I spent my July 4th at the New York Historical Society to see an exhibit on Civil War Textiles. While most of the exhibit was quilts, I was quite surprised to find this very patriotic crochet shawl. It was made in 1861 (that’s older than Lion Brand!) and was presented to the Massachusetts governor and his wife to thank them for their support in the Civil War and abolitionist reforms.

I was most impressed by its simplistic design and could actually imagine someone making something similar today. It’s really amazing to see how the art of crochet (and knitting) has been an integral part of American history, don’t you think?


Yarn Bomb Spotted in Brooklyn

July 7th, 2014

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londonkaye

Over the weekend I spotted this yarn bomb under a Brooklyn highway as I was walking back home. As soon as I saw it I had to take a picture – not only because it was made out of yarn but I instantly recognized the person behind this mysterious yarn art.

This cute, cartoon style belongs to none other than local crochet artist, London Kaye, who is known for her unique street art pieces (she even yarnbombed an entire subway train for Valentine’s Day).  According to her blog and Instagram it was originally done last month in honor of International Yarn Bomb Day.

Great job London Kaye!

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