Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Community' Category


7 Creatively Crocheted Halloween Wreaths from the Crochet Crowd Challenge!

November 5th, 2014

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Crissi Coko winner
November is here and it’s time to switch modes … out of spooky, Halloween decor and back into fall and Thanksgiving mode!

BUT just before we do, we want to share some news! The Crochet Crowd’s Grim Wreath Challenge has just ended and the randomly-chosen, lucky winner of the $150 yarn prize goes to Crissi C. from New Hampshire! Congratulations and thank you for your entry Crissi!

There were so many great entries, we just have to share a few other great wreaths from the Grim Wreath Challenge submissions, so please take a look below!

Cristina Nelson
Fun colors, pumpkins, and other Halloween amigurumi adorn this wreath by Cristina Nelson
Nicole Bergen
This is a great Autumn wreath to keep up until the holiday season starts, by Nicole Bergen
Addie Austin
Love the skull couple and color combinations in this wreath by Addie Austin
Michele M Cook
An adorable family of creepy spiders by Michele Cook
Stephaney
Adorable ghostly characters in this lively wreath by Stephaney Williams
Crissi Lee Cohnko
Of course, what’s Halloween without an ode to A Nightmare Before Christmas, by Crissi Leigh Coko

 


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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Go To The Fair – Michelle Edwards Visits Rhinebeck

October 29th, 2014

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“… Go to the Fair, Templeton. You will find that the conditions at a fair will surpass
your wildest dreams. Buckets with sour mash sticking to them, tin cans
containing particles of tuna fish, greasy paper bags stuffed with rotten …”
“That’s enough!” cried Templeton. “Don’t tell me anymore. I’m going.”

E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

baaaaConvincing my cousin Janet to go to The New York State Sheep and Wool Festival wasn’t hard. Unlike Templeton the rat in Charlotte’s Web, she didn’t need the lure of sour mash, stray particles of tuna fish, or even greasy paper bags. The mere mention of sheep and wool and she was on board.

I had been to Rhinebeck, as the event is known in the fiber world, when I was promoting my knitting book, A Knitter’s Home Companion. My fair days back then were spent almost entirely signing books. This summer, after attending a small Iowa sheep and wool festival, I got the itch to go back to the big one, to Rhinebeck, to see what I had missed.

Rhinebeck is not only about wool. Among the offerings there were a bred ewe auction, an angora goat show, and an exotic breeds parade. In addition, there were demos of “blue ribbon hearth” cooking, canine Frisbee, sheepdog herding and more. Not to mention classes like Weave a Williamsburg Basket, Art and Science of Natural Dyeing, Needle Felting in 2-D and 3-D, Made in the Moment Jewelry, Double Knitting, Beginning Rug Hooking and Spinning for Socks.

Of course, Janet and I went straight for the wool. We cruised booth after booth, discussed the merits of projects and yarns on display. Often our eyes were drawn to the handwork worn by other fair attendees. We admired lacy shawls, cabled sweaters and the stunning green baby blankets covering a pair of adorable twins in their side-by-side stroller.
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45 Minute Crochet Cowl Tutorial by Vanessa from The Crafty Gemini

October 28th, 2014

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Today, we’ve got a great tutorial for you by Vanessa from the Crafty Gemini! Vanessa will show you how to create a simple cowl in our beautiful, self-striping yarn, Amazing. This cowl works up extremely fast and will make a great gift for the upcoming holidays. Watch Vanessa’s tutorial below, and check out the link for her Amazing giveaway!

Click here for: 45 Minute Cowl Pattern

Click here for: Amazing yarn giveaway


#Scarfie Challenge and Pattern featuring Rachel from Maybe Matilda

October 23rd, 2014

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#Scarfie = A selfie with a scarf!

We invited a few awesomely creative knit and crochet bloggers to participate in a #scarfie challenge! We asked them to design a scarf or cowl with two skeins of one of our most popular yarns, Wool-Ease Thick & Quick. The #scarfies are making the rounds on blogs and social media, and we’re so excited to share them with you. Today, we’re featuring a cute crochet scalloped edge cowl from Rachel at Maybe Matilda.

Rachel’s pattern is easy and fast, so get your balls of Wool-Ease Thick & Quick and start crocheting!

Find Rachel’s pattern here: Chunky Scalloped Cowl

Maybe Matilda blog image

P.S: We encourage all of you to tweet us your #scarfie (@lionbrandyarn), or share them on our Facebook wall – hashtag #scarfie! Read more about our #scarfie campaign here.


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’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.

GrammaNancyBlog image


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 – tag your post with @LionBrandYarn and remember to 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?

Below are some #scarfie pics that have been shared with us!

Find more inspiration, 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!

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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!

Congratulations to the following: Susan S., Judy N., Lola E., Jean L., and Margaret B.! Thank you for sharing your stories!

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