Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Community' Category


10 Most Important Health Benefits of Yarncrafting

May 20th, 2014

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Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo is an expert in the area of using crafting to heal, having researched the topic extensively for her book Crochet Saved My Life. This is part one in her 6-part series for us on the topic of yarncraft health. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here

Yarn heals. Whether you prefer needles or hooks or a combination of both, crafting can soothe your body and mend your mind. Anecdotal evidence has shown this for decades and new research confirms it with science. The benefits people report are seemingly endless. Here are the top 10 yarncrafting health benefits.

1. Knitting and Crochet Relieve Depression

Depression relief is by far the most reported and studied benefit of crochet and knitting. The repetition of the crafts has been shown to release serotonin, a natural anti-depressant. CNN recently reported that “in one study of more than 3,500 knitters, published in The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81% of respondents with depression reported feeling happy after knitting. More than half reported feeling “very happy.”

Knit Aromatherapy Eye Pillow
Knit & Crochet Aromatherapy Eye Pillow

2. Crafting Reduces Anxiety

Yarncrafts helps with various forms of anxiety. It keeps your hands busy and mind focused so that you can attend classes or events even when you have social anxiety. It brings the internal mind to a calmer space for when you’re coping with the anxiety of repetitious thoughts. The counting has even been shown to serve as a productive outlet for people with anxiety associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as well as eating disorders. The Craft Yarn Council reports on one study that showed nearly ¾ of women with anorexia found knitting to be calming and anxiety-reducing.

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Can You Run and Crochet Simultaneously? Susie Hewer Can!

April 26th, 2014

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Susie Hewer Deramore Crochet
(image courtesy of Deramores)

We want to congratulate Susie Hewer “The Extreme Knitting Redhead”, who ran the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday, April 13th and won the Guinness World Record for creating the longest crochet chain while running a marathon!  Sponsored by our friends over at Deramores in the UK, Susie used the bright, cheery Hometown USA while she crocheted.

Susie began running to help support Alzheimer’s Research UK after losing her mother to vascular dementia in 2005.  Every race that Susie runs is in dedication to her mother, and she has raised thousands of dollars for dementia research over the years.

Crocheting is an art form that Susie embraces as a method of educating others on dementia. She uses crochet to teach how dementia breaks the links between cells until the brain can no longer function properly.  Additionally, her mother taught her to crochet when she was young, which makes this even more meaningful to her.

We wish Susie well on her future endeavors and hope that she continues to inspire more people along her journey! You can read more on her blog here.


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

April 8th, 2014

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more-capable-krochet-kids-poster

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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Visit us at Vogue Knitting Live in Seattle!

March 7th, 2014

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(image via vogueknittinglive.com)

We’re excited to be on the marketplace floor as a vendor for our first ever Vogue Knitting Live showcase in Seattle, so be sure to see us at booth 224!

We look forward to greeting our friends in the Pacific Northwest, checking out the amazing fiber art displays that will be around the marketplace, and seeing some of the hottest trends in knitwear fashion.

As usual, we’ll be selling yarn at a 20% off discount, so those who haven’t gotten to experience the LB Collection® in person will be able to pet and fawn over our super-soft Baby Alpaca, luxurious Cashmere, hand dyed 100% Silk and more.  In addition to selling great yarns, we’ll have catalogs and some free patterns available to take home with you.

Plus, you get a free anniversary tote with your yarn purchase!

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Do you plan on going to Vogue Knitting Live, Seattle? Let us know in the comments.


Celebrating Craft Month with 9 Inspirational Projects from the Lion Brand Customer Gallery!

March 2nd, 2014

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In honor of National Craft Month, we’re sharing several truly awe-inspiring projects from our Customer Gallery–perhaps one was even made by you! The following customer creations will have your imagination running wild about your next project (after you’ve finished your current one of course).

Panda Sweater- (VC) Tea in the Parlor Shawl (HS) district 12 - crochet (WETQ)
Panda Sweater
Made by – Shireen Mills
Yarn – Vanna’s Choice®
Pattern – Original
Tea in the Parlor Shawl
Made by – Veronica Barrera
Yarn – Homespun®
Thick & Quick®

Pattern – Tea in the Parlor
District 12 Inspired Cowl Made by – Christina Self
Yarn – Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®
Pattern – District 12 Cowl Wrap (crochet)
embellished beanie (HS) Edward Gorey gloves (WETQ) entrelac baby blanket
Embellished Beanie
Made by – Alexandra Richards
Yarn – Homespun®
Pattern – Embellished Beanie
Edward Gorey Gloves
Made by – Carrie Martin
Yarn – Wool-Ease®
Pattern – Original
Entrelac Baby Blanket
Made by – Cynthia Deermount
Yarn – Vanna’s Choice®
Pattern – Tumbling Blocks Blanket
crochet ripple afghan - VC Covetable Cable -(VC) baby blanket-BF
Crochet Ripple Afghan
Made by – R.R. Morin
Yarn – Vanna’s Choice®
Pattern – Updated Ripple Afghan
Covetable Cable Scarf
Made by – Gina Baronian-Moore
Yarn – Vanna’s Choice®
Pattern – Covetable Cable Scarf
Lovey
Made by – L Linda
Yarn – Baby’s First®
Pattern – Bunny Blanket Buddy

Have you recently made a project using Lion Brand yarns? Please share with us in the Customer Gallery!


7 Ways Knitting Keeps You Healthy and Well

February 28th, 2014

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This article originally appeared in TreeHugger and is reprinted with permission from Katherine Martinko.

knitting-keeps-healthy

Last month I wrote an article called “Why bother knitting a scarf?” Much to my surprise, I received thousands of positive reactions from readers who share my love of homemade, local, and beautiful “slow fashion” items. Clearly, knitting is being embraced by people from all walks of life who benefit from its peaceful, relaxing repetition. It got me wondering – what’s really going on when people knit? Why is it so tremendously popular?

It turns out that knitting has incredible health benefits. It makes people feel good in just about every way. A bit of research has revealed a wide range of ways in which knitting helps humans cope, physically and mentally.

1. Knitting is used for therapy. It’s a powerful distractant, helping people manage long-term physical pain. For those who are depressed, knitting can motivate them to connect with the world. It is a conversation starter, allowing people to interact politely without making eye contact. It builds confidence and self-esteem.

2. Knitting is supremely relaxing, which is extremely important for reducing stress and anxiety. Dr. Herbert Benson, founder of Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute, wrote The Relaxation Response, in which he recommends the repetition of a word, sound, phrase, prayer, or muscular activity to elicit “the relaxation response” – decreased heart rate, muscle tension, and blood pressure. Knitting is likened to meditation, sometimes described by knitters as “spiritual” and “Zen-like.”

3. Knitting connects people. By joining a knitting group, a solitary activity turns into a social one. One study, called “The Benefits of Knitting for Personal and Social Wellbeing in Adulthood” and published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy, found that “knitting in a group impacted significantly on perceived happiness, improved social contact, and communication with others.”

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Come See Us at Stitches West Next Week!

February 13th, 2014

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Next week we’ll be leaving behind the NYC snow and cold to head to Santa Clara for the annual Stitches West show hosted by XRX, Inc – the company that produces Knitter’s Magazine.  Lion Brand is a proud sponsor of Stitches West, and we’ll be selling our newest yarns like Fettuccini, Keppi, Heartland and LB Collection Silk at 20% off!

Make sure you stop by booth 414 and check us out! Print out this coupon below for 50% off your marketplace admission.

Will you be stopping by next week? What are some of your favorite shows to attend?


See the Fun We Had at Vogue Knitting Live NYC 2014!

February 11th, 2014

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In January, Lion Brand exhibited at Vogue Knitting Live NYC and it was such a fun-filled, “yarny” experience. We had knitwear designers Lily Chin, Franklin Habit, and Nicky Epstein stop by the booth for book signings, we sold some of our newest yarns like Keppi, Unique, Heartland and LB Collection Silk, and chatted with some Lion Brand enthusiasts who enjoyed posing for pictures. Take a look at some of the great moments we captured with folks who stopped by our booth!

Lily ChinLily Chin crochets a Homespun afghan and signs copies of her book “Crochet Tips & Tricks
Franklin HabitFranklin Habit signs copies of the illustration from his blog post “Having a Ball, Wish You Were Here” on the Lion Brand blog

Nicky EpsteinNicky Epstein signs copies of her books “Knits for Dolls” and “Crochet for Dolls: 25 Fun, Fabulous Outfits for 18-inch Dolls

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Lion Brand is in Macy’s Window!

February 10th, 2014

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If you’re in New York City this week, be sure to stop by Macy’s in Herald Square for their special window in honor of New York Fashion Week. The window features selected pieces from “Organic Matter: Woven Artwork by Pratt Fashion” – a collaboration between designer Ralph Pucci and a selection of students from Pratt Institute. Lion Brand is proud to have provided the yarn used in the show and subsequent Macy’s window display.

Using Pucci’s signature gray mannequin as their muse, students designed and created handmade pieces faithful to Pucci’s preference for clean, simple, and minimal design.

They used a variety of our neutral-colored yarns, from Homespun® to Heartland to LB Collection® Pure Wool to many of our made in America yarns. Many of the students played with texture and combined various yarns to create magnificent and astounding works of art.

Personally, I’m always amazed at the many things you can do with yarn and these students have really taken knitwear fashion to another level. Below I’ve included a selection of pieces that were on display at Ralph Pucci International’s Gallery Nine last month.

Organic Matter: Woven Artwork by Pratt Fashion runs from February 6th to the 13th at Macy’s Herald Square window displays on Broadway between 34th and 35th streets. This is a traveling exhibition with future planned destinations to Miami and Dallas.

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Four Awesome Crafty Blogs We Recommend You Check Out

February 5th, 2014

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Today, I thought it would be fun to share with you a few of my favorite crafting blogs to showcase some of the amazing talents of other creative folks. The blogs below are great resources, and feature fabulous projects which tend to range from beginner to slightly more advanced levels. Go ahead and check them out, I hope you enjoy them as well!

PetalstoPicots Petals to PicotsThis blog is chock full of fun ideas for crafting which ranges from crochet, needle felting, jewelry making and lots more. Last September, Kara from Petals to Picots started a Crochet Along series for her followers to work through our very own Little Boy Blue Blanket! I love her rustic color choices for the blanket, and suggest you check out the roundup of beautiful finished projects for more inspiration.
Yarn Valentine Repeat Crafter MeSarah is quite the creative individual and has an extensive archive of insanely cute crocheted projects.  If you enjoy crocheting hats and small items for children/babies, I definitely suggest you check out this blog.  She also has cooking recipes and other craft ideas to share with you.
BlogMoogly Moogly BlogTamara creates such amazing accessories and garments – she truly has a knack for pairing the perfect stitch with the yarn she’s ready to craft with.  For example, check out this Luscious One Skein Cowl crocheted with Unique, it’s stunning.  Tamara’s always got some good crochet pattern round ups as well, definitely check her out.
Blogfiberflux Fiber FluxJennifer has a great array of knit and crocheted projects available on her blog. In addition to patterns, she also has plenty of tutorials and how-tos. You’re sure to find something that suits your fancy on this blog.

 

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