Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Community' Category

Grab Your Knits and Head Out for World Wide Knit in Public Day!

June 11th, 2015

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Too often, knitting and crocheting is seen as antiquated or “old school.” As a millenial-aged knitter, I know this simply isn’t true. I learned to knit because I love crafting, and knitting
was a family tradition I’d always observed, but never participated in. Once I started knitting (almost a year and a half ago now), I couldn’t believe I hadn’t started sooner.

I’ve knit on crowded subway cars, in the park, and in work breakrooms. In fact, when I knit on my lunch-break at my old job, I got several other co-workers hooked! Soon, we had a couple of round looms being passed around so everyone had a turn making hats for the winter.

What I’ve found with knitting public is that it opens up a dialogue. People feel compelled to tell you about the knitters and crocheters in their family and the gifts they’ve received. They ask what you’re making, how long it takes you, what have you made previously… The list goes on! If you take your knitting out of the house, I’m sure you’re familiar.

Knitting can be a social hobby, which is what makes World Wide Knit in Public Day so special! It’s a day to celebrate your passion, join up with fellow crafters, and share your projects in progress. This year’s WWKIP day is June 13th. Guilds all over the world are posting their meet-up spots to celebrate the occasion; chances are, there’s one in your area!

Even if every day is “Knit in Public” day for you, it’s fun to acknowledge a shared interest. Use hashtag #wwkip on social networks to keep up with other knitters, and post your own pics!

Where will you take your knitting to on June 13th? Where’s your favorite place to knit (in public or not)? Share with us!


The Lion Brand Team runs a 5k!

June 10th, 2015

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Chelsea Carle is Lion Brand’s Business Development Coordinator.

On Thursday, May 28th, a group of associates from the Lion Brand Yarn Company ran a 5K race organized by “Corporate Fun Run” at the Meadowlands Race Track in East Rutherford, New Jersey.


It all started when Evan Blumenthal, Lion Brand’s Director of Global Business Development, put the call out with the hopes that a few people would join him in the race. Evan had just run his first 5K (3.1 miles) and thought a Corporate Fun Run would be a great group activity for the company. By the time the day arrived 28 people had signed up! As a participant, you could choose to walk or run, so it was easy enough for anyone to participate.

fun run

On the day of the race, the excitement and energy in the office was contagious. I’ve only been at Lion Brand for a few months, so for me it was a great way to connect with people in other departments. After work, everyone could not wait to change into their running clothes and get to the track. It was 92 degrees outside and it had rained earlier in the afternoon – time to sweat!

We arrived at the track and the excitement was palpable – there was a live DJ, food, and a large amount of spectators too! We all registered, pinned our race numbers to our shirts, and found our team. Everyone from the Lion Brand team was overflowing with pride! So much so that the photographers from the event were constantly coming over to take group photos of us! I think we had the most fun out of everyone there. We chugged our water and made our way to the track.

Once the race began, we encouraged each other to keep going and to finish. We were the only team whose members all waited until the entire team had finished to congratulate each person as they crossed the finish line …

All in all, the Corporate Fun Run was a great way for us Lion Brand folks to bond together, and now in the office we cheer each other on more than ever!


Would you like to be featured in the Pattern Journal newsletter?

May 27th, 2015

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Pattern Journal

Each month the Pattern Journal newsletter features a story inspired by an irresistible pattern. We know you love to knit and crochet, so you must have stories to share about your favorite patterns, right? To see past Pattern Journals, visit the archive.

Submissions: To submit your story, complete and submit form below.

Photos: Send photos to or links to photos in the form below. Photos should be in .jpg or .png format, and no larger than 1000 x 1000 pixels.

Publishing: Stories may be edited for length and or clarity. We will consider all submissions but regretfully, not all submissions will be published.

Fill out my online form.
The easy to use Wufoo form builder helps you make forms easy, fast, and fun.

Terms and Conditions for submitting a story to be considered for a Pattern Journal feature:
By choosing to submit a story to Lion Brand Yarn Company, you acknowledge and agree that any information you provide, including any photo(s) may be viewed by the general public. You further agree that the company may use your story and photo in any manner it deems necessary or appropriate. Lion Brand Yarn Company reserves the right to edit, abridge or format stories for any reason and to remove or decline to post any story or photo. Lion Brand Yarn Company does not endorse or make any warranties or representations with regard to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of any statements in your story. By submitting a story, you agree to each of the these terms and conditions.

Handmade Gifts for Giving Back — Our Favorite Patterns for Charity

May 17th, 2015

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Have you ever knit or crocheted for charity? Mixing a hobby you’re passionate about with the act of giving back to others is a delightful way to make yourself and others feel appreciated. As you search for your next project, consider patterns for chemo caps, prayer shawls, or warm afghans. Gifts like these let those in need know that you’re thinking of them – a good feeling for all!

We’ve rounded up a list of charities that could benefit from your handmade gifts, as well as suggested patterns for each one. Whether they’re in your local community or across the nation, we hope you’ll consider using your talents to give back. 



10 Benefits of Making and Receiving Prayer Shawls

April 25th, 2015

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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. In this post she explores how prayer shawls help both the maker and the recipient of the handmade item. Read Kathryn’s previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

prayer_shawl_april2015A knit or crochet prayer shawl is intended as a gesture of warmth and comfort for the person who receives the item. The maker prays (or sets their intention) for that person with every stitch. When the item is done, a special prayer or ritual may be done to add emotional value to the item before it is sent to charity or given to the person in need. However, it’s not just the person receiving the shawl who benefits from the act; the crafter also heals.

Benefits of Receiving a Prayer Shawl

People who receive prayer shawls often consider them to be special items that they will keep forever. A prayer shawl can be given to help someone who is going through a difficult illness, grieving the loss of a loved one or reeling from a disaster. The item provides physical comfort, actual warmth and a tangible reminder that there are others in the world that care for them.

Wrapped in the snug hug of a prayer shawl, the person can feel the love that went into those stitches. Barbara, who commented on a previous post we did about prayer shawls shared, “When I had surgery the pastor brought one to the hospital and prayed for me and wrapped it around me. It was very comforting. When I feel anxious I wrap myself in it and I feel the love that was knit into each stitch.”

Benefits of Making a Prayer Shawl

Making a prayer shawl has as many benefits as receiving one. Oftentimes when someone we care about is hurting, we desperately want to help but don’t know how. Making a prayer shawl is a way to channel that stressful energy into something positive. Other benefits people cite of making a knit or crochet prayer shawl include:

  • It takes your mind off of your own stress as you help someone else.
  • It can heal old wounds. For example, someone who has been through cancer herself might crochet prayer shawls for chemo patients and heal their own pain with each stitch.
  • Prayer shawl crafting can be done in groups, which offer camaraderie and companionship to the maker.
  • Some people find it easier to make time for crafting when they have a purpose, such as charity crafting, which allows them to reap many health benefits.
  • It is a way to bring prayer or meditation into your daily life. Research shows that there are numerous benefits to prayer.

Making a prayer shawl is a great way to connect you to your own community. Linda Kennedy finds this is true as she makes baby blankets for the women at her church. (Although we call them prayer shawls, intentional crafting items can be anything at all!) She shares, “I know them and think about them often as I am working on theirs. I have heard some of the women talking about how they can’t wait to get their blanket for their baby. It makes me so happy!” Linda put special attention into a white crochet baby blanket that she made for a mother whose baby had heart problems and they weren’t sure whether or not she would make it and found that this was a way to connect to her during a difficult time. Each experience of prayerful crafting is unique and special. Speaking of another item she made for someone from church, Linda says, “When they gave it to her, she cried because she didn’t think anyone would do something like that for her. Seeing how I can touch someone’s heart is so comfort to me!”

Anja’s Squares: A Story of Making and Receiving

Katinka Steyn shared a story about the healing power of both making and receiving intentionally crafted items. It all began in December 2013 when her eldest daughter Anja had to undergo open-heart surgery after a stent lodged in her heart. She posted in her South African Facebook Group Ons Hekel (which means “we crochet”) about what was happening and “countless messages of prayers and encouragement started pouring in”. Anja made it through surgery and was discharged but continued to have chest pain. On January 22, 2014, Anja passed away in her home.