Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Community' Category


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.

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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.

 


Running With Needles: an Interview with David Babcock

January 22nd, 2014

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Featured in the New York Times and around the world, David Babcock became the Guinness world record holder for knitting the longest scarf (12 feet!) while running a marathon in Kansas City last October. Along with a whole lot of skill and endurance, David credits his choice in using Lion Brand’s Hometown USA as a factor in his accomplishment!

1. Which came first knitting or running?
It’s not an easy answer — it’s a timeline of failure and discovery for both with middle-aged knees, toys no one wants to play with, and hats no one wants to wear. I started trying to run for exercise in 2009 at age 37, but had a lot of knee pain, so it was an off-and-on thing. I watched the NYC marathon that year and noticed some barefoot runners but it would take almost two years to figure out how to manage the knee pain for myself. The end of that same year a student of mine made a crochet hat for me. Over Christmas break I decided that the hat was too short and learned how to crochet to extend it myself. By February 2010 I had some basic skills and discovered amigurumi-style toy-making. Over the next Christmas break I bought a beginning knitting kit but didn’t get into knitting until that fall in 2011.
David Babcock

By the following spring I had found that minimal-style running resolved my knee issues and by mid-April 2012 I was running in water socks and had found Susie Hewer’s blog. (Editor’s note: Susie Hewer is a runner/knitter as well. She held the world record for knitting the longest scarf while running a marathon before David!)

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Crafting Your Way Through Cabin Fever

January 21st, 2014

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Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo shares tips for using knitting or crochet to relieve the restlessness of cabin fever this winter. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here

We’ve survived the Polar Vortex but winter is really just beginning. There are a lot of days ahead when we might be stuck in the house because of the weather. You might get gripped by cabin fever; that restless, anxious, irritable feeling that we all sometimes get when we’re stuck inside for too long. Crocheting or knitting can be the best way to alleviate that feeling.

What is Cabin Fever?

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The first thing to do is recognize that you have cabin fever! Cabin fever, which typically happens when you’re inside for an extended period of time, often due to extreme outdoor weather conditions, is characterized by:

  • Extreme irritability
  • Extreme feelings of restlessness
  • A strong desire to get away from the people
    who are with you
  • Frustration, defensiveness and annoyance
    with those people
  • Extreme boredom; nothing feels like fun to do
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Feelings of depression

It helps to be aware that these feelings might be caused by cabin fever because then you can recognize what it is and do something about it!

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How Visualizing and Completing a Crochet Project Can Change Your Life

December 20th, 2013

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Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo shares inspiration for enjoying all of your craft projects from start to finish. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

visualizing-crochetI believe strongly in the power of crochet to improve quality of life whether you’re suffering from a serious condition like depression or just seeking to experience more inspiration in your everyday life. One of the key ways that I believe crochet can help is through embracing each stage of the project including the process of visualizing, working on, and finally completing the work.

Visualizing a Crochet Project

Many people underestimate the value of this first step of a crochet project but it can be immensely beneficial to focus on it. Truly embrace the process of thinking about what you want to make, how you want to make it, who it will be for, and which yarn you will want to use.

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Designs with Lion Brand Yarns Spotted at the Fall Knit and Crochet Show!

October 18th, 2013

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In the first weekend of October, myself, and a few Lion Brand team members attended the Fall 2013 Knit & Crochet Show in Concord, North Carolina. We had a great time chatting with designers in the industry, discussing yarns and patterns, and making new connections. One of my favorite parts about the show is seeing the many different projects people have worked on using Lion Brand yarns.  Below, you’ll see some creative patterns from talented crocheters who were at the show – go ahead and check them out.

Betsy's ShawlKnit & crochet designer Brenda Bourg in her Betsy’s Shawl pattern made in LB Collection Silk: Pluto Deborah and Crochet OwlDeborah Bagley’s Owl Bean Bag chair in Vanna’s Choice won 3rd place in the “Artistic Expression” category at the annual CGOA design competition.  You can find more designs from Deborah and her sister at Yarnovations. Vintage Christmas AfghanThis Vintage Christmas Afghan was designed by Sue Solakian in Heartland, and the pattern will soon be available at Mainly Crochet.

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Video: The Benefits of Knit and Crochet

October 3rd, 2013

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Everyone who crafts knows that it is about more than just hats and scarves. In fact, readers often leave comments here on the Lion Brand Notebook about how knitting and crochet make their lives better. See members of the Lion Brand family along with our customers and spokeswoman Vanna White tell why they knit and crochet.

If you’re reading this blog post in your email or an RSS reader, please click on the title to view the full blog post and videos on our website.

For more blog posts about the benefits of knitting and crochet, check out:

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