Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Community' Category


5 Charity Groups Dedicated to Knitting and Crocheting Prayer Shawls

March 28th, 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 shares five charity groups who heal themselves and others through Prayer Shawl Crafting, along with tips and information for crafting prayer shawls whether you consider yourself spiritual or not. Read Kathryn’s previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook http://blog.lionbrand.com/author/kathrynvercillo/.

prayershawlgroupWhen you knit or crochet a prayer shawl, you set an intention for the person receiving it to heal. You weave a positive thought into each stitch. As you do this, you not only bring healing to the recipient of the gift, you also bring healing to yourself. Learn more about how prayer shawls heal self and others here.

It doesn’t matter whether or not you are religious; it is the act of intentional crafting that soothes the soul. Don’t pray? Get inspiration for secular prayer shawl crafting here.

There are many different ways to donate prayer shawls, but one of the most common options is to join a group that is engaged in prayer shawl crafting. These groups are often, but not always, based in hospitals or churches. To get the most out of prayer shawl crafting, you should choose a group with a mission that touches your heart. These five groups, a combination of secular and spiritual groups, are examples of people who are doing this work today.

Did you know that there are more than two dozen free knit and crochet prayer shawl patterns on the Lion Brand Yarn website? You can search for them in Pattern Finder by selecting “prayer shawls” under “what do you want to make?” in the Category section.

1. HealthEast Care System

This is a Minnesota-based health care system comprised of several hospitals and clinics. They have a prayer shawl ministry through which volunteers can knit, crochet, sew or quilt both shawls and blankets that are given to patients as “a gift of support and healing”. They say, “when the shawls or blankets are left with a patient, it leaves a tangible example of our care and blessings”.

HealthEast Care System has a monthly prayer shawl craft meeting for volunteers who want to knit alongside others. This community spirit can be healing and supportive for all who are involved. However, they also accept knit and crochet donations from people who work on their own at home and send in what they make. They have specific requirements regarding materials (such as only using acrylic yarn) that are based on the needs of their community. Additionally, this group accepts monetary donations to the group, which are used for the purchase of supplies.
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The Lion Brand Yarn Company Supports Cast Off Chemo!

March 24th, 2015

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The Lion Brand Yarn Company is proud to be a Gold Sponsor of Cast Off Chemo!

Comprised of yarn industry professionals, the organization operates on the belief that a cure for cancer is one of the most important goals in medicine. With the understanding that it’s a disease that affects all of us – our family, our friends, our customers, our sisters in knit and crochet – Cast Off Chemo is asking that yarn lovers of the world unite to beat chemo – and cancer!

How? Well, by supporting the research of Dr. David Krag and his team at the Breast Cancer Center at the University of Vermont Medical Center. By developing new treatments for patients with breast cancer by using their own immune system, Dr. Krag’s team believes this treatment could end the need for chemotherapy.

There are several ways to support this research:

  • Buy a pattern. — For just $5, you can buy one of many beautiful patterns donated by popular designers like Cari Clement and Diane Moyer.
  • Make a one-time donation. — Cast Off Chemo accepts donations through their association with SD Ireland Cancer Research Fund.
  • Host a fundraising event for shops and knit-crochet groups in your area. — Cast Off Chemo has put together over a dozen ways that you could host a fundraiser. Ideas include stitch-n-sip parties, encouraging local yarn shops to donate a portion of yarn sales for a day, offering classes for a donation, and more.

Whatever option you choose, your support will benefit over a million women and men world-wide by bringing Dr. Krag’s research to clinical trials.

For more information, visit Cast Off Chemo at http://castoffchemo.org.

Cast Off Chemo! is a program of the SD Ireland Cancer Research Fund, a 501c3 organization.


Celebrate Pi Day with Some Nerdy Knitting and Crochet

March 14th, 2015

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Happy Pi Day! It’s a special one too because today is 3/14/15, which happens to be the first five digits of Pi (3.1415) and if you’re super-into Pi, you know that this post went up at 9:26am, the next three digits (3.1415926)!

Don’t know what the heck I’m on about? Pi is an irrational number relating to the circumference and diameter of a circle. It’s approximately equal to 3.14, though the decimal places are believed to go on forever. You can learn a little more about Pi here, or you can just have fun with the collection of math and Pi-themed knitting and crochet patterns below!

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Pi Family by Alicia Kachmar Butterfly Pi Shawl by lafarrelly
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Knit Pie Top for Pi Day by Lorna and Jill Watt, aka Knits for Life Pi Guy by Ms. Premise-Conclusion
Knit Irrational Scarf by Anne Bruvold Knit Pi Digits Scarf by Christina J
Knit Pi Dish Towel by Shannon Servesko Crochet Amigurumi Pi by Alicia Kachmar

*Note: Some of these patterns require a Ravelry account. Make sure you are signed up or create a free account to access.


6 Easy Homespun Projects Designed by Bloggers and Ravelry Users

February 25th, 2015

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We’re celebrating Homespun®! As our yarn of the month, it’s currently on sale for 20% off at lionbrand.com!

Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite Homespun® projects designed by bloggers and Ravelry users. These projects are so inspiring and they highlight the unique and beautiful color palettes of the yarn.

From accessories to home decor, Homespun® is a versatile yarn that can be used to create a wide range of projects – as you can see below!

GinaMicheleHat
AllAboutAmiMittens
CraftsUnleashedArmKnitBlanket
Gina Michele
(Knit) DIY Pompm Beanie
Homespun: Painted Desert
All About Ami
Cozy Crochet Mittens
Homespun: Shaker
Crafts Unleashed
Arm Knit Blanket
Homespun: Pearls
WaffleCowl OffTheHooky PurplezigzagCowl
fromthehightower1
Waffle Scarf
Homespun: Edwardian
offthehooky
Granny Square Blanket
Homespun: Pearls, Shaker, Barley
cagillam
Purple Zig Zag Cowl
Homespun: Purple Haze, Mixed Berries

Share with us, what patterns do you like to knit or crochet with Homespun?


Teaching Kids to Crochet and Knit: Why Waldorf Schools Incorporate Crafting into their Curriculum

February 17th, 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 shares how the Waldorf schools incorporate knitting and crochet into their curriculum, benefiting children in a variety of ways. Read Kathryn’s previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

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I have to confess that I was a little intimidated when I first walked into the 3rd Grade Handwork Class at Sebastopol Charter School in California. The children seemed so magical and creative as they prepared to work on their crochet projects. Before they began, they sang a song, led by teacher Kristen McLaughlin, about the cotton plant that grows to become the yarn they work with.

Today, in fact, the kids were working with wool. Kristen, who’s been teaching at the school since 1997, used to have the kids work with double-worsted cotton yarn but has recently switched to wool. The kids don’t seem to mind as their hands wield the hooks to create the shapes that will become water bottle cozies, hats and granny squares. With half of the school year behind them, these kids are well-versed in the basics of crochet.

By third grade, the students have a couple of years of handwork under their belts — a critical component of the Waldorf curriculum. They begin with knitting in first and second grades, starting with finger knitting, and then knitting with two needles. In third grade, the handwork is crochet. In fourth grade they return to knitting, learning to knit on four needles. In later grades, they add cross-stitch and sewing to their handwork skills set.
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