Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Autumn Means Colorwork Inspiration! Moogly Shares 4 Color Palettes Based on Regional Foliage

October 28th, 2015

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Today’s guest post is brought to us by Tamara Kelly, author and designer of Moogly Blog. Today, Tamara’s sharing some inspirations for fall color palettes based on the various regions of the country. She has brought this information to us with the help of her crocheting friends who live in different parts of the country: Jessie Rayot, Kim Guzman, and Andee Graves.

Autumn has to be the very best season for crocheters and knitters! Getting comfy on the couch with hooks and yarn, snuggled under a handmade blanket, yummy drink by your side – what could be better? But Fall also provides inspiration in the beautiful colors that show up every time we leave the house. Here in Iowa, the leaves are turning – and falling – at an incredible rate!

And… there’s just something about the beautiful colors, the quality of the light, and the scent in the air — it’s all a little different in various parts of the country. With that thought, I asked three of my best blogging friends from all over the USA to send me their favorite fall photos, and I matched them up with some of my favorite Lion Brand yarns for a little extra autumn fun!

First up is my friend Jessie Rayot, knit and crochet designer at Jessie at Home. Jessie lives in the Northeast, and she sent me a gorgeous photo – You can practically hear the crunch of the leaves! You can bring these colors home with Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®, for extra cozy!

The lovely Kim Guzman, designer at is a hobby nature photographer, so I had to ask her as well. She lives in the Southwest, so her autumn has some colors we don’t see too often here in the Midwest! Wool-Ease® pairs perfectly with her pretty pumpkin scene, and the yarn is light enough for winter use even down south!

Way out west, like in Colorado, they’ll be gearing up for the busy ski season, but first — they enjoy some gorgeous fall foliage. The amazing Andee Graves, designer at Two Hands Healing and Creative Arts, sent me this photo from her home in the Rocky Mountains, and I found some complimentary colors in Vanna’s Choice® – great for a mama of active boys living on a mountain, like Andee!

And last but not least, is my home in the Midwest US, Moogly headquarters! The trees here look much like the trees in the Northeast and in the Mountains… but there is this breathtaking bush out in front of my house that I look forward to seeing every autumn! Over the next month it will start looking as if it’s on fire! Right now it’s just begun.. and matches perfectly with LB Collection Superwash Merino!

I hope these gorgeous photos have gotten you in the Autumn crochet and knitting mood! Taking cues from nature is always a great way to get inspired, and Lion Brand has the right yarns to translate what you see into works of yarny art! If you’d like to learn how to make your own collages like those seen above, check out the tutorial on Stitch11! Thank you to Jessie, Kim, and Andee for sharing your lovely photos!

8 Knit and Crochet Patterns from Bloggers that You’ll Love!

October 27th, 2015

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The weather is chilly, the leaves are changing, and many of you are casting on to get started with some fall weather patterns! I’m excited to share a range of patterns with you from bloggers you may already be familiar with, so please check out the knit and crochet patterns below — and think about projects for friends, family, and maybe even yourself.


GingerDress12 IKnitsKNITTop MooglyScarf GinaMicheleHat1
Crochet Gingerbread Dress by Repeat Crafter Me
(Vanna’s Choice®)
Knit Lace Top by iKNITS
(Pound of Love®)


Crochet Stripes and Blocks Scarf by Moogly
Knit Gold Leaf Hat by Gina Michele
(Gold Leaf®)
JessieAtHomeScarfie CabledCowl Macchiato Slouch Crochet Hat | Free Slouchy Hat Crochet Pattern by Little Monkeys Crochet MamaInAStitchCowl
Crochet Hooded Cowl by
Jessie At Home
Faux Cable Cowl by Margo Knits (Heartland®) Macchiato Slouch Hat by
Little Monkey’s Crochet
Black and White Color Block Beginner Infinity Scarf by Mama in A Stitch
(Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®)


The Place I Go: Michelle’s Project Knitwell Story

October 26th, 2015

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The Place I Go: Michelle's Project Knitwell Story
In conjunction with launching Project Knitwell Presents: The Comfort of Knitting, we asked members of Project Knitwell to share their stories on how knitting helped them through a difficult time. Here, executive director of Project Knitwell Michelle Maynard shares how knitting a pair of socks for husband came to mean much more.

When my husband Matt, then a fit, healthy 53 year-old called me from our home in Virginia to tell me he had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, one of the first things I did was head for the yarn store.

It was December 2009, and I was in Rhode Island helping my mom who had undergone a lumpectomy.  After hanging up the phone, I left my mom in my dad’s care and headed for a Providence yarn store.  I was looking for a dose of “yarn therapy.”  I knew I would feel calmer after squishing some alpaca and merino, and that I would walk out of the shop with some yarn ready to tackle a project and be productive.  And I knew that project would be a pair of socks for Matt.

I had been promising Matt handknit socks for several years – ever since he started teasing me about how he was going to give me $5 for a package of store bought socks so I didn’t have to spend hours knitting them.

But my need to turn to my knitting in the wake of this news wasn’t just about the socks.  For me and many others, knitting is a way to cope with stress, increase focus, and engender a sense of accomplishment during uncertain times.  Scientific research has started to back up what we knitters already know about the positive effects of knitting on the brain.

I am a life-long knitter.  My mom taught me when I was a girl, and I have turned to knitting during times of stress:  I knit Icelandic sweaters during during exam study breaks in college.   I made scarves and baby sweaters for friends in the 1990s as I traveled to international hotspots for work.  A year or so after adopting our daughter from Russia, I started an evening knitting group at a local coffee shop to help deal with the stress of being home all day with a very active, headstrong three year-old who had spent her first 17 months in an orphanage.  In those years, I knit mostly fun fur scarves and little girl ponchos.

During Matt’s cancer journey, I knit a lot of thank you gifts: hats, shawls, cowls, and fingerless gloves for friends who offered meals, rides, and other support.  Of course, I knit several pairs of socks for Matt, who after receiving that first pair, never again offered me $5 for a store-bought pair.

I did a lot of knitting over the last 5 plus years in medical waiting rooms where inevitably from a screen overhead the local news is issuing a live report on the latest shooting, or the talking heads are screaming about health care or a fake judge is yelling at some guy about how he needs to pay his child support.  Knitting never failed to calm me during those waits.  I could always count on someone to start up a conversation about the color of the yarn or how they’d like to learn some day.

Medical staff usually got in on the conversation too:  “What are you knitting?”  “Is that knit or crochet?”  “How can you do that without looking?” “My wife makes fingerless gloves.”  Amid conversations about test results and scans and surgery, it was reassuring and calming  for both my husband and me  to have these humanizing, equalizing encounters with the doctors and caregivers.  I think it was to the doctors too.  My knitting provided an icebreaker, and leveled the playing field a bit.  It helped me be a quiet, supportive presence to my husband.

In Matt’s final weeks, I didn’t knit much because of the demands on my time that his care entailed.  In those last couple of days of his life, however, there were more quiet moments.  I picked up the needles again as I sat by his bedside, and clicked away on a pair of socks.  It gave us both great comfort.

Michelle Maynard is the Executive Director of Project Knitwell, a Washington, D.C. area non-profit that provides knitting instruction and quality knitting supplies to people facing stressful situations  in hospital, community, and other settings. Her husband Matt Sunter died in May 2015.

Knitting to Heal: Carol's Project Knitwell Story
Project Knitwell Presents: The Comfort of Knitting, is a unique book that focuses on  how to alleviate stress and offer comfort to families and caregivers facing difficult situations. More on Project Knitwell’s mission, as well as 7 new patterns are included in this publication. All proceeds from Lion Brand’s sale of this book go directly to Project Knitwell and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Counting Down to The Flower Run with David Babcock, the Knitting Runner!

October 23rd, 2015

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Lion Brand® is sponsoring David in not one but TWO marathons this fall! David is running to raise money for Alzheimer’s research and he needs your support – last year, with your help, David raised $10k, will you help David beat that?

Please donate today:

I love running the New York City Marathon. I get to run through all 5 boroughs and be cheered by enthusiastic spectators for the entire 26.2 miles of the race. Last year I ran while double-finger-knitting a scarf with the words, “I’ll Remember For You!”. This year I’ll be making crochet flowers!

Once again, to respect security restrictions, I will be running without tools or bulky bags. Each flower uses about 12 yards of Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® yarn which I will wear on my arm as individual crocheted bracelets. I’ll use my fingers to crochet flowers while I run and once a flower is completed I’ll give it to a spectator and start another. My flower-per-mile pace is a little slow, maybe one every mile and a half. I’m hoping to finish the race in about 5 hours having made 20 flowers.




I created a pattern with simplicity and good definition in mind. It makes a five petaled flower about 5 1/2 inches across. Because my finger is replacing the hook the super-bulky yarn weight is necessary. Hometown USA® has my favorite flower colors, but I’ll be using Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® because I feel it works better with my sweaty hands. Crochet can be hard, athletic work 😉 . My favorite yarn for this pattern is the cotton Bonbons with a tight 2.75mm hook. It makes intricate, clear and tight flowers that would look great attached to a hat, headband, or scarf.


:: Can’t see the video above? Click here to watch – ::

Why am I doing this? Because it is crazy fun! and I am hoping that it will help bring attention to Alzheimer’s disease and support for caregivers. At “Walk To End Alzheimer’s” events participants hold up flowers for a “Promise Garden” moment of silence and commitment. The color of the flower that they hold represents their connection to Alzheimer’s. A blue flower represents someone who has Alzheimer’s, purple for those who have lost someone to Alzheimer’s, yellow for caregivers, and orange for those who recognize the importance of support and working to end the disease.

I don’t have a specific plan as to how I will choose who to give a flower to. I’ll try to follow inspiration rather than hallucinations from exhaustion. I think that I’ll probably be biased towards people wearing hand-knit items or purple in support of the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s affects far too many people’s lives. I hope that you’ll join me in making some flowers for people that you know who are affected.

—David Babcock, the Knitting Runner and Running Hooker

:: Donate and support Alzheimer’s research — make a
donation to David Babcock’s Alzheimer’s Fundraiser today!



David Babcock

David Babcock ran the 2014 NYC Marathon in 3:56 (a PR) and raised just under $10k for Alzheimer’s research.


Provide Comfort During Challenging Times: A “Healing Shawls” Giveaway!

October 23rd, 2015

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We’ve appreciated your stories about knitting and crocheting for friends or loved ones during challenging times, and in response, we’re bringing you a book filled with beautiful crochet shawl patterns, Healing Shawls (Crochet) by Leisure Arts.

We understand that words may not always be enough when it comes to expressing concern or hope for someone else’s well-being. When friends and family are faced with difficult circumstances, sometimes the best way to show or tell them you care is to make something for them. Giving someone a handmade gift is a great way to show your support; a handmade gift is always heartfelt and appreciated.

Perhaps you know someone who is ill, has faced a financial setback, or is working through a personal difficulty like a job loss or divorce — a comforting shawl can be a great gift to give. The shawl is symbolic of the hug you’d give them if you were there. When knitting or crocheting the shawl, it’s also a nice to think positively about the recipient to transfer the energies of well intentions; it becomes a meditative process.

In addition to 15 beautiful shawl designs, this book also features personal stories from people who have made and given healing shawls for people they care about. Today, we’re giving two lucky winners the chance to win a copy of the Healing Shawl book along with 6 skeins of Landscapes® in a color of your choice, to make the Striated Triangles Shawl.


Congrats to Julie T. of Florida and Mona K. of Georgia! Please check your inboxes, if we do not hear from you within 7 days, new winners will be selected.

Rules & Guidelines:

1. Entries must be received by November 6 at 11:59pm EST

2. US entries only.

3. Must be 18 and over to enter.

4. One entry per person.

»Click here« to enter the giveaway if the form below does not work for you.

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