Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Community' Category


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:


A Fun Crochet-Along for You to Join at the Petals to Picots Blog!

September 29th, 2013

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Little Boy Blue BlanketWe’ve teamed up with Kara at the Petals to Picots blog to bring you a new crochet-along with one of our newest patterns, in one of of our newest yarns!  Kara has just announced she’ll be hosting the crochet-along for the Little Boy Blue Blanket made in Heartland.  Kara starts the official CAL instructions tomorrow, and will be conducting the CAL through early December.  This way, you have enough time to possibly turn this blanket into a holiday gift for someone!

There will be new instructions posted for the CAL every two weeks so that you’ll have enough time to work up each section.  The pattern is considered an intermediate level, and requires knowledge of the single crochet (sc) and double crochet stitch (dc).  There’s fun color work in the project, so it will be fun to see everything come together at the end.

There is an official Ravelry group for the CAL so you can share your progress, ask questions, chat with other members and more.  Stop in, say hi to Kara and the rest of the group, and get ready to start a fun new crochet project!  We look forward to seeing plenty of great projects.

Check out Petals to Picots tomorrow for the first set of instructions.  Are you ready to get crocheting? Let us know if you’ll be participating in the comments below.


Professional Development Day at the Knit & Crochet Show with Lion Brand and the CGOA

September 25th, 2013

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Have you ever attended a Knit & Crochet Show sponsored by the TKGA (The Knitting Guild of America ) and CGOA (Crochet Guild of America)? If you’re near the Charlotte, North Carolina area – you’re in luck because the Knit & Crochet Show will be in town next week (Oct. 2-6)!

The Knit & Crochet show is a wonderful 4 day event, where you have the opportunity to take advantage of classes taught by some of your favorite knit and crochet designers, meet new friends, purchase yarn, and just have a good ole time. If you only want to shop and don’t want to sign up for classes, you can purchase a ticket for the marketplace onsite, and use the coupon to the right for a great “Buy One Get One Free” offer. Lion Brand will have a booth for shopping and we’ll be carrying our newest yarn collections, so be sure to stop by and say hi to us.

On October 2nd, before the classes start and the marketplace opens, the CGOA will host Professional Development Day, which is a one-day session in which you learn valuable tools of the trade when it comes to proposing and developing a book. You’ll learn about how to write a book proposal, how to promote yourself, creative writing tips, and lots more.  This is a great educational and networking opportunity for those who are already established and for those who are aspiring professionals in the industry.  The CGOA committee has lined up some wonderful, knowledgeable experts in the field – you’ll get to hear from Melissa Leapman, Lily Chin, and Vashti Braha – just to name a few! Click here to learn more about Professional Development Day.

Have you ever been to a Professional Development Day at one of the Knit & Crochet shows? Please share your experience with us in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

Related Links:

 


I Don’t Pray…How Can I Make a Prayer Shawl?

September 17th, 2013

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Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo joins us for the third installment of her series on prayer shawl crafting. Click here to read her previous blog posts.

Image of Serene Comfort Shawl | Prayer Shawl Crafting | Lion Brand NotebookI don’t consider myself someone who prays. My spiritual path has been varied and complicated and it’s been a long journey to the point of even being able to comfortably say that I have a spiritual path so it’s still another leap to be okay with saying I pray. Nevertheless, I do believe in the value of setting an intention and asking for help, strength, hope … and so I am comfortable making prayer shawls.

Suggested Prayer Shawl Practices for People Who Don’t Pray

There is no right or wrong way to craft a prayer shawl. Whatever you feel comfortable with is enough. It can be as simple as setting the intention to heal the recipient at the start of the project.

Here are some additional options:

  • Repeat a short phrase in your mind as you work. An example: “I wish you strength.”
  • Pause at the end of each row or round to think positive thoughts about the prayer shawl recipient.
  • Stitch with love. Intentionally focus on love and compassion as you craft.
  • When the project is complete, take a moment to say an affirmation or blessing. You may also want to include a sentiment card with the gift.

[Pattern pictured: Crochet Serene Comfort Shawl]

Which prayers, affirmations or thoughts do you use when crafting for others? Share in the comments below!


Tips for Getting the Most from Prayer Shawl Crafting

September 8th, 2013

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Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo shares tips for choosing patterns, charities and the setting for intentional crafting. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.
Image of Honest Warmth Shawl | Tips for Prayer Shawl Crafting | Lion Brand Notebook

Choosing a Prayer Shawl Pattern

Any shawl pattern can be used as a prayer shawl. An ideal pattern uses a textural comforting yarn like Homespun.

Items Other Than Prayer Shawls

Prayer shawls don’t have to be shawls. Other popular items for prayer-based crafting include:

Selecting Prayer Shawl Recipients

If you are inspired to craft something handmade for a specific individual, by all means do so. Alternatively you may donate to a group. Here are some tips for selecting your group:

  • Pick a cause that you care about. What has affected your life?
  • Ask friends what charities they support and why.
  • Think local; it’s wonderful to drop your donation off in person if you can.

You can also find charities that are currently seeking donations by using the Lion Brand Charity Connection page.

Setting the Space

The recipient benefits from your prayer shawl but to get the most out of the crafting experience it should also help heal you. Set your space intentionally when doing prayer crafting. Some tips:

  • Choose a quiet space.
  • Use lighting that is adequate but not glaring.
  • Burn candles or incense.
  • Ask yourself what makes you feel most comfortable and safe. Infuse your space with that thing.
  • See more tips for meditative crafting. 

[Pattern pictured: Knit Honest Warmth Shawl]

Who have you (or would you like to) donate a prayer shawl to? Share your stories in the comments to inspire others!


Prayer Shawls: How They Help You While Helping Others

September 1st, 2013

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Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo shares thoughts on the practice of knitting and crocheting prayer shawls. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

Image of Tender Shawl | Prayer Shawls | Lion Brand NotebookWe do not live in isolation in this world. We live in an interconnected global community. When something difficult happens to someone else, it hurts us. Prayer shawls are a way to heal others while healing ourselves.

Praying for Others

When you make a prayer shawl you are intentionally infusing each stitch with hope, warmth, love, compassion and care. You emanate the hope that the person will be healed from pain. When the gift is received, that warmth is felt, the connection is recalled and healing takes place.

Your Own Healing

When we see pain, loss and tragedy in others, we feel it in ourselves. We feel sad about our own tragedies. We feel fear about possible pains. As we stitch together our connection to this other person through intentional prayer, the meditative action calms us. Our hearts open up through the work of our hands and we feel safe and loved again.

Make a Prayer Shawl

The healing of the shawl is partially about the prayer and partially about the tactile sensation of crafting. The silky texture of Lion Brand Homespun helps with the tactile benefits. You’ll find it used in the free crochet prayer shawl and free knit prayer shawl patterns.

[Pattern pictured: Knit Tender Shawl]

How have prayer shawls helped you? Share in the comments below!


Great Customer Projects from STITCHES Midwest!

August 22nd, 2013

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One of the best parts of attending craft shows like STITCHES Midwest for me is seeing projects that customers have made with Lion Brand yarn. Some customers approach me shyly, while others proudly brandish their handiwork. They’re often surprised when I enthusiastically ask to take their pictures, they have no idea how gratifying these moments are for me! Check out some of my favorite finds from the last show!

swing dress

Swing dress made with Amazing yarn.

Click here to learn more about this pattern.

mitered ridges top

Mitered Ridges Top made with Lion Brand® LB Collection® Cotton Bamboo

Click here to get the knit pattern.

fishermen poncho

Poncho made with Fishermen’s Wool®

She made this project back in the ’70s (wow!) so the pattern is no longer available.

hexagon market bag

Hexagon Market Bag made with Lion® Cotton

Click here to get the crochet pattern.

lily collage

The highlight of the show was definitely when designer Lily Chin came to our booth wearing a girl scout costume that she made with Recycled Cotton  in Seagrass, Kitchen Cotton in Olive, and Bonbons in Brights and Celebrate were for her badges.

*Please note: this is an original design so no pattern is available*

Didn’t get to see us at the last show? Come visit us at STITCHES East from November 10-11 in Hartford, CT! Don’t forget to bring you Lion Brand projects!


Showing Off the Goods! 9 Featured Projects from the Lion Brand Customer Gallery

August 13th, 2013

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Every once in a while we like to highlight the great project submissions that have been uploaded to our online Customer Gallery, and today I’ve got 9 great projects to share with and inspire you.  It’s always fun to see our patterns come to life by others, especially when made with modifications.  Take a look at the projects below, and see if something you created made a guest appearance!

Modified Snowstorm Hat Pattern #90022AD
Modified Snowstorm Hat Pattern
By: Myra Gabriel
Pattern: Snowstorm Hat
gallery Baby Throw with AppliqueBaby Throw with Toy Car Appliques
By: Myra Slatkoff
Pattern: Sunshine Day Baby Throw
Perfect Crochet CardiganPerfect Crochet Cardigan
By: Mary Cast
Pattern: Perfect Crochet
Cardigan

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Crafter Stories: Crocheting at the Cafe

August 5th, 2013

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Crafter Stories: Crocheting at the Cafe | Lion Brand NotebookLast week, we brought you a few stories from our readers about their experiences knitting and crocheting in public. Today, we want to share a longer story from Jessica Leete of Orchard Park, NY.

I often spend my weekend mornings at the local Starbucks for a few hours, enjoying my specialty coffee while working on my most recent crochet project.  Although I love the coffee shop atmosphere, it can often get quite noisy as well, so I usually also bring my laptop and earbuds so I can listen to music or play a TV episode in the background to help drown out the noise.  As a result, I am often zoned into my project, completely oblivious to the sounds and activity around me.    

On a number of occasions, I have looked up from my project to find someone sheepishly standing right in front of me, who has undoubtedly been clearing their throat a few times to get my attention,  while I unaware, had been crocheting away.  

I quickly pull my earbuds out and apologize that I hadn’t heard them.  On most occasions, it is a a woman who simply wants to pass on a compliment regarding what I am ‘knitting’.  I always give a big smile and a ‘thank you’, while politely clarifying that I am actually crocheting, but reassuring them that they are quite similar and easily confused.  I love these small chances to spread a little knowledge on these two crafts and their differences.      

In one instance, I was actually addressed by two guys from the adjacent table.  The one looked at my project and said, “You are crocheting, right?”  Impressed, I replied with “yes” and a smile.  He continued that his grandmother used to crochet all the time when he was young and that he didn’t know crocheting was done any more.  

I definitely had to stifle a laugh.  I told him that crochet is still around and actually becoming quite popular recently.  I loved the opportunity to increase the awareness of my craft.    

My favorite instances though are when kids are around.  They don’t just stare, but they come right up to my chair and stand next to me watching my every yarn over and draw through.  They cannot help themselves—they are just so curious to see something they never have before.  The parents are always embarrassed and try to call the kids away, but I quickly intervene and assure them it isn’t a problem.  I happily answer any questions they have and show them step by step how I complete each stitch.    

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Crafter Stories: Knitting and Crocheting in Public

July 29th, 2013

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Crafter Stories: Knitting and Crocheting in Public | Lion Brand Notebook

A little while ago, we asked you—our blog readers—to share your stories with us about knitting/crocheting in public. From making new friends to delighting strangers, you shared your experiences.

Here are just a few of the submissions we received:

I knit on the “L” in Chicago pretty regularly and it’s not unusual to get a comment or question from a stranger. But one time in particular I really broke the ice when my ball of yarn fell out of my bag and rolled all the way down to the other end of the car. Everyone burst into laughter because it was so unexpected and from then on the whole mood of the car changed. Everyone was talking to me, and to each other, and there were a lot more smiles the rest of the way home.
- Christine Renee, Chicago, IL

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