Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Community' Category

A Fine Day at Stitch ‘N’ Pitch: Jack Throws Out the First Pitch!

August 30th, 2015

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first pitchThis summer I crossed off a major dream from my bucket list when I threw out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game for the New York Mets at Citi Field.

For the last eight years I’ve been very involved with Stitch ‘N’ Pitch. The event is a wonderful opportunity for the knitting and crochet community to come together and share their passions — stitching and baseball. Each summer, crafters fill the stands and bring their current projects with them. It’s magnificent to look out onto the manicured lawns of the playing field and around the stadium at the knitting and crochet enthusiasts enjoying their labor of love.

The New York Stitch ‘N’ Pitch group has orchestrated some very special events. One year, we yarn bombed Citi Field, and another we were added to the Guinness World Records for the most people crocheting at one time. In 2015, crafters were challenged to make squares with Lion Brand® yarn for Warm-Up America, a charity that I’m involved with which distributes handmade afghans to those in need.


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At the end of the day, a good time was had by all; Lion Brand associates and their families, crafters who came from far and wide, our friends at AC Moore, and all the many designers and others from the knitting and crocheting community. I can’t wait till next year … but until then, LETS GO METS!



Things We’re Doing Besides Knitting and Crocheting: Travel Edition!

August 9th, 2015

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Here in the marketing department at Lion Brand, we talk a lot about knitting and crocheting and yarn and magic loops and swatches and yarn weights (we know our DK from our super bulky) and and and … bottom line is that we’re all experts in one way or another when it comes yarn. We can talk about it all day — and we do! You may however be surprised to know that we’re also fairly well-rounded with an excess of interests, hobbies and obsessions that go beyond the hooks and needles.

We thought you might enjoy a peek into our inner worlds. Have fun and please share some of your own personal interests outside of knitting and crocheting in the comments below.

Cefalu - Sicily (1)Margaux – I went to back Bordeaux, France where I’m from to spend some time with friends and family. “Slow life” was my watchword. I even did some yoga and Pilates in front of the waves, on the beach for a fully relaxing vacation! I also had a quick escape to Sicily (pictured) reminding me that you can’t go wrong with Italy; every single village has good food, nice wine and gorgeous postal card landscapes.  It was really nice to be away from the Big Apple for a while but it also feels great to be back!

Ilana – I love to read in the summer, especially when I’ve got a long flight for vacation or business. You never have to worry about a paperback book’s battery running out, unlike reading you do with an e-reader, and it is a pleasure to hold a real book in my hands.  I just picked up another book by the author I wrote about last month, Haruki Murakami, called The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which I’m really enjoying. I bought the book when  I was on my way to a meeting in San Francisco, where I got to tour the YouTube offices.  It was very exciting to be there.  What most of the people do in the office is sit at a desk, just like us, though and the main difference is that they have a two-story sliding board in the middle of one of their hallways.  I also caught a movie about Brian Wilson, the lead singer of the Beach Boys, called Love and Mercy.  Growing up when they were popular, I always thought of them as the lightweight, sort of frivolous band at a time when the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were making more “waves.”  But when you see the story of the brilliant and troubled lead singer, you can really appreciate their music and see that their contribution to the early days of rock & roll was no accident.

la_jolla (1)Brandyce –  I’ve been doing a little bit of traveling within the U.S lately, which has been very enjoyable. I recently went to Dallas, Texas and explored many historical sites including the JFK memorial and Pioneer Plaza. I also had a lot of fun at the Dallas Aquarium and Zoo. It’s a small city that gets extremely hot in the summer, but it’s easy to navigate and walk. For a recent work trip to the Knit & Crochet Show in San Diego, I extended my stay a little longer to see more of the city. San Diego was so pleasant, clean, and sunny – quite the difference from gritty NYC. I absolutely loved La Jolla Cove and the sea lions (pictured), and also going to Coronado Island and watching the sun set over the Pacific, it was magical!

Lorena – I finally got to visit Nashville after years of talking about it. I grew up in Atlanta, a mere four hours away, but had never visited Music City. It lived up to every expectation I had and more — music poured out of every honky tonk on Broadway, there was fantastic food, and a rich history. My favorite stop on the trip was the Johnny Cash Museum. Not only did it feature the incredible story of the Man in Black, there was also an exhibit on the artists of legendary recording label Sun Records: Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, of course. On the way to and from Tennessee, I read Modern Romance, a new book on relationships in the digital/millenial age by Aziz Ansari (fans of the show Parks & Recreation will recognize him as Tom Haverford.) The book had me cracking up everywhere I read it, with many passersby asking what was so funny. His honest advice and zany humor will keep you reading for hours!

shira_sanfran (1)Shira – Where has the summer gone?!  I feel like I have had to pack and unpack my suitcase so much lately and let me tell you, my cats…not into it!   On one of my recent trips was a trip to San Francisco!  I had never been and I went to go catch up with some friends.  I only had a weekend there but I think I got a real taste of city.  With walking hills ( and those hills are real!) I went to Sausalito, Presidio Park, and of course the look out and took the classic photo! I love traveling but let me tell you there is nothing better than sleeping in your own bed!  As much as I love summer I cannot wait for fall so I don’t feel crazy knitting a wool hat in 100 degree weather!

IMG_7416 (1)Sarah – I also went to San Diego for the Knit and Crochet Show. I had a lot of fun exploring the city! Balboa Park was amazing. It makes Central Park look like a patch of grass! You could spend an entire vacation there since there are so many museums, gardens, and public events going on. The San Diego Zoo was so impressive especially the pandas and, of course, lions. After the zoo, I relaxed in the shade at the Spreckles Organ Pavilion and took in a free concert on the world’s second-largest outdoor organ. And to top things off, Shira and I ran into a couple of princesses!

wire_heartDanielle – My family and I recently explored Dead Horse Bay at the bottom of Brooklyn. Known as the weirdest beach in New York City, it’s not the easiest place to get to without a car. We took the opportunity to zip down there one Saturday morning when we found ourselves with a few hours left to kill on a rental. Here’s why it’s weird: one of Dead Horse Bay’s past incarnations includes a stint as a landfill for NYC trash and that landfill is now leaking! It sounds gross and it is, but in a complicated and fascinating way. Some of the stuff that’s washing up on the beach is really beautiful – I saw tiny antique perfume bottles (intact too, I was lucky), old ceramics, oddities like shoe soles, and …  lots and lots of broken glass. You really can’t understand how much broken glass is there until you experience the place – even the ocean waves tinkle. It’s the perfect spot to find beauty in the broken, like this clump of wires I spotted, which had self-formed into a heart shape. Pro tip: sturdy boots and gloves are a must!

NEW DATE – AUGUST 30th! Make a big yarnbomb in Union Square with London Kaye Crochet

June 19th, 2015

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NEW DATE – Sunday, August 30th, 11am – 4pm. See you there!


If you’re in New York City on Sunday, August 30th, drop by Union Square between 11am-4pm and add a small swatch of knitting or crochet to our mystery yarnbomb! We’ll be there with world-famous yarnbomber London Kaye Crochet, who is delightful in the latest episode of Tea With Shira #5:

Can’t see the video above? Click here:

You can make your swatch before hand if you like — our StitchFinder has some great knit and crochet patterns for small blocks, flowers and motifs — OR you can knit or crochet a little something on the spot. We’ll have lots of yarn, hooks and needles for you to take advantage of.

Some ideas from StitchFinder:


Knit Small Leaf Crochet Octagon Motif


Can’t knit or crochet? No problem! Representatives from Yarndevu, a community of knitters and crocheters who meet in person and learn from each other, will be on hand to teach you how! Eager to learn before then? Sign up on Yarndevu now and connect with a local knitter or crocheter eager to teach!

Event Details:

Who: You, London Kaye Crochet, Lion Brand Yarn and Brand Ambassador Shira Blumenthal will all be there!
What: We’re crowdsourcing a yarnbomb and we want you to contribute! Bring a small swatch of knitting or crochet, free-form or based on a pattern, and add it to our big yarnbomb!
Where: Union Square, New York City, by East 14th Street & Union Square West
When: Sunday, August 30th, 2015, 11am-4pm (If the gathering must be postponed due to poor weather, an announcement will be made by 9am the day of the event through Twitter and Facebook.)

* Please note, we are not fastening any yarn to a fixed structure. We are asking participants to fasten their knitted or crochet contribution to a piece of portable mesh that we will provide that day.

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!