Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Crafting' Category


Video: How to Make a Fishtail Rubber Band Bracelet

November 14th, 2013

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Did you know that you can use your Martha Stewart Crafts™ Knit & Weave Loom Kit to make rubber band bracelets? The small configurations will fit perfectly into a purse so you can take a crafting break anywhere. What’s great about the Martha Stewart Crafts™ Knit & Weave Loom Kit is that different members of the family can be using it at the same time! While your son or daughter is making bracelet, you could be using another configuration to make a hat or scarf!

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 video on our website.


Kitchen-Safe Dyeing, Part 1: Turmeric

November 14th, 2013

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Sister and brother duo, Elizabeth and Robby Miracle, first created this dyeing series for a Lion Brand newsletter several years ago. Although that newsletter is no longer around, we loved the idea of making kitchen-safe dyes so much, that we’ve updated it and reprinted the series here. 

Kitchen-Safe Dyeing | Lion Brand Notebook

Creating your own dyes can be a fun and exciting way to personalize projects.  This month, we show you how to make all-natural dyes and use them with different cotton and wool yarns.

We used only edible items purchased at our local market, boiling water (and in some cases, salt or vinegar) to make beautiful, all-natural dyes.

After trying our dyes, you will probably want to experiment with other natural food dyes of your own.  Start by using fruits or vegetables that stain and experiment!  You can mix dye baths to make different colors.  You will probably find, as we did, that the colors are all — surprise — “earth” tones!

Because this project requires boiling water, adult supervision is required.

Turmeric Dye

This quantity of dye will easily color 2 skeins of LB Collection Pure Wool or , 2 skeins of Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton. Other options include: Alpine Wool, Fishermen’s Wool, LB Collection Organic Wool, LB Collection Superwash Merino, Martha Stewart Crafts™ Merino, Martha Stewart Crafts™ Roving Wool, Martha Stewart Crafts™ Cotton Hemp, Kitchen Cotton. Click here to see all Lion Brand yarns. 

turmeric-cottona  turmeric-woola
Dyed Cotton Dyed Wool

Ingredients:
1 oz ground turmeric
3 quarts water

Bring mixture to a boil in a stainless steel or enamel pot and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  It will reduce in volume some what while boiling. As soon as it is finished cooking, you can use it.

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An Introduction to Needle Felting

October 14th, 2013

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Darrin, our needle felting teacher at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City, shares some insights into this fun and sculptural craft technique. Shop felting tools on LionBrand.com by clicking here.

If you knit or crochet, then you know how important it is to follow the pattern.  Obtaining the correct gauge, and counting stitches and rows are all required to be certain that your project will turn out like the pattern describes.  With needle felting you can forget about all of that!

I hope you will find needle felting liberating as I do, it is refreshing to be free from all of that regulated structure. Take back control of your yarn crafting, and make choices as you go.  Often, if I don’t like something, I just take my scissors and cut it off of my work. It is very liberating to work in a creative free-form way, where you can decide as you go if you like how your work is turning out.

What Is Needle Felting?

Needle felting is a popular fiber arts craft that creates felt without the use of water. Fiber artist Eleanor Stanwood first used special needles that were originally used in industrial felting machines in the 1980s to sculpt wool by hand. Now this art form is gaining in popularity.

Frequently, the needles are described as having barbs, spurs, or notches, along the shaft of the needle that grab the layers of fibers and tangle them together as the needle passes through the wool fiber. These notches face toward the tip of the needle and do not pull the fibers out as the needle exits the wool. Once tangled and matted, the felt can be very strong and used for creating fabric, jewelry, 3D sculptures, and just about any thing that you can imagine.  This is a very versatile art form, and you can really achieve very fine detailed work.

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Lessons Learned From Crafting – A New Animated Series!

September 18th, 2013

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We asked our customers on Facebook what lessons they’ve learned from crafting over the years. I was so inspired by the responses we got that I created an animated series! Share your story and you might get animated!

Subscribe to our Youtube channel here to make sure you don’t miss the next episode!


6 Quick & Easy Patterns for July 4th Celebrations!

June 28th, 2013

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July 4th is just around the corner, and you know what that means – BBQs, pool parties, picnics and more! In preparation of the big celebration day, I’ve gathered some fun decorative, and patriotic themed patterns to help you get in the spirit of things. Below you’ll find projects from some creative bloggers in addition to our Lion Brand patterns.  Take a gander for yourself and get ready for some crafting this weekend!

Projects from Blogs we enjoy:

Patriotic Crocheted Stars
Patriotic Stars
Blog: Repeat Crafter Me
Star Spangled Banner
Star Spangled Banner Crochet Bunting
Blog: Petals to Picots
Baby Sandals from Tutus and Tea Parties
Patriotic Barefoot Sandals
Blog: Tutus and Tea Parties

Lion Brand Patterns:


Americana Crochet Evaporative Cooler
Lion Cotton (can substitute for Kitchen Cotton)
Click here for knit version
Barista Cup Cozy Set
Barista Cup Cozy Set
Martha Stewart Crafts Cotton Hemp
Macrame Plant Hanger
Macrame Plant Hanger (Craft)
Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton

Do you like to knit or crochet items for your BBQs or celebrations? Tell us some of your favorite patterns for these occasions!

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Fettuccini is Back–Just in Time for Earth Month!

April 23rd, 2013

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zpagettiOur hugely popular yarn, Fettuccini, is finally back in stock after blowing off the shelves and selling out several weeks ago. And just in time! Earth Day may have been yesterday, but all of April is Earth Month, and every day is a great opportunity to be eco-friendly. As many Fettuccini enthusiasts already know, this unique yarn is made with remnants of jersey fabric used to create garments. The remnants would otherwise be discarded, so we’re thrilled to breathe a little new life into this special fiber. In honor of its (re-)arrival, I’ve rounded up a handful of the great items you can knit, crochet or craft with this yarn. Click here to learn more about Fettuccini, browse colors and place your order today!

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Patterns and Inspiration for Loom Weaving and Knitting: Afghans, Toys, Scarves and More!

February 26th, 2013

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Have you recently gotten the Martha Stewart Crafts Knit & Weave Loom Kit as a gift? Or, have you gotten one to familiarize yourself with yarn crafting?  Whether you’re a newbie to loom knitting & weaving, or familiar with the craft and need some new inspiration, look no further because I’ve got some patterns to get you started on more projects!

Take a look at the patterns in the different categories below; and note that most of the images have links to more patterns within that category as well.

(Click on the images for pattern)

Loom Woven and Knit Afghans

Loom Woven Homespun Thick & Quick Afghan
Loom Woven Afghan
Homespun Thick & Quick

Click here for more loom woven afghans

Loom Knit Diagonal Baby Throw
Loom Knit Diagonal Afghan
Martha Stewart Crafts Extra Soft Wool Blend

Click here for more loom knit afghans

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The Therapy of Crochet and Knitting

February 25th, 2013

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Has crafting ever brought you out of a tough time? Often, the meditative and creative aspects of yarn crafts can be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to coping with grief, depression, or that funk you just haven’t been able to emerge from. Though knitting and crochet are often looked at as lighthearted, serene crafts, the emergence of many crafting social groups over the last several years speaks to the release of both the craft and the social component that frequently comes along with it. A new book highlights the healing that can come from crochet.

Crochet Saved My Life chronicles the journey of a college freshman coping with the usual suspects–new school, new state, new friends–as well as the far less familiar, including the surprise diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumor. Author Kathryn Vercillo describes how she found release from her anxiety and stress in the therapeutic nature of each repetitive stitch.

More than telling her own story, which includes the profound motion of dropping a knife from her wrist and picking up yarn instead, Vercillo also shares the stories of other men and women who have found solace in crochet and knitting, as well as the effects these crafts have on those with various mental and physical conditions, including anxiety, depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis.

To learn more about the book, click here.

So many of us have found comfort in the stitches of knitting and crochet. Have these yarn crafts gotten you through difficult times in your life? Share your experiences below. 


Yarncrafting is My Superbowl!

January 23rd, 2013

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tinyfootball_medium
Tiny Football by Anna Hrachovec, view the pattern here.

 

Superbowl Sunday is just around the corner! I’m usually more excited about the snacks at the Superbowl parties than I am about the actual game. About 20 minutes in my attention starts to drift and I find my fingers sneaking towards my newest yarncraft project. Although I am rarely paying attention (and probably wouldn’t understand what was happening if I was), I still have a great time spending time with loved ones and sharing in the excitement!

The Superbowl is a great excuse for crafters to have fun whether you are a sport fan or not. Patty was telling me about how Franklin Habit has a favorite sports bar that he frequents. They know him so well that they give him a resounding greeting when he walks through the door and have a lamp just for him so he can see his knitting!

Here are three ways that you can celebrate this Superbowl Sunday with yarncrafting:

  1. Organize a get together with your local knitting or crocheting guild.
  2. Find a crafter-friendly bar or restaurant and support your team by making a project in their colors.
  3. If you are going to a Superbowl party with friends, don’t forget to bring extra yarn and supplies for anyone who is starting to acquire that glazed over look :)

6 Patterns for Handmade Holiday Crafts

November 26th, 2012

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Thanksgiving is over, the leftover food is eaten, and the holiday season is in full swing! Many of you are probably now switching over from your Fall themed decor, to your winter/holiday themed decor – and as always, you should think of ways to incorporate some handmade elements.  I’ve rounded up some great knit, crochet and craft projects to get you thinking about holiday crafting.  These projects can be a fun activity to get the kids involved as well!

Making handmade holiday greeting cards can be a great family activity. Get the kids into embroidery by starting off with a small project like a card. You can even take this idea and go all out by creating yarn artwork to hang on your walls or fireplace mantle. This type of craft would also be perfect for crafting with a pack of Bonbons, which already come in an assortment of fun colors for you to choose from.

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