Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Crocheting' Category


31 Ways Knitting and Crochet Can Change Your Life and Make You Healthier

July 23rd, 2014

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The research is in and there’s no denying it: people who knit and crochet have a much better chance at staying healthy, being happy and getting organized.

Free Knit & Crochet Pattern: Aromatherapy Eye PillowsIn the past few years, reports from authoritative sources such as CNN, the Huffington Post and Oxford University, cite evidence to support the fact that knitting and crochet can change your life in many ways … and for the better.

Health is a serious matter for all of us, so we took some time to compile our favorite writings on the matter; articles from Lion Brand bloggers such as Kathryn Vercillo and investigative reports from mainstream media outlets such as the Washington Post.

We hope that you find this round-up useful and that you’ll include knitting and crochet as part of your personal health and wellness plan. It works!

31 Ways that Knitting and Crochet Can Change Your Life

  1. Relieve depression.
  2. Promote mental health.
  3. Reduce anxiety.
  4. Process grief.
  5. Alleviate cabin fever during winter months.
  6. Reduce Stress.
  7. Practise mindfulness and meditation.
  8. Create a non-medicinal, feel-good high.
  9. Protect the brain from damage incurred by aging.
  10. Learn discipline, empathy, patience.
  11. Lose weight.
  12. Relieve insomnia.
  13. Relieve chronic pain.
  14. Keep your brain fit.
  15. Think clearer.
  16. Reduce negative thoughts.
  17. Reduce or postpone dementia.
  18. Improve your mood.
  19. Get organized.
  20. Build self-esteem.
  21. Avoid cognitive impairment.
  22. Delay memory loss.
  23. Control eating disorders.
  24. Find friends.
  25. Reduce irritability and restlessness.
  26. Control addictions.
  27. Get strong.
  28. Recovery.
  29. Practice prayer.
  30. Give to others.
  31. Build community.

:: Get the pattern shown above: Aromatherapy Eye Pillows (pattern available in knit and crochet) ::


Learn How to Crochet This Adorable “Kisses Pouch” with Tamara from Moogly!

July 9th, 2014

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Today, I’m happy to share a new pattern and video tutorial with you, which comes from a popular blog you might be familiar with, Moogly!

bonbon-kisses-upright-LOres

The Kisses Pouch made with Bonbons, is a wonderful portable project to work on during the summer. The great thing about this pattern is that it features a lot of stitch repeats, so once you get the hang of it, it’s quite easy to work through. Make one for yourself to hold change or knick-knacks, or make one for the little girl in your life. Go ahead and give this pattern a try, Tamara’s tutorial is extremely helpful and will guide you along the way, view the video below.

 


If you enjoyed Tamara’s tutorial,visit her YouTube channel: Moogly!

5 Steps To Designing Your Own Scarf

May 12th, 2014

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This column by Barbara Breiter, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knitting & Crocheting, originally appeared in The Weekly Stitch newsletter.

Although there are many lovely scarf patterns available, a scarf is relatively simple to design, and it’s a great way to venture into your very first custom design. By understanding a five simple concepts, you’ll be able to design and knit or crochet beautiful scarves on your own.

While most basic crochet fabrics are relatively flat, many knitters venture into their own scarf pattern by simply working in stockinette stitch, and then they see it rolls and have knit what amounts to a big tube. Stockinette rolls. You can’t stop it. It’s the nature of the fabric that is produced when you knit one row and purl the next. What you can do is work the first and last 3 or 4 rows in garter stitch or seed stitch as well as the first and last 3 or 4 stitches in each row. This will usually keep a stockinette scarf from rolling.

Seasonless Scarf Knit Rainbow Ridge Scarf Angora Lace Scarf
Crochet
Seasonless Scarf
Knit
Rainbow Ridge Scarf
Knit
Angora Lace Scarf

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Make a Simple Shrug with Yolanda Soto-Lopez, Now With Spanish Subtitles!

May 9th, 2014

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One of our most popular patterns, the Simple Shrug, is an easy project that’s perfect for beginners. Many of you have requested that we provide Spanish language support for our patterns, so we are very pleased to bring you this great tutorial by Yolanda Soto-Lopez, now with added Spanish subtitles!

Spanish readers, here are Yolanda’s instructions on how to begin:

En este video aprendera hacer esta linda prenda de dama. Esta prenda es un nivel facil. El patron escrito esta disponible gratis en ingles solamente en el website de lionbrand.com Yo estare traduciendo las instrucciones en los Subtitulos en Español. Necesita bajar el patron numero: 90689D Necesita 4 madejas de estambre de LionBrand Homespun color: Manzana adulzada, un gancho N/13 (9mm) un avuja para estambre. Yo tambien use clips para detener mi prenda para coser los lados. Los materiales estan disponibles en tiendas como Joanne’s, Michael’s, y otras tiendas de lanas/estambres.

Check out the new video with Yolanda Soto-Lopez of “All Crafts Channel”, now with Spanish subtitles!


Make a Zodiac Scarf for Gemini

May 2nd, 2014

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Gemini scarf
Gemini is the sign of the Twins and it’s the sign for birthdays from May 21 to June 21. Geminis are witty and inquisitive and, like other air signs, they value intelligence. The dual aspect of this sign means that those born under it are able to see things from multiple perspectives, making them excellent communicators. It’s no surprise that they are also great multi-taskers! People born under this sign are cheerful and personable, so chances are good you’ve got at least one friend who is a Gemini!

gemini-signThe colors in this scarf match the qualities of Gemini: yellow for curiosity, navy for intelligence, sapphire for eloquence, and aqua for optimism.

If you’ve got a friend with a birthday coming up, a handmade gift is always the way to go. Your Gemini friend will probably want to know all about how you made it, so it might be fun to set aside some time to teach him or her your craft. If you are a Gemini yourself, you’ll probably want to make two of these scarves – one for you and one for your bestie!

The Gemini zodiac scarf is available for both Knit and Crochet (pictured). Not your sign? Check out our other zodiac scarves here.


Meet the Soldier Who Learned to Crochet While in Afghanistan

March 25th, 2014

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We featured David Muir on our Facebook page earlier this month, which received an overwhelming positive response. We asked him a few questions about himself and how he got interested in crocheting.

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself, like where you’re from and why you decided to join the military.

I’m originally from Easton, Maryland but I call Pooler, Georgia home now. I joined the Army because of the “adventure” and “awesome toys” — eventually it became more than that. I worked with a group of individuals that became my great friends, and my family.

I was in the Army for 10 years until I decided to seek new adventures. Many of us were stationed together for 6+ years. At that point, others started getting out or changing duty station. It just changed. It wasn’t the same. I needed to try something new. When I got out of the Army in July 2011 I lived in Spain for the summer. I even worked at a scuba dive shop just for fun.

afghan-facebook
David Muir and his first afghan,
made with Hometown USA.

After that I moved to Pooler, GA where I lived with my brother, Danny. I worked for Gulfstream as a Quality Engineer but soon missed my Army brothers. When I heard my old unit was deploying to Afghanistan, I decided to look for a job with the slight chance I’ll see them again. Working on the Apache Helicopter is my specialty so our field is quite small. Unfortunately I didn’t get the same base as my old unit, so I’m not in the military anymore. Now I work for DynCorp Aviation.

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How Visualizing and Completing a Crochet Project Can Change Your Life

December 20th, 2013

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Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo shares inspiration for enjoying all of your craft projects from start to finish. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

visualizing-crochetI believe strongly in the power of crochet to improve quality of life whether you’re suffering from a serious condition like depression or just seeking to experience more inspiration in your everyday life. One of the key ways that I believe crochet can help is through embracing each stage of the project including the process of visualizing, working on, and finally completing the work.

Visualizing a Crochet Project

Many people underestimate the value of this first step of a crochet project but it can be immensely beneficial to focus on it. Truly embrace the process of thinking about what you want to make, how you want to make it, who it will be for, and which yarn you will want to use.

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Video: How to Do a Chain-Less Foundation Row

December 9th, 2013

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Maggie Weldon is a crochet expert who loves to share her expertise with those wanting to master the art of crochet.

How many times have you carefully counted your chain stitches when starting a crochet project to find that you’ve come up short or have extra? With the Chain-Less Foundation Row, also known as a Foundation Single Crochet, you’ll never have to count chain stitches again! Watch the video below to learn this easy technique:

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.


Amigurumi-fy Your Christmas Tree With These 9 Patterns!

December 8th, 2013

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Last week I put up my Christmas tree, a tiny two-feet tall plastic tree that was the perfect size for a cozy apartment in New York City.   Since I started working at Lion Brand a few months ago, I’ve been thinking about adding some handmade ornaments to reflect my love of yarn and crochet.

When one of our readers had mentioned she had used baby booties as ornaments, it gave me the inspiration to crochet amigurumi!  They would be small enough to fit on my tree and could also fit in a shoe box once the holiday season was over. Cute and functional!

Here are some ideas for decorating your tree:

Amigurumi Graduation Bookworm Happy Reindeer in Vanna's Choice and Vanna's Glamour Amigurumi Lady Bug
Amigurumi Graduation Bookworm
in Wool-Ease®
Happy Reindeer
in Vanna’s Choice® and Vanna’s Glamour®
Amigurumi Lady Bug
in Wool-Ease®

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Eight Arms to Love You With: My Daughter’s Halloween Costume

October 30th, 2013

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costume

My daughter loves octopuses (or is it octopi?) and is almost never caught without holding one of her 7 stuffed octopuses or wearing one of her growing closet of socks and tees.  When I saw this pattern for an octopus costume there was no contest as to what she wanted to be.  She got so excited and immediately asked that it be made in her favorite colors: purple and “lellow” (yellow) with pink spots.

Crocheting the entire thing would be a feat that would’ve taken more than a month’s planning.  And while I could quilt, the pattern was beyond my skill level.  Thankfully Jackie, our Technical Editor, was an expert seamstress and offered to help out.   Since I love creating new things using yarn, I wanted to add some personal handmade touches.

But I also didn’t want it to be just handmade – I wanted it to sparkle and glitter.

When I first saw the pattern I immediately wanted crocheted medallions for the suckers and the spots.
Vanna’s Glamour fit perfectly with what I wanted, and her mustard gold yarn went well with the deep purple velvet fabric.  Soon I was swept up in a creative moment and started picking out more colors like light gold and pink, which would give the costume a cool, colorful, and textured look.  Even Michala, our Design intern, found it so adorable that she also wanted to assist.  Since I knew she was fast crocheter, I asked if she could make some medallions whenever she had free time.

By the time I looked away, I found a pile of medallions of varying sizes already on the table.  She even had extra time to crochet the eyes and a pink bow too!

Then I saw Martha Stewarts CraftsTM/MC Glitter Eyelash yarn and it all came together.  The sparkly polka dots, the giant eyes with purple eyelashes, even the pink bow on its head. When I showed my daughter the finished product she couldn’t wait to get it on her.

Michala crocheting away The growing pile of octopus spots Sewing it altogether
Michala crocheting away The growing pile of octopus spots Sewing it altogether.

The only bad (or good) part will be trying to take it off her once Halloween’s over.

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