Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Crocheting' Category


Crochet as Meditation

July 24th, 2013

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Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo shares tips on meditating through crochet.

Crochet as MeditationI remember the first time that I tried formal meditation. I sat amidst a group of compassionate people with closed eyes who were letting go of all thoughts, focusing attention on their breath. I felt no compassion for myself as my monkey mind skittered about. I felt self-conscious about my constant twitching and resituating, certain I was irritating the peaceful beings around me. More than that, I simply didn’t enjoy the experience. My anxious mind raced into terrifyingly uncomfortable places. I left feeling that meditation is a great thing…for other people but not for me! Then I found crochet.

Crochet offers a chance to meditate in a way that many people find easier than sitting still in a room and focusing on the breath. Crochet is a relaxing, repetitive craft that can be done as a means to mindfulness. The combination of constant counting, gentle recurrent hand motions and focus on the work is a stress-reducer and a path to being present in the here-and-now.

Want to practice crochet as a form of meditation? Here are some tips:

  • Choose a project that requires only beginner skills, like a large granny square or a scarf made of only single crochet stitches.
  • Select a project that offers comfort in counting. For example, a scarf will let you count the same number of stitches again and again in each row.
  • Use a yarn color that feels comforting.
  • Work in a quiet, relaxed space.
  • Set an intention. At the beginning and end of the crochet project remind yourself what it is you want to achieve with meditative crochet. Celebrate the craft and celebrate yourself.

There is certainly something valuable to be found in formal meditation. However, it doesn’t work for all of us. In particular, people with mental health conditions including depression and anxiety may find it too difficult to simply sit on the cushion and watch the breath. We can use mindfulness crochet instead to bring ourselves back to the present moment, practicing compassion for ourselves and for others with each stitch.

What has been your meditation experience? How does crochet help?


6 Fast and Fun Projects Perfect for Summer Crafting!

July 12th, 2013

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Now that we’ve celebrated Independence day and have spent some time at the beach, it’s clear that we’re in full summer mode! Of course as a crafter, you know that just because it’s warm out – that’s not an excuse to stop your knitting or crocheting.  Summer is a good time to work on smaller scale, portable projects. You’ll feel so accomplished knocking out project after project on road trips, or just relaxing by the pool.  To get you started with ideas, I’ve included some fast, stress free project from crafters on the Internet, as well as our very own Lion Brand patterns.

Projects from Crafters:

ArchieCrochet Picture Frame
in Amazing
headbandMoss Stitch Bow headband
in Wool-Ease
Knitted Jam Jar Sweater
in Vanna’s Choice, Wool-Ease

Lion Brand Projects:

buds
DIY No Tangle Ear Buds

in Bonbons

Crochet iPad Cover
in Vanna’s Choice
bookmarks
Mini Granny Square Bookmarks

in Bonbons

What are your favorite summertime projects? Share with us in the comments!

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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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Celebrate Log Cabin Day with Log Cabin Afghans!

June 25th, 2013

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As you may have already noticed, I’m big on the quirky holidays. The way I see it, each of these silly days is a chance to celebrate something that may get overlooked every other day. An excuse to eat more donuts just because it’s national donut day? Count me in! (National Donut Day was on June 7, actually, but I don’t see why you can’t have a belated celebration.) Anyway, today is National Log Cabin Day! For some people, this probably evokes the smell of fresh cut grass and the feeling of the raw lumber used to construct a grandparent, aunt or uncle’s log cabin in the woods. For crafters, however, the term “log cabin” speaks directly to a very particular variety of quilts and afghans.

The quilts first became popular in the United States in the 1860s, during the Civil War, and their popularity as a traditional style of American crafting has remained for generations since. Traditionally, center squares were symbolically red or yellow, but more modern takes on the style show off individual preferences. These log cabin quilt-inspired afghan patterns range from traditional to contemporary, and can be knit or crocheted in a variety of yarns, colors, and stitch patterns.

 Image of Cozy Cabin Throw Image of Log Cabin Pocket Blankie  Image of Neutrals Log Cabin Afghan
Crochet Cozy Cabin Throw  Knit Log Cabin Pocket Blankie  Crochet Neutrals Log Cabin Afghan

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Learn to Crochet a Granny Square!

June 21st, 2013

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grannies slide openerAfter crocheting what I was sure was the world’s longest crochet chain (it was at least 60 feet long, but far short of the world record) in fourth grade, I finally decided it might be time to learn another crochet technique. I sat with my grandmother that summer at the kitchen table in our shore house as she crocheted a baby pink granny square, walking me through each step. She fastened hers off without disconnecting, so I could practice on the same length of yarn. Once I got the hang of it, I went around and around on that same square, until each successive skein of pink, purple and white ran out, but I always left my grandmother’s square attached. It’s a wonderful memory of her to keep now.

Making granny squares is a great way to learn to crochet, or to try out a new technique. Today, I want to share my grandmother’s lesson to me from 15 years ago with all of you! Check out this step-by-step tutorial to create your first granny square in ten minutes or less.

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