As a knitter I always wonder when I travel, “can I bring my knitting needles with me?” That’s a question that maybe you ask yourself too. My co-worker Sarah wrote this post which offers some helpful tips for traveling with knitting and what handy dandy tools we’re allowed to use. I always use it as a guide, and this past trip I traveled to Montego Bay, Jamaica with no reason to worry, but I guess who doesn’t worry a little about getting their needles taken away from them.
Well now to the tale…
As I mentioned, I was just on vacation in Jamaica and I stayed in beautiful Montego Bay. Of course, being who I am — a diehard knitter — I brought my knitting along as I always do. I love to knit on the beach. I find it creates an ultra-calming feeling; the ocean, the knitting, no way to be stressed! I was working on my sweater and a gift for my friend. Everything was great.
But then it was time to go home.
I was going through security in Jamaica and I usually never have a problem with my bag, but this time I did. She asked if she could check my bag and I said, “of course.” What do I have to hide? But then as she went through my make-up and other bags inside, I realized “MY NEEDLES!” I started to get really nervous, not only nervous, but a slow-motion anger was building inside my belly!
I thought I was going to need to fight someone!
Thank goodness I didn’t have anything on my needles, but she was looking at them in question, like “what are these?” She then went to her supervisor and asked if they were “ok?” I felt like she was talking about my children. I mean she was holding at least $60 worth of needles in her hands … needles I hold like they’re new borns!! I was standing there thinking, “How could she be treating them like this?!” Not to mention the fire in my belly that was growing faster and faster…. These are my identity! Don’t you …. And then she threw them back in my bag and attempted to be neat, but wasn’t. I closed my bag up and it took about five breaths to bring me back down to this planet.
Tell me I’m not the only one!
I know I can’t be the only one who has been through this scare. Have your needles or crochet hooks ever been taken away from you? What did you do? How did you feel?
March is National Crochet Month – making it the perfect time to learn to crochet or perfect a stitch. Lion Brand offers many great resources to learn: there’s our Learning Center for step-by-step instructions, Stitchfinder to find the perfect stitch to practice, and our YouTube Channel if you’re a visual learner. We even have a Craftsy class to show you how to crochet your very first cowl.
Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran looking for new tricks, here are some great tips to get you started on your next crochet project:
So pick up a hook, some yarn and learn a new skill!
Big personalities have helped some cats like Grumpy Cat, Lil’ Bub and Keyboard Cat to achieve celebrity status on the internet, but we think they’re ALL stars! With that in mind we’ve created a special gallery where you can share your favorite felines with the world. Post your pics of crafting with cats on your favorite social media site (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and simply include the hashtag #LBcats!
You can also upload your pics directly to our gallery here:
Make your furry friend a special #Caturday treat with these patterns for knit and crochet!
Amigurumi Sardines Cat Toy
Amigurumi Fortune Cookie Cat Toy
*** Click on the project you’d like to make and choose from two kits: one that contains the pattern and yarns; or one that contains everything – the pattern, yarns, needles and hooks. ***
Today, we’ve got a great tutorial for you by Vanessa from the Crafty Gemini! Vanessa will show you how to create a simple cowl in our beautiful, self-striping yarn, Amazing. This cowl works up extremely fast and will make a great gift for the upcoming holidays. Watch Vanessa’s tutorial below, and check out the link for her Amazing giveaway!
Click here for: 45 Minute Cowl Pattern
Click here for: Amazing yarn giveaway
We’re so happy we found Kim Guzman‘s three-part tutorial for the Tunisian Crochet Entrelac Throw. Considered to be an intermediate level three pattern, Kim’s tutorial will guide you though this special technique.
Get everything you need to make this afghan in one kit (in the colors seen in the photo to the right) OR we have an alternate version with different colorways available too.
Kim’s easy tutorial is below in a three-part playlist.
If you enjoyed Kim’s tutorial and are interested in Tunisian crochet techniques, check out her YouTube channel for more tutorials .
Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo is an expert in the area of using crafting to heal, having researched the topic extensively for her book Crochet Saved My Life. This is part 5 in her 6-part series for us on the topic of yarncraft health. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.
We have discussed a lot of ideas for using crafts to improve your mental and physical health. But what about the reverse – improving your health so that you can be a better crafter? It turns out that one can help the other in a cycle of ongoing self-improvement.
One of the main complaints that knitters and crocheters have is that their crafts can cause them hand pain. This includes carpal tunnel and other repetitive strain injury. You can reduce that by doing regular hand exercises. Keeping your hands limber will allow you to yarncraft for longer periods of time.
It’s a case of one hand washing the other because as you do needlecrafting, you loosen certain parts of your hands. Many people have reported that crochet helps them reduce symptoms of arthritis for example. So you can do hand and finger exercises in order to crochet better and then the more you crochet, the less your hands are likely to hurt.
Here are 9 hand exercises for crafters’ fingers, thumbs and wrists.
Here is the latest installment of Lola, from its creator Todd Clark.
Want to crochet the Granny Baby Blanket too? Get the free pattern here and below.
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Check out the video below!
If you like this video, check out more tutorials from Yolanda at All Crafts Channel!
You may see patterns that talk about selvage stitches (sometimes spelled “selvedge”) and wonder what they could be referring to. All fabric has selvages; they are simply the left and right edges of the piece, or the first and last stitch of each row.
Some patterns specify to work a selvage stitch; you may notice that directions tell you to always knit the first and last stitch of the row or to slip the last stitch of each row. In these cases, the designer has factored in the selvage as part of the design to make it easier for you. However, if you’re creating your own design from a stitch dictionary or just winging it, understanding how to work those selvage stitches (or identify them, if you’re modifying a pattern), will be very helpful.
When you have pieces you are going to seam together, such as the front to the back of a sweater, you will use these edge stitches for seaming. They won’t be visible after the project is seamed. This is particularly useful when you’re creating your own design for a sweater or shrug, which may otherwise end up with yarn-overs and decreases on the edges of the design. Regardless of the pattern stitch used, if you work a stockinette selvage it will make seaming much easier. To do so, simply knit the first and last stitch of every row on the right side and purl them on the wrong side. If a stitch pattern is used, you might check and be sure that the pattern has allowed two extra stitches for seaming so you have a full repeat across after seaming.