Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Crocheting' Category


Celebrate National Barbecue Month with Yarncrafts!

May 7th, 2013

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Though it’s often the 4th of July that we think of for cookouts, May is actually National Barbecue Month! It’s no surprise, really, as May is often the first chance we get to start enjoying warmer weather and pulling the cover off the once snow-covered grill out on the patio. With Memorial Day upon us in just a few short weeks, you may have a barbecue of your own to start preparing for, and why not work on something other than a menu? These patterns, from our site and Ravelry, are the perfect projects to celebrate National Barbecue Month–and enjoy straight through until Labor Day!

 Image of 4th Of July Apron Show off your patriotic side with this easy-to-crochet apron, made with Cotton-Ease. With a pocket in the front for your grilling tools or recipe, this apron is the perfect addition to your barbecue repertoire. Get the pattern here.
These simple grill mitts make grabbing hot skewers from the grill easy as can be. They can be knitted or crocheted in Lion Cotton or Kitchen Cotton in whatever color you fancy. Get the knit version here, or get the crochet version here. Image of Pot Holder / Grill Mitt

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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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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle with Recycled Cotton!

April 18th, 2013

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Earth Day is less than a week away, and that means sustainability, eco-friendliness, and recycling is at the forefront of many people’s minds. While crafting is by definition the creation of something new, there’s no reason not to be sustainable while doing so! Lion Brand has an array of different fibers that are eco-friendly, whether that means all-natural, organic fibers or recycled materials. I’ll be featuring all of these great green products over the next week. Today, let’s take a look at Recycled Cotton! This worsted weight blend is made with 72% recycled cotton that is sorted by color to minimize the amount of dye needed to churn out the finished product. The cotton comes from leftover fabric from the production of tee shirts that would otherwise be discarded, much like our Zpagetti yarn. Ready to get started? Here’s a round up of my top ten favorite patterns using Recycled Cotton.

Image of Driftwood Pullover Image of Spring Essential Top
Crochet Driftwood Pullover Knit Spring Essential Top

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On Trend: 6 Knit & Crochet Patterns in Spring Pastels

April 17th, 2013

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Spring has finally sprung, and it feels great to transition into a different wardrobe.  Spring is a fun season because you can show off multiple pieces with layered outfits, play around with bright and bold colors, or add just a touch of color with soft and sophisticated pastels.  Pastel colors aren’t just for babies, as they have become quite popular this season, and they’re an easy family of colors to incorporate into your knitwear.

Pastels add classic sophistication to an outfit, and they pair great with neutrals like gray, white and beige.  Below, I’ve gathered a few patterns already knit or crocheted in pastel colors to help you determine what kind of pastel piece you’d like to add to your wardrobe.  I personally love the Eyelet Swing Cardi in LB Collection Cotton Bamboo; it would pair very nicely with slim fitting khaki pants and a white top/tankTake a look at some of the options below for more pastel inspiration (click on the photos to access the patterns on LionBrand.com):


Knit Ballet Wrap
Superwash Merino Cashmere: Seafoam
Spring Pastel Scarf
Crochet Spring Pastel Scarf
Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton:
Petits Fours
Modern Lace Shawl
Crochet Modern Lace Shawl
Martha Stewart CraftsTM/MC Extra Soft Wool Blend:
Gerbera Daisy
Pearl's Cardigan
Crochet Pearl’s Cardigan
Microspun: Blush
beach cover up
Crochet Beach Cover Up
Cotton-Ease: Seaspray
Eyelet Swing Cardi
Knit Eyelet Swing Cardi
LB Collection Cotton Bamboo: Gardenia

*For more pastel palettes, check out the colors in: LB Collection Angora Merino, Baby’s First and Babysoft

Thinking of incorporating a pastel piece into your knitwear? Share your thoughts on what type of pastel project you’d like to work on in the comments!

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5 Crochet Techniques We Love

April 7th, 2013

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5 Crochet Techniques We Love | Lion Brand Notebook (blog.lionbrand.com)

I think that every crocheter and knitter should be open to trying new skills–by challenging yourself as a crafter, you grow your abilities and open up the possibilities of making even more amazing projects.

On a recent episode of YarnCraft (that’d be our podcast or downloadable online radio show), we talked a little bit about 5 crochet techniques we think that everyone should try! Here they are:

1. Tunisian Crochet

This technique involves two passes of the crochet hook (one to pick up loops onto the hook–bearing a resemblance to knit stitches on a needle–and one to work those loops off the hook) and creates a fabric that can look woven or knitted. Click here to learn more about this interesting skill.

2. Broomstick Lace

Create beautiful lace stitches with just your basic single crochet and a large knitting needle (or a handle…like that of a broomstick)! Find out how in this easy photo tutorial.

3. Intarsia

Both crocheters and knitters can create wonderful colorwork simply by following a chart. See some examples in this blog post.

4. Hairpin Lace

This unique looking lace is created with a special tool and a crochet hook. See this helpful video to see how it’s done.

5. Crochet Cables

Wonderful braids and raised textures are yours for the making with crochet cables. Learn just how easy this technique actually is with this blog post.

[Basic shell stitch pattern shown in swatch above can be found here; please note the photo above uses 4 colors and is shown sitting upside-down from the stitch pattern photo.]

To learn more about this episode of YarnCraft, click here. Use the player below to listen to the episode directly from this page (this particular segment starts at 27:24): 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Kicking Off Baseball Season with Yarn!

April 3rd, 2013

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The beginning of April means the start to a lot of things: spring blooms, warmer weather, and longer days. But as any sports fan knows, the first week of April means one thing: Major League Baseball’s Opening Day. Want to show your support for your favorite team? I’ve compiled a palette of colors for all 32 MLB teams in one of my favorite team-spirit yarns, Hometown USA. Not only is it soft and bulky so that projects will work up in a few evenings by the fire, it also comes in every bold color you can think of to support your favorite teams and schools.
I was lucky enough to attend the New York Mets Opening Day on Monday afternoon, and I brought the Mets-inspired blanket I’m knitting in Hometown USA along, using this color palette below!

 New York Mets Click to view detail of 135-401 Click to view detail of 135-109 Click to view detail of 135-100
Neon Orange – Forth Worth Blue  – New York White

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On Trend: 6 Fun Knit & Crochet Animal Accessories for Kids

March 29th, 2013

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There are a few fashion trends happening in knitwear apparel and accessories as of late, and “animal-like” knitwear is one of them. It seems that everywhere I look, whether it be online, in stores, or at street vendor stations – there are accessories with animal faces or ears on them.  The animal scoodies (scarf and hoody combined) and animal hats appear to be the most popular; it’s hard to resist getting these items because they’re so cute.

Lucky for you, since you know how to knit or crochet, you can make your own!  Below, I’ve rounded up a few of our patterns for children that incorporate animal elements for “aww” worthy projects.  If you’re ambitious, maybe you could knit the Bunny Hat and Booties set just in time for Easter!

fox scoodieCrochet Fox Scoodie
Vanna’s Choice: Brick, Black
Vanna’s Choice Baby: Lamb
Bunny Hat and Booties
Knit Bunny Hat and Booties
Vanna’s Choice: White, Pink
Vanna’s Choice Baby: Pink Poodle
Toddler Monkey Hat
Knit Toddler Monkey Hat
Vanna’s Choice: Chocolate, Beige
Crochet Owl Hat
Crochet Toddler Owl Hat
Vanna’s Choice: Barley, Chocolate, White, Terracotta
Baby Animal
Knit Baby Animal ‘Froggy’ Hat
*Substitute “Lion Suede” yarn for Chenille in: Emerald, Terracotta, Porcelain
 Baby Bear Hooded Jacket
Knit Baby Bear Hooded Jacket
*Substitute “Sasha” yarn for Homespun Thick & Quick
in Pearls or Dove (1 skein for 3-6 mos size)

What do you think about this trend? Have you been incorporating more owl faces or ears into your projects? Share with us in the comments!

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Advanced Crochet Techniques Part Four: Lace

March 25th, 2013

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As you’ve seen over the last four weeks, there is a ton that can be done with crochet. You never have to make the same style twice with all the possibilities crochet offers! Last week, we talked about textured crochet, which is often a thick, bulky style that evokes images of sitting by a ski lodge fireplace. Though it might be hard to believe in the still-frozen Northeast, the winter is finally beginning to thaw, and in anticipation of springtime, I’m going to take you to the opposite end of the spectrum today and talk about lace.

Crocheted lace is a wide-ranging topic. Some people think anything that has enough openwork and thin enough yarn or thread counts as lace, while others see it only as tatted thread.

Today, I want to give you a brief introduction to four common types of crocheted lace: broomstick lace, filet crochet, hairpin lace, and Solomon’s Knot.

Broomstick Lace

Image of <font color=red>Broomstick</font> Lace Crochet ShellBroomstick Lace gets its name from the original tools used to create it back in the 1800s. While now crafters often use large knitting needles, like our size 50 Speed Stix, the craft began by utilizing the long, narrow top of the broomstick, along with a crochet hook. It is also known as “jiffy lace” or “peacock eye crochet” because of how speedily it works up and the texture it creates. For a detailed tutorial on broomstick lace, click here.

The lacy yet structured material this stitch creates makes it ideal for springtime blankets and shawls or unique lightweight garments. This Broomstick Lace Shell, made with LB Collection Cashmere, is a perfect project to practice your technique and create a unique garment to wear as the weather gets warmer.

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How to Style a Triangle Shawl: Video and Patterns

March 21st, 2013

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I’m sure many of you have been shedding your heavy winter jackets preparing for warmer weather ahead.  Now is the perfect time to get started on projects that will be ready for when you need just a little extra warmth for your neck and shoulders, but not a jacket.  It’s the perfect time for a … shawl project!

The triangle shawl is a very popular pattern style and can be a staple piece to have because of its versatility.  Below, you’ll find some basic shawl patterns to get you started, along with a video displaying 7 different ways you can wear your shawl.  My favorite is the handkerchief style; check out the video and see for yourself.

 

Knit Indian Summer Shawl
Knit Indian Summer Shawl
Click here for more knit shawls
Crochet New Years Shawl
Crochet New Years Shawl
Click here for more crochet shawls
Shawl Stick: Scroll in Cherry
Shawl Stick: Scroll in Cherry
Click here for more shawl sticks and pins

Do you tend to start your shawl projects at the beginning of spring, or do you work on them all year long? Share your preferences with us!

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My Finished Project: Crochet Linked Jacket

March 20th, 2013

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Zontee's finished cardi

A few years ago, I met the super-talented Robyn Chachula, a crochet designer whose background in engineering gives her projects a wonderfully architectural logic. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Robyn better, and she’s always making crochet easy to understand through great charts and schematics.

As an admirer both of architecture and crochet, I couldn’t resist working up one of the fantastic patterns from her book Simply CrochetPictured is my version of Robyn’s Linked Jacket, worked in our Martha Stewart Crafts™ Extra Soft Wool Blend with a clasp from Gita Maria.

I love that simply through choosing my yarn and by selecting my own closure, I’ve made this pattern my own–that’s really one of the great joys of crocheting and knitting your own clothes.

If you’re interested in learning more about Robyn’s designs, check out these interviews with her:

Do you have a finished project that you want to show off? Leave a comment and a photo or click here to upload your project to our Customer Gallery.

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