Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Crocheting' Category


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.


Last Minute Easter Projects

March 19th, 2013

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Spring is just around the corner, but there is still time to get some last minute Easter patterns under your belt in anticipation of the season. I’ve rounded up a few for you. What will you be making to fill baskets or celebrate spring this year?

Image of Cute Cabled Lamb  Image of Wee Rabbit Egg Cozy
 Knit Cute Cabled Lamb Crochet Wee Rabbit Egg Cozy

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Advanced Crochet Techniques Part Three: Textured Stitches

March 18th, 2013

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Crocheters, are you craving more ways to add texture to your projects after last week’s post on crochet cables? The options for adding texture to your crochet work are seemingly endless, but I’ve rounded up a few good options here for this week’s advanced crochet techniques feature.

For starters, have you used our StitchFinder in the Learning Center? It’s a really awesome tool for when you want to learn a new technique or motif without necessarily tackling a whole larger project. Some of the sampler squares and motifs even make for perfect practice projects that can ultimately be stitched together in a sampler throw or pillow. I rounded up four of the best StitchFinder tutorials for adding texture to crochet.

 
 Post Stitch Spoke Wheel Motif Popcorn Sampler Square

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Celebrating National Crochet Month: Enter Our Colorful Granny Square Giveaway!

March 15th, 2013

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As you know, it’s National Crochet Month, so we’re celebrating with great patterns and inspiration all month long!

Today, we’ve teamed up with our friends at St. Martin’s to bring you a great giveaway! Enter for a chance to win a copy of 100 Colorful Granny Squares to Crochet PLUS 3 balls of our colorful Kitchen Cotton yarn! It’s a bright and cheerful way to kick off the spring season!

Colorful Granny Square Giveaway

Crochet Granny Squares Giveaway!

« Click here to enter. »

FIVE LUCKY WINNERS will each get the prize. But as an added bonus, you can check out an exclusive pattern from the book by clicking here right now!

Good luck!

Please note: Comments left on this blog post do NOT count as entries. Please click on the link above to enter.

Update (3/25): The winners are…

Nancy Ulland, Christine McFadden, Amanda Carpenter, Elsa Pimenta, and Luna Nichols! Congratulations! We’ll be in touch shortly to get your prizes to you!


7 Knit & Crochet Projects for Spring

March 15th, 2013

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After a somewhat gloomy start to the week here in NYC, I really started to crave spring and things that were bright and cheery.  I also began to think about what my next project will be now that the weather is slowly warming up; so I decided to search for some bright patterns that were perfect for transitional and warmer weather.

Below, I’ve included a few patterns that have definitely got me in the Spring mood.  I simply adore the Child’s Sun Top in Cotton-Ease, and I love the Sunnyside Cowl, which only requires on skein of LB Collection Silk Mohair; it’s the perfect for cooler mornings and evenings. Take a look at the patterns and find some inspiration for Spring!

(Click here for pattern in image)

Summer TunicCrochet Summer Tunic
Cotton-Ease
Fiesta DishclothCrochet Fiesta Dishcloths
Kitchen Cotton
Sun and Sea Shawl
Knit Sun and Sea Shawl
Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton
Sunnyside Cowl
Knit Sunnyside Cowl
LB Collection Silk Mohair

Cotton Sun Hat
Knit Cotton Sun Hat
Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton

Child's Sun Top
Knit Child’s Sun Top
Cotton-Ease

What are your favorite projects to work on during the warmer months? Share with us in the comments?

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Get a Little Irrational: It’s Pi Day!

March 14th, 2013

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Okay, so maybe you haven’t heard of National Ear Muff Day, which just passed yesterday, but if you’ve been anywhere near a secondary school math classroom in the last decade–or have math nerd friends like I do–you’ve probably heard a thing or two about Pi Day. The Reader’s Digest Version? It’s March 14–3/14–and Pi, the irrational number that is related to the circumference and diameter of a circle, is approximately equal to 3.14, though the decimal places are though to go on forever. You can learn a little more about Pi here, or you can just dive in to some of the fun mathematical-themed knitting and crochet patterns I found on Ravelry to celebrate Pi.

 Knit Irrational Scarf by Anne Bruvold Knit Pi Digits Scarf by Christina J
   
Knit Pi Dish Towel by Shannon Servesko  Crochet Amigurumi Pi by Alicia Kachmar

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Unlock the Secrets of Crochet Cables

March 12th, 2013

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Crochet Celtic Afghan

Knitting teacher and author Heather Lodinsky joins us for another article on the wonderful world of cables. Click here to read her previous blog post on knitting cables.

Creating cables with yarn may conjure thoughts of knitting—but did you know that this magic twisting of stitches can be worked in crochet?  Last month, we explored how cables in knitting are created by the use of a cable needle to change the order of stitches and to shape the resulting left or right twist of the cable.   The first time I saw a crochet cable pattern, I thought there must be a complicated technique  to “twist” stitches that were already worked.  In knitting, cables are made rearranging the order of “live” stitches (ones that are not bound off, or finished).  So, with the exception of the one loop on your crochet hook, how do you create a cable with stitches that are already finished?  The answer lies in how you work each stitch and in which order they will be worked in a given row.

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Advanced Crochet Techniques Part Two: Colorwork

March 11th, 2013

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In celebration of National Crochet Month, I’ll be featuring advanced crochet techniques each Monday on the Notebook. Missed last week’s feature on Tunisian crochet? Check it out here.

No matter what you call it–colorwork, tapestry crochet, fair isle, intarsia, jacquard or otherwise–the art of working a design into the fabric of a crocheted product simply by changing colors is a skill that never gets tired. Though intarsia has long been popular in Scandinavian-inspired knitwear, especially sweaters in rich neutrals, it is a method that lends itself to nearly any personal style, from formal and traditional to the fun, “geeky” project a friend is doing with the logos of favorite video games. Whether you seek to create a colorful abstract jacquard pattern or really want a blanket with your favorite sports team’s logo stitched in, learning colorwork is the way to get there.

As difficult as it may look, the great news about colorwork–which is most typically called tapestry when talking about crochet–is that it’s a relatively easy skill to learn, and only requires the patience of changing colors multiple times and following a chart as opposed to a typical pattern.

step2 colorwork  All you have to do to change a color mid-row is to crochet your stitch except for the last yarn over and pull through.
step1 colorwork The last yarn over will be with your new color, and you’ll pull that color through the two loops left on your hook from the previous color.
step3 colorwork Once you’ve linked that new yarn in, you’ll continue crocheting as you had previously.Just don’t forget to weave those ends in as you would any other end to ensure your treasured project doesn’t unravel!

Now that you know the basics of how to change colors in crochet, take a look at some of these crochet blocks from stitch finder that will put those skills to work!
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