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.
|Crochet Driftwood Pullover||Knit Spring Essential Top|
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/tank. Take 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
Crochet Spring Pastel Scarf
Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton:
Crochet Modern Lace Shawl
Martha Stewart CraftsTM/MC Extra Soft Wool Blend:
Crochet Pearl’s Cardigan
Crochet Beach Cover Up
Knit Eyelet Swing Cardi
LB Collection Cotton Bamboo: Gardenia
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!
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:
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.
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.
Both crocheters and knitters can create wonderful colorwork simply by following a chart. See some examples in this blog post.
This unique looking lace is created with a special tool and a crochet hook. See this helpful video to see how it’s done.
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):
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|
|Neon Orange – Forth Worth Blue – New York White|
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!
|Crochet Fox Scoodie
Vanna’s Choice: Brick, Black
Vanna’s Choice Baby: Lamb
Knit Bunny Hat and Booties
Vanna’s Choice: White, Pink
Vanna’s Choice Baby: Pink Poodle
Knit Toddler Monkey Hat
Vanna’s Choice: Chocolate, Beige
Crochet Toddler Owl Hat
Vanna’s Choice: Barley, Chocolate, White, Terracotta
Knit Baby Animal ‘Froggy’ Hat
*Substitute “Lion Suede” yarn for Chenille in: Emerald, Terracotta, Porcelain
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!
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 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.
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
Click here for more knit shawls
Crochet New Years Shawl
Click here for more crochet shawls
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!
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 Crochet. Pictured 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.
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?
|Knit Cute Cabled Lamb||Crochet Wee Rabbit Egg Cozy|
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|