Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Did You Know . . . ?' Category


Color Theory: Why We Gravitate Towards Certain Colors

August 2nd, 2015

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color theory
In this guest post by Phyllis Alberici, we discover how we perceive color, and how it affects us.

I’m wearing my bright yellow sweater today. The sun is shining and the daises are blooming. I’m loving life. Yellow does that to me. How do different colors affect you?

In the Fifties, as America emerged from two wars, color was making a comeback. Remember those big saucer sized clip on earrings in bright yellow, red lipstick, and poufy skirts and pedal pushers in summer colors? If you don’t, that’s OK because the Sixties were just ahead.

The Sixties were a time of tremendous change in the way we looked at color palettes. Colors were thrown together in the same paint pot and the result was an eye melting psychedelic interpretation of the color wheel. Tie dyed red, pink, purple, teal, yellow and orange walked the fashion runway together. Color had gone wild.

Color theory, which gained popularity in the Fifties and Sixties, along with Technicolor films and glossy movie star magazines, tells us that certain colors affect us more than others. Yellow is cheerful, red sparks strong emotion, peach is sublime, blue is calming and lifts our spirits, green centers us, black is sophisticated.

But what if there is no such thing as color? What if I told you that color is just a bunch of light wavelengths that hit the back of our eyes? It can’t be!

It’s all about physics. Light travels in wavelengths and those waves hit the back of our eyes in an area where the cones are gathered. These tiny receptors are each color coded so that one “sees” red, the other blue and so on. Our brain gets involved by interpreting the signals the cones send to it and the brain says, “Hey, that’s red.”

Our brains give us some pretty sophisticated data to work with and we interpret what it sent out as bright red, maroon, or even pink. All that really exists is those light waves. There isn’t any color. Color is a product of our amazing neurological system.

The light source under which we view color signals is important. If we’re in low light colors darken until navy blue looks like black. Our system shuts down. If we’re in fluorescent light then everything seems to wash out. How many crafters say, “I wish we had better lighting so you could see these colors better?” Artificial light causes colors to shade and confuses our color perception so that white might have a pink or blue hue. But it’s not real. If it wasn’t for the cones in our eyes we wouldn’t see color at all.

And this is where memory comes in. We carry a memory of color from our childhood, from clever marketing, from memorable events in our lives. We gravitate toward certain colors and shun others. Our brains store color memory in an intricate filing system that we can pull out when we buy clothes, decorate our homes, buy a car, or buy yarn. So go ahead, try new colors. Remember, you’re making memories.

Have you ever had a change of heart when it comes to color preferences? What colors do you gravitate to when selecting a pattern?

cabildo_cowl sparrow_fingerless drapey_cardigan
Knit Cabildo Cowlmade with Hometown USA® Knit Sparrow Fingerless Gloves made with Sock-Ease Knit Drapey Cardigan made with Vanna’s Choice®
curvy_crochet retro_swing_green everyday_elegance
Crochet Curvy Girl Tunic made withHeartland® Knit & Crochet Retro Swing Cardigan made with Hometown USA® Crochet Everyday Elegance Cardigan
Made with Vanna’s Choice®

No Ends to Weave In! Join Wool Seamlessly with the Felted Join!

June 3rd, 2015

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Whether you call it the Felted Join or the Spit Splice, this way of adding on a new ball of wool is perfect when you want to avoid having to weave in ends.

A few drops of water help wool fibers bind together — the result is seamless! Please note that this method is for wool yarn only! If you are interested in an invisible join for other types of yarn, check out our Russian Join tutorial.

Take a look at how we’ve done it:

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5 Patterns for Grown Ups, Made With Modern Baby®!

April 15th, 2015

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:: Trouble viewing the video above? Click here: https://youtu.be/vQVydwU5Zlo ::

April’s featured yarn is Modern Baby®! This chainette yarn was designed with fun baby projects in mind but the Lion Brand design department has also used Modern Baby® in runway-inspired patterns for adults! In the video above, Design Editor Susan Haviland joins our Brand Ambassador Shira Blumenthal for a behind the scenes chat to discuss how customers like you inspired these beautiful patterns.

Take a look at more Modern Baby® patterns for adults below!

Crochet Simply Constructed Pullover Knit Color Grid Pullover Knit Hopscotch Cowl
Knit Calypso Cardigan Knit Tribeca Tunic

Tea With Shira: Can You Guess How Many Lion Brand Yarns are Made in America?

April 3rd, 2015

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We love hearing from our customers and our Brand Ambassador Shira is on standby to answer your questions! First up, she reports on which Lion Brand yarns are made right here in the USA.

Check out the video below to learn more and bookmark our updated list of made in America yarns our right here.

::Have trouble viewing this video? Click here: https://youtu.be/b_soGG0Rl-8::

Do you have a question for Shira? You can leave them in the comments below or tweet her at @shiraroars and she just might answer your question in her next video!


2 Ways to Start a Circle in Crochet from Dora Ohrenstein

February 12th, 2015

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Learn 2 Methods for Crocheting a Circle

Thanks to our friends over at Storey Publishing, we’re sharing a handy excerpt from Dora Ohrenstein’s latest book, The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop (The Essential Techniques for Becoming a More Versatile, Adventurous Crocheter).

Dora’s latest book features numerous tips on gauge, crochet shaping and construction, colorwork and more – so we suggest that you go ahead and check out the book in its entirety, you’ll be glad you did.

In the meantime, have a look at the excellent excerpt below. Coupled with instructional photos, you’ll quickly and easily learn two different methods for starting a crochet circle – a ring with chains and the magic circle.

Try them out to see which method you like best!


Starting the Circle

There are several different ways to begin working in the round. You can make several chains (the most common method), make an adjustable ring, or use the first chain as a ring. Let’s look at the first two.

Make a Ring with Chains

To make a ring with chains, work several chains, then slip stitch in the first chain to form a ring. The number of chains is determined by how many stitches you intend to work into the ring and how tightly you want the ring to close. If you are following a pattern, the number of chains will be specified. Supposing, however, that you are working a hat pattern, and after working the specified number of chains and stitches in the first round, you find you have a larger hole at the center than you’d like. Go ahead and try again with fewer chains: it will cause no harm whatsoever. For other items worked in the round, such as motifs and flowers, the size of the “hole” at the center can make a difference, as it affects the overall size of the finished piece. In these instances, it’s wise to stick with the instructions as written.

Ring with chains

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