Hand-knit and hand-crocheted items make great gifts to be treasured and loved. Make them even more special by making them unique. Pick colors special to you or your recipient and you’re sure to please, says Jackie Smyth, our technical editor. In this interview, Jackie shares more great tips.
Knitting and crocheting are great for handmade gifts that really reflect the giver or the recipient. What’s a simple recommendation about how to customize a project?
One word—COLOR. The great thing about patterns is that it’s easy to choose other colors in the same yarns and get a totally different look. To make a pattern really personal, choose colors that you like or that have representative meanings to the recipient. Perhaps they love autumn colors or spring colors. The right colors can add a lot of depth to a project.
What if you are nervous about choosing colors that will go together?
Going with a yarn that has a great color range is often a good place to start. The Lion Brand Design team works to create yarn collections that are designed that coordinate beautifully.
What’s a yarn you might recommend for someone looking for easy-to-match yarns?
Vanna’s Choice is a great yarn for mixing and matching colors. All of the solid colors in this collection are designed to match and coordinate. You could use three colors in one family—say, Dusty Rose, Rose, and Antique Rose—to get a light-to-dark effect, or you could pick a few contrasting colors like Purple, Chocolate, Pea Green, and Rust that will really pop against each other.
It’s good to look for inspiration from the things around you. Flowers are one place to find unexpected but beautiful contrasting colors. Fashion and architecture are other places to draw inspiration.
|Crocheted Squares Afghan||Knit Boy’s Striped Cardigan|
Would you recommend a few colorful patterns for our readers?
For a simple project, I like the Not-Your-Average-Granny Scarf pattern. We’ve carefully plotted the colors for each square, so that it’s an exciting color journey, but I would encourage you to be playful and experiment with your own color combinations. Feel free to exchange the colors between squares–have fun!
Next, I like the Squares Afghan. I think it’s just stunning in the palette we chose, but you can choose also choose colors that go with your own home décor.
My third recommendation, the little Boy’s Striped Cardigan, is a wonderful example of how just a shot of color can spice up a wardrobe basic. It shows that you can add a few or many colorful jolts of color with simple stripes that are easy to incorporate into any pattern.
Don’t be afraid to change the colors in a pattern to suit you better. That’s the great thing about knitting and crocheting; you can really make every item your own.
A version of this article first ran in The Weekly Stitch newsletter in August 2007. Click here to sign up for the newsletter and get articles, free patterns, and exclusive offers in your inbox each week.
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!
As we head into spring, there are more days when you need to start and end the day with a light sweater, but you may want it to be something easy to throw on and off as necessary. That, to me, is quintessential shrug weather. Relatively quick to knit or crochet, they’re great projects for “just because” gifts. Make one for your best friend, your mother, your goddaughter, or your niece. Whip one up for your little girl, your sister, or your coworker.
Whether their style is earthy and simple, a little glitzy, or fancy, we have patterns that are just right for them.
|Crochet Acorn Shrug||Knit Crowded Cable Shrug||Knit Sparkling Shrug|
|Knit Stockinette Stitch Shrug||Crochet Glittery Shrug||Simple Crochet Shrug|
I was immediately attracted to the Bellini yarn when we were given a few skeins to play with in the office. The bold texture appealed to me since I love making a statement with my style. I imagined knitting with the cushy fringe between my fingers and knew I had to work with it. As I was pondering what I would make with it, it occurred to me that the Turin colorway looked a lot like fur. What kind of accessory could I make that would be different and would lend itself to the the fur-like texture? Then it hit me – I should make boots!
In 1912, Lion Brand released a pattern book, “Manual of Worsted Work for Those Who Knit and Crochet”, which was wildly successful in its release. The book contains plenty of vintage patterns ranging from cardigans, afghans, hats and more. Since it was so successful, Lion Brand released another book in 1916 (Lion Yarn Book, pictured left) with more great vintage styles reflective of that time.
What I find interesting about looking at these vintage patterns is that they’re still relatively similar to styles worn today (albeit, there may be a bit more ribbon incorporation in some of the older styles). If you’re a lover of antique patterns, you’ll enjoy the Lion Yarn Book and its assortment of patterns. Below, I’ve created a side by side comparison of some of the older styles found in the 1912 and 1916 books with more modern styles that have similar silhouettes – have a look for yourself!
Ladies’ Knitted Derby Coat
Ladies’ Light Weight Knit Coat
Knit Fitted Jacket
A few weeks ago, we shared a guest blog post from Jessica in our sales department. Jessica is a big fan of crocheted infinity cowls and told us a little bit about her recent project. In response, we got this email from Esther C.:
“My daughter is short like me, and I am trying to tell her these cowls that you can use different ways would make us look top heavy. Do you agree? Is there a pattern for easy/intermediate that would fit the bill – maybe one using lighter weight yarn?”
First off, I just want to say that Jessica is petite (about 5 foot 2 inches or so), so shorter women can definitely wear infinity scarves! I think the key is simply to consider the scale of your project versus your proportions. A very long scarf may look disproportionate on a shorter person, but look just right on a taller person, and vice versa.
As a shorter woman myself, I like cowls that are more closely fitting around the neck (instead of dangling further down the torso). Here are a few options in that style:
|Knit Gray Lace Cowl||Knit Pale Gray Lace Cowl||Crochet Cardiff Cowl|
Winter in New York City can get sort of dreary with all the neutral-toned outerwear shrouding the fashion sense that the city is known for. So I decided to infuse my winter look with some color to lift my spirits! I fell in love with the vibrant hues of our Bonbons yarn and thought that a colorwork project would be perfect to showcase it.
One thing I love about a nice, deep knitted or crocheted hat is that you can wear it more than one way. Roll up the brim for a close-fitting beanie, or wear it unfurled for a slouchy effect. Get some ideas with this new video from our YouTube channel:
Want to make a jaunty beret but need ideas for how to wear it? Here’s a video just for berets:
Rectangular shawls and wraps are so fun and easy to make, but did you know how versatile they are? The possibilities are endless! Check out our 7 favorite ways to wear the Crochet Maple Shade Wrap in this quick styling video.
Want more styling tips? Click here to visit our YouTube channel for even more videos. Want to see our newest videos as soon as they’re posted? Click here to subscribe to our channel (must be logged in to YouTube to subscribe).
Each year Pantone, the leading color authority, announces the hottest shade of the year. The big color for 2013 is Emerald, a rich, cool shade of green. In the words of Pantone, Emerald is “Lively. Radiant. Lush… A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.” Personally, I love how serene and calming this shade is, and I can’t wait to incorporate it into my yarncrafting! Want more Emerald in your crafting, too? Here are our favorite Emerald yarns for the coming year.
What do you think of this trend? Will you be using Emerald in your yarncrafting projects this year?