Halloween is 2 weeks away, and there’s still plenty of time to make yourself, a pet, or someone you know, a fun item for a costume or disguise. Today’s pattern round up includes simple designs that are sure to be gratifying projects because they can be completed before it’s time to celebrate. Be sure to check out the “Related Links” at the bottom of the page for more Halloween ideas and inspiration!
Knit Jack-O-Lantern Dog Sweater in
Knit Pumpkin Hat and Booties set in Vanna’s
Knit King of the Beasts (Lion) Dog Sweater in Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, Moonlight Mohair, Homespun and Chenille
Something I love about working in the yarn industry is all of the creative people you meet. Working with designers, artists, and writers constantly inspires me. One of my favorite people in the industry is extremely prolific designer Lily Chin.
Look her up on Amazon.com or Ravelry and you’ll find dozens of books and individual designs, ranging from accessible accessories to complex cables—reversible, no less!
But don’t take my word for it! Here are a few podcasts and videos from our collections featuring interviews with Lily herself:
Want to make your own Lily Chin original? Here are a few patterns she’s designed for Lion Brand that I think are awesome summer projects:
A flattering outfit can make you feel more confident and at ease. For plus-sized women, structured pieces, prints proportionate to your body, and details that emphasize your strongest assets can help you to look your best. For petite women, pieces that hit your body at the right places will help you look great. Discover some of our favorite tips.
Every year, the Fashion Institute of Technology’s (FIT) graduating seniors attaining a bachelor of arts in fashion design collaborate to present handmade collections for a professional runway show in New York City. Lion Brand has provided yarn for the knitwear design students over the years and is always proud to be part of such an inspiring and creative event. Lion Brand has been a long time supporter of FIT, and in 2009, a seminar room specifically designated for knitting, crocheting and jewelry making was dedicated to the late Isidor Blumenthal, Lion Brand’s 3rd generation President and CEO.
This year, I was able to attend FIT’s “The Future of Fashion: 2013 Graduates Collection“, and I was amazed by the designs that came down the runway made by students who will someday be fashion designers. It was so interesting to see how yarn used to make everyday garments and accessories can create high-fashion and out-of-the box designs. The specializations in the show included sportswear, special occasion, knitwear, intimate apparel, and children’s wear. Below, you’ll find some images from the seniors who worked on the knitwear collection.
Have you seen any interesting knitwear in fashion lately? Share with us in the comments!
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|