Sometimes when I’m shopping and I see a garment or accessory I really want, I think about the different ways to style it, making the item itself very versatile. For instance, I really like my denim jacket because I can roll up the sleeves different lengths and I can partially pop the collar for a different look. I can then pair it with a skirt or jeans for a more casual look…the choices go on.
The finished pattern images you see on LionBrand.com show you one way to style an item, but today, I’ll show you alternate ways to style 5 hats.
|Crochet Ball Park Hat
We definitely like the slouch effect of the hat as modeled for the pattern, but think about playing around with your hat ribbing. You can fold up the ribbing to let more hair show, and also to create a tighter fit.
It’s been a pretty mild winter here in NYC, and now that we’re closer to the first day of spring; I think we’re slowly starting to transition our closet wardrobe into some lighter garments or sweaters to keep us comfortable amidst the changes. Below you’ll find some patterns and inspiration for projects to get you ready for spring. Just click on the image for the pattern.
These jackets/cardigans are great for looking stylish while you’re out running some errands, picking up the kids from school, or even heading out for a date; they will be a great final touch to your outfit.
Matinee Swing Jacket
Textured Raglan Jacket
If you’ve mastered scarves, shawls, and other rectangular objects, you may be thinking about what else you can make. Or perhaps you want to make a garment, but you like instant gratification and don’t want to think about sleeve shaping, buttonholes, etc. Luckily for you, we have a lot of basic shrug projects on LionBrand.com that are just rectangles seamed up to create “sleeves.” These shrugs come in all shapes and sizes, so be sure to browse through all of our various patterns to find the one that’s right for you.
How does a rectangle of fabric (plain or with a design) become a shrug? With a little help from Lion Brand Yarn Studio manager Michelle and the Golden Honey Shrug pattern, I’ve put together this quick guide to help you understand the construction of the shrug. (Click on the photos to enlarge.)
| Sew the Seams
What all of the patterns highlighted in this blog post have in common is that the “sleeves” of the shrug are made by simply seaming up several inches of the edges of the rectangle, leaving a space in the middle for you to put the shrug on. It’s quick and easy, but if you need a little help with your seaming, be sure to check out our tutorials.
|The Back of the Shrug
This particular shrug is designed to be a cropped length, so it sits just above Michelle’s waist, but we do have lots of patterns for oversized shrugs too. Click here for our fan-favorite Simple Crochet Shrug.
|The Front of the Shrug
Some shrug patterns, like this one, will have a very open front, in which you’ll mostly only see the sleeves when viewing it from the front. Depending on how “tall” the rectangle of the shrug is and how it’s seamed up, you’ll find that some shrugs will have more of a short-sleeved-cardigan-like look. Click here for an example, our Knit Ruffle Shrug.
The taller the rectangle, the more the fabric will show at the front (and the longer the back of the shrug). The wider the rectangle, the longer the “sleeves”.
|Shaping through Stitch Patterns
In this particular shrug, we’ve used 1×1 ribbing on the edges of the rectangle to create cuffs. Even though there’s no increasing or decreasing in this shrug’s overall stitch count, the ribbing creates an illusion of the fabric gathering. We use this in other ways on other shrugs. For instance, with our Knit Speckled Shrug, ribbing is used to create a “collar,” while in our Crochet Sequoia Shrug, the overall back-loop stitches (which create a ribbed look) add a lot of shape on their own, so no additional stitch pattern is needed.
Customizing Your Shrug
A wider shrug will look good on someone who is tall and broader-shouldered like Michelle, but you could adjust the size of your shrug to fit your body by increasing or decreasing the width and/or seaming up more or less of the rectangle to change the length of the “sleeves” versus the “body.” For tips on adjusting rectangle-based patterns, click here for an article on this topic from LionBrand.com.
Design Your Own Shrug with Stitch Patterns
You’ll notice that with the Golden Honey Shrug that we’ve got a lace pattern in the middle, seed stitch at the top and bottom edges to create the “collar,” and the ribbing to create cuffs. (It’s easiest to see in the photo of the back.) By mixing and matching stitch patterns (check out the Stitch Finder on LionBrand.com), you can create your very own shrug pattern that’s designed just for you.
For even more rectangular shrug options, check out:
So you’ve mastered the scarf and hat, perhaps even the baby sweater, and now you want to move on to a new type of project. Ring in the new year by knitting or crocheting your first adult sweater! With just a few simple skills, you’ll be well on your way to a cozy handmade garment. Here are 5 patterns perfect for your first adult sweater.
|One of the simplest sweater constructions is the top down raglan. The Cropped Raglan Sweater is a classic example, featuring beautiful eyelet increases and a breezy open front. Best of all, there are no big seams to sew! Although the suggested yarn has been discontinued, this sweater would look great in any of our other worsted weight yarns. Skills needed (click each skill for instructions): cast on, knit, purl, knit 2 together, yarn over, increase, and bind off.|
|Similarly, the Crochet Summer Swing Jacket is shaped through easy raglan construction. It looks great in any worsted weight yarn, so you have tons of options for fibers and colors! Get creative; the single button closure is perfect for highlighting a truly unique vintage button. Skills needed: chain, half double crochet, decrease, increase, and slip stitch.|
|This cozy unisex Nautical Stripes Pullover utilizes simple construction, but it stays interesting with horizontal stripes. Because it’s made with bulky Homespun and larger needles, this sweater works up quickly. Skills needed: cast on, knit, purl, knit 2 together, slip, make 1, and bind off.|
|The Crochet Side-to-Side Cowl Neck Sweater looks complicated, but it’s anything but! The pullover is worked vertically with no increasing or decreasing; the stretchy rib provides all of the shaping that you need. Skills needed: chain, half double crochet, through the back loop, and slip stitch.|
|Our easy Knit Eloise Eyelet Cardi was so popular for children that we had to make an adult version! The impressive lace yoke is a simple combination of yarn overs and knit 2 togethers. The cropped sleeves and single button closure make this cardigan a wardrobe staple. Skills needed: cast on, knit, purl, knit 2 together, yarn over, make 1, and bind off.|
Remember, the most important step to making a sweater that fits is to make a gauge swatch! Happy yarncrafting!
Bouclé knitwear is making a comeback for 2012; it’s been featured in the collections of fashion designers such as Bottega Venetta, Max Studio and Philosophy Di Alberta Ferretti. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for designer bouclé, you can easily knit or crochet your own piece with our bouclé style yarns in Homespun and Silky Twist (a new addition to our family).
|Bottega Venetta||Max Studio||Philosophy Di Alberta Ferretti|
Traditional bouclé is constructed with 3-plies, with one strand a bit looser than the others to create a loopy textured yarn. When knitted or crocheted, the yarn appears a bit bumpy or “nubby”, giving the garment a unique quality. Since bouclé yarn has so much texture to it, it is best to stick with a simple stitch–complicated stitches get lost with all of the loops and bumps involved. Here are some bouclé patterns to start off a new project for the new year:
Crochet in Silky Twist
Long and Lean Jacket
Knit in Homespun
Honest Warmth Shawl
Knit in Homespun
Crochet in Homespun
Do you have experience with bouclé yarns? Have you tried Silky Twist, our bulkier bouclé? If you’re interested in learning more about knitwear trends for 2012, check out one of our previous posts by Jess, 3 Favorite Trends for 2012.
With 2011 quickly winding down, I’ve begun prepping my 2012 yarncrafting queue. I’ve noticed a lot of great trends in stores that are also appearing in knitting and crochet. Here are my 3 favorite trends that I’m adding to my to-do list.
The classic granny square has become fashionable in a very big way. British fashion label House of Holland has embraced the trend with bright 70′s colors in tights, jackets, and more. For a modern touch, try more neutral tones, such as those featured in Etsy seller SheepishKnitCrochet’s cowl. My favorite thing about granny squares is that they look amazing in any yarn! I made the square in the upper right in Martha Stewart Crafts Alpaca Blend in Parakeet, Green Eucalyptus, and Meadow Green for a tonal look. Get inspired with more than 50 granny square patterns; click here to view them.
Faux fur is perfect for keeping cozy in winter. Of course, neutral accessories are always popular, such as this furry Gap hat (center) and our Cushy Crochet Cowl (right). This season, fur is taking on bright, bold shades, including this pink Paula Lishman shrug. Try using Luxe Fur for a plush look, or use Fun Fur or Martha Stewart Crafts Glitter Eyelash for an exciting pop of color.
Traditional stripes are always in style, and a new wave of slowly shifting striped yarns has modernized this classic look. This trend is especially popular in sweaters, pictured here from British brand House of Fraser (left) and popular American retailer Urban Outfitters (right). Yarns like Amazing (pictured center in the Knit Shapely Stripes Pullover), Tweed Stripes, Homespun, and Vanna’s Colors create this bold color effect without having to change skeins.
What trends have you noticed for the upcoming year? What are you adding to your to-do list? Let us know in the comments!
If you look around at the winter accessories and knitwear in the stores right now, you’ll probably notice a lot of faux fur. Faux fur is a big trend for this winter season, and lucky for you, you can knit or crochet the beautiful items you see in the stores. Faux fur designs are stylish, cozy and luxurious (and animal friendly!); below are some lovely patterns highlighting faux fur designs you’ll want to have for years to come.
Homespun, Fun Fur
|Knit Vest with Fur Trim
Vanna’s Choice, Fun Fur
|Knit Fur Luxe Neck Warmer
Wool Ease Thick & Quick, Fun Fur
|Knit Cushy Fur Cowl
| Cushy Crochet Cowl
|Glamorous Furry Scarf
Vanna’s Glamour, Fun Fur
Faux fur yarn might look intimidating when wrapped in a skein, but it can work up into some beautiful pieces. I’ve actually knit a cowl in Wool Ease Chunky (Fisherman) and paired it with a Luxe Fur (Camel) trim and it’s super warm and cute! Will you be adding any faux fur to your pieces this winter?
This is a guest post from Jen Geigley. She’s a graphic designer, knitter, blogger, and maker. She documents her crafting and life at heyjenrenee.com
Simple definitely doesn’t have to be boring, and there’s no need for chunky to be frumpy. Chic, modern chunky knits are everywhere this season. Bulky scarves, hats, cowls and shawls are quick to knit up and there are so many ways to wear them. Adding a chunky accessory over a sweater or dress not only keeps you cozy but adds that extra dramatic touch. Tuck a chunky cowl under your favorite peacoat or layer it over the top of a jacket for an extra pop of color. I find that keeping the stitch pattern simple only accentuates the appeal of the bulky yarn, making the stitch definition really stand out. I truly love a sea of super chunky stockinette!
Here is a roundup of my most favorite Lion Brand patterns that call for chunky or super bulky yarn. Any of these projects would be perfect for gift-giving this holiday season. Since they’re quick to make, you’ll most likely have time to make more than one! The best part? Most of these projects are ideal for beginners. Some patterns suggest a different yarn than what I’ve used, but that’s what makes bulky knitting even more fun – experiment and I’m sure you too will find yourself loving the results.
Openwork Crocheted Cowl using Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Charcoal, Two-Hour Knit Scarf using Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Eggplant (with added fringe), Learn to Knit Cuff using Martha Stewart Crafts Lofty Wool Blend in Spring Green
What are your favorite chunky yarns? Let us know in the comments!
Yarncrafting inspiration can come from many places. For some, it comes from a particular silhouette or the style of a particular period. For others, it’s color or texture. Recently, we’ve been seeing all kinds of amazing designs inspired by the world of Jane Austen, and our friends at Running Press Book Publishers have shared with us one of their newest books, Austentatious Crochet, which is filled with romantic designs that any Austen-fan will love. They’ve also provided us with a FREE pattern from the book to share with you!
Click the image below to download your very own copy of the pattern for Anne’s Spencer, a cropped jacket that’s sure to become a staple in your wardrobe. (It’s definitely now on my to-crochet list!)
Pattern excerpted with permission from Austentatious Crochet © 2011 by Melissa Horozeski, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book group. Photos © 2011 by Chris Hynes.
Looking for more period-inspired yarncrafting? Our friend Michelle Edwards designed a beautiful knit shawl inspired by the Prohibition years. Learn more and get her directions by clicking here.
Do you love the world of Jane Austen? Has it inspired you to take on any period knitting/crochet projects? Leave a comment and tell us about it!
It’s always a challenging finding the perfect gift for the friend who has everything, but what about the perfect gift for the crafter who makes everything? Get ready to wow the knitters and crocheters in your life and show them how much you appreciate their careful, loving work with any of the gifts below. If you are a yarncrafter, share this post with your friends and family to show them what’s on your holiday wishlist this year.
|Ergonomically designed tools are a great for crafters who are always working. The Ergonomic Crochet Hook Set has a rounded base that makes it comfortable to hold, and a wide variety of interchangeable hooks means you can work with yarn of almost any gauge.|
|Another perfect gift for busy hands, Stress Relief Gloves help rejuvenate tired hands and, when worn while crafting, help keep wrist and finger fatigue at bay. They can also be worn during regular activities beyond crafting, helping keep those crafting hands healthy and comfortable.|
|With this Yarn Cutter Pendant the knitters and crocheters in your life will never have to search for their scissors again! Tiny, well-protected blades keep fingers safe and easily cut through yarn of nearly any size. The pendant itself makes a very fashionable pendant or key chain.|
|Every knitter and crocheter loves being able to find their tools quickly and easily. A tool case like the Lily Combo Needle Case makes it easy to locate needles, hooks, stitch markers and more all at a quick glance. A gift like this will save the yarn lover in your life from the frustration of losing tools and having to replace them.|
|Buying yarn for another person can be a challenge; color, quantity and fiber content are often very personal preferences. A gift certificate is the best way to help your crafty friends and family get exactly the yarn they want, in exactly the right amount.|
|If there’s one thing that yarn crafters love, it’s trying out new techniques and learning new skills. The Martha Stewart Crafts Knit & Weave Loom Kit is a wonderful present for those who already knit and would like to try loom knitting, or those who want to learn to knit but don’t enjoy working with needles. It’s also a very versatile weaving loom. With over 100 patterns on LionBrand.com specifically designed for the loom kit, it will be easy to find new projects to try.|
Often, the best gift for busy crafters is time. Homemade coupons for babysitting and household chores never go out of style for knitters and crocheters who would love just a little extra time with their hooks and needles. A special holiday tea or coffee blend would be a relaxing gift to enjoy while crafting, and a series of books on tape would make a perfect gift for a literary knitter or crocheter whose hands are always busy.
Want even more tips on shopping for yarncrafters this holiday season? Click the link below to check out the newest episode of our podcast, YarnCraft, for more gift-giving tips whether you’re adding items to your own wishlist or shopping for yarn-loving friends:
What gifts have you given or received that were prefect for crafters? Is there anything special you’re hoping for this year? Leave a comment to share your story with everyone.