Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame

Archive for the 'Knitting' Category


How to Make a Custom Father’s Day Gift Dad Will Love!

May 20th, 2016

Pin It

hometown afghan

We have a public service announcement: Father’s Day will soon be upon us! The day to honor dad this year is Sunday, June 19 and this week we aim to answer the eternal question What do Dad’s want?  on their national day of celebration. Is it a tie? A wallet? A key chain? We think it’s something more personal; a gift that not only shows you love him, but that you also know what he loves, too!

Enter: our color customizable Hometown USA® afghans. It’s a simple project:

  • Step 1: Think of Dad’s favorite colors. Perhaps his college pride hues, or his hometown sports team?
  • Step 2: Choose your craft. If you’re a knitter, go with our Cabled Afghan pattern (below left); if you’re a crocheter, the Rise & Shine Afghan is the pattern for you! (below right)
  • Step 3: Visit our Hometown USA® page to find Dad’s favorite colors from the over 80 colorways available. Mix and match as you desire!
  • Step 4: Order all the yarn you need (15 balls for our knit afghan; 10 for our crochet afghan) in the colors Dad will love at 20% off!
  • Step 5: Knit or Crochet away, and give Dad a gift he’ll never forget!

Happy crafting, Happy Father’s Day, and please share your projects with us!

Knit Cabled Afghan Hometown USA® Crochet Rise & Shine Afghan

13 Patterns to Help Homeless Animals Get Lucky

May 12th, 2016

Pin It

Did you know that May 13-15 is National Pet Adoption Weekend? In celebration of the thousands of animals who will get lucky this Friday the 13th weekend, we’ve rounded up your favorite patterns to make for four-legged friends! From toys to sweaters to beds, these quick-make projects will warm human, feline, & canine hearts alike. Make one for your companion or for an animal in need of some TLC today!

hunters
Crochet Casual Friday Dog Sweater made with Heartland® Crochet Curl-Up Cat Bed made with Hometown USA® Knit Hunter’s Urban Dog Sweater made with Scarfie
Crochet Amigurumi Sardines Cat Toy made with Vanna’s Choice® Knit Modernist Dog Sweater made with Vanna’s Choice® Crochet Prospect Park Pretzel Cat Toy made with Vanna’s Choice®
Crochet Coney Island Frank Dog Toy made with Vanna’s Choice® Crochet Kent Street Bagel Cat Toy made with Vanna’s Choice® Crochet Romantic Dog Sweater made with Vanna’s Choice®
Knit Cat Bed made with Fettuccini® Crochet Poet Dog Sweater made with Homespun® Crochet Door Hanger Bouncy Cat Toy made with Wool-Ease®
redhook
Crochet Red Hook Cheeseburger Dog Toy made with Vanna’s Choice®

Want to see patterns for other furry critters? Let us know below!


Love that Lasts: Knitted Stuffed Animals

May 10th, 2016

Pin It

Want to knit a sheepdog?  Or an elephant, rabbit, bear, or skunk?  Go for it!  I began knitting toys decades ago, for myself as much as for special kids.  Lately I’ve been knitting toys for my grandchildren.  Knit a sweater for a toddler, and she’ll outgrow it in a season.  Knit a stuffed animal for a toddler, and she’ll have a forever friend.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I have two rules about knitting stuffed toys.  The first:  Always use a washable yarn that’s mothproof.  You want your animal to have a good, long life.  Acrylic is best for surviving love’s energy, moths, and the dust of time. I favor Vanna’s Choice® for its durability and clear, vibrant colors.  (I also admire that Lion Brand donates a percentage of Vanna’s Choice® sales to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.)

The second rule:  Assume that the toy will not look exactly like the pattern illustration. Just as expectant parents have a vague idea of how their newborn will look, so too do knitters have a general sense of a project’s outcome.  But stuffed animals, like kids, have characters independent of the creator, and they always become distinctive selves. I promise that you’ll be delighted by the uniqueness of your knitted pet.

Recently, when I made the Knitted Farm Animals Sheep Dog, I observed my rules, and I’m completely in love with the result.  Sheep Dog is knitted in black and white Vanna’s Choice® acrylic worsted.  Even though I carefully followed the instructions, he definitely has his own look, different from the pattern photo.  Why?

Unlike many toy designs, Sheep Dog is knitted on straight needles, rather than double points. Sheep Dog has twelve flat pieces that are sewn together. That’s significant sewing, and his face is embroidered, too. (Here’s a tip:  leave six inches of yarn attached to each piece after binding off, and use it for seaming.) The extra steps required by the sewing, as opposed to the fewer steps required by knitting in the round, impact the toy’s appearance.

Yet Sheep Dog has a flexibility enabled by the joint-like connections of some seams. If you look at the photo of Sheep Dog next to Babar (a free pattern on Ravelry, also knitted in Vanna’s Choice®), you’ll see that Babar’s legs—knitted on double points and integral to his torso—don’t bend, but Sheep Dog can easily sit because his legs are hinged to his body by seams.

Since Sheep Dog’s face is embroidered—except for his nose, which is a very small knitted triangle—each knitter will impart her own sewing “signature” to his features.  That’s the main reason his individual look is guaranteed.  Gauge, and density of stuffing, will also affect Sheep Dog’s appearance.  I stuffed Sheep Dog somewhat loosely, to impart a floppy “Beanie Baby” look.  Additionally, I didn’t strictly follow the designer’s instructions for sewing Sheep Dog’s ears or tail, because I wanted him droopy.

Sheep Dog took about a weekend to knit and assemble.  If you’re the kind of knitter who likes swift results, toys are good projects.  Just be aware that you might have a hard time surrendering your knitted pets for adoption.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


4 Ways to Style a Cowl!

March 26th, 2016

Pin It

You only need one ball of Shawl in a Ball to create a gorgeous shawl. But did you know that you could make a beautiful cowl from one ball? This self-striping yarn means that making a colorful cowl is absolutely effortless!

Shira modeled the Misty Haze Cowl and showed off a few ways that she likes to wear it!

Having trouble viewing this video? Click here: https://youtu.be/jwnb7IOwCdc

Get the pattern!
l50297a

 


9 Quick ‘n Easy Easter Patterns

March 12th, 2016

Pin It

Bunnies and baskets and eggs- oh my! With Easter right around the corner, you might be thinking there isn’t time to finish any DIY yarn crafts- but there is! The key to a handmade holiday? Keeping it small. It’s all about the accessories, and with these 9 little patterns you’ll be cracking open the homespun festivities in no time.

Try our crochet Amigurumi Bunny Basket for an adorable spin on your Easter morning, or knit the Bouncy Bunny Sock as a cuddly friend for your little one. For a mess free (and hook & needle free!) alternative to dyed eggs, scramble up some Over Easy Eggs.

You’ll be hopping from one project right to the next in no time- enjoy!

Amigurumi Bunny Basket Over Easy Eggs Bunny Dog
Crochet Amigurumi Bunny Basket made with Vanna’s Choice® Craft Over Easy Eggs made with Vanna’s Choice® Baby Knit Bunny Dog Costume made with Vanna’s Choice®
Chocolate Bunny
Knit Little Lamb made with Wool-Ease® Crochet Easter Basket made with Vanna’s Choice® Crochet Amigurumi Chocolate Bunny  made with Vanna’s Choice®
Amigurumi Bunny Egg Cozy Bouncy Bunny Sock Critter
Crochet Amigurumi Bunny Egg Cozy made with Wool-Ease® Knit Bunny Hat made with Modern Baby® Knit Bouncy Bunny Sock Critter made with Wool-Ease®
css.php