The research is in and there’s no denying it: people who knit and crochet have a much better chance at staying healthy, being happy and getting organized.
In the past few years, reports from authoritative sources such as CNN, the Huffington Post and Oxford University, cite evidence to support the fact that knitting and crochet can change your life in many ways … and for the better.
Health is a serious matter for all of us, so we took some time to compile our favorite writings on the matter; articles from Lion Brand bloggers such as Kathryn Vercillo and investigative reports from mainstream media outlets such as the Washington Post.
We hope that you find this round-up useful and that you’ll include knitting and crochet as part of your personal health and wellness plan. It works!
:: Treat yourself! Here’s a pattern for our Aromatherapy Eye Pillows (pattern available in knit and crochet) ::
Slip stitch patterns are an easy way to add color to your knitting; unlike Fair Isle and Intarsia, you knit with only one color per row so they are less complicated. When knitting slip stitch patterns, some stitches from a previous row are slipped and others are knit or purled with a new color.
When a row is completed, you will have stitches that are slipped which are a different color from the stitches that you just knit with the new color. The slipped stitches will be elongated; this will cause the stitch pattern to pull in, so check your gauge carefully if you substitute one in a pattern that calls for Stockinette or another less dense stitch pattern.
As you work on shaping a project, a pattern may ask you to increase or decrease a specific number of stitches evenly across a row or round. But it won’t tell you how often to do this…just to do it evenly.
You don’t want the increases or decrease bunched up together at one point because it would make your piece lopsided. To avoid this, you want them spaced as evenly as possible across the row or round.
So you’ll need to do some simple math in order to determine how often to increase or decrease so they are spread out evenly.
Example: Let’s say you have 100 stitches and the pattern calls for 10 increases. Dividing 100 by 10 equals 10, so you would increase once every 10th stitch.
Example: Suppose you have 110 stitches and you’re to increase 10 stitches. Adding 1 to 10 equals 11. Dividing 110 by 11 equals 10, so you would increase one stitch every 10th stitch.
Knitting in the round can seem daunting, but with a bit of practice, it’s no more difficult than knitting on straight needles. Here are some tips that I hope will make it a bit easier!
The appropriate circular needle length is the same size or slightly shorter than the circumference of the piece you are knitting. If it’s too short you’ll have trouble keeping all the stitches on the needle; if it’s too long, the fabric will be stretched too taut (this is why you need to switch to double points when decreasing the crown of a hat).
For some people, the usual way of knitting the first stitch of the round can be loose and therefore sloppy. You can tighten it up with the tail when weaving in the end later.
A better way to join it the round can be to cast on one extra stitch. Slip this stitch to the left (the first needle if casting on to double points); this is the beginning of the round and next to the first stitch you cast on. Then knit the two stitches together.
Still better, slip the first stitch you cast on to the right, next to the last cast on stitch. Pass the last cast on stitch (which is now the second stitch on the right) over the slipped stitch, give the yarn a tug and begin your round.
Aluminum needles can be slippery and your stitches will always want to slide off. Try bamboo or plastic.
Double points come in different lengths. Longer ones can be a bit more awkward but for larger number of stitches, you’ll need them so your stitches don’t fall off.
They come in sets of 4 or 5. If you have the option, always buy 5; then you’ll have it if you need it (and if one disappears you’ll have a spare!).
An increase adds stitches and creates shaping as a general rule. Lace patterns will use increases to balance decreases and you usually end the row with the same number of stitches you started with.
Many times, the pattern will tell you which specific increase to use; this is especially true with lace patterns. If the pattern tells you to simply increase, use the default increase: knit in the front and back of the same stitch (usually abbreviated kfb).
When working an increase in shaping, such as making sleeves wider, work them at least one stitch in from the edge. This makes seaming much easier.
Let’s take a look at some various ways to increase (click on any highlighted text to see diagrams:
As mentioned earlier, this is the default increase. It’s sometimes called a bar increase as it leaves a noticeable “bar” of yarn from the original stitch as it’s manipulated twice. It does not distort and it’s a perfectly fine increase except for the bar. If you don’t look closely, it will not be noticed.
Although there are many lovely scarf patterns available, a scarf is relatively simple to design, and it’s a great way to venture into your very first custom design. By understanding a five simple concepts, you’ll be able to design and knit or crochet beautiful scarves on your own.
While most basic crochet fabrics are relatively flat, many knitters venture into their own scarf pattern by simply working in stockinette stitch, and then they see it rolls and have knit what amounts to a big tube. Stockinette rolls. You can’t stop it. It’s the nature of the fabric that is produced when you knit one row and purl the next. What you can do is work the first and last 3 or 4 rows in garter stitch or seed stitch as well as the first and last 3 or 4 stitches in each row. This will usually keep a stockinette scarf from rolling.
Rainbow Ridge Scarf
Angora Lace Scarf
Gemini is the sign of the Twins and it’s the sign for birthdays from May 21 to June 21. Geminis are witty and inquisitive and, like other air signs, they value intelligence. The dual aspect of this sign means that those born under it are able to see things from multiple perspectives, making them excellent communicators. It’s no surprise that they are also great multi-taskers! People born under this sign are cheerful and personable, so chances are good you’ve got at least one friend who is a Gemini!
The colors in this scarf match the qualities of Gemini: yellow for curiosity, navy for intelligence, sapphire for eloquence, and aqua for optimism.
If you’ve got a friend with a birthday coming up, a handmade gift is always the way to go. Your Gemini friend will probably want to know all about how you made it, so it might be fun to set aside some time to teach him or her your craft. If you are a Gemini yourself, you’ll probably want to make two of these scarves – one for you and one for your bestie!
Hi, I’m Grace and I’m so excited to be leading the knit along for the Spring Lace Shawl.
This is a great project for both experienced knitters and beginners who are ready to advance beyond simple stitch patterns. With an elegant lace pattern and a chunky, multi-stranded construction, this quick knit will be the perfect addition to your wardrobe to curl up with on those cooler spring evenings.
I’ll be posting every week giving you tips for getting through the project successfully.
|Nathan Vincent’s sculpture of Easter Island Statues; model wearing knit Oversized Fishermen’s Sweater|
Last year, we asked Nathan Vincent to design several larger-than-life sculptures that could be associated with seven yarn techniques or, as we like to call them, “yarn wonders.” Revealed at the Craft and Hobby Association show earlier this year, these sculptures were presented as Lion Brand’s 7 Wonders of the Yarn World. Each yarn wonder was represented in our fashion show, displaying the variety of ways you can use and wear each one. We started with textures (Stonehenge) and stripes and chevrons (Mayan Ruins). Our third Wonder of the Yarn World, the Moai statues of Easter Island, represents timeless and awe-inspiring cables.
According to Creative Director Adina Klein, cabling may look complicated and mysterious but it’s actually a very easy stitch to pick up. This collection of cabled-designs features classic and timeless pieces that you can coordinate with any wardrobe.
We presented several designs that range from classic cabled afghans, to more modern takes on the Fishermen’s sweater. The garments featured were made in a variety of yarns like Heartland, Heartland Thick & Quick®, Hometown USA®, Homespun®, Homespun® Thick & Quick®, Wool-Ease®, Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®, Vanna’s Choice®, and Vanna’s Glamour®.
Below you can see a selection of some of the designs featured. Find your own cable inspiration and use this classic technique to make something new and modern.
|Knit Cabled Hat
Knit Fitted Cable Pullover
Knit Neutral Cabled Afghan
|Knit Striped Cable Hat
Knit Oversized Fisherman Sweater*
|Knit Weekend Ribbed Hat
Knit Cozy Textured Pullover
Knit Studio Afghan
|Knit Lush Ribbed Poncho|
*Pattern(s) coming soon
|Each season we host a crochet- or knit-along, a virtual event in which yarncrafters come together here online to work on one pattern together, share their experiences, and to learn together. There’s no need to sign up! Simply follow along with the blog posts at your own pace as you knit your project, and feel free to share your comments and/or photos as you progress.|
|We asked you to vote on what knit project you’d like to make, and you picked our Spring Lace Shawl! Almost 6,000 of you voted, and we’re so excited to knit-along with you.Click here to download the pattern for the Spring Lace Shawl and click here to get the kit in Kelly Green or in Silver Blue (free shipping for a limited time).
To get this knit-along going, this week is about gathering your materials so that we can jump right in the week of April 7th. This lovely shawl is made in our Vanna’s Choice yarn, a versatile, easy-care, acrylic worsted-weight yarn that comes in a huge assortment of stunning colors. If you’re more in the mood for a cotton blend, Cotton-Ease is a great substitute, and will be light and lovely as the temperatures get warmer.
As with any yarn substitution, you’ll also need to figure out how many skeins of the yarn of your choice the pattern will require. Here are the number of balls for our other recommended yarns:
Starting the week of April 7th, our KAL host Grace DiLorenzo will be posting her progress through the lace shawl project, with updates coming every Thursday. You’ll know it’s a dedicated KAL blog post when you see our special badge in the upper right-hand corner of the post. Don’t forget to join our Ravelry group for this KAL as well!
In the meantime, please introduce yourself below–let us know who you are, where you’re from, and who you’re making this top for!
|About Grace: Grace DiLorenzo has been knitting for the last 10 years. What started as a hobby quickly grew into a passion. Her favorite things to make are garments and lace. As a teacher at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City she has been able to share her love of yarn crafting teaching beginning through advanced knitting and yarn dyeing classes. She has lead the first four in studio knit alongs and is excited to do it again!|