Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Knitting' Category


Sock Tips, Pt. 3: Knit Crazy Stripes!

June 17th, 2013

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Socks are a great, compact project that can be made on the go. In each installment, we will show you different ways to add color and pattern to a basic child’s sock. Click here for part 1 and click here for part 2. This month’s article is all about stripes.

Striped socks are a fun and friendly way to experiment with color. The patterns below feature stripes of varying colors and widths to make a basic concept more fun.

Apply stripes to other projects too! From afghans to sweaters, knitted and crocheted items look great in stripes.


Child’s Striped Socks

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Celebrate Flag Day with Some Hand-Crafted Americana!

June 14th, 2013

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Happy Flag Day to our friends across the US! In celebration of this holiday, and because July 4 is just three weeks away, I wanted to share some of my favorite American flag-inspired knit and crochet projects. Which one will you make to celebrate Independence Day?

Image of USA Afghan Image of All-American Granny Square Throw Image of Lion Country Afghan
Get just a touch of Americana with this crochet USA Afghan, worked up in our very own made-in-America Hometown USA yarn. Perfect for picnics, this blanket is quick to crochet and will be super soft and warm for years to come. Crochet this All-American Granny Square Throw for a patriotic and classic Americana afghan. Make it with Jiffy in True Red, Fishermen and Denim for a stunning throw that’s perfect for picnics or cool summer evenings on the porch. This knit intarsia blanket is one of my favorites. Knit in one piece in 25 different shades of Vanna’s Choice, the Lion Country Afghan is a true work of yarncrafted art.

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Bind-Offs: Great Endings to Your Knitting Project – Practice Binding Off

June 11th, 2013

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Bind-Offs: Great Endings to Your Knitting Project, Pt. 1Techniques for binding off are as numerous as techniques for casting on. There are bind-offs that produce firm edges, looser edges, stretchy edges, edges that look like the pattern stitch used, gathered edges, decorative edges, and bind-offs that join two edges together. It is wise to begin by learning a basic bind-off technique to use with your first few projects. After you have completed some projects, you may be in the mood to learn some new bind-off methods.

It can be a bit nerve-wracking to try a new bind-off for the first time on a valuable piece of knitting. Instead, knit a swatch or two and practice the bind-off technique on the swatch(es). Using a swatch to practice provides several advantages; you don’t risk messing up an important piece of knitting, you can unravel and practice again and again until you are sure you have mastered the technique, and you can see and handle the bind-off edge, checking that it has the desired properties, before committing to using the technique.

Before making a swatch, study the variety of bind-off techniques available. Select a technique that is designed to produce the type of edge desired (e.g. firm, loose, “in pattern”, stretchy), and matches your personal style (e.g. Do you prefer two-needle bind-offs? Are you comfortable attempting a sewn bind-off?). Then knit a small swatch in the appropriate pattern stitch and bind off following the steps for the technique selected.

Basic Bind-Offs

The swatch can be a simple rectangle, or if you would like to practice and compare multiple different bind-off techniques, try our octagonal or square bind-off samplers. The samplers are a great way to practice and to study the differences between bind-offs. Some of the differences are very subtle, others are quite noticeable. Detailed instructions for each bind-off technique appear following the sampler photos. See the previous blog post for details on the different bind-off methods mentioned below.

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Bind-Offs: Great Endings to Your Knitting Project – Different Bind-Offs

June 11th, 2013

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Techniques for binding off are as numerous as techniques for casting on. There are bind-offs that produce firm edges, looser edges, stretchy edges, edges that look like the pattern stitch used, gathered edges, decorative edges, and bind-offs that join two edges together. It is wise to begin by learning a basic bind-off technique to use with your first few projects. After you have completed some projects, you may be in the mood to learn some new bind-off methods.

Here are a few different bind-off techniques to try.

BIND-OFF INSTRUCTIONS

Note: In the following detailed instructions, the first stitch on a needle is the stitch closest to the tip of the needle, the 2nd stitch is the next stitch further away from the tip, and so on.

BASIC BIND-OFF

The most basic bind-off method is also known as a chained bind off because the bind-off edge looks like a chain of stitches. For a video, illustrations, and instructions for working a basic bind-off, click here.

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Sock Tips, Pt. 2: Knit Charming Two-Tone Socks

June 10th, 2013

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Why are socks so popular to make right now? Socks are a great easy-to-carry project and they’re compact and satisfying to make. Over the next few months, we will be showing you different ways to embellish your sock patterns. In our first installment, we featured a basic, solid kids’ sock. In this article, we feature a two-color sock.

 Sock Tips, Pt. 2: Knit Charming Two-Tone Socks | Lion Brand Notebook  Sock Tips, Pt. 2: Knit Charming Two-Tone Socks | Lion Brand Notebook  Sock Tips, Pt. 2: Knit Charming Two-Tone Socks | Lion Brand Notebook
Child’s Two-Color Sock #1 Child’s Two-Color Sock #2 Child’s Two-Color Sock #3

Color adds so much to your wardrobe. It also says so much about your personality. Adding color to the heel, toe, and cuff of this sock pattern is a simple way to make your basic sock more exciting. This simple concept of adding color to a few details of a project can be applied to any item. Make your color and cuffs a different color the next time you make a jacket or make the strap of your next bag or purse a contrasting color. Let your imagination run wild.

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Pamper Your Kitty with These Fun Toys!

June 4th, 2013

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June is National Adopt a Cat Month, and if you have a feline friend sharing your home or about to be welcomed into your family, I’m sure he or she would love a new toy! Here’s a roundup of some fun, fast and easy cat toys to knit or crochet for that special cat in your life. Don’t forget to make a few extra for the kitties at your local shelter–they will be forever thankful!

Image of Catnip Mouse: Knit Knit these Catnip Mice in Fun Fur for a furry toy for your furry friend. Use deep neutrals like Taupe, Lava, or Black to create a lifelike mouse, or some of our great new neons for a little splash of color in kitty’s toy basket.
 Crochet this Goldfish Cat Toy with Microspun (or Vanna’s Choice!) for a festive fishy to add to your cat’s toy collection. Image of Goldfish Cat Toy

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Sock Tips, Pt. 1: The Basics of Knitting Socks

June 3rd, 2013

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Why are socks so popular? Socks are a great easy-to-carry project and they’re compact and satisfying to make. Over the next month, we will be showing you different ways to embellish your sock patterns. The first project in our sock series is the solid colored sock — the pattern on which all the rest of our socks will be based.

Knit Child’s Solid Sock in Zinnia Knit Child’s Solid Sock in Lemongrass

Here are a few helpful hints about our pattern and sock-making in general:

  • Child-size socks are a great introduction to the world of sock-knitting. The small size means you’ll be finished sooner –- ready to make your next pair!
  • If you’re a sock novice, this solid sock pattern is a good way to get some practice. By making this first pair of socks, you’ll become familiar with the basics of sock construction and with working with double-pointed needles.
  • Read through the pattern before beginning, but just to get a sense of what you’ll be doing. Don’t be intimidated! Just work each step as written.
  • Basically, a sock is a tube with shaping (usually done by working ‘short rows’) for the heel, and simple decreasing to shape the gusset and toe.
  • To cast on, use just one double-pointed needle. Once you’ve cast on the required number of stitches, the instructions tell you to divide your stitches onto 3 double-pointed needles. Simply slip stitches (as if to purl) – one at a time if you’re nervous – onto another 2 needles.

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Tranquil Tank Top Knit-Along – A Photo-Finish

May 30th, 2013

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KAL badgeWell, I have finished the Tranquil Tank Top and it is still Spring!  It has been great to see pictures of the finished tops that many of you have created during our Spring Knit Along.   If you have not finished, don’t worry – we will keep the posts of this KAL available long after this final post. (Click here to view previous posts.)

Finishing this top was a fairly quick job, with only 4 seams and sewing the bottom of the left front to the inside of the right front.  No sleeves to set in or stitches to pick up!

After I finished my front, I turned it over and used some detachable stitch markers to make sure those cast-on stitches for the left front would lay flat and even (I could also have used safety pins for this.)  Just as basting is necessary in machine-sewing a final seam, having your pieces in the correct spot with pins or markers assures that the finishing will progress evenly.

Tranquil Tank Top Knit-Along – A Photo Finish
(Click images to enlarge.) 

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6 Quirky Knit & Crochet Projects for Father’s Day

May 29th, 2013

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Father’s Day is June 16th, so now is the perfect time to get started on a personalized handmade gift for that special Dad you know.  I’ve rounded up a few fun patterns perfect for showing the father in your life how special he is.  Choose a pattern that really suits his personality, or perhaps one that’s related to a hobby, or his career. Whether your guy likes to rock out on the guitar, or relax and be comfortable on the couch – there’s a pattern suitable for everyone!

Crochet Commemorative Throw
Knit Commemorative Police Throw
Click here for crochet version

Crochet Beard
Dad Style Vertical Stripe Tie
Knit Dad Style Vertical Stripe Tie
caddy
Knit Wired Dad Remote Caddy
Father's Day Socks
Knit Father’s Day Socks
guitar strapKnit Felted Guitar Strap
Click here for crochet version

How do you like to personalize your gifts for men? Do you pay attention to the color, does the pattern have a meaningful repeat? Share with us in the comments!

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Here Comes the Bride: 10 Knit & Crochet Wedding Related Patterns

May 17th, 2013

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Flowers have bloomed, the sun is out longer, the temperatures have risen, and – we’re at the beginning of wedding season!

Since many of you are probably looking for handmade elements to include in the ceremony or reception, I’ve gathered a roundup of some of our lovely wedding patterns to help you or the bride-to-be find the perfect wedding project.  From bridal accessories, to reception decor and gifts, there’s surely a pattern to help inspire you!

*Pattern in image: Amigurumi Two Peas in a Pod

Shawls and Shrugs for the Bride

Crochet Bridal Shawl Pattern
Crochet Bridal Shawl
Knit Eyelet Shawl
Knit Eyelet Shawl
Crochet Bridal Shrug Pattern
Crochet Bridal Shrug

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