One thing I love about making small projects is the chance to experiment with stitch patterns. We’ve had some great knit blocks turned in from customers that used our stitch finder for inspiration. We’ve seen Basketweave, Moss Stitch, Sugar Cubes and more.
Here are a few crochet blocks from our window that customers have turned in, that looked fun. Our own Studio crochet expert, Gina, took a look to see how they made their squares–see below to make your own afghan blocks in these patterns.
Dark Blue – front post/back post pattern
Row 1: sc across, turn
Row 2: Ch 3, 2 dc, *fpdc, 2 dc, repeat from * to end, turn
Row 3: Ch 3, 2dc, *bpdc, 2dc, repeat from * to end, turn
Repeat last two rows until piece measures 9”. Fasten off and weave in ends.
Green – basic shell stitch pattern
Row 1: Sc across, turn
Row 2: Ch 1, sc, (5 dc in next sc, skip 1, sc, sk 1) repeat ( ) 3 times, end with sc, turn
Row 3: Ch 3, 2 dc in same sc, (sc in 3rd dc of previous shell, 5 dc in next sc), repeat ( ) 3 times, end with sc in 3rd dc, 3 dc in last sc
Repeat last two rows until piece measures 9”. Fasten off and weave in ends.
Light Blue – easy textured pattern
Row 1: Sc across, turn
Row 2: Ch 3, *dc, sc, repeat from * to the end
Row 3: Ch 1, *sc, dc, repeat from * to the end
Repeat last two rows until piece measures 9” tall. Fasten off and weave in ends.
In the NYC area? Join our collection and stop by the Studio to drop off your blocks; learn more by clicking here. If you’re not in the NYC area and would still like to donate, please click here to visit Warm Up America! Foundation’s website and send your blocks directly to the organization.
What stitches do you like to experiment with? Leave a comment and tell us!
This is a guest post from Andrea, a sales associate and teacher at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, our retail store in New York City.
I learned to crochet when I was four years old, and learned how to knit the following year, taught by my great-aunt. What came from her besides knowledge was an invaluable passion for crafting. Throughout middle school and high school, I had explored other areas of fiber-crafting, ultimately resulting in a minor obsession with embroidery. However, that skill was put aside to purse other things once I left home, and I let it slip from my memory. Working at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio has re-ignited that passion in me once again that has always been there lying dormant; not just for knitting and crochet, but for all things involving fiber and my hands.
At the Studio, we are always working on something for our elaborate and diverse window displays. When I was handed an inner tube for our recent Coney Island window that needed some lettering on it, I was amazed at how my hands were once again threading a darning needle and making a chain stitch! I had thought my embroidery skills were long forgotten, but what I discovered was that my hands and muscles never did.
Embroidery interests me mostly because of the minimal material requirement (all you need is a needle and colored thread or yarn!), and the range of designs you can create from very simple to the elaborate. I started with simple wall hanging kits I had inherited from my great-aunt, which have the pattern already drawn out for you in different colors;this was a great way to learn how the stitches can flow together and combine. After my mother had a sufficient collection of fruit and vegetable samplers, I began making my own designs. Designing an embellishment in embroidery is much easier than trying to write out your own color-work chart, or doing a whole lot of math to write your own sweater pattern from scratch. In fact, it is the easiest way to add some color to your work without a lot of commitment. If you don’t like it, you can just take it out! (The same applies for a mistake!!)
One of my favorite stitches, the duplicate stitch, looks exactly like the knit stitch, so you can use it to replicate an intarsia or Fair Isle pattern on your finished piece if you’re interested in trying some color-work, but aren’t quite ready to take on multiple bobbins or strands of yarn.
If you want to learn more about the duplicate stitch, you can find complete instructions plus step-by-step images in the Learning Center on the Lion Brand website (click the highlighted text to view it).
Embroidery is great for putting eyes on those cute Amigurumi, too. You can use a satin stitch to really build up a larger eye, or a simple French knot which really stands out from the fabric nicely. I also use French knots for a lot of other things, like the centers of the daisy stitch which is really adorable on baby items.
If you are interested in trying out some basic embroidery stitches and are in the New York City area, I am giving a class on these stitches and more on September 17th at the Studio. If you aren’t in the New York area, check out www.needlenthread.com for some videos and tutorials for hand embroidery.
And here are some great free patterns from Lion Brand, using embroidery embellishments, that you can tailor to your liking:
If you didn’t have an opportunity to see crochet artist Nathan Vincent’s fascinating yarn taxidermy when it was at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio back in late 2009 (as seen above), and you’re in the New York City area, you now have a second chance to see them! Nathan’s pieces will be on display from now through September 30 at Volume Black, a gallery in downtown Manhattan, located at 89 Washington Street.
From the artist’s website:
My work explores gender permissions and the challenges that arise from straying from the prescribed norms. It questions the qualities of gender by considering what constitutes masculine and feminine. It critiques stereotypical gender mediums by creating “masculine objects” using “feminine processes” such as crochet, sewing, and applique.
Want to learn more about Nathan’s work? Listen to our radio-style podcast YarnCraft’s episode 60 :: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Fiber Artists Ruth Marshall & Nathan Vincent to hear more about his fascinating pieces in his own words.
This fabulous knitted, crocheted, and yarncrafted creation is a wonderful way to celebrate NYC in the summer. Click here to see some of the cool details (like a finger puppet bride and seagull eating french fries).
A few months ago, the amazing indie star Kate Nash came by to spend the day with us at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. Turns out she is a long time knitter and she really wanted her new interview for Nylon Magazine to be done in a yarn store…and lucky for us, she picked ours!
Click the video below to see her interview. (Reading this blog post in your e-mail? Click the title of the blog post to see it in your web browser and see the video.)
She planned on spending an hour with us and ended up staying all day. (Sound familiar? Who can only spend 1 hour in a yarn store?) She knit and talked, and played with our amigurumi.
Kate is an old fashioned girl she doesn’t much care for digital photography; what she does love is her handy Polaroid for instant gratification the old school way. Here’s her signed picture with me and Will.
As she was leaving, after filling two huge bags with yarn, she declared, “This is the best wool shop ever…ever!” Kate, we think you are the best indie singer/knitter ever…ever!
Every season the Lion Brand Yarn Studio changes it’s window display. This is a quick preview of this summer’s window display:
Can you guess what it will be? Check back next week to find out and see pictures of the finished window display!
At the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, we are thrilled to meet people from all over the world. We’ve had visitors from every country you can think of, from Australia to Zimbabwe. We love hearing your stories, seeing your projects, and even finding your change in our cash drawer–okay, we might not love the last one.
Our loose change box has become our own foreign coin collection. Pictured above is a small sampling of recent finds. We have coins from Ireland, Great Britain, Canada, the Bahamas and France.
So next time you are visiting us from a far away country and need to visit a currency exchange . . .perhaps you can visit us instead! Maybe we can make change.
Have you visited the Studio? Tell us where you’re from and how you found the experience!
At the end of April, Andrea (one of our great Lion Brand Yarn Studio staffers) and I headed down to Atlanta, Georgia for Stitches South. It’s only Lion Brand’s second time to Stitches ever and our first time to Stitches South, so it was a exciting experience for us, as well as the hundreds of people who stopped by our booth to say hi!
As usual, we showed off the LB Collection and other new yarns like Amazing, we gave away free patterns, dozens of door prizes, raffle prizes, and more at the booth — we even a huge basket of yarn at the Ravelry party. We also featured 3 different gorgeous garments at the Knitter’s Magazine fashion show: the knit Modern Lodge Pullover in Amazing (pictured below left), the knit Dressmaker Detail Cardigan (pictured below right), and the beautiful crochet Lavish Lace Shawl, which got a big cheer from the crocheters in the audience.
Another highlight of the show is always seeing the what our customers have done with our yarn. Check out this beautiful beaded necklace that this lady knit in our LB Collection Wool Stainless Steel.
Finally, I also got a chance to meet some of the listeners of our podcast, YarnCraft, which I write and produce. It’s always very rewarding to meet listeners in person and to know that they’re enjoy what you do!
As always, it was wonderful to see and meet our customers, and we hope to see you at some of the upcoming events that we’re attending:
We go to events throughout the year, so keep an eye on the blog and our official newsletter, The Weekly Stitch, for updates!
Were you at the show? Tell us about your experiences!
I tend to have many projects going at any given time, and sometimes I want to “skip to the good part” of a project. It’s not that I don’t enjoy knitting stockinette stitch–I just want to finish more projects and the simple parts sometimes take a while. Patty from the Lion Brand Yarn Studio posted a great example of how she combined machine knitting and hand knitting to make a sweater go a little faster. Click here to check out how she got through 8″ of her cardigan in 12 minutes! I admit, at first I thought it was “cheating”, and then I remembered that I have enough potential hand knitting projects to last me a lifetime. If machine knitting parts means more projects off the needles, I’m all for it. If you’re in the New York City area and you’d like a demo, stop by the Studio or call them to book a private lesson.
We all know, yarn makes everything better. Yarn brightens our lives and our world. Many of you who have visited us at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio might have noticed the bike rack in front of our store . . .
or our door handles:
A few days ago, spring was finally in the air, the trees were starting to bud, and the city landscape around our us was calling out for a little brightening up. So, we figured, the pipes and the lamp post deserved a new spring wardrobe.
Yarn just makes everything more cheerful!