Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Lion Staff' Category

Quick Knit! This Season’s Hottest Trend: The Pom Pom Hat!

December 10th, 2015

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It’s a trend we’re seeing everywhere this winter — pom-pom hats!

Furry, over-sized, multiples, colorful, neutral … the possibilities are infinite, especially when you mix and match yarns! We’ve seen many varieties and flavors of these easy-to-make, must-have, cold-weather accessories.

See how we here in the Marketing Department at Lion Brand are accessorizing our winter head wear in the video below!

:: Can’t see the video above? Click here to watch — ::

Get the pattern + the Pom for an easy stocking stuffer!

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Knit Pom-Poms Hat The Pom

From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26th, 2015

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Patterns seen here:

Things We’re Doing Besides Knitting & Crocheting: How We’re Ringing in Fall!

October 24th, 2015

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Here in the marketing department at Lion Brand, we talk a lot about knitting and crocheting and yarn and magic loops and swatches and yarn weights (we know our DK from our super bulky) and and and … bottom line is that we’re all experts in one way or another when it comes yarn. We can talk about it all day — and we do! You may however be surprised to know that we’re also fairly well-rounded with an excess of interests, hobbies and obsessions that go beyond the hooks and needles.

We thought you might enjoy a peek into our inner worlds. Have fun and please share some of your own personal interests outside of knitting and crocheting in the comments below.

lomographyDanielle – I love experimenting with toy digital cameras that mimic analog lomography (vibrant, saturated colors, heavy vignetting, etc) and I often have a few different toy cameras on the go at any given time. Living in Brooklyn provides a constant source of inspiration and material to shoot. For the past couple years I’ve really appreciated my Minimo, a 3.2 megapixel, double exposure toy camera that has a tiny screen which lets you control the double exposure as you shoot. It’s a brilliant little device. Lomography is as much a philosophy as it is a photographic image style – I try to follow the “Ten Golden Rules” and almost always have a tiny toy camera in my pocket or purse.

Lorena – Fall is here and I’m finally getting excited about movies again — here come the Oscar contenders! First on my list was Steve Jobs. It was a fantastic, humanizing portrayal of a man who’s become an icon. I’m a big Aaron Sorkin fan (he wrote the script), so in keeping with the theme, I also revisited one of my favorite Sorkin-penned movies, The Social Network. To round out my binge-watching, I also picked up the last season of Mad Men on DVD to complete my collection. While it’s still beautiful out, I’m thinking ahead to snowy days inside when I can knit and watch all my favorite shows!

upstateIlana – Last month I wrote about planning some trips to see the changing leaves.  Over the last few weeks I made those trips including  Upstate New York and the Catskills.  I went apple picking for the first time.  Although it was still not the height of the leaf peeping season, it turned out to be more beautiful because there was green left on the trees and the leaves had not yet fallen.  In past years I always tried to hit the so-called height and either didn’t time it just right or the weekend I set aside was rainy.  It was a good lesson.  Don’t wait for perfect because imperfection is sometimes better and because perfect never really happens.

Brandyce – I went back to the Brooklyn Museum earlier in the month to check out the “Rise of the Sneaker Culture” exhibit. The exhibit has now ended, but I enjoyed it because purchasing the hottest new sneakers used to be a hobby of mine when I was a teenager. It was fun to see the how something so simple and necessary like sneakers has really influenced sports, pop culture, and fashion. I’ve also been enjoying some quaint restaurants in my neighborhood and leisurely strolls through Prospect Park, trying to capture some nice fall foliage.

mothZoe – I’ve been working on miniatures for the holidays, like this little felt moth: guaranteed not to eat your handmade sweaters and blankets! Artwork makes a uniquely thoughtful gift, but it can be expensive and galleries are often intimidating places to shop. That’s why many galleries hold annual miniatures exhibitions, where tiny artworks are available at affordable prices. This type of exhibition is a great place to shop for that impossible-to-buy-for person on your list, or to start your own collection!

Margaux – I went to the opening of the Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg Market which just moved to its winter location at Industry City, an huge innovation and manufacturing district on the waterfront in Brooklyn. It’s an amazing concentration of arts, craft foods, designers and artisans’ goods. You could definitely spend a whole day there without seeing everything!

I also checked out Arts Gowanus where 300 artists opened their studio to the public. It’s so nice to see  the “behind the scene” and get to see artists at work.

Also, I’m going to Philadelphia next weekend for a quick getaway and would love to hear about tips and good addresses if you know the city!

soupShira – I don’t know what it is about cold weather but besides knitting all I want to do is cook!  I keep on thinking of new things I want to make but one of my favorite things is soup!  I find that making soup is so easy, and let me tell you I used to think it hard and then my sister-in-law introduced me to this amazing thing called an Immersion Blender!  Best invention ever! The other day I wanted mushroom soup and then bing, bang, boom oula Mushroom Soup.

My recipe is really simple:

  • 1 onion
  • Cremini mushrooms (that’s what I used but you can use any type of mushroom)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable broth

The immersion blender purees it, but you can keep it in chunks. I would love to hear what you are cooking up!


Things We’re Doing Besides Knitting & Crocheting: What to See, Read & Do!

September 27th, 2015

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Here in the marketing department at Lion Brand, we talk a lot about knitting and crocheting and yarn and magic loops and swatches and yarn weights (we know our DK from our super bulky) and and and … bottom line is that we’re all experts in one way or another when it comes yarn. We can talk about it all day — and we do! You may however be surprised to know that we’re also fairly well-rounded with an excess of interests, hobbies and obsessions that go beyond the hooks and needles.

We thought you might enjoy a peek into our inner worlds. Have fun and please share some of your own personal interests outside of knitting and crocheting in the comments below.


Zoe – I’m going to Seattle for a few days to spend some time with friends and family (I’m originally from New Orleans, but my family relocated to Seattle after Katrina). Some of my favorite spots to visit when I’m in the Emerald City are Genki Sushi, Espresso Vivace, Ghost Gallery (I show artwork there regularly, but I also love to shop in their boutique!), Fusion Beads, and the Fremont Sunday Market.

something rottenShira – I come from a musical family; I’m the singer and I love Broadway shows. One of the highlights for me in high school was being the lead in Guys and Dolls as Sarah. This Broadway season there have been some really great shows! This past month I have seen a few shows. A good friend of mine came in from out of town and we went to see Something Rotten which was VERY funny and the music and acting was awesome!  The other weekend I went with my mother and nephew went to see AladdinAladdin is my all-time favorite Disney movie! My nephew was not a fan of the romantic story line (there was a kiss, he’s almost 7, not his thing) but otherwise he giggled and danced in his seat!  Next up Hamilton!

Margaux – I spent a nice family weekend in Long Island by the beach to make the most of the last sunny and warm days. It was my first getaway to the Hamptons and I must admit I was impressed! The beaches are beautiful and absolutely unspoiled. During a Sunday walk at the Greenwood Cemetery (which I believe is my favorite place in Brooklyn) I noticed Fall colors showing up and felt very happy… Fall is my favorite season and I can’t wait to wear long sleeves!

chichen itzaBrandyce – I recently went to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico for a mini vacation and had an amazing time exploring the Mayan Ruins. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the ancient culture, relaxing by the beach, and swimming in natural Mexican sinkholes. I went to see the ruins at Tulum , climb the Ixmoja pyramid at the ancient city of Cobá (which I didn’t realize until later, is actually the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula!), and visit Chichén Itzá. I was thrilled to see the infamous Pyramid of Kukulkan. There’s just so much to do in Eastern coast of Mexico, I definitely look forward to going again at some point for more explorations!

Ilana – I’m planning trips to see fall foliage in the Northeast over the next three weeks.  I looked at a fall foliage map of the East Coast to decide where and when to go. Trips Upstate New York, New England, the Poconos and the Catskills.  I’m combining the leaf peeping trips with visits to family and friends.  When I’m not staying with people I know, I love to explore AirBnB or Homeaway to find interesting places to stay en route.   I’ve met interesting people and found some unique lodging by doing this–everything from homes filled with antiques to a castle-like house on a river to a renovated modern loft.

patsLorena – This past Labor Day weekend, I headed out to Philadelphia with my roommates for the Made in America music festival. We’re all huge Beyonce fans (she was headlining), and seeing her all together was a real treat, considering she’s on heavy rotation in our house. I was pleasantly surprised by Philadelphia as a whole! I ate a cheesesteak at Pat’s King of Steaks, stopped by the Liberty Bell, and took in the gorgeous architecture of City Hall. My only regret is not having more time to explore the rich history of this city — I’ll need to go back soon!

Sarah – Last month I read The Martian by Andy Weir. The novel is about astronaut Mark Watney who is stranded on Mars and believed dead after the crew of his mission evacuates. I don’t usually read the book before I see a movie but the trailer and ARES: live videos intrigued me and I couldn’t wait. I can see why the book has gotten such good reviews. I couldn’t put it down, squeezing in pages whenever I could. I was dying to know what would happen to Mark! It was very exciting and surprisingly funny considering it was filled with detailed science. I’m really looking forward to seeing the movie when it comes out in October.

faileDanielle – Last weekend my son Finn and I went to the Brooklyn Museum to check out a street-art inspired exhibit called, “FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds”. The name “FAILE” comes from an anagram of “a life,” and also represents the spirit of experimentation apparent in the work of these two artists, Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller. Our favorite area was the “Deluxx Fluxx Arcade” created in collaboration with Brooklyn artist Bäst. Totally interactive and hands-on, the retrofitted arcade games are like mini cut-up machines that use movement and collage to allow the user to playfully experiment and create their own art experience. If you’re in the New Your area in the next week, you can catch this show until October 4th and while you’re there, check out another show, “The Rise of Sneaker Culture“.

A Design Internship to Dream About: Meet our Intern Karin!

August 12th, 2015

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In this guest post by Karin Cohen, you’ll see what it’s like to intern in New York City for Lion Brand Yarn! Karin takes us on her journey:

From Shenkar to Lion Brand Yarn

My name is Karin Cohen, and I’m from Israel. I came to New York for a special reason: to do an internship at the Lion Brand Yarn company.

I studied textile design in Shenkar College of Engineering and Design and majored in knitting. It all began when David Blumenthal started donating yarns to Shenkar and we used them to make interesting wearable items that we crochet or knit. It’s like art you can wear!

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One of my designs for a class at Shenkar College The finished garment.

At the end of the design course, the top three students interview for an internship at Lion Brand Yarn: and here I am! I started my internship in July and have been in love ever since!

I feel like I’m in a big beautiful dream; so many yarns, so many opportunities, so many things to see, exhibitions, art galleries, interesting meetings, so much fun! This is totally a dream come true.

At My Internship

I have an amazing project every month; I’m doing a special project with the featured yarn(s) of the month, and other Lion Brand yarns. Last month, I worked with Hometown USA® exclusively. I started to do some different swatches using different techniques to experiment and test the yarn; I noted qualities, drape, the weight of the fabric after you knit it, and afterwards I realized what works the best for this yarn is a cowl.

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Working with a loom-woven piece. I designed this cowl.
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At Lion Brand’s offices in NYC. My sketches and yarn samples.

The Design Process

I think that when you design the most important thing is the process. You have to explore the yarn or the material you work with, then figure out what you want to do, and enjoy doing it — start working on your vision.

Test the colors; see which colors work together and whether you want to use more than one yarn with this technique. I also think about which color people would like to wear. I am considering a lot of things during designing —  it’s interesting!

I was so inspired by the works I have seen at the exhibitions I saw at Spin Expo, the MoMa, and the Brooklyn Museum.  I have also participated in meetings about new products we want to develop.

It is a great experience — I try to embrace all, learn as much as I can, and use my knowledge to develop new things in knitting and crochet.