Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Lion Staff' Category


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.


Things We’re Doing Besides Knitting and Crocheting: Travel Edition!

August 9th, 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.


Cefalu - Sicily (1)Margaux – I went to back Bordeaux, France where I’m from to spend some time with friends and family. “Slow life” was my watchword. I even did some yoga and Pilates in front of the waves, on the beach for a fully relaxing vacation! I also had a quick escape to Sicily (pictured) reminding me that you can’t go wrong with Italy; every single village has good food, nice wine and gorgeous postal card landscapes.  It was really nice to be away from the Big Apple for a while but it also feels great to be back!

Ilana – I love to read in the summer, especially when I’ve got a long flight for vacation or business. You never have to worry about a paperback book’s battery running out, unlike reading you do with an e-reader, and it is a pleasure to hold a real book in my hands.  I just picked up another book by the author I wrote about last month, Haruki Murakami, called The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which I’m really enjoying. I bought the book when  I was on my way to a meeting in San Francisco, where I got to tour the YouTube offices.  It was very exciting to be there.  What most of the people do in the office is sit at a desk, just like us, though and the main difference is that they have a two-story sliding board in the middle of one of their hallways.  I also caught a movie about Brian Wilson, the lead singer of the Beach Boys, called Love and Mercy.  Growing up when they were popular, I always thought of them as the lightweight, sort of frivolous band at a time when the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were making more “waves.”  But when you see the story of the brilliant and troubled lead singer, you can really appreciate their music and see that their contribution to the early days of rock & roll was no accident.

la_jolla (1)Brandyce –  I’ve been doing a little bit of traveling within the U.S lately, which has been very enjoyable. I recently went to Dallas, Texas and explored many historical sites including the JFK memorial and Pioneer Plaza. I also had a lot of fun at the Dallas Aquarium and Zoo. It’s a small city that gets extremely hot in the summer, but it’s easy to navigate and walk. For a recent work trip to the Knit & Crochet Show in San Diego, I extended my stay a little longer to see more of the city. San Diego was so pleasant, clean, and sunny – quite the difference from gritty NYC. I absolutely loved La Jolla Cove and the sea lions (pictured), and also going to Coronado Island and watching the sun set over the Pacific, it was magical!

Lorena – I finally got to visit Nashville after years of talking about it. I grew up in Atlanta, a mere four hours away, but had never visited Music City. It lived up to every expectation I had and more — music poured out of every honky tonk on Broadway, there was fantastic food, and a rich history. My favorite stop on the trip was the Johnny Cash Museum. Not only did it feature the incredible story of the Man in Black, there was also an exhibit on the artists of legendary recording label Sun Records: Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, of course. On the way to and from Tennessee, I read Modern Romance, a new book on relationships in the digital/millenial age by Aziz Ansari (fans of the show Parks & Recreation will recognize him as Tom Haverford.) The book had me cracking up everywhere I read it, with many passersby asking what was so funny. His honest advice and zany humor will keep you reading for hours!

shira_sanfran (1)Shira – Where has the summer gone?!  I feel like I have had to pack and unpack my suitcase so much lately and let me tell you, my cats…not into it!   On one of my recent trips was a trip to San Francisco!  I had never been and I went to go catch up with some friends.  I only had a weekend there but I think I got a real taste of city.  With walking hills ( and those hills are real!) I went to Sausalito, Presidio Park, and of course the look out and took the classic photo! I love traveling but let me tell you there is nothing better than sleeping in your own bed!  As much as I love summer I cannot wait for fall so I don’t feel crazy knitting a wool hat in 100 degree weather!

IMG_7416 (1)Sarah – I also went to San Diego for the Knit and Crochet Show. I had a lot of fun exploring the city! Balboa Park was amazing. It makes Central Park look like a patch of grass! You could spend an entire vacation there since there are so many museums, gardens, and public events going on. The San Diego Zoo was so impressive especially the pandas and, of course, lions. After the zoo, I relaxed in the shade at the Spreckles Organ Pavilion and took in a free concert on the world’s second-largest outdoor organ. And to top things off, Shira and I ran into a couple of princesses!

wire_heartDanielle – My family and I recently explored Dead Horse Bay at the bottom of Brooklyn. Known as the weirdest beach in New York City, it’s not the easiest place to get to without a car. We took the opportunity to zip down there one Saturday morning when we found ourselves with a few hours left to kill on a rental. Here’s why it’s weird: one of Dead Horse Bay’s past incarnations includes a stint as a landfill for NYC trash and that landfill is now leaking! It sounds gross and it is, but in a complicated and fascinating way. Some of the stuff that’s washing up on the beach is really beautiful – I saw tiny antique perfume bottles (intact too, I was lucky), old ceramics, oddities like shoe soles, and …  lots and lots of broken glass. You really can’t understand how much broken glass is there until you experience the place – even the ocean waves tinkle. It’s the perfect spot to find beauty in the broken, like this clump of wires I spotted, which had self-formed into a heart shape. Pro tip: sturdy boots and gloves are a must!


8 Things We’ve Been Doing (Besides Knitting and Crocheting!)

June 21st, 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 am planning a trip to Scandinavia with stops in Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, and Bergen. Stockholm is one of my all-time favorite cities, so I’m getting ready by learning some Swedish with Duolingo! Jag älskar Sverige! I’m also a big fan of Slow TV, so I’m super excited to ride the Bergen Line and experience the journey made famous by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. You can watch a recording of the broadcast here, but perhaps you’d prefer to watch 12 hours of non-stop knitting – 1 million people tuned in for National Knitting Night when it was originally broadcast in 2013!

sarah dressSarah: I’m still a novice sewist but I’ve just tackled my toughest project yet! I made the Alder Shirtdress which was a big challenge since I’ve never attached a collar before. After spending some quality time with the seam ripper, I have an even deeper appreciation for the work that went into each piece of store-bought clothing I own! This dress doesn’t fit perfectly and the seams are uneven but I learned so much and built a lot of confidence making this garment!

Danielle: I recently went to see Yoko Ono’s “Ono Woman Show” at the Museum of Modern Art here in New York. It was a larger retrospective than I expected and it did a fine job of showing her long history as a provocative artist across so many mediums — she’s even been known to crochet! Some people also don’t know that she was already fairly well-known before she met John Lennon. In fact, it was through her work as an artist that the two were connected in the mid-1960s. My school-aged son really enjoyed the music room, he insisted on listening to everything – I was really surprised! I definitely recommend seeing this show and you have lots of time, it’s on through to September 7th. Tip: stay for the mini-doc about her 1971 MOMA exhibition, also called “Yoko Ono: One Woman Show” – the show’s subversive nature and subsequent person-on-the-street interviews are a riot.

Margaux: I’m currently reading Patti Smith’s memoir, Just Kids. I really love getting in this arty though sometimes disturbing atmosphere. It’s fascinating to imagine New York in the 1970’s, when it was becoming the culture capital. Red Hook being my favorite place, I make sure I go every weekend. Last Saturday was the Red Hook Fest where we could watch great dance performances while wandering on the water front. There is so much going on in New York over the summer, it’s hard to make choices but I will definitely check one or two concerts out at the Prospect Park Bandshell.

touch the artBrandyce: Summer in NYC is amazing, so lately I’ve been trying to do as many outdoor activities as possible. I recently went exploring the Brooklyn Bridge Park for Jeppe Hein’s “Please Touch The Art” exhibit. The park has 6 piers on the Hudson River waterfront, and there are fun interactive art exhibits in each of the pier parks. I had the most fun in the Appearing Rooms section at Pier 1. In this exhibit, you stand on a platform, and water jets sprouts up from the floor and disappear – which turns your space into a room with water walls – but you never get wet! (okay, maybe a few sprinkles). You can run from “room” to room, hoping that the water doesn’t appear again as you transition. There’s so much to do at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, so if you’re in the area, I highly suggest you check it out.

Ilana: Since I found myself on airplanes more than usual in the last month, I’ve had a chance to read more fiction than  usual. It’s hard to find the perfect summer read but when you do, you know you’ll be transported to another world and never bored as long as you’re reading.  I particularly enjoyed a book by  Haruki Murakami called Colorless Tsukuru and His Years Of Pilgrimage.  The book had just come out in paperback but was first released last year, when it sold 1 million copies in its first week out in Japan.  What’s great about finding this book is that Murakami, the author has written several much-loved books and now I’ve got a great list of follow-up reads for the summer.  It’s a coming of age novel that’s a page-turner.  All loose ends are not tied up by the conclusion of the book but that’s the way life really is.

Lorena: My friend Jared and I are film buffs to the max — so much so that our friends opt out of seeing movies with us due to our post-viewing discussions about story, cinematography, narrative structure… all the “nerdy” things film lovers chat about. That being said, we recently saw Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl. It was sweet, witty, and had us laughing out loud in the theater. If you’re looking to opt out of summer block busters (I can’t say I did; I also saw Jurassic World a couple of days before,) this is one to catch.

psy and thai

Shira:
Working in New York City, while very cool, sometimes you just need to get away.  I find myself escaping to Upstate NY better known as Woodstock to many for some weekends.  My family has a house up there and there is something so nice about just getting away and “being one with nature.”  Sometimes I go up with friends,with family or even bring Psy and Thai (my cats) it’ s just such a special place- it’s so quiet, phones don’t work, for two days you are disconnected and I am totally ok with it because it is so beautiful.  With all the travel that I am doing lately sometimes it nice to take a minute and — no need for a sound machine —  just open my window in my room upstate and ta-dah: Nature!


The Lion Brand Team runs a 5k!

June 10th, 2015

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Chelsea Carle is Lion Brand’s Business Development Coordinator.

On Thursday, May 28th, a group of associates from the Lion Brand Yarn Company ran a 5K race organized by “Corporate Fun Run” at the Meadowlands Race Track in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

5k_long_shot

It all started when Evan Blumenthal, Lion Brand’s Director of Global Business Development, put the call out with the hopes that a few people would join him in the race. Evan had just run his first 5K (3.1 miles) and thought a Corporate Fun Run would be a great group activity for the company. By the time the day arrived 28 people had signed up! As a participant, you could choose to walk or run, so it was easy enough for anyone to participate.

fun run

On the day of the race, the excitement and energy in the office was contagious. I’ve only been at Lion Brand for a few months, so for me it was a great way to connect with people in other departments. After work, everyone could not wait to change into their running clothes and get to the track. It was 92 degrees outside and it had rained earlier in the afternoon – time to sweat!

We arrived at the track and the excitement was palpable – there was a live DJ, food, and a large amount of spectators too! We all registered, pinned our race numbers to our shirts, and found our team. Everyone from the Lion Brand team was overflowing with pride! So much so that the photographers from the event were constantly coming over to take group photos of us! I think we had the most fun out of everyone there. We chugged our water and made our way to the track.

Once the race began, we encouraged each other to keep going and to finish. We were the only team whose members all waited until the entire team had finished to congratulate each person as they crossed the finish line …

All in all, the Corporate Fun Run was a great way for us Lion Brand folks to bond together, and now in the office we cheer each other on more than ever!

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12 Things We’re Doing Besides Knitting & Crocheting: Cooking, Reading, Traveling and more!

May 16th, 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.


Margaux:The place I like the most these days is my rooftop; it has nothing fancy but the view of the city is spectacular. On sunny evenings we like to relax there and share a nice bottle of wine with my neighbors. Recently, I had a great time at a low-key dance performance: Andy Warhol’s 15 (Color Me, Warhol) at Dixon Place. This small theater is a non-profit organization committed to supporting the creative process by presenting original works of dance, theater, music, visual art… It’s a very unique place! And continuing on my “discover NYC” tour, I discovered my favorite restaurant in the city: Hometown. It may sound a bit silly but this BBQ joint encompasses the exact image I had of traditional American food.

chicken facing rightShira: Well, I feel like I’m Kelly Clarkson preparing for my summer tour. I am starting my tour by heading to Atlanta to talk to the North Georgia Knitting Guild and the Chain Gang on May 21st! You can check out where I’ll be next here.

On a more personal level I have been getting back into cooking. Life happened and I just put cooking to the side. However a friend came in from out of town and I was feeling very Martha Stewart sooo … A friend of mine told me about this delicious recipe for Hummus-Crusted Chicken. It is so yummy, a real crowd-pleaser and SOOOOO easy! I don’t even use veggies as the recipe calls for! Here’s what you do: 1) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees; 2) Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper; 3) Coat the chicken breasts in hummus, then sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika on top; 4) Squeeze on some lemon juice (I then take the lemon and slice it and put it on top of the chicken); 5) Bake for 25-30min and oulah … I guarantee that you will have re-occurring guests for dinner!

Lorena: My best friend from elementary school just got married to a guy we grew up with, and another old friend just proposed to his girlfriend! The wedding bug has officially hit my circle of friends and I’ve been inspired to read Galt Neiderhoffer’s “The Romantics”, about a group of friends reuniting for a wedding (art imitating life?) Since the weather’s nice, I’ve been taking my reading outdoors to Riverside Park, Union Square Park, and, of course, Central Park. Up next for me? Exploring (and reading in) Brooklyn’s Botanical Garden!

zoewilliams_OraclesPSGGalleryZoe: I’m getting ready for my third solo exhibition and it’s really crunch time now! Even after the artwork is finished, there is still photography, marketing, packing and shipping to be done before the show can finally be hung in the gallery. ORACLES opens Friday, June 5th at PSG Gallery in Philadelphia. If you are in the Philadelphia area and enjoy surreal sculpture in needle felted wool, I hope you’ll check it out!

Brandyce: New York City has so many different museums and galleries, it’s almost like you need to carry around a checklist just to keep track with what’s going on! I just recently went to the Brooklyn Museum to check out the exhibition, Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks. The museum itself currently has some exhibitions which are quite enlightening and make you think about how you interpret the world around you. I look forward to seeing a lot more art this summer; The MET has just unveiled its new rooftop garden piece and I can’t wait to check it out.

Hudson tennisIlana: After the winter we just had, all I want to do is be outside and soak up the warmth. As soon as the temperature hit the high 50s I started playing tennis. In a city where real estate is at a premium, you either have to wake up early to reserve a court or wait in line. Court time may be a scarcity but I don’t mind waiting for a spot at my favorite location on the Hudson River where I can play under the lights and see a sunset. That’s New York. You face a lot of challenges but the benefits are pretty amazing!

Danielle: I went to Cort Theater last Saturday to see Larry David in his new play, Fish in the Dark. It’s a quirky show about a dysfunctional family facing the death of their patriarch. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry … it’s great. Fans of Curb Your Enthusiasm will appreciate the hidden references (well, one is pretty, pretty obvious). If you’re visiting New York in the next while, grab tickets if you can – I give this show a big thumbs up! (Pro tip: Larry David’s run ends June 7th and Jason Alexander steps in on June 9th – great news for Seinfeld fans!)

sarah_burgersSarah: I just got back from a vacation in Las Vegas. While I didn’t do much gambling, I did a bit of eating.

Shake Shack has my favorite burger so I had to stop at the one in the New York New York casino. It was just as good as home! I also went to In-N-Out Burger since we don’t have any on the east coast! Right now Las Vegas is the only place where you can get both cult favorites! There’s a big rivalry.

Which one do you prefer?

Welcome Lorena!

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