Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Lion Staff' Category


A Little Glamour in Sin City

May 14th, 2015

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I’d never wanted to visit Vegas. I don’t like to gamble and I don’t like crowds (even after almost ten years living in New York City). Quite frankly, Las Vegas seemed like the opposite of my favorite thing to do which is curl up with my knitting and a good movie. But when I got the opportunity to go on a some-expenses-paid trip to Sin City, I felt like I shouldn’t turn it down.

Since I spend a lot of my day perusing Lion Brand’s free patterns, I’m often spotting new projects that I want to start. When I saw the Sparkle Slipon in our Fashion Show, I was totally in love. It was fun and summery and oh so sparkly! I felt like I needed to have a little glitz to wear by the pool if I was going to visit the land of showgirls!

But I was a little nervous. I’d just taught myself how to make granny squares after years of knitting. I’d never crocheted anything bigger than a coaster. When I read over the pattern, I realized that the Sparkle Slipon is a lot like a granny square. I’ve never shied away from a crafting challenge so I decided to dive in. I got some help (and a lot of encouragement) from Arabia in the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. I wanted to use fewer colors than the pattern called for so she helped me calculate how much yarn I would need and, after making the lower body too tight, she gave me advice on how to make easy changes.

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This was the perfect project for a novice crocheter! It certainly was a challenge for me and it’s not perfect but this was a great way to translate what I knew how to do into a big project. I was able to pick up some new skills but I wasn’t pulled too far out of my comfort zone since it had so little shaping. The color and fiber made this garment just the right weight for a swimsuit cover up. And since Vanna’s Glamour® is machine washable and dryable, I won’t have to worry about getting sunscreen on this top.

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On my very first day by the pool, a woman stopped me to say how much she loved my top. I don’t usually let people know when I’m wearing something handmade but this time, I was so proud, I had to let it spill! She said, “I’m a crocheter, too! I was looking at that top and I thought, ‘I have to make one!'” I was so happy! I love inspiring other people with the things that I make!

I’m really looking forward to wearing this next time I get by the pool!

Have you ever gotten an unexpected compliment on something you made? Do you take baby steps when you’re learning something new or do you dive in?


Meet Shira Blumenthal: Lion Brand Yarn’s Brand Ambassador!

May 11th, 2015

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Shira_Studio_CountryYarnLion Brand® Yarn, a family-owned and operated yarn company, announces the official launch of a new web series with its newly appointed Brand Ambassador, Shira Blumenthal, a fifth generation member of the family. The new web series, Tea with Shira, was created to share the story of this 137-year-old brand directly with crafters in person and online. Tea with Shira launches with three videos including a Mother’s Day episode, where she interviews her mother, whose husband, David Blumenthal, is the President and CEO of the company.

Shira began working for the company in 2013 as an associate in the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, the company’s Flagship retail location in Manhattan, which is a global destination for yarn lovers.  At the Studio, where customer service and education is key, she specialized in teaching children to knit and helped customers find the yarns and inspiration they were looking for.

Now, as an associate in the Marketing Department, Shira is part of a team that engages directly with consumers through conferences, email marketing and social media, including YouTube, Pinterest, Blogging, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Shira will be traveling the country to speak with knit and crochet guilds, as well as appearing in videos about Lion Brand® products, behind the scenes videos about the company, and starring in a new video series called Tea with Shira.


:: can’t see the playlist above? click here: http://lby.co/1KBThSq ::
Find Shira’s upcoming schedule below:

2015
May 21- Atlanta, GA- North Georgia Knitting Guild and Chain Gang Crochet Guild
May 28- Long Island, NY- Eastern Long Island Knitting Guild
June 15- Greyslake, IL- Greyslake Crochet Guild
June 16- Chicago, IL- Windy City Knitting Guild
June 29- Caldwell, NJ- Caldwell Crafting Groups
July 22 – 24- San Diego, CA- Knit and Crochet Show
October 8- Merrick, NY- Long Island Knit and Crochet Guild
October 19- Chappaqua, NY – Westchester Knitting Guild

2016
February 8- Madison, WI- Madison Knitters’ Guild

For further information, including how to arrange for Shira to speak, please contact Brandyce Pechillo.

About Lion Brand® Yarn Company

Lion Brand® Yarn Company is a 5th generation, family-owned and operated business, and a beloved American brand since 1878. The company is devoted to inspiring and educating knitters and crocheters with yarns, patterns, how-tos, and ideas that elevate their yarn crafting experience.

 


There’s Nothing Crafty About Airport Security

April 13th, 2015

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As a knitter I always wonder when I travel, “can I bring my knitting needles with me?” That’s a question that maybe you ask yourself too.  My co-worker Sarah wrote this post which offers some helpful tips for traveling with knitting and what handy dandy tools we’re allowed to use. I always use it as a guide, and this past trip I traveled to Montego Bay, Jamaica with no reason to worry, but I guess who doesn’t worry a little about getting their needles taken away from them.

Well now to the tale…

As I mentioned, I was just on vacation in Jamaica and  I stayed in beautiful Montego Bay. Of course, being who I am — a diehard knitter —  I brought my knitting along as I always do. I love to knit on the beach. I find it creates an ultra-calming feeling; the ocean, the knitting, no way to be stressed! I was working on my sweater and a gift for my friend. Everything was great.

 

But then it was time to go home.

I was going through security in Jamaica and I usually never have a problem with my bag, but this time I did. She asked if she could check my bag and I said, “of course.” What do I have to hide? But then as she went through my make-up and other bags inside, I realized “MY NEEDLES!” I started to get really nervous, not only nervous, but a slow-motion anger was building inside my belly!

 I thought I was going to need to fight someone!

Thank goodness I didn’t have anything on my needles, but she was looking at them in question, like “what are these?” She then went to her supervisor and asked if they were “ok?” I felt like she was talking about my children. I mean she was holding at least $60 worth of needles in her hands … needles I hold like they’re new borns!! I was standing there thinking, “How could she be treating them like this?!” Not to mention the fire in my belly that was growing faster and faster…. These are my identity! Don’t you …. And then she threw them back in my bag and attempted to be neat, but wasn’t. I closed my bag up and it took about five breaths to bring me back down to this planet.

Tell me I’m not the only one!

 I know I can’t be the only one who has been through this scare. Have your needles or crochet hooks ever been taken away from you? What did you do? How did you feel?


10 More Things We’re Doing Besides Knitting & Crocheting

April 10th, 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.



Shira:
Right now I don’t know what it is about Spring, but while cleaning out my closet and doing some spring cleaning I feel like I’m doing a lot of shopping! My favorite shop is a little boutique on the Upper West side of Manhattan called ShiShi. Also there’s a website I love called Soft Surroundings — literally you’ll want to snuggle with everything, it’s sooo soft!

5647697408_c553259a54_mZoe: I’ve been getting into birdwatching. I’ve got a pair of binoculars and so far I’ve spotted some familiar birds, like Blue Jays, Cardinals, and Starlings, and a few others that were new to me, like the Purple Finch, Tufted Titmouse, and Red-winged Blackbird. I’ve even had the pleasure of several Red-tailed Hawk sightings in Central Park.

Ilana: Almost every morning I spend an hour before work reading blogs. In addition to marketing and social media blogs, I read about culture, creativity and innovation.  Some of my favorites are Thought Catalog, Mental Floss, Digital Tonto, and 99 Percent and HBR.  My secret to staying ahead of the curve on topics that matter to me personally and professionally is a heavy dose of curiosity and Feedly.

nakBrandyce: I’m trying to get into the spring spirit, and the best way I do that during this transitional time is by switching up nail polish colors with pretty, feminine hues. I was just sporting Essie’s awesome deep lavender shade, play date, and now I’ve got my eye on the coat azure color. Coat azure is one of the few bottles of nail polish I have at home that’s halfway finished, I love it!

Sarah: I’m very excited that Mad Men starts again on April 5th. I spent the past weekend watching the first half of this past season again so I had all of the details fresh in my mind. I recently saw the Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. It was so cool to get up close with the sets and costumes! I’ll be so sad to see the show come to an end!

Danielle: I just finished reading Kim Gordon’s memoir, “Girl in a Band” and I really enjoyed it. It started off a bit rocky, but once I got deeper into it, I couldn’t put it down. Outside of being the bassist for Sonic Youth, I didn’t know a whole lot about her. She often presents as this moody, evasive being which, after reading this book, I understand is not really her true character. She offers an interesting perspective on the realities of an artist’s life in NYC in the 1980s and 1990s and, of course, being a girl in a band.

Margaux: Being new to the team, I’m really excited to discover Lion Brand’s world and people! When I’m not knitting, I teach French in Brooklyn and get to share my culture (from French grammar to French wine!). I like going to Zumba classes where I forget I’m actually not on a dance floor … dancing is my way to relax. Being also new to NYC, I spend my weekends wandering around with my husband and my two daughters trying to understand how this incredible city works.

Welcome Margaux!

:: Blue Jay photo courtesy of FishHawk via Creative Commons license ::


8 Colorful Landscapes Projects Knit and Crocheted By Bloggers, Ravelry Users, and Lion Brand Staff!

March 24th, 2015

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The intense colors of Landscapes® have really motivated people to craft with this yarn. With names like Apple Orchard, Boardwalk, Metropolis, and Tropics, it’s very easy to be inspired. Whether you knit or crochet, are a beginner or veteran, the roving texture of this yarn will work up in a lovely fabric for you.

From one-stitch cowls to blankets, a simple project becomes a beautifully detailed project. And now until March 31st, Landscapes® is 20% off!

Here is a collection of stunning projects from our favorite bloggers, Ravelry users and Lion Brand staff:

 brioche-cowl-1  tropics cowl  30243-apple  Landscapes Cowl-metropolis
Hands Occupied made this very colorful cowl using a Brioche Stitch. She even  includes a video tutorial for those who work right-handed or left-handed. Ilana from our Marketing Department knit this beautifully striped cowl with Tropics using just one stitch, the garter stitch! A customer posted to our project gallery the Crocheted Vest with our Apple Orchard colorway. Check out those stripes! Brandyce from Marketing is currently working on a seed stitch cowl in Metropolis — she loves watching her project work up in texture and color.
 bridgercwol-sanddune-boardwalk  marlene-scarf  baby booties  colonie-celebrationscarfie
lajoyagirl made two beautiful crochet cowls in Boardwalk and Sand Dune Marlene from Sales  chose Apple Orchard to make the Back to School #Scarfie as a gift because it made her think of the person’s  bright, cheerful, and friendly personality.  mommy2maya used Apple Orchard to make these adorable baby booties. Heidi from our Colonie store made the My Celebration #Scarfie in Tropics as her project of the month!

What patterns do you like to knit or crochet with Landscapes®? Share with us below!

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