In this post Lion Brand’s Creative Director Adina Klein shares stories and behind-the-scenes photos from her recent visit to Vanna White’s home near Los Angeles, CA. Joining her were Lion Brand’s Production Coordinator Karlye Mayer and our lovely photographer Jack.
After twenty years, Vanna is definitely part of the Lion Brand family. Some of us have been to her home and she’s been to ours. Most recently she attended the company barbecue at our New Jersey headquarters. Going to Vanna’s house is more like visiting a friend than visiting a celebrity–well, maybe, except for the fact that her house is nicer than most of our friends’ houses. And even though she has a beautiful home with spectacular views, there’s something so down-to-earth about it–just like Vanna. Vanna even made us breakfast and let us into her closet to pick clothes for her for the shoot.
You’d think her closet would be filled with glamorous gowns, but it was actually filled with an assortment of jeans, slacks, sweaters and t-shirts! We hung out in her bedroom, playing with her cat, Stella, while she had her hair done. We walked around the house, while she got dressed, looking for great spots to photograph. In case you couldn’t tell, we felt right at home. You’d never know she is one of the most well-known celebrities in the world!
One thing we love about Vanna is that she’s always calm, always gracious, and always kind. It made it a lot easier for us to get great photos of her because she puts everyone at ease. Now that we’re back home, we’ll be editing the photos and finalizing the patterns for the beautiful afghans and garments we shot and soon you’ll see the results of the day we spent with Vanna.
My mother is a nurse in the neonatal department at a hospital in Boston, and is reknowned for knitting and crocheting gifts for her newborn patients. Like my mother, I have inherited her desire to craft whenever someone I know is expecting a bundle of joy. My go-to pattern is the Hooded Baby Blanket made with Pound of Love® yarn. The popcorn stitch pattern makes it very simple to make, but still incredibly detailed.
Plus, I love using this yarn because the name sounds like you are literally infusing love into your future project. Here are three versions that I’d like to share with you today:
|A charity item for a local drive that collected handmade
items to send to those affected by the tsunami
in Japan in 2011. To keep it simple, I removed the hood.
(Plush toy was not included)
|Her father is a big fan of the Superman franchise,
so I chose the superhero’s iconic logo to put on the back.
Trimmed with Baby’s First in Twinkle Toes, and the logo
was a combination of Baby’s Wool in Sunflower and
Vanna’s Choice in Scarlet.
|A good friend of mine recently had a baby boy
and wanted something playful he could grow into.
I decided to make it look like a dragon pelt,
making the blue scales out of Baby’s First in Bluebell.
What’s your favorite baby item to make? Share with us below!
Gabby Blumenthal, 20 year old college student and the daughter of Jack Blumenthal, Senior VP of Lion Brand Yarn Company, shares her story of growing up in the family that started Lion Brand Yarn Company. She recently attended the annual Craft and Hobby Association trade show with her Dad, and talks about her experience.
|Family picture taken in 1999. Pictured from left to right: Dean, David, Isidor, Gabby, Jack, and Reuben Blumenthal.|
When I was a little girl, my Dad would come home from work, loosen his tie and tuck me into bed with a story. Now, my Dad’s stories were far from conventional. For one thing, he was terrible at make-believe and couldn’t tell a princess from a portal. So, telling me all he knew how to tell, my Dad would talk at length about his own life-long adventures. I can’t tell you how many times I heard about how he got stuck in an international airport, or when he was babysitting a cat and, not to ruin the story or anything, but the poor cat died.
When these “epic” tales wore thin, my dad started on the family tree. I heard about everyone from Great, Great Grandpa Reuben to my own Grandfather, George, whom I never had the chance to meet and am honored to be named after. I heard about how Dad wanted to go into Lion Brand since he was four years old, always knowing that he was passionate about having a career in the yarn industry.
This story is from our newletters called Pattern Journal which brings a warm-hearted, wholesome story to your inbox to read every month. We’re sharing the most recent story here in the blog. If you enjoy it and would like to subscribe, click here.
Some garments just call out to you, and this Raglan Sleeve Topper was one of them, Rose thought. But “raglan sleeve topper”was too modest a title for something so beautiful. To Rose it seemed a magical wrap that transformed the wearer into the best she could possibly be. It was obvious that your natural attributes—whether you were willowy or full-figured, long-or short-haired, enthusiastic or reserved—would be optimized by the form and colors of the gently curving sweater.
Rose didn’t believe in love at first sight, but her attraction to the design she saw online was close to that. The more she studied the image, the more she felt compelled. This was a must-do project. Yet there was some half-completed knitting that should take precedence: two baby gifts, an almost- done afghan, a hat for Dad’s birthday…
Uncharacteristically, she wasn’t dissuaded. She knew those things would be finished eventually, and…she really needed a sweater.
Actually…honestly…she really wanted to knit something just for herself.
Crafters are a generous lot. We often crochet and knit for others. We craft gifts for birthdays and holidays. We knit and crochet prayer shawls for strangers. We infuse our handmade items with love, and hope that love comes through for the recipient. It’s a wonderful thing. But we can go even further with this intention, choosing ways to craft for and with the people we love, so that the love comes through in deeper and more meaningful ways.
Here are five ideas for making that happen:
|1. Appreciation Blanket + Journal. This is a twist on the crochet mood blanket, a popular project this year. Each day (or week) you crochet/ knit either one row or one motif (such as a granny square) that will go into a blanket intended for a special person. Select colors based on the feeling you have for the person each day you work on it. For example, the blanket will have rows of red when you feel love, pink for appreciation, and white for awe. Write down this color code in the front page of a journal. After each row, write a single line expressing why you chose that color for that day. In the end, you’ll have a cozy blanket and this touching journal that will be treasured forever. This is a great gift for pregnant moms seeking to create baby’s first blanket with intentional love.|
|Little Boy Blue Blanket|
At the Craft and Hobby Association tradeshow earlier this year Lion Brand unveiled its “7 Wonders of the Yarn World,” a larger-than-life art installation, designed and created by fiber artist Nathan Vincent. The response was wild – people loved it!
Then we went for the old one-two punch with a runway show to spotlight our newest line of knit and crochet fashions. Our lovely spokesperson Vanna White was on hand and people went crazy for the sweater she was wearing. Across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – people wanted to know, “where can I find that pattern?”
Well we have good news! We’re so pleased to be able to share the pattern for our Stained Glass Sweater with you now. The dramatic use of Vanna’s Glamour® and a metallic colorway of Bonbons make the alternating chevrons on this piece really stand out against the black background.
This sweater is also very versatile – you can wear it to the office during the day and leave it on for a fancy dinner that evening. It’s the perfect outfit sweater – dress it up, dress it down – wear it the way you feel best.
We’d like to say a special thanks to our fabulous Design team for the amazing details this sweater boasts – right down to the embroidered cuffs and collar – they did a fab job!
Groundhog Day is the one day that gives hope that we are on the last stretch of winter and on our way into spring. To help bring some luck that he doesn’t see his shadow, I crocheted a groundhog amigurumi with some Vanna’s Choice.
In the meantime, think warm, happy thoughts everyone!
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We’re well into 2014 and many of you have since made (and perhaps broken) resolutions and goals for this year. You’ve shared with us some amazing goals like knitting a pair of socks a week, to learning Fair Isle knitting, to even learning how to knit your very first sweater. Besides the usual “organize my stash,” I really want to improve my knitting skills beyond the basic knit and purl and maybe try to learn how to cable. As a pretty skilled crocheter, I’d also like to try Irish lace crochet.
This topic of resolutions inspired me to asked some of the writers and staff at Lion Brand if they had any goals they’d like to accomplish for this year. Here’s what some of them had to say:
|Kathryn Vercillo, who writes for our blog told us
“I want to play more with free-form crochet, try techniques I’ve never done and push my crochet writing in new ways.”
|Close-up of coral from
the Lion Brand Yarn Studio’s Under the Sea” window last summer.
All of us at Lion Brand want to wish you a Happy New Year!
While most resolutions revolve around good health, life, and a better you, we wonder what your yarncrafting resolutions will be for 2014? Are you looking to learn a stitch or try a new pattern or will you finally organize your yarn stash?
|For lion pattern click here.|
A lot of my projects often are related to food because I’m inspired by a concept I like to call “good enough to eat.” I’ve made berets that look like strawberries and pancakes and recently I crocheted a beret that looks like a “Jammie Dodger,” a jam -filled sandwich cookie.