Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Lion Staff' Category


Video: A Family-Owned Company Looks Back at 135 Years in Business

October 10th, 2013

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Lion Brand is an 135-year-old American brand that’s still owned and operated by the Blumenthal family! Six generations of the family have been involved in every aspect of the company from the corporate offices, to being the baby models on the yarn labels, to working at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. Join the Blumenthals as they recount some of their favorite memories of Lion Brand throughout the years.

If you’re reading this blog post in your email or an RSS reader, please click on the title to view the full blog post and video on our website.

What are some of your favorite memories of Lion Brand from your life? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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Meet Our New Creative Director

October 9th, 2013

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I’ve been a knitter, a shop girl at my LYS, the editor in chief of Vogue Knitting and Knit. 1 Magazine, and now, as Creative Director of Lion Brand and my motto has always
been “Fun to Knit and Fun to Wear.”

I didn’t start out in the hand-knitting industry. I studied writing and film at Oberlin and after college I worked as an assistant editor on feature films. I took time off from the grueling hours of independent film post-production to write my first screenplay,
“Knit 1 Purl 2.” I was an avid knitter, making about a sweater
a week, and got a part time job at my favorite LYS to keep me sane while I worked on the script. The late, great Melissa Matthay owned the shop and taught me how to design, combine yarns and create fun, easy garments for our clients. I remember the two of us squealing with joy as the new yarns arrived and we immediately would start swatching. We loved combining yarns to create different textures in simple but chic, over-sized silhouettes that looked good on all our customers: big, little, old, young.

 Our new Creative Director, Adian, and her daughter
Pictured: our new creative director, Adina, and her daughter.

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Lion Brand Wins An Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of the Year Award!

June 21st, 2013

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David Blumenthal (President/CEO) and Dean Blumenthal (EVP/COO) have won the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2013 Award in New Jersey in the ‘Family Business’ category.  What perfect timing! Just as we celebrate our 135th anniversary.  It means a lot to us to be recognized by such an influential global corporation, especially since we’ve come a long way in five generations from a pushcart on the Lower East Side of Manhattan!  For a look inside the company today, see this video: About Lion Brand Yarn Company – 135th Anniversary Special.


(Left to right: David Blumenthal & Dean Blumenthal)

 “Being recognized by a prestigious organization like Ernst & Young is such an honor for our 5th generation family business. I’m grateful for the leadership of our fathers who mentored us and taught us by example, and for the expertise and devotion of all our associates.”
-David Blumenthal

Congratulations to David and Dean Blumenthal!

 

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Stories from the Road: Remembering My Father and Deacon Jones

June 4th, 2013

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Stories from the Road | Lion Brand NotebookAs a traveling salesperson for Lion Brand for over 30 years, I’ve crisscrossed the country meeting knitters and crocheters from all corners of the United States and hearing their stories. In addition to yarncrafters, throughout my travels I’ve sometimes been lucky enough to run into some celebrities. Being that I am a huge sports fan, it is always extra exciting when I run into an athlete. During my travels, I have met the likes of Muhammad Ali and Darryl Strawberry.

My father, like me, traveled for the company for over 40 years and he too ran into his share of famous faces. One of my personal favorites that he had the pleasure of meeting was Deacon Jones of the Fearsome Foursome from Los Angeles Rams. Deacon sadly passed away today and it reminded me of my father, how much he loved traveling for Lion Brand, and of his adventures on the road.

May Deacon rest in peace.

[Pictured: my father George Blumenthal and Deacon Jones.]

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Celebrate Our 135th Anniversary with Us!

May 5th, 2013

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Can you believe that Lion Brand has been a staple in the yarn industry since 1878? This year, we’re celebrating our 135th anniversary, and we want to invite you, our customers, to a behind-the-scenes look at our operation. Lion Brand yarns have been on the market for 135 years, and today, we’re proud to say that six generations of the Blumenthal family have been involved in the company, from the corporate office to the baby faces on skein labels. Take a look at this short video to get to know the Blumenthals and their passion for yarn as well as education, inspiration and innovation.

If you’re viewing this blog post in your e-mail or an RSS reader, you may need to click on the title of the blog post to view it online and see the videos.

What special memories have you had involving Lion Brand throughout the years?


Knit a Drink Cozy for the Premiere of Iron Man 3!

May 1st, 2013

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Knit a Drink Cozy for the Premiere of Iron Man 3

Since Iron Man 3 is premiering on May 3rd I thought that I would make a project to prepare with our new yarn, Heartland! Heartland officially goes on sale today but we’ve had a few skeins in the office to play with for weeks. One day I walked by them and realized that it came in the perfect Iron Man colors!
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Ramon the Lion Gets a New Scarf

April 29th, 2013

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Ramon | Lion Brand NotebookThis is a guest blog post by Carolyn, our customer support supervisor. Her first blog post about Ramon, the lion statue by our NJ office door, can be read here

Back at the Carlstadt office, Ramon was thinking that he needed something new for spring…

Something stylish and fresh…and bold like his roar. After all, his current neckwear was getting tired.

So, he tried out our new color of Neon Pink in our Hometown USA line—what do you think?

Looks like he is ready to kick it into spring with his new look!

The pattern I used was Crocheted Rosettes/Flowers (free on LionBrand.com) – I used the largest size and just didn’t close up the Rosette.

P.S. I like to use this pattern for scarves for other things like stuffed animals and dolls—with a little imagination, the possibilities are endless.

Happy Spring!


My Finished Project: Crochet Linked Jacket

March 20th, 2013

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Zontee's finished cardi

A few years ago, I met the super-talented Robyn Chachula, a crochet designer whose background in engineering gives her projects a wonderfully architectural logic. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Robyn better, and she’s always making crochet easy to understand through great charts and schematics.

As an admirer both of architecture and crochet, I couldn’t resist working up one of the fantastic patterns from her book Simply CrochetPictured is my version of Robyn’s Linked Jacket, worked in our Martha Stewart Crafts™ Extra Soft Wool Blend with a clasp from Gita Maria.

I love that simply through choosing my yarn and by selecting my own closure, I’ve made this pattern my own–that’s really one of the great joys of crocheting and knitting your own clothes.

If you’re interested in learning more about Robyn’s designs, check out these interviews with her:

Do you have a finished project that you want to show off? Leave a comment and a photo or click here to upload your project to our Customer Gallery.


Jessica’s Project: Make an Infinity Scarf/Cowl in Just a Few Hours

January 29th, 2013

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Cowl in ProgressJessica, one of our sales support associates in our NJ office, worked on a Tweed Stripes cowl for her cousin at the recent Craft & Hobby Association trade show, where Lion Brand exhibited earlier this month. She shared her inspiration for the cowl. As told to Zontee.

When I was home during Hurricane Sandy, I had made myself an infinity scarf, a long scarf that you can double around your neck, for myself out of the Mixed Berries color of Tweed Stripes. It’s very warm and I get compliments (or requests!) every time I wear mine. In fact, it was so popular that all of my family members asked me to make them scarves too–I’ve already made seven, but the most requested color has been Mixed Berries.

Jessica in her finished cowl

It’s double-crocheted long-ways back and forth through the back loop only, which creates a ridged look. It only takes about a ball-and-a-half of yarn to make. Then at the end, I seam up the two shorter ends to create the cowl.

It’s a really easy project, and it doesn’t take much time to finish. I finished this one here at the trade show over 3 days! I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a quick gift to make. I can’t wait to give it to my cousin!

Editor’s Note: If you want to make your own version of Jessica’s cowl, chain about 180 with a K hook (adjust larger or smaller depending on how tight or loose a crocheter you are), double-crochet into the 3rd crochet from your hook and into each stitch thereafter, chain 3 and turn. In each of the subsequent rows, crochet into the back loops only, chain 3 and turn. Work about 6 rows (more or less depending on your preference for width). Seam the ends together. Voilà cowl!

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Preserve and Discover the History of Knitting & Crochet

October 17th, 2012

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Recently I was invited to the Knitting Heritage Museum Symposium in Madison, Wisconsin. The symposium, which takes place in November, focuses on preserving the history of knit and crochet.

The whole symposium is about history, which I’m very fond of. I love my family history and I love Lion Brand history and that’s what intrigues me about this opportunity. The museum contains many historical knit and crochet pieces on display for anyone to see. I treasure the pieces I have from Lion Brand and make sure that they are preserved in our archive.

At the event, I’m looking forward to broadening the knowledge I have of knit and crochet history. I already know a lot about Lion Brand history but I want to learn more about knit and crochet history. I think it’s important to collect things, archiving them and cherishing them and giving other people the opportunity to experience them. Sharing with others is inspiring and is something I always try to do.

I’m also excited get to have a meet and greet with the Madison Knitters Guild while I’m there. As a member of the board of directors of the Crochet Guild of America, I’m always pleased to meet with guilds all over the country. I can’t wait to meet  such a large guild from Wisconsin.

If you’re as interested in the history of yarn crafts as I am, I hope you’ll also consider attending.

Knitting Heritage Museum Symposium
November 8-10, 2012
Wisconsin Historical Society
Madison, Wisconsin 53706
Click here for more information and to register.

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