One of my favorite parts of working at Lion Brand is seeing the fantastic projects my coworkers finish. I’m constantly inspired by their creativity and craftsmanship. Now I’d love to share with you some of the most recent finished projects spotted around the office.
Kendra from the Lion Brand Yarn Studio got creative with our new Martha Stewart Crafts Cotton Hemp. For this simple cowl, she simple cast on 201 stitches in the Slate colorway. She then knit in seed stitch until she ran out of yarn.
As for me, I can’t stop knitting tiny things! All of these patterns come from Anna Hrachevoc’s book Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi. Clockwise from left: teeny-tiny cupcake knit with Martha Stewart Crafts Extra Soft Wool Blend in Sable, Winter Sky, and Lilac; teeny-tiny gnome in Martha Stewart Crafts Cotton Hemp in Slate, Peacock, Pink Taffy, Sour Cherry, Flour Sack White, and Picnic Green; teeny-tiny lion in Martha Stewart Crafts Extra Soft Wool Blend in Sable and Lemon Chiffon; and teeny-tiny eggs in Angel White and Sunshine Jamie.
Which projects are you working on right now? Let us know in the comments!
Regular readers of the blog know that I am a big sports fan, and I love when I get to combine my love of sports with my love of yarn. It’s the end of Stitch N Pitch season, and as usual, it’s been a season full of great baseball and lots of yarncrafting. Here in New York, I was proud to once again serve on the organizing committee and to be able to attend a game at Citi Field with my fellow yarn lovers. Citi Field is a truly special place, and this year, the committee and I, along with hundreds of knitters and crocheters yarnstormed (or “yarn bombed”) the stadium in Mets colors. Then we sat down for the game and enjoyed our crafting while watching the game. As a special bonus, the committee and I got to go out on the ball field, and I even got to meet Mr. Met.
Check out some of the photos from the event below!
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We want you to know that we are here for you to support your yarn crafting needs. There are many ways to “talk” to someone at Lion Brand, and not only that, but depending on how you choose to connect, you can also share with other yarn crafters.
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We are active on Ravelry. If you haven’t discovered Ravelry yet, you’re in for a treat. It’s a community of knitters and crocheters and there are always people to talk to, any time of day or night. There are many fan-run Lion Brand groups where we love to hear what you have to say, like Lion Brand Lovers, Lion Brand Cafe, Vanna’s Choice Fan Club, and more. You can also find a group for our podcast, YarnCraft, and a group for our NYC store and education center, Lion Brand Yarn Studio.
Many yarncrafters face the same challenge every summer: “I want to make something to wear right now even though it’s warm outside.” I have had this issue on my mind all summer long. On a recent shopping trip I finally found my summer yarncrafting inspiration. I’d like to share with you what I made, and what I learned in the process.
Recently, while admiring racks of ornate summer tank tops, I noticed little ruffles or motifs all over my favorite pieces. I realized then that little details are the perfect way to incorporate crafting into any summer wardrobe. I decided that my first project would be to add a sparkling ruffle in Vanna’s Glamour to an otherwise ordinary tank top.
|First, I used a slender tapestry needle to Blanket Stitch a border all the way around the neck of the tank top. I used Blanket Stitch because it creates loops along the edge of the fabric without adding bulk.|
|Next, I worked Slip Stitch crochet into the border I had made, using the edge loops as my foundation row instead of a chain. This is a great method for adding crochet trim to different fabrics.|
|After I completed the border, I was ready to get started on the ruffle. Instead of writing a ruffle pattern from scratch, I followed the directions for the Potato Chip Scarf with a few alterations. I made a chain of 40 stitches (instead of 143), and used a single strand of Vanna’s Glamour with a size H8 hook. Crocheting the ruffle separately made the project a lot easier to manage, and helped me obtain the gauge I wanted.|
After stitching the ruffle to the border and weaving in the ends, my tank top was ready to go! I really love the way it turned out, and figuring out how to do it was half the fun.
Have you made simple clothing special by adding hand made details? Leave a comment to tell us about your projects and inspiration!
How making a few easy changes to a pattern gave me exactly the finished project I wanted.
Possibly my favorite thing about Spring is finally wearing pretty skirts again. After the heavy long skirts of winter, it’s a relief to have a light little twirly skirt on. Unfortunately, the weather is not always cooperative with my idea of what a perfect Spring day should be, so I sometimes find myself either shivering in a too-cool outfit or sadly donning heavier clothes yet again. When I saw the Carnaby skirt last year on Knitty.com, I filed it away as a possible solution, and when this winter began to look like it would never give way to Spring, I decided it was the perfect time to cast on, but with a few little tweaks to make it exactly what I was looking for.
The first thing I changed was the yarn. The original pattern calls for a category 4 yarn, and one of the samples even uses Lion Wool. While I do like Lion Wool–and it comes in some really great colors–I knew I had enough LB Collection Organic Wool in my stash for the skirt and I love being able to do a little easy stash-busting. I worked up a quick swatch, and the gauge was on the large side but I really liked the feel and drape of the fabric I was getting. Because of the way this skirt is constructed, stitches per inch will affect the length and rows will affect the waist measurement. There’s no shaping other than the gores–you just work the panels until it’s long enough to wrap around you–so I wasn’t overly concerned about my row gauge.
Stitch gauge was another matter. With the larger gauge, my skirt was going to hit me right across the knees–not a great look for me. But since I really liked the way my fabric was draping I didn’t really want to go down a needle size or two to get gauge. Instead I decided to just work fewer repeats of the pattern than originally called for. To do this, I needed to calculate two things: how many stitches made up a pattern repeat, and about how many stitches I needed to get the length I wanted.
Determining how many stitches would give me the length I wanted was fairly simple: multiply desired inches by stitches per inch. I measured a skirt I already own that I like the length of and decided I wanted a finished length of about 18″. At an in-pattern gauge of 16sts = 4″, or 4sts = 1″, I needed to cast on about 72 stitches. Now it was time to look at the pattern repeat.
This is a fairly simple box stitch, and it tells me right in the pattern notes that it’s multiple of four stitches (you can find similar information in the Stitch Explanation section of Lion Brand patterns). 72 is actually a multiple of four, so I was done with the mathy bit. If 72 hadn’t been a multiple of the number of stitches needed for the pattern, I would have gone up or down as necessary. For instance, if I’d needed a multiple of 10, I’d've just rounded down to 70. One thing to note here about stitch multiples: you will often see something like “multiple of 4 +1″. What this means is that your total number of stitches needs to be a multiple of 4, plus one additional stitch. If you are just up- or down-sizing a pattern, you really don’t need to worry about the “plus” — just add or subtract the main multiple. In other words, if this was a multiple of 4 + 1 and the original cast on was 81, I would still only subtract 8 which would leave me with 73: a multiple of 4 + 1.
The final change I made was to forgo the buttonholes and actually sew the final panel to the first panel. Using buttons to hold a knit skirt closed just seemed like it was asking for a wardrobe malfunction. I really liked the look of the buttons, though, so I kept the overlap when I sewed the flaps together and sewed the buttons on top. Because the slip stitch waistband has very little give, I fell back on a trick I learned from garment design: I sewed a smaller button underneath the top decorative button and left a bit of a flap open at the top so I can actually get the skirt on and off. Once I’ve got it on, the smaller button fastens to the lower flap and no one’s the wiser.
These few easy little changes gave me a skirt I absolutely love — I’m looking forward to wearing it all Spring and digging it back out again in the Fall when temperatures start dropping again!
Our friend and coworker Jocelyn recently shared pictures of a one-of-a-kind sweater that she knit for her band‘s new album. I think you’ll agree that it’s truly unique!
In this exclusive video, Jocelyn shares a bit more about why and how she made the sweater.
This sweater is more than a fantastic whimsical piece; it inspires non-crafters and crafters alike to engage in dialogue about yarncrafting. Thanks for sharing, Jocelyn!
Photo credit: Shervin Lainez
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of meeting with the Long Island Knitting Guild. I always love speaking to ladies who are as passionate about yarn as I am; it creates such a wonderful rapport and allows for great questions. As I was leaving the meeting, one of the ladies presented me with three comic strips from her local paper, each of which were about knitting. [Click the photo above to enlarge.]
Not only was I excited because I collect knitting and crochet-related memorabilia, but I was also excited to see this because it reminded me of our very own Lola comic. Lola has been the most popular aspect of our Weekly Stitch newsletter for years and she’s is an important lady here in Lion Country. To check out what funny thing she is going to do next, subscribe and stay tuned for our next newsletter or you can check our new Lola comic book.
Have you spotted other knit/crochet-related comics? Tell us about them by leaving a comment!
Want me to visit your group? Groups of 50 or more in the tri-state area can contact me at email@example.com regarding speaking at an event.
After a long time contemplating weaving (and even giving a back-strap loom a few passes of the shuttle), I finally took the time to set up and get going on a Cricket Loom. I thought I’d share a few pictures and tips from my first attempts at weaving.
1. Set up with a friend. It really helps to have an extra hand when putting the Cricket Loom together. It was pretty simple, but I was happy to have the help. Also, as someone who is relatively unfamiliar with weaving terms (I know they are all related to weaving, but I can never remember which word means what), it was helpful to read the directions for setting up the warp out loud and decipher it together. Plus, it’s just more fun with a friend.
2. Plan your project width. Learn from my mistakes. I thought we’d start the warp all the way at the end of the heddle and just go as wide as we wanted, but this caused our warp to be off center and the weaving to get a little funky. You don’t need to know the exact length of your final project. Overestimate the length to ensure that your warp will be long enough.
3. Don’t be afraid of mistakes. Even though I made plenty of mistakes, I had a lot of fun. When we were setting up the warp, I accidentally skipped the sixth hole in the heddle. I decided I’d just skip every sixth, and I think it made for an interesting effect. We made plenty of other mistakes, but instead of getting the perfect project, I’m learning a lot about weaving and all that you can do with it.
4. Play with color and texture. I played with fun color and texture combos. I used Sock-Ease in Green Apple for the warp. I started weaving with Cotton-Ease in Golden Glow and I liked how the two colors worked up together. When the first shuttle started running low, I decided to try something else, Fishermen’s Wool in the new Birch Tweed. I loved the way it worked up! Even though it’s a neutral color, the texture and flecks of color made it exciting to work with. Working with beautiful yarns is great motivation for finishing a project.
Overall, I really enjoyed learning to weave! The Cricket Loom was easy to understand and the directions were pretty straight forward. It was also nice and light so I could move it around as needed. For my next project, I think I’d like to try the Boyfriend Scarf. I love the design and think I’m ready to try following a pattern.
Trying weaving? Tell us about it by leaving a comment!
Most knitters and crocheters have been in this situation before: You walk into a clothing store, and you see a piece of clothing; you think to yourself, “Hey, I could make something like that.” Well, that happened to me recently, and I wanted to share with you how I broke down the process of figuring out how to knit or crochet a piece based on a commercial item.
This skirt caught my eye because of its loopy fringe and sheen. Being mass produced, it was made of a fine knitted fabric with the fringe sewn onto it. BUT as a creative yarncrafter, I knew I could find a stitch pattern and yarn that would allow me to create a similar effect while knitting the fringe right into the fabric.
Being that it’s spring, I wanted to go with something more fun that steel gray, so I chose LB Collection Cotton Bamboo for its great drape, subtle sheen, and bright spring colors. Next, I looked in the LionBrand.com StitchFinder and found the Single Loop Fringe stitch pattern, which is just a perfect match for this project. [All highlighted text are clickable links.]
Finally, I sketched out a rough schematic (just like one you’d find in a pattern) to figure out which measurements I would need and what math I would have to do. I know that I need measurements for my waist and hip, the distance up and down from the waist to the hip (the section where I would have to do increases to get the extra width for my hips), and the desired length of the skirt. I also know that I’ll have to knit swatches to figure out my gauge (and thereby figure out my cast-on amount) for the ribbed section, as well as in stockinette stitch (the stitch I’m going to use for the skirt fabric), and in the single loop fringe (to help me figure out how far apart my fringe rows should be). I’ll be knitting these test swatches with smaller needle sizes than recommended for this yarn, since with a skirt, you’ll want a denser fabric for better shape (and to make sure it’s more opaque!), and I’ll be sure to try a few different needle sizes to figure out which fabric density I like best.
With all of this information and my schematic, I should be able to do the math to write my very own pattern!
Alas, I still have a WIP (work in progress) on my needles, so it will be a little while until I get to my skirt project, but in the meantime, I hope this blog post shows you how to break down a project so that you can really create it for yourself.
Good luck, and happy yarncrafting!
Despite the fact that it snowed at the end of March, our thoughts are turning to spring as we head into April. At the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in NYC, that means cottons, lace, knitting and crochet, and trying new things! Here’s a peek at what some of us have on our hooks and needles:
This spring, I’m ready to try my hand at my first crocheted sweater. I have always been a big sweater knitter and I save my crochet for scarves and hats. No more. I saw the cover of this month’s Interweave Crochet and it screams out for LB Collection Superwash Merino. I’ve swatched it on two different hook sizes (on for my hips and then the smaller hook for the rest). I know if I hit a problem, I have our expert Crochet Doctor in house–Andrea to the rescue!
For my warmer-weather crafting this year I’m branching out (spring pun!) into new territory, trying my first crochet garment pattern. The crochet project is the Circle Vest from LionBrand.com. It’s originally done in Vanna’s Choice, but I’m doing it in the Recycled Cotton for a more summer-wear option. I think this is the perfect stepping-stone garment, since it doesn’t have sleeves for shaping!
I’ve been working on the Emmaline short-sleeved top from Knitty.com with Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton in Dusty Blue. It’s almost done, so I might be able to wear it soon if the weather ever decides to stop hating us. Wait, what’s that? Snow forecasted for tonight? Never mind
This spring I wanted to explore two of my favorite things, yarn dyeing and lace shawl knitting. I’m experimented with acid dye and the LB Collection Baby Alpaca. Since Alpaca takes dye differently then wool it ended up this great kettle dyed look. Stay tuned for a new dyeing class that I will be teaching in the Studio starting this Summer. Here is the start of my shawl (Little Arrowhead Shawl, a free pattern on KnittingDaily.com).
This spring I’m splitting my time between knit and crochet.
I’ve just finished my crochet garment, the Persimmon Pullover from LionBrand.com. To fit my style, I elongated the pattern and turned it into a tunic to wear over leggings. I used Superwash Merino Cashmere in Wild Berry.
Not to play favorites with crafts, my knit project in progress is Roman sweater (free pattern on Ravelry.com), and I’m using Cotton-Ease in Cherry. I was a bit frustrated because although I achieved gauge my first 2 attempts turned out too large. I tinked (that’s unknitting, knit spelled backwards) those and finally used the X-small size. We will see how it turns out once I seam it. I plan on spray painting it with a metallic color at the end because I saw a similar sweater in a store recently. I really was attracted to the pattern because of the one shoulder diagonal cable and the fact that it would be a good summer sweater.
Want to show us what you’re working on? Add your project to the Customer Gallery on LionBrand.com!