Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame

Archive for the 'On The Road' Category


Our Visit with Vanna White

November 29th, 2011

Pin It
Last week I headed out to Los Angeles with Zontee, my coworker in Marketing, and Pete, a videographer we have worked with on many of our recent videos. We were going to visit Vanna White at her home and talk to her about her life, her love of crochet and the yarns that bear her name. I first met Vanna about 12 years ago when I attended the big craft trade show where Vanna emcees the Lion Brand fashion show every year. I remember being impressed with her warmth and her kindness to everyone she met. I knew it would be fun to spend time with Vanna at her home. 

Zontee, Pete and I arrived at the gate of her community in the morning. She lives in an area with Mediterranean style homes set close together on quiet tree-lined streets. Her house is lovely and spacious without being showy. Vanna greeted us at the door, hair up in a ponytail, looking delicate (she is surprisingly petite) and beautiful without a drop of make-up. She offered us coffee, Entenmann’s chocolate donuts, and raisin toast. We had just come from breakfast so we thanked her, but boy, those donuts were calling to me anyway! Then Vanna told us to make ourselves at home–to walk around anywhere in the house we wanted to scout out places to film and she went upstairs to get ready.

Vanna White and her cat, Stella

We did look around, saw a lovely outdoor deck where we would want to shoot but settled on the living room to start with. What I noticed walking around Vanna’s house was that on almost every horizontal surface were photos of her family and friends. Many of the photos were of her children, now teens, as they grew up.

Before Vanna came downstairs after getting her hair and makeup done, she invited us to come up and look in her closet for clothes we thought she should wear. Did I mention how accommodating and open she is? It’s amazing how many times she asked us what we would like. Her closet was probably the most organized closet I’ve ever seen. As we were looking for a pair of white slacks and sweater, I noticed that although there may have been more of them than we have in our closets, the brands were as down-to-earth as anything we’d wear from the local mall store. The pants we settled on were from White House | Black Market and the top from Banana Republic. Of course there is a section of the closet devoted to gowns like you might see her wearing on Wheel of Fortune, but that was the exception in a wide range of jeans and crew neck tops, which seem to be her favorites.

The interview and the filming were easy. Vanna is so comfortable and natural with people. I think you’re going to love seeing the videos we made. You’ll get to see Vanna talking about things you’ve never heard her say before, and since so many of you have asked if she really crochets, you’ll see her crocheting as well. I don’t want to give too much away but you’ll see for yourself in about 3 weeks.

Planning the camera angle A little touch-up
The outside space at Vanna’s
house
When we left, Vanna walked us
to the door!

We spent several hours with Vanna and got to know her–you’ll be getting to know her soon too! We look forward to sharing our visit.


Yarn Lovers at Citi Field

October 2nd, 2011

Pin It

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!


If you’re reading this blog post in your email, please click on the title of the blog post to view the full blog post and slideshow online.


Baseball + Yarn = The Perfect Double Play

August 28th, 2011

Pin It

Play Ball! August is wrapping up, which means we’re heading into the home stretch of this year’s Stitch N Pitch season. If you’re not already familiar with it, Stitch N Pitch is an event organized by the National NeedleArts Association that brings yarn crafters to major league ball games. As someone passionate about both yarn and sports, there is nothing I love more than to see people yarn crafting supporting local sports.

Upcoming games in September:

Sept 10 – Chicago White Sox
Sept 13 – New York Mets
Sept 15 – Cincinnati Reds
Sept 25 – Detroit Tigers

As we get to the end of Stitch N Pitch season, I hope that those of you who have already attended your local Stitch N Pitch games had a great time, and I hope you’ll leave a comment sharing your experiences.

Stitch N Pitch in New York
My fellow New York Stitch N Pitch committee members and I have been working hard to top last year’s event, during which we set the World Record for most people crocheting in one place. This year, we’re planning–with the help of yarn crafters like you–to yarn storm (or “yarn bomb”) Citi Field. If you’re in the NYC-area, click here to learn more about how you can drop off swatches at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in Manhattan and come to our seaming party to help seam up the swatches into pieces that will decorate Citi Field! I am extremely excited for everyone to see the yarn storming that will place at Citi Field. It will truly be something to see.

So come one, come all as we cheer on the New York Mets as they battle the Washington Nationals. Again, the game is September 13 and it starts at 7:10 pm. To purchase tickets for the game, visit the Lion Brand Yarn Studio.

Related links:


4 Summer Vacation Projects to Knit or Crochet

August 8th, 2011

Pin It

August has always been one of my favorite months for one reason: summer vacations. The last month of summer vacation for many school children, August is a month to get out and enjoy free time with family and see new and exciting things together. If you’re like me, this also means planning what projects to take along, and what projects you’ll work on while you’re there. These 4 projects are great to make while you are traveling, and will be excellent items to have on hand as you pack for your next adventure.

Summer Vacation Photo Album Cover The Summer Vacation Photo Album Cover is perfect for holding all the photos from a summer of excitement, and is also a great pattern for a scrapbook or journal cover. Since the pieces are small and worked separately, the project is a great one to work on while you travel. Assemble it once you return home and fill it with all the images and momentos of your vacation.
Sweet Dreams Travel Pillow You can rest easy with the Sweet Dreams Travel Pillow to keep you comfortable napping or relaxing on a plane or long ride. Make it in Superwash Merino Cashmere or Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton or  for added luxury on your journey.
Blue Skies Accessories Bag The Blue Skies Accessories Bag is an excellent project to crochet while traveling, and a perfect accessory caddy to carry with you once you’re finished. Decorate it with the trees and bird if you like, or ou can get creative and decorate it with a scene from your favorite vacation.
Travelin' Man Shoe Covers Keeping shoes secure and scuff-free is easier with Travelin’ Man Shoe Covers. A pair of shoe covers makes an excellent travel-sized project, and the finished project is great to have on hand when you’re ready to head out on your next venture. They make a perfect gift for any friend or family member who loves to travel.

Have you been vacationing this summer? What are your favorite projects to take along? Leave us a comment to share your favorites.


Join Us at the Knit & Crochet Show

July 17th, 2011

Pin It

We’ve been a sponsor of the Crochet Guild of America and the Knitting Guild Association‘s joint yarn-event, the Knit & Crochet Show, for several years. It’s an event that we love to attend, because we love seeing all of our friends who are members of local knit and crochet guilds. We also love seeing our designer and teacher friends. This summer’s Knit & Crochet Show will be taking place in Minneapolis, MN on July 29 – 31, and it will have classes, a marketplace, contests, and more. Click here to visit the Knit & Crochet Show website for more information.

Prior to the Knit & Crochet Show, the Crochet Guild of America also holds their Professional Development Day (July 27, 2011) sponsored by Lion Brand. It’s a day of workshops and panels for aspiring designers/teachers/yarn-store owners to learn from experts in the industry, network with others in the community, and to share ideas and get feedback.  Want to know more about this special day? Click here to read about Laura’s experiences at the event last year.

If you’re able to make it, I hope you’ll stop and say hello to myself or Jack, as we would love to meet you in person! Or perhaps we’ll see you in Greensboro, NC, in the fall!


See the Amazing (Yarn) Man at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles

May 16th, 2011

Pin It

Earlier this year, we featured a photo of our Amazing man, a sculpture made with various colors of our Amazing yarn that was featured at the CHA trade show. If you want to see him in person, you can visit the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles in San Jose, CA starting this week. Both he and his couch will be part of the exhibit, Primary Structures from May 17 to August 7.

Related links:


Spotted: Knitting Comics

April 18th, 2011

Pin It

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 jack@lionbrand.com regarding speaking at an event.

Related links:


Fun & Fashion at Stitches West

March 8th, 2011

Pin It

A few weeks ago, Lindsey, Kendra, and I attended Stitches West, one of the four fantastic Stitches yarn conventions that happen around the country*. It was my second time at the Santa Clara, CA show, and we had a blast!

Of course the great gang from XRX/Knitter’s Magazine was there, as well as the awesome crew from Ravelry, along with many of our great designer friends. Over at the booth, I interviewed designers Lily Chin, Edie Eckman, and Candice Eisner Strick–a sort of “live and in person” version of what I do twice a month on our podcast, YarnCraft–in addition to meeting hundreds of Lion Brand fans who came to check out the latest in yarns and designs. A couple of Lion Brand even lovers brought their projects to show off! Here are photos of one woman’s cowl made in Amazing:

For a similar cowl pattern on LionBrand.com, click here.

In the big fashion show, we had several garments made in our LB Collection yarns–these are luxe yarns available only on LionBrand.com, through our catalog, and in our NYC store–including the Sunset Raglan Tee, Lace Crochet Bolero, and the Chevron Tank Tunic. You can see photos of the bolero in the show from XRX/Knitter’s Magazine here and here.

Another highlight of the show was hanging out with Heatherly (that’s designer YarnYenta, for you sock lovers)and her daughters. (Often, in the yarn community, you only run into your yarn-crafting friends a few times a year at these sorts of shows!). Here is teenage Tirzah in the cropped cardigan she knit in Vanna’s Choice!

As always, we love seeing you live and in person, and of course, we love seeing your projects! Keep an eye on the blog for announcements of other shows we’re going to be attending this year!

*If someone asks you what a yarn convention is like, just tell them it’s like “Comic Con” (the hugely popular comic/gaming/sci-fi convention) but for people who love yarn. Both have a lot of people who dress up specially for the occasion, geek out on “celebrities” that are only really famous in that circle, and tons of cool booths to check out. I find this explanation works particularly well on guys.

Related links:


Lion Brand in California: Stitches West & Other Recent Shows

February 14th, 2011

Pin It

Here on the East Coast, it’s been quite wintry and blustery, but luckily for Lion Brand staffers, we’ve had some reasons to go out to sunny California for yarn and crafting events.

Last month, I was out in Long Beach for the TNNA Trade Show (that’s the National Needle Arts Association), where I met many industry insiders and interviewed them on what’s upcoming for 2011 in the world of yarn. You can listen to these interviews on YarnCraft, our podcast about all things knitting, crochet, and crafting with yarn (I like to call it “Car Talk” but for knitters & crocheters). Click the following to check out the episodes that include part 1 and part 2 of this mini-series of interviews; part 3 will come out tomorrow on 2/15.

Later in January, some of the Lion Brand team went out to Anaheim for the Craft & Hobby Association’s Winter Trade Show. Open to industry insiders, it’s a show where we–and many other companies–highlight new products and ideas for the upcoming year. We always host a big fashion show, emceed by Vanna White herself, featuring inspirational projects made with yarn. Our booth also features unique and unexpected ideas about creating with yarn. Check out our yarn man, sitting on a patchwork yarn sampler ottoman (with more yarn creations in the background):

Upcoming This Month

And this weekend, we’ll be at Stitches West, a knit & crochet consumer show that’s open to the public, so be sure to stop by February 18 to 20. It’ll be at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara, CA. We’ll have a booth with samples of new yarns for you to touch and feel, raffles throughout the day, and discounts on orders placed at the booth. Come join us for this fun-filled weekend! Learn more by clicking here.

Related links:


Finger Knit & More at the Treasure Island Music Festival

October 10th, 2010

Pin It

If you’re in the San Francisco area and planning to check out the Treasure Island Music Festival, don’t forget to stop by Workshop’s DIY tent on Sunday, Oct. 17th, where our friends at GoGo Craft will be teaching finger knitting and traditional knitting. They’ll be making finger-knit necklaces and more with Vanna’s Glamour and Vanna’s Choice yarns.

Are you, or someone you know, planning an upcoming yarncrafting event in your local area? Tell us about it by leaving a comment!

css.php