Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'On The Road' Category


You Never Know When You Might Learn Something New About Yarncrafting

August 20th, 2010

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While I was on vacation last week, I went to a lecture on health and wellness. During the lecture I noticed a woman crocheting in the audience, and I instantly felt right at home. Her name was Elaine (pictured right), and I couldn’t wait to ask her all about her project. When I asked, I was extremely happy to find out that she was crocheting preemie hats for a local charity. Charity yarncrafting has always been near and dear to my heart and I truly appreciate all of those who donate their time and energies to such worthy causes.

Elaine even shared a little fun fact with me: Did you know that while crocheting hats for babies, a preemie hat should be the size of an orange and a full sized baby hat should be the size of a grapefruit?

It really is amazing that you never know when you might learn something new about crafts you thought you knew well!

What interesting knitting & crochet tips and tidbits have you learned unexpectedly? Leave a comment and tell us!

Are you looking for a yarncrafting charity to donate to? Check our Charity Connection database for local, national, and international organizations.


Learning from the Best

July 27th, 2010

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I recently had the opportunity to attend the Knit and Crochet Show in Manchester, NH. It was really great to get the chance to meet our customers in person to hear first-hand how much you enjoy our products and our service. The highlight of the week for me was the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) Professional Development Day that Lion Brand sponsored. Hearing all of the successful designers and teachers share their knowledge with the others in the room was really wonderful, and I picked up (and shared!) quite a few great tips and tricks during the breakout sessions in the afternoon.

There were three sessions, and I really had a tough time choosing where to spend the afternoon! I sat down first in Edie Eckman’s group (Edie was the host of our Hexagon Afghan Crochet-Along), where I learned all about preparing for the pattern publication process. Since I deal with the patterns after they’ve already been chosen, edited, and published, it was very refreshing and insightful to see what designers (and publishers!) go through during this process. I followed Edie’s session up with the always fabulous Lily Chin, who gave our brains a great creative workout by having us find design inspiration in our surroundings. I finished up with Karen Klemp’s session on handling teaching challenges, which gave me some really great new ways to think about helping customers with pattern questions.

My biggest take-away, though, was seeing the camaraderie and sharing that was going on throughout the day. Kristin Omdahl and Lily Chin had started the day with an unvarnished snapshot of what it’s like to be a full-time crochet professional. It’s not easy, and this is a group of people in direct competition with each other for publisher and student dollars. In spite of that, not once did I see anyone hesitate to answer a question or give out detailed information — everyone was clearly invested in helping everyone else in whatever way they could. I know first hand how rewarding it is to pass on the knowledge I have, since I get to do that with our customers every day, and it was wonderful to see that there is a whole community of designers and teachers out there who clearly feel the same way.

Want to learn more about working in the yarn industry? Come to a future Professional Development Day, and also listen to our radio-style podcast, YarnCraft, episode 21: Sharing Your Designs with Others for more about publishing your designs or episode 70: Tips & Tricks on Teaching Beginner & Advanced Knitting & Crochet Skills for more on teaching.

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Knit-Along with Me! Join Me on Knitting Daily TV All Summer Long!

July 22nd, 2010

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Earlier this spring, I flew out to Cleveland, Ohio and spent a couple of days with the crew of Knitting Daily TV. Not only did I get to meet Interweave Knits Editor Eunny Jang who is also the host of KDTV (that’s us on set, to the right), but I also got to film three knit-alongs with her for this summer’s season of Knitting Daily TV. I also got to meet many other different designers and yarn-world figures who make an appearance on this season.

Although I’ve made a bunch of videos for our YouTube Channel and I’ve done some local TV interviews, I’ve never done a series of TV segments before. Although it looks quite warm and relaxed on set, it really takes the energies of quite a few people to make everyone look good, sound good, and to make the knitting and crochet process make sense on screen. It was fun for me to see how much filming could be squeezed into a couple of days and how many people it takes to make sure that all the pieces fall into place.

This summer, you can join me on Knitting Daily TV as I knit the Fallen Leaves Scarf, the Little Lamb Sock Critter, and the Tabard Vest–three projects that will be sure to expand your knitting skills. We’ll cover things like slip stitch knitting, cabling, and reading lace charts. It’s going to be a busy summer!

The season’s just starting, so click here to check out associate producer Annie Hartman Bakker’s preview of the first five episodes. Then click through to KnittingDailyTV.com and click on “TV schedules” at the top to find out when the show’s airing near you! This season is the 500 series, so any episodes starting with a “5″ are new. I can’t wait for you to join me!


What’s Popular at the Knit & Crochet Show

July 19th, 2010

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Earlier this month, Lion Brand Yarn sponsored the Crochet Guild of America’s Professional Development Day and exhibited at the Knit and Crochet Show in Manchester, New Hampshire. Here at Lion Brand we truly enjoy being a part of the consumer shows because it gives us a chance reach out to the public. Having our booth filled with Lion Brand fans and witnessing their creativity is always such a gratifying experience for us. (If you didn’t see Lindsey’s post last week about the projects that Lion Brand customers brought to our booth, be sure to check it out!)

Another wonderful part of the show is finding out what products our customers were really into. As usual, our LB Collection of luxury fibers at affordable prices was a big hit, especially the LB Collection Wool Stainless Steel. We brought the Lace Net Scarf as an example of how this yarn is both soft enough to wear around the neck and how the steel content actually allows it to keep its shape, staying open and lacy with just a little stretch! One of the many reasons we like to attend shows like this one is to show off our yarns in person, as many people prefer to touch yarn and see the colors in person before buying! (Tip: Another great way to see our yarns in person is to order a color card. Click here to see the LB Collection color cards.)

Our color-changing Amazing yarn was also a big hit — people love seeing the swatches and how the colors work over a long stretch of yarn. Haven’t seen how it works? Click  here to see swatches!

Finally, walking the show and seeing all of the Lion Brand tote bags being carried around always brings a smile to my face. It makes me feel as though our fans share the same sense of pride in our brand as I do.

(If you’re looking at this blog post on the website, click on the slideshow to move to the next photo. If you’re viewing this blog post in your e-mail and you’re having trouble with the photos, please click the title to see it on the website.)

We can’t wait to see what this event has in store for us next year!

Were you at the Knit & Crochet Show? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment on this blog post!

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On the Road: Customer Projects at the Knit & Crochet Show

July 14th, 2010

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One of the most fun things about going to shows is seeing all the wonderful things our customers make with our yarn! Last week I got to go to the Knit & Crochet show in Manchester, NH, where a few of our customers stopped by the booth to show off their wonderful projects.  Some were original designs, while others were made using our patterns.  Here are just a few of the finished products I got to see:

Please keep your mouse over the slideshow to see the captions. Unless the name of the pattern is specified in the caption, we do NOT have the pattern available. If you’re viewing the photos in your e-mail, please click on the title of the blog post to view it on our website in order to see the captions.

Come see Lion Brand in August at Stitches Midwest!  If you can’t make it, share your projects in our Customer Gallery.  We always love to see what you do with yarn!

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Setting World Records at Citi Field…with Crochet!

June 16th, 2010

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This is a guest post from Mike D., whose last blog post was about our company bowling night.

Have you ever seen 426 people simultaneously crocheting? If you are saying “yes,” then it could be that you were at Citi Field on June 5th for Stitch N Pitch. While I was not one of the 426 crocheters that set the Guinness Book of World Records, I was there to help set up, and it was a tremendous experience for everyone there. (I am also a big Mets fan, so when asked, I jumped at the opportunity to help.)

There were people (like the people standing next to me above: Libby, Stacy, Gabby, Lily, etc.) that put way more time and energy into making this happen than I did, but it was a pleasure lending a helping hand where I could. I enjoyed having the opportunity to chat with so many wonderful people, and listening to their feedback about the yarn, this experience, or the different projects they were working on (a pair of socks from each possible color available in our Sock-Ease!!!). I learned that this was going to be the second time one young lady entered the Guinness Book of World Records, as she had previously tapped danced her way into it once before.

As much as I enjoyed being around so many wonderful people, the biggest moment of the day for me came after the world record had been set. You see, I have a “bucket list” (Don’t know the term? See the Morgan Freeman/Jack Nicholson movie of the same name for reference), and on this “bucket list” is to be on the home field of the New York Mets. Since Jack wasn’t able to go to the game, I was happy to take his place and check this task off my “bucket list.” I made my pilgrimage onto the field that day, saw my picture on the scoreboard, and had my name announced over the loud speaker. All-in-all, it was a truly awesome experience!

Were you at the game? Tell us about your experiences! Leave a comment!

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Show and Tell with the Long Island Knitting Guild

June 14th, 2010

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Most of you probably already know that I go to speak at local guilds and knitting & crochet groups in the area. A few weeks ago, I visited the Long Island Knitting Guild, and I had a great time. As with many knitting & crochet groups, one of the fun parts of getting together is show and tell, and this gathering was no different — during the meeting the ladies had a show and tell of all of their latest Lion Brand projects. I truly enjoyed seeing all of their creations and wanted to share their talents with you. Enjoy!

(If you’re looking at this blog post on the website, click on the slideshow to move to the next photo. If you’re viewing this blog post in your e-mail and you’re having trouble with the photos, please click the title to see it on the website.)

Do you want to show off your latest Lion Brand projects too? Click here to go to our Customer Gallery, where you can browse projects from all over the world AND submit your own!


Fun with Yarn at Maker Faire Bay Area 2010

June 1st, 2010

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We love to reach out to yarncrafters (and those who want to learn a yarncraft) here at Lion Brand, which is why we go to a bunch of different craft and yarn fairs throughout the year. So far in 2010, we’ve been to Stitches West and Stitches South, and we just got back from Maker Faire Bay Area — a unique event for all things DIY (do-it-yourself) from building rockets to growing vegetables to sewing clothes to, of course, knitting, crocheting, and working with yarn!

Here are just some of my photos from this inspiring and educational (and just plain fun) event! (You can click on any of the photos to see them enlarged on Flickr.):

This is our booth, with our team inside. On the left, you can see our amigurumi
and yarn tables; on the right, you can see our argyle giraffe sculpture and our kids’ craft table:
At the Lion Brand Booth: a wide shot of the whole booth
The argyle giraffe is over 8 feet tall and took our design team several months to build (he’s got a steel skeleton!) and knit. Each one of the blades of grass on his base was hand-attached by myself and three other LBYers before the start of the show. No pattern here, ladies and gentlemen — this piece is all about extreme-crafting and inspiration!
At the Lion Brand Booth: the argyle giraffe
We taught knitting & crochet to people of all ages:
Crochet lessons Knitting lessons
We also had visitors, like a woman from the baseball booth, who brought by an unraveled baseball (shown left; did you know that baseballs are made with yarn?) and one of the knitters in our booth immediately started working with the baseball yarn (shown right)! Maybe you can get your baseball-loving friends to take up knitting with this information!
Baseball and yarn Baseball and yarn
We even had a celebrity stop by…
At the Lion Brand Booth: a special visitor! R2-D2!
Our friend, Natalie, senior editor of Craft Magazine (a publication of the O’Reilly Media family, the company that puts on Maker Faire) also stopped by to visit. That’s Liz, Natalie, and me.
At the Lion Brand Booth: Liz, Nat (of Craft Magazine), and Zontee
We also had a TON of kids stop by and make animals, inspired by our knit & crochet amigurumi animals and the giant argyle giraffe, with us at our craft table. Here are just a few of their creations:
At the kids' table: a cockatoo At the kids' table: a strawberry ice cream cone
At the kids' table: a dog At the kids' table: a duckie

Want to see the rest of my photos? Click here to see them on Flickr!

Want to make your own crafted animals? Here are a couple of patterns to
get you started:

Maker Faire will be in Detroit and then coming to Lion Brand’s hometown
of New York, so check out their website to learn more about this cool event! Visit Lion Brand at upcoming events like the Knit & Crochet Show, Stitches
Midwest
, and World Maker Faire in New York.

Want to know even more about our Maker Faire trip? Check out next week’s episode of YarnCraft, our radio-style podcast for interviews with fiber-enthusiasts, artists, and more, from our trip to the Bay Area!

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Lion Brand in the ATL

May 4th, 2010

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At the end of April, Andrea (one of our great Lion Brand Yarn Studio staffers) and I headed down to Atlanta, Georgia for Stitches South. It’s only Lion Brand’s second time to Stitches ever and our first time to Stitches South, so it was a exciting experience for us, as well as the hundreds of people who stopped by our booth to say hi!

As usual, we showed off the LB Collection and other new yarns like Amazing, we gave away free patterns, dozens of door prizes, raffle prizes, and more at the booth — we even a huge basket of yarn at the Ravelry party. We also featured 3 different gorgeous garments at the Knitter’s Magazine fashion show: the knit Modern Lodge Pullover in Amazing (pictured below left), the knit Dressmaker Detail Cardigan (pictured below right), and the beautiful crochet Lavish Lace Shawl, which got a big cheer from the crocheters in the audience.

Another highlight of the show is always seeing the what our customers have done with our yarn. Check out this beautiful beaded necklace that this lady knit in our LB Collection Wool Stainless Steel.

Finally, I also got a chance to meet some of the listeners of our podcast, YarnCraft, which I write and produce. It’s always very rewarding to meet listeners in person and to know that they’re enjoy what you do!

As always, it was wonderful to see and meet our customers, and we hope to see you at some of the upcoming events that we’re attending:

Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA – May 22-23
Knit & Crochet Show in Manchester, NH – July 7-10
Stitches Midwest in Schaumburg, IL – August 19-22

We go to events throughout the year, so keep an eye on the blog and our official newsletter, The Weekly Stitch, for updates!

Were you at the show? Tell us about your experiences!

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Lion Staff Bowling Night

April 20th, 2010

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This is a guest post from Mike D. in our New Jersey office:

At Lion Brand, we enjoy a company get-together that is casual and gives us a chance to talk, knit or crochet, and play at the same time. Sure it may seem odd to walk into a bowling alley, and see people knitting or crocheting in between frames, but luckily we have a couple of ringers (Debbie with the high score in the first two games) so when people walk by and take a look up at our scores, we are not too embarrassed.

It was a great time to mix and mingle with co-workers that you may not necessarily have time in the work day to chat with.  I enjoyed watching Laura, who is awesome in Customer Service, brainstorm with Dean, one of the owners of the company, about what bowling shirts we should be wearing (for example, showing a lion bowling but with a ball of yarn in place of the bowling ball), and Ed (who runs one of our warehouses) told us all how he hasn’t bowled in 20 years but of course he bowled a strike with his first ball.

We had a great time, even though half of us had no idea what we were doing, but most of all, we enjoyed creating friendships with our co-workers. Part of what makes bowling night fun for our company is that people are there because they want to be there, and not because they are forced to participate.  About a year ago, we had our first bowling night and we barely had enough bowlers to fill two lanes.  A year later we take up four lanes.  If you work for a company that is looking for an inexpensive, but wonderful evening out, I would recommend bowling night.  When topped off with delicious nachos, it was the perfect event.

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