Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Pattern Recommendations' Category


Make a Zodiac Scarf for Leo Birthdays

July 18th, 2014

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LeoScarfIf you were born between July 23rd and August 22nd, your zodiac sign is Leo, the fifth house of the zodiac, represented by the lion. Leos tend to have warm hearts, are ambitious, and loyal to friends and family. Social, like the lions and their prides, Leos enjoy spending time with those close to them and making the most out of life. Being that they’re such great companions, chances are, you may have a Leo friend who has already given you a thoughtful or handmade gift at some point.

LEOThe colors of this zodiac scarf are very representative of the
essential Leo color palette. As a fire sign ruled by the sun – colors such as gold, orange, rust and red tend to be attractive to this bunch. Gold is actually a lucky color for Leo and should be worn during times of high stress to encourage positivity.

Leos will enjoy making this scarf for themselves, or perhaps another Leo friend in their life, especially since this group enjoys showing off the fruits of their labor. The Leo enjoys being admired and feeling special, so I’m sure they’ll love this scarf you thought to make for them. If a Leo makes one on their own, she (or he) will most likely add some embellishment, or modify the pattern just for extra flair!

The Leo zodiac scarf is available for both Knit and Crochet (pictured). Not your sign? Check out our other zodiac scarves here.


Check Out Lion Brand’s Most Popular Patterns from June

July 17th, 2014

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junepoppat

This past June it seems everyone was knitting and crocheting with our American-made yarns like Heartland and Kitchen Cotton. We also noticed through the month may of you prepared for July 4th with Americana-inspired projects like our Independence Day Table Mats and Flag Afghan.  It was also a great month for shrugs and shawls, like our Cabled Buttoned Wrap in Heartland , our most popular pattern for June. It’s a great garment for air-conditioned offices by day and dinners out by night!

Below is a collection of our most popular patterns in June:

Craft Friendship Bracelets Crochet Open Air Shrug Round-About Cropped Cardi
Craft Friendship Bracelets
in Bonbons
Crochet Open Air Shrug
in Kitchen Cotton
Crochet Round-About Cropped Cardi
in Heartland
Crochet USA Afghan in Hometown USA Crochet Independence Day Table Mats Knit Color Waves Tank Top
Crochet USA Afghan
in Hometown USA®
Crochet Independence Day Table Mats
in Kitchen Cotton
Knit Colorwaves Tank Top
in Kitchen Cotton
Splendid Triangle Shawl Crochet Flag Afghan Crochet Arrow Lake Shawl
Knit & Crochet Splendid Triangle Shawlin Heartland Crochet Flag Afghanin Heartland Crochet Arrow Lake Shawl in Homespun®

Were you working on anything in June? Share with us!


Introducing A New Yarn To Thrill The Modern Baby

July 16th, 2014

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modernbaby

We’re excited to bring you a completely new kind of yarn for the modern baby or child.  Your newborn, toddler or young child will delight in the lively colors of this unique yarn. It’s an easy-care yarn with a chainette construction for an extra-soft, downy feel. The palette consists of crayon-like primary shades, along with rich pastels and neutral tones. You like soft? This yarn has a similar feel to merino, alpaca and cashmere blends but with an anti-itch, non-allergenic, easy-care fiber blend of premium acrylic and nylon.

A yarn like Modern Baby® deserves a collection of patterns that make the most of its softness, comfort and color options.  Choose from a selection of free, whimsical knit and crochet patterns — from Easy to Intermediate — that fit your child’s personality.  Animal lover? Choose the Fishy Wishy Hat and Scarf or the Circus Afghan.  Drawn to brights? Choose one of our patchwork style throws.

Don’t be surprised when a Modern Baby blanket becomes the one your child can’t live without!

Knit Sassy Stripes Leg Warmer Trio Crochet Patchwork Style Throw Knit Fishy Wishy
Knit Sassy Stripes Leg Warmer Trio Crochet Patchwork Style Throw Knit Fishy Wishy Scarf and Hat
Crochet Graphic Blanket Knit Circus Afghan Crochet Buttoned Wrap
Crochet Graphic Blanket Knit Circus Afghan Crochet Buttoned Wrap

Practice Slip Stitch Knitting With These 6 Patterns!

July 2nd, 2014

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One of my favorite things about working with yarn is that I can make amazingly textured garments with just a few strands.  That’s also is why I love using slip stitches – this technique is very simple and it allowed me to create detailed colorwork and textures at the same time.

You can make detailed stripes like in our Slip Stitch Pom Scarf and Hat or experiment with stitches and patterns in our Mosaic Tote. Use a variety of colors with Vanna’s Palettes or BonBons or even a color-changing yarn for a gradient effect – I recommend Landscapes®, Tweed Stripes®, and Unique.

Here are some of our new patterns that also use the slip stitch technique.

Slip Stitch Mosaic Tote Slip Stitch Pom Scarf Modern Luncheon Mats
Slip Stitch Mosaic Tote Slip Stitch Pom Scarf Modern Luncheon Mats
Textured Cowl Slip Stitch Pom Hat Concerto Cowl
Textured Cowl Slip Stitch Pom Hat Concerto Cowl

(more…)


Add Color With Slip Stitch Patterns: An Introduction

June 30th, 2014

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This column by Barbara Breiter, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knitting & Crocheting, originally appeared in The Weekly Stitch newsletter.

Slip Stitch AfghanSlip stitch patterns are an easy way to add color to your knitting; unlike Fair Isle and Intarsia, you knit with only one color per row so they are less complicated. When knitting slip stitch patterns, some stitches from a previous row are slipped and others are knit or purled with a new color.

When a row is completed, you will have stitches that are slipped which are a different color from the stitches that you just knit with the new color. The slipped stitches will be elongated; this will cause the stitch pattern to pull in, so check your gauge carefully if you substitute one in a pattern that calls for Stockinette or another less dense stitch pattern.

Tips to Know

  1. Slip stitch patterns are most often knit in Stockinette but you will find some that combine knits and purls on the same row; this results in a fabric that is both colorful and textured.
  2. Stitches can even be worked with yarn held in the front or manipulated to create “floats” (strands running across other stitches) for contrast.
  3. Slip stitch patterns can be worked in two or more colors.
  4. Generally you won’t find a stitch pattern that calls for more then 3 stitches to be slipped.
  5. Take caution to make sure the strand from the working yarn that results when slipping the stitch is kept loose (resist the urge to pull that “float” tight) or your fabric will pucker.

(more…)


New Life in an Old Place: the Open Air Shrug

June 29th, 2014

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This story is from our newsletter 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.

The house was left to Liza. Grammy had known she was its spiritual heir. Liza was the only one who’d never wanted to leave on Sunday nights, who adored her summer vacations there. Grammy’s house — “the old place” — had been in the family for generations. There Grammy taught Liza needlework and baking; there they hand-washed dishes, drying them with Grammy’s crocheted towels.

Liza still couldn’t believe that Grammy was gone — quickly, as if someone had casually switched off a parlor lamp. Walking through the house, she felt Grammy everywhere. If I open the front door, Grammy will be on the porch, crocheting. When she sees me, she’ll smile…

***

Moving through the quiet rooms, slowly inspecting closets and drawers, Liza found Grammy’s project basket with its neat balls of yarn and metal crochet hooks. She sat in Grammy’s favorite chair, embracing the basket — remembering…aching…

Then she knew what to do. She’d crochet something, just as Grammy used to.

Liza chose the Open Air Shrug pattern. Generous and lacy, it reminded her of all she loved about Grammy. Even the word “shrug” evoked feelings close to her heart — living lightly, without worry. Crocheted from soft Kitchen Cotton, the shrug had a comforting feel. Its color, Blue Ice, was like the noon sky on a cloudless day.

***

“Where’d you get that lovely thing?” Steve asked. It was Friday and he’d just arrived on a train full of passengers escaping summer in the city. Liza picked him up at the station. Steve reached across the car’s front seat, fingering the openwork sleeve. “It’s very charming,” he said. “Nice to touch.’”

“I crocheted it,” she said, “in only a few days. I’m so glad you like it!”

“I do,” Steve said. “It’s kind of retro and kind of modern, all at once. Just like you.”

“Like me?”

“Exactly like you,” he said. “Romantic, whimsical, beautiful you.”

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Selma Moss-Ward is a freelance writer who combines her love of writing and of knitting in her columns, stories, and blog posts. Selma is also an active classical musician and the caretaker of five wonderful pets. She lives with them and her husband in Rhode Island.


Craft Through the 7 Wonders of the Yarn World – Last Stop: Colorwork

June 25th, 2014

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The final stop on our tour of The 7 Wonders of the Yarn World is colorwork. If you’re new to the 7 Wonders series, I encourage you to start at the beginning with the unveiling of seven fiber sculptures by artist Nathan Vincent based on the 7 Wonders of The World. Each sculpture represents a yarn technique that was also incorporated into seven collections for a Lion Brand fashion show. The collections highlight all of the wonderful and sometimes unexpected things each technique can do.

7wonders-colorwork
Nathan Vincent sculpture of the Lion Sphinx; model wearing knit Rhapsody of Color Dress

The Lion Sphinx is our seventh Wonder of the Yarn World. The real Sphinx (or Great Sphinx of Giza) is the largest and oldest monolith sculpture in the world. Our Sphinx’s pedestal is adorned with hieroglyphics, showcasing the amazing detail that can be achieved with colorwork. The patterns associated with this technique are bright, bold, and colorful!

The yarns featured in the colorwork collection are perfect for the yarncrafter in need of colorful combinations for stranded colorwork or intarsia – like Vanna’s Choice®, Heartland®, and Wool-Ease® - as well as vivid self-striping yarns like Amazing®Unique, and Keppi.

Below you’ll find several of the designs from the colorwork collection. We hope you’ve enjoyed your tour of The 7 Wonders of the Yarn World and that you’ve picked up some new patterns and techniques along the way. If you missed any of the other collections, take a look back at all of our posts on The 7 Wonders of the Yarn World: Textures, Stripes & Chevrons, Cables, Embellishments, Lace, Granny Squares, and Colorwork.

Color Paneled Coat cha-colorwork(poetic) cha-colorwork(slipstitchpom) cha-colorwork(shadecolors)
Knit Color Paneled Coat
(pattern coming soon)
Poetic Colorwork Pullover
with
Knit Bobble Beret
Knit Slip Stitch Pom Hat with
Knit Slip Stitch Pom Scarf
Knit Shaded Colors Afghan
with
Knit Ski Lodge Cap

 


4 Ways to Combine Different Yarns in One Project

June 23rd, 2014

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This column by Barbara Breiter, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knitting & Crocheting, originally appeared in The Weekly Stitch newsletter.

Some designs, such as the ribbing of a sweater or the brim of a hat, may use a different yarn than the rest of the project. This creates a unique look, much different than if just one yarn had been used for the entire piece – like the Snow and Sunsets Afghan (right) crocheted in Amazing® and Fishermen’s Wool®.

But you can also combine two or even three or more yarns throughout, ultimately creating an entirely new yarn!

One word of caution: be sure to note the care instructions of each yarn. Be sure to care for the project using the instructions of the most delicate yarn.

1. Using Novelty Yarn

You can even combine a novelty eyelash yarn with wool in a felted project; I’ve designed many purses and hats combining yarns in this way. I would suggest you felt a swatch first though to ensure the novelty yarn doesn’t end up with loose loops when felted.

2. Create a Tweed Pattern

Contrasting plain colors create a tweed effect.

3. Muting Colors

Adding a brightly colored yarn can enliven a muted color or adding a more subdued yarn can tone down a color you find too bright.

4. Adding Texture

You can also combine different fibers or types of yarn. Adding a metallic yarn will jazz up a plain yarn. If a yarn is too fuzzy for your taste, adding a plain strand will mitigate the fuzz.

Lastly, Experiment

Swatch and experiment with yarn you have in your stash. You may find that you can use up that yarn that you haven’t known what to do with by combining it with another yarn. The yarns don’t need to be in the same weight category.

Not sure how to get started? Here are a few examples of patterns that combine different yarns:

Marmalade Kimono Knit Team Colors Scarf Fabulous Furry Scarf Multi Strand Top
This cute knit Marmalade Kimono for children is a great example of combining two solid contrasting yarns for a tweed effect. The crochet Team Colors Scarf illustrates the same concept. The knit Fabulous Furry Scarf shows off combining the eyelash yarn Fun Fur with Hometown USA®. This pattern illustrates just how different colors can look when combined with others.

For a refresher on working with multiple strands, see my previous article.

Related links: 

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To sign up for the Weekly Stitch and get columns like this, free patterns, how-to videos and more, click here.


Get Ready for Summer With These 9 Kitchen Cotton Projects!

June 18th, 2014

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As the weather gets warmer, we often make the switch to working on smaller, light-weight projects like market totes, kitchen items, and lacy shrugs.  Kitchen Cotton is a great summer yarn to use when it’s too warm for wool. It’s made of 100% cotton that’s super absorbent, and exceptionally durable – perfect for kitchen and bath accessories that need to be more sturdy.

Best of all, it’s on sale at 15% off for the month of June.

See below for our most popular Kitchen Cotton projects!

Crochet Hexagon Market Bag Knit Bright Stripes Dishcloths Crochet Shaped Washcloth
Crochet Hexagon Market Bag Knit Bright Stripes Dishcloths Crochet Shaped Washcloth
Knit & Crochet Soap Bags Crochet Fireworks Hexagon Picnic Blanket Knit Slip Stitch  MosaicTote
Knit & Crochet Soap Bags Crochet Fireworks Hexagon Blanket Knit Slip Stitch Mosaic Tote
Cross Stitched Cloths Knit Modern Luncheon Mats Open Air Shrug
Cross-Stitched Cloths Knit Modern Luncheon Mats 4 Ball Market Bag

For more information on Kitchen Cotton and other cotton yarns, we’ve also have some great tips when you’re working with this yarn.


Let’s Celebrate Flag Day!

June 14th, 2014

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Designated by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, Flag Day is celebrated in the United States on June 14. It’s observed to commemorate the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day in 1777.

Although not an official federal holiday, it is at the President’s discretion to proclaim its observance.

We don’t want to step on anyone’s toes or anything, but here at Lion Brand we’re calling it … it’s time to celebrate Flag Day and do it in style. In fact, all of Lion Brand’s American-made yarns like Heartland, Hometown USA® and Kitchen Cotton are 20% off for a limited time!

Here are some of our favorite patriotic patterns in red, white and blue:

Crochet Flag Headband Flag Pullover Crochet Flag Afghan
Crochet Flag Headband Knit Flag Pullover Crochet Flag Afghan
Knit Team USA Mittens Crochet True Colors Scarf Loom Woven Placemats
Knit Team USA Mittens
click for crochet version
Crochet True Colors Scarf Loom Woven Placemats
Little Super Hero Blanket Knit Americana Afghan Crochet Independence Day Table Mats
Crochet Little Super Hero Blanket Knit Americana Afghan

 

Crochet Independence Day Mats
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