Though it’s often the 4th of July that we think of for cookouts, May is actually National Barbecue Month! It’s no surprise, really, as May is often the first chance we get to start enjoying warmer weather and pulling the cover off the once snow-covered grill out on the patio. With Memorial Day upon us in just a few short weeks, you may have a barbecue of your own to start preparing for, and why not work on something other than a menu? These patterns, from our site and Ravelry, are the perfect projects to celebrate National Barbecue Month–and enjoy straight through until Labor Day!
|Show off your patriotic side with this easy-to-crochet apron, made with Cotton-Ease. With a pocket in the front for your grilling tools or recipe, this apron is the perfect addition to your barbecue repertoire. Get the pattern here.|
|These simple grill mitts make grabbing hot skewers from the grill easy as can be. They can be knitted or crocheted in Lion Cotton or Kitchen Cotton in whatever color you fancy. Get the knit version here, or get the crochet version here.|
I’m a sucker for new yarns. I’ve been crocheting since I was eight and knitting since high school, and I’ve realized that sometimes I get myself into a rut: making the same patterns over and over again, using the same yarn or colors, or not stopping to learn new techniques. Each time I see a new yarn make its way into the department, it’s a new opportunity for me to pet something new and dream up different projects. Our newest yarn, Heartland was no exception. I sat down on the floor in front of all of the colors on Friday afternoon, just before my lunch break, and snagged two skeins that looked too precious to pass up: Great Smoky Mountains, which is a gorgeous multi-dimensional tweedy charcoal gray, and Denali, a pale, heathery pink. Of course, anybody who knows me at all knows that pink is my go-to color for almost everything, but I decided that, for whichever project I chose, I’d let the gray do most of the talking. How could I not? With all those different shades in there, it seemed like it had a lot to say–you know, visually. I only talk to my yarn when nobody else is around.
Looking for a fast, last minute gift for an anniversary, birthday, or baby shower? The secret is basic stitches and multiple strands of yarn, says Jackie Smyth, Lion Brand’s technical editor. I asked Jackie to recommend two quick and simple patterns for beautiful afghans on the fly and all about why she likes them.
|Fast Finish Throw
||Speed Hook Crochet Baby Afghan|
You’ve chosen two simple, speedy patterns for our readers. What’s your first recommendation?
I love the Fast Finish Throw because it’s just about as simple as they come. The beautiful colors in this afghan are soothing and it has a wonderful texture.
This project is easy and fast for two reasons: First, it’s made using only stockinette stitch. And second, it’s worked on Speed Stix, our exclusive size 50 knitting needles. When you work with Speed Stix the resulting fabric is quite forgiving so exact gauge is not a worry, making it simpler for knitters of all levels. When you knit with Speed Stix, it creates stitches that are an inch tall, which means that you see results quickly.
What about the gorgeous colors in this afghan? How did you get that blended effect?
The Fast Finish Throw is made with several different colors of Jiffy yarn held together, so it has the beautiful look of tweed. It’s a gorgeous look without a lot of effort, something that everyone from beginners to designers can appreciate.
That definitely sounds like a great, simple project. What’s the second pattern you’d like to recommend to our readers?
My second recommendation is our Speed Hook Baby Blanket. You only need to know how to do a single crochet stitch to make this one! This blanket is made with our size S-35 Speed Hook, which is an extra large crochet hook. Again, your gauge doesn’t have to be exact with the Speed Hook. Like the first afghan, this adorable baby blanket also uses multiple strands of yarn—this time three strands of Cotton-Ease—which not only makes it extremely fast to crochet, but adds dimension to the color. You can make it in the recommended colors, our alternative color combination, or in colors of your own choosing. I think that this one is absolutely perfect to make for a last minute gift.
So what are the main things that our readers should remember about these projects?
Again, the key to the ease and beauty of both of these projects is simplicity. You can use basic stitches and super-sized needles and hooks, along with multiple strands of yarn worked together, to make these simple and satisfying blankets.
A version of this article first ran in The Weekly Stitch newsletter in July 2007. Click here to sign up for the newsletter and get articles, free patterns, and exclusive offers in your inbox each week.
Our hugely popular yarn, Zpagetti, is finally back in stock after blowing off the shelves and selling out several weeks ago. And just in time! Earth Day may have been yesterday, but all of April is Earth Month, and every day is a great opportunity to be eco-friendly. As many Zpagetti enthusiasts already know, this unique yarn is made with remnants of jersey fabric used to create garments. The remnants would otherwise be discarded, so we’re thrilled to breathe a little new life into this special fiber. In honor of its (re-)arrival, I’ve rounded up a handful of the great items you can knit, crochet or craft with this yarn. Click here to learn more about Zpagetti, browse colors and place your order today!
Earth Day is less than a week away, and that means sustainability, eco-friendliness, and recycling is at the forefront of many people’s minds. While crafting is by definition the creation of something new, there’s no reason not to be sustainable while doing so! Lion Brand has an array of different fibers that are eco-friendly, whether that means all-natural, organic fibers or recycled materials. I’ll be featuring all of these great green products over the next week. Today, let’s take a look at Recycled Cotton! This worsted weight blend is made with 72% recycled cotton that is sorted by color to minimize the amount of dye needed to churn out the finished product. The cotton comes from leftover fabric from the production of tee shirts that would otherwise be discarded, much like our Zpagetti yarn. Ready to get started? Here’s a round up of my top ten favorite patterns using Recycled Cotton.
|Crochet Driftwood Pullover||Knit Spring Essential Top|
Spring has finally sprung, and it feels great to transition into a different wardrobe. Spring is a fun season because you can show off multiple pieces with layered outfits, play around with bright and bold colors, or add just a touch of color with soft and sophisticated pastels. Pastel colors aren’t just for babies, as they have become quite popular this season, and they’re an easy family of colors to incorporate into your knitwear.
Pastels add classic sophistication to an outfit, and they pair great with neutrals like gray, white and beige. Below, I’ve gathered a few patterns already knit or crocheted in pastel colors to help you determine what kind of pastel piece you’d like to add to your wardrobe. I personally love the Eyelet Swing Cardi in LB Collection Cotton Bamboo; it would pair very nicely with slim fitting khaki pants and a white top/tank. Take a look at some of the options below for more pastel inspiration (click on the photos to access the patterns on LionBrand.com):
Knit Ballet Wrap
Superwash Merino Cashmere: Seafoam
Crochet Spring Pastel Scarf
Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton:
Crochet Modern Lace Shawl
Martha Stewart CraftsTM/MC Extra Soft Wool Blend:
Crochet Pearl’s Cardigan
Crochet Beach Cover Up
Knit Eyelet Swing Cardi
LB Collection Cotton Bamboo: Gardenia
Thinking of incorporating a pastel piece into your knitwear? Share your thoughts on what type of pastel project you’d like to work on in the comments!
Have you ever noticed just how many different ways there are to make a sweater? You could make it in one-piece from the top-down or bottom-up. You could make it piecemeal with a front, back, and sleeves. You could knit it from sleeve to sleeve. You could even make it in many modular pieces!
For those who are new to the world of garment-making, a great place to start is a baby sweater. They’re small, so they don’t take a lot of yarn or time commitment (and babies don’t mind a mistake in the knitting here or there). Here are just a few of the different sweaters that we’ve designed–and if you click through to view their schematics, you’ll get a sense of just how differently each one is made! Make one (or make them all) and get some practice so that you feel ready to take on an adult sweater of your own!
|Sunrise Stripes Pullover
Features a classic raglan construction, where you knit from the top-down, dividing for the bodies and sleeves.
|One-Piece Baby Pullover
This sweater is created from the lower edge of the front, knit up to the top of the neck and sleeves and back down to the bottom of the back.
There are a few fashion trends happening in knitwear apparel and accessories as of late, and “animal-like” knitwear is one of them. It seems that everywhere I look, whether it be online, in stores, or at street vendor stations – there are accessories with animal faces or ears on them. The animal scoodies (scarf and hoody combined) and animal hats appear to be the most popular; it’s hard to resist getting these items because they’re so cute.
Lucky for you, since you know how to knit or crochet, you can make your own! Below, I’ve rounded up a few of our patterns for children that incorporate animal elements for “aww” worthy projects. If you’re ambitious, maybe you could knit the Bunny Hat and Booties set just in time for Easter!
|Crochet Fox Scoodie
Vanna’s Choice: Brick, Black
Vanna’s Choice Baby: Lamb
Knit Bunny Hat and Booties
Vanna’s Choice: White, Pink
Vanna’s Choice Baby: Pink Poodle
Knit Toddler Monkey Hat
Vanna’s Choice: Chocolate, Beige
Crochet Toddler Owl Hat
Vanna’s Choice: Barley, Chocolate, White, Terracotta
Knit Baby Animal ‘Froggy’ Hat
*Substitute “Lion Suede” yarn for Chenille in: Emerald, Terracotta, Porcelain
Knit Baby Bear Hooded Jacket
*Substitute “Sasha” yarn for Homespun Thick & Quick
in Pearls or Dove (1 skein for 3-6 mos size)
What do you think about this trend? Have you been incorporating more owl faces or ears into your projects? Share with us in the comments!
I’m sure many of you have been shedding your heavy winter jackets preparing for warmer weather ahead. Now is the perfect time to get started on projects that will be ready for when you need just a little extra warmth for your neck and shoulders, but not a jacket. It’s the perfect time for a … shawl project!
The triangle shawl is a very popular pattern style and can be a staple piece to have because of its versatility. Below, you’ll find some basic shawl patterns to get you started, along with a video displaying 7 different ways you can wear your shawl. My favorite is the handkerchief style; check out the video and see for yourself.
Knit Indian Summer Shawl
Click here for more knit shawls
Crochet New Years Shawl
Click here for more crochet shawls
Shawl Stick: Scroll in Cherry
Click here for more shawl sticks and pins
Do you tend to start your shawl projects at the beginning of spring, or do you work on them all year long? Share your preferences with us!
Spring is just around the corner, but there is still time to get some last minute Easter patterns under your belt in anticipation of the season. I’ve rounded up a few for you. What will you be making to fill baskets or celebrate spring this year?
|Knit Cute Cabled Lamb||Crochet Wee Rabbit Egg Cozy|