Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Pattern Recommendations' Category


Top 10 Patterns from May!

June 8th, 2014

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maypoppat

After a long winter and sluggish spring, warm weather is finally here to stay and just like an explosion of spring flowers, this month’s top patterns reflect a brighter, more cheerful palette. Bold patterns also take center stage with zig-zags, ripples, stripes, and granny squares. With all of the dazzling color changes and stitch patterns, you might assume that these projects are only for the expert crafter, but thanks to the magic of vivid color-changing yarns like Unique and our brand new Vanna’s Tapestry, most of these projects are rated easy! After all, taking up your favorite craft should be rewarding AND relaxing (it’s good for you too!).

It looks like many of you are getting into new crafts as well, so we’re pleased to offer more patterns for our Knit & Weave Loom like the placemat shown below. For those of you who are new to weaving, coasters and placemats are great beginner projects and they also make great handmade gifts!

Finally, May is the time many yarncrafters begin patriotic projects for Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Independence Day, so it’s no surprise that our Flag Afghan is number one again (it’s popular all year round – it was #1 in February and in the top 10 for March!). With our best-selling Heartland yarn that’s proudly Made in the USA, it’s a great way to honor the Red, White, and Blue!

Knit Simple Lace Shawl Granny Inspired Afghan Knit Poncho Pullover
Knit Simple Lace Shawl in Unique Crochet Granny Inspired Afghan in Unique Knit Poncho Pullover in Vanna’s Tapestry
Knit Color Rich Afghan Granny Square Coat Knit Zig Zag Throw
Knit Color Rich Afghan in Vanna’s Tapestry and Vanna’s Choice® Crochet Granny Square Coat in Unique Knit Zig Zag Throw in Vanna’s Choice®, Vanna’s Glamour®, Homespun® and Unique
Loom Woven Placemat Crochet Modern Ripple Baby Blanket New Slant Afghan
Loom Woven Placemat in Bonbons Crochet Modern Ripple Blanket in Bonbons and Pound of Love® Crochet New Slant Afghan in
Wool-Ease®

Train Your Own Little Dragon(s) with The Dragon Slayer Hood and Dog Sweater

June 6th, 2014

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dragonknit
How to Train Your Dragon 2 comes out next Friday and we’re so excited! Are you excited?

To mark the day, here are two fantastic new dragon-themed patterns for you. Kids will love seed stitch dragon scales on The Dragon Slayer Hood and just for fun, make The Dragon Slayer Dog Sweater for the family pooch – they’ll be off having backyard adventures together before you know it.

Both Dragon Slayer patterns are made with Vanna’s Choice® yarn, which means you have a wide variety of color combinations to choose from.


How to Customize a Pattern Using Color

June 5th, 2014

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Hand-knit and hand-crocheted items make great gifts to be treasured and loved. Make them even more special by making them unique. Pick colors special to you or your recipient and you’re sure to please, says Jackie Smyth, our technical editor. We asked Jackie to recommend readers three patterns that feature color as the main attraction. (This column originally appeared in The Weekly Stitch newsletter.)

Knit Slip Stitch Pom Hat Crochet Sante Fe Throw Crochet Little Princess Throw

LBY Newsletter: Knitting and crocheting are great for handmade gifts that really reflect the giver or the recipient. What’s a simple recommendation about how to customize a project?

Jackie: One word—COLOR. The great thing about patterns is that it’s easy to choose other colors in the same yarns and get a totally different look. To make a pattern really personal, choose colors that you like or that have representative meanings to the recipient. Perhaps they love autumn colors or spring colors. The right colors can add a lot of depth to a project.

LBY Newsletter: What if you are nervous about choosing colors that will go together?

Jackie: Going with a yarn that has a great color range is often a good place to start. The Lion Brand Design team works to create yarn collections that are designed that coordinate beautifully.

LBY Newsletter: What’s a yarn you might recommend for someone looking for easy-to-match yarns?

Jackie: Vanna’s Choice® is a great yarn for mixing and matching colors. All 23 of the solid colors in this collection are designed to match and coordinate. You could use three colors in one family—say, Dusty Rose, Rose, and Antique Rose—to get a light-to-dark effect, or you could pick a few contrasting colors like Purple, Chocolate, Pea Green, and Rust that will really pop against each other.

It’s good to look for inspiration from the things around you. The garden is one place to find unexpectedly beautiful contrasting colors. Fashion and architecture are other places to draw inspiration.

LBY Newsletter: Would you recommend a few colorful patterns for our readers?

Jackie: For a simple project, I like the Slip Stitch Pom Hat pattern. We’ve carefully plotted the colors for each pattern stripto create a bold statement piece, but I would encourage you to experiment with your own color combinations. You could draw from the current fashion concept of Normcore and create a more traditionally color hat.

Next, I like the Santa Fe Throw. In colors to match the recipient’s home décor, it but would make a truly fabulous house warming gift.

My third recommendation, the Little Princess Throw, of the impact of color in your project. Tailor your color choice to the baby to create an heirloom – or have fun with gender neutral brights–have fun!

Don’t be afraid to change the colors in a pattern to suit you better. That’s the great thing about knitting and crocheting; you can really make every item your own.

LBY Newsletter: Thank you for your recommendations, Jackie. We look forward to speaking with you again next month.

For more pattern ideas, click to visit our Pattern Finder.

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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.


Make a Your Own Flower Bouquet using Bonbons Yarn!

May 28th, 2014

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bonbons-violet

During the summer months I prefer to work on smaller projects – something that I can complete in a day or so.

When I saw a crochet flower pattern on one of Lion Brand’s Pinterest boards, I knew it would be the perfect project for Bonbons. I decided on the “Nature” combination because of the variety of floral color combinations I could do with just one package.

Even though Bonbons are small skeins of yarn, they go a long way! As you can see I’ve finished a few and I still have some leftover for several more! Flowers are great for embellishing solid color cardigans, shawls, and scarves. Or even a bouquet or corsage for special occasions like weddings or proms.

For more fun projects with Bonbons, I’ve collected some of my favorite flowers patterns below:

morninglorysmall applesmall poppysmall
Knit Morning Glory Crochet Apple Blossom Knit Field Poppy
tradescantiasmall rosesmall lilysmall
Crochet Tradescantia Knit Rose Crochet Lily of the Valley

Check out even more flower patterns on Stitchfinder.


Celebrity Style: Anne Hathaway Rocks a Granny Square Sweater and You Can Too!

May 27th, 2014

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Anne Hathaway celeb style

See it … make it!

We spotted Anne Hathaway in this adorable granny square sweater and it reminded us of Lion Brand’s Granny Raglan Pullover pattern.

The Granny Raglan Pullover is crocheted using Vanna’s Choice® in the color Navy and Vanna’s Palettes in Charming.

Vanna’s Palettes are brand new here at Lion Brand. Each package contains 8 miniature skeins of yarn in colorways that are specifically designed to complement each other and a coordinating skein of Vanna’s Choice®. Look for more great patterns for this convenient new yarn on our website soon …

865SkeinArt

See it … make it: Granny Raglan Pullover.

:: Photo by Neil Mockford/FilmMagic. ::


8 Beautiful Patterns from Ravelry, Perfect for Weddings!

May 24th, 2014

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Wedding season is here and I know there are many brides-to-be, mothers, and friends searching for the perfect handmade pattern for the joyous occasion. How lovely it would be to have a handmade shawl or gift on that special wedding day; sure to become an heirloom piece, passed down from mother to daughter, and cherished for a lifetime.

I spent some time browsing wedding-related patterns on Ravelry and found these gorgeous patterns, all perfect for the big day. Couple them with Lion Brand’s “wedding appropriate” yarns, and just maybe you’ll have the perfect handmade wedding gift you’ve been looking for!

 Flying Home by Kat Coyle
Project by Ravelry User Lorix5
Knit Pattern: Flying Home by Kat Coyle
LB Collection Silk Mohair in Wisp
Morpho Shawlette by Cheri McEwen
Project by Ravelry User Paeonia
Crochet pattern: Morpho Shawlette by Cheri McEwan
LB Collection Silk Mohair in Wisp

 


Project by Ravelry User AngelSong76
Knit Pattern: Celtic Knot Stole by Sarah Kendrick Hughes
Vanna’s Glamour in Topaz
Siren Shrug
Project by Ravelry user BrotherLadies
Knit Pattern: Cashmere Bolero by Sharon Sorken
LB Collection Baby Alpaca in Fawn Heather
Vanna’s Glamour in Moonstone

 

(more…)


Lion Brand Recommendations: Two Fast-Finish Afghans

May 22nd, 2014

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Looking for a fast, last minute gift for an anniversary, birthday, or baby shower? The secret is to pick a project that uses basic stitches and multiple strands of yarn, says Jackie Smyth, Lion Brand’s technical editor. We asked Jackie to recommend two quick and simple patterns for beautiful afghans on the fly and to tell us all about why she likes them.  (This column originally appeared in The Weekly Stitch newsletter.)

Fast Finish Throw Speed hood Baby Blanket
Fast Finish Throw Speed Hook Baby Blanket

LBY Newsletter: You’ve chosen two simple, speedy patterns for our readers. What’s your first recommendation?

Jackie: 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.

LBY Newsletter: What about the gorgeous colors in this afghan? How did you get that blended effect?

Jackie:The Fast Finish Throw is made with four 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.

LBY Newsletter: That definitely sounds like a great, simple project. What’s the second pattern you’d like to recommend to our readers?

Jackie: 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.

LBY Newsletter: So what are the main things that our readers should remember about these projects?

Jackie: 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.

LBY Newsletter: Thanks for your recommendations, Jackie. We look forward to speaking to you again next month for more great tips.

For more great patterns, sign up for our New Patterns Alert, and see the latest creations from our Design Department.

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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.


Make a Charlotte Brontë Cape with Yolanda Soto-Lopez

May 20th, 2014

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Re-visit the Victorian era with one of our most popular crochet patterns, the Charlotte Brontë Cape, made with Homespun® Thick & Quick®. This informative two-part video series, hosted by Yolanda Soto-Lopez of “All Crafts Channel”, offers detailed instructions for making this piece, from start to finish!

Join Yolanda as she walks you through each and every step of this easy project that’s perfect for beginners.

Charlotte Brontë Cape — Part One

Charlotte Brontë Cape — Part Two

“I’m just going to crochet because I cannot help it.”


Father’s Day Ideas for 6 Different Dads

May 18th, 2014

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Lion Brand’s Patternfinder is filled with gift ideas for that special dad in your life. Whether he loves watching the game on Sunday or spending quiet time with a good book, we have a craft project that you can make just for him. And like most dads, he will appreciate a handmade gift because it’s made with love.
Father’s Day is June 15th. I’ve gathered some of my favorite ideas that would suit any type of dad, so start browsing now and get started crafting for dear old dad.

Knit Ipad Cozy Crochet Touchdown Hat and Scarf Set  petloverdad
Knit Tablet(iPad) Fair Isle Tech Vest – for the hi-tech Dad Crochet Touchdown Hat and Scarf Set – for the sports Dad Knit the Sports Nut Hat and Dog Sweater – for the pet-lover Dad
Knit Travelin; man Shoe Covers Crochet Super Hero Blanket Knit Compact Car Blanket
Knit Travelin’ Man Shoe Covers – for the on-the-go Dad Little Super Hero Blanket (lapghan for adults)- for the comics-lover Dad Knit Compact Car Blanket – for the “no-presents” Dad

If you still stumped at what to make, we have some great tips to help you brainstorm.


Craft Through the 7 Wonders of the Yarn World – Next Stop: Lace!

May 14th, 2014

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Earlier this year Lion Brand unveiled The 7 Wonders of The World – a series of sculptures designed by fiber artist Nathan Vincent. Not only did each sculpture represent one of the 7 Wonders in yarn techniques, but we presented a fashion show where each technique was reflected in a variety of fashions. In the last post in this series we visited embellishments and their importance to knitting, crochet, and yarncrafting in general. Today we present part five: “Lace.”

7wonders-lace
Nathan Vincent sculpture of the Tower of Pisa; model wearing crochet Lacy Picot Shrug

The Leaning Tower of Pisa (or just The Tower of Pisa) is our fifth Wonder of the Yarn World. Its openwork architecture, patterned with open holes, mimics a lace pattern. Chosen to represent combinations of open spaces and texture-formed designs, you’ll find that the patterns associated with this line are bold, yet elegant and detailed.

Boasting charming colorways, two-way ribbing and simplicity – these pieces are well-suited to the yarncrafter who’s looking to spin lace in an unconventional way. The yarns featured include Homespun, Heartland, Amazing®, Pound of Love®, Unique, Vanna’s Glamour®

Below we’ve chosen several of the striking designs from the lace collection from our fashion show. In the coming weeks we’ll feature the remaining two of the 7 Wonders of the Yarn World — from lace to granny squares to modern color work, you’re sure to find inspiration in this amazing collection.

CHA- Lace CHA-lace-homespun CHA-lacework CHA-lacewrap
Knit Fan Lace Tunic
with
Crochet Painterly Beret
Openwork Knit Shrug
with
Crochet Two Way Ribbed Scarf
Knit Lacework Cardigan Knit Lacework Hat
with
Knit Seven Wonders Wrap
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