Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Pattern Recommendations' Category

9 Classic, Vintage Inspired Patterns for Today’s Crafter!

December 29th, 2013

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The fourth season of Downton Abbey premieres next Sunday, and I’m getting ready by working on another Tea Wrap for a friend of mine who loves vintage fashion.

Like her, some of my crochet and knitting projects are heavily inspired by vintage eras.  My copy of Vintage Styles for Today, featuring vintage Lion Brand patterns, is well-worn from extensive use, and I’m constantly on the hunt to find patterns that evoke a “vintage but modern” feel. Whether you are finalizing plans for your Downton Abbey premiere party or looking for a project to bring the local historical society’s craft circle, here are some modern Lion Brand patterns suited for everyday, modern life but have a vintage-inspired twist.

Knit Middlemarch Cardigan Crochet Embellished Beanie Knit Lauren Scarf
Knit Middlemarch Cardigan
in Wool-Ease®
Crochet Embellished Beanie
in Homespun®
Knit Lauren Scarf
in Vanna’s Choice®


Our 10 Most Popular Patterns from 2013!

December 27th, 2013

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We’re gearing up for 2014 with lots of surprises ahead, but I wanted to take time to reflect on 2013.

I’m always amazed at how many patterns we have in Patternfinder—I’m often asking myself “how could I have not noticed this one?” Our Design department has been working very hard this year, and we think they’ve really outdone themselves with all new patterns they’ve created.

Now that the holidays are over, you can start working on projects for yourself again; the projects you dreamt about while you knitted or crocheted gifts for loved ones. Or maybe you’re ready to start fresh and you’re looking for ideas!

With that in mind, I’ve collected the most popular patterns of this past year, including our District 12 Cowl Wrap, which turned out to be the most popular pattern of all!

District 12 Cowl


Pairing Your Favorite Afghan With Wine

December 22nd, 2013

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Photo courtesy of  Praktyczny Przewodnik  via Creative Commons license.It may not seem like it at first, but wine and afghans have a lot in common. They’re both diverse and they both come in many colors and varieties. They can evoke a sense of the pastoral just as easily as they can a sense of modernity. Their companionship is appreciated when we curl up with a good book on Saturday night or when they join us for Sunday afternoon movie-watching and snuggling.

Here are a few of my favorite Lion Brand afghans and a suggested wine pairing or two (… or three) for each.

Snow And Sunsets Afghan

Perfect for this time of year, this afghan is great for those cold winter nights when all there is to do is watch the snow fall outside your window.

The natural shade of Fishermen’s Wool® contrasted with the vivid colors of Amazing® make the chevrons in this blanket truly stand out.

I would pair this afghan with a rich-bodied white wine, something a bit spicy like an older German Reisling or a Gewürztraminer.

Vintage On The Bias Afghan

This rustic afghan is crocheted on the bias to create the unique diamond design. The earthy tones of Homespun® Thick and Quick® will have everyone wanting to warm up under this cozy throw.

Pair this afghan with red wines that exude aromas of earth, and maybe a touch of old wood – think Brunello, Cabernet Sauvignon or even a Malbec or Pinot Noir.

Toasty Rose Afghan

The unique border on this mitered rectangular throw gives it a very elegant and feminine look.

If this afghan strikes your fancy, a relaxing rosé would be the perfect match for your tastes!

You may not believe it, but Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are vintners – in addition to actors, parents and humanitarians – and they’re good at it too. Last year they released a rosé the critics loved called Miraval and if you can find a bottle, it’s a very lovely wine.

Modular Cable Afghan

Bring a contemporary look to your living room with this afghan made of cabled hexagons.

A contemporary design calls for a younger wine, so a few pairings I recommend for this afghan are Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio on the white side or a Shiraz or Beaujolais for red.

Slip Stitch Afghan

This afghan has a unique texture and color palette thanks to a combination of both Wool-Ease® and Amazing® yarn, and series of slip stitches.

The slip stitch afghan demands to be paired with a rare varietal. Try a Petite Verdot, a Picpoul Blanc or a Ramnista.

Bonus tip: If you’ve always wanted to try to make a slip stitch, take a look at our newest Craftsy class, My First Slip-Stitch Afghan.

:: Photo courtesy of Praktyczny Przewodnik via Creative Commons license. ::


4 Cozy Shawls along with 4 Beautifully Wood-Carved Shawl Pins

December 16th, 2013

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Shawls are usually thought of as the perfect accessory for the spring and fall because you can keep warm without a jacket; they’re really wonderful transitional pieces. But, shawls are also great during winter months to keep you a bit warmer while you’re inside, such as an office or drafty space. We love shawls for their versatility and practicality, and with the fastening of a shawl pin, you won’t have to constantly maneuver and close your shawl by hand.

Below are a few knit and crochet shawls with some of our suggested shawl pins for closure.  Give a handmade shawl along with a pin to a friend for a cozy and thoughtful gift this holiday season!

TweedyShawlCrochet Daylight Tweedy Shawl
Shawl Stick: Heart in Cherry Shawl Stick

Caramel Tweed ShawlCrochet Caramel Tweed Shawl
Shawl Stick: Wiggle in Cherry

Knit Crystal Lace Shawl
Shawl Stick: Peacock in Blonde
Ruffle Shawl
Knit Seed Stitch Ruffled Wrap

Shawl Stick: Leaf in Blonde

Do you enjoy making shawls for yourself or others? If so, share your favorite shawl projects with us!

Related Links:

9 Easy Knit & Crochet Patterns for Festive Holiday Accessories!

December 10th, 2013

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Here in NYC, the holiday spirit is definitely in the air! Windows have been lit and adorned with festive figurines, trees have been decorated, and the shoppers are out and about in the streets.

Today, I’ve got some patterns to help you spread your holiday cheer – from festive hats, to ornaments and stockings, there is plenty for you to choose from to get crafting for the holiday!

Festive Hats:

Santa Hat
Crochet Santa Hat

Winter Mix Stocking Cap
Knit Winter Mix Stocking Cap
Elfin Baby Set
Crochet Elfin Baby Set


Amigurumi-fy Your Christmas Tree With These 9 Patterns!

December 8th, 2013

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Last week I put up my Christmas tree, a tiny two-feet tall plastic tree that was the perfect size for a cozy apartment in New York City.   Since I started working at Lion Brand a few months ago, I’ve been thinking about adding some handmade ornaments to reflect my love of yarn and crochet.

When one of our readers had mentioned she had used baby booties as ornaments, it gave me the inspiration to crochet amigurumi!  They would be small enough to fit on my tree and could also fit in a shoe box once the holiday season was over. Cute and functional!

Here are some ideas for decorating your tree:

Amigurumi Graduation Bookworm Happy Reindeer in Vanna's Choice and Vanna's Glamour Amigurumi Lady Bug
Amigurumi Graduation Bookworm
in Wool-Ease®
Happy Reindeer
in Vanna’s Choice® and Vanna’s Glamour®
Amigurumi Lady Bug
in Wool-Ease®


At Gift Giving Time, Don’t Forget The Pet!

November 27th, 2013

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For most people, pets are part of the family.  They have their own individual personalities that the family has come to know and love, and in return, their pet loves them back just as much (if not more).

Pets can’t tell you what they want for the holidays, so it helps to have some ideas on what to give your “furry family member.”

Here are some great dog sweater patterns, starting with an easy knitted number modeled by a Boston terrier who is part of my extended family.  He was extremely nervous on the day of the shoot and breathing heavily, hence the extended tongue.

Knit Need for Tweed Dog Sweater Crochet Striped Dog Sweater Knit City Stripes Dog Sweater
Knit Need for Tweed Dog Sweater in Wool-Ease®
Thick & Quick®
Crochet Striped Dog Sweater in Wool-Ease®
Thick & Quick®
Knit City Stripes Dog Sweater in
Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®


May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor with Our
District 12 Cowl Wrap

November 22nd, 2013

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Hunger Games Cowl

Catching Fire, the second film in The Hunger Games trilogy (based on the book series), is out in theaters today! If you’re a fan, you’ve likely watched the trailer more than twice, and fawned over the teaser pictures of Katniss wearing her cowl. Well, you can definitely count our Design Department among The Hunger Games’ fans—they all unanimously wanted to create their own versions of this famous cowl.

While the cowl worn in the movie is actually woven, our Design Department wanted a more wearable interpretation while still maintaining a textured look.  According to Jackie, our technical editor, the Design team created the knit version—that was inspired by the original—by using a stockinette stitch and reverse stockinette stitch. While the crochet version got a little more creative, using bobbles on the cowl, to give its armor-like appearance. The yarn is Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® in Grey Marble, not only because of the colors but because it was also the perfect yarn to create the texture they wanted.

They are very proud of this particular design because it can be a worn as a cowl wrap or just a cowl as a cozy cold weather accessory on its own!

Whether you are from District 1 and wearing it to be fashion savvy, or District 12 and wearing it because it is one of the warmest things you own – our District 12 Cowl Wrap proves this is not just Katniss’ cowl, but everyone’s.

Our Most Popular Patterns from the LB Collection

November 20th, 2013

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Working at Lion Brand allows me to go through thousands of interesting patterns in PatternFinder, our online pattern directory.  I love doing this because I get to discover all of the different patterns Lion Brand has to offer. Of course, this also means that I have a never-ending list of projects that I’ll never get to soon enough!

For those curious about the LB Collection itself, here are some of my favorite patterns:

Crochet Cardiff Cowl Knit Luxe Lace Pullover Crochet Natalia Scarf
Crochet Cardiff Cowl in
LB Collection® Baby Alpaca
Knit Luxe Lace Pullover in
LB Collection® Silk Mohair
Crochet Natalia Scarf in
LB Collection® Angora Merino


10 Fun and Creative Baby Booties

November 7th, 2013

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Whether it’s for your newest family member or a gift for your best friend’s newborn, babies will always need booties.  They are so easy to make, you’ll start making them in every size and color.

Let your imagination run wild with these inventive patterns:

Knit Ruby Slippers Crochet Posy Baby Booties Crochet Mouse Slippers
Knit Ruby Red Slippers Crochet Posy Baby Booties Knit Holiday Mousie Slippers

Click here for more great ideas.  Have you ever gotten super creative with making baby items? Share below!

Note: Make sure you have a free Ravelry account for patterns with *.