Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Tips & How To' Category


Which Crafting Tools are Allowed in Carry-on Luggage?

July 5th, 2015

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Travel Tips for Knitters and Crocheters
The summer is here so it’s time to plan a big getaway! I don’t like air travel but I do like that it provides me with uninterrupted time to knit and I like that knitting keeps me calm and stress-free while I’m on board! When I tell people that the meditative qualities of knitting have seen me through many journeys, they’re often surprised that I’m allowed to bring my needles on board. While the TSA guidelines can be tricky, knitters and crocheters can put their minds at ease! I’ve collected some frequently asked questions on the subject so you can be in the know about what you are permitted to take on the plane.

Are knitting needles and crochet hooks allowed in carry-on luggage?
Knitting needles and crochet hooks are permitted by the TSA in carry-on luggage on domestic flights in the US. Savvy travelers suggest that you carry wooden or plastic needles over metal and bring circular knitting needles instead of straights which might seem more obtrusive. If you are travelling internationally be sure to check the guidelines of your airline and security agencies abroad. You may be allowed to fly into a country with knitting needles in your carry-on but be required to check them on your return flight.

What about scissors?
You might be surprised to find out that you can bring scissors in your carry-on as long as they have blades that are shorter than four inches. Although they may seem innocuous or be advertised as airplane-approved, thread cutter pendants like these are prohibited by the TSA and should be kept in checked luggage. Don’t have any small scissors? Nail clippers are a good, travel-sized alternative for cutting yarn and they are permitted in carry-ons. If you have questions about other items, the TSA has made a handy search tool.

What if my knitting needles are confiscated?
If you’re worried you might have your needles confiscated, bring a print out of the most recent TSA rules. But keep in mind, screeners can confiscate any items they do not feel are safe regardless of these guidelines. It’s best to leave supplies that are costly to replace or hold sentimental value at home in case you have to part with them. Carry dental floss in your carry-on. You can use the blade to cut yarn and the floss is great for holding stitches in a pinch if you’re asked to surrender your needles.

The security checkpoint is, for many travelers, the most stressful part of a trip. Pack your supplies together in a project bag so that they can easily be inspected and use clear, zip-top bags for smaller notions. Remember to have a back up plan and be courteous!

What should I bring on my trip?
Check out this post for more ideas on what projects and notions to pack and how to prepare for travel crafting. And don’t forget, you can leave your yarn diet home while you’re on vacation!

Have you ever had trouble with your knitting or crochet at the airport? What’s your favorite thing to knit or crochet on a flight?


Can you crochet? Make a fun 8-bit pixel afghan!

June 29th, 2015

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Can you crochet a granny square? Great! You’re on your way to making an awesome pixel crochet afghan.

What is pixel crochet, you ask? Sarah from Repeat Crafter Me offers this explanation, “basically a pixel crochet blanket is made up of a series of granny squares where each square represents one pixel of the picture. When joined together, the squares (pixels) make a large image.”

So for example, if you wanted to make a Lola afghan, you’d find your favorite Lola image and convert it into a chart using a tool like KnitPro 2.0. Each square in the chart you see below represents one granny square.

lola_afghan

It’s easy and fun to do. Below are some examples of crochet pixel afghans. Click the images for charts and explanations for each project.

Avengers Cupcake Tetris Hello Kitty
8-Bit Avengers Blanket, made by Jessica Jamey – design a pattern with your favorite charts and make it with Modern Baby® * Crochet Cupcake Pixel Blanket by Repeat Crafter Me – make it with Vanna’s Choice® * Tetris Afghan by Bethany A. Hamilton – make it with Vanna’s Choice® * Hello Kitty Afghan made by Tarmine626 – make it with Babysoft® *
Storm Trooper kitty pixel Transformers my little pony
Pixel Storm Trooper Afghan made by InAnotherCastle – check out the chart and make one with Modern Baby® * Pick of the Litter Afghan – make one for yourself (or for our resident cat lady, @ShiraRoars!) with Vanna’s Choice® * 8-Bit Transformer Afghan by AmandaJayne00 – pick your favorite chart and make one with Vanna’s Choice® or Modern Baby® * 8-Bit Pinkie Pie Afghan by AmandaJayne00 – pick your favorite chart and make one with Vanna’s Choice® or Modern Baby® *

* Not a Lion Brand pattern


No Ends to Weave In! Join Wool Seamlessly with the Felted Join!

June 3rd, 2015

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Whether you call it the Felted Join or the Spit Splice, this way of adding on a new ball of wool is perfect when you want to avoid having to weave in ends.

A few drops of water help wool fibers bind together — the result is seamless! Please note that this method is for wool yarn only! If you are interested in an invisible join for other types of yarn, check out our Russian Join tutorial.

Take a look at how we’ve done it:

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Hit the Beach with This Perfect Cover Up! (Crochet Video Tutorial by Yolanda Soto Lopez)

May 30th, 2015

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Memorial Day weekend has passed, we’re jumping in pools and beach waters, and thinking about… vacation! With all of the summery goodness happening, don’t forget to keep those needles and hooks going. To keep you crafting through the summer, we’ve got this great crochet Beach Cover Up tutorial for you today, from Yolanda Soto Lopez (All Crafts Channel). Watch below, and start crocheting your summer garment! (pattern is completed in 3 videos).

P.S – We’ve got a great sale on select colors of Cotton-Ease® right now, so be sure to check that out as well.

Can’t see the video below? Click here to watch.

 


Learn How to Knit the Granite Relief Stitch with Staci from Very Pink Knits!

April 17th, 2015

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We have another great stitch video from Staci of Very Pink Knits. Staci previously demonstrated how to knit the Lace Stitch, a stitch that can be found in the stitch finder section of our website (under the “Learning Center” bar at the top of lionbrand.com). It was a popular video, so we’re excited to share her tutorial for the Granite Relief stitch, which is also available on the stitch finder.

The Granite Relief stitch produces a lovely texture which is great for washcloths and just as great for afghans with a garter stitch border, as Staci shows in the video below. Check out Staci’s tutorial for the Granite Relief stitch, which has been worked in LB Collection Superwash Merino, Cotton Bamboo, and Silk to demonstrate the varying looks in each yarn.


** can’t see the video above? click here: https://youtu.be/KZqMOvVdnZQ **


3 Helpful Crochet Tips for the Left-Handed

March 17th, 2015

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Arabia Temple works at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio and gives some of her favorite tips for crocheters who often come into the store asking for help.
left-handed-crochet

At least once a week, someone will come in and talk about how they’d love to crochet, but they’re afraid to try because they’re left-handed. Admittedly, the majority of crochet patterns, diagrams, and instructions are created for crafters who hold their hook in their right hand.

Here are a few tips that have proven helpful to those who hold their hook with their left.

Re-write for left

stGeorgesVariationChart-left

Before you even pick up a hook, you should read your entire pattern from start to finish. Once you’ve gone through it and understand what it’s asking of you, go through it once more and make adjustments to the directional instructions to reflect crocheting from left to right.

Create a mirror image

If you’re working with granny squares, motifs, or other patters using charts, symbols or illustrated stitch explanations, see if the images can be flipped horizontally (see example of St. George’s variation on the right) before they’re printed or photocopied to show the stitches being worked clockwise. Or, you can simply find an actual mirror and place it next to the image to follow the pattern.

Declare it Opposite Day!

Online instructional videos, like Lion Brand’s Youtube Channel, are a great resource for crafters, but when the host is a right-handed, you’ll want do the opposite of what you see the instructor doing. For example, right–handed instructors will turn their work from right to left – like turning the page of a book; you would instead turn your work from left to right-like going back a page.

While crochet doesn’t exactly cater those who are left-handed, it certainly shouldn’t scare them away. As long as you remember that patience, practice, and perseverance are all you really need to crochet, no matter what hand your dominant hand is, you’ll be just fine.


16 Tips for Crocheters!

March 9th, 2015

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March is National Crochet Month – making it the perfect time to learn to crochet or perfect a stitch. Lion Brand offers many great resources to learn: there’s our Learning Center for step-by-step instructions, Stitchfinder to find the perfect stitch to practice, and our YouTube Channel if you’re a visual learner. We even have a Craftsy class to show you how to crochet your very first cowl.

Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran looking for new tricks, here are some great tips to get you started on your next crochet project:

So pick up a hook, some yarn and learn a new skill!


8 Great Tips To Help You On Your First Knit Sweater

March 7th, 2015

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myfirstsweatertipsLove knitting scarves and afghans, but want to take your knitting skills to the next level? You might want to try your very first sweater!

We have several tips that can help you along the way, plus 4 of our most popular sweater projects — check them out below!

In addition to this, we even offer a Craftsy class that will show you how to make different types of raglan sweaters – perfect for visual learners!

 

Knit Raglan Sweater Knitted Aran Sweater Striped Boyfriend Cardigan Knit Cable Luxe Tunic
Raglan Sleeve Pullover
in Wool-Ease® Chunky
Knitted Aran Sweater
in Fishermen’s
Wool®
Striped Boyfriend Cardigan
in Wool-Ease® Thick
& Quick®
Cable Luxe Tunic
in Wool-Ease®

16 Tips and Tricks for Beginner Knitters!

February 23rd, 2015

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As a person who’s just learning to knit, I find Lion Brand’s Learning Center to be very useful because of the step-by-step-videos that I can rewind as many times as I need to get a stitch right. In addition to the Learning Center, the Lion Brand® blog is another great resource for tips and little-known tricks to make knitting even more enjoyable.

Whether you’re just learning to knit or would like to try a different method of casting on, check out these great posts:

16-knit-tips


Crochet a Cozy Cowl in No Time with the Crafty Gemini!

February 19th, 2015

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flattering cowl
It’s the middle of February, and many of us in the Northeast are still getting plenty of snow, cold, and wind – so it’s the perfect time to get out those hooks (or needles) and work on something warm and cozy.

The Flattering Cowl is a popular pattern that’s easy to make, and super snuggly because it’s made with Lion Brand’s plush Homespun® Thick & Quick® yarn. It’s definitely a gratifying project because it works up quickly; you can easily finish this cowl in one day.

You’ll love the feel of Homespun® Thick & Quick® as it keeps you nice and toasty in this super bulky cowl. Watch the video below for a tutorial that’s great for beginners. Vanessa, from the Crafty Gemini, shares tips and tricks for working on this cowl, and offers advice for creating different variations. Enjoy!

:: can’t see the video above? click here: http://youtu.be/lsuM-bx7f6o ::

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