Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Tips & How To' Category


5 Projects That Take Crafting for Loved Ones to the Next Level

February 21st, 2014

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Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo shares five creative exercises that you can use to show your love through crafting. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

Crafters are a generous lot. We often crochet and knit for others. We craft gifts for birthdays and holidays. We knit and crochet prayer shawls for strangers. We infuse our handmade items with love, and hope that love comes through for the recipient. It’s a wonderful thing. But we can go even further with this intention, choosing ways to craft for and with the people we love, so that the love comes through in deeper and more meaningful ways.

Here are five ideas for making that happen:

1. Appreciation Blanket + Journal. This is a twist on the crochet mood blanket, a popular project this year. Each day (or week) you crochet/ knit either one row or one motif (such as a granny square) that will go into a blanket intended for a special person. Select colors based on the feeling you have for the person each day you work on it. For example, the blanket will have rows of red when you feel love, pink for appreciation, and white for awe. Write down this color code in the front page of a journal. After each row, write a single line expressing why you chose that color for that day. In the end, you’ll have a cozy blanket and this touching journal that will be treasured forever. This is a great gift for pregnant moms seeking to create baby’s first blanket with intentional love. l20643a
Little Boy Blue Blanket

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Video: How to Do Front and Back Post Stitches

February 15th, 2014

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Maggie Weldon is a crochet expert who loves to share her expertise with those wanting to master the art of crochet.

Make beautifully textured colorwork projects with this simple stitch! Maggie Weldon illustrates how to do front and back post double crochets, half double crochets, and single crochets. Watch the video below to learn these easy techniques:

If you’re reading this blog post in your email or an RSS reader, please click on the title to view the full blog post and video on our website.


Make an Infinity Scarf in 30 Minutes with Audra Kurtz

February 7th, 2014

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Join Audra Kurtz and learn how to create a 30 minute infinity scarf using a very simple arm knitting technique.

So easy, anyone can do it!

Made with Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®. Brought to you by The Kurtz Corner.


Crafting Your Way Through Cabin Fever

January 21st, 2014

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Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo shares tips for using knitting or crochet to relieve the restlessness of cabin fever this winter. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here

We’ve survived the Polar Vortex but winter is really just beginning. There are a lot of days ahead when we might be stuck in the house because of the weather. You might get gripped by cabin fever; that restless, anxious, irritable feeling that we all sometimes get when we’re stuck inside for too long. Crocheting or knitting can be the best way to alleviate that feeling.

What is Cabin Fever?

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The first thing to do is recognize that you have cabin fever! Cabin fever, which typically happens when you’re inside for an extended period of time, often due to extreme outdoor weather conditions, is characterized by:

  • Extreme irritability
  • Extreme feelings of restlessness
  • A strong desire to get away from the people
    who are with you
  • Frustration, defensiveness and annoyance
    with those people
  • Extreme boredom; nothing feels like fun to do
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Feelings of depression

It helps to be aware that these feelings might be caused by cabin fever because then you can recognize what it is and do something about it!

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7 Tips for Knitting Your First Sweater

January 16th, 2014

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:: Re-printed with permission, Craftsy writer Ashley — aka “The Feisty Redhead” — offers these tips for knitting your first sweater. If you’d like a little more help with the leap to sweater knitting, Lion Brand and Craftsy have partnered to bring you the online class: “My First Sweater“. Keep reading … ::

The step from knitting a scarf to knitting a sweater is a big one, but it’s necessary if you want to avoid knitting rectangles for the rest of your life. Knitting your first sweater can be frustrating, but it can also be a lot of fun. If you’re looking for a winter project, why not knit a sweater? Here are a few things to keep in mind before you even start knitting that sweater.

craftsy_MyFirstSweaterCardigan_1
Sweater cardigan on a mannequin.
Photos via Craftsy instructor Amy Ross

1. Know the basics

No need to have a PhD in knitting (if only!) to knit a sweater. If you can knit and purl, you can knit a sweater. The cardigan above is one of the sweater patterns from Craftsy’s My First Sweater class with Amy Ross. Enroll in the class and Amy will walk you through everything you need to know about knitting your first sweater, from body measurements to sleeves and seaming. You can even ask Amy questions if you get stuck!

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Video: How to Do a Chain-Less Foundation Row

December 9th, 2013

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Maggie Weldon is a crochet expert who loves to share her expertise with those wanting to master the art of crochet.

How many times have you carefully counted your chain stitches when starting a crochet project to find that you’ve come up short or have extra? With the Chain-Less Foundation Row, also known as a Foundation Single Crochet, you’ll never have to count chain stitches again! Watch the video below to learn this easy technique:

If you’re reading this blog post in your email or an RSS reader, please click on the title to view the full blog post and video on our website.


Kitchen-Safe Dyeing, Part 3: Grape Juice

November 26th, 2013

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Sister and brother duo, Elizabeth and Robby Miracle, first created this dyeing series for a Lion Brand newsletter several years ago. Although that newsletter is no longer around, we loved the idea of making kitchen-safe dyes so much, that we’ve updated it and reprinted the series here. 

Kitchen-Safe Dyeing | Lion Brand Notebook

Creating your own dyes can be a fun and exciting way to personalize projects.  This month, we show you how to make all-natural dyes and use them with different cotton and wool yarns.

We used only edible items purchased at our local market, boiling water (and in some cases, salt or vinegar) to make beautiful, all-natural dyes.

After trying our dyes, you will probably want to experiment with other natural food dyes of your own.  Start by using fruits or vegetables that stain and experiment!  You can mix dye baths to make different colors.  You will probably find, as we did, that the colors are all — surprise — “earth” tones!

Because this project requires boiling water, adult supervision is required.

Dye Bath with Grape Juice

This quantity of dye will easily color 2 skeins of LB Collection Pure Wool or , 2 skeins of Nature’s Choice Organic CottonOther options include: Alpine Wool, Fishermen’s Wool, LB Collection Organic Wool, LB Collection Superwash Merino, Martha Stewart Crafts™ Merino, Martha Stewart Crafts™ Roving Wool, Martha Stewart Crafts™ Cotton Hemp, Kitchen Cotton. Click here to see all Lion Brand yarns. 

grape-cottona  grape-woola
Dyed Cotton Dyed Wool

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Cracking the (Pattern) Code, Part 9: Special Phrases and Terms

November 24th, 2013

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Technical editor and yarncrafting expert Kj Hay joins us for a series on understanding the different elements of patterns. Click here to read her earlier blog posts.

Cracking the (Pattern) Code, Part 9: Prose Instructions

Special Phrases

There are some deceptively brief phrases used in prose instructions that have a powerful, agreed upon meaning. At first, you should approach patterns with such phrasing cautiously as they assume a higher level of knit or crochet knowledge.

 

End with a RS row

This phrase simply means that the last row you work before proceeding to the next part of the instructions should be a RS row and that you should be ready to work a WS row when you begin the next part. Of course, the opposite is true for the phrase “end with a WS row.”

Tip

The first row or round following a “end with a WS row” or “end with a RS row” often indicate on which side the row or round is to be worked (e.g., Row 1 (RS)). Looking for this reminder can help you be sure to end on the correct side before beginning the next group of instructions.

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How to Nip Holiday Crafting in the Bud

November 20th, 2013

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Knit Weekend Hoodie Wine Carrier Yarn Crafted Ornaments
Knit Weekend Hoodie Crochet Wine Carrier Yarncrafted Ornaments

Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo shares her tips for enjoying holiday crafting – avoid feeling overwhelmed as as the season gets closer! Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

It happens every year to the best of us. We get excited about all of the wonderful gifts that we’re going to knit and crochet for everyone we love. Not to mention we want to decorate our own homes with our crafts. It’s thrilling and inspiring but as the holidays deadlines get closer, the cost of the supplies seems more than its worth, the gifts feel like they’ll never be finished, and you haven’t even started the crafts. Suddenly we’re overwhelmed and holiday crafting has become painful instead of joyful.

Don’t let it happen again this year!

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Kitchen-Safe Dyeing, Part 2: Using Skins of Yellow Onions

November 19th, 2013

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Sister and brother duo, Elizabeth and Robby Miracle, first created this dyeing series for a Lion Brand newsletter several years ago. Although that newsletter is no longer around, we loved the idea of making kitchen-safe dyes so much, that we’ve updated it and reprinted the series here. 

Kitchen-Safe Dyeing, Part 2: Using Skins of Yellow Onions | Lion Brand Notebook

Creating your own dyes can be a fun and exciting way to personalize projects.  This month, we show you how to make all-natural dyes and use them with different cotton and wool yarns.

We used only edible items purchased at our local market, boiling water (and in some cases, salt or vinegar) to make beautiful, all-natural dyes.

After trying our dyes, you will probably want to experiment with other natural food dyes of your own.  Start by using fruits or vegetables that stain and experiment!  You can mix dye baths to make different colors.  You will probably find, as we did, that the colors are all — surprise — “earth” tones!

Because this project requires boiling water, adult supervision is required.

Dye Bath Using Skins of Yellow Onions

This quantity of dye will easily color 2 skeins of LB Collection Pure Wool or , 2 skeins of Nature’s Choice Organic CottonOther options include: Alpine Wool, Fishermen’s Wool, LB Collection Organic Wool, LB Collection Superwash Merino, Martha Stewart Crafts™ Merino, Martha Stewart Crafts™ Roving Wool, Martha Stewart Crafts™ Cotton Hemp, Kitchen Cotton. Click here to see all Lion Brand yarns. 

yellow-onion-skin-cottona  yellow-onion-skin-woola
Dyed Cotton Dyed Wool

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