Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Tips & How To' Category

Spice Up Your Headphones with This Mini Yarnbomb Craft!

February 15th, 2016

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In preparation for tonight’s Grammy Awards, brand ambassador Shira Blumenthal shares a simple craft for music lovers of all ages!

I love music.

A fun fact you might not know about me is that I used to study voice.  I was a singer.  Its true! Before I realized that yarn was my calling, I wanted to be the next Celine Dion. Because of that I simply love music and I love being up to date on all the new songs.  I cannot live without my iPhone — it’s basically my jukebox.

With the Grammys fast approaching I wanted to do a crafty project having to do with music.  I wanted to yarnbomb my headphones.  Not only is it a fun thing to do, but it’s an easy project that can be finished while you watch the Grammys.

Maybe I have been hanging out with London Kaye so much that I just wanted to just yarn bomb something and I finally did!

Get crazy with the colors you choose! I picked Vanna’s Glamour: Copper because it was subtle and not too crazy. It also goes well with my coat and hair but, I think come spring and summer, I might change it up to something bright and fun.  I would recommend a sport weight to worsted weight yarn for this project.

After you’re done, while you’re listening to your favorite Grammy nominee, take a selfie with your new yarn bombed head phones and post it to the comments below. I can’t wait to see how yours came out!

Knit a Quick & Easy Cat Hat!

December 15th, 2015

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Hey cat lovers! Cat-ify your winter look with this quick and easy cat hat! I made mine with one skein of Lion Brand Alpine Wool in Black Pepper. Start with Lion Brand’s Camelot Hat and make the following changes:

  • To make the fabric sturdier instead of slouchy, I used size 9 knitting needles to get a gauge of 3.5 stitches per inch.
  • I used DPNS instead of a circular needle, so feel free to choose whatever you prefer!
  • I decided on a K1 P1 rib (instead of K2 P2) for my hat. You can do either. I knit 10 rows in the rib and then switched to stockinette for 30 more rows.
  • Try the hat on as you go – when you get to the size you want, transfer the stitches onto 2 needles and graft the top together with the kitchener stitch.

Once you have a finished hat, it’s time to sew the ears. Flip the hat inside out and tuck in the two corners – this will create the cat ears. You might want to pin them first and test the fit, but once you are satisfied, sew a short seam in the middle of each ear. Weave in the ends or simply tuck them into the ear points. Flip your hat right side out and meow, you’re ready to go!

Quick & Easy Cat Hat

Portable Projects to Travel With

November 16th, 2015

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In this guest post, Lion Brand’s Technical Editor Jackie Smyth shares great project ideas for traveling knitters and crocheters.

I grew up in Brooklyn, in a family known for our ‘itchy feet’. Travel was our passion – whether a short local jaunt by subway or an endless flight to someplace more exotic.

I also grew up crocheting and knitting. I nearly always had a large project in progress, but I relied on smaller projects as my portable travel companions. Most every hat, shawl or scarf that I’ve made was created ‘in transit’.

Needle crafting is not just the perfect way to fill time between flights or to keep  busy on long train trips – but also a wonderful conversation starter in a strange city.

Most of my travel was long before the age of iPhones and social media. My memory of knitting on a cloudy day in Sarphatipark in Amsterdam is preserved only in a light blue cardi that, sadly, no longer fits.


How things have changed!

Now, posting pictures to your blog, to Instagram, or other favorite site makes it easy to enjoy lasting memories of a project created in a special place.

Meanwhile, all kinds of new accessories make travelling with a project easier than ever:

hiya 2in1 travel
Hiya Hiya Small Project Bag 2-in-1 Tote Travel Wallet


My perfect portable project is something smallish in size that doesn’t require super concentration.   Any of these would work well –

oneballscarfie hudsonseed beginner milbrook
Knit One Ball Scarfie made with Scarfie Knit Hudson Seed Stitch Scarf made with Fishermen’s Wool® Knit Beginner Level 1 Cowl made with Lion’s Pride® Woolspun® Crochet Millbrook Cowl made with Vanna’s Complement

Afghans, when made in blocks or squares, are another favorite portable project. Here are some good ones –

dotty tonal shoreline
Crochet Dotty Dots Afghan made with Modern Baby® Crochet Tonal Diamonds Afghan made with Landscapes® Crochet Shoreline Afghan made with Vanna’s Complement

We’d love to know what project you take when you travel and would especially love to see your photos!

How To Read a Yarn Label

November 12th, 2015

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How To Read a Yarn LabelWe’ve all been there — we reach out for a skein of yarn, allured by its softness, drawn to its color, dreaming up ways to use it… but how can you get the most out of this yarn?

By reading a yarn label, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about your yarn purchases. Can you machine wash and dry it? What size needle or hook should you use? Will it be enough for your whole project?

Watch as Brand Ambassador Shira Blumenthal walks through the wealth of knowledge found on yarn labels. You’ll learn about yarn weights, fiber content, gauge, and so much more!

:: Can’t see the video above? Click here to watch – :: 

Click here to learn more about:

Yarns mentioned in this video:

How To Use Pinterest to Find the Perfect Pattern

September 24th, 2015

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Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… not that you need another app in your life, but Pinterest is a must-have for crafters! Like other social media applications, you can use this platform as a way to showcase your own work. However, Pinterest thrives by connecting content from all over the internet in a single place. Think of it as a your new virtual vision board!

I like to think of Pinterest as a ‘stashbook’ – a place where I can stash ideas and inspiration I can revisit when I need to.

Primarily, I use Pinterest to save outfit ideas — I often find myself scrolling through my Style board on days when I’m not sure what to wear. Recently, I’ve been using Pinterest to gather inspiration for new knitting projects I’m interested in.

Here’s what my knitting Pinterest board looks like:

knitting board


Right now, I’d say I’m inspired by chunky knits, neutral/light colors, and self-striping and variegated yarns.

I’m especially drawn to that chunky cowl (bottom left, model with blonde hair), but that Pinterest link led to a fashion blog in another language, with no pattern — tough luck for me! Using Pinterest’s search bar, I was able to find a similar cowl with a pattern — Lion Brand®‘s Dobbs Ferry Cowl (top left, model with brown hair) made with Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®. Using both photos as inspiration, I know all I need to do is mix up the yarn I use and follow the pattern to get the look.

Here’s how to use Pinterest to get what you really want: