Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame

Archive for the 'Tips & How To' Category

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

June 29th, 2015

Pin It

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.


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

Pin It

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:


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

May 30th, 2015

Pin It

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

Pin It

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 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: **

3 Helpful Crochet Tips for the Left-Handed

March 17th, 2015

Pin It

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.

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


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.