Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame

Archive for the 'Tips & How To' Category


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

February 19th, 2015

Pin It

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 ::


2 Ways to Start a Circle in Crochet from Dora Ohrenstein

February 12th, 2015

Pin It

Learn 2 Methods for Crocheting a Circle

Thanks to our friends over at Storey Publishing, we’re sharing a handy excerpt from Dora Ohrenstein’s latest book, The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop (The Essential Techniques for Becoming a More Versatile, Adventurous Crocheter).

Dora’s latest book features numerous tips on gauge, crochet shaping and construction, colorwork and more – so we suggest that you go ahead and check out the book in its entirety, you’ll be glad you did.

In the meantime, have a look at the excellent excerpt below. Coupled with instructional photos, you’ll quickly and easily learn two different methods for starting a crochet circle – a ring with chains and the magic circle.

Try them out to see which method you like best!


Starting the Circle

There are several different ways to begin working in the round. You can make several chains (the most common method), make an adjustable ring, or use the first chain as a ring. Let’s look at the first two.

Make a Ring with Chains

To make a ring with chains, work several chains, then slip stitch in the first chain to form a ring. The number of chains is determined by how many stitches you intend to work into the ring and how tightly you want the ring to close. If you are following a pattern, the number of chains will be specified. Supposing, however, that you are working a hat pattern, and after working the specified number of chains and stitches in the first round, you find you have a larger hole at the center than you’d like. Go ahead and try again with fewer chains: it will cause no harm whatsoever. For other items worked in the round, such as motifs and flowers, the size of the “hole” at the center can make a difference, as it affects the overall size of the finished piece. In these instances, it’s wise to stick with the instructions as written.

Ring with chains

(more…)


10 Truths: Knitting and Crocheting Prayer Shawls

February 12th, 2015

Pin It

“A shawl is like a warm hug.”

Giving a prayer shawl to a friend or family member going through a difficult time is an appropriate gesture when there isn’t anything you can do to make their situation better. A handmade knit or crochet gift can offer comfort beyond words and the process can often have the power to heal one’s self too.

Over the years we’ve collected wisdom and insights from our favorite writers on making and giving prayer shawls (sometimes also known as comfort or healing shawls). These four articles below capture the essence of the prayer shawl and offer ten great tips – from patterns to process to the philosophy behind them – this collection is a great starting point for anyone who’d like to learn more about making prayer shawls:

Also see

Homespun® is on sale now – save 20% at lionbrand.com and Lion Brand retail locations in February.

How have prayer shawls helped you? Share in the comments below!



8 Things To Think About Before Starting Your Next Knit or Crochet Project

February 9th, 2015

Pin It

8-things-to-think-about-kcprojectSo you’ve finished a project and are ready to a start new one – congratulations!

Whether you plan to knit a hat or crochet your first vest or tackle a new stitch, there are a few things you can think about before you pick up a hook or needle.

A great place to get started is reading Lion Brand’s nine-part series Cracking the (Pattern) Code. You’ll learn about choosing the right yarns and tools, how to check your gauge, how to read patterns and more.

From there, you may want to continue on to more advanced topics and helpful tips like the ones below:

Are there any pre-planning ideas you recommend before starting a project? Share with us below!

:: Pattern seen in the picture above is the Moody Blue Bag made in Fettuccini® Yarn.


New! Learn to Crochet 3 Easy Cowls with Moogly

January 30th, 2015

Pin It

Learn How to Crochet With Moogly!

  In the Round, In Style: Crochet Cowls Made Easy Cowls are quite the craze amongst crocheters, and it’s easy to see why! They’re small projects that make a big impact in any wardrobe — plus, they’re quick, easy and fabulously fun to work. Join me, Tamara Kelly, the mind behind Moogly, in my online Craftsy class, Quick and Easy Crochet Cowls, to create quick and captivating cowl projects that will work up with ease, and open up a brand new world as you crochet in the round! During class, we’ll work our way through three dazzling cowls. Start with the easiest, then turn your sights to a lace cowl, getting acquainted with lace charts as you crochet. And finally, create something a little more advanced, adding fabulous granny square embellishment to the final cowl. Plus, throughout class, you’ll get tips and tricks for blocking and finishing to really make those cowls pop! And, did I mention that the first 1,000 students to enroll get a heavenly, heathered treat? That’s right — enroll today and get a free skein of Lion Brand Amazing® yarn!

 For our first lesson, we’ll make the aptly–named 45–Minute Cowl. I’ll show you how to work two strands at once from the same skein, and we’ll start our foundation row, learning to properly measure gauge. As we move on, I’ll give you tips for joining the beginning row in the round, including a more professional way to start the round, and take you through each stitch used. Then, we’ll complete this cowl with fabulous finishing tips that will help you take care of those ends!In our third lesson, we explore lovely lace in the round. You’ll improve your chart–reading skills as I walk you through the pattern and show you how it translates to the chart. Join your first round, and enjoy my nifty trick you can use in all your in–the–round projects so that your chain doesn’t get twisted! While we crochet, I’ll explain how the stitch pattern develops round by round, and you’ll learn which loops to work into to create the beautiful shells of this stunning cowl.

 We’ll finish lesson four by flipping the cowl once we’ve worked it half way, working into the foundation chain once more to build fabric out in the opposite direction. Once we’re finished, it’s time for the beautiful Brompton Abbey Cowl! This more advanced cowl is still very approachable — it just takes a few special stitches, like picots, which I’ll show you step by step. Plus, I’ll share some advice on adjusting length and width, so you can customize for the fit you crave! Then, we’ll create our cowl’s dazzling centerpiece by crocheting and attaching the granny squares. I’ll show you how to make the center spiral, square–off corners for a traditional look and attach the squares to the neck piece. For our final lesson, we’ll add finishing touches with a beautiful picot edge and functional snaps, and end class with blocking tips for all your projects! Get three incredible designs, plus a FREE skein of Lion Brand Amazing yarn, when you sign up for Quick and Easy Crochet Cowls today.

 For me, as much as I’ve fallen in love with crochet over the years, it’s the aspect of community and sharing with other crocheters that has truly become my passion. That’s why I started Moogly, a crochet website, and made it my mission to connect with crocheters, sharing my knowledge by blogging, designing, curating pattern collections, crafting tutorials and more! Now, I get to connect with you too — thanks to Craftsy! With Craftsy you get expert instruction and ample support, with me and the crochet community by your side. Plus, with online lessons you can watch when you want and where you want, you get to learn on your terms, in crystal clear high–definition!So, join me, and get ready to cowl with delight! Learn all the skills you need to start creating cowls and other in–the–round projects with complete confidence.

Join me in for only $19.99that’s 33% off today!

css.php