Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Tutorials' Category


Three New Lion Brand Classes Now On Craftsy!

November 1st, 2013

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One of the most important things we do at Lion Brand is offer education through tips, techniques and step-by-step how-tos. That’s because we know that learning will enhance your ability to enjoy working with yarn.

This year, we asked ourselves how we can get more deeply involved in teaching knitters and crocheters all over the world to grow their skills in a way that can mimic the classroom setting. That’s where Craftsy came in. Craftsy is the premiere online education platform for crafters. We are combining Lion Brand’s beautifully designed patterns and quality yarns with Craftsy’s know-how in online education and their sophisticated, interactive technology.

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Video: How to Make a Simple Rubber Band Bracelet

October 29th, 2013

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Learn to use your Martha Stewart Crafts™ Knit & Weave Loom Kit to make a basic rubber band bracelet.

Click here to get the written instructions for this project.


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Learn the Provisional Cast On in 6 Easy Steps!

October 4th, 2013

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The provisional cast on is, as the name implies, a temporary cast on row. It is done with waste yarn so that you can take it out later and have “live” stitches in your working yarn. Waste yarn should generally be a contrast-color yarn (so that it’s easy to locate) and in a smooth, non-grippy fiber (to make it easier to rip out later). This technique is used in projects like infinity scarves because you can join the ends of your work so that it looks seamless. This invisible seaming (known as grafting) is achieved by doing a kitchener stitch with the live stitches that you will pick up from your cast on row. The provisional cast on is also used when you’ll be picking up the stitches in order to work the piece in the other direction (seen sometimes in patterns that feature lace designs, for example). Only use this cast on if directed by your pattern or if you’ll be grafting or picking up the stitches.

There are a few different ways to do a provisional cast on but we are going to do the version that utilizes a crochet hook. Let’s walk through how you work this technique…

provisional cast on

1. With a crochet hook make five chain stitches with your waste yarn.

2. With your left had hold your chain stitches and a knitting needle. Bring the yarn behind the knitting needle and wrap it around the index finger of your left hand (the way you would if you were doing continental knitting). Your crochet hook should still be in the last loop of your chain stitches.

3. Reach your crochet hook over your knitting needle to grab the yarn.

4. Pull the yarn through your loop. This is essentially the same motion you were making when doing the chain stitches.

5. Move your yarn behind the knitting needle again. Repeats steps 3 and 4 until you’ve made the desired amount of stitches.

6. Make five more chain stitches. Cut the yarn, tie a knot at the end, and pull the knot through the last chain stitch. This is now your cast-on row. From here you will attach your working yarn and knit as you normally would.

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Learn to Crochet with Easy-to-Follow Videos

September 9th, 2013

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If you’ve always wanted to learn to crochet but had trouble following written directions and illustrations, check out our video playlist!

Already know how to crochet? Share this blog post with your friends who are interested in learning!

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 videos on our website.

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Learn to Knit with Easy-to-Follow Videos

August 16th, 2013

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Are you a visual learner who’s interested in knitting? Learn with our video playlist!

Already know how to knit? Spread the love! Share this blog post with your friends who want to learn!

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 videos on our website.

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Learn to Knit with Imagine Yarn in 5 Easy Steps!

August 15th, 2013

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One Ball Twirly Scarf

Have you been admiring our beautiful Imagine yarn but can’t wrap your mind around how to knit with it? Imagine’s webbed tubing construction is what makes it unique but it can also seem tricky to work with at first. I’ve broken it down into five simple steps for you so you’ll have the confidence to try it for yourself!

Click here to see the pattern for the project shown on the left!

How-to-Knit-with-Imagine


How to Do the Long Tail Cast On

July 31st, 2013

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Also known as the slingshot cast on, this technique is fast and creates a neater look than your basic cast on. If you’ve ever seen it done by somebody else it looks very complex (I was super intimidated when I first saw it!), but it actually isn’t. Once you get the hang of it, you can quickly produce a beautiful and even cast on row!

how to do a long tail cast on

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How to Cable Without a Cable Needle: A Tutorial and Video

July 23rd, 2013

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Let’s say that one day, you’re working on that lovely cable project you’ve been looking forward to starting, it’s time for you to start your cable – you dig through your pouch full of notions and somehow, your cable needle is nowhere to be found! Oh no… now what?

I’m sure many of you have experienced working on a cable project with no cable needle nearby, and you have probably used something else in substitution of the cable needle – a pen, pencil, straw, etc.  But did you know that you can also cable without any needle at all, and it’s quite simple.  We have an easy tutorial with step by step images showing you how to cable without a cable needle, which you can find here – but now, you can watch the tutorial in action by viewing the video below!

Which is your preferred method for cabling? Share with us in the details!

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Easy Way to Hand Paint Yarn with Kool-Aid, Not Just for Wool!

July 10th, 2013

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Editor’s Note: This post was updated on July 11th.

How to Hand Paint Yarn with Kool-Aid | Lion Brand Notebook

Have you ever come across a yarn that you loved the feel and gauge of but couldn’t find the color that you wanted? Well, being the savvy crafter you are you don’t have to let that stop you! I found myself in a similar predicament shortly after I started working at Lion Brand. The smooth softness of the Casey yarn made me melt but it only comes in confetti colors suited for baby items. Since I rarely make baby projects, I tried to put the yarn out of my mind. But occasionally I would be digging through the yarn closets in the office and my fingers would brush a skein of Casey yarn and I would fall in love again. Then it hit me, I could dye it to make it fit my needs!

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Learn to Crochet a Granny Square!

June 21st, 2013

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grannies slide openerAfter crocheting what I was sure was the world’s longest crochet chain (it was at least 60 feet long, but far short of the world record) in fourth grade, I finally decided it might be time to learn another crochet technique. I sat with my grandmother that summer at the kitchen table in our shore house as she crocheted a baby pink granny square, walking me through each step. She fastened hers off without disconnecting, so I could practice on the same length of yarn. Once I got the hang of it, I went around and around on that same square, until each successive skein of pink, purple and white ran out, but I always left my grandmother’s square attached. It’s a wonderful memory of her to keep now.

Making granny squares is a great way to learn to crochet, or to try out a new technique. Today, I want to share my grandmother’s lesson to me from 15 years ago with all of you! Check out this step-by-step tutorial to create your first granny square in ten minutes or less.

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