Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'YarnCraft Podcast' Category


4 Reasons You Should Listen to YarnCraft

July 16th, 2012

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In 2007, we started our on-demand radio show (aka podcast), YarnCraftSince then, we’ve aired over 100 episodes, featuring behind-the-scenes stories from Lion Brand, interviews with people ranging from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee to Vanna White to Nicky Epstein, and tons of useful tips and pattern recommendations.

I’ve had the pleasure of working on each of these episodes, first as a producer and then later also as a co-host, and I’d like to invite you to check out the show if you haven’t already.

Here are just a few reasons you might enjoy YarnCraft, straight from our listeners…

Get inspired & learn something new

Each episode features a main theme/topic, as well as other fun segments. We cover topics ranging from patterns for particular seasons to becoming a professional knit or crochet designer.

“YarnCraft inspires me to try things I never would have tried. Hearing advice from other crafters gives me confidence and ideas to create things on my own. I look forward to every podcast and I learn something new each time!” – Erin, Denver, CO

“I just listened to the podcast on shaping…wow, how informative! [...] You inspire me to tackle things I would never even consider. Thank you for providing a podcast that is informative and interesting and benificial to increasing my skills and knowledge of yarncrafting.” – Allison, Morton, IL

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6 Wonderful Knit & Crochet Wedding Projects Made by Customers Like You!

April 23rd, 2012

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On tomorrow’s episode of YarnCraft (our radio-style podcast about the wonderful world of knitting, crocheting, and yarn), we’ll be talking about projects for formals, proms, and weddings. As we enter the warmer months (at least here in the northern hemisphere), it seems like there are more parties, both indoors and out–which is why we’ll be talking about purses, shawls, and even some non-traditional yarncrafting projects that you may want to tackle.

In the meantime, we often hear from customers that they’ve made special projects as gifts or to decorate for their own or their friends’ weddings. Here are just a few fun projects that I spotted in our Customer Gallery (click on the photos to read their full stories):

Paul created this very cool blanket for his youngest step-daughter’s wedding–his own design, with a little help from his wife. He made it using Pound of Love, and you can really tell a lot of love went into this cool playing card-inspired design. Janice B. made an adorable little bunny bride & groom–and bridesmaid too!–based on our Cake Topper pattern. It was for a recently-married friend who loves bunnies!

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Making a Patchwork Baby Blanket for Liz’s Baby Shower

April 11th, 2012

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One of the best things about working at Lion Brand is the great people that you get to work with. When I first started here, one of the first people I became friends with was Liz, who works on yarn development. When we decided to launch the Lion Brand podcast–YarnCraft–back in 2007, Liz was definitely a go-to person for interesting yarncrafting facts and stories to share. Eventually, she and I began co-hosting the show. We’ve done over 100 episodes, sharing pattern recommendations, techniques, stories, interviews with influential yarncrafters, and in doing so, we’ve also found ourselves with a lot of amazing listeners who share their comments and stories with us, some of whom have been with us for years.

Because of my friendship with Liz, I knew that when the company was recently planning her baby shower (for her first baby!), I wanted to do something special for her. I also knew that it would be wonderful to get not only my coworkers involved, but also our wonderful YarnCraft listeners.

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5 Podcasts on How to De-Stress & Get Motivated When Knitting or Crocheting

March 5th, 2012

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5 Podcasts on How to De-Stress & Get Motivated When Knitting & CrochetingFor knitters & crocheters, sometimes it can feel stressful when you’re trying to finish a project and it’s slow going. However, it’s important to keep in mind the idea that knitting and crocheting are hobbies that are meant to be enjoyed for the journey, and not just for the end result.

To help you keep that in mind, here are 5 segments from our radio-style podcast, YarnCraft, all about de-stressing when you’re working on a particularly taxing project OR getting motivated when you’re feeling stuck on a project.

Click through the links below to read the episode guide and click on the “play” arrow to listen to the episode (or download it to your computer using the link).

De-Stress with Episode 105 – Fast forward to 31:43 to listen to our “Stash This: Ideas for Your Crafting Life” segment all about de-stressing during the busy holiday gift-making season. These tips are definitely useful year-round!

Get Reinvigorated with Episode 91 – This episode, entitled “5 Ways to Stay Motivated Knitting & Crocheting This Summer,” highlights just that. Get inspired and reinvigorated in your knitting and crocheting, when you’re feeling like you’re stuck in a rut. Fast forward to 12:09 if you want to listen to just that segment.

Take a Moment with Episode 30 – In another “Stash This” segment (at 26:48 in the episode), learn useful ways to take a step back from your knit & crochet projects when you need a moment to gather your thoughts and tackle that next big step, whether it’s ripping back or starting a particularly challenging stitch chart.

Create the Right Environment with Episode 22 – Finding your zen place when yarncrafting is sometimes about creating the right environment. Learn what makes a good crafting space in this episode. Skip to 4:32 if you want to listen to just this segment.

Support Your Hands with Episode 9 – In this early episode, Liz & I share tips for supporting your hands and wrists while yarncrafting, as well as soothing, simple pattern-recommendations that are just right for those times you want a relaxing project to work on. Hop over to 23:48 for this “Stash This” segment.

If you like these segments, subscribe to YarnCraft here or find us on iTunes! We come out with a new episode, every two weeks!

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Happy New Year! Share Your Yarncrafting Resolutions!

January 1st, 2012

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Happy New Year from all of us at Lion Brand!

It’s that time of year when we think about new year’s resolutions, and I know I’m already thinking about what I’d like to achieve in 2012. From learning new skills to getting organized, trying new yarns to teaching a friend, there are so many ways to expand the ways we yarncraft.

You can hear more about my resolutions and the resolutions of other Lion Brand staffers on the first 2012 episode of our audio-podcast*–YarnCraft–which comes out on Tuesday, January 3, but in the meantime–we’d love to hear from YOU!

What are your new year’s resolutions as a yarncrafter? What do you hope to achieve in the new year?

*A podcast is like a radio show you can listen to online or download through iTunes!


We’re Celebrating 100 Episodes of YarnCraft

September 2nd, 2011

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Since October of 2007, I’ve been lucky enough to work on our podcast, YarnCraft, a radio-style show that’s available online and to download. It’s been a wonderful part of my job, allowing me and my co-host Liz to share project ideas, sneak peeks at upcoming yarns, interviews with knit and crochet experts, and more. Over the years, our listeners have told us that they enjoy incorporating a little YarnCraft into their commutes, their morning jogs, and of course their crafting time, and we love that they share their comments, thoughts, stories, and photos with us and other listeners, making it a truly interactive experience.

On September 13th, we’re going to reach a special milestone: our 100th episode. To celebrate, Liz & I have hit the virtual road and are giving interviews on all kinds of topics (and giving away prizes) all over the internet.

Be sure to catch us us at the following places:

September 2 – The Crochet Dude
Crochet designer and all around cool guy, Drew Emborsky, asks Liz & Zontee to spill the beans about Vanna White, Lion Brand’s charity connection, and the secrets to putting together a podcast. Plus there just might be a chance to score some of Vanna’s newest yarn.

September 5 – Craftsy Blog
Well-known knitwear designer and teacher, Stefanie Japel, picks Liz & Zontee’s brains and gets some advice on crocheting for beginners. Get a second chance to win some Vanna’s Colors while you’re there.

September 7 – Crochet by Faye
Crochet designer Robyn Chachula asks the ladies of YarnCraft all about podcasting, working at Lion Brand, and the inspiration behind the LB Collection. Enter for a chance to win two balls of LB Collection Superwash Merino while you’re there.

September 8 – PlanetJune
Liz & Zontee answer questions from crochet designer and YarnCraft listener, June Gilbank. Find out about how working on YarnCraft has effected Liz & Zontee’s crafting lives. Also, get a chance to win 3 balls of Vanna’s Choice, June’s preferred amigurumi yarn.

September 12 (live at 9 pm; also available for download afterwards) – Getting Loopy! Podcast
Knit & crochet designer/blogger/podcaster, Mary Beth Temple, interviews Zontee about how to get started podcasting. Chat with Mary Beth live online during the show to submit questions!

September 12 – KnitPurlGurl Podcast
Karrie, a.k.a. KnitPurlGurl chats with Zontee for a behind-the-scenes look at Lion Brand on her podcast. You’ll also have a chance to win 3 balls of Superwash Merino Cashmere while you’re there.

For episodes of YarnCraft (I like to say it’s like “Car Talk” for knitters & crocheters), visit our blog or find us on iTunes. YarnCraft comes out twice a month on Tuesdays.


Customize Your Project with Birthstone Colored Yarns

July 20th, 2011

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On our radio-style podcast, YarnCraft, my co-host Liz and I often talk about how to customize your knit & crochet projects. In particular, customizing gifts is a popular subject, since many knitters and crocheters like to make things for their loved ones.

One great idea that I got from the book, The Prayer Shawl Ministry: Reaching Those In Need, is to use yarns that match your recipients’ birthstone. It’s, of course, a great idea for birthday presents, but could be used throughout the year. To help you on your way, I’ve put together this handy chart:

January – Garnet 

Deep shades of burgundy make for wonderful accessories and garments in luxe Superwash Merino Cashmere or glitzy Vanna’s Glamour.

Superwash Merino Cashmere: Garnet Vanna's Glamour: Garnet
Superwash Merino
Cashmere in Wine
Vanna’s Glamour
in Garnet
February – Amethyst 

Add a touch of texture with shades of purple with the haziness of Silk Mohair or silky hand of Homespun.

LB Collection Silk Mohair: Iris Homespun: Amethyst
LB Collection Silk
Mohair in Iris
Homespun
in Amethyst
March – Aquamarine 

Cool, light organic cotton or easy-care Vanna’s Choice both make wonderful accessories, boleros, and more.

Nature's Choice Organic Cotton: Blueberry Vanna's Choice: Aqua
Nature’s Choice
Organic Cotton
in Blueberry
Vanna’s Choice
in Aqua
April – Diamond 

April’s child loves a touch of glitter, so try one of these soft, metallic yarns for a wonderful project.

Vanna's Glamour: Diamond Wool-Ease: White Frost
Vanna’s Glamour
in Diamond
Wool-Ease
in White Frost
May – Emerald 

Lush shades of green meet quick-to-work-up yarns in Hometown USA and Holiday Homespun.

Hometown USA: Green Bay Holiday Homespun: Evergreen
Hometown USA
in Green Bay
Holiday Homespun
in Evergreen
June – Pearl or Moonstone 

Subtle shades reflect June’s birthstones. Try this painterly shade of Homespun or the soft taupe glitz of Vanna’s Glamour.

Homespun: Pearls Vanna's Glamour: Moonstone
Homespun
in Pearls
Vanna’s Glamour
in Moonstone
July – Ruby 

Perfect on their own or held double-stranded (one strand of each), July’s yarns are all about bright, bold red.

Vanna's Glamour: Ruby Vanna's Choice: Scarlet
Vanna’s Glamour
in Ruby
Vanna’s Choice
in Scarlet
August – Peridot 

Stylish yellow-green is lovely in this heathered solid shade of Homespun or the soft luxury of Superwash Merino Cashmere.

Homespun in Apple Green Superwash Merino Cashmere: Green Tea
Homespun
in Apple Green
Superwash Merino
Cashmere in Green Tea
September – Sapphire 

Classic midnight blue makes for great accessories, shrugs, and more. Double-stranded or used individually, these yarns look luscious.

Vanna's Choice: Sapphire Vanna's Glamour: Sapphire
Vanna’s Choice
in Sapphire
Vanna’s Glamour
in Sapphire
October – Opal 

October’s yarns are all about a swirl of soft color with this painterly color of Homespun or self-striping Amazing.

Homespun: Tudor Amazing: Carnival
Homespun
in Tudor
Amazing
in Carnival
November – Citrine or Yellow Topaz 

This warm, golden fall-friendly color is beautiful in both shimmering Vanna’s Glamour and luxurious Angora Merino.

Vanna's Glamour: Bronze LB Collection Angora Merino: Nectarine
Vanna’s Glamour
in Bronze
LB Collection Angora
Merino in Nectarine
December – Blue Topaz or Turquoise 

Brighten up someone’s winter with a pop of color in silky-smooth, easy-care Microspun or Homespun.

Homespun: Seafoam Microspun: Turquoise
Homespun
in Seafoam
Microspun
in Turquoise

For episodes of YarnCraft (I like to say it’s like “Car Talk” for knitters & crocheters), visit our blog or find us on iTunes. YarnCraft comes out twice a month on Tuesdays.


5 Podcasts We Love!

May 31st, 2011

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SwatchesCrafters everywhere know the importance of being focused while you work – but many of us like to have a little something interesting on in the background. Podcasts are a great source of entertainment, and can even help you with your crafting!

One of the many free goodies on the Lion Brand website is our free podcast series, YarnCraft. This podcast is updated with new episodes every two weeks and is chock full of interviews, projects, tips and tricks for enjoying your crafting life.  Here are five more great podcasts about crafting with yarn! [As always, highlighted text is clickable.]

Just One More Row
Cohosts Brittany and Dana talk about patterns they love, projects they’re working on and upcoming contests  in this friendly, conversational podcast. Both of these Tennessee ladies knit, but Brittany also spins and Dana is a long time crocheter. They post great notes for each episode and include links to the patterns and websites they mention, in case you want to catch up and make one of the many projects they talk about on the show!

CraftLit
This podcast is a great resource for book lovers, crafters, and those who wish they could read while working with yarn. Each episode begins with a portion of crafting discussion before diving into classic literature. The host of this podcast is a knitter, crocheter, spinner and English teacher! She tailors each episode to the interests of crafters and those who love classic books or want to read them for the first time.

Stash and Burn
A popular favorite, Nicole and Jenny of Stash and Burn talk about projects they are working on and living “Life Under the Weight of the Stash”. These two focus mostly on knitted projects, but take time out to review techniques and books. Conversations can wander from topic to topic, but always come around back to fiber arts and patterns they love!

Stitch It
Meghan of Stitch It tells great stories about motherhood, balancing a busy life and, of course, crafting. A busy fiber lover, she works with knitting and crochet as well as spinning and dyeing. Her episodes cover many different topics, but are full of interesting stories and plenty of fiber fun.

The Knit Girllls
Watching this conversational video podcast is like inviting co-hosts Leslie and Laura over for some quality stitching time together. The two ladies show off their work and finished projects, talk about patterns and announce new giveaways!

These are just some of the many great podcasts on crafting with yarn, and each can be found through these links or on iTunes. Did we mention your favorite?

Leave a comment to tell us about a crafting podcast you love and what you love about it!


5 Goodies on the Lion Brand Site You May Not Know About

February 16th, 2011

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There is so much we offer for free on our site to help you with your yarn crafting but I have the feeling you may not know about all of these goodies.  Here are 5 kinds of freebies you can get.  Please check them out and let me know what you think.

1.  Charity Finder
If you are looking for a charity to knit or crochet for, or if you are part of a group of knitters and crocheters who knit for charity, the Charity Finder will be a great resource for you.  We have over 1,000 groups currently listed.  It’s easy to use.  Just indicate if you have a preference for a type of organization or a type of garment, the Charity Finder lets you limit the choice so you find just what you want.  You can also select a group within a few miles of your home.  When you go to the Charity Finder you will also find a useful listing of some of our most popular free patterns for charity.  We would love to hear from you and find out how your charity group search or organization listing goes.

2.  Free e-Cards
When it’s the last minute on an important holiday or birthday, you can dash off one of our free e-cards for yarn lovers.  We have a wide range of designs to choose from.  Just personalize your message and go.

3. Stitch Finder
Over 100 knit and crochet stitches are explained and shown on our Stitch Finder.  It’s a great way to grow your skills and learn to make some changes to the patterns you tend to make over and over.

4.  The YarnCraft Podcast
It sounds hi-tech but it’s just a 30 minute radio show that feels like you’re listening in to a couple of friends sitting around and chatting about ideas in yarn crafting, interviewing designers, or sharing what they know about fashion trends. Listen to it online or download it through iTunes.

5.  Yarn Substitution Information
Are you about to start making one of our free patterns and you realize you don’t have the yarn that is called for?  We have a chart that helps you figure out what yarns can be substituted.  We also have articles that review the process of substituting yarns in case you’d like step by step instructions.

What other goodies and information would you like to see us have on our site?  Leave us a comment and let us. know.

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Help Create Art Inspired by Endangered Animals

October 12th, 2010

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This month, we’re highlighting the works of various fiber artists currently showing around the country and the world. If you’d like to suggest an artist or an exhibit, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know!

Ruth Marshall, a fiber artist based in New York City, is looking for volunteer knitters to help her create knitted tiger pelts, her latest fine art textile project, sponsored in part by Lion Brand. Ruth has been studying archived tiger pelts at the American Museum of Natural History, and she currently participating in the Open Studio Program at the Museum of Art & Design located at Columbus Circle, in Manhattan, every Friday until December 3rd, 2010.

On YarnCraft, our radio-style podcast, my co-host Liz and I also had the pleasure of talking to Ruth about her fascinating work, which draws attention to various endangered big cat species. (Click here to listen to that episode [MP3]; the interview with Ruth starts at about 11:14.)

If you are an experienced knitter in the NYC-area, particularly with experience in intarsia and multi-colored yarns and would like to hang out and knit at the Museum of Art & Design, please contact Ruth by visiting her website, RuthMarshall.com, and clicking on the “contact” button which will open up an email window.

Ruth’s previous work has been exhibited across North America at such institutions as the Hunterdon Museum, San Jose Museum, Indiana State Museum, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, MassArt, Museum of Art & Design, Dam, Stuhltrager Gallery – Brooklyn & Berlin, as well as various art fairs in Miami, FL; Chicago, IL; Paris, France; and Istanbul, Turkey. Awards include the BRIO-Bronx Council of the Arts. Ruth will be featured in two books coming out next spring, and will participate in “Green: A Color and a Cause”, at the Textile Museum, Washington D.C. in 2011.

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