Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'YarnCraft Podcast' Category

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
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
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
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
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
in Tudor
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
in Seafoam
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!

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,, 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.

Related links: