Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Yarniverse' Category

How to Be a Superb Student: A Lesson in Two Parts, Part Two

March 10th, 2016

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franklin_400x400Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.

I left you, last month, on the brink of taking your seat in the classroom. If all has gone well, you are equipped with the correct needles, notions, and yarns. If the teacher has asked for homework, your homework is complete.

Let us begin.

Part Two: In the Classroom

  1. Dress for Comfort. A fiber arts classroom may be anything from a deluxe hotel suite to a livestock barn. I have taught in both. No matter what, I promise you this: the room will be far too hot for half the class and far too cold for the other half.

Dressing in layers is vital. A student in a shirt, sweater, and small shawl or scarf can adjust to a variable microclimate. A student who wears only a bra under her snuggly hand-knitted merino pullover is going to suffer when the radiator starts to glow.

  1. Arrive on Time. On time is slightly early–anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes before class is due to begin. Earlier than 45 minutes isn’t punctual, it’s pushy. The teacher needs time to arrange the classroom (and himself) for what’s to come. If you cannot sit outside (i.e., it’s snowing hard, there’s an angry mob in the street, the yarn shop is entirely surrounded by a moat stocked with alligators) please have mercy–quietly choose a seat and let the teacher prepare.

Do not ever (ever) show up very, very early and attempt to wheedle a free private lesson out of the teacher before class beings. You will not enjoy what happens next.

If you must arrive late, slip in quietly and take the nearest available seat. No explanations necessary.

  1. They’re All Good Seats. If you have a physical condition that requires special accommodation, please let the venue know in advance so they can take the necessary steps.
    If you do not, choose any open chair. You’ll be able to see. You’ll be able to hear. The seats in the back are fifteen feet from the teacher. It’s a crochet class, not a Who concert at Yankee Stadium.
  1. Silence the Phone. Period.
  1. Silence Yourself. Your classmates have paid to learn about cable knitting, not your dinner plans. When the teacher is addressing the class, conversations on your phone or with your table neighbors should–indeed must–be taken out of the room.

If you simply can’t wait another minute to catch up with the bosom friend you haven’t seen since the day fifty years ago when you left her for dead on a blood-soaked battlefield, please consider that perhaps my class on the history of lace knitting is not the ideal place to do it.

Yarncrafting Costumes: Designing a Lollipop Headpiece

February 22nd, 2016

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With her latest yarncrafting adventure, Gali Beeri designs a super sweet headpiece!

My costuming adventures continue! For the costume party theme of Candyland Fantasy, I chose the character Princess Lolly as my inspiration.

I toyed with different ideas for a lollipop crown. In the end I decided to knit a giant spiral lollipop – candy even bigger than my head!

To make the headpiece, first I knitted two lengths of I-cord using Landscapes® in Boardwalk and Vanna’s Choice® in White. Holding the white and rainbow I-cords together, I coiled them around each other and stitched the cords together to create a spiral from the center out. I spent a lovely afternoon at the Tarot Society Gallery & Reading Room in Brooklyn stitching the lollipop during our Costume Craft Clinic with other fellow costume crafters.

After the body of the lollipop was complete, I inserted several lengths of floral wire through the back to help the piece stay flat and upright.

I attached the piece to a lace-look headband, and voila! A lollipop headpiece was all set to sweeten the deal at the next costume party!


The Shape of Things to Come: Lion Brand’s 2016 Fashion Show!

February 16th, 2016

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The idea was clear; simple geometry leads to spectacular results. When our design team set out to create new patterns for 2016, they chose a fitting theme: “The Shape of Things to Come.”

Squares, triangles, circles and polygons come together to create an endless array of new garments and accessories. They made their debut at the Craft & Hobby Association Megashow this January in Lion Brand’s annual Fashion Show, co-hosted by Vanna White and our brand ambassador, Shira Blumenthal!

Get a glimpse at these new patterns in the video below!


Like what you see? Here’s a taste of the newest patterns!

graphicstatement cozycollar colorgird
Crochet Graphic Statement Cardigan made with Heartland® Knit Cozy Collared Pullover made with Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® and Homespun® Thick & Quick® Knit Slip Stitch Graphic Shawl made with Vanna’s Choice® Knit Color Grid Pullover made with Vanna’s Glamour

All patterns will be released very soon. Can’t wait? Sign up for our New Patterns Alert and have the latest batch of patterns delivered directly to your inbox!

9 Top Blogger Patterns of 2015!

December 30th, 2015

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We’ve said it before — we like how you use our yarn! This year saw an abundance of patterns from our blogger friends. They took our yarn, their imaginations, and created patterns we can’t wait to try and make again and again.

With the year coming to an end, we rounded up the top blogger patterns of 2015.

Thank you for thinking of Lion Brand® for your projects. We enjoy seeing how our yarn inspires others and look forward to sharing a lot more patterns from you in 2016!

SheepGraph2 ami fiberflux
Crochet C2C Baby Sheep Graphghan by Repeat Crafter Me
Made with Vanna’s Choice®
Crochet Granite Cape by All About Ami
Made with Heartland®
Crochet Sugar Cookie Scarf by Fiber Flux
Made with Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®
sweaterbag knitcableafghan mooglylobcabin-ka
Crochet Southwest Tote by Mama in a Stitch
Made with Vanna’s Choice®
Knit Cables & Columns Blanket by Petals to Picots
Made with Jiffy®
Crochet Log Cabin Afghan by Moogly
Made with Textures®
producebag GoldLeafHat2 Black-and-White-Checkmate-Beginner-Knit-Scarf
Crochet Fresh Produce Market Bag by Make and Takes
Made with Cotton-Ease®
Knit Gold Leaf Hat by Gina Michele
Made with Gold Leaf®
Knit Black & White Colorblock Infinity Scarf by Mama in a Stitch

Made with Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®

Yarncrafting Costumes: Designing Light-up Horns

December 26th, 2015

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In this guest post by Gali Beeri, she reveals a knitted costume perfect for the theme, “wicked witches” …

Just because Halloween is behind us doesn’t mean my costuming adventures have ended! I like to find opportunities for costuming year-round. The last costume party’s theme was wicked witches.

Choosing the project was the easy part – I’ve long been fascinated with the shape and dramatic look of Maleficent’s horns. Then it was time to select my yarn and start designing on the needles. I chose Vanna’s Choice® in Black held together with (you guessed it) Vanna’s Glamour® in Onyx for a touch of sparkle, worked on a US 8 needle.

I cast on a few stitches in I-cord, worked a few rows, and then started increasing and working in the round. I played with positioning of increases and decreases to create the desired slant and twist in the horns. Taking notes along the way, I reversed the shaping for the second horn to create mirror-image horns.

I knitted a flat circle for each horn and seamed it most of the way around each base. A length of jewelry wire bent into shape and inserted into each horn provided some structural support. Then I stuffed the horn with fiberfill and seamed the piece closed.

To affix the horns to my head, I stitched them to a sturdy lace-look elastic headband. Testing the placement of the horns while using the subway car door as a mirror perhaps entertained my fellow commuters!

From the beginning I knew I wanted the horns to have a light feature. In the past I’ve added string LED lights to my hair (for my winged superhero look), which were powered by a pack of three AA batteries. This can be quite cumbersome to carry on the head, so this time I sought out string LED lights with a smaller power source – two coin cell batteries. (I found mine here.) These smaller batteries are much easier to hide in my hair, especially when I added a piece of black lace fabric to my updo as a cover for the battery pack.

I wrapped a string of red lights around each horn, spiraling the wire around the knitted piece. This had the added benefit of helping the knitted piece to keep its shape, and the contrast of the silver wire against the black fabric also highlighted the curvature of the horns.

The horns made a comeback for another costume party. This time I turned my hair into a sculpture of sorts and added several decorative objects into the mix – including a knitted tiny turtle by Mochimochi Land!