Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame

Archive for the 'Yarniverse' Category

A Thank You to Our Writers & Their Top Posts!

December 16th, 2015

Pin It

All year long, we’ve shared our own yarn wisdom through our favorite patterns, tips and tricks of the trade, and videos. We’ve also featured columns from writers we think add a dose of humor, help, and advice to your crafting.

We’ve rounded up this year’s top posts as written by contributing bloggers. Check out our top 5!:

She Was Told She Would Never Knit Or Crochet Again … So Here’s What She Did. – This post brought awareness to a problem many knitters and crocheters face; Colette Smith offers relief with hand exercises that are great for any crafter.

Pocket Prayer Shawls Provide Portable Comfort by Kathryn Vercillo – The power of a prayer shawl in the palm of your hand; this surprisingly simple gift was popular among so many crafters who wanted to share comfort with their crafts.

A Brief Guide to Lesser-Known Yarn Superstitions by Franklin Habit – The endlessly funny Franklin Habit demystified a few yarn-isms in this column.

Flattering Sweater Styles For Women Of Every Age by Selma Moss-Ward  – Trends may come and go, but style is always in. In this post, Selma Moss-Ward chose her favorite timeless Lion Brand patterns.

Tamara Kelly Shares 15 Quick & Easy Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season – Popular blogger Moogly, aka Tamara Kelly, is always on top when it comes to trends in crocheting and knitting. Here, she curated a gift guide that you can use for this and next year!

See the First Yarnbombed Billboard in Times Square by London Kaye!

December 9th, 2015

Pin It

The bright lights of Broadway are shining on an exciting new venture for Lion Brand®! Yarnbomber London Kaye created a completely crocheted billboard for Miller Lite beer using Vanna’s Choice® and Pound of Love®!

Made up of 300,000 stitches, nearly 44 miles of yarn and a lot of creativity, London and a team of 10 made the billboard entirely by hand! Brand ambassador Shira Blumenthal was on hand with London as the billboard made its debut.

:: Can’t see the video above? Click here to watch – ::

If you live in New York or plan on visiting for the holidays, see the billboard in person in the heart of Times Square at 7th Avenue and 49th Street!

Talk to the Paw by Franklin Habit

November 3rd, 2015

Pin It

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

“Leelee just loves my knitting,” she said brightly, plucking the ball of yarn from the corner into which it had rolled. “Don’t you, Leelee?”

Leelee was silent.

“She just loves it,” she said again, winding on the twisted clew that had circumnavigated the legs of the armchair, the coffee table, and a medium-sized plaster reproduction of the Venus de Milo. “You love it, don’t you?”

Leelee watched sullenly for a moment, then turned her back and began licking her foot.

Leelee, as you may have guessed, is a cat. Unable to speak for herself, she is frequently given voice by the knitter with whom she resides. Leelee is often said by the knitter to be quite the yarn fanatic. Leelee pores over the knitting magazines that litter the floor and offers mewling critiques of the patterns inside. Leelee does not care for intarsia, drop shoulders, or very bright colors. Leelee is presently infatuated with chenille.

“Did she tell you that?” I asked.

“She doesn’t have to, silly!” said the knitter. “Cats and yarn! Cats and yarn!”

I felt, on Leelee’s behalf, a certain resentment. I understand what it’s like to have everyone assume they know you just by looking at you. As a man, I am generally reckoned to have a deep love of football (no) and a violent aversion to needlework (also no). It’s not quite fair.


Yarncrafting Costumes: Designing an Interactive (and Creepy!) Headpiece

October 22nd, 2015

Pin It

In this guest post by Gali Beeri, she reveals a knitted costume that’s a true feast for the eyes…

With Halloween just around the corner, today I’d like to share the creepiest costume I’ve knitted yet. The theme for this particular costume party was “freak show”, along with “third eyes”, wherever they may peer from…

In exploring design ideas for my headpiece, at first I considered knitting a crown made of tiny eyes. Pondering the other side of the spectrum, perhaps one big eye would make more of a statement. And then inspiration struck – what if people could interact with my costume in some way? What if one big eye revealed many tiny eyes?

I set about knitting one tiny eyeball after another. The yarn was an easy decision; of course my tiny eyeballs need to sparkle! Working on a set of US 1 double-pointed needles, I knit a small sphere starting out with Vanna’s Glamour® in Diamond and switching to blue (using scrap yarn I had left over from other projects) for the iris. Afterward I embroidered the pupil using a length of black yarn.

Once I had 14 tiny eyeballs, I set about stitching them together around a central knitted sphere. I added a few silver sequins with needle and thread for good sparkly measure.

Next I designed and knitted the giant eye. Using Vanna’s Glamour® and Vanna’s Choice® in White held together on a US 8 needle, I made a sphere about six inches in diameter. I switched colors for the iris, working with Vanna’s Choice® in Aqua. I worked the last couple of rounds with more Vanna’s Choice® in Black held together with Vanna’s Glamour® in Onyx.

Note that I didn’t knit the sphere closed. I left an opening large enough for the cluster of tiny eyeballs to fit through, so that people would be able to reach inside the giant eye and pull out the tiny cluster of eyes. I knitted a small flap in black and attached it halfway around the opening, and sewed on some Velcro so the flap could close neatly and give the appearance of a pupil. I embroidered details on the iris with Glitterspun® in Aquamarine for added depth and sparkle.

I worried the large eye wouldn’t hold its shape well without the tiny cluster inside, as I also wanted the large eye to “stand alone” as its own piece. So I knitted a smaller partial sphere – a pocket, if you will. Nesting the pocket inside the eye, I inserted stuffing between the two layers and seamed them together at the eye’s opening. For increased sturdiness, I wove a length of jewelry wire around the circumference of the eye.

To attach the piece to my head, I found my new favorite resource – a plastic lace headband! The holes throughout the headband were perfect as anchor points where I could stitch the knitted eye.

If I may say so myself, I consider this piece a resounding success! Many party attendees loved reaching into my giant eye and discovering what was inside. A couple of folks were too scared to reach inside because the eye was so creepy, which I found endlessly entertaining – an effective “freak show” costume indeed!

A few weeks after this party, I found yet another excuse to wear my creation. This time the theme was rainbow colors, so I knitted a few tiny spheres out of Bonbons® in Brights, stitched some eyes on them in black, and connected them in a silly little cluster around a small hand-wound ball of white Vanna’s Choice®. Reusable costume knitting for the win!

What are you making for Halloween?

Crafting, Color Blindness, and Changes in Color Perception

October 21st, 2015

Pin It

Crafting, Color Blindness, and Changes in Color Perception
In this guest post by Phyllis Alberici, she explores crafting with color blindness, and how to choose a color palette with color perception in mind.

You’re out shopping for yarn and having a difficult time choosing colors, so you decide to ask another shopper or the sales person for an opinion on a color you chose. You thought you were holding a pretty blue-green but you’re told it’s just green or just blue or maybe even turquoise.

Have you had this experience?

We each “see” color and hue a little differently but color blindness, medications and certain illnesses can also change how we perceive color.

There’s a long list of medical conditions that can affect our color perception: diabetes, glaucoma, cataracts, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and liver disease are just a few. Some medications, including antibiotics and medicines used to treat psychological illnesses and high blood pressure can also affect our eyes.

True color blindness doesn’t mean you can’t see color but it creates difficulty seeing the differences between certain colors. It can also make it difficult to distinguish between certain shades, or hues, of some colors.

How does a color blind crafter, or crafter with medical issues that affect color, work with color? Here are a few simple ideas to make your knitting and crocheting easier:

  1. Use contrast in choosing colors but try to avoid either very dark colors together or very bright colors together. In general, dark shades of red will look like dark brown for those who are red/green color blind and dark greens will look more grey or taupe.
  1. Before you head out to choose yarn, the Colblindor Color Blindness Simulator might help you make the right color choices. Just upload a photo and then click through the different types of color blindness to see what the yarn will look like.
  1. If you’re making a gift for someone who has difficulty with color perception, take a look at the colors they wear most often or just ask what they prefer. Choose something with enough contrast so that colors don’t look muddy.
  1. In general, the more pure the hue the better. That orangey red or blue grey might not work but a true red or blue might.
  1. Take a photo with your phone or a camera set on the black and white setting when you choose yarn for a color blind friend. This helps to “see” the contrasts as the color blind person does.


If you’ve knitted or crocheted for someone who is color blind, or has difficulty with color perception, how do you choose color combinations?