Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Yarniverse' Category

Running With Needles: an Interview with David Babcock

January 22nd, 2014

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Featured in the New York Times and around the world, David Babcock became the Guinness world record holder for knitting the longest scarf (12 feet!) while running a marathon in Kansas City last October. Along with a whole lot of skill and endurance, David credits his choice in using Lion Brand’s Hometown USA as a factor in his accomplishment!

1. Which came first knitting or running?
It’s not an easy answer — it’s a timeline of failure and discovery for both with middle-aged knees, toys no one wants to play with, and hats no one wants to wear. I started trying to run for exercise in 2009 at age 37, but had a lot of knee pain, so it was an off-and-on thing. I watched the NYC marathon that year and noticed some barefoot runners but it would take almost two years to figure out how to manage the knee pain for myself. The end of that same year a student of mine made a crochet hat for me. Over Christmas break I decided that the hat was too short and learned how to crochet to extend it myself. By February 2010 I had some basic skills and discovered amigurumi-style toy-making. Over the next Christmas break I bought a beginning knitting kit but didn’t get into knitting until that fall in 2011.
David Babcock

By the following spring I had found that minimal-style running resolved my knee issues and by mid-April 2012 I was running in water socks and had found Susie Hewer’s blog. (Editor’s note: Susie Hewer is a runner/knitter as well. She held the world record for knitting the longest scarf while running a marathon before David!)


The Original Yarn Hog

January 19th, 2014

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One of our friends on Facebook called it “the original pig in a blanket” The Mangalista is a breed of pig that was developed in Hungary in the 1930s to provide a fattier meat.   The delicacy of Mangalista meat was initially reserved for the Habsburg Royalty, but the rich, fatty flavor made it a popular choice by the end of the 19th century.

Times have changed and tastes and health concerns make the Mangalista a much less desirable pig to eat.  It also takes twice as long to raise a super fatty Mangalitsa as it does to raise other pigs, taking over a year for them to reach 300 pounds, rather than 175 pounds.

The curious look of this animal is what we love. Like a character out of Star Wars that sprung from the imagination of a yarn-loving film-maker, the Mangalista post on Facebook turns out to be one of your favorites this year.  If you’d like to discover more extraordinary images, stories and ideas, we welcome you to join us on Facebook.

Mangalista 1 Mangalista2

Knit and Crochet and Yarn Trends For 2014

December 23rd, 2013

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1. Big, Bigger, Better

Big, Bigger, Best
1) Arm Knitting. 2) “Speed Stix” Knitting Needles. 3) Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® 4) Homespun® Thick & Quick®

We’ll see people supersizing everything in 2014 with big needle knit and crochet garments and home décor that display chunky, oversized stitches in oversized silhouettes. In 2014 we’ll be showing you a collection of designs that will keep you right on trend. Many of Lion Brand’s yarns are ideal for the “Big” trend including Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®, Homespun®, Homespun® Thick & Quick®, Hometown USA® . . . with more to come in 2014.


Yarn Crafting Seen At New York Comic Con

October 30th, 2013

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New York Comic Con has been over for more than two weeks and I’m still suffering from the post-con depression (i.e. that listless, nostalgic feeling you get when you’ve just returned from Disneyland). However I’m still going through all the photos I took from the event.  To my surprise, I saw quite a few yarn crafts and couldn’t help but share them with you.

They were all impressively creative because the majority required no pattern, just a lot of imagination.

 rwby  drwristers boo
This girl crocheted her entire
Ruby Rose (RWBY) cosplay.
Doctor Who wristwarmers
found on Etsy.
An adorable Boo costume from Monsters, Inc.
 r2d2  pokemon  littlesister-bioshock
This needle felted R2D2
took at least 6 months to make.
She just started to learn crochet and wanted to show off her skills with
this Magikarp (Pokemon) hat.
She said she didn’t know how to sew, and crocheted her props for
her Little Sister cosplay (Bioshock) instead.

Ever tried to crochet or knit an entire costume? Or ever seen one that totally impressed you? Tell us!

Exclusive Pattern: Huge & Huggable Mochimochi

October 17th, 2013

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If you loved designer and artist Anna Hrachovec’s books of teeny adorable mochimochi (her little knitted creatures and creations), you’ll love her newest book of giant buddies—just released!

To celebrate, we’re sharing a super-sized version of her popular Petite Pencil, excerpted from the book. Click on the image for the pattern and click on the book cover for more info about it!

Arthur (Plush Pencil) designed by Anna Hrachovec Huge & Huggable Mochimochi by Anna Hrachovec
Arthur: Knitted Plush Pencil Huge & Huggable Mochimochi

Want your own copy of the book? Look out for a giveaway in next week’s issue of The Weekly Stitch!