Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Yarns' Category


Yay for New Neons! (In Hometown USA)

April 15th, 2014

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I love that our basic yarn lines such as Homespun,Vanna’s Choice and Hometown USA come in such a wide variety of colors; sometimes it’s hard to select colors for a new project!

Before the weather finally warmed up, I knew I wanted to work on a fun, color-pop project as I awaited spring’s arrival, so I started knitting a hat in Hometown USA in Chicago Charcoal and Key Lime. I thought the green would pair nicely with The Pom in Limelight, and that the bright green would have a nice contrast with my base color, gray. My hat is now finished, and I absolutely love it.

After I made my hat, I saw that we were adding new striping colorways of Hometown USA that already pairs the neon and grey for you, and I was so excited. I think the bright intensity of neon colors always pairs nicely with a darker, neutral color in the grey-to-black tone range. But, for a truly bright and summery feel, neons could also be paired with white. Below, I’ve rounded up our neon colors in Hometown USA, and have included a few neutral options to select from as well.

Hometown USA new

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Knitted Toys: Little Bunny

April 2nd, 2014

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Writer and avid knitter Selma Moss-Ward joins us for a series of blog posts about becoming a first-time grandmother and knitting toys. Click here to read her previous blog posts.

If you’re a knitter who’d rather work with two needles than with double-points, this “Little Bunny” pattern is for you. Of a size easily grasped by small children, she’d make a wonderful gift for a baby or toddler, and be adorable in an Easter basket.

Little Bunny is knitted flat, and seamed up the back, using the mattress stitch. Ears, arms, legs, and tail are made separately and lightly stuffed before they’re fully seamed and sewn together. The tail, knitted from a scrap of Pound of Love in Antique White, is an ingeniously constructed pouf that’s more durable and shapely than a pompom—worth keeping in mind, as young children can be rough with their toys.

While this pattern specifies Lion Brand’s Superwash Merino Cashmere, any medium weight worsted yarn may be used. The Lion Brand website has appropriate substitutions which you can find here.

When knitting toys, it’s a good idea to work with yarn that’s washable and soft. My preference would be for an acrylic like Vanna’s Choice®, or an acrylic blend, like Martha Stewart Crafts Extra Soft Wool BlendTM/MC. I also tend to favor natural colors, like grey, brown, and off-white, for animals, but as the Lion Brand pattern photos often show, stuffed toys can also look great in pastels and bright yarns. The choice is really up to you!

When completed, Little Bunny has a direct, folk-art quality that’s unique and appealing. I can imagine her crossing the prairies in a covered wagon as the dear companion of a small pioneer girl.


Same Yarn, Super-Sized: Introducing Heartland Thick & Quick®!

March 26th, 2014

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hltq

Whether you love our American-made yarns or have a soft spot for the deep-colored hues of Heartland—you’ll love our newest yarn Heartland Thick & Quick®!

Heartland has been one of our most popular yarns because of its soft and silken make, so we decided to make a super bulky version for people to make their projects bigger and better!

It’s a great yarn to go to for soft-to-touch garments, quick afghans, and plush accessories. Check out a few of  our recent knit and crochet patterns using Heartland Thick & Quick® below:

Knit Ski Lodge Cap Crochet Ripple Afghan Knit Deep V Cabled Vest Crochet Flower Power Hat
Knit Ski Lodge Cap Crochet Ripple Afghan Knit Deep V Cabled Vest Crochet Flower Power Hat

Craft Through the 7 Wonders of the Yarn World – Next Stop: Stripes & Chevrons

March 26th, 2014

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Earlier this year Lion Brand unveiled The 7 Wonders of The World – a series of sculptures designed by fiber artist Nathan Vincent. Not only did each sculpture represent one of the 7 Wonders in yarn techniques, but we presented a fashion show where each technique was reflected in a variety of fashions. In the last post in this series we visited texture and it’s importance to knitting, crochet, and felting. Today we present part two: “Stripes & Chevrons.”

CHA-chevron
Nathan Vincent’s sculpture of Mayan Ruins; model wearing Crochet Flame Stitch Coat

The Mayan Ruins is our second Wonder of the Yarn World. Chosen to represent bold colors and the spirit of adventure, you’ll find that the patterns associated with this line are fun and perhaps even a little rebellious. Our Creative Director Adina Klein calls this line, “chevrons gone wild!”

With distinct colorways, vertical chevrons and magnificent mash-ups (“coatigan” anyone) – these pieces are well-suited to the yarncrafter who’s looking to spin that afghan on its head and try something new. The yarns featured include HomespunHomespun® Thick & Quick®, Vanna’s Glamour®, Heartland and our newest super bulky yarn, Heartland Thick & Quick®.

Below we’ve chosen several of the striking designs from the stripes and chevrons collection from our fashion show. In the coming weeks we’ll continue featuring the rest of the 7 Wonders of the Yarn World — from lace to granny squares to modern color work, you’re sure to find inspiration in this amazing collection.

CHA-chevron CHA-chevrons-pncho CHA-chevron-poncho CHA-chevrons
Drawstring Slouch Hat*
with
Knit Zig Zag Dress
with
Ripple Afghan
Crochet Greenpoint Grunge Cap
with
Lace Edged Poncho*
Crochet Sunset Stripe Hat
with
Radiant Ripple Poncho
Crochet Zigzag Hat
with
Chevron Afghan

* pattern coming soon

 


One Baby Blanket Made 3 Different Ways!

March 10th, 2014

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My mother is a nurse in the neonatal department at a hospital in Boston, and is reknowned for knitting and crocheting gifts for her newborn patients. Like my mother, I have inherited her desire to craft whenever someone I know is expecting a bundle of joy. My go-to pattern is the Hooded Baby Blanket made with Pound of Love® yarn. The popcorn stitch pattern makes it very simple to make, but still incredibly detailed.

Plus, I love using this yarn because the name sounds like you are literally infusing love into your future project. Here are three versions that I’d like to share with you today:

A charity item for a local drive that collected handmade
items to send to those affected by the tsunami
in Japan in 2011. To keep it simple, I removed the hood.
(Plush toy was not included)
Charity blanket
Her father is a big fan of the Superman franchise,
so I chose the superhero’s iconic logo to put on the back.
Trimmed with Baby’s First in Twinkle Toes, and the logo
was a combination of Baby’s Wool in Sunflower and
Vanna’s Choice in Scarlet.
Super Baby
A good friend of mine recently had a baby boy
and wanted something playful he could grow into.
I decided to make it look like a dragon pelt,
making the blue scales out of Baby’s First in Bluebell.
Dragon Pelt

What’s your favorite baby item to make? Share with us below!


12 Blends: The Meaning Behind the Colors of the Zodiac Scarves

February 24th, 2014

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We craft to inject the personal into the day-to-day and to infuse our lives meaning.  The yarn we choose speaks to us because we can instantly visualize it as a sweater or a scarf or an afghan, or simply because we like the color.  Color also speaks to us on a more mystical level – often symbolizing deeper meanings: red for love and passion; white for purity; yellow for cheerfulness, to name a few.

Lion Brand’s Design team takes this concept further with it’s Zodiac scarves collection.  Colors from the Vanna’s Choice collection were chosen to represent attributes related to each astrological sign.  We thought you might be interested in learning what each of the colors we chose represents.

Make one for yourself or make one for a friend. As with all of Lion Brand’s designs, our Zodiac scarves are a craft that encourages the personal to shine through.

Aquarius
Jan 21 – Feb 19
Knit or Crochet
pisces-color Pisces
Feb 20 – Mar 20
Knit or Crochet
Purple – Independence
Dusty Purple – Inventiveness
Charcoal Grey – Practicality
Eggplant – Respect
Dusty Blue – Devotion
Kelly Green – Patience
Dusty Green – Adaptibility
Silver Blue – Intuition
aries-color Aries
Mar 21 – Apr 20
Knit or Crochet
taurus-color Taurus
Apr 21 – May 20
Knit or Crochet
Linen – Idealistic
Scarlet – Instinctive
Black – Adventurous
Cranberry – Passion
Toffee – Sensibility
Chocolate – Loyalty
Radiant Lime – Generosity
Kelly Green – Patience

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Amazing and True: Raglan Sleeve Topper

February 23rd, 2014

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This story is from our newletters called Pattern Journal which brings a warm-hearted, wholesome story to your inbox to read every month. We’re sharing the most recent story here in the blog. If you enjoy it and would like to subscribe, click here.

l0613aSome garments just call out to you, and this Raglan Sleeve Topper was one of them, Rose thought. But “raglan sleeve topper”was too modest a title for something so beautiful. To Rose it seemed a magical wrap that transformed the wearer into the best she could possibly be. It was obvious that your natural attributes—whether you were willowy or full-figured, long-or short-haired, enthusiastic or reserved—would be optimized by the form and colors of the gently curving sweater.

Rose didn’t believe in love at first sight, but her attraction to the design she saw online was close to that. The more she studied the image, the more she felt compelled. This was a must-do project. Yet there was some half-completed knitting that should take precedence: two baby gifts, an almost- done afghan, a hat for Dad’s birthday…

Uncharacteristically, she wasn’t dissuaded. She knew those things would be finished eventually, and…she really needed a sweater.

Actually…honestly…she really wanted to knit something just for herself.

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Get Ready for Spring with Cotton Bamboo, Now on Sale!

February 7th, 2014

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Our LB Collection® Cotton Bamboo yarn is a luxury fiber, now on sale at a bargain price.  Available exclusively from Lion Brand, this yarn is ideal for making garments that you can wear all year round.

The patterns shown below for Cotton Bamboo are some of our most highly rated patterns, and range from beginner to experienced.  Best of all, they  can be made for as little as about $10.

The blend of Bamboo and Cotton create a light and luscious fiber that has the soft, beautiful drape of bamboo rayon and the wearable comfort and lightweight warmth of cotton.  If you haven’t tried this yarn, now’s your chance to make something for yourself or a new baby expected to arrive this spring or summer.

Everyday Cardi Eyelet Swing Cardi Cheerful Squares baby Throw
Crochet Everyday Cardi Knit Eyelet Cardi Crochet Cheerful Squares Baby Throw
Knit Mitered Ridges Top Serene Shell Echo Lake Shawl
Knit Mitered Ridges Top Crochet Serene Shell Knit Echo Lake Shawl

Sparkle and Shine with Vanna’s Stained Glass Sweater

February 6th, 2014

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vannasweater-blog

At the Craft and Hobby Association tradeshow earlier this year Lion Brand unveiled its “7 Wonders of the Yarn World,” a larger-than-life art installation, designed and created by fiber artist Nathan Vincent. The response was wild – people loved it!

Then we went for the old one-two punch with a runway show to spotlight our newest line of knit and crochet fashions. Our lovely spokesperson Vanna White was on hand and people went crazy for the sweater she was wearing. Across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – people wanted to know, “where can I find that pattern?”

Well we have good news! We’re so pleased to be able to share the pattern for our Stained Glass Sweater with you now. The dramatic use of  Vanna’s Glamour® and a metallic colorway of Bonbons make the alternating chevrons on this piece really stand out against the black background.

This sweater is also very versatile – you can wear it to the office during the day and leave it on for a fancy dinner that evening. It’s the perfect outfit sweater – dress it up, dress it down – wear it the way you feel best.

We’d like to say a special thanks to our fabulous Design team for the amazing details this sweater boasts – right down to the embroidered cuffs and collar – they did a fab job!


Show Your Support for Team USA!

January 24th, 2014

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crochet mittensknit mittens

With the winter Olympics less two weeks away I can feel the anticipation mounting. I’m usually not a big fan of sports but whenever the Olympics come around I always find myself getting swept up in the excitement. I’m instantly hooked after watching the opening ceremonies and immediately start searching online for the schedule of my favorite events. While watching the US competitors perform astounding acts of athleticism while clad in their dazzling red, white, and blue uniforms I can’t help but feel a little patriotic.

embroidering mittensAfter Lion Brand was featured in David Muir’s Made In America segment on ABC News (check out the video here!), I decided to help our Design team create our own version of the Olympic mittens. The Design team made the mittens first with our American-made Heartland yarn. Next, I got to design the embroidery to give the mittens some patriotic flare. The embroidery went pretty quickly, maybe 15-20 minutes per mitten and I was sort of figuring out the design as I did it. Then they were sent back to the Design team so they could write a pattern for our customers!

Click here to get the pattern for the knit Team USA mittens or click here for the crochet version! You can find the patterns for the hats and scarf shown in the photo above here.

Did you know that many of our yarns are made in America? Click here to see the full list!