Hand-knit and hand-crocheted items make great gifts to be treasured and loved. Make them even more special by making them unique. Pick colors special to you or your recipient and you’re sure to please, says Jackie Smyth, our technical editor. We asked Jackie to recommend readers three patterns that feature color as the main attraction. (This column originally appeared in The Weekly Stitch newsletter.)
|Knit Slip Stitch Pom Hat||Crochet Sante Fe Throw||Crochet Little Princess Throw|
LBY Newsletter: Knitting and crocheting are great for handmade gifts that really reflect the giver or the recipient. What’s a simple recommendation about how to customize a project?
Jackie: One word—COLOR. The great thing about patterns is that it’s easy to choose other colors in the same yarns and get a totally different look. To make a pattern really personal, choose colors that you like or that have representative meanings to the recipient. Perhaps they love autumn colors or spring colors. The right colors can add a lot of depth to a project.
LBY Newsletter: What if you are nervous about choosing colors that will go together?
Jackie: Going with a yarn that has a great color range is often a good place to start. The Lion Brand Design team works to create yarn collections that are designed that coordinate beautifully.
LBY Newsletter: What’s a yarn you might recommend for someone looking for easy-to-match yarns?
Jackie: Vanna’s Choice® is a great yarn for mixing and matching colors. All 23 of the solid colors in this collection are designed to match and coordinate. You could use three colors in one family—say, Dusty Rose, Rose, and Antique Rose—to get a light-to-dark effect, or you could pick a few contrasting colors like Purple, Chocolate, Pea Green, and Rust that will really pop against each other.
It’s good to look for inspiration from the things around you. The garden is one place to find unexpectedly beautiful contrasting colors. Fashion and architecture are other places to draw inspiration.
LBY Newsletter: Would you recommend a few colorful patterns for our readers?
Jackie: For a simple project, I like the Slip Stitch Pom Hat pattern. We’ve carefully plotted the colors for each pattern stripto create a bold statement piece, but I would encourage you to experiment with your own color combinations. You could draw from the current fashion concept of Normcore and create a more traditionally color hat.
Next, I like the Santa Fe Throw. In colors to match the recipient’s home décor, it but would make a truly fabulous house warming gift.
My third recommendation, the Little Princess Throw, of the impact of color in your project. Tailor your color choice to the baby to create an heirloom – or have fun with gender neutral brights–have fun!
Don’t be afraid to change the colors in a pattern to suit you better. That’s the great thing about knitting and crocheting; you can really make every item your own.
LBY Newsletter: Thank you for your recommendations, Jackie. We look forward to speaking with you again next month.
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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.
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.
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.
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|
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.”
|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 Homespun, Homespun® 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.
|Drawstring Slouch Hat*
Knit Zig Zag Dress
|Crochet Greenpoint Grunge Cap
Lace Edged Poncho*
|Crochet Sunset Stripe Hat
Radiant Ripple Poncho
|Crochet Zigzag Hat
* pattern coming soon
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)
|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.
|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.
What’s your favorite baby item to make? Share with us below!
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.
Jan 21 – Feb 19
Knit or Crochet
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
Mar 21 – Apr 20
Knit or Crochet
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
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.
Some 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.
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.
|Crochet Everyday Cardi||Knit Eyelet Cardi||Crochet Cheerful Squares Baby Throw|
|Knit Mitered Ridges Top||Crochet Serene Shell||Knit Echo Lake Shawl|