Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Archive for the 'Yarns' Category


Yarns Perfect for Arm Knitting in Spring and Summer Weather

June 18th, 2014

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Join Shira at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in Manhattan as she walks you through a selection of yarns great for arm knitting a summer scarf.

The yarns that Shira mentions are: Vanna’s Choice®, Tweed Stripes®, Nature’s Choice Organic® Cotton, Cotton-Ease®, LB Collection® Superwash Merino, Kitchen Cotton, and Romance®.

For a selection of arm knit patterns, click here or search “arm knit” at lionbrand.com.


Train Your Own Little Dragon(s) with The Dragon Slayer Hood and Dog Sweater

June 6th, 2014

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dragonknit
How to Train Your Dragon 2 comes out next Friday and we’re so excited! Are you excited?

To mark the day, here are two fantastic new dragon-themed patterns for you. Kids will love seed stitch dragon scales on The Dragon Slayer Hood and just for fun, make The Dragon Slayer Dog Sweater for the family pooch – they’ll be off having backyard adventures together before you know it.

Both Dragon Slayer patterns are made with Vanna’s Choice® yarn, which means you have a wide variety of color combinations to choose from.


How to Customize a Pattern Using Color

June 5th, 2014

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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.

For more pattern ideas, click to visit our Pattern Finder.

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Did you know we’re having a 50% off Spring Blowout Sale?

May 19th, 2014

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Take advantage of this limited-time offer to stock up NOW on all the yarn you know you’ll need later …

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Visit lionbrand.com now to get your favorite yarns for 50% off!


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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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.”

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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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