Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Expert Advice on How to Be at a Fiber Festival

October 22nd, 2014

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

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I’m terribly sorry, but I don’t have time to stroll around the mall sipping a Giganto Grande Pumpkin Spice Extra Foam No Whip Latte. I have to go to a fiber festival. If you are reading this, very likely you also have to go to a fiber festival, or are getting ready to go to a fiber festival, or have just come back from a fiber festival. Possibly all three.

October for most grown-up folks means Halloween. That’s cool. Dancing around and getting squiffy on Pumpkin Spice Vodka Tonics while dressed as Sexy Nurse or Sexy Ghost or Sexy Claims Adjuster isn’t my idea of a zingy time, but it doesn’t matter. I have no room for Halloween parties. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I have to go to a fiber festival.

Perhaps you have not yet visited a fiber festival. Perhaps you have only recently been inducted into the enthusiastic, international group hug that is the fiber arts community. If so, you may be confused by the unfamiliar urge to walk out the front door and follow the scent of sheep dip and fried dough.

You may find yourself standing in front of a sign that says WELCOME TO RHINEBECK and wondering where you are, what you are doing there, and how you got so far from your home in Hickory Flat, Mississippi, without even realizing it.

Keep calm. You are going to be fine. In fact, you are going to have a ball, provided you observe the following.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

New Pattern Book Alert: Gramma Nancy’s Animal Hats (And Booties Too!) is Available Now!

October 21st, 2014

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In 2012, Lion Brand sponsored a design contest to use Vanna’s Choice® yarn and create an original design.  The winner was “Gramma” Nancy Nielsen, who we flew out to California to meet Vanna White as part of her prize.  Nancy’s design was an irresistible baby hat that looked like an elephant head and booties that looked like elephant feet. As you can see, Vanna was charmed by the whimsy and creativity of these designs.

It turned out that Nancy also had a whole range of animal hats and matching booties that she had designed as baby gifts.  There was a Lion set (and of course we looove lions!) and sets that recreated a duck, lamb, monkey, dig, rabbit and more.

We were so taken with the wealth of designs that we spoke to a friend who edits pattern books at Random House about doing a pattern book of animal hat and bootie sets and today, the book is a reality and Nancy Nielsen is an author.

Gramma Nancy’s Animal Hats (And Booties Too!) was just released.  It includes 19 animal hat patterns with many including matching booties and mittens sized for newborns to bigger kids.  In the foreword Vanna White wrote for the book she talks about the interesting reason that Nancy was inspired to have this burst of creativity. I’d like to share a quote from that foreword that we can all relate to:

“As all of us who knit or crochet know, there is nothing more special, and more appreciated than giving something handmade that comes from the heart. . . she has touched the hearts of hundreds of people at a special time in their lives. . . ”

If you’re a knitter, looking for ideas for your next baby gift or for a birthday gift, you’ll find years’ worth of affordable ideas in this book.  It includes patterns, charming photographs and the amazing stories of generosity that inspired these patterns.

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Patterns of Inspiration: The Sunset Shrug

October 19th, 2014

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This story is from our newsletter called Pattern Journal which brings a warm-hearted, wholesome story to your inbox to read every month. If you enjoy it and would like to subscribe, click here.

Crochet Sunset ShrugThe front door slammed and Dawn, at the window, watched her teenagers board their bus. Until late afternoon, this day was hers. Now that Lexie and Mike were in high school and she wasn’t driving them every afternoon to sports and lessons, Dawn’s life had entered a new and interesting phase.

She hadn’t formulated grand plans. Her intuition said to go with the flow. Today she’d start crocheting something just for herself. Called a “Sunset Shrug,” the design displayed a golden sun amidst colorful nebulae.

Dawn loved the yarn, Heartland, for its softness, warmth, and drape. Heartland developed easily into the bands of rich hues the pattern specified, and as her hook swiftly connected one shade to another, she found herself thinking of Miss Sanchez, who’d taught Earth Science in high school.

The image was so vivid, like she was back in high school again—Miss Sanchez standing before the class, rapidly explaining atmospheric layers or volcanic activity, energetically writing on the board.

Dawn remembered Miss Sanchez’s handmade shrugs and scarves as clearly as she recalled her lessons on natural forces. She loved that class. Miss Sanchez was so cool, so pretty, and so smart. She had undeniably inspired Dawn to major in geology in college.

Now, as she crocheted the Sunset Shrug in her peaceful home, Dawn thought it might be interesting to continue her education. Her kids were practically independent, and if she took two courses every term, she’d have a teaching degree by the time they left for college. She imagined standing before a group of note-taking teenagers, just like Miss Sanchez. As she turned to write on the board, the back of her Sunset Shrug would radiate an image of nature’s beauty, for all to see.

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

A story by Selma Moss-Ward.

Selma Moss-Ward writes and knits in Rhode Island. You can find her work on our blog, as well as Lion Brand’s monthly newsletter, Pattern Journal, which you can subscribe to here.

 

Lola’s #Scarfie Style

October 18th, 2014

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Here is the latest installment of Lola, from its creator Todd Clark.

LBScarfie

Get in on the #scarfie fun!

My First #Scarfie Practice Makes Perfect Circle #Scarfie I’m A Star #Scarfie

Try Lion Brand’s free Pattern Finder and find the perfect #scarfie pattern from a variety of free patterns.

*** *** ***

Subscribe to The Weekly Stitch Newsletter

Get a FREE weekly email featuring patterns, articles and special offers. As a bonus for subscribing, we’d like to offer you 15% off your first order! *

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FLASH SALE! 25% off Vanna’s Yarns through 10/21!

October 18th, 2014

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SAVE 25% on all Vanna’s yarns including Vanna’s Choice®, Vanna’s Glamour®, Vanna’s Tapestry, and Vanna’s Palettes! – TODAY, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18 THROUGH TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21ST – SALE ENDS 12NOON EST!

Here are all of the yarns included in the Flash Sale!

vannas choice vanna's choice baby vannas colors vannas glamour
Vanna’s Choice® Vanna’s Choice® Baby Vanna’s Colors Vanna’s Glamour®
vannas palettes vannas sequins vannas tapestry
Vanna’s Palettes Vanna’s Sequins Vanna’s Tapestry

Enjoy 25% off all Vanna’s yarns from 10/18-10/21 only on LionBrand.com!

 

Arm Knit a Colorblocked Scarf with Audra Kurtz from The Kurtz Corner!

October 17th, 2014

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Armknitting2

Today, we’ve got a brand new Arm Knitting video for you from Audra Kurtz! Watch as she shows you how to achieve a color blocked scarf in the super popular, Wool-Ease Thick & Quick. Follow the video to the end and check out the rest of her fantastic Arm Knitting tutorials!

 

If you like this tutorial, check out the rest of Audra’s videos on her YouTube channel!

 

Lion Brand Wants To See Your Best #Scarfie

October 16th, 2014

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My First #Scarfie

Practice Makes Perfect Circle #Scarfie

I’m A Star #Scarfie

Out On The Town Circle #Scarfie

Do you or your friends love taking selfies?

The “selfie” is a viral phenomenon.  Who knew that with camera phone in hand, people would turn the social media spotlight on themselves? It does make sense, though. It’s an age in which we share what we’re doing 24/7 and what better way to tell that story than to show our selves in the act?

But for those of us who knit and crochet, it’s not just about us. It’s also about what we make, how it looks on us, who we make things for and how it feels to wear something of our own creation.

So we’re asking knitters and crocheters everywhere to photograph that experience. Make a scarf and show us your work. Share it on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, your blog, or any other social site and use the hashtag #scarfie.

We’ll share your #scarfie on our site in a beautiful mosaic along with #scarfies shared by other members of the knit and crochet community.

What you make is one-of-a-kind. Started from a simple strand of yarn, your creation is a reflection of you in color, style, and literally in the shape and size of every single stitch.

If you’d like some inspiration for your #scarfie (see some examples above or on Pattern Finder), we’ll be sharing pattern ideas and themes over the coming weeks and months.  Stay close and keep a look out for your fellow knitters and crocheters by searching for #scarfie on your favorite social networks.

Can #scarfie become a trending topic?

Here’s one idea to get you started: show us how you style your scarf!

Try Lion Brand’s free Pattern Finder and find the perfect #scarfie pattern just for you.

 

Enter to Win Lion Brand Tweed Stripes® Yarn!

October 15th, 2014

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Crochet Easy Peasy Hat and Scarf Set Knit Rustic Ribbed Hat and Scarf
Crochet Easy Peasy Hat and Scarf Set Knit Rustic Ribbed Hat and Scarf Set

Tweed Stripes® is a bulky yarn that works up in a lightweight fabric – it’s great for a transitional project for fall, like a hat and scarf set!

Lion Brand’s yarn of the month for October is Tweed Stripes® – which you can currently buy now for 20% off the original price.

In addition, we’re also offering a great giveaway for you too! We’re picking 3 winners who will receive enough Tweed Stripes® yarn of their choice to crochet the Easy Peasy Hat and Scarf Set or knit the Rustic Ribbed Hat and Scarf Set.

Contest ends October 31st, so enter now and good luck!

Rules and Guidelines:
1. Entries must be received by October 31st, 11:59p.m. EST
2. Must be 18 and over to enter.
3. One person per entry

*All winners will be announced on the blog and social media. If you do not respond to the e-mail indicating that you were selected as the winner within 7 days, another winner will be selected to receive the prize

If the form below does not work for you, please click here to the link.

Looking for more patterns to make with Tweed Stripes®? Click here.

 

10 Popular Knit and Crochet Patterns from September!

October 14th, 2014

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You can tell a lot by the popularity of our patterns – it’s like palm reading (or pattern reading, in this case). With the weather getting colder we’ve noticed people are leaning towards heavier cover-ups like the Glamour Jacket and the Simple Shrug. The garments are made with our loftier yarns: Heartland Thick & Quick®, Homespun®, and Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®. One of our new yarns, Lion’s Pride® Woolspun® (exclusively sold at Micheals and Lion Brand) was a big hit – the Level 1 Crocheted Cardigan was our most popular project!

A big surprise in September: people still loved our District 12 Cowl Wrap! Inspired by the Hunger Games films, this pattern (in knit and crochet versions) was a big hit last year.

For more inspiration, we’re featuring your favorite projects from Steptember:

Knit Cocoon Cape Crochet Urban Nomad Tunic and Cowl Knit Glamour Jacket
Knit Cocoon Cape Crochet Urban Nomad Tunic and Cowl Knit Glamour Jacket

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Lion Brand Yarns and Patterns in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month… You Can Help Make a Difference

October 13th, 2014

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dT8odgjTeOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women and men worldwide — in 2012, it represented about 12 percent of all new cancer cases and 25 percent of all cancers in women — so almost all of you are affected by breast cancer either directly or through someone you care about.

Throughout the month of October, Lion Brand Yarn Company will donate 20% of the purchase price of a selection of pink yarns (see below) and our Knit for Life and Crochet for a Cause Kits to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®, while supplies last. BCRF’s mission is to advance the world’s most promising research to eradicate breast cancer in our lifetime. For more information about BCRF, please visit bcrfcure.org.

You can help make a difference!

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