Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Make a Zodiac Scarf for Libra Birthdays!

September 10th, 2014

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libra-zodiac-scarfPeople who have birthdays which fall between September 23 and October 22 are born under Libra, the seventh sign of the zodiac. Commonly represented by scales, Libras are considered to be social and level-headed people.

zodiac-libraLibra crafters will stick with their favorite go-to patterns: they might change colors, make it a larger size, or use a different yarn, but they like making the same pattern over and again with repeated pleasure.

They can sometimes be mistaken for shy and reserved, but their feelings tend to come through in their handmade gifts. They love to socialize and can often be found crafting in public or at their local knitting (or crochet) circle.

The colors used in Libra’s zodiac scarf are inspired by opal, a gemstone associated with September birthdays. The scarf is composed of four shades of grey to complement Libra’s harmonious and balanced nature: silver heather for grace, linen for idealistic, silver blue, silver grey for dependability.

Tip the scales for a change- reward your favorite Libra for all their generous crafting with a personalized gift and crochet or knit them a zodiac scarf. They deserve it!

Don’t know a Libra? Check out our other zodiac scarves.

 

Heartland Thick & Quick® is September’s Yarn of the Month!

September 9th, 2014

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Do you harbor a soft spot for the deep-colors and heathered hues of Heartland? Do you love chunky weight yarns? Then guess what? You’ll LOVE one of our newest yarns, Heartland Thick & Quick®!

Heartland, one of our most popular worsted-weight yarns, is loved for its soft and silken make. We super-sized it to create a super-bulky weight version, Heartland Thick & Quick® — perfect for soft-to-touch garments, quick afghans, and plush accessories.

For the month of September, enjoy Heartland Thick & Quick® at 20% off the regular retail price.

Below is a selection of Lion Brand’s FREE popular knit and crochet patterns that use Heartland Thick & Quick® (scroll down to the bottom for a special pattern from The Crochet Crowd’s Diva Dan):

Knit Simple Mobius Cowl Knit Capelet and Hat Crochet Flower Power Hat
Crochet Ridge Pattern Hat Knit Capelet and Hat Crochet Flower Power Hat
Knit Chunky Cabled Hat Knit Slouchy Ribbed Hat Knit Deep V Cabled Vest
Knit Chunky Cabled Hat Knit Slouchy Ribbed Hat Knit Deep V Cabled Vest
Knit Striped Cable Hat Knit Ski Lodge Cap Knit Mixed Ribbed Scarf
Knit Striped Cabled Hat Knit Ski Lodge Hat Knit Mixed Ribbed Scarf

And below is an inspired winter scarf pattern from The Crochet Crowd’s Diva Dan:

Winter Scarf by Diva Dan

Winter Scarf by Diva Dan

Get the FREE pattern via The Crochet Crowd: http://thecrochetcrowd.com/winter/

 

What Should A Woman Knit This Season? Advice From Harper’s Bazaar

September 8th, 2014

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Micheal Kors, The Row, Rag + Bone via NYMag

OK, well maybe Harper’s Bazaar doesn’t tell us what to knit or crochet, but they do offer great fashion guidance on what to wear … and we can make it! In the current issue, knitwear fashion designer Michael Kors shares his style advice on that one special piece to add to your closet this season — whether you’re an avid fashion trend follower or a classic-wear kind of woman.

“For fall, it’s all about statement making knits, anything with a lush texture …”

We’ve selected 5 patterns that fit the bill:  dramatic, statement-making garments that you’ll love to make, and love to wear.

Dinner in Aspen Cozy Textured Pullover Knit Naturally Chic Cape Cabled and Buttoned Wrap District 12 Cowl Wrap
Dinner in Aspen Scarf in Landscapes®
and Pelt®
Cozy Textured Pullover in Homespun® Thick &
Quick®
Naturally Chic Cape in LB Collection®
Natural Wool
Cabled and Buttoned Wrap in Heartland District 12 Cowl Wrap in Wool-Ease® Thick &
Quick®

 

Closely Knit Friends: The Poncho Pullover

September 7th, 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. We’re sharing the most recent story here in the blog. If you enjoy it and would like to subscribe, click here.

Crochet Poncho Pullover in Vanna's TapestryThe knitting group was baffled by Roseanne. A first-time expectant mother, she was making a jazzy-looking rectangle in a self-patterning yarn called “Vanna’s Tapestry,” whose variegated hues—earth brown, leafy green, cranberry, birch-bark grey and white—were unusual for infant clothes.

“It’s an edgy baby blanket, right?” asked Maddy.

“I think it’s a car-seat cover,” Jane declared.

Roseanne smiled.

“Come on, tell us,” pleaded Grace.

“Why not be surprised?” Roseanne asked.

“Because we don’t want to knit duplicate stuff,” Irene, always practical, said. “If you’re doing a blanket, I’d rather knit the baby a sweater or a cap.”

Roseanne’s coyness drove them crazy. She was the first of them to become a mother. “Roseanne’s always been so sharing and giving. Pregnancy has changed her,” they decided.

Meanwhile they knitted their friend a layette, favoring primary colors and neutrals—because if Roseanne knew her baby’s gender, she also wasn’t telling.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Learn How to Knit the Concerto Cowl with Christine from iKNITS! + Giveaway

September 6th, 2014

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Get ready for fall with a cozy and comfortable cowl. The Concerto Cowl is a great transitional piece, made with our soft, classic worsted weight, Heartland yarn.

In this tutorial, Christine walks you through the pattern step-by-step and shows you how easy it is to slip stitch.

So get out your needles and follow along with the video below!

P.S: Christine is also giving away two skeins of Heartland to make your own Concerto Cowl – Click here to enter her giveaway. (Ends 11:59 p.m EST Sunday)

If you like this video, check out more from Christine over on YouTube at iKNITS

 

Success! When WildCare asked for baby bird nests, the knitting and crochet community said yes!

September 5th, 2014

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Knitters and crocheters really do save lives!

Earlier this year, WildCare, a wildlife rehabilitation hospital based in San Rafael, California, put out a call for knitted nests for the orphaned baby birds they care for. As of today, WildCare has received 3568 nests from 394 knitters and crocheters from all over the world, even as far away as Australia and the Ukraine!

We love this story so much because it shows the power that knitters and crocheters have when they come together to support a common cause. One ten year old featured in an NBC “Making a Difference” segment said, “I’m really glad that I made something and it’s helping an animal live.” His whole family – mom, dad, siblings – knitted nests together! You have to see the little girl knitting in the round on double pointed needles – already an expert at such a young age!

Even though the 2014 campaign for nests has been fulfilled, WildCare says you can make a nest for the 2015 season if you like (info here) or more preferable for right now, they suggest two projects to support for the winter season: The Mother Bear Project and the Red Scarf Project (Lion Brand friend Lily Chin is Red Scarf Project spokesperson).

To add to WildCare’s suggestions, Lion Brand is involved with two great organizations that accept knitted and crocheted donations:

Warm Up America – accepts afghans and afghan sections to circulate to social service agencies, including homeless shelters, battered women’s shelters, American Red Cross chapters, veterans homes, senior centers, hospices and religious organizations serving families and individuals in communities around the country.

Project Linus - accepts afghans for children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. You can visit their web site for drop-off locations near you and if you’re in the New York City area,  we’re proud to say that until the end of November, Lion Brand Yarn Studio at 34 West 15th Street is accepting afghans on behalf of Project Linus. In fact, our Studio window is dedicated to knitting (and crocheting) for charity this month!

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YOU CAN DO IT!

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FREE PATTERN SUGGESTIONS

 

 

Lola knits and crochets to get ready for back to school …

September 4th, 2014

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

LBBack2School

Want to knit or crochet hats and scarves for back to school too? Try Lion Brand’s free Pattern Finder and find the perfect hat and scarf from a variety of free patterns.

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Lion Brand’s Most Popular Patterns from August!

September 4th, 2014

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augpoppatterns

As students get ready for school, knitters and crocheters are finishing up summer projects like the Semi-Tropical Shawl, the Poncho Pullover and the ever popular Open Air Shrug, to make room for colder weather projects that use yarns like Heartland and one of our newest yarns, Landscapes®.

In fact, our sporty and stylish Portland Poncho, made with Heartland, turned out to be the most popular pattern for August! For those who want to start their fall knitting and crochet, I recommend starting with small garments like the Multi Directional Hat or the Textured Cowl – or try a combination of both with our Asymmetrical Neckwarmer!

Here is a collection of your favorite patterns from August:

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A Look at Some Landscapes That Inspired Our Yarn, Landscapes!

September 3rd, 2014

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Tropics
Tropics colorway// Image credit: Flickr/rich_f28

I absolutely love the color palette and feel of one of our newest yarns, Landscapes. Earlier in the year, I made a hat in Desert Spring, and my knitting went rather quickly because I was eager to see each new band of color appear. After seeing all of the beautiful garments for our patterns, and swatches of colors, I thought to myself – maybe I should go through all of the yarn names and compare real-life landscape shots, to match the colors of the yarns we have.

In my search, I came across some wonderful images on Flickr that were representative of the names and colorways of the yarn, take a look for yourself, and hopefully you’ll be inspired to work with one of these gorgeous yarns!

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Improving Your Health to Improve Your Knitting and Crochet

September 2nd, 2014

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Blogger and author Kathryn Vercillo is an expert in the area of using crafting to heal, having researched the topic extensively for her book Crochet Saved My Life. This is part 5 in her 6-part series for us on the topic of yarncraft health. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

improvehealthyimprove-craftingWe have discussed a lot of ideas for using crafts to improve your mental and physical health. But what about the reverse – improving your health so that you can be a better crafter? It turns out that one can help the other in a cycle of ongoing self-improvement.

Hand Stretches for Easier Crafting

One of the main complaints that knitters and crocheters have is that their crafts can cause them hand pain. This includes carpal tunnel and other repetitive strain injury. You can reduce that by doing regular hand exercises. Keeping your hands limber will allow you to yarncraft for longer periods of time.

It’s a case of one hand washing the other because as you do needlecrafting, you loosen certain parts of your hands. Many people have reported that crochet helps them reduce symptoms of arthritis for example. So you can do hand and finger exercises in order to crochet better and then the more you crochet, the less your hands are likely to hurt.

Here are 9 hand exercises for crafters’ fingers, thumbs and wrists.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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