Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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3 Helpful Crochet Tips for the Left-Handed

March 17th, 2015

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Arabia Temple works at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio and gives some of her favorite tips for crocheters who often come into the store asking for help.
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At least once a week, someone will come in and talk about how they’d love to crochet, but they’re afraid to try because they’re left-handed. Admittedly, the majority of crochet patterns, diagrams, and instructions are created for crafters who hold their hook in their right hand.

Here are a few tips that have proven helpful to those who hold their hook with their left.

Re-write for left

stGeorgesVariationChart-left

Before you even pick up a hook, you should read your entire pattern from start to finish. Once you’ve gone through it and understand what it’s asking of you, go through it once more and make adjustments to the directional instructions to reflect crocheting from left to right.

Create a mirror image

If you’re working with granny squares, motifs, or other patters using charts, symbols or illustrated stitch explanations, see if the images can be flipped horizontally (see example of St. George’s variation on the right) before they’re printed or photocopied to show the stitches being worked clockwise. Or, you can simply find an actual mirror and place it next to the image to follow the pattern.

Declare it Opposite Day!

Online instructional videos, like Lion Brand’s Youtube Channel, are a great resource for crafters, but when the host is a right-handed, you’ll want do the opposite of what you see the instructor doing. For example, right–handed instructors will turn their work from right to left – like turning the page of a book; you would instead turn your work from left to right-like going back a page.

While crochet doesn’t exactly cater those who are left-handed, it certainly shouldn’t scare them away. As long as you remember that patience, practice, and perseverance are all you really need to crochet, no matter what hand your dominant hand is, you’ll be just fine.

 

Voting is now open! Help Pick our SPRING Knit-Along Project!

March 16th, 2015

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Wondering who the winner is?! Click here …

It’s that time of year again! Come knit-along with us as we make one of the garments below. First, meet your Spring KAL leader, Kristy Glass (who’s wearing the Granny Raglan Pullover, which she mentions in her introduction video below):

:: can’t see the video above? click here: https://youtu.be/Uz29IwpNuoo ::

So let’s get started! FIRST you have to help us pick the pattern! Learn more about each of the patterns by clicking on their photos/names below and then come back to cast your vote. They’re all so good, we predict a very tight race!

Votes must be cast by 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time, March 22nd, 2015. You must use the voting tool below to vote; comments here on the blog do NOT count as votes.

Mitered Shawl Textured Topper Shimmer Nights Slip Stitch Cardigan Glamour Jacket

 

Ready? Cast your vote!

Voting is now closed. Wondering who the winner is?! Click here …

(Can’t see the voting tool above? Click here to vote.)

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This knit-along is a virtual event, where all the participants make the same project together. Follow along with knit-along host Kristy Glass here on the blog and share your comments and photos. There’s no need to sign up, and it’s free to join! (New to knit-alongs? Check out our guide here.)

Remember, the winning pattern will be announced the week of Monday, March 23rd 2015 here on the blog and at that time we’ll also give you details on picking up your supplies and getting started on the project!

Votes must be cast by 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time, March 22nd, 2015. You must use the voting tool above to vote; comments here on the blog do NOT count as votes.

Crocheters, look out for a crochet-along later this year, here on the Lion Brand Notebook.

 

Celebrate Pi Day with Some Nerdy Knitting and Crochet

March 14th, 2015

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Happy Pi Day! It’s a special one too because today is 3/14/15, which happens to be the first five digits of Pi (3.1415) and if you’re super-into Pi, you know that this post went up at 9:26am, the next three digits (3.1415926)!

Don’t know what the heck I’m on about? Pi is an irrational number relating to the circumference and diameter of a circle. It’s approximately equal to 3.14, though the decimal places are believed to go on forever. You can learn a little more about Pi here, or you can just have fun with the collection of math and Pi-themed knitting and crochet patterns below!

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Pi Family by Alicia Kachmar Butterfly Pi Shawl by lafarrelly
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Knit Pie Top for Pi Day by Lorna and Jill Watt, aka Knits for Life Pi Guy by Ms. Premise-Conclusion
Knit Irrational Scarf by Anne Bruvold Knit Pi Digits Scarf by Christina J
Knit Pi Dish Towel by Shannon Servesko Crochet Amigurumi Pi by Alicia Kachmar

*Note: Some of these patterns require a Ravelry account. Make sure you are signed up or create a free account to access.

 

9 Patterns Inspired by Cinderella!

March 13th, 2015

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Was Cinderella your favorite Disney Princess when you were a little girl? Well, she’s making a big comeback! Disney’s new live-action Cinderella comes to theaters this weekend to bring magic to a new generation. Do you think this new film will be a fun update or is the classic version your all-time favorite?

Inspired by the new movie, I’ve put together some patterns that can bippity-boppity-boo your little one into a real princess. The projects include our new crocheted Topsy Turvy Princess Doll that transforms with a flip from day to night! And the adorable Fairytale Headband and Wand set requires no knit or crochet skills- a great project to craft with the kids!

topsy turvy princess doll
Craft Fairytale Headband and Wand
made with Vanna’s Glamour® and Bonbons
Crochet Topsy Turvy Princess Doll made with Vanna’s ChoiceVanna’s Glamour®, and Bonbons Knit Baby Crown Hat
Made with Modern Baby®
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Crochet Pumpkin Hat
made with Vanna’s Choice® by Bowties and Fezzes
Knit Rats! made with Wool-Ease®
by Ravelry user 3secondfish
Knit Lavish Booties
made with LB Collection® Cashmere
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Knit Fairy-Tale Blanket
made with Vanna’s Sequins by Nicky Epstein
Craft Fairy Wands made with Martha Stewart CraftsTM/MC Extra Soft Wool Blend and Martha Stewart CraftsTM/MC Glitter Eyelash Loom-Woven Apron with Pockets
Made with Martha Stewart CraftsTM/MC Cotton Hemp

 

5 Patterns Perfect for Petites!

March 12th, 2015

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As the weather moves from winter to warmer, a cardigan can serve as a great transitional piece. I’m a very petite person, so fit is always a concern, especially when it comes to sleeves. I prefer tops that have 3/4 sleeves because they end up being regular-sized – perfect for a small woman like myself!

I’d been eyeing the Perfect Crochet Cardigan for awhile and since with March is National Crochet Month, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to start this wishlist project. I had also needed an excuse to use the Fishermen’s Wool® in my stash, which turned out to be a great substitute for Amazing® – I didn’t even have to change hook sizes!

It really is the “perfect cardigan” –  it worked up quickly, taking only a week to finish, and it fits great. I can also roll up the sleeves, as you can see, to create my own 3/4 sleeve effect. As a crafter, I added pockets so I have someplace to put my yarn cutter and measuring tape when I need it. It can even serve as a coat on those cooler spring evenings.

For more ideas, I’ve selected four projects that work well for petites!

Level 1 Crocheted Cardigan Eloise Eyelet Cardi Round-About Cropped Cardi My First Raglan Cardigan, 3/4 Sleeve Variation
Level 1 Crochet Cardigan Knit Eloise Eyelet Cardigan Round-About Cropped Cardi Knit My First Raglan Cardigan, 3/4 Sleeve Variation

 

Celebrate National Crochet Month with Lion Brand and you could win an afghan named after YOU!

March 11th, 2015

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Celebrate National Crochet Month!

Vote for your favorite crochet block below and you could win the opportunity to have a Lion Brand afghan pattern named after you, we’ll even throw in the afghan too! You can vote once a day! (Not a Facebook user? Don’t worry, you can vote here).

We’ll randomly select and contact the lucky winner no later than April 15th, 2015.*

To vote, click on the image or “like” button below and be sure to fill out the entry form. Thank you for voting and don’t forget to come back to vote again tomorrow!

* One entry per person. Click here for the official rules.

 

15 Knit and Crochet Patterns that Even a Beginner Can Make!

March 11th, 2015

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Recently we debuted our newest collection of patterns at a fashion show called, You Can Do It! The show was divided into five sections, the first of which, Simple Rectangles, featured pieces made from, you guessed it, rectangles. These patterns were designed to give even a novice knitter or crocheter the confidence to tackle a gorgeous garment!

Shira sat down with Lion Brand®’s Design Director Adina Klein to talk about the inspiration behind these inventive projects.

:: Having trouble viewing this video? Click here: http://youtu.be/EA_CcH2IoWc ::

See the Simple Rectangles patterns below!

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Crochet Rainbow Squares Afghan Knit Beginner Scarf Knit Basic Hat Knit Basic Wristers
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Knit Easy Rectangle Cardigan and Cowl Crochet Sparkling Shell Top Knit Helio Poncho Crochet Perfect Sleeveless Tunic
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Crochet Blankets Are My Canvas Crochet Glamorous Ripple Poncho Crochet Not Your Grannie’s Gloves Knit Shaped Poncho
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Knit Tribeca Tunic Knit Tricolor Cowl Knit Senior Hat

 

Franklin Habit’s Destash Diary

March 10th, 2015

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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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February 4. Abner was looking for the can opener today and found the sock yarn I’ve been storing in the flour canister. He asked where we keep the flour. We? When was the last time you whipped up a batch of cookies, Abner? I handed him the can opener–from the drawer it’s been kept in since the Carter administration–and told him to get out of the kitchen.

February 5. Abner was snooping again. Found the lace weight in the big roasting pan on the top shelf. So what? We only use it every fourth year when it’s our turn to host Thanksgiving. To keep the peace, relocated the lace weight to the canisters marked TEA and RICE. Wasn’t much tea or rice left anyhow.

February 6. Out all evening, volunteering at the guild’s learn-to-knit night. Terrific thank-you gift, two skeins of kid mohair/wool blend. Not sure what to do with it just yet, so it’s tucked in with the Christmas decorations in the hall closet. Abner has been nice and quiet, holed up in the den clacking away on his computer. Crisis averted? Fingers crossed.

February 7. At breakfast, Abner handed me a typed list of one hundred and thirty eight places around the house that he has found stashed yarn. He wants me to think about what I should do. I’m happy he didn’t look under the porch.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

How I’m Staying On Track With The Sweater Knit Along

March 10th, 2015

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I’m antsy. I don’t like to have too many projects going at once because I know I’ll never finish them. One might say I’m loyal to the project I start; I don’t start another project until it’s finished. However I’ve taken on a big challenge with my first sweater and I need mental break. I’m participating in the current Knit Along in the Lion Brand Yarn Studio and if you’ve been following my posts about it, you know that I’ve been working hard to keep up with the class.

Taking A Break From Knitting … By Knitting Something Else

I thought I’d take on a few small projects as a way to take a break from my sweater. My friends who are twins just celebrated their 30th birthday (they say they just turned 25 … but I digress.) I love making gifts for my friends because they’re always made with love and they’re one-of-a-kind. And they love when I make them something special; they refer to it as “Made by Shi Stuff.”  So I suggested some wristers and to make them special they could choose any of our premium LB Collection® yarns they wanted.  They chose Angora Merino; Hadassah chose Pewter and Yaffa chose Blue Bell.

 

The Plan

Even though I need to make two pairs of wristers, it’s a nice little break.  It’s like Where is Waldo, sometimes you’re looking so hard for Waldo you need a break and once you come back, you find him right away.  I’m hoping that these wristers are my break, and then I will come back to my sweater and zoom through.

How many projects do you have going at once?  Or are you like me, and are a one-at-a-time project kinda crafter?

 

16 Tips for Crocheters!

March 9th, 2015

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March is National Crochet Month – making it the perfect time to learn to crochet or perfect a stitch. Lion Brand offers many great resources to learn: there’s our Learning Center for step-by-step instructions, Stitchfinder to find the perfect stitch to practice, and our YouTube Channel if you’re a visual learner. We even have a Craftsy class to show you how to crochet your very first cowl.

Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran looking for new tricks, here are some great tips to get you started on your next crochet project:

So pick up a hook, some yarn and learn a new skill!

 
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