April 13th, 2015
As a knitter I always wonder when I travel, “can I bring my knitting needles with me?” That’s a question that maybe you ask yourself too. My co-worker Sarah wrote this post which offers some helpful tips for traveling with knitting and what handy dandy tools we’re allowed to use. I always use it as a guide, and this past trip I traveled to Montego Bay, Jamaica with no reason to worry, but I guess who doesn’t worry a little about getting their needles taken away from them.
Well now to the tale…
As I mentioned, I was just on vacation in Jamaica and I stayed in beautiful Montego Bay. Of course, being who I am — a diehard knitter — I brought my knitting along as I always do. I love to knit on the beach. I find it creates an ultra-calming feeling; the ocean, the knitting, no way to be stressed! I was working on my sweater and a gift for my friend. Everything was great.
But then it was time to go home.
I was going through security in Jamaica and I usually never have a problem with my bag, but this time I did. She asked if she could check my bag and I said, “of course.” What do I have to hide? But then as she went through my make-up and other bags inside, I realized “MY NEEDLES!” I started to get really nervous, not only nervous, but a slow-motion anger was building inside my belly!
I thought I was going to need to fight someone!
Thank goodness I didn’t have anything on my needles, but she was looking at them in question, like “what are these?” She then went to her supervisor and asked if they were “ok?” I felt like she was talking about my children. I mean she was holding at least $60 worth of needles in her hands … needles I hold like they’re new borns!! I was standing there thinking, “How could she be treating them like this?!” Not to mention the fire in my belly that was growing faster and faster…. These are my identity! Don’t you …. And then she threw them back in my bag and attempted to be neat, but wasn’t. I closed my bag up and it took about five breaths to bring me back down to this planet.
Tell me I’m not the only one!
I know I can’t be the only one who has been through this scare. Have your needles or crochet hooks ever been taken away from you? What did you do? How did you feel?
April 12th, 2015
It’s almost the end of the school year for thousands of students across the country, and with the end of the school year comes prom! Many juniors and seniors in high school will be getting dressed up and made up for this amazing night of fun and dancing with friends. To celebrate this joyous occasion, we’ve rounded up a few patterns to add a touch of handmade to you or your date’s outfit for prom. Check out the selections below!
|Crochet Summer Sonata Shawl
This delicate shawl would be a beautiful cover up for a simple sleeveless dress. Check out the colors in Vanna’s Glamour to see what you like best.
These flowers in Bonbons would make a great corsage or hair pin. They’re also pretty easy to crochet, check out a video tutorial here!
|Crochet Evening Glitter Clutch
A crochet clutch would go perfectly with almost any prom outfit! Not a fan of the red? Check out the many colors available in Vanna’s Glamour.
|Knit Bow Tie
Knit bow ties are fun and the perfect way to add a handmade element to a prom outfit. Find the cummerband pattern here.
Knit a matching boutonniere for your date, and make multiples of the flower for your own corsage in Bonbons.
Knit ties seem to be quite popular among men these days, why not knit a tie for your prom date to match your dress?
| Crochet Tied Shawlette
This shawlette would certainly keep you warm and look adorable with a sweetheart strapless dress. Crocheted in Pound of Love
| Purple Passion Crochet Wrap
This light and airy wrap is a showstopping piece, best paired with a simple dress. Crocheted in LB Collection Silk Mohair.
| Crochet Moon Water Clutch
A simple clutch made in Vanna’s Sequins that has consistent little pops of sparkles.
April 11th, 2015
We can’t help but fall in love with this cardigan sweater designed by Bonnie Marie Burns. Knit with Lion Brand’s classic Fishermen’s Wool, undyed pure virgin wool with natural lanolin oil, the IBA sweater features top-down construction, no seaming, built-in neckband, and a relaxed fit.
This is a paid pattern, available through Ravelry for $6.
:: seen here in Oatmeal which the designer refers to as “light taupe” ::
April 10th, 2015
Here in the marketing department at Lion Brand, we talk a lot about knitting and crocheting and yarn and magic loops and swatches and yarn weights (we know our DK from our super bulky) and and and … bottom line is that we’re all experts in one way or another when it comes yarn. We can talk about it all day — and we do! You may however be surprised to know that we’re also fairly well-rounded with an excess of interests, hobbies and obsessions that go beyond the hooks and needles.
We thought you might enjoy a peek into our inner worlds. Have fun and please share some of your own personal interests outside of knitting and crocheting in the comments below.
Shira: Right now I don’t know what it is about Spring, but while cleaning out my closet and doing some spring cleaning I feel like I’m doing a lot of shopping! My favorite shop is a little boutique on the Upper West side of Manhattan called ShiShi. Also there’s a website I love called Soft Surroundings — literally you’ll want to snuggle with everything, it’s sooo soft!
Zoe: I’ve been getting into birdwatching. I’ve got a pair of binoculars and so far I’ve spotted some familiar birds, like Blue Jays, Cardinals, and Starlings, and a few others that were new to me, like the Purple Finch, Tufted Titmouse, and Red-winged Blackbird. I’ve even had the pleasure of several Red-tailed Hawk sightings in Central Park.
Ilana: Almost every morning I spend an hour before work reading blogs. In addition to marketing and social media blogs, I read about culture, creativity and innovation. Some of my favorites are Thought Catalog, Mental Floss, Digital Tonto, and 99 Percent and HBR. My secret to staying ahead of the curve on topics that matter to me personally and professionally is a heavy dose of curiosity and Feedly.
Brandyce: I’m trying to get into the spring spirit, and the best way I do that during this transitional time is by switching up nail polish colors with pretty, feminine hues. I was just sporting Essie’s awesome deep lavender shade, play date, and now I’ve got my eye on the coat azure color. Coat azure is one of the few bottles of nail polish I have at home that’s halfway finished, I love it!
Sarah: I’m very excited that Mad Men starts again on April 5th. I spent the past weekend watching the first half of this past season again so I had all of the details fresh in my mind. I recently saw the Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. It was so cool to get up close with the sets and costumes! I’ll be so sad to see the show come to an end!
Danielle: I just finished reading Kim Gordon’s memoir, “Girl in a Band” and I really enjoyed it. It started off a bit rocky, but once I got deeper into it, I couldn’t put it down. Outside of being the bassist for Sonic Youth, I didn’t know a whole lot about her. She often presents as this moody, evasive being which, after reading this book, I understand is not really her true character. She offers an interesting perspective on the realities of an artist’s life in NYC in the 1980s and 1990s and, of course, being a girl in a band.
Margaux: Being new to the team, I’m really excited to discover Lion Brand’s world and people! When I’m not knitting, I teach French in Brooklyn and get to share my culture (from French grammar to French wine!). I like going to Zumba classes where I forget I’m actually not on a dance floor … dancing is my way to relax. Being also new to NYC, I spend my weekends wandering around with my husband and my two daughters trying to understand how this incredible city works.
:: Blue Jay photo courtesy of FishHawk via Creative Commons license ::
April 10th, 2015
Thanks to our friends at Leisure Arts, we have two free patterns to share, both of which are featured in two new books, now available for purchase, Granny Squares Reimagined & Cozy Ripples for You and your Home.
|Free pattern:Happy Granny Stripe Afghan
Pattern reproduced with permission from Leisure Arts
|Granny Squares Reimagined
(Featured Yarn: Heartland®)
|Free pattern: Graphic Ripple Afghan
Pattern reproduced with permission from Leisure Arts
|Cozy Ripples for You & Your Home
(Featured Yarns: Homespun®, Homespun Thick & Quick®)
April 9th, 2015
With Mother’s Day just about a month away, there’s still time to thank the mothers in your life with a handmade gift. Show your favorite mom how much you appreciate her with one of the beautiful gifts below!
April 8th, 2015
Today is the final installment featuring our 2015 fashion show collection. Over the past few weeks we’ve visited four groups of patterns all based on simple rectangles and easy construction – 1) Simple Rectangles; 2) Rectangles Sewn Together; 3) A Bit of Technique; and 4) Color & Textture. The finale of the show is called Achievable Wow. These patterns are all about jaw-dropping looks that you can knit or crochet yourself— and you’ll be impressed by just how easy they are to make!
Many of the projects from this section — such as the Cosmic Rainbow Afghan and Jewel Box Pullover — use self-striping yarns Unique and Landscapes® to create gorgeous palettes with little work. Others, such as the Sparkle Slipon and Filet Mesh Top, use simple stitching to create an off-the-runway look!
And for our grand finale, the pièce de résistance, here is our You Can Do It Afghan, featuring a Rosie the Riveter!
See all of the Achievable Wow patterns below!
April 7th, 2015
Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.
I couldn’t sleep a few nights ago so I pulled out a copy of After the Thin Man, the second of the classic MGM films with William Powell and Myrna Loy as socialite detectives Nick and Nora Charles. Have you seen them? You really ought to.
Start at the beginning, with The Thin Man. It was based on a crime novel by Dashiell Hammett, and all the installments are mysteries; but they wear that badge lightly. You don’t really watch a Thin Man film to find out who killed who; you watch it to see Powell and Loy bounce absolutely perfect wisecracks off one another in the highest possible style. Even their romantic moments are agreeably tart.
NICK: Did I ever tell you that you’re the most fascinating woman this side of the Rockies?
NORA: Wait ’til you see me on the other side.
Nick, Nora, and their dog, Asta, form the family unit in the first and most of the second installments. But in the closing minutes of After the Thin Man, Nick notices that Nora is knitting something.
He leans in to take a closer look. “Looks like a baby’s sock,” he says.
“And you call yourself a detective,” says Nora.
He gasps. They kiss. Asta wails. The End, until Another Thin Man.
April 6th, 2015
Editor’s note: There’s still time to get your Knit-Along Kit, get your kit here now – there are four to choose from! Also we have a hashtag for this KAL, use #LBspringKAL2015 when you share your progress on social media. Have fun!
Hello my fellow knitters! It’s Kristy Glass here and I’m hoping you have all received your yarn and are anxiously waiting to get started!
As I have been studying this pattern, I want you to keep in mind a few things.
1) GAUGE. I have learned too many times that making a gauge swatch is WORTH YOUR TIME. This pattern calls for 15 sts + 30 rows = 4 in. (10 cm) in Ridge pattern. If you feel lost like I STILL do almost every time I am presented with knitting a gauge swatch, here is a link to help you understand what to do!
2) Avoiding the TANGLE! Last year’s KAL leader suggested putting your yarn in plastic baggies and feeding the yarn through the snipped off corner of the bag. Let me know if that works for you!
4. Pattern Note: A few of you expressed interest in an alternate pattern for the back. I have investigated this and it’s not a pattern alteration the design team can offer at this time. One thought I had, after looking at it, was to tack up the back—-it’s just a small triangle that you can fold under and tack if you don’t like the mermaid look. I am so sorry we couldn’t accommodate the suggested pattern change! If anybody has a solution, please share it in the comments below or in our Ravelry group.
Let me know if you have any questions or issues and what colors you ordered! Is ANYONE out there doing pink with me??? I want to know! Post pics in the comments below! See you next week for a progress report!
UPDATE – Ridge Pattern demonstration:
If you’re having trouble with the Ridge Pattern, here is a little clarification for you!
|I am Kristy Glass and I am so thrilled to be infiltrating the Lion Brand blog to lead you in the 2015 Spring Knit Along! Even though I learned to knit as a girl, my passion for fiber arts has escalated at a very steep rate these past several years.|
I returned to knitting and began crocheting about 8 years ago after I suffered an unexpected health setback leaving me feeling completely out of control. Hand work was a healing salve for my body and soul as I suffered through a long healing process. Thankfully I continue to use knitting to aid meditation, solace and a feeling of accomplishment. I knit year round, despite weather changes, and I am highly anticipating us all knitting together on this project.
I have completed over 100 projects including scarves, cowls, hats, hand warmers, phone cozies, afghans, pillows, sweaters and yarn bombing. My most recent passion has been making sweaters and actually wearing what I make!
April 5th, 2015
Summer festival season is upon us! As it gets warmer, music fans turn out for some of the biggest shows like Sasquach, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza. These events are no longer just a venue to hear your favorite bands— festival attendees are also showing off their chic street style. Coachella begins April 10th and has become synonymous with summer festival style. Summery boho styles including lace tanks, fringe vests, and floral accessories are caught in every street style photo from this star-studded event.
And you can make these pieces yourself! I’ve put together a few patterns inspired by the festival trends!
|Knit Eyelet and Fringe Vest||Crochet Coachella Vest by Sara Dudek||Knit Mesh Tank|
|Crochet Sparkle Slipon||Crochet Striped Tank by Rachel Oglesby||Crochet Bungalow Tank by Alexandra Tavel|
|Crochet Necklace in Bloom||Knit Fair Isle Pocketed Vest||Knit Delightfully Light Vest|