Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Learn to Knit a Raglan Cardigan with an Easy Tutorial by Staci from Very Pink Knits

November 13th, 2014

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Today, we’re very excited to share a garment knitting tutorial with you. With the temperatures steadily dropping, it’s the perfect time to start knitting… sweaters!

Staci from the YouTube Channel Very Pink Knits is a great instructor who makes knitting a garment look like a breeze. Check out the tutorial below as she explains and shows you how to make Lion Brand’s Cropped Raglan Cardigan pattern in Wool-Ease®. After viewing the tutorial, many of you who’ve previously shied away from garment knitting may feel quite confident about giving this one a try.

Tell us what you think about the tutorial in the comments, we hope you’re inspired!

 

Hatter, Mad

November 12th, 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.

When winter returns to Chicago, you have two choices: fight or flee. If that sounds overly dramatic to you, you have never spent a winter in Chicago.

Winter in Chicago is Mother Nature’s way of saying that she hates you, and would like you to die. More than that, she would like to kill you herself. Hypothermia while waiting for a train? Frostbite while walking to the grocery store? Sleet poisoning? The method matters not, so long as you are reduced to a dry, frozen dust by time June slinks back into town.

For those who cannot flee, warm clothing is the first line of defense. If you’re newly arrived and unsure of what is meant by warm, there’s a rule of thumb. Let’s say you’re shopping for a winter coat and find one that might do. Try it on in front of a mirror. If it looks pretty cute, and makes you feel like you can’t wait for the snow to fall, the coat will not be warm enough for February.

By February, Chicagoans have ceased to care what they look like when they go outside. Cut, style, color, fit? Not important. If it takes pairing filthy construction boots with a safety orange arctic exploration jumpsuit; then accessorizing those with two knitted hats, an army surplus balaclava and three pairs of gloves to get you to the opera with all your limbs intact, that’s what you put on.

This is why if you pass me on the street in midwinter and don’t say hello, I will not be offended. You won’t recognize me. You’ll think, “Did that raggedy pile of battered winter clothes just wave?” and keep going.

I wish I could tell you honestly that after more than decade of survival on the western shore of Lake Michigan I have grown accustomed to this annual renunciation of vanity. But no. The sight of winter ads from British tailors celebrating the elegance of classic overcoats and sleek leather gloves push me to the edge of rage. I live in Chicago, the city whose motto ought to be We Just Can’t Have Nice Things.

Winter hats are the worst, because as a knitter I should be able to make any sort of winter hat I like. A universe of colors, weights, and fibers awaits my pleasure. I could design my own. In fact, I have done so.

The immutable fact is–and I here I lay bare my great personal tragedy–that I do not have a “hat face.”

If you’re not familiar with that term, possession of a “hat face” means you are able to put anything on your head–from a masterpiece by Lily Daché to an empty shopping bag–and carry it off. You know who has a hat face? My sister. You know who doesn’t have a hat face? Me.

I have tried every standard and most non-standard forms of knitted hat and the results are never anything but unfortunate.

See for yourself.
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14 Easy and Stylish Designs to Make without Needles or Hooks: Finger Knitting by Mary Beth Temple

November 11th, 2014

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Finger Knitting main collage image

For the past year and more, we’ve all been raving about the simplicity of arm knitting and how the technique makes it so easy to create beautiful, chunky, oversized knits for the winter – but, did you know there are also plenty of projects that can be made with just your fingers?

Mary Beth Temple’s newest release, Finger Knitting, highlights some cool and creative projects that can be made using just your hands. From home decor to funky accessories, there’s a project in this book to suit every style. I personally love the necklaces designed with beads – yes, you can even incorporate beadwork similar to traditional knitting! Take a look at some of Mary Beth’s designs below.

We’re proudly carrying Mary Beth’s Finger Knitting book at 20% off the retail price! Mary Beth’s book comes with detailed, full-photo instructions on how to get started with your finger knitting, and of course, she’s got a great selection of projects to work up.

button love scarf Button Love Scarf
Finger Knit beaded necklaceNight Out Necklace
Spiral RugSpiral Rug  

 

 

 

 

Make a Mini Pom-Pom Gift Topper in 5 Easy Steps!

November 10th, 2014

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This article series was featured previously in our Weekly Stitch newsletter, which features new products, tips, and more. If you enjoy it and would like to subscribe, click here.

pompom4Pom-poms are easy, fast, and fun — add a couple of mini ones to your packages for a whimsical touch! This week we’re showing you how to make a Mini Pom-Pom Gift Topper

For this gift topper, you’ll need several colors of yarn (the example below uses Lion® Cotton in Turquoise and Lion Wool® in Dark Teal*).

*Editors’ Note: Lion Wool® has been discontinued since this article was originally published. Try a color-changing yarn like Amazing® and Vanna’s Tapestry or use the leftover yarn from the handmade gift inside.
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More Than Just Knitting: The Autumn Lace Afghan

November 9th, 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.

When Jessie thought about her life, it was as a series of moments. Sometimes these were big events, like holidays, but often they were small—a bluebird’s late-winter visit to the garden, the way her husband smiled as she approached. Sometimes the moments were sad, like when she’d had the diagnosis, and when she’d begun chemo and radiation.

Of course family and friends had been there all along, but she’d needed a steady diversion from the symptoms and side-effects. Knitting had kept her anchored and calm. Knitting had let her feel capable even when she’d hit her lowest point.

The pattern was called Autumn Lace Afghan—beautifully textured, with a kind of embedded story in every repetition. Each knitted diamond framed a stylized tree of life and connected to another diamond and another tree; the border was seed-stitch, symbolic of growth and hope. The yarn, an autumnal Hazelnut shade of Wool-Ease® Thick and Quick®, was meltingly soft, and became a fabric both durable and comforting. To make the knitting magic last, Jessie knitted mindfully, just a few rows every day. Thus she managed to stretch the project over several months.

By then the treatments were over. Slowly she felt more vibrant, and increasingly grateful. The afghan was beautiful, but was so much more than that. It was a knitted diary of all those moments—when she’d felt awful, when she’d known for sure that the worst was over, when she realized her health was restored. And when she draped the completed afghan over her shoulders, she felt lovingly protected by its warm, inspiring embrace.

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.

 

Quick Quiz! How Do Knitting and Crochet Make You Feel?

November 8th, 2014

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We’ve heard so many stories of how knitting or crocheting has helped people feel better.  Now’s your chance to weigh in and be counted. In this quick quiz you can tell us specifically what crafting with yarn has done for you.  We’re looking forward to hearing from you and to sharing what our community thinks.

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

 

FLASH SALE – Save 30% on LB Collection Organic Wool!

November 8th, 2014

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organicwool_social

Save 30% on LB Collection® Organic Wool, now through to November 11th, 12noon EST!*

Promotion exclusive to lionbrand.com. Offer not available at retail locations.

 

David Babcock the Knitting Runner Achieves his New York City Marathon Goal!

November 7th, 2014

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As featured in the the New York Daily Post, the New York Times and the Good Men Project, we’re proud to share the news that David Babcock completed the New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 2nd with a great time of 3:56. All of us here at Lion Brand are proud of the #KnittingRunner! We’re especially proud that David achieved his goal of running the marathon in under four hours.

While David was in New York last week, we took some time to sit down with him to discuss how he came to be a knitting runner and the challenges he’s faced and overcome. Please enjoy and share widely.

:: can’t see the video? click here: http://youtu.be/FFBd4HoKw3c ::

David ran the marathon to raise funds for the free care and support programs provided by the New York City Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. You can donate to David’s team up until November 30th and the best part, Lion Brand will match your donations until David reaches his fundraising goal of $3500. He’s almost there – every dollar counts, so please give what you can.

 

Make a Woven Wonder Gift Topper in 5 Easy Steps!

November 7th, 2014

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This article series was featured previously in our Weekly Stitch newsletter, which features new products, tips, and more. If you enjoy it and would like to subscribe, click here.

weavingTurn any package into a mini loom! If you teach the recipient how to tie off the edges, they’ll have a little coaster or place mat in addition to the gift inside.

For this gift topper, you’ll need two types of yarn (the example below uses Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® in Citron and Lion Wool® in Dark Teal*.), tape, and a tapestry needle, in addition to your wrapped gift.

*Editors’ Note: Lion Wool® has been discontinued since this article was originally published. Try a color-changing yarn like Amazing® and Landscapes® or use the leftover yarn from the handmade gift inside.

Step 1

Tape the end of the first yarn to the back of your package. Wrap yarn around package lengthwise, keeping strands close together (aprox ¼” apart). Wrap about 20 times for a coaster, 50 for a placemat OR any even number of times. Once wrapped, cut yarn, remove the tape holding the other end of yarn and tie the two strands together, being careful not to distort the front lineup. Trim tails.
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Crochet a “Quick and Comfy” Cowl in Wool-Ease Thick & Quick with Kara from Petals to Picots!

November 6th, 2014

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#Scarfie = A selfie with a scarf!

Get your crochet hooks out − because today, we’ve got another wonderful pattern from a blogger who participated in the #scarfie challenge! Kara, from the blog Petals to Picots, has created a beautifully textured cowl in the ever-popular Oatmeal colorway of Wool-Ease Thick & Quick. She even adorned her cowl (which only requires two balls) with a few metal buttons for a more rustic look, and we love it!

Check out Kara’s pattern here: Quick and Comfy Crochet Scarf Pattern

For all the knitters, Kara has also created a lovely knit version of her cowl with the Barley color of Wool-Ease Thick & Quick: Quick and Comfy Knit Scarf Pattern

P.S − We thank you for continuing to share your #scarfie projects with us on Twitter and Facebook, it’s so fun to see everyone getting in on the action. Read more about our #scarfie campaign here.

Petals to Picots scarfie post

 
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