Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame

Crochet a Chelsea Morning Cowl in two movies or less!

February 24th, 2015

Pin It

Lion Brand®‘s LB Collection® Silk Chiffon Ribbon is made from recycled silk sari fabric and I just love it. As a big fan of mori girl fashion – a Japanese street-style that focuses on forest-like aesthetics, layering, and upcycling – this handcut, artisanal yarn is a dream come true.

Thinking about the colder weather, I used the yarn to create a garment I call the “Chelsea Morning Cowl“. With some help from our Design department, I’ve made this pattern available to you so you can make one yourself!

Since each skein of Silk Chiffon Ribbon is one-of-a-kind, I decided to pair it with Wool-Ease® Thick and Quick® in the color Grey Marble – it’s a good neutral to use to emphasize the color scheme of the Silk Chiffon Ribbon. My skein featured beautiful blues and purples.

Mori girl focuses a lot on layering, so I created an eyelet design to highlight an outfit underneath the cowl. Since I’m a petite person, I normally wear it as a cape.

The best part of this pattern? It’s a super quick project and can be finished in under four hours – that’s about two movies or four episodes of your favorite television show!

 

16 Tips and Tricks for Beginner Knitters!

February 23rd, 2015

Pin It

As a person who’s just learning to knit, I find Lion Brand’s Learning Center to be very useful because of the step-by-step-videos that I can rewind as many times as I need to get a stitch right. In addition to the Learning Center, the Lion Brand® blog is another great resource for tips and little-known tricks to make knitting even more enjoyable.

Whether you’re just learning to knit or would like to try a different method of casting on, check out these great posts:

16-knit-tips

 

Homespun with Love: The Sunset Throw

February 22nd, 2015

Pin It

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.

The Sunset ThrowIn my family, Peggy, my big sister, weaves, Mom crochets–and I knit. For as long as I can remember, it seemed, we each had our piece of yarn turf, and we didn’t trespass. Why it was like that, I don’t know. Maybe we didn’t want to compete with each other.

But one day I got this super strong urge to learn to crochet. Actually, I imagined myself crocheting something really cool for Mom’s birthday.

Mom had sometimes offered to teach me before. “There’s only one tool,” she’d explained. “And things work up quickly.” I always made excuses, so after a while she stopped. I guess I just wasn’t ready then. But now I certainly was.

My urge to crochet just wouldn’t disappear and I was too proud to ask her this time. I got a “How To” book at the library, but the diagrams made me cross-eyed. Then a light bulb went on — I’m a visual learner! If I just paid attention to someone crocheting, I’d certainly get the hang of it.

That’s when the next light bulb illuminated. The Lion Brand Website! It has a Learning Center, with short instructional videos. So once my homework was done, I’d watch a How to Crochet video multiple times each night, practicing a chain stitch, or single or double crochet stitch. Pretty soon I could tell that I was ready for a real project.

Naturally I wanted something perfect for a beginner. In addition to the Learning Center, Lion Brand had a gigantic pattern directory and through it I found this amazing Sunset Throw design, crocheted in eight rich colors of Homespun®. That yarn has unbelievable qualities–it’s loopy and lustrous, and really soft. It just makes you want to snuggle! I planned to crochet the individual sections in my room, sew them together, and give the throw to Mom for her birthday.

* * *

“Happy birthday!” I crowed, handing Mom my debut work, neatly folded. “I taught myself to crochet so I could make this for you.”
“Oh wow,” she laughed. “So that’s where my K hook went.” Then she hugged me so hard, it was like we were blanketed in love.

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.

 

Inspired by New England, Lion Brand’s “Country” yarn changes like the weather!

February 21st, 2015

Pin It


:: cant’ see the video above? click here: http://youtu.be/HL0oKnVDfBo ::

“If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.” Mark Twain

Our American-made yarns draw inspiration from cherished American landscapes. Country®, for instance, is inspired by New England’s picturesque scenery.  And like New England, where the weather can change if you just wait awhile, this striped yarn creates an unexpected but stunning heathered fabric as you knit or crochet with it.

It’s super bulky which means it works up quickly and keeps you warm at the same time, especially if you’re working on a large project like the Subtle Stripes Afghan.

It’s the perfect yarn to get you through the last few weeks of bitter cold and snow. Knit up an afghan inspired by your favorite vacation towns with Kennebunk Teal or Mystic Purple or crochet a last-minute winter accessory.

Below is a collection of our favorite Country® patterns:

Knit Colorblock Slipover Crochet Foxy Buttoned Neckwarmer Knit Side to Side Sleeveless Cardi Crochet Subtle Stripes Afghan
Knit Colorblock Slipover Crochet Foxy Buttoned Neckwarmer Knit Side to Side Sleeveless Cardi Crochet Subtle Stripes Afghan
Crochet Rocky Hill Poncho Knit Mountain Mittens Crochet Stonework Afghan Knit Nantucket Hat
Crochet Rocky Hill Poncho Knit Mountain Mittens Crochet Stonework Afghan Knit Nantucket Hat

 

Create a Bold Look with Just Two Rectangles!

February 20th, 2015

Pin It

We can’t stop! There are just so many ways to turn a simple rectangle into a gorgeous garment. The Simple Shrug and Vegan Fur Poncho are perfect examples of that! Now we’re taking it to the next level with the Tribeca Tunic.

This top is made from two rectangles seamed together at the sides. Although the pattern is for intermediate knitters, there’s no shaping at the armholes or neck so it works up in a breeze! The front and back pieces are made up of smaller rectangular panels which a bold, geometric look that’s very trendy right now.

tribeca tunic

Made with Modern Baby®, you can see that the eye-catching contrast makes this yarn a fun choice to use for garments for children and adults alike! Plus, you’ll love the sparkly detailing done with Vanna’s Glamour®!

Design Editor Susan Haviland describes the construction of this unique piece in the video below:

:: Having trouble viewing the video above? Click here: http://youtu.be/nupttLNWYwQ ::

 

Lola’s Beauty Sleep and the Sheep

February 20th, 2015

Pin It

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

Lola_02202015

Knit Thick And Thin Pullover Knit Little Lamb Sock Critter Crochet Simply Constructed Pullover

*** *** ***

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! *

:: Sign up now ::

 

Crochet a Cozy Cowl in No Time with the Crafty Gemini!

February 19th, 2015

Pin It

flattering cowl
It’s the middle of February, and many of us in the Northeast are still getting plenty of snow, cold, and wind – so it’s the perfect time to get out those hooks (or needles) and work on something warm and cozy.

The Flattering Cowl is a popular pattern that’s easy to make, and super snuggly because it’s made with Lion Brand’s plush Homespun® Thick & Quick® yarn. It’s definitely a gratifying project because it works up quickly; you can easily finish this cowl in one day.

You’ll love the feel of Homespun® Thick & Quick® as it keeps you nice and toasty in this super bulky cowl. Watch the video below for a tutorial that’s great for beginners. Vanessa, from the Crafty Gemini, shares tips and tricks for working on this cowl, and offers advice for creating different variations. Enjoy!

:: can’t see the video above? click here: http://youtu.be/lsuM-bx7f6o ::

 

Behind The Scenes: The Making Of Yarn

February 18th, 2015

Pin It

IMG_6825

Did you know that many of Lion Brand®‘s yarns are American-made? Some of them — Homespun®, Homespun® Thick and Quick®, Quickie, Country® and Spinnables — are all related because they’re all made in the same mill in New Hampshire. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing these yarns being created first hand – it’s magical!

When I first walked into the mill, I could envision what it looked like 135 years ago – the same. Even though the mill is so old, it still works, making lots of yarn each day. To make it run, there are many employees from the town. That’s one of the most wonderful things about the mill — it supports hundreds of families!

I am so passionate about yarn and claim I have yarn for veins, so watching the whole process come to life was very exciting! I had the opportunity to see how the different colors come together to create a popular Homespun® color, Tudor, along with finding out how the dying process works. There were barrels of Quickie getting ready to be put into skeins. Near the Quickie were barrels of different colors of unspun yarn, used for Spinnables. It took a lot to hold myself from jumping in!

 

She Was Told She Would Never Knit Or Crochet Again … So Here’s What She Did.

February 18th, 2015

Pin It

In 2003, Colette Smith was told by a doctor that due to the pain in her hands, she would need eight hours of surgery and she would never be able to knit again.  But for Colette, knitting is an essential part of her life.  She is a fiber artist and designer and simply loves to knit.  When she heard those words from her doctor, she took matters into her own hands (literally) and decided to find a way to heal her hand pain without surgery. Today she is pain free and knits eight to fifteen hours a day – you read that right – she knits 8-15 HOURS A DAY!

If you’re a knitter or crocheter with hand pain, Colette has some great advice based on her own research and experience.  Here’s her story, plus suggestions for those of you who have hand pain, including some surprising tips about how to sit, how to sleep and exercises that could make help you continue to enjoy the crafts you love so much.

:: Having trouble viewing the video above? Click here: http://youtu.be/LOpDVR4UGTs ::

 

You Can Do It! Wait. . . Can I Do It?!

February 17th, 2015

Pin It

It’s official: I’m making my first sweater.

I’ve worked at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City for two years and now that I am the Brand Ambassador for the company I thought I would take on a knitting fear: making my own sweater.  I’ve been a knitter for a good portion of my life and I have yet to conquer knitting a sweater.  How is it that I have knitted plenty of socks and not a sweater? This makes no sense to me, so I am going to rectify the situation.  l40025a

Every Wednesday night, from February 11th – March 18th, I’m taking part in a Knit-Along at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City.  In an ideal situation, I’d finish my sweater by the 18th of March, but this is my first sweater so give I’ll give myself a little slack.  The pattern I’m following is  The Essential Fall Pullover made with Heartland®.  I decided to get a little creative and instead of doing the three colors that the pattern calls for, I will be doing two. I’ll be using Black Canyon for the front and back, and for the side panels and sleeves I’m going to be using Biscayne.  I chose Black Canyon as the main color for the sweater because, like many people who live in NYC, black is a prominent color in my wardrobe.  On the other hand, I’m also trying to get a little more colorful, so I decided to incorporate Biscayne for the sleeves and side panels.  It will give it a nice “pop” and allow me to dress it down and up!

Since I worked in the studio for two years, I had the chance to really get to know my co-workers, and I got to see how talented and creative they truly are.  Ann, who is the instructor for the KAL, is a machine knitter and teaches machine knitting at the studio, but she also is so creative when it comes to knitting garments.  When I found out that Ann would be the instructor for the KAL, I was sold,  it would guarantee that for at least once a week for the next month, I would get to see her.  Her creativity is infectious and it inspired me to take this sweater making to another level.

For the first meeting she showed up with sketches (that she had made) of what her sweater would look like with the colors she chose.  She also suggested going to Pinterest for color inspiration. I thought that was a really clever idea and plan on using that for other projects as well!

As you can see I started the ribbing for the back of my sweater. But the main reason for writing this is because I need your support in completing this project. There have been so many times that I have wanted to make a sweater and I’ve second guessed myself even though I know I have the skills.

So, I Need You – You Wise Knitters And Crocheters – Give Me Your Best Sweater Advice And Support!

Before I really get into the nitty-gritty of the back portion of the sweater – do you have any good tips for me as I embark on this journey? What did your first sweater look like?  Is there something you are too nervous to make because it’s just overwhelming?

Please use the comments below.  You can keep track of my sweater making exploits here on the blog and by following me on Instagram and Twitter.

 
css.php