Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Mayo Clinic Reports That Knitting May Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk by 30-50%

November 19th, 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. In this post for Alzheimer’s Awareness Month she shares how crafting can be used to prevent and treat age-related memory loss. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

Reasons Why Knitting and Crochet Can Help Prevent and Aid Treatment of Alzheimer's

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Many crafters are doing their part to raise awareness around this awful disease. In this post I’ll share some research and information about how knitting and crochet may be used to prevent dementia in some people and improve quality of life for those who already have this condition.

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12 Thanksgiving House Gifts You Can Make With Yarn In Two Hours Or Less

November 18th, 2014

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When I’m invited to someone’s home for Thanksgiving, I like to bring a gift. On Thanksgiving there’s often such an abundance of food that bringing more food sometimes seems like overkill.  I prefer to contribute to the festivities by making something for the table or for the hosts’ home. If you’re the one hosting the meal this year, there are many ideas here for your own festive table.

These twelve gift ideas are super easy and most can be made by someone who doesn’t know how to knit or crochet.  Get other family members into the spirit by working on them together.

We’d also love to hear your ideas for hand crafted Thanksgiving gifts and table decor.

Yarn Bombed Branches Wine Glass Braids Petite Harvest Pumpkin Embroidered Place Cards
Yarn Bombed Branches
in Vanna’s Glamour®
Wine Glass Braids
in Bonbons
Crochet Petite Harvest Pumpkin
in Vanna’s Choice®
Embroidered Place Cards
in Glitterspun®

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How to Make a Yarn Wreath in 4 Easy Steps!

November 17th, 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.

mohairwreaths
A great gift for a knitter or crocheter – turn two balls of yarn into two cute wreaths in minutes! Use them as ornaments, then knit or crochet them into fabulous projects.

For this project you’ll need two balls of yarn (here we’re using LB Collection® Silk Mohair in Azure and Sunbeam), as well a tapestry needle.

Step 1

mohair1

Remove labels from yarn, (hang on to them if giving to a yarncrafter!) and remove a little bit of yarn from each ball. If your yarn isn’t already in a cake or doughnut shape, wrap it around a water bottle or cup to make “cakes.” From the yarn you removed from each ball, cut 2 lengths of yarn (1 of each color), long enough to wrap around your package. Set them aside. Thread tapestry needle with remaining yarn in first color.

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8 Quick and Easy Projects for A Handmade Thanksgiving!

November 16th, 2014

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Thanksgiving is often the best time to get the family together — how about having a Pre-Thanksgiving crafting hour!? It’s also a great way to keep kids occupied, as you and the rest of the family make preparations for the main event.

Kids can decide what kind of fruit and vegetables go into the Cornucopia. Show them how to wrap yarn to make the Pompom turkey. Or my all-time favorite: play hide and seek with your very own Tom Turkey while waiting for guests to arrive or food to be served!

Display finished works in the hallway, living room, or dining room table for a handmade centerpiece that makes a great conversation starter at dinnertime. I’ve selected a few quick and easy inspirational projects to get you started on your handmade Thanksgiving:

Pom Pom Turkey Thanksgiving Gourds Thanksgiving Fruit Ornaments Crochet Napkin Rings
Pom Pom Turkey Crochet Thanksgiving Gourds Thanksgiving Fruit Ornaments Crochet Napkin Rings
Cornucopia Knit Leaf Strewn Table Runner Crochet Tom Turkey Thanksgiving Wreath
Crochet Cornucopia Knit Leaf Strewn Table Runner Crochet Tom Turkey Thanksgiving Wreath

Are you incorporating any handmade items for Thanksgiving? Feel free to share with us in the comments below.

 

Knit Holiday Hats for Babies! Free Pattern + Giveaway!

November 14th, 2014

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Holiday Hats for Babies CoverDebby Ware’s latest book, Holiday Hats for Babies is on bookshelves now, and in it you’ll find some seriously cute holiday hat projects for the little ones.

Thanks to our friends at The Taunton Press, we have an adorable hat pattern for the Festival of Lights, the Hanukkah Hat. Made in the LB Collection® Superwash Merino, this hat works up super soft, and it’s easy to care for (machine wash, lay flat to dry).

AND, we’ve got two copies of Holiday Hats for Babies, one for each winner − see below for more details!

Guidelines for the giveaway:
1. Entries must be received by November 21st, 11:59p.m. EST
2. Must be 18 and over to enter.
3. One person per entry

*All winners will be announced on the blog and social media. If you do not respond to the e-mail indicating that you were selected as the winner within 7 days, another winner will be selected to receive the prize

»If you have problems entering through the submission box, please click here for the direct link to enter.«


 

Lola Knits Into the Holiday Spirit …

November 14th, 2014

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

LBCelebratorDog_11152014

The Celebrator Dog Sweater The Celebrator Hat

Visit lionbrand.com for more 12 Dogs of Christmas patterns.

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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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