Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

Image frame

10 Benefits of Making and Receiving Prayer Shawls

April 25th, 2015

Pin It

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 she explores how prayer shawls help both the maker and the recipient of the handmade item. Read Kathryn’s previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

prayer_shawl_april2015A knit or crochet prayer shawl is intended as a gesture of warmth and comfort for the person who receives the item. The maker prays (or sets their intention) for that person with every stitch. When the item is done, a special prayer or ritual may be done to add emotional value to the item before it is sent to charity or given to the person in need. However, it’s not just the person receiving the shawl who benefits from the act; the crafter also heals.

Benefits of Receiving a Prayer Shawl

People who receive prayer shawls often consider them to be special items that they will keep forever. A prayer shawl can be given to help someone who is going through a difficult illness, grieving the loss of a loved one or reeling from a disaster. The item provides physical comfort, actual warmth and a tangible reminder that there are others in the world that care for them.

Wrapped in the snug hug of a prayer shawl, the person can feel the love that went into those stitches. Barbara, who commented on a previous post we did about prayer shawls shared, “When I had surgery the pastor brought one to the hospital and prayed for me and wrapped it around me. It was very comforting. When I feel anxious I wrap myself in it and I feel the love that was knit into each stitch.”

Benefits of Making a Prayer Shawl

Making a prayer shawl has as many benefits as receiving one. Oftentimes when someone we care about is hurting, we desperately want to help but don’t know how. Making a prayer shawl is a way to channel that stressful energy into something positive. Other benefits people cite of making a knit or crochet prayer shawl include:

  • It takes your mind off of your own stress as you help someone else.
  • It can heal old wounds. For example, someone who has been through cancer herself might crochet prayer shawls for chemo patients and heal their own pain with each stitch.
  • Prayer shawl crafting can be done in groups, which offer camaraderie and companionship to the maker.
  • Some people find it easier to make time for crafting when they have a purpose, such as charity crafting, which allows them to reap many health benefits.
  • It is a way to bring prayer or meditation into your daily life. Research shows that there are numerous benefits to prayer.

Making a prayer shawl is a great way to connect you to your own community. Linda Kennedy finds this is true as she makes baby blankets for the women at her church. (Although we call them prayer shawls, intentional crafting items can be anything at all!) She shares, “I know them and think about them often as I am working on theirs. I have heard some of the women talking about how they can’t wait to get their blanket for their baby. It makes me so happy!” Linda put special attention into a white crochet baby blanket that she made for a mother whose baby had heart problems and they weren’t sure whether or not she would make it and found that this was a way to connect to her during a difficult time. Each experience of prayerful crafting is unique and special. Speaking of another item she made for someone from church, Linda says, “When they gave it to her, she cried because she didn’t think anyone would do something like that for her. Seeing how I can touch someone’s heart is so comfort to me!”

Anja’s Squares: A Story of Making and Receiving

Katinka Steyn shared a story about the healing power of both making and receiving intentionally crafted items. It all began in December 2013 when her eldest daughter Anja had to undergo open-heart surgery after a stent lodged in her heart. She posted in her South African Facebook Group Ons Hekel (which means “we crochet”) about what was happening and “countless messages of prayers and encouragement started pouring in”. Anja made it through surgery and was discharged but continued to have chest pain. On January 22, 2014, Anja passed away in her home.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Last Minute Mother’s Day Gifts – We Know What Moms Want!

April 24th, 2015

Pin It

mother's day
Mother’s Day happens on May 10th this year – that’s a little over two weeks away!
Still wondering what to do for Mom? Below is a collection of crafty items we know Moms would love this year – all at great prices!

Free Pattern: Amigurumi Momma Bird

 

Learn How to Crochet An Easy Spring Shawl with Yolanda Soto Lopez!

April 24th, 2015

Pin It

Spring has officially sprung, which means warmer weather and longer nights – and we’re excited! With the warm breezy days and cool nights, finding the right outfit can be a little tricky. The key to staying comfortable in this fickle weather is to dress in layers.

Shawls are a great layer to have when you want to go out in a cute dress or maybe just short or long sleeves with no jacket. Throw a shawl over your shoulders, and you’ll certainly be comfortable and cozy on a spring day or night – while showing off your handiwork. The openwork in the Daylight Tweedy Shawl in Heartland yarn is perfect for spring because it lends itself to being light and airy, perfect for those “in between” weather stages.

We’re happy to share this tutorial with you today in which Yolanda Soto Lopez shows you how to crochet this easy shawl that you’ll be able to work up in no time!

 

9 Baby Booties for Baby Day!

April 23rd, 2015

Pin It

There’s something irresistible about baby booties! Their tiny size means they work up fast (and who doesn’t love a fast-finish project?), but I think we love to make them because they are just so cute! Baby Day is May 2nd. Even if you don’t have a baby or grandbaby to celebrate, chances are you know someone who does. Those little feet need booties! Of course, booties make fantastic shower or new mom gifts too, and if you’re feeling extra crafty, why not make a whole baby set? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite free patterns to get you started.

l0017a Springtime Set 90060ada Lullaby Layette l32202a Learn to Knit Baby Set
Crochet Springtime Set. Make this set with
Lion Brand Fun.
Knit Lullaby Layette.
Make this set with
Babysoft®.
Learn to Knit Baby Set. Make this set with
Vanna’s Choice®.
Butterfly Sandals by Repeat Crafter Me Crochet Summer Sandals by AshleeMarie Loopy Love Booties by Moogly
Crochet Butterfly Barefoot Sandals* by Repeat Crafter Me. Make them with Bonbons! Crochet Summer Sandals* by AshleeMarie. Make them with Babysoft® & Extra Soft Wool Blend! Crochet Loopy Love Booties (3 sizes)* by Moogly. Make them with Vanna’s Choice® Baby!
l40365a Snips and Snails Set Made by Marni Knitted Booties l40366a Berry Pretty Set
Snips & Snails Set.
Make this set with
NEW Ice Cream®!
Made by Marni Knitted Booties*. Make them with
Vanna’s Choice®!
Berry Pretty Set.
Make this set with
NEW Ice Cream®!

* not a Lion Brand pattern

 

The Perfect Knit For A Curvy Fit!

April 22nd, 2015

Pin It

Well I have some exciting news!!!

Lion Brand has decided to get curvy!  That’s right.  Lion Brand is creating a collection of patterns specifically designed with curvy ladies in mind.  I’ve had the opportunity to be part of the design process, from the beginning planning stages, all the way to modeling the end garment.  I used to hate my curves but as I’ve matured, and might I add, become much wiser, I’ve learned there’s nothing to hate just more to love!

The Process

I sat down with Susan Haviland, Design Editor, who asked me some great questions to help her develop the perfect garment. What do I look for when I shop? What does my mom (who’s also a curvy lady) look for?  I always wear flowing tops and garments that hide what needs to be hidden and accentuate all the right parts! Susan borrowed a lot of my tops for inspiration. I was flattered that she liked my taste in clothes so much! She took my measurements and I really felt like Cinderella — all we were missing were some squirrels, birds and mice helping Susan and then it would have been perfect. Based on many of the tops I left Susan, she came up with some really awesome knit and crochet garments.

Perfect fit for Cinderella… That’s me

I can’t get over how perfect the garments fit! They covered my tush perfectly. They fit my arms just right, and the colors of course were PERFECT! I wish all of my clothing was made to fit my shape. This collection will inspire you to craft for your curvy shape. Don’t deny your curves hand knit or crocheted sweaters or cardigans, because we all need to be crafty. . .  and fabulous too!

More pictures and posts coming soon!  Can’t wait to share!

 

Start Dreaming About Yarns and Projects With New Color Cards

April 22nd, 2015

Pin It

There is no better way to shop at home for yarn than using color cards.  If you’re one of those people who wants to plan your purchase before you actually start shopping, you’ll get the feel of the yarn, and the color with these handy mini-samples.  Some people take one thread off the card from each of the yarns they want to use in a project and hold them together.  Some people look at a color card and get inspired to make a gift for someone special.

We just updated the color cards for six of our most popular yarns (priced from about $1.00 to $3.00) so you can start dreaming about your next project.  Why not have your own collection on hand so you’ll be ready when inspiration strikes!

Vanna Yarns: Sample Card
Vanna Yarns: Sample Card
 Heartland Yarn: Color Card
Heartland®: Color Card
Heartland Thick & Quick Yarn®: Sample CardHeartland® Thick & Quick®: Sample Card
 Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® Yarn: Sample Card
 Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®: Sample Card
 Landscapes Yarn: Sample Card
Landscapes: Sample Card
Country Yarn: Sample Card
Country: Sample Card

:: Review Lion Brand’s color card collection today! ::

 

Knitting is a fishy business … it’s a new “Out of the Loop,” the comic for those who love to knit and crochet!

April 21st, 2015

Pin It

We’ve teamed up with Todd Clark, creator of the ever-popular Lola series, to bring you “Out of the Loop,” a regular one-panel comic featuring humorous takes on the world of yarn.

Enjoy and please share widely!

Out of the Loop

*** *** ***

Here are a few “fishy-wishy” patterns to inspire you!

Knit Fishy Wishy Sweater Knit Fishy Wishy Afghan Knit Fishy Wishy Hat
Knit Fishy Wishy Sweater Knit Fishy Wishy Afghan Knit Fishy Wishy Hat

*** *** ***

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 ::

* offer valid only for first-time email subscribers, one coupon per person.

 

Finding Inspiration On The Road

April 20th, 2015

Pin It

When I was a little girl my dad said to me, “Shira, when you find a job you love, you will never work a day in your life.” He really is a wise man.  So, when I meet people and ask them what they do and they tell me they love what they do, I’m really taken by them. Last week I had the chance to meet a whole roomful of people who were passionate about what they do when I had the privilege to be a judge in a competition called Enactus.

Where Do You Find Hundreds Of People Passionate About What They Do In One Place?

Enactus is an organization that gives students at different colleges and universities a platform to present entrepreneurial ideas and business plans to better their community and empower others. It really is wonderful to see the ideas that these kids come up with.  But they’re not only ideas — they actually put them into action.  You see how much effort and time they’ve put into creating business plans and making them come to life! You see their passion when they present. One group talked about how they raised money and started a relationship with a family in Cambodia to help them grow crops and teach them how to sell what they grew.  The group traveled to Cambodia to help one farmer sell his crops and a help him develop a new watering system that they created especially for him. These students love what they do and are looking for that future job that they will be passionate about.

enactus Judge

Judge-y Judge

It was not easy to judge this competition, and I have to admit I felt like Christina Aguilera on The Voice — their future was in my hands.  Not really, but I for sure felt super important.  It’s not easy making decisions like that, deciding if different schools go through or not.  But hearing out all the wonderful business plans, charity work and so much more that these students do, put my mind at ease, knowing our future is made up of people who are super passionate about what they want to do in life or at least what they are doing now and how they want to better the world!

Then off for some fun in Saint Louis. 

I had a day to explore the Saint Louis area. I had never been to Saint Louis, MO.  Beautiful City.  I went to the Saint Louis Zoo! Did you know that the Zoo is free? Well it is and it’s truly beautiful! I stopped at the famous Arch of St. Louis but chose not to go to the top because there was something a bit more pressing to see.  On every trip I go on, wherever I am, I look for yarn. When I was little, when my dad went away he would bring back a snow globe from each place he went to, there began my snow globe collection. I even continued it as I got older. But now I look for yarn wherever I travel! I go into stores that sell Lion Brand to see how the selection looks and I go into small yarn shops as well.

What kind of traveler are you?

What have your best travel experiences been? Do you talk to the locals, see the famous landmarks or go off the beaten path? Do you make it a point to shop for yarn when you’re away from home?

Can We Meet?

I’ll be doing a lot more traveling this year and hope to meet many of you.  I know we share a passion for knitting and crochet so we’ll have a lot to talk about.  Here’s my schedule.

Appearance Schedule for 2015

  • May 21- Atlanta, GA- North Georgia Knitting Guild and Chain Gang Crochet Guild
  • May 28- Long Island, NY- Eastern Long Island Knitting Guild
  • June 15- Greyslake, IL- Greyslake Crochet Guild
  • June 16 – Chicago, IL- Windy City Knitting Guild
  • June 29- Caldwell, NJ- Caldwell Crafting Groups
  • July 22-24- San Diego, CA- Knit and Crochet Show
  • October 8-Merrick, NY- Long Island Knit and Crochet Guild
  • October 19- Chappaqua, NY – Westchester Knitting Guild

Appearance Schedule for 2016

  • February 8- Madison, WI- Madison Knitters’ Guild

 

Glamour Jacket Knit-Along: Knitting the Upper Body

April 20th, 2015

Pin It

KAL_BADGE_2014-300x180

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’re still having fun!

Now that we have gotten comfortable with our materials … it’s time to REALLY dig in to this pattern!

This week I worked on the UPPER BODY section of the pattern.

Under Right Sleeve It says “with 1 strand of A only, cast on __” The sample garment that I have has a cast on edge with both strands held together. I like the look of that, so I am following suit by casting on with BOTH strands. I feel like I will like how this looks as my cuff. If you choose to do this, don’t forget to bind off the left sleeve with both strands held together!

The eyelet pattern does NOT specify what strand of yarn to hold when. The single strand is the darker color (Grey Stone, Lapis, Garnet, Jewel) and both strands is one of each yarn held together.

Remember the first yarn over (Row 2) is a yo knit wise, but you go right into a purl, so circle around ONE more time so that the yarn is around the needle and ALSO in front so that you are ready to p2tog. If you don’t make this extra loop around, you will miss the yo and just be ready to purl. It looks like this:

When I begin a project where RS and WS is important, I place a marker on the RS so that I always know where it is. If you would prefer to eyeball it, the RS is when the k,p rows look like stockinette (as opposed to a bumpy garter look). Or just remember, every even row is the WRONG side.

Whenever you have to knit with both strands held together, both strands will be on the correct side — if you find that it’s time to knit with 2 and there is a string on either end, you have made a mistake! You probably just skipped a row of instructions… On this project, I would suggest reverse knitting back to the spot where you messed up, instead of taking out the needle and ripping back — with the yarn overs, this gets tricky to save!

Don’t make the mistake I did one night when knitting in bed — I was knitting to the light of my computer monitor instead of full light, and when I looked at my work in the morning, I had gotten off by one row so the section I worked on in the dark looked like the WRONG SIDE!

Something to keep in mind if you are a meticulously even and balanced person:

graph1

See the k,p rows that are coming out of each side of the collar in this photo?

Having the same part of the pattern appear on each side of the collar makes for a beautifully symmetrical design. As I was knitting, and measuring according to the pattern, it turned out that my rows on the left side of the collar were also k,p rows, but my row on the right side of the collar was the eyelet row. I am totally ok with this! I thought I would point it out in the event you didn’t pay attention to what your rows were looking like at the cast off and cast on points of this pattern. If it matters to you, it may be worth it to take away or add in order to have the two sides be even—this may mean you need more or less length in your collar.

graoh 2

As you knit to make both sleeves even, I would recommend knitting the same amount of pattern repeats as the left sleeve, as you had for the right sleeve. I was folding my piece in half to see how far I had left to knit, but found that I would have been several pattern repeats short if I had eye-balled it, and I think in the end, after blocking, I would have had mismatched sleeves.

Don’t forget to LEAVE THE SLEEVE MARKERS in this finished piece. You need them there for reference when FINISHING the garment!

I love how this section of the glamour jacket turned out. I plan on using this Eyelet Pattern for future scarves!

Speaking of scarves, if you find that you lose steam on this project….this Upper body section makes a great one. My scarfie:

IMG_5442

I want to hear from you! How is your UPPER BODY section going? Are you getting stuck anywhere? Don’t forget to check out our Ravelry group where we are chatting about our progress! Never Stop Knitting!

***
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!

kristy_200px

 

9 Fun Patterns Perfect for Fans of the Avengers!

April 18th, 2015

Pin It

Starring Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, this Joss Whedon-directed epic is already buzzing with great reviews. Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters on May 1st and we thought it would be fun to round up a few of our favorite superhero-inspired knit and crochet patterns.

Who’s your favorite Avenger?

topsy turvy princess doll
Crochet Little Super Hero Blanket made with Hometown USA®. Crochet Iron Man / Tony Stark made by Amilovesgurumi. Make it with Vanna’s Choice®! * Crochet Incredible Hulk made by Hook Monster. Make it with Vanna’s Choice® – Hulk SMASH! *
Knit Marvel Comics Dice by Andrea Trooperschaf *. Make it with Vanna’s Choice®! Crochet Nick Fury from the Avengers by Irene McCormick *. Make it with Vanna’s Choice®! Knit Captain America Knit Hoodie by Beth Kluckhohn *. She made it with Vanna’s Choice®!
topsy turvy princess doll
Crocheted Thor Avengers Amigurumi by Louis Mensinger made with Wool-Ease®. * Crocheted Hawkeye Avengers Amigurumi by Louis Mensinger made with Wool-Ease®. * Crocheted Black Widow Avengers Amigurumi by Louis Mensinger made with Wool-Ease®. *

* not a Lion Brand pattern

 
css.php