Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Throwback Thursday: Crochet from 1861

July 10th, 2014

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1861

I spent my July 4th at the New York Historical Society to see an exhibit on Civil War Textiles. While most of the exhibit was quilts, I was quite surprised to find this very patriotic crochet shawl. It was made in 1861 (that’s older than Lion Brand!) and was presented to the Massachusetts governor and his wife to thank them for their support in the Civil War and abolitionist reforms.

I was most impressed by its simplistic design and could actually imagine someone making something similar today. It’s really amazing to see how the art of crochet (and knitting) has been an integral part of American history, don’t you think?

 

Lola Says … Don’t Let the Name Fool You!

July 10th, 2014

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

Lola_07072014

Want to crochet the Granny Wrap With Collar seen in this week’s Lola comic? Get the free pattern here and below.

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Learn How to Crochet This Adorable “Kisses Pouch” with Tamara from Moogly!

July 9th, 2014

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Today, I’m happy to share a new pattern and video tutorial with you, which comes from a popular blog you might be familiar with, Moogly!

bonbon-kisses-upright-LOres

The Kisses Pouch made with Bonbons, is a wonderful portable project to work on during the summer. The great thing about this pattern is that it features a lot of stitch repeats, so once you get the hang of it, it’s quite easy to work through. Make one for yourself to hold change or knick-knacks, or make one for the little girl in your life. Go ahead and give this pattern a try, Tamara’s tutorial is extremely helpful and will guide you along the way, view the video below.

 


If you enjoyed Tamara’s tutorial,visit her YouTube channel: Moogly!

 

Splitting Yarns

July 8th, 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.

You’re toodling blithely through a normal day when suddenly WHAM! A memento of forgotten love hits you right between the eyes.

I was wriggling around under the work table trying to retrieve an errant ball of silk when among the thriving community of dust bunnies I found a crumpled lump that turned out to be a mitten pattern bought in a shop seven years ago.

It was an impulse purchase. I remember the impulse. I was only buying stitch markers, thank you. Then the shop owner was saying, Have you seen these? Then I was buying the stitch markers and the pattern for the mittens and the needles for the mittens and the yarn for the mittens, thank you.

If you would like to know how the mittens came out, please see “crumpled lump,” above.

I can’t recall why I abandoned them, but I can see why I snapped them up. They have an unusual, slightly tricky thumb. I get a kick out of slightly tricky knitting. It makes me feel dauntless and clever, like a lion tamer who has not yet had his head bit off.

Yet I don’t think I finished the cuff, let alone the thumb. Today the yarn is (probably) in one of my stash boxes and the pattern is wadded up like old Kleenex, covered with dust. It is likely to remain so. The passage of time has not been kind to these mittens. They now remind me uncannily of the shapeless peacock blue suit that I wore to a high school debate banquet in 1987.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Yarn Bomb Spotted in Brooklyn

July 7th, 2014

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londonkaye

Over the weekend I spotted this yarn bomb under a Brooklyn highway as I was walking back home. As soon as I saw it I had to take a picture – not only because it was made out of yarn but I instantly recognized the person behind this mysterious yarn art.

This cute, cartoon style belongs to none other than local crochet artist, London Kaye, who is known for her unique street art pieces (she even yarnbombed an entire subway train for Valentine’s Day).  According to her blog and Instagram it was originally done last month in honor of International Yarn Bomb Day.

Great job London Kaye!

 

An Introduction to Intarsia

July 7th, 2014

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This column by Barbara Breiter, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knitting & Crocheting, originally appeared in The Weekly Stitch newsletter.

Intarsia is a simple technique that allows you to knit with multiple colors across a row without carrying the yarn along the back of the work (as you would in stranded knitting). Instead, a separate ball of yarn—or bobbin of yarn to avoid the balls becoming all tangled—is used for each block of color. The more color blocks you are knitting, the more helpful bobbins will be.

What is Intarsia?

By changing colors at the same point in every row, you could knit vertical stripes or create blocks of color, but intarsia can be used for much more complex designs as well. There are many geometric designs that use this technique such as the following:

Blazing Blocks Afghan Animal Talk Cardigan Crochet Intarsia Brocade Poetic Color Pullover
Knit Blazing Blocks Afghan Knit Animal Talk Cardigan Crochet Intarsia Brocade Afghan Knit Poetic Colors Pullover

When to Use Intarsia

Essentially, intarsia is good for patterns where large sections of the design are various colors, as opposed to stranded knitting or tapestry crochet, which are often used for smaller, more detailed patterns.

Now that you understand the basic concept of intarsia, perhaps you want to try one of the patterns above. For this, you’ll want to purchase or make your own bobbins.

How to Use a Bobbin

  1. Bobbins can be found in any yarn store; in lieu of them, you can use a piece of cardboard with slits cut in both ends.
  2. Wind each color yarn around the bobbin, using one bobbin for each color. The bobbins hang freely from the back of your work and as you need to use a color, unwind a small amount at a time. This keeps them from getting tangled. Note: If you are knitting a section that requires only a few stitches, you can use unwound strands instead; it’s generally best to keep them shorter than about 36”.
  3. When it’s time to change colors, be sure the new color you are about to use is twisted around the old color.
  4. Pick up the new color from under the old color. Note: If you skip this step, you’ll have a hole where the colors change. It will be readily seen within two sts; rip back and try again.

For more on intarsia, please click here for our blog post. 

For patterns featuring intarsia, click here

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Make a Baby Mobile with Audra Kurtz

July 6th, 2014

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Audra Kurtz shows you how to make a baby mobile using Lion Brand’s Tweed Stripes®!

If you enjoyed Audra’s tutorial, check out her YouTube channel, The Kurtz Corner!

 

Lion Brand Wants to Wish You a Wonderful 4th of July!

July 4th, 2014

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july4th-blog

Happy 4th of July! We’ll be celebrating with barbecues, watching the fireworks, getting together with friends and family, and decorating with Red, White and Blue. We wish you a safe and enjoyable day.

 

Lion Brand Sponsors the Knitting Runner’s Participation in the New York City Marathon

July 3rd, 2014

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Featured in the New York Times and around the world, David Babcock is the Guinness World Record holder for knitting the longest scarf (12 feet!) while running a marathon, which he did in Kansas City last October. Coupled with a great deal of skill and endurance, David credits his choice in using Lion Brand’s Hometown USA as a factor in his amazing accomplishment!

David on the day he broke the Guinness World Record in Kansas City.

David on the day he broke the Guinness World Record in Kansas City – October 19th, 2013.

:: Support Alzheimer’s research — make a donation today! ::

This November, David will run the New York City Marathon to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer research, care and support. He’ll be knitting for the duration of the marathon run and Lion Brand is proud to announce its support! David will use his fingers like knitting needles to work with anywhere from 10 to 16 stitches (see below for his finger knitting tutorials), using Lion Brand yarn, of course!

We’re proud to support David in his mission for many reasons. Any time we can bring knitting (or the art of crochet) to the public, we’re so pleased to do so because crafting with yarn promotes health and wellness, something that Lion Brand deeply supports. We’re also happy to lend a hand for a good cause. More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050.

So let’s help David do his part – please make a donation.

:: Support Alzheimer’s research — make a donation today! ::


Learn to Finger Knit with David Babcock


Check back often for updates about the Knitting Runner and the NYC Marathon! We’ll be announcing opportunities for YOU to meet David this November and to learn finger knitting too.

 

Practice Slip Stitch Knitting With These 6 Patterns!

July 2nd, 2014

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One of my favorite things about working with yarn is that I can make amazingly textured garments with just a few strands.  That’s also is why I love using slip stitches – this technique is very simple and it allowed me to create detailed colorwork and textures at the same time.

You can make detailed stripes like in our Slip Stitch Pom Scarf and Hat or experiment with stitches and patterns in our Mosaic Tote. Use a variety of colors with Vanna’s Palettes or BonBons or even a color-changing yarn for a gradient effect – I recommend Landscapes®, Tweed Stripes®, and Unique.

Here are some of our new patterns that also use the slip stitch technique.

Slip Stitch Mosaic Tote Slip Stitch Pom Scarf Modern Luncheon Mats
Slip Stitch Mosaic Tote Slip Stitch Pom Scarf Modern Luncheon Mats
Textured Cowl Slip Stitch Pom Hat Concerto Cowl
Textured Cowl Slip Stitch Pom Hat Concerto Cowl

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