Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Two Knitting Runners: David Babcock Interviews Friend and Fellow Knitting Runner, Susie Hewer

October 11th, 2014

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db_squareFeatured 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! Lion Brand is sponsoring David in the New York City Marathon on November 2nd, 2014 and lucky for us, he’s agreed to write for us leading up to race day!

:: Sponsor David and support Alzheimer’s research — make a donation today! ::

susie_hewer_10082014When someone discovers a person who knits or crochets while running, they’re understandably surprised by the incongruous pairing, even more surprised when they learn that it’s a phenomenon not limited to one person AND even has a bit of a history!

David Babcock interviews the pioneer of yarn-on-the-run, the original knitting runner, Susie Hewer. Susie held David’s record previously and currently she is the Guinness World Record holder for the longest crochet chain made while running a marathon, achieved at the 2014 London Marathon in London, UK, on April 13, 2014.

David: On your blog you share the story of wanting to do something special for the 2005 London Marathon while running for the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK when a friend said that you should ‘act your age and stay at home with your knitting!’. Did you take this as a challenge? What was your process in figuring out how you would use your knitting with the marathon? Had you heard of anyone else that had tried anything like it?

Susie: I most certainly did take it as a challenge! I didn’t act upon it immediately but I turned the thought over and over in my mind, thinking perhaps I’d run in fancy dress as a ball of yarn or a giant knitting needle or even running it dressed entirely in knitted garments, until the idea of actually taking my knitting with me on the run popped into my head. Of course I dismissed that idea straight away as that would be plain silly now wouldn’t it! But the idea festered away in the back of my mind until I decided that I would in fact take my knitting with me with the intention of running for a bit and then stopping to chat to the crowd whilst knitting.

This concept caught the attention of the media and I was featured in a few articles in the Press which was spotted by the people from Guinness World Records who contacted me to suggest that I could turn it into a record attempt. After much tooing and frooing of ideas we came up with the concept of me knitting a scarf whilst running. This of course meant that I would actually have to knit whilst running. Oh my!

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Knit an Animal Hat with Gramma Nancy’s “Animal Hats and Booties Too!” – Giveaway + Free Patterns!

October 10th, 2014

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GrammaNancyBlog image

Every year, Lion Brand Yarn Company hosts the “Vanna’s Choice Contest” in which participants submit a creative knit or crochet design made with Vanna’s Choice yarn for the chance to travel to California to meet Vanna White. Our 2012 contest winner was “Gramma” Nancy Nielsen, who made adorable matching animal hat and booties sets as baby gifts.

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I Love Yarn Day FLASH SALE! One day only!

October 10th, 2014

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SAVE 25% on Wool Ease® Thick & Quick® – TODAY, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10th, ONLY!


Here are some Wool Ease® Thick & Quick® patterns to inspire you on I Love Yarn Day!

Strawberry Pink Sideways Cardigan and Hat Knit Theodora Sweater Knit Lace Shawl Knit Theodora Sweater
Knit Cabled Dog Cardigan in Wool Ease® Thick & Quick® Crochet Aviator Earflap Cap in Wool Ease®Thick & Quick® Knit Favorite Classic Cabled Scarf in Wool Ease® Thick & Quick® Crochet Owl Hat in Wool Ease®Thick & Quick®
Crochet Granny Hexagon Baby Blankie Crochet Granny Square Baby Throw Knit Jasmine Kimono Knit Plush Kimono
Knit Ribbed Cowl in Wool Ease® Thick & Quick® Openwork Crocheted Cowl
in Wool Ease® Thick & Quick®
Crochet Touchdown Wristers in Wool Ease® Thick & Quick® Knit Havemeyer Helmet in Wool Ease® Thick & Quick®
Princess Basketweave Throw Think Pink Topper Knit Winter Warmer Knit Spritzer Scarf
Knit District 12 Cowl Wrap in Wool Ease® Thick & Quick® Crochet Toboggan Hat in Wool Ease®Thick & Quick® Knit Snowstorm Hat in Wool Ease®Thick & Quick® Crochet Girl’s Ruffle Edged Hat in Wool Ease® Thick & Quick®

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Top Down Crochet Jacket Crochet-Along: Finishing Touches

October 9th, 2014

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CAL_08282014We’ve made it! It’s the final week of the crochet along and all we have left now are a few finishing touches. Adding a few buttons and some blocking will make our projects perfect.


Blocking is one of the final steps that should be used for almost every project. Blocking sets the stitches and gives you the chance to straighten edges and slightly reshape any areas that need it.

There are different methods for blocking but the one that I recommend for this project is wet blocking. To wet block take your garment and soak it in water for at least 30 minutes to make sure it is thoroughly wet all of the way through. If you think your sweater could use a cleaning add some wool wash to your soak.

Once soaked, carefully pull it out of the water and gently squeeze out the excess. Be careful not to agitate the sweater too much while it is wet to avoid felting. Lay it out on a blocking mat or stack of towels and pat it into shape. Pin down rolling edges if necessary. Allow a day or two for drying. Once dry your sweater will remember the shape it dried in.
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Make A Zodiac Scarf for Scorpio Birthdays

October 8th, 2014

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If you were born between October 23rd and November 21st, your zodiac sign is Scorpio, the eighth sign of the Zodiac, represented by the scorpion. Folks born under this sign are often serious people who take great care to learn as much as they can about others.

Scorpios are not afraid of obstacles or challenges — whether it’s something unavoidable or a competitive frenemy. In fact, they thrive on adversity and love trying to prove that no one can stop them!

cancer-signThe colors in this scarf match the essence of the sign of Scorpio: burgundy for strength of character, cranberry for passion, wild berry for their complex and secretive side, and terracotta for Mars (the planet Scorpio is ruled by).

Famous and fashionable Scorpios include: Julia Roberts, Katy Perry, Rachel McAdams, and Anne Hathaway.

If you have a friend who has a birthday coming up, a handmade gift is perfect, and since Scorpios are drawn to intense, rich colors, there’s no doubt your friend will appreciate a new scarf made by a close friend. If you are a Scorpio yourself, make two – one for you and one for a friend!

The Scorpio zodiac scarf is available for both Knit and Crochet (pictured). Not your sign? Check out our other zodiac scarves here.


5 Steps to Total Crafting Wellness

October 7th, 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. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

craftingwellness-blogThis is the final installment in my 6-part series on yarncrafting health and wellness. In this part I’ll go over the highlights of the first five articles to provide you with a total crafting wellness plan.

Step One: Get The Full Scoop

It’s important for you to know all of the different ways that knitting and crochet can help you to improve your physical health, mental health and general quality of life. The ten most important health benefits of yarncrafting include relief from depression and anxiety, boosts to self-esteem, community building and stress reduction. If you know how crafting helps people then you’re in a better position to figure out the right ways for it to help you!
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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month… You Can Help Make a Difference

October 6th, 2014

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. About 1 in 8 US women (approx. 12%) will develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, so almost all of you are affected by breast cancer either directly or through someone you care about.

Throughout the month of October, Lion Brand Yarn Company will donate 20% of the purchase price of a selection of pink yarns (see below) and our Knit for Life and Crochet for a Cause Kits to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®, while supplies last. BCRF’s mission is to advance the world’s most promising research to eradicate breast cancer in our lifetime. For more information about BCRF, please visit

We’re proud to support BCRF because 91% of the money they raise goes to breast cancer research and awareness programs. They also understand the importance of prevention and they’re happy to share learning and helpful information from outside organizations such as this article from the Mayo Clinic, 9 breast cancer prevention tips from the Mayo Clinic.
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10 Popular Projects Using Tweed Stripes!

October 6th, 2014

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Tweed Stripes® is one of our self-striping yarns composed of radiant colorways. Though categorized as a bulky weight, you’ll find it’s a yarn that stitches up in a cozy, lightweight fabric — great for sweaters, scarves, accessories and more. A few simple stitches go a long way — the color gradient does most of the work, making it a great yarn for beginners.

Whether you’re knitting or crocheting something for a child or an adult, there’s a Tweed Stripes colorway for everyone — Mixed Berries, Tundra, Ozark Forest, Popsicle, Apple Mint, and Limeade!

And now until October 31st, you can buy Tweed Stripes for 20% off the original price.

Below are several of our favorite patterns that use Tweed Stripes — enjoy!

Knit Basic Shrug Cowl Neck Poncho Knit Rustic Ribbed Hat and Scarf
Knit Basic Shrug Crochet Cowl Neck Poncho Knit Rustic Ribbed Hat and Scarf
Crochet Seashell Poncho Knit Sweet Dreams Baby Cocoon and Hat Set Crochet Easy Peasy Hat and Scarf Set
Crochet Seashell Poncho Knit  Sweet Dreams Baby Cocoon and Hat Set Crochet Easy Peasy Hat and Scarf Set
Knit Soft, Easy Baby Throw Crochet Tablet Cozy Knit Caramel Swirl Hat
Knit Soft, Easy Baby Throw Crochet Tablet Cozy Knit Caramel Swirl Hat


Create a Creepy Wreath for the Grim Wreather Challenge with the Crochet Crowd!

October 5th, 2014

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DivaDan Wreatj

Sample Wreath by Diva Dan of the Crochet Crowd

We’ve partnered with The Crochet Crowd to bring you a super fun Halloween Challenge in which you use your crafting and crochet skills (or knitting) to create a spooky or fall themed wreath to adorn your door, and celebrate the season!

If you’d like to participate in this fun challenge, check out the Crochet Crowd’s Grim Wreath Challenge page to find out more details.

The challenge ends on Halloween night, October 31st, and the winner will receive $150 worth of yarn from us – Lion Brand! The Crochet Crowd has created a Grim Wreather Flickr page to display the current wreath submissions, so be sure to take a look at the full collection for even more inspiration. I’ve selected a few images below to get you started!

By Angel Morone
By Susan Springer
By Darrah Mitchell
By Amanda Weenk
By Diane L. Suder
By Sarah Daugherty

Are you in the spooky spirit? How do you like to decorate for Halloween? Share with us in the comments!


Lola goes retro!

October 4th, 2014

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


Want to go retro too? Crochet the new Retro Clutch and you’ll be going back in time before you know it …

Made with Vanna’s Glamour and our new thin metallic ribbon, Glitterspun®.

Try Lion Brand’s free Pattern Finder and find the perfect hat and scarf from a variety of free patterns.

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