Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Things We’re Doing Besides Knitting & Crocheting: What to See, Read & Do!

September 27th, 2015

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Here in the marketing department at Lion Brand, we talk a lot about knitting and crocheting and yarn and magic loops and swatches and yarn weights (we know our DK from our super bulky) and and and … bottom line is that we’re all experts in one way or another when it comes yarn. We can talk about it all day — and we do! You may however be surprised to know that we’re also fairly well-rounded with an excess of interests, hobbies and obsessions that go beyond the hooks and needles.

We thought you might enjoy a peek into our inner worlds. Have fun and please share some of your own personal interests outside of knitting and crocheting in the comments below.


Zoe – I’m going to Seattle for a few days to spend some time with friends and family (I’m originally from New Orleans, but my family relocated to Seattle after Katrina). Some of my favorite spots to visit when I’m in the Emerald City are Genki Sushi, Espresso Vivace, Ghost Gallery (I show artwork there regularly, but I also love to shop in their boutique!), Fusion Beads, and the Fremont Sunday Market.

something rottenShira – I come from a musical family; I’m the singer and I love Broadway shows. One of the highlights for me in high school was being the lead in Guys and Dolls as Sarah. This Broadway season there have been some really great shows! This past month I have seen a few shows. A good friend of mine came in from out of town and we went to see Something Rotten which was VERY funny and the music and acting was awesome!  The other weekend I went with my mother and nephew went to see AladdinAladdin is my all-time favorite Disney movie! My nephew was not a fan of the romantic story line (there was a kiss, he’s almost 7, not his thing) but otherwise he giggled and danced in his seat!  Next up Hamilton!

Margaux – I spent a nice family weekend in Long Island by the beach to make the most of the last sunny and warm days. It was my first getaway to the Hamptons and I must admit I was impressed! The beaches are beautiful and absolutely unspoiled. During a Sunday walk at the Greenwood Cemetery (which I believe is my favorite place in Brooklyn) I noticed Fall colors showing up and felt very happy… Fall is my favorite season and I can’t wait to wear long sleeves!

chichen itzaBrandyce – I recently went to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico for a mini vacation and had an amazing time exploring the Mayan Ruins. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the ancient culture, relaxing by the beach, and swimming in natural Mexican sinkholes. I went to see the ruins at Tulum , climb the Ixmoja pyramid at the ancient city of Cobá (which I didn’t realize until later, is actually the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula!), and visit Chichén Itzá. I was thrilled to see the infamous Pyramid of Kukulkan. There’s just so much to do in Eastern coast of Mexico, I definitely look forward to going again at some point for more explorations!

Ilana – I’m planning trips to see fall foliage in the Northeast over the next three weeks.  I looked at a fall foliage map of the East Coast to decide where and when to go. Trips Upstate New York, New England, the Poconos and the Catskills.  I’m combining the leaf peeping trips with visits to family and friends.  When I’m not staying with people I know, I love to explore AirBnB or Homeaway to find interesting places to stay en route.   I’ve met interesting people and found some unique lodging by doing this–everything from homes filled with antiques to a castle-like house on a river to a renovated modern loft.

patsLorena – This past Labor Day weekend, I headed out to Philadelphia with my roommates for the Made in America music festival. We’re all huge Beyonce fans (she was headlining), and seeing her all together was a real treat, considering she’s on heavy rotation in our house. I was pleasantly surprised by Philadelphia as a whole! I ate a cheesesteak at Pat’s King of Steaks, stopped by the Liberty Bell, and took in the gorgeous architecture of City Hall. My only regret is not having more time to explore the rich history of this city — I’ll need to go back soon!

Sarah – Last month I read The Martian by Andy Weir. The novel is about astronaut Mark Watney who is stranded on Mars and believed dead after the crew of his mission evacuates. I don’t usually read the book before I see a movie but the trailer and ARES: live videos intrigued me and I couldn’t wait. I can see why the book has gotten such good reviews. I couldn’t put it down, squeezing in pages whenever I could. I was dying to know what would happen to Mark! It was very exciting and surprisingly funny considering it was filled with detailed science. I’m really looking forward to seeing the movie when it comes out in October.

faileDanielle – Last weekend my son Finn and I went to the Brooklyn Museum to check out a street-art inspired exhibit called, “FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds”. The name “FAILE” comes from an anagram of “a life,” and also represents the spirit of experimentation apparent in the work of these two artists, Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller. Our favorite area was the “Deluxx Fluxx Arcade” created in collaboration with Brooklyn artist Bäst. Totally interactive and hands-on, the retrofitted arcade games are like mini cut-up machines that use movement and collage to allow the user to playfully experiment and create their own art experience. If you’re in the New Your area in the next week, you can catch this show until October 4th and while you’re there, check out another show, “The Rise of Sneaker Culture“.


9 Pumpkin Patterns to Make This Weekend!

September 26th, 2015

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9 Pumpkin Patterns to Make This Weekend!
Fall is here and one color reigns supreme — the warm orange of pumpkins! Between the burnt reds and golden yellows of the leaves, the color of pumpkins always gets us in a fall mood. We’re already preparing our treks to the pumpkin patch and apple orchards to stock up on a plentiful harvest!

Whether you like pumpkins in your pies or your morning lattes, these quick and easy patterns are sure to brighten your breezy fall days!

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Crochet Pumpkin Pie Brooch made with Vanna’s Choice® Knit Jack-O-Lantern Dog Sweater made with Hometown USA® Crochet Pumpkin Patch Hoodie paid pattern by The Hat & I* made with Vanna’s Choice®
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Knit Pumpkin Patch Sock by Maggie van der Stok* Make it with Sock-Ease Crochet Pumpkin Hat by Bowties Fezzes* made with Vanna’s Choice® Crochet Amigurumi Happy Pumpkin made with Vanna’s Choice® Baby
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Crochet Pumpkin Pie Bunting by Repeat Crafter Me* made with Vanna’s Choice® Crochet Cornucopia made with Wool-Ease® Crochet Pumpkin Headband by Tanya Bernard* made with Vanna’s Choice®

*Please note, this is not a Lion Brand pattern.


7 New Additions to our Curvy Girl Collection!

September 25th, 2015

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7 New Additions to our Curvy Girl Collection!
Back in May, we launched a collection of patterns tailored just for Curvy Girls. The response was overwhelming — so many of our fans loved seeing beautiful new patterns in a wide range of sizes!

We’re happy to add seven new patterns — three crochet, four knit — to this collection. We’ve also adapted a few of the patterns from our debut collection. Loved the knit Cabled Cardigan from last time? It’s now available as a crochet pattern!

Brand Ambassador Shira Blumenthal shares more on the expansion of the collection — check out the video below!

:: Can’t see the video above? Click here to watch – ::


openwork cabled twotone
Crochet Curvy Girl Openwork Top Down Pullover made with Vanna’s Glamour® Crochet Curvy Girl Cabled Cardigan made with Heartland® Crochet Curvy Girl Two-Tone Vest made with LB Collection® Superwash Merino and LB Collection® Silk Mohair
cowlneck urban texture
Knit Curvy Girl Cowl Neck Tunic made with Heartland® Knit Curvy Girl Urban Color Vest made with LB Collection® Superwash Merino and LB Collection® Silk Mohair Knit Curvy Girl Subtle Texture Cardigan made with Vanna’s Glamour® and Modern Baby®
Knit Curvy Girl Drop Stitch Pullover made with Vanna’s Glamour®

Stay tuned for more on the inspiration and design process of these new patterns!


How To Use Pinterest to Find the Perfect Pattern

September 24th, 2015

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Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… not that you need another app in your life, but Pinterest is a must-have for crafters! Like other social media applications, you can use this platform as a way to showcase your own work. However, Pinterest thrives by connecting content from all over the internet in a single place. Think of it as a your new virtual vision board!

I like to think of Pinterest as a ‘stashbook’ – a place where I can stash ideas and inspiration I can revisit when I need to.

Primarily, I use Pinterest to save outfit ideas — I often find myself scrolling through my Style board on days when I’m not sure what to wear. Recently, I’ve been using Pinterest to gather inspiration for new knitting projects I’m interested in.

Here’s what my knitting Pinterest board looks like:

knitting board


Right now, I’d say I’m inspired by chunky knits, neutral/light colors, and self-striping and variegated yarns.

I’m especially drawn to that chunky cowl (bottom left, model with blonde hair), but that Pinterest link led to a fashion blog in another language, with no pattern — tough luck for me! Using Pinterest’s search bar, I was able to find a similar cowl with a pattern — Lion Brand®‘s Dobbs Ferry Cowl (top left, model with brown hair) made with Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®. Using both photos as inspiration, I know all I need to do is mix up the yarn I use and follow the pattern to get the look.

Here’s how to use Pinterest to get what you really want:

Read the rest of this entry »


Tea with Shira Episode 10: You Won’t Believe What This 8-Year-Old Is Knitting!

September 23rd, 2015

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One of the best things I get to do is teach kids how to knit and crochet.  The greatest feeling is when a student really takes to the craft and falls in love with it.

Meet CC — I taught her how to knit a year ago when she was 7 and she fell in love with knitting! She loved it so much she got her friends involved in the knitting program at camp this past summer.

Join CC and I for some tea! We talk about what she is making and what is like to be an 8 year old and know how to knit!

:: Can’t see the video above? Click here to watch – ::

Yarns mentioned in this video: