Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Christmas In July Day 4: Prayer Shawls–A Gift Of Comfort

July 18th, 2015

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Christmas in July: Prayer and Healing Shawls to Start Working on Now!Do you have some free time this summer? In our Christmas in July series, we’ll be rounding-up our favorite gifts to make and give, including ones you can get started on now. Trust us – you’ll be thanking yourself between holiday parties when you’ve got all your gifts blocked and wrapped.

Gift giving time usually evokes a festive occasion. But when the holidays roll around, it’s not always a happy time for everyone.  For those who have experienced loss or health problems during the year, a gift is also an opportunity to tell someone that they are in your thoughts and you support them through all the ups and downs of life.

These six shawls are all beginner or easy.  The best thing about creating simple, repetitive patterns is that they tend to be relaxing to knit or crochet, so not only will the recipient feel good about getting one of these shawls, but you’ll find them soothing to make!

comfort_shawl simply_sublime neutral_slant
Knit Comfort Shawl made with Homespun® Crochet Simply Sublime Shawl made with Homespun® Knit Neutral Slant Shawl made with Scarfie®
heartfelt_shawl tender_shawl serene_comfort
Knit Heartfelt Shawl made with Homespun® Knit Tender Shawl made with Homespun® Crochet Serene Comfort Shawl made with Homespun®
tea_parlor two_color scalloped
Knit and Crochet Tea in the Parlor Shawl made with Homespun® Thick & Quick® Crochet Two Color Shawl made with Homespun® Thick & Quick® Crochet Scalloped Shawl made with Homespun®


Christmas in July Day 3: 6 Matching Sets to Knit and Crochet for the Holidays!

July 17th, 2015

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6 Matching Sets to Knit and Crochet for the Holidays

Do you have some free time this summer? In our Christmas in July series, we’ll be rounding-up our favorite gifts to make and give, including ones you can get started on now. Trust us – you’ll be thanking yourself between holiday parties when you’ve got all your gifts blocked and wrapped.

Matching sets make wonderful handmade holiday gifts. They are just the thing for when you want to make more than a scarf for someone, but maybe you aren’t sure of their size or you don’t feel ready to take on a more complex garment. All of these projects are rated EASY, which means they feature basic stitch patterns and simple construction – perfect for beginners!

If you’re not sure what to make, a hat & scarf combo is always a great choice. Choose a yarn that the recipient will love for a gift that easily coordinates with their wardrobe. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try something like our Rectangle Cardigan & Cowl and use the accent color from one piece to create a matching accessory.

Want something a little more grand? Our Neck’s Best Thing series is made for matching! Each of these projects start with a scarf and finish with an afghan. Make both as a set that will keep your loved ones warm at home and on the go. Try the crochet Color Blocks Afghan & Scarf or the knit Neutral Slip Stitch Afghan & Scarf pictured below, and find even more ideas HERE.

sassy_stripes Crochet Afghan & Scarf Set L40643 L40644 Crochet Hat & Scarf Set L32090a
Knit Sassy Stripes Leg Warmer Trio made with Modern Baby® Crochet Color Blocks Afghan & Scarf made with Heartland® Crochet Granny Square Hat & Scarf made with Bonbons
Knit Hat & Scarf Set L40400a Knit Afghan & Scarf Set L40639 L40640 Knit Cowl & Cardigan Set L40690a
Knit Docklands Hat & Scarf made with Heartland® Knit Neutral Slip Stitch Afghan & Scarf made with Lion’s Pride® Woolspun® Knit Easy Rectangle Cardigan & Cowl made with Vanna’s Choice® and Vanna’s Tapestry


If the Hat Fits… it’s a new “Out of the Loop,” the comic for those who love to knit and crochet!

July 17th, 2015

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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!


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Top off your outfit with these patterns!

lady_wh0_lunches cotton_sun flower_power
Crochet Lady Who Lunches Hat made with Vanna’s Choice® and Bonbons Knit Cotton Sun Hat made with Nature’s Choice Organic® Cotton Crochet Flower Power Hat made with Heartland® Thick & Quick® and Bonbons

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Christmas in July Day 2: 6 Knit and Crochet Scarves to Give!

July 16th, 2015

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Christmas in July: Scarves and Cowls to Start Working on Now!

Do you have some free time this summer? In our Christmas in July series, we’ll be rounding-up our favorite gifts to make and give, including ones you can get started on now. Trust us – you’ll be thanking yourself between holiday parties when you’ve got all your gifts blocked and wrapped.

As a first time knitter or crocheter, you usually want to pick something simple, yet satisfying for your first project. Scarves have become the go-to for beginners as they learn stitch techniques, counting rows, and all the little nuances we love about crafting with yarn.

One of the first pieces I ever made as a gift was a scarf for my younger sister. Made in stockinette stitch with a gorgeous turquoise roving yarn, it was a relatively quick project. My only issue was that I’d also started on a scarf for my mother (among other projects), and I couldn’t tackle the two before the holidays came around! In the end, my sister unwrapped the scarf on Christmas, and the other scarf is somewhere in my stash (sorry, Mom!)

My advice: own your skill level, and manage your time wisely. If you know you won’t have a lot of time on hand to make multiple gifts, don’t take on a lot at once. Work through more complex patterns way ahead of time and save the easy stuff for closer to the holidays.

This year, I’ve got my eye on another quick and simple project — the Hudson Seed Scarf! I’d love to try my hand at a new stitch, and I’ve got plenty of time to make it before the cold weather rolls in.

Thinking of gifting a scarf to someone this year? Check out my suggestions below!:

textured_cowl florida_sun hudson_seed
Knit Textured Cowl made with Landscapes® Knit Florida Sun Circle Scarfie made with Hometown USA® Knit Hudson Seed Scarf made with Fishermen’s Wool®
easy_pocket_scarf infinity_cowl brompton
Crochet Easy Pocket Scarf made with Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® Crochet Infinity Cowl made with Homespun Thick & Quick® Crochet Brompton Abbey Cowl made with Heartland®



Sabrina Tunic Crochet-Along – Week 3: Beginning the Body

July 15th, 2015

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Welcome back to the Lion Brand Summer 2015 Crochet Along!!  I can’t believe we are going to be half way done by the end of this week!!  My Sabrina Tunic is really looking great and now that I have started the body this project is really beginning to look like a wearable piece of art!!


Last week we worked on the yoke, there were lots of interesting stitching techniques to help create the unique look of the upper part of our garment.  I loved all the participation and questions we had going on last week both here on our Lion Brand Blog and over on our Ravelry Crochet Along Group!! If you felt like the yoke was a little difficult you were not alone… Working with the darker yarn and some of the stitching techniques made us all pay closer attention to the pattern. There seemed to be a few question about rounds 11-13, if you still have questions… Make sure to hop over to the Ravelry Group and read through last week’s thread and see if it will answer any of your questions!! We had lots of great chit-chat about the yarn and pattern questions. Some of us are posting our progress pictures on Raverly too… It is great to see the Sabrina Tunic in other colors!!

Read the rest of this entry »


Christmas in July Day 1: 6 Hats to Make for Friends and Family!

July 15th, 2015

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Christmas in July: Hats to Start Working on Now!

Do you have some free time this summer? In our Christmas in July series, we’ll be rounding-up our favorite gifts to make and give, including ones you can get started on now. Trust us – you’ll be thanking yourself between holiday parties when you’ve got all your gifts blocked and wrapped.

The only people I have made hats for are my nephews and my niece why you might ask? Well, because every hat I make I really want for myself. I find hats the easiest and ultimate fun knitting project because they range in skill level and allow you to get your project done really fast! A perfect holiday gift for anyone!

I have picked out a bunch of hats that I think are some good gifts for the stylish, laid back and everyday friend. Always read through the pattern and make sure you are able to do all the stitches. And if you see a knit pattern chances are we might have something similar in crochet. Hats are fun and a great way to spruce up your winter look.

1) Easy Eyelet Hat – This is a great pattern and uses our new yarn Textures® but, you can always substitute another worsted weight yarn.  Whenever I show this hat off at guilds they love it! It has that slouch effect so definitely for your friend who has slouchy hats galore!

2) I like this Aviator Earflap Cap because it’s unisex and is a simple pattern. This hat is for the friend who doesn’t want too much going on around their face.

3) I happen to know the person who designed this Easy Tam and I have seen many variations of it.  It’s like a piece of artwork.  (Maybe make this one for yourself!) Definitely allow time for this one because of the color work but, it’s totally worth it in the end.

4) I still have yet to make this Vintage Glam Turban. It’s a real easy one, too! For your very stylish friend who is always looking “together,” this is perfect!

5) I know from personal experience the Woolspun Level 3 knit hat is a great way to work on cables! That was my first cable hat and I was pretty impressed with my finished project.  It worked up really fast and is a great all day accessory.

6) This Amelia Earflap hat is for your friends who are forever cold!  Give them this hat for the holidays and they will be nice and toasty as it uses LB Collection®. Natural Wool.

easy_eyelet_hat aviator_hat Easy_tam
1) Crochet Easy Eyelet Hat made with Textures® Bonus: Matching Scarf 2) Crochet Aviator Earflap Cap made with Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® 3) Knit Gretchen’s Easy Tam made with Heartland®
glam_turban level_3 amelia_earflap
4) Knit Vintage Glam Turban made with Vanna’s Glamour® 5) Knit Level 3 Knit Hat made with Lion’s Pride® Woolspun® 6) Knit Amelia Earflap Hat made with LB Collection® Natural Wool


How could I not put a pattern for a cat hat — your cat needs a holiday present too!

I want to know what hat catches your fancy, which one do you plan on making? Let me know in the comments below.


Tea with Shira Goes on the Road: Come Visit Us at the Knit & Crochet Show in San Diego!

July 14th, 2015

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Every year some of us from the Lion Brand® team head to the annual Summer Knit and Crochet Show, which is held in various cities across the country. This year, we’re headed to sunny San Diego at the Town and Country Resort, and we’re taking Tea with Shira on the road!

The Knit and Crochet Show is a great conference that’ll be taking place from July 22nd through July 25th. The show offers classes for learning and improving your skills, a marketplace for shopping, and many opportunities for meeting and chatting with other fellow crafters. Speaking of meeting and chatting with folks, you can come by the Tiki Pavilion Lounge (a public meeting space) within the resort, and the Lion Brand/Tea with Shira team will be present with tea, surprise goodies, and new yarns and garments for viewing!

Tea with Shira at the Tiki Pavilion Lounge:
Wednesday 7/22: 12-3pm
Thursday 7/23: 12-3pm
Friday 7/24: 10-12pm

We will have some lovely teas on hand thanks to the great folks at Harney and Sons, a family-owned and operated business that sells affordable, quality, fine tea. In fact, Shira sat town with Emeric Harnery, a 3rd generation family member and manager of the Harney & Sons shop in SoHo, New York City, for her 6th episode of Tea with Shira. Check it out here.

We look forward to seeing you!


*Please note we will not be selling yarns at the show*


6 Quick and Easy Patterns: Make Something for Yourself or for Baby!

July 13th, 2015

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Looking through Ravelry and various crafting blogs is always such a pleasure, because you come across so many creative and talented people. These sources are great places to find inspiration for projects you want to work on, or new skills to learn and master. So today, I’m happy to share six projects made in our supremely soft cotton yarns, LB Collection® Cotton Bamboo and Nature’s Choice Organic® Cotton, by various designers and bloggers.

Check out the patterns below, which includes an adorable pouch to keep your accessories in, and precious designs for the little one(s) in your life.

Crochet Rainbow Happy Fun Pouch by Moogly
LB Collection® Cotton Bamboo
Crochet Cotton Bamboo Headband by Jessie At Home
LB Collection® Cotton Bamboo
Easy Knit Baby Hat by Gina Michele
LB Collection® Cotton Bamboo
Beginner Knit Fringed Baby Booties by Mama in a Stitch
Nature’s Choice
Organic ®Cotton
Baby Yoda Hat by Elapine
Nature’s Choice
Organic ®Cotton
Baby Crochet Bath Set Pattern by Petals to Picots
Nature’s Choice
Organic ®Cotton




We Like How You Use Our Yarn: Granny’s Shining Star Square by Beatrice Ryan Designs

July 12th, 2015

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Did you know that our Sabrina Tunic Crochet-Along leader Elena Ramshaw Hunt is also a talented designer?

It’s true! Using Vanna’s Choice®, she designed this bright and starry granny square, perfect for a sampler afghan:


This is a FREE pattern, available through

:: Vanna’s Choice® colors seen here in Magenta, Kelly Green and Mustard. ::


It’s time to play is it knit or crochet? Guess and win!

July 10th, 2015

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Tell us which one you think is crocheted, the Mosaic Cowl & Hat or the Sabrina Tunic, and you’ll be entered into a draw to win a 2-in-1 Tote Lion Brand Bag and six (6) balls of LB Collection® Superwash Merino. *

Mobile users, click here if you can’t access the voting tools below.

* Only one entry per person. Promotion ends Friday, July 31st, 2015 at 11:59m EST. One (1) winner will be randomly selected and contacted by email before August 5th, 2015. Open to residents of the USA and Canada. No purchase necessary. Retail value of prize is approximately $65 USD.