Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Make a Zodiac Scarf for Virgo Birthdays

August 8th, 2014

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virgo-colorIf you were born between August 23rd and September 22nd, your Astrological sign is Virgo, the sixth sign of the Zodiac. Virgo is represented by the Virgin Maiden, and like their namesake, people born under this sign are typically gentle and reserved. Virgos often gravitate to care-taking professions like healthcare and medicine and they make loyal friends and companions.

Virgos are known for their attention to detail. They are intelligent, analytical folks and great problem solvers. Careful Virgos prefer to take their time making decisions and with their slow and calculated approach, they are excellent communicators. For better or worse, people born under this sign are often perfectionists and while this quality may lead them to great professional success, it can also cause them to be too critical of themselves and others.

Famous Virgos include Beyoncé Knowles, Keanu Reeves, Sean Connery, and Sophia Loren.

Symbol-For-VirgoThe colors used in this scarf are inspired by the attributes associated with the astrological sign: sapphire for eloquence, navy for intelligence, colonial blue for helpfulness, and chocolate for loyalty. If you have a Virgo friend with a birthday coming up, they will surely appreciate the time and skill that goes into a handmade gift. Since Virgo loves to analyze, an especially thoughtful gift would be to teach them your craft. Activities like knitting and crochet are great for Virgo’s careful, methodical mindset, so don’t be surprised if your friend wants to make you something in return!

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

 

My Favorite Moments from the 2014 Crochet Guild of America Conference and Knit & Crochet Show

August 7th, 2014

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CGOA
Dinner with friends, from left to right: Evan Blumenthal, Danielle Holke, Jack Blumenthal, Carla Horvath, Mary Colucci, Brandyce Pechillo, Tammy Hildebrand, Kimberly McAlindin.

The fond memories of last month’s 2014 Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) conference and Knit & Crochet Show in Manchester, NH are still fresh in my mind. It was the 20th Anniversary of the CGOA and the Anniversary Celebration Committee planned a sensational event, chock-full of crochet pride.

Once I arrived at the hotel and saw the many crochet squares and yarnbombs decorating the courtyard and lobby, I knew it was going to be a great event.

As in years passed, I am always honored to be able to attend the CGOA Annual dinner and fashion show, an annual event that is always a crowd pleaser. This year it had 250 people in attendance!

I was blown away by the impressive talent of participating members; no surprise that plenty of door prizes and awards were given out.

The shopping floor was a flurry of activity, housing vendors from all over New England and beyond. It was also a great opportunity for me to catch up with all my friends in the knitting and crochet community. For instance, I was able to congratulate Gwen Blakely Kinsler in person on her induction to the CGOA Hall of Fame this year. Like a majority of crafters, she has tremendous love and passion for crocheting and the guild.

My college-aged son, who attended the conference with me for the first time, was quite impressed to see how many people I knew … and who knew me.

During the conference I attended my last in-person Board Meeting with the CGOA. It has been a great pleasure to have been a board member since 2011 and to have been able to participate in these meetings, but I know that I’m leaving the board in good hands.

To end on a brighter note: I took the opportunity to visit one of the mills that produces some of our yarn. I was able to see the process and production in which everything is made. Being able to see the very beginnings of a Lion Brand yarn and the attention to detail that is put into each skein makes me love being part of this family and company.

 

Most Popular Patterns from July

August 7th, 2014

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July's Most Popular Pattern: Knit Baby Crown Hat!

Every baby is a member of a royal family and deserves to wear a crown! This month’s top pattern is an ingenious design knit in everyone’s favorite new yarn, Modern Baby®.

There is definitely a theme to what’s popular this month. Many of the other popular patterns were designed in the lively, upbeat colors of Modern Baby® and several were created with Sock-EaseTM, a fingering weight yarn, perfect for working with in the warmer months.

As you can see, you don’t need to make socks to enjoy Sock-EaseTM.  The Crochet Candy Color afghan was made with this yarn.  It’s bright and lightweight–perfect for a warm weather throw to keep you cool in an air conditioned room.

The stylish Crochet Boutique Laptop Sleeve was made with Cotton-Ease®, another popular yarn for summer.

So keep it light this summer and you can continue to knit and crochet even when it’s 90 degrees outside!

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Crochet a Market Bag with Yolanda Soto-Lopez

August 6th, 2014

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In her newest Lion Brand tutorial, our favorite crochet expert Yolanda Soto-Lopez guides you through our Market Bag pattern using one of our best warm-weather yarns, Cotton Ease ®.

Check out the video below!

If you like this video, check out more tutorials from Yolanda at All Crafts Channel!

 

10 Ideas to Stay Inspired During a Crafting Hiatus

August 5th, 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. This is part 4 in her 6-part series for us on the topic of yarncraft health. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

10 Ideas to Stay Inspired During a Crafting Hiatus

Many knitters and crocheters craft every single day. It’s part of a good total wellness plan for a lot of us. But what happens if you have to take a crafting hiatus? An injury, crafting burnout (similar to writers’ block) and health issues can force an unwanted break from knitting and crochet. Here are ten ideas for staying inspired in the event that this occurs to you.

1. Organize photos of your past craft work.

This can be a great way to celebrate the work that you’ve already done. It will remind you of all of the inspiration you’ve had in the past and get you re-excited for the time that you can pick up hooks and needles again. A big photo album works as does a blog or Facebook albums.

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How To Do 4 Different Types of Selvages

August 4th, 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.

seaming_selvageYou may see patterns that talk about selvage stitches (sometimes spelled “selvedge”) and wonder what they could be referring to. All fabric has selvages; they are simply the left and right edges of the piece, or the first and last stitch of each row.

Some patterns specify to work a selvage stitch; you may notice that directions tell you to always knit the first and last stitch of the row or to slip the last stitch of each row. In these cases, the designer has factored in the selvage as part of the design to make it easier for you. However, if you’re creating your own design from a stitch dictionary or just winging it, understanding how to work those selvage stitches (or identify them, if you’re modifying a pattern), will be very helpful.

1. Selvages for Seaming

When you have pieces you are going to seam together, such as the front to the back of a sweater, you will use these edge stitches for seaming. They won’t be visible after the project is seamed. This is particularly useful when you’re creating your own design for a sweater or shrug, which may otherwise end up with yarn-overs and decreases on the edges of the design. Regardless of the pattern stitch used, if you work a stockinette selvage it will make seaming much easier. To do so, simply knit the first and last stitch of every row on the right side and purl them on the wrong side. If a stitch pattern is used, you might check and be sure that the pattern has allowed two extra stitches for seaming so you have a full repeat across after seaming.

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Too Sweet To Pass Up: Candy Color Afghan

August 3rd, 2014

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This story is from our newsletter called Pattern Journal which brings a warm-hearted, wholesome story to your inbox to read every month. We’re sharing the most recent story here in the blog. If you enjoy it and would like to subscribe, click here.

Yarn is my candy, Stella thought. Enthralled by their beautiful colors and textures, she could practically taste the yarns displayed in the neighborhood craft shop.

Close in age and interests, Stella, who crocheted, and her sister Marie, who knitted, were like kids in a candy store whenever they yarn-shopped. They bought impulsively, trusting they’d find good projects later on.

Now, almost unconsciously, Stella had grabbed two colors of delectable Sock-EaseTM, called “Lemon Drop” and “Red Hots.” I could do something cool with these, she thought, feeling her yarn cravings morph into a creative buzz. But what?

For years Stella had watched her sister knit Sock-EaseTM socks as automatically as her own crochet hook created scarves and hats. The variegated colors that emerged as the sock lengthened were magical. Stella wished she could crochet something as entrancing.

“Look at this,” called Marie, waving a downloaded Lion Brand pattern placed by the store’s owner near the Sock-EaseTM shelf. “It’s for crochet!” she practically shouted. “You could make this adorable ‘Candy Color Afghan‘ with that yarn you’re holding!”

“I was thinking I’d buy this yarn so you could make me some socks,” Stella replied.

“But this is more fun, Stell. Look at those colors— they’re totally edible!”

Stella examined the crochet directions. Marie was right. The afghan’s granny-square grid resembled an open box of sweets. This candy-colored afghan in four colors of Sock-EaseTM—Lemon Drop, Cotton Candy, Red Hots, and Rock Candy—would be a delicious project, Stella knew.

“And if you give it to me for my birthday,” said Marie, “I’d knit you socks in any of the Sock-EaseTM colors you like.”

“I knew you had an ulterior motive, Marie. What if I like all fourteen colorways?”

Marie grinned. “Then you might get birthday socks for the next fourteen years.”

“Okay, sister,” Stella said. “That’s a deal too sweet to ignore.”

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

A story by Selma Moss-Ward.

Selma Moss-Ward writes and knits in Rhode Island. You can find her work on our blog, as well as Lion Brand’s monthly newsletter, Pattern Journal, which you can subscribe to here.

 

It’s a Modern Baby Giveaway!

August 1st, 2014

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Amigurumi-making expert Stacey Trock, from Fresh Stitches, has just released a new book filled with adorable patterns for little ones, Modern Baby Crochet: Patterns for Decorating, Playing and Snuggling.

Stacey’s Modern Baby book includes patterns inspired by famous artists and bold colors, patterns with classic neutral palettes, and even patterns based in all grays – truly modern!

We’re happy to be giving away a copy of this beautifully designed book — along with 2 skeins each of Lion Brand’s new yarn of the same name, Modern Baby — to three lucky winners! Be sure to enter below!

Modern-Baby-Crochetr

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Lion Brand on Pinterest: 6 Reasons to Follow Us if You Knit or Crochet

July 31st, 2014

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Pinterest Blog post imagesAre you addicted to Pinterest? We sure are! It’s just so easy to pin and re-pin project inspirations, recipes, inspirational quotes, and so much more. We never get bored of your boards!

In case you haven’t come across our boards, we’d love for you to check them out.

Lion Brand curates boards on Pinterest with you in mind. We pin hard to provide you with ideas and inspiration for knit, crochet, weaving and craft projects. We’re always pinning silly anecdotes and quotes on our Yarncraft Funnies board, and we often share adorable images of animals in knit or crocheted outfits on our Cute Animals & Yarn board (cats cats cats).

I’ve included a few links to some of our most popular boards below, so make sure you go ahead and follow us!

Pinterest Crochet Inspiration
Find patterns we love from Ravelry, crochet-related blogs, and a select few patterns from lionbrand.com.
Pinterest Knit inspiration
Beautiful stitch and inspirational patterns from bloggers, artists, and Lion Brand.
Pinterest Crafting Help
We’ve curated some great tips, suggestions and techniques to help you with your yarn crafting skills. Learning how to crochet cables seems to be a popular pin in this group!
Pinterest Craft Storage
If you need ideas to improve your yarn storage system, or how to contain your yarn balls as you work – this board has got you covered!

 

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Experiment with Color! Knit or Crochet Your Next Project with Lion Brand’s New Yarn, Vanna’s Palettes!

July 30th, 2014

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VannasPalettes

We love using lots of color in our patterns, which is why I’m excited to introduce a new Lion Brand yarn: Vanna’s Palettes. Similar to Bonbons, with Vanna’s Palettes you get eight mini-skeins of yarn, specifically designed to compliment each other and a coordinating skein of Vanna’s Choice®. Each package of Vanna’s Palettes comes with suggested Vanna’s Choice® color pairings and a knit or crochet pattern. Couple Vanna’s Palettes with a matching skein of Vanna’s Choice® and you’ve got a nine-color project at an affordable price!

vannaspalettes
The Lace Edged Poncho (above) is a great example of how to use this yarn. Using a combination of Vanna’s Choice® and just one package of Vanna’s Palettes, you can make this project at a fraction of the cost had you bought all of the colors in nine full-sized skeins. With Vanna’s Palettes, it’s all about easy color coordination!

Below is a selection of Lion Brand’s latest Vanna’s Palettes patterns:

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