Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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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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To sign up for the Weekly Stitch and get columns like this, free patterns, how-to videos and more, click here.

 

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

Read the rest of this entry »

 

4 Cool Celebrity Knitwear Styles for Fashion Inspiration

July 1st, 2014

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Celebrities enjoy comfortable and fashionable knitwear just as much as we do! The celebrities below have all been spotted in knitwear that can easily be recreated with just a few knit, purl and crochet stitches.

CelebrityKnitwearAshtonKutcherSlouchy beanies are very popular in Hollywood and they’re so  easy to recreate. Check out our Camelot Hat knit in Alpine Wool to recreate Ashton Kutcher’s hip style seen here. We’ve got a crochet slouched beanie as well.

Photo: WENN
CelebrityKnitwearTaylorSwiftUse our Diagonal Mesh Pullover pattern in Cotton-Ease as inspiration to recreate Taylor Swift’s airy, oversized sweater look. Recreating pockets for this look would be quite easy to do – experiment and have fun!

Photo: National Photo Group
CelebrityKnitwearBeyonceBeanieBeyoncé looks cute wearing this dual pom-pom hat while relaxing at a basketball game. Find the inspiration to make your own version with our knit Pompoms hat in Wool-Ease Thick & Quick.

Photo: Seventeen Magazine
CelebrityKnitwearOliviaWildeOlivia Wilde keeps it casual and comfortable in her flowy vest as she walks the dog. We’ve got the pattern to help you recreate this cozy look, check out our Unstructured Vest, knit in one of our newest yarns, Country.

 

 

Add Color With Slip Stitch Patterns: An Introduction

June 30th, 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.

Slip Stitch AfghanSlip stitch patterns are an easy way to add color to your knitting; unlike Fair Isle and Intarsia, you knit with only one color per row so they are less complicated. When knitting slip stitch patterns, some stitches from a previous row are slipped and others are knit or purled with a new color.

When a row is completed, you will have stitches that are slipped which are a different color from the stitches that you just knit with the new color. The slipped stitches will be elongated; this will cause the stitch pattern to pull in, so check your gauge carefully if you substitute one in a pattern that calls for Stockinette or another less dense stitch pattern.

Tips to Know

  1. Slip stitch patterns are most often knit in Stockinette but you will find some that combine knits and purls on the same row; this results in a fabric that is both colorful and textured.
  2. Stitches can even be worked with yarn held in the front or manipulated to create “floats” (strands running across other stitches) for contrast.
  3. Slip stitch patterns can be worked in two or more colors.
  4. Generally you won’t find a stitch pattern that calls for more then 3 stitches to be slipped.
  5. Take caution to make sure the strand from the working yarn that results when slipping the stitch is kept loose (resist the urge to pull that “float” tight) or your fabric will pucker.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

New Life in an Old Place: the Open Air Shrug

June 29th, 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.

The house was left to Liza. Grammy had known she was its spiritual heir. Liza was the only one who’d never wanted to leave on Sunday nights, who adored her summer vacations there. Grammy’s house — “the old place” — had been in the family for generations. There Grammy taught Liza needlework and baking; there they hand-washed dishes, drying them with Grammy’s crocheted towels.

Liza still couldn’t believe that Grammy was gone — quickly, as if someone had casually switched off a parlor lamp. Walking through the house, she felt Grammy everywhere. If I open the front door, Grammy will be on the porch, crocheting. When she sees me, she’ll smile…

***

Moving through the quiet rooms, slowly inspecting closets and drawers, Liza found Grammy’s project basket with its neat balls of yarn and metal crochet hooks. She sat in Grammy’s favorite chair, embracing the basket — remembering…aching…

Then she knew what to do. She’d crochet something, just as Grammy used to.

Liza chose the Open Air Shrug pattern. Generous and lacy, it reminded her of all she loved about Grammy. Even the word “shrug” evoked feelings close to her heart — living lightly, without worry. Crocheted from soft Kitchen Cotton, the shrug had a comforting feel. Its color, Blue Ice, was like the noon sky on a cloudless day.

***

“Where’d you get that lovely thing?” Steve asked. It was Friday and he’d just arrived on a train full of passengers escaping summer in the city. Liza picked him up at the station. Steve reached across the car’s front seat, fingering the openwork sleeve. “It’s very charming,” he said. “Nice to touch.’”

“I crocheted it,” she said, “in only a few days. I’m so glad you like it!”

“I do,” Steve said. “It’s kind of retro and kind of modern, all at once. Just like you.”

“Like me?”

“Exactly like you,” he said. “Romantic, whimsical, beautiful you.”

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

Selma Moss-Ward is a freelance writer who combines her love of writing and of knitting in her columns, stories, and blog posts. Selma is also an active classical musician and the caretaker of five wonderful pets. She lives with them and her husband in Rhode Island.

 

Lion Brand’s “7 Wonders of the Yarn World” Fashion Show

June 27th, 2014

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The Lion Brand Yarn Company attends The Craft & Hobby Association Conference and Tradeshow every year and a highlight of the event is our fashion show, hosted by Lion Brand spokesperson Vanna White. At this year’s show, we unveiled The 7 Wonders of The Yarn World – a series of sculptures designed by fiber artist Nathan Vincent. Each sculpture represented one of the 7 Wonders in yarn techniques, and we presented a fashion show where each technique was reflected in a variety of fashions.

The yarns featured in the show include Unique, Tweed Stripes®, Bonbons, Homespun, Heartland, Amazing®, Pound of Love®, Heartland Thick & Quick®, Hometown USA®, Homespun® Thick & Quick®, Wool-Ease®, Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®, Vanna’s Choice®, and Vanna’s Glamour®.

Below is a selection of garments from the show – click the image to get the free pattern. All of the patterns and yarns in the collection are available at lionbrand.com.

CHA- Lace CHA-lace-homespun CHA-lacework CHA-lacewrap
Knit Fan Lace Tunic
with
Crochet Painterly Beret
Openwork Knit Shrug
with
Crochet Two Way Ribbed Scarf
Knit Lacework Cardigan Knit Lacework Hat
with
Knit Seven Wonders Wrap
CHA-texture CHA-chevrons-pncho CHA-texture-fettucini CHA-texture
Knit Voyager Vest
with
Crochet Neon Beginner Scarf
Knit Cocoon Cape
with
Knit Simple Hat
Crochet Fern’s Necklace
with
Knit and Crochet 3 Color Top
Crochet Williamsburg Hat
with
Knit Multidirectional Afghan*
CHA-chevron CHA-chevrons-pncho CHA-chevron-poncho CHA-chevrons
Drawstring Slouch Hat*
with
Knit Zig Zag Dress
with
Ripple Afghan
Crochet Greenpoint Grunge Cap
with
Lace Edged Poncho
Crochet Sunset Stripe Hat
with
Radiant Ripple Poncho
Crochet Zigzag Hat
with
Chevron Afghan
Color Paneled Coat cha-colorwork(poetic) cha-colorwork(slipstitchpom) cha-colorwork(shadecolors)
Knit Stained Glass Sweater Poetic Colorwork Pullover
with
Knit Bobble Beret
Knit Slip Stitch Pom Hat with
Knit Slip Stitch Pom Scarf
Knit Shaded Colors Afghan
with
Knit Ski Lodge Cap

 

Lola thinks everything should be red, white and blue … well, almost everything.

June 27th, 2014

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

LB4thJulyHat

Want to crochet the 4th of July items seen in this week’s Lola comic? Get the free patterns here and below.

l30274al32357a

 
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