Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Hooked on Scarves: Enter to Win Lisa Gentry’s New eBook and a Skein of Homespun®

January 9th, 2015

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Knit and crochet designer Lisa Gentry is the creative talent behind Hook and Needle Designs and she’s just created an eBook featuring 20 crochet scarf patterns — perfect timing, since winter has definitely arrived!

The scarf patterns in this book are suited to those who want more decorative, stylish scarves featuring openwork, and of course, there are bulkier versions perfect for braving the winter cold. Thanks to Lisa, we have 5 copies of her eBook to give away, AND each winner will also receive a skein of Homespun® to complete the Sweet Sixteen Scarf (pictured below – right). Information to enter is below, good luck!

eBook-giveaway
Rules and Guidelines:
1. Entries must be received by January 16th, 11:59p.m. EST
2. Must be 18 and over to enter.
3. One person per entry

»Click Here« to enter the giveaway if the form below does not work for you.

 

Why You Don’t Have Your Mitten Yet

January 8th, 2015

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Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.

habit-lb-cartoon-01-15

Chances are I am never going to knit anything for you.

It’s not that I don’t like you. Of course I like you. You’re interested in yarn and you’ve come all this way to read something I’ve written; how could I not think well of such a person?

No, it’s not about you. It’s about time, and having too little of it. There is but one of me, and there are many of you. Even if I should promise to knit each of you a single mitten I couldn’t keep that promise before I drop dead.

And what kind of off-kilter gift is one mitten, anyhow?

You make things, so you know how it goes. You learn to make things and are so excited at having learned to make things that you want to make things for everyone. But you are a novice, and it shows. Your work is earnest, but uneven. The things you make are not much in demand.

“Is that…a hat?” says the person in the next cubicle when she spots you merrily stitching away during your afternoon break.

“Yes!” you cry. “Yes, it’s a hat. I’m making a hat. Would you like a hat? I’ll be happy to make you a hat. What color hat do you want?”

“Uh…” says the person in the next cubicle.

With practice your work grows not only even, but accomplished–and possibly splendid. The person in the next cubicle changes her tune.

“Would you make me a hat?” she says. “I would totally pay you. Ten bucks!”
Read the rest of this entry »

 

Join Lion Brand at Vogue Knitting LIVE NYC, January 16-18!

January 7th, 2015

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January is here and that means Vogue Knitting LIVE! The popular three-day event takes place at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, New York, January 16th through 18th. Visit us at booth #221 for book signings and exciting demonstrations (scroll down for schedule and details).

We’re also thrilled to announce that our fabulous 7 Wonders of the Yarn World art exhibit will be on display to the public for the first time!

Designed by fiber artist Nathan Vincent, each sculpture of the 7 Wonders of The Yarn World represents a different technique found in knit or crochet (cables, colorwork, textures and more). The installations stand about 5 feet high or taller, and include marvels such as the Great Wall of China crocheted with granny squares, an embellished knit Taj Mahal, a lace crocheted Leaning Tower of Pisa, a crocheted Sphinx, and more.

You don’t want to miss this incredible display. Be sure to stop by the 5th floor art gallery to see these 7 Wonders of The Yarn World!

ALSO, stop by our booth on Saturday to get a free hand massage demonstration from fiber artist Colette Smith (12:30pm), and be sure to visit us on Sunday for book and DVD signings from legends such as Dora Ohrenstein, Lily Chin, and Margaret Hubert. Plus- we’ve got an extra special giveaway for the first 50 attendees to stop by the booth on Friday!

Meet these lovely women at our booth!:

colette smith head shot resized
Lily Chin HS2
Dora Ohrenstein3 Margaret Hubert edit
Hand Therapy for Knitters; a hands on demo by Colette Smith (designer of Colette’s Gardens) Watch techniques to be demonstrated here!

Sat: 12:30-1:30pm

Sun: 10:30-11:30pm

Lily Chin will be signing copies of the following DVDs:- Join As You Go Crochet- Join As You Go Knitting- Two Color Circular Tunisian Crochet 

Sun: 11:30-12pm

 

Dora Ohrenstein will be signing copies of her newest release, The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop.

Sun: 12:30-1pm

 Margaret Hubert signing copies of The Complete Photo Guide to Knitting (2nd edition) and The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet (2nd edition)

Sun: 1:30-2pm

 

 

Until January 31st, Save 20% On All Vanna Collection Yarns

January 6th, 2015

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pinterest-board-yarn-of-the-month-VANNA

Vanna’s signature yarns collection is one of Lion Brand’s most popular yarn lines. Choose from Vanna’s Choice®, Vanna’s Choice® Baby, Vanna’s Glamour®, Vanna’s Palettes, Vanna’s Sequins, and Vanna’s Tapestry.

One of the great things about this yarn collection is that a portion of your purchase goes towards St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Since 2007 Lion Brand has donated over 1.5 million dollars! And for the month of January you can get all of Vanna’s yarns for 20% off their regular price – both online and at our three retail locations. Support a good cause!

For your inspiration, we put together a lookbook collection of our most popular Vanna’s yarns patterns:

 

Lion Brand’s Top 10 Tutorials from 2014!

January 6th, 2015

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top10tutorials

“How to Knit” and “How to Crochet” were ranked as two of the Top 5 Google Searches for How-Tos in 2014 — so if you haven’t decided on a new year’s resolution yet, why not learn to knit or crochet?

There’s a reason why these two crafts have become so popular.  Research (and lots of anecdotal evidence) tells us that knitting and crocheting helps to relieve stress, makes it easier to get through difficult times, and helps us to feel more productive.

Whether you are an absolute beginner or a long time knitter or crocheter who wants to improve your skills, we have plenty of resources to help you learn.  In addition to Stitchfinder, an amazing collection of stitch explanations for over 200 knit and crochet stitches, our blog is another great place to find tutorials and tips, as well as articles on how knitting and crochet are great for your health.

Check out our most popular tutorials from 2014:

  1. How to Russian Join Yarn in 7 Easy Steps
  2. Video: How to Arm Knit
  3. Make a Simple Shrug with Yolanda Soto-Lopez
  4. The Ups and Downs of Knitting: Counting Your Rows
  5. Make an Infinity Scarf in 30 Minutes with Audra Kurtz
  6. What is Fingering/Sock/Sport/DK/Worsted…Weight Yarn
  7. Keep Yarn Organized: Learn How to Wind a Center-Pull Ball By Hand
  8. How to Crochet Broomstick Lace
  9. Unlock the Secrets of Crochet Cables
  10. How to Use Stitch Markers

What’s your crafting resolution for 2015?

 

Add Sparkle to Your Knit & Crochet Projects with Gold Leaf!

January 2nd, 2015

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gold leaf

Start off the New Year with some sparkly goodness! Gold Leaf® is a super bulky yarn that adds a metallic flair to your fast-finish projects. This wool blend is printed with gold or silver foil to create bold and elegant garments and accessories.

Gold Leaf® makes hats, scarves, sweaters and cowls shine! Accessories made with Gold Leaf® dress up any outfit!

Here are a few of our favorite knit and crochet patterns using this great new yarn:

Tricolor Knit Cowl Crochet All That Glitters Cowl Knit Glitter Cabled Hat
Knit Tricolor Cowl Crochet All That
Glitters Cowl
Knit Glitter Cabled
Hat
Open Knit Cardigan Knit Simple Sparkling hat Knit Rib Wrap Cowl
Open Knit Cardigan Knit Simple Sparkling Hat Knit Rib Wrap Cowl

 

Happy New Year from Lion Brand!

January 1st, 2015

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From all of us at Lion Brand, Happy New Year!

2015

Tell us about your knitting and crochet resolutions for 2015 in the comments below.

 

Top 10 Most Popular Patterns from 2014!

December 31st, 2014

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poppat2014
As we wrap up 2014, we noticed this past year was the “year of the afghan” for crafters.  Whether it was knit or crochet, a lot of you found afghans to be the best project to satisfy your knitting or crochet urges. You preferred creative patterns like the Zig Zag Throw and Slip Stitch Afghan, as well touchable textures like the Classic Cable Throw and Animal Talk Throw.

Last year we made a yarn prediction that crafters would use more American-made yarns. True to our prediction, our most popular pattern for 2014 was the Flag Afghan made with our American-made yarn, Heartland!

Another big surprise was you still loved our District 12 Cowl Wrap, a pattern inspired by the Hunger Games movies, which was our most popular pattern from 2013.

Check out below for all of our popular patterns from 2014 to inspire you in the new year!

District 12 Cowl Wrap Knit Zig Zag Throw Knit Cromwell Court Afghan
Knit Disctrict 12 Cowl Wrap Knit Zig Zag Throw Knit Cromwell Court Afghan
Knit Slip Stitch Afghan Knit Classic Cable Throw Knit Striped Boyfriend Cardigan
Knit Slip Stitch Afghan Knit Classic Cable Throw Knit Striped Boyfriend Cardigan
Crochet Ripple Afghan Knit Simple Lace Shawl Knit Animal Talk Throw
Crochet Ripple Afghan Knit Simple Lace Shawl Knit Animal Talk Throw

 

Knitting and Crochet Relieves Stress and Depression in Caregivers

December 29th, 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. In this post she stresses the importance of self-care for caregivers and offers suggestions for using yarncrafting to stay healthy. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

caregiverMany of us are caregivers. The Family Caregiver Alliance reports, “44 million Americans age 18 and older provide unpaid assistance and support to older people and adults with disabilities”. Research shows that caregivers themselves are at high risk for a variety of health issues. Whether you are the parent of a special needs child, the adult child caring for an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s or the spouse of someone with a severe disability or chronic illness, it is critical that you make sure to take time for your own self-care. You cannot continue to help those you love if you aren’t first well yourself. Knitting and crochet can help.

Knitting and Crochet Reduce Depression

Caregivers are at major risk of developing depression. Various studies show that up to 70% of caregivers suffer from this condition. Knitting and crochet have both been proven to help reduce depression. Learn more here.

Craft Away Caregiver Stress

Stress is the major complaint of most caregivers. It leads to numerous other health concerns. The stress is totally understandable. You are worried about your loved one, concerned that you aren’t doing enough for them, dealing with medical care and making medical decisions, and probably trying to set your own personal issues aside to make theirs the priority. All of these things are stressful. Knitting and crochet significantly reduce stress. Learn about meditative crafting here.
Read the rest of this entry »

 

Yarn is the Key to Friendship: The Concerto Cowl

December 28th, 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. If you enjoy it and would like to subscribe, click here.

“You don’t have to do everything yourself,” Tom said. “No one will mind if you buy a present, instead of making one.”

How could Lynn explain? There were some people she just needed to knit for. Like Beth, her BFF. They’d been together through violin lessons, music camps, statewide youth orchestra. They’d been music majors at the same college–and they’d been in each other’s weddings. That’s how close they were — like sisters. Lynn just couldn’t buy Beth a present. She deserved something lovingly handmade.

During the summer, Lynn had planned to knit Beth a vest. Then in September, she changed that to a scarf. Now Christmas was just weeks away, and she still hadn’t begun knitting. Where had time gone? Guilt was setting in, and with it, stress. Maybe she’d counted too much on Beth’s relaxed nature. Lynn knew that whatever she gave her, Beth would be fine with it. Their friendship wasn’t about stuff.

The next day Lynn visited her local craft store, wandering around, looking for inspiration. She passed the yarn — Heartland – on display, surrounded by swatches and samples . . . and stopped. She reached up and squeezed a skein. It was luxuriously soft. Heartland’s nuanced colors reminded her of Beth — elegant, luminous, subtle. Lynn placed two skeins in her basket.

She knew this was the beginning.

The beginning of what? Thank goodness for Lion Brand’s Patternfinder! Smartphone in hand, Lynn used the Lion Brand app to search for patterns. There were more than a hundred for Heartland. Then she saw the Concerto Cowl, a composition in exactly the yarn colors — ebony and ivory, like printed music — she’d just pulled off the shelf.

* * *

Tom, coming into the living room, saw her curled on the sofa, knitting away.

“So you found something to make for Beth?”

“Definitely,” Lynn replied. “Except it was actually the other way around — I think this project found me.”

It was the first of many Concerto Cowls she’d knit — including one for herself. Quick to complete, and stunning in a variety of color combinations, the classic pattern was, like a beautiful piece of music, something she’d always love to replay.

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.

 
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