Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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We Like How You Use Our Yarn: Fabulous Fishermen’s Wool Sweater by Bonne Marie Burns

April 11th, 2015

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We can’t help but fall in love with this cardigan sweater designed by Bonnie Marie Burns. Knit with Lion Brand’s classic Fishermen’s Wool, undyed pure virgin wool with natural lanolin oil, the IBA sweater features top-down construction, no seaming, built-in neckband, and a relaxed fit.

Iba-0033-8-6x9x72-T_medium2 Iba-9976_medium

This is a paid pattern, available through Ravelry for $6.

:: seen here in Oatmeal which the designer refers to as “light taupe” ::


10 More Things We’re Doing Besides Knitting & Crocheting

April 10th, 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.

Right now I don’t know what it is about Spring, but while cleaning out my closet and doing some spring cleaning I feel like I’m doing a lot of shopping! My favorite shop is a little boutique on the Upper West side of Manhattan called ShiShi. Also there’s a website I love called Soft Surroundings — literally you’ll want to snuggle with everything, it’s sooo soft!

5647697408_c553259a54_mZoe: I’ve been getting into birdwatching. I’ve got a pair of binoculars and so far I’ve spotted some familiar birds, like Blue Jays, Cardinals, and Starlings, and a few others that were new to me, like the Purple Finch, Tufted Titmouse, and Red-winged Blackbird. I’ve even had the pleasure of several Red-tailed Hawk sightings in Central Park.

Ilana: Almost every morning I spend an hour before work reading blogs. In addition to marketing and social media blogs, I read about culture, creativity and innovation.  Some of my favorites are Thought Catalog, Mental Floss, Digital Tonto, and 99 Percent and HBR.  My secret to staying ahead of the curve on topics that matter to me personally and professionally is a heavy dose of curiosity and Feedly.

nakBrandyce: I’m trying to get into the spring spirit, and the best way I do that during this transitional time is by switching up nail polish colors with pretty, feminine hues. I was just sporting Essie’s awesome deep lavender shade, play date, and now I’ve got my eye on the coat azure color. Coat azure is one of the few bottles of nail polish I have at home that’s halfway finished, I love it!

Sarah: I’m very excited that Mad Men starts again on April 5th. I spent the past weekend watching the first half of this past season again so I had all of the details fresh in my mind. I recently saw the Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens. It was so cool to get up close with the sets and costumes! I’ll be so sad to see the show come to an end!

Danielle: I just finished reading Kim Gordon’s memoir, “Girl in a Band” and I really enjoyed it. It started off a bit rocky, but once I got deeper into it, I couldn’t put it down. Outside of being the bassist for Sonic Youth, I didn’t know a whole lot about her. She often presents as this moody, evasive being which, after reading this book, I understand is not really her true character. She offers an interesting perspective on the realities of an artist’s life in NYC in the 1980s and 1990s and, of course, being a girl in a band.

Margaux: Being new to the team, I’m really excited to discover Lion Brand’s world and people! When I’m not knitting, I teach French in Brooklyn and get to share my culture (from French grammar to French wine!). I like going to Zumba classes where I forget I’m actually not on a dance floor … dancing is my way to relax. Being also new to NYC, I spend my weekends wandering around with my husband and my two daughters trying to understand how this incredible city works.

Welcome Margaux!

:: Blue Jay photo courtesy of FishHawk via Creative Commons license ::


New Bold and Beautiful Afghan Patterns, Courtesy of Leisure Arts!

April 10th, 2015

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Thanks to our friends at Leisure Arts, we have two free patterns to share, both of which are featured in two new books, now available for purchase, Granny Squares Reimagined & Cozy Ripples for You and your Home.

Free pattern:Happy Granny Stripe Afghan
Pattern reproduced with permission from Leisure Arts
Granny Squares Reimagined
(Featured Yarn: Heartland®)
Leisure Arts
GraphicRipple CozyRipplesforYouandHome
Free pattern: Graphic Ripple Afghan
Pattern reproduced with permission from Leisure Arts
Cozy Ripples for You & Your Home
(Featured Yarns: Homespun®, Homespun Thick & Quick®)
Leisure Arts



12 Ways to Make it a Handmade Mother’s Day – There’s Time!

April 9th, 2015

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With Mother’s Day just about a month away, there’s still time to thank the mothers in your life with a handmade gift. Show your favorite mom how much you appreciate her with one of the beautiful gifts below!

Crochet Romantic Lacy Shawl Knit Everday Glamour Cardigan Knit and Crochet Tunic
Knit Blooming Tea Cozy Mother’s Day Catchall Knit Crystal Lake Shawl
Knit Tweed Cowl Crochet Skipping Stone Tote Knit Seashell Shawl
Knit Tweed Cowl Mother’s Day Crochet Bag Knit Seashell Shawl
Top Down Crochet Jacket Knit Lace Eyelet Shawl Crochet Open Air Shrug
Crochet Broomstick Lace Mother’s Day Scarf Knit & Crochet Aromatherapy Eye Pillows Crochet Necklace in Bloom
Top Down Crochet Jacket Knit Lace Eyelet Shawl Crochet Open Air Shrug
Mother’s Day Knit Bag Knit Lace Eyelet Shawl Crochet Lacy Poncho


18 Patterns That Will Make You Say Wow!

April 8th, 2015

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Today is the final installment featuring our 2015 fashion show collection. Over the past few weeks we’ve visited four groups of patterns all based on simple rectangles and easy construction – 1) Simple Rectangles; 2) Rectangles Sewn Together; 3) A Bit of Technique; and 4) Color & Textture. The finale of the show is called Achievable Wow. These patterns are all about jaw-dropping looks that you can knit or crochet yourself— and you’ll be impressed by just how easy they are to make!

Many of the projects from this section — such as the Cosmic Rainbow Afghan and Jewel Box Pullover — use self-striping yarns Unique and Landscapes® to create gorgeous palettes with little work. Others, such as the Sparkle Slipon and Filet Mesh Top, use simple stitching to create an off-the-runway look!

And for our grand finale, the pièce de résistance, here is our You Can Do It Afghan, featuring a Rosie the Riveter!

you can do it afghan

See all of the Achievable Wow patterns below!

Knit Vintage Glam Turban Crochet Sparkle Slipon Crochet Kaleidoscope Afghan
Arm Knit Cowl Knit Jewel Box Pullover Knit Color Grid Pullover
Crochet Striped Wristers Knit Colorful Striped Scarf Knit Charleston Garden Blanket
filet mesh top calypso cardigan hopscotch cowl
Crochet Filet Mesh Top Knit Calypso Cardigan Knit Hopscotch Cowl
cosmic rainbow afghan
Knit Cosmic Rainbow Afghan Knit Cropped Drop Stitch Pullover Arm Knit Cowl
Knit Independence Day Scarf Knit Independence Day Kerchief Knit You Can Do It Afghan

And take a look back at the rest of the collection: Simple Rectangles, Rectangles Sewn Together, A Bit of Technique, and Color and Texture.


Bootie Call by Franklin Habit

April 7th, 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.

I couldn’t sleep a few nights ago so I pulled out a copy of After the Thin Man, the second of the classic MGM films with William Powell and Myrna Loy as socialite detectives Nick and Nora Charles. Have you seen them? You really ought to.

Start at the beginning, with The Thin Man. It was based on a crime novel by Dashiell Hammett, and all the installments are mysteries; but they wear that badge lightly. You don’t really watch a Thin Man film to find out who killed who; you watch it to see Powell and Loy bounce absolutely perfect wisecracks off one another in the highest possible style. Even their romantic moments are agreeably tart.

NICK: Did I ever tell you that you’re the most fascinating woman this side of the Rockies?

NORA: Wait ’til you see me on the other side.

Nick, Nora, and their dog, Asta, form the family unit in the first and most of the second installments. But in the closing minutes of After the Thin Man, Nick notices that Nora is knitting something.


He leans in to take a closer look. “Looks like a baby’s sock,” he says.


A pause.

“And you call yourself a detective,” says Nora.

He gasps. They kiss. Asta wails. The End, until Another Thin Man.

Read the rest of this entry »


Glamour Jacket Knit-Along: It’s Time for Gauge Swatching

April 6th, 2015

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Editor’s note: There’s still time to get your Knit-Along Kit, get your kit here now – there are four to choose from! Also we have a hashtag for this KAL, use #LBspringKAL2015 when you share your progress on social media. Have fun!

Hello my fellow knitters! It’s Kristy Glass here and I’m hoping you have all received your yarn and are anxiously waiting to get started!

As I have been studying this pattern, I want you to keep in mind a few things.

1) GAUGE. I have learned too many times that making a gauge swatch is WORTH YOUR TIME. This pattern calls for 15 sts + 30 rows = 4 in. (10 cm) in Ridge pattern. If you feel lost like I STILL do almost every time I am presented with knitting a gauge swatch, here is a link to help you understand what to do!

A TIP! When you finish your gauge, instead of binding off or frogging it, take an opportunity to practice any new stitches you haven’t encountered yet, or brush up on stitches you haven’t done in a while. For example, after reading this pattern, I noticed a highlighted portion called EYELET PATTERN. Since the gauge was done in Ridge Pattern, I may practice the eyelet pattern on my swatch before I cast on FOR REAL!

2) Avoiding the TANGLE! Last year’s KAL leader suggested putting your yarn in plastic baggies and feeding the yarn through the snipped off corner of the bag. Let me know if that works for you!

I prefer putting one of my skeins inside a ceramic yarn bowl or placing yarn on either sides of my body while I sit and knit. This may not be the best ON-the-Go project if you don’t have the tangle under control.

3. Casting On. It’s time to get started! This pattern presents new challenges for me. Very often, after reading a pattern with new skills, I feel overwhelmed by the whole thing and need a little motivation to get me started. I found my motivation for this project by starting with the collar. It’s easy garter stitch stripes. Seeing the fabric work up made me so thrilled! It looks Bolder and Brighter than I even imagined it could be and now I want to see the whole jacket so badly, that I don’t want to stop knitting! I have been stopped by strangers working on this because the colors are so provocative!

4. Pattern Note: A few of you expressed interest in an alternate pattern for the back. I have investigated this and it’s not a pattern alteration the design team can offer at this time. One thought I had, after looking at it, was to tack up the back—-it’s just a small triangle that you can fold under and tack if you don’t like the mermaid look. I am so sorry we couldn’t accommodate the suggested pattern change! If anybody has a solution, please share it in the comments below or in our Ravelry group.

Let me know if you have any questions or issues and what colors you ordered! Is ANYONE out there doing pink with me??? I want to know! Post pics in the comments below! See you next week for a progress report!

UPDATE – Ridge Pattern demonstration:

If you’re having trouble with the Ridge Pattern, here is a little clarification for you!


I am Kristy Glass and I am so thrilled to be infiltrating the Lion Brand blog to lead you in the 2015 Spring Knit Along! Even though I learned to knit as a girl, my passion for fiber arts has escalated at a very steep rate these past several years.

I returned to knitting and began crocheting about 8 years ago after I suffered an unexpected health setback leaving me feeling completely out of control. Hand work was a healing salve for my body and soul as I suffered through a long healing process. Thankfully I continue to use knitting to aid meditation, solace and a feeling of accomplishment. I knit year round, despite weather changes, and I am highly anticipating us all knitting together on this project.

I have completed over 100 projects including scarves, cowls, hats, hand warmers, phone cozies, afghans, pillows, sweaters and yarn bombing. My most recent passion has been making sweaters and actually wearing what I make!


9 Patterns to DIY Style Your Summer Festival Look

April 5th, 2015

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Summer festival season is upon us! As it gets warmer, music fans turn out for some of the biggest shows like Sasquach, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza. These events are no longer just a venue to hear your favorite bands— festival attendees are also showing off their chic street style. Coachella begins April 10th and has become synonymous with summer festival style. Summery boho styles including lace tanks, fringe vests, and floral accessories are caught in every street style photo from this star-studded event.

And you can make these pieces yourself! I’ve put together a few patterns inspired by the festival trends!

Knit Eyelet and Fringe Vest Crochet Coachella Vest by Sara Dudek Knit Mesh Tank
Crochet Sparkle Slipon Crochet Striped Tank by Rachel Oglesby Crochet Bungalow Tank by Alexandra Tavel
Crochet Necklace in Bloom Knit Fair Isle Pocketed Vest Knit Delightfully Light Vest



Our Most Popular Knit and Crochet Patterns in March

April 4th, 2015

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The big winner last month was the Ribs and Shells Shrug and it’s no wonder. With it’s simple rectangular construction in one of our most popular yarns, Landscapes, this garment is a dream come true.

It also looks like you’re in good shape for Mother’s Day this year (Don’t worry if not, there’s still time! Mother’s Day is May 10th this year). The Knit Blooming Teapot Cozy and the Simple Crochet Shrug are top favorites for Mom.

Enjoy our selection of the most popular patterns from last month:

Blooming Teapot Cozy Simple Crochet Shrug Neck's Best Thing Knit Afghan
Knit Blooming Teapot Cozy Simple Crochet Shrug Neck’s Best Thing Knit Afghan
Crochet Easter Basket Knit Tree of Life Afghan Crochet Bunny Lovie
Crochet Easter Basket Knit Tree of Life Afghan Crochet Bunny Lovie
Neck's Best Thing Level 2 Neutral Slip Stitch Scarf Crochet Popover Top Knit Chatsworth Cable Poncho
Neck’s Best Thing Level 2
Neutral Slip Stitch Scarf
Crochet Popover Top Knit Chatsworth Cable Poncho

What have you been making this past month? Share with us below!


Tea With Shira: Can You Guess How Many Lion Brand Yarns are Made in America?

April 3rd, 2015

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We love hearing from our customers and our Brand Ambassador Shira is on standby to answer your questions! First up, she reports on which Lion Brand yarns are made right here in the USA.

Check out the video below to learn more and bookmark our updated list of made in America yarns our right here.

::Have trouble viewing this video? Click here:

Do you have a question for Shira? You can leave them in the comments below or tweet her at @shiraroars and she just might answer your question in her next video!