Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Win a Copy of Crochet Red: Crocheting for Women’s Heart Health and 10 Skeins of Vanna’s Choice

February 13th, 2015

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Crochet Red Giveaway Image

Health and wellness are topics we cover here quite often. Today we’re recognizing National Heart Month with a giveaway! Enter now for a chance to win one copy of Crochet Red: Crocheting for Women’s Heart Health, and 10 skeins of Vanna’s Choice® to make a Mitered Throw, one of the patterns featured in the book!

Laura Zander, owner of Jimmy Beans Wool, worked with Sixth and Spring Books on the Stitch Red book series to raise awareness around heart disease and preventive heart health in general. A portion of each book sale goes towards HeartTruth®, a public awareness program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

Crochet Red is filled with beautiful crochet projects, each paired with a heartwarming story from a prominent face within the crochet world, including our beloved Vanna White. She wrote one of the forewords for the book, and also shares some of her healthy lifestyle tips.

One lucky winner will be chosen to win the prize pack: the book and 10 skeins of Vanna’s Choice® yarn — please see below for details.

Good Luck!

Rules and Guidelines:

1. Entries must be received by February 20, 11:59p.m. EST

2. US entries only

3. Must be 18 and over to enter.

4. One person per entry

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

 

2 Ways to Start a Circle in Crochet from Dora Ohrenstein

February 12th, 2015

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Learn 2 Methods for Crocheting a Circle

Thanks to our friends over at Storey Publishing, we’re sharing a handy excerpt from Dora Ohrenstein’s latest book, The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop (The Essential Techniques for Becoming a More Versatile, Adventurous Crocheter).

Dora’s latest book features numerous tips on gauge, crochet shaping and construction, colorwork and more – so we suggest that you go ahead and check out the book in its entirety, you’ll be glad you did.

In the meantime, have a look at the excellent excerpt below. Coupled with instructional photos, you’ll quickly and easily learn two different methods for starting a crochet circle – a ring with chains and the magic circle.

Try them out to see which method you like best!


Starting the Circle

There are several different ways to begin working in the round. You can make several chains (the most common method), make an adjustable ring, or use the first chain as a ring. Let’s look at the first two.

Make a Ring with Chains

To make a ring with chains, work several chains, then slip stitch in the first chain to form a ring. The number of chains is determined by how many stitches you intend to work into the ring and how tightly you want the ring to close. If you are following a pattern, the number of chains will be specified. Supposing, however, that you are working a hat pattern, and after working the specified number of chains and stitches in the first round, you find you have a larger hole at the center than you’d like. Go ahead and try again with fewer chains: it will cause no harm whatsoever. For other items worked in the round, such as motifs and flowers, the size of the “hole” at the center can make a difference, as it affects the overall size of the finished piece. In these instances, it’s wise to stick with the instructions as written.

Ring with chains

Read the rest of this entry »

 

10 Truths: Knitting and Crocheting Prayer Shawls

February 12th, 2015

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“A shawl is like a warm hug.”

Giving a prayer shawl to a friend or family member going through a difficult time is an appropriate gesture when there isn’t anything you can do to make their situation better. A handmade knit or crochet gift can offer comfort beyond words and the process can often have the power to heal one’s self too.

Over the years we’ve collected wisdom and insights from our favorite writers on making and giving prayer shawls (sometimes also known as comfort or healing shawls). These four articles below capture the essence of the prayer shawl and offer ten great tips – from patterns to process to the philosophy behind them – this collection is a great starting point for anyone who’d like to learn more about making prayer shawls:

Also see

Homespun® is on sale now – save 20% at lionbrand.com and Lion Brand retail locations in February.

How have prayer shawls helped you? Share in the comments below!


 

Crochet Un Gorro Fácil Con un Pompón: Un Tutorial en Español (Crochet an Easy Hat with a Pompon, A Tutorial in Spanish)

February 11th, 2015

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Hoy, tenemos un vídeo tutorial para usted completamente en Español de Yolanda Soto-Lopez de el canal All Crafts Channel en Youtube.  Nos dimos cuenta de lo popular que ha sido el tutorial de “Simple Crochet Shrug” con subtitulos de Yolanda, y quisimos probar un nuevo vídeo sólo en español.

Miren como Yolanda le muestra como tejer un gorro fácil  con un pompón!

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Translation: Today, we have a video tutorial for you completely in Spanish from Yolanda Soto-Lopez from the All Crafts Channel on Youtube. We noticed how popular Yolanda’s Simple Crochet Shrug tutorial with subtitles has been, so we wanted to try a new video only in Spanish.

Watch as Yolanda shows you, in Spanish, how to crochet an easy hat with a pompom!

 

Colette Smith Turns Craft into Art!

February 11th, 2015

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Colette Smith is passionate about teaching knitters and crocheters techniques to help keep wrists and hands pain-free. That’s because she’s an amazing fiber artist herself who knits for hours every day! Colette designs and creates incredible sculptures, including dragons, insects, and sea creatures. These fanciful creations can be over six feet tall and sometimes take over 15 miles of yarn to complete!

While Colette visited the Lion Brand booth at Vogue Knitting Live, I asked her about her experiences making such unique pieces of art and she shared some tips for beginners:

:: Having trouble viewing the video above? Click here: http://youtu.be/QC6O87adDJQ ::

P.S. If you live in the New York City area, you can see Colette’s art in-person at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio – watch the Lion Brand Studio blog for details in the coming days.

 

Your Year in Yarn: 2015 Horoscopes for the Yarn Lover

February 10th, 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-illo-02-15
I’ve just this minute come in from my annual check-up with Madame Bobbie Jean, the psychic down the block. (FYI: She also repairs small electrics.) Looks like I’m in for an interesting ride. Since I was there anyhow I asked her to provide forecasts for all of you, as well. It’s my pleasure, really; and she gave me a fantastic bulk discount.

Aquarius (January 20-February 18)

Yours will be a year of conclusion and fulfillment. In other words, of finishing. You need not fear the second sock. Should you undertake to knit matching hats for everyone at the family reunion, success will be yours. Yet you will ring in 2016 still not having sewn together that green cardigan whose diverse pieces you completed in March of 2006. You will never sew those together. Ever. You realize that, right? You might as well start using them as dust rags.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Travel is indicated; sometimes over long distances, possibly even across the sea. You’ll do anything to find a skein of that discontinued yarn with the right dye lot, won’t you? Cripes.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Seek opportunities for growth in the company of potentially like-minded people. When these people try to tell you that the fiber guild field trip to the Lion Brand Yarn Outlet is not an excuse for buying fifty pounds of stash yarn, seek opportunities for growth in the company of a different group of potentially like-minded people.

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Take Your Scarves to the Next Level with the Neck’s Best Thing!

February 9th, 2015

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When I started knitting, I made so many scarves. I was intimidated by the idea of moving on to a bigger project, so I kept on making scarves, each one more intricate than the last. If someone had told me back then that I could tackle an afghan, I probably wouldn’t have believed them … but if you’ve knit or crocheted a scarf, you can do it!

The Design department here at Lion Brand has created a collection of patterns to give knitters and crocheters of all skill levels the confidence to make an afghan, one scarf at a time!

Design Director Adina Klein explains how you can step up your scarf game by doing the Neck’s Best Thing!

::Having trouble viewing the video above? Click here: http://youtu.be/DGJX539b0Ys::

Each of the patterns are available as both a scarf and afghan! See them all below:

neck's best graphic blanket neck's best graphic scarf neck's best new slant neck's best new slant afghan
Knit Graphic Blanket Knit Graphic Scarf Crochet New Slant Scarf Crochet New Slant Blanket
neck's best thing triangle shawl neck's best thing triangle blanket neck's best thing colorblock afghan neck's best colorblock scarf
Crochet Triangle Shawl Crochet Triangle Blanket Crochet Color Blocks Afghan Crochet Color Blocks Scarf
level 2 knit afghan level 2 knit scarf level 2 knit scarf
Level 2 Knit Neutral
Slip Stitch Afghan
Level 2 Knit Neutral
Slip Stitch Scarf
Level 2 Knit Neutral
Slip Stitch Scarf

 

8 Things To Think About Before Starting Your Next Knit or Crochet Project

February 9th, 2015

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8-things-to-think-about-kcprojectSo you’ve finished a project and are ready to a start new one – congratulations!

Whether you plan to knit a hat or crochet your first vest or tackle a new stitch, there are a few things you can think about before you pick up a hook or needle.

A great place to get started is reading Lion Brand’s nine-part series Cracking the (Pattern) Code. You’ll learn about choosing the right yarns and tools, how to check your gauge, how to read patterns and more.

From there, you may want to continue on to more advanced topics and helpful tips like the ones below:

Are there any pre-planning ideas you recommend before starting a project? Share with us below!

:: Pattern seen in the picture above is the Moody Blue Bag made in Fettuccini® Yarn.

 

Lola’s Been Making Blankets Since Before You Were Born!

February 6th, 2015

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

LBMakingBlanketsSince_02072015

Crochet Tied Tunic Knit Kyoki’s Kimono Crochet I’ve Been Making Blankets Since Before You Were Born

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Lion Brand’s 10 Most Popular Patterns from January!

February 5th, 2015

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January was all about gorgeous garments and beautiful blankets!

Valentine’s Day projects are in full-swing with the Cabled Heart Boot Cuff coming in number one for the month – are you living the dream and getting ahead of your holiday knitting and crocheting? Tell us your secret!

Many of the patterns that were popular in December are still holding court. You’re still loving the Fresh Bloom Circle #Scarfie and the stunning Open Knit Cardigan made in Gold Leaf®. With the Chelsea Morning Cowl and the Popover Top also not too far behind in popularity, 2015 continues to be be about big, bold knit and crochet!

Your favortie yarns in January included Vanna’s Choice®, Vanna’s Glamour®, Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®, Country®, Homespun® and Fishermen’s Wool®.

Below is a collection of the most popular patterns from January:

Knit Traffic Throw Simple Crochet Shrug Knit Cromwell Court Afghan
Knit Traffic Throw Simple Crochet Shrug Knit Cromwell Court Afghan
Crochet Valentine Scarf Crochet Baby Love Booties Crochet Celtic Afghan
Crochet Valentine Scarf Crochet Baby Love Booties Crochet Celtic Afghan
Knit Margate Hood Kaleidoscope Afghan Knit Hudson Seed Stitch Scarf
Knit Margate Hood Crochet Kaleidoscope Afghan Knit Hudson Seed Stitch Scarf

 
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