October 29th, 2014
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! Lion Brand is sponsoring David in the New York City Marathon on November 2nd, 2014 and lucky for us, he’s agreed to write for us leading up to race day! Plus, you can meet David while he’s in New York City!
This Sunday, I’ll be running the New York City Marathon while knitting a scarf. I’m doing it to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s. While training for the New York City Marathon, I was faced with a problem. Due to security concerns I was told that I would not be allowed to bring knitting needles or a crochet hook with me on the run. I respect the great service that the New York Police Department provides and want to support their efforts. So I had to come up with a way to knit on the run without needles.
I tried arm knitting, but a 15 minute scarf doesn’t fill my target 4 hour finish time and the giant loose gauge would not hold up well on the run. I was aware of what is commonly called finger knitting but I didn’t feel that a 4 stitch stockinette would work well either. So I did a little experimentation of my own and in the process I learned more about knitting.
Knitting at its simplest level is just a series of loops inside of loops. Knitting needles are a very helpful tool for holding stitches and picking up and pulling loops through, but learning where to insert them and how to twist them was quite a challenge for me as a beginner.
October 29th, 2014
“… Go to the Fair, Templeton. You will find that the conditions at a fair will surpass
your wildest dreams. Buckets with sour mash sticking to them, tin cans
containing particles of tuna fish, greasy paper bags stuffed with rotten …”
“That’s enough!” cried Templeton. “Don’t tell me anymore. I’m going.”
E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web
Convincing my cousin Janet to go to The New York State Sheep and Wool Festival wasn’t hard. Unlike Templeton the rat in Charlotte’s Web, she didn’t need the lure of sour mash, stray particles of tuna fish, or even greasy paper bags. The mere mention of sheep and wool and she was on board.
I had been to Rhinebeck, as the event is known in the fiber world, when I was promoting my knitting book, A Knitter’s Home Companion. My fair days back then were spent almost entirely signing books. This summer, after attending a small Iowa sheep and wool festival, I got the itch to go back to the big one, to Rhinebeck, to see what I had missed.
Rhinebeck is not only about wool. Among the offerings there were a bred ewe auction, an angora goat show, and an exotic breeds parade. In addition, there were demos of “blue ribbon hearth” cooking, canine Frisbee, sheepdog herding and more. Not to mention classes like Weave a Williamsburg Basket, Art and Science of Natural Dyeing, Needle Felting in 2-D and 3-D, Made in the Moment Jewelry, Double Knitting, Beginning Rug Hooking and Spinning for Socks.
Of course, Janet and I went straight for the wool. We cruised booth after booth, discussed the merits of projects and yarns on display. Often our eyes were drawn to the handwork worn by other fair attendees. We admired lacy shawls, cabled sweaters and the stunning green baby blankets covering a pair of adorable twins in their side-by-side stroller.
Read the rest of this entry »
October 28th, 2014
Today, we’ve got a great tutorial for you by Vanessa from the Crafty Gemini! Vanessa will show you how to create a simple cowl in our beautiful, self-striping yarn, Amazing. This cowl works up extremely fast and will make a great gift for the upcoming holidays. Watch Vanessa’s tutorial below, and check out the link for her Amazing giveaway!
Click here for: 45 Minute Cowl Pattern
Click here for: Amazing yarn giveaway
October 27th, 2014
Beyond bringing you new patterns and reporting on the latest knit and crochet trends each week, Lion Brand also provides numerous tutorials on techniques and methods all knitters and crocheter should know about (and try at least once!).
Tutorials are a great method of learning – for knitters and crocheters who are just learning the basic, to experienced crafters who want step-by-step visuals to master a new technique.
Bottom line, tutorials are a great way to learn new skills that will help you on future knitting and crochet projects!
Here is a collection of our most popular tutorials:
- How to Russian Join Yarn in 7 Easy Steps
- Video: How to Arm Knit
- How to Invisibly Seam Granny Squares
- How to Crochet Broomstick Lace
- How to Cable Without a Needle
- Keep Yarn Organized: Learn How to Wind a Center-Pull Ball by Hand
- How to Use Stitch Markers
- How to Crochet a Button
- How to Crochet over Your Ends
October 26th, 2014
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.
She was a homemaker. At parties, Angie sometimes said, “I’m a domestic engineer.” Same difference. With three kids, two dogs, and Mike, who spent long hours at his hardware franchise, Angie often wondered how they’d manage if she didn’t have great organizing skills and abundant energy.
Angie, like her husband, thrived on life’s routines and complexities. But no matter what, she always took time to crochet. It wasn’t just a pastime. It was the feeling that crochet preserved her. Those minutes each day, hook and yarn in hand, cleared out stress and focused her on something productive that became something beautiful.
Her newest project was a classic Granny Throw, to replace the one Mike’s mom had made years before. That was now beyond repair. Yet it was the family “lovey,” a comfort of their daily lives, and Angie didn’t want them to do without.
The Granny Throw comprised twelve generous squares that worked up quickly on a K hook. She’d done each one in spare moments, often while waiting in the car to pick up the kids from school. Angie adored the subtly variegated yarn, called Tweed Stripes®. Earth-toned, with occasional bright accents, it had a woodsy quality that complemented their maple furniture, corduroy upholstery, and braided rugs.
Angie placed the finished throw on the couch, and waited to see who noticed first. Six-year-old Daisy, of course. It was Friday, after supper, when the kids were allowed a movie before bedtime. Daisy put on her pajamas, brushed her teeth, and raced downstairs ahead of her brothers. Leaping onto the couch, she automatically pulled down the throw. Angie heard her call, “Mommy, there’s a new lovey! It’s so-o-o beautiful!”
Jake and Tyler joined their sister. “Hey, let us have it!”
“What’s up, you guys?” Angie asked, coming into the family room. The kids tussled some, then finally cuddled into the Granny Throw. Faces shining, slippered feet sticking out beyond their new blanket, they were eager to watch the film.
At times like this Angie knew why she loved the life she and Mike had made.
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.
October 25th, 2014
*Coupon code “FLASH40″ will be automatically filled into the coupon box at checkout on qualified orders. Only one coupon per person; cannot be combined with other coupons. Valid through 12 noon EST, Tuesday October 28th.
The force is strong with this one … it’s a new “Out of the Loop,” the comic for those who love to knit and crochet!
October 24th, 2014
We’ve teamed up with Todd Clark, creator of the ever-popular Lola series, to bring you “Out of the Loop,” a regular one-panel comic featuring humorous takes on the world of yarn.
Enjoy and please share widely!
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Inspired to use the force too? Here are a few patterns to inspire you!
|Yub Nub Scoodie by Kristen Stevenson, made with Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®||Chewy Cozy by Yarn Twins, made with Fun Fur® and Vanna’s Choice®||Yoda Hat by Amanda Whiting, suggested yarn, Woolspun|
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October 23rd, 2014
#Scarfie = A selfie with a scarf!
We invited a few awesomely creative knit and crochet bloggers to participate in a #scarfie challenge! We asked them to design a scarf or cowl with two skeins of one of our most popular yarns, Wool-Ease Thick & Quick. The #scarfies are making the rounds on blogs and social media, and we’re so excited to share them with you. Today, we’re featuring a cute crochet scalloped edge cowl from Rachel at Maybe Matilda.
Rachel’s pattern is easy and fast, so get your balls of Wool-Ease Thick & Quick and start crocheting!
Find Rachel’s pattern here: Chunky Scalloped Cowl
October 22nd, 2014
Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.
I’m terribly sorry, but I don’t have time to stroll around the mall sipping a Giganto Grande Pumpkin Spice Extra Foam No Whip Latte. I have to go to a fiber festival. If you are reading this, very likely you also have to go to a fiber festival, or are getting ready to go to a fiber festival, or have just come back from a fiber festival. Possibly all three.
October for most grown-up folks means Halloween. That’s cool. Dancing around and getting squiffy on Pumpkin Spice Vodka Tonics while dressed as Sexy Nurse or Sexy Ghost or Sexy Claims Adjuster isn’t my idea of a zingy time, but it doesn’t matter. I have no room for Halloween parties. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I have to go to a fiber festival.
Perhaps you have not yet visited a fiber festival. Perhaps you have only recently been inducted into the enthusiastic, international group hug that is the fiber arts community. If so, you may be confused by the unfamiliar urge to walk out the front door and follow the scent of sheep dip and fried dough.
You may find yourself standing in front of a sign that says WELCOME TO RHINEBECK and wondering where you are, what you are doing there, and how you got so far from your home in Hickory Flat, Mississippi, without even realizing it.
Keep calm. You are going to be fine. In fact, you are going to have a ball, provided you observe the following.
October 21st, 2014
In 2012, Lion Brand sponsored a design contest to use Vanna’s Choice® yarn and create an original design. The winner was “Gramma” Nancy Nielsen, who we flew out to California to meet Vanna White as part of her prize. Nancy’s design was an irresistible baby hat that looked like an elephant head and booties that looked like elephant feet. As you can see, Vanna was charmed by the whimsy and creativity of these designs.
It turned out that Nancy also had a whole range of animal hats and matching booties that she had designed as baby gifts. There was a Lion set (and of course we looove lions!) and sets that recreated a duck, lamb, monkey, dig, rabbit and more.
We were so taken with the wealth of designs that we spoke to a friend who edits pattern books at Random House about doing a pattern book of animal hat and bootie sets and today, the book is a reality and Nancy Nielsen is an author.
Gramma Nancy’s Animal Hats (And Booties Too!) was just released. It includes 19 animal hat patterns with many including matching booties and mittens sized for newborns to bigger kids. In the foreword Vanna White wrote for the book she talks about the interesting reason that Nancy was inspired to have this burst of creativity. I’d like to share a quote from that foreword that we can all relate to:
“As all of us who knit or crochet know, there is nothing more special, and more appreciated than giving something handmade that comes from the heart. . . she has touched the hearts of hundreds of people at a special time in their lives. . . ”
If you’re a knitter, looking for ideas for your next baby gift or for a birthday gift, you’ll find years’ worth of affordable ideas in this book. It includes patterns, charming photographs and the amazing stories of generosity that inspired these patterns.