Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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5-Step Guide to Creating Your Own Yarncrafting Wellness Plan

June 20th, 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. This is part 2 in her 6-part series for us on the topic of yarncraft health. Read her previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

Last month we explored the top ten health benefits of yarncrafting. Many of you chimed in with great comments about how crochet and knitting have helped you to heal from a variety of different ailments. Want to get more intentional about that? This five-step guide will help you create your own yarncrafting wellness plan.

1. List The Symptoms You Want to Cure

What are the specific symptoms that you want to reduce in your life? Some of the most common health symptoms that people seek to resolve through crafting are:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Physical pain including headaches, muscle aches, and chronic pain
  • Memory loss
  • Mood swings
  • Feelings of uselessness
  • Grief
  • Addiction including food cravings

Knitting and crochet can help with each of these things. For example, it can be a distraction that reduces physical pain and helps control diet cravings and it can provide relaxation to reduce stress-related headaches and irritability. However, not every symptom will apply to you so think about what you really want to solve. It’s a lot easier to get healthy when you know what specific ailments you’re trying to reduce.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

How to Enjoy Knitting or Crocheting in the Summer

June 19th, 2014

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How to Enjoy Knitting & Crocheting in the Summer

The sun is shining, it’s warm outside and you’re enjoying frozen and iced drinks – must mean summer is here!

Summer is a great time to work on projects you may not otherwise tackle because you’re busy working on a sweater, afghan, or holiday gifts, etc. With the arrival of warm weather, small and portable projects like washcloths, dishcloths, scrubbers, and coasters are ideal. Find yourself frequenting the farmers market for fresh produce? Knit or crochet yourself a reusable market bag!

There are so many great ways to enjoy your yarncrafting this summer. Check out some of our previously posted blog posts for some summertime inspiration.

  1. 6 Fast and Fun Projects Perfect for Summer Crafting
  2. How to Choose the Right Yarn to Knit and Crochet with This Spring & Summer
  3. 4 Reasons to Bring Yarn on Your Vacation This Spring & Summer
  4. 9 Colorful Summery Tote Bags to Knit & Crochet
  5. 5 Fun Summertime Projects from Crafty Bloggers

 

 

Get Ready for Summer With These 9 Kitchen Cotton Projects!

June 18th, 2014

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As the weather gets warmer, we often make the switch to working on smaller, light-weight projects like market totes, kitchen items, and lacy shrugs.  Kitchen Cotton is a great summer yarn to use when it’s too warm for wool. It’s made of 100% cotton that’s super absorbent, and exceptionally durable – perfect for kitchen and bath accessories that need to be more sturdy.

Best of all, it’s on sale at 15% off for the month of June.

See below for our most popular Kitchen Cotton projects!

Crochet Hexagon Market Bag Knit Bright Stripes Dishcloths Crochet Shaped Washcloth
Crochet Hexagon Market Bag Knit Bright Stripes Dishcloths Crochet Shaped Washcloth
Knit & Crochet Soap Bags Crochet Fireworks Hexagon Picnic Blanket Knit Slip Stitch  MosaicTote
Knit & Crochet Soap Bags Crochet Fireworks Hexagon Blanket Knit Slip Stitch Mosaic Tote
Cross Stitched Cloths Knit Modern Luncheon Mats Open Air Shrug
Cross-Stitched Cloths Knit Modern Luncheon Mats 4 Ball Market Bag

For more information on Kitchen Cotton and other cotton yarns, we’ve also have some great tips when you’re working with this yarn.

 

Yarns Perfect for Arm Knitting in Spring and Summer Weather

June 18th, 2014

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Join Shira at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in Manhattan as she walks you through a selection of yarns great for arm knitting a summer scarf.

The yarns that Shira mentions are: Vanna’s Choice®, Tweed Stripes®, Nature’s Choice Organic® Cotton, Cotton-Ease®, LB Collection® Superwash Merino, Kitchen Cotton, and Romance®.

For a selection of arm knit patterns, click here or search “arm knit” at lionbrand.com.

 

Today On CABLE: Classic and Original Programming for People Who Love Yarn

June 17th, 2014

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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.

* 6–7 a.m. Twisted Pearl. Early morning yoga for knitters and crocheters with Pearl Cotton.

7–9 a.m. Morning Wound Up. Who’s making news? Who’s making socks? Cast on for the perfect day with Tencel Washington, Angora Blends and the whole Wound Up team. Plus: weather and color forecasts for your area.

9–10 a.m. Sesame Street. Brought to you by the letters K and P and the number 2.

10 a.m.–11 a.m. The Price Is Right. Contestants guess the retail prices of various yarns, then buy all of them.

11–noon. Swatch Game. Contestants don’t actually play, they just tell everyone they did.

Noon-1 p.m. The Selvedge of Night. Wrench returns from his secret mission to find that Veracity has run away with his size four needles. Dolores discovers a baby in a pile of discounted merino.

1–2 p.m. All My Mill Ends. Stricken with amnesia after falling into the spinning machine, Clarice struggles to remember which clue of the mystery shawl she was working on.

2–3 p.m. Stitch and Kvetch. Today’s discussion topics include What Are You Working On, What Yarn Is That, Where Did You Buy It, and Do You Think This Is Going to Fit Me.

3–3:30 p.m. The Brady Bunch. The kids attempt to knit a sweater for Carol’s birthday; everyone but Jan is able to get gauge.

3:30-4 p.m. Gilligan’s Island. At Mary Ann’s request, the Professor develops a primitive version of Ravelry made from coconut shells and old clothing. When Gilligan posts a question about copyright, the island descends into madness and bloodshed.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

How to Knit a Horizontal or Vertical Buttonhole

June 16th, 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.

Buttonholes are commonly used in cardigans but you may also find the need to make one for purses, shawls, or scarves.

Many patterns will have an instruction to make a basic buttonhole by working a yarn over and then knitting the next 2 stitches together. This buttonhole is functional but it’s not very stable and it can look a little sloppy. Moreover, the size of the buttonhole is totally dependent on the weight of the yarn and the needle size. The thinner the yarn and the smaller the needle, the tinier buttonhole will be.

So what if you want to create an extra large button?

Vertical Buttonhole

90738adaA vertical buttonhole can be made any length. It can be used in many situations when you would usually work a horizontal buttonhole. If you are working a 6 stitch buttonhole band on a cardigan however, it’s not practical to use this type of buttonhole.

  1. Work across the row to where you want to place the buttonhole.
  2. Drop the yarn, add a second ball and continue across the row.
  3. On the next row, work across until you come to the other ball of yarn, pick it up and complete the row.
  4. Continue until the buttonhole is the length you wish.
  5. Work all the stitches across the next row with one ball of yarn only and this will close the gap.

Horizontal Buttonhole

l10124aThis horizontal buttonhole can be made any size you wish. You’ll need to count your stitches and carefully determine the placement as this buttonhole requires 1 extra stitch…a 3 stitch buttonhole requires 4 stitches total to knit it.

  1. Work to the point where you want the buttonhole.
  2. With yarn in front, slip the next stitch purlwise.
  3. Place the yarn in back and leave it there.
  4. Slip the next stitch purlwise and pass the first slipped stitch over it.
  5. Continue to bind off in this way for the required number of stitches (if you want a 3 stitch buttonhole, do this 3 times total).
  6. Slip the last stitch you bound off back to the left needle and turn. Place the yarn at the back of the work.
  7. Using the Knit Cast-On or the Cable Cast-On, cast on the number of stitches you bound off plus 1. Turn.
  8. With yarn in back, slip the first stitch from the right to the left needle and knit these 2 stitches together.

With a little practice, you’ll master buttonholes in no time!

Try a baby sweater (like the Fresh Melon Sideways Cardigan shown above right) or an accessory pattern like our Embroidered Hood for practice, then graduate to an adult project (like the Modern Raglan Cardigan shown above left)

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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.

 

Lola’s knight in shining armor to the rescue …

June 14th, 2014

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

lola_06112014

Want to knit the Dragon Slayer Dog Sweater seen in this week’s Lola comic? Get the free pattern here. There’s also a Dragon Slayer Hood too!

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Let’s Celebrate Flag Day!

June 14th, 2014

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Designated by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, Flag Day is celebrated in the United States on June 14. It’s observed to commemorate the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on that day in 1777.

Although not an official federal holiday, it is at the President’s discretion to proclaim its observance.

We don’t want to step on anyone’s toes or anything, but here at Lion Brand we’re calling it … it’s time to celebrate Flag Day and do it in style. In fact, all of Lion Brand’s American-made yarns like Heartland, Hometown USA® and Kitchen Cotton are 20% off for a limited time!

Here are some of our favorite patriotic patterns in red, white and blue:

Crochet Flag Headband Flag Pullover Crochet Flag Afghan
Crochet Flag Headband Knit Flag Pullover Crochet Flag Afghan
Knit Team USA Mittens Crochet True Colors Scarf Loom Woven Placemats
Knit Team USA Mittens
click for crochet version
Crochet True Colors Scarf Loom Woven Placemats
Little Super Hero Blanket Knit Americana Afghan Crochet Independence Day Table Mats
Crochet Little Super Hero Blanket Knit Americana Afghan

 

Crochet Independence Day Mats

 

Make A Zodiac Scarf for Cancer Birthdays

June 13th, 2014

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Gemini scarf
If you were born between June 22 and July 22, your zodiac sign is Cancer, the fourth sign of the Zodiac represented by the crab. Folks born under this sign are often gentle souls who take great pleasure in the comforts of their home and family life. Traditionalists by nature, Cancers also tend to be patriotic. Another thing to know about Cancer, those born under this sign definitely wear their hearts on their sleeves and they have no shame about it!

cancer-signThe colors in this scarf match the essence of the sign of Cancer: pink for hopeless romanticism, orange for strength and endurance, silver blue for water (the element Cancers are ruled by), and silver grey for the Moon (also Cancer’s ruler).

If you have a friend who has a birthday coming up, a handmade gift is perfect anytime, but being Cancers are so caring and affectionate, there’s no doubt your friend will appreciate the sentimental value of a gift that’s come from your own hands. If you are a Cancer yourself, make two – one for you and one for a friend!

The Cancer zodiac scarf is available for both Knit and Crochet (pictured). Not your sign? Check out our other zodiac scarves here.

 

Why It’s Important To Celebrate World Wide Knit In Public Day

June 13th, 2014

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wwkpWorld Wide Knit In Public Day takes place June 14-June 22 this year. Now, you might think, “Why do I need a holiday to knit (or crochet) in public?” The reason is that in many peoples’ brains, knitting  and crocheting still reside in a section labeled “old fashioned.” Believe it or not, 10-15 years ago, people were actually ridiculed for pulling out their yarn, needles and hooks in public and they hesitated to do it.

We’ve come a long way. But we’re not there yet.  I was knitting at an airport a couple of weeks ago and a man watching intently spoke up after a while and said, “I haven’t seen anyone do that since my grandmother.”  The man was in his 60s! I wanted to ask him where he’s been but obviously, he hasn’t been anywhere where he has seen people who don’t look old fashioned knitting or crocheting in public.

That’s where you come in.  Make your presence known. Promote your hobby on the train, the subway, the airport, the doctor’s office, the beach, the park,  the hockey game, the local coffee shop or bar. You know how great it is that you have this craft.  It helps you relax. It offers you the opportunity to give meaningful gifts. It allows you to be creative and productive in a tangible way.  Go out. Knit in public.  People will talk to you and you’ll have an opportunity to tell them what they’re missing.

Visit World Wide Knit (&Crochet) In Public Day’s Facebook page to find or lead a group and use the hashtag #wwkipday to find information and share images and info about knitting in public.

Then, let us know how it goes.  We’d love to hear your stories!

 

 
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