Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Introducing Curvy Girl: Knit And Crochet Fashions To Flatter A Curvy Girl Like Me!

May 28th, 2015

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In my life I’ve modeled for Lion Brand a total of three times. The first two times I was a little girl and I didn’t care much about the garments I modeled. I really love the floppy hat I wore when I was seven-ish but the bobbly cardigan before that — not so much.

The third time, just recently as a fashion-conscious adult, I had the opportunity to give input into the garments beforehand and let me tell you, I’m thrilled with the results. Today, I’m ecstatic to share the new Curvy Girl collection! With Susan Haviland, Lion Brand’s Design Editor, the Design team and some of my own clothes as inspiration, I really believe we hit the nail on the head with this fabulous collection.


:: Can’t see the video above? Watch here: https://youtu.be/uRyjXmNboxI

When I get dressed in the morning, as much as I am a proud curvy girl, there are parts I want to cover up. My tush, my stomach — muffin top anyone? And I have to admit, I’m never the first to go sleeveless …

There are four new patterns designed especially for women like us, women who have curves — two knit and two crochet — and I think you’ll be excited to knit and crochet these garments. We’re confident you’ll feel good and comfortable in your finished products. Since I was the fit model as well, they were designed to look great on a real-world curvy girl, not just a size 10-12 the fashion industry often uses for plus-size garment modeling.

Curvy Girl Knit Tunic Curvy Girl Knit Tunic Curvy Girl Knit Tunic Curvy Girl Knit Tunic
Curvy Girl Knit Tunic
Made with Textures®
Curvy Girl Crochet Rufled Collar Cardigan
Made with Heartland®
Curvy Girl Knit Cabled Cardigan
Made with Heartland®
Curvy Girl Crochet Tunic
Made with Heartland®

I love the tunic and the open shoulder tops. The tunic is crochet and the open shoulder is knit. It was also really important in this process to make the patterns easy, yet intricate. The patterns are simple enough for beginners while allowing for pro- knitters and crocheters to add pizzazz with more complex finishing touches!

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:: these are some of my favorite action shots from the shoot ::

I hope that you all love this as much as I do! It was a pleasure to model these garments and I hope that we continue making more Curvy Girl patterns because I like ice cream and chocolate and I am not willing to give those up!


Would you like to be featured in the Pattern Journal newsletter?

May 27th, 2015

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Pattern Journal

Each month the Pattern Journal newsletter features a story inspired by an irresistible pattern. We know you love to knit and crochet, so you must have stories to share about your favorite patterns, right? To see past Pattern Journals, visit the archive.

Submissions: To submit your story, complete and submit form below.

Photos: Send photos to yarncraft@lionbrand.com or links to photos in the form below. Photos should be in .jpg or .png format, and no larger than 1000 x 1000 pixels.

Publishing: Stories may be edited for length and or clarity. We will consider all submissions but regretfully, not all submissions will be published.

Fill out my online form.
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Terms and Conditions for submitting a story to be considered for a Pattern Journal feature:
By choosing to submit a story to Lion Brand Yarn Company, you acknowledge and agree that any information you provide, including any photo(s) may be viewed by the general public. You further agree that the company may use your story and photo in any manner it deems necessary or appropriate. Lion Brand Yarn Company reserves the right to edit, abridge or format stories for any reason and to remove or decline to post any story or photo. Lion Brand Yarn Company does not endorse or make any warranties or representations with regard to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of any statements in your story. By submitting a story, you agree to each of the these terms and conditions.


All Eyes On: Granny Squares!

May 27th, 2015

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The 1970s have been having a moment in fashion lately, and with it comes a trend we’re familiar with… Granny Squares!

Although the pattern’s always been a favorite for afghans and throws, we love the idea of wearing this dynamic pattern. Combine your favorite colors to make a vibrant square, or go for a monochromatic look with a single color, like Alison Craftland’s bolero project below. Even fans of high fashion will want to get their hands on a Granny Square piece — top designers have incorporated the pattern in their European fashion shows!

Crocheters rejoice; the beloved pattern is making a comeback this spring and summer and we’ve got a few projects to match.

woodstock vest chevron car seat cover
Crochet Multi-Colored Granny Square Shawl. Made with Vanna’s Glamour®. Crochet Woodstock Granny Vest. Make one with LB Collection® Cotton Bamboo Yarn. Crochet Granny Square Bolero by Alison Craftland.*Make one with LB Collection® Cotton Bamboo Yarn.
Miu Miu DIY Granny Sq Scarf Hat granny sq skirt
Miu-Miu DIY Crochet Top by Trinkets in Bloom.* Crocheted with Kitchen Cotton. Crochet Granny Square Scarf and Hat. Make a set with Bonbons. Crochet Granny Square Skirt. Made with Vanna’s Tapestry® and Vanna’s Choice®
electric granny vest granny gloves granny raglan
Crochet Electric Granny Vest. Made with Kitchen Cotton. Crochet Not Your Grannie’s Gloves. Made with Vanna’s Choice® and Vanna’s Palettes®. Knit and Crochet Granny Raglan Pullover. Made with Vanna’s Choice® and Vanna’s Palettes®.

* Not a Lion Brand pattern


4 Ways Knitting and Crocheting for an Animal Can Be Healing for Yourself

May 26th, 2015

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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 explores the benefits of having pets and other animals in our lives and how we can craft for them as a way to heal ourselves. Read Kathryn’s previous blog posts on the Lion Brand Notebook here.

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Pattern: Barkley Loves His Blanket
Every week I pick up a friend’s Golden Retriever and together we volunteer through the SPCA doing animal-assisted emotional support therapy. We visit hospitals, schools, housing shelters, community organizations, transitional living residences … and no matter where we visit, the energy of the room changes as soon as the puppy walks through the door. People relax. People smile. People play.

One of the most underlooked ways that animals can help us is through our knitting and crochet. Whether or not you have a pet of your own, you can find ways to crochet for animals that help to benefit them as well as yourself.

1) Crafting for Pets That Are Ill

It can be so difficult on us when our pets get ill, especially with a chronic illness. Animals with long-term illnesses require a lot of care and support. People sometimes reduce their hours at work or change their social schedules for years at a time in order to accommodate the special needs of a sick animal. We do this because we love them but we shouldn’t underestimate how stressful it can be for us.

Having a pet that is chronically ill can lead to the same kind of caregiver stress experienced by people who are taking care of elderly parents or special needs children. Knitting and crochet help to relieve depression in caregivers. Making items for your own pet in need can be a way that you give to them while sustaining yourself. It can feel especially healing to make something that will comfort the animal – a soft new pet bed, a cuddly new pet toy – because it really feels like the time that you’re taking for yourself is also giving to the animal.

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Showered With Love: Knit and Crochet Projects to Give to New Parents!

May 25th, 2015

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What better way to celebrate a new addition to the family than a gift made with love? Blankets and hats remain popular projects to make and give, but we like to think of all the essentials new parents may need.

Gifting a car seat? Make a canopy to match!

Crocheting an afghan? Consider a matching lovey for the baby to play with.

Bath wraps and washcloths make for a smart addition to a gift set of baby washes and lotions.

The possibilities are endless! Here are our picks for gifts to give to expectant mothers at their baby showers:

baby crown down on the farm chevron car seat cover
Knit Baby Crown Hat. Make your own with Modern Baby® Down on the Farm Playset
Crochet your own with
Vanna’s Choice® & Fun Fur®.
Chevron Car Seat Canopy by Heather Ormond.* Make one with Kitchen Cotton.
Lion Baby Bath Wrap Sheep Baby Blanket washcloth
Lion Baby Bath Wrap. Crocheted with Kitchen Cotton. Sheep Baby Blanket by Two Sisters Crafting & Jean Adel.* Make one with Vanna’s Choice®. Crochet Serene Spa Washcloth Make a stack with Kitchen Cotton.
baby bear hoodie Wee Mouse Lovey glamour babys hat
Knit Baby Bear Hooded Jacket Made with Homespun® Thick & Quick® Wee Mouse Lovey by Briana Olson*Make one with Cotton-Ease® Knit Glamour-Baby’s Hat
Make one with Baby Wool

* Not a Lion Brand Pattern


9 Fresh Food-Inspired Projects!

May 23rd, 2015

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Everyone’s going “bananas” over Lion Brand Yarn Studio’s newest window display! Chock-full of knit and crochet fruits and vegetables, the Farmer’s Market-themed display features pineapples, apples, eggplants, cauliflower, corn, sunflowers and more!

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You can read all about it over at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, “Our New Window is Orchard Fresh!

Inspired by this tasty treat, we collected our favorite food-inspired knits – make a few for your market basket!


fruit pot holders springtime vegetable pen apple slice
Crochet Fruit Pot Holders *Paid* Pattern by Marcelline Simonotti Designs.* Made with Wool-Ease® Chunky Crochet Springtime Vegetable Pen Cozies by Twinkie Chan.* Made with Vanna’s Choice® Crochet Apple Slice Tawashi Scrubber made with Vanna’s Choice®
apple cozy eggplant_small2 Watermelon1_small2
Crochet Apple Cozy by Petals to Picots.* Made with Kitchen Cotton. Crochet Eggplant Amigurumi
Made with Wool-Ease®
Crochet Watermelon Coin Purse by Repeat Crafter Me* Made with Vanna’s Choice®
StrawberryHat3 apple banana hat
Crochet Strawberry Hat by Repeat Crafter Me.*Make one with Vanna’s Choice® Crochet Apple Amigurumi made with Wool-Ease® Crochet Banana Hat for Babies *Paid* Pattern by HGS Designs* Make one with Vanna’s Choice®

* Not a Lion Brand Pattern


Get Beach Ready with These 6 Open and Airy Patterns For Summer

May 19th, 2015

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Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and I’m sure many of you will be headed to the beaches and pools to enjoy the unofficial beginning of summer (yes, I know there’s still technically one month left!). With the thoughts of warm weather and water activities, I started thinking about bikini and bathing suit cover ups!

If you’re still not ready for the beach or pool, you’ve got plenty of time to work on the perfect cover up, and of course, if you work quickly you could have something in time for the weekend. The 6 patterns below are great for vacations, walking around the pool/beach grounds, and covering up at night once the breeze sets in.

Knit Spring Ruana
Diagonal Mesh Top
Knit Spring Ruana
The ruana knit in LB Collection® Cotton Bamboo is super stylish for walks on the beach or boardwalk once the sun sets.
Diagonal Mesh Top
Knit this top in Cotton-Ease® for the perfect bikini pullover for nights at the beach.
Beach Cover Up Cardigan
This cardigan in Nature’s Choice Organic® Cotton also makes a nice cardigan for the transitions between the seasons.
Light 'n' Lively Tank Beach Cover Up
Light and Lively Tank
This airy tank top crocheted in Cotton-Ease® has a fun swing to it at the bottom, helping to keep you nice and cool!
Beach Cover Up
Learn how to crochet this cover up in Cotton-Ease® with Yolanda Soto Lopez, click here!
Beach Cape
*Paid* Pattern on Ravelry by Alexandra Tavel knit in Cotton-Ease®. *

* Not a Lion Brand Pattern


Handmade Gifts for Giving Back — Our Favorite Patterns for Charity

May 17th, 2015

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Have you ever knit or crocheted for charity? Mixing a hobby you’re passionate about with the act of giving back to others is a delightful way to make yourself and others feel appreciated. As you search for your next project, consider patterns for chemo caps, prayer shawls, or warm afghans. Gifts like these let those in need know that you’re thinking of them – a good feeling for all!

We’ve rounded up a list of charities that could benefit from your handmade gifts, as well as suggested patterns for each one. Whether they’re in your local community or across the nation, we hope you’ll consider using your talents to give back. 

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A Little Glamour in Sin City

May 14th, 2015

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I’d never wanted to visit Vegas. I don’t like to gamble and I don’t like crowds (even after almost ten years living in New York City). Quite frankly, Las Vegas seemed like the opposite of my favorite thing to do which is curl up with my knitting and a good movie. But when I got the opportunity to go on a some-expenses-paid trip to Sin City, I felt like I shouldn’t turn it down.

Since I spend a lot of my day perusing Lion Brand’s free patterns, I’m often spotting new projects that I want to start. When I saw the Sparkle Slipon in our Fashion Show, I was totally in love. It was fun and summery and oh so sparkly! I felt like I needed to have a little glitz to wear by the pool if I was going to visit the land of showgirls!

But I was a little nervous. I’d just taught myself how to make granny squares after years of knitting. I’d never crocheted anything bigger than a coaster. When I read over the pattern, I realized that the Sparkle Slipon is a lot like a granny square. I’ve never shied away from a crafting challenge so I decided to dive in. I got some help (and a lot of encouragement) from Arabia in the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. I wanted to use fewer colors than the pattern called for so she helped me calculate how much yarn I would need and, after making the lower body too tight, she gave me advice on how to make easy changes.

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This was the perfect project for a novice crocheter! It certainly was a challenge for me and it’s not perfect but this was a great way to translate what I knew how to do into a big project. I was able to pick up some new skills but I wasn’t pulled too far out of my comfort zone since it had so little shaping. The color and fiber made this garment just the right weight for a swimsuit cover up. And since Vanna’s Glamour® is machine washable and dryable, I won’t have to worry about getting sunscreen on this top.

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On my very first day by the pool, a woman stopped me to say how much she loved my top. I don’t usually let people know when I’m wearing something handmade but this time, I was so proud, I had to let it spill! She said, “I’m a crocheter, too! I was looking at that top and I thought, ‘I have to make one!'” I was so happy! I love inspiring other people with the things that I make!

I’m really looking forward to wearing this next time I get by the pool!

Have you ever gotten an unexpected compliment on something you made? Do you take baby steps when you’re learning something new or do you dive in?


Color Us Happy: Our Favorite Rainbow Knit and Crochet Patterns!

May 13th, 2015

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“Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection… the lovers, the dreamers and me.” 

Just as Kermit the Frog once sang praises of rainbows, we celebrate the coming-together of every color with a few of our favorite multi-hued crafts!

l0017a Springtime Set 90060ada Lullaby Layette May the Fourth
Crochet Kisses Pouch. Make one (or two!) with
Bonbons.
After the Rain Crochet top by Jessie At Home*
Make your own with
Vanna’s Choice®.
Magic Rainbow Baby Blanket by Moogly.*  Make one using
Modern Baby®.
 proud supporter dog sweater
Rainbow Slipper Socks by Oomanoot.* Make a pair with LB Collection Superwash Merino. Bumpy Rainbow Blanket by 3 Beans In a Pod.* Make one with Modern Baby®. Proud Supporter Dog Sweater. Make one for your favorite furry friend with Bonbons.

* Not a Lion Brand Pattern

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