Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Flattering Sweater Styles For Women Of Every Age

July 28th, 2015

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sweater_07272015Selma Moss-Ward writes and knits in Rhode Island. She is a regular contributor to the Notebook.

As we get older our bodies change. The clothes I wore in my 20s and 30s wouldn’t suit me now and they wouldn’t fit. But, why should I scold myself because the clothing I wore years ago no longer flatters?

As knitters and crocheters, we’re privileged.  Rather than settling for something cloned and off the rack, we can select customizable designs, choose yarns in colors we love, and craft sweaters that are gorgeous, practical, and absolutely right for us.

That’s where Lion Brand comes in.  There’s an abundance of great designs in the huge Lion Brand pattern database, and so many are flattering to women of a certain age.  Each pattern keys to a perfect match of Lion Brand yarn, so guesswork about gauge and fit is minimal.

I’ll highlight some of the Lion Brand designs I’ve discovered.  They’re comfortable, crafted in lovely yarns, and range from easy to moderately challenging.  All are absorbing to work and beautiful to wear.  When you wear them, you’ll feel attractive and relaxed, as well as accomplished, delighted, and in control of your fashion destiny!

Let’s consider two cardigans, knitted and crocheted.  The knitted Seaside Kimono Cardi requires only 5 skeins of Fishermen’s Wool®.  Its basic shape is squared and loose, but dense cables at the wrist, collar, and lower edge create a gentle blouson that complements many different figures.  The cardigan’s natural tones and rich textures convey an elegant, slightly ethnic sensibility that’s great with jeans, a simple dress, or a skirt.

The crocheted Retro Swing Cardi, in Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®, packs a lot of style into a quick project.  Done with a large hook, it works up swiftly into a gentle A-line jacket that floats over the torso.  This design is great for petite figures, as it doesn’t overwhelm.

There are many reasons to favor cardigans, as they’re easy to slip on and off, and useful if you like to layer.  Much as I enjoy cardis, though, the Level Two Knit Pullover really captured me.  I love the dropped shoulder of the loose, yet sculpted design.  I love the textural interest of the front and sleeves, and the adorable band collar.  For such a sophisticated pattern, it’s hard to believe the skill rating is “easy.”  I can’t wait to knit it in several different colors!

 

kimon retro_swing level_2_pullover
Knit Seaside Kimono Cardi made with Fishermen’s Wool® Knit and Crochet Retro Swing Cardi made with Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® Knit Level 2 Pullover made with Lion’s Pride® Woolspun®

 

 


Christmas in July Day 12: One Ball of Scarfie is All You Need to Knit or Crochet a Great Scarf!

July 26th, 2015

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Christmas in July: Gifts to Start Working on Now!Our newest bulky weight yarn is Scarfie, a soft and lofty wool blend yarn with enough yardage to knit or crochet a full length scarf – really, one ball is enough for one whole scarf which is very useful when you’re planning out gifts … which you’re doing, right?

While working with Scarfie, you’ll see a unique self-striping ombré effect emerge (ombré is everywhere!), with gradual shading from one color to the next. The ombré pattern is a sophisticated and tonal blend of solid and heathered hues.

You’ll adore working with Scarfie to knit and crochet stylish garments, accessories, afghans and of course, scarves!

Here are some of our favorite patterns from the new Scarfie collection, each a perfect gift for someone on your list. Scarfie has your back!


effortless_hat one_ball diagonal_shaded
Crochet Effortless Hat & Cowl Set One Ball Crocheted Scarfie Crochet Diagonal Shaded Shawl
pero_poncho free_spirit netural_slant
Crochet Pero Poncho Knit Free Spirit Topper Knit Neutral Slant Shawl
checkerboard duo_tone openwork
Knit Checkerboard Rib Scarf Crochet Duo Tone Throw Crochet Openwork Scarf


Sabrina Tunic Crochet-Along – Week 3: Beginning the Body

July 15th, 2015

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CAL_08282014

Welcome back to the Lion Brand Summer 2015 Crochet Along!!  I can’t believe we are going to be half way done by the end of this week!!  My Sabrina Tunic is really looking great and now that I have started the body this project is really beginning to look like a wearable piece of art!!

Cal_w31
 

Last week we worked on the yoke, there were lots of interesting stitching techniques to help create the unique look of the upper part of our garment.  I loved all the participation and questions we had going on last week both here on our Lion Brand Blog and over on our Ravelry Crochet Along Group!! If you felt like the yoke was a little difficult you were not alone… Working with the darker yarn and some of the stitching techniques made us all pay closer attention to the pattern. There seemed to be a few question about rounds 11-13, if you still have questions… Make sure to hop over to the Ravelry Group and read through last week’s thread and see if it will answer any of your questions!! We had lots of great chit-chat about the yarn and pattern questions. Some of us are posting our progress pictures on Raverly too… It is great to see the Sabrina Tunic in other colors!!

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It’s time to play is it knit or crochet? Guess and win!

July 10th, 2015

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Tell us which one you think is crocheted, the Mosaic Cowl & Hat or the Sabrina Tunic, and you’ll be entered into a draw to win a 2-in-1 Tote Lion Brand Bag and six (6) balls of LB Collection® Superwash Merino. *

Mobile users, click here if you can’t access the voting tools below.

* Only one entry per person. Promotion ends Friday, July 31st, 2015 at 11:59m EST. One (1) winner will be randomly selected and contacted by email before August 5th, 2015. Open to residents of the USA and Canada. No purchase necessary. Retail value of prize is approximately $65 USD.


9 Knit and Crochet Patterns Using Cotton-Ease and Kitchen Cotton (That you can work on in the Summer!)

July 9th, 2015

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SummerKnittingimage2
Today we’re featuring patterns that use either Kitchen Cotton or Cotton-Ease® to keep you crafting through the warm summer months. Many of these patterns are small enough to work on while waiting for appointments, hanging out at BBQs, or even while enjoying those lovely summer road trips as you relax with your feet up. Take a look below and get inspired!

Crochet Flower Face Cleansing Pads by Petals to Picots
Kitchen Cotton
Crochet Shell Stitch Baby Blanket by The Stitchin Mommy
Cotton-Ease®
Knit Patriotic Placemat by Jessie at Home
Kitchen Cotton
KitchenCottonMiuMiu2 CableRibBabyJacket
Miu Miu DIY by Trinkets in Bloom (crochet)
Kitchen Cotton®
Textured Washcloth by Salena Baca Crochet
Kitchen Cotton®
Knit Reverse Cable Rib Baby Jacket by Adrienne Medrano (Ravelry) Cotton-Ease®
MamaInAStitchTank
The Hive Knit Dishcloth by Being Spiffy
Kitchen Cotton
Easy Knit Top by Mama in A Stitch
Cotton-Ease®
Crochet Fresh Produce Market Bag by Make and Takes
Cotton-Ease®

 


Tea with Shira Episode #6: Emeric Harney of Harney & Sons!

July 8th, 2015

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In this latest episode of Tea with Shira, I’m honored to chat with Emeric Harney!

Emeric Harney is a 3rd generation member of the tea company, Harney & Sons.  Of course we had many stories to share, both being part of family businesses and all, but get this: he’s a knitter too!

Emeric and I discuss what’s on his needles currently, who he’s making it for and, of course, TEA!

So, grab your needles and/or hooks, your tea, and enjoy the latest episode of Tea with Shira!

:: Can’t see the video above? Click here to watch: https://youtu.be/nZ0lg5O4ook ::

Yarn mentioned in this video: LB Collection® Superwash Merino


4 Coordinated Color Palettes for Your Next Project

July 3rd, 2015

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Give your pattern a color makeover!Crafters are often intimidated by straying from pattern instructions, but one of the easiest ways to customize a project is by simply changing the colors! Pattern designers do a great job picking colors for their samples, but sometimes you’ll find that although they look lovely, they aren’t your colors. For patterns that are written for one solid color, it’s an easy swap, but what happens when the pattern includes color work? Choosing a whole new color palette need not be daunting!

Vanna’s Choice® is an excellent yarn to work with if you are looking to create a custom palette. With 66 colors currently in the main line, you’ve got a lot to choose from. Add double-stranding into the mix, and you’ve got a whopping 2,145 color options! Vanna’s Choice® is also expertly designed with color matching in mind, so customize your creation with confidence – Vanna’s Choice® colors work together no matter what your desired palette!

To help get you started, we’ve created four kits based on some of our favorite color combinations:

Mystic Mermaid Fetching Fern
Mystic Mermaid Color Palette Fetching Fern Color Palette
Dapper Daisy Happy Harvest
Dapper Daisy Color Palette Happy Harvest Color Palette

Each kit contains 6 skeins of yarn, one in each color pictured. Try combining them in one of these 6 ball patterns, or pick a favorite pattern from your own library. You’ll be amazed at how simply changing the colors can give a familiar project a new look! Did you notice that the two ripple afghans below are actually the same pattern?

Ripple Afghan L40069 Sampler Afghan L0323B Cozy Ripple Lapghan L50064 Crochet Color Blocked Hoodie L20665a
Crochet Ripple Afghan Knit Sampler Afghan Cozy Ripple Lapghan Color Blocked Hoodie

If you’re ready to create your own palettes, there are lots of tools online to help you. Here are just a couple to get you started:

Coolors has an excellent color palette generator (free to use on the web) which allows you to choose a base color and generate matching color schemes with the click of the spacebar. Drag to reorder the swatches, click the lock to keep colors you like, and use the sliders to tweak colors manually.

Photocopa is another nifty color palette helper (also free to use). Upload a photo or choose one from their gallery and Photocopa will generate a palette based on the photo! Choose the ones you like and use the sliders to change the proportions of the swatches.

 

 

 


Shark Week is a Great Time to Knit & Crochet

July 2nd, 2015

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shark_week_2015
Shark Week starts Sunday! Shark Week is an annual, week-long programming block on the Discovery Channel which features shark-based programming, real and fictional.

We think it’s the perfect time to combine one cultural phenomenon with another, knitting & crochet with Shark Week! Here are some fun patterns to get you started:

Space Invaders Blue Whale clownfish giant squid
Stitchfinder: Knit Sea Creature: Angelfish — make it with Wool-Ease® Stitchfinder: Knit Sea Creature: Blue Whale — make it with Wool-Ease® Stitchfinder: Knit Sea Creature: Clownfish — make it with Modern Baby® or Kitchen Cotton Stitchfinder: Knit Sea Creature: Giant Squid — make it with Wool-Ease®
angler fish starfish coral pygmy octopus
StitchFinder: Crochet Sea Creature: Anglerfish — make it with Wool-Ease® StitchFinder: Crochet Sea Creature: Blue Starfish – make it with Wool-Ease® StitchFinder: Crochet Sea Creature: Bullion Coral — make it with Vanna’s Choice® StitchFinder: Crochet Sea Creature: Pygmy Octopus — make it with Wool-Ease®
angel fish octopus shark afghan seahorse
Crochet Amigurumi Angel Fish — make it with Vanna’s Choice® Crochet Amigurumi Octopus – make it with Vanna’s Choice® Crochet Shark Afghan — make it with Hometown USA® StitchFinder: Crochet Sea Creature: Seahorse — make it with LB Collection® Superwash Merino

Can you crochet? Make a fun 8-bit pixel afghan!

June 29th, 2015

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Can you crochet a granny square? Great! You’re on your way to making an awesome pixel crochet afghan.

What is pixel crochet, you ask? Sarah from Repeat Crafter Me offers this explanation, “basically a pixel crochet blanket is made up of a series of granny squares where each square represents one pixel of the picture. When joined together, the squares (pixels) make a large image.”

So for example, if you wanted to make a Lola afghan, you’d find your favorite Lola image and convert it into a chart using a tool like KnitPro 2.0. Each square in the chart you see below represents one granny square.

lola_afghan

It’s easy and fun to do. Below are some examples of crochet pixel afghans. Click the images for charts and explanations for each project.

Avengers Cupcake Tetris Hello Kitty
8-Bit Avengers Blanket, made by Jessica Jamey – design a pattern with your favorite charts and make it with Modern Baby® * Crochet Cupcake Pixel Blanket by Repeat Crafter Me – make it with Vanna’s Choice® * Tetris Afghan by Bethany A. Hamilton – make it with Vanna’s Choice® * Hello Kitty Afghan made by Tarmine626 – make it with Babysoft® *
Storm Trooper kitty pixel Transformers my little pony
Pixel Storm Trooper Afghan made by InAnotherCastle – check out the chart and make one with Modern Baby® * Pick of the Litter Afghan – make one for yourself (or for our resident cat lady, @ShiraRoars!) with Vanna’s Choice® * 8-Bit Transformer Afghan by AmandaJayne00 – pick your favorite chart and make one with Vanna’s Choice® or Modern Baby® * 8-Bit Pinkie Pie Afghan by AmandaJayne00 – pick your favorite chart and make one with Vanna’s Choice® or Modern Baby® *

* Not a Lion Brand pattern


Lola Gets Crafty for the Fourth … Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Yarn!

June 26th, 2015

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

LBTreatToppers

You can get crafty too!


Firework Treat Toppers Crochet Independence Day Top Hat Crochet Independence Day Table Mats Knit Flag Pullover
Firework Treat Toppers
Made with Vanna’s Glamour®
Crochet Independence Day Top Hat
Made with Kitchen Cotton
Crochet Independence Day Table Mats
Made with Kitchen Cotton
Knit Flag Pullover
Made with Heartland®

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