Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Christmas in July Day 5: 4 Luxurious Projects You Can Make with LB Collection® Yarns

July 19th, 2015

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Christmas in July: Gifts to Start Working on Now!Do you have some free time this summer? In our Christmas in July series, we’ll be rounding-up our favorite gifts to make and give, including ones you can get started on now. Trust us – you’ll be thanking yourself between holiday parties when you’ve got all your gifts blocked and wrapped.

I like to think that all of my handmade gifts are very special. They’re unique and come straight from the heart! But there are always a few people on my list that are really extra special and I want to go above and beyond for them— my best girlfriend that has seen me through thick and thin, my grandmother who’s given me plenty of knitting tips, or my aunt who sends me the best recipes. I really want to make these ladies something special.

That’s when I turn to the LB Collection®! The LB Collection® yarns include luxury fibers like Baby Alpaca, Silk, and even Cashmere. And you don’t have to break the bank! You can take any gift to the next level with these beautiful yarns. Here are a few projects you can make with the LB Collection® for a very luxurious gift!

Knit Seed Banded Slouch Hat
Made with LB Collection® Cashmere
Crochet Cardiff Cowl
Made with LB Collection® Angora Merino
Crochet Lace Petal Shawl
Made with LB Collection® Cotton Bamboo
Knit Colorwork Leg Warmers and Hat
Made with LB Collection® Superwash Merino

9 Knit & Crochet Patterns Inspired by Mad Men

March 8th, 2015

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It’s hard to believe that AMC’s Mad Men has been on the air for over seven years, and it’s even harder to believe that our final hours with Sterling Cooper & Partners are almost here. The second half of Mad Men’s final season begins on April 5th! The show has followed Don Draper, his colleagues, and family through the 1960s and there are only seven episodes left.

Costume designer Janie Bryant’s work has brought back mid-century styles, including a line at Banana Republic, and an official suit at Brooks Brothers.

To mark the occasion, I’ve put together a few patterns for the modern Joan, Peggy, and Betty in all of us!

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Knit Simple Hat Knit Cozy Collared Cardi Knit Necktie
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Crochet Sparkle Slipon Crochet Inside Out Circles Top Crochet Lacy Poncho
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Knit My First Raglan Cardigan Crochet Classic Sleeveless Top  Crochet Tivoli Beret


9 Knit and Crochet Patterns to Celebrate the Release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

December 16th, 2014

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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies comes out tomorrow, December 17th, marking the last installment of a long-loved trilogy.  The Hobbit features magical creatures – elves, dwarfs, dragons, oh my! – stunning landscapes, and epic battles.

Will you join Bilbo, Dwalin, Balin, Kili, Fili, Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, and Thorin (phew!) on the final leg of their journey as they battle Smaug for Middle Earth? If so, you may want to add a little something to your wardrobe to get in the mood …

If you’re feeling inspired to take a trip to the Misty Mountains of Middle Earth, here are nine knit and crochet patterns for you!

Bofur Hat gimli helmet gandalf beard
Knit The Hobbit: Bofur’s Hat
made with Vanna’s Choice® and Homespun®
Crochet Gimli Inspired Helmet made with Vanna’s Choice® and Vanna’s Glamour® Knit Jordanna’s Beard pattern
Made with Wool-Ease®
by Ravelry user melissalm
hippie chic crocheted wristers
Knit Pippin’s Scarf
made with Wool-Ease® by Ravelry user SuzieBlue
Crochet Hippie Chic Vest made with Fun Fur® Easy Crocheted Wristers
made with Martha Stewart CraftsTM/MC Merino
cable luxe cable vest tall trees
Knit Cable Luxe Tunic
made with Wool-Ease®
Knit Cabled Teal Vest made with LB Collection® Organic Wool Knit Tall Trees Tunic
Made with Fisherman’s Wool

Styling Makes All the Difference: How One Project Can Be Worn Many Different Ways

September 27th, 2012

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Many a clever knitter & crocheter has discovered that one project can do double-duty with different styling. For instance, our Knit Grande Wrap pattern can be work many different ways:

For more ideas about how to turn one project into several different looks, check out these blog posts:

Do you have a favorite styling trick for a knit or crochet project? Share it in the comments!

8 Fast and Easy Hats to Knit or Crochet this Fall

September 19th, 2012

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Beanies, caps, berets–whatever your favorite style is, a hat is the perfect project to help you kick off the fall season! A hat makes a quick project you can enjoy right away; you’ll finish yours even faster using a thick yarn like Wool-Ease Thick & Quick or DaVinci. Make your own hat to wear as the weather turns chilly, or save it to share with a friend or loved one during the holidays.

These are some of our favorite and most popular hats to knit and crochet. Click on the pattern name or image to see the full free pattern on (you may have to log in first). Want to see more toppers for fall and winter? Follow the links at the bottom of each section to browse through dozens more knit or crochet hat patterns.

Hats to Knit

Hometown Hat Soft Cozy Hat New Moon Hat Ribbed Hat & Scarf

Browse more hat patterns to knit

 Hats to Crochet

Beginner’s Beanie Fleecy Crochet Hat Moon Rock Hat Angora Tam & Lace Scarf

Browse more hat patterns to crochet

Have you made your own hat before? What was it like making your first hat? We’d love to hear your story!

Related Links:

5 Hats & Different Ways to Style Them

March 13th, 2012

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Sometimes when I’m shopping and I see a garment or accessory I really want, I think about the different ways to style it, making the item itself very versatile.  For instance, I really like my denim jacket because I can roll up the sleeves different lengths and I can partially pop the collar for a different look. I can then pair it with a skirt or jeans for a more casual look…the choices go on.

The finished pattern images you see on show you one way to style an item, but today, I’ll show you alternate ways to style 5 hats.

Ballpark hat Crochet Ball Park Hat
We definitely like the slouch effect of the hat as modeled for the pattern, but think about playing around with your hat ribbing.  You can fold up the ribbing to let more hair show, and also to create a tighter fit.


Make Simple Look Sensational with Bouclé

January 4th, 2012

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Bouclé knitwear is making a comeback for 2012; it’s been featured in the collections of fashion designers such as Bottega Venetta, Max Studio and Philosophy Di Alberta Ferretti.  Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for designer bouclé, you can easily knit or crochet your own piece with our bouclé style yarns in Homespun and Silky Twist (a new addition to our family).

boucle coat bottega venetaBottega Venetta boucle coat max studioMax Studio boucle philosophy di Alberta FerrettiPhilosophy Di Alberta Ferretti

Traditional bouclé is constructed with 3-plies, with one strand a bit looser than the others to create a loopy textured yarn.  When knitted or crocheted, the yarn appears a bit bumpy or “nubby”, giving the garment a unique quality.  Since bouclé yarn has so much texture to it, it is best to stick with a simple stitch–complicated stitches get lost with all of the loops and bumps involved.  Here are some bouclé patterns to start off a new project for the new year:

Ridges Hat
Ridges Hat

Crochet in Silky Twist
Long and Lean Jacket
Long and Lean Jacket

Knit in Homespun
Honest Warmth Shawl
Honest Warmth Shawl

Knit in Homespun
Simplicity Cowl
Simplicity Cowl

Crochet in Homespun

Do you have experience with bouclé yarns? Have you tried Silky Twist, our bulkier bouclé?  If you’re interested in learning more about knitwear trends for 2012, check out one of our previous posts by Jess, 3 Favorite Trends for 2012.

Last-Minute Gift Idea: I Made a Hat in One Evening, and So Can You!

December 20th, 2011

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With Hanukkah starting this evening and Christmas this weekend, it might feel like you’re down to the wire, but with the right project, I’m telling you there’s still time to squeeze out one more project! Just remember the 3 secrets of a fast gift project: thick yarn or multiple strands of yarn, easy stitches, accessory pattern.

Using the formula I shared in my “How to Crochet a Beanie” blog post, I made this quick hat in less than 2 hours.

To make it, I paired a strand of Superwash Merino Cashmere (in Sangria, Wine, and Charcoal) with a strand of Vanna’s Glamour (in Grey Stone, for bling!) and used single crochet stitches. By holding two strands of yarn together, it was like I was working a thicker yarn, and of course a thicker yarn means a faster project!

Editor’s note: Need to figure out how much yarn you need for a hat (or other project)? Click here for our handy guide.

For this project, instead of using the spiral method of making crochet rounds, I used the “joined rounds” method. That means I joined at the end of each round with a slip stitch, and then started each progressive round with a chain stitch (just as you would start a new sc row when crocheting flat back and forth).  The “joined rounds” method allowed me to have smooth stripes without a “jog” where the colors changed.

For the color pattern: after the first 5 rounds in Sangria, I changed colors every 3 rounds for my stripes. Finally, I improvised a quick trim for the edging: slip 1, *[hdc, dc, hdc] into the next stitch, slip 2, repeat from *. Voila! A finished hat in just one evening.

I think it’s a rather cute project, if I do say so myself, and I hope my cousin likes her gift! Good luck with any last-minute projects, and have a wonderful holiday season!

Step Into the Light and Sparkle with Glitter Eyelash!

November 11th, 2011

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Glitter Eyelash, one of our new yarns from the Martha Stewart Crafts Lion Brand collection is here, right on time for the holidays. Glitter Eyelash comes in 14 different colors which range from pastel tones, seen in Kunzite, Blue Topaz and Purple Sapphire, to bright and bold colors such as Tourmaline, Garnet and Orange Topaz. This novelty yarn is extremely versatile because it can be knit and crocheted into accessories and trims, and it can be crafted with just a bit of glue! Explore the possibilities below, click on the pictures for free patterns.

Glitter Eyelash
Lush Cowl (knit/crochet)
Glitter Eyelash Loom Knit Scarf
Glitter Eyelash
Loom Knit Scarf
Cowls and Scarves 

Glitter Eyelash can be knit, crocheted, or loom knitted into lovely fashion items, adding some shimmer to your favorite outfit.  This yarn is constructed so that it’s not too scratchy or uncomfortable against the skin.  Pair a lush cowl or scarf with an all black outfit to make a bold entrance on your night out.

Glitter Eyelash Earmuffs
Glitter Eyelash Earmuffs
Glitter Edged Hat
Glitter Edged Knit Hat

Hats, etc

Glitter Eyelash is the perfect yarn to add as trims on accessories.  While the temperatures drop, stay stylish and warm by also pairing this novelty yarn with another Martha Stewart Crafts Lion Brand yarn.  The earmuffs and hat on the left were both constructed with Extra Soft Wool Blend in complimenting colors for additional warmth.


Glitter Eyelash Loopy Necklace
Glitter Eyelash
Loopy Necklace
Glitter Eyelash Wrapped Bangle Bracelet
Glitter Eyelash Wrapped
Bangle Bracelet

The great thing about this yarn is that it’s unique qualities allow it to be a fun crafting yarn as well.  Create a necklace with Glitter Eyelash by wrapping strands together to hang from your neck. Try varying sizes such as double (necklace on the left) or even triple looped necklaces for different effects.  Bracelets can be crafted by wrapping the yarn around a circular form, mix and match some colors for fun!


Glitter Eyelash Wreath
Glitter Eyelash Wreath
Glitter Eyelash Napkin Rings
Glitter Eyelash Napkin Rings
Home Decor  

It’s holiday season! Jazz up your home with Glitter Eyelash in various forms.  Glue and wrap yarn to form a wreath, craft some snowflakes, wrap the yarn around picture frames- there are tons of crafting possibilities.  It could even be used as a garland for a Christmas tree, since this yarn is available in 14 colors, there’s a color to match almost any kind of theme (if your Christmas tree has a theme, mine usually does!).

Are you now inspired to add some sparkle to anything in your home or in your closet? What do you think would work out nicely in Glitter Eyelash? Share your thoughts with me.  If you’ve already used Glitter Eyelash, please upload a picture to our Customer Gallery and show off your talents!


Hey Beginners, We Found Your Next Easy Project!

November 10th, 2011

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If you’ve just started to knit or crochet, or know someone who has, you know how challenging the first few projects can be. Chances are if you are just getting started, you’re thinking about making a scarf, or have already made one. My first and second projects were both basic scarves, but by the third project I was ready to try something new. We’ve all faced the challenge of figuring out what to make when you’re ready to move beyond the scarf, but aren’t sure what you can make with your new skills.

With a little sewing and creativity, there are plenty of projects to make with the same skills it takes to make a scarf. Each of the easy projects below is worked flat like a scarf and then sewn together to form the correct shape and fit.

Free Knitting Pattern: Learn to Knit CuffLearn to Knit Cuffs Free Crochet Pattern: Learn To Crochet CuffLearn to Crochet Cuffs Wristers and Cuffs  

These wrist cuffs work up like very short, wide scarves. Simply knit or crochet your rectangle, and when you’ve reached the desired length, fold your piece lengthwise and seam it together. Leave a hole for each thumb about 2 inches from the edge, and your project is ready to wear.

Free Knitting Pattern: Rosy Ribbed HatKnit Rosy Ribbed Hat Free Crochet Pattern: Ripe Wheat HatCrochet Ripe Wheat Hat Simple Hats  

Hats are great beginner projects; they are warm, useful, make great gifts and many work up fairly quickly. Hats like these are knit or crocheted as large flat rectangles and then seamed together. Sew the two shorter sides of the rectangle together to form a tube, and then thread a piece of yarn through one edge, pull together and tie it securely to close the top. Then you can add pom-poms or tassels to decorate.

Free Knitting Pattern: Garter Stitch CowlKnit Garter Stitch Cowl Free Crochet Pattern: Fast And Easy CowlCrochet Fast & Easy Cowl Basic Cowls  

Cowls make excellent projects for beginners ready to take basic yarn crafting to the next level. Long, skinny cowls can loop many times around your neck, while wide, snug fitting cowls will keep you warm all the way up to your chin. Make simple cowls like these by making a rectangle long enough to wrap comfortably around your neck, and then seaming the two shorter sides together to make a tube.

Free Knitting Pattern: Big Stitch PillowKnit Big Stitch Pillow Free Crochet Pattern: Stadium PillowCrochet Stadium Pillow Pillows  

Pillows can be any size or shape, and made in whatever yarn you like. Simply make two pieces the same shape and sew them together, or make one large rectangle, fold it in half and seam the edges together. All you have to do is add fiber fill or a pillow form and you have a brand new household accessory that displays your crafting skills.

If you’ve mastered the basic scarf, then you already have all the skills needed to take on any of these projects. Choose one that you’ll enjoy wearing, or better yet, make several and give them as gifts this holiday season.

What was your first ‘beyond the scarf’ project? Tell your story and share your tips for beginners in the comments section below.