Lion Brand Blog, March 7, 2017
You all really loved the Oxford Boyfriend Cardigan from Two of Wands! The response has been so great that we’ve decided to offer the kit in even more colors.
The sweater, made with Fast-Track®, is soft, cozy, and comfy while still being lightweight. Fast-Track® is a cotton-poly blend, which makes it feel like your favorite t-shirt.
The pattern is available in two sizes — S/M and L/XL — and takes either six or seven skeins of yarn. You can purchase a kit here in any of the colors. It’s 25% off for a limited time, so jump on that deal now, while you still can!
The new color combinations give you some choices, so that you can really make the sweater suit your style. The royal blue and white adds a nautical touch, while the green and gray is cheerful (and would look great on any redheads out there). And of course, you can never go wrong with basic black and gray. That choice will go with pretty much anything, making this already versatile cardi even more useful.
It can be bright or subdued, neutral or funky. This sweater looks great over a basic casual outfit like jeans and a tee, but you could make it work for other occasions as well. With the right skirt, it could go to work, or even out at night on a date or to meet friends! Plus, since Fast-Track® has a nice lightweight feel, this will be a great piece to have for cool summer nights.
This is a great project for any level of knitter, too! It’s simple enough to be your first sweater, but it’s still interesting enough that a more advanced knitter won’t get bored. The stockinette stitch shows off the uniqueness of the yarn, while the colored stripes add a nice bit of detail.
Which is your favorite Oxford Boyfriend Cardigan color combination?
Lion Brand Blog, March 7, 2017
We all learn to knit or crochet at different points in our lives. Some are taught as children, while others don’t pick it up until retirement.
So, right now, we ask you:
When did you learn to knit or crochet?
A follow up to that is, if you know how to do both, which did you learn first, and at what ages did you pick up each craft?
To answer my own question, I learned to knit when I was 24. After my grandmother passed away, I was helping clean out her house and found a bag of old knitting needles and some extremely scratchy yarn. I eventually replaced both of those things with my own tools (which included some Lion Brand Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®). However, finding that bag of stuff is what set me on my knitting path.
As for crochet, I tried a few times over the years, but didn’t take it up in earnest until starting my Learn to Crochet series at the beginning of this year.
Let us know your answer in the comments!
Lion Brand Blog, March 1, 2017
You don’t need a high-end digital camera to photograph your finished projects and do it well. Photography is about skill, not equipment. Sure, at a professional level, having the best lenses, filters, and cameras can help, but if you’re looking to shoot your finished projects to share on social media or a blog, how you take photos is far more important than what you use to do it.
All you need is your phone, and we can teach you the rest.
You can also get by without much in the way of photo editing. While Photoshop or another expensive software can allow you to make a lot of changes to pictures, if you set your images up right, you should have everything you need in the palm of your hand. Literally.
All the photos in this post were taken with an iPhone 6, and weren’t processed beyond what can be done in the photos app that comes with the device.
Setting Up Your Photos
To minimize distractions and clashing, it’s best to have a plain, neutral backgrounds. White or a lighter wood are generally best. For these photos, I used vinyl backdrops that we have in the Lion Brand office, but if I am at home, I will usually use the wooden top of my kitchen island. In a pinch, I’ve also used hardwood floors (make sure to sweep first!).
Play around a little with the backdrop! You can try different places with different items, too. Some yarns might play best off white, while others look good on black. You may be able to set some on grass or carpet, depending on the color and texture. Backdrops that you can purchase online are another option, if you want, but most of the time you should be able to get away with surfaces in and around your home.
Read the rest of this post on the Lion Brand blog.
Lion Brand Blog, February 27, 2017
Since the weather is already growing warmer, this is a great time to start thinking about light spring projects. What better than something soft and flowy made from Shawl in a Ball®?
This yarn is 20% off* for the next two weeks. That means you can save while you stock up on supplies for your warm weather knits and crochets. The sale of course includes the eight newer metallic shades, so you can add some shimmer to your style.
*online only. Sale ends March 9. Not applicable with other offers or coupons.
MEET THE BLOGGER: MAMA IN A STITCH
Lion Brand Blog, February 21, 2017
Here at Lion Brand we love the yarncraft blogging community. Picking a favorite from the bloggers we work with would be like asking a parent to pick their favorite child — it’s just not possible. They all bring us beautiful patterns, interesting content, and unique perspectives on knitting and crochet. That’s why we’ve decided to help you get to know the amazing people we work with, starting with Jess Potasz of Mama In A Stitch.
Mama In A Stitch
This is a perfect time to introduce you to Jess, since Mama In A Stitch just celebrated two years of blogging. She says in her anniversary post that she started blogging as a way to keep track of her creative pursuits after transitioning to life as a stay-at-home-mom. It evolved from a personal log of crafts and mom life into what we know today.
After her patterns started to take off, MIAS was on the yarniverse radar. Since her start in January 2015, Jessica’s unique patterns and beautiful photography have made her a crafting staple. It doesn’t hurt that she has the vistas of Colorado to serve as a backdrop! She has also been featured in several different knitting and crochet publications, including many mentions right here on the Lion Brand Notebook.
Kits and Patterns
We started selling kits from her patterns, and many of them have been incredibly popular on our site! Her Light Frost Easy Blanket Sweater (pictured above) is one of our top crochet kits right now. She also designed the Big Beginner Shawl Scarf (knit), which another fan favorite. Her pattern designs combine sophistication and coziness in a way that makes them an absolute delight to both make and wear.
One of the Heroes
Last year, we worked with several bloggers for the Yarn Heroes series, where we helped promote various charitable causes. Jess designed a blanket for Project Linus as part of the campaign. The blanket is thick, soft, and washable. It could also double as a pet blanket (shelters need donations too!) if you left off the pom poms.
After two years, Mama In A Stitch has become one of the yarniverse’s favorite bloggers, and Jess is showing no signs of slowing down. We can’t wait to see what she has in store!
For more profiles of our favorite bloggers, keep an eye on the Notebook.
Lion Brand Blog, February 14, 2017
Happy Valentine’s Day! What better way to show your romantic side than by crocheting a quick, sweet mug cozy filled with love?
The Love at First Sip coffee sleeve is a sweet project you can make in a snap, thanks to our friends at A Crocheted Simplicity.
This pattern takes two colors of 24/7 Cotton® yarn and a size G/6 (4.0 mm) hook. Rose and White are great colors together, as you can see, but you could also have fun with palette. Red and Pink could look hardcore Valentine’s Day-esque,or you could do something a bit more unexpected like Lemon and Silver or Navy and Ecru. Have fun with the colors!
The great thing about using cotton yarn is that it’s easy to care for when you inevitably spill coffee on it. Machine washing is super important for anything that’s going to be in a messy situation. Projects like this that will be near food (also think: place mats, trivets, potholders, and so forth) need to be washable. So do projects that will be around other messy recipients, like pets, kids, or particularly clumsy adults. You can machine wash and dry 24/7 Cotton®, so it’s perfect for all of those situations. Including when you run to catch the bus and your coffee sloshes everywhere.
The main part of the sleeve looks like a granny square, but it’s actually worked back and forth instead of out from the center. Once you finish the motif you work simple ribbing around the rest of the piece and sew it together. It’s fairly simple, and would be perfect for anyone who knows most basic crochet stitches and can read a chart. If you’re more of a beginner and want to try graduating to some of the techniques used, like ribbing or a granny motif, this is a great way to do that, too! Since it’s small, you can try it over and over until you get it right.
Whatever kind of crocheter you are, the Love at First Sip coffee sleeve made in 24/7 Cotton® is a quick and cute project. Start it today in honor of Valentine’s Day and enjoy the beautiful design all year round.
SIX SHADES OF DENIM AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
Lion Brand Blog, January 23, 2017
Jeans are a fashion staple for, well, pretty much everyone. No matter your age, gender, race, size, or personal style, you probably have at least one denim piece in your closet. Dark, light, black, or gray wash. Boot cut, skinny, or relaxed fit. We’ve all got that pair of jeans that makes us feel like we’re unstoppable.
Every individual has a denim color that’s perfect for them, so we offer our Jeans® yarn in six shades to match whatever you need. Plus, we’ve got one to go with the iconic golden top stitching you see on most classic pairs. It’s everything you need to create a perfect denim look!
Like any pair of jeans, our blue hues can be the star of your ensemble, but they can also function as neutrals. Something made from Jeans® can be your signature piece — something you’re known for wearing, that you wouldn’t seem like you without. Or they can be something a little more out there, with mixed and matched colors that create unique designs.
(Trouble viewing? Click here.)
Our patterns for this yarn do exactly that — they combine the classic with the modern, the neutral with the bold, and the old with the new. You can use them to give the look of washed, well-loved denim to any of your favorite patterns. Jeans® is category 4, so try substituting it in projects calling for other medium or worsted weight yarns. The possibilities are endless, so make something you’ll love.
Watch the video above for more info about Jeans®.
Denim comes in many shades, and so does Jeans®! Try to match them to your favorites, or make something different to offset the pair you love.
So, What's Your Wash?
All non-yarn images via PixaBay
START A TEMPERATURE BLANKET IN THE NEW YEAR
Lion Brand Yarn Company blog, December 29, 2016
Temperature blankets are a hot trend (no pun intended) in the crafting world, and the start of a new year is the perfect time to begin yours! It’s a fun, year-long project.
To make one, work a row for each day in a color that corresponds to that day’s temperature. You can knit or crochet them, it doesn’t matter. If you stick to a simple pattern for either craft you will end up with a beautiful finished project. No need to be fancy because the colors are what matter here.
See the sample color chart below. You can alter it to suit your own preferences if you want. In New York City, we see temperatures from frigid to sweltering at different times of the year. If your climate is vastly different, you may not need all of these categories. This was made for Vanna’s Choice® yarn, and you can always substitute other colors.
Of course, you don’t have to make this for the upcoming year. Use this handy website to create a pattern for any year and location. This is great for commemorating a big life event. For example, make one for the year and location a couple was married as an anniversary gift, or the first year of a new baby’s life.
If you want to make it for yourself, try the year you were born. It’s also fun to compare years. I generated one for my birth year and place as an example, and another in the same zip code for 2015. There are actually a lot of differences.
See the whole post over at the Lion Brand Blog.
Lion Brand Blog, December 22, 2016
Answer: pretty big.
When you see a photo of Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® Bonus Bundle by itself, it can be tough to visualize exactly how large a skein of yarn it actually is. But remember, it’s equal to TWO skeins of Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®, which is already a pretty hefty ball of yarn! Using that for reference, you can see above that we are not joking around when we talk about this stuff being fairly gigantic.
This stuff is bigger than many of your electronic devices, virtually every other ball of yarn you have, several household items, and possibly even small pets.
This is the perfect time of year for this amount and type of yarn! Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® is delightfully warm, so anything you make from it will be cozy for winter. And with this amount, you can make a lot. You only need to buy half as many skeins for the same projects, so it saves time and money. Plus, it reduces the number of ends you have to weave in– an added bonus!
(Did we mention that this double size is available for LESS than double the price?)
To be fair, that dog only weighs about 6 pounds. But the fact remains that there is a living, full-grown canine that is smaller than a single solitary skein of Bonus Bundle.
Here at Lion Brand, we deal in yarns of all shapes and sizes, including our teeny tiny Bonbons®. Not only is Bonus Bundle almost comical next to one of them, it’s also bigger than an entire jar of the little guys.
There’s no denying that this stuff is pretty massive. If you’re going to get yourself some, you might need an extra large tote bag to take it home. It’s available exclusively in store at Michael’s as well as on our website.
Between now and January 12, the ENTIRE Wool-Ease® family is on sale. That means this yarn, which is already saving you some cash, is even cheaper at 20% off!
Lion Brand Blog, December 13, 2016
Pantone has announced its 2017 Color of the Year: Greenery, which is meant to promote biophilia and evoke images of spring blooms, which can have a positive impact on mood and sense of well-being. This also means that shades of green are going to be extremely trendy in the coming year.
Many of our yarns are available in colors that are similar to Greenery, so you can get in on this trend right away. Some of our classics, like Vanna’s Choice®, have a few hues that come close, and some of our color-changing yarns, like Color Waves®, weave together various shades of greens, including ones similar to this Pantone gem.
We have yarns of many weights available, from 3 (Light) all the way up to 7 (Jumbo). You can find something to suit almost any pattern or fiber preference.
Continue reading this post on the Lion Brand blog.