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Monthly Archives: April 2008

  • 5 Tips for Crafting with Kids from YarnCraft Episode #13

    In each episode of our podcast, YarnCraft, my co-host Liz from our Design Department and I like to share some interesting tips about knitting, crocheting, and yarncrafting.

    In the podcast episode, “Yarncrafting with Kids,” we were joined by technical editor Jackie from the Design Department to talk about teaching kids. Here are five tips:

    1. Yarncrafting is more than just knitting & crocheting. Pom poms, tassles, and craft projects are a good way to get even young children experimenting with yarn. Check out our craft patterns for more ideas.
    2. Think about the materials. Children (as well as most beginners) will knit/crochet tightly, so you may want to give them needles/hooks that are a little bit larger than what is normally recommended for the yarn. Pick needles/hooks that are an easy to work with size (Speed Stix & Speed Hook may be too big for kids!) and yarn that is light in color so that it's easy to see individual stitches. Variegated yarn can be helpful so that you can point out individual stitches by color -- Jiffy Thick & Quick can be a good choice for kids.
    3. Don't worry about what they're making. Let them knit, crochet, loom-knit, or weave for a little bit. That rectangle of material can be sewn up into a coin purse, used as a trivet, given to a doll as a blanket. Even just making chains can be a really satisfying experience for kids.
    4. Help them start the project. Casting on or working into the first chain are some of the most difficult skills for beginners, so you may want to do the first row for them both to demonstrate the skill, and also so they don't get frustrated.
    5. Get to know their learning styles. While some children may learn better watching, others learn better with diagrams, while others learn better by listening to explanations. Getting a feel for their learning styles will make it easier for you to explain things in the most effective way.

    YarnCraft Podcast

    For more ideas, check out the podcast every other Tuesday by visiting YarnCraft.LionBrand.com or sign up for BK4K, our monthly newsletter for kids and those who yarncraft with them!

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  • Welcome to the Lion Brand Notebook

    Welcome to Lion Country

    Hi, I'm David Blumenthal, President of Lion Brand Yarn Company, and I'd like to welcome you to Lion Brand through this notebook. As a family business with a long history (Lion Brand has been around since 1878), we are passionate about yarn and dedicated to upholding the values that our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents have instilled in us. Several times a week we'll share ideas, information and thoughts about crafting with yarn and we'd like to hear your comments.

    The picture above is a sign that greets visitors in our corporate offices Carlstadt, New Jersey offices. There is also a bronze plaque in our reception area with the following quote:

    The ideals set forth by our parents for this company will ever remain the guiding spirit in our efforts to promote lasting friendship and fair dealing.

    We'll be bringing you answers to your most asked questions, tips and technical support for crafting with yarn, information about the community of knitters, crocheters and crafters, and knit and crochet events. Please check this notebook regularly for up-to-date news and information about new products and plans for an exciting new endeavor that we'll share with you soon.

    We're looking forward to the conversation. We hope you'll become part of our extended family. Please feel free to leave a comment, introduce yourself and say hello.

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  • About David

    What do you do at Lion Brand?
    I’m President and CEO.  I consider my most important job at Lion Brand to be offering a work environment where people can be happy and inspiring our associates to be their best.

    When did you start working at Lion Brand?
    October 1, 1969 was my first day. My father, Isidor, was President of the company from 1958 to 2003 but started working here when he graduated from law school.

    What do you do when you’re not working?
    I’m always working. Lion Brand is part of my life.  When I'm out of the office, I enjoy observing trends, and thinking about colors, fibers, and fashions.  I find inspiration everywhere from magazine articles to store windows, to catalogs in my mailbox, and I share these ideas with our associates who help bring them to life.

    What is your earliest yarn memory?
    Going to the office at 54 Canal Street, at the corner of Canal and Orchard Streets, where we had offices and a warehouse. It was the tallest building on the Lower East Side of New York. I was about 7 or 8 years old and I would sweep the floors and empty the wastebaskets. Going into the office with my father was a really big deal for me.

    What does your workspace look like?
    I have two offices: one in our corporate center in Carlstadt, New Jersey and one in our Design Center in Manhattan. They are both filled with history, memorabilia from my years in the business, family photos, and a lot of yarn and lion images. I have a collection of books about all aspects of yarn, binders with historical information, old advertisements and editorial features about Lion Brand. I have a 20 foot long bulletin board with photos of several of the Knit Outs that I started when I was president of the Craft Yarn Council 10 years ago, photos of our annual fashion show at the Craft and Hobby show with Vanna White, pictures of me with Barbara Bush, Elizabeth Dole, who was president of the American Red Cross, and several presidents and prime ministers. I also have a poster signed by Milton Glaser, who created the famous I love NY campaign and who has done design work for Lion Brand.

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