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Monthly Archives: November 2011

  • Make Your Own Jane Austen-Inspired Cropped Jacket from <em>Austentatious Crochet</em>

    Yarncrafting inspiration can come from many places. For some, it comes from a particular silhouette or the style of a particular period. For others, it's color or texture. Recently, we've been seeing all kinds of amazing designs inspired by the world of Jane Austen, and our friends at Running Press Book Publishers have shared with us one of their newest books, Austentatious Crochet, which is filled with romantic designs that any Austen-fan will love. They've also provided us with a FREE pattern from the book to share with you!

    Click the image below to download your very own copy of the pattern for Anne's Spencer, a cropped jacket that's sure to become a staple in your wardrobe. (It's definitely now on my to-crochet list!)

    Pattern excerpted with permission from Austentatious Crochet © 2011 by Melissa Horozeski, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book group.  Photos © 2011 by Chris Hynes.

    Looking for more period-inspired yarncrafting? Our friend Michelle Edwards designed a beautiful knit shawl inspired by the Prohibition years. Learn more and get her directions by clicking here.

    Do you love the world of Jane Austen? Has it inspired you to take on any period knitting/crochet projects? Leave a comment and tell us about it!

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  • Lion Brand Celebrates Thanksgiving with a Potluck Lunch

    As you celebrate Thanksgiving with your families, I'd like to share with you the Thanksgiving feast we enjoyed with the Lion Brand family. This year was the most delicious food ever since we each bring a dish and try to outdo our previous years' offering. It's all organized by Mike, our official Director of Fun with help from others.

    Some of the tables of food

    There were six folding tables filled with hearty foods and an entire room dedicated to tables of desserts.  We had traditional American foods as well as Mexican, Italian, Middle Eastern and even vegetarian options.  We're a diverse group and it was fun to sample everyone's specialty dish.

    David Blumenthal, the President and CEO gave a brief talk that we'll share with you here:

    Here's a photo of Dean Blumenthal, and his son, Evan, part of the fourth and fifth generations of the family that owns and operates the company.

    Evan and his dad, Dean, at the Lion Brand feast                  Our group chows down!

    In the video above, you heard David speak about being grateful for the people who protect us and for living in the greatest country in the world.  I'm grateful for many things, including having the opportunity to work at a company that is doing good for people and is a wonderful place to work.  It's been a difficult year for many people in our country and around the world, but being able to appreciate what's good is a life affirming practice.  What is it that you are grateful for this year?

    Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Lion Brand!

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  • Half Medallion Bag Crochet-Along: Lining the Bag

    Like many other crocheters, items that require sewing skills with needle and thread can be daunting to me. To find a no-sew way of lining this bag, I consulted my friend Leslie who is an expert sewer and finisher. She suggested the two items that make this lining easy: felt for the actual lining, and Stitch Witchery, which is a type of fusible interfacing, or, in plain English, a super thin material that melts into glue when heat is applied. Black felt comes in 9 x 12" sheets at many craft stores. That size should work with this project. If your half bag is larger than the specified measurements, you can buy felt by the yard in many fabric stores. Stitch Witchery is also widely available. Here's what you should do before making the lining of the bag.

    Before making the flap for the handles, steam each half bag piece into its final shape and dimensions. This kind of blocking will work on wool, and even on acrylic in many cases. Remember not to directly touch your iron to the acrylic. I recommend this technique instead of wet blocking, as the latter may alter the bobbles and posts more than is desirable in this design.

    Once you have the final shape, the next step is to cut the felt and Stitch Witchery into the same shape as half the bag. There are several ways this can be done. In the accompanying photos, you can see how the bag was pinned to the interfacing, and used as a guide for cutting it, then the interfacing was used as a guide to cut the felt.

    Cutting felt

    If you prefer, you can use chalk to trace the outline of one side of the bag on the black felt. Or, you can cut a piece of paper to match the bag and use that as a pattern to cut the felt to size. Any of these methods is fine, so use whichever you find easiest. After cutting the felt, trim it down by about 1/2" all around. Then cut the same shape in the Stitch Witchery. You should end up with two half medallion pieces of black felt and two pieces of Stitch Witchery, all the same size.

    The next step is to get your iron ready for steaming. Carefully place the Stitch Witchery between the felt and the bag.

    Lining up Stitch Witchery

    Apply steam slowly and carefully, allowing the Stitch Witchery to melt and the felt and bag to fuse. Keep in mind that too much heat and pressing will cause the bobbles and post stitches to flatten, so go slowly and gently until the fusing happens.


    After you've done this, you can puff up the bobbles and posts by hand. Follow this procedure for both sides of the bag. Once this is done, you can make the flap at the top of each half, for attaching the handles to the bag, which we'll discuss next week.

    Editor's note: For those who would prefer a traditional sewn lining, please follow the directions in the pattern for tracing out your fabric lining and sewing it in.

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