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Monthly Archives: November 2011

  • 6 Great Gifts for Knitters, Crocheters, and Crafters

    It's always a challenging finding the perfect gift for the friend who has everything, but what about the perfect gift for the crafter who makes everything? Get ready to wow the knitters and crocheters in your life and show them how much you appreciate their careful, loving work with any of the gifts below. If you are a yarncrafter, share this post with your friends and family to show them what's on your holiday wishlist this year.

    Ergonomic Crochet Hook Set Ergonomically designed tools are a great for crafters who are always working. The Ergonomic Crochet Hook Set has a rounded base that makes it comfortable to hold, and a wide variety of interchangeable hooks means you can work with yarn of almost any gauge.
    Stress Relief Gloves Another perfect gift for busy hands, Stress Relief Gloves help rejuvenate tired hands and, when worn while crafting, help keep wrist and finger fatigue at bay. They can also be worn during regular activities beyond crafting, helping keep those crafting hands healthy and comfortable.
    Yarn Cutter Pendant With this Yarn Cutter Pendant the knitters and crocheters in your life will never have to search for their scissors again! Tiny, well-protected blades keep fingers safe and easily cut through yarn of nearly any size. The pendant itself makes a very fashionable pendant or key chain.
    Lily Combo Needle Case Every knitter and crocheter loves being able to find their tools quickly and easily. A tool case like the Lily Combo Needle Case makes it easy to locate needles, hooks, stitch markers and more all at a quick glance. A gift like this will save the yarn lover in your life from the frustration of losing tools and having to replace them.
    Lion Brand Gift Certificate Buying yarn for another person can be a challenge; color, quantity and fiber content are often very personal preferences. A gift certificate is the best way to help your crafty friends and family get exactly the yarn they want, in exactly the right amount.
    Martha Stewart Crafts Knit & Weave Loom Kit If there's one thing that yarn crafters love, it's trying out new techniques and learning new skills. The Martha Stewart Crafts Knit & Weave Loom Kit is a wonderful present for those who already knit and would like to try loom knitting, or those who want to learn to knit but don't enjoy working with needles. It's also a very versatile weaving loom. With over 100 patterns on LionBrand.com specifically designed for the loom kit, it will be easy to find new projects to try.

    Often, the best gift for busy crafters is time. Homemade coupons for babysitting and household chores never go out of style for knitters and crocheters who would love just a little extra time with their hooks and needles. A special holiday tea or coffee blend would be a relaxing gift to enjoy while crafting, and a series of books on tape would make a perfect gift for a literary knitter or crocheter whose hands are always busy.

    Want even more tips on shopping for yarncrafters this holiday season? Click the link below to check out the newest episode of our podcast, YarnCraft, for more gift-giving tips whether you’re adding items to your own wishlist or shopping for yarn-loving friends:

    YarnCraft Episode 105 :: 20 Gift Ideas for Yarncrafters, PLUS 5 Sock-Making Tips from Clara Parkes of Knitter’s Review

    What gifts have you given or received that were prefect for crafters? Is there anything special you're hoping for this year? Leave a comment to share your story with everyone.

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  • Learn to Knit Colorwork: Fair Isle, Intarsia, and Duplicate Stitch

    As the temperatures drop, stores begin selling their coziest knitwear. I've noticed so many hats, sweaters, scarves, and mittens featuring gorgeous colorwork. With the right skills, you can knit these colorful items at home! Here are our handy FAQs on three colorwork techniques to make your winter brighter.

    Fair Isle

    Fair Isle knitting, also known as stranded knitting, refers to color work that is a repeating pattern worked over a group of stitches and rows. Click here for more information. Want a few examples of this technique? Check out this blog post with pattern suggestions.

    Intarsia

    Intarsia is a colorwork technique that is used to create individual sections of color in one piece. Click here to find out more about intarsia.

    Duplicate Stitch

    If you want to add some patterning after your knitting is done, try duplicate stitch; click here for a tutorial. It's great for adding letters (such as those in this chart). I even use it to cover up the occasional mistake!

    Want to utilize your new colorwork skills? Try searching our PatternFinder for great patterns; just type Fair Isle, intarsia, or duplicate stitch into the search box.

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  • How to Make an Easy Knit or Crochet Dog Sweater

    Keep your pet snug and warm with these fast, easy to make pet sweaters. These 5 patterns for knit and crochet pet sweaters have been reviewed by dozens of dog lovers who make their own pet clothes. Click on an image to see the full pattern, and scroll down to read reviews and 5 essential tips on making the perfect sweater for your four-legged friend!

    Need for Tweed Dog Sweater Urban Granny Dog Sweater Puppy Love Dog Sweater City Stripes Dog Sweater Striped Dog Sweater
    Need for Tweed
    Urban Granny
    Puppy Love
    City Stripes
    Striped Dog Sweater
    "Super cute sweater. Knitted really fast, good project for beginner." -Marilyn D. "This pattern worked up very easily, and on the first try looks just like the example! I will definitely be making more of these." -Amanda B. "It looks sooo cute! I'm sure my dogs will love it. They love soft, fluffy things." -Diana V. "This is a good and quick pattern to make. I've made one for my 11 lb. Yorkie and I'm getting ready to make a Christmas one for him now." -Susan M. "[It] was very easy to do, I opted to do one solid colour and finished and had it on my pretty pooch within a few hours." -Candice

    Try these 5 helpful tips for making a great dog sweater:

    Pick the right yarn for the job. For dog sweaters, you'll want washable yarn with a tighter spin so it's less inclined to halo or pill as your dog plays in it and rolls around outside. Wool-Ease Thick & Quick is the perfect yarn for the Need For Tweed, Urban Granny, City Stripes and Striped Dog Sweater patterns and comes in a wide range of colors. Two strands of Fun Fur held together, or a single strand held with Vanna's Choice or Wool-Ease are the perfect recipe for the fluffy Puppy Love sweater.

    Measure your dog. Before starting your project, be sure to measure your dog around the body, down the length of the back, and around the neck and legs. Compare these measurements to the sizes of the pattern, and you'll easily be able to choose with size is right for your pooch.

    Is your dog still growing? If you're making a puppy sweater, keep in mind that next year your puppy will probably have grown and the sweater might not fit anymore. Try making your sweater a little larger so your pet can grow into it, or pick a pattern you love so you'll have a go-to dog sweater pattern to make again when your dog is full grown.

    Swatch and check your gauge. Checking your gauge is very important with fitting a dog sweater, especially if you're switching yarns or the size of your hook or needles.

    Find a pattern you love and feel comfortable with. LionBrand.com has thousands of free patterns, and each are rated as to how challenging they are. Click here to see all the dog sweater patterns and pick your favorites.

    Once you've made a sweater that you and your dog love, be ready for all the compliments and questions at the dog park about where you got it and how you made it!

    Have you made a dog sweater before? Do you have a picture to share? Show and/or tell us all about your project in the comments below.

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