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Monthly Archives: February 2014

  • 7 Ways Knitting Keeps You Healthy and Well

    This article originally appeared in TreeHugger and is reprinted with permission from Katherine Martinko.

    knitting-keeps-healthy

    Last month I wrote an article called “Why bother knitting a scarf?” Much to my surprise, I received thousands of positive reactions from readers who share my love of homemade, local, and beautiful “slow fashion” items. Clearly, knitting is being embraced by people from all walks of life who benefit from its peaceful, relaxing repetition. It got me wondering – what’s really going on when people knit? Why is it so tremendously popular?

    It turns out that knitting has incredible health benefits. It makes people feel good in just about every way. A bit of research has revealed a wide range of ways in which knitting helps humans cope, physically and mentally.

    1. Knitting is used for therapy. It’s a powerful distractant, helping people manage long-term physical pain. For those who are depressed, knitting can motivate them to connect with the world. It is a conversation starter, allowing people to interact politely without making eye contact. It builds confidence and self-esteem.

    2. Knitting is supremely relaxing, which is extremely important for reducing stress and anxiety. Dr. Herbert Benson, founder of Harvard’s Mind/Body Medical Institute, wrote The Relaxation Response, in which he recommends the repetition of a word, sound, phrase, prayer, or muscular activity to elicit “the relaxation response” – decreased heart rate, muscle tension, and blood pressure. Knitting is likened to meditation, sometimes described by knitters as “spiritual” and “Zen-like.”

    3. Knitting connects people. By joining a knitting group, a solitary activity turns into a social one. One study, called “The Benefits of Knitting for Personal and Social Wellbeing in Adulthood” and published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy, found that “knitting in a group impacted significantly on perceived happiness, improved social contact, and communication with others.”

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  • Being A Part of the Family - My Story by Gabby Blumenthal

    Gabby Blumenthal, 20 year old college student and the daughter of Jack Blumenthal, Senior VP of Lion Brand Yarn Company, shares her story of growing up in the family that started Lion Brand Yarn Company. She recently attended the annual Craft and Hobby Association trade show with her Dad, and talks about her experience.

    Family picture.
    Family picture taken in 1999.  Pictured from left to right: Dean, David, Isidor, Gabby, Jack, and Reuben Blumenthal.

    When I was a little girl, my Dad would come home from work, loosen his tie and tuck me into bed with a story. Now, my Dad’s stories were far from conventional. For one thing, he was terrible at make-believe and couldn't tell a princess from a portal. So, telling me all he knew how to tell, my Dad would talk at length about his own life-long adventures. I can't tell you how many times I heard about how he got stuck in an international airport, or when he was babysitting a cat and, not to ruin the story or anything, but the poor cat died.

    When these "epic" tales wore thin, my dad started on the family tree. I heard about everyone from Great, Great Grandpa Reuben to my own Grandfather, George, whom I never had the chance to meet and am honored to be named after. I heard about how Dad wanted to go into Lion Brand since he was four years old, always knowing that he was passionate about having a career in the yarn industry.

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  • Craft Through the 7 Wonders of the Yarn World - First Stop: Textures

    CHA-texture
    Nathan Vincent's sculpture of Stonehenge; model wearing Knit Modern Varsity Jacket

    Every year, Lion Brand presents an exciting booth display and fashion show at the Craft and Hobby Association Convention in Anaheim California. Past booths have included a Viennese table filled with yarn crafted cakes, cookies and other deserts and a menagerie of giant animal sculptures created with yarn.

    Last month, we ramped up the excitement with the 7 Wonders of The World sculptures which were designed by fiber artist Nathan Vincent. Not only did each sculpture represent one of the 7 Wonders in yarn techniques, but we presented a fashion show where each technique was reflected in a variety of fashions.  Vanna White was there to emcee the show and all of the patterns we presented are now available on our website.

    Our first highlighted wonder of the world is Stonehenge, which was designed to reflect texture and it's importance to knitting and crochet design, including felting.  There was even life-like looking moss around the base of the monument.

    One of the best things about knitting and crocheting your own garments is the rich texture you can achieve by using yarns that are super bulky, sparkly, or furry.  You'll find that exceptional look in the yarns that these fashions were made of including Imagine, Homespun® Thick & Quick®, Vanna's Glamour®, Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® and Romance®.

    We hope you enjoy the ideas and unique designs represented in the popular textured fashions from our show. In the coming weeks we'll be present all of the 7 Wonders of the Yarn World -- from lace to chevrons, granny squares to modern color work, you're sure to find inspiration in this amazing collection.

    CHA-texture CHA-chevrons-pncho CHA-texture-fettucini CHA-texture
    Knit Voyager Vest
    with
    Crochet Neon Beginner Scarf
    Knit Cocoon Cape
    with
    Knit Simple Hat
    Crochet Fern's Necklace
    with
    Knit and Crochet 3 Color Top
    Crochet Williamsburg Hat
    with
    Knit Multidirectional Afghan*

     

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