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  • The 12 Kits of Christmas in July: The majestic aura of the Tree of Life Afghan

    12 Kits of Christmas

    From the dawn of time, human beings have been breathlessly inspired by the king of the plant world, the Tree. Imposing in stature, existing in a mysterious state that transcends our human-scale notions of consciousness, time, and space, trees have infiltrated the very roots of human imagination, representing spiritual growth, fertility, transformation, and transcendence.

    They also look super great on a knitted afghan!

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    Just take a look at today’s kit, this glorious Tree of Life afghan, from our Christmas in July celebration! Can’t you just feel the thrum of eons of mystique dwelling within these stylized, leafless hulks?

    Close your eyes and picture the wintery landscape where these living, ancient talismans dwell. Do you hear the strange song of ages that pulses soundlessly from the essence of these silent giants? Can you feel the cool air whistling through their branches? I can’t. It’s hot as heck out, and my imagination isn’t that great.

    But that’s not going to keep me from grabbing 10 balls of Wool-Ease: Fisherman and getting to work making this ultra-sweet afghan. Get the pattern, kick up your heels, dial up Terrance Malick’s The Tree of Life on your streaming-platform-of-choice, and start knitting up this genuinely serene, beautiful pattern. It makes for a marvelous gift, perhaps to wrap oneself in while communing with the elder spirits of the forest.

    When you have returned to this plane of reality, keep your aura tuned to our blog for more exclusive kits available only at www.lionbrand.com during our Christmas in July celebration! You get a whopping 20% off these kits, but you’ll need to act faster than a tree: these inspiring kits are on sale until August 7!

    So make like a tree and leave this blog so you can get started knitting!

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  • Moogly Shows You How to Crochet the Openwork Shawl!

    How to Crochet the Openwork Shawl by Lion Brand Yarn!

    by Tamara Kelly, www.mooglyblog.com
    openwork shawl tutorial youtube thumb

    Lion Brand Yarn has a plethora of free crochet patterns on their site, and one of the best ones for beginning crocheters is the Openwork Shawl! It uses simple stitches combined with a gorgeous yarn to stunning effect. Of course, it's great for experienced crocheters as well - a pattern that is relaxing to crochet with a beautiful one skein result!

    To begin, you'll want to grab the Openwork Shawl pattern here on Lion Brand Yarn, as well as the materials listed: one ball of Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball, a US-J, 6.0mm hook, and a yarn needle and scissors - though you won't need the needle and scissors until the very end. Then, you can follow along with the photo tutorial below... or go all the way to the end for the video tutorial!

    Openwork Shawl Tutorial - Photo 1

    Step 1: Like most crochet patterns, you begin with a slip knot! This is implied, not spelled out in most written patterns.

    Openwork Shawl Tutorial - Photo 2

    Step 2: Chain 67. Remember that the loop on your hook is NOT included in this count!

    Openwork Shawl Tutorial - Photo 3

    Step 3: Double crochet into the 5th chain from the hook. You can go into whichever part of the chain you prefer for this, but do your best to be consistent as you work back across the chain.

    Openwork Shawl Tutorial - Photo 4

    Step 4: Then we begin the way we'll continue all the way across - chain 1, then skipping the next chain, double crochet in the next chain after that. Then chain 1, skip the next chain, and double crochet in the next chain... over and over again, until you end up with a double crochet in the very last chain.

    Openwork Shawl Tutorial - Photo 5

    Step 5: To being Row 2, you chain 4. This chain 4 will "count as" a double crochet stitch and a chain 1. Sound familiar?

    Openwork Shawl Tutorial - Photo 6

    Step 6: Next, you skip over the chain 1 in Row 1 below, and double crochet in the next double crochet. Do your best to go under both loops of the stitch.

    Openwork Shawl Tutorial - Photo 7

    Step 7: From here, it's just the same - chain 1, skip the next chain, double crochet in the next double crochet... repeating all the way to the end of Row 2! The very last stitch of Row 2 will go in the top of the chain 3 that represented the first dc of Row 1. So, skip the chain closest to the last Row 1 double crochet, and put you last Row 2 double crochet in the chain right after that.

    Openwork Shawl Tutorial - Photo 8

    NOTE! To keep track and make sure your shawl will have even sides, don't forget to count your stitches! Including the chain 3 that counts as a double crochet, you should have 33 double crochets in each row. 

    Openwork Shawl Tutorial - Photo 9

    Step 8: Repeat what you did for Row 2 to make Row 3 and beyond (steps 5-7). Keep going until you don't have enough yarn left to make a whole nother row. Here's where we use the scissors and needle - cut off the excess remaining yarn, leaving about 6 inches after the last stitch. Pull this end through the last loop on the hook to secure it, and weave in the ends with the yarn needle! You can see a demo of this - as well as the rest of the shawl - in the video below!

    And that's all there is to making the Openwork Shawl from Lion Brand Yarn! I hope this tutorial has helped you feel ready to tackle this lovely free crochet pattern!

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  • Mermaid Cocoon & Shark Kits: The 12 Kits of Christmas in July!

    12 Kits of Christmas

    sharkWith the sweltering 90+ degree heat across much of the US, the winter holidays feel a long way off. So for today's Christmas in July celebration, we're taking a splash with two fantastical kits that marry summer beach living with the season of giving!

    First on dock is the Shark Afghan Kit. A crochet project made with Hometown USA®, this intermediate level pattern gives a fun challenge to new crocheters with fin finishing details that will delight your little nautical adventurer. As versatile as it is adorable, the Shark Afghan can be used as an adventurous accent in your child's room, or as a fun functional blanket during the cold months ahead. Made with the durability of machine washing yarn, the Shark Afghan will be a float for years of Shark Week to come! Get started on yours today.

    Our second ocean-themed kit swimming to shore is the Mermaid Tail Cocoon kitA new favorite pattern for kids and teens alike, the crochet Mermaid Tail Cocoon is made with the bright sea colors of Aqua, Aquamarine, & Peacock Vanna's Choice®. And of course, a mermaid tail can't be land-bound: this cocoon kit is fully machine washable as well! Take the plunge today. 

    Stay tuned to our blog for more exclusive kits available only at www.lionbrand.com during our Christmas in July celebration! All kits are 20% off but act fast: these kits are only on sale until August 7!

    Get started on the holidays now: your future self will thank you!

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