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  • Lion Brand Loves Vanna White

    Many years ago I was watching the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. Vanna White was on and Johnny asked her, a bit suggestively in a Groucho Marx style, “What do you like to do in your spare time”? She replied that she was an avid crocheter. I almost fell out of bed when I heard that!

    I went into work the next day and told my cousin David about the interview. At his suggestion we sent her a yarn care package and about a week later we received a hand written note from Vanna. She thanked us and informed us that this is the yarn she goes to the store to buy.

    This note can still be found in David’s desk today. It marks the beginning of a beautiful relationship between our company and the lovely and talented Ms. White.



    I can’t believe it has been 24 years since I met Vanna White. Working with Vanna is an absolute delight as she is a true professional in every sense of the word. She carries herself with such poise and treats everyone she meets with warmth and kindness.

    Over the years she has visited our NYC office as well as our NJ outlet and we have worked with her on many creative projects from fashion shows to lines of yarn. We have also collaborated with her to raise over one million dollars for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

    We here at Lion Brand have had the pleasure of sharing many lunches and dinners with Vanna, getting to know her on a personal level. I can attest she is as lovely as she appears to be on television.


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  • Learn to Crochet, Project 3: Three Color Tonal Cowl

    Welcome back to the Learn to Crochet series! Today we'll be making our third project, the Three Color Tonal Cowl.

    learn-to-crochet-roulearn-to-crochet-tonal cowl

    Last week, we covered how to crochet in the round. There are a few methods for doing so, but we focused on the using a slip stitch to attach the end of a round to its beginning. We also discussed how this week's project alters that method by making the slip stitch, then working back in the opposite direction instead of continuing in the round.

    Have You been practicing? Working in the round isn't too difficult, but it can take some getting used to.

    The Tonal Cowl



    For the Three Color Tonal Cowl, you need three skeins of Wool-Ease® Tonal, one each of three different colors. I like the gradient feel of using three similar shades, so I went with Cabernet, Raspberry, and Fuchsia. You could do something similar or make it your own. This would look lovely in three shades of gray (Charcoal, Smoke, and Grey Marble) or with some unrelated brights (Fuchsia, Aqua, and Lime). It's up to you!

    You use a size N-13 (9.0 mm) hook for this. With that size and the chunky yarn, this is actually a pretty quick project.

    The Process

    This cowl is made up of chains and double crochet stitches. That's it! Do them in sequence to get the nice open pattern you see.

    It starts with a ch of 74, which you join with a sl st. Make sure you don't twist the chain when you join it, which is something that took me a few tries.

    After you ch 3 to make the first stitch, you'll dc into the chain all the way around. This shouldn't increase or decrease at all, so make sure you've still got 74 stitches at the end. I find that the first row is the easiest place to inexplicably gain or lose things.

    At the end of each round, you'll sl st into the first stitch, make your turning ch, and turn the piece to work back in the direction you came from.

    On this second round, the turning ch is 4, because it counts as the first dc as well as one ch. You'll only be working into every other stitch, so it goes sk 1 st, dc 1, ch 1. That means you skip over a stitch, dc into the following stitch, and ch 1. The chain stitch makes up for the one you skipped over, so you should have the same size piece at the end of the round.  The next round is all dc, so you work into every stitch and chain from the round before. Don't forget to work back the way you came after your turning ch!

    Changing Yarn

    After doing the two pattern rows a few times, you'll switch colors. We've done this before, in the hat, so you should be able to do it without trouble. Do the sl st in the color you've been working with, then use the new color for your turning ch.

    You'll repeat the same pattern with the new color, then change again. Repeat the pattern with the third color, fasten off, and you're done!

    Of all the projects we're doing for this series, the Tonal Cowl is the one I've gotten the most use out of. I love both the look and feel of Wool-Ease® Tonal, and it's a warm piece to wear on windy winter days in New York. It's tall enough to cover the face, but the open stitching means you won't feel like you're suffocating (and you won't fog your glasses as much). Depending on what else I'm wearing, I can either put the bright Fuchsia side up or the darker Cabernet side. Both look great!

    While making it, I discovered I'm not the only one who likes it. Beware adorable animals who steal your cozy craft projects.

    Up Next

    Next week is our last (!) lesson. We'll be working on increases and decreases, so get your practice yarn and hooks ready! After that we'll be making the Crochet Level 3 Ripple Cowl, which requires two skeins (one in each color) of Heartland®.

    Can you believe we're so close to being done? You're almost a crochet expert!

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  • Shawl in a Ball® is Now On Sale for 20% Off

    Since the weather is already growing warmer, this is a great time to start thinking about light spring projects. What better than something soft and flowy made from Shawl in a Ball®?

    This yarn is 20% off* for the next two weeks. That means you can save while you stock up on supplies for your warm weather knits and crochets. The sale of course includes the eight newer metallic shades, so you can add some shimmer to your style.

    *online only. Sale ends March 9. Not applicable with other offers or coupons.


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