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Author Archives: Ilana

What do you do at Lion Brand? My title is V.P. of Marketing. I consider my first priority to encourage people who craft with yarn to engage with us in ways that will enhance their experience and feel more connected to Lion Brand. When did you start working at Lion Brand? My first day was January 2, 1996. On January 3, 1996, an article appeared on the front page of the New York Times Style Section entitled “Younger Knitters Knit One Purl Two.” The first line of the article read: “Knitting, an activity that faded during the 1970's and 1980's, is coming back, especially among younger people.” This article marked the beginning of a renaissance in the field of yarn crafting. I considered this an immensely fortunate sign ( at a time when people hesitated to knit in public) and knew I had landed in the right place. What is your favorite thing about working at Lion Brand? Even when people don’t necessarily agree with or understand the point of an initiative I believe in, they are willing to let me try it. What do you do when you’re not working at Lion Brand? I spend time as much time as possible with my family. I do Yoga two to three times a week so I don’t stiffen up completely and topple over. What is your earliest yarn memory? My mother’s friend, Adele, taught me to knit when I was eight. I had trouble sitting still. I’m still having trouble sitting still and I’m not much of a knitter, but I’ll always be grateful to Adele for her gift.

  • Knit, Crochet And Yarn Trends For 2016

    If you love fiber and the look of hand crafted elegance,  you're going to enjoy the trends we see for 2016.  In all of these trends, yarn is a big, bold star.  From the powerful combination of black and white, to giant, chunky stitches, to the no-holds-barred flowing fringe look, it's all about standing out.  As yarn takes center stage, we seem to be in love with the look of it and with the stitches themselves. Whether it's cable, stockinette or woven stitches, we want to see them, and the bigger, longer and more dramatic, the better!


    Get the look: Knit Concerto Cowl // One Ball Crocheted Scarfie

    Colors go in and out of fashion, and although black is always popular, the trend we see is black and white.  From Angelina Jolie on the cover of Vogue to the preponderance of runway fashions in the contrasting black and white patterns, the evidence is clear that black and white makes a bold on trend fashion statement.

    Lion Brand®'s yarns in a variety of weights help you design in black and white, and Scarfie is the perfect yarn to help you create this trend in an ombre look.


    Get the look: Crochet Fast Fringed Scarf

    According to some sources, fringe is the biggest trend for Spring 2016. Fringe is everywhere, from the obvious--on ponchos--to dresses, shoes, boots and even scarves.  The look is dramatic, off beat and retro, with a new twist that there is not limit to the ways you can wear fringe or the length that the fringe can be!


    Get the look: Crochet "Knit-Look" Tapestry Bag by Mama in a Stitch // Crochet Cabled Wristwarmers by All About Ami

    Everyone wants the look of knit stitches.  If you buy knits, you'll find that the stitch definition is part of the design.  Even items that aren't knitted like the tights and the printed bags shown below have the appearance of knitted stitches.  It's a sign that knitting has become part of pop culture and has seeped into every corner of design.  From yarn bombing to the latest Netflix knitted socks, knitting is in.  If you're a knitter, you're set and if you crochet, you can still get the look with knit look crochet patterns.

    Get the look: Knit Hat in a Flash // Super Circs Size 50 Needles

    So, it's not only the look of your stitches but the boldest, biggest stitches that seem to be taking over accessory and home decor patterns.  The designs are attention getting and powerful.  If you knit or crochet, you can make your projects quickly and easily. Our new size 50 circular needles were just introduced especially to help you use the chunkiest yarns available.


    Get the look: Loom-Woven Natural Instincts Wall Hanging // Loom-Woven Blue Note Pillow // Loom-Woven Simple Clutch

    Weaving is a simple way to craft with yarn and woven wall hangings are the most woven project.  Even a novice can pick up a basic loom and start creating artistic wall art. It doesn't stop with wall hangings though, as the woven look is popular for home decor objects like table runners and pillows, as well as tote bags and clutches.  If you're a knitter or crocheter, you'll enjoy the new ways to use the fibers you love. With weaving, you'll enjoy mixing yarns and the variety of texture and dimension that possible with woven projects.

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  • Lion Brand and Project Knitwell Ask: Are You A Caregiver? How Knitting Can Help.

    Are You A Caregiver? How Knitting Can Help.

    The Comfort of Knitting is a unique how to knit book with a mission.  It is presented by Project Knitwell, a non-profit organization started by a mother who found knitting helped her relax and provided a distraction from her worries during countless hours spent in the hospital.  That mom, Carol Caparosa, was so moved by her experience, that she has devoted the last 11 years of her life to helping others discover the joy of knitting in times of stress.

    Project Knitwell volunteers work in hospitals, in after-school programs for at-risk youth and with cancer support groups.  They supply the The Comfort of Knitting book, offer knitting instruction, and provide yarn, needles and patterns to patients, family members and health care providers.

    Lion Brand®, working with Project Knitwell designed and produced The Comfort of Knitting.  It includes

    • How to knit instructions
    • 7 easy patterns
    • A  list of health benefits of knitting based on studies including alleviating eating disorders, delaying memory loss and decreasing stress.
    • A list of books about the therapeutic benefits of knitting
    • First person accounts of the effect of knitting on caregivers and patients

    With a focus on caring for the caregiver, the book recognizes the unique stresses and feelings of isolation experienced by the scores of millions of people who take care of family members and patients every day.

    Included in the book is the Three Strand Afghan pattern. Made with Hometown USA®, it's an easy knit blanket that offers warmth and comfort to its receiver.

    Knit Three Strand Afghan made with Hometown USA®

    Lion Brand® has committed all of its proceeds from the book to Project Knitwell and to the Alzheimer's Association, since caregivers for Alzheimer's patients often face long term and unrecognized efforts.

    Can you share a story of using knitting to help you deal with the stress of being a caregiver?

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  • Christmas In July Day 4: Prayer Shawls--A Gift Of Comfort

    Christmas in July: Prayer and Healing Shawls to Start Working on Now!Do you have some free time this summer? In our Christmas in July series, we’ll be rounding-up our favorite gifts to make and give, including ones you can get started on now. Trust us – you’ll be thanking yourself between holiday parties when you’ve got all your gifts blocked and wrapped.

    Gift giving time usually evokes a festive occasion. But when the holidays roll around, it's not always a happy time for everyone.  For those who have experienced loss or health problems during the year, a gift is also an opportunity to tell someone that they are in your thoughts and you support them through all the ups and downs of life.

    These six shawls are all beginner or easy.  The best thing about creating simple, repetitive patterns is that they tend to be relaxing to knit or crochet, so not only will the recipient feel good about getting one of these shawls, but you'll find them soothing to make!

    comfort_shawl simply_sublime neutral_slant
    Knit Comfort Shawl made with Homespun® Crochet Simply Sublime Shawl made with Homespun® Knit Neutral Slant Shawl made with Scarfie®
    heartfelt_shawl tender_shawl serene_comfort
    Knit Heartfelt Shawl made with Homespun® Knit Tender Shawl made with Homespun® Crochet Serene Comfort Shawl made with Homespun®
    tea_parlor two_color scalloped
    Knit and Crochet Tea in the Parlor Shawl made with Homespun® Thick & Quick® Crochet Two Color Shawl made with Homespun® Thick & Quick® Crochet Scalloped Shawl made with Homespun®

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