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Author Archives: Jack

What do you do at Lion Brand? My title is Vice President. I do marketing and sales. When did you start working for Lion Brand? March 1, 1983 What’s your favorite thing about working for Lion Brand? My favorite thing is to have an idea, to discuss it in a meeting and then see it in a store 6 months or a year later. What do you do when you are not working? I Collect sports memorabilia and autographs. When I travel and I’m in a hotel I can spot a professional athlete from across the room and I’ve gotten a lot of autographs that way. I have an autographed Sandy Koufax jersey and a ball autographed by Koufax and Drysdale. I also coach my son’s basketall team and take him to little league games. What is your work area like? My work area is fun. I have a 1954 working Coke machine and a bubble gum machine from the 50s, a collection of Norman Rockwell plates of people knitting, articles by my Dad of a book he wrote the introduction to on knitting from 1953, a needlepoint made by my second grade teach showing Lion Brand on a pushcart, The Simpson family, sitting in front of the T.V. with Marge knitting. This was a cover of T. V. Guide. When I called them and told them I was in the yarn business they sent me the original artwork (called a cell). I have a tin that we used to give to stores in the 1950s, a photo of my son modeling a Lion Brand Sweater, a French poster of a girl knitting from 1928, a Red Cross poster from World War II that says, “our boys need socks, knit your bit”, a cover of Life Magazine from 1941 with a woman knitting (Life was 10 cents), a cover of New Yorker Magazine with a big ball of yarn, about 40 images of Lions counting stuffed animals, needlepoint, and framed images. A collection of books, some autographed, by Vanna White, Kate Jacobs and Debbie Macomber, all famous knitters or crocheters, a Build-A-Bear of a Lion, a picture of Wallace and Grommet knitting, a poster of an old catalog cover that was a take-off of American Gothic with two Lions knitting and crocheting, a clock with the Lion Brand logo, a framed 1946 Saturday Evening Post from with a picture of a dog sweater being knit. I have lots of photos including my father with Henry Kissinger, photos of me with Jackie Mason and Mohammed Ali, a picture of my Uncle Isidor, A picture of my parents in front of the Taj Mahal from 1971, picture of Warren Buffet knitting (his daughter had a knit shop), color card books from the 60s to the 90s, license plate holder, that says “license to knit”, What is your earliest yarn memory? When I was 5 I took a paper bag with spools fo thread, I went to my parents friends on the street and to go door to door selling spools of thread for a nickel a spool.

  • Warm Up Your Home This Winter With Hygge

    Recently, my wife has taken on a home refreshment project. In her research, she came across the Danish concept of Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga). The concept illustrates creating a warm space with chunky knit pillows and throws adding dimension and texture. It’s all about using different materials and layering soft textures like cashmere with faux fur and heavy wool.

    Hygge-UGG Image courtesy of UGG.

    What is Hygge?

    Our new WOW!® yarn and our LB Collection® Wool are perfect examples of Hygge; it creates a bold statement piece. Indulge in your space to create a styled look that brings you pleasure every day. When I delve deeper into the concept, I realized it was about more than décor. It is the Danish way to express the importance of self-care.

    Under this view you should take time for yourself and create a space that is pleasing to you. Make your home a relaxing escape, light a candle and pick up a book, or better yet, a craft. Taking the time to knit or crochet can bring peace to your day. From feeling the textures of the yarn on your finger tips to creating a calming rhythm of repeating stiches and then relishing the feeling of accomplishment when you finish your project and joy you get whenever you see or use it, every step of the process is Hygge.

    Why Hygge

    Hygge is almost always linked to the word "cozy," so it is no surprise that it just feels right for the winter months but it can be just as satisfying in a heat wave. You can find a perfect place under a tree in the park or on the beach to slow down and enjoy the world around you. Take time to notice and appreciate the small things and let them inspire you and bring you happiness.

    Hygge is about doing something for yourself but this does not mean you have to be alone. If your Hygge is achieved by being around friends, invite them over. You don’t need to host a structured afternoon or night with specific projects and deadlines. Light a fire, make some tea, and have your friends bring whatever they currently have on their needles or hook. Your friends don’t practice the samecraft as you? Teach each other! The teacher can enjoy sharing what they love to do while the student can appreciate having a new outlet to relieve their stress.

    -Jack Blumenthal

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  • A Fine Day at Stitch 'N' Pitch: Jack Throws Out the First Pitch!

    first pitchThis summer I crossed off a major dream from my bucket list when I threw out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game for the New York Mets at Citi Field.

    For the last eight years I've been very involved with Stitch 'N' Pitch. The event is a wonderful opportunity for the knitting and crochet community to come together and share their passions -- stitching and baseball. Each summer, crafters fill the stands and bring their current projects with them. It’s magnificent to look out onto the manicured lawns of the playing field and around the stadium at the knitting and crochet enthusiasts enjoying their labor of love.

    The New York Stitch 'N' Pitch group has orchestrated some very special events. One year, we yarn bombed Citi Field, and another we were added to the Guinness World Records for the most people crocheting at one time. In 2015, crafters were challenged to make squares with Lion Brand® yarn for Warm-Up America, a charity that I’m involved with which distributes handmade afghans to those in need.

     

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    At the end of the day, a good time was had by all; Lion Brand associates and their families, crafters who came from far and wide, our friends at AC Moore, and all the many designers and others from the knitting and crocheting community. I can’t wait till next year ... but until then, LETS GO METS!

     

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  • My Favorite Moments from the 2014 Crochet Guild of America Conference and Knit & Crochet Show

    CGOA
    Dinner with friends, from left to right: Evan Blumenthal, Danielle Holke, Jack Blumenthal, Carla Horvath, Mary Colucci, Brandyce Pechillo, Tammy Hildebrand, Kimberly McAlindin.

    The fond memories of last month's 2014 Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) conference and Knit & Crochet Show in Manchester, NH are still fresh in my mind. It was the 20th Anniversary of the CGOA and the Anniversary Celebration Committee planned a sensational event, chock-full of crochet pride.

    Once I arrived at the hotel and saw the many crochet squares and yarnbombs decorating the courtyard and lobby, I knew it was going to be a great event.

    As in years passed, I am always honored to be able to attend the CGOA Annual dinner and fashion show, an annual event that is always a crowd pleaser. This year it had 250 people in attendance!

    I was blown away by the impressive talent of participating members; no surprise that plenty of door prizes and awards were given out.

    The shopping floor was a flurry of activity, housing vendors from all over New England and beyond. It was also a great opportunity for me to catch up with all my friends in the knitting and crochet community. For instance, I was able to congratulate Gwen Blakely Kinsler in person on her induction to the CGOA Hall of Fame this year. Like a majority of crafters, she has tremendous love and passion for crocheting and the guild.

    My college-aged son, who attended the conference with me for the first time, was quite impressed to see how many people I knew ... and who knew me.

    During the conference I attended my last in-person Board Meeting with the CGOA. It has been a great pleasure to have been a board member since 2011 and to have been able to participate in these meetings, but I know that I'm leaving the board in good hands.

    To end on a brighter note: I took the opportunity to visit one of the mills that produces some of our yarn. I was able to see the process and production in which everything is made. Being able to see the very beginnings of a Lion Brand yarn and the attention to detail that is put into each skein makes me love being part of this family and company.

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