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  • Embracing Change: How I Fell In Love With Big Needles

    Thick and Quick Blanket

    Adapting

    When chronic overuse of my hands was causing pain while knitting I began working with physical therapist, Victoria Moitoso of Foundry Orthopedics in Providence, Rhode Island. She suggested that I use only very large needles: “The larger the needle, the less stress it will cause.” I found some number seventeens among my knitting notions, and started a blanket for a baby girl due in July.

    In the beginning, number seventeen needles, 1.5 inches around, felt about as delicate as shovels. But the blanket they created, with Lion Brand’s Wool-Ease Thick and Quick yarn, was adorable, and best of all, the basic stockinette worked up so quickly that I forgot all about the initial clumsiness. I also loved that the project was complete in only a few hours. Whether or not you have a hand problem that might benefit from using large knitting needles, you’ll find that it’s extremely gratifying to make something so beautiful so quickly. Big-needle projects are perfect for summer knitting, since the speedy work means you won’t feel overwhelmed by heat.

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  • Getting the Point Across

    Writer, illustrator, and knitter Franklin Habit joins us for his monthly column featuring humor and insights into a yarncrafter’s life.

    If you are of a romantic turn of mind (I am) and a history buff (ditto), at some time in your armchair travels back in time you will have encountered an obsolete variety of social semaphore often called The Language of the Fan.

    It was a silent language. By manipulating her folding fan, a woman could send messages that propriety forbid her to speak. Historical sources suggest that fan language emerged in the late eighteenth century, and persisted (where folding fans persisted) until just into the twentieth.

    Predictably, most of fan language is concerned with flirting (or not) and loving (or not) and being kissed (or not). For example…

    Fan half-opened, pressed to lips.

    franklin habit

    “You may kiss me.”

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  • 7 Crochet Patterns to Take on the Go

    Last week we looked at portable knitting projects and single skein shawls for traveling. Today it's time for crochet to shine. As with knitting, single skein projects make great travel companions. Finer gauges and more intricate designs will also provide additional hours of crafting on the go, which means less yarn and projects to pack. (But who are we kidding? I'll pack 5 new projects for an overnight trip. Because you knit faster on the road, right?!)

    Finer Things

    These projects are worked using lightweight, CYC # 1 & 2, yarns. They require some focus, so may not be good social travel projects. However, the fine gauge will mean more time to complete. Consider these designs for when traveling as a passenger (planes, trains, and automobiles).

    1. Starlight Evening Shawl

    crochet shawl

    The Starlight Evening shawl is crocheted using 5 skeins of Vanna's Glamour in the Topaz colorway. The repeating pattern provides interest while being easy to memorize and manage while traveling.


    2. Men's Crochet Socks

    crochet socks

    Socks are perhaps the classic travel project. They are small and somewhat involved for extended crafting time. These socks are "mens" and worked in Lion Brand Sock Ease yarn.


    3. Independence Day Scarf

    crochet scarf

    This dainty triangle scarf is worked up in 1 ball of Vanna's Glamour yarn. The main body is worked in a simple stitch with a delicate border accent.


    4. Emily Shawl

    crochet shawl

    The Emily Shawl is a half circle design with repeating bands of patterning. Worked in Vanna's Glamour. Or choose your favorite Lion Brand CYC #2 yarn.


     Simplicity Is Key

    These designs are easy to knit in social situations. With basic shapes and repeating stitch patterns you will be able to chat and stitch the day away.

    5. Tilted Blocks Cowl

    tilted blocks cowl

    This easy cowl looks like you're working with several different yarn colors, but it is actually completely with just 2 skeins of Landscapes yarn!


    6. Cedar Springs Afghan

    Surprised to see an afghan on a travel project list? The right design can be made to take with you. This design is worked in panels, so you can take one panel with you and sew them together later on. Crocheted using New Basic 175 yarn.


    7.  Last Light Cowl

    crocheted cowl

    This cowl is a perfect on-the-go project. The straightforward texture pattern is a no-fuss design, so you can comfortably work and chat away. Crocheted using Vanna's Choice yarn.


    Use these patterns for inspiration and find many more in the patterns section on LionBrand.com

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