YarnCraft Episode 90 :: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Yarn Development PLUS 10 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

26 Apr

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On this episode of YarnCraft, Liz & Zontee tackle a topic that has come up several times in listener questions. We explore how Lion Brand develops yarns and Liz, as Director of Yarn Development, walks us through the process. From fiber content to what a yarn is used for, we consider many different factors when creating a new product line. Speaking of which, look out for new products from Lion Brand coming to you this fall!

In the discussion, Zontee mentions the Homespun mill in New Hampshire. Want to learn about it? Check out our book, The Story of Homespun; click here to get more info on it.

Liz wants to thank Nancy C. from San Antonio for the scrubby made with tulle and cotton!

We’re also joined by designer Candace Eisner Strick, whose new book is Strick-ly Socks and features a new method of sock construction; learn more about Candace on her blog.

Then on Stash This: Ideas for Your Crafting Life, we talk about 10 kinds of Mother’s Day gifts, 5 project ideas and 5 activities including: craft retreats, craft cruises, fiber festivals, and local knit and crochet workshops. Pattern types discussed include:

Join us again in two weeks, when talk about staying motivated with your yarncrafting into the summer months. We are also joined by knitwear designer and teacher, Sally Melville, who shares with us some thoughts on her garment-making philosophy. As always, we want to hear from you — what you’re working on, your questions, and your comments. Post a message on the blog or email us at yarncraft [at] lionbrand [dot] com! You can also call in and leave a message at 774-452-YARN–that’s 774-452-9276.

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Theme music is “Boy with a Coin” by Iron and Wine, from the PodSafe Music Network.

Show Notes:
00:11 Intro & welcome
01:35 What’s on Liz & Zontee’s Hooks & Needles
05:10 How Yarns Are Developed at Lion Brand
19:12 Interview with Candace Eisner Strick
27:16 Stash This: Ideas for Your Crafting Life – Interview with Nicky Epstein
34:13 Thanks to our listeners and guest

  • SJV

    Having trouble with the link for this episode (90). I get “Transferring dat from stats.wordpress.com…”, then “The download cannot be saved because an unknown error occurred. Please try again.” I’ve tried to listen to it instead of downloading and the messages are “connecting to hw.libsyn.com” and then “the connection has timed out”. Is anyone else having this problem?

  • http://yarncraft.lionbrand.com YarnCraft Podcast

    Hi SJV, sorry to hear about that. It appears to be working fine right now. You may have hit the servers right as they were handling a lot of traffic or running regular maintenance or something. Go ahead and try again, and let us know if you keep having problems.

  • Flora

    I would like to add another suggestion for buttons and button holes on sweaters. I have used velcro, which works very well for closures. If you wish, you may sew a button on the top side of the sweater where the button would appear when you would button the sweater, and place the velcro under it to use as a closure, and no one would know that you do not have a button hole.

  • Patricia

    I so enjoyed this informative podcast about how yarn is developed at Lion Brand. I wanted it to just keep going! Thank you. I always enjoy hearing what you are working on at the beginning of the podcast too. As for Stash Busting, I had this thought as I looked at my Stash, that “the Stash basket is always full” so don’t stress on trying to empty it!” I am trying to make a “Stash Day” once a month by picking a yarn in my stash that I have been looking and looking at and DO something with it. I made several scarves last month with things I had for quite a long while. That was very satisfying.
    Keep up the great fun podcasts!

  • http://yarncraft.lionbrand.com YarnCraft Podcast

    Good suggestion Flora! That reminds me that snap buttons could be used in the same way (with a decorative button on the outside). Lots of options out there!

  • http://yarncraft.lionbrand.com YarnCraft Podcast

    Thanks for listening, Patricia! I like “the stash basket is always full” as a mantra! It’s positive (kinda “glass half full”) and also it sort of says “don’t sweat the small stuff”!

  • Dee_bee927

    The comments about swatching by your guest, Candace Eisner Strick were interesting. I find that there are yarns that do not take well to frogging, and if you are making a large swatch, you need to consider the yardage of the swatch and the project when purchasing your yarn.

  • Dee_bee927

    For baby sweaters, I purchase snap tape at the fabric and notion store and sew this into the sweater. Then I decorate eh from with buttons. This way you can use those cute buttons that don’t always fasten secuerly but look oh so adorable on baby items.

  • Ozhulagal

    HI Liz and Zontee

    I cant believe how dependent I have become on your podcast!! I really do look forward to each new release!

    It was interesting to hear about yarn development and how it is done at Lion Brand. Here in Australia we tend to think of acrylic yarn as being the junk of the yarn world, in fact most people dont call yarn “yarn” but “wool”. Anything that is not wool is frowned upon (generalisation!). Many knitters I know wouldn’t dream of using acrylic for anything really special. Seems that it is mainly for team scarves and beginning knitters and crocheters!

    After browsing your yarns online I see that the development of acrylic yarns is way ahead of us. Ours tend to be very scratchy and often unpleasant to work with not to mention the colour choices!

    We will be holidaying in Hawaii this July and while I realise it is not a big knitting state I will be looking for Lion Brand acrylic yarn to buy and knit with. I’ll let you know how I go!

  • http://yarncraft.lionbrand.com YarnCraft Podcast

    Hi Ozhulagal, hope you do get your hands on some Lion Brand yarn when you’re in Hawaii (I know for a fact that there are stores in Hawaii that carry our products!) and that you enjoy them! How’s autumn knitting weather?

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