YarnCraft Episode 64 Transcript :: Show Mom Some Love with Gifts to Suit Her Hobbies!

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You’re listening to “YarnCraft.” [music]

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Zontee:  Welcome to YarnCraft. It’s episode 64 on April 13, 2010. Thanks for joining us today. This is Zontee.

Liz:  And I’m Liz. We are the hosts of YarnCraft.

Zontee:  Stop by YarnCraft.LionBrand.com for more information on the patterns and products that we talk about on today’s episode. While you’re on our website, you can also leave your comments, or you can leave your comments by giving us a call at 774‑452‑YARN(9276). We always love sharing your stories, and suggestions, and comments, and questions, so give us a call.

Liz:  As usual, we’re here at the Lion Brand Design Center in New York City, and today we’re looking ahead to Mother’s Day and giving you some ideas about what to make for the special lady in your life, whether that’s Mom, Grandma, an aunt, or someone else.

Zontee:  On today’s “Stash This: Ideas for Your Crafting Life” segment, we’ll be joined by Will, who’s the manager of the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, and he’s going to be sharing some tips and tricks on making flowers which are going to be perfect for embellishing that gift for your mom, or they’re a great way to decorate in your house for spring. Of course, they’re a great way to practice increasing and decreasing.

Liz:  Stay tuned for all that and more, next on YarnCraft. [music]

***

Zontee:  Since we didn’t do an in‑depth “What’s on Our Hooks and Needles” segment last time, we figured that we should really give you an update. We feel obligated to share our progress with you guys. If you follow me on Ravelry, so far I have finally divided for the sleeves on my sweater, which was very exciting. I’ve worked now a little over four inches on the body. Since it’s a cropped sweater, I’m only going to go about another two inches. I’m really excited. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Once I finish that binding off the body, I’m just going to do the sleeves. Liz and I were just talking about the sleeve length, and I think that I’m only going to do a couple of repeats on the sleeves. I’m so close I can taste it. I’m feeling really good.

Liz:  With all the hot weather we’ve been having lately in the city, it’s hard to think about anything but extremely cropped sleeved sweaters right now.

Zontee:  That’s exactly right. But I feel good about it because I really did plan it as a spring project. It’s spring. I think I’m going to get at least a couple of uses out of it before we hit even warmer weather.

Liz:  All right. Keep on going.

Zontee:  What about you, Liz? I know that you have a baby shower coming up?

Liz:  Yes. I am flying on my Cheerful Squares Baby Blanket that I’m doing in the LB Collection Cotton Bamboo. I have to leave for the shower in 10 days. I really want to finish the blanket and do at least the Mary Jane‑style booties. Then if I get that done, I want to do a more simple, stockinette‑square‑with‑a‑drawstring, very basic set of booties. That’s my goal. It might be a little overly ambitious.

Zontee:  I think you can do it. I know it’s only 10 days, but you can power through. I believe in you.

Liz:  Yes, I’m pretty much dedicating my entire life to finishing these projects in the next 10 days.

Zontee:  Listeners, if you feel like Liz can do it, give her a shout‑out and encourage her to make it happen.

Liz:  Hopefully by the time you’re listening to this, I will have gone home and taken pictures of the squares at least, and we’ll post them on Ravelry so you can see. The stack is getting bigger, the stack of squares.

Zontee:  Good.

Liz:  Nine and a half done, two and a half more to go.

Zontee:  Sounds good to me. Don’t forget to tell us about what your current projects are. Of course you can join us on Ravelry in our group, YarnCraft, or of course on our blog, YarnCraft.LionBrand.com. [music]

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Zontee:  As usual, we’ve gotten some great emails, and photos, and questions from our listeners, so we wanted to share some things with you guys. First of all, we got a great email from Meg, who sent in some photos of her friend’s two and four year‑olds, Laney and Peter with their early Easter carrot and bunny from the Lion Brand website. She used scraps of Wool‑Ease, and they are just adorable. She sent pictures of them in their pajamas.

Liz:  Very cute pajamas: some nice floral and construction site motifs.

Zontee:  Very cute. Of course, the two kids look like they’re really enjoying the toys. So I think that that’s really fun. We’re really glad that you wrote in. Also, Meg had a couple more suggestions in terms of essential crochet books. She really enjoys the “Crocheting in Plain English” that we mentioned, but she also mentioned “The Crochet Answer Book” by our former crochet‑along leader, Edie Eckman. I think that that’s a really good one as well, so keep that in mind.

Liz:  Yes, that book is excellent. I just want to say, Meg, I loved the striped orange Wool‑Ease carrot. It was great. It was a very tone‑on‑tone stripe, and then she added a little face. It was great.

Zontee:  Love it.

Liz:  Next we have a call from Stephanie in California.

Stephanie:  Hi, Liz and Zontee. This is Stephanie. I’m calling from Southern California, and I just wanted to let you know that I love your podcast. I love listening to you while I’m knitting or doing paperwork at work. It really just makes the time go fast and feels like I’m having coffee with two old friends. I really loved your show on babies. Actually though, I was hoping to knit for afghans for Afghans for their next campaign. They need items for children seven to 14. I couldn’t really find any patterns like that for children that age. I was wondering if you had any suggestions.

Thank you so much again. Keep up all the good work. Love you guys. Bye.

Liz:  Thanks so much for calling in, Stephanie. We do often get questions about people looking for patterns for older children, young teens, and it’s one of those ironies in the pattern world that people ask for them because they can’t really find them, but I guess just not enough people.

Zontee:  Right. It seems like we generally find that people like to make things for small kids or adults, but you don’t necessarily find a lot of people crafting for the kids in between because that’s the ages, teens, tweens, they are a little bit more finicky about their clothes.

Liz:  Maybe they’re not so much going to want to wear something homemade during those years. But charity is such a great way to craft for people of all ages.

Zontee:  Exactly.

Liz:  So there are a couple options for if you can’t find a pattern that’s specifically for the age group you need. You can get a little creative. One way is to look at adult sweaters and see how small is the extra‑small size. A lot of our patterns, the extra‑small is quite petite, so if the charity you’re crafting for has given you any sort of measurement guidelines, you might find that an adult extra small actually is the correct size for a 12‑year‑old or a 14‑year‑old.

Zontee:  That’s exactly right. On the other end of that spectrum, a lot of our kids patterns that we have running up to, say, a size children’s six, again, if you look at the measurements those might still be appropriate for children in the seven‑eight range. Because they’re baggy sweaters or just because of the shape being a little bit boxier, they’re going to be roomy enough for a child who’s slightly older.

Liz:  If you can’t find a pattern where one of the sizes will work for the measurements you need, remember you can always take a children’s sweater and make it a little larger by substituting a thicker yarn, a heavier‑weight yarn, and just do a gauge swatch, figure out approximately how much that’s going to up‑size the pattern, and you should be good to go.

Zontee:  That’s exactly right. If you get a sense of the percentage change from your original gauge to your gauge swatch, then you should have a percentage change of the entire sweater.

Liz:  Similarly, if you have an adult sweater you really like the style, but the smallest given size is still a little too big, you can use a thinner yarn, and that will downsize by a certain percentage.

Zontee:  Exactly. Of course, when you’re up‑sizing, you want to use the largest size of the original pattern, and when you’re downsizing, you want to use the smallest size of that pattern.

Liz:  Exactly.

Zontee:  Next we have a voicemail from Carly, and then we have a related question from Meredith via email. So let’s listen to that voicemail first.

Carly:  Hi, Liz and Zontee. This is Carly, and I have a question for you about freelance knitting. I’m curious if you can discuss on your podcast at some point what is required to get started with doing some freelance knitting projects. I think that there’s probably a lot of popularity with knitting right now, and at the same time there’s probably a lot of interest in this topic. So for those of us who are interested in doing something like this with our free time and our extra yarn or just to get exposed to some things faster, I’m curious if you have any thoughts or ideas on how to get started with that. Thanks a lot. Bye.

Liz:  Thank you so much for the question, Carly. As we said, Meredith emailed in to ask a similar question. She is a college student and a new YarnCraft listener. Welcome, Meredith. And also a relatively new yarn crafter and she wanted to know about summer internships at Lion Brand for students.

Zontee:  So starting off with Carly’s question. She asked about freelance knitting, and I think that this is something that we’ve talked about a little bit previously in terms of how you can get involved in the industry. First of all, I would say that you want to figure out exactly what you want to be doing. Are you hoping to be a sample knitter, who actually makes up the garments that are specked out to them or to test patterns? Are you someone who wants to be actually designing and selling your patterns?

Liz:  Do you want to be actually making finished items that are going to be sold somewhere? Are you maybe a more technically minded person interested in technical editing versus the actual yarn crafting. You need to figure out where your niche is and then go from there.

Zontee:  That’s exactly right. I think it’s really great if you can connect with your local guilds, meet other people who are already in the industry. And get their opinions, get a feel for what they do. Also often guilds will offer events, locally or on the national level where you can actually learn about these different ways of getting professionally involved in the industry. Such as the CGOA or Crochet Guild of America’s Professional Development Day, which is coming up this July. So those are some different places where you can kind of get a feeling for exactly what you want to do.

Liz:  And you can also check out the TNNA, the Nation Needle Arts Association website for some resources as well as the Craft Yarn Council’s website, but also gives some indication of good places to get started and how to go about contacting people at magazines or in yarn companies.

Zontee:  That’s exactly right. And keep in mind that there are two ways to go about this. It can be something that you’re doing kind of more on a hobby side, where you’re doing a little bit of this. Or teaching locally in addition to maybe making samples or even making things to sell on websites like ArtFire or Etsy that are marketplaces. Or you can really take this and turn it into your career. In which case you really have to treat it as a profession in which you need to be very professional, have all of your things together, have a portfolio, and really approach people in a very professional manner. And I think that that’s a really great lesson always.

Liz:  Absolutely. And really, like we said, figure out exactly what you want out of yarn crafting in a more entrepreneurial or freelance sense and then tailor it that way.

Zontee:  Now let’s jump over to Meredith’s question. Meredith, we do have a few intern spots in our New York and New Jersey offices for a couple of different fields. But we do hire locally and just look for students who are in our area. Listings come up from time to time on the local listing boards and we fill them as they come up. So certainly if you’re in the area, keep an eye on your school’s or your local listing boards and see if you spot any listing for us. And then of course we have an interview process and, you know, if you’re a good fit we are excited to have students to come into our offices and really learn about the industry from the inside out.

Liz:  Our last question for this episode was from Sherry over email. Sherry had a question that’s a little unusual. It was one Zontee and I hadn’t seen before. She’s looking for a finger tip‑less glove pattern that starts from the fingertips and works up toward the elbow. Sherry, that’s a very unusual construction technique for fingerless gloves or fingertip‑less gloves. We could not actually find any existing patterns. But what you can do is you can take any glove pattern, start at the wrist and work toward the fingertips. Start with your provisional cast on, work the pattern as written toward the fingertips. Fit each finger to the length you’re looking for, bind off. Once you’ve completed all four fingers and the thumb, go back to your provisional cast on, undo it, pick up the stitches there and then continue working up from the elbow and whatever stitch pattern you’ve chosen.

Zontee:  Right. It would be very difficult to make the fingers first and then pick up and then go back down. So what we’re encouraging you to do is use the regular construction upwards so that you shape it in the simplest, most efficient, fastest way that you could do it. And then since you want to have your pattern going up towards the elbow, then you can pick up that direction and work in that direction. It’ll just make your life a lot simpler if you go with a more standard construction.

Liz:  Provisional cast-ons are amazingly handy things. I encourage everyone to give them a try.

Zontee:  And of course if you need some resources on how to do them, just hop on your favorite web search engine and type in “provisional cast on knitting” and I’m sure you will find many, many directions, videos and photo tutorials. [music]

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Liz:  So Mother’s Day is getting close. It is just about a month away. And so we wanted to focus on projects that are realistic to accomplish in that time frame. In the midst of your busy life, because we know we all have busy lives, I don’t want you to feel about Mother’s Day the way I feel about this baby shower. [laughter]

Zontee:  Right.

Liz:  Where you have to stop everything else in your life to yarn craft.

Zontee:  Exactly.

Liz:  It doesn’t have to be that way. Choose your project wisely and it’ll be pleasant and a part of a balanced life.

Zontee:  I agree. So we wanted to start off with accessories because thinking about what a great. I think that every woman needs a great, useful bag.

Liz:  Absolutely.

Zontee:  And of course when it comes to moms, you know, we want to think lifestyle wise. So first off we have the Circle Dance Bag, which is a great kind of sling draw string tote that’s really over‑sized, it’s colorful. You can make it in colors that really suit the mom or woman in your life who you’re making it for. And I think it’s really adorable, it’s a great crochet project.

Liz:  Absolutely. You could really use it as a shopping bag or, you know, I think it would be a pretty cute gym bag as well.

Zontee:  Oh, that’s a really good idea.

Liz:  I am very partial to the wide variety of market tote patterns we have. I see more and more people using them. A lot of people are using those plastic ones you get at the store or that weird canvas‑y, but not really kind of thing.

Zontee:  I know exactly what you mean.

Liz:  They call it canvas, but it’s clearly a non‑woven fabric of some sort.

Zontee:  It’s true.

Liz:  I always think, wouldn’t it be better if they were all using yarn crafted bags?

Zontee:  It’s true. That would be really great. Think about how stylish you would be having a beautiful knit or crochet bag pulled out and then throw your groceries in there. Think about that.

Liz:  Exactly. So every one I’ve made a market bag for has been very appreciative. So check out, we’ve got great patterns with knitters and crocheters. Just type in market bag.

Zontee:  Exactly. We even have a glittery version, so if your mom or woman that you’re crafting for just happens to like that kind of a profile. You could even make her a purse that is in that kind of hobo style.

Liz:  I do have a request in for the glittery Golightly Tote. I just, like I said, can’t work on anything else until I get this baby blanket and booties done. [laughter]

Zontee:  I happen to be really partial to the handbags that are kind of cute and they’ve got like little cute handles. And so we’ve got our Cable Ready Bag, which is solid and the Cable Ready Bag in the striped versions. So there’s two versions for you to check out. And they’re made in the Wool‑Ease Thick & Quick, so these are going to be really quick to make, which is wonderful. And they use those wooden handles on the inside that really give them that structure. And I love them because they’re actually a pretty good size. You can fit a lot of stuff, they’re a good daily bags.

Liz:  Absolutely. And another quick option is our Evening Glitter Clutch in Vanna’s Glamour. And we’ve got several clutches depending on your clutch style. But they’re a good size for evening, perfectly proportioned for, you know, just the essentials and very sophisticated.

Zontee:  Definitely. And so that’s a really quick project that will be great if, say, after listening to this episode you realize that you’ve been putting it off for a little while and you’re in a rush.

Liz:  Yup. Next we’re going to talk about some shawl patterns because this is the perfect time of year for just having a little something to put around your shoulders, maybe in the evening as the sun starts to go down. We’ve got two options for knitters and crocheters. Some people want a fancier, if you want to make a real wow or something still very beautiful. If you need a little more mindless knitting or crocheting that you can easily memorize the stitch pattern and do while you’re out and about on the go.

Zontee:  Exactly. Let’s start with our Crystal Lake Shawl. This is a favorite that we’ve talked about a couple of times and it’s made in the Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton. But I think it’d be really beautiful in the Cotton‑Ease as well if you want something a little bit lighter.

Liz:  Absolutely.

Zontee:  And it’s really wonderful because it’s that really classic leaf lace pattern. And it’s just a great spring accessory that I think will be really appreciated by any mom.

Liz:  Another very easy to make wrap is our Maple Shade Wrap. It’s shown in our Amazing, so it has beautiful color interest forms, very subtle stripes. So you get a huge impact out of a very simple, open stitch pattern. And because it’s a wool blend, but a very open stitch pattern, it’s going to be warm but not overly so. Still by usable in May.

Zontee:  Agreed. I think that that’s a really wonderful one and it’ll look good in any of the colors in May that we have. Next is our Shawl of Gratitude, again, one that we’ve talked about previously. What I really like about this knit pattern is that it’s a really simple stitch pattern, but it has a lot of texture which is really nice. Again, we’ve made it in the Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton, but it would look really nice in any of our cotton yarns. Again, I’m going with the Cotton‑Ease. I’m really feeling Cotton‑Ease for shawls at this time of year.

Liz:  You always do get really into Cotton‑Ease this time of year. You come back to it every spring.

Zontee:  It’s true.

Liz:  It’s good to see. For crocheters, you may want to check out our South Bay Shawlette. As the name says, it’s a small scale shawl, triangular shape, more of a shoulder shawl, done in the Silk Mohair from the LB Collection. So it’s very soft, very light‑weight. It’s a real show‑stopper.

Zontee:  Definitely. I actually started this shawl but I’ve put it aside so that I can finish up my sweater, but I’m really excited about this. What I love about the pattern is that we’ve included the crochet chart so you can just follow the chart directions to make your shawl. And I think that that’s really nice. A lot of our customers who are outside of the U.S. really appreciate that because that happens to be more of a standard in other parts of the world. So if you like to crochet by chart, check out this pattern.

Liz:  Next, we wanted to bring your attention to the bazillion or so wash cloth patterns we just added to the website. There are a lot of new choices so please check them out. Pretty wash clothes or pretty dish cloths are always well received. I know Zontee and I always talk about them a lot, but that’s because whenever we make them for people, people are really happy.

So we have crochet ones that are spiraled or flower‑shaped. We have knit stripes or knit textures. We have round ones. We have lacy ones. We have so many different types of wash cloths and dish cloths. You can really pick anything that would be perfect for your mom or her decor or her kitchen.

Zontee:  If you have a mom who really likes things that are more decorative, go with one of our more lacy or floral patterns. If you have a mom who’s really into clean, modern lines, go with a solid or go with a striped option. Lots of ways of making it really personal, especially with colors. Lion Cotton: tons and tons of colors. Cotton‑Ease: tons and tons of colors. Great options for pretty much anyone on your list. And of course, this is a great way to make a bunch of these, package them with some cute soaps and lotions, make a little basket.

Liz:  It’s our number one yarn craft gift suggestion. You’ve heard us mention it before. You will hear us mention it again. Wash cloths, put some cute soap and lotion. Everyone likes that. Everyone.

Zontee:  Next, we have a really special gift that we’ve just featured on our YarnPlay Newsletter, which came out yesterday. If you aren’t already signed up for YarnPlay, please go to LionBrand.com, log into your account, click on the orange “My LBY” button, and click on your “Subscriptions” to add it to your list. What’s great about YarnPlay is it comes out once a month and it has patterns for the young and the young at heart. We really think of it as out of the box, fun creative project that are really a great way to play with your yarn and make kind of creative different sorts of things.

This month, again, we’re focusing on Mother’s Day gifts and so we’ve come up with these great jewelry organizers that are actually made of old vintage frames and swatches of knit or crocheted fabric.

Liz:  We’ve shown some great stitch patterns, but you could really choose any stitch pattern you like or feel is beautiful or just want to practice. They’re all great choices and they make such a convenient way to show your jewelry.

Zontee:  Exactly. All we’ve done is make an 8×10 for the large frame or a 5×7, or whatever frame size you want, swatch in a stitch patten that we like. And then we put it on a batted piece of cardboard and stick it into the frame, would of course, has the glass removed. And then, we’ve added buttons; we’ve sewn on buttons for places to hang your necklaces from or for things like earrings. You just poke them right into the fabric and hang them directly, which is really great.

They look really sophisticated. They’re easy to customize because you can use any kind of frame style that really suits your mom’s decor or just personal style. And again, you could use colors for the yarn pieces that really suit her style and will make her jewelry pop.

Liz:  Yeah, I think this is a great way to make something very, very special on a budget because you can always find an inexpensive frame at a thrift shop or a yard sale. And it doesn’t take very much yarn and so something totally unique, but really affordable.

Zontee:  Yeah, I think that I should make one for my mom because she’s ‑‑‑ my mom’s a jewelry person so I think she’d like that.

Liz:  Yeah, you were just saying that. She might like this. And so maybe you’re saying, “Shawls are great, bags are great. But I’ve been a crafter for a little while now and I’ve made my mom a bunch of shawls and a bunch of bags and she still has them because they’re so wonderful. What can I make her this year?” Well, our advice to you is to think about what kind of hobbies or interest your mom has. And pick a yarn craft project that goes with that. We’re going to give you some examples, but really, your imagination is the limit here.

Zontee:  Let’s say that your mom is a gardener. I think that one of our projects that we really adore here is our Earth Day Flower Pots where we just used glue and yarn to wrap and decorate terracotta pots. You can, of course, do this for any kind of pot you have so if your mom has a lot of planters in doors, maybe make her some really refreshing color combinations and help her decorate her indoor garden.

Liz:  And we also have the wrapped vases that you use a recycled milk carton, put a glass vase inside of it, and then wrap the carton in yarn. So for bringing some of those flowers indoors when they bloomed, great choice.

Zontee:  That’s a great one. If your mom is like mine and loves to cook, we have a wonderful Crochet Kitchen Aid Ensemble. And this has dish cloths, an apron, and even a potholder. So it’s a really wonderful set for someone who’s really great in the kitchen.

Liz:  It’s a really cute apron. This pattern was a revelation to me as we were voyaging through Pattern Finder, finding it. I thought that was a great set that I had actually not ever seen before. If your mom is a fellow yarn crafter, consider a whimsical pin cushion. Pin cushions are maybe more oriented for people who sew, but we all use T pins when we are assembling anything that has multiple pieces.

So I think any type of textile or fiber crafter ‑‑‑ we all need pins now and then. One of my favorite is our Amigurumi Tea Cup pin cushion so that’s perfect if your mom is a sewer who also loves tea.

Zontee:  Or, if she loves coffee, change out the taupe for maybe the chocolate‑brown color and then just don’t do the little teabag tag.

Liz:  That was exactly what I was going to say next.

Zontee:  [laughs]

Liz:  We have some other pin cushion choices as well. We have a crochet version of the classic mushroom shape that’s very popular in pin cushions. We also have a great felted one, which is going to be super sturdy and I love how it’s embellished with little French knots. So I think that adds just something fun to it.

Zontee:  Agreed. More things for yarn crafters. Of course, we have a wonderful felted hook book and a felted needle holder; both incredibly useful, of course, for your hooks and needles. So if your mother is a fellow yarn crafter and you want to make her something that really she can utilize, those are great ideas. And what I love that we’ve done is that we’ve actually made them striped in different colors. So you could even sort your hooks or needles by size that way. And that would be pretty great.

Liz:  And who doesn’t love organization? I say it’s one of the best gifts you can give people or ones that can help them stay organized.

Zontee:  Agreed.

Liz:  If your mom or the person in your life you’re crafting for on Mother’s Day is into travel, like my mom, ‑‑‑ I basically don’t know where she is anymore.

Zontee:  [laughs]

Liz:  I just call her up in her cell and say: “So, hey Mom. Where are you in the world right now? What’s going on?”

Zontee:  [laughs]

Liz:  So maybe she would enjoy our Sweet Dreams Travel Pillow. It’s one of those U‑shaped neck pillows that are so great on planes. And I love that is has a–It’s a blue background with cute, little white clouds on it. It’s just so cute.

Zontee:  Yeah, and it’s great because they’re just duplicate stitch so if you don’t want to do white clouds, you could duplicate stitch anything from her initials to just a fun pattern.

Liz:  Absolutely. And our last suggestion is for moms who are maybe into the spa experience. We have manicure mitts which are–they’re not even mittens. They’re really just envelopes that slip over your hands that can help them absorb the moisturizing treatment that you use. So this is another great item to make and include with some nice lotion, maybe a gentle exfoliant scrub. Make her a little basket.

Zontee:  Exactly. And if you want to make your own exfoliant scrub, our pattern actually comes with directions for one made out of olive oil and salt and some other really wonderful ingredients that are going to give you a moisturizing and exfoliant scrub that you can use right away.

Liz:  So if you have a great yarn crafting suggestion tailored toward your mom’s specific hobby, let us know and we’ll mention it in the next episode. [music]

***

Zontee:  Today on “Stash This: Ideas for Your Crafting Life, ” we’re joined by Will who’s the manager at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio here in New York City. And he’s joining us to talk a little bit about flowers, both knit and crochet. So how are you doing Will?

Will:  I’m doing pretty good today. Yeah.

Zontee:  Great! We’re really excited for this segment.

Will:  Excellent.

Zontee:  Can you tell us a little bit about how you got started knitting and crocheting?

Will:  I can, absolutely. My aunt and my mother both taught me how to knit. My mother first. I was probably about eight years old, I would say. And she taught me to knit and my brother to knit. And we didn’t take onto it a whole lot right at first. She cast on for us. And she showed us garter stitch. And you can only do that for so long [laughter] before you start to get a little bit bored.

Liz:  Exactly. Got to introduce new skills, keep people interested.

Will:  That’s right. So we did that for a little while, made some dishcloths, and then sort of put it away. And my aunt is an excellent knitter. And she showed me several years later cables and lace and Fair Isle. She loves feral and I do too now. And taught me how to make socks and all sorts of things. So that’s when I really took off with it several years after I had initially learned.

Zontee:  So this is a really appropriate thing for our Mother’s Day episode, then?

Will:  Absolutely, yes. Definitely.

Zontee:  And you actually mentioned to us before we started recording that you’re going to be teaching a class related to this on Mother’s Day?

Will:  We are, yes. So it’s going to be on Mother’s Day. We’re going to do knitted and crocheted flowers. And I’m not sure if that’s up on the website quite yet or not. But if it’s not it will be shortly. You can go on and register, it’s at the studio. But even if you’re not going to be doing it in the class it’s an excellent thing to do on Mother’s Day with a loved one or your mother. There’s several patterns on the website on Stitch Finder. So if you go to LionBrand.com and click on the Learning Center under Stitch Finder you’ll see. I think there’s 10 knitted ones and 10 crocheted ones that you can choose from, so quite a few. And they really vary in the kinds of different techniques that they use. So some of them are Knit in the Round, some are Crocheted in the Round. Some are done flat on double pointed needles.

So they’re pretty fun to do. So I thought I’d talk a little bit about different yarns that you can use for them. We did several in the studio and we used the Cotton‑Ease to make them with. It comes in a lot of really great colors. You want to make sure whatever yarn you end up choosing that you end up using a slightly smaller needle than recommended on the ball band.

So we used the Cotton‑Ease. I think we were on 6′s, it might have been 7′s…6 or 7′s. And other yarns that would work well I thought would be the Lion Wool or the Vanna’s Choice. The Vanna’s Choice especially because there’s so many colors. And it’s really important I think with these to have lots of colors to choose from. Especially if you want to do a bouquet instead of just individual flowers.

Liz:  And so many of the flowers that we have patterns for are very specific. They’re not just a generic flower. There’s a Morning Glory, or a Dahlia. It’s great to be able to really look at all sorts of different types of yarns. So you can choose the colors that are specific to that species of flower.

Zontee:  Agreed. And that’s why not only Vanna’s Choice, but being able to match with Vanna’s Choice Baby gives you a whole extra set of colors to choose from.

Will:  Absolutely. If you want to vary the sizes also, something we did that was pretty fun. We made…I think it was the Lily of the Valley. And we did it single stranded on, it was six or a 7. And then we double stranded the yarn, went up a couple of needle sizes, and made a second one. So you had a variety in sizes even though it was the exact same color. So that was quite a bit of fun also, to vary in the bouquet.

Zontee:  That’s a really good idea.

Will:  Yeah. We were thinking other yarns also, the Superwash Marino is pretty nice. If you wanted to go sampler, you wanted to do a smaller set of flowers maybe that on like a size four needle would be good. But then again you could also double strand if you wanted to vary the size of them. Or the Cotton Bamboo. There’s some pretty neat colors in that yarn.

Liz:  We did name all those colors after flowers. So there’s some natural harmony there.

Will:  Good point. So double pointed needles are really great for these, even if you’re doing some of the flowers, the knitted ones that are done flat. Because you’re using such a small amount of stitches it’s really great to use the double points as if they were plain old straight needles. But they’re just nice and short which makes things really easy. Also there’s several of the patterns that have you start with eye chord. And then you increase into other things. So you can start your eye chord on your double points, and then go directly into knitting your actual flower.

Zontee:  That’s a really good tip. Now tell us a little bit about what you do once you’ve got your flowers. How do you put them on stems and how do you make those look more floral‑like?

Will:  Well, there’s a couple things you can do. We tried two different ways. We tried making really long green i-chord and then taking a dowel and sticking the dowel inside the i-chord. And that worked pretty well if you wanted just a plain straight stem. If you want something that’s sort of going to bend more you could use wire. So we experimented with just wrapping Cotton‑Ease around wire and then using that to sort of bend it however we wanted. But you could also do wire inside i-chord. I think that would work really well. Because that would still be flexible. And you could have that match all the others.

Liz:  And in addition to the flowers that are on StitchFinder we have a crafted project in the general pattern finder section that’s not knit or crochet. So maybe if little kids want to get in on the action that’s a good option. And we use drinking straws for the stems there and just draft it with yarn. So you could also use a drinking straw inside of an eye chord.

Will:  Excellent idea.

Zontee:  So thanks so much for telling us about these flowers.

Will:  Absolutely.

Zontee:  And of course we want people to check out the Lion Brand Yarn Studio website which is LionBrandYarnStudio.com as well as checking out the StitchFinder on LionBrand.com in the Learning Center. Now that we’ve talked about these flowers maybe you can tell us a little bit about what’s happening at the studio. I know that the window changed over a little while ago and now it says, “Let your creativity shine, ” with a big yarn sun.

Will:  And the most adorable lion I think you’re ever going to see.

Liz:  It’s an ongoing game of one‑upmanship with the yarn lions in the window. Yeah.

Zontee:  It’s true. We’ve got a lot of yarn lions. [laughs] We had a snow lion, snowman lion.

Liz:  We had an artist’s creation lion with a combination of machine‑made fabric and Lion Brand yarn, and now we’ve got a 100 percent Lion Brand yarn…

Will:  …Lion!

Liz:  Lion.

Will:  Yeah.

Zontee:  So, lots of fun there. And also you guys have some great groups that are free?

Will:  That’s right. We have…every Friday starting at noon we have our Yarn Crafting Group. Friday Morning Yarn Crafting Group. And that’s been really busy. Even with the weather that we’ve been having in New York. Lots of heat recently. It still has been really popular. People have come in and taken advantage of the air conditioning that we have down there.

Liz:  They have the best air conditioning in the entire building! [laughter] I’m trying to find excuses…

Will:  It’s great! [laughs]

Liz:  …to go. “Oh! I have to leave my really hot fifth floor cubicle and go do something really important in the Studio! Yes! I’ll be back later.”

Zontee:  Good technique, Liz. I’m going to have to keep that one in mind.

Will:  We also have our Men’s Night which is coming up this Sunday from 5:00 until 7:00. That’s going to be happening again. We do that once a month also. So those are both really fun groups that we get into.

Zontee:  That’s great. Any fun highlights? You mentioned that the window’s actually going to be changing over?

Will:  That’s right. Yeah. It’s a big secret at the moment. But…

Liz:  I don’t even know! [laughter]

Will:  [laughs] You can expect brand new things in the window in June…is when the next changeover’s going to happen. So look forward to that.

Liz:  Thank you so much for joining us, Will.

Will:  Absolutely. Thanks for having me. [music]

***

Zontee:  We want to thank all of you for joining us today and as usual we want to thank those who shared their stories, questions, and comments.

Liz:  Join us again in two weeks when we talk about your favorite, well…just about anything. We want to put together a little kind of…our own greatest hits…top 10 list, top five list of all the different aspects of yarn crafting. We want to know what your favorite pattern is, your yarn, a tip, a technique. Even what your favorite music or TV show to craft to…. So share your thoughts. Leave a comment on our website, Yarncraft.Lionbrand.com, on Ravelry, or by leaving us a voicemail at: 774‑452‑YARN. That’s 774‑452‑9276.

And as usual our music was “Boy with the Coin” by Iron and Wine from the Podsafe Music Network.

[music]

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