Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Different View of Lion Brand Yarn

For the first time in more than a year, my friend Marsha and I went to the Madison Knitting Guild last night. For new readers, we have been told we have the largest guild chapter int he world, with about 500 members. Meetings draw 200 to 300 members. With those kind of numbers, we get amazing speakers!

We had a surprise speaker last night: Jack Blumenthal of Lion Brand Yarns, and he really opened up my eyes and mind.

Jack Blumenthal of Lion Brand Yarn vice president
 First of all, I had assumed Lion was just another big company. Not at all. It is a family-run business in its fourth generation! I was impressed by how consumer-oriented and down-to-Earth Blumenthal is.
Jack himself is clearly devoted to the business and very knowledgeable about the yarn world. However, asked if he knitted or crocheted, he replied, "Well, I've had a a lot of lessons..."
We also learned that there is a lot more to Lion Brand than the yarns we see in our local big-box stores. For one thing, the company has a drop-dead beautiful retail store, the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. In November alone, the Studio offers 49 classes! Unfortuantely for me, it's located in New York City, so I can't jump in my car to check it out. 

And who knew that Lion offered some high-end yarns? There is a pure cashmere, a washable wool, a silky mohair -- all at very reasonable prices as part of the LB Collection. Luckily you don't have to get to New York to buy them; they can be ordered through the company's web site.

Let's face it, many knitters like to turn up their noses, especially when the Homespun yarn is mentioned. But given the success of the company, it's clear that Lion Brand yarns meet the needs of many, many knitters. And I have to confess: My favorite baby blanket is made with Homespun -- and it is stunning!

Oh, and about that adorable picture at the top? That is a package of Lion Brand Bonbons. Incredibly cute little skeins of yarn. They are marketed to crafters who only need small amounts of yarn, but I think they are too cute to use!

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