Did you know that YarnCraft is getting ready to launch its 100th show? Yup, Lion Brand's informative and fun podcast is about to air its 100th episode on Sept 13th. In honor of their great run, Liz and Zontee sat down to answer some of my burning questions.
RC: Liz and Zontee what do you do at Lion Brand?
Liz: I do product and yarn development at Lion Brand. That means I work with mills to create the yarns that will eventually be on the retail shelves. Yes, this is every bit as awesome as it sounds.
Zontee: I edit our various newsletters, our company blog which is the Lion Brand Notebook, produce the YarnCraft podcast, and oversee marketing initiatives like our booths at yarn events. I also work on content for our website, and I work with artists and designers who use our yarns, which means I get to spend a lot of time out and about in the wonderful yarncrafting community.
RC: Lion Brand has a great Podcast, interviewing lots of designers, authors, teachers; and coming up with project ideas, organization, and techniques. Where do you get your ideas for each of your podcasts?
RC: We know that a ton of work goes into each podcast, how early do you start planning shows and how long does it take you to edit all the segments into a show?
Zontee: We usually plan several episodes at a time, so we have our ducks in a row usually a few weeks before the episode airs. Once everything’s recorded, it takes me a few hours to go through all the segments and put everything back together again.
RC: How do you keep your sanity being surrounded by all the great yarn colors and textures all day?
Liz: Well, I think the matter of my sanity is definitely a topic for debate! Honestly, at this point I start to feel anxious if I am NOT surrounded by piles of yarn, since that is such a big part of my work and home life. You should see how much yarn I bring when I travel.
RC: What is your current favorite Lion Brand yarn to crochet?
Liz: The LB Collection Cotton Bamboo – I love how smooth and silky it is. It just flies through your fingers. I made a granny square baby blanket out of this and it went so fast!
RC: You know I am in love with the LB Collection. Can you tell us how that came about?
Liz: We wanted to offer our loyal customers high quality, natural fiber yarns that unfortunately are too expensive to be carried at our normal retailers. By selling them direct to customers on our website, we can make luxury fibers like cashmere, alpaca, angora, and mohair available at reasonable prices. An important part of our Lion Brand philosophy is to provide high quality but value priced yarns for every type of crafter – whether someone is looking for an inexpensive acrylic yarn for their child's classroom project or for 100% cashmere to make an heirloom gift.
Zontee: In fact, we’ve done an episode about this very topic, so be sure to listen to episode 90.
RC: LB Collection Superwash Merino is one of my favorites to use, it has been featured in a number of my books and DVDs. What was the inspiration behind that yarn?
RC: LB Collection also has a really cool yarn with Steel in it, that will be in my new book, Simply Crochet. It can be crocheted and then the project can be formed into different shapes, it is really neat. What was the inspiration behind that yarn?
RC: What is coming up next at Lion Brand that we should keep an eye out for?
Zontee: This fall, we have a couple of awesome things coming out. First off, we have a brand new collection in conjunction with Martha Stewart Crafts that features 8 yarn lines, as well as a Knit & Weave Loom Kit that’s one of the most versatile knitting loom/weaving tool combinations I’ve ever seen. Second, we have several new yarns in chunky and bulky weights that feature great textures. These will be great for gift projects for the holiday season. Be sure to keep an eye on our newsletter, The Weekly Stitch, and LionBrand.com for announcements. We’ll also, of course, be talking more about them on YarnCraft!
Thank you Liz and Zontee! I can't wait to see what comes next on YarnCraft!
Continuing the celebration, We will be giving one lucky winner a copy of my DVD "Design Your Own Crocheted Baby Sweater" and a few balls of LB Collection Superwash Merino (my favorite for crochet). The cabled cover sweater is made with Lion Brand's Microspun, which is another good yarn for kids.
To enter: Leave a comment here (or email me) your favorite yarn at Lion Brand or your favorite YarnCraft Episode. Enter by Sept 16th at midnight (EST) and I will announce the winner the following week. Good luck!