Diversity in Yarn: Skein Tones

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Find Your Perfect Match

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Skein Tones - TL Yarn Crafts

On March 11, 2021, Lion Brand Yarn launched Skein Tones, a collection of 12 shades of Basic Stitch Anti-pilling acrylic yarn that comes in neutral shades. The collection of colors is part of the Basic Stitch Anti-Pilling family, a very versatile 100% acrylic CYC4. Next month marks the 2-year anniversary of the line and I wanted to highlight this contribution to fiber art for Black History Month. The brand collaborated with crochet artist and doll designer Aniqua Wilkerson of My Kinda Thing to develop and launch the new line. Aniqua wanted to see more inclusivity in yarn, being a maker of dolls, representation matters, and this would empower young black and brown girls seeing fiber artists highlighted. Lion Brand has been a pioneer in the world of yarn for decades, and now they took their commitment to being inclusive to the next level. This launch was groundbreaking because the shades have variants of browns, creams and taupe that complete a broad spectrum of skin tones.

Ever try to find makeup that complemented your complexion? Remember how daunting an experience it was not being able to find a match? That’s exactly what comes to mind when I first laid eyes on this yarn, when you open the box, it literally looks like a makeup palette! Each skein is designed to reflect various skin tones while also complementing your wardrobe. These 12 shades provide an easy way to find your perfect match while allowing you to express your individuality, no matter what that means to you. There’s no need to worry that the color you choose won’t match or blend well with anything in your closet; skein tones has got you covered! 

“When Lion Brand approached me to collaborate on this project, I was so excited,” said Wilkerson. “It’s so important that we see ourselves represented in the things we deem important and valuable. One of the best feelings in the world is to know that you are visible—that your skin tone is visible. How cool is it to see yourself represented in your favorite hobbies? Whether you make a doll or a sweater, I hope that everyone finds a shade in this line that highlights and reflects their unique skin tone.” The colors were chosen by Wilkerson, who was lead consultant on the line, and was instrumental in choosing the shades. The play on words using skein (the crafting term meaning a length of thread or yarn loose in a coil) is fun and spot on!

Now with 12 beautiful diverse colors you need patterns to go with them right? Well Lion Brand Yarn thought so too and brought together a group of designers to create designs featuring the new line. There are 11 patterns that complete the Skein Tones Knit and Crochet CollectionI was honored when Lion Brand approached me to collaborate on this project. That excitement inspired me to create a cabled cowl that I would name after my mom because growing up I watched her choose hues like those in skein tones when picking out her clothing and makeup. She loves bronzes, golds and browns that compliment her well. So picking my colors was simple and my love of cables completed my idea and then the Angella Cabled Cowl was born. 

Would you like a review of Skein Tones? Toni Lipsey, designer and instructor of TL Yarn Crafts also known for giving us her honest opinion when it comes to all things crochet, gave a review of the line. Check out what she had to say in her YouTube video Skein Tones from Lion Brand | Can I really find my perfect match?! Yarn Unboxing. She gives a full breakdown and all the specs of the 12 color line and even works up a swatch to give you an idea of how the stitches look. Toni was also inspired to design her gorgeous Mocha Ripple Afghan using 8 of the skein tones color palette!

The Skein Tones family just got a whole lot bigger. Lion Brand and My Kinda Thang have teamed up again to bring you five new colors in this beautiful yarn line inspired by nature. You’re going to love these new shades—they’re just as beautiful and versatile as the original twelve. These five are inspired by trees and wood. They are designed to be interchangeable. You can choose any set and they will complement each other. Now you have 17 amazing color yarns to choose from. I have no doubt that you will find the perfect match for your next project!


Lion Brand Yarn Company. “Lion Brand Unveils “Skein Tones” Product Line, with Yarn Colors That Complement a Wide Spectrum of Skin Tones.” PR Newswire (blog), March 11, 2021, /Lion Brand Unveils “Skein Tones” Product Line, with Yarn Colors That Complement a Wide Spectrum of Skin Tones (prnewswire.com).

Smith, Morgan. “Doll Maker Launches Inclusive Thread Line to Send ‘Super Important’ Message to Kids of Color.” People (blog), April 7, 2021, /Doll Maker Launches Inclusive Thread Line to Send ‘Super Important’ Message to Kids of Color (people.com).



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Tagged: angella cabled cowl, basic stitch, buddyluvscrochet, cables, cowl, crochet, crochet afghan, crochet cables, crochet cowl, crochet dolls, crochet patterns, diversity, diversity in yarn, doll maker, doll making, free crochet pattern, free pattern, handmade, knit patterns, lion brand yarn, tl yarn crafts, maple ripple afghan, my kinda thing, pattern kits, patterns, skein tones, slow fashion, yarn
















2 Responses

  1. Leah Gordon

    Great post, Sis! I love all the intention behind Skein Tones and why it came to be! It’s great to see Lion Brand striving to celebrate the humans behind the makes, as well as giving us yarn I didn’t know we needed! Aniqua’s designs and color theory are so spot on in relation to real complexions of various skin tones. Congrats to her and year 2 of Skein Tones??

    • Nadine Johnson

      Thank you Sis!! Much appreciated! That part on giving us yarn we didn’t know we needed! To be celebrated in fiber is absolutely something to get excited about!

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