March 25, 2014

Stuff and things going on with me…

Hi!  Things have been busy busy, as usual, and I just wanted to kind of catch up with you over here on the blog.  If you follow me on instagram or twitter, you may have seen a lot of these updates – most of the photos in this post are straight from instagram… Here are things!

There are a couple new interviews with me that you can read if you’re interested in my design process or other random things I talked out – one on Tin Can Knits, and another on Infinite Twist.

Unbroken hat!

Do you know about the Holla Knits knit-a-long that’s happening right now?  It’s kind of amazing – you automatically get one free pattern of your choice per Holla Knits item that you finish for the KAL, and then you also get entered into drawings to win bigger prizes at the end.  You can knit any Holla Knits garment or accessory (which includes my Unbroken hat, above), and the lists of pattern prizes are here.  The KAL runs through May 2nd, so you still have plenty of time to join in!  (The action happens in the ravelry group over here!)

Just shipped out TWO trunk shows to LA shops for the upcoming LA Yarn Crawl, along with fat stacks of promo postcards. LA crawlers, look out for my stuff!

If you’re in the LA area, I will have TWO trunk shows up at shops during the LA Yarn Crawl!  A Coloring Book show at Needle in a Haystack, and a general Leethal Knits show at Knit Culture (with coupon giveaways!).

Mikkey!

I released a new pattern, like 3 weeks ago, but I’m waiting to officially blog it until I finish the Bulk Trio ebook of all 3 patterns together, which should have been done by now but it’s not yet.  So, soon, that will be done, and then I’ll tell you allllll about Mikkey!

Mikkey!

I worked a really exciting and weird freelance gig doing crafty things for a commercial – I can’t show or tell you anything about that yet, but that’s a major reason I got off track on other things and you haven’t heard from me for awhile.

Currently knitting up a prototype of a sweater that I designed. Whoa. This is a BIG deal to me; I kind of thought I might try designing a sweater like in another couple years, but then this idea just happened and now I'm knitting it!! (The hot pink stripe

I designed a sweater!  This was one of those things where I had multiple in-progress designs that were supposed to be higher priority, but… I got this idea and I just couldn’t let it go!  I think it had something to do with getting my mind off everything else while working on that commercial, it like opened my mind up to new ideas that I wasn’t really supposed to be thinking about, but the inspiration struck and I spent some time driving to and from that gig and thinking about the sweater, and then I didn’t want to leave it with just notes to get back to in six months that I might not ever get back to because the energy may pass and never return… So I wrote up the pattern, and knit up a prototype version and the pattern is basically done now!  It’s a classic leethal-style any-gauge, custom made to your measurements design, so I made the prototype in a quick bulky gauge to try it all out.  My plan is to knit up the official sample in worsted weight over the next couple months, while focusing on other higher priority designs, and then once that’s knit I’ll get it out to testers, give them plenty of time, and plan on releasing the pattern around late summer / early fall.

Finished my bulky sweater prototype! The design is for any weight, so I'll be making the main sample in worsted; wanted to work everything out in a quick gauge first to kind of make sure it would go as intended, and it totally worked! This is a mystery sh

I spent a few days completely designing a hat that I was really excited about, and then when it was finished it turned out to be UGLY.  Damn.  So I threw that out the window.  (That’s it below – looked great in progress, but the finished piece was a huge failure.  Alas.)

Garter stitch + slip stitches in beautiful @infinitetwist handspun!

I’m slowly still working on the colorwork shawl for the Betiko Collection, and feeling crazy guilty about how long it’s taking, as I keep getting distracted by other things… but it will be released eventually.  It’s more of a spring design anyway  ;)

bechdel fest drawing

In non leethal knits things… I started a new tumblr, which will be a media-watching project starting soon-ish (maybe April 1st, or maybe a bit later, not sure yet) – Bechdel Fest.  Right now, you can check it out to see content related to the underrepresentation of women in film and television (and also of POC) as I just kind of set it up for the project.  When I start, I will be watching only movies and TV shows either made by women or featuring female main characters, for a month or so – see the about page to read the details of the project.  (It doesn’t actually have to do with the Bechdel Test, that’s just a punny name for the project/blog.)

Built to Spill - Keep it Like a Secret Waitresses, the - Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful? Aretha Franklin - Lady Soul Belle and Sebastian - This is Just a Modern Rock Song New Order - Power, Corruption & Lies

Depeche Mode - Speak & Spell Kinks, the - Kinks-Size Le Tigre - Feminist Sweepstakes Nina Simone - The Best of Nina Simone Mountain Goats, the - We Shall all be Healed

Speaking of projects, my 500 records in 2014 plan is going pretty well – I’m currently up to 119 (once I add the two I listened to this morning).  Pretty good!  And I’m having fun listening to more vinyl, getting more in the habit of putting on records, and I love how the flickr set is looking!

Rainbow records!!

It’s Pete’s spring break right now, so we’ve caught up on some movies in the theater – I really liked Frozen!  We had a friend stay at our house, which motivated some house projects, like our rainbow record shelf above, and getting our library room in order, so that’s neat! I can’t think of any other updates so now I’m just telling you things randomly :-p  So okay that’s all for now!

Filed under: knit-a-longs,knitting,lots of links,movies,music,personal — leethal @ 9:01 pm

February 21, 2014

New Bulk Trio pattern: Wizzö!

It’s Wizzö!  It’s super easy to knit, and SUPER fun to wear!!

That quick look video (on youtube here) shows you tons of different ways you can wear it, by buttoning, lacing, or tying it together, using the eyelet holes which line all the edges of the piece and allow for basically infinite wearing configurations!

Wizzö Wizzö
Wizzö Wizzö

I actually released the pattern way back at the beginning of last week, but I wanted to wait to blog about it until I finished all the wearing how-to videos, which I have now done!  So, that quick peek video above shows you all the ways, but you can watch the six tutorial videos to really learn how they all work.  And the pattern itself includes some photos and written descriptions of each of the six basic different styles.

Wizzö

Here is one of the tutorial videos, and you can find all six of them on the Wizzö webpage over here (scroll down).

As for the knitting, this is definitely one of the simplest pieces I’ve ever designed, but I don’t want anyone feeling ripped off so I included three different fully written sizes – smaller and larger bulky versions, and a “super extra bulky” version, which is on size US 36 (20mm) needles (the sample is with triple stranded bulky weight) – as well as fully customizable any-gauge.

Wizzö Wizzö

So, the pattern is essentially written for 4 sizes, those three sizes/gauges completely written out for you to follow, with zero math or decision making, to make pieces exactly like the three samples, and then the custom size which can be in any gauge (worsted or heavier is recommended).  For a custom piece, you’ll decide all your sizing measurements and do a tiny bit of math to figure out all your custom numbers.  You can also customize the pre-written sizes as you like; detailed notes are included for making any kind of custom sizing decisions you want.

Wizzö Wizzö

But, if you want to make no customizations at all, you can totally ignore all that and just make one of the sample versions, and then it’s a mega easy, beginner-friendly project!

Wizzö Wizzö

The bulky samples are in beautiful Fable Fibers Memoir bulky yarn, a brand new yarn released on the same day as this pattern!  This yarn is truly gorgeous and a great pleasure to knit with, I absolutely loved using it in these pieces!  The colorways are a semi-solid Lagoon, and a variegated Fairy Garden, and they both look fantastic in the twisted rib stitch pattern.  Seriously, awesome yarn.

Wizzö Mmmm I am LOVING how this @fablefibers variegated colorway is looking in the squishy twisted rib stitch pattern.

The @fablefibers yarn is knitting up beautifully! Wizzö

Wizzö is the second pattern in my Bulk Trio, the first being Lemmy, and the third will be released in about a week!  It’s in testing right now, and you can see a few peeks of the 2-color stitch pattern here and here and here.  I will reveal that it’s another neck accessory.  Bulky weights work nicely around necks, so I just went with it.

Wizzö Wizzö
Wizzö Wizzö

So you can grab it alone (here on ravelry), or get the whole trio (three patterns for the price of two!) to get Wizzö and Lemmy now, and Mikkey next week (here on ravelry).  The way this winter is going for most of us, you probably still have plenty of time to knit up multiple bulky neck accessories and wear them before the cold season is over!  Yay wool!  ;)

Filed under: knitting,pattern Trios — leethal @ 12:18 pm

February 17, 2014

Handspun Robin kits by Infinite Twist!

Do you know about Infinite Twist?  It’s a yarn company that makes handspun, hand-dyed yarn in Shanghai, which not only produces beautiful yarns, but also provides living wages for local spinners.  You can check out the video on the about page to learn and see more.

Infinite Twist yarn!

Some of the yarns are spun by Qinghai Spinner’s Cooperative, which gives sustainable jobs/income to rural Tibetan women (here’s an old blog post about that, when they were just starting to work together).

Robin shawl by Infinite Twist

So I am super happy that Infinite Twist is now offering kits to make my Robin shawl, in this gorgeous Qinghai Handspun yarn!

Robin shawl by Infinite Twist

There are three different kit options: Red Devil/Blush, Larkspur/Tibetan Turquoise, and Spooky Purple/Dovecote.  Each kit includes 475 yards of the beautiful handspun yarn, a bamboo circular knitting needle, stitch markers, and the download code for the Robin pattern.

Robin shawl by Infinite Twist Robin shawl by Infinite Twist

I also have plans for a design in Infinite Twist yarn very soon – I was sent the yarn for this design awhile back, and in the package with it was this awesome box of yarn samples!

Infinite Twist yarn! Infinite Twist yarn!

It just so happens that the person behind Infinite Twist, Cate Carter-Evans, has roots here in Portland, so I’ve gotten to hang out with her a couple times while she was in town visiting family.  What a fantastic person she is!

Got to grab a coffee with the fabulous @infinitetwist while wearing my UK trip sweater out in the world, and she's in a beautifully colored Robin shawl! Yay!

Really, I just can’t say enough good about this wonderful yarn company!  So, if you are ever craving some handspun, do browse around the Infinite Twist shop.  So much beauty!

Filed under: knitting,yarn — leethal @ 10:55 am

February 5, 2014

Rainbow-filled donation drive!

Knitters, are you getting ready for the Ravellenic Winter Games?  I’m participating (sort of) in this year’s games by having a donation drive!  If you are on the lookout for fun patterns to use for your projects over the next few weeks, and if you want to help a good cause, here’s the deal…

Rainbow Spiral Hat!

First, let me introduce you to a new sample of one of my very first patterns – a rainbow-tastic version of Spiraling Stripes Hats!  The pattern itself has been updated, all re-formatted in my new pdf style, with some edits and added notes about the different sizes/styles.  (here on ravelry)  This style is knit exactly as the pattern is written, in aran weight yarns, for the oversized slouchy fit.

Rainbow Spiral Hat!

It was made in 9 colors of aran weight leftovers, mostly Malabrigo (one Quince & Co in the mix), making a complete rainbow:

Rainbow Spiral Hat!

It was topped off with a fishtail braid.  Bonus: the yarn colors were all switched at the top, so turning the ends into the braid meant ZERO ends to weave in!

Rainbow Spiral Hat!

So, wait, what does this have to do with the Ravellenic thing?  Well, for the first 4 days of the Olympic games – this Friday February 7th through Monday February 10th – 100% of proceeds from this hat pattern will be donated to International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.  This organization does work all over the world (including Russia), and some of their main issues are decriminalization, stopping discrimination, torture, violence, and abuse, freedom of speech, assembly, and association, health, and human rights.

My donation drive is part of a bigger collection of designers all doing donation drives during this Olympic season – the fabulous Bristol Ivy had the idea and we all jumped right on board!  Check out her blog post here for a list of all designers participating – some are donating more locally; some are giving a cut of sales from throughout the entire Olympics time.  Check out the list and the patterns, and buy as many as you want to during this fundraising event!

As far as leethal patterns go, it’s not just that hat – I’ll also be donating from the sales of all of my patterns that could potentially be made with rainbows!  Of course, you don’t have to actually make them as rainbows… but you COULD.  Technically, I know, you could make any pattern with rainbows, but I’m counting the ones that either have specific instructions for striping, and/or that have a many-colored sample included in the pattern.

Update (the next day):  My husband was reading this post last night, and pointed out how perfectly fitting my Freak Out! mask pattern (rav) is for protesting Russian politics and how awesome it would be if someone made a rainbow version for their Ravellenics project; I don’t know how I hadn’t put that together when making the pattern list for this donation drive!  Duh!!  So, 100% of sales proceeds from Freak Out! will also be donated:

Freak Out! Freak Out!

50% of proceeds from the sales of all of these patterns (Friday-Monday) will be donated:

3 color Robin

Barry in yellow stripy cowl!

all Short Stripes Trio patterns (full trio or individually purchased) (rav)

adventure knit items!

Adventure Knitting (rav)

Flying V's

Flying V’s (rav)

Junction

Junction (rav)

Either/Or

Either/Or (rav)

Gentle on My Mind

Gentle on My Mind (rav)

Slanted & Enchanted scarf

Slanted & Enchanted (rav)

infinity moebius scarf thing

Parallel Lines (rav)

Note (added 2/7):  The above 4 patterns, as well as Freak Out!, are part of my Remixed collection (8 patterns total, $20, rav) – I will donate 50% of sales of the full collection as well!

Flippable!

Flippable (rav)

Betiko - mystery pattern version

Betiko (half of the pattern price will be donated whether it’s purchased alone or with the collection) (rav)

Custom Tritop! Brimming with Color!

Custom Tritops (rav), Brimming with Color (rav)

Shapeshifter! Skoodlet!

Shapeshifter (rav), Skoodlet (rav)

scarf5 clarissacuffs2

Game Knitting (rav)

ten 10 yard cuffs! ten 10 yard cuffs!

Ten 10 yard Cuffs (rav)

Haka!

Haka (rav)

Ocean Breezes! Mr. Pointy

Ocean Breezes (rav), Mr. Pointy (rav)

Coloring Book

And lastly, 35% of all proceeds from any of my Coloring Book patterns, including the whole ebook collection (bought through my site or ravelry) will be donated.

Coloring Book Pigment Scribbled Lines

And just to let you know, the day after this ends (Feb 11th) is my birthday, and I will be having a birthday sale like I do most years, but it will only be on patterns not included in this donation drive, so the two events won’t conflict with each other.  I’ll announce details on that one later :)

If you do cast on for a rainbow, please show it off by posting pictures in my ravelry group (or at least adding it as a rav project) – I would LOVE to see some rainbow projects!!

Filed under: contest/giveaway,hats,knit-a-longs,knitting — leethal @ 9:50 am

January 29, 2014

Pattern updates and other news!

Newsy stuff time!  (No, not Newsies stuff, although I am all for seizing the day and carrying banners and whatnot.)  First off, Portlanders, my Coloring Book sample knits are currently on display at Twisted!  You can check it out through Sunday, and I will be present for meet+greeting, question answering, etc on Sunday during the “Super Ground Bowl Hog” party from 4-6!

Coloring Book Coloring Book

(Side note to other yarn shop folks – the print book is available through Deep South!  Just, you know, making sure you know.)

I’ve recently finished a bunch of pattern updates!  As I’ve talked about before, I made over my pdf template about a year ago, so I’ve spent the last year slowly going through my old patterns and re-formatting, editing them so everything is consistent, blah blah blah, and also, page counts are drastically cut down (hooray for those who like to print out their patterns!)… I’ve now uploaded the new pdfs for Junction (on rav)…

Junction

Ocean Breezes (rav), and Swerve (rav).  The patterns are essentially the same, but the updates are meant to be easier to follow, some wording has been improved; they are just overall better now, so there you go!  There is actually one other old pattern which has been more heavily updated, but that one will be talked about next week because it goes with another thing… vague enough?  You’ll see soon!

(Side note: Junction, and also Barry, will be available at Stitches West in the Anzula booth, with the samples there for you to check out!  Fun!!)

Ocean Breezes Swerve mitts in Chroma

There are still several leethal solo patterns remaining in my old pdf style – Custom Tritops, Terrapin, Mr. Pointy, Double Scoops, Brimming with Color… – so if you own any of these (digital versions), hopefully within the next few months you’ll get an updated version… it’s a pretty time-consuming process, but eventually they’ll all be updated.

And then there are my free patterns!  I uploaded SIX new free pattern pdfs last week!  Most notably, I made a brand new pdf of Scant, which had previously only been available directly on leethalknits.com – it’s still there, but it’s now also available as a pdf download there and through ravelry.

Scant in handspun

Also updated to my fancy pantsy new pdf format (okay it’s not really that pantsy, but it is new & improved)… the scrap-buster-tastic fun modular scarf/cowl Orthogonal (on rav)…

Orthogonal!

…and my super oooold free patterns Leethal Mary Janes (rav), Gradient Mitts (rav), Big Bulky Bucket Hat (rav), and Waving Chevron Scarf (rav):

booties1.jpg knit mitts

buckethat5.jpg waving chevron scarf

In other update-y news – a couple weeks ago, I completed a big update to my leethalknits info page, with the shop list (sort of) up to date.  (I don’t know who orders wholesale print patterns in real time, I just get lists of shops every few months, so it’s never completely up to date necessarily.)

(And, for any LYS people who might be reading this, my wholesale page is now totally up to date also, with my downloadable pdf 1-page line sheet to help break down my print patterns.)

Lastly, what have I been working on lately?  Well, mostly, my upcoming two Bulk Trio patterns!  I’ve been posting peeks on instagram:

Done and blocking!! Upcoming design in my Bulk Trio, sample in worsted weight Shepherd's Wool held triple stranded... Indie-dyed bulky weight sample coming soon! This is a fucking BIG accessory project but it's looking damn good and it will hopefully be finished tonight! Phew!

Above is the first one, which I’ve been working on for a couple months now – the first sample is done, the pattern is pretty much done, but I’m waiting on yarn for the second sample… For the third trio pattern, I forced myself to keep it really simple (for me) and it’s coming along very quickly!  These peeks below don’t give much away because I’m keeping it pretty secret until it’s released.  So now I’m really working on the two patterns simultaneously, and I don’t know which one will end up released first; they’ll probably be back-to-back, bam bam bulk bulk!  You can pre-order them both by grabbing the Bulk Trio (on ravelry), which will get you Lemmy immediately.  (All three patterns are flexible gauge, working for weights in the general bulky range.)

Wearing upcoming design prototype out on errands, pre- washing, blocking, photographing. Can't resist, it's so snuggly! That green Burly Spun I showed you a little while back ended up not working for that project, so I went to buy some new yarn for it and decided to step outside my usual color comfort zone! #nofilter  (This is an upcoming design for the Bulk Trio, and I LO

So that’s all that.  Happy knitting everyone!

Filed under: Coloring Book,knitting,pattern Trios,portland stuff,self-publishing — leethal @ 2:38 pm

January 16, 2014

Reconstructed hooded cardigan, with cuff tutorial!

New cardigan!

I started this project back in October of 2012, worked on it a little bit then, a little bit last spring, and then picked it back up and finished it over the last couple of weeks, finally!  Hooray!  I’m so excited to show it to you now!

New cardigan!

I got this ill-fitting but beautiful hand knit cardigan at a thrift store (4 years ago - wow time flies!), knowing I’d someday fix it up and make it wearable:

original sweater original sweater

Once I had my vision, deciding to use a heavier weight yarn for additions (around aran weight, versus the original sweater in maybe sport weight, I’d guess), and picking out this recycled sweater yarn (the same used in these either/or mittens), I got to the deconstructing.  I carefully removed all the edgings, one step at a time, and picked up stitches to knit on my new edgings.  On some parts I could use the actual live stitches, and on others I picked up stitches from sides.

sweater reconstruction close-up

It was all improvised, but I’ll tell you what I can, based on my crap memory and examining the piece now…

The first edging made was along the bottom – I unraveled those stitches, picked them up, decreased across to get a good stitch count in my heavier yarn to match up, and knit 1×1 rib for a few inches.

sweater reconstruction close-up

Then I picked up a chunk of stitches along the back of the collar, and began knitting those (also in 1×1 rib – all of my additions are 1×1 rib), picking up an extra couple of stitches every time I reached the end of a row.  So this resulted in short-row shaping, making the back of the collar the widest.

sweater reconstruction close-up

Once I had picked up down through the yoke, a couple stitches at a time like this, I picked up all the way down to the bottom on each side, ending the short row shaping for now.  I picked up the stitches closer together than I probably should have; I wanted the collar and front panels to be squishy and not pull in.  In the end, I see that I could have significantly reduced my picked up stitches along the fronts, and it still wouldn’t have pulled in, but it’s okay.

sweater reconstruction close-up

So then I knit around all these stitches (oh so many!  It took like an entire episode of a show to knit 1 row, as I’m extra slow in 1×1 rib) until the narrow front parts were a couple inches wide.  Then I made the triangle pockets on each side, using short rows:

sweater reconstruction close-up

After the pockets were done, I headed back up to the top and made the hood, shaped with short rows and decreases.  It turned out weird, and I learned from my mistakes for next time.  I like it enough to not frog and re-knit (omg the thought of taking it apart now that it’s all finished is awful) but it’s definitely not the best hood ever.  But hey, it functions!

New cardigan!

Basically, I decreased 4 stitches on every other row, because it was starting out so huge, so I thought that would be good, but I should have decreased 2, that would have made for a much nicer shape.  Lesson learned, and passed on to you.

New cardigan!

Once I finished the hood shaping, I knit back down to the bottom, and worked one last full row all the way around, then bound off.

One final row, then I bind off 289 1x1 rib stitches and am done with this long-term project! So excited to show it to you soon!

To finish the pockets, I folded them over to make a straight line with the edging above, and sewed them along the bottom.  I thought this would be it, but then they looked weird and needed to be stabilized, so I sewed them shut a couple inches on the tops and a couple inches on the bottoms, and now they are perfect!  Love them!

sweater reconstruction close-up

Lastly, the cuffs.  I actually took process photos so I can give you a full on tutorial for the cuffs!

Cuff tutorial step

Recycled sweaters are like snowflakes, every one is unique (not really), so this is how I did mine, but if you try to do the same, you’ll need to adjust according to your sweater’s specifics.

Cuff tutorial step

First, I tried unraveling the cuff from the edge, but, sadly, my particular hand knit sweater was knit from the cuff up, so it wouldn’t unravel.  Most recycled sweaters will unravel starting at the cuffs, so it will usually be much easier than this was.

Cuff tutorial step

Since I couldn’t unravel it, I grabbed my scissors and chopped it off, a few rows above where I wanted to pick up the stitches – I didn’t want to cut right up to the row I was going to pick up, and risk cutting too much, but this was kind of an unnecessary step, as I just ended up cutting again.  I could have picked up the stitches first, then cut once.

Cuff tutorial step

For your cuff project, you can either unravel all the way down to where you want your cuff to start, or cut it mostly off with scissors, then unravel the last couple rows, as that should normally work, with most sweaters.

Cuff tutorial step

I picked up my stitches, cut the rest off, picked off all the little bits of yarn stuck in there from cutting it, and had the stitches on the needles ready to knit – small needles, sized to match the original sweater yarn (not my heavier yarn).

Cuff tutorial step

Here is where I actually made a mistake with this cuff.  I made my first cuff over a year earlier, and had forgotten the details, so I slightly messed up on my second cuff.  I knew I had to decrease around, to get the stitch count down to match my bulkier gauge, so for the second cuff I decreased around during the very first round:

Cuff tutorial step

But this resulted in the cuff pulling in a bit at the join.  Damn.  Oops.  For the first cuff, I’d done it the right way: first, knit all stitches for one round in the new yarn, onto the bigger needles to match the new yarn.  Then, on the second new-yarn round, decrease around as needed to get a good stitch count in the new gauge.  This will prevent the join from pulling in.

Cuff tutorial step

Once the stitch count is right, work around (in 1×1 rib or the cuff stitch pattern of your choice) until it’s as long as you want it.  My cuffs are about 5 inches, around three times as long as the original cuffs on the ill-fitting cardigan.  Much better!

New cardigan!

So that’s that!  I chose not to put in buttonholes, since I wasn’t sure how the fit would be and I figured I could add closures later to fit best.  It works well closed with a shawl pin like you see at the top, or with 1-inch round pins like this:

New cardigan!

But I do plan to add some kind of permanent closure at some point; I’m thinking maybe a buckle of some kind, or toggles… we’ll see.  It’s fine for now!

New cardigan!

At the time when I first started this project, I began contemplating the idea of writing an ebook/collection of sort-of-patterns for this kind of thing – tutorials for taking apart reclaimed sweaters and knitting on new parts to make them into awesome new items.  The patterns would be better than this (this was an improvised experiment – if it was meant to be an actual design, the hood and other elements would be better!) and there would be lots of different kinds of projects, and different elements that could be mixed and matched together (like, pick your favorite pocket type, and collar type, etc).  Anyway, I currently don’t have solid plans to make this project happen, but I am still considering it for the future.

If this is something you’d be interested in, please let me know!  Either by commenting on this blog post, or by commenting over on the ravelry project page.  If there does seem to be a significant amount of interest, then I will start thinking about it for real and planning it.  Thanks!

Filed under: clothing,knitting,thrifty finds,tutorials — leethal @ 5:25 pm

December 18, 2013

leethal 2014 photo calendar!

I’ve been pretty into Instagram since I got my iPhone early this year, and I’ve been wanting to figure out ways to display my favorite shots.  The other day I thought, how about a calendar?  So I made one!

I made an Instagram calendar!

I love how it turned out: simple, functional, a lovely display of some of my favorite instas.

2014 instagram calendar

So I decided I should share it with you!  I turned the calendar into a pdf, with four versions.  You can go to my leethal.net wallpapers (and other downloads) page and download it with my photos…

leethal 2014 calendar pdf page

…or without any photos, so you can plug in your own square-format photos.  And both options come in the lighter text (as above) or the darker text (as below).  Note: the lighter text in the photos of it hanging in my kitchen looks barely-visible, but that’s mostly to do with the lighting in there; it’s actually plenty visible, I think.

leethal 2014 calendar pdf page

If you want to put in your own photos, you’ll need an application that can open and edit pdf files, to place your photos on the pages.  Or you could do it analog – print out the calendar as is, then print out your own photos, and glue them on there.

2014 instagram calendar

To make the calendar, you’ll need a photo printer (or a trip to Kinko’s or something), nice letter size* photo paper/cardstock to print out the pages (I used Red River Paper GreenPix, which I highly recommend, but unfortunately it’s only available in 4×6 inch size and rolls right now), a paper cutter (or scissors and the ability to cut super straight), and a hole punch.  Print, cut down the center dotted line, punch out the grey dots, and hang!

2014 instagram calendar

*The pdf is sized for US letter size paper (8.5×11 inches) but if you use a different paper size and print it fit to page, centered, it should work fine, just with some extra white space that you can trim off as needed.

2014 instagram calendar

Happy holidays!

Filed under: gifts,home stuff,photos — leethal @ 10:00 am

December 17, 2013

Block puzzle tutorial!

A couple years ago, I made a gift for Disney princess loving Alicia, using wood blocks and pages from thrifted books.  I photographed the steps, and then forgot to blog it!  So here is how I made it – it only takes a few hours, so you have plenty of time to make one for a kid gift this season (I’d love to make one with something other than princesses, like baby animals, or cats, or pretty much any kind of animals…).

Or, you could make one bigger with more pieces (and/or harder by mixing up the blocks, as explained below) for an adult version, with like photos of yarn, or photos from a trip you took together… oh shoot, I’d never thought of that until right now – now I want to make a trip photo puzzle!!

Princess gift block puzzle

So, you need wood blocks (I got these at Michael’s), pictures to use (my princess pictures came from some cheap thrift store books), a paper cutter (or scissors if you’re careful, in which case you also need a ruler), Mod Podge and a brush for the Mod-Podge-ing, newspaper or something to protect your work surface, and optional Sparkle Mod Podge if you want a glitter finish.

Princess gift block puzzle

I started by making a template for the pictures; I used the cardboard packaging from the wood blocks, cutting the piece of thin cardboard to the size of the blocks all together in a rectangle:

Princess gift block puzzle Princess gift block puzzle

Then I used the template to cut out my pictures to that size:

Princess gift block puzzle Princess gift block puzzle

So now I had pictures of the exact size of the blocks all touching:

Princess gift block puzzle

I used four pictures, to make the puzzle a bit easier than if all six sides of the blocks had pictures, since she was pretty young when I made this.  Pictures on all sides of the blocks (six pictures total) would make for a harder puzzle.

Princess gift block puzzle

I carefully measured and cut the pictures into squares the size of the blocks (if you’re using a paper cutter, you should be able to measure directly on the cutter – if you’re using scissors, then you’ll need to measure with a ruler).

Princess gift block puzzle

Be careful with your measuring and cutting so that you don’t accidentally cut the wrong size for some reason (I don’t remember why this happened!) and ruin your picture, so that you have to find another princess picture to replace it:

Princess gift block puzzle

So, once I cut a picture in both directions, I had a puzzle picture like this:

Princess gift block puzzle Princess gift block puzzle

Now I Mod Podged those squares of pictures onto the blocks:

Princess gift block puzzle

Princess gift block puzzle

Here’s another decision you can make.  I wanted the puzzle to be easy for the young kid, so I kept the first puzzle in order, turned each block the same way, and glued on the second picture in the same order, so that once she solves the puzzle for one of the pictures, she can then flip all the blocks in the same direction to see the next picture, then the next, then the next.  If you want a more challenging puzzle, you can scramble up the blocks so that you have to solve each one separately.  There are actually two more levels of difficulty – you could either flip all the blocks the same direction, then glue the pictures on in random order, all on the same sides, or you could glue them on random places and random sides, so the puzzles for each picture all start from scratch.  Just make sure you glue one square per picture onto each block.

Princess gift block puzzle Princess gift block puzzle

Repeat for each picture until all the squares are glued on:

Princess gift block puzzle

Princess gift block puzzle

Because this was a gift for a frilly little girl, I chose to add sparkles to the whole thing at the end:

Princess gift block puzzle

I don’t remember exactly, but I’m guessing I covered five sides with the sparkle Mod Podge, let them dry overnight, then sparkled up the sixth side the next day.

Princess gift block puzzle

Finished sparkly puzzle:

Princess gift block puzzle

Tah dah!

Filed under: general crafts,gifts,tutorials — leethal @ 10:56 am

December 16, 2013

Knit gifts of the past!

In continuing to catch up with blog posts that should have been done long ago, I want to show you a bunch of things I’ve knit for gifts over the last several years that never made it to the blog!  Many times, I’ve knit a thing, photographed it, meant to blog about it soon, and then just never gotten around to it… you know how it goes, life gets in the way.  So here we go, alllll those gift knits that never got shown!  Starting with the most recent, Pete’s xmas gift last year:

Pete's Harris Tweed hat

Pete wanted a warm hat with a bill, to keep the rain off his glasses.  I didn’t want to design a hat with a bill, so I went pattern searching, and this design - Colorado Cadet / Newsboy Cap by Cheryl Andrews - seemed the best match for exactly what he wanted.  I bought this Harris Tweed yarn in York last fall (at Ramshambles), with intentions to use the black skein for something for Pete, since he’s a big fan of the Harris Tweed brand.  This hat ended up needing more than 1 skein worth, with the bill and folded-under brim adding yardage, so I added some of the other two skeins I’d bought for myself – a speckled brown kind of color for the crown, and a teal blue for the underside of the brim, and also for the braid to add a bit of extra interest there.

Pete's Harris Tweed hat Pete's Harris Tweed hat

I think it turned out great, and Pete loves it (although Portland is rarely cold enough for him to wear it; he gets overheated really easily, unlike myself – I wear wool hats constantly all winter long!).  The pattern makes the bill work without any plastic/cardboard/etc piece in there, which is cool.  This was my first time with a few different techniques: a hemmed brim, a welt, and the herringbone braid.  I made this hat a bit taller than the pattern, so it would cover his ears and be warmer.

Pete's Harris Tweed hat

Next up, my mom collects elephants, mostly of the small, hard variety, but I thought adding a large, soft version to her collection would be fun!  So I used the pattern Garter Stitch Elephant by Phylis Tucker as a guideline, and bulky yarn (a few strands of worsted-ish held together), and made this weirdo wonky guy.

Mom's weird elephant guy

He looks like a perfectly normal stuffed elephant from certain angles…

Mom's weird elephant guy

…but then from other viewpoints, he looks like some kind of anteater/elephant hybrid thing.  Oh well, he has personality.  I think she named him, but I don’t remember what it was.

Mom's weird elephant guy Mom's weird elephant guy

The other wonky toy I’ve made was a gift for Eloise, (ravelry creators) Jess‘s & Casey‘s little girl, when she was born.

Eloise's Bird+Egg

It’s a Which Came First? by Anna Hrachovec, but made to look like a blue bird instead of a chicken.  Sort of.  To the best of my lacking toy-making abilities.

Eloise's Bird+Egg

Eloise's Bird+Egg

I think the egg looks great, and then the bird hatches, and he’s a little funky looking.  Personality?

Eloise's Bird+Egg

Here’s a shot of the pieces before sewing them together:

Eloise's Bird+Egg

Another one from far back, 3 years ago to be exact, I made this scarf for my mom for a xmas present.  The pattern is Spitcurl Scarf by Staceyjoy Elkin; it’s one of those patterns I saw and just wanted to make to find out how it’s made.

Spitcurl Scarf Spitcurl Scarf

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, in soft, washable Malabrigo Rios and Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK.

Spitcurl Scarf

Another mom gift, this one was for Pete’s mom for xmas 4 years ago.  We did it as a joint gift – Pete picked the pattern (Kerry by Rodger Murry, no longer available) and the yarn (Malabrigo Twist, yumm) – and I knit the hat.

kerryhat05

This was my first time knitting with Twist and it was love at first stitch.

kerryhat17

kerryhat01

Lastly in the other-people’s-patterns category, I knit this scarf for Pete back in 2008 - Counterpoint Scarf by Jennifer Crawford, in Alpaca with a Twist Highlander.  It was my first (and only) time doing illusion knitting, and I love it; I’ve always planned to revisit the illusion concept someday in my own designs… Maybe 2014 will be the year for that, we’ll see!

illusion knitting piano scarf

I’ve also knit a few gifts from my own patterns that never got blogged, so here are those.  First, a pair of Either/Or mitts for my brother Matt:

Matt's Either/Or mitts

I used a striping pattern for these that’s different from all six of my pattern sample mitts, and I love how it looks!  Three colors in blocks, in the short fingerless mitts version of the pattern:

Matt's Either/Or mitts

They are man-sized, modeled by Pete, in a machine-washable yarn (Lion Brand Wool-Ease) so Matt can wash them easily.

Matt's Either/Or mitts

I knit this picture frame for my dad using my Quick Knits Cabled Frame pattern, but making each section longer for a larger frame.  It’s shown here with a placeholder picture (a page of a magazine).  It’s backed with layers of cardboard so the photo can slide in and out easily.

Cabled Frame for Dad

Lastly, I first started working on the Coloring Book designs in early 2012, to figure out what yarns I needed and stuff; when I decided to make a cowl for Pete’s mom last year out of an assortment of yarns bought throughout our UK/Ireland trip, I thought the draft version of what would become the Color by Number pattern would be a perfect fit.

Travel cowl gift knit

So, this is sort of a Color by Number custom cowl, but it’s way before the actual pattern was finalized, and there are lots of improvised bits – mainly, the cabled panel up the one side, and the scattered boxes with cables and twisted stitch patterns inside.

Travel cowl gift knit

With the gift, I included a diagram of where each yarn came from.  They are from York, London, Edinburgh, Holyhead in Wales, Dublin, and Galway.

Travel cowl gift knit

Modeled shots:

Travel cowl gift knit

Travel cowl gift knit Travel cowl gift knit

Travel cowl gift knit

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!  Although I wish I’d given it wood buttons instead of plastic.  Oh well.  It worked nicely to throw in some stitch patterns in some of the boxes, so feel free to use that idea with your own Color by Number projects if you like it!

Travel cowl gift knit

Okay that was a long post.  Better to group together all these old knits into one giant post than to never blog about them at all, right?  I have a couple other completely different gift-themed blog posts coming up this week.  Next will be a tutorial, and then I’ll be giving a gift to you for the holidays :)

Stay tuned, and I hope you are well as this season flies by!

Filed under: gifts,hats,knitting — leethal @ 2:33 pm

December 11, 2013

Pom-Poms! book and pom-pom wreath project!

I made a thing!

Pom pom wreath project!

A little while ago, the publisher sent me a review copy of this book, Pom-Poms! 25 Awesomely Fluffy Projects by Sarah Goldschadt and Lexi Walters Wright.  The holiday season inspired me to make the pom-pom wreath!  Fun!

Pom pom wreath project!

I got out the book, my Clover pom-pom makers, a fork to try out the fork method in the book, my own hand to try out the finger wrap method in the book, scissors, and a big pile of old yarn.

Pom pom wreath project!

I didn’t end up loving the fork method – I think it’s good for super teeny tiny pom-poms, but I was trying to make small, dense ones and it didn’t work so well.  But I liked the finger wrap method for small ones!  The book goes into lots of different kinds of pom-poms, like how to make them with coffee filters, paper, cupcake liners, and how to make different color patterns with yarn.

Pom pom wreath project!

Most of the book is projects using pom-poms, so if you get addicted to making them you’ll have lots of ways to use them.  I really like the bouquets (like the one pictured on the cover), the garlands, the various jewelry items, the hedgehogs (also on the cover), and the wreath, of course.  I might make more projects in the future, but my hands are killing me after making all the pom-poms for the wreath today!

Pom pom wreath project!

I made them in all different sizes, using my two official makers and my fingers and the fork, in different yarn types and different thicknesses.  Then I cut out a circle of cardboard, and glued them all on:

Pom pom wreath project!

I really like how it turned out, yay!

Pom pom wreath project!

It will live on the inside of our front door, with a suction cup wreath hanger (crossing our fingers it doesn’t fall down after a few hours).

Pom pom wreath project!

Fun way to use up some unwanted yarns!

Filed under: books,general crafts,home stuff — leethal @ 4:17 pm

December 10, 2013

Malabrigo merino roving!

A few months ago I got an amazing package in the mail:

Malabrigo roving!

That’s six braids of Malabrigo’s merino roving, aka Nube.  In colorways: Mostaza, Piedras, Plomo, Arco Iris, Persia, Glitter.

Malabrigo roving!

The lovely people at Malabrigo contacted me when they released the roving, knowing that I’m a designer/blogger who spins, asking me if I had any favorite colorways… I gave them a list of six, thinking I’d love to spin up a skein of any one of those colorways.  When I opened the package to see ALL six colorways I was shocked and delighted!  Whoa there Malabrigo, so generous!!

Malabrigo roving!

So now I must do it justice!  As you know, it’s been a busy few months, so it’s been sitting there, looking pretty in my studio… an exciting project to look forward to… and now I’m almost ready to break out the wheel.  And I have a plan (a vague plan, but some kind of plan).

Malabrigo roving!

Once I get it allllll spun, I’ll see what weight it ends up being (I’m not good/experienced with spinning 100% merino, and my wheel is ideal for chunkier weights, so I’m going to try for an aran weight, but it might end up being bulky), and I’ll see what my total yardage is.  And then I’ll find a pattern to match up with that yardage and weight, some kind of garment!  And I’ll knit an amazing, colorful, handspun sweater, or vest, or something.  It will be majestic.

Malabrigo roving!

This is a long-term project, but I’m really excited to get started on it, and I will show you all the progress as I go!  I’ll be posting lots of progress photos (and notes and stuff) all throughout on instagram/twitter and tumblr, and then I’ll post major progress (like once the yarn is spun and I choose a pattern, etc) here on the big blog.

Malabrigo roving!

I’ve scrolled through hundreds of aran-bulky weight sweater/vest patterns, to get some idea of what I might want to knit… and it’s still completely up in the air.  I want to see not just the weight, but how the yarn ends up looking, to pick a design that would be a good fit.  I’m thinking very simple, no cables or lace/textural patterning, etc, but maybe with an interesting construction element.  I think I’m going to spin each braid into its own skein, then use each skein in the pattern entirely, so the garment is in six blocks of different colorways, kind of… but I might end up deciding to stripe them, or something else.

Malabrigo roving!

Aren’t those colorways beautiful?  I may not be experienced with spinning merino right now, but I’ll be an expert by the time I’m done with these!  I’ve barely done any spinning at all in the last couple years, wish me luck!!

Filed under: knitting,yarn — leethal @ 10:53 am

December 9, 2013

Year coming to end announcements and future pattern release stuff…

Wow this season has gone by fast, hasn’t it?  It’s been below freezing here in Portland for the last several days, so it’s really feeling like autumn times are over and we are full on into winter, regardless of what the calendar might say.  I am hard at work, dividing my time between multiple design projects, some holiday gift projects, some personal projects I really wanted to get done for the chilly season (like this!), and I’m trying to give myself a bit of time here and there to relax, after having really overworked for that last month before releasing Coloring Book.  Things would be a lot harder to get done if I didn’t take care of myself and caught a cold, and this is the time of year that tends to happen.

Anyway, yeah I’m being a bit rambly, I know.  The thing is, I feel guilty.  I took on too much work this year, especially within the last four months or so, and I’ve fallen pretty far behind.  I need to let you know where things are at, since I am unable to stick to original release schedules.  I’ll go through the list…

Bulk Trio!

Bulk Trio.  I released the first pattern, Lemmy, back in September, at which time I’d planned/hoped to get the second pattern in the set out before the end of the year, and then the third pattern early next year.  I’m actually pretty close to on-schedule, but the next pattern won’t be before the year is over; it should be very close to the beginning of January though.  I’m basically done with the design, have begun the first sample, and just need to knit the three samples, build the pdf, and have it test knit.

Here's an in-color peek at the stitch pattern I'm using for my new design, in super bulky triple-stranded worsted weight. So squishy!! I spent all day yesterday swatching failed 2-color reversible stitch pattern ideas, finally gave up for the day, then at night an idea struck out of nowhere, and it was PERFECT!! You get a b&w secret shot for now, but I can't wait to reveal it sometime so

Here are peeks at the stitch pattern!  I won’t tell you yet what it is… you already know it’s an accessory that’s ideal for bulky yarns.  As for the third pattern in the trio, that’s already been started as well, so I’m hoping it can be released before the end of January.  (Bulk Trio is on ravelry here.)

Yarn for Lerro shawl

Betiko Collection.  Here is where the guilt starts to weigh on me.  I’d originally said, back when I released Biratu in May, that the colorwork shawl and lace shawl would both be released later this year… that’s not going to happen, and I’m really sorry about it.  The slip-stitch colorwork design is well on its way – the first sample, in beautiful Anzula Squishy sock weight yarn (above), is in progress, the design is coming along, and I’m super happy with it!

Snow day coincides with knitting day! That's the best! Taking a break from this new project in beautiful Anzula yarn to swatch out a couple other ideas that I'm too excited to try!

Like Biratu, there will be two versions, the more complex and the any-gauge simplified.  I’m hoping it can be released by early-to-mid-January, by the time I finish both samples, and the pattern, and have it test knit.  The final Betiko Collection shawl, the lace one, will be my next design, so I’m hoping for mid-February for that one.  (Here’s the collection on ravelry.)

Remixed cover image

Remixed.  This last item in the list is the major guilt-crushing weight on my shoulders… I still haven’t finished the Remixed recycled yarn making ebook.  It has been an absurdly long time since the final pattern was released (Either/Or in March of 2012, cringe), and I haven’t forgotten the book, really, I’ve just had to prioritize other things, over and over… and now I’m kind of humiliated about it, but my plan is to take a chunk of days this month to be my Remixed days and work on nothing else until it’s done.  I did take some quality time to work on it last spring and made some great progress, but then I had to put it aside again.

Side note:  After the book is released, around the beginning of the new year, the price of the whole collection will raise.  It’s currently $20 for all 8 patterns plus the future yarn-making ebook; it will be going up by at least a few bucks once it’s complete, so grab it now if you want it ;)  (Remixed on ravelry here.)

Remixed patterns

As I’ve transitioned over the last couple years to designing full time, my vague goal for this year was to basically take on as much work as I possibly could and try to grow enough that I could realistically see myself continuing to be able to design full time… if that makes sense.  And I succeeded at that, at the taking on new work and putting out as many patterns as I possibly could and growing, but the cost was this falling behind.  Adventure Knitting took MUCH longer than planned/expected, and threw off my schedule for summer/early fall, and then Coloring Book grew into a much bigger project than it was supposed to be.  I have absolutely no regrets, as I’m so darn happy with how both of those projects turned out in the end, and I hope that no one is mad at me for mis-judging my time lines and falling behind.  I will be catching up and finishing everything up there on that last before I take on any new work!!

Something else I’m kind of always behind on is blog posts… lately, the only reason I take the time to blog is to announce a new pattern, and I wish I had the time to blog other fun stuff.  So I’m planning to just take some time this week, as breaks between sample knitting, to blog about a few things that should have gone up months ago, but better late than never… So you can look forward to those throughout this week.

Coloring Book print book

A fun announcement: Coloring Book is now available in print book format!  It’s through Magcloud, and when you order it you’ll also get a free pdf download – so it’s not the same as the ravelry ebook + individual patterns in your rav library, but an ebook version of the print book.  It also may be available soon at your local yarn shop!  (You don’t get an e-version that way, but you also don’t have to pay shipping!)  If you happen to be associated with a yarn shop, I’ll point you over to where the print book is available wholesale through Deep South :)

Coloring Book print book

Something else fun: there’s an interview with me over on the BagSmith blog, about my Superduper cowl in their yarn, and about life as a designer and stuff like that in general.  The interview was done with Mari in person, so it’s much different from email interviews, in which I have full control over how answers are worded and stuff… I do not have full control over what comes out of my mouth if I’m put on the spot! Hah!

Yesterday we went to this crazypants Alpenrose Dairy Christmas village thing and saw donkeys and pigs and kittens and goats and lots of bizarre old timey-ness. #latergram 1223

And I’ll leave you with these holiday shots and a reminder that I have lots of patterns that could make excellent last-minute gift knits, like items from my best-of Quick Knits book, bulky Haka hats/cowl, super bulky Lemmy cowl, bulky Twisted Ankles legwarmers, and lots of any-gauge hats which could be made quickly… I hope your holiday season is going well!

Filed under: knitting,pattern Trios,Remixed,self-publishing — leethal @ 4:12 pm

December 5, 2013

New (free!) pattern: Superduper in Knitty!

Have you seen the new Knitty yet?  That’s me on the cover!  Whoa!!  Very exciting!

Superduper!

My pattern is pretty bonkers, but only because of the yarn, which I feel like shouldn’t even be called “yarn”… it needs some other name… It’s The BagSmith Big Stitch Merino, and it knits up on size US 36 (20mm) needles at a gauge of 3 stitches per 4 inches!

Superduper!

My pattern, Superduper (on ravelry / leethalknits), is a giant cowl that can be worn many different ways.  Above, you see it as a double-layer cowl, with a smaller neck-warming inside, and a larger shoulder-warming outer tube.  If that’s turned around, you get this…

Superduper!

…and then the inside layer can be pulled up as a hood, for ultimate head/neck warmth:

Superduper!

(I tested out the level of warmth in some windy freezing snow, and it is COZY!)

Superduper!

So then if you flip it completely inside out, the tubes arrange so they’re together, as one giant double-thick tube (instead of the bigger outside and smaller inside), making a ridiculously humongous cowl:

Superduper!

This style is a bit silly and impractical, yes, but fun, I think.

Superduper!

And then you can flip the outer tube out to un-twist the whole thing, and it turns into a kind of figure-8 scarf+handwarmer piece:

Superduper! Superduper!

And if you pull that the other way, so that the two sides are the same size, it can be worn as a shoulder shrug kind of thing:

Superduper! Superduper!

Personally, I like it as a cowl hood that’s all-consuming and makes one look like a super-cozy performance artist or something:

Superduper!

How about a little backstory?  I was given the chance to design in this awesome yarn (and I use the term awesome in this case more with the dictionary definition in mind: extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear), which I could never afford to use normally, to be honest, not my normal yarn scene ;)  So it was a really cool opportunity to have, and I thought it would be a fun design challenge to come up with a great pattern for it.  My big bump sat around my house for awhile, as I waited for the inspiration to come to me…

Superduper! Superduper!

…and eventually an inspired idea struck, I spent a few days sketching and swatching in a regular super bulky yarn to get the pattern figured out, and then I realized it was way too complicated and wasn’t going to work in this yarn.  After days of work, it kind of hit me like a slap in the face, what was I thinking with this many-sectioned, modular, complex design?!  That wasn’t going to work at all, I needed to simplify!

Superduper!

So, I started from scratch and spent several days developing a flat, simple-shaped design, which I thought would be perfect for the yarn.  I knit up a sample using bulky yarn held triple-stranded, thinking that would be a similar weight to this yarn.  It was fabulous, I loved it!!  So then I knit up the real sample in this yarn all the way to the end, ignoring how much it WAS NOT working, until it was finished and I stepped back, and I realized how much of a complete failure it was.  Turns out, this yarn is MUCH much heavier than triple-stranded bulky.

The good news about that design: it turned into Lemmy (below).  The white Lemmy sample was the original sample, then when it failed for this project, I reworked the pattern and made the other samples in the other weights, and I’m really happy with that pattern, so it’s all for the best.  (Side note: the first failed design is on hold for now, but I plan to also turn that into its own pattern in the future.)

Lemmy

I VERY carefully frogged that whole failed piece, started from scratch once again, having learned from all my mistakes, keeping it SIMPLE, and came up with Superduper.  The final pattern uses the yarn in the best way, keeping to basic stitch patterns and simple shapes.  I’m really happy (super duper happy) with how it turned out!

Superduper!

Of course, if you want to make a Superduper but the yarn is outside your budget, substitutions are totally possible.  It might not be as easy as with most patterns, but if you think outside the box a little it shouldn’t be too hard.  One idea:  bulky yarn triple stranded twice, to make it 9-strands-thick, by chaining the whole skein using this technique, then chaining it again as you knit.  Or 6-strands thick by holding two balls together and chaining them as you go.  You’d need to play around with your bulky yarn to see how many strands are needed to get the approximate gauge – of course, you can mess with the gauge too, to make a slightly smaller piece.  Another idea:  knit with roving!  Okay I’ll leave other ideas up to you, but I just wanted to say that I know this yarn is a very specialty item that most knitters can’t really justify buying (myself included) so if you like the item, you can making something work!

Superduper! Superduper!

Let’s see, other fun things about the pattern… The cover shoot, in the snow, was done last weekend at Timberline Lodge (aka the Overlook Hotel from The Shining!) in some seriously cold, windy conditions.  You can see above how I couldn’t control my hair at times, and I don’t know what I was doing in that outtake shot, but I think I got a bit silly from the cold!  The cowl got put to the test in these conditions, and while my hands and feet were numb, my neck and shoulder region was toasty warm!  The initial photoshoot, on the other hand, was done back in August (thankfully not during a 100 degree heat wave, just a normal August day in Portland), and I recommend NOT wearing this item in the summertime ;)

Superduper!

I think that’s that, everything you might want to know about Superduper!  I hope some of you try making it, and then post photo in your ravelry projects so I can see!  I don’t expect this to be one of my most popular designs, but it really is fun, and it knits up QUICK, like a few hours total, so if you have yarn that will work, give it a try!  Fun knitting times!

Filed under: knitting,quick project,yarn — leethal @ 5:12 pm

November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving sale weekend: Print Pattern Packages (with digital downloads) on sale!

Remember when I used to sell full-color printed booklets of my patterns through MagCloud (and also self-distributed to yarn shops)?  Maybe you don’t, but yeah, I did used to do that… it was a lot of work and not many people were interested, so I stopped, and now I only sell a couple of collections in print format.  (And I use a distributor now for wholesale, because I pretty much sucked at that whole self-distributing thing.)

A side effect of this change in my methods is that I ended up with a pile of these nice quality print patterns sitting in my studio!  What to do?  Well, for about a year, they just sat, sadly, with no purpose in life.  But I want them to find good homes!  So, the biggest sale weekend of the year seems like a good time to address this issue, eh?  Especially since packages of pretty patterns could make great gifts for the knitter(s) in your life!

leethal print pattern set!

So I’ve gathered up all these print booklets, sorted them into sets, and listed them on etsy… except if you’re reading this on Wednesday or Thursday, they aren’t there yet.  They will go live as close as possible to midnight on Thursday night (west coast time), at discounted sale weekend prices!  They will stay at the discounted prices until Monday night around midnight, at which point all the sets that remain un-claimed will go up to their normal prices (which are still discounted from what the patterns would normally cost – all pricing details are explained at the end of this post).

Betiko - mystery pattern version ten 10 yard cuffs! big skoodlet! Twisted Ankles!

But wait, it gets better!!  Each print pattern will have on it a slip of paper with a download code, for the pdf pattern through ravelry (but it still works fine if you’re not a ravelry member).  Some of these print patterns are older versions which have been revised in the last year or so; the pdf downloads will be the newest, bestest versions, so you’ll have both the pretty printed booklet for your shelf, and the digital file to refer to if anything in the old version is confusing, or just to have a backup copy in your rav library, etc.

spiral hat Brimming with Color! haka! Ocean Breezes!

There are a bunch of patterns in print form – for some of them, I only have 1 or 2 copies, and for others, I have a ton of them, so they show up in many of the sets.  For most of the sets, only 1 exists – one set has 2 in stock, and another has 3; once they’re gone, they’re gone!

I’ll link to every pattern right here and now, so I don’t need to link them up every time they are mentioned.

Pattern links:

And: Etsy shop link to buy these print pattern packages.

leethal print pattern set!

There are a few small sets… I have 3 copies of this Quick Knits pattern package (above), which includes the Quick Knits best-of book, with 12 patterns using under 20 yards of yarn, and the Ten 10 yard Cuffs pattern, with 10 different buttoning cuff patterns in varying degrees of difficulty.  This package is a great learning tool for new knitters, or a perfect gift for someone with tons of small leftovers they want to use up!

leethal print pattern set! leethal print pattern set!

There are two different 3-pattern sets.  Haka/Ten 10 yard Cuffs/Skoodlet is a fun little package for adventurous beginner level knitters – Haka and the cuffs are easy, with the cuffs possibly teaching some new techniques, and then Skoodlet is a step up into the more intermediate range.  And then the Skoodlet/Betiko/Junction set is for the more advanced knitter – 3 bigger patterns which are customizable, fun to knit, and great to wear!

leethal print pattern set! leethal print pattern set!

There are two different 4-pattern sets as well.  There’s that same fun adventurous-beginner level package from above, but with Double Scoops added on, which is also a fun pattern for knitters ready to advance, or just wanting to make a fun little accessory.  And then a 4-hat package – Haka, Spiraling Stripes set, Ocean Breezes, and Custom Tritops set – which is a fun introduction to leethal hat patterns; all four hats are constructed differently from each other!

leethal print pattern set!

And now we step up to some 6-pattern packages.  Above is another great adventurous beginner kind of package, with Ten 10 yard Cuffs, the Haka hat, and the Brimming with Color hat all being very beginner-friendly, and then 2 more hats – Mr. Pointy and Spiraling Stripes set – both on the slightly more simple end of the leethal pattern spectrum, and Skoodlet being a great pattern for stepping into intermediate territory.

leethal print pattern set!

This one is a leethal short rows collection – 6 patterns which all make use of short rows in varying ways!  This would be a fun introduction to my design style for someone unfamiliar with my sideways edge techniques.  You get the Junction modular triangle shawl, Betiko customizable crescent shawl, Terrapin modular twisted stitch hat, Custom Tritops modular hat collection, Spiraling Stripes sideways-knit hat set, and Swerve modular sideways-cuff fingerless mitts.

leethal print pattern set!

And here is a 7-pattern set for hat lovers – a wide variety of different kinds of hat patterns.  There’s the Haka earflap hat, Terrapin twisted stitch hat, Custom Tritops versatile set, Mr. Pointy ziggy-zaggy fitted hat, Brimming with Color bulky slouch hat, Ocean Breezes wavy cloche or beret, and Spiraling Stripes customizable swirly hat set.

leethal print pattern set!

This one is kind of a world of leethal collection, with 7 different leethal accessories… Twisted Ankles cabled legwarmers, Swerve fingerless mitts, Ten 10 yard Cuffs, Double Scoops headband/earmuffs, Skoodlet hooded cowl, Haka hat, and Spiraling Stripes hat set.

leethal print pattern set!

Another leethal variety pack, with 8 patterns – 5 hats, and 3 other fun things.  There’s Haka hat, Spiraling Stripes hat set, Brimming with Color hat, Custom Tritops hat set, Ocean Breezes hat, Double Scoops earmuffs/headband, Skoodlet hooded cowl, and Ten 10 yard Cuffs.

leethal print pattern set!

The mega hat set includes 8 hat patterns – the 7 in the hat lovers set above, plus Wobble Bass, to add some sideways cables to the mix!

leethal print pattern set!

And lastly, this is the package pictured at the top, the ultimate leethal accessory collection!  You get all the leethal classics (okay I don’t know what qualifies as a leethal classic, but some of my all-time favorites are included here!) – Betiko shawl, Skoodlet, Double Scoops, Shapeshifter, Spiraling Stripes hats, Haka, Ten 10 yard Cuffs, and Twisted Ankles.

A couple things you might like to know…

Each pattern will come with its own separate download code, so if you want to split up your package and gift patterns to different people (or gift a few and keep the rest for yourself!), that will totally work fine!

Sale weekend prices are $2 less than the digital version of each pattern would be on its own, all combined (so if there are three patterns, and they each cost $6 normally, then the package price is $4 times the 3 patterns = $12 total).  The normal (still discounted) price that remaining packages will raise to after Monday will be $1 less than the normal pattern prices.  So for a 4-pattern package, the price will go up by $4; for an 8-pattern package, it will go up by $8.  All sale and post-sale prices are given in the etsy listings.

Shipping is the same for all packages – $2 within the US, $5 to anywhere else (see the etsy listings for more details).

I think that’s all there is to know!  Head to my etsy shop on Friday and get what you want while you can!  (Just so you know, there are a few pdfs listed in my shop, so the listings which don’t say print patterns are not print patterns.)  I am hoping to find good homes for all of these patterns over the weekend; I have no idea what to expect, so if you really want something it’s best to act fast in case they start selling out right away!

Thanksgiving '09!

Happy holidays!  I plan to eat way too much food tomorrow (mmmmmm stuffing and mashed potatoes!), and then avoid all stores all weekend – no Black Friday madness for me, no thank you!  If you do go out shopping this weekend, try to support local shops as much as you’re able to!!  :)

Filed under: books,gifts,hats,knitting,leethal store,self-publishing — leethal @ 3:53 pm
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