May 12, 2016

Remixed: Making Recycled Yarns ebook, including Rejuvenation hat pattern!

Look what’s here!  It’s the final piece of my Remixed collection (on ravelry here), the long-awaited Remixed: Making Recycled Yarns ebook, which is included with that collection (with 8 any-gauge accessory patterns) and also available by itself (on ravelry here).

Making Recycled Yarns ebook cover

I think it’s worth the wait; I ended up putting a lot more into it than originally planned, it just kept growing, and I’m really happy with how it all turned out.  It will teach you everything you need to know to turn old sweaters into new yarns:

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

It’s 43 pages long, has over 200 detailed photos, and goes into detail about how to deconstruct and unravel different kinds of sweaters, and how to handle and use your yarn in lots of different ways.  The whole thing is written in a casual, friendly tone, as I talk you through how I’ve handled different kinds of sweaters and processes, giving you tips from my years of experience.  The ebook was professionally edited, by Robynn Weldon, so it’s top quality and error-free.

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

(The recycled yarns above were used to make my Freewheelin’ cabled shawl and my Either/Or full mittens.)  There’s a bunch of info about exactly how to look for sweaters to recycle at thrift stores, to get usable yarns that you’ll like; what the deal-breakers are, what to pay attention to, etc, including a shopping checklist.

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

There’s detailed info on how to deal with your recycled yarns: measuring yardage and weight, splicing, working with multiple strands, adding to your yarns…

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

And then there’s a whole section on spinning recycled yarns!  If you have a spinning wheel, you can do so much with recycled yarn-making.  Plus, since you’re spinning yarn which is already yarn (not turning fiber into yarn), it’s SO easy and you basically don’t need to look at your hands, so you can do things like read subtitles at the same time.  Anyway, below is a recycled yarn I made on the left which I then spun and plied together with another similar red recycled yarn – one of them is a wool/angora blend and the other is a merino/cashmere blend, so they plied together to make a ridiculously soft new yarn:

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

Here is a recycled wool yarn that I spun and plied with three different strands of threads and lightweight yarn (it was used to make a Wild is the Wind hat sample):

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

The ebook goes into making self-striping yarns, like this one made from a striped sweater, spun and plied with thread (it was used to knit my Freak Out! mask/hat):

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

And there’s a tutorial on how to chain ply (aka Navajo ply) recycled yarns, like I did with this cotton yarn, turning a striped sweater into a self-striping bulky yarn (used to make one of my Gentle on My Mind hat samples):

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

Another self-striping chain-plied yarn I made, shown before and after spinning, from a wool striped sweater (used to make a pair of Either/Or fingerless mitts):

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

And then here’s a different self-striping yarn I made from that same striped sweater yarn, plied with an angora recycled yarn (used to make my striped Wild is the Wind hat) – the ebook explains all the details.

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

There’s also a bit about making accessories out of parts of partially-deconstructed sweaters, like I did with these two items:

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

And there’s a new pattern included in the ebook!  I wasn’t planning on adding a new pattern to the Remixed collection, but I felt so bad about the long wait for the ebook, I thought a new pattern might help everyone to feel better (mainly myself, to ease the guilt feelings).  So, I kind of remixed my Scant top-down hat pattern, using that same construction and crown pattern, adding a brand new (sideways modular) brim.

Rejuvenation Rejuvenation

The hat is called Rejuvenation (on ravelry here), and it’s only available with the new ebook / the full Remixed collection, but it is included for you as a separate pdf file as well, for easy knitting.  It’s named after an album by The Meters:

Rejuvenation

This sample happens to be made from the two yarns recycled from the sweaters that those two accessories above also came from – a wool/cashmere blend, which was held triple-stranded to make a bulky weight for the hat, and bulky multi-colored yarns in very short lengths to make the scrappy-striped brim:

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

The pattern is for any weight/gauge, no swatching needed, custom sized, and it works very nicely with the brim in a contrasting color or not.  It would work with stripes/multi-colored yarns in either the body or the brim; it’s a simple enough design that it’s very versatile with what kinds of yarns you can use.  My other sample is all in one yarn, a spun recycled yarn, approximately aran weight:

There's a new hat pattern included in my Remixed yarn-making ebook! Rejuvenation uses the same measure-as-you-go top-down construction as my Scant pattern, with a brand new modular brim, which can be folded up or down. You could say it's a remix of an old Rejuvenation

Here’s what the yarn looked like; it’s the same yellow wool pictured above, spun and plied with a red angora-blend recycled yarn:

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

The hat can be worn different ways, brim up or down, spun around on the head in different positions.  You can see more photos and also read more details about the specifics of my samples on their ravelry project pages: bulky striped-brim sample, and plied yarn sample.

Rejuvenation Rejuvenation

So that’s an idea of what’s in the ebook.  You can find the table of contents and a preview of the first few pages here on my site, if you want to see exactly what’s included.

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

I’m hoping that it inspires knitters who never considered making recycled yarns, and helps make the process clear and manageable for everyone, all info needed in one easy-to-follow pdf.  If you want to try out making recycled yarn, but you’re overwhelmed by the messy expanse of free online tutorials and forums, this ebook is a way to get everything in one place, learn all the steps of recycled yarn-making from the beginning, read lots of detailed tips and info that will help you along the way, all illustrated by clear photos and lots of examples.

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

If you do use the ebook to make your own yarn, I’d LOVE to see it!  Use #remixedyarn on instagram, etc, and it would be awesome if you’d post your yarns in the leethal knitters! ravelry forums!!

Filed under: hats,knitting,Remixed,self-publishing,thrifty finds,yarn — Lee Meredith @ 12:58 pm

April 28, 2016

Book review: The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary

I’m so happy to be launching the blog tour for Wendy Bernard’s brand new book, The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary: 150 new stitch patterns to knit top down, bottom up, back and forth & in the round.  As designer, I love a good stitch dictionary, which this definitely is, but it has plenty of awesomeness packed in for non-designers as well!  Besides the 150 stitch patterns, which you can use different ways for different projects, there are also customizable project patterns for every type of stitch pattern, into which you can plug your favorites of the stitch patterns from each chapter.

KnittingAllAround91959JF-web

Wendy Bernard’s first book in this series was Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary from 2014; this new book adds all those new stitch patterns and projects, and also incorporates some reader feedback to improve on the ideas of the first book.  So the new book shows more views of the reversible patterns, and shows when stitch patterns look slightly different in the top-down and bottom-up versions, etc.  There are chapters on knit & purl, ribs, twisted, slipped & fancy, cables, lace, and mosaics, with all the stitch patterns both written and charted, in the different ways they can be knit.

KnittingAll-AroundStitchDictionary_p071-web

For the blog tour, I was given a stitch pattern to share with you!  This is the Fuji Rib pattern, which uses a cool technique in which a stitch is slipped up and over multiple stitches – very easy to do but makes an interesting look/texture in your knitting.  I’ve used this type of stitch technique in a couple of patterns in the past, it’s fun!  Anyway, here is the stitch pattern!

chart1

Fuji Rib FLAT

(multiple of 14 sts + 1; 18-row repeat)

Pkok: Slip third st on left-hand needle over first 2 sts and off needle; k1, yo, k1.

ROW 1: *K1-tbl, p1; repeat from * to last st, k1-tbl.

ROW 2: P1-tbl, *k1, p1-tbl; repeat from * to end.

ROWS 3 AND 4: Repeat Rows 1 and 2.

ROW 5: *[K1-tbl, p1] 3 times, pkok, [p1, k1-tbl] twice, p1; repeat from * to last st, k1-tbl.

ROW 6: P1-tbl, *[k1, p1-tbl] twice, k1, p3, [k1, p1-tbl] 3 times; repeat from * to end.

ROW 7: *[K1-tbl, p1] twice, pkok, k1, pkok, p1, k1-tbl, p1; repeat from * to last st, k1-tbl.

ROW 8: P1-tbl, *k1, p1-tbl, k1, p7, [k1, p1-tbl] twice; repeat from * to end.

ROW 9: *[K1-tbl, p1] twice, k2, pkok, k2, p1, k1-tbl, p1; repeat from * to last st, k1-tbl.

ROW 10: Repeat Row 8.

ROW 11: Repeat Row 7.

ROW 12: Repeat Row 6.

ROW 13: Repeat Row 5.

ROW 14: Repeat Row 2.

ROWS 15–18: Repeat Rows 1 and 2.

Repeat Rows 1–18 for Fuji Rib Flat.

C2-Fuji-Rib-Round

Fuji Rib IN THE ROUND

(multiple of 14 sts; 18-rnd repeat)

Pkok: Slip third st on left-hand needle over first 2 sts and off needle; k1, yo, k1.

RNDS 1–4: *K1-tbl, p1; repeat from * to end.

RND 5: *[K1-tbl, p1] 3 times, pkok, [p1, k1-tbl] twice, p1; repeat from * to end.

RND 6: K1-tbl, *[p1, k1-tbl] twice, p1, k3, [p1, k1-tbl] 3 times; repeat from * to end.

RND 7: *[K1-tbl, p1] twice, pkok, k1, pkok, p1, k1-tbl, p1; repeat from * to end.

RND 8: K1-tbl, *p1, k1-tbl, p1, k7, [p1, k1-tbl] twice; repeat from * to end.

RND 9: *[K1-tbl, p1] twice, k2, pkok, k2, p1, k1-tbl, p1; repeat from * to end.

RND 10: Repeat Rnd 8.

RND 11: Repeat Rnd 7.

RND 12: Repeat Rnd 6.

RND 13: Repeat Rnd 5.

RNDS 14–18: Repeat Rnd 1.

Repeat Rnds 1–18 for Fuji Rib in the Round.

KnittingAll-AroundStitchDictionary_p080-web

And then the book includes the pattern for this Fuji Rib Wrap, using the stitch pattern; but you can plug in a different stitch pattern from the book if you prefer.  I love the unusual styling in the photos, but the wrap is just a big rectangle with buttons, so it can be worn lots of different ways besides the way it’s shown here.  You know how much I love knits that can be worn in different ways!

KnittingAll-AroundStitchDictionary_p078-web

And, in addition to the customizable patterns like this one, at the end of each chapter, the book also includes a Designing from Scratch section at the end, with formula-style patterns for socks in two directions, caps in two directions, and triangular shawls in two directions, all of which can be made with your choice of stitch patterns from the book.

The publisher has arranged a giveaway for you!  Wait but not just the book… Blue Sky Alpacas, the lovely yarn company who provided all the yarn in the book, is throwing in two skeins of yarn for the lucky winner!  So leave a comment, telling us what kind of project you’d like to plug stitch patterns into, or something else that excites you about this book, and I’ll choose a winner at random a week from today (end of the day on Thursday May 5th).  Important: make sure you receive replies to comments in your email inbox so that you will learn if you’re the winner and can claim your prize! :)

Follow the rest of the stops on the blog tour to see more stitch patterns from the book!

5/2: Yarniacs

5/5: Mason-Dixon Knitting

5/9: Craft Sanity

5/16: Knit Circus

5/18: AboutKnitting.com

5/23: Craft Gossip

5/11: WEBS

5/28: Blue Sky Alpacas

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway,knitting — Lee Meredith @ 8:00 am

April 19, 2016

Second VIP club 2016 hat pattern: Omnia!

Omnia mystery hat

Here is Omnia (ravelry link), the second hat in the VIP club 2016 series of hat designs!  If you are a VIP club member, you have the pattern and have maybe even knit it already; if not, you can join the club right now, receive this pattern (and Provocateur) immediately, and get four more hat designs – all with different constructions! – throughout the year, every other month.  Also, mega discounts on ALL my patterns!!  Click here to join!

Omnia

Omnia is constructed from the top down, in the round, and it can be made in sport or worsted weight yarn, with different kinds of striping patterns making it look really different.  Above is a brown merino recycled yarn (approximately sport weight) with narrow stripes of Spincycle Dyed in the Wool.  Below is the same Spincycle self-striping yarn by itself:

Omnia

Here it is in Plymouth Galway Sport wool yarn, with four colors striped in 3-row wide stripes throughout the whole thing:

Omnia

Here’s a sample in worsted weight leftover scraps, lots of Malabrigo and assorted other yarns (they are all listed on my rav project page here if you’re interested):

Omnia

This subtly-striped sample is in two colorways of madelinetosh tosh merino worsted weight yarn, both of which are variegated and share a shade of teal, making the stripes really blend together:

Omnia

And my final sample is in Black Trillium Pebble Worsted (leftover from my Liy sample), with the 1×1 ribbing modification option included in the pattern.  Normally, just the brim is ribbed, but you can choose to make the whole hat ribbed for a slightly different look:

Omnia

Close up of the ribbed fabric:

Omnia

Another way to customize the look of your hat is the wavy bottom edge: if you make the brim very short, you’ll get a very wavy bottom edge, like the sample below, but if you want your bottom less wavy you can knit the ribbed brim for longer and the wave will be less dramatic, or disappear completely if you go extra long.

Omnia

As for sizing, this hat comes in three sizes for the sport weight gauge, two sizes for the worsted weight gauge, and three height options for every size (and then you can always add extra height to the bottom if it’s not long enough at the end).  All of my sport weight samples are the medium size, a perfect fit on my 22″ circumference head.  The above and below samples are both the short height, for a fitted hat.

Omnia

The below sample is the medium height, for a bit of slouchiness.  If you want lots of slouch, the long height will give you that!

Omnia

And then the worsted weight sizing is a bit versatile – the sample below is the smaller size, which fits my head snugly, in the short height.  It’s shorter than I’d like, and I may go back and add some more height at the bottom so I’ll wear it more, but I wanted to show it to you as is.  While this size stretches to fit me, it would be more comfy on a smaller head size:

Omnia

My ribbed sample is the larger worsted weight size, for a comfier fit on my head, in the short height:

Omnia

And my scrappy sample is the larger size, long height, for super extreme slouchiness!  It’s so long that I can fold up the ribbed brim at the bottom and still have plenty slouch, which is how I’ve been wearing it:

Omnia

Here’s a look at the top-down construction, starting with a very small circumference and increasing out, shown here with the magic loop method:

Omnia in progress

As for techniques, this hat is just increases and decreases, not much to it technique-wise, but it does use an uncommon increase method, the centered double increase.  I added a video tutorial and photo+written step-by-step tutorial to my website to go with the pattern – click here to find them.

screenshot of cdi tutorial

I also added a new video tutorial for weaving in the ends as you knit, which will come in very handy if you’re making your own stripes!

screenshot of weaving in end tutorial

Especially with a hat like the one below, with stripes in all different yarns, if you weave in all those ends as you knit around you’ll have very little finishing work when you’re done.  On this one, I carried the main color turquoise yarn down over the stripes, and weaved in the ends of each new color as I knit:

Omnia

As for design inspiration – my VERY old design Waving Chevron Scarf (ravelry link) uses the same concept of making wavy chevrons by moving the decreases back and forth, with just one chevron making the scarf:

waving chevron scarf

Ravelry user graphica made a gorgeous blanket version of this scarf (she has very detailed notes on her rav project page), repeating the pattern several times across, brilliant!  I used that concept, redesigned the stitch pattern with different kinds of increases and decreases to work better in a hat, and turned the idea into Omnia!

Omnia

I had lots of fun playing with different kinds of stripes in all my samples.  The striping pattern I used for the four-color hat below was designed so that I’d never have more than two yarns attached at a time, so I wouldn’t have to worry about four yarn balls getting all tangled up.

Omnia

Here’s how I did it (copied from my rav project page): I striped 3-row stripes, with 5 stripes of each color, overlapping with different colors at the beginning and the end of the 5 stripes.  So I started with (green, white) twice, then I switched the white with blue and striped (green, blue) three times, so now there were 5 stripes total of green and the striping pattern was established, so all I needed to do was switch each color to a new color whenever 5 stripes were completed.  I switched out the green with orange and striped (orange, blue) twice; now there were 5 stripes blue so I switched out the blue for white and did (orange, white) three times, so there were 5 stripes orange… once it’s established it’s easy to keep track of what’s happening.

Omnia

I actually knit this pattern nine times total (not counting partially frogging and reknitting); the Spincycle sample was completely knit and blocked, and it ended up not fitting – it was an early prototype and I hadn’t figured out all the sizing yet, so that ended up being the small size – so I frogged it, rewashed the yarn (pictured below), and started over.  This pattern was tricky to figure out the details, and I went into it thinking it was a pretty simple design, which is part of why I didn’t do enough swatching to figure things out in the first place before knitting complete hats.  That’s bad design planning on my part, I could have saved myself a lot of hat-knitting time by doing better planning in the first place.

yarn used for VIP club hat #2 samples

I knit two earlier prototypes to figure out the details which both ended up not being usable as samples. The first one, below to the left, in Classic Elite Yarns Liberty Wool self-striping worsted weight, was my first try at all the ideas, and ended up being very different from the final pattern.  It’s still unblocked because I’ll be frogging it to reuse the yarn; but I learned a lot from the trial and error of knitting it!

Omnia early prototype Omnia early prototype

My second try (above right) was in Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted Long Print LP, which is perfect for this pattern but discontinued, sadly; it’s pretty close to the final pattern, smaller worsted weight size, close to the long height, but it’s different enough to not be an official sample, although I probably won’t frog it because it is wearable.  (Both of these ran out of yarn around the bottom and were finished off in stripes of other yarns at the bottom.)

Omnia Omnia

If you want to see lots of different kinds of striping patterns besides my samples, VIP club knitters have lots of projects up on ravelry!  LOVE the variety of these projects!!

Omnia

The Spincycle Dyed in the Wool is such a great fit for this pattern, making for a really cool look, so different from normal stripes.  If you’re in Portland, I got my skein from my newest very local-to-me SE yarn shop, Starlight Knitting Society, where you’ll find a nice selection of this yarn!  My one skein made the full hat above, with enough left over to make the narrow stripes in the hat below:

Omnia

So that’s Omnia!  If you make it, please be sure to post your project photos on ravelry so we can all see what kinds of stripes you make!!  The next VIP club hat is coming in June, so you’ll learn the details about it on (or around) May 24th.  I hope you have lovely spring weather and lots of colorful flowers wherever you are!

Filed under: hats,knitting,leethal VIP club — Lee Meredith @ 1:41 pm

April 12, 2016

New pattern: Route 99!

Have you seen that there’s a brand new online knitting magazine? It’s called Stranded, and I have a pattern in the first issue!

Route 99

This is Route 99 (ravelry link), a fingering weight, modular, slip-stitch-colorwork, vintage turban style hat.

Route 99

These beautiful photos are from Stranded (copyright Andi Satterlund), which has 6 patterns, 2 tutorials (a knitting one by me, and a non-knitting craft tutorial), an interview with Cirilia Rose, and other fun knitting-related articles and content. The whole thing is $16, and it’s only available for one year so get it while you can! It’s here on ravelry.

Route 99

My main sample is the large size, knit to accommodate the model’s fabulous hair, so it’s a bit too large on me, but you can see here how it can be worn different ways with the panel in different places around the head:

Route 99 Route 99

Because of how this one is too big, I think it actually looks best on me with the panel in the back, turning it into a kind-of-bonnet style look:

Route 99

The yarn used, Spud & Chloë Fine fingering weight wool/silk blend, is a perfect fit, with the silk adding a bit of drape for the scrunched-in shaping.

Route 99

My first prototype sample can show you how the pattern looks in a more fitted size (this is size medium), in a different kind of yarn (100% wool Made in America Yarns Wayfarer), and in a different kind of colorway:

Route 99

Again, how it can be worn in different ways…

Route 99 Route 99

And also how it looks with different kinds of hair! Below are from my first round of photos, back when I first made this prototype about a year ago:

Route 99 Route 99

Which brings me back to the design process… The hat was inspired by looking at Art Deco designs, and combining the stitch patterning ideas with an idea for a turban-style hat, like styles that were popular in the 20’s and 30’s, and again in the 60’s and 70’s.

Route 99

The construction is using the same modular concept as my Unbroken hat design (below left), but with different shaping/ratios so that the panel really cinches in the body of the hat, making the turban shape. The modular sections are joined with short rows, increases, and decreases, so there are no picked up stitches, and no seaming.

Unbroken hat! Route 99

The stitch patterning is entirely made with slipped stitches and cables, so you’re only ever using one yarn at a time.

Route 99

There are three sizes – small, medium, large (measurements are given in the pattern) – but the circumference and the height are made independently, which means you can mix and match your circumference size with a different height size if you want to. The samples shown are large/large and medium/medium; if you have a bigger head circumference than I do but you don’t want your hat to come down quite as much as the orange one does on the model, you can make the large circumference with the medium height, for example.

Route 99

I thought this hat would be a good fit for Stranded’s warm weather issue, which has a road trip theme, because it’s not a super warm hat – it’s perfect for just covering up a bad hair day, keeping your hair in place while driving with the windows down, or throwing in your bag in case you need a little warmth after the sun sets. It’s also a great summertime knit since it’s a small project in lightweight yarn.

Route 99

I also contributed a tutorial to this first issue of Stranded, on cabling without a cable needle, which I definitely recommend using when making this hat!

A few quick technical things:

  • I strongly recommend using the crochet provisional cast-on technique shown here (click for tutorial & video).
  • It is very highly recommended that your darker color is the MC, lighter color CC.
  • The pattern only gives the gauge in the stitch pattern; so that you can estimate if your yarn/needles will be a good fit, my stockinette stitch gauge in the same yarn/needles was 27.5 sts and 34 rows per 4 inches / 10 cm.
  • Markers are used throughout the pattern to keep track of everything; sometimes they are placed and then not mentioned again – they are there to either keep track of pattern repeats/segments, or increases/decreases which always happen on the other side of the marker from the rest of the row stitches.
  • The whole pattern is written and charted; the cable crosses are all written out for using a cable needle but it will go much more quickly if you cable without one (well, it won’t go quickly no matter what, but you know, it’ll be really extra slow if you’re using a cable needle for all those little cables).

Route 99

So that’s Route 99! This pattern is really outside my usual design boxes, with its lightweight colorwork, but I am SO happy with how it turned out and I REALLY love the hat. It’s not a quick or simple knit, it takes awhile – Stranded describes it as “approachably complex” – but I think the time and effort is worth it for the finished object. I hope you do too!

Filed under: hats,knitting — Lee Meredith @ 7:30 am

March 15, 2016

New pattern: Custom Triyang!

The final pattern in the Triyang collection is the Custom Triyang pdf, only included with the full collection, for obvious reasons.  (On ravelry here.)

Custom Triyang mockup

Custom Triyang includes the original Triyang pattern rewritten in a way that allows the plain (garter stitch or stockinette stitch) sections to be combined with the sections from Twou, Vire, and Liy.  (Ravelry links: Triyang, Twou, Vire, Liy; blog posts: Triyang, Twou, Vire, Liy.)

Custom Triyang mockup

The three complex patterns are all designed with the same stitch/row counts for the parts that match up, so they can easily be mixed and matched.  These mockups are photoshopped examples using the different samples I knit of each separate pattern, to show approximately how it would look to combine the sections.  Check out the versions made by knitters on ravelry to see lots of different actual examples!

Custom Triyang mockup

You can combine different kinds of stitch patterns in one solid color throughout for a subtler mix-and-match look, like one single yarn with a lace section, a cabled section, and a garter stitch section.  I had fun with color for my sample!

Custom Triyang!

This is the custom sample I made, which starts with mixed-weight stockinette stripes for the bottom section 1 – bulky yarns (three different yarns: Patons Classic Wool Roving, Quince & Co Puffin, and Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky) striped with fingering weight (Knit Picks Palette).  Instructions for this option are included in the pattern:

Custom Triyang!

Then I switched to Universal Yarn Deluxe Chunky for the rest of the piece, working the middle section in the colorwork pattern from Liy, a 2-color slip-stitch pattern with big eyelet holes:

Custom Triyang!

I used the Vire pattern for the top section, for big, squishy, bulky cables:

Custom Triyang!

This shawl, in bulky weight, is HUGE, like wearing a blanket, so cozy!  Like the other collection patterns (besides the original Triyang pattern), the length is determined by the weight/gauge, if you’re using any of the Twou/Vire/Liy pattern sections for the top or bottom parts.  But, if you’re just mixing and matching garter stitch, stockinette, and/or a middle section from any of the patterns, then you can make any size with any weight.

Custom Triyang! Custom Triyang!

This is a tiny mini-sample, made with stockinette for the bottom section, the Vire cabled middle section, and garter stitch for the top section:

Custom Triyang!

So that concludes the Triyang collection!  The whole collection is modular, made with increases, decreases, and short rows, no picked up stitches, minimal yarn breaking (none at all if you’re using one single color throughout), designed so that the sections all fit together cleanly and lay flat even when different kinds of stitch patterns are mixed and matched.  It’s definitely recommended that you use yarns that will block out, helping everything to smooth out, but as long as you work it all as written there shouldn’t be any major bunching up, pulling in, etc, between the different sections.

Custom Triyang!

I’d LOVE to see your Custom Triyangs, so please post photos in your ravelry projects to share them, and you can post in the ravelry group as well!  Happy springtime!

Filed under: knitting,Triyang collection — Lee Meredith @ 11:55 am

March 4, 2016

Knitlandia by Clara Parkes, blog tour: Paris (complete with giveaway!)

If you are any kind of yarn lover, you probably know who Clara Parkes is.  She has been working in the industry, writing and reviewing yarn and other things, since the early internet days, the pre-ravelry (gasp!) days, and has been traveling around the world going to yarn-related events and festivals, visiting shops, shooting TV shows, you know, the usual knitter stuff, for all that time.  Her latest book, Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World, is a series of stories about these adventures.  I started reading my copy on a plane a few weeks back, seemed the right setting to dip into it!

Started reading this on the plane; seemed fitting. Good stuff!

I’m so glad I got to see Clara at Powell’s on her Knitlandia book tour – if you ever have the chance to see her speak, do go!  It was a fun time indeed.  She read a chapter from the book – the aforementioned TV show filming story (about Knitting Daily), and she talked a bit about the industry and stuff.  She explained that part of why she wrote this book, a travel memoir that happens to have a knitting tie-in, was so that knitters who get weird reactions from friends and family, when they travel to a fiber festival, or want to stop in at a yarn shop abroad, can show them the book as a reference.  “I’m not weird!  This is normal, see?”  That wasn’t a Clara quote, just me quoting what you can say to your weird-look-giving friends when you show them her book.

Clara Parkes at Powells

The best part about seeing Clara speak at Powell’s?  She brought a small bag of her homemade Claramels (caramels made by Clara) and played a game of knitter trivia to give them away – I wanted one SO BADLY and I luckily got picked for the final question and won one!  The question was about something that happened in the first chapter of the book, and the answer was Julia Roberts; thankfully the answers were multiple choice and easy to guess, since I skipped around in the book and hadn’t yet read the first chapter!

Knitlandia book with Claramel

Moving on to the actual book… for the blog tour, I was assigned the Paris chapter, which is great since I have fond memories of my brief trip to Paris way back in 2002, when I was studying abroad in England for the summer.  I was only in France for 4 days, but I packed in a lot of sights and had a great, memorable time; here is one of my favorite photos I took there:

Notre-Dame

Unfortunately, I was not yet a knitter at the time of my Paris trip, so I have no yarny stories for you.  But Clara does!  An excerpt from Knitlandia:

CLOUDBURST OVER PARIS

I’D PROMISED THEM no yarn stores, no fiber festivals, no chasing down that elusive sheep farm someone said might be in the next town. No endless waiting while I fondled, took notes and pictures, and transformed a perfectly fine family vacation into yet another business trip.

My nieces grew up having to share me with yarn. They learned early on that any time with Aunt Clara would likely mean a festival, or a mill visit, or at least one lengthy stop at a yarn store. And, always, some form of work deadline.

In 2013, Hannah had just turned seventeen and Emma was about to turn fifteen. My brother—feeling flush, or perhaps finally realizing how quickly they were growing up—had announced plans for a grand European tour that summer. Together with my mother they would visit Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Denmark. And their first stop would be Paris.

knitlandia_paris

That’s all you get here, but I assure you, there will be yarn, eventually.  The photos above and below were taken by Clara on her Paris adventures – the shop below is L’Oisive Thé and Clara mentions their instagram in the book, which can be found here.  The chapter, like the book, is kind of more about travel and life than actually about yarn, and it deals with things like nostalgia, growing up, memory, connection between the past and the present, comfort and discomfort (and finding comfort in yarn)… I really enjoyed reading it.  And if I’m ever in Paris again, I will definitely seek out this lovely sounding shop!

knitlandia_paris2

I was excited to read the chapters of Knitlandia that I have a personal connection to – the Portland chapter about Sock Summit, and the Columbus chapter about TNNA.  I’d almost forgotten just how huge Sock Summit was!  I’m so glad to have a record of it in this book, as foggy memories came rushing back while I read it.  And the Columbus chapter was fun, since I’ve been a part of those experiences a couple of times, ice cream and all.  The chapter is more about North Market and Jeni’s than about the conference, so here’s a photo I took to give you a visual for when you read it:

north market

I think if you’re a hardcore knitter, you’ll like this book, and if you’re a reader of travel memoir type books, you’ll like this book, even if you’re not a knitter.  Her writing style is so fun and friendly, pulling me in so I want to hear all about her experiences with yarn, and with life in general.

York

And hey, there’s a giveaway!!  Comment here and tell us about a knitting related trip, or a yarn shop you visited while on vacation, or any other knitting + travel experience you’ve had!  Pictured above is a yarn shop I visited while on vacation in York, UK – I always try to stop in local yarn shops when I travel!  One lucky winner will be chosen at random a week from today (Friday, March 11th) around noon west coast time to receive a copy of the book; be sure you get comment replies in your inbox, or check back here to see if you’ve won!

Check out the other Knitlandia blog tour stops!

Feb 22: Knit and Tonic

Feb 24: My Sister’s Knitter

Feb 26: Mary Jane Muckelstone

Feb 29: Knit Circus

March 2: Yarniacs

March 7: Tin Can Knits

March 17: Marly Bird

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway,knitting — Lee Meredith @ 8:00 am

March 1, 2016

New pattern: Liy!

The final normal pattern in the Triyang collection (ravelry link) is Liy, a slip-stitch colorwork design.  (The other patterns in the collection were blogged about: Triyang, Twou, Vire.)  The colorwork in Liy is all made with stripes, slipped stitches, and twists; you’ll never need to carry the 2 colors at a time.

Liy!

It’s designed in worsted weight, making a nice size for cozily wrapping around your neck, as you can see, but you can easily make a different size by using a different weight/gauge.  The pattern gives details about length estimates for different gauges.

Liy! Liy!

The three sections are all really different from each other, keeping the project interesting for the knitter, and making the finished piece very interesting to wear and look at.  The bottom starts with a kind of chevron pattern, the lines twisting out from the center, until the section reaches its point and the lines bend in and up.  The middle part is made with big eyelet holes, for a more lacy colorwork pattern.  And the top section is garter stitch stripes with a zig-zagging top slip-stitch edge, and striped triangles popping up across as it gets bigger.

Liy!

Remember, if you get the whole collection you can custom make a piece with just one or two of these sections, paired with plain garter stitch or other patterning, if you think these three sections together are a bit too crazy!  I know, there’s a lot going on!

Liy!

The slip-stitch patterns make this piece so squishy and warm to wear!  Like Vire, it doesn’t need to be huge since it’s so thick for warmth.

Liy! Liy!

The sample is in Black Trillium Pebble Worsted yarn, Phoenix Rising and Saltwater colorways.  I love this yarn so much!  So soft!  And the colorways are so beautifully, subtly hand-dyed – they are solid enough for the colorwork patterning to pop, but are far some true solids:

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

Nothing else to say about Liy, really.  So I’ll let some more photos speak for it!

Liy!

 

Liy!

 

Liy!

Find the whole collection on ravelry here; if you’re a leethal VIP club member, you automatically get 20% off Liy / the collection!

Filed under: knitting,Triyang collection — Lee Meredith @ 10:48 am

February 24, 2016

New pattern: Vire!

The Triyang collection is now complete (see the whole collection on my site here or on ravelry here)!  The cabled design is Vire, and it looks like this:

Vire!

It’s the most narrow of all the designs in the collection, more of a scarf than a shawl kind of, and it’s super squishy and cozy with all the cables!

Vire! Vire!

The bottom starts with a braided cable which gets wider as it grows sideways, then shrinks down to a point to finish the first section.  The growing braid was inspired by the concept of a french braid, which gathers a little more hair each time the braid crosses – this cable adds 1 more stitch to each part as it crosses, slowly getting thicker.

Vire!

The middle section has some twisty cables with purl eyelets between, helping the section to not pull in and mess with the shape, and adding a little openness to the dense cabley piece.

Vire!

And then the third section has a layered cables-over-cables design for a cozy warm top part.

Vire!

I’ll blog specifically about the Custom Triyang pattern later, but I used the top section of Vire in my sample, so here’s that section (the gold top part) in a different context, and in a heavier yarn weight:

Custom Triyang!

Like Twou, Vire is sized based on gauge; my sample is in worsted weight at a standard-ish (or a bit extra dense) gauge (approx 21 stitches per 4 inches stockinette), so use an aran or bulky weight yarn to get a larger piece.  Mine used 360 yards worsted; I estimate that you’d need about 420 yards of aran, or about 500 yards of bulky.  My sample is not huge, but because of the cables it’s plenty warm to wear!

Vire!

I used Blue Moon Fiber Arts Targhee Worsted for my sample, and I LOVE it.  It comes in a GIANT skein (616 yards) which means I have plenty left to make a matching hat and pair of mitts!  If you want a bigger Vire though, I have good news for you: Blue Moon also offers Targhee Bulky!  The yardage on that one is 462 yards, unfortunately, which means you might consider making your section 1 in a contrasting color, or you could buy 2 skeins and have plenty left over for matching accessories.  There’s a really good chance you’d be able to complete a Vire with that yardage, I just can’t guarantee it.  Blue Moon has amazing colorways, by the way, if you’re not familiar with them – this one is Blue Moonstone.

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

If you are new to learning about the Triyang collection, all the patterns use the same modular construction (with no picked up stitches) – you can learn more about that in the Triyang pattern blog post, and you can read about Twou here, which is the lace design.  All the collection pattern sections are mix-and-match-able with the Custom Triyang pattern, so if you love just one of the Vire sections, you can use that section along with garter stitch, or stockinette, or lace or colorwork designs from the Twou or Liy patterns.  (I haven’t blogged about Liy yet, that’s coming soon.)

Vire! Vire! Vire!

Check everything out on ravelry here (including lots of different Custom Triyangs by other knitters); and if you’re a leethal VIP club member you’ll get 20% off Vire or the full collection!

Vire!

Filed under: knitting,Triyang collection — Lee Meredith @ 12:51 pm

February 15, 2016

First VIP club 2016 hat pattern: Provocateur!

Provocateur!

The first leethal VIP club hat mini-mystery-knit-a-long happened early this month, beginning on February 2nd and (the mystery) ending last Tuesday the 9th.  The KAL continues a bit, as knitters can still post their projects to the forums, since a one-week KAL is so quick, but there’s no more mystery.  The hat, Provocateur (ravelry link), looks like this!

Provocateur

It’s constructed sideways, knit flat, with short rows making the crown shaping, decreases along the bottom and staggered increases making the bias design, with cables flaring down diagonally from their starting points squished together at the top.

Provocateur

It’s designed for worsted-aran weight yarns, with three different gauges making for three heights.  My grey sample (below) is the largest gauge, using Cestari Traditional Collection 2 Ply aran weight yarn, for the tallest/slouchiest height; my orange sample (above) is the medium gauge, using Harrisville Designs Highland worsted weight yarn, for a semi-slouchy height.

Provocateur

There are three different circumferences given, which vary depending on gauge/height (all details are included in the pattern), but you can also customize your circumference by stopping at any time, making it custom fit to your head by trying it on as you go.  Both of my samples are worked to the medium circumference row count, which is a medium circumference in the orange (medium-gauge) sample, and a kind of large or medium/large circumference in the grey (large-gauge) sample, for an extra loose, slouchy hat.

Provocateur

The whole pattern is written and charted, so knitters can work from whichever is easier for their brains.  The project starts with a provisional cast-on (instructions included), and ends with a 3-needle bind-off to seam the two edges together, which creates a pretty much invisible seam in the garter stitch, as you can see below.

Provocateur

I have tutorials for cabling without a cable needle here on my website, which will make the project go much more quickly!  The cables are basic – 2 front stitches twisting left over 1, 2, and 3 back stitches – but there are seven cables on every single right side row for awhile.  The rows go more quickly in the second half, as the cables hit the bottom edge and there are six, then five, then four, then three cables per row.

Provocateur

I recommend using either the shadow wraps or the German short rows method for the short rows – I have tutorials for both on my website here – because of how you’ll need to sometimes work wrapped stitches into cables.  I used shadow wraps on one sample and German short rows on the other, and they both worked well for me.

Provocateur

It’s meant to be worn this way, with the seam over the right ear, so that the cables shoot down from the top in front, and then are spread out in the back which helps the back slouch down nicely.  I am REALLY happy with how this pattern turned out – one of my favorite hats I’ve designed!

Provocateur

This pattern will continue to be a part of the leethal VIP club, going out to all new members, throughout the whole year.  Five more hat patterns will go out to club members, one every other month – they will all have different kinds of constructions, and different techniques and stuff.  Provocateur will be released for individual sale a year after its initial release, so in February 2017.

Provocateur

Check out all the awesome Provocateurs on ravelry to see what it looks like in different kinds of yarns, colors, sizes, etc.  I love them all!  And sign up for the club (on ravelry here) if you haven’t already, to get this pattern immediately and then the other five hats in time to join the knit-a-longs.  This first one has been so much fun!!

Filed under: hats,knit-a-longs,knitting,leethal VIP club — Lee Meredith @ 4:59 pm

January 28, 2016

New pattern: Twou!

The first pattern in my Triyang collection (ravelry link) (besides the actual Triyang pattern) is out now!  Thanks for your patience, as this collection has been taking me a bit longer to get out to you than I’d originally hoped/expected… But Twou is out now, Vire will be out by the end of this week, and Liy about a week after that.

Twou!

Before I talk about the Triyang collection and Twou, a couple of quick things:

  • If you happen to be reading this right away, and you happen to know a teenager in Portland, I am teaching a free class for teens at the Kenton library on Friday (Jan 29th), no-sew crafting with reclaimed t-shirts (making tote bags and other things, materials provided).  Register to reserve a seat.  It’ll be fun!
  • I was interviewed by Joeli via Skype and it’s now up on YouTube!  And the whole thing was being broadcast via Periscope, so viewers could ask questions in real time, which was super cool so now I’m brainstorming ways to start using Periscope in the future…  I just signed up for account, so follow me there at leethalknits.
  • The annual Holla Knits knit-a-long is starting on February 1st, through April – read all the details here.  My Unbroken hat is a Holla Knits pattern, so if you’ve ever thought about making one now is the perfect time; for every finished knit-a-long project you’ll automatically win a free pattern!  And be entered to win bigger prizes too.  Fun stuff!

Twou!

So now, there’s a big reveal about the Triyang collection: All the patterns are written so that the sections can be mixed and matched with each other!!  And with garter stitch / stockinette, or even with your own stitch pattern ideas.

Custom Triyang

The final collection pattern release will be topped off with a fifth pattern pdf, the Custom Triyang pattern, which is the Triyang pattern rewritten for combining sections with the other collection patterns, and for using stockinette instead of garter stitch, so you can take your pick for each of the three sections – garter, stockinette, lace, cables, or colorwork.  So this means if you love just one of the sections of Twou (or Vire or Liy) but you’d prefer to just do quick & easy garter stitch for the other parts, you can do just that; or if you fall in love with the top section of Vire, and the middle section of Liy, and the bottom section of Twou, you can use all those sections together.  I’m currently working on a sample with garter stitch stripes on the bottom, Liy colorwork in the middle, and Vire cables on the top – I’ve been calling it my Frankenshawl.

frankenshawl

Anyway, more about the custom pattern will come when it’s actually released, but up there are my sloppy mockups of the Custom Triyang concept to give you an idea of what you can do.  For now, Twou!

Twou!

I won’t get into the construction, because all the collection patterns have the same construction, same as Triyang, which you can see details about here, including the animated gif of how it’s constructed.  It’s three modular sections with no picked up stitches:

Twou!

The sizing of Twou is determined by the yarn weight/gauge.  I have two samples, one in DK weight (on size US 4 needles for a somewhat dense gauge) for a small size, and another in the same DK weight held double, on size US 8 needles for a very densely knit aran weight larger size shawl.

Twou!

You can go up to a bulky weight for a very large size if you want, or you can mess with gauge/density to adjust the size as well.  Use a nice drapey kind of worsted weight yarn (like a superwash wool or silk blend or something else that will look good worked loosely for an openwork kind of lace), knit on extra big needles (like 2-3 sizes larger than you’d normally use), blocked stretched out to make it open and lacy, for a different kind of large shawl.

Twou!

The pattern includes all the details about sizing (approximate lengths you’ll get with different gauges, yardage estimates, other yarn info, etc) – some of these details are also on the ravelry page.

Twou!

The samples are in Infinite Twist Helix DK weight yarn (Spooky Purple colorway), a plied wool which looks and feels awesome in a dense-ish kind of gauge, for a squishy cozy kind of lace knit.  The smaller size in one strand (pictured below) used about 285 yards, and the larger size (above) with it held double stranded used about 920 yards of the Helix (so about 460 yards of aran weight).

Twou!

Helix is sold in 200 yard skeins, so you’ll need 2 skeins for the smaller size, 5 for the larger size.

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

And hey, Infinite Twist is currently having a HUGE SALE on Helix!!  Through February 15th, buy 3 skeins get 1 free!  So if you want enough for a large (double stranded) Twou, add 4 skeins to your cart, write a note in the “Anything else we should know about your order?” box at checkout saying which color you’d like for your free skein, and you’ll get 5 skeins.  If you want to make a smaller single-stranded Twou, you could get 4 skeins (add 3 to your cart, get a 4th free) and make two Twous!

Or, other things to match… I started making a pair of Incenters out of Helix and it’s a great fit (mine are scrap-busting with many colors, but Incenter is designed for 3 colors normally).  I also designed Krewe in Helix – the main sample uses mini-balls, but you could use just one color for the contrasting, and you’d only need 2 skeins total, 1 in each color.

So you could get 4 skeins, 2 in the same color to make a Twou, and 2 in different colors to make a Krewe, and it’s even meant to be because they rhyme!!  Just add 3 to your cart, and say which color for the free skein when checking out.

Here are direct links to the Helix pages, divided up by color families: reds & oranges, yellows, greens, bluespinks & purples (my samples are in Spooky Purple), and neutrals.  There may be shipping delays coming up because of Chinese New Year (Infinite Twist is based out of Shanghai) but shipping to the U.S. for orders over $30 is always free!

Infinite Twist Krewe kits! Infinite Twist Krewe kits!

While the shawl was designed in one color, you could knit the sections in different colors if you want a multi-colored version – the pattern includes notes on how to do this. For yardage estimating, the first (bottom) section uses approximately 30% of the yardage, section 2 (middle) uses approx 27%, and section 3 (top) uses approx 43% of the yardage, so plan accordingly.  (If you’re making a single-stranded shawl with Helix, you could use one color for the bottom and middle sections and another color for the top section, and 2 skeins would be enough.  For the double stranded, using 4 skeins in one color for the bottom and middle sections, and 2 skeins in a different color for the top would maybe work, but the yardage for the top section would be cutting it very close.)

Twou!

This is a really fun to knit lace shawl.  It’s not just me saying that… I hired my friend Emme to knit the larger size sample and she went on to pretty much immediately knit another one for herself, which she completed in four days!  That kind of proof that a knitter really loves a pattern I designed is pretty much the greatest thing for a designer to hear, makes me so happy! :D

Twou!

So I’m a bit belated on this blog post – as you’re reading this, there’s a good chance Vire is already released, so you can find that on ravelry right there next to Twou, and I’ve been posting details about the collection patterns on the leethal ravelry group over here.  And speaking of the ravelry group, the first VIP club mini-mystery-knit-a-long starts next Tuesday!  I’m suuuper excited about that!  So much going on!  Hope you’re having a good first month of 2016!

Filed under: knitting,self-publishing,Triyang collection — Lee Meredith @ 9:10 am

January 1, 2016

Happy 2016! Now I can reveal the leethal VIP club!

I brainstormed this idea late last summer I think, got super excited, and then was bummed I couldn’t actually do anything about it because I wanted it to be a full calendar year thing, and now hey, it’s the start of the calendar year!  The time is finally here!!  Introducing my BIG 2016 THING:

club-graphic

So here’s the deal.  If you sign up to be a club member, you get…

  • 6 hat patterns spread throughout the year (as mini-mystery-knit-a-longs, in the ravelry group)
  • 20% off ALL my self-published patterns ever released
  • 50% off all brand new patterns self-published in 2016, for the first week
  • extra club member treats in your inbox

The whole shebang is $20, for the full year membership.  Or rather, the 2016 membership (no matter when you sign up, it ends at the end of the year).  Sign up through ravelry, or my website, but be logged into ravelry so that the discounts will work.  I’ll give all the fine-print details below (also given on the webpage, and included in the club pdf that you’ll get when you sign up).  But before I do that, there is already one club treat you’ll get immediately!

IMG_8022-1200pxedit

The first club treat is this vintage knitting coloring book calendar, with drawings of photos from vintage knitting magazines, mostly of the 60’s and 70’s.

IMG_8090-1200edit

I made the drawings by tracing the outlines of the photos on a lightbox, turning them into these coloring book style line drawings.  The knits are perfect for coloring!

IMG_8050-1200edit

Print out the 6 pages (2 months per page), and color them in, either all at once or as each month arrives.  I did these pages with colored pencils (top page) and markers (page below):

IMG_8014-1200pxedit

And there’s a bonus!  I had one extra drawing that didn’t really fit with the rest, as it had a more 40’s kind of vibe (the photo was from a 1951 knitting booklet), so I made it into a free-to-all 1-page calendar pdf, downloadable from my downloads page here.

IMG_8100-1200edit 2016freecalendar-tn copy

Other club treats throughout the year may include things similar to this (coloring or coloring-adjacent kinds of activities), and/or tutorial-type things like mini craft projects, recipes, mini-knitting-patterns… I have lots of vague ideas but the extras will basically be things that I get inspired to make in the moment.  If one day I suddenly have an idea for something fun I want to share, there’s an extra for you!  Spur of the moment inbox goodies!

me-2-colored

By contrast, the hat patterns are pretty well planned out already.  The 6 hat patterns, released at the beginning of every other month throughout the year (the first Tuesdays of February, April, June, August, October, December) will all have different constructions from each other, and they will use a variety of techniques.  Cables will be reoccurring, but not used in every pattern.  Yarn weights will vary; most likely, none of these patterns will be fully any-gauge, but some will have multiple gauge options, or be adjustable based on gauge, or have some other variations/options.  These will be more straightforward patterns than I often write though, meant to be fun quick projects without too much extra thinking required.

The first hat, to be released February 2nd, will use worsted weight yarn (my yarn is pictured below).  There is already a ravelry page up, since that’s required in order to be able to sell the club membership (which is technically sold as an “ebook”), but normally the hat pattern pages won’t go up until their release days.  I will give yarn requirement info to club members (and post it on the club page) a couple of weeks before release, so that everyone can get ready to cast on right away when the patterns are released.

DSC_5632-edit-crop

On each hat’s release day, the pdf will be released without photos, for a mini-mystery-knit-a-long, for the first week.  The whole pattern will be there, just no photos.  The knit-a-long will happen in the leethal knitters! ravelry group.  After one week, the pattern (and ravelry page) will be updated with photos.

To keep the mini-mystery-KAL’s mysterious, there are placeholder pictures on the club page you can use as your top project photos, and there will be new ones added with each hat release as well (please don’t put a photo of your hat at the top for that first week); there will be spoiler and spoiler-free KAL threads for each hat’s week of mystery.

The hats will only be available to club members throughout the year, not individually.  In 2017, the patterns will continue to be available as a collection/ebook, at the same price as the club, but without the membership discounts and extras.  1 year after the original release date of each pattern, it will be made available for individual sale.

me-3-colored

And now for some details about the discounts.  (There are a few more fine print details on the club page, so if you have a question, or if you run into an issue, it might be addressed there.)

You must be logged into ravelry at time of club membership purchase (and future pattern purchases) for the discounts to work.  If you don’t have a ravelry account, it’s free to get one, and you don’t have to use it for anything else, just be logged in and the discounts will happen automatically.

The 20% off all my patterns includes all self-published patterns, ebooks, and collections, purchased through my website or ravelry.  The discount will automatically be applied (no coupon code needed).  The only patterns this doesn’t include are by third party publishers and collaborations, so Meridian by Twist Collective, Unbroken by Holla Knits, Galax by Interweave, etc, and the In Triplicate patterns (because they are in a collaboration).

The 50% off new patterns is for the first week of release, and only applies to brand new patterns which were not previously available for pre-order.  After 1 week they will be 20% off like all other self-published patterns.  The discount will automatically be applied (no coupon code needed).

The half off doesn’t include patterns that could be pre-ordered before 2016 because it just wouldn’t be fair to everyone who already pre-ordered the patterns – this means the Triyang collection shawls, and the third pattern in the Full Body Trio.  Patterns which were previously released by a third party, and are newly self-published may or may not be eligible for the 50% discount, depending on specifics – it will be announced either way at time of re-release.  Basically, if it wasn’t available to purchase previously, and I’m under no pricing obligations to a third party, the discount will apply, but there might be outside reasons why it can’t, so if I’m able to discount a pattern to club members, I will.

Note to blog readers:  Things in my life have been changing a bit lately, and I’m not sure exactly how 2016 will go, which means I might not have a lot of design time beyond the 6 club hats.  I have plans/ideas for two collections (a smaller one and a bigger one) that I really want to release in 2016, but I can’t guarantee they are going to get done.  So, my point is, don’t expect the half off discount to have tons of opportunities to be used throughout the year… I’m hoping for around like 10 patterns besides the hats, but I might be overly hopeful about that.

The discounts will not work with gift pattern purchases.  This means 2 things.  1) If you are a club member, and you use ravelry’s “send as gift” button to gift a pattern to another knitter, your club discount will not be applied.  2) If you gift the club membership to another knitter, they will get the hat patterns and the treats, but the discounts will not work for them.  However, in that case, the discounts will work for you, and you are free to use them.

There will be no limited-time sales offered on my patterns throughout the year, with one possible exception of the holiday gift-a-long, but only new 2016 patterns will be offered in the GAL sale (if I do it), so only patterns which members had the chance to get at 50%.  I’m kind of burnt out on sales, so I’m opting to skip them this year (no birthday sale, etc) and do this club system instead.  Of course, the 50% discounts are limited-time, but tied into the release of a new pattern, which is already being promoted and talked about and stuff.  Anyway, we’ll see how it all goes.

me-4-colored

And a few other club details.

Hat knit-a-longs and other club chatter will all happen in the leethal knitters! ravelry group.

Use #leethalVIP with any club stuff posted to social media! (And if you want to pin it, there’s a custom-for-pinterest image on the webpage!)

Everything (new hat patterns, pattern updates, information about what yarn you’ll need, extra treats) will be sent to members through pattern updates, with notifications sent to email inboxes and ravelry message boxes (you can turn off the notifications from going to your email inbox from within any of the update notification emails, if you check ravelry often and don’t want them in both places).

I think that’s enough for this word-heavy post.  Post any questions you might have about the club in the comments here, or, better yet, in the ravelry group so everyone can read the answers there.  I’m really excited about this whole club situation; I am absolutely LOVING the first club hat design and can’t wait to share it with you!  I’ll blog the club patterns here each after the mystery week is over, and of course show them off on instagram and stuff.  Sign up now to maximize your membership and get your calendar right away; oh and, if you color your calendar pages and show them off, be sure to use #leethalVIP because I’d love to see your coloring!!  Happy new year! <3

Filed under: hats,knit-a-longs,knitting,leethal store,leethal VIP club,self-publishing — Lee Meredith @ 12:01 am

December 11, 2015

New pattern PDF: Insta-hat! Plus, Remixed poster!

(Temporary note: buy this now, by Sunday, for 50% to be donated to charity! See my previous post for details.)  New pattern re-release!  Insta-hat, now in re-written PDF format:

Insta-hat!

If you follow me on Instagram (or other social media), you’ll probably remember the mystery knit-a-long I posted for free last December, as a holiday gift to followers – the pattern was this Insta-hat, and those original Instagram posts still exist (links are on the ravelry and leethalknits pages).

Insta-hat!

The brand new PDF is re-written to be easier to follow (as a normal pattern instead of split into mystery KAL posts), extra sizing info added, some embellishment options added, new photos were taken, it was professionally tech edited… So now it’s a high quality normal for-sale pattern, but the price is extra low ($4) since it’s an upgrade of the existing free Instagram pattern.

Insta-hat!

The hat is a quick knit, in bulky weight, with easy lace repeat patterns – it’s a good adventurous beginner level pattern, or it’s a fun fast knit for more advance knitters.  It can knit up in 1-2 nights no problem, for most (depends how you are with bulky yarn, of course, but it’s definitely a relatively quick knit).

Insta-hat!

It is interesting enough to look cool in plain yarns, but simple enough to work with variegated, so it’s a good way to use up any skein of bulky you may have in your stash.  My samples are in madelinetosh A.S.A.P.:

Insta-hat!

Patons Classic Wool Bulky, plus handspun embellishment:

Insta-hat!

Punta Yarns Flame Handpainted (discontinued yarn), which is super bulky weight for an extra dense gauge:

Insta-hat!

Hand-dyed recycled yarn (made by me), a light-ish bulky weight for a more loose gauge:

Insta-hat!

And that extra big version works nicely with the brim folded under, for a warmer hat and a different style:

Insta-hat!

This hat is written in 3 circumference sizes, and a range of heights, so you can make it fitted to your head and more or less tall for slouch or a fitted top, as you like.  Detailed sizing info, and sizes/measurements of all the samples, are included in the new pdf.

Insta-hat!

And instructions for how I did the woven yarn embellishment are given in the pdf, if you like that:

Insta-hat!

This hat works well with a big pom-pom, especially if you make it slouchy!

Insta-hat!

Here’s an instagram shot I really like, from back when I first made this sample:

Insta-hat!

Last year when I designed this, I’d only meant to make a couple samples, but I ended up making four because it was such a fast, fun knit, I just kept going, “ooh but it would look so good in this yarn too!” and making another, then another.  It would make an excellent last-minute gifting pattern – make one for each member of your family!

Insta-hat!

So that’s Insta-hat.  Click here to ravelry where you can browse lots of versions by other knitters!  If you like it, consider using the new PDF version instead of the Instagram posts; it will be easier to knit from, and also I’d be very appreciative of you supporting my work :)

Insta-hat!

In other news, to go with my release of the newly updated Remixed patterns, I’ve just released a poster of the Remixed artwork! You can learn more about these drawings in this blog post; I added color to the knitted accessories for the poster:

Remixed Poster Remixed Poster

It’s available through MagCloud here, printed on high quality heavy paper, 12×18 inches, for $6 (plus shipping).  (Patterns are on ravelry here.)

Remixed Poster

Lastly, just want to let you know that the 3 upcoming Triyang collection patterns are coming along nicely!  Here are peeks at all 3, the colorwork, lace, and cabled designs (badly lit, sorry – Portland is gloooomy today!):

My Triyang collection shawls are coming along well! (Available for pre-order now, 50% goes to charity through Sunday!)

You can find the Triyang collection for pre-order on ravelry here or on leethalknits.com here – like all my other patterns, if you buy it by this Sunday, half will be donated to charity.  You’ll get the Triyang pattern immediately, and these 3 patterns in a few weeks.  Details about the collection are on my blog here.  I’m pretty excited about it!

December 7, 2015

December donation drive + Remixed mega-update!

A few days ago, Bristol Ivy posted this message on instagram:

I try hard not to get too political on here (with limited success sometimes) but right now I’m just worn out. Worn out by the violence, the sadness, the ignorance, the demonization, and the needless devastation happening all over the world. So I’m going to try to do my own little bit of good. For the month of December, 50% of all pattern sales from my Ravelry store will go to charity: 25% to UNHCR, 25% to Doctors Without Borders. Link to store is in profile–please help me spread the word! Let’s shine what light we can.

(Her follow-up post includes some other designers who are doing the same.)

I too am worn out.  So much.  Unfortunately, I just can’t afford to donate half of a month’s worth of sales (even if there’s a chance my sales would double as a result, it’s still just a chance, and I can’t take that risk), but what I can do is a week.

50% of all sales from now to Sunday December 13th, of all self-published patterns, collections, ebooks, will be donated – half to UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency), half to Doctors without Borders.

some leethal patterns

You can buy patterns through ravelry or leethalknits.com, and everything counts except for the few patterns I have through third parties (like Twist Collective or Holla Knits).  Everything else is fair game: Triyang collection pre-order, old Quick Knits ebooks, big collections, etc.

some leethal patterns

Aaaand, it includes the In Triplicate collection too.  It won’t be just half of my patterns’ percentage (which is a third of the patterns – the other two thirds by Star Athena and Shannon Squire), but half of the whole collaborative collection sales will be donated.  (Now is REALLY the time to grab that collection, because not only will half be donated, but also the knit-a-long starts today – check out the ravelry group for that.)

some leethal patterns

Oh, there is one exception for my patterns.  Siskiyou (and the whole collection it’s a part of) automatically has 10% of sales going to local domestic violence agency Raphael House of Portland this year; so during this week, I’ll up Siskiyou’s donation percentage to 60%.  So $3 out of every $5 pattern sold this week will go to Raphael House (instead of the standard donations that the rest of my patterns will contribute to).

Remixed patterns

The other major news I wanted to tell you is: all 8 Remixed patterns (pictured above; on ravelry here) have been completely reformatted, reedited, and improved!

Remixed collection image pattern cover page

The pdfs take up WAY fewer pages now (cut down by more than half in some cases), but all the info, and process photos, etc, are still there, just most process photos are smaller now, and some redundant wording has been cut down.  There is no longer the “printable pattern” version at the back of each pdf, since the full patterns are not so overwhelming for printing now (and of course you can choose not to print the cover and/or any other pages you don’t need on paper, like technique photo tutorials).

pattern cover page Slanted & Enchanted scarf

The patterns themselves, like how they are made, are the same as before, but some things are worded differently now, hopefully much improved for better understanding, and more enjoyable knitting!

Freewheelin’ and Wild is the Wind have been upgraded the most – both have totally redone charts, and parts now written out that didn’t used to be written out.  There are now no patterns in this collection that have something charted but not written (only 3 of the patterns have charts at all, but now all the charts are also written).

Freewheelin'

So, if you have Remixed in your pattern stash from way back, and you were overwhelmed or annoyed at the pattern length, replace those old pdfs with the new ones!  I’m hoping things are easier to follow now, and happy new knitting experiences will be had :)

And, of course, if you don’t already have the Remixed collection, now is the perfect time to grab it, while half is being donated.  (Also, when I finally get the yarn-making ebook done next year, the collection price will be going up.)

Happy holidays to you, and please consider my patterns for your gift knitting this week so I can donate nice big chunks to excellent causes this season!

Filed under: gifts,knitting,Remixed,self-publishing — Lee Meredith @ 7:20 am

November 25, 2015

leethal patterns printed on things!

Edited 12/7 to remove Thanksgiving weekend sale stuff.  Society6 and Redbubble continue to have holiday season sales, which are shown along the tops of the webpages.

leethal patterns printed on things

Brand new leethal thing!  You can now get some of the stitch patterns I’ve designed printed onto stuff!  So far there are 6 patterns that I’ve converted into seamless tiling designs; you can get all the patterns printed onto a ton of different things.

leethal patterns printed on things

I’ve made a page on leethal.net (you can also get to it from the top of the blog, under “shop”) where you can see what’s available on which sites, and see all the patterns.  You can get fabric (also wallpaper and giftwrap) on Spoonflower, and fun stuff on Redbubble and Society6.

leethal patterns printed on things

The 6 designs I have available now are (left to right, below): Siskiyou trees (2 different trees) in Knitted Wit yarn, Haka cables in Knit Picks wool, Adventure Knitting 3 forest sloth lines in Jill Draper yarn, Flying V’s colorwork in 5 colors of Knit Picks wool, Adventure Knitting 3 lake axolotl textured zig-zags in Anzula yarn, and Mikkey slip-stitch pattern in bulky neon yarn by SpaceCadet.  (Links are to the ravelry pages so you can see yarn info and stuff.)

printed cards

I put all the tiling patterns up on my wallpapers page so you can download them to use as desktop/phone wallpaper backgrounds.  The tiling jpgs have credit text on them, but they are pretty large so they won’t repeat many times, and if you use them as a phone wallpaper that text shouldn’t show at all.  They look cool as home screen backgrounds – I have the Siskiyou trees as mine right now!

pillows from Redbubble vs Society6

Redbubble and Society6 have lots of the same stuff (greeting cards, mugs, phone cases, pillow cases, tote bags…) but sometimes I made it so things are printed differently on the 2 sites, like the pillows and tote bags are all printed so the stitches are bigger on Redbubble, smaller on Society6, and sometimes the mugs and other things are different too.

stuff from Redbubble stuff from Society6

Some other stuff is available only on one site or the other – notebooks, postcards, leggings, t-shirts, scarfs, and more only on Redbubble; clocks, art prints, shower curtains only on Society6.

leethal patterns printed on things

I did a bunch of research to make sure the quality of everything seems good.  A couple of things that got not-great feedback from multiple people (or that I didn’t like the look of) I did not make available, so everything that is available should hopefully be good quality.  Everything pictured here is what I ordered for myself to check it out – it’s all great!  A couple of patterns printed a bit dark on some items, so I’ve lightened them up a little.  I got the large (15oz) mug from Society6, so that’s why it looks extra big, it is!

leethal patterns printed on things

The pillow was especially pleasing – it’s a really nice, thick, canvas-y kind of fabric and the printed pattern looks fantastic on it!  I got the Society6 pillow, but I think the Redbubble pillows are basically the same, and I believe the tote bags are printed on the same kind of fabric, so they will be equally good-looking.  (I got the smallest size, just the case; I got a cheapo pillow at Ikea and it fits perfectly.)

stuff with leethal patterns

The spiral notebook is cool – I got lined pages, but you can also choose graph paper if you want (awesome!) and there’s a pocket in the back; the cover is card stock (not hardcover) but it seems pretty nice, and the price is relatively low on the spiral notebooks, so yay for that!  There are hardcover journals too, for a fancier option.

leethal patterns printed on things

And then I got all 6 patterns printed onto Redbubble cards – some greeting cards, some postcards.  Good quality, prints look excellent, greeting cards include brown paper envelopes, and they all have my name as the artist on the back, so that was a neat surprise.  Redbubble has these 4×6″ cards, plus 5×7.5″ greeting cards, all available individually; Society6 only offers 5×7″ stationery cards in sets of 3, 5, or 10, not individually, but a better deal if you want 5 or 10 cards.  The Siskiyou trees would make a great holiday card!

leethal patterns printed on things

And then, Spoonflower!  They have a ton of different fabric types – I got these test swatches on the Cotton Poplin and it looks great.  A couple of the patterns (Haka cables and Flying V’s) printed too dark, so I’ve lightened them up a bit.

leethal patterns printed on things

I sewed the 8×8″ swatches into little mini project bags – they don’t fit much, but they are so cute!

leethal patterns printed on things

If you use a fabric of one of my patterns to sew something, I would LOVE to see it!  Please comment here, or tag me on instagram or twitter :)  And if you REALLY love any of these patterns, you can cover a wall with them – I love looking that the wallpaper previews, they look so cool!

leethal patterns printed on things leethal patterns printed on things

I had so much fun making all this stuff – I’m really hoping it sells a bit just so I’ll get to make more designs in the future!  I have lots of ideas for more, including other design ideas besides tiling patterns, and if there are any of my patterns that you would love to have printed on stuff, let me know and maybe I’ll include them in the next batch!  I want to do a batch of handspun/hand-dyed fabrics, and I want to do some bigger, non-repeating knit design images, and there are more ideas rolling around in my head that can be a surprise…

Filed under: gifts,home stuff,leethal store — Lee Meredith @ 12:59 pm
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