November 30, 2007

diy knit kit: 2-color textured hats

redbluehat6.jpg bluegreenhat4.jpg

here is my very first knit hat kit – which includes a pattern set with 4 different hat options. there is a knit flat version and a knit round version, each with 2 stitch pattern variations. and of course the yarn; each kit has a 90 yard hank of recycled hand-dyed yarn, striping between 2 colors. all you’ll need to make a hat are the knitting needles (and a tapestry needle for finishing). all patterns use size us 10 1/2 needles – straights for the flat hat, and 16″ circular for the round hat (or you can use double pointed needles if you like).

the blue+green hat is an example of the knit flat version. the knit round version not only includes two stitch pattern options, but also varying hat-fit (floppy vs. fitted) and stripe-width versions. the red+aqua hat is the floppy (my personal favorite!) and i knit a 2-swatch example of the fitted version to show both stitch patterns, with 2 different yarns – both of which were left over from yarns i have in kits for sale now.2swatchhat1.jpg

i also have the pattern set by itself for sale ($2.50) if you want to dye your own yarn. to get results like the photos, your yarn will need to have 1 yard stripes of the two colors.

if you are new to yarn in hank form – you’ll need to wind it into a ball before you can use it. the hank untwists into a big loop, which is tied together with scrap yarn. here is the way i wind it: sit up straight and put my legs up, bent at the knees; put the yarn around my knees. make sure the yarn isn’t twisted, and with it stretched somewhat tightly, cut the scrap yarn and find an end. wind the ball! i just make normal yarn balls, but you may prefer to make a center-pull ball. also, you can use chair backs instead of your knees.

if you knit a hat from this kit/pattern i would really love to see it! pretty please leave a comment here with a photo (or link to a photo) and any feedback you might have. thanks!!

edit 1/21/08: the pattern set is now available as a pdf! it’s 4 pages – all the same info as the paper pattern, but with more photos!

(ravelry page!)

Filed under: general crafts,kit creations,knitting,leethal store — leethal @ 11:11 pm

November 26, 2007

photo documentation is fun!

8/01 8:02 me 8/07 8:24 him

ok sometimes i’ll be all into a project and then get distracted and kind of set it aside and then months later go, oh yeah! back at the beginning of august, i started this “us-a-day” photo series, to document the month of our big move. the plan was: pete and i take photos of each other every night of the month, and i put them up on flickr as often as possible, labeled with the date, time, and a little mini-journal-entry caption about the day.

8/19 him 8/20 me

it started out well, until the whole move thing actually started and i didn’t have time (or internet, for several weeks) to upload them. then the day i shot the wedding i forgot to do the series, and i continued to forget the next couple nights, with all the crazy apartment searching and staying with friends and stuff. then i remembered most of the rest of the month, but just kept them on my computer. by the time i had internet in the new place i wasn’t motivated to finish the project, since it wasn’t complete and all.

8/26 me 8/21 him

well, i’ve finally put up the shots, with some kind of caption for each day (even if it’s just “packing” or something). i didn’t do the time in the titles, but they were all taken sometime in the night (mostly around 8-10ish). even though i didn’t really succeed with it, i’m glad i did the project. it’s a good record of that eventful month in our life, and we can go back and remember all the craziness.

8/31 him 8/28 me

so you might be thinking, after all this time, what made you finally upload the project tonight? ok you’re probably not thinking that, but i’ll tell you anyway! i got a new toy! these last couple months i’m finding myself without a camera far too often – i don’t take it with me for fear of rain. so, i decided to get myself a little point-and-shoot that can live in my purse/pocket at all times! i got this super cool nikon s51 (in brown!) on sale today; a bit of a splurge, but it’s a great quality pocket camera. i won’t be a gear nerd and go into details, but i’m excited to have it.

1st s51 portrait

so, tonight on the bus i was playing with it and took some window self portraits, and i thought, i bet i could get in the habit of taking a self portrait every day, now that i’ll have a camera with me all the time. so, that’s when i remembered the august series and got to work on it when i got home… sooo, i’m gonna try to shoot a lot more now, make use of this fun little piece o’ gear! maybe if i really get in the habit, i’ll join one of the photo-a-day flickr groups.

one more thing… the reason i was on the bus. i was going to powell’s downtown to sell them copies of do stuff! so you can now find my zine at the city of books, and powell’s on hawthorne. i even have my own page on the powell’s site! also in portland: reading frenzy, q is for choir, and in other words if they still have any left. yay!

Filed under: lots of links,personal,photos,portland stuff — leethal @ 12:31 am

November 23, 2007

diy knit kit: bracelet mini-kit

knitkitbraceletmade.jpg knitkitbracelet.jpg

my first knit kit! everything you need to make one of these little knit bracelets, except for the knitting needles (size 8, or close) and tapestry needle. kit includes: 4 yards of hand-dyed recycled yarn, a piece of contrasting recycled yarn, a secondhand button, and the pattern.

50 of these kits were included in holiday samplers (december ’07). they will be in my store for about $4 each, depending on the yarn. right now, there is only one, but more will be added. this kit would make a great little gift for a knitter in your life, or someone who wants to learn to knit. super easy pattern, just knit stitch. it’s such an easy pattern, i’ll just tell you the basics…

cast on 4 stitches, knit back and forth until it’s the right length for your wrist, bind off. make a loop at the end – this is the button hole. use the tail at the other end to sew on the button. use a contrasting color yarn, or embroidery thread, to personalize your bracelet – just stitch a little something. weave in the ends. yay!

the pattern included with the kit is a bit more detailed, but i’m fine with posting it as a free pattern here because what i’m charging for is the dyed yarn (i wouldn’t expect anyone to pay for such a simple pattern).

if you got one in the sampler, or bought one, i would love it if you’d share a picture of your finished bracelet!!  or just if you made a bracelet from this blog pattern, i still want to see it!  just comment with a link to the photo (flickr page or whatever)…  yay for sharing!

Filed under: kit creations,knitting,leethal store,tutorials — leethal @ 11:06 pm

new knit kits and other neat stuff!

well well well it’s been awhile. i didn’t mean to not write in so long, the weeks have just been flying by! my mom came to visit last weekend – her first time ever in portland. so i took her to all my favorite places and we had a super fun time. sucked that it rained almost the whole time, then cleared up as soon as she left, but other than that it was a great time. she even got 4 things from the bins!

the leethal thing i’ve been focusing on these last few weeks is finally ready to be revealed! i only have one in my store so far, but plan to add more in the very near future…. they are: hand-dyed recycled yarn knit kits! the kits all include one or more knitting pattern(s) and yarn that i unraveled from sweaters and dyed with food coloring and/or kool-aid. and some will include stitch markers too, depending on the pattern.

so right now my store has one of the kit that i made for the holiday sampler – a bracelet mini-kit. for each kit that i make and put up for sale, i’ll post a blog entry, with photos of the finished item and possibly a pattern sample… and then kit-buyers can comment with pictures of their finished items. so i’ll be posting more details about the bracelet kit later tonight.

coming very soon will be a stripy ninja mitt kit, a 2-color hat kit with 4 different pattern variations, a cuff kit (which will be like the little bracelets, but fatter and with a couple versions), a striping spiral hat kit with 4 different pattern variations, and possibly some kind of neck warmer. i’m really excited about them!
here are what the little bracelet kit samples look like:

samples.jpg sampleswrapped.jpg samplesboxed.jpg

and speaking of the sampler, gosh i love those girls! they featured me in a samplergram a couple weeks ago (woo!!) and i want to quote what jennicakes said because it made me laugh so hard! “Have you ever wondered where to find a clock that could double as a blanket for your cat? Me too! That’s why I’m so excited about the November Samples from leethal! In addition to fabric clock kits, there are a whole mess of coffee and tea patches! As a quilter, I can’t always find samples that I can integrate into my work, so I’ve been staring at these and inventing little projects in my head all morning!” ok so the part about the clock cat blankets was the best, but i’m also excited about this whole quilting with my patches concept. since i don’t do quilting, i never thought of that, so i was happy to read the idea! yay sampler!

i also wanted to mention another of my favorite crafty people…. cosy! i’ve been way behind on my blog-reading, so when i was catching up i was so happy to see that she nominated me for a “makes me smile” award. since her blog is most definitely one of my favorites – her knitting is so beautiful and inspiring – i’m so honored that she listed my blog! you should definitely check out her stuff; i love her hats so so much, and i can’t wait for her book!

Filed under: knitting,leethal store,lots of links — leethal @ 10:23 pm

November 8, 2007

yarn! yarn! yarn! yay!

yarn bubble bath

i’ve been dyeing yarn like crazy the last few weeks (mostly food coloring, some kool-aid), and knitting some hats with some of the results. like these:

handdyedswirlhat6.jpg fuzzyzighat1.jpg

bluegreenhat2.jpg rainbowhat4.jpg

all the yarn is either from knittn kitten, which is a “craft thrift store” (so i think the yarn can be considered “recycled” since it’s secondhand) or from frogged sweaters. the last two days i’ve been frogging some sweaters i found at the bins the other night, and i’m pretty excited about a new method i’ve just tried. one sweater was a nice beige, perfect for dyeing, and soft wool, but super fine yarn. so i plied it! first, i dyed two separate strands, each one with 3 colors striping, then i plied them with my drop spindle. here are the awesome results:

sweater for plied yarn plied yarn on spindle

plied yarn plied yarn closeup

i’m so excited to start knitting with it tomorrow when the twist is all set and it’s dry. and tomorrow after work i’ll be frogging my best bins find of all:

wool angora sweater

if you can’t read it on the tag, that’s 90% wool, 10% angora, perfect weight (bulkier than most sweaters i find, yay!) and white for dyeing. and it even has three cute buttons on one shoulder that i can use for projects. the only thing i don’t like about it is that it’s a child’s size – i want more yarn! it’s so soft!!!!

i have one question for any portland readers out there: do you know of a grocery store in town (preferably southeast) that has a good kool-aid selection? the main reason i’ve been dyeing with food coloring lately is that my local safeway has only shades of red kool-aid, and i think orange and grape and nothing else. i want blue, and green! i loved the blue especially, very different from the food coloring blue.

oh i should mention, i am working on another free blog hat pattern.  it will probably be posted within the next couple weeks.

Filed under: general crafts,knitting,photos — leethal @ 12:33 am

November 5, 2007

leethal profiled! and new monster hats!

wheee today was a happy day – i was interviewed for the diy alert! pdx profiles by the fabulous sister diane! if you don’t already know about it, diy alert! is an entire website for crafters in portland – including a very detailed crafting calendar with all kinds of events like craft shows, meet-ups, classes, book signings, etc. if you live in stumptown you must check it out, and subscribe to the blog to see the latest rad portland crafty stuff! i am so excited to be featured on it today!

i’ve had plans to make some new monster hats for a long time now – the whole printing thing took over for awhile so i wasn’t sewing anything. this interview going up today was the incentive i needed to break out the sweaters and get making! here is what i’ve added to my store so far:

sewhat122.jpg sewhat131.jpg csleeve011.jpg

i hope to continue making more fun stuff regularly, with the holiday season pretty much here. more hats for sure, mitts, earmuffs, more coffee sleeves, sweater patchwork scarves perhaps? we’ll see… i have another neat project in the works that i’m really excited about. it involves knitting and i’ll keep it a secret until i actually have something finished and up on my site.

Filed under: leethal store,lots of links,portland stuff — leethal @ 8:31 pm

November 1, 2007

belated halloween post

yay halloween! ok this entry is a few days late, but i had to wait till i had photos of this year’s costume, and since we didn’t party over the weekend or anything, no photos were taken until last night. but before i get to that… i want to show you some of my favorite costumes of the past, since it’s my first halloween with this blog. starting with little lee costumes, these are my two most creative years: at 7 years old in ’89 and 10 in ’92.

halloween89.jpg halloween89punky.jpg halloween92.jpg halloween92garth.jpg

then i had a whole lot of uncreative years; high school has a way of squashing a girl’s creativity! so sad… well i actually can’t remember what i was most of high school, i can only remember alice in wonderland my junior year, that’s not terribly uninteresting i guess. so then i was a pirate my second year of college (but before the pirates movies, so it’s not so bad) and then i finally started getting creative my third year. so here is me at ages 20 and 21:

halloween02.jpg halloween02margot.jpg halloween03.jpg halloween03willy.jpg

(that’s also before the johnny depp movie, i was always a step ahead of johnny! hehe) ooh i almost forgot to mention that i went as margot alone – my 2 brothers just happpened to be at the party i went to, i didn’t even know the guys! …then at 22 i really loved my costume, mostly because it was so comfy!

halloween04.jpg halloween04clementine.jpg

(by the way, that’s the first time i ever made a pair of sock mitts. i had planned to knit mitts exactly like hers, but ran out of time, so i found those socks and the rest is history!) so at age 23 i had a partner for the first time, so we were one of our favorite couples (ok, not really a couple, but a cute pair anyway):

halloween05.jpg halloween05trentdaria.jpg

then last year we decided to be super nerds, but i/we got the best reactions of any costume i’ve ever had!

halloween06me.jpg halloween06pete.jpg halloween06marios.jpg

and this year! i loved it, even though not one single person even knew that i was in costume. the best was the year i was clementine and wore the costume all weekend to work (because halloween was a sunday) and i think 2 customers knew who i was, but when they did it was so exciting! i was hoping all day at work that one person would get it, but alas, i looked too modern day vintage, or something…

maryspinning1.jpg maryspinning2.jpg

maryspinning5.jpg halloween07mary.jpg halloween07maryshat.jpg

and pete:

louangry.jpg loudrunk.jpg halloween07lou.jpg

i wish we could go back and retake the photos. pete forgot to take off his glasses, i forgot to put on my black gloves, and we didn’t get any shots where you can see my dress under the coat! i got this gorgeous dress from frock to wear as mary, but mostly for myself, hah! it’s red with a black nature-y print; it’s very japanese influenced, the tag says “geisha chic”. not exactly mary’s style, but it is 70’s looking, and it was only the bottom peeking out under the coat anyway.

notice all the crafty elements of my costumes over the years… i made the wood finger for margot, the hat and tie for willy, sock mitts for clem, hats for both marios and a crocheted tail, and i think i’m most proud of mary’s knit hat! i totally improvised it, and i couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. i didn’t think it would ever be worn after halloween, but it’s totally going into my everyday hat rotation!

and i’ll leave you with this halloween shot i really like. me, the super serious clown, and my brother matt the bee:


Filed under: personal,photos,random stuff — leethal @ 10:27 pm
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