June 27, 2008

knit one, embellish too

flutter after blocking

i’ve waited to post about cosy‘s new book, knit one, embellish too, until i finished my first book project, and now i have! knit from my handspun alpaca, a couple sections blended with dyed wool, the only project small enough for that small amount of yarn was the flutter neck scarf, and i love it! instead of cosy’s recommended button embellishments, i tried knitting beads into the edge, which i’d never done before, and i think it turned out pretty cool. the beads weigh it down a bit to prevent curling, and they look nice peeking out from the fuzzy alpaca.

flutter after blocking

so, the book! it rocks! cosy has a whole section on unraveling sweaters for yarn, yeah! and another section on color theory and planning/arranging colors for a project, which is one of cosy’s greatest talents. i definitely want to knit a bunch of things, like the bonnet and the lake reflects trees hat… and i wish i had a little niece or cousin or someone to knit the butterfly pixie bonnet for, so adorable!

earlier this week i had an interview with cosy herself posted on the threadbanger blog, in which she talks about recycling/thrifting, creative design, and more. check it out!

Filed under: books,knitting — leethal @ 11:54 am

June 25, 2008

easy recycley craft

so in an issue of readymade maybe 6 months ago, there was this tote bag project and the shape of the bag in the pattern picture (not on the online version) looked just like a tank top shape, which made me think…. hmm…. couldn’t you sew the bottom of a tank top closed and turn it into a super quick and easy bag? but i never got around to trying it…

then a few weeks ago this how-to popped up on the coffee pot people blog and i thought, ah ha! it does work! so i picked up an orange tank at the bins and made one! i followed the tutorial, except i turned the tank sideways, so the side seams are in the middle and the sleeve holes are centered together. i think it’ll be easier to carry that way.

tank top tote bag before tank top tote bag in progress tank top tote bag

tank top tote bag finished

it’s super duper stretchy because of the knit fabric, but it totally works. if it stretches too much over time, i’ll probably line it with t-shirt fabric or something.

edit 6/26: i just uploaded a photo of myself carrying the bag full of stuff.

oh hey after reading diane’s post about it last week, i joined twitter. i’m _leethal_ since leethal was taken… do you tweet?

Filed under: general crafts,random stuff,tutorials — leethal @ 9:11 am

June 23, 2008

black sheep gathering!


so i went to black sheep gathering in eugene on saturday, my first ever fiber festivaly type thing. oh my goodness it was awesome. we were all so exhausted by the end of the day, it felt like spending a day at disneyland! we left at 8am, spent about 3 hours checking everything out and buying some stuff, took a lunch break in downtown eugene to clear our heads, then went back for more shopping and to say hi to the animals, staying till they closed at 5.


i spent my entire budget, and got some really amazing deals, being really good about buying no yarn, just fiber! about 4 lbs of various fancy pretty assorted beautiful fiber! to be exact:


from top left, across three rows…

  • alkanet root and cream of tartar and alum (for natural dyeing)
  • 2oz tri-color organic cotton
  • 6oz corridale wool roving
  • dyed bamboo: 4oz turquoise, 2oz red and brown, 1oz gold
  • 1oz hemp
  • 5oz charcoal/black/brown scrap wool
  • 1lb white/grey/brown/yellow/green superwash wool
  • 4oz brown merino cross top
  • 4oz blue face leicester top
  • 6oz undyed romney wool locks in many shades
  • 6oz dyed mystery wool locks in a million colors!
  • 5oz dyed romney wool locks in a million colors!

i’m so excited to try all these new fibers i’ve never spun before! and my plan for those gorgeous dyed locks is to blend some with undyed alpaca. in my head it looks fabulous…


oh, speaking of my alpaca – i finally got a cheap scale and weighed it all! drumroll… i have approximately 33 pounds of alpaca!! oh yeah!


are you loving the black sheep animal photos? that blond guy above is named stephen colbert! don’t alpacas look weird when freshly shorn? well there are many many more in my black sheep gathering flickr set.


ooh and i have 4 new ninja mitt kit yarns for sale in the shop! two variegated, two 2-color, one of them spun. my personal favorite is the watercolor sunshine, the first one pictured:

knitkitmitts091.jpg knitkitmitts084.jpg knitkitmitts061.jpg

Filed under: leethal store,photos,portland stuff,yarn — leethal @ 2:40 pm

June 16, 2008

thank you gift sale!!

alpaca5.jpg leethal stitch markers buttons trio envelopes momsgreenearrings.jpg

ok sale time! this is my lee-quit-her-day-job-and-is-stressing-about-making-it-work free gifts with purchase sale! anything you buy from me will make me feel better about becoming a full time freelancer and small business owner, so i am thanking you with free stuff! the sale will run through the weekend of july 6th, that’s almost 3 weeks. here’s how it works, there’s a mini-gift list and a super-gift list.



you spend $10+, you get to choose a mini-gift. you spend $30+, you get to choose a super-gift.

my leethal store and etsy shop both count, i’ll combine order totals. i’ll add pdf purchase dollars as well. for example, if you order $12 from leethal, $15 from etsy, and $4.50 from ravelry, your total is $31.50 for a super-gift.

depending on your total, you can get multiple gifts, for example: you spend $20, you choose 2 mini-gifts. you spend $40, you choose 1 super-gift and 1 mini-gift (or 4 mini). you spend $60, you choose 2 super-gifts (or 1 super and 3 mini). if you spend $30 and prefer 3 mini-gifts, go for that.

all orders will come with a few leethal buttons, including those less than $10, so everyone gets a gift! the only items not included are pdf downloads alone, since i’m not mailing you anything.

the point of these gifts is to thank you for your support, so if you support me by posting about this sale in your blog, and you make a purchase, you get to choose one additional mini-gift, even if you spend less than $10.

shipping is not included in order totals.

all this giftyness choosing will be done by email. after placing your order, email me at leethalkoala at yahoo dot com with your gift choices.

additional gift info:

mini-gift photo can be any picture you see in my flickr or my photography website; 4×6 print will be a high-res inkjet print on recycled epson pro-quality luster paper. super-gift photo trio can be any set you see here; photographic prints (not inkjet) are on high quality fuji matte paper; trios come in custom handmade envelopes.

alpaca fleece is not cleaned, but spins up very well uncleaned, then washes up beautifully. 1 ounce is a small ziplock bag stuffed full; 4 ounces is a gallon size bag stuffed full.

custom earrings means you can choose the color(s) and style type, using my previously made earrings as examples of what i can do, but specific beads may not be available.

oh, and i can do custom orders, like custom dyed yarn, but prices are higher on custom stuff, and it’ll take awhile, like a few weeks. gifts will apply to custom stuff too.

any questions? happy shopping! thanks!!

Filed under: leethal store — leethal @ 12:35 pm

June 15, 2008

tons of new leethal stuff!

huge leethal store update, woooo! finally, all the fun stuff i made for the alberta art hop a month ago is up for sale.  lots of cuffs, a bunch of colored mini record bowls, and much much more!  and i’ll be posting about the superfun sale tomorrow morningish. here are some of my favorite items:

cuff044.jpg sewhat141.jpg csleeve022.jpg sewhat153.jpg

rbowlc725.jpg cuff023.jpg cuff074.jpg headband022.jpg

album031.jpg cuff052.jpg rbowlc723.jpg watch064.jpg

and there’s a new handspun for sale on the yarn page!

berries in nature dyedroving1.jpg

there are a few items i sold at past craft shows that never made it onto the site that i really loved and want to share with you now… i’m definitely going to use elements of these designs in future items!

trianglehat1.jpg trianglehat2.jpg

bluessleeve1.jpg patchscarf2.jpg patchscarf3.jpg

hey did anyone knit in public yesterday for worldwide knit in public day? kate and i did! not that we don’t all do it all the time already, but you know, “days” are fun.

me knitting on wwkip day! wwkip day

kate wearing mitts kate's mitts

those mitts were knit with my spun recycled yarn! fun times!

Filed under: knitting,leethal store,photos — leethal @ 10:16 pm

June 13, 2008

make a jewelry frame!

jewelry frame earrings on fishnet frame

look what i made! when i started making all those earrings, i didn’t have anywhere to put them, so i came up with this! i just happened to have a perfect size/shape glassless frame from scrap, and i had the other leg of pink fishnet that i used to dress up our boring ikea lampshade, perfect!

i don’t have tutorial photos, but it should be easy to explain. find a long frame, or you could build one – mine is about 11×20″ edge to edge (so the photo size that would fit would be 9x18ish). cut the leg off a pair of fishnets, and cut the toe off so it’s an open tube. with nothing in the frame (and make sure there’s no sharp bits sticking out that would hold the glass in and would rip the fishnets), pull the fishnet tube onto the frame, so it wraps all the way around, stretching from top to bottom. i tied a ribbon around the bottom for stud type earrings. for necklaces+bracelets to hang at the top, i nailed 4 long nails through the fishnet and into the wall behind. i’m sure there would be better ways to do this, but i was lazy and didn’t want to figure it out.

i took the frame photos before making some more earrings, so my frame is filling up nicely!

orangenatureearrings.jpg bluetrioearrings.jpg
biggreenearrings.jpg momsorangeearrings.jpg

that last pair was actually for my mom, but i love them so i’ll probably copy the design for myself. yay earrings!

Filed under: beading,home stuff — leethal @ 10:21 am

June 11, 2008

alpaca anyone?


a few weeks ago i was given an amazing gift by my friend dianne: 11 huge bags full of alpaca fleece. it came from northwest alpacas here in oregon, and i’m pretty sure each bag is a full blanket worth (like, the entire alpaca), or close to it. it’s not cleaned, so i spent a dirty day emptying each bag, shaking out the fleece, picking out any too-dirty chunks, and putting it into clean bags. i really loved seeing/feeling how each blanket had a unique look and feel, like i’m sure the alpacas themselves each have a unique personality, even though they are all white in color.


i did some research and found that most/many spinners prefer to spin alpaca unwashed because, unlike sheep wool, alpaca has no lanolin that needs to be washed out, and since it’s such a slippery fiber, the dust actually makes it easier to spin. then you just wash it super well in yarn form. i spun up a small skein this way and it turned out awesome! (but i definitely recommend outdoor spinning if possible, it is dusty!)

alpaca yarn 2ply

i also spun up a single, with dyed wool blended into a few sections, turned out pretty nice:


i’ve dyed one chunk of the alpaca so far (orange!) but haven’t spun that yet. i want to dye more and make a striping yarn, should be cool…

sooo, the thing is, i have way more alpaca fleece than i could possibly spin up in the next decade, so i’m looking for swaps! i definitely want to keep a bunch of it for myself, and i’d like to spread the alpaca love as widely as possible (so, i’m not wanting one person/company to take the whole lot), and i don’t want to sell it for money since it was given to me as a gift (that would just feel wrong). so, swaps! i would love to trade fiber for fiber, but i’ll definitely be open to yarn, handmade items, supplies, books… just let me know what you want to trade.


leave comments or email me (leethalkoala at yahoo) with offers. yay swaps!

and, for non-spinning yarn lovers, i do indeed plan to spin up yarn to sell, so keep checking my yarn page for updates!

Filed under: random stuff,swap,yarn — leethal @ 9:59 pm

June 8, 2008

long-awaited patterns+yarn page!!

ok ok ok it’s done at last! these last few weeks have been weird and hectic and up and down but things are finally winding down and i’m able to get some real work done. i’m so excited for this webpage to be up and running, all my patterns and yarns together in one convenient place for your browsing pleasure!

yarn webpage

all pdf downloads are through ravelry, so the for-sale patterns download instantly instead of you having to wait for me to email them. i think i explain everything clearly, but if anything on the page is confusing please let me know. like, the handspun is for sale on the page, but the rest of the yarn has links to the kits page because i want to give the choice of the kit or the yarn alone.

leethal stitch markers

and a new thing: recycled paperclip stitch markers! all made from paperclips donated to scrap (meaning they probably would have been thrown away otherwise) and assorted vintage beads. only $3.50 each! (below the for sale yarn on the new page)

and just to let you know, i will be (finally!) finishing up a huge shop update later this week (probably thursday or friday) and announcing my (somewhat belated) lee-quit-her-day-job sale! it won’t be a normal kind of sale, it’ll be superspecial! instead of things being cheaper, i’ll be giving away freeee stuff with every order. but, if you want to buy anything now, don’t let that stop you, because if you do buy something (besides a pdf) between now and the actual sale start-date, i’ll email you and let you know what your freestuff options are, so you’ll get in on the sale a lil early. (since i was planning on already having it but haven’t been able to finish the update yet…) and i’ll give you a hint, you’ll have several freestuff options: knitting-related, spinning-related, and a couple neither-related for the rest of you.

ok enough of that leethal store stuff. i am planning on having some real crafty content on this here blog once i have my schedule more organized. there will be tutorials and other fun stuff, i promise!

hey and, thanks so much to everyone for the supernice comments regarding my day job quitting!! the kind words really help me in my freakout stressy moments!

Filed under: knitting,leethal store,yarn — leethal @ 10:18 pm
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