December 24, 2008

bad movie bingo!! for sale now!

update 2/10/09: the official bad movie bingo website has just gone up!!

bad movie bingo!

ok if you follow me on twitter you’ve been hearing about this for a long time now, and i wanted to release it much earlier, but i’m happy to at least have it up by xmas (barely!) so you could play it during the holiday if you want to.

bad movie bingo! bad movie bingo!

bad movie bingo is a game that pete invented, and then pete and i together made it a reality!  i’m so so so happy that it is totally done now and i can play it, instead of partly playing it while trying to come up with more cliches to fill in all the boxes.  i think we did a pretty good job, and pete is great at coming up with movie cliches, so it’s really fun just reading the boxes.

bad movie bingo!

the game comes in two different versions: romantic comedy and action/horror, and you can make as many reusable cards as you want for any number of players.  also included are building instructions, playing instructions, and an envelope to hold the game cards.  above you can see what you need to make the game, in addition to the pdf file of course, and a printer – you need paper and/or cardstock, scissors (and a paper cutter helps), clear, glossy packing tape, a glue stick or 2-sided tape, and optional thin cardboard (like cereal boxes).  and to play, you just need the cards and dry erase markers for each player.

bad movie bingo!

if you wanted to make this game as a super last-minute xmas present, or a new years gift, you could include dry erase markers with it for a complete game set!  i gave the game to each of my brothers and my parents as an early present yesterday, and they all really loved it.  we played it last night (on the movie jason x) and it was super duper fun!!  ben totally won with 5 bingos at the end, and i had zero!!  it all depends where the boxes fall…

so, the pdf file costs only $2!  quite a deal i must say, for hours and hours of endless fun.  i wanted to keep the price low so that everyone who wants it can get it and the fun can spread to all!

it will be sold through pete’s website normally, but i don’t have time to get it up there for a few days, so for now, this is the only place to get it.  the way it works is that you buy it by clicking the link below and i email you the pdf file (which is 6.7mb) as quickly as possible.  i’ll try to get it to you within a couple hours, especially if you get it tonight, but i can’t really guarantee anything quicker than 24 hours.  i’ll be flying back to portland tomorrow (xmas day) so i won’t be online between about 4pm and 10pm ish probably.

ok, click here to buy:

happy holidays!! hope everyone is having a fabulous week! and, enjoy!!

update 2/10/09: the official bad movie bingo website has just gone up!!  check it out and comment or email us with your recommendations so we can add them to the list!

Filed under: movies,random stuff,self-publishing — leethal @ 6:51 pm

December 22, 2008

quicky gift idea – before and after photo

this is a gift i gave my parents a couple years ago, pre- do stuff!, and when i saw it here at the house i thought it would be a good project to share. i’m sure i saw the idea somewhere else, but i don’t know where. you could either make it in a photo editing software program like i did, or you could build it with 2 photos by cutting them into strips and gluing them onto a sheet of cardstock.

straight on

i used two photos of my brothers – the first when they were about 2, 4, and 6, and the second one current (i would have used photos of all four of us, but i’m the only one in my family who takes photos, so there were no current ones with me in them). i split each of them into about half inch sections, and pasted them together in the photo editing program with the strips switching between the two photos.

before after

then i just printed it out on photo paper and carefully folded in accordion-style on the lines between the strips. i glued (or 2-sided taped) the ends onto the blue paper and put the whole thing in a frame with no glass that i got free from my old job. (if you have any connections with someone who works in a place that sells frames, you might be able to score a free no-glass frame, maybe.)

from above

so that’s it, pretty simple, but super cool effect in real life (hard to capture in photos with bad lighting). and i’m thinking if you’re in portland and were saving some of your shopping till the last minute, you might be in need of some diy gift ideas that you can make with things you already have in the house!

photo light lit blue photo light lit red

if you want to see another photo gift project idea, check out my latest craftstylish post!

Filed under: craftstylish,photos,quick project,tutorials — leethal @ 1:18 am

December 19, 2008

experimental sleeve dyeing!

i’m sitting on my parents’ couch right now in southern california, sick with a stinkin’ cold, blah, so i haven’t had the energy to get some things done that i wanted to have done by now.  but i think i do have the energy to write this belated post.  last weekend was my experimental sleeve dyeing with recycled sweaters post on craftstylish…

sleeve dyeing dyed recycled shetland wool

so i wanted to show you some other examples of the sleeve dyeing and how it knits up and stuff!

dyed recycled shetland wool dyed recycled shetland wool

this yarn that i dyed up for the tutorial is shetland wool, and i couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!! i love it so so much, i want to figure out the perfect project for it. it’s 192 yards and i want a pattern that will use it all up, and show the colors at their best… any thoughts?

dyed recycled shetland wool

and now for some other examples… this sleeve:

sleeve dyed for beret

is the one that became this yarn, and then this hat:

merinolongstripes2.jpg mewearingberet3.jpg

and then this sleeve became this hat:

sleeve dyed for mr. pointy blendy1.jpg

this yarn is becoming this scarf, but i don’t have a photo of the sleeve…

longstripesyarn3.jpg sleeve dyed scarf progress

and then the other one from the craftstylish post:

green sleeve dyed green ball

that one will probably become a hat (of course!).  so yeah, hope you like the tutorial.  like the title says, it’s meant to be experimental.  the fun thing about this technique is you never know quite how it’s gonna turn out.  and it’s so much fun to watch it knit up!

mirroredsybil.jpg twistedbobby.jpg

so it sucks to be sick, but it’s nice to hang out here at the house with my parents and my old animal friends. those are my two kitties, sybil and bobby, who both look really different! sybil has gotten way bigger – i guess she must have just gained weight, but it looks like she grew. is it possible for a cat to grow bigger when she’s like ten years old? and bobby is 16ish, so she is just looking older, thinner. but she is still super sweet and purry and plays like a kitten when she feels like it, with plenty of energy.


and then there’s spud, who’s around 14, which, for a dog his size (over 100 lbs), is like 120 in dog years, ish. so he can’t really see, or hear, or walk, but he still wags his tail like crazy when i pet him and is super sweet as always. this trip is probably the last time i’ll ever see him, so that’s sad, but he seems happy, so that’s good. sorry to bring the mood down.  all those photos are of the animals a couple years ago, when i still lived around here – i’ll post new photos of how they are all looking now probably in a couple days, to flickr.  anyway, that’s all for now.  have a good weekend, and good luck to everyone who’s trying to craft last-minute gifts like i am!

Filed under: craftstylish,knitting,personal,tutorials,yarn — leethal @ 8:30 pm

December 14, 2008

monster hats galore! and more!

well the weather here in portland was very distracting today, but i’ve finally finished my big leethal shop update with the hats (and one pair of ninja mitts) that are left after my three holiday shows.  funny thing – last year people kept asking me if i had any kid’s hats, which i did not, so this year i made three of them, and sold none.  so, new in the shop are 3 kid size hats, and 4 adult size hats.  and some of them are special!

velcro eyes hat! velcro eyes hat! velcro eyes hat!

first, and most special, velcro eyes!  this is a concept i’d been planning on trying out for at least a year and a half (i remember pete and i brainstorming about it before moving to portland) and i’ve finally made it a reality!  the hat has velcro squares, and comes with 3 different eyes, which you could also mix and match if you wanted.

velcro eyes hat! velcro eyes hat!

the hat comes with a drawstring bag to hold the extra eyes, and a little loop sewn into the tag that the bag can hold onto for safe keeping.  i’m so excited to have finally made one of these, and i have plans to make even more elaborate velcro designs!

stretchy monster hat! stretchy monster hat! stretchy monster hat! stretchy monster hat!

and then there’s this one! it’s super duper stretchy (spandex blend!) so it’ll fit pretty much anyone (comfy on my 22″ head) and it’s long, so you can wear it floppy, folded up and down for an eared monster, or folded up and under for a plain eared hat. or there’s that last option!

floppy ears tie hat! floppy ears tie hat! floppy ears tie hat!

and i love this one! it’s an alpaca blend, wide and floppy, with braided ties hanging from the points.  it looks super cute tied back behind your head, or you can cover your ears and tie it under your chin!

leethal monster hat! leethal monster hat!

and there’s a good old fashioned monster hat! (and it’s a fancy one, with lots of hand-stitching!)  and here are the 3 kid’s hats:

kid's size leethal hat! kid's size leethal hat! kid's size leethal hat!

oh and the ninja mitts!  i made three pairs at the last minute on friday, and two of them sold on saturday, yay ninja mitts!  i love ’em, i’m so glad other people do too!

cabled ninja mitts! cabled ninja mitts! leethal ninja mitts!

ok so the thing about ordering stuff, any stuff, from my shop – if you want me to ship it before xmas, i have to get the order by noon (west coast time) on tuesday (the 16th).  i’m leaving for california on wednesday, and planning to take everything to the post office tuesday afternoon, so if i get your order after that i won’t be able to send it until the 27th when i’m back in town.

sorry to have a blog post all about my shop, but there will be a couple fun posts coming soon, i promise!

Filed under: hats,leethal store — leethal @ 8:33 pm

December 13, 2008

simple mary jane style booties, part 2!

update 4/14/09: i made some slight changes to the decreases in the pattern, which are in italics (some k2tog’s have been switched to ssk’s).  the ravelry pdf, and download links here and on my pattern page have all been updated.

pattern news! first, the patterns bar of my patterns + yarn page is up to date now, with haka added at the top as well as the free pdf download for the mary jane booties, so you can get all my patterns directly through that page now.

simple mary jane style booties simple mary jane style booties

so the big news is that i finally slightly redesigned the booties a little to make them fit better, so the pdf download of the pattern is the new version.  the only change really is that i added 2 stitches to the whole slipper, so the side comes up higher on the foot, and the whole thing stays on better.  also, i added more info about gauge and how the booties really work best if you use several strands of yarn for a super thick fabric.  i think some people’s sizing issues were a result of too-fine yarn, so this is pretty important.

simple mary jane style booties

speaking of sizing issues, knitter elisa was extremely awesome and commented on the original booties post with some very detailed changes she made for her particular feet, which are wide size 10/11, so i’m going to repost that comment at the bottom of this post for easy access.  if anyone else makes successful adjustments for their feet, that would be great if you wanted to post a comment here, so other knitters could use your advice.

simple mary jane style booties

other exciting booties update: to go with the redesign and pdf release of the slippers, they are on craftstylish with a detailed how-to for making the bottle cap buttons!!

bottle cap buttons! bottle cap buttons!

some useful links: mary jane style booties ravelry page, and download the pdf directly.

it just occurred to me that some might prefer to see the new version of the pattern here on the blog instead of downloading the pdf.  since i’m putting this all out there to the world for free, i’m just going to cut and paste the whole pdf text.  but please do only use this pattern for personal knitting/gifting, and charity knitting is fine with me.  here it is!

Whereas many slippers patterns are meant to be felted for a dense fabric, these are knit with extra bulky yarn on size 11 needles, making a super dense knit fabric, with no need to felt.  I like using up fuzzy yarn for comfy slippers – I recommend one strand of a fuzzy yarn with 2 or 3 strands of non-fuzzy.  They may be pretty silly looking, but they will keep your feet toasty!

sizing:  written for sizes small(medium, large) which are approximately shoe sizes (US women’s) 5-7(8-9, 10-11) – the booties stretch, and exact size will depend on exact gauge and yarn stretchiness.  (see the do stuff! blog post about this pattern for size adjustment suggestions.)

yarn:  super bulky or several strands held together (equivalent to about 4-5 strands of worsted).

gauge:  4.5 sts per 2 inches.  (a little more than 2sts/inch)

you need:
1 pair size US 11 straight needles
1 set (4) size US 11 double pointed needles
a crochet hook
a tapestry needle

note: updated 10/21/09 to add some stitch count numbers in italics.

cast on 18 stitches (leave at least 1 foot tail)
knit 4(6,6) rows
k4, k2tog, k6, k2tog, k4 (16)
knit 1 row
k3, k2tog, k6, k2tog, k3 (14)
knit 1 row

start strap section:
cast on 12, knit across (26 stitches)
knit 3 rows
bind off 12, knit to end
knit 1 row (14)
knit 1 row
cast on 12, knit across (26 stitches)
knit 3 rows
bind off 12, knit to end (14)
(end strap section)

knit 2(4,6) rows
k1, make 1, k12, make 1, k1 (16)
knit 1 row
k1, make 1, k14, make 1, k1 (18)
knit all onto dpns – k7 onto 1st needle, k9 onto 2nd needle, k2 onto 3rd needle
cast on 4 (so that there are 6 sts on 3rd needle), join around, and knit 2 rounds. (22)

start toe decrease section:
(1st needle – k2, ssk, k3) (2nd needle – k7, k2tog) (3rd needle – knit all – 6 sts) (20)
knit 1(2,3) rounds (20)
(1st needle – k2, ssk, k2) (2nd needle – k6, k2tog) (3rd needle – knit all – 6 sts) (18)
knit 2 rounds (18)
(1st needle – k2, ssk, k1) (2nd needle – k5, k2tog) (3rd needle – knit all – 6 sts) (16)
knit 1 round (16)
(1st needle – k1, sk2p) (2nd needle – k4, slip 1 from 3rd needle to 2nd, k3tog) (3rd needle – knit all – 5 sts) (12)
(1st needle – ssk) (2nd needle – k2tog, k2tog, slip 1 from 3rd needle to 2nd, k2tog) (3rd needle – k1, k2tog, k1) (7)

cut yarn, thread through all stitches with a crochet hook, pull tight, tie, and weave in ends.
use the cast on tail to sew up the back, and weave in ends.
sew the straps over on the other sides and add a button, bottlecap, or whatever you want for embellishment.

a few notes:
you can use whichever cast-on methods you prefer; i use a long tail initially, and a single cast-on for the strap and toes.
the buttons are purely decorative – the straps are sewn down because it’s easy to get the slippers on and off with them.  if you wanted functioning buttons, you could add buttonholes at the ends of the straps.

and now for elisa’s redesign for her feet:

First, I cast on with 20 stitches and follow the large pattern. I have wide, size 10/11 feet and using only 16 stitches makes the area sort of above my arch too narrow (the six rows right after the strap). I also had to totally re-write the toe portion. I’m not entirely sure what I was doing wrong, but I always ended up with a super-pointy toe that was badly crooked (because of the knit all on the third dpn, which was one of the sides for me.)

When I knit onto the dpns, my first and third needles are the two uppers of the slipper, while the second needle is the sole. I’m not sure if this has to do with how I knit onto the dpns or what. But this is how I make the toe, if other people are having problems with offset toes:

knit onto dpns. k7 onto 1, k7 onto 2, k6 onto 3 (remember, I start with 20 stitches. If you’re working from 16, k2 onto the third needle and then cast on 4, like in the original instructions.)

join around and knit 2 rounds.
1st: k2, k2tog, k3. 2nd: k7. 3rd: k3, k2tog, k2.
knit 3 (1, 2, depending on size) rounds.
1st: k2, k2tog, k2. 2nd. k7. 3rd: k2, k2tog, k2.
knit 2 rounds.
1st: k2, k2tog, k1. 2nd: k7. 3rd: k1, k2tog, k2.
knit 1 round.
slip one stitch from 2nd onto 1st and 3rd, ending up with 5 stitches on each dpn.
k2tog, k1, k2tog on all three dpns.
knit 1 round.
cut yarn, thread through and pull tight, as in original instructions.

thank you so much elisa!!

and a note about my yarn choice for these booties – i’m guessing most knitters have some silly fuzzy/furry yarn in their stash from their early knitting days like i do.  i dug out some of this fuzzy reject yarn (no idea what it is, label is long gone) and combined it with an unearthed bulky acrylic and a strand of dk-ish unknown recycled to get my superduper thick fabric, and the booties are so soft and comfy.  i like to use yarns i don’t care too much about for slippers, yarns that can be thrown in the washing machine, since, especially with a kitten in the house, there’s a definite possibility of stepping in something.  so, a nice alpaca/angora/cashmere yarn would be even softer and nicer, but i prefer the silly fuzzy soft option that can be machine washed to the extra soft, be careful where i step, and hand-wash only option.  dig out that forgotten fuzz and make some slightly-ugly but way comfy house slippers!

Filed under: craftstylish,knitting,tutorials — leethal @ 9:12 pm

December 11, 2008

craftstylish tutorials and other updatey stuff

polaroid christopher walken print

once again, i’ve fallen a bit behind in letting you know about my craftstylish tutorials… yesterday was my semi-photorealistic 3-shade freezer paper stencil how-to!  this is a pretty crazy project – the result of having an idea pop into my head one day and then going for it.  the tutorial uses the christopher walken stencil, because it’s guy gift week over at craftstylish, but i especially love the polaroid camera print!  (it’s this camera)

print blurred carving stencil

it looks more photorealistic when it’s a bit blurred.

me wearing shirt finished close-up

and then on saturday there was my custom embellished shirt project – i love this one!  i used printing, machine top-stitching, and i changed the buttons, and then i talked about other ways to embellish a shirt, like applique and embroidery.

close-up on me finished shirt

the point of this project is to inspire you to embellish a shirt in a personal, customized way for yourself or your giftee, rather than to give you a step by step tutorial so you can make exactly what i made.


and lastly, my custom clock tutorial shows you how to take apart an old clock and install your own photograph, or whatever you want.  i gave that one to my mom for her birthday and she loved it – proof that it’s a great gift to make!!

trilliumyarn12.jpg trilliumyarn04.jpg

in other news, the trillium etsy shop now has 5 of my knit kits up!  including two of my absolute favorites.  if you have a hard time finding the kits, they are listed in the gifts section.

this month is going by SO fast i can’t even believe it.  two craft shows done, only one to go.  the 100th monkey show last weekend went pretty well – it was a different kind of feel, being at night with live music and more of a party mood.  the artists stood around in front of our stuff instead of sitting behind our tables, and the whole thing kind of made me more socially awkward than usual (and i am usually pretty awkward, by the way).  i’m afraid sometimes my awkwardness comes off as maybe rudeness or unfriendlyness, but really it’s just that i’ve always been so shy and these shows are extremely stressful for me.

and speaking of stress, i’m looking forward to going to visit my family in california for a week, i think it’s just the escape i need.  there is a ton of really exciting stuff happening or soon to be happening, but the more excitement in my life, the more stress.  i’m hoping to get this free knitting pattern i’m working on done in california, plus maybe finish up some knitting projects that have been sitting around for months, and maybe even read a book!  crazy!

December 9, 2008

haka: strappy flappy eared hat!

new pattern!  i made sure to get this one done in time for holiday gift knitting, because it’s a suuuper quick knit!!  i’ve worn the fuzzy handspun version to the last 2 craft shows i did and got tons of compliments, so i’m thinking it would be a good gift knit.

Haka: strappy flappy eared hat Haka: strappy flappy eared hat

the name, haka, means chin in icelandic.  i asked pete what the hat made him think of off the top of his head, and he said it looked icelandic, and then david suggested some names that were chin in other languages, which led me to haka, so there ya go.

Haka: strappy flappy eared hat Haka: strappy flappy eared hat

the hat can be worn 4 different ways – leave the strap loose and hanging, fasten it under your chin for maximum warmth, bring it behind your neck so your ears are still covered, or fasten it up over your head to free your ears and not overheat.  (great for winter transitioning from outdoors to indoors without revealing hat hair.)

Haka: strappy flappy eared hat Haka: strappy flappy eared hat

the pattern uses size 15 needles (16″ circular) for a gauge of 3 stitches per inch.  if you’re a speedy knitter, i bet you could whip one up during one dvd!  (i am a slow knitter, so it takes me a few dvds, but still, quick project!)

handspunhat1.jpg berrygardenhat2.jpg

use a bulky handspun yarn like those two examples, or hold a few strands of finer yarn together.  if you like the blendy stripes look made by holding 3 strands together and changing one at a time, the pattern pdf includes the exact striping pattern so you could copy it with your own color choices.  great for using up small leftover yarn balls!

berrygardenhat5.jpg handspunhat5.jpg

i’m selling the pattern for $2 (click here to buy now) – i honestly wish i could give it away free, but i’m trying to make a living doing this stuff, so i just can’t.  i do have a free pattern in the works though, to be released probably sometime between xmas and new years…

but hey guess what, i want to give it away so much that i’m gonna do a special limited-time giveaway!  just for my blog readers and twitter followers, a gift for you!  this is an idea i just thought of, and i’ve never seen anyone do this before, but i don’t see why it wouldn’t work.  i’ll be giving out an expiring link to the pdf through twitter – the link will be good for a half hour, then it’ll stop working, so you’ll have to click it only during the giveaway time.  there is no limit to how many people can download it (at least, as far as i know).  so here it is…

the expiring pdf link will be tweeted by me (posted on my twitter page) at 1:00pm (west coast time) on this thursday, the 11th, so you must click the link sometime between 1 and 1:30 to get the pattern free.  if you miss the time window, it’s only 2 buckaroos!  (and i’ll really appreciate every single pattern paid for!)

also, here’s the ravelry link for easy access.  and, pdf specs: it’s 4 pages, full of lots of photos, but the pattern itself is all on one page, so you’ll only need to print that one.  (the other pages are the cover, pattern notes, seaming how-to, and striping pattern.)  there are no special techniques you need to know, it’s a really simple pattern – knit around from the top down on circulars in stockinette, some ribbing, decreasing on the earflaps, seed stitch on the strap, sew the seam up.  i think that’s everything!  hope you like it!

Filed under: hats,knitting — leethal @ 9:32 pm

December 6, 2008

hats! and more hats! yeah hats!

handmade nw show

quicky post tonight before i get some sleep for the 100th monkey twilight sale tomorrow… the handmade nw show on tuesday went ok, not exactly busy (why tuesday? hmm) but i got lots of good feedback and decided to focus on hats for the upcoming shows.

if you’ve been following my stuff for awhile you might remember last holiday season and before i had a bunch of monster hats (like this one and this one and this one) but then after they sold out last year i never got motivated to make new ones.  i got into the yarn making and other things and took a break from the hats.  well i made a few new ones for the tuesday show, and they got more attention than anything else, so i got excited to make more, and that’s just what i spent the last two days doing!  here’s what i created yesterday and today:

hats for sale

grey monster hat kids pointy eared hat green floppy hat

there are a few kid sized hats this year – that’s something i was kind of lacking last year.  and then these are the 2 that i had on tuesday that i still have:

blue striped monster hat kids glasses hat

and i sold this one on tuesday morning, about 10 hours after i finished making it!  luckily i did make sure to take a few pictures before the show.  it looked so great on the girl who got it – it fit her head much better than mine, i’m so glad she got it!

yellow sold hat yellow sold hat

ok so the thing about these hats… they are not going up in my shop until both shows are over – 100th monkey tomorrow (saturday 12/06) and SCRAP next saturday.  so if you’re in portland and you want a hat, be sure to make it to one of the shows and hope it’s not gone yet.

for everyone else, i will be posting them for sale on my site on sunday the 14th (or possibly even the night before), then blogging about them as soon as they’re up.  you’ll have to act fast if you want anything for a holiday gift because i’m leaving to california on the 17th, so i’ll need to get your order by the morning of the 16th to get it mailed before i leave.

a few of the new hats have super special things about them that i’ll keep a secret for now. (like, different ways to wear them…)  i am really excited about these hats!  yay hats!

one more thing… wanna see a supershort video of garbanzo?!  here she is pretending to be an awkward statue:

Filed under: hats,leethal store,portland stuff — leethal @ 2:12 am
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