February 27, 2009

yarn and some other things…

so sorry for my bad blogging lately… i’ve been working a lot on posts for other blogs, and just focusing on other things, bad excuses.  i wanted to tell you about a few things tonight, then i’ll try to post more often…

single03 plied03

first of all, i meant to post about this sooner:  i have some handspun yarn for sale at home ec in la!  home ec is jenny ryan‘s new extension to reform school, which just had its kick off party last week, and she just got interviewed about it for cbs news!  yeah, it’s kind of a big deal, so i’m super duper honored and excited to have my yarn there!!  so if you’re in southern california, be sure to check it out, and you can see the class schedule here on the reform school blog – classes fill up fast, so sign up now if there’s one you want to take!

me with yarn spiralsingle01

the three skeins above were all spun specifically for the shop, all around the same time, so they are kind of a set – the first one is a self-striping single, mostly blues and greens with the orange and red highlights; that top plied one is half wool and half soy silk/wool 50/50 blend, with the wool half striping between non-rotating long color sections, and the soy half striping between 4 shorter, rotating colors; and the one directly above is a single with 2 colors held together at all times, with mostly wool and some soy silk, bamboo, and alpaca.

bulky2ply5.jpg alpacaconfetti3.jpg threadplied1.jpg

and then those 3 that were in my shop for awhile went to home ec – i think these, especially the first 2, look better in person than in photos, so i thought they could benefit from being in a physical shop.  it was hard to send them away though after having spent several months with them in my inventory – i hope they find great homes!


something else exciting: last week the craft blog did a checkin in post on me!  i was so super flattered and happy to be featured like that!  as a result, i’ve sold quite a few skoodlet patterns, so i can’t wait to start seeing some finished ones pop up on ravelry!!

on a side note, i mentioned in that craft post about my threadbanger weekly roundups, but i just wanted to link again here – i’ve been doing a lot of knit/crochet pattern roundups lately, like my 3-part hat posts.  part 1 was fitted styles, 2 was beret/slouchy designs, and 3 was different kinds of hats that don’t fit into either of those 2 categories (like bonnets, hoods, pointy shapes, ears, etc).  then today i did a massive scarflet/cowl roundup!


in portland news, i’m going to be at the twisted table with star at the lantern moon event next thursday.  i’m still not sure what i’ll be doing there, but it should be fun!  star, by the way, is my good friend who happens to be an amazing knitting superstar (but is one of the nicest people i’ve ever known!)  – check out who she is going to be teaching side by side with at the sock summit in august!  if you come to the event make sure you say hi to us!

Filed under: portland stuff,random stuff,threadbanger,yarn — leethal @ 8:28 pm

February 18, 2009

new leethal pattern: skoodlet!

my bulky skoodlet my bulky skoodlet

it’s here!  i got super consumed with getting this pattern done and released as quickly as i possibly could while it’s still cold, and here it is! about three weeks after first sketching out the concept, and many sections frogged and redesigned throughout the process.  it’s my first pattern i’ve ever had test knit – thank you soooo much to my test knitters!! especially adrienne, casey, anna, queta, and oliviaupdate: and i don’t know how the heck i forgot about vivian! thanks vivian!! and extra thanks to casey for helping me choose the name!  skoodlet, of course, is a combination of scarflet and hood, yay!

my rainbowy skoodlet my bulky skoodlet

the reason i needed to have it test knit is that i wrote the pattern so you can use any yarn/needles/gauge!  there are a bunch of variables that you determine based on your gauge, which you plug into the pattern, and there you go!  so my examples that you see here are knit with super bulky (two strands of malabrigo chunky held together) and size 19 needles, and with recycled worsted shetland and size 9 needles.  it was test knit with all different weights/sizes and it works!  the default size is adult medium, as seen here, but there are notes throughout the pattern for resizing it bigger or smaller.

my bulky skoodlet my rainbowy skoodlet

so this design started when i wanted to do something fun with my sleeve dyed yarn (which i wrote about here) and i envisioned some kind of hood with a scarflet, which i figured i could find a pattern for… well, i couldn’t find just what i wanted, so i designed it myself!  some patterns with shapes and ideas that definitely influenced and inspired my design were cosy’s pixie hood and her flutter neck scarf (in her book), as well as the spincycle third wave harf by kate burge and rachel price in intertwined.  my hood is constructed differently from most (or all) that i’ve seen though – it’s knit from side to side for the top part, with a provisional cast-on, then down from side-side to the neck…  you can kind of see how it’s worked by looking at the hand-dyed one:

my rainbowy skoodlet my rainbowy skoodlet

this one, because it was my first try at the design, ended up being too big, and i redid the scarflet part like 4 times i think, finally frogging it one last time and following the pattern once i finalized it.  so, if you’re knitting the pattern and think 8 inches for the hood seems too small, keep in mind that this rainbowy hood is 10 inches, which turned out ridiculously big!  but that means i can wear it over a hat or earmuffs no problem, like this:

my rainbowy skoodlet

ok, onto pattern info details and links and stuff…

you’ll need:

-enough yarn of your choice (yardage will depend on the weight – for worsted it’s approximately 200-250 yards and for super bulky around 150 yards)
-1 pair straight needles sized for your yarn
-1 circular needle of the same size 24″ or longer
-4 stitch markers (preferably 4 different colors) (you may want to use more markers)
-yarn/tapestry needle
-also helpful will be one much smaller straight needle
-a ruler or gauge checking tool

and these are techniques in the pattern, with links to tutorials with photos.  there are written instructions in the pdf, but if you need some visual help, here you go!

-figure-8 style provisional cast-on method, which is like this one on knitty but with a circular needle instead of scrap yarn, or like the figure-8 cast-on on hello yarn but you leave the second side on the circular needle instead of knitting in the round
-knitting on cast-on method (knitty tutorial)
-open eyelet buttonhole how-to on knit world
-sew a vertical seam on stockinette stitch how-to on knit simple
-k2tog (knit 2 together) and ssk (slip 2 stitches as if to knit, then knit those 2 stitches together) decreases
-make 1 increase how-to on the purl bee
-how to wrap short rows on the purl bee


that’s how it looks after binding off, before seaming and buttons… oh and by the way, that yellow stripe was just switching to a new yarn for the bind off row, because my yarn ran out during that last row, which ended up being a good thing because i love the yellow stripe! yay!

my bulky skoodlet my bulky skoodlet

the pattern pdf is 6 pages jam-packed with text and some photos – designed so that you should only have to print out the two black-ink-only pattern pages, and can read the rest on your screen to save ink+paper.  there are notes for resizing, technique how-tos, a modification for a shorter neck back if you want, and the pattern is spaced out with plenty of room to fill in all your numbers for your specific gauge.

the pdf is $5.50 and you can find in here on ravelry, or you can buy it by clicking this link! thanks!

Filed under: hats,knitting — leethal @ 2:49 pm

February 16, 2009

flared hat pattern: for sale now with proceeds to outside in!

mustard floppy flared hat flaredhat3.jpg

whoa 3 posts in 3 days, so unlike me!  i meant to get this out here sooner, but here it is now… this pattern was originally part of the yay, you voted! pdf giveaway, which is over now, so since i wrote the pattern up for that purpose, i wanted to use the pattern for good instead of for profit.  (not that me getting paid isn’t good, because food and a place to live are good, but you know what i mean.)

mustard floppy flared hat

so i made a more detailed pdf for this flared hat pattern, with specific instructions for a floppy version, like the mustard hat you see here, and now it’s for sale for $3 with 100% of proceeds going to outside in here in portland!  from their site:

Outside In is a social service agency dedicated to serving low-income adults and homeless youth. It began in 1968, and has continually revised services to meet changing client needs. Current programs include a community health clinic, a homeless youth program designed to help homeless youth obtain independent living, and risk education.

the way i’m planning to do it is every month or few months, depending on how many sell, i’ll add up the total for that period of time and donate it in a chunk, instead of giving each individual $3 at the time of the sale.  just so you know.  if this whole thing goes well, i plan to do more patterns like this in the future, for other organizations.  for this first one, i wanted to keep it local in my community, but if you don’t live in portland you can still feel good helping because it’s a great place to support!

flaredhat2.jpg mustard floppy flared hat

also, i encourage using this pattern for charity knitting – it’s a super quick and easy knit, so if you wanted to make some hats to give away, you could whip up a few of these in no time!  you can’t use it for commercial purposes, but feel free to use it either to give hats to charities, or to sell with profits going to charities. yeah!

so here’s the ravelry link, where you can buy it/queue it/etc, or you can buy it by clicking this link.

Filed under: hats,knitting,portland stuff — leethal @ 4:12 pm

February 15, 2009

buildup post: bingo, hair, bday, astoria, film…

it’s been a super eventful week, and i have lots to share, so i’m gonna shove most of it into this post, and i’ll try to keep each thing brief so it doesn’t drag on too long…

bad movie bingo!

first of all – bad movie bingo has an official website!  when i first posted about our game i had planned to just have it for sale through pete’s site, but then on monday i impulsively bought badmoviebingo.net and badmoviebingogame.com and built the site!  it’s simple, but i think it does the job.  and the list of recommended movies will keep on growing!

this week was our annual week of fun, or something – our 4 year anniversary was monday, then my birthday was wednesday, and then v-day yesterday… so we always try to do lots of fun stuff or go somewhere, and this year was great!  pete’s “weekend” is always wednesday/thursday so we got to hang out around portland all day on my bday and then we took a day trip to astoria on thursday!  but, i’m getting ahead of myself, back to monday… besides building that website, i also did this:

hairdyeing1 hairdyeing2
hairdyeing4 hairdyeing5

resulting in:

myhair1 myhair2

except not quite… the color in those photos is exactly what i was going for, but in real life (or in most lighting conditions) it’s hot pink.  oh well.  i get lots of stares from kids and babies, and the kitten loves it.  next time i’ll go a shade darker and hopefully it’ll turn out how it looks in those photos.  but i’m having fun with it!  not what i wanted, but i did want something new and different, and that’s what i got!  oh and, there’s another sneak peek in those pictures at the knitting pattern i’ll be releasing in a few days!

so then, on my bday, we had a great day – cricket cafe for breakfast (i highly recommend my favorite breakfast ever from there: hash browns topped with veggie sausage, veggie gravy and olives+mushrooms or your favorite veggies/etc) and then we saw coraline 3d!  so great!  amazing art!  i’m so glad we had the chance to see it in 3d!  then there was some good thrift store shopping and zine shopping at microcosm.  and then we met up with a bunch of rad friends for (tofu) hot dogs and trivia at zach’s!  want some linkage?  thanks homero+david, caitlin, elif, vivian, emily, and all our blogless friends (kate, woods, simon, patrick…) – and we missed you star!!  it was a great bday, filled with fun times, good friends, yummy junk food, and cheap beer!

astoria46 astoria19

next: astoria! on thursday we finally drove out to the (almost) coast for the first time!  we mostly just walked around and i took tonnnns of photos (see the 60ish digitals i’ve put on flickr here), and we stopped into a bookstore where i found an awesome natural dyeing book from ’83 for only $4!  and we ate some super delicious mac n cheese at a rad little coffeeshop with stumptown coffee!


and we walked all over the place and i took photos…

astoria09 astoria07

astoria36 astoria34

astoria29 astoria23

astoria44 astoria43

and then when we couldn’t walk anymore we went to the fort george brewery and pete got me a stout sampler (feb is stout month!) and we got to hang out with shannon and opal, that was fun!  then we invented a new game: speed scrabble! no rules, no points, just fast.  we created new and exciting words like nuntv (a cable channel with nothing but nuns) and kantcore (super into the philosopher kant).

astoria49 astoria57

so then another cool thing about the day was that i shot some film! i hadn’t done that in so long!  i shot a few polaroids, nothing worth showing, and partial rolls of 35mm b+w in my canonet and 120 color in my holga.  so i have a question for portlanders… anyone know of a photo lab (preferably in southeast) that develops medium format film?  ideally, i’d love to find a lab that’s not crazy good quality (and therefore expensive) but that does medium format c-41 for cheap-ish, and if it also sells b+w developing chemicals that would be fantastic.  so that’s another question, anyone know a place i can get photo chemisty in portland (east side)?  once i find all these things, hopefully i’ll start shooting more film again!

oh and lastly, i’ve been playing around with stop motion a little!  i got myself a wireless remote for my d80 and i did some fun experimenting the other day, but it’s not ready to share yet.  i will show you this little video i made of the river waves on the astoria coast:

Filed under: lots of links,personal,photos,portland stuff — leethal @ 1:22 pm

February 14, 2009

mix it up!

roll around and laugh with me roll around and laugh with me

i have all kinds of fun stuff to post about, but i wanted to put it all on hold for now because valentines day has inspired me to post about my love of mixes!  i haven’t made one in awhile (my last one was a year and a half ago) because i haven’t been listening to much new music lately.  listening to mostly the same music as i was years ago means i’m not too inspired to make new mixes because they’ll have the same stuff as the old ones… but anyway, back in college and the year or two after, i didn’t do much crafting yet, but i was hardcore into crafting mixes! ha!

autumn comes... autumn comes...

so i’m showing you some of my favorites old ones i’ve made, because if you’re gonna make a mix, v-day is a great occasion to inspire one!  whether you make a sappy love mix, an angry anti-love mix, or a sad crying mix, i think mixes are a great way to express yourself and can make you feel better if you need it.

this is not my tune this is not my tune

i used to make mixes for gifts for individual people (like this one and this one), as well as general mixes to give out to all my friends.  every winter i’d make a mix for everyone, and for a couple years i organized these big mix swaps where you’d send mixes to all 20+ people, and you’d get one from each of them in return, it was awesome!  that one above – autumn comes and all of the sudden it’s gone – was for one of those swaps.

moving to portland mix cover moving to portland mix tracks

i am really proud of my moving to portland mix (above) that tells a whole story – i put so much work into it!  it starts out with being a californian, then wanting to leave california, looking for a place to move, saying bye to california, coming to portland, finding a home together, being in the portland rain, and being hopeful about our future together in portland.  yeah.

and then there’s the i love you 2 disc mix i made for pete for v-day a couple years ago (below).  there’s a hidden track on that one too – the last track on the second disc is phil collins’ a groovy kind of love.  my favorite parts are tracks 2 (when a woman loves a man and when a man loves a woman) and tracks 19 (love will tear us apart and love will keep us together)…

v-day mix (vol. 1+2)

and then there was my leethal mix that i used to give out with orders back in the early days when i first started selling stuff…  i still love love love this mix!

leethal vol1

(click on any of these track list pictures and click “all sizes” to read the tracks if you want to.)  that mix at the top was the first one i made for pete, then i made another one that i can’t find the artwork for, and an 80’s mix also – i found the track lists for both in a super old livejournal blog post.  pete has made some great ones for me too, but without artwork, so i’ll end this valentines post with the card pete made for me for v-day ’05, which also happened to be our second date! that’s the day i knew i was smitten…

pete's card pete's collage

by the way, the specific thing that inspired me to write this v-day post was listening to the all songs considered postcast on lesser-known love songs.  i was so so happy when carrie brownstein played the magnetic fields’ the book of love!  and there were some really funny quotes in the podcast, like “i feel like i’m the only one who came to the party and thought it was a costume party” and “i don’t think i’ve ever heard this song while not rollerskating backwards.”  and i’ve had harry nilsson’s without you stuck in my head for hours… but, in a good way.

Filed under: music,personal — leethal @ 4:51 pm

February 8, 2009

Craft: 10!

mitts times three

check it out!!

craft: contributors page craft: fingerless mitts

for manymany years i’ve dreamt of someday being on the contributors page of one of my favorite magazines… i still can’t believe i’m there! and to be on that page in a magazine with amy sedaris on the cover! truly unbelievable! in college i thought my career would be photography, and i was way into music photography, so i dreamed that someday i’d be a music magazine contributor. so i think it’s funny and cool how i’ve gone down such a different path, but still so similar. anyway, i did a three part project with two different kinds of recycled sock mitts, and one knitting pattern for these:

knit mitts knit gradient mitts

(the pattern is rav’d if you want to queue it!) it’s a crazy simple pattern – my thoughts about knitting in craft magazine is that, well, it’s not a knitting magazine, and i think probably a ton of craft readers know how to do a knit stitch, but are not hardcore knitters, might not be able or wanting to follow complex patterns, etc. so i wanted to write a pattern that anyone who knows how to make a knit stitch and is willing to try using double pointed needles (they’re not hard, you can do it!) can make. it’s really meant to be a knitting pattern for non-knitters. i hope you like it!

multi-sock mitts no-sew sock mitts multi-sock mitts

(it started raining during our photo shoot!) and then there are plain no-sew sock mitts (like the ones i did for my zine reading at the library) and multi-sock mitts, which are both in my zine (but with much less detailed how-tos). i think it’s really funny that they used that little illustration i made – i did not make it with the intention of it being printed!! hopefully that doesn’t reflect on my artistic ability in any way…

craft: fingerless sock mitts

and as for the rest of the magazine… freakin great issue!! so first of all, amy sedaris, love her! i was almost jumping around my living room with excitement when i first read she was going to be on the cover! and then there are a ton of great projects – well, there always are in every issue of craft! the recycle it is for glasses lenses… i had seen something like that on a blog somewhere and thought it was brilliant, so i was excited to see it here. i especially looove the camera example!

craft: recycle it craft: mixtape

and then there’s mixtapes! i am a long time mix lover, starting way back with cassette tapes in junior high and high school, and then in my college years i got obsessive about my mix cds.  i started to write more here but then i decided to save it all for a future mixtape blog post instead of cramming it in here…  but yeah, the writer of the mixtapes piece is right above me on the contributors page and she seems superrad! yay mixes!

craft: bitters

diane has a how-to for making bitters, so cool! i’ve been wanting to try out using bitters in mix drinks since diane started tweeting about it awhile back… so i don’t know if i’ll be making my own anytime soon, but it’s cool to know that i can!

craft: fingerless knit mitts

and then the guitar bag next to my knitting pattern is super awesome!  love it!!  just a great issue!  so, if you have a subscription, you’ve probably already gotten yours, and if not, it’ll be hitting newsstands on tuesday.  but you should subscribe!  it’s such an amazing magazine – it was my favorite long before i ever contributed!!

i suck for going so long between posts… in the last week i’ve gotten obsessive about this knitting pattern i’m working on, and then also working on another pattern, and doing blog posts for craftstylish and threadbanger (check out my knit/crochet hat roundups), so blogging here has been suffering.  but, i plan to release both patterns very soon (hoping for one tomorrow or tuesday, and the other next tuesday).  here are some super cropped sneak peeks:

cropped mystery knit cropped mystery knit

and then i do have a list of blog posts planned, it’s just finding the time to write them that’s a problem… i want to do a mixtape post now, and then there are a couple books i want to review, and a couple posts related to craftstylish tutorials i’ve done… is there anything particular you want me to post about? well, i’ll leave you with a couple recent finished knit items… the handspun bonnet that i mentioned i was knitting a couple weeks ago:

bonnet06 bonnet05

and more of the mystery pattern concept that i showed you with the orange hat. (not one of the soon-to-be-released patterns, this is a whole different thing):

msclcabledhat01 mscl lace hat

Filed under: general crafts,hats,knitting,music — leethal @ 4:26 pm
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