March 31, 2009

a couple tutorials

quicky post before my friend gets into town… just want to show you the last couple of tutorials i did for craftstylish.  my last button post was a super fun, kid-friendly project – pipe cleaner button displays!

pipe cleaner button sculpture! pipe cleaner button sculpture!

as i said in the post, this is a craft project to bring out your inner-child-crafter. I felt like I was rediscovering what it was like to make things for fun as a little kid, with nothing but the simple bendy pipe cleaners, a pile of buttons, and my own imagination!

pipe cleaner button sculpture! pipe cleaner button sculpture!

i made 4 different versions while playing around with this project, and had a really fun time doing it!  hope you try it and have fun too!

pipe cleaner button sculpture! pipe cleaner button sculpture!

and then today’s post blends the button theme with the new crafting green theme – recycled cotton art yarn, with buttons and beads spun in!

recycled cotton art yarn recycled cotton art yarn

you can also do the project with wool (or other fibers) instead of cotton, like this yarn i made awhile back, which became this hat (rav link)…

recycled wool art yarn

this is a great spinning project if you just want to get used to using a spindle or wheel before making actual handspun. if you are already a spinner, this will be super easy, since all you’re doing is twisting recycled yarn, so it’s a good relaxing kind of project while watching a movie/tv. if you have never done any spinning, and you have access to a wheel (a friend’s or a local yarn store’s perhaps) then this would be a good way to see if you like it…

recycled cotton art yarn

i can’t wait to knit up this yarn and see how it looks! i love it!!

recycled cotton art yarn

and, because i have a feeling this week is going to fly by and i won’t be posting again till it’s over – don’t forget handmade nation this weekend! they just added a third screening on sunday!  i’m so so so excited about the whole crafty weekend!  hope to see you there!

Filed under: craftstylish,portland stuff,tutorials,yarn — leethal @ 1:51 pm

March 28, 2009

free 35mm film stitch pattern!

35mm film strip cuff

so you know how when i discovered short rows and started designing with them, i went a little crazy with the concept (and i continue to use them frequently in my designs)?  i have a feeling the same kind of thing might happen with slip stitch knitting!  it’s not like i didn’t know the technique existed before – i’d been familiar with patterns like star’s band cuffs, but i had never actually knit a pattern using slip stitch colorwork.  when i bought ysolda’s whimsical little knits pattern set, i was immediately drawn to cairn; i read the pattern and started daydreaming about slip stitch knitting.

35mm film strip cuff

i was eager to try the technique on a small scale, and when this film strip idea popped into my head i got super excited and worked it up as soon as i could find a little time.  i made a wrist warmer cuff thing, with one color film strip, and one black and white strip.  when i told pete about my knit film plan, he’s the one who came up with the idea to embroider photos on to the strips!  genius!!  i’m so lucky to have a creative mind to brainstorm with; the photos really make it work! here it is pre-photos:

blank film cuff blank film cuff

this being a slip stitch pattern means that you never have carry more than one color at a time – the film holes appear like stranded colorwork, but you are actually only working with one color per row.  it’s like magic!  so this is a fabulous beginner knitter pattern – you basically just need to know how to knit and purl.  when the pattern says to slip a stitch, you just move the next stitch from the left needle to the right without knitting into it.

35mm film strip cuff

i designed the pattern in the round, and it definitely will work best that way.  i rewrote a second version to be worked flat, but the yarn will have to be cut several times throughout the repeats, which means lots of ends to weave in (no fun!).  so i recommend knitting this pattern in the round if you can.  i think it would be awesome in a hat (someday i’ll make one!!) and i’m sure sock knitters could do great things with it!  you could totally make fingerless mitts by knitting wrist warmer parts the same as mine, then adding hand/thumb parts at the top.  i can’t wait to see what you do with it!

35mm film strip cuff

for my cuff i used worsted weight yarn, size 8 needles, and cast on 28 stitches, but i’ve been told i have tiny wrists, so you might want to cast on more stitches if you are making a cuff.

with 9 rows between the slip stitch rows, the film strips are not quite to scale – it would be more accurate with more rows (maybe 12 or 13, just guessing), but that would also make it bigger, obviously.  i think it would be awesome to use much smaller yarn and needles and make the film strips actual size!  you’d need a gauge of 11 stitches per inch, so the film holes would be exactly the same width apart as in real film.  as for the number of rows between slip stitch rows to be accurate, i couldn’t tell you, but real film is just a fraction under 1 inch between holes, so go by that.

35mm film strip cuff 35mm film strip cuff

i think that’s everything you need to know, so here’s the pattern!


p = purl
k = knit
sl = slip

C1 = color 1, the yarn between film strips
C2 = color 2, film strip yarn

in the round pattern:

C1: cast-on an even number of stitches, join around, purl 1 round.
knit 1 round.
purl 1 round.
knit 1 round.

C2: knit 2 rounds.

C1: [k1, sl1] repeat 1 round.

C2: knit around 9 rounds.

C1: [k1, sl1] repeat 1 round.

C2: knit 2 rounds.

C1: knit 1 round.
purl 1 round.
knit 1 round.
purl 1 round.
knit 1 round.

C2: knit 2 rounds.

C1: [sl1, k1] repeat 1 round.

C2: knit around 9 rounds.

C1: [sl1, k1] repeat 1 round.

C2: knit 2 rounds.

C1: knit 1 round.
purl 1 round.
knit 1 round.
purl 1 round.
knit 1 round.

repeat pattern from *

if you’re making a wrist warmer like mine, then turn that last knit row into a bind-off.

flat pattern (not tested):

C1: cast-on an even number of stitches, knit 4 rows.

C2: knit 1 row.
purl 1 row.

C1: [k1, sl1] repeat across row.

C2 (break yarn to work from other side): work in stockinette st for 9 rows (first row will be purl, then knit…).

C1 (break yarn to work from other side): [k1, sl1] repeat across row.

C2 (break yarn to work from other side): purl 1 row.
knit 1 row.

C1: knit 5 rows.

C2: knit 1 row.
purl 1 row.

C1: [sl1, k1] repeat across row.

C2 (break yarn to work from other side): work in stockinette st for 9 rows (first row will be purl, then knit…)

C1 (break yarn to work from other side): [sl1, k1] repeat across row.

C2 (break yarn to work from other side): purl 1 row.
knit 1 row.

C1: knit 5 rows

repeat pattern from *

ok i’d love any feedback you might have – especially if anyone tries the knit flat version, let me know if there are any mistakes, if it works, etc.  oh and as for the photo embellishments – i just did some improvised stitching with embroidery floss, but you could also embroider pictures with yarn, or try little appliqués!  it would be super crazy cool to print little photos onto fabric and stitch them on!

35mm film strip cuff

if you use this pattern, please post pictures in the leethal flickr group!  (and you can help support me by checking out my other patterns! thanks!) since this is just a stitch pattern, i’m not planning to make a pdf, but let me know if you really want it in pdf form and maybe i’ll make one.  enjoy!!

Filed under: knitting,tutorials — leethal @ 12:52 am

March 27, 2009

stuff dump – buttons and knitting

hi! it’s been quite a busy week around here! i just wanted to post a bunch of randomness to keep updated around here… so first of all, my button post for last week on craftstylish was 3 different scarf remake projects – making boring fringed scarves into different styles of buttoning scarflets…

scarf button recon project

scarf button recon project scarf button recon project scarf button recon project

i scored with some supersweet vintage buttons lately!  this whole stash came from scrap and a cool vintage stuff store on hawthorne and 14thish…

vintage buttons!

i love the woven fabric ones!!

vintage buttons! vintage buttons!

susan’s powell’s event was fun – i made a super cute button hair clip!  i’m excited about the bolt event tomorrow – hope to see you there!!

makinghairclips4 clips

and it’s always cool to see projects from the book in person!

bookprojects10 bookprojects1

bookprojects6 bookprojects2

i haven’t showed you much knitting lately… here are a couple recent hats i’ve finished which are part of the mystery project i showed other sneak peeks of here and here (at the bottom)…

bob newhart cables hat bob newhart cables hat

experimental houses hat experimental houses hat

my old bff from college in san diego is coming to visit next week, then it’s handmade nation weekend (#craftgasm for those of you on twitter!) so i’ve been trying to get all caught up on deadlines and stuff for the next week+.  i think i’m doing ok, but as always there’s tons of stuff i want to try to fit in and no time.  but i did somehow manage to squeeze in a little knit stitch design, which i hope to post later tonight or tomorrow…

blank film cuff

Filed under: craftstylish,hats,knitting,portland stuff — leethal @ 8:19 pm

March 19, 2009

if you’re in portland, crafty good times for you!

hey portlanders, aren’t you glad you live here?!  so many exciting crafty events coming up!!  first of all, susan is doing 2 events for button it up – first one tomorrow (or today, depending on when you’re reading this) and another next week…

button invite

i went to susan’s bead simple event at powell’s last year and it got me super into beading!  so i can’t wait to dig through her button stash tomorrow and make myself some fun hair clips! (especially since my bangs are growing out and getting in my face lately, so i’ll use the clips for sure!)  if you’re not in portland, susan has a page with a list of all button it up events – so far they’re in the bay area, la, and seattle.


then the next super exciting portland event is the premiere of handmade nation at the museum of contemporary craft!!  it’s friday april 3rd, and saturday the 4th, and you should buy tickets soon because i’m sure they’ll all be sold out before the shows.  susan has the inside scoop and told us that there will be a q+a on friday, and then a free panel discussion after the saturday screening; so i’m planning to be at the friday show, then come back again saturday for the discussion.  can’t wait!!

buttonshirt1 buttonshirt2

and in other fun crafty news, i was at goodwill today and this shirt jumped out at me for obvious reasons!  turns out it’s by costume designer bob mackie, pretty cool!  so i know what i’ll be wearing to the button it up event tomorrow!!

8/21 him

and hey, since i’m posting about portland events here, i’ll let you know that my man pete is doing his first trivia night at a new venue next week!  it’s happening at airplay cafe on east burnside on thursday at 7pm, and there will be beer specials and food prizes for the winning teams.  airplay is much bigger than zach’s shack (his usual trivia venue) and there’s even a stage!  so come eat, drink, watch pete’s silly stage persona, and show off your trivial knowledge!  if you’ve ever thought it might be fun to go to a trivia night, this would be a great one to check out, since it’s his first time trying out the venue – if it goes well and there’s a good turnout he’s hoping to make it a regular (weekly?) thing!

Filed under: books,clothing,general crafts,personal,portland stuff — leethal @ 10:45 pm

March 16, 2009

yay button month!

i had been excited about susan beal‘s new book, button it up, since she was writing it, and now it’s out and my review over on the threadbanger blog just went up!  to celebrate the buttony goodness of the book, craftstylish has been having button month all march!  so many fun projects!  i was already totally addicted to vintage button collecting, and now that i’m going through my stash at lightning speed with my projects, i’m feeling obsessive about shopping for more!  i need to happen upon a jar full of em at a thrift store or garage sale, that would be freakin awesome!


so, my first project for the month was a free knitting pattern for this buttony chevron cuff! combining two loves (knitting and vintage buttons) is the best! the pattern is written to work for any needles/yarn and you can choose your cuff width. (ravelry link)

02bothdone 10cottoncuff

next was one of my most ambitious projects – the gridded button portrait:

gridded button portrait gridded button portrait

can you tell who it’s a portrait of when it’s far away (in the photo below)?

gridded button portrait 08gluing

if you can’t tell, you’ll see over in the tutorial. as i explained on craftstylish, i was really into chuck close in college and i did a couple different self portraits inspired by his style (this one with markers and this painting). i was excited to try this gridded concept with buttons, and i think it worked out fantastically! someday if i happened upon a massive stash of vintage buttons, i might do a bigger one, like a whole door or something!

vintage fabric+button wall art

and then last week’s post was how to make wall art with vintage fabric and buttons. i love showing off bits of cool fabric as wall art, and i think adding some vintage buttons to the mix turns it into something special!  the green one is my personal favorite:

vintage fabric+button wall art vintage fabric+button wall art

but i like them all! now i want to make a bunch more and fill up the whole wall!!

vintage fabric+button wall art vintage fabric+button wall art

so you should totally check out all the button projects over there, but a few of my favorites are susan’s shrink art buttons, linda’s woven button coaster, erika’s beautiful button pillow, and diane’s singleton buttons.  i still have 3 more button projects coming up, and i’m sure everyone else will have more great ones, so keep checking back!

button it up!

and now for some buttontastic eye candy from susan’s book! here are a couple of my favorite projects:

button it up! button it up!

and you know how i love cuffs!

button it up!

(check out my threadbanger review for a few more pictures)

March 15, 2009

i’m on cut out + keep!

well i still can’t believe they asked me to do this, but i’m the latest crafty superstar over on cut out + keep (along with crafters like jennifer perkins and natalie zee drieu)!  all my projects over there are originally from either here on do stuff! or craftstylish; an assortment of five different types of crafty tutorials (knitting, sewing, printing).  the projects got added one at a time throughout the last week… here is a screen shot i took when i noticed the rotating bubble on top said my name!

cut out+keep superstar

ok i feel weird talking about myself so much like this, so moving on…. there are a bunch of crafty superstars i wasn’t familiar with before, with some awesome projects! check out joan of dark’s decode hat (i love that the bobbles are randomly placed!), katie marcus’s deep v top, lady wurlitzer’s carrier tidy, and i remember loving this record album mail organizer the first time i saw it on sarah mccoll’s blog.  good stuff!

if you are new to my blog, coming from cut out + keep, or anywhere else, welcome!  i’m sorry i’m terrible at replying to comments, but i want everyone to know that i read and appreciate every single comment i get (here, via email, via ravelry, etc), so if you don’t hear back from me, know that i really do thank your for your feedback!

one extra thing, since this is such a short post… i just want to say how much i love twitter!  in the last few days, i’ve gotten help with finding an accountant for taxes, advice on making quiche, tons of links to great things (a constant flow, always), many laughs, motivation and inspiration from all the awesome people (tweeple?) i follow!  if you don’t tweet and you’re curious about it, i definitely recommend giving it a try.  it’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely for me!!  (and, by the way, i’m just getting set up with tweetdeck, so now i’m able to follow a whole lot more people!  until now, i’ve had to keep my follow list super minimal in order to realistically keep up with everyone…)  yay twitter!

Filed under: general crafts,lots of links,random stuff,tutorials — leethal @ 9:21 pm

March 13, 2009

leethal flickr group!

well this day has been silly.  i’ve actually written two blog posts today completely, both of which are saved as drafts and probably won’t get posted till next week.  both posts rely on things on other sites that i thought were going up today, but both didn’t ever go up, so everything’s on hold till they do… oh well, not a big deal. so, since i wanted to post something today, i bring you this super belated filckr group post…

hand-dyed vortex

awhile ago i created a group on flickr for all things leethal! i’ve kind of kept forgetting to let you know it exists, so there aren’t many photos in the pool that aren’t mine, but i’d really love more photos to be added! it’s meant for anything that i made or designed, including things made based on tutorials i’ve written for other blogs (like craftstylish), etc.


as for knit stuff, ravelry is of course the best thing ever, and knitters can see tons of examples of my patterns over there, so i would love for the flickr group to have lots of stuff besides knitting. of course, feel free to add photos of your leethal knits, but please add 1 or 2 photos of a single item only, and more shots can always be seen on ravelry.


so, just to cover all areas, photos you add to the group could include you wearing/using an item made my me, something you made with yarn that i spun/dyed, anything you made using a tutorial or pattern that i wrote. i’d really love to see photos of people wearing hats/shirts/scarflets/anything else that i made! i put so much energy into the things i sell in my shop, and usually i never see them out in their new homes, and i always wonder how they are doing!


wow this whole thing feels really narcissistic, sorry about that. i think that’s the reason i’ve put off telling you about the group for months… i just really love being able to see everyone’s leethal knits on ravelry, so i wanted to create a way to be able to see other things besides knits. and when i think about it, it’s not for self-obsessed reasons, it’s because i love seeing all of your creative ways of looking at my patterns! my favorite versions of knits based on my designs are the ones that hardly even look like my versions because the maker’s creative energy has made it into something all its own! so, with all these tutorials i’ve been writing on this blog and others, i’m guessing there are some amazing creations out there made by awesomely artistic blog readers, and i’d love to see them! so, thank you for indulging me with this whole flickr group thing, and thanks for any images you can add to the pool!

Filed under: kit creations,random stuff — leethal @ 10:29 pm

March 7, 2009

catching up… 2 things now

well this post was supposed to happen on monday, but i woke up monday morning with a horrible cold – i’ve been sick more in the last few months than any other winter, no good!  i was couch-ridden through wednesday, then thursday and yesterday were spent slowly catching up on work that should have been done early in the week… still not all the way healthy, and still not caught up, but i’m getting there.


so, i just wanted to show you my craftstylish project posts for february, since i didn’t show you as they went up… february was pet month, so my projects were all kitty related!  the first one being the heatable catnip blanket, inspired by kristin roach’s heatable catnip pillow.

(no)banzo03 (no)banzo07

then next was a how-to for the kitty castle and scratching post that i showed photos of here awhile back…

cat castle tubepost04 banzo on her castle

then i made a litter rug from a towel:

(2)08 (top)09

and last, i ran out of ideas for the cat herself, so i showed you how to make a kitty hat! with ideas for other ways of embellishing the face too…

(no)doneon3 (top)doneon2

(no)doneon1 teethversion

some of my favorite february pet projects by other bloggers included kayte terry’s supercute mouse toy, cal patch’s recycled sweater pet bed, and diane gilleland’s awesome collapsible travel dish!!

so that’s what was meant to go up last weekend. i have other stuff to share, later, but for now i’ll leave you with newer news. i had my first online video appearance yesterday, on the threadbanger podcast! simple project (felted pullover to cardigan) – heather mann and i worked together to do a couple video tutorials a little while ago, and this is the first to get released. heather’s is rad, so hopefully they’ll put that one in a podcast soon!  if this embedded video doesn’t work, go here, or it’s also on youtube.

as is normal, i kind of hate how i look in the video, but eh, i think the tutorial turned out well, so that’s the important thing.  i think if we ever end up doing more of these i’ll get more comfortable in front of the camera and i won’t be so awkward.  apparently my camera-awkwardness could be interpreted in other ways, since someone on youtube commented Lee Meredith is so high in the video! lol!  haha.

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