November 29, 2009

New pattern and kits: Double Scoops!

earmuffs10 headband08

It’s my new leethal pattern and kits!!  Woooo!  This one has been a seriously long time in the making, so I’m super exciting for it to be released for all to see!!  Double Scoops is a dual-purpose pattern for either ice cream earmuffs or a headband – and for the custom kits you can choose from 16 different hand-dyed ice cream flavor yarns!  (check out all the flavors on the kits page)  The pattern pdf is available on its own for $4 (through my shop or ravelry), and kits range in price depending on the specifics – online kit orders include a copy of the pdf as well.

earmuffs11 kit01

The earmuffs are made with two 2 scoop cones – mine are pistachio, vanilla covered in extreme sprinkles, black cherry chocolate cheesecake, and spumoni!

earmuffs08 earmuffs12

These ties are twisted, and the top piece is braided.  And the lining is my handspun 100% alpaca! So warm and cozy!

alpaca lining earmuffs03

The headband is two 3 scoop cones connected at the top – mine are orange cream, rainbow sherbet, vanilla with chocolate fudge, rocky road, neapolitan, and strawberry:

headband15 headband09

The ties here are braided, and the lining is the gray-blue 100% cotton:

headband13 headband16

So, you want some back story?  Way back in I think early summer of 2008, my buddy Amber asked if I could custom knit her some ice cream cone earmuffs, to proclaim her love of ice cream to the world all winter long.  What a genius idea – thanks so much to Amber for that original concept!!  So it got me brainstorming about custom dyeing yarn for her cones, which then got me thinking about turning the whole concept into kits!  Well I made her pair, which turned out ok, but not quite how I’d envisioned them… I tried putting cables in the tops to look like soft-serve swirls, but that was kind of a fail.  And I used seed stitch for the cones, which did not look like waffle cone texture. And I crocheted the back lining on around the outside, making an outline and further distorting the ice cream shapes.

ice cream earmuffs ice cream earmuffs on me

I put the project up on ravelry, and got almost no response, so I got a bit discouraged and put the whole idea on hold while I pursued other designs.  Well a couple of months ago I decided to pick it back up, do some redesigning, and get it out to you by the holiday season.  That process started with a big batch of 8 ice cream dyed yarns!  So fun!

Ice Cream Yarn! Ice Cream Yarn!

My initial redesign included Barbara Walker’s Long-Slip Textured Pattern for the cones, and rounded tops.  After finishing the earmuff pieces, I brainstormed up the headband idea – adding one extra scoop to each and joining them at the tops.  (The flavors you see below are, left to right: lighter rainbow sherbet, berry chocolate swirl, mint chip, mocha fudge, spumoni, orange cream, blueberry cheesecake, and raspberry.)

firsttryearmuffs01 firsttryheadband08

So I made a complete headband, with merino/angora/cashmere blend lining, crocheted the pieces together, then decided the design wasn’t quite complete.  The final design is basically the same, except with reverse stockinette ridges at the bottoms of each scoop to look more scoop-like, and the top scoops are rounded in more.  Sadly, I like the flavors in this first no-good headband (as well as the fancy lining) much better than my final headband!


And (after a twitter poll) I decided sewing the pieces together is the better way to go, but I still included crochet directions in the pdf in case anyone prefers, which looks like this.  It makes the edges thicker, which you may or may not like…

firsttryheadband04 firsttryheadbandedge

As for the kits, they include scoops of yarn in your choice of ice cream flavors, coffee-dyed wool for the cones, and your choice of back lining yarn, packaged in some kind of clear, recycled container (from Scrap), with the pattern booklet, marked with the custom kit contents on the back.  I have a bunch of these containers pictured below, but they don’t have lids, so I’m not sure how to close them up; today I scored with some tennis ball containers with lids, which are super perfect like they’re made for ice cream knit kits!  But, the thing about keeping my packaging recycled, those will run out and I’ll have to find something new, so packaging is definitely subject to change.

kit04 kit

I’m glad I got this released before December 1st, since a kit would make a fun gift for a knitter, and finished earmuffs or a headband would make a great (relatively quick to make) gift for someone silly like me who would wear such a thing, or for a kid!  As Pearl shows us:

pearl05 pearl02

Links all together in one place for you:  kits are in the shop, the pattern page on, and the ravelry pattern page here.

Filed under: kit creations,knitting,leethal store,yarn — leethal @ 2:58 am

November 25, 2009

November leethal quick knits club!

I’ve been a bit off track for the last week or so, first due to trying to finish a new project that I’d planned to release on Monday, but then due to food poisoning everything got bumped and I’m hoping to finally release it on Friday. And this post was supposed to happen on Sunday, but yeah, here it is – everyone should definitely have their packages by now, except for possibly the few far away international members…


November quick knits club!  The theme was Winter giving…  First, the yarn!  The spun yarn was a wool/mohair/nylon icy blue and white strand, wrapped in white angora/nylon, for a cold as ice, fuzzy-tastic bulky yarn, named Winter Wooskie.  The dyed, Winter A-Go-Go, was lambswool/angora/nylon, dyed shades of green over a bright white base, with white showing through to look like snow on green leaves.

WinterWooskieMiniSkeins WinterA-Go-GoMiniSkeins

And the patterns to match: Winter Leaves and a Wee Gift Bag (rav links).  The cute drawstring bag can be given as wrapping for a special gift, or it can be for the knitter to keep for storing something special (it would be a great way to hold some nice stitch markers with your notions stash!); the leaves can be used however the knitter likes… decoration on a wrapped gift…

Nov quick knits club patterns

turned into tree ornaments or home decoration… or made into a necklace…

Nov quick knits club patterns Winter Leaves necklace

I know the necklace is kinda crazy, but I really like it!  In addition to the necklace how-to, I included a pom pom how-to for anyone interested.  Each club kit included 2 pieces of ribbon, to be used for each pattern – for the bag and necklace – or to be cut into ornament pieces or used any other way.

ribbons ribbons3

Each kit also included a set of 3 yarn photographs, taken by me of yarn that I either spun or dyed or both, to be used for anything, but I included a note with a couple of ideas fitting with the theme.  I gave a link to Alicia Kachmar’s photo ornament how-to on photojojo:


And gave the idea of cutting them into gift tags (yes, that is an awesome “knit” gift bag, I think from the dollar store!):


So, with the 3 photos, you could make 2 ornaments and 4 or 6 gift tags, or 1 ornament and up to 12 tags!  I also included a pair of paper fasteners to be used for one ornament.  Or, of course, the photos could be framed, or used in any kind of photo craft or art project!

photoornamentandtag gifttags3

And lastly, everyone got a copy of my winter mix!  It’s called I wanna be buried in snow, and it’s in a floppy disk sleeve!  I won’t tell you the track list yet (that’s still a secret) but I will tell you that the yarns are both named after songs on the mix.  By the way, the floppy disks all came from Scrap, and the ribbons all came from Knittn’ Kitten!


So here is everything that each member received…


And here it is all made up!  (If you’re wondering how non-members might obtain these patterns, I am planning to release a mini-ebook of the first 4 months of club patterns in February – so at that time, you’ll be able to knit yourself a moustache, superhero mask, back-to-school set, ankle pouch, and everything from this kit.)


The club has gotten some great member feedback so far – Kristin Roach wrote about it on Craft Leftovers, and April blogged about her package on Studio Strategos.  I need to start a feedback section on the club page; if you are a member and you’ve blogged about your package, be sure to let me know so I can link to you!

One last club thing – there’s no December club, but right now you can sign up for January, or for a 3 month subscription Jan-March.  A club membership would make a great gift for knitters – if signing up as a gift, you can let me know and I’ll put the recipient’s email address on the list so they receive the pdf on mail-out day (and of course, put their mailing address in the paypal order).

Now I get back to work on this secret to-be-revealed-on-Friday (hopefully) project… want some hints?  It involves a knitting pattern, and a ton of hand-dyed recycled yarn in very special custom colorways!  Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and enjoy your turkey if you’re into that kind of thing, or your mashed potatoes and vegetarian gravy (yummmmmmm) and stuffing and cranberries and veggies and pie and pie and more pie………..

Filed under: knitting,photos,quick knits,yarn — leethal @ 3:42 am

November 23, 2009

Craft Leftovers giveaway winners and coupon for all!

Well that was a fun giveaway!  I learned that a lot of you have a lot of leftover yarn – you all know about my quick knits links list, right?  It’s a massive list of patterns that use 20 yards or less, so it might be useful to all of you with bits of leftover yarn and nothing to do with it!  Anyway, the winners…

craft leftovers giveway winner

The randomly generated Craft Leftovers Monthly zine winners are Penny and munch!  So I’ll be emailing you two for mailing info.


As for everyone else, I’ve got something for you too!  Kristin has given all of you do stuff! readers a coupon code for Craft Leftovers!  The code is “leethal” and it’s good until December 15th for 20% off your entire order when you get anything from the Craft Leftovers Monthly category.  Awesome! (Pictured are the September CLM zine/kit and the Clutch Duo Kit below)

clutch duo kit

One unrelated thing… I haven’t gotten much of a response for the mix swap I’m trying to organize, and I’m afraid it’s because I scared everyone away with too much information and saying it’s a big commitment.  It’s not really that much work, and it’s super fun, so I’m leaving sign ups open awhile longer until there are some more swappers.  Right now, there are just 8, and I’m hoping to maybe double that, but I don’t think you need to fear ending up with 30 swappers or anything.

Oh and in case you were scared off by how much I wrote about it last time – it’s really not complicated (I just like to write a lot).  You sign up, you make a mix cd, you send it to everyone else, and you receive all of their mixes.  Doesn’t need to be a themed mix, doesn’t need elaborate artwork, just some kind of packaging with a track list.  Awesome, simple, you should do it!

Filed under: contest/giveaway,random stuff — leethal @ 11:19 pm

November 19, 2009

Craft Leftovers Monthly for 2 of you!

You crafty readers are probably already well aware of Craft Leftovers, but for anyone who isn’t, I’m happy to enlighten you! is Kristin Roach’s website, which is focused on projects you can do with materials left over from bigger projects. Ranging from sewing to knit to crochet to embroidery to bookmaking to weaving and much more, you can find the archive of all Kristin’s free projects here.


So, in addition to those free projects on her site and blog, Kristin also has a fabulous zine!  Craft Leftovers Monthly is all about living life creatively.  It’s full of resourceful projects, patterns, and ideas for using what’s on hand.  It turned two years old in August, and is 100% recycled and handmade!  There’s also an optional kit each month that you can order with with the zine, so fun!  And starting with the current issue, the zine format has been upgraded to 5×7, 32 pages, and now with projects by guest designers!

clmboxset02 clm0201

To celebrate the new zine format, Kristin has donated 2 copies of the winter issue for me to give away to two of you!  Awesome!  Just leave a comment here before Monday at 8pm (west coast time), telling us what craft material you have most of in leftovers – for me it’s probably yarn, but I have a ton of fabric scraps too!  I’ll choose 2 zine winners at random, which I’ll post here Monday night – and there might be a little something special for all non-winners too!

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway,self-publishing — leethal @ 10:11 pm

November 18, 2009

Say What?! Some news for Portlanders…

Hey locals! My guy Pete, who has been hosting trivia nights every few weeks for the last year and a half-ish at Zach’s Shack, has gotten a gig doing his own exciting new trivia night regularly at the Radio Room on NE Alberta!! Every 2nd and last Tuesday night, starting next Tuesday, with that awesome name – Wet Hot American Trivia! – and some seriously fabulous prizes, it will be superfun for all!

WHAT flyer

Prizes, I say?  Oh yeah!  Ranging from $10-$30 in restaurant/bar credit (check out their delicious-looking menu!), to all kinds of amazing things we just bought today at Goodwill and Dollar Tree, knowledge knowers will surely be rewarded!  If you’ve been to any of his Zach’s nights, you know he always has a signature audio round (usually music, sometimes movie clips), but WHAT will be taking it up a notch with video rounds!!  I don’t even know what to expect, but I know I’m excited (everything is kept super-secret from me, so I can play)!

Follow WHAT news on facebook here and on myspace here.


And since I’m sharing Portland event news for locals, I think now is a good time to tell you I’ll be selling leethal stuffs this year at the Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Holiday Sale (Dec 13th)!!  It’ll be my first time there, at the huge convention center event, so I’m all kinds of stressed and nervous and super excited about it!! Yay!

scraplogo bazaar_sml-purple-250x198

And, as I’ve done the last 2 years, I’ll also be at the Scrap Holiday Bazaar (Dec 19th)!  Always a fun one, a fantastic store, great people, hope you can all make it!!

Filed under: personal,portland stuff — leethal @ 9:47 pm

November 17, 2009

leethal “recipe” – Spicy Cup of Yum! (plus mix swap idea)


My Threadbanger roundup on Friday was Drinks for Winter Warming, and ever since then I’ve been excited to try some yummy hot drinks.  I thought the White Spiced Coffee on delish sounded so good, but the super crazy time-consuming recipe involves simmering the crushed coffee beans in a saucepan (not up to leethal “recipe” standards!), so I combined some ingredients from that one with a Christmasy Coffee recipe given to me by Diane, with my own additions, and this is what I made (and very much enjoyed)!

I used:

  • 1 big-ish serving worth of ground coffee beans
  • cinnamon
  • ground cloves
  • grated orange peel
  • soy milk (original flavor) (I’m sure regular milk would be good too)
  • honey
  • cinnamon stick (optional)
  • dark rum (also optional)

Make the coffee as you normally would (I use a regular drip coffee maker, but it would be even yummier using a french press I’m sure!) except add some cinnamon, cloves (not much), and orange peel (more) mixed in with the grounds.  If you have a cinnamon stick, then add only a little or no cinnamon, but if not, then add a whole lot of cinnamon with the grounds!  Now pour your spiced coffee into your mug and add milk – as much as you like, or a little more than you’d normally add.  Stir the milk in with your cinnamon stick!  Now stir in some honey, as sweet as you like it!  Last, add some optional rum if you want your yumminess adult-style.  Keep the cinnamon stick in there and it’ll get spicier as you drink it!  Enjoy!  Mmmmmm.

in the morning

So I’ve been thinking about this idea for awhile, and now that’s it’s halfway into November, I think it’s a good time to do something about it… Back in college I organized some Winter mix CD swaps with my fellow radio station DJs and buddies, and I have such fond memories of them that I want to do another one!  So I’m opening it up to anyone who wants it, but be aware, it’s a pretty huge time and effort commitment, so only join up if you want to do it right!  Here’s how it works:

  • Swappers each create an original mix – it can be Winter themed, or not, any genres, no musical requirements, as long as it’s made with mixxy love!  (I spend so many hours on my mixes, it’s ridiculous, but you don’t have to be so crazy like me)
  • Everyone participating makes a copy of their mix for everyone else (20 people swapping = make 19 copies)
  • All mixes include some form of packaging with some kind of artwork which includes the track list
  • Everyone mails their mix to every participant (remember, postage costs $ so this can add up a bit), except for swappers you see in real life, of course
  • So each swapper receives a mix from every participant (20 swappers = you get 19 new mixes! so much music!)

I have no idea how many people there will end up being – it gets to be just too much effort if there are more than about 25 people, so I’m kind of hoping for a low-ish level of interest.  Also, it needs to be restricted to US only, because of postage, sorry everyone else.  But you can organize a swap like this in your own country!

So, right now all I’m doing is putting the idea out there – if you are interested, or might be interested, email me at leethalkoala at yahoo dot com with something like “winter mix swap” in the subject, by Thursday night at 8pm (Portland time).  I’ll see how many people express interest, and I’ll send out a follow-up email to let everyone know about how many people there might be, and then if you want in for sure, you’ll confirm then.  So, emailing me now does not mean you’re committing, but please only email if you think you probably want to do it, so that I have a semi-accurate idea of the swapper number.

If a ton of you are indeed into the idea, and I get well over 25 interested mixers, I’ll figure out a way to divide it into 2 or more groups, so that everyone who wants in can do it, without have to make and mail like 50 copies.  Oh, also, once it’s all organized and planned out, it’ll probably be a couple weeks from now, which means after Thanksgiving, which means holiday gift-planning/crafting stress galore – so, the mix mail-out deadline will be after Christmas to make it easier on us all, and allow plenty of time for track list making.  (Around the first week in January perhaps?)

As for some specifics, if you need more info to decide whether you’re into it… I’ll be making up a .doc file with every participant’s name and address, so we can all print that out to attach to packages for easier addressing.  You can totally include anything else you want with your mix packages (like a business card for your website, or anything else like that) – the only requirement is that each package for each swapper includes a copy of your mix CD with packaging/artwork.

Want some packaging ideas?  Of course there’s a normal CD case, or the skinny kind, into which you can slip a piece of cardstock (or photo paper or whatever) with your art.  You could go all out with a normal sized case, making art for the front and back, or even a booklet, but that’s pretty intense.  One piece of paper or cardstock can fold into a case, by folding the 2 long edges over the CD first, then fold the short edges in and tuck one end into the other end.  I’ve made a few mixes like that, including my leethal mix, made with this strip of art/track list which gets taped onto a recycled book page folded around the CD:

leethal vol1

leethal mix vol1

There are other ways to fold cardstock into CD cases/envelopes, or you could experiment to figure out your own weird way of making cases.  Mix CD packaging doesn’t have to be a big deal, but be creative with the artwork, because it’s fun!

So yeah, let me know if you want in (or might want in) via email – I’ll be doing all the swap organization and communication through my yahoo email, so even if you let me know via twitter or elsewhere that you’re interested, please still send me a quick email.  Thanks!  And comment if you have any questions or confusion, and I’ll answer in the comments for all to read.

Filed under: music,recipes,swap — leethal @ 12:04 am

November 11, 2009

Portland sale and project, and yarrrrn!

Portlanders!  Now that Halloween is over, we’re into that season, and this Saturday is the Trillium Artisans Holiday Sale!!  Sale not as in craft fair type sale, but as in everything is 20% off all day sale!  That’s a big deal since everything at Trillium is handmade by local artists/crafters, using at least half (usually much more) recycled materials, with great attention to quality and awesomeness!!  I sell my recycled yarn knit kits and recycled sweater scarflets through Trillium, and I plan to drop off some brand new items before the sale!

trilliumyarn05.jpg stripeytrilliumscarflet2.jpg

Also, it’s their 10 year anniversary, which rocks; and also, you get to meet the artists and drink wine and eat snacky goodies!  And one last also, when Trillium says “eco-friendly, fair trade gifts” they seriously mean it!  Hope to see you there!!

trillium sale

A note for non-Portlanders or anyone who can’t make it to the store – Trillium has a great etsy shop too!  You can find a couple of my mitt kits there, and tons of other fabulous stuff!

Next up (also for locals)… it’s the last week of free Knittn’ Kitten project sheets!  This one is by Bridget Benton and makes fabulous use of the doilies you can find at the Kitten!

Doily Projects Doily Projects

Bridget says:

This project sheet was inspired by a scarf pattern I saw in Generation T: Beyond Fashion by Megan Nicolay and by all the awesome crochet-adorned garments in, yes, Crochet Adorned by Linda Permann. I can’t crochet, but I can sure as heck buy crocheted doilies from the Knittn’ Kitten, and experiment with 100 ways to get them off the couch and onto my clothes . . . I heartily encourage you to do the same!

There’s also this bonus t-shirt project – love it!!

Doily Projects

Soooo, now that all the projects have been released at the Kitten, you can be expecting a free (to everyone) ebook with all of them coming soon!!  Wooo yay!  (Give your thanks to Diane for putting it together!!)

Famous Yellow Belly

Hey look I spun yarn a couple weeks ago!  Haven’t really been spinning at all since Tour de Fleece (except spun recycled for the club, and that dirty alpaca), so it was fun to make this skein!  It’s destined to be knit into an Elizabeth Zimmermann snail hat, for Cosy’s snail hat along, but super belated (oops, better late than never)!  Those were both ravelry links – see Cosy’s blog post about handspun snail hats here.  So, it took me 4 1/2 months to spin the yarn for the project, so I’m guessing the hat won’t get done till ’10 at least, but it’ll be super fun to make a project just for me, just for fun!

Famous Yellow Belly

Oh yeah, the yarn!  It’s spun with Spunky Eclectic bamboo/merino blend in the Sumac colorway, and a batt from the Traveling Rhinos fiber club.  Spun so that the colors matched up a little when plied (for blendy stripes), beginning and ending with the yellow/brown bamboo blend, with the many colors of assorted wooly goodness in the middle.  I named it Famous Yellow Belly after a Tara Jane O’Neil song.  Hoping it knits up beautifully!

Razzle Dazzle Rose

Oh yeah, this yarn talk just reminded me that I added some new colorways to my cuff kit selection! I really love this crazy one, that I named Razzle Dazzle Rose (after a Camera Obscura song), and struggled to resist keeping it all for myself! Same yarn, different angle:


Then there’s Ocean Breathes Salty (named after a Modest Mouse song, but really named for the Sun Kil Moon cover of the song, which feels like the yarn):

Ocean Breathes Salty

And Promises In the Dark (Pat Benatar song) is a dark charcoal over-dyed with subtle green and blue:


Yay yarn! Really hoping to get some new mitt kits in the shop soon too! Right now though, I’m hard at work on a secret project (which involves hand-dyed yarn)! I was hoping to release it this week, but it needs more work to get perfect, and with the November club shipping on Monday, it probably won’t be announced till late next week. But it’ll be super duper cool and worth the wait, really!

Filed under: leethal store,portland stuff,yarn — leethal @ 8:50 am

November 10, 2009

Other countries are so much cooler than mine…

This is super belated, books I got back at the beginning of the year, but now that I’ve gotten a few more recently I’m going to do a series of Japanese book posts over the next few weeks!  You may remember my initial excitement about these incredible books from the first time I went to Kinokuniya last year, when I bought my first 2 books, both hats, one knit/crochet, one sewn.  I also wrote in that post about Japanese craft books in general, as well as more on Threadbanger, if you want more info.

Knit Work

First one, Knit Work by Hikaru Noguchi (isbn978-4-529-04645-9) – assorted knitting with great style!

Knit Work

Some of my favorites!

Knit Work

Something about most Japanese knitting books – there’s lots of crochet thrown in there, like knit+crochet are equal! Yay!  That headband below is crochet (with knit ties):

Knit Work Knit Work

I love this weirdo intarsia – the concept of having a chart for an abstract blob of colors.  Silly and awesome!

Knit Work

And lots of great photo how-tos means non-Japanese speakers can still figure out how to make things, yay!

Knit Work

And the second one, with no English words (isbn978-4-277-17216-5), is all hats!

Japanese knit hat book

Mmmmm hats… a couple of favorites:

Japanese knit hat book

Again, knit and crochet, together equally.

Japanese knit hat book

Speaking of knit and crochet hats, have you seen this 52 hats in 52 weeks project?  The artist, Edda Lilja, is in Iceland, and also values the two yarn crafts equally, as you can see in her amazing creations.  You can see all the hats here.  Some of my absolute favorites (but it’s so hard to choose!): this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one.  So inspiring!!  Now I need to practice what I preach and start working with crochet more!!

Filed under: books,hats,knitting — leethal @ 12:28 am

November 3, 2009

My Knittn’ Kitten Project! Plus a couple of other things…

Lined Zippered Knit Coin Pouches!

It’s time for my Kitten project! Lined Zippered Knit Coin Pouches! Closed:


And opened:


They use a variety of different crafty materials and tools, all available at Knittn’ Kitten!

Coin Pouch Supplies

The specific materials I used for each of my 2 examples (not showing: zippers, sewing+knitting needles):

Wool Pouch Supplies Bamboo Pouch Supplies

I had fun combining knitting and hand sewing together in this project, and seeing the different pouch types you can get from different gauges.


I played around with some freeform wool embroidery on my first pouch, and tried out a small version of Diane’s woven appliqué idea! So fun!!


This isn’t exactly a quick project, with all the hand sewing (at least not for me!) but it’s so satisfying when it’s finished and looks all neat, with the bias tape and lining. Use them for coins, crafty bits, or whatever else you can stick in there…


So locals, head over to the Kitten this week for the free project sheet! Yay!

In other local Portland news, there’s a rad event happening on Friday at The Woods – An Evening of DIY, with Julie Sabatier, of the awesome Destination DIY!  The event will include (copied from the Woods’ site)

live demonstrations and interviews about how to make radio, how to make a terrarium and how to make bacon. Delicious sweet and savory treats will be served. A silent auction will include many fine items to enhance your DIY projects or spark a new one. The show will be book-ended by performances from musician Leviethan and musicians/visual artists Billygoat, who will show off their gorgeous stop-motion animation and give us a window into how they do what they do themselves.

Sounds fun!!


And one other thing worth checking out – this one’s for everybody – 6 of my favorite craft designers just released a collaborative ebook!  Crafty Tree Trimmings features projects by Diane Gilleland, Susan Beal, Linda Permann, Kayte Terry, Betz White, and Patricia Zapata, each with their own personal crafting style!  I love the idea of a collaborative self-publishing project!  From Diane’s blog post:

We also wanted to create a truly indie publishing effort – one that would delight crafters, do some good in our community, and compensate each contributor for her work. It might seem odd, saying that one of our goals was to get paid. But it’s a fact: a whole lot of traditional print publishing these days is based on people contributing projects for free. I’m really proud to show that it can be done differently.

Heck yeah!!  I think fair compensation is a major issue in our field – in knit/crochet designing, tutorial writing, selling things we make, etc – and finding new, independent ways of making a living doing these things, without having to sign unfair contracts or do hours of work for nothing, is freaking fantastic!  And, on top of all the awesomeness of the book, they are donating a percentage of each sale to Project Linus, which “collects handmade blankets for children who are suffering from illness or trauma, or otherwise in need.”  Don’t these crafters rock so hard? Yes.  This ebook is totally inspiring me to try some kind of group self-publishing… maybe in 2010.

Filed under: general crafts,knitting,portland stuff,self-publishing — leethal @ 7:30 am

November 2, 2009

Halloween ’09!

Halloween '09!

Find me?!

Halloween '09!

How about there? Here’s a harder one…

Halloween '09!

What a fun costume!! The only problem with it was that I felt bad for the other members of my group, since I got all the silly comments and stuff! Such as “I found you!” and the more clever “Hey I’ve been looking for you all night!” and the weird “Waldo” said kind of like an insult while walking by. It was great when our friends Kate and Kit were meeting us at Beulahland and they had to search through the crowd to find Waldo!

Halloween '09!

I did put a few hours of valuable knitting time into making the hat, and Pete and I spent a huge chunk of our day off at the freakin’ mall trying to find a red+white striped shirt, which was totally worth it to be Waldo, but it would have been a boring costume without my buddies as the Waldo world townspeople!

Halloween '09!

Pete found a grey+black striped sweater and wore my Mary Tyler Moore striped+pompommed hat and his piano scarf to be a stripey Waldo nemesis type guy; Star wore red+white striped socks and gloves, a red+white polka dotted shirt, and a white hat to throw off the viewer; and Caitlin+Patrick provided more hats and stripes in the scene.

Halloween '09!

And then Kit joined in as Woody the cowboy to add to the picture! And awesome Kate (who was Amelia Earhart) took the photos!! Yay, thanks Kate!

Amelia and Woody waldo

So there’s me as Waldo – simple costume, but not easy to find a shirt like that!! Ended up with a hoodie (folded the hood under) from this weird store called GenX on 82nd. Knit the hat from recycled cotton (improvised design – 2×2 ribbed brim, then stockinette, works well as a slouchy hat with brim unfolded), and the glasses are “nerd glasses” from the Halloween section at Value Village, with the lenses popped out.  (Downside of the costume – couldn’t see too well all night without my real glasses!)  Plus Pete’s cane from when he hurt his knee, a backpack to complete the look, and I tried to keep my bangs swished to the side all night to look like his!

Halloween '09!

Our night might have been a little silly (our Halloweens usually end up that way) but I’d say the group costume was a total success!  Yay!

Oh hey, did you know that Waldo is a spinner?!

spinningwaldo1 spinningwaldo3

So that was our Halloween group night, but now I need to move backwards to Halloween afternoon at Twisted! Fun times!

twisted sign

I came to the event just as they were finishing the web, sadly, armed with my unneeded wheel and alpaca.  The web was rad though!


And I got to help hang it up in the corner, so at least I was able to contribute something to the project!  Then I spun a bunch of dirty alpaca, straight from the fleece, just for fun!


I got to meet Jimbo and Inga and Jimbo’s giant crochet hook!  Carved from a solid log of wood, it’s heavy and smooth and rad!!

gianthook2 withgianthook

And then, for some crazy but awesome reason, Jimbo decided to give me one of his hand carved nostepinnes that he’d brought for prizes!  So beautiful!!  (More photos in my flickr – it’s so photogenic!!)

Nostepinne06 Nostepinne07

When I got home, I wanted to try it out right away, of course!  So I found a nostepinne how-to on a blog (Fiber Fool), which I glanced over quickly then proceeded to not really follow the steps when I stepped away from the computer to try it out.  It was fun, but a bit of advice: when trying a new fiber winding technique for the first time, don’t use a freshly spun fuzzy alpaca single!


I stopped at this point and wound it into a hank, with much tangling, but no breaking!  Anyway, here’s my alpaca skein (174 yards) before washing – it’s pretty much bright white fiber, with the off-whiteness being the dust.  Spinning straight from the dirty fleece is fun!!  (With alpaca, not wool, because alpaca doesn’t have the greasy/waxy lanolin that wool has.)  It’s soaking in its 3rd soapy water bowl now, with lots of rinsing between soaks, so it’ll be nice and clean by the time I’m done, don’t worry!

Nostepinne05 alpacayarn1

So yeah, fun Halloween!!  Thanks Twisted for your awesomeness!!


Filed under: hats,personal,photos,portland stuff,yarn — leethal @ 2:51 pm
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