January 29, 2010

More Stitch Set Giveaways!

Ok time for those giveaways I’ve been talking about!  First, Diane is giving away a stitch set of your choice on CraftyPod blog!  Such fun comments to read, answering the question “which of your favorite crafts feels most game-like to you?”

And, Mr X Stitch blog is giving away another one, along with 2 other embroidery-themed prizes!  Mr X Stitch did a separate review post for the stitch sets earlier today, yay!

Don’t forget to enter futuregirl’s giveaway by Sunday, and mine here on do stuff! I wanted to get this posted while it’s still business hours (at least on my coast) but I’ll probably be updating a little bit later with yet another giveaway!  Right now, I’m off to two of my favorite places in the world – Knittn’ Kitten and Twisted!  Hooray for my work errands being so much fun!!

Filed under: connect-the-dots,contest/giveaway — leethal @ 4:48 pm

January 26, 2010

Craft Tools Stitch Sets Giveaway!

regular set

Ok, giveaway time!  So there will be more stitch set giveaways happening on other blogs this week, which I’ll be sure to let you know about – for those, the winners will get to choose their set themes, so for mine I’m doing something a little different…

old format in hoop

I have 3 Craft Tools sets in the old (pre-Spoonflower upgrade) format, left over from holiday craft show time – 2 regular and 1 matted – so I’ll be choosing 3 winners to each get one of those.  Also, I had some extra prints made of the example images (unicorn/squirrel/triceratops/pincushion) so I could stitch up different kinds of examples, but it gets boring stitching the same images over and over, so several runners up will get single example image fabric squares, just for fun!  So there will be something like 8 or 9 winners total!

old format matted set

To enter: leave a comment telling me what kinds of colors you like best for connect-the-dots stitching.  (Light, bright, neutral, pastely, etc; I never know what everyone will prefer most, so this will help me for future print ordering.)

spoonflower set piles

I’ll pick the winners at random on Monday (the 1st) around noon (Oregon time) – I’ll blog the winners then and email everyone to get addresses.  Good luck!

update 1/26: so this is just fantastic timing – my blog is having issues with comments. hopefully it’s super temporary.  I’m not getting the comments sent to my email (again – that happened awhile back, then just magically fixed itself a few days later) and some people are getting error messages when trying to comment.  It seems that if you try commenting and get an error, the comment still goes through (I just have to approve it before it shows up) – I’ve seen a couple of people commenting several times because it seems like it’s not going through, but it is.  Anyway, I’m sorry about this, I don’t really know what to do at the moment except wait and see if it gets back to normal…

Filed under: connect-the-dots,contest/giveaway — leethal @ 8:30 am

January 25, 2010

January leethal quick knits club!

Jan 2010 club

A little belated – I sent these out on the 12th – but that means everyone’s gotten them by now for sure, so I won’t be spoiling anyone’s surprise!  (It also means you only have a few more days to sign up for February!)  My club theme for January was keeping warm, so everything tied in somehow…

Pinwheel Earmuffs

The 15 yard pattern was Pinwheel Earmuffs (rav) – 2 swirly circles (weird decreases make the spiral design), backed with recycled sweater felt, bound together by a cord strap and ties.  You could also use something like a ribbon or strip of fabric for the top strap for a thicker look.

Pinwheel Earmuffs Pinwheel Earmuffs

And the 10 yard design – Afterthought Earflaps (rav):

Afterthought Earflaps

These are triangle-ish pieces of knit fabric, made slightly more interesting by eyelets along the sides, which get sewn into a hat that doesn’t get enough wear, to make it more cold-winter-wind friendly.

Afterthought Earflaps Afterthought Earflaps

The earmuffs are made with a bulky 86% wool, 14% acrylic yarn recycled from a Gap sweater, dyed shades of red, blue, green, and purple, over the beige base – each of the 6 skeins were dyed separately, making them all either slightly or drastically different from each other, so everyone’s mini-skein is unique.  (You can see in the back right down there, my first skein had some issues with dye absorption and I ended up adding more, so it turned out much darker than the rest.)  In the context of the club and the individual mini-skeins, I like that the dye lots were all so different so all the earmuffs will be one-of-a-kind!  It’s called Rose Parade:

Rose Parade

The earflaps are made with this bulky spun recycled yarn – a strand of 54% nylon, 40% angora rabbit hair, 6% lambswool dark red, plied with a strand of 95% extra fine merino wool, 5% cashmere brighter red – this yarn is SO soft!!  It’s from the 2 sweaters I blogged over here, and I love it so much!  It’s called Coming Up Roses:

Coming Up Roses

So then everyone got a piece of felted (yeah I know it’s technically fulled) sweater for their earmuffs lining, and also some light blue secondhand superfine yarn to use for sewing the earmuffs together and stitching the earflaps to a hat.  Everything needed for both projects except for the needles!

recycled felt pieces

For the extra goodies, I had to do something connect-the-dots related, since I’d been spending so much time with that obsession, so I made a Winter Knitting mini-zine!  7 number puzzles, all revealing pictures of various warm knit items:

connect-the-dots Mini-Zine

And then one last little thing to round it all out – everyone got 2 leethal “recipe” cards for warm winter drinks, 1 with alcohol and 1 without, just the way I make the drinks (chosen at random out of 6 drinks total):

recipe cards

So that was January’s package – hope everyone had fun with them!!

In case you’re wondering, I am planning to release the first 4 months of club patterns in mini-ebook form, available to everyone, sometime in February (and probably give the option of buying each month separately, if all you want is the moustache, hehe).  My plan is to group the patterns twice a year into quick knits club design sets, once the exclusivity periods are up, so each set will have 8-10 patterns, plus any extras from the months (like how to make pom poms in November).  Should be fun!

Filed under: knitting,quick knits,yarn — leethal @ 6:17 pm

January 24, 2010

Stitch Set Giveaway(s)!

fuzzy stitched squirrel

So are you liking those connect-the-dots stitch sets?  Want a chance to win one?  How about several chances?!  Today, Alice at futuregirl is having the first in a week full of giveaways!  Well, maybe not totally full, but there will be at least a few more… so stayed tuned throughout the week!  For now, head over to the futuregirl blog and get your name in there!

pincushion: orange-on-aqua

I spent a few hours and a couple movies yesterday stitching away on 2 more examples (I love my job!) – the pincushion above gives a better idea of what that image should look like than my previous examples.  The craft tools set seems to be my least popular theme – I just want to remind you that the example images are often the most simple (which can mean most boring) so if you are turned off by the pincushion, keep in mind the other craft tools could be much more interesting!  Just sayin’….

fuzzy stitched squirrel

And I stitched a fuzzy squirrel!  I used vintage tapestry wool, or needlepoint yarn (the label says both), which is basically a worsted weight wool yarn, and used the back stitch method, but with longer stitches than I normally make.  Worked well!

Filed under: connect-the-dots,contest/giveaway — leethal @ 2:10 pm

January 23, 2010

January 17th – 23rd photos

Photos of the week!  Lots of supersecret knitting and designing this week, so you get blurry shots of yarn and charts…

17th + 18th making those crafty wallpapers; starting to work on taxy stuff in preparation for our meeting with a loan broker the next day (yes, the very first step to eventually buying house!):

0117 0118

19th + 20th my days off, so I didn’t really make anything or work much, so I took photos of myself ready to head out rollerskating (fun!) and some orangey goodness I picked up for my studio during a day spent at Ikea (also fun!):

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21st this dinner I made was better than anything else I made that day, so I shot it!  Tofu, potatoes, soycutash, with Trader Joe’s green curry simmer sauce and brown rice:


22nd + 23rd that secret knitting, and my first ever cable chart:

0122 0123

That’s all for now!

Filed under: 2010 photos — leethal @ 9:00 pm

January 22, 2010

New and Improved Connect-the-Dots Stitch Sets!

squirrel on pinkish

You may have noticed, since I first released my connect-the-dots stitch sets in December I haven’t really been mentioning them – well that’s because I’ve been working on a major format update for the last month!  (Oh yeah, I actually did mention them back here, but I said I’d be blogging about it later, so now is later!)  The sets are now being printed by Spoonflower, so the fabric and the printing are both higher quality than my original home inkjet printed numbers onto thin recycled fabric.

piles of stitch sets!

The regular sets are linen/cotton blend canvas, in assorted colors, and are now 6×6 inch squares, which means you must use a 5″ embroidery hoop.  The pictures themselves are 4×6 inches or smaller, so they can be framed in standard 4×6 frames if you want.  The fabric has a great, subtle texture, as you can see in the close-up shots; it’s thick and sturdy, and if you want to wash it that will soften it up a bit.

unicorn on green

I seem to like these yellowy-green shades for my example stitching, but they are semi-rare in my color assortments – the most common color types are light neutrals, blues, and yellow/oranges, with a fair amount of pinks, light purples, and greens.  If you order a set and want certain colors, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.  (I could make sets in a certain color genre, like neutrals, or shades of blue, but I can’t get too specific with what I have in stock.)

blue triceratops

The matted sets are pretty much the same as the original kind, since the Spoonflower fabric used for them is the quilting weight cotton, which is about the same thickness as the recycled fabric I was using, but with higher quality printed numbers.  The update with the matted sets is that I now have 6 fabric pattern options to choose from, at the bottom of the page.

matted on orange flowers

A couple other minor changes from when I first released them… I no longer offer pdfs of the sets.  They weren’t popular, so I’m thinking about saving them up for a future connect-the-dots ebook perhaps… not really sure yet though.  And, I used to have the total number counts in the corners (as you can see here) but I changed my mind, thinking it’s not useful enough and it looks bad up there, so those are gone now.

piles of stitch sets!

So now I have the 4 different sets: Cryptozoology, Craft Tools, Woodland Creatures, and Dinosaurs – each with 5 pictures total, 1 shown as the example, and 4 remaining a mystery (unless you want to spoil it).  The example images are generally the ones that are most obvious in dot-form, so the other 4 are more mysterious.  Most of the sets have a range of difficulty levels, meaning some of the pictures have fewer numbers for simpler shapes, and some have many more numbers for more complex shapes, which I think are the most fun!

Ok I think that’s all the info I’ve got… now that the format is all figured out, I’m excited to make more sets!  (some I have planned for the future include: musical instruments, cameras, sea creatures, something food-y…..)

Oh yeah one last thing, just want to give a big thanks to Evil Mad Scientist Lenore, who first brainstormed the idea of having the sets printed by someone like Spoonflower, over beers at Kennedy School when meeting up turned to crafty shop-talk, as it often does!

Filed under: connect-the-dots,leethal store — leethal @ 5:30 pm

January 21, 2010

A few fun knitterly things!

I was interviewed on a knitting podcast!  It’s called Knit Happens, and it’s part of pdx.fm, but we didn’t talk much about Portland-specific things (except to mention that Twisted is my favorite lys!).  She asked me about a bunch of different things that I do and have done, so we talked about Game Knitting, the quick knits club, recycling yarn, having patterns in knitty, crafty tutorials, how I learned to knit, and more….  It’s available on itunes too, just search knit happens in the itunes store and you’ll see it, with the pink yarn skull logo.


And something I just want to make sure you know about – this one’s for sock knitters… My buddy Star just released her brand new Socks for all Seasons sock pattern club!!  A new pattern every month, based on a holiday or some other element of that month, and huge savings by signing up for the whole year!  No pictures of club patterns since the socks are a secret till they’re released each month, so here are some shots of Star (holding a pair of socks knit by Barbara Walker, and a couple days ago with her new haircut)…

star with socks star's haircut

And one last thing just for fun… The Oregonian’s knitting blog posted about my chevron cuff pattern and quick knits pages back during their one skein pattern of the day series in December, which automatically entered me in a drawing for a giant prize package – and I won!!  Holy crap so awesome I still can’t believe it!  Look at all that stuff!  Most of it will be a much appreciated addition to my knitting and craft book collection (including 2 knitting audiobooks!) but there are a couple of books that I think someone else would get more use out of than me, so I’m planning a couple of giveaways!  Fun stuff!

wonbooks1 wonbooks2

Filed under: books,knitting — leethal @ 4:06 pm

January 19, 2010

New free photo desktop wallpapers!

Thread Buttons1

So I meant to do this forever ago, but I finally made the time to add a bunch of new photos to my free wallpapers page!  I wanted to add some of the crafty shots I took for the Knittn’ Kitten ebook, so while I was at it I made more and more, and I ended up adding a total of 16 new shots!

leethalpincushionphoto1680x1050 leethalflowersphoto1680x1050

Well, not new new – they are mostly old photos from years ago when I used to shoot for fun more often, and play with film (yum, film!).  I chose a variety of different kinds of shots and subjects and stuff, so hopefully you’ll find something you like!

leethalthistownphoto1680x1050 leethalfilmtreephoto1680x1050

I had planned to release new wallpapers in December as kind of a holiday gift to you, but oh well, happy January!

Filed under: photos,random stuff — leethal @ 3:37 am

January 18, 2010

Knitters are the best! Plus, 2009 mosaic…

Wow, the knitters’ response to Knitters without Borders and ravelry’s Help for Haiti has been incredible!  I know more established designers have been raising thousands – crazy awesome!  I am happy to say that you’ve helped me raise way more than I expected when I put out the word that I’d donate all pattern sales through the weekend – my donation total to Doctors without Borders will be $235!!

So thank you thank you thank you to Alex, Emma, April, mountgigantic, annecarol, Nicole, JooLee, bunnydozer, Becca, Kate, Anne, Kristi, Jen, Jessica, Sarah, Silver, Elaine, Katie, Jackie, Kit, Amanda, Libby, Rachel, RedSamur, Stacy, Wendy, Ruby, and Melissa.  And thank you ravelry for helping all those donation sales to happen, and for making it possible to link to all those blogs!

I have something fun to share with you soon – probably later tonight – but for now, I’ll show you this mosaic I made of 2009 projects… not anywhere close to all of them, but just an assortment of things I made throughout the year:

2009 projects mosaic

2009 was a crafty year alright!!

Want to hear a little about what I’ve been working on lately?  Well, I’ve been designing a mystery something for a secret thing, which ended up not working out for that thing (vague, yeah, sorry) which means I’m going to get to self-release the mystery something, and I’m pretty excited about it because it’s kind of crazy!  It’s like the most avant-garde thing I’ve designed, and I love it, so hopefully I’ll be able to find the time to develop it into a finished pattern and release it soon-ish!

Filed under: general crafts,knitting,random stuff — leethal @ 8:10 pm

January 16, 2010

January 5th – 16th photos

Well it’s 16 days into the year and I haven’t missed a day yet in my shooting a photo a day plan; haven’t been great about uploading and posting so far though… I’m gonna try to post each week’s photos over the weekend, maybe it’ll become a habit.  So here are the last 12 days…

5th + 6th spinning recycled yarn:

0105 0106

7th + 8th designing January club knits:

0107 0108

9th + 11th building club packages with all the goodies:

0109 0111

10th jewelry party at Twisted:


12th Wet Hot American Trivia night at Radio Room:


13th + 14th stitching a squirrel at Star‘s place and a mystery little weaving project:

0113 0114

15th + 16th knitting projects and this morning I was interviewed for a knitting podcast!

0115 0116

And a note for those not on twitter… I was about to make a donation to Doctors without Borders earlier today, but then I thought, it would be cool if I could donate more, so if you buy any of my patterns (or many, including ebooks) 100% of the pattern sale goes to helping Haiti, for Knitters without Borders.  I said on twitter it would be through the weekend, but I’ll let it go into Monday a bit for those of you who don’t go online during the weekend.  So, buy any of my patterns through Monday afternoon and all the money goes straight to dwb!  (See my roundup on Threadbanger for more ways you can help!)

Filed under: 2010 photos — leethal @ 6:42 pm

January 12, 2010

Beaded earrings are back!

Hey remember when I was really into making earrings for awhile?  Yeah that was fun, what happened?!  I don’t know, but a few friends and I had a jewelry party the other night and I made 6 pairs!  (I forgot to include the 6th in the line-up because I was wearing them.)

earrings line-up

I want to take better photos of them all, but I know if I wait till that’s done I’ll end up never blogging about them… so someday if I end up shooting them, the photos will go into my beading flickr set.  Anyway, I love how full my earrings frame holder thing is looking these days!

earrings frame

Such an improvement from when I first made it:

earrings on fishnet frame earrings frame

(Side note: that awesome Lee button was given to me by the fabulous Susan Beal, author of Bead Simple, which was the book that got me into beading in the first place!)

If this inspires you at all, be sure to check out my Craftstylish tutorial on easy 2-bead earrings.  I’m excited to start making (and wearing!) them again – I’ve collected a huge stash of beads (thanks to Knittn’ Kitten mostly) so I see lots of beading in 2010!

Filed under: beading — leethal @ 7:13 pm

January 11, 2010

thrifty finds: Sweaters and more sweaters!

Last week I took a trip to Value Village and scored a cart full of sweaters!


I couldn’t resist these two beautiful fair isle yokes, though I was so excited by their obvious hand-knitted-ness that I didn’t look/feel close enough to realize they’re not wool.  After machine washing and drying, I’m assured they are acrylic, but eh, they still look great!  I’m thinking about doing some reconstruction to the cardigan – changing the buttons, doing something to the collar and waist, which pulls in too tightly… And the collar on the green pullover is coming apart, so something needs to be done with that.


These two were a perfect pair – one is a 40% angora blend, the other merino/cashmere, both in gorgeous shades of red.  The darker angora one has a fabulous huge cabled neck which will become something for myself (you’ll see soon enough)!  Unfortunately there’s a problem with the big cabled merino one – and there’s a lesson in this for unravelers out there:  I checked the arm, body, and shoulder seams in the store, as usual, and the shoulders were serged (somewhat common) but the rest were not, so it was ok… well, while starting the frogging process, I discovered that the arms are serged onto the body as well (not common!), which means the whole body is un-froggable from the armpits up.  Bummer!  So I had to take a scissors to it and chop across the chest, which is never fun, and now I need to find a way to make use of that whole top part… oh well, at least it’s a huge sweater so I still got plenty of beautiful yarn from it!


And this one… ugly, I know, but I was weirdly drawn to it… I have some reconstruction thoughts and we’ll see how it goes.  Maybe it’ll turn into a tutorial of some kind.  Or maybe I’ll wear it with the shoulder pads and faux-chenille collar, hah!

There were more than just these – a couple more for unraveling – as well as a couple of sheets to add to my matted stitch sets options, and an awesome mug with my name on it!  Yay!

Filed under: thrifty finds — leethal @ 12:37 pm

January 5, 2010

First photos-a-day in 2010!

New project for the new year!  I plan to take a photo every single day in 2010, mostly of things I’m making, but not necessarily always… I’ve thought about doing this kind of thing for a couple of years, and I think this is a good year to try it!  So, I started up a flickr set, and I’ll try to get them uploaded at least once a week.  Plus, I plan to blog all the photos throughout the year, just for fun!  Hopefully once a week I’ll do a quicky post of the past week’s photos, to share with you what I’ve been working on, or whatever else I’ve been doing…

My first photos of 2010, Jan 1st-4th:





I spent so much time unraveling in the last couple of days (about 1700 yards total, most of it done yesterday) that I was getting major hand cramps by last night – I’d never had unraveling-related pain before!

Anyway, I hope you’ll have fun seeing my every day photos throughout the year… if it starts to get boring, I’ll only blog the best ones… I’m excited about this project! Yay!

Filed under: 2010 photos — leethal @ 4:12 pm

Happy 2010 to all!

Oh my, it’s been awhile!  I’ve been pretty out of touch with the world since I headed to California for xmas, came back to visitors, then new year’s, and now desperately trying to catch up on everything that fell behind!  Goodness gracious!  As usual, this year I plan to blog more, so hopefully it’ll really happen, but for now I just wanted to give you a quick updatey post… but I do have many more posts planned for the near future, I promise!

craftevolve logo

So, a bit of news: I am the honored first interviewee of the brand-spanking-new blog Craft Evolve!  It was pretty weird/hard to put my brainstorming process into words, but head over to read my thoughts on project ideation type stuff.

kerryhat12 peteshat02

That’s a glimpse at the gift knitting I did throughout December – a hat for Pete and a hat for Pete’s mom, both full of cables!  I’ll be posting more details on each of these later on for sure.

squirrel from woodland creatures set triceratops from dinosaurs set

Another reason it took me awhile to get back to the online world is that I got obsessively into creating 2 new connect-the-dots stitch sets (woodland creatures and dinosaurs!!), which you can see a glimpse of on the webpage, and pre-order if you want to reserve a set.  I’ll blog more about this later too, but as you can read on the shop page, the stitch sets are now being printed by Spoonflower, which I think will be awesome!  And there are some fabric choices for the matted sets to choose from now.

Ok I hope you all had a fantastic holiday time, and your new year is off to a fabulous start!!

Filed under: connect-the-dots,random stuff — leethal @ 2:19 am
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