February 27, 2010

Some reflection, a survey, and a design preview for you!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my business, with some things coinciding and pushing me to get more organized and really figure out what I should be focusing on.  Doing creative things for a living is damn hard sometimes, and I’ve felt a little lost for the last few days.


I want to just do what I love, design things I’m passionate about, blog tons of free tutorials and other fun stuff, and not worry about money at all, but alas… rent does need to be paid, we are searching for a house, and though I’m in no financial state to even think about contributing to the down payment, my monthly half will likely go above what it is for this supercheap apartment where we currently live.

I have absolutely no plans to change what I do, change this blog or my website in any drastic kind of way, and I will continue to design and make things I’m into, even though I know they’re not the kinds of things that will appeal to the bulk of mainstream knitters or buyers… sigh, that’s just how I roll.


But, I am trying to figure out just what I should be putting at the top of my priority list, that kind of thing.  I’m currently working on 4 different concrete knit designs (1 free, by the way), plus several more ideas floating around in my head, and I have big plans for a freaking awesome ebook, which I want to get started on as soon as possible!  And then there’s the connect-the-dots stitch sets, which I absolutely love designing, but are not exactly booming with sales, so, sadly, it’s not practical for me to devote tons of time there.  I know if I did some kind of big makeover to the packaging/branding/etc, they might attract a wider audience, but hey, I like using recycled envelopes, and I like them having a handmade feel, because, you know, they are handmade!


That’s the problem for so many of us creative professionals… the conflict of staying true to who we are, continuing to do what we love and love what we’re doing, with that damn need to pay the bills messing it all up.  I learned all about business planning, and also about google docs, the other night at Trillium, from super awesome superPhoebe, which is part of where all this business analysis came from…

So, I’ve created a survey with google docs to try to help me get a better grasp of who you are, my dear readers, what you like, what you want, and how I might want to steer what I do in that direction.  It’s a short survey, and it’s totally anonymous and every question is optional – I really so much appreciate any feedback you can give!  ThankYouThankYouThankYou!


Now another thing… some topics discussed at that same meeting, and also reading Ysolda’s latest post, about sharing design process, got me thinking… if I’m designing something to self-publish, there’s no reason to keep it a secret, so why not show you a first version prototype of a design that I’m working on?  So this is one of the designs I’m currently knitting up – while knitting this one pictured, I changed some design details as I knit, since it was just to test out the shape, and then I frogged it.  I’m working up another similarly sized one now, and I’m planning on making it an any-gauge pattern, so I’ve spun up a skein of self-striping specifically to make it into another one of these bad boys!

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It’s kinda bonkers, but I love it!  It’s super transformable – can be worn a bunch of different ways – and by adding more buttons it could be even more so!  I had been thinking about trying to release it next week, like in a few days, but it would probably be Fridayish at the soonest, and now I’m wondering whether I should move my to-do list around and put this design off till later.  So, part of the reason I’m showing you here it to ask, whaddya think?  Do you want the pattern asap, while there’s still a little winter weather left?

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Filed under: knitting,personal — leethal @ 7:30 pm

February 26, 2010

February leethal quick knits club!

Oh first of all, there’s only a few more days to sign up for the March club – and I’m really excited about March, it’s gonna be a fun one!!  Ok now for February…


There’s everything above, but I’ll start with the yarn… The 10 yards of recycled spun yarn is called Night Is The Day Turned Inside Out, and my color choices are totally inspired by Weaverknits’ love of Grellow!  It’s a 100% cotton recycled sweater yarn, in 2 shades of grey, wrapped in 3 threads – thin dark grey and variegated purple, and thick yellow/white/blue variegated:


And the 15 yards of dyed recycled yarn came from a reclaimed hand-knit sweater, so the fiber content is a mystery, but it’s some kind of wool or wool blend, dyed short striping sections of dark purpley red, blue, and grey-green, over the grey base.  It’s called Whatever Gets You Thru The Night:


The 2 patterns this month were both cuffs, both meant to be as gender-nonspecific as possible – Argyle Cuff and Bolt.  The theme this month was a little weird – I called it “His or Hers” and it’s loosely inspired by Valentine’s Day.  I got thinking about the 14th… how it means really different things to different people, depending on relationship status, etc… so I decided to put together a kit that can be used for all different purposes or people.  So, the point is, either (or both) cuff could have been a V-day gift, or just an any-day gift, or not a gift at all…..


Bolt ties around the wrist, and the dyed yarn came with 2 buttons to use for argyle cuff closure.  The argyle knit up in a solid would pop more, as April shows in her ravelry project!

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Then the extra goodies were a greeting card, and a bunch of card making and decorating materials – so they could have all been turned into Valentines, or any kind of greeting cards, or silly works of art!  Check out my awesome sticker-covered card:


The non-specific greeting cards are reclaimed cards, cut to fit in the (reclaimed) envelopes, then made over with photos I took (either the dinosaur or the horse).  Then I included a 2-sided crayon, and 10 stickers inside the envelope.  Everyone got a set of fish stickers, and 6 foam stickers – 2 each of farm animals, sealife, and dinosaurs (awesome foam stickers from Dollar Tree)!  And then there were some strips of cool patterned paper (blogged back here), which could either be made into little mini-cards (or Valentines like mine), or could be cut into shapes to embellish the greeting card, or whatever else.  Thanks to Scrap, my local community reuse shop, for all these great cards, envelopes, and paper tags!


So that was February – weird disjointed theme, I know, but hopefully everyone had fun with it all!  March’s theme is more cohesive, I think it’s gonna be rad!  (See more quick knits club stuff and info here!)

Filed under: general crafts,knitting,quick knits,yarn — leethal @ 7:14 pm

February 25, 2010

Tutorial: Crock Pot Yarn Dyeing!

You may not even know about these, but way back at the beginning of this blog, almost 3 years ago, I did a couple of kool-aid yarn dyeing tutorials.  They were specifically how-tos for getting particular kinds of variegation (as opposed to dyeing basics) – part 1 being three blending colors, part 2 longer stripes of random-order solids.  (I’ve just gone back and edited these old posts a little, changing some bad advice I’d given and some minor details, but not anything major.)

So, after 3 years and countless skeins of dyeing experience have now passed, I want to do a couple of new dyeing tutorials for you!  (For the basics of dyeing, if you’re new to it, see the link list in my first tutorial, since this post is only meant for this particular variegation method, not for kool-aid dyeing in general.)

crock pot dyed yarn!

I recently dyed up a skein of bulky yarn (Imperial Stock Ranch Lopi) with 5 different colors in my crock pot, for a spotty, kettle dyed kind of look, as you can see above.  Dyeing in a crock pot is different from dyeing in a pot on the stove because the water is more still, so the dye tends to stick to the yarn where it falls more, and colors tend to blend together less.  This makes a variegated yarn with more defined colors, instead of just a few colors which are blended together.  My specific flavors used were: Lemon Lime, Orange, Strawberry, Berry Blue, and Lemonade.

crock pot dyeing crock pot dyeing

To get this look, you’ll need a crock pot (I got mine at my local Goodwill outlet for around $5), wool yarn (or a blend with other animal fibers like alpaca, angora, cashmere – a small percentage, like 15% or less, of something man made, like nylon or rayon, would be ok) in hank form, several colors of kool-aid, a large spoon, a colander, and vinegar is optional since kool-aid already has acid, but I usually use a little anyway because I feel like it might help with colorfastness.

So, start by filling the crock pot with water (and a little vinegar if you want) and submerging the yarn in there.  Let it soak a bit, then turn on the heat and put the lid on – the yarn should soak for at least 15 minutes or so (longer is fine) before dyeing, and the lid should fog up to show that it’s hot.  (My vintage pot only has two settings – medium and high – so I usually use medium and it works well.)

crock pot dyeing

Now you can add your first colors – this is all up to you, but I’ll just tell you exactly how I made this particular yarn.  First, I covered one half of the yarn in the pot with orange, and the other half with green (lemon lime), sprinkled directly from the packet into the pot.  Orange and green are complimentary colors (edit: no they’re not! what was I thinking?! but they don’t always blend well, which I what I meant), which means you need to be careful about putting them together, but it doesn’t have to be avoided completely – green with some orange makes an olive green color, and orange with a little green makes a darker orange.  So, I tried not to overlap them at all on purpose, but I knew that if they bled into each other a little, it would be fine.

crock pot dyeing crock pot dyeing

Cover with the lid and let it sit until the dye fully absorbs into the yarn, so the water looks clear and the yarn is colored.  Now use your spoon to turn the yarn over, so all the undyed yarn from the bottom is now on top.  I tried to keep it arranged the way it was, just flipped, so that the bottom layer stayed orange on one side and green on the other side.  I poured blue on the half that had green below, and red on the side that had orange below.  This was because green and blue blend well, as do red and orange (blue+orange or red+green, not so much) and the top colors were likely to do some blending with the bottom colors.  Red and blue were chosen to add next to each other for the same reason, to make some purple when they touch and blend.

crock pot dyeing

Cover and let the dye absorb again, then use your spoon to turn the yarn around and search for white spots.  I used my last color, yellow (lemonade), which would blend well with all of the other colors, especially since lemonade kool-aid is really light and subtle, to fill in any white spots I could find.  When I found white, I’d arrange the yarn with the spoon so as much white as possible was on top, sprinkle on some lemonade, and cover to let it dye.  Then I kept repeating the white investigation and dyeing until the yellow packet was all used up.  (As you can see, the powder sits on the water surface a little before sinking to the yarn – if it doesn’t sink down right away, you can push it down with the spoon, but this might mix the colors more than you want.)

crock pot dyeing

Once the dyeing is complete, turn off the heat, and let it sit in the water to cool for awhile (until cooled to room temperature is best, but not totally necessary).  Now scoop the skein out with the spoon, into the colander in the sink, and let it cool all the way to room temperature there.  Rinse a bit, with water of the same temperature, and squeeze the water out as much as you can, without twisting.  Roll up in a towel to dry more, shake it out, then hang to dry (in the shower, or on a hanger in a doorway, or on a coat rack, etc) overnight or until totally dry.  Ball up and knit!

crock pot dyed yarn! crock pot dyed yarn!

A note about my yarn, and the colors I used… red bleeds like crazy, way more than any other color, so even though I used exactly equal amounts of the 5 colors, the red really took over the skein.  (The photo below shows how much red there is.)  So, if you are using the same (or similar) colors as me, and want more even variegation of the colors, I think it would be wise to use about half a packet of red instead of a whole packet.

crock pot dyed yarn!

But, that said, I still love this yarn, and knitting with hand-dyed variegated yarn (that you dyed yourself!) is unbelievably fun and satisfying, an experience I think every knitter should try!  With yarn like this, every stitch is different from the last!

crock pot dyed yarn! crock pot dyed yarn!

Oh yeah, I should show you, this is the same method I used to dye these yarns (and more):

Razzle Dazzle Rose

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Fun! Yay! And I’d love to see your yarns dyed using this how-to! (you could link to photos in the comments, or add them to the leethal flickr group!)

Filed under: tutorials,yarn — leethal @ 8:16 pm

February 24, 2010

New Pattern: Twisted Ankles!

Twisted Ankles!

Want to knit some legwarmers?!

Twisted Ankles Twisted Ankles

My newest design, Twisted Ankles is squishy, bulky, cabley yumminess – with the cables twisting around each other, then bursting off the garter stitch base to become buttonhole straps, wrapping around the backs of your legs…

Twisted Ankles Twisted Ankles

There’s a smaller size, which are like ankle warmers (the blue/green and white examples) and a taller size (the orange example) – I was so eager to get this pattern out (I’d planned to release it last week and wasn’t able to), and I decided pretty last minute that I wanted to knit up a taller size example (which I just finished this morning), so the orange version photos are pre-blocking, but you get the idea!

Twisted Ankles

For a pair, you need about a skein (130-160 yards) of bulky yarn (or super bulky, depending on how the brand labels it) and 8 fun buttons of your choice!  See the pattern page, or ravelry, for other details, or to buy the 11 page pdf for $4.99 – it includes full written patterns for each leg, and charts for each (my first cable charts!).

Twisted Ankles

Side note – don’t you love these natural wood+bark buttons I picked out at Twisted?!  I’d planned to choose something cheap, but splurged a little on these because they just looked so fabulous against the orange.  By the way, the orange yarn is Brown Sheep bulky Lanaloft (an awesome bday gift from my buddy Star – who knows me oh-so-well), which I am completely in love with!!  I am so happy that my most favorite local yarn store started carrying Brown Sheep – yumyumyum so woolly and smooth and squishy!  (you may be seeing a project in the worsted soon!)

Twisted Ankles

So yeah, back to the pattern!  I had it test knit by 6 fabulous knitters, and am ever so grateful – a few of them sent along some photos of their finished knits!

Line's Modeled Legwarmer

Line's Flat Legwarmer

Above are Line‘s pair, in Copenhagen!  She used Lammy Yarns Fjord Solid – 135.7 yards (124.1m); US 13 / 9.0 mm needles – and they look so warm with those boots in that snowy Denmark setting!  Thanks for all the great photos, Line!


These are Anna’s – I love the pink cables contrasting against the worn chucks, so comfy looking!  The yarn here is Cascade Eco+ held doubled.


And Amber‘s 2-toned pair – if you run out of yarn like she did, it’ll look cool to just switch to a new color for a chunk – yay asymmetry!  These are Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Sky Blue, with size US 13 needles.

Anyone want to see some design process background stuff?

twisted ankles first try

One morning, I brainstormed up the concept of buttoning legwarmers with cables that twist around and become buttonhole straps, while still half-asleep, and sketched it out right away before I forgot.  I knit up the idea and it turned out pretty much exactly like the sketch, but I didn’t like it – it was too small, the cables weren’t nearly squishy enough, and it was basically boring looking, to me…

twisted ankles first try

So I updated the design, with the same basic concept, but fixing those problems, making the cables bigger and squishier, etc.  There were some minor problems with that one, but the final design stayed pretty close – in the photo below, the left one is that second version, and the right one is the final pattern… also, the left one is blocked and the right one is not yet, which, as you can see, makes a difference for sure:

Twisted Ankles

Once I figured out the final pattern, I knit up a pair with some hand-dyed yarn (natural Imperial Stock Ranch Lopi base).  The pattern was final and I loved it, but I couldn’t say the same for my dyed yarn…

Twisted Ankles! Twisted Ankles

So, I took off the buttons and stuck the knit up pieces back into the dye pot, overdyeing them much darker, then sewed the buttons back on and tah dah!

Twisted Ankles!

My finished example was complete!  Hope you like them!

Twisted Ankles!

Filed under: knitting,yarn — leethal @ 3:37 am

February 21, 2010

February 1st – 20th photos

Ok these have really built up over the last few weeks… oops… and I’m hard at work trying to finish up this pattern, so I’ll keep the captions semi-brief…  Pete’s vacation meant lots of eating out (we don’t normally eat out this much!) and fun times, yay!

2nd – had dinner at the best sandwich shop in the world – East Side Deli (that is some amazing fake meat, by the way):


1st + 5th – Feb 1st was the first day I forgot to shoot my photo of the day, and didn’t have any other photos taken that day to make do, so the photo of my pants in the bathtub was taken the next morning to show what happened that night – Banzo’s clumsiness landed a glass of beer in my lap, and all over the floor, chair, etc (but thankfully not on my computer!).  So my pants were drying in the tub overnight to avoid getting beer on my laundry… And then I spent the 5th designing quick knits club patterns:

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3rd + 4th – spinning club yarn; dye day!

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6th + 8th – club sorting and packaging… always takes so much longer than I expect it to:

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7th – the first day of Pete’s stay-home vacation, this day was all about coffee, knitting, beer, and this crazy spicy chocolate he gave me:


9th + 10th – our 5 year anniversary dinner was mac n cheese at Hedge House (yumm… and breakfast was Juniors, also yummmm); I played these drums and it was awesome:

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11th – my birthday breakfast was this amazing Farm Fusion waffle at the Waffle Window (then we went downtown to the art museum, Powell’s, dinner at Paradox, and a movie at the Avalon – super fun birthday!):


12th – did some dyeing a couple days before, then balled it up into this massive bulky ball:


13th – happy hour at Laurelwood, where we ate superyummy food and played games:


14th – decided to play tourists in our own city this day and wandered all over a part of town we’d never explored before – Nob Hill, way over on the other side of the river!  (that’s a joke – it’s about a 10 minute drive)  Can’t say we’re a fan of the neighborhood, but we are definitely fans of playing tourist and exploring new spots!  I’m also a fan of these pigs:


15th + 16th – tried out a new place for breakfast – Sweetness – and will definitely be going back!  Thanks to Groupon (bought a $20 coupon for $10), we got some awesome scrambles, 2 extra muffins to go, and this german chocolate cupcake… the next day was spent building the club patterns ebook:

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17th – our only real trip during Pete’s vacation, this day was spent in Olympia!  I think our favorite part of the day was Old School Pizzeriarad place altogether, but we were blown away with awesomeness when we discovered they could add roasted potatoes as a topping to our slices!


18th + 19th – drove around looking at houses (now that we are officially pre-approved for a loan, and have a real estate agent!); made pom poms with bulky hand-dyed yarn for a secret project:

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20th – spent the afternoon at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden (across the street from Reed) for a photoshoot (also for a secret project) and got honked at by tons of geese, and watched them hissing at a dog and saw their crazy long mammal-like tongues!  (check out these pictures Pete took if you don’t believe me.)  It was an amazing park!  I’ll definitely be going back when I’m in need of nature photo backgrounds, or just want to hang out with a ton of ducks and geese and water and flowers and trees…..


Filed under: 2010 photos — leethal @ 10:15 pm

February 17, 2010

New mini-ebook: First 4 months of Club Patterns!

Oh goodness, I have not been able to keep up with everything while Pete’s on vacation!  I’ve been working on deadline-y projects whenever I can squeeze it in, and I’ve spent the last many days (week? I don’t even know) working on this project I’m about to announce, bit by bit, but I’ve been completely detached from things like twitter and blog world… and I am weeks behind now on posting photos-a-day, though I’ve still been taking them, so you can expect 3 weeks worth of photos this weekend!

leethal quick knits club patterns Vol.1 Cover

Ok so, the one thing I have finished – the first 4 months of leethal quick knits club patterns are now available in a mini-ebook!  Each month’s pattern pair can be purchased alone, but it’s a much better deal to get the whole set – 8 patterns, plus extras (like the pencil cover), in a 20 page pdf for $5.99, versus 2 patterns from an individual month for $2.99.  But that way, if you really just want one pattern, you can get it for half the price of the whole set.

club #1: Strappy Pouch

The ebook is all up on ravelry too, and all the patterns are now on my quick knits patterns page, where you’ll find more photos of each pattern.

Old Timey Moustache!

club #2: Bookmarks Nov quick knits club patterns

Not much else to say about this, since the patterns have all already been released to club members and blogged about

jamming06 jamming03

A couple fun quick things… I’ve been spending some time in Pete’s studio playing around with making music!  So much fun!  Us and a couple musical buddies (Star and Grant! Yay!) have created a couple of songs (I’m the only non-musician, so I’m either on super-simple drums or xylophone) and then Pete and I made a song by ourselves yesterday.  Nothing to put out to the public (yet?) but I just wanted to tell you because it’s been such a fun time – yay music!


Lastly, I have another pattern I’m super excited about that I had been hoping to release this week, but it’s getting bumped to next week because of life… but hey, since I’m just self-publishing it, it doesn’t have to be super secret!  Here’s a peek for you!

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Filed under: knitting,music,personal,quick knits,self-publishing — leethal @ 1:53 am

February 9, 2010

5 Years Together and a fun+quick Card Project!

photoboothstrip1 old fisheye us

Exactly 5 years ago today, I met up with an old college radio acquaintance at a coffee shop in Costa Mesa for a non-date that ended up lasting 6 hours.  And the rest is history!

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These are some oooold old old shots of us, mostly from our first few months together in 2005.  February is a fun month for me, with our anniversary on the 9th, my birthday on the 11th, and then silly Valentine’s Day, which we mostly ignore, but it’s fun to have 3 days right there in a row.  This year is extra fun because Pete took a 2 week vacation from his day job, to work in his studio and hang out with me, so I’m taking some vacationy time also.  Yay!


So I just wanted to show you this cute little mini anniversary card I made with some reclaimed pretty patterned cardstock from Scrap

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This print company gave a bunch of great looking cards and things to Scrap when they closed down their shop, so I picked up stacks of these tags for a dollar an inch, sweet!  They are about the size of standard bookmarks, with a score in the middle to fold into tags:

card01 card02

So I took one of each color/pattern, freehand cut two into hearts, used one as the card base, and turned them into a little card, which would be perfect as a Valentine, if you happen to have some pretty patterned paper/cardstock around in your stash!


Oh and I did a roundup of heart projects on Threadbanger last week, so if you’re looking to do some V-day crafting, you might want to check that out!


I love you, Pete!

Filed under: general crafts,personal,photos,quick project — leethal @ 6:38 pm

February 8, 2010

Ebook Review + Giveaway! Card. Paper. Ribbon.


I’m so happy to tell you about this new ebook by Kristin Roach, of Craft Leftovers! Card. Paper. Ribbon. is a fabulous 63 page pdf ebook, packed with well photographed and illustrated how-tos for projects like turning used wrapping paper into “papercloth” and then sewing it into awesome things……


…..combining used gift wrapping ribbon with yarn to crochet or knit into sturdy bags and boxes……


…… and making paper from old greeting cards, which could then be turned into new greeting cards, or a rad stab stitch sketchbook!

card.paper.ribbon_1 card.paper.ribbon_2

Divided into 3 sections (greeting cards, wrapping paper, and ribbon, naturally), each project goes into great detail, and also has tons of room for creative personalization.  I love the horizontal format (in fact, thinking that’s how I’ll be laying out my next ebook!) – more friendly to computer screen viewing – and the whole thing is beautifully designed.

Kristin collaborated with Diane of Craftypod for the publishing part (love that idea of an indie craft business person publishing another indie crafter’s ebook!! keeping it all in our awesome community!) and they just did a fabulous job of putting this book together!  As all of Diane’s ebooks have, Card.Paper.Ribbon. has printable pages for each project, with no unnecessary photos wasting up your ink.  What really makes this book visually stand out for me is Kristin’s great illustrations throughout – both practical and super cute, love them!


So hey guess what?!  Diane and Kristin offered me a giveaway copy of this awesome ebook!!  Leave a comment here sometime in the next week (by Monday the 15th around noon) answering the question:  what’s something that normally gets trashed (like wrapping paper) that you’d love to see in crafty reuse project ideas? I’ll pick a winner at random to be emailed the prize ebook.

And if you want to grab a copy for yourself right away, head over to the Craftypod shop, where you’ll also find all of Diane’s awesome ebooks!

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway,general crafts,self-publishing — leethal @ 8:07 pm

February 5, 2010

New Conversation-Friendly Comment System, plus thoughts on Free

Ok, it’s a fact: I am a terrible blog host when it comes to comments.  I love getting them, as all bloggers do, but I just suck at responding, so I’ve done something to change that!  The main reason I’m awful at replying is that the way my wordpress commenting has always worked made it so email-replying was the way to respond… so the comments get mixed in with the rest of my emails and I just can’t keep up with it all… excuses, excuses…

So I’ve installed Disqus comment system!  The most significant thing that this means is now I (and you, and everyone) can reply to individual comments right here on the blog!  Replies automatically get emailed to the original commenter, and show up for all to read, and you can subscribe to get notices about comment threads you want to follow… it’s fabulous!

disqus commenting

I’d thought about doing this for awhile, figuring it would be more work to get set up than it actually was (easy peasy!)… I finally made the switch partly because of the issues I’d been having with wordpress comments not getting emailed to me lately, but mostly because of the excellent conversations that have been happening on Make & Meaning, started by Alice’s post here.  Just scrolling through the comments on that post shows how these kind of threaded disqus comments can turn single blog posts into conversations, really turning a blog into a community!  Rad!

disqus commenting

And speaking of great conversations, and Make & Meaning, I have been super inspired following Diane + Paul‘s talking and writing about Free.  I highly recommend the latest episode of Craftypod, especially if you are a blogger and/or trying to make money off of handmade things (or anything like that), and then there’s Diane’s follow-up post here, Paul’s original post, and Kim’s fantastic response post here.

A few excerpts… Diane:

In the creative community, because information is abundantly shared, we all learn more. We grow in skill, yes, but we also grow in interconnection to each other. Because of Free, we know more about each other, and this knowledge helps us to respect and help each other – despite geography or personal differences.

That interconnection has way more value (and future potential) than mere money transactions. In the podcast, in fact, we talk about the idea of there being different kinds of currencies in the online community. Web traffic is a currency. Goodwill is a currency. Connection is a currency.

Kim, writing about how the money part will “work itself out”:

The money doesn’t really just materialize, though. There’s one thing you have to do to get the money: seize (the right) opportunities when they come around. You don’t need to have an air-tight business model if you don’t want one. Free involves deliberately winging it. With a good emphasis on the deliberate AND on being comfortable winging it.

I, like Kim, started putting things out into the world for free (and some for no-profit cheap) without any plan to make a living and without thinking about the money end of it much at all, and it’s kind of magically transformed over the years into a rent-paying career.  I try never to stop with the free, and sometimes I do find myself distracted by the money part, realizing it’s been awhile since my last free pattern, for example, but there is plenty of free coming your way this year, I assure you!  “Woo-woo” for free, I say!

Filed under: lots of links,random stuff — leethal @ 3:17 pm

February 1, 2010

Stitch Set Winners plus a Free Puzzle for all!

Ok stitch set giveaway winners have been picked!  I used the random number generator when I should have used the sequence generator, since I was choosing 9, so I ended up with duplicates.  As you can see below, I chose 3 more to replace the duplicates, and one of those was yet another duplicate, so I chose 1 last number, and that gave me the 9 winners…


So the winners are:

  • Matted stitch set:  17. Marie in Florida
  • Regular (old version) set:  18. Roxy
  • Regular (old version) set:  7. April

Individual connect-the-dot stitching pieces:

  • 9. Anita
  • 37. Lil
  • 29. KAT
  • 24. Renee G
  • 11. Kelly
  • 12. Jenny G.

It was a crazy super awesome coincidence that Marie – the only person to specifically mention loving the orange/yellow/red matted set – was the winner of that exact set!!  Like holycrap wow!  Marie must have amazing karma!

Thank you everyone for the comments – it seems that color preferences are kind of evenly spread between lighter and brighter shades, so I’ll continue ordering some of everything, and if buyers want specific colors, you can always email me with requests… seems to be the best way to do it.

So I’ll be emailing all the winners to get mailing addresses today.  If you don’t hear from me, it might be related to the weirdness of wordpress comments lately, so you could shoot me an email, but I think it will all be fine…

Winter Accessory Connect-The-Dots

For everyone else, I want to offer up a free connect-the-dots puzzle!  This is a winter accessory that didn’t make it into the Winter Knitting mini-zine for the January club.  It’s sized to print out approximately 4.5 x 6.5 inches – you can print it on a lighter ink setting if you want to, so the numbers won’t distract from the picture so much.  It’s a fun picture to color in and decorate to customize, or for kids to do and color I’d imagine…  Go to the original file on flickr to download and print!

Last minute reminder – today (Monday) is your last day to sign up for the February club!  I usually switch the sign-up month over in the early afternoon, so you can sign up late Tuesday morning if you aren’t reading this till then.

Filed under: connect-the-dots,contest/giveaway — leethal @ 5:15 pm

January 24th – 31st photos

I’m going a bit out of order to start with some yummy yarniness!  Lots more knitting this week, plus more taxes…..

24th + 30th handspun for myself! Wooo yeah!  It’s a self-striping single, mostly my hand-dyed bfl wool; haven’t named it yet, but it is for a specific project, so I’m excited to start knitting with it soon!  And then some swatching and the beginning of a project in this yummy orange yarn that Kate gave me:

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25th finished knitting these the night before actually, then wove in the ends and photographed them in the morning.  My basic ninja mitts pattern, from a kit yarn (for sale on etsy through Trillium) – I saved one skein for myself when I made up the kits for sale, so I could kind of test out the kit and knit it exactly from the pattern (instead of improvising the number of rows, etc, how I’d normally make mitts):


26th riding in the car on the way to grab our buddies and head to trivia, on a rainy Portland night:


27th oh so many receipts, taxes taxes:


28th made some supercrazy nachos:


29th + 31st gathering a ton of materials for the class I was teaching the next day; today I mostly worked on the computer finishing up tax-related stuff, not photogenic, so I took a shot of these sweaters that I’ve just started taking apart to unravel:

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And that’s it for January!  That first month of 2010 flew by so quickly!  I’m surprised I didn’t miss a day of this photos project – hopefully I can keep it up throughout the year!  February should be fun – Pete’s taking some time off his day job, to work more in his studio, and also so we can take a day trip or two and have some mini-vacation time here in pdx, so I should be taking some fun pictures!

Filed under: 2010 photos — leethal @ 3:32 am
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