September 27, 2010

Hittin’ the road! Now, where to go?

As I predicted, this month is flying by so quickly I am feeling more and more overwhelmed by the minute!  It’s all leading up to extreme awesome fun, but, oh man, the to-do list is out of control right now!  We’re leaving town on October 6th, driving down to LA, gettin’ hitched on the 10th, spending the next 2 days at Disneyland (wooo!), then driving all around the west side of the country on our way back to Portland (Pete doesn’t have to be back at work till the 21st!)…

engagement photo engagement photo!

A lot of the important stuff is taken care of… our buddy (and knit designer) Homero is cat-sitting and watching out for our house while we’re gone, so that rocks, and we just got a final tune-up on Pete’s getting-old Prius and upgraded his AAA membership, so we’re all set for lots of driving.  We got every map we could possibly want/need for where we’re headed – we are traveling analog style, no iPhone or gps bologna for us!  Nothing against those, of course they would surely make our trip much easier, but I have this weird love of analog map navigation, so I’m reeeeally looking forward to the road-tripping!

engagement photo

Getting to my point… So now is where I ask a favor of you, dear readers… We need recommendations!  We’re heading to all these states, towns, and cities where we’ve never been and know nothing about!  Our general trip (which might change as we’re on the road, since we’re keeping everything very loose and open to our whims):

  • LA area to Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Up around the Grand Canyon and through scenic Utah stuff to Salt Lake City
  • A possible quick swing into Wyoming, just to add another state into the mix
  • Up to Pocatello, Idaho, then over to Boise
  • Possibly up to Spokane, Washington, and maybe a quick swing into Montana
  • Around Washington and eastern Oregon with whatever time we have left, and maybe some southern-ish Oregon if there’s extra time

If you live in, have lived in, or have been to anywhere on that route, we would love love love to hear your recommendations for: vegetarian-friendly restaurants, thrift stores, and yarn stores – the main three – and also: bookstores, record shops, cool coffeeshops or bars, other stores worth checking out, sights to see, fun or weird places to take pictures, etc…

engagement photo!

These engagement photos, by the way, were taken by the awesome photo team of Vivian+Alex, aka L’Oiseau Rose – Portlanders, they are open for business for these kinds of shoots as well as boudoir photos, ooh la la!

So, yeah, um… I’m working on tons of projects right now, wedding-related, club-related, and knitting pattern-related, so that’s fun… If you were thinking about signing up for a club subscription and liked this month’s ebook, be sure to grab that this week, as the October club gets released in a week and you’ll no longer be able to get September as part of the subscription (but you can still always get it alone, don’t worry).  Just so you know.

And hey, guess what, October 1st is coming on up Friday, and you know what that means?  Ocean Breezes will finally be released for sale to all!  (I know there are some people who’ve been looking forward to that for awhile!)

Filed under: personal,photos — leethal @ 12:52 pm

September 24, 2010

September 1st – 21st photos

Well, my camera is still in the repair shop (it’s been gone for 4 whole weeks now!) and now my computer is being repaired as well (slightly major laptop accident, oops, but the apple store is awesome and getting Apple Care was the best computer decision I ever made!) – hopefully I’ll have it back in a few days, and for now I’m able to use Pete’s computer, but yeah I’m having a weird technology time at the moment…. anyway… photos that I got edited and uploaded before bringing computer in a couple days ago…

1st + 2nd – Spent the day shooting products for PenFelt, which I love, especially these badges, so cute!  Then the next day editing product photos for Trillium all day long – so many great products!

0901 0902

3rd + 5th – More editing, and also a chunk of time spent writing a guest blog post for an awesome blog (which will go up in October), then I got to start my Game Knit Buttonhead hat for the knit-a-long!  Yay!

0903 0905

4th – Designed for the September club today; brainstormed up the circular needles hanger the night before when I couldn’t sleep, sketched it out in the morning, and worked it up that day:

0904

8th + 9th – Wedding paperwork, fun!  Then I spent the whole day working on a design submission that you can’t see, but I was really happy with how my sketch turned out, hehe…

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10th – Tiki karaoke bar party time!

0910

12th – Turned in PenFelt photo job and was tipped with my choice of a badge and ring!  Super awesometastic to the max!!!!

0912

13th + 14th – Used a couple of delicious garden cherry tomatoes in my baked eggplant leftovers lunch, with mushrooms and plenty of mozzarella, yum!  Worked on my final hat from my set of new pattern hats, to be released sooooon!

0913 0914

16th + 17th – Picked these 3 tomatoes today – a yumtastic little cherry tomato, the first ripe full size Early Girl, and then that unripe guy fell off!  Oh well, the weather has been so terrible lately, I fear all the rest are going to die before ripening anyway, so sad… And then some better food action – breakfast with Pete at Jam, one of our top favorite bfast spots ever! Yes!

0916 0917

18th + 19th – Make-a-long!!  First, a shot of my dress progress… that beginning of the top turned into this (so much pleating work, but worth it!) which is still very much in progress… and then I was starting to sew on this vintage lace during the last hours of the make-a-long, around 4-6am, so it definitely counts as the next day even though there was no sleep in between!

0918 0919

20th + 21st – Sliced up the only cucumber that grew into a healthy little edible and didn’t shrivel up and die by the time it reached 1 inch… however, I feared for the ongoing health of this one so much that I picked it at about 2.5 inches!  But, it washed up great, sliced up into a ton of tasty wee slices (no more than an inch across), and I was able to spread them out into lunch, on toast with cream cheese, and several slices into a big pitcher of water.  Cucumber water is my new favorite cold drink!!  Next day, Pete and I had engagement photos taken by our buddies Vivian and Alex – I took no photos throughout the day, since millions of photos were being taken of us, but here’s a computer shot later of me wearing makeup – weird!

0920 0921

Thanks for your patience with me during this last month of crazy busy-ness and technological failure… I can’t wait to have my poor camera back and start taking some decent photos-of-the-day again!  Our wedding trip is coming up super soon (time flies so freaking fast, damn!) so I probably won’t be blogging any tutorials or fun stuff like that for awhile, but you can expect some knitting pattern releases soon, as well as the October club, of course!  And then, after our trip, I’m sure there will be many fun photos to share, stories to tell, and crafty awesomeness to catch up on!

Filed under: 2010 photos — leethal @ 12:58 am

September 17, 2010

Home Decor and Traveling quick knits patterns available now!

In order to release the switch plate cover pattern sooner (since there was much demand when I showed the club back in May!), I’ve released vol. 3 of the first generation of quick knits club patterns early!  Only half the patterns are past their exclusivity periods, so right now the book just includes the first 4 patterns, and then in November an updated ebook will be released and automatically sent out to everyone who purchased the book, complete with all 8 patterns from May-August.

quick knits vol.3 cover Garter Strip Light-switch Cover

So, right now, the ebook includes the Garter Strip Light-switch Cover, Stuffed Ball Cord Pull, Luggage Tag Pouch, and Leaf-ish Sleep Mask; in November it will also include Blooming Flowers, Robot Monster Pouch, Custom Game Pieces, and Fitted Pocket Case – all those for only $6.  (Each month’s set alone is also available for $3, as usual.)  Buy it now – on my website or on ravelry – and get the update delivered to you when it’s ready in November.

To celebrate this release, but much more to celebrate the release of ravelry coupon codes (so so so exciting!!), I’m running a promotion for the next week, just for fun!  Through Friday Sept 24th, if your order includes at least 2 quick knits pattern sets (including this ebook, a club subscription, Ten 10 yard Cuffs, and all the club patterns ebooks) and you enter the code quickknits, you’ll save $2 on your order!  Either go to my ravelry pattern shop (everyone should be able to see and use the ravelry shop, not just rav members) and add what you want to your cart, then click where it says to add a coupon code and enter quickknits.  Awesome!

Stuffed Ball Cord Pull Luggage Tag Pouch

In other pattern news, Swerve is now for sale on Knit Picks, so that’s cool!  I think their Independent Designers Program is pretty darn great – designers keep 100% of sales, and we’re not even limited to selling for $1.99 anymore like we used to be.  (My mitts pattern is $2.99.)  And I really liked knitting with the City Tweed yarn – don’t love any of the color options, sadly, but the yarn is really soft and nice.

Swerve fingerless mitts!

If anyone’s wondering about the status of my hat pattern set…. my camera is still in the repair shop with no word yet, and since it’s Thursday night now, I’m doubting I’ll have it back before Monday (which sucks extra because the make-a-long is Saturday!), and I can’t release the pattern without photos (duh) so it’s still on hold…. next week I hope…

Filed under: knitting,quick knits,self-publishing — leethal @ 10:40 am

September 15, 2010

2nd Make-a-Long and Skirt I made during the 1st one!

This Saturday, Sept 18th, will be the second official make-a-long, wooo yay!  The first make-a-long, in case you missed it, was April 10th, and I first wrote about the idea here, then posted about the various ways you can participate here.  Scroll to the bottom of this post (under the skirt photos) for a recap of how you can make-a-long this weekend and join the fun!

shirt sleeve skirt close-up

So, I realized when I talked about everything I made last time, I said I’d be giving this skirt its own post, and then with the move, a lot of planned posts never got written… so now’s better than never!  I absolutely love this skirt I made out of the sleeves of 2 shirts:

skirt

The concept is simple – detach the sleeves from 2 long-sleeved, button-down shirts, and sew them together, rotating shirt #1 sleeve, shirt #2 sleeve.  Because left and right sleeves are different (buttons/buttonholes on opposite sides), two of the joins will have a button and buttonhole together (perfect – no need to add a zipper or anything), but one join will have buttons on both sides, and the last will have buttonholes on both sides.  In the top photo, you can see how I handled the join with the holes on both sides, with a ribbon closure.  If you make a skirt like this, you’ll have to figure out how best to join all the parts together depending on your particular sleeves.

shirt sleeve skirt close-up shirt sleeve skirt close-up

I added one button of my own to make for a smooth join (sometimes things don’t automatically line up perfectly), and as you can see, I added a few bits of ribbon where things needed to be neatened up.  And I added some wavy top-stitching all over, just for fun.  I wavy-sewed all around the bottom edge, which was just cut and not hemmed:

shirt sleeve skirt close-up shirt sleeve skirt close-up

And then I sewed extra wavy lines along all the seams where the sleeves were joined (below).   I don’t have a good photo of me wearing this skirt, but it fits perfectly and I love it!  If you want to make a skirt like this, hopefully you’ll luck out like I did and find sleeves that fit around your waist perfectly when joined together, but you may need to play around with different sleeve arrangements, or join them differently, to make for a good fit.  I didn’t take step-by-step photos, and the construction would be different depending on your sleeves, but hopefully this is enough info to inspire you to try one of your own!

shirt sleeve skirt close-up

For this make-a-long, I will be focusing on wedding-related crafting:  my dress, shoes, fabric flower decorations, etc.  You can make anything you want!  Catch up on old, forgotten projects, try a new craft you’ve been wanting to explore, finish up all your work-in-progress pieces, open up a craft book you bought and haven’t used yet, as long as you have fun making!

The date and time are loose… if you have plans scheduled for Saturday, but are free on Sunday, then make that your making day!  I will be again attempting to make for a full 24 hours (didn’t succeed last time, but maybe this time I’ll do it!), so I’ll be trying to go from 7am-ish Saturday to 7am-ish Sunday, or as long as I can last.  Read the original make-a-long post for my initial inspiration and ideas about the make-a-long concept.

stitching during the make-a-long!

And then, to participate (the “a-long” part) – use whichever social media outlets you prefer: twitter, facebook, ravelry, blogs (commenting on mine, posting on your own), flickr.  Use hashtag #makealong on twitter, join the make-a-long group on facebook, I’ll be starting a thread in the leethal ravelry group… and then I strongly encourage everyone to add any photos you take to the flickr group.  I won’t be posting photos during the actual make-a-long day (probably just some twitter pictures), but I’ll be shooting throughout the day for sure, and uploading them to flickr within the next couple days.

Share what you’re working on, your making trials and errors, talk about the crafty fun you’re having, and get inspired by fellow make-a-longers!  You’ll find me mostly on twitter throughout the day, but I’ll be checking in on the ravelry and facebook groups, and blog comments of course.  Hope to see you making!

Filed under: clothing,general crafts,make-a-long,skirts — leethal @ 3:53 pm

September 14, 2010

August 10th – 31st photos

I know I’ve been busy, but I had no idea it had been so long since my last photo-of-the-day post!  Oops!  So, I’m splitting them up a bit – here’s through the end of August for now…

10th + 13th – Making the last physical quick knits club – spun up It’s a Game recycled yarn, and designed the any-gauge version of the pocket case:

0810 0813

12th – Used my clothing line for the first time to dry some sweaters and things – the previous owners even left that full clothespins bag behind, ready to go!

0812

15th + 16th – Stopped by Happy Knits‘ sale and picked up this Austermann Natura (merino, bamboo, cotton, alpaca, mohair blend!) and swatched a bit for an idea I had, successfully!  Knit up just about the whole brim for one of my hats in the set I’ll be releasing soon, at my neighborhood knit night, which is great!  And worked on the hat set pattern all day:

0815 0816

17th – Tested out my custom knit game pieces by playing some pop culture trivial pursuit with Pete!  Fun!

0817

18th + 19th – Spent some quality time at Ikea picking out a new unit for our dining room area (with the gift card my parents gave us, yay!!) – at 104 pounds, it was quite a job to get it into the house and built, but it works fabulously!  The next day, I cleaned up the house a bunch, and we ate dinner actually at the table (which is usually being used as a craft table or photoshoot location) – you can see the new furniture piece in the background there:

0818 0819

20th – Started making stuff for the next day’s housewarming party – made an elaborate, delicious pasta salad (pretty much this recipe, with a few changes), which involved so much chopping (peppers, green onions, pickles, celery, fresh garden basil and rosemary…) with my dull old knives that my hand was super sore by the end!  Totally worth it though!

0820

21st – Housewarming party time!  It went super well, lots of fun, great potluck food, and this photo is during an intensely passionate group sing-a-long to Total Eclipse, thanks to our ps3 karaoke game, yay!

0821

22nd – Elif brought us a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from the farmer’s market, which I had lots of fun photographing the next morning!  And they smelled so good!

0822

23rd – The weather was perfect, and I got this picnic table from Village Merchants a few days before the party, so I did a couple hours of work outside – sketching/planning a new design, knitting on a hat, while listening to music on my little portable speakers, good stuff!

0823

24th + 25th – Got sucked into staying up all night getting Pete’s new website set up, reviews posted, photos added, etc – once I got started, I couldn’t stop!  Also started work on another hat that day… The next night is when I picked up my camera to shoot my photo-of-the-day and got that dreaded error message.  Stayed up for hours going through forums and the instruction manual, concluding that it wasn’t something I could fix (confirmed the next day at the repair shop) – shot this computer photo booth shot of the poor camera and my knitting from earlier that day:

0824 0825

27th – Made these yummmtastic roasted potatoes with fresh garden rosemary!  Gosh, I love potatoes…

0827

28th – Borrowed Alex‘s camera today (check out her gorgeous carded batts, by the way!) and shot allll day for freelance job – had fun using all this different food as props for shooting handmade glass plates, bowls, etc:

0828

29th + 31st – Did little but shoot all day for the next four days while I had the camera – didn’t take photos-of-the-day these days, but here are a couple of the products I shot.  Love ex libris anonymous‘s Dr. Seuss journals!  Roped our trivia buddy into modeling this Flipside hat for me, since I needed a guy model and it didn’t fit Pete’s big head, hah!

0829 0831

30th – And I modeled all the women’s hats myself – here is one of my favorite blooper reel shots:

0830

I’ll catch up to the present later this week… several dates are missing, due to my still being repaired camera, but I’ve been getting point+shoot pictures most days.  And, mark your calendars, this Saturday will be the 2nd official leethal make-a-long!  Post about that coming soon, I promise!

Filed under: 2010 photos — leethal @ 2:10 pm

September 7, 2010

Get Organized! leethal quick knits club September 2010!

mini-ebook cover

Tah dah!  It’s the first mini-ebook for my next generation of the leethal quick knits club!  Yay!  The 12 page (computer screen reading friendly) pdf includes these two knitting patterns:

zig-zag lace cup! circular needles hanger!

Zig-Zag Lace Cup and Circular Needles Hanger…  both have a 20 yard version, which is what you see in the examples, but both patterns also have any-size, any-gauge (therefore any-yarn) variations!  Make the cup more lacy with a finer weight yarn, and/or make it bigger or smaller to suit your needs.  Knit up the needle hanger in any yarn you have leftover; add more levels lengthwise for extra categorization of your circular collection…

stiffening your lace knit cup zig-zag lace cup!

The cup can easily be stiffened with regular white glue – admiring it once it’s dry the next day is super exciting, by the way!  I want to make a ton more of these cups now, I love it so much!  You could also choose to slip it over a cardboard tube to make it a functioning cup, instead of stiffening it (instructions for both options are included in the ebook).

zig-zag lace cup! zig-zag lace cup!

(I’m sad my first club ebook had to be entirely shot with my point+shoot camera, since my D80’s still in the repair shop, boo….)  And then the other pattern is a pretty simple piece with lots of buttonholes and straps that get woven through them.  I learned how to make one-row buttonholes for the first time while designing this, and have no idea why it took me so long!  They’re pretty darn rad!  As I noted in the pattern, I think it would look super cool to knit the straps in a contrasting colored yarn from the main knit piece – it would really show off the woven construction (I kind of want to make another one to try it out).

circular needles hanger! circular needles hanger!

And then there are some other projects too, of course!  In fitting with the theme of organizing your knitting needles and notions, I show you how to make a carry-all case for your most-used needles, and a little drawstring baggy for your stitch markers and other wee bits…

carry-all needles case recycled fabric drawstring baggy

So, if you make everything in the ebook, you’ll have newly crafted storage solutions for your entire needle collection!  Especially if you do what I’m surely going to be doing, and make several more lace cups to hold all your straights (if you have a big vintage needle collection like me, that is).  The final extra goodie in the ebook is a page of silly little drawings of knitting needles and notions, which can be embroidered on to the baggy or needle case if you like.  There’s a glimpse of it below, beside a snippet from the stiffening tutorial:

a page inside a bit of the embroidery pattern page

So there’s the first month!  It’s all on ravelry, and you can now subscribe for 6 months (just $20) right there, which starts with this current month – so this ebook will automatically be sent to you immediately upon subscribing!  Neato!  You can also buy this ebook alone over there ($5), and you can also sign up through my club page (which still needs a bit more updating, but the ravelry link suffices for the time being).

If, for some reason, you want to subscribe starting with next month (like, you bought this ebook alone but now you decided you actually want a membership), you can do that on my club webpage.  This will be a useful feature when your 6 month membership runs out, as this is how you can renew it to continue your subscription seamlessly.

Remember, for every month that you’re a member on the ebook release day, you’re entered into a members drawing for a superfun club-related package of awesomeness!  This month’s winners were Miranda and Esther, yay!!

Ok I think that’s everything!  Hope you like the first new month, I’m super duper happy with how it all came together!  Yayyyyy!

Filed under: general crafts,knitting,quick knits — leethal @ 9:18 pm

September 5, 2010

Some run-on sentences, food, more food, and stuff…

Wow hey, how’s it going?  Things have been kind of nutso around here!  Mainly, my camera broke a week before a huge freelance photography job was due, my buddy Alex saved me by loaning me hers for several days, and I was able to get the work done (barely), plus another photo job, but had also managed to pile too much on my plate in general for the last couple weeks, so I’m basically behind on all of it.

My hat test knitters are being very patient with my delayed responses to their emails; I have high hopes that the first issue of my new club is going out on Monday as scheduled, but fear that it may be late.  I want to submit a design idea to a publication with a deadline later this week, but doubt that will happen at this rate.  Blergh.  But, I keep looking ahead to the light at the end of the tunnel… photography jobs turned in soon, club released, hat pattern set finished, maybe actually get wedding invites sent out one of these days…

But hey, a couple rad things… I’ve been eating bits of food from the yard for the last couple weeks!  Yum!  Two weeks ago were the first ripe strawberries (below), and then 4 or 5 more since then (though they seem to be getting smaller with every one).

strawberries

Today I ate my 3rd ripe cherry tomato – ohmygod tomatoes fresh from the garden are the best tasting things in the world!  I would seriously rather eat those cherry tomatoes than candy or chocolate or ice cream or cookies…….. Can’t wait till more start ripening!  And it’s looking like once the big tomatoes finally start ripening, they’ll probably ripen one after another all around the same time – since I’m the only tomato lover in our house, I may be experimenting with making salsa or pasta sauce or other things I’ve never made before…

tomatoes! tomatoes!

The cucumbers are the only things that aren’t looking so well.  (These photos above and below were taken almost 2 weeks ago, by the way.)  The leaves are getting more discolored, and when I talked to the woman at the nursery she said it sounded like maybe I was overwatering, but I fear that maybe I’m actually underwatering, since I don’t have any kind of irrigation system and just water with a hose… I just don’t know.  I got some kind of organic spray she recommended for pests and diseases and stuff, but I can’t tell if it’s helping at all.

cucumber!

Moving on to something else exciting… Pete has finally started a new project he’d been planning for awhile – metalheadpete.com is now a Portland restaurant review blog!  Description from his about page:  i am a metalhead. i love cheap veggie food, which is one of many reasons I love living in PDX. but i find that food review sites consistently don’t tell me what i want to know about it: does it have a cheap veggie option? i am also a lacto-ovo vegetarian, not a true vegan (although i eat vegan food and like it).  in my book, a cheap veggie options means that my significant other and I can go there, and spend $10 on food and be reasonably full. That’s $10 on FOOD, not drinks. so there you have it.

bagdad tots

I got him all set up with a wordpress blog (still needs some tweaking, but it functions), and contributed all the photos (and will add more to the photo-less reviews once I take them), and he already has 11 reviews up!  Many more in the works, too – it’s making going out to eat more fun, now that we’re always analyzing ways to get the most food for the cheapest total, taking photos, ranking it, etc.  And all the reviews are categorized by location – quadrant, then street – for easy browsing… so far, it’s almost all southeast, but as we do more, they’ll expand further I’m sure.

dream salad

And then, in between crazy workyness, I’ve been starting and preparing to start some big wedding-related craft projects.  These are all assorted doilies and vintage lace I’ve collected from thrift stores (and a few from Knittn’ Kitten) throughout the last couple months:

lace

I’m thinking I’m going to plan another make-a-long, and I’ll spend the whole 24 hours working on my dress and other related things, since I feel like that’s the only way I’ll be able to squeeze it in.  I’m thinking September 18th – you in?!  (for the make-a-long, making anything you want, not wedding stuff, of course!)

And I seriously owe you a photo-of-the-day post… it’s been so long, actually, that I may split it up into a couple, later this week I hope!  First, you’ll be seeing my first next generation club ebook soon!  In fact, if you want to see sneaky peeks while I work on the designs, just follow me on twitter!

Filed under: home stuff,personal,portland stuff,random stuff — leethal @ 1:37 am
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