November 30, 2010

Printed Patterns and a Twisted Trunk Show!

Big announcement about my knitting patterns!  They are now available as printed booklets!  Super nice quality, full color, printed by MagCloud, available for you to order directly…

my trunk show stuff!

…and hopefully sometime soon, available at your local yarn shop!  Now that the printed patterns have been designed and made, I’m going to start wholesaling them to all the coolest shops.  Have a local shop where you think my patterns would fit nicely?  Let me know!  (Or, let them know!)  If I can get your help with putting together a list of stores, with actual personal recommendations (much better than blind web searching!) I’ll be on my way to spreading these patterns across the country!  (world? we’ll see!)

As for getting your hands on some patterns right now, before that spreading across the country thing happens… MagCloud is having a holiday sale through the end of December!  Save a bit off each pattern and maybe pick up some presents for knitters on your gift list?

Oh and, an awesome feature of MagCloud is that you can preview the entire booklet there on the site – so you can see the whole pattern, front cover to back cover and everything in between, before deciding whether to buy.  Just like being able to flip through the pattern in a shop!

magcloud preview

Want to know what kicked my butt into finally getting this huge task done?  (It took me about 4 days straight of layout design and pattern editing!)

I’m having my first trunk show this week!  At my most favorite yarn shop – Twisted!  Yay!

my trunk show stuff!

All those patterns and all those sample knits will be displayed at Twisted (with 10% off patterns!), along with a few Double Scoops kits and connect-the-dots stitch sets as well, from this Wednesday (tomorrow) until next Tuesday (the 7th).

The trunk show reception party time is Friday (Dec 3rd) from 6-8, so that’s when it would be most fun to come by, hang out and knit with me and my Twisted buddies, ask any questions you might have about the patterns, and check out the knits!  Oh, and there might be some kind of fun raffle thing going on…

Ocean Breezes! spiral hat

But hey, there’s another event too!  My show happens to be overlapping with the awesome Blonde Chicken‘s one-night-only handspun yarn visit!  On Monday from 5-8 Tara will be there with her yarn, and I will definitely be there to check out said yarn and hang out, so that would be a good second chance for you to be able to see my show, and see hers at the same time, and hang out with us all!  Yeah!

Shapeshifter! Swerve fingerless mitts!

So, if you’re in Portland, I hope you can make it in, take a peek at my patterns, new and old, and perhaps we can knit together a bit.

Filed under: knitting,leethal store,portland stuff,self-publishing — leethal @ 8:30 am

November 28, 2010

Gifts from the past: Pete’s Secret Goats Hat

The holiday season beginning has reminded me of the gifts I made last year which I never blogged about!  Oops!  So I’ll be doing a little series of these gifts from the past, hoping to inspire in you ideas for your gift making this year!  First, I knit this hat for Pete last year from the same skein of yarn as this Buttonhead – Dream in Color Classy, yumm:

pete's goats hat

I came upon this Goat Cable pattern by Cyn a couple years ago and knew I had to use it in a project for Pete at some point (since, you know, goats are metal), so I made up a pattern for a spiral hat (based on these) with the cables:

pete's goats hat

The goats ended up looking kind of abstract-y, since they stretch diagonally, when he wears it.  Plus, it’s a kind of weird fit (a little too narrow and a little too tall) which makes the cables pull out more… But he claims to like that his hat has secret hidden goats!

pete's goats hat pete's goats hat

Since most of the hat is in reverse stockinette, because of the cables, I played around with some stockinette swirly stripes up at the top… which also didn’t turn out how it looked in my head, but I guess it adds some interest to the top. And the hat is sort of reversible, since it just looks like plain stockinette on the inside, with some weird texture where the cables happen:

pete's goats hat pete's goats hat

I love this yarn, and it’s perfect for Pete since he’s really sensitive to wool warmth and overheats easily – it’s warm, but not too warm.  Plus, it’s superwash, and grey so it goes with everything.  So overall, I think it turned out to be a pretty good gift…

pete's goats hat

Last year, when I made this, I had been planning an ebook on swirling hats, designs with different kinds of cables, ribbing, and other stitch patterns – designing the goat cables into this hat was kind of a test to see how things would work.  Anyway, my focus is on a different ebook project now, but maybe someday I’ll come back to that idea…

Filed under: gifts,hats,knitting — leethal @ 4:39 pm

November 26, 2010

October 10th – 31st photos

Slowly catching up on photos-of-the-day… I waited for the wedding, in hopes of linking to more wedding photos, but I still haven’t gotten them from our photographer (oh I know from experience how long editing photos can take!) so I’ll post about my dress and stuff once I get those… for now, let’s get through October’s photos…

10th – Wedding day!  Here’s a shot I took of the table we sat at, with my bouquet, champagne, and some of those frames:


11th + 12th – These 2 days after the wedding were spent at Disneyland!  The first day with my brothers Matt and Ben, and the second day with both of our parents.  We had so much dorky Disneyland fun!  (Some other fun photos: we had leftover wedding pie and sparkling cider for breakfast, there was a fun crafty window display on Main Street, the Haunted Mansion was all Tim-Burton-ified for Halloween inside and out, the teacups are always fun to take pictures on at night, as was the Submarine – the new Finding Nemo parts didn’t come out in photos like the old stuff did).

1011 1012

13th – This was the day that was spent half in doctors’ offices, and half on the road to Flagstaff, mostly in the dark (so we didn’t get to see that part of Arizona, bummer).  Dinner was at Denny’s in Needles, California, just before the Arizona border, where I asked if they had something vegetarian that I could substitute for sausage, and the server told me she was pretty sure the chicken sausage was vegetarian.  My skillet (with no meat sub) was pretty darn good though (can’t go wrong with potatoes!):


14th – The sight-seeing begins!  The first real day of our road trip was Flagstaff (where we ate breakfast at Cracker Barrel and did a little thrifting and yarn shopping), up to the Grand Canyon, then as far as we could get on the way to Utah, with ended up being Page, Arizona.  The Grand Canyon was pretty darn majestic!  See lots more photos I took in my flickr set, starting on the bottom of this page, through page 9 in the set.


15th – This day we headed up through southern Utah to Bryce Canyon – even more majestic than the Grand Canyon!  Then we took all of highway 12, stopping in Boulder for lunch (and some reading), and drove late into the night till we made it to Salt Lake City.  Highway 12 had the craziest (most terrifying) bits of road we’ve ever experienced – it was hard to get good photos from the road (especially the parts when my hands were shaking with fear!), but I took some video too, which I’ll go through and upload at some point.  Bryce Canyon was the most photogenic part, for sure!  (More shots on flickr here and here.)


16th – Spent the day in SLC, which was a weird city… Checked out Gilgal Sculpture Garden, Blazing Needles yarn shop, thrift stores, In-n-Out for lunch, downtown, and had dinner and a beer in Trolley Square:


17th – Then we headed to Boise, swinging through Pocatello (where Pete’s mom is from) for an awesome lunch and a little thrifting on the way.  We happened upon a fantastic dinner in downtown Boise at Flatbreadyummy pizza, fondue appetizer, and delicious local beer!


18th – We spent the day in Boise, which we liked a lot!  Great record store, nice little downtown, good coffeeshop for hanging out to pass some time, and amazing fries!  Yay for Idaho potatoes:


19th – After stopping in Nampa to check out Puffy Mondaes (yes! awesome!) we drove through Oregon to Bend for the last night of our trip, spent at the McMenamins there.


20th – Last trip day; we ate the most incredible breakfast of our lives at Chow in Bend, then headed up home to Portland.  It was a good trip!


21st + 22nd – Now that the trip’s over, the rest can be quicker… First day back was pretty resty; I washed a bunch of the clothes we thrifted, like my favorite robe ever!  The next day, I decided to cut my bangs:

1021 1022

23rd – Did the photoshoot for Tritops, which was extremely backlit, making my camera not want to autofocus, making me very very frustrated:


24th – Tried making veggie burgers from Nature’s Burger mix (which we found in bulk form at Winco) – added some chopped up mushrooms to the mix, and wee bit of chopped up spinach.  Turned out pretty good, but I don’t know if they’re worth all the extra effort…


28th + 29th – Finally finished up knitting this yarn into an Elizabeth Zimmerman Snail Hat, which still needs to be blocked.  (It’s a quick hat to knit, but since it was a project just for fun, for myself, it took me like years to get done!)  Also got lots of knitting done that day on a new Skoodlet sample!  Then I did the photoshoot for the newly redone Haka hat pattern (now available through Knit Picks!)… here’s an outtake:

1028 1029

31st – And lastly, Halloween!  We put our costumes together super last minute because of the trip… we decided to be kind of exaggerated versions of ourselves in high school… and once we got everything figured out, I realized we were kind of exactly ourselves in 1997 – Pete being his playing a show with his metal band self, and me being my 15 year old Orange County teen in the mid-90’s self.  Don’t we look like we were destined to end up together?  Here’s me in 1998 for real, and, an extra bonus shot of my costume a little closer up (yes, that’s a wig, couldn’t find a good blonde one):

1031 me on Halloween '10

If you follow me on twitter, you know that I’m recovering from some really brutal food poisoning… so this post that was supposed to go up at the beginning of the week got delayed (and then pushed back another day due to a server problem that just got fixed), and everything on my to-do list (including other blog posts) is getting pushed. Sigh. Well, the Mystery Knit-a-Long is running along smoothly, and I think everyone is having a lot of fun with it, so that’s awesome! Happy Thanksgiving weekend, and hopefully I’ll be back here in blog world soon!

Filed under: 2010 photos — leethal @ 5:02 pm

November 11, 2010

leethal Mystery Knit-a-Long!

It’s here!  My first mystery knit-a-long!  It’s an any-gauge pattern, and it’s designed by me, so of course you know it’s an accessory, but that’s all you get to know!  Well, ok, I’ll give you more info that you need to knit it, and I’ll tell you now that it’s one size fits all (which will make it a great gift knit!)…

leethal mystery knit-a-long!

So, the way it’ll work is…

You sign up now either on ravelry, or by clicking here to buy now – it’s $6, and includes the final pattern when it’s released after the knit-a-long (which will be available to everyone for the same price).

You automatically receive the first pdf, which includes all the info you need about what yarn and needles to get, and what to do to prepare for starting the pattern (knit a gauge swatch).

The pattern is divided into 4 sections – you will receive a new pdf each Thursday (November 18th – December 9th) with that week’s pattern section.  (Or Friday if I’m running late, but I’ll try to get them out on Thursday afternoons.)

The first 2 sections are the quickest ones, and the 3rd section is the biggest… so if you happen to not find out about this knit-a-long until after the first and/or second installments have already gone out, you can still join in and catch up!

This is an accessory divided into 4 parts, so clearly you won’t have to be knitting nonstop for 4 weeks.  You should be left with plenty of time in your knitting schedule to work on gift projects while you’re participating in the knit-a-long (if that’s a concern).

Ok, now I’ll paste in a bunch of info from the first pdf that you may want to know before signing up…

leethal mystery knit-a-long! leethal mystery knit-a-long!

This mystery pattern is for any gauge, which means you can use any yarn you want.  I’d recommend something soft against skin.

The final version of this pattern will have some interesting variations involving cables and/or lace, but this mystery pattern is the basic version – to add interest, it will work well with a self-striping yarn (with long color sections, like Noro), or you can choose to work stripes.  The pattern will include notes about striping throughout.  If you prefer solids, then that’ll work too, for a more classic kind of finished piece.

As for yardage, because any yarn will work, the yardage estimates are very approximate.  With its 4 parts, this pattern will look nice if the colors are changed anywhere within the 3rd part, or if a new color is started at the beginning of the 4th part.  I say this so that if you have a yarn that may or may not have enough yardage, and you have another similar, matching yarn to act as your backup, you can switch to the backup yarn during the 3rd or 4th sections if you run out of your main yarn.

My yardage estimates are:

  • 400-500 yards worsted
  • 350-400 yards bulky
  • 600-700 yards fingering
  • for other weights, use these estimates as a reference

And about yarn weights… This will be a much quicker project with heavier weights (obviously), and even if you like working in finer weights, you may want to work up this mystery version in a worsted, and then once you know what it is and how the variations work, etc, you can knit up future versions in finer weights.  I’m saying that as a knitter who rarely uses finer than worsted, so if you love working with sock yarn, go for it!

Whatever your yarn weight, you should work it up in a somewhat drapey gauge, meaning not too tight.  This project looks nice when worked with needles one or two sizes bigger than you might normally use.

This project is knit entirely flat, on long circular needles.  I’d recommend a 60” long circular, but anything 32” or longer will work.

The rest of the materials you’ll need for the project:

  • some scrap yarn for a crochet provisional cast-on (cotton works well)
  • a crochet hook for provisional cast-on
  • measuring tape
  • 12 stitch markers total

The pattern uses basic short-rows to work a sideways edge cast-on (no wrapping, just turning) – you don’t need to be familiar with this technique or understand what I’m talking about in that blog post (linked), just work the pattern as it’s written and it’ll magically cast on the sideways stitches.

You’ll need to work from a very simple knit/purl pattern chart.

You’ll need to do some very basic math – such as divide a number by 3.

leethal mystery knit-a-long!

And now I’m going to ask your advice… I’ve never organized or participated in a mystery knit-a-long, so I’m just kind of guessing at the best ways to do everything.  My plan is to release a pattern pdf each week, with no photos at all, and minimal diagrams, to really keep it a mystery.  But then, to help out anyone who’s having trouble or wanting to make sure it’s looking how it’s supposed to, I’ll put up a second pdf that you can download if you want, with photos of how that section should look when it’s done, and possible extra diagrams.  The future sections will remain a mystery, of course.

How does that sound?

And then, the other thing I’m trying to decide on… do you think I should do a blog post each week to show how the mystery object is looking – like, when I release section #2, I’ll post about section #1…?  Or, should I keep the mystery going throughout the whole knit-a-long, so if some knitters are behind, there aren’t spoilers?  I want to do whatever knit-a-longers want me to do, so let me know!

Lastly, I am writing this post, and I wrote the whole intro pdf, with a pretty annoying cold, so the sickness may have caused awkward phrasings, typos, etc… please comment with questions if anything is unclear or confusing!  I’m really excited about this endeavor, so I hope plenty of you have a wee bit of free knitting time this holiday season to enjoy some mystery knitting!!

Update 11/18:  I forgot to say before, the “a-long” part of the knit-a-long will mostly be ravelry-based – the leethal knitters! group discussion boards is the place to talk about how it’s going and ask questions, etc.  I prefer that questions go there throughout the KAL so that everyone can benefit from the public q+a (instead of emailing me privately).  And please post WIPs in your ravelry projects as you knit-a-long!

Filed under: knit-a-longs,knitting — leethal @ 6:09 pm

November 8, 2010

Lace Stenciled Framed Song Lyrics! (+our wedding music)

If you’ve been following my blog, you know how I made 60 of these painted frames with song lyrics for our wedding decorations/favors…


Well, a lot of wedding guests loved them and took one home, but we had a ton left at the end of the night, which we boxed back up and took home with us…

wedding framed song lyrics!

So we now have 30 of them hanging on our big white living room wall!  Yay!!  There are several duplicate lyrics, some of which I already changed out to engagement photos, but once we get our wedding photos I’ll switch out some more lyrics with photos (but just a few, because we love the look of the lyrics!):

wedding framed song lyrics!

So, hey, you want to know how to make these yourself?  It’s a pretty simple project, but a bit time (and space) consuming… Well, that’s if you’re making 60 like I did… If you just make a few, it shouldn’t take long.  (This project was totally inspired by Mark Montano‘s Big Ass Book of Home Decor and Mark’s love of spray paint!)

I made 2 different types of painted frames: textured frames that were just plain spray painted, and smooth(ish) frames that were painted with lace used as stencils.

Your first step is to take a trip to your local thrift store (or several of them) and find frames – whatever sizes you want (mine were 3×5, 4×6, and 5×7), either textured to do the simple version, or plain untextured frames to do the lace stenciling.  (Of course, you can do the simple version with plain frames too, if you want to.)

wedding framed song lyrics! wedding framed song lyrics!

For the textured frames, simply take out the glass/backing (be sure to keep track of which goes with which frames), lay the (clean) frame down on a protected surface (like newspaper) in a ventilated space (I did it all outside, but breeze/wind makes it tough – an open garage would be ideal – either way, wear a face mask when doing lots of spray painting!), and spray (as the spray paint can instructs).

I did them in batches of 6-10 at a time – sprayed 1 coat over them all, then went back with a 2nd coat over them all.  Be sure to get the sides (unless the frame has an interesting edge and you choose not to paint over it).  After letting dry for 5-10 minutes on the newspaper, I transferred them to an outdoor table to dry completely (or, until bringing them inside for the night).

wedding framed song lyrics!

For the lace stenciled frames, there are a couple extra steps.  You’ll need: spray adhesive, spray paint, plenty of space to work, and lots of newspaper to cover your work surface, and a face mask for safety so you don’t breathe in all those glue and paint fumes.

And then the lace itself – find vintage doilies, curtains, and other home decor items from thrift stores, with interesting patterns.  I’ll show you lots of examples of different kinds of lace used as stencils, in a minute…

wedding framed song lyrics!

  • First, spray the lace with a thin coat of spray adhesive (with it sitting on newspaper).
  • Stick the lace onto the frame, as you want it placed – be sure to stick it all down the best you can.
  • Spray a good thick coat over the frame through the lace stencil.  (At first, I was doing 2 coats, like with the plain painted frames, but sometimes the lace would become un-stuck after the first coat, so the second coat would make it blurry.)
  • Let dry for a minute or so, then carefully lift off the lace (you don’t want the glue to stick it on there permanently!), and lay it flat somewhere to dry (you can use the same pieces again later).
  • Let dry completely as the spray paint can instructs.

wedding framed song lyrics!

Here’s what my yard looked like during this project:

wedding framed song lyrics! wedding framed song lyrics!

And some of the stenciled frames, drying:

wedding framed song lyrics!

I really like how the textured frames look too!  We ended up taking home mostly stenciled frames, which I’m happy about, but I might thrift for some more frames like those crazy curvy designs below and make more of those:

wedding framed song lyrics!

Here are a couple of the textured frames we did take home – that green one is one of my absolute favorites!

textured painted frame textured painted frame

Note – you can click on the pictures to go to the flickr pages and read what songs the lyrics came from, if you’re curious.  A couple more simple textured frames:

textured spray painted frame textured spray painted frame

And some close ups of the lace stenciling over a couple different kinds of frame surfaces (the one on the left is some kind of coated fabric surface, and shiny metal on the right):

lace-stenciled frame lace stenciled frame

And now to show you all different kinds of lace options…

lace stenciled frame lace-stenciled frame

These 3 (above and below) are stenciled with doilies – the above/left frame is the doily pictured in the above/left of the photo, and the other two are the same positions as well.

lace stenciled frame lace stenciling

Below, these are stenciled with pieces of vintage lace curtains (I think, maybe tablecloths?) that covered the whole frames…

lace-stenciled frame lace-stenciled frame

You can see how the lace on the left, with the fine mesh, made a more subtle, textured pattern when painted through (another example here, and one that didn’t turn out so well here), and the lace on the right, with the big holes, made the more graphic, bold design.

lace stenciling lace stenciling

Another big lace curtain, cut into pieces for these…

lace stenciled frame lace stenciled frame

…laid over partially for the purple one, and over the whole frames for the other 2 (green above and blue below).

lace stenciled frame lace stenciling

And then, a messed up, weirdly shaped piece of lace, that I cut into different sized pieces, around the curved shape of the lace design…

lace-stenciled frame lace-stenciled frame

You can see how the same lace can look different when used on a shiny painted surfaced frame (above, orange), or an unpainted wood frame (below).

lace stenciled frame lace stenciling

And lastly, I got this big Noah’s Ark themed kid’s room decor lace thing, which I cut into all different kinds of pieces…

lace-stenciled frame lace stenciled frame

…since there was so much going on, I could get lots of different looks out of the same lace item.  See those square parts, the top edging with the long curved rectangle shapes, and then all the curves and different hole designs in the pictures…

lace stenciling

lace stenciled frame lace stenciled frame lace stenciled frame

So, all the frames above and below here came from that same lace thing, cut and placed different ways (I obviously really like the squares).

lace stenciled frame lace stenciled frame

Look at your local thrift store for lace in the home decor section, with tablecloths, with dishcloths, with curtains, on end cap sections… I find lace in weird places sometimes.  If you try out this project, I’d love to see your frames!

Oh, and a side note, just a reminder that my October club ebook includes 7 of my favorites of these lyric artwork things for printing out.

If you want to make your own, it’s easy if you have a photo editing program that can do text (and some experience using it) – just download some fun fonts (some of my favorites for this project are Bleeding CowboysAngioma1942 ReportBenny BlancoVNI-Thuphap, Schneller), type your favorite lyrics, with the text box set to justify, and mess with the text size, letter spacing, line spacing, etc until it looks good.

wall of framed song lyrics

Because it somewhat relates… want to know about the music we played at our wedding?  We spent tons of time putting together playlists – an hour of songs to play before, and about 3 and a half hours worth for after.

The ceremony was bookended by The Magnetic Fields – It’s Only Time for walking down the aisle, and The Book of Love walking back down after we were married.

I love the whole playlist, but I’ve put together kind of a best-of that’s 1 mix CD length:

  1. The Book Of Love / The Magnetic Fields
  2. We’ve Only Just Begun / Grant Lee Buffalo (covering The Carpenters)
  3. Ceremony / New Order
  4. The Best Is Yet To Come / Tony Bennett
  5. Hazy / Rosi Golan feat. William Fitzsimmons
  6. Lovin’ You Lots and Lots / The Norm Wooster Singers
  7. I’ll Be Your Mirror / The Velvet Underground & Nico
  8. Summers / Loney, Dear
  9. I Found My Way / Dusty Springfield
  10. Our Love Is Here To Stay / Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
  11. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) / Marvin Gaye
  12. Top Of The World / The Carpenters
  13. Darlin’ Companion / Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash
  14. The Greatest Sum / The Avett Brothers
  15. Grow Old With Me / John Lennon
  16. Fly Me To The Moon / Julie London
  17. Pop Goes My Heart / Pop
  18. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) / The Proclaimers
  19. The Very Thought Of You / Elvis Costello
  20. On The Radio / Regina Spektor
  21. Take Me / Karen Dalton
  22. All I Want Is You / U2
  23. It’s Only Time / The Magnetic Fields

I had to put some boundaries on it in order to cut 4 1/2 hours down to 80 minutes – many of the songs played at the wedding were songs that Pete or I had put on mixes to each other when we were first dating, so since those already existed on mixes, I left them off of this mix (mostly).  A lot of the songs have a specific memory for us, or some reason for being on this mix beyond the song itself.  And then, I just tried to make it a good quality mix, lots of variety, ups and downs, etc.  A glimpse into our wedding soundtrack.

wedding framed song lyrics!

And lastly, about wedding music, my brothers played a set for us!  A medley of some favorite tv theme songs (including My So-Called Life and Pete & Pete) and a fantastic rendition of I’m Gonna Be (which is why that song made the cut onto the wedding mix)!  It was so good!! Yay!

Filed under: general crafts,home stuff,music,personal,tutorials — leethal @ 2:37 pm

November 6, 2010

September 22nd – October 9th photos

Yeah, I’m pretty behind on photo-of-the-day posts, so I’ll start catching up now – from where I left off, 2 weeks before we left on our trip, up until the day before the wedding.  I still have hundreds of trip photos to sort through and edit, but I’m mostly caught up through the Grand Canyon – you can see all the trip photos in my wedding trip set on flickr here.  Barely any shots of the actual wedding, since I’m waiting on those from my photographer; they should be arriving next week, and I’m super duper excited about them!  So, starting way back in September…

22nd + 23rd – We celebrated our buddy Grant’s birthday at OMSI After Dark, fun!  I finished the last of my Tritop sample hats, the tri-petals version:

0922 0924

27th – I had to go to the Apple Store downtown to pick up my laptop, so I walked over to a Thai food cart, grabbed some (super spicy!) noodles, and ate it in the park, overlooking the river and bridges!  A perfect Portland lunch!!


26th + 28th – Enjoyed a buffet brunch at Sweet Tomatoes (aka Souplantation) with Star and Grant – not 100% yum, but I do love buffets!  Got started on my spray painted frames massive wedding project, painting the textured frames:

0926 0928

29th + October 1st – Day 2 of frames project, this time painting the plain frames with lace as stencils (quicky tutorial coming soon!), and then sorting them all out by photo size:

0929 1001

2nd – Final day of framed lyrics project – sorting the printed song lyrics into the appropriate frames, matching up size and colors… the whole project was pretty complex and took a lot of time away from all the other stuff I had to/wanted to get done before the trip (both wedding-related and work-related, like blog posts for example), but I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out, so I’m glad I went with it!


4th – Finished the under layer of my wedding dress – it’s just a strapless t-shirt dress, made with the intention that I could wear it in the future, not just with my wedding dress over it.  My first time making a circle skirt – love it, so twirly!  (Better photos in the future once I take some.)  Also, I went through all my camera stuff to pick out what to take on the trip, and found my old fisheye attachment that I’d forgotten about – fun!


3rd + 5th – Finished my wedding shoes and photographed them for the club ebook; later, I figured out a way of lacing them up that I liked better, which is how I wore them at the wedding, so you’ll see that once I get my wedding photos up.  Finished packing to leave at 6am the next morning!

1003 1005

and now the trip begins (links are mostly to other photos taken along the trip)…

6th + 7th –  The first day we drove from Portland just about all the way to LA, staying in Grapevine that night.  This (below) is a photo of the outside of the top floor of the rad shop where I bought yarn in Red Bluff, HeartFelt Designs.

The next day, we had an exciting time in LA… we went to buy tickets to see Sarah Silverman for $5 at UCB, and walked by a mob of about 15 paparazzi photogs stalking the exit of the bookstore next door.  We waited around to see who they were waiting for – couldn’t even tell who it was at the time, but later found out it was the girl from Veronica Mars (love!) and Mean Girls (also love!) and Big Love and other current things that I guess have made her more famous lately… and you can see us in the background of the celeb gossip site shots!  Weird!

The UCB show was super fun (miss that place!) – Sarah Silverman was opening up for Howard Kremer and the main spotlight comic, Chelsea Peretti, and they were both hilarious!  So many laughs!  Anyway, then we went out with my brothers Matt and Ben afterwards, and ended up at a sports bar in Hollywood called Big Wangs… how? I don’t know. It just happened.  Their mascot is a body building chicken. wtf.  Oh yeah, but we did have a really good dinner with Ben earlier that night – mushroom taquitos at Cafe 101, yum!  The photo is Newcastle out of a Bud Light plastic pitcher at the sports bar:

1006 1007

8th – The next day we spent many hours in LA Friday traffic, driving from our hotel in the valley (because we didn’t make a reservation ahead of time and all hotels close in were full) to Silverlake, then to Corona to meet up with Pete’s parents and Aunt Bobbie for dinner and game playing.  We played an epic game of Zombie Fluxx which lasted about 2 hours – not a good intro to Fluxx for people who’d never played it before, oops!


9th – My old buddy Abe took us to a hip spot in downtown LA – Nickel Diner – for brunch, which included this homemade pop tart! Yum!  We also squeezed in a late lunch trip to Wahoo’s, which we miss so much – blackened mushroom tacos = ohmygosh so yum!!  Then we spent the rest of the day with my family at my parents’ house, where I worked on my dress (which didn’t get finished until the morning of the wedding) and my parents and Pete helped finish making flowers, and then some of Pete’s family came over for a pre-wedding pizza party meet and greet time.  No photos of that, but it was fun!


So that takes you up to the night before the wedding… next photo-of-the-day post will be the wedding and honeymoon trip, with lots of links to more photos!  (Spaced out with some crafty content in between!)

Filed under: 2010 photos — leethal @ 5:09 pm

November 4, 2010

Bundle Up! November quick knits ebook, plus some recipes!

Hey, it’s November already!  That’s crazy, huh?  Well, I released my third quick knits club ebook on Tuesday – themed Bundle Up! Here it is:

Bundle Up!

Pattern number one is Oval Pockets, which can be sewn onto a sweater that’s in need of pockets, which is pretty much all sweaters, as far as I’m concerned!  There’s a 20 yards of bulky version (each pocket uses just 10 yards), pictured on the cardigan, and then a larger any-gauge version, pictured on the two pullovers:

Oval Pockets Oval Pockets

These are now instantly my three favorite sweaters – but I think the hooded fair isle yoke one is my all time favorite sweater (found at a thrift store in Salt Lake City, isn’t is fabulous?!)… The any-gauge pocket pattern is a little wonky, so I’d recommend attempting in a finer-than-worsted yarn it only if you’re comfortable with short rows and making adjustments – it’s been tested in the bulky and worsted weights, and I fear that finer weight yarns will need some extra steps (all this is discussed in the pattern).

Oval Pockets Oval Pockets

The second pattern is a little weird, maybe… I called it a Cabled Cowl Maker – it loops and wraps around a long scarf to kind of turn it into a cowl:

Cabled Cowl Maker

Depending on how you wrap it, your “cowl” can be snug…

Cabled Cowl Maker Cabled Cowl Maker

…or fluffy and loose:

Cabled Cowl Maker Cabled Cowl Maker

And you can tie it behind the scarf to hide the ties, or in front for a bow design element.  You can’t really see in these photos, but it’s designed so that the cables appear to come off the piece and become the i-cord on one end, and the braided ties on the other end… very similar to the way the cables come off the garter stitch based piece and become buttonhole tabs in Twisted Ankles.  And because they both use bulky, you could whip up this quick knit with leftovers from that project, making those legwarmers and this cowl maker a good winter pair!

Cabled Cowl Maker Cabled Cowl Maker

A running theme throughout the ebook is modifying stuff that’s easily found at thrift stores (all the sweaters in the examples were thrifted, as well as the blue scarf), so my extra is 2 pages of tips and info about thrifting for secondhand sweaters!  Ideas for reconstructing and embellishing, and how to felt wool sweaters for crafting – and the craft tutorial this month is a recycled sweater wool felt mug sleeve:

wool felt mug sleeve

Make it either with velcro or ties; a template is included in the pdf.  Keep your coffee hot longer this winter with a wool sleeve, yay!

wool felt mug sleeve wool felt mug sleeve

This month’s cozy winter set matches January’s club, themed Keeping Warm, with its Afterthought Earflaps and Pinwheel Earmuffs designs (available in Vol. 2 of the old quick knits pattern setsravelry link)…

Afterthought Earflaps Pinwheel Earmuffs

…and included in that club was some hot winter drink recipe cards, fitting right in with the mug sleeves this month, so I wanted to share my favorites with you!  These are leethal “recipes” which means they are just the way I make the drinks, not necessarily the best way or the right way, but they work for me!  The first is non-alcoholic and the others are adult drinks…

leethal Tea!

  • flavored black tea of your choice (berry flavors are good, like blackberry sage)
  • hot water (about 2 thirds of a mug full)
  • milk (soy or regular, a third of a mug full)
  • white chocolate syrup/sauce (a generous squeeze)
  • hazelnut flavor syrup (a big splash)

Let tea steep in hot water for a minute or two, then add milk and syrups, and leave tea bag in to steep as long as you like.

Hot Buttered Rum!

  • hot water (a mug full)
  • butter (a small chunk, about a teaspoon)
  • brown sugar (a tbsp-ish or as sweet as you want)
  • cinnamon (a teaspoon-ish or very generous sprinkle)
  • cloves, nutmeg, any other spices you want (a little)
  • dark rum (as much as you want)

Pour water over butter, sugar, and spices, and stir until butter is melted.  Add rum and enjoy.

Variation: Skip cinnamon & stir with a cinnamon stick.

Hot Toddy!

  • hot water (a mug full)
  • honey (as much as you like for sweetness)
  • lemon juice (a splash)
  • bourbon whiskey (as much as you want)

Stir honey and lemon juice into hot water, and add bourbon.  Sip and enjoy.

Variations: Use hot apple cider (like Trader Joe’s spiced cider, heated) instead of water for an apple hot toddy (yum!); add a tea bag for a tea toddy.

And then there’s my Spicy Cup of Yum recipe from the blog last winter – a coffee drink with optional adult twist.  So good!

As usual, you can grab this month’s ebook alone for $5, or you can subscribe for 6 months of club ebooks (starting with this one) and save $10 – either on my club page, or on ravelry.  My club page has been updated, so now you can get past months’ club ebooks there on my site, and add the subscription to a patterns cart so you can continue shopping in my patterns section as well (where the old club ebooks live).

Happy winter knitting, and I’ll be announcing a super fun thing soon… ok actually I can tell you what it is right now – a mystery knit-a-long!  Hopefully it’ll be announced officially, with details, early next week, and it’ll start around mid-month, as close as possible to the 15th.  I’m super excited about it!  It’s gonna be awesome!  Yay!

Filed under: knitting,quick knits,recipes — leethal @ 4:54 pm
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