June 30, 2011

leethal Mystery Hat Knit-a-long!!

It’s time!  I’ve been planning this one for six months now, and I’m so freaking excited that it’s about to begin!  You can now sign up to knit-a-long a mystery hat, in any weight yarn, custom fit to your head – it’s gender-neutral, it can have buttons if you want, and you can make it shorter or longer, to be fitted or slouchy.  Because of the way it works up in any gauge, you can knit this hat over and over in different weights and get different looking hats each time!

When you sign up, you’ll get the “week 0” pdf, which tells you everything you need to know to choose your yarn, gather your materials, and get ready to knit.  Next Friday, July 8th, part 1 of the pattern will go live and you can start knitting the brim; the following Friday will start part 2 (the body) and the next Friday will be the last part (the crown).  The final pattern, complete with charts (no charts in the mystery pattern, to preserve the mystery!) will be released once the knit-a-long is over, probably on August 1st.

It’s $6 to join, which of course includes the final pattern in the end, and you can sign up on ravelry, or by clicking right here!  You can join in any time, and you’ll get whichever pdfs have been released up to that point; so you can jump in late and catch up if you see in-progress hats and decide you want in.

Mystery Hat!

Here’s some info you’ll also find in the week 0 pdf (and on ravelry)…  Because the hat is for any weight yarn, the design will look different based on your yarn and hat size.  It will work in any size, with any weight, but I don’t recommend going finer than a sport weight, or heavier than an aran, or a bulky yarn that’s on the lighter end of the bulky spectrum.  If knitting a child size hat, it will be better to go lighter in weight, since the whole thing will be smaller – a sport or DK weight should work well.

leethal mystery hat knit-a-long!

The pattern isn’t hard, but it does involve lots of different kinds of twisted stitches, and some short rows for the construction… If you’ve knit any of my patterns that involve the sideways edge cast-on technique (as blogged about here) – which include Cassady, Swerve, Custom Tritops, Betiko, and some quick knits patterns including the fitted pocket case, cabled keepers, and the screen friendly gadget case – then the construction of this hat will come easy to you. If not, it may seem tricky or wrong at first, but once you have a couple inches knit it should start to make perfect sense!

Mystery Hat!

There will be two variations for the hat brim (part 1) – one with buttons (which involves a bit more knitting, with 2 short extra pattern sections) and one with no buttons (which requires a provisional cast-on and grafting). You can also choose your hat fit style – depending on how tall you work the body of the hat, you can make yours fitted and short, fitted and long (covering your ears), or extra long so the extra body slouches in the back.

There will be some basic math required when you start part 2 – it’s just subtraction and division, very easy with a calculator, but you can always find help in the leethal forums if you need it!

Mystery Hat!

Each week’s mystery pattern section will be image-less, to keep the mystery, but I plan to make optional pdfs with photos of what things should be looking like, in case you need some extra help or want to check to make sure yours is looking right. I will release a photo pdf of how part 1 should look either partway through week 1, or when I release week 2’s pdf, so you can have the full mystery for awhile before any spoilers become available.

Knit-a-long talk, help, etc, will all be happening in the leethal ravelry group forums – there will be a new thread for each week’s section, so if you fall behind, you don’t need to worry about spoilers!

Mystery Hat!

You’ll need

  • Enough yarn for a hat in any weight of your choice – somewhere from sport weight to aran weight is recommended – in a solid color; yardage depends on yarn weight and on hat size:

— an adult size hat in sport weight will take approximately 160-190 yards (146-174 meters)
— an adult size hat in bulky weight will take approximately 90-110 yards (82-100 meters)
— an adult size in worsted weight will take approximately 120-150 yards (110-137 meters).
— yardage will also vary depending on your hat fit choice – a big, slouchy hat will take more yarn than a short, fitted hat
— also, blocking is important with this hat, so choose a yarn with fiber content that will block out well

  • 1 16″ circular needle
  • Set of same size double pointed needles
  • (optional) 1 longer circular needle (24” or longer) will be helpful
  • 1 stitch marker
  • A calculator
  • (buttons version only) 3 buttons; size depends on yarn weight
  • (no-buttons version only) Scrap yarn and a crochet hook for provisional cast-on

Filed under: hats,knit-a-longs,knitting — leethal @ 3:27 pm

June 23, 2011

Trivia fun, plus film photos!

First, I put up the answers to that first batch of trivia questions, as comments after the blog post, so you can check that out if you were curious about the answers… I’m especially proud of the pop culture mashups.  My personal favorite is The Bee Geesus and Mary Chain – saying that out loud never gets old!  I also love Yo La TenGo-Go’s and Aimee Mann or Astro-man?

Zach's Shack

So now I’ve started posting my second batch of trivia on twitter – one question per day, around noon-ish (west coast time).  The first person to reply with the correct answer each day wins a $2 off coupon code for my patterns, which will work through my website or through my ravelry patterns shop.

Zach's Shack!

I want to have a non-twitter, more permanent place that you can see what the categories are, with more details, so here they are!

Category 1 – Ten Degrees of Television: I’ll describe a tv show which connects through an actor to the next and previous shows.  I’ll say who the actors are during each question, so the question will usually start by mentioning the actor who was also in the previous day’s show, and end by mentioning the actor who will be in the next day’s show.  And, of course, the question will give more info and clues than just TV actors’ names!

So, today’s question (which I just posted before typing this) was: “Bryan Cranston was father Hal in this Fox comedy which aired from 2000-2006; Grandma Ida was played by Cloris Leachman.”  And yesterday’s question ended with “…Bryan Cranston stars as chemistry teacher Walter White.”  So tomorrow’s question will start with something about Cloris Leachman… all connected!  With posting one question each day, the connections kind of get lost, which is why I wanted to post about the category here – so if you miss the previous day’s question, you can always go back into my twitter feed and find it in case it might help.

Zach's Shack

Category 2 will be Ten Degrees of Movies:  Each answer is the name of a movie – each movie is connected through an actor to the previous and the following movie.  Same as the connections in the TV category, except I won’t be telling you the connecting actors!  Movie actors’ names are more well known (generally) than TV actors’ names, so you get to figure them out in this round.  However, the answer to each question will just be the movie’s name, and the actor connecting to the previous day’s movie will just be extra awesome points.  I’ll give you a virtual high five or something.

This is the same category as round 3 of my first batch of trivia, so scroll down to the comment that starts “round 3 answers” and read the questions and answers, with the connections in parentheses, if you want to better understand how this category will work…

SLC?

The 3rd category will be Colorful Mashups:  I will describe some kind of imaginary movie remake or other kind of project, which mashes up two different elements as pop-culture-mashups, or before+after.  Here’s an example of one in which both are music-related: “The Swedish indie rock band well known for their 2006 hit single Young Folks time travels to open for the legendary singer from The Beatles, who plays some of his solo songs like Imagine” – the answer would be Peter Bjorn and John Lennon.

Again, this is the same kind of category as Music Mashups in the first batch, so check out the comment that begins “and the last of the answers – Round 4” to better understand how that works.  The only difference is that one was all music, and this one will be different things – some movies, some actors, some music, etc.  There will be a theme throughout however, which is hinted at in the category name…

Portland neighborhood

My last category when I hosted trivia was an audio round – I played the beginnings of songs and players had to say the band and song name.  I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to use this at all in the twitter trivia… I may give song names and you say the band, but I don’t know how well that would work, so I’ll more likely skip it altogether.  We’ll see.

So that’s that!  Follow me on twitter around noon each day to play along, and I’ll be posting the whole batch of questions here on the blog like I did last time, once it’s all been played.  Oh, one note – like last time, I’ll allow one win per person, per category.  So, if you win one, then you can start playing to win again when the next category starts – and of course, keep on playing for fun the whole time!

Bryce canyon!

To add something visual to this wordy post, these photos you’ve been seeing are from the batch of film I had developed a few days ago – I’d been saving up some rolls, since I had rolls in cameras and was waiting to finish them off, thinking I’d finish them much sooner.  So some of the rolls had been sitting around for several years!  Some were shot spread out over the last couple years, on various day trips, and on our honeymoon road trip, and a little bit on our recent road trip down through California (more on that later!)…

Japanese gardens

grand canyon!

mcmenamins

There were 3 rolls of 35mm (shot on my Canonet QL17 and my Argus C3 Matchmatic, two color and one b+w) and 3 rolls of medium format – one shot square format on my Holga (color), one on my grandma’s old square format Kodak Duaflex II (b+w), and one on an old Ansco box camera (b+w).

Astoria

at our wedding!

Astoria

Click on the photos to see some info on flickr – many details are unknown because I’m bad at keeping track of things over the years.  Most of these roll had been severely heat damaged and/or were very expired… and then the Holga just always get major light leaks when I shoot it square format.  Everything came out though, nothing was damaged beyond repair like I had feared!

Astoria

Japanese gardens

somewhere in San Francisco

The black and white shots at the booth, at the top of this post, were taken at Zach’s Shack, where we play trivia and where I hosted this trivia live – see, it’s all connected!

unknown

at our wedding!

Japanese gardens

Portland neighborhood

A fun note – when we did my Buttonhead photoshoot at the Rhododendron garden I was actually shooting with some of those prop cameras, and some of those shots were in this batch of film!  The camera I’m posing with in these shots is what was used to take these photos:

at the Rhododendron garden

at the Rhododendron garden

at the Rhododendron garden

at the Rhododendron garden

Filed under: contest/giveaway,personal,photos,portland stuff,trivia — leethal @ 2:33 pm

June 17, 2011

thrifty find, part 2: Painted Table!

Almost 2 years ago, I blogged that I found this table at the Goodwill Bins (outlet store) for 3 bucks, and that I had plans to do something to it… I said that hopefully “in a few weeks I’ll be showing you after photos!”  A few weeks, hah!  Well, after spray painting it yesterday, here’s that after post, better late than never!

spray painted side table!

The original table, straight home from the thrift store:

new (used) end table

The top part and the legs were screwed on, so I took the pieces apart, and spray painted each…

spray painted side table!

…then put them back together…

spray painted side table!

…and bam!  New table!

spray painted side table! spray painted side table!

I love it!  Yay!  The hardest part of the whole project was deciding what colors to use.  First I couldn’t decide between doing the whole thing one color, or multiple colors, and then after deciding 2 colors would be good, I had to choose which two… I finally just grabbed these two and went for it – and I’m happy I did!  I think they match the house well.

spray painted side table! spray painted side table!

I did a bunch more spray painting at the same time – some small shelves mostly, and I have more I wasn’t able to get to.  So once all those are finished and up on the walls, I show them to you for more spray painting inspiration!  Fun stuff!

Filed under: home stuff,thrifty finds — leethal @ 2:37 pm

June 9, 2011

June’s quick knits club: Thrift! (last club ebook!)

Well here it is, my last club ebook!  The quick knits club has run its course and has now come to an end, with a theme that seemed to fit since it’s an element in pretty much every club ebook: Thrift!

June's quick knits club ebook cover

Everything has to do with items you can find at thrift stores… The first, embellishments that can be sewn onto clothes to hide small stains, holes, or logos, or just to liven up something that’s a bit more bland than you’d like.  From the ebook: “If you find a shirt or skirt that fits perfectly, in a color you love, with an unsightly blemish, this embellishment might be all that’s needed to turn it into your new favorite piece! I used mine to cover up the logo on a shirt and make the whole thing more interesting, and to brighten up a boring skirt.”

June's quick knits club ebook! June's quick knits club ebook!

There are two patterns for the Bobble Star Embellishments – one with smaller bobbles and longer stems, and the other with larger bobbles, shorter stems, and a larger center part.  And then there are notes for adjusting the number and length of the stems, and how I made that crazy one with 9 stems in all different lengths.

June's quick knits club ebook!

And then the other pattern is something you can knit with the actual thrifted materials themselves – make super-bulky recycled “yarn” out of either a sheet or t-shirt(s) and knit it up into a Bulky Teardrop Towel:

June's quick knits club ebook!

And hanging in action in my kitchen:

June's quick knits club ebook! June's quick knits club ebook!

Each of the patterns have tutorials to go with them – for the embellishments, I explain how to sew the stars onto clothes, either by hand or machine…

June's quick knits club ebook! June's quick knits club ebook!

And I show you how to make sheet yarn…

June's quick knits club ebook!

…and no-ties t-shirt yarn, which can stripe between different colors with no knots or ends to weave in.

June's quick knits club ebook! June's quick knits club ebook!

The tutorial in this ebook is nature plates – clear glass plates are almost always found at thrift stores, so here’s a way to turn those into awesome custom dishes:


June's quick knits club ebook!

You could use the same concept with hand-cut stencils or other flat found objects; I used leaves from weeds in my yard.  Maybe someday I’ll have our weed problem under control and these plates will serve as a reminder of what used to be.  (Yards are a lot of work!)

June's quick knits club ebook!

And then lastly, there’s a link list of tutorials I’ve done online that are great for thrifted materials, which happens to be a pretty big chunk of my tutorials, since I do love thrifting!  As I said in the ebook, thrift shops are my main source for craft materials in general, and when coming up with club ideas, always trying to use recycled materials whenever possible, I generally hit thrift stores before craft stores.  For the first generation of the club, the recycled yarn always came from thrifted sweaters, and the extras usually would be thrifted as well, so I’m happy to have wrapped up these almost two years of monthly club projects with this theme!

So, you can grab this ebook on my site or on ravelry, and you can buy any of the other 9 club ebooks separately, plus all my old club patterns in ebook collections – volume 1, volume 2, and volume 3.  (All my quick knits patterns are on ravelry here.)  I’m excited for the club to be behind me, so I can move on to focus on my big ebook now!  But, I may be putting out free quick knits patterns once in awhile if I think of any good ideas.  We’ll see…..

Happy thrifting, and happy knitting!

Filed under: knitting,quick knits,thrifty finds — leethal @ 3:24 pm

June 2, 2011

Fancy Pantsy Frozen Waffles!

I’m back in town, and have yet to go through road trip photos and stuff, so in an effort to give you some content and make this blog something worth checking in on… here’s something yummy you can make!

frozen waffle breakfast

There are surely endless possibilities using this concept, but here are 3 variations I made and photographed.  Make some frozen toaster waffles – I use the multigrain type to pretend I’m being healthy – and go through your kitchen to find a combination of ingredients to bury the waffles under!

frozen waffle breakfast

Up top: peanut butter spread on the waffles, banana sliced over them, granola sprinkled on top, then honey drizzled over the whole thing.

Above: peanut butter spread on one waffle, banana slices spread over it, second waffle placed over that, jam spread over that one, then topped with some granola.

Below: mandarin orange slices spread over 2 waffles, greek yogurt poured over it all, and plenty of granola sprinkled on top.

frozen waffle breakfast

As you can see, I like adding granola to pretty much any fancy waffle creation, for that crunch texture factor – always a good thing!  If you want to eat your meal on the go, make something like the middle one, but with all ingredients on the inside to make it a sandwich.

Writing about my frozen waffle concoctions reminded me of a waffle variety Pete got at a waffle cart on N Mississippi – waffle grilled cheese!  It was delicious, so you can take that idea and expand your frozen waffle concepts beyond the sweet and fruity and into the savory… some ideas can be found on that post I linked to (like “savory waffled topped with cream cheese, spinach, tomato, chives and two eggs over easy”).  Don’t know how those kinds of combinations will translate to frozen waffles, but… worth a try?

Ok this is a weird blog post, but I’m trying to post more often, so there you go!  Eat some yummy foods, and I’ll be here working on my last quick knits ebook all weekend.  And maybe also spending way too much time on my current obsession – cataloging and organizing my record collection!  I got some rad new vinyl on our trip, and I rekindled my vinyl love, so I’ve become completely taken over with entering all my records into a google doc spreadsheet because I am a supernerd.  It’s too much fun!  I’ll manage to get that ebook done, somehow…..

Filed under: recipes — leethal @ 7:58 pm
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