September 26, 2011

Remixed!

You know how I’ve been mentioning since the beginning of the year that I’m working on an ebook?  Well, it’s a long process but there’s finally something ready to put out there into the world!  In the spirit of kickstarter campaigns, and other community supported projects, and because the knitting community is awesome, I’ve released the ebook for pre-sale.  Pre-order the book, get each individual pattern as it’s finished, starting with Parallel Lines right now!

Parallel Lines Cover Wild is the Wind Cover

Your pre-orders will help me to be able to focus on the ebook and get it out as soon as I can, and I think it’ll be fun for all to get each pattern, one every few weeks, like little gifts in your inbox, right?

The ebook is called Remixed, and it will be all about knitting with recycled yarns – how to make your own yarns, using thrifted/unwanted sweaters, and patterns that will work excellently with these yarns.  The reason the patterns work well with recycled yarns is that they are all super versatile, making them great for yarns of weird weights, or limited yardage, etc, which makes them perfect also for using up random single skeins or any other yarns you might have that are looking for a project.  Because of the flexibility, you can make the patterns over and over, differently each time, by changing up the yarn type and choosing different optional elements.  By remixing the designs, you might say.

remixed yarn

There will be 8 accessory patterns – the ebook is $16 and after the complete book is out, each pattern will be available individually for about $4 (some may be $1 more or less).  All the yarn-making tutorials will be exclusive to the ebook, which is sure to be long and packed with info, and will of course be formatted for easy reading on your computer screen or ebook-reading device.

infinity moebius scarf thing

Parallel Lines is the first pattern, which you’ll get right now when you pre-order (through my site or through ravelry) – it’s a moebius loop scarf, with a simple reversible slip-stitch pattern, some easy short rows, for any yarn weight and any width you like.  A quick thank you to my awesome test knitters for all their helpful feedback on this one!

Wild is the Wind

In about 10 days you’ll get the second pattern – Wild is the Wind hat (one, two, three on rav), which is currently being tested in all different yarn weights, sizes, and styles.

Wild is the Wind Wild is the Wind

A couple weeks after that, Freewheelin’ will be the third pattern – below are glimpses at my first and second (in-progress) prototypes, but I’m still making changes.  The final design will be differently shaped, and a wee simpler than the blue one, for easier (more enjoyable) knitting/pattern following.  It can be made with any weight yarn, and as big as you want it; the blue one shows the size it is when made with 1 skein of worsted weight yarn (Manos del Uruguay wool), but if you keep knitting, it’ll turn into a full size shawl.

future design prototype! bulky yellow cables

And then, as they are ready – I’m aiming for every 2 weeks, but some may take longer – you’ll get each of the remaining patterns.  One of them may be free for a limited time, but besides that, and perhaps the occasional twitter giveaway, the only way to get the patterns before the book is out will be by pre-ordering.

Without giving too much away, here’s a super vague list of the other 5 patterns:

  • fingerless mitts
  • a scarf which is meant for using up lots of bitsy yarn scraps
  • a crazy mystery accessory
  • a not so crazy mystery accessory
  • something meant for wild art yarns

So, that gives you a little bit of an idea of what you’ll be getting; if you like these designs that you can see now, that probably means you’ll like most of the Remixed patterns.

remixed yarn remixed yarn

I can’t give you a date for when the final ebook will be released, but I can tell you that I doubt it will be possible to get it out before the end of the year.  But, the good news: these patterns are great for gift knitting, and you’ll for sure be getting several of them in plenty of time to get them knit up by holiday season.  Most, if not all, of the individual patterns should be out to pre-orderers before the end of the year, and the complete book, tutorials and all, will be out as soon as I can complete it.  My top priority with this project is quality, so I hope you’ll understand if it takes me longer than you would like it to – it should all be worth it in the end!

remixed yarn remixed yarn

Throughout the pre-sale period (from now until the final book is released) I will be doing random giveaways for pre-orderers, whom I’ll call Remixers because that’s easier and more fun.  The giveaways will average around one every 2 weeks, I’ll be posting about them in the ravelry forums, and giveaway prizes will vary.  Winners may get a skein of recycled yarn, or other crafty goodies, or a free pattern, or their choice of something from my shop… Or other fun ideas I come up with!

remixed yarn

Also in the leethal ravelry group, I’ll be posting regular updates about new patterns and all Remixed-related news.  It would be awesome if Remixers want to share their projects from the ebook patterns, and post anything else you want to about Remixed.  I’m crazy super excited to be finally putting this out there, and I hope you have fun with the way I’m doing it one pattern at a time.

remixed yarn

I first starting brainstorming and outlining this ebook concept well over a year ago, made definite plans which I announced on the blog in February, which is also when I started the prototypes for both of the first two designs (Parallel Lines in handspun and Wild is the Wind in an unknown commercial yarn), but I’d planned to include all kinds of recycled yarns – “yarn” made from sheets, t-shirts, plastic bags, etc.  Now that I’ve been finalizing everything, my plan has changed so that this book will be only recycled sweater yarns, and (if all goes well) it will be followed by a second book with all those crazy yarns, and then after that, a third volume with hand-dyed recycled yarns.

infinity moebius scarf thing

So, that’s the plan.  If you are into it, awesome, and I hope you’re able to pre-order Remixed, because each and every order will really help me to make this ebook the best it can be, and get the patterns done as quickly as I’m able to.  So far, I love absolutely everything about this project – the recycley-ness, the musical aesthetic, the any-gauge accessories… it’s all really close to my heart and I hope that my love for it shows through in the work I put out to you!  And I hope you love it, too!

Filed under: hats,knitting,Remixed,self-publishing,yarn — leethal @ 3:34 am

September 23, 2011

Food adventures from my garden!

Now that food-growing season is coming to an end here in Portland, I want to share with you the goodness that came from my yard this year!  My most favorite thing is that the cucumbers were successful, and I tried making pickles for the first time!

refrigerator pickles!

This was my first harvest, in August – 2 pounds, which was exactly the amount needed for one batch of this refrigerator dill pickles recipe.

first cucumber harvest

So I went shopping, got a giant bunch of fresh dill, and went to work making pickles.  It was pretty darn quick and easy – definitely the most time-consuming part was picking and washing and chopping all the dill.

refrigerator pickles!

And then, the next afternoon, bam!  Pickles!  And oh my goodness, there were delicious!!  I highly recommend trying refrigerator pickles if you are intrigued by the concept (and like pickles) but don’t want to get into all the canning stuff.  The only thing is, you have to eat them within about 2 weeks… but that’s not a problem for us – yumyumyum!

refrigerator pickles!

I was so excited about making my first batch of pickles, I made an iPad comic to celebrate!  hehe

my first pickles!

My second batch of cucumbers was ready for picking a few days ago, and while it wasn’t quite as many as the first, and there were a couple bitsy ones, this was the first time my garden grew a big, long cucumber that actually looked like a cucumber!  This harvest ended up being just about exactly 2 pounds as well, perfect for another batch of pickles!  Yay!

second cucumber harvest spicy refrigerator pickles!

This time, I got experimental.  I used the same recipe as a starting point, but I decided to try making spicy pickles!  I added 4 jalepeños and 3 serrano peppers, all sliced.  I used a package of fresh dill instead of a straight-from-the-farm bundle, to make it easier, and this time I didn’t chop the dill at all.  The other major difference was that I cut the cucumbers into spears instead of slices.  I did everything else identical to the recipe.

The result… is SPICY!  But delicious!  I am a bit of a wimp with spice; I like spicy foods, but only medium-ish level.  These, I can just barely handle, with water.  Next time, I think I’ll try them with just the jalapeños, or with only 1 serrano and 3 jalapeños or something like that.  After sitting overnight, when I jarred them up, I put together one jar with hardly any peppers in it, and the other with lots of them, so as they sit longer, the one will probably get hotter and the other jarful with probably stay the same.  Anyway, definitely a successful food experiment!!

spicy refrigerator pickles!

Moving on to other gardeny goodness… eggplants!  The plant seemed pretty healthy all season, getting bigger and leafier and bushier, and growing lots of lots of flowers… most of which died and fell off.  I only actually got 2 eggplants, but they were very exciting!  Something about walking into my backyard, and then coming back inside with an eggplant in my hand… it’s just cool.  (I’m still very new to this whole gardening thing!)

garden eggplant garden eggplant

The first one was made into one of Pete’s and my favorite treats – eggplant fries!  Yummmm!  There are lots of recipes out there for these – this is the one I use.  All I have is a silly iPad photo I took while they were still on the baking sheet, because then I had to nomnomnom and couldn’t be bothered with taking a decent photo:

eggplant fries!

And then the second eggplant turned into my dinner last night – cooked together with tofu, a few fresh garden tomatoes, and some garlic chives.  Add a bit of sweet red chili sauce and sriracha, and yummmmy!

eggplant tofu dinner eggplant tofu dinner

The tomatoes have been awesome, of course!  The Sweet 100’s are definitely the yummiest… the Juliets have been growing huge (bigger and rounder than they’re supposed to be), but the flavor is kinda blah.  Not bad, just not very flavorful.  So I don’t think I’ll do those again.  The Early Girls have mostly been growing pretty small; this first one I picked, in the photo, was the biggest by far, but they are yummy and great on sandwiches and stuff.  I made this salad one day with some of all 3 types, goat cheese, and a basic homemade balsamic vinaigrette – it was ohmygosh so good!

first big tomato! tomato-tastic salad!

There have been a few strawberries here and there, but mostly those haven’t been doing great this year.  The lettuce all died (I think because I planted it way too close together) and the basil died (I think because I picked off too many leaves for dinner one night).  Overall, good garden year for me, better than last year for sure.  Yummm yard-fresh veggies!

Filed under: home stuff,recipes — leethal @ 2:38 pm

September 13, 2011

My recycled fabric infinity dresses!

I made some dresses!  These are infinity dresses, using this tutorial, made with recycled sheets!

infinity dress! infinity dress!

So, awhile back I had a wedding to go to and I wanted to use it as an excuse to buy a new dress… but after a day of shopping I found nothing I liked, so then my plan changed to it being an excuse to make a new dress!  I searched around and found that tutorial, then I went thrifting for knit sheets that might work, and found a couple good ones – the first, a twin size green stretchy knit sheet ($1.50), I used to make a trial dress, to learn from my mistakes before making my real dress.

infinity dress! infinity dress! infinity dress!

It has some major issues – it doesn’t work worn most ways, and it’s too short worn most ways (since a twin size sheet wasn’t enough fabric)… but I did indeed learn from my mistakes (some of them, anyway) and I went on to make my second dress.  This one was made with a t-shirt material duvet cover ($5), I think queen size, so it was the amount of fabric in 2 large sheets – plenty for a big, twirly circle skirt!

infinity dress!

I made a stupid mistake which ended up resulting in awesomeness.  When I folded my big square in quarters and cut it into a circle, I accidentally cut on the wrong side and made 2 halves of the circle.  Since I had to then sew the halves together to make my circle, I took advantage of the mistake and added pockets!  Love them!

infinity dress!

My one regret with this dress is that I didn’t overlap the two top/strap parts as much as they should have been (I only overlapped about 1 1/2 inches for some reason, even though the tutorial says 3-5 inches – I meant for it to be more, but messed it up somehow).  This made it so I can’t wear the dress most of the “infinity” ways, but after a few hours of playing around with different ways of wrapping it, I found a couple ways that work well, so it’s cool.

infinity dress!

Yay new dress!  It’s super twirly and has pockets and is soft, comfy t-shirt fabric and I love it!!

infinity dress! infinity dress!

I made another dress around the same time as this one (most of it on the same day actually, I was on a roll!) but it’s a different style, so I’ll save that for another post… soon!

Filed under: clothing,general crafts,skirts — leethal @ 1:57 pm
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