July 30, 2013

Adventure Knit-a-long: final section release!

The adventure knit-a-long is winding around its woodsy paths and coming to an end this week, as the final knitting section pdf was released last Friday.  Now adventurers have everything needed to make this book:

Adventure knitting!

And, of course, to knit all the projects inside!  There are lots of projects with photos up in ravelry, if you’d like to peruse them, and you can see all my sample photos now on flickr, and in my rav projects pages.

Adventure knitting!

But, I’m going to leave the spoiler photos out of this post (except for this glimpse below) because my release schedule has changed a bit while I’ve been doing some assessing the last few days.  Instead of this week, the final pdf release, with everything all together in one place and photos and all that, will come next week.

I’ve decided to add charts to all the patterns (that’s 20 charts), and also to make a print book version!  These things are all in progress and actually pretty close to done, but I want to make sure everything is thoroughly edited before putting it out there for you, and I also am going to make an entirely new video to go with the full Adventure Knitting release.

So, all that is coming next week.  And, with all that new content, the final final price will raise from the current 12 to 14.  I say final final because the final pattern section is already out now, so you can pay 12 now and get everything, then you’ll automatically get the final complete pdf next week.  I’ll be sending out the charts to all KALers this week, before the complete pdf is done.

adventure knit items!

So, what exactly comes in this final KAL section file?  Well, it’s a big one!  Each of the four items (color paths) gets its own booklet, as all the items are finished differently, with their own stitch patterns, constructions, etc.

Adventure knitting!

And then there’s a fifth booklet of finishing and notes, with technique and construction help and how to finish all the items.  So that’s eight booklets (64 pages) total now (before the charts are added, which can be optional for your booklet).

Adventure knitting! Adventure knitting!

Which can all be bound together into a book!  The pdf includes a written how-to for binding them, and there’s also a video up (but it’s a bit longer than I like, so I’m planning on redoing the binding how-to video for next week’s release).

Adventure knitting!

You can bind all the booklets together with just a sewing needle and thread; it’s surprisingly easy to do once you get started and get the pattern of it down.

Adventure knitting!

And then, also included in this pdf is a foldable cover!  (The inner cover pictured here is the final book cover, not the Knit-a-long cover.)

Adventure knitting!

The way the book fits into the cover, you can lay it flat and it can stay open to any page for easy pattern following.

Adventure knitting!

The printable folding cover:

Adventure knitting!

Now that the KAL is finishing up, I think I can confidently say that it has gone really well and everyone had lots of fun on their adventures!  Hooray!!

adventure knit items!

And now, for KAL participants, it’s time to get those photos up in your project pages because when the week is over there will be some major giveaways!  I’ll draw the winners next Monday, so you have till then, and I’ll be doing three separate giveaway drawings.  You can read all the details in the giveaway ravelry forum, but in short:  the amazing donated yarn prizes listed below will go to winners with finished item photos up in their rav projects; another batch of winners will be chosen from ALL project pages with photos, so this will include still in-progress knits, to win $15 coupon codes for my patterns/ebooks; a third set of winners will be drawn from KALers who posted feedback in the feedback thread, to win $10 coupons for my patterns.

You can only win once (if your name gets chosen for two of the drawings, you’ll get the better prize), but the more projects you have up in your rav projects, the better chance you’ll have at winning.  And now, the prizes!  There are some seriously awesome prize donations!!  (Read the giveaway thread for a little bit more detail about each yarn company.)

One extremely lucky winner will get a Paintbox Kit of their color choices by Infinite Twist:


Someone will win this fabulous Party Cake by Art-by-Ana – so cool!

party cake

Eat Agar is generously donating one winner’s choice of a handspun skein of Sukoshi or Summer People yarn, mmmmm handspun goodness:


And one of my favorites (I’m biased since she’s a Portland local!), Knitted Wit, is giving away a skein of Shine fingering weight yarn in this rad Haute Pink colorway:

knitted wit

Even if you haven’t adventured along at all yet, you can still enter to win the prizes by jumping into adventure knitting right now and getting some project photos up before Monday!  You can do it!

Again, if you want to see some examples of adventure knit items, check out my flickr here.  (But remember, you can mix and match the stitch patterns and use any kinds of yarn you want, so your adventure knitting could look nothing like mine and be perfectly customized to your knitting preferences!)

knit fit!

Oh hey, an off-topic note to pacific northwesters!  I’ll be at Knit Fit! in Seattle again this year, November 2-3, and registration opens Thursday (Aug 1st).  I’ll be teaching recycled yarn making (my first time teaching that, I’m excited about it!) and hosting a Game Knitting night again, which was SUPER fun last year.  We’ll be playing along to Singles this year, kind of the ultimate Seattle movie.  It’s all going to be superfuntimes so register asap!  Yay!

July 23, 2013

The Adventure Knit-a-long continues: Onward we go!

The second section of adventure knitting along is now in progress!  The new part went out to adventurers last Thursday night and lots of knitters are well on their ways through these new explorations, so check out the spoilers forum if you want to see their beautiful work!

camping drawing

This section of adventure knitting lets you choose between having fun at camp, playing in a river, swinging from vines, or trying out a footpath.  It’s all worked in the round so the construction is very straight-forward; some options are best for a single solid color, while others are meant for 2 or more colors.  This section adds one more booklet to the adventure book – the four pattern options here are the same regardless of what path you’re on (so it doesn’t matter if you’re making the neck accessory, head accessory, etc).

Adventure knit drawing

This blog post is short and basic since I don’t want to give out spoilers here yet, but you can check out my ravelry projects to see all my samples up through this section, or you can scroll through my adventure knits flickr set to see all my sample spoiler photos in one place!  Next week, when the KAL is over and the complete collection is released, I’ll blog about all my samples.

Adventure knit drawing

I do have one for-a-limited-time-only announcement right now!  For any of you who have been following along, hesitant to join while things were still so mysterious, but maybe now you’ve seen enough spoilers and information that you want to have some adventures… I’ve made a coupon code, valid just now through Thursday at midnight when the final section is released, to knock the price back down to the original pre-order price of $8!

Enter coupon code JoinTheAdventure (either in your ravelry cart or on my website) to take $3 off the current price.

If you have adventurous knitting buddies who might be interested, spread the word!  Now’s the time to join in and catch up with the KAL while you still can!  The accessories can be pretty darn quick knits, so you can join today and be caught up for the final section by this weekend to adventure along with us!

Adventure knit drawing

I’ve been perfecting a couple different options for binding all the booklets together to make a complete adventure knitting book, once all the parts are out.  I’m pretty happy with how the binding is looking – I’ll be making a how-to video to go up on Friday when the final section is out, so you can bind up all your booklets!  Here is a peak at a bound book, with the cover page of this current section showing:

adventure book

Also, just so you know, I’ll be doing some adventure KAL participant giveaways next week – drawings for everyone with photos up in their ravelry project pages, and maybe some other prizes, we’ll see.  So be sure to check in with the forums to stay up to date with the KAL fun, and to show off your adventure knits in the spoilers thread and all that good stuff!  Yay!

Filed under: knit-a-longs,knitting — leethal @ 12:15 pm

July 15, 2013

Adventure Knit-a-long, Go!

The adventure knitting has begun!  After the get ready… get set… period finished up, last Thursday at midnight was GO! time.  The first actual pattern was released, again in the foldable booklet format (either color or black & white, along with the screen-reading format as well).  I printed one out for myself in b&w and colored the cover with markers:

second adventure booklet!

For the first section of knitting adventures, you get to climb a tree!  The cover reads: “We start our summer feats in a weird woods area, where we look around to all sides and see different kinds of trees and other things that normally wouldn’t be found in the same space… Cool!  Let’s get our adventure on!”

mystery adventure!

There are four kinds of trees, which are code names for the four different stitch pattern options for this section.  The four trees have no relation to the four paths that you pick from at the beginning, which are the different item options, so you can pick any stitch pattern to go with any item.

mystery adventure!

There are two stitch patterns meant for a solid or semi-solid yarn, one meant for striping between 2 yarns, and one meant for either striping between 2 or more yarns, or using a variegated yarn with short color sections.

second adventure booklet!

The designs came first, the tree code names second, so don’t expect the stitch patterns to look like the trees; but I did choose the tree names to symbolize elements of the stitch patterns.  I had fun finding the right tree choices!  There are: bristlecone pine tree, giant redwood, birch trees, and the basket tree, which all are very cool looking trees!  (Click the links for photos, much better to see what they look like than my silly drawings!)

Adventure knit drawing - Bristlecone Pine Adventure knit drawing - Basket Tree

I won’t show spoiler photos here, but I will link you over to my ravelry projects to see/read details for all eight of my projects, and I’ll link you over to flickr photos of each section 1 spoiler photo (click the path links).

I’m climbing the bristlecone pine tree in each of the two yarns below – orange Imperial Yarn Columbia on the Green Byway (hands accessory), and green Knitted Wit Merino Worsted on the Gold Route (mystery non-accessory item):

adventure yarn! adventure yarn!

Climbing up the giant redwood with the below handspun yarn along the Green Byway (hands accessory); also climbing a giant redwood with some bulky yarn I didn’t photograph, along the Aqua Passage (neck accessory):

adventure yarn!

I’m climbing up the birch trees with some Louet Riverstone Chunky yarn (seems like aran weight to me, but it’s labeled as bulky, and it’s discontinued now anyway, so whatevs) on the Orange Trail (head accessory), and with this Knit Picks Chroma self-striping and Louet Riverstone worsted along the Aqua Passage (neck accessory):

adventure yarn! adventure yarn!

And finally, up the basket trees I go with this collection of worsted weight leftovers, along the Orange Trail (head accessory), and also with some contrasty variegated Black Trillium sock yarn on the Gold Route (non-accessory item):

adventure yarn!

Furthermore, if you want to see spoiler photos of mystery knit-a-long-ers’ projects, there are lots going up in the rav forums.  You can also read about how it’s all going spoiler-free in the section 1 discussion thread.  Everyone is having lots of fun!  You can totally still join us now and catch up easily by the time the next section goes up on Friday (and it’s 2 bucks cheaper now than it will be when the KAL is over)!

I’m really happy with how this experimental adventure is going so far; if you’re knitting along, I hope you’re happy too!  Yay summer adventure fun times!

Filed under: knit-a-longs,knitting,self-publishing — leethal @ 12:12 pm

July 3, 2013

Obligatory TNNA summer 2013 recap post!

The weekend before last I spent 5 days in Columbus, Ohio for the industry trade show of the year for all things fibery and needley.  We had a time.

TNNA summer 2013!

I roomed with the fabulous Andrea Rangel (who is pictured above and is the best at colors – check out this palette she rocked one day.)  And I booth-shared with the awesome Alexa of Tin Can Knits; we had tons of fun:

TNNA 2013! TNNA summer 2013!

Our booth was in the Deep South Fibers cluster, so we were booth-neighbors with lots of great people, yay!  Like Hilary Smith Callis (pictured below, adorably giggling about posing with the issue of Knitscene in which she was the featured designer!) and Carina Spencer, posing with me below, and lots more lovely people I don’t have photos of, like Carrie Sullivan of Irish Girlie Knits (my birthday twin!), Juju at Loop, Olga Buraya-Kefelian (one of my all time favorite designers of ever), Woolly Wormhead… the list would go on but I’ll stop there because that’s who was immediately next to us…  It’s great being around all these other designers once in awhile, since they are kind of like my co-workers but we all work alone in our homes with only twitter to connect us (basically, usually).

TNNA summer 2013! TNNA 2013!

So, my booth!  I started out with the hanging spray-painted frames on the back wall:

TNNA summer 2013!

Then I hung lots of photos along the side wall, with mini-clothespins (closeup):

TNNA summer 2013!

Then I built a ceiling!  I ran wire from bar to bar across the top, then more and more wire from wire to bar and wire to wire, and so on, until I had a spiderweb-esque mesh ceiling.  The photo to the left there is after I’d already started taking it apart a little at the end, but you get the idea.  Then, from the ceiling, I hung trays:

TNNA summer 2013! TNNA 2013!

And I put things on the trays, using them as mini-tables, instead of having a big table.  And I hung lots of samples along the tops of the side and back walls.

TNNA summer 2013!

So my business cards, postcards, buttons, and lots of smaller sample knits, were all on the tray tables.  It was a bit unwieldy, functionally-speaking… people were afraid if they walked into the booth and bumped into the trays everything would fall; but that wasn’t true, I made sure they were very stable.  Overall, it didn’t turn out perfectly, but I was pretty happy with the booth setup :)

TNNA summer 2013!

Here’s me standing in it, photo by Stacey Trock of Fresh Stitches!

Here is our whole booth, with Tin Can Knits on the right:

TNNA summer 2013!

Besides the actual trade show booth stuff, TNNA weekend also involved lots of eating (not just ice cream), a bit of drinking (Columbus has some good local beers!), and tons of talking!  Alexa and I were pretty darn into our truffle mac n cheese at Barley’s!

TNNA 2013!

Click to enlarge the photo to the right below to read all the amazing flavor options at Jeni’s!  My personal favorite out of the EIGHT flavors I tried throughout the weekend (that’s only 4 servings – my favorite thing about Jeni’s is that you get 2 flavors in a small size) was Queen City Cayenne, yum!

TNNA summer 2013! TNNA summer 2013!

Much fun was had at the Grass Skirt tiki room with the ravelry crew (where I took this photo of Mary-Heather, Jess, and Ysolda being supercute).  And, after all the mac n cheese and ice cream, I was happy to fill up on veggies (and a local beer, of course) at a pretty good greek place.  Good job, Columbus, I like you!

TNNA summer 2013! TNNA summer 2013!

I also hung out with lots of other designers and yarn-type people I didn’t photograph – some people I met last year at TNNA, and I met loads of new people.  Yarny people are the greatest!  Everyone is the best!

So then on Monday I broke down my booth and packed it all back into the suitcase it came in, but it was much harder to close this time!

TNNA summer 2013!

I brought home all the yarn I could possible fit!  There’s some secret hidden yarn I can’t show you yet, and lots of glorious Anzula!!  Enough Cricket and Squishy to make into two shawls (one 2-color and one 3-color) – these yarns will eventually become the samples of the colorwork shawl in the Betiko collection!

brought home from TNNA 2013

And then lots of bits of awesome yarns for future use – Imperial Yarn, Fibre Company, Sincere Sheep, and Cestari are pictured below, all so lovely!  There were a few others I talked to but have nothing to show now (notably Phydeaux, Space Cadet, Sweet Georgia, Cephalopod, Briggs and Little) – yummmm yarrrrrn.  And I didn’t even walk the entire floor or spend much time seeking out yarn, since I was focused on my own booth.  It’s overwhelming how much there is to see!

brought home from TNNA 2013

Lastly,  I treated myself to some new clothes for TNNA – I really love this dress (found at Village Merchants, my most favorite secondhand shop), so yay, because good dresses (for affordable-on-an-indie-designer’s-budget prices) are hard to find, man!  I think I scored this for about $12, with the original tag still on, so possibly never worn.  Oh how I love a good deal, so I had to share with you ;)  And another shot of me in my booth, to round things out, all covered in knitwear (too much air conditioning works out well when you want to show off your wooly samples).

TNNA summer 2013! TNNA 2013!

That’s TNNA!  Good times!

Filed under: knitting,lots of links,personal,photos,random stuff,thrifty finds,yarn — leethal @ 6:04 pm

July 2, 2013

leethal Adventure Knit-a-long! Get ready… get set…

It’s now beginning, the leethal Adventure Knit-a-long!  (on rav)  I was vague and cryptic before, but now I can tell you more details!  The pattern collection is inspired by Choose Your Own Adventure books, and each part is delivered as a printable, foldable 8-page booklet:

Adventure knit-a-long booklet!

(Each part is also in a screen-reading friendly format in the pdf file, so you don’t have to print it if you don’t want to.  Also, the printable booklet comes in both color and black & white versions.)  The booklet pages are numbered, and each new part will start where the last one left off, so that they can all combine into a choose your own knitting adventure book when the knit-a-long is over.

Adventure knit-a-long booklet!

The whole thing is adventure-in-the-woods themed, so you’ll be given options like what tree would you like to climb?  Then you’ll be told which page to flip to for your chosen option.  Of course, if you want to make sure to choose the knitting option that you’ll like best, you can just read through the booklets and see what kinds of stitch patterns there are to make informed decisions.  The titles of all the options (like the tree names, in that example) are just like code names, so the stitch patterns aren’t trying to look like what they’re called.  It’s all just for the fun of the adventure!

Adventure knit-a-long booklet!

For this first booklet, you’ll just choose your path, which is the type of item you want to make (each with a color code name – there’s the Aqua Passage, the Orange Trail, the Green Byway, and the Gold Route), pick your yarn, and you can cast on to be ready for knitting to start next week.  (I copied all the path info into the ravelry pattern page if you want to know more about the items before committing to the knit-a-long.)  You’ll also be given all the abbreviations that will be used in multiple parts throughout the sections.

On next Friday, July 12th, the second booklet will go out, pages 9-16, with the first section of knitting.  (A reminder: right now, the whole adventure collection is $9; when each knitting section goes out, it’ll go up $1, ending at $12 when the KAL is over.)

I made this video to introduce you to the Adventure KAL (on youtube here), and to show you how to make the booklet (there is also a photo tutorial below, if you learn better with photos/text than with video).  Watch how silly I am as I constantly move my hands!

So, if you have the pdf and are ready to make your first booklet, here’s how!  It’s very simple, but it is important to be precise with your folding and cutting, as sloppy folds/cuts can become exaggerated in the booklet and make for an uneven, messy looking book.  So just take your time, use a table, and match up those edges when you fold.

Edit 7/03:  I’ve added some new how-to notes on the webpage for if you are printing something different from centered on letter size paper (so mainly for if you’re in Europe and using A4 paper, and/or if your printer printed the page super off-center).  Basically, you’ll need to trim excess white space from the edges as needed to make the folds line up with the booklet pages, but check out the webpage for photos and details (down on the right side, below the drawings).

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 1

All you need are your printed page and scissors (and a flat table-like surface).  For all the initial folds, do not crease hard yet – these folds may need slight adjustment in the final booklet, so it’s best to leave them kind of loose.  Just fold with your fingers and don’t crease hard yet.  First fold lengthwise, which may or may not be right along the printed line – the important thing is for it to be exactly straight across your paper, so as long as that’s true, it’s okay if it doesn’t line up with the printed line.

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 2 How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 3

Now fold in half widthwise:

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 4

And then fold each of the outer edges up to that widthwise fold line, dividing the page in quarters (or eighths because of the lengthwise line):

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 5 How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 6

Now your page should look like this:

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 7

Keep it folded in half widthwise, and carefully cut from the fold along the lengthwise fold line, up to the next fold line.  This should be approximately along the printed line, but again, the important thing is for it to be exactly along your fold lines, since your printer might print slightly off-center.  So, this cut will make a slice across the center of your page…

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 8

…so when you open it up it looks like this.  After cutting, fold it back along the lengthwise fold, so the centers will be folded outwards from the folds you’ve already made:

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 9 How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 10

Now find the cover page, and fold the whole thing around so that the cover is in front (the abbreviations on back, for this first booklet).  Push and pinch all the pages into place, lining them up as neatly as possible, then hold them in place and crease everything now.  Use your surface and fingernails or something hard (I use the handle of my scissors, since my scissors are right there) to really crease the inner and outer edges into place.

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 11 How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 12

So when you’re done, your booklet should look like this!  The tutorial might make it seem hard or complicated, but it’s really simple; I’m just sharing the tips I’ve learned from making several sloppy looking books first before figuring out how to neaten them up!  Once you’ve made a couple, it should be quick and easy for you!

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 13

So that’s the booklet; as for the knitting – that’s still a mystery for now!  I am making 8 different samples, to test everything out well and show lots of different versions.  I’m making solid-color samples, multi-colored samples, leftover scrap-busting samples, two samples along each path.  I’ve put most of them in my ravelry projects, with photos of the yarns I’m using, and notes saying which path each is along – as the adventure continues, I’ll update with more photos and I’ll say which options I used for each one.

adventure yarn! adventure yarn! adventure yarn!

adventure yarn! adventure yarn! adventure yarn!

I’m really excited about everything I’m seeing so far in the forums, and just about the general fun adventurous mood of the whole thing!  I had this idea a few months ago, have been hard at work ever since, with kind of tunnel-vision on all the stitch patterns and stuff, so it’s awesome to be starting the social part and seeing it more for the fun project I envisioned in the first place (if that even makes sense)… Basically, yay adventure knitting, and I hope you are excited too!

Oh yeah, side note that has nothing to do with the KAL… Were you into Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid?  My brother Matt was really into them, and I liked them too, although I didn’t read that many because I felt like most of them were for boys and I cared too much about gender crap when I was a kid, I guess.  Looking at them now online, they totally don’t seem gender-specific, but I would look at Matt’s books and think they were, I dunno, I was a silly kid.  But I do remember my favorite one – it was Magic Master, about a magician!  Nerdy!  In trying to find that book online, I discovered that there are tons of fake Choose Your Own Adventure covers out there, like this Cabin in the Woods one!  I wish it was a real book, I would read that so hard!  So that’s fun.  Okay that’s all :)

Filed under: books,knit-a-longs,knitting,self-publishing,tutorials — leethal @ 12:20 pm
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