January 22, 2015

Adventure Knitting 2: The Mysterious Trunk!

You may or may not know about Adventure Knitting 2: The Mysterious Trunk (here on ravelry) from last year’s Adventure Knit-a-long (the second annual Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-inspired leethal KAL); the full collection is now available digitally as an ebook, and as a print book, which you can buy directly here, or yarn shops can order it wholesale from Deep South here.  (If you live in Portland, you can buy a copy at Twisted!)

Adventure Knitting 2!

Yes, the knit-a-long for this collection happened about 5 months ago, I know… there are reasons I waited so long to blog about it after it was over.  The main reason was that once the KAL ended and the ebook was released digitally, it took awhile for me to make the print book version… and then I finished it and was so happy with it, but then I had second thoughts about how my Adventure Knitting collections were listed in the ravelry database (they had each been listed as a single pattern instead of as an ebook), so I went through a lengthy process to change that… And it was the holidays, blah blah blah, so now here I am, finally showing and telling you all about it!

Adventure Knitting 2 Adventure Knitting 2: The Mysterious Trunk print book

Above left is the DIY book version that you can print & bind yourself if you have the ebook, and to the right is the print book, if you want it on your bookshelf but don’t want to DIY it.  So, I said some things about this collection when first announcing the KAL, and then when I posted sometime in the middle of the KAL, so I’ll keep some things kind of basic here to not repeat too much.

Adventure Knitting 2!

The story is that you find a mysterious trunk.  And you look inside…

Yeah, I made a video to go with the book, and my husband composed custom music for it.  We are nerds; it was fun!

So, as you just saw in the video, inside the trunk you find yarn and needles…

Adventure Knitting 2

…and a bunch of knitted items…

Adventure Knitting 2!

…and handwritten/drawn design notebooks and scraps of paper…

Adventure Knitting 2!

…and a bunch of cool fortune telling stuff!

Adventure Knitting 2!

That’s the trunk story – what you actually get in the ebook is the full story and patterns in ebook format (easy to read on a computer/tablet screen), plus the DIY book of the whole story and patterns, which you can print out and bind if you want to:

Adventure Knitting 2

And you get printable pages of all the fortune telling stuff – everything you get is pictured below.  So you can print everything out, then read the story and follow along when the story talks about the different items found.  These all relate to the knitting patterns, by the way.

Adventure Knitting 2

I talked in my last Adventure KAL post about the board, the fortune teller, and the divination cards, so you can see/read more about those there.  The fourth item found was a numerology sheet.

Adventure KAL 2014 illustration

And along with that, a second, smaller set of divination cards was found at the end, so that all the stitch patterns are represented on cards, as well as a blank fortune teller so you can fill in your favorite stitch patterns.  So, in the end, there are 4 different fortune telling methods you can use to choose between all the stitch patterns.

Adventure Knitting 2!

The stitch patterns can be picked at random (or by asking the spirits!) using these items, or using just your favorite item out of the options.  Or you can forget the whole randomizing aspect and choose your favorite stitch patterns to use.

Adventure Knitting 2!

The divination cards are all printed on the back cover of the print book, as you can see below (there are 2 stitch patterns per card, on top and bottom, for 12 cards total).  Because all these things can’t be included physically with the print book, they are all downloadable on my website (at the bottom) – so if you buy the print book, you can download and print out some or all of the fortune telling items, as you like, to use with the pattern.  If you want to print nothing, you can use the cards on the back cover by tossing a small object (like a loop of yarn) up over it and seeing where it lands.

Adventure Knitting 2: The Mysterious Trunk print book

So, that’s what you get, now onto the knitting!  You can knit countless items with this pattern collection, as everything is mix&match-able, all any gauge, any size, 1 or more colors, etc…

The final pattern section of the #adventureKAL went out today, so here's a not-spoilery shot of ALL my sample items. 6 shapes, to make 10+ different items, 24 stitch patterns, endless possibility!

The 24 stitch patterns are all designed to be used together, in any order.  Many of them blend seamlessly from one to the next; some are more like stripes, cutting across the piece; several can be made with or without a contrasting color.  All the patterns are both written and charted, and they use a variety of techniques, for different experience levels.

Adventure Knitting sample piece Adventure Knitting sample piece

You can pick and choose what kinds you want to use and which ones you want to skip.  There’s a page which groups the patterns into different categories, to help you choose if you don’t want total randomness.  If you choose all lacy patterns, they will blend together in any random order, like you see below.  And a lot of the not-lace patterns also blend like this.

Adventure Knitting sample piece

Below is an example of a few blending-together type patterns in a solid color, with one of the 2-color patterns cutting through as a stripe, but it still all kind of connects together from each pattern to the next:

Adventure Knitting sample piece

And here is a piece that used lots of the 2-color patterns, switching between a few different contrasting colors (all the same main color throughout) for a more colorful item:

Adventure Knitting 2!

And then there are the shapes – 6 different shape options, which make 10+ different item options.

Adventure KAL shape sketches

First, the rectangle.  A small rectangle in cotton makes a dishcloth; a long, narrow rectangle can make a scarf or cowl…

Adventure Knitting 2!

…and 2 rectangles sewn together can make a top.  Instructions are included in the pattern for the top:

Adventure Knitting 2 sample knit

This one was made in a merino/linen blend, sport weight knit at a very loose gauge, as a layer garment.

Adventure Knitting sample piece

There’s also an option called the “swatch-style basic rectangle” which is not on the bias, just a plain rectangle with no shaping.  You can use this shape to try out some stitch pattern combos in a small dishcloth, or to make a more basic scarf or cowl.

Adventure Knitting 2 sample knit

The white piece above / at the right below (click to see it big) was my swatch of all 24 stitch patterns, in a row, making a short scarf.

Adventure Knitting sample knit Adventure Knitting sample knit Adventure Knitting sample knit

Next shape is the triangle – this can be made small as a kerchief, or large as a shawl.  The i-cords are optional, depending on what kind of item you’re making.

Adventure Knitting sample knit

This is a small head kerchief in sock yarn (Anzula Squishy).

Adventure Knitting 2!

There are some ways you can make other kinds of triangles using other shape patterns – there’s a modifications section in the ebook which didn’t fit into the print book, so it’s available on my website.

Adventure Knitting 2 sample knit

The strip or loop shape can be used to make a scarf or a cowl, any size (width/length) you like.

Adventure Knitting 2 sample knit

This big, squooshy cowl was made with aran weight Quince & co Osprey (left over from my main Biratu sample).

Adventure Knitting sample knit

The cowl gets seamed to join in a loop, on the bias.  This sample used the purple as the main/only color for the first section, and then switched to grey as the main color, with purple contrasting stripes, through sections 2 and 3, giving it that purple triangle.

Adventure Knitting sample knit

I made this experimental cowl below, trying out the idea of switching colors for every stitch pattern.  I was not happy with the effect, it hides how the patterns work together and makes everything too busy, so I didn’t use this cowl as an official pattern sample.  But, I still love it as an accessory to wear!

Adventure Knitting sample knit

It’s a smaller cowl than the purple+grey one, perfect around the house size that doesn’t flop in my way a lot.  It’s in Cascade Soft Spun, which is labeled as aran weight (I think it’s more on the light side of bulky).

I made this experimental color-flipping Adventure Knitting 2 cowl that I've been wearing around the house like constantly lately. It's not an official pattern sample so I realized I never took a photo of it on me, just a few flat shots in my rav projects. Adventure Knitting sample knit

Next is the bent strip shape.  This one can be made more long and narrow as you see here, for a bent scarf, or it can be made super wide as a shawl.

Adventure Knitting sample knit

This was made in sport weight yarn – Brown Sheet Lanaloft Sport.

Adventure Knitting 2 sample knit

Again, the i-cords are optional, so you can tie it into a cowl if you want to:

Adventure Knitting 2 sample knit

And then there are two shawl shapes – first the crescent:

Adventure Knitting 2 sample knit

It’s asymmetrical, worked from the top center outwards, so you can stop whenever you want, or when your yarn runs out.  I used three colors as you see here, with no 2-color patterns, but it’s just like any other shape – you can use all 1 color, or 1 main color and contrasting color(s), or a self-striping yarn, etc.

Adventure Knitting sample knit

Mine is in worsted weight, and I used three full skeins (down to the last inch! oh not quite though – I actually had to use a different yarn for the last inch), in all lacy patterns, and it’s HUGE and I LOVE it!  The gold-green shade is Dream in Color Classy, the light grey is Fly Dyed 5 ply TLC english wool, and the blue is an unknown wool (from a craft swap or something years ago).

Just took a walk around Laurelhurst park on this beautiful sunny day, where Pete snapped a few shots of me in my adventure knit shawl and my freshly dyed hair.

It wraps around twice and ties really nicely – that’s how I wear it most of the time:

I'm kind of into my errands-running outfit right now. #fallisbest

The last shape is the polygon, which is like a giant blanket-style-shawl shape:

Adventure Knitting sample knit

Mine is in bulky yarns – Brown Sheep Lanaloft Bulky and Patons Classic Wool Roving, and then Malabrigo Chunky for the one single 2-color pattern contrasting color.

Adventure Knitting 2 sample knit

Some knitters have made this shape in lighter yarns, and some have skipped the third section, for different looks – you can check them out on ravelry.  Lots of options for all kinds of different items!

Adventure Knitting 2!

And you can check out tons of other knitters’ versions of all the shapes in the rav projects, or in the KAL forum thread.  A few of my personal favorites are this giant loop, this crescent shawl (fourth photo down), this polygon, and this wide bent strip (there are lots more great ones, but I’m keeping the list quick).

Adventure Knitting 2!

So that’s that!  I took a ton of photos, having much fun with the mysterious trunk photoshoot – you can see them all on flickr here.  And the book is filled with silly little drawings like these:

Adventure KAL 2014 illustration Adventure KAL illustration

I am SO happy with this collection, and all the details, but honestly, I spent way too much time on it.  2015’s Adventure KAL will be simpler, fewer items, I just can’t afford that much time spent ;)  I tell you this because I know it was a bit TOO much for some, too many options/items/etc, overwhelming for a lot of knitters… so this year’s (coming in the summer) will be not as crazy.  More like the first Adventure Knitting collection, which had 4 items and 20 stitch patterns (still a lot, but not SO much).

Adventure Knitting 2!

If you have the book, I hope you have tons of mysterious fun with it – post your projects on ravelry so we can all see them!  Happy adventure knitting!!

Filed under: adventure knitting,knitting,self-publishing — leethal @ 8:39 pm

January 15, 2015

New Dark Trio pattern: Warren the evil hat of chaos

The second pattern in the leethal Dark Trio is here!

Warren hat

Warren is a hat that can be made as either the evil version

A peek at the Dark Trio pattern coming later this week! There will be an evil version + a chaotic version, for those who don't want satanic symbology on their heads ;)

…or the chaotic version.

Warren hat

Both versions with chaos arrows pointing outwards from the crown centers (inspired by the symbol of chaos):

Warren hat

The evil version is a large size – fitted on a large head, or slouchy on a smaller head.  I designed it with metalhead guys (such as my husband) in mind, so it’s sized for a man, but not only does it still look good slouched on a lady head, but the pattern also includes detailed notes on adjusting the gauge to modify your size.

Warren hat

This version features satanic symbology around the hat body – this symbol to be exact – done in twisted stitches (written and charted).

Warren hat - evil version

The chaotic version has random-looking twisted stitch lines all messy around the bottom (also written and charted), and then a reverse stockinette stitch body up to the crown.  The pattern gives instructions for working the body inside out as all knit stitches for easier knitting (if you’re not a purl person).  This version is given in small and large sizes, again with notes for adjusting gauge to modify size.

Warren hat - chaotic version

The crown arrows are made with twisted stitches and decreases, and then a centered double decrease brings each arrow in symmetrically; the crown is also written and charted.

Warren hat

The hats are made with DK weight yarn – my chaotic sample is in gorgeous Hazel Knits Lively DK, Low Tide colorway, and the evil sample is in Berroco Vintage DK, Douglas Fir colorway, which is perfect for gift hats since it’s machine washable and dryable.  (Unlike a lot of my patterns, this isn’t an any-gauge pattern; it’s meant to use DK, or to use sport or light worsted weights for modified sizes.)

Warren hat

As you can guess, I designed this hat with my metalhead loved one in mind, but it’s also a good hat for fans of horror genre stuff, and shows like Supernatural, Buffy, etc… I imagine there are probably lots of people who’d like satanic symbols on their heads, right?  There’s Pete doing his best sulky metalhead pose…

Warren hat Warren hat

This pattern can be purchased by itself (on leethalknits or ravelry), or in the Dark Trio collection* (on ravelry here) – right now that will get you Warren and Jonathan the goat scarf, and the third pattern, Andrew, will be released and delivered to your inbox in a couple weeks!

Warren hat

As usual, many thanks to my awesome test knitters – you can see a few of their versions on ravelry.  If you make a Warren hat, be sure to post photos on ravelry so we can all check it out! :)  Happy evil knitting!

Warren hat

*A note to EU knitters:  I’m sorry that because of the VATMESS horribleness I don’t have a way to sell you the trio collection right now, just solo patterns.  Hopefully something will be sorted out soon to make ebooks work through loveknitting (how single patterns get to you, in order for taxes to be paid to each country), or something else… for now, I can try to work out manual collection prices for you somehow, if you email me, like if you buy all three patterns of a trio individually, I can partially refund the extra cost (which might need to have a chunk taken out, for tax/fees).  I haven’t planned anything out like this since I’m really hoping it’s not a long-term thing that I’ll need to deal with.  Anyway, that’s that, single patterns should work fine, but not the trios (or any other collections), for now.

Filed under: hats,knitting,pattern Trios — leethal @ 10:49 am

January 14, 2015

Blog tour: Talitha Kuomi’s Artistic Differences book

I’m so happy to be today’s stop on the blog tour for Talitha Kuomi‘s new book with Classic Elite Yarns, Artistic Differences (on ravelry here).  Yesterday’s post was on Julia Farwell-Clay’s blog, and tomorrow’s will be on Picnic Knits – follow all the stops to check out all the patterns in the collection!


I was a big fan of Talitha’s work on The Fiber Factor back in 2013; I LOVE her winning design for the first challenge – Nigamo – and I was way into her whole style and way of designing for all the challenges.


So, of course I also love her design approach for her new book.  For each design, there are two different versions, knit differently, and/or sized, finished, or styled differently, making each design into a rocker style and a boho style.


There are several designs in this collection that I like a lot; today I’ll be showing you the Osci hat:


Talitha turns a very simple twisted rib hat design into two totally different looking cool pleated hats, the fitted boho version and the slouchy rocker version.

The pattern includes five different sizes, and the boho and rocker versions are made in different heights, with different numbers of pleats.  So not only are there the standard boho and rocker styles, but you could also play with the sizes to get an even more custom style; for example, a medium sized rocker hat vs an extra large size (for extra mega slouch) would make for more different looks.  You know how I love options!

7278bt 7308bt

Classic Elite has set up a blog tour sale so that today only (Wednesday Jan 14th) this Osci pattern PDF is discounted through ravelry – 10% off automatically (no coupon code needed).


Aaaand they are giving away one copy of the pattern to a lucky commenter!  Comment on this post about the pattern – which version do you like best, boho or rocker?  I’ll choose a winner at random on Friday the 16th at noon (west coast time).  Also, on Friday, check in with Classic Elite’s blog – one commenter over there will win the grand prize: a free printed book (+ the ebook download) and the yarn to knit the project of their choice from the book!

Filed under: books,knitting — leethal @ 6:00 am

January 6, 2015

2015: Year of Making plans and other year-end/beginning stuff

Happy 2015!  Do you feel like now we’re officially in the future?  I do.  2015.  Damn.  Anyway, I have some things to share with you and tell you about!  I’ll start with the older news…  In late December, the 4 days after Christmas, I released a free pattern via social media.  (Here it is on ravelry.)

Insta-hat pattern part 2 #leethalinstahat :  Work one last k2 in established ribbing pattern, then begin new repeat pattern.    [Yo, p2, k2tog] around for 2-3 inches / 5-8 cm.   (Pictured is part 1.)

The bulky weight Insta-hat pattern was posted in 4 mystery parts, on instagram and tumblr (and linked from twitter and my ravelry group).  It was like a quick mini-mystery-knit-a-long for after holiday knitting stress times, and I think everyone had a lot of fun!  Yay!

Here are the 4 insta-hats I made.  Clockwise from top left: main sample, size small, before blocking; size medium sample, also before blocking; size large stitch count, small-ish height, after blocking and wearing a bunch; size large stitch count, extra l

There’s the finished hat – I made 4 samples because they were SO quick to make!  And I topped one with a pom-pom; the extra-long sized version works well both long and slouchy, and with the brim folded under for extra ear warmth.  This one was made with this recycled hand-dyed yarn I made many years ago.

Insta-hat extra large size with brim folded under Here is my hand-dyed #leethalinstahat, large stitch count, extra large height (for extra slouch), pom-pom on top!  It also works really well to fold the ribbed brim section under, making it extra thick and warm around the bottom, for a non-slouchy fit.  Y

If you want to make it now, just click the links given on my leethalknits webpage, or on the ravelry page.  All pattern posts still exist for you to use for free!

Insta-hat pattern part 4 #leethalinstahat :  After a yo from ending the last part, k1, place marker, and begin round 1 (marker is now the round beginning/end point - slip it after completing each round).          Round 1: [Yo, k2, k2tog] to end.   Round 2

And I have another free thing for you!  The 2015 leethal knits calendar is available for free download on leethal.net!  My new year gift to you :)

Leethal Knits 2015 calendar is now available for free download on leethal.net! This year's is all photos of knitting on the needles. Happy new year!

Last year’s post about my first calendar talks in more detail about the calendar in general.  This year’s is all photos of knitting on the needles.  And there’s a blank one that you can download to use with your own square-format photos.

2015 leethal knits calendar!

Moving along… Do you know about Year of Making?  I had sort of been aware of it, just from seeing instagram posts tagged #yearofmaking throughout 2014, but I didn’t know where it came from until I heard Kim Werker’s podcast interview with Miriam Felton, the creator of the concept.

Kim also released an ebook about Year of Making, which I bought and it’s great (like everything Kim makes!), so I recommend that for some making inspiration.  Check out the table of contents page down below to get an idea of what’s in the ebook…

Kim Werker's Year of Making ebook cover

Kim Werker's Year of Making ebook page

So, I decided to get on board for 2015, but loosely… I won’t be posting a photo of what I make every day on instagram, but I will try to put photos of each day’s making up in this flickr set.  I’ll instagram the good stuff, and I’ll probably put up some tumblr posts of bigger projects here and there.  I’ll just see where the year takes me!

Kim Werker's Year of Making ebook page

Something I love about Kim’s experience with her first year of making is how she ended up getting really into making things she had never done before, like making soap, and painting.  I don’t have plans to learn any big new kinds of making, but I do want to get more into sewing this year, and maybe more drawing, and more spinning, and I’ll just see if anything else calls out to me!  (Above and below are pages from Kim’s ebook.)

Page from Kim Werker's Year of Making ebook

As for my “rules” for myself, for what I’ll count as a #yearofmaking thing… like I said, I plan to be very loose, not strict at all, so missing days is fine – when I’ve done year-long project things like this in the past, I tend to get stressed out about it as the year goes on, and I don’t want this to cause any kind of extra stress in my life.  I usually do some kind of making every day for my job, knitting on a design project, etc, so I mostly won’t count work-related making in this, although sometimes I might, depending on the specifics.

An allowance I’m going to give myself is that house projects can count as the making for the day; if I spend a chunk of time working on cleaning up my studio (which relates to being able to use the space for future making), or if I do some kind of house organizational/decor thing, which might not necessarily be “making” exactly, that counts for me.  I had a sort-of-resolution last year to get my studio in order, and it had ups and downs throughout the first half of the year, and then it just got out of control and ended 2014 worse than how it started.  So, studio sorting will be a not-so-fun year of making project for the beginning of this year, so that I’ll have the space I need to do sewing projects and fun stuff like that!

01/01 spun yarn

Another of my first projects, which I plan to start today, is to make a 2015 planner – I want to be more organized about my work this year, release more patterns, give myself deadlines, stay on track, so I’m going to experiment with an analog paper calendar book.  I bought a plain spiral-bound notebook, and Pete’s uncle gave me this great set of nice colored pencils for Christmas (thanks, Terry!), so I’m going to get to work drawing out monthly and weekly calendar pages.  Then I’ll plan my year of design, and it’ll be there on paper, much harder to move around than iCal fake-deadlines, which I always end up bumping as designs take longer than they should!

planner plans

One other random, making-related thing I want to show you… I made some photo books and I’m really happy with how they turned out, so I plan to make more!  I wanted some kind of print versions of all the digital photos we’ve taken over the years, on trips and stuff, and I thought it would be fun to make these books instead of just making old fashioned albums :-p

Instagram books homemade photo albums

I put the best of Pete’s and my instagram photos into yearly insta photo books; I’m going to start the 2014 edition soon.  The insta books include captions for the photos, so in the future we can look back at what we did each year.  And then the other 2 are photo books of trips we took, no captions or anything, just a physical book we can have on the shelf.  Now that I’ve made a few and I have templates, I can make more pretty easily, of older trips, and future ones!   (I used iWork Pages, same as how I make my knitting patterns, to make the PDFs, and then I had them printed by MagCloud, which does very affordable paperback book printing, as long as the page count isn’t too high, since the price is per-page.)

Okay that’s some making, and plans for 2015 making.  The first week of the year has been a little off, but I’m hoping it’s going to be a good one!  Let’s go!

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