December 9, 2013

Year coming to end announcements and future pattern release stuff…

Wow this season has gone by fast, hasn’t it?  It’s been below freezing here in Portland for the last several days, so it’s really feeling like autumn times are over and we are full on into winter, regardless of what the calendar might say.  I am hard at work, dividing my time between multiple design projects, some holiday gift projects, some personal projects I really wanted to get done for the chilly season (like this!), and I’m trying to give myself a bit of time here and there to relax, after having really overworked for that last month before releasing Coloring Book.  Things would be a lot harder to get done if I didn’t take care of myself and caught a cold, and this is the time of year that tends to happen.

Anyway, yeah I’m being a bit rambly, I know.  The thing is, I feel guilty.  I took on too much work this year, especially within the last four months or so, and I’ve fallen pretty far behind.  I need to let you know where things are at, since I am unable to stick to original release schedules.  I’ll go through the list…

Bulk Trio!

Bulk Trio.  I released the first pattern, Lemmy, back in September, at which time I’d planned/hoped to get the second pattern in the set out before the end of the year, and then the third pattern early next year.  I’m actually pretty close to on-schedule, but the next pattern won’t be before the year is over; it should be very close to the beginning of January though.  I’m basically done with the design, have begun the first sample, and just need to knit the three samples, build the pdf, and have it test knit.

Here's an in-color peek at the stitch pattern I'm using for my new design, in super bulky triple-stranded worsted weight. So squishy!! I spent all day yesterday swatching failed 2-color reversible stitch pattern ideas, finally gave up for the day, then at night an idea struck out of nowhere, and it was PERFECT!! You get a b&w secret shot for now, but I can't wait to reveal it sometime so

Here are peeks at the stitch pattern!  I won’t tell you yet what it is… you already know it’s an accessory that’s ideal for bulky yarns.  As for the third pattern in the trio, that’s already been started as well, so I’m hoping it can be released before the end of January.  (Bulk Trio is on ravelry here.)

Yarn for Lerro shawl

Betiko Collection.  Here is where the guilt starts to weigh on me.  I’d originally said, back when I released Biratu in May, that the colorwork shawl and lace shawl would both be released later this year… that’s not going to happen, and I’m really sorry about it.  The slip-stitch colorwork design is well on its way – the first sample, in beautiful Anzula Squishy sock weight yarn (above), is in progress, the design is coming along, and I’m super happy with it!

Snow day coincides with knitting day! That's the best! Taking a break from this new project in beautiful Anzula yarn to swatch out a couple other ideas that I'm too excited to try!

Like Biratu, there will be two versions, the more complex and the any-gauge simplified.  I’m hoping it can be released by early-to-mid-January, by the time I finish both samples, and the pattern, and have it test knit.  The final Betiko Collection shawl, the lace one, will be my next design, so I’m hoping for mid-February for that one.  (Here’s the collection on ravelry.)

Remixed cover image

Remixed.  This last item in the list is the major guilt-crushing weight on my shoulders… I still haven’t finished the Remixed recycled yarn making ebook.  It has been an absurdly long time since the final pattern was released (Either/Or in March of 2012, cringe), and I haven’t forgotten the book, really, I’ve just had to prioritize other things, over and over… and now I’m kind of humiliated about it, but my plan is to take a chunk of days this month to be my Remixed days and work on nothing else until it’s done.  I did take some quality time to work on it last spring and made some great progress, but then I had to put it aside again.

Side note:  After the book is released, around the beginning of the new year, the price of the whole collection will raise.  It’s currently $20 for all 8 patterns plus the future yarn-making ebook; it will be going up by at least a few bucks once it’s complete, so grab it now if you want it ;)  (Remixed on ravelry here.)

Remixed patterns

As I’ve transitioned over the last couple years to designing full time, my vague goal for this year was to basically take on as much work as I possibly could and try to grow enough that I could realistically see myself continuing to be able to design full time… if that makes sense.  And I succeeded at that, at the taking on new work and putting out as many patterns as I possibly could and growing, but the cost was this falling behind.  Adventure Knitting took MUCH longer than planned/expected, and threw off my schedule for summer/early fall, and then Coloring Book grew into a much bigger project than it was supposed to be.  I have absolutely no regrets, as I’m so darn happy with how both of those projects turned out in the end, and I hope that no one is mad at me for mis-judging my time lines and falling behind.  I will be catching up and finishing everything up there on that last before I take on any new work!!

Something else I’m kind of always behind on is blog posts… lately, the only reason I take the time to blog is to announce a new pattern, and I wish I had the time to blog other fun stuff.  So I’m planning to just take some time this week, as breaks between sample knitting, to blog about a few things that should have gone up months ago, but better late than never… So you can look forward to those throughout this week.

Coloring Book print book

A fun announcement: Coloring Book is now available in print book format!  It’s through Magcloud, and when you order it you’ll also get a free pdf download – so it’s not the same as the ravelry ebook + individual patterns in your rav library, but an ebook version of the print book.  It also may be available soon at your local yarn shop!  (You don’t get an e-version that way, but you also don’t have to pay shipping!)  If you happen to be associated with a yarn shop, I’ll point you over to where the print book is available wholesale through Deep South :)

Coloring Book print book

Something else fun: there’s an interview with me over on the BagSmith blog, about my Superduper cowl in their yarn, and about life as a designer and stuff like that in general.  The interview was done with Mari in person, so it’s much different from email interviews, in which I have full control over how answers are worded and stuff… I do not have full control over what comes out of my mouth if I’m put on the spot! Hah!

Yesterday we went to this crazypants Alpenrose Dairy Christmas village thing and saw donkeys and pigs and kittens and goats and lots of bizarre old timey-ness. #latergram 1223

And I’ll leave you with these holiday shots and a reminder that I have lots of patterns that could make excellent last-minute gift knits, like items from my best-of Quick Knits book, bulky Haka hats/cowl, super bulky Lemmy cowl, bulky Twisted Ankles legwarmers, and lots of any-gauge hats which could be made quickly… I hope your holiday season is going well!

Filed under: knitting,pattern Trios,Remixed,self-publishing — leethal @ 4:12 pm

February 26, 2013

Rose City Yarn Crawl and what I’m up to these days…

Hey Portland people, and everyone traveling to Portland for this weekend’s Rose City Yarn Crawl, I want to let you know I’ll be making a few appearances throughout the weekend and I’m excited to be a part of this whole thing!  Yeah!

Flying V's Either/Or

Besides having some patterns in the prize basket mix, I’ll be having trunk show events at both Twisted and Wynona Studios!  First, on Thursday afternoon 12:30-2:30 at Twisted, I’ll be part of a co-trunk-show with my good buddy and designer extraordinaire Star Athena!  I’ll have with me lots of assorted leethal knits pattern samples, and I’ll be there to answer questions, explain how my crazy things are constructed, talk about anything you want, etc, yay!

Wobble Bass Junction

Then later on Thursday, I’ll be at Wynona (in Oregon City) to bring in trunk show items and to hang out at the Thursday night knit night 5:30-7, so come by there for some casual knitting times and recycled yarn shopping!  ”Recycled yarn shopping?”, you might be thinking…  Yes!  Wynona specializes in recycled yarns, so my Remixed patterns are a perfect fit!  All my Remixed samples which were made from recycled yarns (which is most of them!) will be on display throughout the yarn crawl weekend, and print format versions of all Remixed patterns will be available!  (Print format Remixed patterns are a brand new thing, by the way, so if you happen to work at a yarn shop or want to tell your LYS about them, they are available wholesale through Deep South Fibers!  /end side-note.)

Freewheelin' Rumours

And then, on Saturday 4-7 I’ll be back at Wynona for the official Remixed trunk show event!  So I’ll be hanging out, available for questions, to explain pattern stuff, talk about my use of recycled yarns, etc… I hope you can make it to one or more of these events!!

orange stripes Gentle on My Mind Wild is the Wind

(All of those above photos show pattern samples which will be at one or both of the trunk shows!)

Barry peek Barry peek

And for all of you lovely readers, I want to show you a peek at what I’ve been working on lately!  If you follow me on twitter/tumblr/instagram you’ll have seen some peeks at the next design in the leethal Short Stripes Trio – Barry!

peek at Barry peek at Barry

I’m now finishing up the final sample, with yet another variation, and I’m hoping to release the pattern 1 week from today, if all goes well.  I won’t talk about it in detail here, but here you can see a few of the different options and how it’s super versatile, like Maurice.

Barry peek

If you love what you see here, you’ll automatically receive this pattern the moment it’s released if you get the whole Trio (on ravelry here), which will include Maurice right now, and Robin will be the final pattern in the future.  All stripy short-rows accessory patterns.  Yum!

Barry peek Barry peek

We’re doing a Short Stripes Trio knit-a-long over in the leethal ravelry group (which has just surpassed 800 members, woo!), working on Maurice now – you can come and go at any time, post photos of patterns from the trio as you make them, and we can all knit short rows and stripes together, fun times!  Some beautiful Maurices are being made!

Barry peek

And with that, I will leave you to get back to my work on Barry!

Filed under: hats,knit-a-longs,knitting,pattern Trios,portland stuff,Remixed — leethal @ 3:41 pm

October 10, 2012

Knitting technique tutorials, new charts, and other knitting stuff!

I haven’t talked about knit stuff in awhile, and a lot is going on!  (And I won’t even talk about my sweater yet, that will be its own post later.)  Since I got back from our trip I have been knitting and working on knitting/pattern-related stuff nonstop!

new design

In newest news, I’ve just started up a new section of my knit websiteleethal knitting technique tutorials!

I started out with some make 1 increase tutorials (including right & left, and purl-wise both ways), beginning with a simple one to figure out my layout template and stuff… then this morning I just updated it with a cabling without a cable needle tutorial!

leethal knitting tutorials

I’ve been putting photo tutorials in a lot of my pattern pdfs for awhile now, and a few months ago I started thinking, there’s no reason for those tutorials to be exclusive to the patterns – people don’t buy the patterns for those tutorials, right?  They are just like an extra bonus.  So, I might as well re-post them on my site for all to see!  I put the effort into making the how-tos, I’d rather more people get to use them.  So yeah, the m1 tutorials were first made for Either/Or, and some were also included in the current mystery knit-a-long pattern; the cabling tutorials were first made for Freewheelin’, and some were also included in Wobble Bass.

More tutorials from patterns which will make their ways into this section include twisted stitches, crochet provisional cast-on, weaving in your ends while knitting, grafting… and then more in the future… I’ll mention in the blog when I add new tutorials over there.

leethal knitting tutorials

Another thing I’ve just completed is updating the charts on a couple of Remixed patterns.  When I designed Wobble Bass, I made a new cable chart font for it, which looks much nicer than what I’d used for cables in the past, as well as for twisted stitches.  So, I updated the charts in Wild is the Wind (on ravelry):

new hat design!

Here are the old chart symbols versus the new chart symbols:

new cable chart font new cable chart font

And I updated all the cable charts in Freewheelin’ (on ravelry):

Freewheelin'

A bit of one of the old charts versus a bit of one of the new charts (the charts aren’t smaller, it’s just the way I cropped the screenshot):

new cable chart font new cable chart font

The original charts worked fine, but these should be a bit smoother and easier to follow, making for a more pleasant knitting experience!  Enjoy!

In other knitting news, the mystery shawl knit-a-long is in its second week right now, and going very well!!

sock weight mystery!

There are 79 projects on ravelry (at the time I’m writing this) and lots of them have spoiler photos, so click over there, or to the spoiler forums, if you want to see how it’s looking!  I won’t show any spoiler photos here, but you can also click over to my rav project pages for my 3 samples – in Anzula worsted weight, in Black Trillium sock weight, and in Cascade aran weight – to see my section 1′s.  I’ll post my section 2′s on Sunday night when I release section 3.

If you like what you see, there are still 3 sections left after this, so plenty of mystery knitting still to go if you join now!!

leethal mystery shawl knit-a-long! sock weight mystery shawl

Besides all that knitting-related stuff, I’ve also been actually knitting a ton!  I am working on a stranded colorwork design, something I’ve done very little of in my 10 years knitting.  So I spent many days figuring out the best way for my hands to hold the 2 strands at once and work a colorwork design – one strand in each hand does not make my hands happy!  Ouch!  What ended up working best is holding both strands in my right hand, one over my first finger and the other over my middle finger… It’s tricky at first (and at second, and at third), but after several days of practice I got much better and faster at it, loosened up, and my hands stopped hurting.  Yay!

I don’t want to show you too much of the design yet, since it’s still in the beginning phases, but here are some super-cropped peeks of my colorwork:

swatch extreme close-up swatch extreme close-up

And I’ve been working on another pattern as well, which is also still in the very early stages, swatching and note taking, more swatching and more note taking… Here is some swatching in progress (in lovely Knitted Wit yarn left over from this hat):

new design

One last bit of news – I’m excited to be a part of the Woolly Wormhead blog tour, for her new book Classic Woolly Toppers!  So in a couple weeks that’ll be happening… I’ve never been part of a blog tour before, so it should be fun!  And if you read my blog, there’s a good chance you like to knit hats, so yeah, good stuff!

I think that’s all my knitting news for now.  Happy knitting, dear readers!

Filed under: knit-a-longs,knitting,leethal.net,Remixed,tutorials — leethal @ 2:05 pm

May 1, 2012

Remixed: the music part

During this Remixed waiting period, while all 8 patterns are out but the rest of the ebook is still in the works, I thought it would be fun to talk about the music part of the project!  As you’ve seen, I’ve made album cover artwork pieces for each pattern, of the album for which the pattern was named:

Parallel Lines Rumours Wild is the Wind

Freewheelin' Slanted and Enchanted

Freak Out! Gentle on My Mind Either/Or

You can click on these mosaics to see my drawings next to each actual album cover:

first 4 Remixed cover art sketches last 4 Remixed cover art sketches

So, want to see how I made each piece?  They are hand-drawn with pen, but I traced the actual pictures, using my awesome light table (from Ikea’s kid section many years ago, one of my best Ikea finds)…

remixed cover art process

I started out by putting together a messy collage in photoshop – the original album art with my Remixed knit piece pasted in.  These were just meant to be printed and traced, not to stand alone, so they aren’t great quality, but I like how they look so I’ll show you my favorites:

album cover collage album cover collage

album cover collage album cover collage

I took a few process photos during the creation of the Rumours art, so here’s the collaged cover for printing (the levels are lightened to save ink and show more detail in the dark areas for tracing):

album cover collage

Ready for tracing:

remixed cover art process

And here is my drawing, which was scanned…

remixed cover art process

…and the final step was filling in parts with black in photoshop.  Done!

Rumours

My pdf cover designs are meant to kind of mimic the front and back of a record, with the pattern bullet-points acting as a track list… vaguely…

Rumours pattern cover Gentle on My Mind cover

So that’s the music element of Remixed.  Since all the patterns are named after albums that I like, it was obvious that a Remixed mix was in order!  So I had lots of fun making one, and gave away copies for my latest Remixers giveaway:

Remixed mix

The winners got the physical disc, artwork and all, but I want to digitally give away the mix for your listening pleasure!  (You have to have Spotify, but a basic membership is free.)  That link should take you to the whole playlist (I hope it works and plays all tracks… still don’t completely understand how Spotify works with sharing playlists).

Update: So, turns out the entire mix isn’t public on Spotify, but most of it is now.  I put the playlist into Spotify by dragging it from iTunes, and I assumed it would automatically link up to Spotify tracks, or however that works, since it told me the playlist was public.  But then when I posted it in my Tumblr, it showed as “playlist is empty”… So, I googled and read faq’s and forums for an hour, tried going through every individual track and telling it to update through Gracenote, which totally should have worked I thought but it didn’t, still empty.  I finally went through every single track and searched for it and dragged it into the playlist and deleted the old one, except that 5 tracks don’t exist on Spotify.  So you can now click and listen to the mix minus the Zappa, Metric, Mates of State, and Blondie remix… I’m kind of hating Spotify right now.  Grr.  (So, does all this mean that all my other “public” mix playlists on Spotify are empty as well?  I sure wish Spotify would tell me things like this instead of letting me go on believing that I’m sharing my mixes.)

Here’s the track list artwork:

Remixed mix

I made the track list the same way I made the cover art pieces – created the text box in photoshop, then traced the entire thing by hand (ohgod my hand hurt by the end!!), moving it at an angle a few times, then scanned it and added the title in my Remixed font.  Then I embellished the hand-drawn piece with colored pencils, and scanned it again for the back artwork.

Remixed mix

The mix will again be a prize for the Remixed knit-a-long giveaway happening at the end of May!  Details are in the leethal ravelry group – all you have to do is knit a Remixed pattern and post it in your rav projects!  Happy knitting!

Filed under: music,Remixed — leethal @ 3:55 pm

April 11, 2012

Remixed pattern #5: Slanted & Enchanted

First things first… As of last week, all Remixed patterns are now for sale individually, so if you’re not into the whole collection or making recycled yarn you can now grab just what you want!  Of course, $20 for all 8 patterns is still the best deal ($2.50 per pattern) but now you have the option… Also, all the patterns and the full collection are now available to local yarn store customers through LYSs participating in Ravelry’s in-store sales program, so if you work for a shop or would like to buy through your favorite shop, there’s that option now, so that’s cool.

Slanted & Enchanted scarf

So now, what happened was that I put out this Slanted & Enchanted design back during the crazy hectic holiday season – it went live on December 1st – and I guess I’d meant to blog about it as soon as possible but things were a bit too busy and I somehow forgot to blog it… When I realized, I was partway through my second sample, which I planned to add to the pattern when it was finished, so I decided to just wait to blog it until that was done…

Slanted & Enchanted scarf

So now that time has come and here’s Slanted & Enchanted!

Remixed Slanted & Enchanted Slanted & Enchanted #2

The top 2 photos are my original sample, and the one above on the right is that new sample I recently finished.  The scarf is designed to use up yarn leftovers of all lengths, even down to around a foot long.

The size of the scarf can be whatever you want, but one end will always be twice the width of the other end.  My main sample (below) is 57 inches / 145 cm long (not including fringe), and 4.75 inches / 12 cm wide on the narrow end, 9.5 inches / 24 cm on the wide end.  It’s knit lengthwise, so you can either just cast-on until you think it seems like a good length, or make a gauge swatch and determine the number of stitches you need for the exact length you want… and then just work until you like the width.

Slanted & Enchanted scarf Slanted & Enchanted scarf

My second sample (below) is much shorter and wider than the first – 36 inches / 91 cm long, 6.75 inches / 17 cm wide on the narrow end, 13.5 inches / 34 cm wide on the wide end.  It was knit with all pieces from the same unraveled colorwork sweater, so it’s all the same bulky weight yarn.

Slanted & Enchanted #2 Slanted & Enchanted #2

Here’s the sweater – I unraveled all but the sleeves (I have a different project planned for the sleeves!)…

recycling colorwork sweater yarn recycling colorwork sweater yarn

…and then divided all the scraps into tiny balls to use them for the scarf:

recycling colorwork sweater yarn

Yarn weights can vary within this project, since each row is knit with a different yarn, they should just all be around a general weight area – my main sample was all around worsted weight, ranging from sport to chunky but mostly worsted-ish.  A close up of the fabric, with each row in a different yarn:

Remixed pattern in progress

In the chunky sample, I experimented a bit with working 2, 3, or 4 rows of the same color – you can sort of see below how the pattern is different with wider stripes.  It would be a whole different look to knit an entire scarf with 2 row or 3 row stripes.

Slanted & Enchanted #2

The stitch pattern is super simple, kind of a cross between garter stitch and ribbing, so it’s a pretty beginner-friendly pattern.  It’s a little tricky because you have to work on 2 circular needles, but it’s all knit flat and the short rows are easy since there’s no wrapping+turning, just stop and begin a new row.

Slanted & Enchanted #2

The slanted shape is made by switching between a full row (all the way across the length) and a short row (stopping anywhere when the yarn runs out) so you should have a bunch of scraps that are long enough to reach across the whole length, and another bunch that are shorter, in all varying lengths.  See, it’s really the perfect pattern for using up allllll your leftover bits and pieces!

Slanted & Enchanted scarf

All yarn ends are tied together to make fringe on both sides, but there is a bunch of weaving in that needs to be done where the short rows end (just a warning)… You could cut the fringe straight across to make it neater, but I like it messy like this:

Slanted & Enchanted scarf

So that’s the 5th pattern I released for Remixed, and the final of the 8 patterns bloggedsee all 8 here (or on ravelry).

Slanted & Enchanted scarf Slanted & Enchanted scarf

Before releasing each for sale individually, besides adding that second scarf sample, I also re-knit this Gentle on My Mind sample bonnet:

orange stripy Gentle on My Mind

The original striped one was way too small, and I decided it would be much better to make it a good size (rather than showing it as a small version) and now I can actually wear it, yay!  Love it!

orange stripes Gentle on My Mind orange stripy Gentle on My Mind

I made another Wild is the Wind as well – not for an official pattern sample, since it does a terrible job at actually showing the design, but just for myself and to use a recycled spun yarn I made for the ebook:

soft+stripey Wild is the Wind

It’s an extra big and slouchy version (details are on the rav page) in a super soft wool/angora blend – the colors are fantastic and am totally in love with this hat, yay!

soft+stripey Wild is the Wind soft+stripey Wild is the Wind

Now everything is up to date with Remixed, blog-wise, but there’s one last fun thing for Remixers!

Remixed knit-a-long!  With prizes!  Details are here in the ravelry group, where you can talk about what you’re knitting, ask questions, share progress photos, etc, with all the knitters.  Post your projects in ravelry by the end of May to enter to win prizes, yay!

Happy knitting everyone!

Filed under: contest/giveaway,knit-a-longs,knitting,Remixed — leethal @ 2:03 pm

March 21, 2012

Remixed pattern #8: Either/Or

Before I get to the pattern, I just want to give one last update/reminder about the ebook pattern collection (ravelry) – now that all 8 patterns are out, you’ll have until the end of the month to buy the entire collection (plus the future complete ebook) for $16 (that’s $2 per pattern).  On April 1st, the price of the collection will go up to $20, and each pattern will be released for sale individually, for $3-5 each (mostly $4).  I’ll also be doing a giveaway at the end of the month for everyone who has pre-ordered so far – more details about that will go up in the ravelry group (and I’ll email winners as well).

Now that that business is taken care of… Either/Or!

Either/Or pdf cover Either/Or

This final pattern is either fingerless mitts or full mittens, all constructed from the thumbs out.  Knit modularly – no seaming or sewing at all, also no short rows, and an extra bonus is very little casting-on and no bind-off at all.  This design is ideal for striping, as you can see!

Either/Or

There are 3 different versions of the pattern – short fingerless, which is the quickest, uses the least yardage, and is slightly easier than the rest, I think:

Either/Or Either/Or

Long fingerless, on which the hand and wrist sides are the same length so they can be worn in either direction; the tweed striped ones at the top are this style as well:

Either/Or

And full mittens:

Either/Or

All versions can be made in any weight yarn, and there are 2 different wrist pattern options as well – garter edged and all garter stitch.  Lots of variation possibility based on yarn choice as well, of course!  These were made from a bulky recycled spun (navajo plied) wool yarn that I made from a recycled striped sweater, made to have long, non-repeating stripes:

Either/Or

Below are a 2×2 row striped sample and a 2×4 row striped sample – all 4 yarns used were recycled.  2 different unraveled tweed sweater worsted weight yarns for the first one; a wooly aran weight yarn in the second one, with stripes of leftover yarn that was used for my striped mask.

Either/Or Either/Or

This one is also a recycled yarn, around a fingering weight wool, with a few stripes of some Black Trillium sock yarn stuck in the garter stitch stripe section:

Either/Or

And here’s a commercial self-striping yarn sample – Classic Elite Yarns Liberty Wool (you can see more photos and details about each of these samples on the projects pages on ravelry, by the way):

Either/Or

And then there are my handspun mittens, made with this bulky yarn I spun awhile back.  Not so obvious with the stripes here, but I sure do love them!!

Either/Or

Like my drum photos? Pete and I had fun with these!

Either/Or Either/Or

Rocking out!!

Either/Or Either/Or

Either/Or Either/Or

So… you wanna see my design process for these?  This pattern was a bit of a bitch at first, until I thought up what came to be my construction method… At first, my concept was just to design mitts and/or mittens worked from the thumbs out.  After that, I didn’t know what to do… so this was my first prototype:

Either/Or design attempt Either/Or design attempt

Lobster claw!  After that failed, I tried another mitten, this time with short rows.  Both of these ended along the other side, closing the whole thing up with a 3-needle bind-off down the whole side.  Totally different methods, similar lobster claw-esque shape result:

Either/Or design attempt

I started brainstorming about this design way back when I first started the ebook designs, and all the tries and failures were spread out over time, as it kept getting bumped until it became my last pattern and I had to focus and figure it out.  So, after releasing the 7th pattern, that’s just what I did – I spent a couple days straight doing nothing but problem solving on this concept, switching to fingerless attempts, completely re-thinking the whole construction.  No more working out to the other side and seaming it up; the idea finally came to me to divide the top and bottom into separate parts and work it all seamlessly… So my 3rd attempt turned out like this:

Either/Or design attempt Either/Or design attempt

Semi-success!  No more lobster claw!  This was finally on the way to my final design, though it was actually much more complex.  This generation of prototype was asymmetrical, so there was a separate pattern for left and right hands… The fourth try was similar to the third, but actual less successful:

Either/Or design attempt Either/Or design attempt

So after that failure, I rethought the increase pattern completely and came up with a much simpler design, which turned into my fifth prototype, and which was basically my final design!  Yay!!

Either/Or design prototype mitt prototype

When this was finished I was high-fiving the world like crazy, knowing all that work had paid off because this was exactly what I’d been working toward that whole time!  It was like I’d been circling around it, making it much more complicated than it needed to be, but it was the road I had to take to make it where I needed to go.  So there you go, my insane design process. To bring it back to my actual pattern, here are a few process shots of the design:

Either/Or Either/Or

It’s worked in the round until it fits around your hand, then the top of the hand is worked from there, and the wrist comes last. The mitten is grafted closed at the top.

Either/Or Either/Or Either/Or

The side sections (hand top and wrist) are joined together with some picked up stitches where they connect, preventing holes on the side:

Either/Or Either/Or

Either/Or Either/Or Either/Or

Now I’ll leave you with a photo of the mitts that I really like… happy knitting!

Either/Or

Filed under: knitting,Remixed,self-publishing — leethal @ 6:23 pm

February 14, 2012

Remixed pattern #7: Gentle on My Mind

Remixed is nearing completion – this is the second-to-last pattern in the collection!  A bonnet or hood style hat, for any gauge, custom fit to any head size:

Gentle on My Mind cover

Gentle on My Mind is started sideways, the top section being worked to your head size (from the bottom of one ear, up over your head to the other ear), with sideways stitches left along the back edge…

Gentle on My Mind

…to be knit across, and then the rest worked down, with short rows and decreases making the curved head shape in back.  Then a sideways garter stitch edging is knit across the bottom, and braids or i-cords are added (or no tails is also an option, like on the sample above).

Gentle on My Mind

After tons of sketching and swatching and thinking, below is the first prototype I knit up, in striping tweeds, and it turned out pretty much exactly how I wanted!  That hardly ever happens with something this complex.  It was worked at an extra loose gauge, so it’s not super warm, but I love it:

Gentle on My Mind

This orange+white stripy one is my favorite for showing off the multi-directional construction, but unfortunately I decided to experiment with making a smaller size, and it didn’t work out so well… It sits back too far on my head, so I doubt I’ll be wearing it much, but oh how I do love the stripes!

Gentle on My Mind

One of my favorites of my samples is the last one I made, to try out an oversized version.  I paired an extra large sizing (used 20 inches as my starting measurement, instead of the standard 15 inches adult size – all this custom sizing stuff is explained in the pattern) with some extra bulky yarn, making a big, squishy, cozy hood!

Gentle on My Mind

It can be pulled forward or pushed back, and tied for extra warmth and/or to pull it up and down as needed.  Love it!!

Gentle on My Mind Gentle on My Mind

While technically any size can be made in any weight yarn, the specific size/shape does depend a bit on yarn weight.  The sample below, in a sport weight, was made in the standard adult size, but the gauge made for a more shallow front part…

Gentle on My Mind

…so the whole bonnet sits back further on the head and is more snuggly fitted.

Gentle on My Mind

Whereas the bulky recycled spun cotton sample below was also made in the standard size, but the front turned out much deeper, making for a bit more of a hood-type bonnet.

Gentle on My Mind

I use and recommend Socktopus’s shadow wrapping method for the short rows in this project, so I included a photo tutorial for that, the way I do it, which is slightly different from the way she explains it.  I discovered this technique while designing this hat and it’s totally my new favorite way to work wraps!

Gentle on My Mind

I wouldn’t call this pattern hard, but it is a bit complex, so the pdf includes lots of photos of each section and everything you should need to see and know to understand what you’re doing.

Gentle on My Mind

Many thanks to my fabulous testers for being so quick that I was able to release this pattern a day earlier than planned!  I got some happy positive feedback, which I’ll share with you because I can’t resist…  ”It was easy to understand, and kept me on my toes… just what I like!” … “You were bang on – the hat was great to knit.” … “Thanks for such a wicked cool hat pattern.” … “This very interesting construction is so addicting”.

I’m super happy with how it turned out, so I was very glad to hear that others like the construction too – I made six samples and never got bored with the pattern!  (In fact, I think I may be making more, we’ll see…)

Gentle on My Mind

Like all the other patterns, this one will be available alone once all the ebook patterns have been released to pre-orderers.  But remember, the current price of $16, for all 8 patterns plus recycled yarn making tutorials, will be raising to $20 once that happens.  Just sayin’.  Plus, you have about half a month still left in my birthday month sale, so you can save 30% if you add 2 other patterns to your Remixed order!  Okay that’s all, happy knitting!

Filed under: hats,knitting,Remixed — leethal @ 8:20 am

February 2, 2012

Remixed pattern #6: Freak Out!

It’s here!  A custom fit, any-gauge, basic balaclava…

Freak Out!

…which can fold up into a warm ribbed hat:

Freak Out!

And you may be able to fold it up different ways for different styles of hats:

Freak Out!

The other sample I made, my first prototype for figuring out the design specifics, had no negative ease, and I learned that negative ease is very important because this one is waaaay too big!

Freak Out!

It sort of fits Pete, but still too baggy for good visibility.  Anyway, this one shows a couple different ways of crocheting the hole edges with contrasting yarn for some extra freakiness!

Freak Out! Freak Out!

I’d been planning on designing a ski mask pattern for about 5 years now, ever since I joined ravelry in 2007 and started designing.  If you’ve been following me for awhile, you may remember my old ravatar that I finally stopped using a couple years ago (the photo below on the left)…

mask1.jpg mask3.jpg

Long ago, before I started writing patterns, I used to sell some things I knit, and I made a few of these stripy masks – the two below and a crazy crocheted one, too.  All these masks were semi-inspired by the SUPER creepy masks from the 70′s that you’ve probably seen around the internet at some point… I did a balaclava round up on Threadbanger a few years back, and included a few of those vintage ones there.

mask #2 mask011.jpg

So, when I started planning Remixed, and I wanted to include many different kinds of accessory designs, I finally came back around to my plan of turning those improvised masks into a pattern!  Freak Out! is actually constructed totally differently than those old masks I made, but you know, same concept.

Freak Out!

This mask is made from the top down, measuring your gauge as you go to calculate your stitch count number (same as Wild is the Wind and Buttonhead), with eye and mouth holes placed by trying it on as you go, to get the perfect fit.  (If you’re gift knitting, the pattern includes sizing notes to get a good fit for the recipient.)  The ribbed neck is made long enough to fold up into a hat, and the crochet edges are added last.

Freak Out!

The crochet edging can be made contrasting and extreme for a major design feature, or subtle, like in the stripy mask below.  The pattern is pretty beginner-friendly, as it’s mostly just stockinette, increases, and ribbing, and the simple crochet.  There are photo tutorials for the crochet, instructions for all techniques, and process photos throughout.

Freak Out!

The stripy one was knit in a recycled spun yarn – I unraveled a striped sweater, kept all the different colored yarn pieces tied together as they were in the sweater, then I spun the yarn, and plied it with thread:

recycled spun yarn

As always, this Remixed pattern is currently available to ebook pre-orderers (on ravelry here), until the full book is finished and released, at which point it will be for sale alone.  This is the sixth, of eight total patterns!  But wait, there’s a new piece of Remixed news…

I’ve decided to raise the price of Remixed when it’s finished.  Pre-orders will continue to be $16, but the price will go up to $20 when it’s done, or when all 8 patterns are released.  This is my first big ebook project, and I kind of underestimated the bulk of the collection… $20 still makes for an average cost of $2.50 per pattern, and that’s not even taking into account the yarn-making tutorials, so I think this raise is more than fair.  So, pre-order now while you can get it at the low price!  ;)

Freak Out!

As for “when it’s done”… that’s unknown for now… I’d hoped for by the end of February, but these last few patterns are eating up more time than expected.  (I’m having some issues with Gentle on My Mind and am about to start knitting a sixth sample to work out the kinks!)  So, at this point, that seventh pattern is scheduled to be released on February 14th, if all goes well, and the eighth pattern will hopefully be a couple weeks after that, though that pattern isn’t exactly coming along quickly either.

Quality is the most important thing, right?  My biggest concern is my being completely happy with the final patterns that I release, even if that means more waiting time, I think it’s worth it.  That’s the biggest benefit of staying independent – full control over the quality of my work.  So then, I expect finishing the ebook, with the tutorials and layout design, plus tech editing and everything else, to take the release date to the end of March at the soonest.  But, if you pre-order, then you’ll already have all 8 patterns while you wait for the complete book, so I hope waiting won’t be too hard… Thank you for your patience!

Filed under: hats,knitting,Remixed — leethal @ 2:57 pm

December 23, 2011

What’s to come and some random bits…

Hope you are having a good holiday-ish week!  I am hanging at my parents’ house in Orange County for a couple weeks, hoping to get tons of knitting and ebook photo editing done, between silly times with my brothers and California adventures with my parents…  Just wanted to kind of check in here since not much leethal stuff is going on, but will be in the near future!

Remixed pattern #6 is basically done – just needs to be tested once I finished laying out the pdf.  Giving my testers a break for now, for gift knitting times, so it’ll go out to them next week, then be out to Remixers in another week or so, beginning of January:

Freak Out! Freak Out!

It can be super extra terrifying if you choose:

Freak Out!

But it can also be folded up into a hat for normal everyday use.  See more photos of the stripy one and the bulky one on ravelry.  It’s for any weight yarn, worked top down, to get the eye and mouth placement just right.

Freak Out! Freak Out!

And then the seventh pattern is just about done as well!  Gentle on My Mind is a bonnet style hat, which can be made with or without i-cord tails, and works excellently with stripes…

Gentle on My Mind Gentle on My Mind

This is my first prototype, and was made with normal short row wraps.  After completing it, I discovered Socktopus’s shadow wraps method, which is so freaking awesome and a perfect fit for this pattern!  So my other samples are using that, and that will be the recommended technique in this pattern…

Gentle on My Mind

Below is my second sample, in several different handspun mini-skeins and leftover bits (plus a couple stripes of Malabrigo Twist thrown in there)… I love the front part, and I like the back of the head, but the middle is kinda weird, oh well.  It’s a sample without the i-cords (more photos are on ravelry).

Gentle on My Mind

Right now I’m working on another striped sample – 2 contrasting recycled solids – which I am super loving!  So, this design should be ready for testing in a couple weeks, and then just one Remixed pattern left in the collection!

Besides the designing and knitting, I’ve been making lots of recycled yarns for the ebook.  This one is the yarn used in the stripy mask – a striped wool unraveled sweater yarn, plied with thread:

recycled spun yarn

Here are a couple of navajo plied recycled striped yarns – the left is cotton, the right is wool:

recycled spun yarn recycled spun yarn

And from the same sweater as that wool navajo plied, a sleeve became this stripy yarn, plied with an angora blend:

recycled spun yarn

So that’s what I’ve been working on – well, the work work I’ve been doing… I’ve also spent lots of time working on gift projects, or one main gift project, which you can see a peek at through my twitter.  It will be blogged at some point soon!

A couple other things I wanted to mention here…  I’ve been saving all my coffee cans for the last couple years, since I made this cubby, in case I might want to make another one, but now I have something like 16 or 18 saved up, and nowhere in my house to put another one, so I’d love to give all the cans to a crafter who doesn’t drink coffee and wants to make a cubby.  Anyone in the Portland area want them??  Comment if you’re interested and I’ll email you…

coffeecubbies05

And this one last thing – thought there might be some readers out there who might be interested in this:

craft show flier

The casting agent happens to be an old co-worker from my day job in California many years ago… weird connection to my current world (that day job had nothing to do with craftiness).  So I just wanted to throw that up here… not exactly my thing (I don’t have that necessary tv personality) but it sounds pretty awesome!

Filed under: general crafts,hats,knitting,personal,portland stuff,random stuff,Remixed,yarn — leethal @ 5:14 pm

November 25, 2011

Buy Nothing Friday giveaways!!

Happy Buy Nothing Day!  Or, if you’re not observing that one, happy holidays!  To kick off the season on this day after Thanksgiving, I’m having some big giveaways!  First, all Remixers (everyone who has already pre-ordered the ebook) are automatically entered into a raffle today – I’ll be picking five winners total: three win a $10 off coupon code for my knitting patterns, and two win a prize package of goodies!  I’ll comment here, post in the ravelry forums, and email the winners once I do the drawing, which will be around 8pm today.

infinity moebius scarf thing Wild is the Wind

Rumours in sport weight bulky Freewheelin'

The second giveaway is for all who have not pre-ordered Remixed, who may be thinking about it or wanting to in the future, and it’s just this one day only, so enter now!

I’ll be picking FIVE winners from the comments for Remixed giveaways:  four will win 1 Remixed pattern of their choice, and a $5 off coupon code for the ebook in case you do decide you want to buy it later – kind of like testing out the one pattern to make sure you’re going to like it before you get the whole collection… And then one lucky winner will get the whole thing!  (meaning, the ebook pre-order, so these 4 patterns now, and the remaining 4 patterns as they are finished, and then the whole book later)

Parallel Lines Cover Wild is the Wind Cover

Freewheelin cover Rumours pattern cover

So, to enter the drawing, comment on this post with your favorite out of these four Remixed patterns that are out so far, and/or tell us about something you’ve made with recycled yarn, or something else Remixed-related… At the end of the day (midnight, west coast time, on Buy Nothing Day/Black Friday) I’ll choose the winners at random.

slanted & enchanted

And here’s a (badly lit) peek at the fifth Remixed pattern!  It’s by far the simplest of all the designs so far, and totally beginner-friendly, but using all your bits of leftover yarn scraps makes it look awesome!  It’s called Slanted & Enchanted, and it’ll probably be out to Remixers by the end of next week, if all goes well…

slanted & enchanted

Filed under: contest/giveaway,knitting,Remixed — leethal @ 7:00 am

November 23, 2011

Remixed pattern #4: Rumours

The fourth (out of 8 total) Remixed pattern is now out to pre-orderers!  Rumours fingerless mitts:

Rumours pattern cover Rumours

Before I go on, I just want to say now, so it doesn’t get buried in the post – now that half the patterns are out, I thought it would be a good time to start a Remixed knit-a-long!  Head over to the ravelry forums to vote on which pattern you’d like to knit along (or for a more casual any-pattern Remixed knit-a-long) and to share your knitting progress!

Rumours in sport weight

Okay so, Rumours!  They can be made with any weight yarn, and are custom fit to your hands.  Above is my pair in recycled sport(ish) weight yarn, and below in bulky weight:

Rumours in bulky

There are a few different options and variations you can choose from – like the 2-color version:

Rumours in bulky

And there are two different top hand designs.  The lace chevron design (below) is a bit too complex to work with bulky yarn, as it takes too many rows and stitches for a heavy weight gauge, so there’s a second, simpler hand design which you can see on the mitts above.

Rumours

They are made top down, starting by working the top hand part sideways (using the sideways edge cast-on) and stopping when it fits perfectly around your hand.  Then the thumb is started separately, joined with the hand, and the rest of the mitt is worked down through the wrist, using color coded stitch markers to keep track of the different twirling stitch designs and yarn-over lines:

Rumours

There’s no one thing that’s hard or really complicated, but there are a lot of twisted stitches, decreases, yarn-overs, and triangles of garter stitch texture, all kind of swirling and flowing into each other… as long as you pay attention to what you’re doing and read the pattern well, they knit up pretty quickly.

Rumours

One little detail I like – the twirling stitches turn into the bind-off in a nice flowing way:

Rumours

And a cool thing for iPad users (which isn’t specific to this pattern or anything, I just got excited because the iPad is still new and exciting to me)… There’s a box in the pattern for filling in your numbers (row counts, stitch counts, etc) while making your first mitt, so the second in the pair will be identical – I used the Goodreader app to make an annotated copy and fill in all the spaces on the pdf, so cool!  I know, iPad nerding out, doesn’t really have to do with this pattern or anything, but whatever, I just wanted to share…

Rumours pattern on iPad Rumours in sport weight

Want to see my design process for these?  I started out with some serious swatching, trying to reach a top hand part design that I was happy with… finally all my sketchy swatching led to the lace chevron design:

Rumours design process...

So then I cast on to turn that design into the top of a mitt, with my only plans for the rest of the piece being some kind of garter stitch thumb part, and some kind of swirling, yarn-over holes, and garter stitch element for the wrist.  And then I wanted to finish it off with a sideways edge bind-off cuff bit… Here’s what that whole thing turned into:

Rumours design process...

So then I moved on to my second attempt, giving it an actual thumb piece, and making the swirls more extreme, designing the whole wrist part as I knit it… and sticking with that sideways cuff bottom bit:

Rumours design process...

After that was done, I decided to let that cuff bottom part go, it just wasn’t working – but the design I used on that bit in my second prototype ended up turning into the second hand design of the final pattern, so I think it worked out well!  And then the final design stayed pretty similar to the wrist in that second prototype, just a few changes made to which bits are garter vs. stockinette.  The final change was that I brought the garter thumb gusset over into the hand a bit instead of being a straight line… And the final design was born:

Rumours Rumours Rumours

Yay!  I’m super happy with it, I hope you like it too!

(For readers who don’t know – this pattern is part of my Remixed collection, which is available for pre-order now.  It’s $16, there are 4 patterns so far, and there will be 8 total, plus yarn-making tutorials.  Order it now to get the first 4, and then each of the remaining as they are finished – see the webpage for more details.)

Filed under: knit-a-longs,knitting,Remixed — leethal @ 4:02 pm

November 7, 2011

Remixed pattern #3: Freewheelin’

This one sure took awhile to get perfect, but oh boy, I think it was a success!

Freewheelin cover Freewheelin'

Freewheelin’, the third pattern in my Remixed ebook collection (out to pre-orderers now, and to be available individually once the ebook is complete, next year), is a cable-tastic rounded shawl, and can be knit up in any gauge from around DK weight up to a super bulky (down to sport weight should work, for a smaller shawl).

bulky Freewheelin' bulky freewheelin' bulky Freewheelin'

It can be made pretty much any size you want, by just stopping when it’s as big as you like, or when your yarn runs out.  The blue one, in a worsted-ish recycled yarn, is knit all the way through all 6 sections of the pattern (so it’s as large as you can get in worsted); the bulky red one was bound off before the third section was complete, for just a few cable repeats.  The more sections you make, the more it’ll curve around and inwards:

Freewheelin'

The big blue one is so curved that it can be easily worn wrapped about with no shawl pin (like in the top photo)…

Freewheelin' Freewheelin'

…and because it’s so big and the fabric is so drapey, it can be tied around as well, which I quite like:

Freewheelin' Freewheelin'

You can see how with fewer sections worked, it’s still curved, but in just a U-shape.  This red one was made with a light worsted-ish weight angora blend recycled yarn, held triple stranded, making it a super bulky weight, knit pretty densely on size US 11 needles.

bulky Freewheelin'

My favorite way to wear this one is twisted around, or wrapped and closed with a shawl pin, though it can be worn in cape-like styles as pictured above.

bulky Freewheelin'

I have a third sample as well, though it was an earlier prototype and has some major differences from the final design.  There are a different number of increases per section, making it a not-as-curved shape, and making the cables run into each other differently in some parts.  But it can still serve to show you how Freewheelin’ will look in a chunky weight commercial yarn (Cascade 128), worked almost all the way through section 5 for a large size:

Freewheelin'

Optionally, you can bind off in a contrasting color for a simple slightly-decorative edging.  This option allows you to work right up through the last possible row in your main yarn, and not have to worry about leaving enough yardage for the bind-off.  The bind-off recommended (and explained) in the pattern is Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off, which makes for a nice squishy edge row in the contrasting yarn.

Freewheelin' prototype

The pattern is made up of repeating cable segment patterns, which travel and twist into each other as you move from one section to the next.  Most cable segment patterns have yarn-over increases built into them, making the shape of the shawl.  You keep track of all segments as you work by using a color-coded stitch marker system.

Freewheelin'

All pattern parts are both written and charted.  Personally, I think it’s a lot easier to make using the charts, but I had testers work successfully from both formats.  The pdf also includes photo tutorials for cabling without a cable needle, a 4-page essentials-only section for printing, if needed, and all cable charts together on one easily printable page.

(A tester, Sadie, pointed out something cool about the cable chart page: Did you know that if you print it on standard sheet of paper and then fold it in half, you can read all the cables you need for the first half of the shawl on one side, then turn the halved sheet over and read the other side for the yellow-middle section and the rest of the other side?! It’s ingenious. It meant I could take this reasonably complicated knitting pattern on the move and even knit on the bus with it.  I didn’t even think of that folding feature while laying out the page!  Perfect!)

bulky Freewheelin'

If you are intimidated by the look of this complex piece, well, one of my testers did recommend I include a disclaimer “not for the faint hearted,” but really, they all agreed that after the first couple of sections and getting used to the cables, with the stitch markers keeping track of everything, this pattern gets pretty darn addictive and hard to put down!  There’s a bit of discussion in the leethal ravelry forums about this pattern being “a highway to divorce” haha!

stitch markers

I want to give a HUGE thank you to my fabulous testers for this one – I gave them a ridiculously tight knitting deadline (one week!), since I wanted to get this pattern out to Remixers asap, and they all got their shawls knit on time with excellent feedback for me.  Monica, Sadie, Carole, and Kristin, you are all truly awesome!  (They are also proof that you can totally get this knit in plenty of time for holiday gifting, hah!)

future design prototype!

And lastly, I’ll show you my very first prototype of this design, which is super different from the final design; though the individual cable patterns are pretty much the same, the shape is all different (it doesn’t curve up, it’s just kind of a half-oval shape).  It was made with exactly one skein of Manos del Uruguay worsted weight wool (138 yards), and can be worn as a cowl (or neck warmer, or whatever you want to call it), closed with a shawl pin.  If you want to see a sample of Freewheelin’ made with exactly one skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca worsted weight yarn (215 yards), check out Kristin’s project page.  See, this can be a one-skein project if you want it to be!

future design prototype! future design prototype!

Check out Freewheelin’ on ravelry, or on my Remixed webpage to pre-order your copy of the ebook and get your hands on this pattern right now!  In case you haven’t yet read it elsewhere – the Remixed ebook is $16 and will include 8 accessory patterns total, all either for any weight yarn or with very flexible gauge requirements, starting with Parallel Lines, Wild is the Wind, and this one.  Pre-orderers will receive each of the remaining 5 as I finish them (working on a pair of fingerless mitts at the moment!), and then the final ebook, with lots of tutorials on making your own recycled yarns, will be released next year (no official release date, just as soon as I finish it and it’s the best it can be).

Follow me on twitter for glimpses into Remixed designs as I work on them, and follow this blog and/or the ravelry group for updates whenever new patterns are released!

Filed under: knitting,Remixed — leethal @ 12:23 am

October 24, 2011

Class, interviews, and knit shawls!

Oh gosh, stuff has been piling up.  First, for Portlanders, I’m teaching a class on my sideways edge cast-on, and sideways bind-off (used in Betiko and Wild is the Wind), at Twisted on Tuesday November 29th.  See all Twisted class info here.  If you like the idea of the technique, but can’t wrap your head around it, here’s your chance for some hands-on help!

mittscuffprogress

Complete info from the Twisted schedule:

Sideways edge cast-on and bind-off workshop
$30 With Lee Meredith
Learn how to knit a sideways edging (perfect for a brim or cuff) while casting on stitches along the edge at the same time, avoiding the need to pick up stitches or sew seams later.  Then learn the reverse – add a knitted on sideways edge to a piece while binding off the stitches at the same time.
Date/Time: Tuesday, Nov 29, 5-8pm
Materials:  Any yarn of your choice (a weight that you like working with best, something smooth and easy to work with), needles sized to match – a circular needle is recommended (everything will be worked flat, but the flexible cord will make it easier to see what’s happening), and a stitch marker.

game knitting

So that’s that, now onto non-Portland-specific stuff.  A couple things from awhile back that never made it to the blog (till now!)…  I was interviewed for the Knit Picks podcast, for their ebooks episode, about Game Knitting and also about how I started designing, etc.

I also did a blog interview over on je suis une monstre - head over there to read all about how I quit my day job to be a designer, my design process, and lots more…

Betiko - mystery pattern version

Tara of Blonde Chicken finished her Betiko knit-a-long and blogged the gorgeous finished Betikos – love them all!

Freewheelin' prototype

And now to let you know what I’m currently up to – I know the next Remixed pattern, Freewheelin’, is supposed to be due soon, but it’s taking more redesigning and reknitting than planned… The yellow bulky sample which was supposed to be the final (or close to final) version of the pattern just wasn’t good enough and I ended up working out yet another new update (I’ve redesigned this pattern so many times, ohmygoodness the hours I’ve spent, sigh).  So then I tried a super bulky sample of the new version…

bulky Freewheelin'

…and I’m super happy with it!  So now I’m on the final step of knitting up a worsted-ish weight sample, my last test and my main sample piece, and when that’s done the pattern will go out to testers and then finally out to Remixers.  So that’s what’s going on there.  This pattern really got away from me and took on a life of its own… the other Remixed patterns I’m in the beginning stages on should be quicker, fingers crossed.

in-progress Freewheelin' in-progress Freewheelin'

And lastly, a heads up that I’m planning on starting another round of twitter trivia soon!  If you follow me on twitter, look out for daily trivia questions for a chance to win a pattern coupon code each day!  Yay!

Filed under: knit-a-longs,knitting,lots of links,podcasts,portland stuff,Remixed — leethal @ 3:32 pm

October 6, 2011

Remixed pattern #2: Wild is the Wind

My second Remixed pattern is out!  To all who pre-order the ebook, Wild is the Wind, a customizable, any-gauge hat:

Wild is the Wind Cover new hat design!

Knit it with any weight yarn, fitted or beret style, slouchy or not, buttons or none, pointy or smooth-topped, custom fit to your head, worked top-down with a modular sideways brim.  (Here it is on Ravelry)

Wild is the Wind

It’s not hard, but by the end you’ll be an expert at twisted stitches!  The body is simple and addictive (I could knit the swirly top part over and over and never get bored with it!) and while the brim is definitely trickier (or slower at least), testers have agreed that once you make it through one chart repeat it clicks and gets much quicker and easier as you continue on.

Wild is the Wind

The custom stitch counts and measurements are calculated using your gauge (which is measured directly on the hat after you’ve knit the top part), the brim design is charted, and the pattern includes photo tutorials for my favorite way of doing twisted stitches, detailed instructions for all steps, and a 3 page condensed printable pattern section with a black and white version of the chart.

Wild is the Wind

Notes are included for adding slouch to either style of hat, so you can make a hat fitted in front and long and slouched in the back, or a smaller beret style, or pretty much whatever shape you want.  The garter stitch brim bottom is nice and stretchy for a well fitting brim.

Wild is the Wind Wild is the Wind

My three samples were all knit with recycled yarns.  The grey is a strand of worsted-ish weight wool/rayon/angora/cashmere blend, in the beret style with a bit of slouch, no point, no buttons.  The blue is a merino/nylon blend worsted weight held triple stranded (using this method), fitted style with no point and buttons.  And the yellow is a spun recycled yarn I made - a wool reclaimed sweater yarn, an unknown green yarn, and 2 strands of thread, all plied together for around an aran weight – in the fitted style with a pointed top and buttons.

Wild is the Wind

One note included in the pattern that I wanted to give more details about here – I mention that for the beret style you shouldn’t use yarn heavier than about a worsted weight.  Well, I learned that from first attempting to turn that super bulky blue into a beret and ending up with this:

Wild is the Wind beret fail Wild is the Wind beret fail

Hah!  The brim is 10 stitches wide no matter what your gauge, so a heavier yarn equals a wider brim, and a heavy weight beret with a super wide brim equals ridiculous looking.  So that’s the thing about that.  But then I just frogged it all back to the top part and made it into a fitted style and the super bulky worked great for that.

Wild is the Wind

My musical backdrop isn’t very visible in the hat photos, maybe it wasn’t a great idea, kinda pointlessly busy, but oh well.  I’m trying different music-themed backgrounds for all the Remixed patterns… but I may end up just reshooting everything together for the final ebook, we’ll see.  Anyway, this is the background for my Wild is the Wind hats:

album backdrop

A big thanks to my test knitters for all their help with this one!  Check out their versions in the ravelry projects to see more style options – slouch, different weights, contrasting color brim, etc.  I really love how the design turned out, and I’m super happy with the final pattern – I hope some of you have fun knitting it!  Yay!

Filed under: hats,knitting,Remixed — leethal @ 1:50 pm
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