April 8, 2011

April’s ebook: Listen Up!

I’ve finally done a theme I had wanted to do forever – music!  I had planned to do a music themed club back in my first generation of the quick knits club, but it never happened, and I hadn’t been able to figure out all the parts until last week, super last minute.  I’d actually been planning a different theme, and then I brainstormed this up and was much more excited about it so I went for it, though I put a little too much effort into making the ebook awesome so it was released a couple days late.  I think it’s worth it though!

April club ebook cover

First, Listen Up! includes a pattern for this guitar pick keyring pouch:

April's quick knits club stuff!

It’s a simple little pattern that looks pretty cool when it’s done, but it’s an easy in-the-round construction with nothing but increases and decreases – so it’s good for someone new to DPNs or an adventurous beginner.

April's quick knits club stuff!

The sample was knit in a DK-ish weight, tightly on size US 2 needles, making the pattern written for a gauge of 8 sts/inch, but there are notes on working it in different gauges and it’s very easy to modify if you want to use a different weight.

April's quick knits club stuff!

The second pattern is this CD gift case, which can be made to look like an LP (sort of) when knit in the right colors.  I didn’t have time to try it out, but I think it would be awesome to embroider “mix” or “to you” or something on the label (red) part.  If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know how obsessive I am about my mixes, so a special case for a special mix was a fun thing to design!  Especially as I am also extremely into vinyl

April's quick knits club stuff!

And here’s the back (or front, actually, it could go either way), the tricky part…  It was tough to design and make it work, and it’s a wee bit hard to button around the disc until you get the hang of it, but it totally functions and I think it looks pretty cool!  Of course, the mix gift will be made better if you take a sharpie (or many in different colors) to the top side of the mix and give it some custom art, which will show – or you could write the track list directly onto the disc so it’s readable while in the case.

April's quick knits club stuff!

For the tutorial, I show you how I made these vintage lace doily covered speakers!  All you need is a speaker, a doily, and some yarn:

from the April quick knits ebook from the April quick knits ebook

Here they are in action in my studio:

from the April quick knits ebook from the April quick knits ebook

And then the final extra ebook item… the one that probably took me the most time of all and is my personal favorite part of this ebook… I made 6 album cover artwork connect-the-dots puzzles!

from the April quick knits ebook

I’ll treat this set how I treat my stitch set puzzles, and I’ll show you one so you can get an idea of how they look, but then you can click over to my spoilers page and scroll to the bottom to find links to see all 6 of the puzzles, along with the art that inspired each one!

from the April quick knits ebook

This sample is not the best, and definitely not my favorite of the 6, but it is the most recognizable album cover of them all, and one of the easiest to tell what it is in dot puzzle form.  The 6 albums range from 1969 to 2009 and are a variety of music types, though all 6 are albums I like.  I had a ton of nerdy fun making these, and I hope many of you have tons of fun doing them!

from the April quick knits ebook

So that’s April’s club ebook.  The usual info:  head to the club page to subscribe and get this ebook plus the last 2 months ($10 for 3 ebooks), head to the ravelry page to grab this ebook alone, and hey, if you knit any patterns from this set (or any quick knits ebooks, for that matter), it would be very very cool if you added them to your ravelry projects!  Just sayin’…  Oh yeah, that reminds me, I’ve gotten the quick knits patterns page up to date, so you can see alllll my under-20-yards patterns together there.

Ok that’s all I’ve got.  Sorry about the blog absence lately; oh life, it is busy.  I’ve finished making some delicious liqueurs, so hopefully you’ll be hearing about those soon!  Happy weekend!

Filed under: connect-the-dots,knitting,music,quick knits — leethal @ 2:05 pm

December 14, 2010

Holiday cards for sale now and free with purchase!

These have been for sale through Trillium for a little while now, but now they are available through my shop as well!  Connect-the-dots holiday cards!

connect-the-dots holiday cards

There is a happy holidays penguins design, and a seasons greetings polar bears design (card insides are blank):

connect-the-dots holiday cards connect-the-dots holiday cards

They are meant to be given to your giftee, who can then connect the numbers and reveal the greeting!

connect-the-dots holiday cards

All the materials are recycled/reclaimed (cards, envelopes, label paper from Scrap, and 100% recycled premium quality paper) – because of the way I source the materials, nice envelopes are a bit harder to come by than the cards, so I’m offering cards without envelopes for a little cheaper ($3.75 vs $4), in case you don’t need the envelope.  Here’s a card on a gift under my tree:

connect-the-dots holiday cards

Because this month is flying by so darn quickly and there are only a few days left when shipped items will arrive by xmas, I’m having a free cards sale through the end of this week (the 17th) – buy anything from my site that gets physically sent (not patterns) and I’ll include one of these greeting cards!  Let me know (via email) if you prefer one design or the other, and also if the item is being sent directly to a gift recipient, then I can write a personal note from you inside the card!

leethal printed shirt

In case you’re a newer reader and mostly just familiar with my knit stuff (my focus nowadays), I used to make all kinds of things from recycled materials, and there are still plenty of those in my shop!  Lots of recycled shirts (and a couple sweatshirts, like the one above) with prints from my hand-carved lino blocks and handmade stencil screen prints (I’m a baller and respect the needles tame the yarn)…  A bunch of hats and a few cuffs made from recycled sweaters, sweatshirts, and t-shirts…

hat! hat! floppy ears tie hat!

Clock kits with printed fabric clock faces and instruction booklets for taking apart a thrifted clock and rebuilding your new fabric faced one…

clock kit! clock kit!

Tons of photo prints in sets of three 4×6’s and matted 8×6’s fitted for 8×10 frames…

trio envelopes

And then there are the knit kits, which I’m running super low on at the moment, and the connect-the-dots stitch sets of course, which I’m waiting on from the printer so most of those won’t ship out till the end of the week (as noted on the webpage)…

stitched argus! pincushion: orange-on-aqua

So, grab your gift items while you still can, and I’ll ship them out as soon as I can!  I use regular first class mail so I can’t guarantee arrival dates unless you’d like to pay more for faster/better shipping; if so, just let me know when you place your order.  Within the states, I think any orders placed by Wednesday (or Thursday morning) should be fine to arrive by xmas…

Filed under: connect-the-dots,contest/giveaway,gifts,leethal store — leethal @ 9:00 am

December 9, 2010

Framed connect-the-dots stitched pictures!

I meant to start a series of posts like this forever ago – the main issue I hear about my stitch sets is “what would I do with them after I stitch them?”  So, this is the most basic option, but in the future I’ll be showing you more project ideas (of course, they will be projects you could make with any squares of embroidered fabric, not just the connect-the-dots pictures!)…

stitched pictures framed

On my wall now are 4 sea pictures – the octopus and one other from the Sea Creatures set, and the angler fish and one other from the Ocean Abyss set.  You can click over to the spoilers page to see the unblurred images.  For the octopus, I had fun with some mats I scored from the thrift store last week – no mat was the right size for the frame and the picture, so I layered 3 mats:

stitched pictures framed

The great thing about framing the stitch set pictures is that, while they are on 6×6 inch fabric squares, the images themselves are all fitted within a 4×6 area.  So they are easily framable in any 4×6 picture frame, or 4×6 mat.  (That mat above is a little smaller than 4×6, so the edges are cropped a little, but I like how it looks!)

stitched pictures framed

The other 3 are in basic (super cheap) Ikea Clips glass frames – the extra 2 inches are wrapped around the backs, so if I wanted to take them out of the frames later to use them for a project, they aren’t cut smaller.

new stitch set Kits!!

By the way, if you’re still looking for holiday gifts for any crafty friends or family members – I have 8 different themes of these stitch sets (from rock instruments to woodland creatures to crafty tools to dinosaurs…), and kits too!   You can get kits with 3 or 5 sets worth of images, and plenty of embroidery floss, a hoop, and a needle to stitch them all up!  Get them “mystery shuffled” for maximum fun connecting the dots and revealing the pictures!

And Portland readers – the sets are also for sale at Twisted!

Filed under: connect-the-dots,leethal store — leethal @ 9:52 pm

April 5, 2010

New Stitch Sets, Kits, and Spoils!

Oh my gosh new connect-the-dots stitch sets!!  Wooo!!  New in the shop are Sea Creatures, Ocean Abyss (plus a special Under the Sea 10 pack option!), and Rock Instruments

Octopuses!

…plus, kits!!  There’s a 3 Set Kit, and an Ultimate 5 Set Kit!  (scroll down close to the bottom)  Kits come with a hoop, needle, and assorted colors of embroidery floss (from Knittn’ Kitten, the reason I bought so much the other day).  When ordering a kit, you can choose whether you want each set packaged normally, or have them all shuffled together for maximum mystery fun!  Also, you fill in a box with which sets you want; if you wanted to be even more surprised, you could write something like “anything except for dinosaurs,” or “sea creatures and surprise me for the rest!”

new stitch set Kits!! new stitch set Kits!!

The Ocean Abyss set is my personal favorite of the new sets – creepy creatures of the deep sea depths!  The example is an angler fish:

Angler Fish! Angler Fish!

I’ve also done a huge makeover to the spoilers page – now, all the extra example pictures are over there, plus you can click to see pictures of mystery images that I’ve stitched from each set!!  So if  you’re super curious about what other creatures, craft tools, cameras, etc, the sets have to offer, you can click to spoil just one at a time and still keep some images a mystery!!

drums!

Want a bit of detail about how the actual stitching works?  Basically, you can stitch up the sets however you want, but they come with an instruction sheet with 3 different ways to connect the dots.  The second way is the how the drum set above was done – by making long back stitches between each number, then tacking them down after they’re all connected, you can make the lines curved and make the picture neater.  Below, that method in progress:

In-progress stitching! In-progress stitching!

Then the stitches were tacked down with a contrasting, variegated thread.  See how the tentacles are all curvy?

Octopus!

The main other method is short back stitches, which means only one step instead of two (no going back over the whole thing a second time), but the lines will generally be more choppy, from number to number, since you’re not going back over it to neaten it all up.  (For the record, I like this way best – I like it looking a wee bit choppy/un-perfect and I much prefer one step to two steps!)  This one was done that way:

Octopus!

Another example of the long stitch method, tacking the lines down curved – and you can see in the tail part how you can decide to tack together lines, or separate them, if they’re close together…

Angler Fish!

The yellow/green fabric angler fish at the top is done in the short backstitch method.  Oh, another thing, I don’t have matted sets of the new themes yet – I should have them in a couple weeks probably.

I’m thinking about some way of selling the sets on paper, with instructions for transferring the designs onto any fabric (I need to do more experimenting to figure out the best ways – see Sea Creatures spoil picture two for an example), so you can stitch them onto clothes and stuff… can’t decide whether it would be best to sell the physical paper prints (maybe as postcards), or pdfs so you can print them out whatever size you want… either way, the puzzle element is a little lost in this format, since I’d want to tell you what each design is since you’ll be transferring to clothing and stuff… ok what do you think?  Any interest?

Filed under: connect-the-dots,leethal store — leethal @ 8:30 am

March 16, 2010

Some website updatey stuff!

argus stitching

Ok, first of all, my new Cameras stitch set is available, and to celebrate, here is an extra camera design that didn’t make it into the set!  Click the image below to download the full size version, print it out (100% size is 4×6 inches), and find out what camera it is!  (Ok, it’s not that much of a mystery, but it’s fun still!)

Camera Connect-The-Dots

I’ve been all motivated the last few days with website updating! I’ve been into reading all the comments that came in from my survey a little while ago, and I made a couple of changes based on people’s suggestions…

Someone had this idea – “it would be cool if your front page was more like a shop window, in that the displays changed often (maybe by season, or bi-monthly)…” – and I started thinking about that a bit and really liked it!  I already had the 6 featured things that I changed seasonally-ish, but I wanted to make it pop more and also make it easier to to change often…

new leethal.net homepage

So now there’s this big photo at the top, which I plan to change about once a week (or 2), to whatever i’ve most recently made/released/been working on or just a photo-of-the-day that I really like, or whatever seems to fit… And then below that are 4 square photos of “featured stuff” which I’ll also change, but not as often.  Instead of those being set categories like before (they used to be “featured shop item, featured pattern,” etc), they are just photos with no text so I can change them to anything I feel like featuring.  Of course, all the photos link to whatever is shown for easy navigation.

leethal home page

And then I got a few comments about my shop being confusing (like I find the shop side of the site hard to navigate. There’s too much information on a page and it’s hard to see and sometimes find again what’s there.), which made me realize that having the shop home page featuring items from every category the way it used to probably made things too busy and I needed to simplify that.  So I changed the shop home to match the patterns and yarn home pages, with just square photos for each category, for hopefully easier navigation.

new shop homepage

If other things about the shop are confusing, I would love more feedback to make it easier!  (Or, about anything at all in the site that’s confusing.)  I’m planning on further simplifying in the future – I’m thinking about phasing out some things (hats, accessories, prints…) so I might be taking things out of the shop soon (and/or having sales!) and cutting back the shop pages.  (Side note, if there’s something you want, it might be a good idea to grab it – the whole house buying thing is motivating me to get organized, clear out some stuff, and I might be taking things out of the shop if they don’t sell by the time we move…)

about leethal page

I also did a bunch more updating this morning, and my about section is now up to date (that was on the to-do list for months!), and some other random things here and there that needed to be done.  I’m going to try to be more on top of updating, really I am!  Still need to get to the yarn section, and get the March club photos and info up… Oh yeah and I also got the new dyeing tutorial up on the tutorials page...

tutorials page

One of the reasons I’m showing you all these updates is another bit of feedback I got – Since I pick you up on the feeder I don’t notice changes to the website.  Maybe an occasional “Here’s what’s new on the site” or a featured area of/button on the blog would make me think about clicking though. I figure this is probably the case for lots of you, hence the site-update filled blog post!

Filed under: connect-the-dots,leethal store,leethal.net — leethal @ 1:50 am

February 1, 2010

Stitch Set Winners plus a Free Puzzle for all!

Ok stitch set giveaway winners have been picked!  I used the random number generator when I should have used the sequence generator, since I was choosing 9, so I ended up with duplicates.  As you can see below, I chose 3 more to replace the duplicates, and one of those was yet another duplicate, so I chose 1 last number, and that gave me the 9 winners…

randomnumberwinners

So the winners are:

  • Matted stitch set:  17. Marie in Florida
  • Regular (old version) set:  18. Roxy
  • Regular (old version) set:  7. April

Individual connect-the-dot stitching pieces:

  • 9. Anita
  • 37. Lil
  • 29. KAT
  • 24. Renee G
  • 11. Kelly
  • 12. Jenny G.

It was a crazy super awesome coincidence that Marie – the only person to specifically mention loving the orange/yellow/red matted set – was the winner of that exact set!!  Like holycrap wow!  Marie must have amazing karma!

Thank you everyone for the comments – it seems that color preferences are kind of evenly spread between lighter and brighter shades, so I’ll continue ordering some of everything, and if buyers want specific colors, you can always email me with requests… seems to be the best way to do it.

So I’ll be emailing all the winners to get mailing addresses today.  If you don’t hear from me, it might be related to the weirdness of wordpress comments lately, so you could shoot me an email, but I think it will all be fine…

Winter Accessory Connect-The-Dots

For everyone else, I want to offer up a free connect-the-dots puzzle!  This is a winter accessory that didn’t make it into the Winter Knitting mini-zine for the January club.  It’s sized to print out approximately 4.5 x 6.5 inches – you can print it on a lighter ink setting if you want to, so the numbers won’t distract from the picture so much.  It’s a fun picture to color in and decorate to customize, or for kids to do and color I’d imagine…  Go to the original file on flickr to download and print!

Last minute reminder – today (Monday) is your last day to sign up for the February club!  I usually switch the sign-up month over in the early afternoon, so you can sign up late Tuesday morning if you aren’t reading this till then.

Filed under: connect-the-dots,contest/giveaway — leethal @ 5:15 pm

January 29, 2010

More Stitch Set Giveaways!

Ok time for those giveaways I’ve been talking about!  First, Diane is giving away a stitch set of your choice on CraftyPod blog!  Such fun comments to read, answering the question “which of your favorite crafts feels most game-like to you?”

And, Mr X Stitch blog is giving away another one, along with 2 other embroidery-themed prizes!  Mr X Stitch did a separate review post for the stitch sets earlier today, yay!

Don’t forget to enter futuregirl’s giveaway by Sunday, and mine here on do stuff! I wanted to get this posted while it’s still business hours (at least on my coast) but I’ll probably be updating a little bit later with yet another giveaway!  Right now, I’m off to two of my favorite places in the world – Knittn’ Kitten and Twisted!  Hooray for my work errands being so much fun!!

Filed under: connect-the-dots,contest/giveaway — leethal @ 4:48 pm

January 26, 2010

Craft Tools Stitch Sets Giveaway!

regular set

Ok, giveaway time!  So there will be more stitch set giveaways happening on other blogs this week, which I’ll be sure to let you know about – for those, the winners will get to choose their set themes, so for mine I’m doing something a little different…

old format in hoop

I have 3 Craft Tools sets in the old (pre-Spoonflower upgrade) format, left over from holiday craft show time – 2 regular and 1 matted – so I’ll be choosing 3 winners to each get one of those.  Also, I had some extra prints made of the example images (unicorn/squirrel/triceratops/pincushion) so I could stitch up different kinds of examples, but it gets boring stitching the same images over and over, so several runners up will get single example image fabric squares, just for fun!  So there will be something like 8 or 9 winners total!

old format matted set

To enter: leave a comment telling me what kinds of colors you like best for connect-the-dots stitching.  (Light, bright, neutral, pastely, etc; I never know what everyone will prefer most, so this will help me for future print ordering.)

spoonflower set piles

I’ll pick the winners at random on Monday (the 1st) around noon (Oregon time) – I’ll blog the winners then and email everyone to get addresses.  Good luck!

update 1/26: so this is just fantastic timing – my blog is having issues with comments. hopefully it’s super temporary.  I’m not getting the comments sent to my email (again – that happened awhile back, then just magically fixed itself a few days later) and some people are getting error messages when trying to comment.  It seems that if you try commenting and get an error, the comment still goes through (I just have to approve it before it shows up) – I’ve seen a couple of people commenting several times because it seems like it’s not going through, but it is.  Anyway, I’m sorry about this, I don’t really know what to do at the moment except wait and see if it gets back to normal…

Filed under: connect-the-dots,contest/giveaway — leethal @ 8:30 am

January 24, 2010

Stitch Set Giveaway(s)!

fuzzy stitched squirrel

So are you liking those connect-the-dots stitch sets?  Want a chance to win one?  How about several chances?!  Today, Alice at futuregirl is having the first in a week full of giveaways!  Well, maybe not totally full, but there will be at least a few more… so stayed tuned throughout the week!  For now, head over to the futuregirl blog and get your name in there!

pincushion: orange-on-aqua

I spent a few hours and a couple movies yesterday stitching away on 2 more examples (I love my job!) – the pincushion above gives a better idea of what that image should look like than my previous examples.  The craft tools set seems to be my least popular theme – I just want to remind you that the example images are often the most simple (which can mean most boring) so if you are turned off by the pincushion, keep in mind the other craft tools could be much more interesting!  Just sayin’….

fuzzy stitched squirrel

And I stitched a fuzzy squirrel!  I used vintage tapestry wool, or needlepoint yarn (the label says both), which is basically a worsted weight wool yarn, and used the back stitch method, but with longer stitches than I normally make.  Worked well!

Filed under: connect-the-dots,contest/giveaway — leethal @ 2:10 pm

January 22, 2010

New and Improved Connect-the-Dots Stitch Sets!

squirrel on pinkish

You may have noticed, since I first released my connect-the-dots stitch sets in December I haven’t really been mentioning them – well that’s because I’ve been working on a major format update for the last month!  (Oh yeah, I actually did mention them back here, but I said I’d be blogging about it later, so now is later!)  The sets are now being printed by Spoonflower, so the fabric and the printing are both higher quality than my original home inkjet printed numbers onto thin recycled fabric.

piles of stitch sets!

The regular sets are linen/cotton blend canvas, in assorted colors, and are now 6×6 inch squares, which means you must use a 5″ embroidery hoop.  The pictures themselves are 4×6 inches or smaller, so they can be framed in standard 4×6 frames if you want.  The fabric has a great, subtle texture, as you can see in the close-up shots; it’s thick and sturdy, and if you want to wash it that will soften it up a bit.

unicorn on green

I seem to like these yellowy-green shades for my example stitching, but they are semi-rare in my color assortments – the most common color types are light neutrals, blues, and yellow/oranges, with a fair amount of pinks, light purples, and greens.  If you order a set and want certain colors, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.  (I could make sets in a certain color genre, like neutrals, or shades of blue, but I can’t get too specific with what I have in stock.)

blue triceratops

The matted sets are pretty much the same as the original kind, since the Spoonflower fabric used for them is the quilting weight cotton, which is about the same thickness as the recycled fabric I was using, but with higher quality printed numbers.  The update with the matted sets is that I now have 6 fabric pattern options to choose from, at the bottom of the page.

matted on orange flowers

A couple other minor changes from when I first released them… I no longer offer pdfs of the sets.  They weren’t popular, so I’m thinking about saving them up for a future connect-the-dots ebook perhaps… not really sure yet though.  And, I used to have the total number counts in the corners (as you can see here) but I changed my mind, thinking it’s not useful enough and it looks bad up there, so those are gone now.

piles of stitch sets!

So now I have the 4 different sets: Cryptozoology, Craft Tools, Woodland Creatures, and Dinosaurs – each with 5 pictures total, 1 shown as the example, and 4 remaining a mystery (unless you want to spoil it).  The example images are generally the ones that are most obvious in dot-form, so the other 4 are more mysterious.  Most of the sets have a range of difficulty levels, meaning some of the pictures have fewer numbers for simpler shapes, and some have many more numbers for more complex shapes, which I think are the most fun!

Ok I think that’s all the info I’ve got… now that the format is all figured out, I’m excited to make more sets!  (some I have planned for the future include: musical instruments, cameras, sea creatures, something food-y…..)

Oh yeah one last thing, just want to give a big thanks to Evil Mad Scientist Lenore, who first brainstormed the idea of having the sets printed by someone like Spoonflower, over beers at Kennedy School when meeting up turned to crafty shop-talk, as it often does!

Filed under: connect-the-dots,leethal store — leethal @ 5:30 pm

January 5, 2010

Happy 2010 to all!

Oh my, it’s been awhile!  I’ve been pretty out of touch with the world since I headed to California for xmas, came back to visitors, then new year’s, and now desperately trying to catch up on everything that fell behind!  Goodness gracious!  As usual, this year I plan to blog more, so hopefully it’ll really happen, but for now I just wanted to give you a quick updatey post… but I do have many more posts planned for the near future, I promise!

craftevolve logo

So, a bit of news: I am the honored first interviewee of the brand-spanking-new blog Craft Evolve!  It was pretty weird/hard to put my brainstorming process into words, but head over to read my thoughts on project ideation type stuff.

kerryhat12 peteshat02

That’s a glimpse at the gift knitting I did throughout December – a hat for Pete and a hat for Pete’s mom, both full of cables!  I’ll be posting more details on each of these later on for sure.

squirrel from woodland creatures set triceratops from dinosaurs set

Another reason it took me awhile to get back to the online world is that I got obsessively into creating 2 new connect-the-dots stitch sets (woodland creatures and dinosaurs!!), which you can see a glimpse of on the webpage, and pre-order if you want to reserve a set.  I’ll blog more about this later too, but as you can read on the shop page, the stitch sets are now being printed by Spoonflower, which I think will be awesome!  And there are some fabric choices for the matted sets to choose from now.

Ok I hope you all had a fantastic holiday time, and your new year is off to a fabulous start!!

Filed under: connect-the-dots,random stuff — leethal @ 2:19 am

December 17, 2009

Giveaway x2! Plus some last minute gift ideas…

wonderlandsetup1 wonderlandsetup3

Oh my how quickly this month is flying by!  Crafty Wonderland on Sunday went super well – it was great to meet a bunch of you, thanks for saying hi!!  The new stitch sets were well received, I got some neato gifts from other crafters, met some new people, good day!

wonderlandsetup2

I’m making some holiday cards for the Scrap sale on Saturday, and since I won’t be selling them online I wanted to have some way to spread them outside Portland a little, so how about a last minute holiday giveaway?! Yeah!  I don’t have any pictures of the cards right now – they are holiday/winter themed connect-the-dots pictures, sealed onto recycled blank cards.  Since the cards are recycled, they don’t come with envelopes, but they’re great for attaching to a gift or giving to someone in person…

So, the giveaway will go through the weekend and I’ll mail the cards to the winners on Monday – I’ll pick 3 winners to get 2 cards each. (Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee you’ll get them by Christmas, but hopefully you will!  If not, they could be used as New Year’s cards…)

To enter, comment on this post before Sunday 7pm (west coast time) with an idea for a picture or a theme you’d love to see in connect-the-dots form!  (Could be a stitch set idea – something there could be 5 of – or just a stand-alone image, or anything else.)  I’ll email the winners around 7:30, then get back to me with your address by Monday at noon-ish so I can get them mailed out; US only because of shipping, I think that’s all the details…

Haka hat!

Remember my Haka hat pattern?  I decided it needed to be rephotographed, so Pete and I took my favorite version of it with us to Twisted the other day and did a quick photoshoot in front of their sock yarn wall.

Haka hat!

Haka is a fantastic last minute gift knit!  Using bulky yarn (texturey handspun like this one works fabulously) and big needles, you can knit it up during a movie or two (maybe three if you’re slow like me) and have several done in the next week!

Haka hat! Haka hat!

Haka is also a super fun hat to wear in the wintertime, as it can be worn 4 different ways!  Buttoned under your chin for maximum warmth, as in the top 2 pictures, hanging loose as you see above, or fastened behind your head to keep the strap out of the way – along the bottom of the hat so the earflaps still cover your ears and keep you warm:

Haka hat! Haka hat!

Or fastened up behind your head, holding the earflaps up:

Haka hat! Haka hat!

The Haka: strappy flappy eared hat pattern is only $2 on my site or on ravelry, since it’s such a quick and easy knit!  Because I’d love for there to be more projects pictured on ravelry, I’m offering another giveaway deal!  If you knit a Haka hat and post it (with pictures!) as a ravelry project anytime throughout the winter (how about through February to be specific), I’ll send you a free pdf of your choice, out of either: Double Scoops, Ten 10 yard cuffs, Ninja Mitts, or Bad Movie Bingo!  To claim your free pdf, send me a ravelry message once your project is up letting me know which pdf you’d like.  Yay!

cuff501 cuff305

As for other last-minute gift ideas… well, if you’re looking to knit, there are my quick knits patterns (all using less than 15 yards of yarn) and my huge quick knits links list, with tons of patterns by other designers using less than 20 yards.  My 10 yard cuffs would make great gifts, and then I have several free patterns that are quick – gradient mitts, big bulky bucket hat, mary jane style booties, or a 35mm film strip cuff could all be done in less than a week, easy!

35mm film strip cuff

Ok and this isn’t just about self-promotion, I promise!  If you need to find a great gift for someone who wants to learn to knit – maybe your mom/sister/brother/friend tried to teach themselves and couldn’t grasp it – Diane wrote a fantastic review of Blonde Chicken’s new Learn to Knit Kits.  It sounds like the perfect substitute for a super patient one-on-one teacher, and you can learn on your own time with the kit instead of sticking to a class schedule.  Go read Diane’s review to learn more, as she goes into detail and has actually used the kit to learn!

Ocean Breezes

As for a knitting-related gift for a loved one who’s already deep into the craft… Twisted’s Single Skein Club is still taking members for 2010!  This is the club that I contributed the Ocean Breezes hat to this year, and next year is sure to have some amazing patterns!  The club will ship to you (US only I think, but I could be wrong) so it’s not just for locals – it’s pricey since it’s a whole year of awesome yarn and patterns, but it could be a great gift for a family to go in on together!

easy 2-bead earrings

And how about some good last-minute non-knit handmade gift ideas?  I’ve done tons of tutorials in the past for quick projects, like those 2-bead earrings (super quick and fun!) – so you can browse through all of those on my tutorials page.  The newly redesigned Craft: site has lots of great tutorials, including some superdelicious looking food posts lately (like Chocolate Chestnut Mousse Trifle!) if baked gifts are your specialty!  And their Quick Crafts section is a good place to browse for last-minute gifts to make!

matted set

Also a reminder in case you missed this bit of info – my connect-the-dots stitch sets are available as pdfs too, which means you could buy the pdf and print the set onto fabric to give as gifts for as many people as you want!  (A stitch set, plus an embroidery hoop, floss, and a needle would make a great kit gift!)  The pdfs include a how-to for printing on fabric; or you could print the designs on paper to make a little mini-zine of connect-the-dot puzzles for the game-lover on your gift list.

I’m feeling guilty about not having time to do any new gift tutorials like I’d planned to do throughout the month, so hopefully I gave you a few ideas here, even if they’re not newly written for you…  Maybe I’ll have a chance to write up a quick one I’ve been thinking about on Sunday, we’ll see… Anyway, happy gift crafting, and don’t hurt yourself knitting too much this week! (that advice is for myself as much as it’s for you!)

December 16, 2009

Connect-the-Dots Stitch Sets!!

Here it is!  My new project I’ve been devoting my time to for the last couple of weeks instead of making any new hats or anything else for holiday shows, and I’m so happy I did!!  I once again combined my loves of crafting and puzzles/games, as I’ve done many times before, yay!!

unicorn with decoration

It’s connect-the-dots stitch sets, which you embroider from number to number to reveal the mystery pictures!  Each set includes 5 images with a common theme, 1 of which is shown as an example (unicorn for the Cryptozoology set, pincushion for the Craft Tools set), the other 4 remaining a secret until you stitch them up! (I try to choose the image which is most obvious in dot form to be the example, so the others are maximum mysteries.)

There is a spoilers page where you can read the secret image identities (by clicking spoil it on each set) – useful if you might want a set as a gift and want to check what it includes, or if you just hate surprises!

regular set

Sets come with stitching instructions (3 different methods, or you can do your own thing) and the photo example; regular sets are printed on 8×10 inch pieces of fabric (assorted colors) as you see above, and matted sets are printed on 4×6 inch fabric pieces, then sewn onto matching patterned 8×10 pieces (below).  All fabric (and photo paper and packaging) is 100% recycled!

update 01/22/10: the format has changed a bit, see the update post for details.

matted set

Sets are packaged in recycled envelopes with windows to show the colors and set theme (thanks to Scrap for recycled envelopes and label paper, yay!):

packaging

So then once you stitch between the numbers and have your picture, you can add your own stitching decoration to make it your own!  I added some french knots as pin tops to this pincushion:

pincushion with decoration

My good buddies Caitlin and Star came over for a movie night last week and were awesome to do some stitching while watching; then they both took home their pieces and kept on stitching up fabulous decorations!!  Caitlin’s unicorn alone, and with beautiful french knot roses (photos by Caitlin):

caitlin's unicorn pre-decoration caitlin's unicorn closeup

And Star’s unicorn, walking on rainbows!!  Yeah!  To show how you can personalize your stitching, I’m adding the example images stitched by different people to the stitch sets page – if you have an example picture I can add, you can either email it to me, or put it up on the leethal flickr group!

star's unicorn

For a better idea of how it works… here is the piece of fabric you start with:

regular prints

Then you can stitch it in one of a few different ways – this one below is an unfinished version of the way my unicorn and pincushion at the top were stitched, as well as Caitlin’s unicorn.  After making these long stitches, you go back over them and tack them down.  (Note: the numbers will never be printed on patterned fabric like this in the sets for sale, only solid colors.)

pincushion unfinished

Or you can make smaller backstitches like this one below, which was also the way Star’s unicorn was stitched up.  (The instructions that come with the sets go into more how-to detail.)

pincushion

So that’s how it works!  Other important things… there are just the Craft Tools and Cryptozoology [aka imaginary animals] sets at the moment, but making the images is my favorite part, so I already have about eight more sets planned for the future, and will probably just keep releasing new ones every few weeks or so!

PDFs of each set are available as well!  With the PDF, you can print out the connect-the-dots images onto fabric or paper as many times as you want (so, you could fill up your wall with different colored stitched unicorns, or make a mini-connect-the-dots booklet to give a friend, for example) – do whatever you want with the designs for yourself and for gifts, as long as you don’t use them for commercial purposes.  The files come with the stitching instructions like the sets do, as well as how to print onto fabric with an inkjet printer.

If you want to order a set for a Christmas gift, do so right away, as I’m heading out of town on Tuesday so I can’t ship anything last minute.  Not that shipping Monday guarantees arrival by xmas, but if you order it today, I can ship it tomorrow, so that should arrive in time.  I’ll also have some sets at the Scrap Bazaar on Saturday if you’re a local and want one!

unicorn

Ok so now that you know everything you need to know about this new project, a couple more things….  I have to tell you how this concept came into being!  About a year and a half ago, Rachel (average jane crafter) was in Portland and I got to spend a day of crafty fun with her and Diane, hopping around town to places like Kinokuniya and Twisted.  All the craftiness immersion got us into some kind of silly brainstorming mode, and I don’t remember the details of the conversation, but Rachel and I threw out this concept of embroidered connect-the-dots.  I’d played around with making up connect-the-dots designs before, in my zine, and loved it, so I was way into the idea and wanted to do it, just didn’t know how.  I even tried it once way back then by tracing the numbers onto fabric with a fine-tipped Sharpie – it worked, but took forever!  So then several months ago I read a how-to for printing onto fabric with a normal inkjet printer and it clicked!  I could do that!  I brought the idea back up to the surface, but didn’t have time to fit it into my project schedule till just a couple of weeks ago.  It totally worked, and now it’s gone from this amazing brainstorm idea forever ago to a reality!  Hooray!!!!  And I am forever grateful to Rachel for coming up with the concept with me!  Woooo!

connect-the-dots

And now that you’ve made it through to the end of this post, I want to offer you a free connect-the-dots design!  It’s a bit of a weird one (I like experimenting) so it’s not great for stitching, but it looks cool on paper – the numbers create a kind of scribble design around the image.  I’ve put this puzzle on the back of my new business cards too!  You can click over to the full size image file to print it out, or if you prefer, you could load it into a photo editing program and connect the numbers with the line tool.  Have fun!!  (oh, and if you do enjoy this, let me know in the comments here or on the flickr page and I’ll know to keep offering more free designs if you like them!)

Filed under: connect-the-dots,general crafts,leethal store — leethal @ 4:34 pm

February 15, 2007

connect-the-dots!

at the end of the zine, you will find this connect-the-dots puzzle!

connect-the-dots

there’s a little contest for it. as stated in the zine: “it’s an album cover. if you know what it is, go to the blog – the first person to comment on the relating post with which album it is wins a colored 7″ record bowl! have fun!” so, here’s the post – if you think you know, comment to win that bowl!

and, ok, for anyone who wants to participate before they get their zines (or anyone who is down with blogs but not with zines), here is a printable sized file, so you can print out a separate copy of the puzzle.

and of course, if you haven’t done it yet, don’t read the comments for this post before you do it yourself; who wants to see the finished picture before connecting the dots?!

Filed under: connect-the-dots,contest/giveaway — leethal @ 2:01 pm
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