December 11, 2015

New pattern PDF: Insta-hat! Plus, Remixed poster!

(Temporary note: buy this now, by Sunday, for 50% to be donated to charity! See my previous post for details.)  New pattern re-release!  Insta-hat, now in re-written PDF format:

Insta-hat!

If you follow me on Instagram (or other social media), you’ll probably remember the mystery knit-a-long I posted for free last December, as a holiday gift to followers – the pattern was this Insta-hat, and those original Instagram posts still exist (links are on the ravelry and leethalknits pages).

Insta-hat!

The brand new PDF is re-written to be easier to follow (as a normal pattern instead of split into mystery KAL posts), extra sizing info added, some embellishment options added, new photos were taken, it was professionally tech edited… So now it’s a high quality normal for-sale pattern, but the price is extra low ($4) since it’s an upgrade of the existing free Instagram pattern.

Insta-hat!

The hat is a quick knit, in bulky weight, with easy lace repeat patterns – it’s a good adventurous beginner level pattern, or it’s a fun fast knit for more advance knitters.  It can knit up in 1-2 nights no problem, for most (depends how you are with bulky yarn, of course, but it’s definitely a relatively quick knit).

Insta-hat!

It is interesting enough to look cool in plain yarns, but simple enough to work with variegated, so it’s a good way to use up any skein of bulky you may have in your stash.  My samples are in madelinetosh A.S.A.P.:

Insta-hat!

Patons Classic Wool Bulky, plus handspun embellishment:

Insta-hat!

Punta Yarns Flame Handpainted (discontinued yarn), which is super bulky weight for an extra dense gauge:

Insta-hat!

Hand-dyed recycled yarn (made by me), a light-ish bulky weight for a more loose gauge:

Insta-hat!

And that extra big version works nicely with the brim folded under, for a warmer hat and a different style:

Insta-hat!

This hat is written in 3 circumference sizes, and a range of heights, so you can make it fitted to your head and more or less tall for slouch or a fitted top, as you like.  Detailed sizing info, and sizes/measurements of all the samples, are included in the new pdf.

Insta-hat!

And instructions for how I did the woven yarn embellishment are given in the pdf, if you like that:

Insta-hat!

This hat works well with a big pom-pom, especially if you make it slouchy!

Insta-hat!

Here’s an instagram shot I really like, from back when I first made this sample:

Insta-hat!

Last year when I designed this, I’d only meant to make a couple samples, but I ended up making four because it was such a fast, fun knit, I just kept going, “ooh but it would look so good in this yarn too!” and making another, then another.  It would make an excellent last-minute gifting pattern – make one for each member of your family!

Insta-hat!

So that’s Insta-hat.  Click here to ravelry where you can browse lots of versions by other knitters!  If you like it, consider using the new PDF version instead of the Instagram posts; it will be easier to knit from, and also I’d be very appreciative of you supporting my work :)

Insta-hat!

In other news, to go with my release of the newly updated Remixed patterns, I’ve just released a poster of the Remixed artwork! You can learn more about these drawings in this blog post; I added color to the knitted accessories for the poster:

Remixed Poster Remixed Poster

It’s available through MagCloud here, printed on high quality heavy paper, 12×18 inches, for $6 (plus shipping).  (Patterns are on ravelry here.)

Remixed Poster

Lastly, just want to let you know that the 3 upcoming Triyang collection patterns are coming along nicely!  Here are peeks at all 3, the colorwork, lace, and cabled designs (badly lit, sorry – Portland is gloooomy today!):

My Triyang collection shawls are coming along well! (Available for pre-order now, 50% goes to charity through Sunday!)

You can find the Triyang collection for pre-order on ravelry here or on leethalknits.com here – like all my other patterns, if you buy it by this Sunday, half will be donated to charity.  You’ll get the Triyang pattern immediately, and these 3 patterns in a few weeks.  Details about the collection are on my blog here.  I’m pretty excited about it!

December 7, 2015

December donation drive + Remixed mega-update!

A few days ago, Bristol Ivy posted this message on instagram:

I try hard not to get too political on here (with limited success sometimes) but right now I’m just worn out. Worn out by the violence, the sadness, the ignorance, the demonization, and the needless devastation happening all over the world. So I’m going to try to do my own little bit of good. For the month of December, 50% of all pattern sales from my Ravelry store will go to charity: 25% to UNHCR, 25% to Doctors Without Borders. Link to store is in profile–please help me spread the word! Let’s shine what light we can.

(Her follow-up post includes some other designers who are doing the same.)

I too am worn out.  So much.  Unfortunately, I just can’t afford to donate half of a month’s worth of sales (even if there’s a chance my sales would double as a result, it’s still just a chance, and I can’t take that risk), but what I can do is a week.

50% of all sales from now to Sunday December 13th, of all self-published patterns, collections, ebooks, will be donated – half to UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency), half to Doctors without Borders.

some leethal patterns

You can buy patterns through ravelry or leethalknits.com, and everything counts except for the few patterns I have through third parties (like Twist Collective or Holla Knits).  Everything else is fair game: Triyang collection pre-order, old Quick Knits ebooks, big collections, etc.

some leethal patterns

Aaaand, it includes the In Triplicate collection too.  It won’t be just half of my patterns’ percentage (which is a third of the patterns – the other two thirds by Star Athena and Shannon Squire), but half of the whole collaborative collection sales will be donated.  (Now is REALLY the time to grab that collection, because not only will half be donated, but also the knit-a-long starts today – check out the ravelry group for that.)

some leethal patterns

Oh, there is one exception for my patterns.  Siskiyou (and the whole collection it’s a part of) automatically has 10% of sales going to local domestic violence agency Raphael House of Portland this year; so during this week, I’ll up Siskiyou’s donation percentage to 60%.  So $3 out of every $5 pattern sold this week will go to Raphael House (instead of the standard donations that the rest of my patterns will contribute to).

Remixed patterns

The other major news I wanted to tell you is: all 8 Remixed patterns (pictured above; on ravelry here) have been completely reformatted, reedited, and improved!

Remixed collection image pattern cover page

The pdfs take up WAY fewer pages now (cut down by more than half in some cases), but all the info, and process photos, etc, are still there, just most process photos are smaller now, and some redundant wording has been cut down.  There is no longer the “printable pattern” version at the back of each pdf, since the full patterns are not so overwhelming for printing now (and of course you can choose not to print the cover and/or any other pages you don’t need on paper, like technique photo tutorials).

pattern cover page Slanted & Enchanted scarf

The patterns themselves, like how they are made, are the same as before, but some things are worded differently now, hopefully much improved for better understanding, and more enjoyable knitting!

Freewheelin’ and Wild is the Wind have been upgraded the most – both have totally redone charts, and parts now written out that didn’t used to be written out.  There are now no patterns in this collection that have something charted but not written (only 3 of the patterns have charts at all, but now all the charts are also written).

Freewheelin'

So, if you have Remixed in your pattern stash from way back, and you were overwhelmed or annoyed at the pattern length, replace those old pdfs with the new ones!  I’m hoping things are easier to follow now, and happy new knitting experiences will be had :)

And, of course, if you don’t already have the Remixed collection, now is the perfect time to grab it, while half is being donated.  (Also, when I finally get the yarn-making ebook done next year, the collection price will be going up.)

Happy holidays to you, and please consider my patterns for your gift knitting this week so I can donate nice big chunks to excellent causes this season!

Filed under: gifts,knitting,Remixed,self-publishing — Lee Meredith @ 7:20 am

November 25, 2015

leethal patterns printed on things!

Edited 12/7 to remove Thanksgiving weekend sale stuff.  Society6 and Redbubble continue to have holiday season sales, which are shown along the tops of the webpages.

leethal patterns printed on things

Brand new leethal thing!  You can now get some of the stitch patterns I’ve designed printed onto stuff!  So far there are 6 patterns that I’ve converted into seamless tiling designs; you can get all the patterns printed onto a ton of different things.

leethal patterns printed on things

I’ve made a page on leethal.net (you can also get to it from the top of the blog, under “shop”) where you can see what’s available on which sites, and see all the patterns.  You can get fabric (also wallpaper and giftwrap) on Spoonflower, and fun stuff on Redbubble and Society6.

leethal patterns printed on things

The 6 designs I have available now are (left to right, below): Siskiyou trees (2 different trees) in Knitted Wit yarn, Haka cables in Knit Picks wool, Adventure Knitting 3 forest sloth lines in Jill Draper yarn, Flying V’s colorwork in 5 colors of Knit Picks wool, Adventure Knitting 3 lake axolotl textured zig-zags in Anzula yarn, and Mikkey slip-stitch pattern in bulky neon yarn by SpaceCadet.  (Links are to the ravelry pages so you can see yarn info and stuff.)

printed cards

I put all the tiling patterns up on my wallpapers page so you can download them to use as desktop/phone wallpaper backgrounds.  The tiling jpgs have credit text on them, but they are pretty large so they won’t repeat many times, and if you use them as a phone wallpaper that text shouldn’t show at all.  They look cool as home screen backgrounds – I have the Siskiyou trees as mine right now!

pillows from Redbubble vs Society6

Redbubble and Society6 have lots of the same stuff (greeting cards, mugs, phone cases, pillow cases, tote bags…) but sometimes I made it so things are printed differently on the 2 sites, like the pillows and tote bags are all printed so the stitches are bigger on Redbubble, smaller on Society6, and sometimes the mugs and other things are different too.

stuff from Redbubble stuff from Society6

Some other stuff is available only on one site or the other – notebooks, postcards, leggings, t-shirts, scarfs, and more only on Redbubble; clocks, art prints, shower curtains only on Society6.

leethal patterns printed on things

I did a bunch of research to make sure the quality of everything seems good.  A couple of things that got not-great feedback from multiple people (or that I didn’t like the look of) I did not make available, so everything that is available should hopefully be good quality.  Everything pictured here is what I ordered for myself to check it out – it’s all great!  A couple of patterns printed a bit dark on some items, so I’ve lightened them up a little.  I got the large (15oz) mug from Society6, so that’s why it looks extra big, it is!

leethal patterns printed on things

The pillow was especially pleasing – it’s a really nice, thick, canvas-y kind of fabric and the printed pattern looks fantastic on it!  I got the Society6 pillow, but I think the Redbubble pillows are basically the same, and I believe the tote bags are printed on the same kind of fabric, so they will be equally good-looking.  (I got the smallest size, just the case; I got a cheapo pillow at Ikea and it fits perfectly.)

stuff with leethal patterns

The spiral notebook is cool – I got lined pages, but you can also choose graph paper if you want (awesome!) and there’s a pocket in the back; the cover is card stock (not hardcover) but it seems pretty nice, and the price is relatively low on the spiral notebooks, so yay for that!  There are hardcover journals too, for a fancier option.

leethal patterns printed on things

And then I got all 6 patterns printed onto Redbubble cards – some greeting cards, some postcards.  Good quality, prints look excellent, greeting cards include brown paper envelopes, and they all have my name as the artist on the back, so that was a neat surprise.  Redbubble has these 4×6″ cards, plus 5×7.5″ greeting cards, all available individually; Society6 only offers 5×7″ stationery cards in sets of 3, 5, or 10, not individually, but a better deal if you want 5 or 10 cards.  The Siskiyou trees would make a great holiday card!

leethal patterns printed on things

And then, Spoonflower!  They have a ton of different fabric types – I got these test swatches on the Cotton Poplin and it looks great.  A couple of the patterns (Haka cables and Flying V’s) printed too dark, so I’ve lightened them up a bit.

leethal patterns printed on things

I sewed the 8×8″ swatches into little mini project bags – they don’t fit much, but they are so cute!

leethal patterns printed on things

If you use a fabric of one of my patterns to sew something, I would LOVE to see it!  Please comment here, or tag me on instagram or twitter :)  And if you REALLY love any of these patterns, you can cover a wall with them – I love looking that the wallpaper previews, they look so cool!

leethal patterns printed on things leethal patterns printed on things

I had so much fun making all this stuff – I’m really hoping it sells a bit just so I’ll get to make more designs in the future!  I have lots of ideas for more, including other design ideas besides tiling patterns, and if there are any of my patterns that you would love to have printed on stuff, let me know and maybe I’ll include them in the next batch!  I want to do a batch of handspun/hand-dyed fabrics, and I want to do some bigger, non-repeating knit design images, and there are more ideas rolling around in my head that can be a surprise…

Filed under: gifts,home stuff,leethal store — Lee Meredith @ 12:59 pm

October 1, 2015

New pattern: Siskiyou!

It’s now officially October, and I have a fresh new pattern for you, for the chilly season!  Siskiyou is a hat inspired by the Douglas Fir trees of Oregon.  (On ravelry here!)

Siskiyou hat

It features a twisted stitch trees design (3 different trees), which happens to be reversible!

Siskiyou hat

I was given this Snowy colorway yarn by Knitted Wit, a worsted weight white base with speckles of forest green, and of course my mind went straight to the fir tree filled forests of this beautiful state where I live.

Siskiyou hat

But wait, there’s more!  5 other Portland designers were also given these yarns in the new Snowy colorways, a different color for each designer, to use for new hat designs.  The result is the Snowy Hat Collection!

Snowy collection

Through December 31, 2015, you can get the 6-pattern eBook for $15 (on ravelry here), and Knitted Wit has kits on her website, while supplies last only!  The kits include: a skein of the yarn in Targhee Shimmer Worsted or Worsted Super Wash Merino, your choice of base and Snowy colorway, the ebook, plus a custom JaMpdx Snowy mug and tea tasting from Happy Rock Coffee.

snowy collection

AND, 10% of all proceeds from the kits, the ebook, and all the individual patterns, will be donated to Raphael House of Portland, a domestic violence agency committed to engaging our entire community in non-violent living through advocacy, education, and community outreach, and by providing a safe haven from domestic violence.

snowy collection

The other rad designers are: Star Athena, Shannon Squire, Michele BernsteinDebbi Stone, and Katherine Leek (links are to the ravelry pages of the hat designs).  There’s a really nice variety of hats – this would be an excellent collection for holiday gift knitting!

Siskiyou hat

So now, my design… there are the trees on the body, and the crown is a big starburst kind of design.  The hat can be more fitted to the head, or more loose – there are 4 sizes, and height can easily be added if you want it taller/slouchier.  Pictured above is the medium size, which fits perfectly on my 22 inch head, and below is the extra large size, for a loose fit on me.

Siskiyou hat

The extra large sample is in the Targhee Shimmer Worsted yarn, which is 80% superwash Targhee wool, 20% silk (I LOVE it), and the medium sample is in the Worsted Super Wash Merino (medium is below).

Siskiyou hat

And then my third sample, pictured below, is the small size, which does fit me but it’s a bit tighter than I’d like, best fit to a head around 20-21 inches – this one is also in the Targhee Shimmer.  Many thanks to my sample knitter friend Revi for knitting up this sample!!

Siskiyou hat

The reverse side is a cool swirly design, reminiscent of leaves, on a stockinette stitch background:

Siskiyou hat

The recommended method for the twisted stitches, the way I show on my tutorial page here, which makes twists over 2 back stitches by twisting all 3 stitches around each other, is what creates that pattern on the reverse.  If you instead work the over-2 twists like cables (the back 2 stitches staying oriented the same way, as a normal cable twist), then the reverse side will look how you see below, which you may like better!  So that gives you another modification option – one of my test knitters made her hat this way because she preferred it.  Looks good!

Siskiyou hat

And then the crown when reversed is a more subtle design, but still looks very nice, I think:

Siskiyou hat

Above is the medium size, and below is the extra large, for a more loose-fitting reverse side crown:

Siskiyou hat

Hey are you liking my photos?!  We went a bit crazy with photos for this pattern, because we went on a few end-of-summer day trips and brought the hats and camera along!  Good timing!  When I say “we” I mean my husband and I – so many thanks to Pete for being my patient photographer!!

Siskiyou hat

A few weeks ago, we took a trip to central Oregon, driving through Mount Hood on the way out, with a stop at Timberline Lodge (aka the Overlook Hotel!) – the above shot was inside Timberline.

Siskiyou hat

It was crazy foggy that morning, like we were inside a cloud!  And the misty air made some of the photos almost look like it was snowing, which is great!  Also, I was FREEZING during this outdoor shoot – it was going to be a super warm day, and the layers I had with me were not adequate for the mountaintop inside a cloud.  But we still got some great shots up there!

Siskiyou hat

Different angles outside the lodge – the above and below shots were like 30 feet away from each other, facing different directions.

Siskiyou hat

And I tried to shoot some non-modeled shots with Timberline backgrounds, but the lighting inside was no good and they didn’t turn out well.  This one looks okay, up against a lodge wall:

Siskiyou hat

Then we headed out to central Oregon, to the Painted Hills!  We’d never been before, it was pretty incredible!

Siskiyou hat

Siskiyou hat

These Painted Hills shots don’t really fit the forest theme of the hat, so I didn’t use any in the pattern pdf, but I like how all the photos represent a variety of Oregon nature, and the hat was inspired by Oregon nature.

Siskiyou hat

So then a few weeks later, we took a day trip out to Silver Falls State Park to hike and take more shots.

Siskiyou hat

Unfortunately, it was a bad time of year (and a bad year, I think) for waterfalls – the above shot is in front of where there should be a waterfall, and the blurry fall in the background below is the biggest one on the hike we took, which sometimes looks like this.  That wasn’t a surprise though, we knew the waterfalls wouldn’t be major at the very beginning of fall.

Siskiyou hat

So we searched for good lighting (this hat was especially hard to light!) and snapped some shots, and hiked through the forest… and then I was stung by bees!  Twice!  I’d never been stung before and it was shocking and painful, and kind of threw off our whole hike and photoshoot game.  I was a little worried and not feeling super smiley anymore… so we cut the hike short for the day.

Siskiyou hat

So to fill in the gaps and get all the shots I needed, we went for a walk at Mt Tabor last weekend.  Lots of Douglas Fir tree backgrounds there!

Siskiyou hat

Of course, I wore my Oregon t-shirt as a uniform for all these shoots, and the same glasses, so they’d all look cohesive, but now you know the truth that there were 3 different days of photoshoots!

Siskiyou hat

Siskiyou hat

Lots of great shots at Mt Tabor!  Thanks Oregon, and Douglas Fir trees, for the hat design inspiration!

Siskiyou hat

Many thanks to my excellent test knitters for whipping up hats in different sizes and kinds of yarn and stuff – check out their projects on ravelry!

Siskiyou hat

Hey a random note, since this was designed to look like Douglas Firs, and those are the trees featured heavily in Twin Peaks (they are “really something!”) – if you are into knitting + Twin Peaks, you should back the Kickstarter for this Twin Peaks pattern collection!  I am REALLY excited about it, not just because I love Twin Peaks, but because the patterns look fabulous!!  (I have no connection to it except that I donated some rewards for the kickstarter, I’m just telling you because it’s awesome.)

Siskiyou hat

So that’s Siskiyou!  It’s fun to knit, worsted weight makes it fairly quick, and it’s cozy to wear!  Happy fall weather knitting, all!

Filed under: gifts,hats,knitting,photos,portland stuff — Lee Meredith @ 10:36 am

September 21, 2015

New pattern: Galax Shawl in Interweave Knits Gifts issue!

My latest pattern can be found in Interweave Knits Gifts 2015, in your local bookstore or yarn shop, or online here.  Galax Shawl is a worsted weight, lacy, modular piece, which is almost more like a scarf than a shawl in shape:

Galax shawl

It’s a long, narrow shawl/wrap, or a wide, lacy, curved scarf, however you want to think of it!  The worsted weight lace makes it nice and cozy but not too heavy, and it can be styled lots of different ways.

Galax shawl

Here it is in the magazine!

Galax in Interweave Knits Gifts 2015 issue

I mentioned in my big rambling recent post that this design was coming, and that it started out as a submission idea for a different publication and then got tweaked for this one.  It went through a few different iterations before finding its best version… The body has always been the same (except for changes to gauge/ stitch counts), but the edging got changed a few times throughout the design process.  I’m really happy with the end results!

original Galax idea sketch Galax submission sketch

original Galax idea sketch Galax submission sketch

I’m also really happy with how it looks in the magazine!  Yay!

Galax in Interweave Knits Gifts 2015 issue

The design is in HiKoo Kenzie yarn (same yarn I used for my Tionne sweater, one of my all time favorite yarns!) and it looks excellent in a tweedy, slightly halo-y kind of yarn blend like this one (which is 50% New Zealand merino, 25% nylon, 10% angora, 10% alpaca, 5% silk noils).  It uses about 660 yards / 600 meters of worsted weight yarn, so it requires 5 balls of the Kenzie.

Galax shawl

The finished measurements are approx 110 inches / 280 cm along outer edge, 70 inches / 178 cm along inner edge, and 11 inches / 28 cm wide.  It’s plenty long to wrap around your neck several times!

Galax shawl

Or it can be draped more loosely and shawl-like:

Galax shawl

It’s made modularly, with no picked up stitches – the edging is first, sideways, with a sideways edge cast-on technique to leave live stitches along the top for later, then the body is worked across those body stitches, up to the top.

Galax shawl

The lace patterns are charted.  It’s a pretty easy knit, in terms of complexity/techniques… just follow the charts and it’ll all work out.  But, do keep track of your rows well – don’t do what I did and accidentally skip 1 row two thirds of the way through the edging and then don’t notice it until your stitch count is 1 off at the end.  Actually, if you do that, it’s really not a big deal – just add an extra stitch and it’ll be fine, no one will ever notice.  Me, on the other hand, I was too worried the tiny mistake would show up in a photo so I frogged the whole chunk and fixed it :-p  Can you see the mistake below there?  I can!  I’m glad I fixed it so it doesn’t drive me crazy forever!  (It wouldn’t drive me crazy at all for the mistake to exist in the knit item, but if it showed in a photo in the magazine, that would have been a bummer.)

Galax shawl mistake in edging

Anyway, as long as you keep track of your rows, pretty simple pattern.  Well, compared to a lot of my designs, basic-ish.  Just the 2 sections, each with a repeating chart pattern, worked flat, no finishing steps.  And I love knitting chunky lace in worsted, so I think it’s a pretty fun knit!

Galax shawl

If you want to think variations/mods, I think it would look pretty cool with different colors used for the edging and body.  As for more advanced mods, it wouldn’t be difficult to adjust the size – well, of course you could use a different weight to make it either smaller or larger by just making it in a different gauge.  But, you could do a more extreme size mod by giving it fewer or more repeats across the length, by working this mod:  Stop the first section (the edging) when the body stitches on the long side of the marker total any multiple of 35, plus 4 (fewer than 284 for a shorter length, or more than 284 for a longer length); work the body section normally (you’ll just have a different number of pattern repeats).  If you have only 4 balls of Kenzie instead of 5, work this mod to make it 1 repeat shorter – stop the edging when you have 249 body stitches; or if you have 5 balls, that’s enough to make it longer if you want to, stopping at 319 body stitches.  For yardage planning purposes, the edging uses approx 45% of the total yardage.

Galax shawl

If you try a modification (or just if you make a Galax at all), be sure to post a photo on ravelry so I can see it! :)

Galax shawl

So that’s Galax – it’s in this magazine, find it on ravelry here (but not for sale there), see more photos in this Interweave post about it here.

Galax shawl

A couple other things real quick… I happened to notice this morning that my instagram account had 999 posts and 1990 followers, coincidentally, so I made this graphic to be my 1000th post:

instagram giveaway

The deal is, when 2000 followers is reached (as I’m writing this it’s at 1992), I’ll pick 5 winners at random from ALL followers (new and old) to each win a $6 off coupon code for my patterns!

Stash podcast Ep003

And lastly, I was interviewed for episode #3 of the new Stash podcast!  Stash, in Corvallis, Oregon, is one of my favorite ever yarn shops so of course I was thrilled to be one of their first designer interviewees!  Listen to hear me talk about designing, collaborating, binge watching, working at home alone, Portland, and more!  (iTunes link)

Filed under: gifts,knitting,podcasts — Lee Meredith @ 8:04 pm

January 6, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2015 leethal knits calendar!

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

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

Kim Werker's Year of Making ebook cover

Kim Werker's Year of Making ebook page

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

Kim Werker's Year of Making ebook page

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

Page from Kim Werker's Year of Making ebook

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

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

01/01 spun yarn

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

planner plans

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

Instagram books homemade photo albums

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

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

December 18, 2014

Quick project tutorial: Record yarn bowls!

If you follow me on instagram, you may remember my excitement when I hit upon this idea many months ago:

Made a broken record into a yarn bowl! It's not perfect, but I think this concept could be awesome with some practice!

(caption: Made a broken record into a yarn bowl! It’s not perfect, but I think this concept could be awesome with some practice!)

A photo posted by Lee Meredith (@leethalknits) on

I had a broken record, so I made it into a bowl, but with a hole chipped out of it, and then I realized… I could thread yarn through the hole and use it as a yarn bowl!

Experimented a little more with the record yarn bowl idea - eeeek it's working!! Needs a bit more perfecting but I'm loving this idea! Thinking about both a blog tutorial and selling them around Portland... Fluevog store event is off to a great start! Fun to mix all my samples in with the fancy shoes. Come by before 9 if you're in portland!

So then I played around with the concept, made a bunch to bring to an event where I was selling things, but in the end decided it’s not something I’m going to make to sell as a regular thing.  Shipping would be annoying, and I wouldn’t be able to sell them for much since they do break pretty easily if you drop them, so they’re not like a long-lasting high-quality item (I sold them for $6 at the event, just a fun cheap impulse buy kind of thing).  They totally function as yarn bowls, but not to the same extent as nice ceramic bowls, since they are very lightweight and bounce around if the yarn ball pulls.

Record Yarn Bowl

What they are is a fun thing to make in 5 minutes for yourself and for knitting friends!  They are SO quick to make, and cheap if you have access to vinyl records no one wants to listen to (thrift stores, record store 50 cent or $1 bins, or sometimes records stores have free boxes in the front to give away crap nobody wants) – I imagine this being an easy project you can make a bunch of one afternoon, and bring them to your knit night to pass out for everyone as a fun holiday gift, or just for the heck of it!

Record Yarn Bowl

So, here’s what you need:

  • A vinyl record (one that’s too scratched up to listen to, or that no one would want – don’t melt anything good, it would make me cry!)
  • Scissors (big ones that are okay to use for this kind of thing, not nice ones obviously)
  • An oven
  • An oven-safe bowl
  • Gloves (things will only heat up to around 225 degrees, so knit wool gloves should be enough to protect your hands, while letting you use them) or oven mitts
  • Optionally, another bowl or two for shaping your yarn bowls into different shapes and sizes

Record yarn bowl tutorial shot

Before I make a bowl, I usually wash the record, with dish soap like a dish – it’s much easier to wash a flat record than to clean the bowl after it’s been made!

Record yarn bowl tutorial shot

Heat up the oven to around 225 degrees (anywhere from 200-250 should be fine). Turn your oven-safe bowl upside down, and place the record on top, then put that in the oven:

Record yarn bowl tutorial shot

While it’s in there, put on your gloves and get your scissors ready…

Record yarn bowl tutorial shot

Leave it in for about 2 minutes, or until you see it melt down over the bowl.  Don’t leave it in extra long, as it may get too melty and fume-y.  If you take it out as soon as it’s soft, the fumes shouldn’t be bad, but of course keeping the room ventilated is a good idea!

Record yarn bowl tutorial shot

So, take it out, and immediately make your cut, to form your hole for the yarn to go through.

Record yarn bowl tutorial shot

There are lots of different ways you can do this – the simplest is as you see below, just a straight line diagonally into the edge:

Record yarn bowl tutorial shot

Once the cut has been made, it will already be starting to harden back up again (by the time I took that above photo, it was already hardened), so put it back on the upside-down bowl and back into the oven for another couple minutes.

Record yarn bowl tutorial shot

When it’s re-softened, take it out and put it inside a right-side-up bowl (either the same one you’ve been using in the oven, or a different one), and form your bowl shape, and your yarn hole.

Record yarn bowl tutorial shot

For the bowl shape, remember your yarn needs to fit in there, so it can’t be crazy wavy in and out (which is how the record will naturally want to bend).  For the yarn hole, if you made a cut like the one pictured, then spiral the strip into a tube.

Record yarn bowl tutorial shot

For other kinds of yarn holes, just remember you’ll want to be able to get the yarn in and out, so make a hole with a slit or opening of some kind.  After the tutorial are lots of photos of different bowls I made while experimenting, so you can get ideas for different kinds of holes.

Record yarn bowl tutorial shot

Once things are formed, just hold it all in place how you want it for about a minute, and then it should be hardened up and finished!  If you mess it up somehow when forming the shape, just stick it back in the oven for a minute to re-soften.

Record yarn bowl tutorial shot

Here’s that finished bowl in action!

Record yarn bowl tutorial shot

You can also form bowl shapes around the outside of an existing bowl, if you want a different kind of yarn hole – I think this one was made that way, so it’s wider / more open:

Record Yarn Bowl

So that’s it, so easy and quick!  Now here are a bunch that I’ve made!

Record Yarn Bowl Record Yarn Bowl

Record Yarn Bowl Record Yarn Bowl

Record Yarn Bowl Record Yarn Bowl

Record Yarn Bowl Record Yarn Bowl

Record Yarn Bowl Record Yarn Bowl

Record Yarn Bowl Record Yarn Bowl

Record Yarn Bowl Record Yarn Bowl

Record Yarn Bowl Record Yarn Bowl

Record Yarn Bowl Record Yarn Bowl

Record Yarn Bowl Record Yarn Bowl

If you make some bowls, I would love to see them!  If you post a photo on instagram, @leethalknits to show me, or tweet @leethal, or add photos to my old leethal flickr group :)  Have fun!

Filed under: general crafts,gifts,home stuff,quick project,tutorials — leethal @ 11:10 am

December 16, 2014

New pattern set: Twist on a Classic mitts + What a Twist hat!

New bulky, QUICK patterns, just in time for last-minute holiday knitting!  This is technically one new pattern, plus one pattern re-release, but they are available together as a new matching set.

Twist on a Classic mitts What a Twist hat

Twist on a Classic (ravelry link) is a new pattern for fingerless mitts – they are fun and speedy to make, they are cozy in bulky yarn (but can also be made in lighter weights), they are custom fit to your hands, and they have a classic look that would be pleasing to any giftee ;)  But also, I recommend making a pile for yourself, as I have done since designing them – I’m wearing the red/orange pair right now as I type and I love them!!

Twist on a Classic mitts

What a Twist (ravelry link) is a re-release of my Pink Squish Hat pattern from Knitscene in summer 2013.  The pattern rights went back to me, so I made a leethal-style pdf, renamed it, and now you can buy the pattern directly from me.  It’s not a typical leethal pattern – it’s designed in a single weight/gauge (bulky weight, 13 stitches to 4 inches), and there are no modifications or variations offered – but, it is constructed in a cool modular way that makes knitting it really fun!  And it’s reeeally cozy to wear!

What a Twist hat

When I made plans to self-publish the hat, one thing that bothered me was that I wasn’t able to squeeze a hat out of one skein of the recommended yarn, I had to dip into a second skein, leaving almost a full skein left over.  So, I thought, how about I design a pattern that’s perfect for using up that almost-skein, for an item that pairs well with the hat?  So that’s what I did!  2 skeins of Quince & co. Puffin (or other similar bulky yarns) are the perfect amount to make a hat and a matching pair of mitts!

What a Twist hat Twist on a Classic mitts

They are fun to make together, since they use a lot of similar techniques, and they are definitely great to wear together, both being covered in bulky cables and garter stitch squishiness!

Twist on a Classic mitts What a Twist hat

So, you can get the patterns individually (from my site, hat/mitts, or on ravelry, hat/mitts) for $5.50 each, or you can get them together at a discounted set price – $8 for both.

What a Twist hat What a Twist hat

I don’t need to say much about the hat; it’s pretty straightforward, and I posted about it back when the magazine was released.  Several projects have been posted on ravelry, so you can see what other knitters had to say over there.  I made this new sample above with the contrasting crown cable, but I’m actually not into how that looks, so I recommend just using one color throughout ;)

Twist on a Classic mitts

But I will tell you more about the mitts!  They are made sideways, so they’re custom fit around your hand, and the cable is knit modularly with no picked up stitches, just simple short rows (no wrapping), with increases and decreases connecting it as you knit to the adjacent sideways sections.  The mitts are joined together with 3-needle bind-offs, and the thumbs are knit in the round.

Twist on a Classic mitts Twist on a Classic mitts

They can optionally be made with a contrasting color cable, which is a fun way to show off a small amount of a special yarn, like I did with my handspun sample…

Twist on a Classic mitts

…which are solid color handspun for the main yarn:

Twist on a Classic mitts

They were originally designed for bulky weight, but since they are custom sized around your hand, they can easily be made in any weight.  The pattern as written works well down to around aran weight (or anywhere from heavy worsted through all levels of bulky/chunky weights).  Here is my aran weight sample:

Twist on a Classic mitts

(That’s a recycled hand-dyed yarn, which slowly changes colors from orange to red.)

Twist on a Classic mitts

There are modification notes included for going down to lighter weights, and/or making longer mitts, and also for changing the placement/width of the cables, for if you’re using a lighter weight and want to expand the cable… I started a new pair today using a wider cable modification, again with a special handspun yarn as the cable panel:

Decided last minute to include some modification notes in the pattern I'm releasing tonight, which meant casting on another sample to test a mod idea - looking good!

An awesome tester knit up a mitt with the wider cable mod, and the longer length mod, which you can see on ravelry.  The way the pattern works, if you are a somewhat experienced knitter, once you make one pair normally so that you understand how the parts all fit together, you can pretty much make them any weight, any size, custom cables if you want, etc.  But of course, you can just follow the pattern exactly as written and not have to think about mods!  Lots of options!

Twist on a Classic modified mitt in progress

They are worked continuously from beginning to end – if you make the single color version, you never break your yarn, including for the 3-needle bind-offs and other finishing steps, so you only have 2 ends to weave in.  If you make a contrasting cable, then you’ll just have the 4 extra ends to weave in from the cable.

Twist on a Classic mitts

The pattern is written for 2 lengths, and then there are the mod notes included to go longer.  The shorter length (only for bulky weight) knits up SO quickly – they take me about an hour per mitt, and I am not a fast knitter!  The longer size is for nice long mitts in the bulky weight, or shorter length mitts for the aran weight range, like my red sample.  They are still a very quick knit, even in the lighter weight.

Twist on a Classic mitts

The pattern includes full instructions for all techniques used (cast-ons, bind-offs, sideways edge techniques, cables), and process photos to help you along.

Twist on a Classic mitts

I love every pattern I design, but something about these makes me a little extra excited, how they are SO quick and fun to knit, and have such a simple look that can be really plain and classy, or totally wild and wacky, depending on yarn choices.  I love them!!

Twist on a Classic mitts

I hope some of you are able to take advantage of the release date and whip up a few pairs for last-minute gifts!  If you do, please snap a photo and throw your projects up on ravelry – seeing your versions is my favorite part!!

Twist on a Classic mitts

Happy holidays!

Filed under: gifts,hats,knitting,quick project,self-publishing — leethal @ 7:30 am

November 13, 2014

Gift-a-Long!

It’s that time, knitters!  The 2014 Gift-a-Long (or GAL) has just begun!!  The GAL includes a massive sale (293 designers, 3822 patterns total) through Nov 21st, and knit-a-longs (/crochet-a-longs) through the end of the year, with TONS of opportunities to win prizes!  There are 1866 pattern prizes that will be given away to winners throughout the GAL, which you can win by participating in the group, posting your works in progress, playing the games, etc.  (If you like the numbers, check out the stats page, with a giant infographic about the participating designers and stuff.)

GAL 2014 pattern collage

I have 20 accessory patterns in the sale – you can see them all here.  There is a mix of older and newer, some less popular patterns that I love and think can make great gift knits, and some popular old favorites.  The sale is 25% off all the patterns (that’s all 3822 of them!) with the coupon code giftalong2014.

Wobble Bass Junction Wizzö Barry in yellow

Rumours long loop stripy cowl ten 10 yard cuffs! Krewe cowl

ALL patterns by me (and all participating designers) are eligible to knit for the GAL, including patterns from outside publications (like my designs for Knitscene, Twist Collective, Holla Knits, etc), and ALL paid (not free) patterns are eligible for prizes.  So if you already have one (or more) of my patterns that you haven’t gotten around to making yet, this can be a push to get to it – knit it now, post it in the GAL group, and hopefully you’ll win a prize!  The only rule is that you can’t have already cast on before now – GAL things don’t need to be finished before the end date, but they do need to be started after the start date (Nov 13th).

So, check out the GAL ravelry group for all the details, KALs, games, and other fun stuff!  And now, part of being a participating designer is promoting each other, so we each got connected up randomly with another designer to interview (and more to tweet about, pin on pinterest, etc, so my social media will be all GAL-ified for the next few weeks!).  I was hooked up with Katherine Rollins, designer of some beautiful accessories featuring lots of colorwork and fun ruffles.

Gathered Dusk Path of the Peacock

Interview!

What’s the first thing you ever knit?
A: Do you mean finished? The first thing I remember trying to knit was a Kaffe Fassett design from the book, “Glorious Knits.” I was a teenager pretty new to knitting and I hate to say that I worked one multicolored repeat but never finished the jacket! The first finished projects happened late in high school and college. I knit huge traditional Icelandic Lopi sweaters for almost everyone in our family!

What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever knit (or, one of your favorites, if you can’t choose 1 absolute favorite!)?
A. When I finally learned sock knitting in 2007, I got hooked. I love socks!

Is there a knitting technique that you haven’t tried yet that you are really wanting to explore?
A. I haven’t tried Mosaic knitting but I am intrigued.

Is there a technique you’ve recently tried for the first time and LOVED?
A. Lace! I need to explore it more.

What’s your favorite yarn you’ve ever used?
A. Okay this is a hard question. I haven’t explored near enough yarn to answer fully. My taste runs to luxury yarns but my wallet doesn’t always follow! I loved using Kashmir by The Woolen Rabbit. But I have enjoyed knitting with Knit Picks Capra and Capretta yarns. I have a Wollmeise skein and a Madelinetosh skein in my petting box. I need to use them but haven’t decided on a pattern.

Is there any local yarn in your part of the world (North Carolina) that you love and recommend that people check out?
A. There is a really fun cotton yarn made one state over in Virginia, Wolles Yarn Creations. The yarn has long color changes. I knit a Holden Shawlette from it and I hope to design a shawlette for it one day.  The other local yarn that has come on the scene recently is Silver Spun from Feel Good Yarn Company. It is an intriguing combination of cotton, silver, and lycra. I want to design some sporty socks with it.

What’s the one thing you wish you were knitting right now?
A. That changes from moment to moment! I would like to be knitting right now either a shawl or a blanket of my own design. Coming up with the right design, now that is the trick!

Evening Tide Ruffled Ascot

Thanks for the interview, Katherine!  (Click the photos to go to the pattern pages!)

Mt. Hood Snow Cap

So, I considered doing a quick round up of some of my favorite designs/designers here for the end of this post, but then I thought, there are so many, I won’t know when to stop!  So instead, I’m going to keep it local – here are my neighbor designers here in Oregon:

Star Athena (I love so many of Star’s designs – a few favorites are the Pendleton CowlMt. Hood Snow Cap {pictured above – I have plans to make this for myself and embroider snow on Mt Hood with thick white wool}, Galanthus, Interval, and Lebowski); Shannon Squire (tons of beautiful designs, including Mosaic Mason Jar Cozies which could be an excellent gift knit {pictured below}, and I really love the Tytonidae Cowl and the Mesh Leaf Cowl); Larissa Brown (lots of fabulous designs – I especially love Lichen, Layer Cake Blanket, and Cane Sugar Mitts); Marnie MacLean (so many fantastic sweaters, really gorgeous shawls – a couple favorites are Foothills Shawl and Estival – and she has some beautiful crochet patterns as well!); Michele Bernstein (I want Thrumbelina on my feet right now!); Birch Hollow Cottage (adorable kid stuff and toys); Carol E. Herman (love the Topiary Fingerless Mitts); Galzanne Knits (some really nice cowls and hats); and Sheila O’Keefe (the Snowflake Coaster is such a perfect gift knit!).

Mosaic Mason Jar Cozy

If you want in on the fun, go join the group, check out the designer list (you can browse through the designer names quickly here, but check out the thread for photos so you can discover new designers!) and buy all the patterns you want during the sale period right now!  But remember, you can knit not-on-sale patterns for the GAL, and posting in the group can win you awesome prizes!  Yay!  Happy knitting!!

Filed under: gifts,hats,knit-a-longs,knitting,lots of links,portland stuff — leethal @ 5:00 pm

December 18, 2013

leethal 2014 photo calendar!

I’ve been pretty into Instagram since I got my iPhone early this year, and I’ve been wanting to figure out ways to display my favorite shots.  The other day I thought, how about a calendar?  So I made one!

I made an Instagram calendar!

I love how it turned out: simple, functional, a lovely display of some of my favorite instas.

2014 instagram calendar

So I decided I should share it with you!  I turned the calendar into a pdf, with four versions.  You can go to my leethal.net wallpapers (and other downloads) page and download it with my photos…

leethal 2014 calendar pdf page

…or without any photos, so you can plug in your own square-format photos.  And both options come in the lighter text (as above) or the darker text (as below).  Note: the lighter text in the photos of it hanging in my kitchen looks barely-visible, but that’s mostly to do with the lighting in there; it’s actually plenty visible, I think.

leethal 2014 calendar pdf page

If you want to put in your own photos, you’ll need an application that can open and edit pdf files, to place your photos on the pages.  Or you could do it analog – print out the calendar as is, then print out your own photos, and glue them on there.

2014 instagram calendar

To make the calendar, you’ll need a photo printer (or a trip to Kinko’s or something), nice letter size* photo paper/cardstock to print out the pages (I used Red River Paper GreenPix, which I highly recommend, but unfortunately it’s only available in 4×6 inch size and rolls right now), a paper cutter (or scissors and the ability to cut super straight), and a hole punch.  Print, cut down the center dotted line, punch out the grey dots, and hang!

2014 instagram calendar

*The pdf is sized for US letter size paper (8.5×11 inches) but if you use a different paper size and print it fit to page, centered, it should work fine, just with some extra white space that you can trim off as needed.

2014 instagram calendar

Happy holidays!

Filed under: gifts,home stuff,photos — leethal @ 10:00 am

December 17, 2013

Block puzzle tutorial!

A couple years ago, I made a gift for Disney princess loving Alicia, using wood blocks and pages from thrifted books.  I photographed the steps, and then forgot to blog it!  So here is how I made it – it only takes a few hours, so you have plenty of time to make one for a kid gift this season (I’d love to make one with something other than princesses, like baby animals, or cats, or pretty much any kind of animals…).

Or, you could make one bigger with more pieces (and/or harder by mixing up the blocks, as explained below) for an adult version, with like photos of yarn, or photos from a trip you took together… oh shoot, I’d never thought of that until right now – now I want to make a trip photo puzzle!!

Princess gift block puzzle

So, you need wood blocks (I got these at Michael’s), pictures to use (my princess pictures came from some cheap thrift store books), a paper cutter (or scissors if you’re careful, in which case you also need a ruler), Mod Podge and a brush for the Mod-Podge-ing, newspaper or something to protect your work surface, and optional Sparkle Mod Podge if you want a glitter finish.

Princess gift block puzzle

I started by making a template for the pictures; I used the cardboard packaging from the wood blocks, cutting the piece of thin cardboard to the size of the blocks all together in a rectangle:

Princess gift block puzzle Princess gift block puzzle

Then I used the template to cut out my pictures to that size:

Princess gift block puzzle Princess gift block puzzle

So now I had pictures of the exact size of the blocks all touching:

Princess gift block puzzle

I used four pictures, to make the puzzle a bit easier than if all six sides of the blocks had pictures, since she was pretty young when I made this.  Pictures on all sides of the blocks (six pictures total) would make for a harder puzzle.

Princess gift block puzzle

I carefully measured and cut the pictures into squares the size of the blocks (if you’re using a paper cutter, you should be able to measure directly on the cutter – if you’re using scissors, then you’ll need to measure with a ruler).

Princess gift block puzzle

Be careful with your measuring and cutting so that you don’t accidentally cut the wrong size for some reason (I don’t remember why this happened!) and ruin your picture, so that you have to find another princess picture to replace it:

Princess gift block puzzle

So, once I cut a picture in both directions, I had a puzzle picture like this:

Princess gift block puzzle Princess gift block puzzle

Now I Mod Podged those squares of pictures onto the blocks:

Princess gift block puzzle

Princess gift block puzzle

Here’s another decision you can make.  I wanted the puzzle to be easy for the young kid, so I kept the first puzzle in order, turned each block the same way, and glued on the second picture in the same order, so that once she solves the puzzle for one of the pictures, she can then flip all the blocks in the same direction to see the next picture, then the next, then the next.  If you want a more challenging puzzle, you can scramble up the blocks so that you have to solve each one separately.  There are actually two more levels of difficulty – you could either flip all the blocks the same direction, then glue the pictures on in random order, all on the same sides, or you could glue them on random places and random sides, so the puzzles for each picture all start from scratch.  Just make sure you glue one square per picture onto each block.

Princess gift block puzzle Princess gift block puzzle

Repeat for each picture until all the squares are glued on:

Princess gift block puzzle

Princess gift block puzzle

Because this was a gift for a frilly little girl, I chose to add sparkles to the whole thing at the end:

Princess gift block puzzle

I don’t remember exactly, but I’m guessing I covered five sides with the sparkle Mod Podge, let them dry overnight, then sparkled up the sixth side the next day.

Princess gift block puzzle

Finished sparkly puzzle:

Princess gift block puzzle

Tah dah!

Filed under: general crafts,gifts,tutorials — leethal @ 10:56 am

December 16, 2013

Knit gifts of the past!

In continuing to catch up with blog posts that should have been done long ago, I want to show you a bunch of things I’ve knit for gifts over the last several years that never made it to the blog!  Many times, I’ve knit a thing, photographed it, meant to blog about it soon, and then just never gotten around to it… you know how it goes, life gets in the way.  So here we go, alllll those gift knits that never got shown!  Starting with the most recent, Pete’s xmas gift last year:

Pete's Harris Tweed hat

Pete wanted a warm hat with a bill, to keep the rain off his glasses.  I didn’t want to design a hat with a bill, so I went pattern searching, and this design – Colorado Cadet / Newsboy Cap by Cheryl Andrews – seemed the best match for exactly what he wanted.  I bought this Harris Tweed yarn in York last fall (at Ramshambles), with intentions to use the black skein for something for Pete, since he’s a big fan of the Harris Tweed brand.  This hat ended up needing more than 1 skein worth, with the bill and folded-under brim adding yardage, so I added some of the other two skeins I’d bought for myself – a speckled brown kind of color for the crown, and a teal blue for the underside of the brim, and also for the braid to add a bit of extra interest there.

Pete's Harris Tweed hat Pete's Harris Tweed hat

I think it turned out great, and Pete loves it (although Portland is rarely cold enough for him to wear it; he gets overheated really easily, unlike myself – I wear wool hats constantly all winter long!).  The pattern makes the bill work without any plastic/cardboard/etc piece in there, which is cool.  This was my first time with a few different techniques: a hemmed brim, a welt, and the herringbone braid.  I made this hat a bit taller than the pattern, so it would cover his ears and be warmer.

Pete's Harris Tweed hat

Next up, my mom collects elephants, mostly of the small, hard variety, but I thought adding a large, soft version to her collection would be fun!  So I used the pattern Garter Stitch Elephant by Phylis Tucker as a guideline, and bulky yarn (a few strands of worsted-ish held together), and made this weirdo wonky guy.

Mom's weird elephant guy

He looks like a perfectly normal stuffed elephant from certain angles…

Mom's weird elephant guy

…but then from other viewpoints, he looks like some kind of anteater/elephant hybrid thing.  Oh well, he has personality.  I think she named him, but I don’t remember what it was.

Mom's weird elephant guy Mom's weird elephant guy

The other wonky toy I’ve made was a gift for Eloise, (ravelry creators) Jess‘s & Casey‘s little girl, when she was born.

Eloise's Bird+Egg

It’s a Which Came First? by Anna Hrachovec, but made to look like a blue bird instead of a chicken.  Sort of.  To the best of my lacking toy-making abilities.

Eloise's Bird+Egg

Eloise's Bird+Egg

I think the egg looks great, and then the bird hatches, and he’s a little funky looking.  Personality?

Eloise's Bird+Egg

Here’s a shot of the pieces before sewing them together:

Eloise's Bird+Egg

Another one from far back, 3 years ago to be exact, I made this scarf for my mom for a xmas present.  The pattern is Spitcurl Scarf by Staceyjoy Elkin; it’s one of those patterns I saw and just wanted to make to find out how it’s made.

Spitcurl Scarf Spitcurl Scarf

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, in soft, washable Malabrigo Rios and Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK.

Spitcurl Scarf

Another mom gift, this one was for Pete’s mom for xmas 4 years ago.  We did it as a joint gift – Pete picked the pattern (Kerry by Rodger Murry, no longer available) and the yarn (Malabrigo Twist, yumm) – and I knit the hat.

kerryhat05

This was my first time knitting with Twist and it was love at first stitch.

kerryhat17

kerryhat01

Lastly in the other-people’s-patterns category, I knit this scarf for Pete back in 2008 – Counterpoint Scarf by Jennifer Crawford, in Alpaca with a Twist Highlander.  It was my first (and only) time doing illusion knitting, and I love it; I’ve always planned to revisit the illusion concept someday in my own designs… Maybe 2014 will be the year for that, we’ll see!

illusion knitting piano scarf

I’ve also knit a few gifts from my own patterns that never got blogged, so here are those.  First, a pair of Either/Or mitts for my brother Matt:

Matt's Either/Or mitts

I used a striping pattern for these that’s different from all six of my pattern sample mitts, and I love how it looks!  Three colors in blocks, in the short fingerless mitts version of the pattern:

Matt's Either/Or mitts

They are man-sized, modeled by Pete, in a machine-washable yarn (Lion Brand Wool-Ease) so Matt can wash them easily.

Matt's Either/Or mitts

I knit this picture frame for my dad using my Quick Knits Cabled Frame pattern, but making each section longer for a larger frame.  It’s shown here with a placeholder picture (a page of a magazine).  It’s backed with layers of cardboard so the photo can slide in and out easily.

Cabled Frame for Dad

Lastly, I first started working on the Coloring Book designs in early 2012, to figure out what yarns I needed and stuff; when I decided to make a cowl for Pete’s mom last year out of an assortment of yarns bought throughout our UK/Ireland trip, I thought the draft version of what would become the Color by Number pattern would be a perfect fit.

Travel cowl gift knit

So, this is sort of a Color by Number custom cowl, but it’s way before the actual pattern was finalized, and there are lots of improvised bits – mainly, the cabled panel up the one side, and the scattered boxes with cables and twisted stitch patterns inside.

Travel cowl gift knit

With the gift, I included a diagram of where each yarn came from.  They are from York, London, Edinburgh, Holyhead in Wales, Dublin, and Galway.

Travel cowl gift knit

Modeled shots:

Travel cowl gift knit

Travel cowl gift knit Travel cowl gift knit

Travel cowl gift knit

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!  Although I wish I’d given it wood buttons instead of plastic.  Oh well.  It worked nicely to throw in some stitch patterns in some of the boxes, so feel free to use that idea with your own Color by Number projects if you like it!

Travel cowl gift knit

Okay that was a long post.  Better to group together all these old knits into one giant post than to never blog about them at all, right?  I have a couple other completely different gift-themed blog posts coming up this week.  Next will be a tutorial, and then I’ll be giving a gift to you for the holidays :)

Stay tuned, and I hope you are well as this season flies by!

Filed under: gifts,hats,knitting — leethal @ 2:33 pm

November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving sale weekend: Print Pattern Packages (with digital downloads) on sale!

Remember when I used to sell full-color printed booklets of my patterns through MagCloud (and also self-distributed to yarn shops)?  Maybe you don’t, but yeah, I did used to do that… it was a lot of work and not many people were interested, so I stopped, and now I only sell a couple of collections in print format.  (And I use a distributor now for wholesale, because I pretty much sucked at that whole self-distributing thing.)

A side effect of this change in my methods is that I ended up with a pile of these nice quality print patterns sitting in my studio!  What to do?  Well, for about a year, they just sat, sadly, with no purpose in life.  But I want them to find good homes!  So, the biggest sale weekend of the year seems like a good time to address this issue, eh?  Especially since packages of pretty patterns could make great gifts for the knitter(s) in your life!

leethal print pattern set!

So I’ve gathered up all these print booklets, sorted them into sets, and listed them on etsy… except if you’re reading this on Wednesday or Thursday, they aren’t there yet.  They will go live as close as possible to midnight on Thursday night (west coast time), at discounted sale weekend prices!  They will stay at the discounted prices until Monday night around midnight, at which point all the sets that remain un-claimed will go up to their normal prices (which are still discounted from what the patterns would normally cost – all pricing details are explained at the end of this post).

Betiko - mystery pattern version ten 10 yard cuffs! big skoodlet! Twisted Ankles!

But wait, it gets better!!  Each print pattern will have on it a slip of paper with a download code, for the pdf pattern through ravelry (but it still works fine if you’re not a ravelry member).  Some of these print patterns are older versions which have been revised in the last year or so; the pdf downloads will be the newest, bestest versions, so you’ll have both the pretty printed booklet for your shelf, and the digital file to refer to if anything in the old version is confusing, or just to have a backup copy in your rav library, etc.

spiral hat Brimming with Color! haka! Ocean Breezes!

There are a bunch of patterns in print form – for some of them, I only have 1 or 2 copies, and for others, I have a ton of them, so they show up in many of the sets.  For most of the sets, only 1 exists – one set has 2 in stock, and another has 3; once they’re gone, they’re gone!

I’ll link to every pattern right here and now, so I don’t need to link them up every time they are mentioned.

Pattern links:

And: Etsy shop link to buy these print pattern packages.

leethal print pattern set!

There are a few small sets… I have 3 copies of this Quick Knits pattern package (above), which includes the Quick Knits best-of book, with 12 patterns using under 20 yards of yarn, and the Ten 10 yard Cuffs pattern, with 10 different buttoning cuff patterns in varying degrees of difficulty.  This package is a great learning tool for new knitters, or a perfect gift for someone with tons of small leftovers they want to use up!

leethal print pattern set! leethal print pattern set!

There are two different 3-pattern sets.  Haka/Ten 10 yard Cuffs/Skoodlet is a fun little package for adventurous beginner level knitters – Haka and the cuffs are easy, with the cuffs possibly teaching some new techniques, and then Skoodlet is a step up into the more intermediate range.  And then the Skoodlet/Betiko/Junction set is for the more advanced knitter – 3 bigger patterns which are customizable, fun to knit, and great to wear!

leethal print pattern set! leethal print pattern set!

There are two different 4-pattern sets as well.  There’s that same fun adventurous-beginner level package from above, but with Double Scoops added on, which is also a fun pattern for knitters ready to advance, or just wanting to make a fun little accessory.  And then a 4-hat package – Haka, Spiraling Stripes set, Ocean Breezes, and Custom Tritops set – which is a fun introduction to leethal hat patterns; all four hats are constructed differently from each other!

leethal print pattern set!

And now we step up to some 6-pattern packages.  Above is another great adventurous beginner kind of package, with Ten 10 yard Cuffs, the Haka hat, and the Brimming with Color hat all being very beginner-friendly, and then 2 more hats – Mr. Pointy and Spiraling Stripes set – both on the slightly more simple end of the leethal pattern spectrum, and Skoodlet being a great pattern for stepping into intermediate territory.

leethal print pattern set!

This one is a leethal short rows collection – 6 patterns which all make use of short rows in varying ways!  This would be a fun introduction to my design style for someone unfamiliar with my sideways edge techniques.  You get the Junction modular triangle shawl, Betiko customizable crescent shawl, Terrapin modular twisted stitch hat, Custom Tritops modular hat collection, Spiraling Stripes sideways-knit hat set, and Swerve modular sideways-cuff fingerless mitts.

leethal print pattern set!

And here is a 7-pattern set for hat lovers – a wide variety of different kinds of hat patterns.  There’s the Haka earflap hat, Terrapin twisted stitch hat, Custom Tritops versatile set, Mr. Pointy ziggy-zaggy fitted hat, Brimming with Color bulky slouch hat, Ocean Breezes wavy cloche or beret, and Spiraling Stripes customizable swirly hat set.

leethal print pattern set!

This one is kind of a world of leethal collection, with 7 different leethal accessories… Twisted Ankles cabled legwarmers, Swerve fingerless mitts, Ten 10 yard Cuffs, Double Scoops headband/earmuffs, Skoodlet hooded cowl, Haka hat, and Spiraling Stripes hat set.

leethal print pattern set!

Another leethal variety pack, with 8 patterns – 5 hats, and 3 other fun things.  There’s Haka hat, Spiraling Stripes hat set, Brimming with Color hat, Custom Tritops hat set, Ocean Breezes hat, Double Scoops earmuffs/headband, Skoodlet hooded cowl, and Ten 10 yard Cuffs.

leethal print pattern set!

The mega hat set includes 8 hat patterns – the 7 in the hat lovers set above, plus Wobble Bass, to add some sideways cables to the mix!

leethal print pattern set!

And lastly, this is the package pictured at the top, the ultimate leethal accessory collection!  You get all the leethal classics (okay I don’t know what qualifies as a leethal classic, but some of my all-time favorites are included here!) – Betiko shawl, Skoodlet, Double Scoops, Shapeshifter, Spiraling Stripes hats, Haka, Ten 10 yard Cuffs, and Twisted Ankles.

A couple things you might like to know…

Each pattern will come with its own separate download code, so if you want to split up your package and gift patterns to different people (or gift a few and keep the rest for yourself!), that will totally work fine!

Sale weekend prices are $2 less than the digital version of each pattern would be on its own, all combined (so if there are three patterns, and they each cost $6 normally, then the package price is $4 times the 3 patterns = $12 total).  The normal (still discounted) price that remaining packages will raise to after Monday will be $1 less than the normal pattern prices.  So for a 4-pattern package, the price will go up by $4; for an 8-pattern package, it will go up by $8.  All sale and post-sale prices are given in the etsy listings.

Shipping is the same for all packages – $2 within the US, $5 to anywhere else (see the etsy listings for more details).

I think that’s all there is to know!  Head to my etsy shop on Friday and get what you want while you can!  (Just so you know, there are a few pdfs listed in my shop, so the listings which don’t say print patterns are not print patterns.)  I am hoping to find good homes for all of these patterns over the weekend; I have no idea what to expect, so if you really want something it’s best to act fast in case they start selling out right away!

Thanksgiving '09!

Happy holidays!  I plan to eat way too much food tomorrow (mmmmmm stuffing and mashed potatoes!), and then avoid all stores all weekend – no Black Friday madness for me, no thank you!  If you do go out shopping this weekend, try to support local shops as much as you’re able to!!  :)

Filed under: books,gifts,hats,knitting,leethal store,self-publishing — leethal @ 3:53 pm

November 1, 2013

Quick (gift-able) Knits ebook and the Indie Gift-a-Long!

A couple of exciting things!  First, you can now (finally!) get my best-of leethal Quick Knits book collection in digital form!

leethal Quick Knits Ebook cover

This book of 12 of the most popular leethal Quick Knits patterns has been out in print booklet form for awhile now (you can get that for $12 over here, or maybe at your local yarn shop!), but I’ve just now gotten the book into e-format, so you can get a pdf of all 12 of these selected 20-yards-or-fewer patterns for $11.  Just in time for quick gift knitting!

pen tube bookmarks! Garter Strip Light-switch Cover

The items range from functional and practical (like the pen tube bookmark, the guitar pick pouch, the drink sweaters, the picnic wrapper), to cute and not-so-practical (like the various wearable flowers and leaves, the light-switch cover)…

Drink Sweaters! April's quick knits club stuff!

…to fun and silly (like the old timey moustache and the superhero mask).  Many potential gift items, as well as patterns which may teach you new knitting techniques on a small, non-intimidating scale!

Old Timey Moustache! Superhero Mask!

So, there is a thing happening which is what pushed me to finally get this ebook together, since the Quick Knits were a perfect fit for gift knitting… and this awesome gift-focused sale and knitting event is about to begin!

Giftalong!

Have you heard about it yet?  A TON of indie designers are teaming up to offer a huge selection of patterns at 25% off November 1st – 15th (with coupon code giftalong, GMT), and then you, the knitter, get to knit-a-long (or crochet-a-long) your new patterns for gifting (or for yourself!), share your progress, and have a chance to win lots of great prizes!  All the info is in the ravelry group over here.

The whole thing kicks off today, Nov 1st, and you have all the way till the end of the year to finish your knitting, but the more projects you post in the threads, the more chances you’ll have to win!  Oh and, only participating designs (the ones being offered for 25% off now) are eligible for the gift-a-long-ing.  (Side note:  I’m trying REALLY hard to release my upcoming collection before Nov 15th, so that I can include those designs as gift-a-long options, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it.  Wish me luck!)

Here are my leethal designs you can choose from (also listed in the gift-a-long thread here!) which will be 25% off with giftalong coupon code now through November 15th:

another pattern mosaic

So that’s the new Quick Knits ebook (normally $11), Ten 10 yard Cuffs, which are also super quick gift-able knits, and 7 accessory patterns which can knit up fast and make good gifts!  If you like bulky cables, you can choose Lemmy (shown below), or Twisted Ankles, or the Haka hat+cowl set

Lemmy

If you want to choose your own gauge, using a bulky weight for extra fast knitting, or a finer weight if you prefer, you can choose from Either/Or (shown below in the full mittens option), Wild is the Wind hat, Gentle on My Mind hat/bonnet/hood, or Wobble Bass hat.  Many of these are gender-neutral, and all of them can be customized based on yarn choice and other options, to best suit your giftee!

Either/Or

So, take advantage of that coupon code – browse through the forums (or the Pinterest boards!) and check out all the other awesome designers participating!  And then get knitting!  Yeah!

Next Page »
Proudly powered by wordpress 4.3.4 - Theme by neuro, customized by leethal