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!

November 26, 2012

Holiday gift knitting! (plus mega sale, today only!)

It’s been a busy month!  With all these new patterns, I want to offer a sale on this cyber Monday, so you can collect whichever ones you like with some major savings!  (Like my newest Flying V’s, and Junction, which still has yet to be blogged officially, pictured below.)

Flying V's Junction

So, today only, add as many leethal patterns/ebooks to your cart as you want (through ravelry or my site), and enter coupon code leethalmonday to save 40% off your entire order!!

This code will work for the whole Remixed collection (knocking it down from $20 to a mere $12 for all 8 patterns!) and all the quick knits ebooks, Game Knitting, the Flying V’s collection, etc…

Flying V's

And since it is now indeed the holiday season, I will go on to point you to my many patterns which might make for good (quick) gift knitting!  All of my any-gauge patterns can be made as a quick gift knit if you choose a chunky yarn, like Wobble Bass, which looks very nice in bulky yarns (pictured here in worsted) and is a great gift for a hat-wearing person of any gender:

Wobble Bass

(Note:  I’ll link to the ravelry pages for all the patterns throughout this post, since it’s a little easier and is probably preferred by many, but you can also find all the patterns on my website, and buy them through there with the coupon code if you prefer.)

Any-gauge mitts include Either/Or and Rumours (both from Remixed), which are both quick in chunky yarns:

Either/Or Rumours

Any-gauge cowls include Flippable and Parallel Lines (another Remixed pattern)…

Flippable infinity moebius scarf thing

…and hooded (or optionally hooded) cowls Shapeshifter and Skoodlet both work excellently in bulky or super bulky yarns:

Shapeshifter! big skoodlet!

Custom Tritops and Wild is the Wind (from Remixed) can both be made not just in any weight, but also as either fitted or slouchy styles (both shown here in slouchy), though if you choose to make either super quick in bulky yarn, the fitted style is probably the better choice.

Custom Tritop! Wild is the Wind

Other Remixed any-gauge hats include Gentle on My Mind, shown here in an oversized super bulky version, and Freak Out! (a hat with a surprise hidden underneath!):

Gentle on My Mind Freak Out!

I also have some simpler bulky weight patterns, like Brimming with Color and Haka, which is the ultimate quick knit hat, in either super bulky yarn or 3 strands of worsted held together – perfect for one-night gift knitting!

Brimming with Color! haka!

And Twisted Ankles are cabled legwarmers knit up in bulky weight:

Twisted Ankles

And then there are my official quick knits patterns – those hats and other accessories might be quick compared to shawls and sweaters, but these projects below are QUICK!  There are the Ten 10 yard Cuffs:

ten 10 yard cuffs! cuff501

Lots of good potential gifty items in my quick knits ebooks, like these Drink Sweaters and Pen Tube Bookmarks

Drink Sweaters! pen tube bookmarks!

…and the Guitar Pick Keyring Pouch and CD Gift Case, which are together in the same ebook:

April's quick knits club stuff! April's quick knits club stuff!

And then there are my older quick knits patterns, compiled into 3 volumes – these Pinwheel Earmuffs and Cabled Frame are from vol. 2, the Garter Strip Light-switch Cover is from vol.3

Pinwheel Earmuffs Cabled Frame Garter Strip Light-switch Cover

…and these Stiffened Chevron Bookmarks and holiday-themed Wee Gift Bag below are from vol.1.  Browse through ravelry or my site to see all my quick knits patterns (47 of them!).

club #2: Bookmarks Nov quick knits club patterns

Lastly, if you need to stick to freebies, I have some of those as well!  My new hat Scant knits up quickly, especially if you choose a chunky yarn.  Cassady and Buttonhead are also simple knits for any gauge, and the Buttony Chevron Cuff is super quick and fun:

Scant in handspun Cassady! Buttonhead! 08orangeon

And then there are these Gradient Mitts and leethal Mary Janes, both in bulky yarns for quick gift knitting.

knit mitts booties1.jpg

Hope I gave you some good options if you are trying to pack in lots of knitting over the next month!  You should be able to whip up several of these in time, no problem!  Happy holidays, and happy knitting!

Filed under: gifts,hats,knitting,quick knits — leethal @ 5:00 am

January 27, 2012

Pendleton scrap blanket (and matching pillow)!

Awhile back, Susan blogged about a blanket she made with scraps from the Pendleton Woolen Mill Store, I thought it was fabulous, and Pete completely fell in love with it.  He’s been a bit Pendleton obsessed since he started getting really into men’s fashion a couple years ago… So we started taking trips over to the store and grabbing good looking scraps whenever we found them.  And then when the holiday season started, I took a couple secret trips by myself and gathered enough material for a giant blanket gift!

Pendleton blanket

I never scored like Susan did, with the super cheap precut sample cards, but I got mostly the thick, blanket quality wool pieces, so our double layered wool blanket is thick and heavy and WARM!  My blanket ended up costing more like $40-50, with all the by-the-pound thick scraps (as opposed to Susan’s amazing $12 creation, which is more what I was hoping for when I decided to go ahead with the project), and it took several days of work, with my limited sewing experience, but it was so super worth it all!  Once of my favorite things I’ve ever made!

Of course, most of you don’t have access to Pendleton wool scraps, but this same basic project can be done with recycled wool clothing (like plaid shirts and skirts) from thrift stores, or with felted sweaters!  So, I’ll tell you how I made mine…

Pendleton blanket

I started by cutting all the pieces in blocks to make strips of all different widths.  I cleared my living room floor to spread the project out and plan out the blocks as I cut.  After I took the above photo, I decided to make it a bit bigger, so I added more blocks to each strip.  Then I stacked each strip in order, and lined them up so I’d know how they were meant to be sewn together:

Pendleton blanket Pendleton blanket

I sewed each pile together into the strips, just as I’d laid them all out before, with a basic straight stitch, right sides facing.  As I finished sewing each one, I laid it back out on the floor, to keep everything in order:

Pendleton blanket

Then I ironed all those seams open on the back of each strip:

Pendleton blanket

I used the wool setting, with maximum steam…  Here are the seams before and after ironing:

Pendleton blanket Pendleton blanket

The strips after ironing:

Pendleton blanket

So then I sewed all the strips to each other.  Starting at one end, the first to the second, then the second to the third, and so on, until the whole thing was one big piece.  Careful to keep the ironed seams flat when sewing over them:

Pendleton blanket Pendleton blanket

Here’s the whole thing after that step:

Pendleton blanket

The next step, of course, was to iron all those seams, completing the top layer of my blanket:

Pendleton blanket

Then I made my lining layer.  I didn’t have any one piece large enough for the lining, but I did set aside a few of the largest scraps to piece together for the back side.  Once the top layer was complete and I measured it, I figured out exactly how to put the large pieces together to make a block of exactly the same size…  There’s a screenshot of my iPad app where I worked out the measurements, just for fun:

blanket planning Pendleton blanket

(All those numbers are inches; after it was finished, the final blanket measurements ended up being a bit over 6 feet by a bit over 5 feet.)  I sewed those together and ironed the seams, and then I had my lining:

Pendleton blanket

I laid out the lining with the top layer on top, right sides facing…

Pendleton blanket

…got the layers all smoothed out the best I could, and pinned the edges together:

Pendleton blanket

Then I sewed all around the edges, leaving about a foot open to turn it back right-side out.

Pendleton blanket

After sewing, I trimmed some parts where the edges didn’t line up perfectly, and clipped the corners to minimize bulk.  Then I turned it right-side out, ironed the edges well, and hand-sewed the part that was left open.

Pendleton blanket

Lastly, I sewed around the whole thing, about 1 1/2 inches in from the edge:

Pendleton blanket

I thought about different options for connecting the layers – tying or quilting or something – but with my lack of experience with this kind of crafting, and with how much I loved the blanket as it was, I didn’t want to risk messing it up.  It functions perfectly as is, so I don’t see any reason why the layers need to be attached…

Pendleton blanket

So there it is!  Pete’s giant Pendleton blanket!  I made it for him, but it happens to be huge enough to keep both of us warm at the same time – I’m sneaky like that!

Pendleton blanket

Some more beauty shots…

Pendleton blanket Pendleton blanket

It’s hard to tell the thickness and weight of it by the photos, so just trust me, it’s big and heavy!  I love it so much!

Pendleton blanket

And then, there’s more!  With some of the extra scraps, I made a pillow to match, before I started sewing the blanket, to kind of practice.  I wanted to make sure I knew the best way to sew and iron the seams before starting the blanket, so I cut these extra scraps, to fit a cheap Ikea pillow…

Pendleton pillow

…sewed them together…

Pendleton pillow

…ironed the seams…

Pendleton pillow

…and sewed on the two overlapping pieces for the back:

Pendleton pillow

And tah dah!  Pillowcase!  This project took about a half hour, so I definitely plan on making more of these!

Pendleton pillow

On the pillow:

Pendleton pillow

 

Pendleton pillow

And the back side:

Pendleton pillow

So that’s everything, except for one last note.  Throughout all the steps…

Pendleton blanket

…Banzo had to claim the wool as her new spot.  And now, of course, it’s her blanket.  I may have made it for Pete, but we all know who it really belongs to!

Pendleton blanket Pendleton blanket

I’d love to see if anyone uses my process to make a blanket from recycled clothing fabrics!  Just be careful if you make one with sweater pieces – the stretchiness will make the seams buckle if you don’t figure out how to best sew them (I know from experience as a self-taught sewer, and have never really figured out the best way to avoid buckling).  Sewing with the woven wool was still tricky, as the different scraps had varying amounts of stretchiness.  I had to figure out how to hold the 2 pieces with different tensions to make the seams even… But I made it work in the end.  Yay!

And just so you know, I’m writing this post curled up on the couch with the blanket over my legs, and the kitty curled up at my feet.  We are both very snuggly and warm!

Filed under: general crafts,gifts,home stuff,portland stuff,tutorials — leethal @ 12:46 am

December 1, 2011

Shop news – discounted items plus sales going to charity!

Oh my, it’s already December!  I have a bunch of leethal shop news!  The main thing is that (as you know if you follow my blog) I have pretty much transitioned completely to knit design, and away from all the old stuff I used to make and sell.  I have tons of things in my shop from the old days which I would really love to clear out, so I’ve discounted lots of the items, and I’m also adding an extra big incentive:

Through December 18th, 25-40% of all leethal shop sales will be donated to Heifer!  You can learn more about this organization on their website; their “mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth. … With gifts of livestock and training, [they] help families improve their nutrition and generate income in sustainable ways.”

The exact percentage depends on the item – at the top of each category page within my shop, you’ll see whether those items are 25% or 40%.  I’ve also added a bunch of new items to the shop and made some other updates…

This isn’t new, but it is relevant to the season – I have a bunch of these connect-the-dots holiday cards available:

connect-the-dots holiday cards

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

I have added a bunch of photo greeting cards for the first time – these are all made from 100% recycled/reclaimed materials (reclaimed blank greeting cards and envelopes, and 100% recycled high quality matte photo paper).  There are a few different single cards:

photo greeting cards photo greeting cards

And two different sets of 3 cards – crafty photos and flower photos:

photo greeting cards photo greeting cards

I’ve also added two buttoning cowls to the accessories – these are both made from recycled sweaters (one is 100% cashmere), vintage buttons, and other recycled/vintage materials, and they are both discounted from their original prices (they were originally for sale through Trillium):

buttoning cowl buttoning cowl

And more old items that have been newly added – knit kits!  Some ninja mitts kits, 2-color hat kits, and one spiraling stripes hat kit; all include hand-dyed recycled yarn, and the pattern(s), and the spiraling hat kit also includes a couple of recycled paperclip stitch markers.

leethal knit kit leethal knit kit

These were all made for Trillium also, long ago – most of the kits I made back then (pictured below) sold, but these few that didn’t are now discounted for you!

trilliumyarns.jpg

I also had made a skein of handspun awhile back that never made it up for sale, but now it’s there!  I named it Soft as Chalk (a Joanna Newsom song title) because it’s made from all super soft wool, spun into a smooth single.  I also discounted the skein of handspun art yarn that’s been there for awhile, Rainbow in the Dark.

handspun handspun

And the last newly added items – buttons are back!  They are the same buttons that used to be there, but I had to take them down when I ran out of button-making supplies… Portland map buttons, respect the needles / tame the yarn, and shoot film / shoot polaroid / shoot medium format sets.

recycled portland map buttons needlesyarnbuttons.jpg

Some things that haven’t changed, but you know, they might make good gifts… recycled printed shirts – for knitters:

printed shirt printed shirt

…and other designs.  All printed onto reclaimed shirts, in professional screen printing inks, totally washable.  There are a couple of kids size shirts as well!

printed shirt shirt061.jpg

And in the accessories category, there are a few cuffs remaining, like this velcro one, all made from recycled fabrics…

recycled t-shirt cuff recycled t-shirt cuff

and several hats!  Some kids sizes, some adult sizes, all made from recycled materials, at discounted prices!

kids pointy eared hat floppy ears tie hat! stretchy monster hat!

Percentages of sales of connect-the-dots stitch sets, clock kits, and photo prints all go to Heifer as well!  I’m leaving town to visit family for the holidays, so orders must be placed by December 18th… not only will the charity donations end then, but the shop will be significantly changing and many items will be gone for good!

____

A quick unrelated note – the fifth Remixed pattern went up today!  I probably won’t be blogging it till next week, so I just wanted to tell you now!

Filed under: gifts,leethal store,leethal.net — leethal @ 9:09 pm

January 25, 2011

Ten minute no-sew recycled t-shirt bag!

Tutorial time!  I got a gig teaching a recycled t-shirt project at the library a few months ago, with a request for a recycled tee bag – the only bags I’d made from tees in the past had required sturdy sewing, and I didn’t want hand-sewing to be the only thing holding the bottom closed in a class version of the bags, so I started brainstorming about some kind of hand-sewing-friendly or no-sew bag idea…. and here’s what I came up with!

No-Sew T-shirt Bags! No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

The simplest version of these bags is great for smaller tees, or the more light-weight kind of girl-tees – just turn the bottom of the shirt into a drawstring and tie it closed!  As you can see, even with a not huge tee, this will still leave a significant hole in the bottom of your bag, but for purposes like grocery shopping, this size hole shouldn’t really matter…

No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

But to make smaller holes, just make more than one of them!  Here’s a bag bottom with 2 holes:

No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

And now for the actual tutorial – for this one, with the step-by-step, I will be making the bottom with 3 holes.  So, start with a t-shirt that you don’t wear anymore, or a fun one you found at a thrift store.  Besides a tee, you’ll also need scissors and a safety pin.  That’s it!

No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

Cut the sleeves off, but try to make a somewhat straight line, and go in a bit from the seam – these lines will be the sides of your straps:

No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

Cut some strips from those sleeve pieces – about half an inch wide, the length of one time around a sleeve is good, and as many strips as the number of holes you’ll be making in your bag bottom. (I’ve made bags with 1, 2, and 3 holes, but I haven’t tried more than that.)  Pull the ends of the strips to stretch them out and make them curl in:

No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

Cut the neck out to become your bag’s opening – the way you cut this can depend on your tee’s picture (if there is a picture), and also the shape you want your bag.  Just make sure you cut a big enough opening to fit things through, for a functional bag:

No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

You could make it rounded, V-shaped, or squared like this one:

No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

Now the top/straps part is done, time for the bottom.  Snip slits in the hem part of the tee bottom – as many slits as you want holes.  3 slits, below, is for 3 holes, for a single hole, like the yellow one at the top, just cut one slit, and for 2 holes, snip 2 slits.  The slits should be equally spaced from each other, but the spacing doesn’t need to be exact – I just eyeballed my slit placement, no measuring:

No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

Now stick a safety pin through the end of one of those strips you made, and start running it through the hem, through one of the slits:

No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

Run it through to the next slit (or all the way around and back to the beginning, if you’re making a single hole) and pull the cord so it’s centered-ish:

No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

Tie the hole closed as tightly as you can, and tie a tight knot:

No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

Now repeat those steps for the remaining sections, one slit to the next, tie tightly.  This is after the second hole is closed:

No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

For an ultra sturdy bag bottom, tie one cord strand from one hole together with one strand from the hole next to it, tightly, and repeat for each strand (as many of these knots as the number of holes you have; ignore this step if you’re making a single hole), so that the holes are all tied to each other.

No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

Now, you can choose whether you want the t-shirt cord ties hanging down at the bottom, or hidden on the inside.  To hide them inside, bring them through the center, then tie bows on the inside so they don’t fall back through.  Or, tie bows on the outside if you prefer (or you could just cut the cords short and skip the bows):

No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

My finished Sonic bag!

No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

The 1-hole version of this project takes more like 5 minutes, but the more holes you have, the longer it takes (by a few minutes) – it’s my favorite kind of project: 100% recycled materials (in this case, just the tee and nothing else!), minimal tools, quick+easy, and a super useful finished product!

No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

I made these for everyone in my family as extra bonus xmas gifts – my mom just told me she’s been using hers all the time and they are stronger than she would have expected.  I even used my family’s bags to wrap their gifts in, to save on paper wrapping waste and because it looked fun!

No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

I failed to show you this idea before the holidays, but you can always save it away in your memory (or bookmarks) for your next gift-giving occasion.  I hope you love this project as much as I do!  Now go and make lots of them so you’ll never be without a reusable shopping bag again!

No-Sew T-shirt Bags!

Filed under: general crafts,gifts,quick project,tutorials — leethal @ 3:56 pm

January 20, 2011

Gifts from the past: Printed Shirt and Oven Mitts

Hah, these gifts from the past posts were supposed to happen before xmas, not a month after! Oh, me… Anyway, I grouped a couple of gifts I made using printing on fabric.  This is a freezer paper stencil printed shirt I made for my dad, on a thrifted long sleeved tee:

dad's shirt

I just freehand drew everything on the freezer paper, using google image search for reference pictures to draw from, cut it all out, and printed it on with screen printing ink.  Easy and fun project!  (Super basic kid-friendly freezer paper stenciling tutorial here, and super elaborate semi-photo-realistic stenciling tutorial here!)

dad's shirt

And this was a totally different kind of printed gift – my brother Matt is super into both cooking/baking and computer coding, so I printed a binary message on some oven mitts with stamps:

binary oven mitts

When I made these, I was in California at my parents’ house for the holidays and didn’t have access to my supplies or shops (or car), so I got what I could with the resources I had – these basic mitts which had square quilting to help with the stamped grid design, and a weird typewriter style set of number/alphabet stamps.  (Couldn’t get just 1 and 0 stamps, so I had to buy a whole alphabet set!)  And then I used fabric paint for the ink… I used the leftover fabric paint to teach my brothers how to freezer paper stencil (oh look, callback to the above project) and they all made awesome t-shirts!  I used the internets to translate a message into binary, then painstakingly stamped each 1 and 0 into the correct spots to spell it out.  I’m pretty sure it says “I like to bake bread.”

djstencil.jpg bensshirtback.jpg

These are a couple more printed gifts that I already blogged years ago, but they fit with the theme so there they are again!

I really am going to try to blog more, have lots planned, it’s just hard getting into the flow of it.  Lots going on around here! Fun stuff! You’ll hear about it all soon enough!

Filed under: clothing,gifts,printing — leethal @ 1:20 am

December 17, 2010

Gifts for knitters + super quick last minute knit gifts!

First, I just want to give a quick update to those of you waiting for my new pattern (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can skip this paragraph) – the mystery knit-a-long ended yesterday (well, it didn’t end exactly, since lots of knitters are still working, but yesterday was one week after the final section was released) so I’d planned to release the final pattern to all yesterday or today.  Holiday stuff and life in general has been preventing me from really focusing on getting it all done, so it’s looking like a Friday release is impossible, and I’m hoping for Saturday, but no guarantees… anyway, you can see tons of photos of my different versions of the design (taken by Pete at Reed college the other day, pretty!) in my flickr stream.

Diane’s CraftyPod series this week on ways to give ebooks as gifts has been awesome, and reminded me of this image I made last year:

Game Knitting Cover For Discs

This is a super basic way you could gift Game Knitting – burn it onto a disc, print this out (download the original size from flickr) and slip it in the CD case as the cover.  I love Diane’s felt CD envelope, making the digital gift into a much more tangible and personal present!  Diane’s how-to for making a thumb drive box for holding an ebook on the drive would also work well for something like Game Knitting (65 pages) – the tutorials for printing out the whole book (with perfect binding, or stitch binding, or ring binding) would be a bit more time consuming and pricey with an ebook of that length.

The book-making ideas would be a good fit for my quick knits ebooks, though!  These ebooks (vol 1, vol 2, vol 3) range around  20-25 pages each, and would make fun little books for knitter giftees (pictured below).  (Of course, you can also send any ebooks or patterns as gifts to ravelers directly through ravelry, digitally, if you want to skip the tangible element.  Or, you can give tangible patterns of my designs printed by MagCloud as gifts for knitters.)

And this transitions us into the main point of this post…. super duper quick last minute knit gifts!

leethal quick knits club patterns Vol.1 Cover leethal quick knits patterns vol. 2! quick knits Vol 3

My quick knits patterns are great for ultra last minute gift crafting – all using under 20 yards of yarn, most using around 10-15 yards!  (See them all on ravelry here.)  A couple free options are my penta-coasters and buttony chevron cuff (below).  There are also all the patterns I gathered on my quick knits links page by other designers, most free, all using under 20 yards.

Penta-Coasters! 08orangeon

Within those mini-ebooks above you’ll find lots of potential gift items, like these stiffened chevron bookmarks, winter leaves which can be turned into a necklace, and several different pouch/case things – the luggage tag pouches below (which can be used for other things besides luggage tags!), the fitted pocket case, robot monster pouch, laced-up pencil case, strappy pouch and mini-wallet

club #2: Bookmarks Winter Leaves necklace Luggage Tag Pouch

And then there’s the wee gift bag, which can be used to package a special tiny gift!  Some others that would make good gifts are the cabled frame

Wee Gift Bag Cabled Frame

pinwheel earmuffs, and blooming flowers (made into earrings here):

Pinwheel Earmuffs Blooming Flowers!

And then there are the newer club patterns like the drink sweaters, and the new cabled keepers:

Drink Sweaters! December club: Wrap It!

As for bigger (but still fast!) items that can easily be finished within a couple days, starting with free – the buttonhead hat can be made with any weight yarn, so a bulky one will knit up in no time!  And the big bulky bucket hat is great for showing off some nice bulky yarn, like handspun or something hand-dyed…

Buttonhead! buckethat4.jpg

Gradient mitts and the simple mary-jane slippers are both made with bulky yarn and work up crazy fast!

knit gradient mitts orangeslippers3

And the haka hat, also for bulky yarn, and also great for showing off handspun, is super cheap and probably the fastest earflapped hat you’ll ever make:

Haka! haka!

Lastly, custom tritops are for any gauge, and a bulky version is a super fast project if you’re not intimidated by the sideways brim (it’s easy, really)!

Custom Tritop! Custom Tritop!

Hopefully I gave you some ideas for any gifts that you were stuck on – I know I always have gifts I’m still figuring out in this last week before xmas!  Happy knitting, and happy holidays!

Filed under: gifts,knitting,quick knits,self-publishing — leethal @ 3:46 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

Wrap It! December’s quick knits ebook

December club ebook cover

December’s ebook is out!  The theme is Wrap It! and the main piece is most definitely these Cabled Keepers:

December club: Wrap It! December club: Wrap It!

An any-gauge pattern which uses short rows (sideways edge cast-ons) for custom fitting, this pattern can be used to cover any size box with any weight yarn!  You just need a box with an attached lid, and a glue gun…

December club: Wrap It!

The cables and the overall look will vary depending on your yarn weight – the red and turquoise examples are in worsted, the green example in sports weight.  This is a quick knits pattern (meaning under 20 yards) when made for a small box (like a ring box), but it can be a much larger project since you could use the same pattern to cover a big box, or any size in between.  (Side note, thanks to ohsweetie for suggesting the name – much better than my working name, Cabled Box Covers.)

December club: Wrap It! December club: Wrap It!

The second pattern is this Chevron Bow, meant to tie onto a wrapped gift.  It’s pretty darn simple, but it is also for any gauge, and the chevron shaping makes it great for using up leftover bits of variegated yarns:

December club: Wrap It!

For the extras, the ebook has ideas for making recycled wrapping papers…

December club: Wrap It!

…and includes 4 different printable knit fabric patterns, which can be used as wrapping paper for small boxes:

December club: Wrap It!

So that’s December’s club.  As usual, you can buy the ebook alone for $5 (on ravelry here), or you can sign up for a 6 month subscription (also on rav, or on my website) and save $10 on the 6 months’ worth of patterns.

In other quick knits news – remember when I half-released volume 3 of the old club patterns, and said it would be completed in November?  Well, I did get the last 4 patterns added right at the end of November, so if you buy the ebook now all the patterns are in there… I just haven’t had a chance yet to update the webpage and get the individual patterns for sale separately.  But, I just wanted to let you know that the Blooming Flowers, the Fitted Pocket Case (which, like the Cabled Keepers, can be made much bigger than a quick knit, custom sized as big as you want it!), and the rest of the patterns from the last months of my old club, are now all in that ebook.

Blooming Flowers!

I’m thinking about ending the quick knits club 6 months into next year… I feel like it’s harder to stretch for pattern ideas within the 20 yard limit each month, and maybe I only have 6 months left in me… I’m not sure yet though.  I may replace it with something else new and exciting, who knows…

Filed under: gifts,knitting,quick knits — leethal @ 3:16 am

November 28, 2010

Gifts from the past: Pete’s Secret Goats Hat

The holiday season beginning has reminded me of the gifts I made last year which I never blogged about!  Oops!  So I’ll be doing a little series of these gifts from the past, hoping to inspire in you ideas for your gift making this year!  First, I knit this hat for Pete last year from the same skein of yarn as this Buttonhead – Dream in Color Classy, yumm:

pete's goats hat

I came upon this Goat Cable pattern by Cyn a couple years ago and knew I had to use it in a project for Pete at some point (since, you know, goats are metal), so I made up a pattern for a spiral hat (based on these) with the cables:

pete's goats hat

The goats ended up looking kind of abstract-y, since they stretch diagonally, when he wears it.  Plus, it’s a kind of weird fit (a little too narrow and a little too tall) which makes the cables pull out more… But he claims to like that his hat has secret hidden goats!

pete's goats hat pete's goats hat

Since most of the hat is in reverse stockinette, because of the cables, I played around with some stockinette swirly stripes up at the top… which also didn’t turn out how it looked in my head, but I guess it adds some interest to the top. And the hat is sort of reversible, since it just looks like plain stockinette on the inside, with some weird texture where the cables happen:

pete's goats hat pete's goats hat

I love this yarn, and it’s perfect for Pete since he’s really sensitive to wool warmth and overheats easily – it’s warm, but not too warm.  Plus, it’s superwash, and grey so it goes with everything.  So overall, I think it turned out to be a pretty good gift…

pete's goats hat

Last year, when I made this, I had been planning an ebook on swirling hats, designs with different kinds of cables, ribbing, and other stitch patterns – designing the goat cables into this hat was kind of a test to see how things would work.  Anyway, my focus is on a different ebook project now, but maybe someday I’ll come back to that idea…

Filed under: gifts,hats,knitting — leethal @ 4:39 pm

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!)

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