August 5, 2016

Third VIP club 2016 hat pattern: Vanguard!

Before I show you Vanguard, a few things… scroll down past this text to the picture if you just want to see Vanguard :)

This post is very belated; as I’m posting about the third club pattern, the fourth hat is currently in the mystery-knit-a-long stage. Things have been hectic, but also, I feel like the blog is less important these days, to the point of maybe being so completely unimportant that it can kind of be phased out completely…? I’m not quite there yet, but we’ll see how things go. For now, I’m planning on basically just using it as a space to show some extra photos of new patterns, and to talk about design process in some cases. I’ll be trying to keep new pattern posts shorter than they’ve often been in the past.

So with that said, over the next couple of weeks I’ll be catching up on pattern posts: after Vanguard there will be Chilli, my new Skykomish cowl from Stranded, and Silencio when the mystery is revealed, and then I’ll probably do a small life-update post (if you follow me on social media, you know I’m in school now!). The best way to keep up with leethal stuff these days is your choice of twitterinstagram, or facebook (which is mostly just select reposts from instagram).

VIP club hat #3

Vanguard! It’s currently available with the leethal VIP club; if you sign up now you’ll get four patterns plus two more later in the year. It’s on ravelry here.

Vanguard

Vanguard is an any-gauge, modular, garter stitch, custom-fit hat, meant to make with some kind of basic colorwork (self-striping or variegated yarn, stripes, or color blocks).

Vanguard

The pattern includes details for how to work with stripes or color blocks.

Vanguard

The hat is custom sized based on the first section; there’s no need to make a gauge swatch before you start knitting!

Vanguard

The design started out based on an early failed prototype which became Barry (rav link), a few years back. That prototype was way too big, weirdly shaped, didn’t work at all, but I took some elements and wrote a new pattern that became Barry, and then I went back and took other different elements from it and rewrote it into a totally different new pattern that became Vanguard! Here are Barry and Vanguard side by side:

Barry in yellow Vanguard

Barry in self-striping and tweed Vanguard

Both are started with a point, working sideways, increasing up and across until you get a good size for a custom fit to your head, and then they go off in different directions from there.

Vanguard Vanguard

I ended up making two different sport weight samples in two different gauges – a standard kind of gauge on size US 4 needles (above left), and then a very loose gauge on size US 8’s (above right and below). I did the standard gauge one first, and it totally worked fine, but then I started thinking about how much I love my super loose-gauge sideways garter stitch Unbroken hat (rav link), and even though that one is worsted, the yarn has a similar tightly-twisted feel to it as that variegated sport weight yarn… so I thought a loose-gauge version would have a similar feel to it, super stretchy and comfy. So I made another one, and I was right, I love it! It provides just a wee bit of warmth, perfect for a bad hair day kind of hat, when I don’t really need the warmth.

Vanguard

Those two samples are in Socks that Rock Mediumweight by Blue Moon Fiber Arts, which has tons of variegated colorways that would work great!

Vanguard

That striped sample is in two aran weight wooly yarns I bought in Scotland: Aran 100% Wool by New Lanark Wool & Textiles and Scappa Aran by K1 Yarns.

Vanguard

The self-striping sample is Liberty Wool by Classic Elite (worsted weight).

Vanguard

And the color blocked sample is in two bulky weight yarns: two colors of Groovy by Dream in Color, and one color of Chunky by Malabrigo.

Vanguard

You can see lots of different looking Vanguards on ravelry, knit by VIP club members. This is a really fun hat to knit, all garter stitch, lots of short rows, each section is smaller than the previous section so it goes by faster and faster as you knit it!

Vanguard

Filed under: hats,knitting,leethal VIP club — Lee Meredith @ 12:39 pm

May 12, 2016

Remixed: Making Recycled Yarns ebook, including Rejuvenation hat pattern!

Look what’s here!  It’s the final piece of my Remixed collection (on ravelry here), the long-awaited Remixed: Making Recycled Yarns ebook, which is included with that collection (with 8 any-gauge accessory patterns) and also available by itself (on ravelry here).

Making Recycled Yarns ebook cover

I think it’s worth the wait; I ended up putting a lot more into it than originally planned, it just kept growing, and I’m really happy with how it all turned out.  It will teach you everything you need to know to turn old sweaters into new yarns:

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

It’s 43 pages long, has over 200 detailed photos, and goes into detail about how to deconstruct and unravel different kinds of sweaters, and how to handle and use your yarn in lots of different ways.  The whole thing is written in a casual, friendly tone, as I talk you through how I’ve handled different kinds of sweaters and processes, giving you tips from my years of experience.  The ebook was professionally edited, by Robynn Weldon, so it’s top quality and error-free.

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

(The recycled yarns above were used to make my Freewheelin’ cabled shawl and my Either/Or full mittens.)  There’s a bunch of info about exactly how to look for sweaters to recycle at thrift stores, to get usable yarns that you’ll like; what the deal-breakers are, what to pay attention to, etc, including a shopping checklist.

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

There’s detailed info on how to deal with your recycled yarns: measuring yardage and weight, splicing, working with multiple strands, adding to your yarns…

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

And then there’s a whole section on spinning recycled yarns!  If you have a spinning wheel, you can do so much with recycled yarn-making.  Plus, since you’re spinning yarn which is already yarn (not turning fiber into yarn), it’s SO easy and you basically don’t need to look at your hands, so you can do things like read subtitles at the same time.  Anyway, below is a recycled yarn I made on the left which I then spun and plied together with another similar red recycled yarn – one of them is a wool/angora blend and the other is a merino/cashmere blend, so they plied together to make a ridiculously soft new yarn:

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

Here is a recycled wool yarn that I spun and plied with three different strands of threads and lightweight yarn (it was used to make a Wild is the Wind hat sample):

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

The ebook goes into making self-striping yarns, like this one made from a striped sweater, spun and plied with thread (it was used to knit my Freak Out! mask/hat):

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

And there’s a tutorial on how to chain ply (aka Navajo ply) recycled yarns, like I did with this cotton yarn, turning a striped sweater into a self-striping bulky yarn (used to make one of my Gentle on My Mind hat samples):

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

Another self-striping chain-plied yarn I made, shown before and after spinning, from a wool striped sweater (used to make a pair of Either/Or fingerless mitts):

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

And then here’s a different self-striping yarn I made from that same striped sweater yarn, plied with an angora recycled yarn (used to make my striped Wild is the Wind hat) – the ebook explains all the details.

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

There’s also a bit about making accessories out of parts of partially-deconstructed sweaters, like I did with these two items:

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

And there’s a new pattern included in the ebook!  I wasn’t planning on adding a new pattern to the Remixed collection, but I felt so bad about the long wait for the ebook, I thought a new pattern might help everyone to feel better (mainly myself, to ease the guilt feelings).  So, I kind of remixed my Scant top-down hat pattern, using that same construction and crown pattern, adding a brand new (sideways modular) brim.

Rejuvenation Rejuvenation

The hat is called Rejuvenation (on ravelry here), and it’s only available with the new ebook / the full Remixed collection, but it is included for you as a separate pdf file as well, for easy knitting.  It’s named after an album by The Meters:

Rejuvenation

This sample happens to be made from the two yarns recycled from the sweaters that those two accessories above also came from – a wool/cashmere blend, which was held triple-stranded to make a bulky weight for the hat, and bulky multi-colored yarns in very short lengths to make the scrappy-striped brim:

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

The pattern is for any weight/gauge, no swatching needed, custom sized, and it works very nicely with the brim in a contrasting color or not.  It would work with stripes/multi-colored yarns in either the body or the brim; it’s a simple enough design that it’s very versatile with what kinds of yarns you can use.  My other sample is all in one yarn, a spun recycled yarn, approximately aran weight:

There's a new hat pattern included in my Remixed yarn-making ebook! Rejuvenation uses the same measure-as-you-go top-down construction as my Scant pattern, with a brand new modular brim, which can be folded up or down. You could say it's a remix of an old Rejuvenation

Here’s what the yarn looked like; it’s the same yellow wool pictured above, spun and plied with a red angora-blend recycled yarn:

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

The hat can be worn different ways, brim up or down, spun around on the head in different positions.  You can see more photos and also read more details about the specifics of my samples on their ravelry project pages: bulky striped-brim sample, and plied yarn sample.

Rejuvenation Rejuvenation

So that’s an idea of what’s in the ebook.  You can find the table of contents and a preview of the first few pages here on my site, if you want to see exactly what’s included.

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

I’m hoping that it inspires knitters who never considered making recycled yarns, and helps make the process clear and manageable for everyone, all info needed in one easy-to-follow pdf.  If you want to try out making recycled yarn, but you’re overwhelmed by the messy expanse of free online tutorials and forums, this ebook is a way to get everything in one place, learn all the steps of recycled yarn-making from the beginning, read lots of detailed tips and info that will help you along the way, all illustrated by clear photos and lots of examples.

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

If you do use the ebook to make your own yarn, I’d LOVE to see it!  Use #remixedyarn on instagram, etc, and it would be awesome if you’d post your yarns in the leethal knitters! ravelry forums!!

Filed under: hats,knitting,Remixed,self-publishing,thrifty finds,yarn — Lee Meredith @ 12:58 pm

April 19, 2016

Second VIP club 2016 hat pattern: Omnia!

Omnia mystery hat

Here is Omnia (ravelry link), the second hat in the VIP club 2016 series of hat designs!  If you are a VIP club member, you have the pattern and have maybe even knit it already; if not, you can join the club right now, receive this pattern (and Provocateur) immediately, and get four more hat designs – all with different constructions! – throughout the year, every other month.  Also, mega discounts on ALL my patterns!!  Click here to join!

Omnia

Omnia is constructed from the top down, in the round, and it can be made in sport or worsted weight yarn, with different kinds of striping patterns making it look really different.  Above is a brown merino recycled yarn (approximately sport weight) with narrow stripes of Spincycle Dyed in the Wool.  Below is the same Spincycle self-striping yarn by itself:

Omnia

Here it is in Plymouth Galway Sport wool yarn, with four colors striped in 3-row wide stripes throughout the whole thing:

Omnia

Here’s a sample in worsted weight leftover scraps, lots of Malabrigo and assorted other yarns (they are all listed on my rav project page here if you’re interested):

Omnia

This subtly-striped sample is in two colorways of madelinetosh tosh merino worsted weight yarn, both of which are variegated and share a shade of teal, making the stripes really blend together:

Omnia

And my final sample is in Black Trillium Pebble Worsted (leftover from my Liy sample), with the 1×1 ribbing modification option included in the pattern.  Normally, just the brim is ribbed, but you can choose to make the whole hat ribbed for a slightly different look:

Omnia

Close up of the ribbed fabric:

Omnia

Another way to customize the look of your hat is the wavy bottom edge: if you make the brim very short, you’ll get a very wavy bottom edge, like the sample below, but if you want your bottom less wavy you can knit the ribbed brim for longer and the wave will be less dramatic, or disappear completely if you go extra long.

Omnia

As for sizing, this hat comes in three sizes for the sport weight gauge, two sizes for the worsted weight gauge, and three height options for every size (and then you can always add extra height to the bottom if it’s not long enough at the end).  All of my sport weight samples are the medium size, a perfect fit on my 22″ circumference head.  The above and below samples are both the short height, for a fitted hat.

Omnia

The below sample is the medium height, for a bit of slouchiness.  If you want lots of slouch, the long height will give you that!

Omnia

And then the worsted weight sizing is a bit versatile – the sample below is the smaller size, which fits my head snugly, in the short height.  It’s shorter than I’d like, and I may go back and add some more height at the bottom so I’ll wear it more, but I wanted to show it to you as is.  While this size stretches to fit me, it would be more comfy on a smaller head size:

Omnia

My ribbed sample is the larger worsted weight size, for a comfier fit on my head, in the short height:

Omnia

And my scrappy sample is the larger size, long height, for super extreme slouchiness!  It’s so long that I can fold up the ribbed brim at the bottom and still have plenty slouch, which is how I’ve been wearing it:

Omnia

Here’s a look at the top-down construction, starting with a very small circumference and increasing out, shown here with the magic loop method:

Omnia in progress

As for techniques, this hat is just increases and decreases, not much to it technique-wise, but it does use an uncommon increase method, the centered double increase.  I added a video tutorial and photo+written step-by-step tutorial to my website to go with the pattern – click here to find them.

screenshot of cdi tutorial

I also added a new video tutorial for weaving in the ends as you knit, which will come in very handy if you’re making your own stripes!

screenshot of weaving in end tutorial

Especially with a hat like the one below, with stripes in all different yarns, if you weave in all those ends as you knit around you’ll have very little finishing work when you’re done.  On this one, I carried the main color turquoise yarn down over the stripes, and weaved in the ends of each new color as I knit:

Omnia

As for design inspiration – my VERY old design Waving Chevron Scarf (ravelry link) uses the same concept of making wavy chevrons by moving the decreases back and forth, with just one chevron making the scarf:

waving chevron scarf

Ravelry user graphica made a gorgeous blanket version of this scarf (she has very detailed notes on her rav project page), repeating the pattern several times across, brilliant!  I used that concept, redesigned the stitch pattern with different kinds of increases and decreases to work better in a hat, and turned the idea into Omnia!

Omnia

I had lots of fun playing with different kinds of stripes in all my samples.  The striping pattern I used for the four-color hat below was designed so that I’d never have more than two yarns attached at a time, so I wouldn’t have to worry about four yarn balls getting all tangled up.

Omnia

Here’s how I did it (copied from my rav project page): I striped 3-row stripes, with 5 stripes of each color, overlapping with different colors at the beginning and the end of the 5 stripes.  So I started with (green, white) twice, then I switched the white with blue and striped (green, blue) three times, so now there were 5 stripes total of green and the striping pattern was established, so all I needed to do was switch each color to a new color whenever 5 stripes were completed.  I switched out the green with orange and striped (orange, blue) twice; now there were 5 stripes blue so I switched out the blue for white and did (orange, white) three times, so there were 5 stripes orange… once it’s established it’s easy to keep track of what’s happening.

Omnia

I actually knit this pattern nine times total (not counting partially frogging and reknitting); the Spincycle sample was completely knit and blocked, and it ended up not fitting – it was an early prototype and I hadn’t figured out all the sizing yet, so that ended up being the small size – so I frogged it, rewashed the yarn (pictured below), and started over.  This pattern was tricky to figure out the details, and I went into it thinking it was a pretty simple design, which is part of why I didn’t do enough swatching to figure things out in the first place before knitting complete hats.  That’s bad design planning on my part, I could have saved myself a lot of hat-knitting time by doing better planning in the first place.

yarn used for VIP club hat #2 samples

I knit two earlier prototypes to figure out the details which both ended up not being usable as samples. The first one, below to the left, in Classic Elite Yarns Liberty Wool self-striping worsted weight, was my first try at all the ideas, and ended up being very different from the final pattern.  It’s still unblocked because I’ll be frogging it to reuse the yarn; but I learned a lot from the trial and error of knitting it!

Omnia early prototype Omnia early prototype

My second try (above right) was in Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted Long Print LP, which is perfect for this pattern but discontinued, sadly; it’s pretty close to the final pattern, smaller worsted weight size, close to the long height, but it’s different enough to not be an official sample, although I probably won’t frog it because it is wearable.  (Both of these ran out of yarn around the bottom and were finished off in stripes of other yarns at the bottom.)

Omnia Omnia

If you want to see lots of different kinds of striping patterns besides my samples, VIP club knitters have lots of projects up on ravelry!  LOVE the variety of these projects!!

Omnia

The Spincycle Dyed in the Wool is such a great fit for this pattern, making for a really cool look, so different from normal stripes.  If you’re in Portland, I got my skein from my newest very local-to-me SE yarn shop, Starlight Knitting Society, where you’ll find a nice selection of this yarn!  My one skein made the full hat above, with enough left over to make the narrow stripes in the hat below:

Omnia

So that’s Omnia!  If you make it, please be sure to post your project photos on ravelry so we can all see what kinds of stripes you make!!  The next VIP club hat is coming in June, so you’ll learn the details about it on (or around) May 24th.  I hope you have lovely spring weather and lots of colorful flowers wherever you are!

Filed under: hats,knitting,leethal VIP club — Lee Meredith @ 1:41 pm

April 12, 2016

New pattern: Route 99!

Have you seen that there’s a brand new online knitting magazine? It’s called Stranded, and I have a pattern in the first issue!

Route 99

This is Route 99 (ravelry link), a fingering weight, modular, slip-stitch-colorwork, vintage turban style hat.

Route 99

These beautiful photos are from Stranded (copyright Andi Satterlund), which has 6 patterns, 2 tutorials (a knitting one by me, and a non-knitting craft tutorial), an interview with Cirilia Rose, and other fun knitting-related articles and content. The whole thing is $16, and it’s only available for one year so get it while you can! It’s here on ravelry.

Route 99

My main sample is the large size, knit to accommodate the model’s fabulous hair, so it’s a bit too large on me, but you can see here how it can be worn different ways with the panel in different places around the head:

Route 99 Route 99

Because of how this one is too big, I think it actually looks best on me with the panel in the back, turning it into a kind-of-bonnet style look:

Route 99

The yarn used, Spud & Chloë Fine fingering weight wool/silk blend, is a perfect fit, with the silk adding a bit of drape for the scrunched-in shaping.

Route 99

My first prototype sample can show you how the pattern looks in a more fitted size (this is size medium), in a different kind of yarn (100% wool Made in America Yarns Wayfarer), and in a different kind of colorway:

Route 99

Again, how it can be worn in different ways…

Route 99 Route 99

And also how it looks with different kinds of hair! Below are from my first round of photos, back when I first made this prototype about a year ago:

Route 99 Route 99

Which brings me back to the design process… The hat was inspired by looking at Art Deco designs, and combining the stitch patterning ideas with an idea for a turban-style hat, like styles that were popular in the 20’s and 30’s, and again in the 60’s and 70’s.

Route 99

The construction is using the same modular concept as my Unbroken hat design (below left), but with different shaping/ratios so that the panel really cinches in the body of the hat, making the turban shape. The modular sections are joined with short rows, increases, and decreases, so there are no picked up stitches, and no seaming.

Unbroken hat! Route 99

The stitch patterning is entirely made with slipped stitches and cables, so you’re only ever using one yarn at a time.

Route 99

There are three sizes – small, medium, large (measurements are given in the pattern) – but the circumference and the height are made independently, which means you can mix and match your circumference size with a different height size if you want to. The samples shown are large/large and medium/medium; if you have a bigger head circumference than I do but you don’t want your hat to come down quite as much as the orange one does on the model, you can make the large circumference with the medium height, for example.

Route 99

I thought this hat would be a good fit for Stranded’s warm weather issue, which has a road trip theme, because it’s not a super warm hat – it’s perfect for just covering up a bad hair day, keeping your hair in place while driving with the windows down, or throwing in your bag in case you need a little warmth after the sun sets. It’s also a great summertime knit since it’s a small project in lightweight yarn.

Route 99

I also contributed a tutorial to this first issue of Stranded, on cabling without a cable needle, which I definitely recommend using when making this hat!

A few quick technical things:

  • I strongly recommend using the crochet provisional cast-on technique shown here (click for tutorial & video).
  • It is very highly recommended that your darker color is the MC, lighter color CC.
  • The pattern only gives the gauge in the stitch pattern; so that you can estimate if your yarn/needles will be a good fit, my stockinette stitch gauge in the same yarn/needles was 27.5 sts and 34 rows per 4 inches / 10 cm.
  • Markers are used throughout the pattern to keep track of everything; sometimes they are placed and then not mentioned again – they are there to either keep track of pattern repeats/segments, or increases/decreases which always happen on the other side of the marker from the rest of the row stitches.
  • The whole pattern is written and charted; the cable crosses are all written out for using a cable needle but it will go much more quickly if you cable without one (well, it won’t go quickly no matter what, but you know, it’ll be really extra slow if you’re using a cable needle for all those little cables).

Route 99

So that’s Route 99! This pattern is really outside my usual design boxes, with its lightweight colorwork, but I am SO happy with how it turned out and I REALLY love the hat. It’s not a quick or simple knit, it takes awhile – Stranded describes it as “approachably complex” – but I think the time and effort is worth it for the finished object. I hope you do too!

Filed under: hats,knitting — Lee Meredith @ 7:30 am

February 15, 2016

First VIP club 2016 hat pattern: Provocateur!

Provocateur!

The first leethal VIP club hat mini-mystery-knit-a-long happened early this month, beginning on February 2nd and (the mystery) ending last Tuesday the 9th.  The KAL continues a bit, as knitters can still post their projects to the forums, since a one-week KAL is so quick, but there’s no more mystery.  The hat, Provocateur (ravelry link), looks like this!

Provocateur

It’s constructed sideways, knit flat, with short rows making the crown shaping, decreases along the bottom and staggered increases making the bias design, with cables flaring down diagonally from their starting points squished together at the top.

Provocateur

It’s designed for worsted-aran weight yarns, with three different gauges making for three heights.  My grey sample (below) is the largest gauge, using Cestari Traditional Collection 2 Ply aran weight yarn, for the tallest/slouchiest height; my orange sample (above) is the medium gauge, using Harrisville Designs Highland worsted weight yarn, for a semi-slouchy height.

Provocateur

There are three different circumferences given, which vary depending on gauge/height (all details are included in the pattern), but you can also customize your circumference by stopping at any time, making it custom fit to your head by trying it on as you go.  Both of my samples are worked to the medium circumference row count, which is a medium circumference in the orange (medium-gauge) sample, and a kind of large or medium/large circumference in the grey (large-gauge) sample, for an extra loose, slouchy hat.

Provocateur

The whole pattern is written and charted, so knitters can work from whichever is easier for their brains.  The project starts with a provisional cast-on (instructions included), and ends with a 3-needle bind-off to seam the two edges together, which creates a pretty much invisible seam in the garter stitch, as you can see below.

Provocateur

I have tutorials for cabling without a cable needle here on my website, which will make the project go much more quickly!  The cables are basic – 2 front stitches twisting left over 1, 2, and 3 back stitches – but there are seven cables on every single right side row for awhile.  The rows go more quickly in the second half, as the cables hit the bottom edge and there are six, then five, then four, then three cables per row.

Provocateur

I recommend using either the shadow wraps or the German short rows method for the short rows – I have tutorials for both on my website here – because of how you’ll need to sometimes work wrapped stitches into cables.  I used shadow wraps on one sample and German short rows on the other, and they both worked well for me.

Provocateur

It’s meant to be worn this way, with the seam over the right ear, so that the cables shoot down from the top in front, and then are spread out in the back which helps the back slouch down nicely.  I am REALLY happy with how this pattern turned out – one of my favorite hats I’ve designed!

Provocateur

This pattern will continue to be a part of the leethal VIP club, going out to all new members, throughout the whole year.  Five more hat patterns will go out to club members, one every other month – they will all have different kinds of constructions, and different techniques and stuff.  Provocateur will be released for individual sale a year after its initial release, so in February 2017.

Provocateur

Check out all the awesome Provocateurs on ravelry to see what it looks like in different kinds of yarns, colors, sizes, etc.  I love them all!  And sign up for the club (on ravelry here) if you haven’t already, to get this pattern immediately and then the other five hats in time to join the knit-a-longs.  This first one has been so much fun!!

Filed under: hats,knit-a-longs,knitting,leethal VIP club — Lee Meredith @ 4:59 pm

January 1, 2016

Happy 2016! Now I can reveal the leethal VIP club!

I brainstormed this idea late last summer I think, got super excited, and then was bummed I couldn’t actually do anything about it because I wanted it to be a full calendar year thing, and now hey, it’s the start of the calendar year!  The time is finally here!!  Introducing my BIG 2016 THING:

club-graphic

So here’s the deal.  If you sign up to be a club member, you get…

  • 6 hat patterns spread throughout the year (as mini-mystery-knit-a-longs, in the ravelry group)
  • 20% off ALL my self-published patterns ever released
  • 50% off all brand new patterns self-published in 2016, for the first week
  • extra club member treats in your inbox

The whole shebang is $20, for the full year membership.  Or rather, the 2016 membership (no matter when you sign up, it ends at the end of the year).  Sign up through ravelry, or my website, but be logged into ravelry so that the discounts will work.  I’ll give all the fine-print details below (also given on the webpage, and included in the club pdf that you’ll get when you sign up).  But before I do that, there is already one club treat you’ll get immediately!

IMG_8022-1200pxedit

The first club treat is this vintage knitting coloring book calendar, with drawings of photos from vintage knitting magazines, mostly of the 60’s and 70’s.

IMG_8090-1200edit

I made the drawings by tracing the outlines of the photos on a lightbox, turning them into these coloring book style line drawings.  The knits are perfect for coloring!

IMG_8050-1200edit

Print out the 6 pages (2 months per page), and color them in, either all at once or as each month arrives.  I did these pages with colored pencils (top page) and markers (page below):

IMG_8014-1200pxedit

And there’s a bonus!  I had one extra drawing that didn’t really fit with the rest, as it had a more 40’s kind of vibe (the photo was from a 1951 knitting booklet), so I made it into a free-to-all 1-page calendar pdf, downloadable from my downloads page here.

IMG_8100-1200edit 2016freecalendar-tn copy

Other club treats throughout the year may include things similar to this (coloring or coloring-adjacent kinds of activities), and/or tutorial-type things like mini craft projects, recipes, mini-knitting-patterns… I have lots of vague ideas but the extras will basically be things that I get inspired to make in the moment.  If one day I suddenly have an idea for something fun I want to share, there’s an extra for you!  Spur of the moment inbox goodies!

me-2-colored

By contrast, the hat patterns are pretty well planned out already.  The 6 hat patterns, released at the beginning of every other month throughout the year (the first Tuesdays of February, April, June, August, October, December) will all have different constructions from each other, and they will use a variety of techniques.  Cables will be reoccurring, but not used in every pattern.  Yarn weights will vary; most likely, none of these patterns will be fully any-gauge, but some will have multiple gauge options, or be adjustable based on gauge, or have some other variations/options.  These will be more straightforward patterns than I often write though, meant to be fun quick projects without too much extra thinking required.

The first hat, to be released February 2nd, will use worsted weight yarn (my yarn is pictured below).  There is already a ravelry page up, since that’s required in order to be able to sell the club membership (which is technically sold as an “ebook”), but normally the hat pattern pages won’t go up until their release days.  I will give yarn requirement info to club members (and post it on the club page) a couple of weeks before release, so that everyone can get ready to cast on right away when the patterns are released.

DSC_5632-edit-crop

On each hat’s release day, the pdf will be released without photos, for a mini-mystery-knit-a-long, for the first week.  The whole pattern will be there, just no photos.  The knit-a-long will happen in the leethal knitters! ravelry group.  After one week, the pattern (and ravelry page) will be updated with photos.

To keep the mini-mystery-KAL’s mysterious, there are placeholder pictures on the club page you can use as your top project photos, and there will be new ones added with each hat release as well (please don’t put a photo of your hat at the top for that first week); there will be spoiler and spoiler-free KAL threads for each hat’s week of mystery.

The hats will only be available to club members throughout the year, not individually.  In 2017, the patterns will continue to be available as a collection/ebook, at the same price as the club, but without the membership discounts and extras.  1 year after the original release date of each pattern, it will be made available for individual sale.

me-3-colored

And now for some details about the discounts.  (There are a few more fine print details on the club page, so if you have a question, or if you run into an issue, it might be addressed there.)

You must be logged into ravelry at time of club membership purchase (and future pattern purchases) for the discounts to work.  If you don’t have a ravelry account, it’s free to get one, and you don’t have to use it for anything else, just be logged in and the discounts will happen automatically.

The 20% off all my patterns includes all self-published patterns, ebooks, and collections, purchased through my website or ravelry.  The discount will automatically be applied (no coupon code needed).  The only patterns this doesn’t include are by third party publishers and collaborations, so Meridian by Twist Collective, Unbroken by Holla Knits, Galax by Interweave, etc, and the In Triplicate patterns (because they are in a collaboration).

The 50% off new patterns is for the first week of release, and only applies to brand new patterns which were not previously available for pre-order.  After 1 week they will be 20% off like all other self-published patterns.  The discount will automatically be applied (no coupon code needed).

The half off doesn’t include patterns that could be pre-ordered before 2016 because it just wouldn’t be fair to everyone who already pre-ordered the patterns – this means the Triyang collection shawls, and the third pattern in the Full Body Trio.  Patterns which were previously released by a third party, and are newly self-published may or may not be eligible for the 50% discount, depending on specifics – it will be announced either way at time of re-release.  Basically, if it wasn’t available to purchase previously, and I’m under no pricing obligations to a third party, the discount will apply, but there might be outside reasons why it can’t, so if I’m able to discount a pattern to club members, I will.

Note to blog readers:  Things in my life have been changing a bit lately, and I’m not sure exactly how 2016 will go, which means I might not have a lot of design time beyond the 6 club hats.  I have plans/ideas for two collections (a smaller one and a bigger one) that I really want to release in 2016, but I can’t guarantee they are going to get done.  So, my point is, don’t expect the half off discount to have tons of opportunities to be used throughout the year… I’m hoping for around like 10 patterns besides the hats, but I might be overly hopeful about that.

The discounts will not work with gift pattern purchases.  This means 2 things.  1) If you are a club member, and you use ravelry’s “send as gift” button to gift a pattern to another knitter, your club discount will not be applied.  2) If you gift the club membership to another knitter, they will get the hat patterns and the treats, but the discounts will not work for them.  However, in that case, the discounts will work for you, and you are free to use them.

There will be no limited-time sales offered on my patterns throughout the year, with one possible exception of the holiday gift-a-long, but only new 2016 patterns will be offered in the GAL sale (if I do it), so only patterns which members had the chance to get at 50%.  I’m kind of burnt out on sales, so I’m opting to skip them this year (no birthday sale, etc) and do this club system instead.  Of course, the 50% discounts are limited-time, but tied into the release of a new pattern, which is already being promoted and talked about and stuff.  Anyway, we’ll see how it all goes.

me-4-colored

And a few other club details.

Hat knit-a-longs and other club chatter will all happen in the leethal knitters! ravelry group.

Use #leethalVIP with any club stuff posted to social media! (And if you want to pin it, there’s a custom-for-pinterest image on the webpage!)

Everything (new hat patterns, pattern updates, information about what yarn you’ll need, extra treats) will be sent to members through pattern updates, with notifications sent to email inboxes and ravelry message boxes (you can turn off the notifications from going to your email inbox from within any of the update notification emails, if you check ravelry often and don’t want them in both places).

I think that’s enough for this word-heavy post.  Post any questions you might have about the club in the comments here, or, better yet, in the ravelry group so everyone can read the answers there.  I’m really excited about this whole club situation; I am absolutely LOVING the first club hat design and can’t wait to share it with you!  I’ll blog the club patterns here each after the mystery week is over, and of course show them off on instagram and stuff.  Sign up now to maximize your membership and get your calendar right away; oh and, if you color your calendar pages and show them off, be sure to use #leethalVIP because I’d love to see your coloring!!  Happy new year! <3

Filed under: hats,knit-a-longs,knitting,leethal store,leethal VIP club,self-publishing — Lee Meredith @ 12:01 am

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!

November 20, 2015

In Triplicate 1-color pattern: Directrix

Quick unrelated note for if you’re reading this post when it’s new:  The Indie Design Gift-a-Long just started, and it runs through the end of the year; you can get 20 of my patterns for 25% off through November 27th.  See the GAL ravelry group for details (and to see patterns by all 335 participating designers!) and check out my gift-a-long bundle on my designer page to see my on-sale patterns; ALL my patterns are eligible for gift-a-long knitting!!

Directrix, by Lee

And now for the final of my 3 In Triplicate patterns: Directrix the 1-color hat.  (The first two were Transversal 2-color wrap, blogged here, and Incenter 3-color mittens, blogged here, and the full 9-pattern collaborative collection was blogged here.)  Directrix is a really fun modular knit, with a squishy garter stitch base.

Directrix, by Lee

It works well with a pom-pom, which you can use to add a pop of some other color(s) if you want to!

pom-poms!

We had fun putting different pom-poms on all the In Triplicate hats – we made a bunch and let all the hats try on different ones during the photoshoot.  (See Line Segment and Lemma hats to see all the poms!)

Directrix, by Lee

Directrix is sized to be able to pull it down for maximum ear/forehead warmth, or to wear more slouched back, which works great with a pom-pom.  The height is totally adjustable, if you want to add more slouch height, or subtract a bit of height so it wears more fitted to the head.  And the circumference has three sizes – my sample is a size medium.

Directrix, by Lee

Since the bottom chevron section is worked sideways, you can try it on around your head to know when you’ve reached your ideal size, stretching it more if you want a snug fit, or stretching less if you want a looser, slouchier kind of fit.

Directrix, by Lee

The chevron pattern is made with increases and decreases, to make the bias garter stitch base, and slipped stitches to make the raised chevron lines – no cables, just slips!  You’ll pull the yarn tightly across the back when slipping to make the stitches pop up off the base like that.  Using a semi-solid kind of colorway is ideal, so that the color shows the movement of the garter stitch lines, going the opposite way from the chevron lines.

Directrix, by Lee

The hat is made modularly with no picked up stitches or seaming!  Start with a provisional cast-on, work the sideways section with stitches left along the top edge for later; when you reach your size, close it up with a 3-needle bind-off, then work around those top edge stitches, and in the round from there up to the top.

Directrix in multi-colors

I had some extra leftovers of my In Triplicate yarns, so I decided to make another Directrix in multiple colors, as an experiment – I think it worked out very well!  I added pink and yellow stripes to the grey base in the first section: rows 29&4 in pink, rows 5&6 in yellow, and rows 7&8 in pink, on every repeat.  I weaved (wove?) in the ends as I knit, to prevent so much ends-weaving finishing work.

3-color Directrix

And then I switched every row between grey and pink throughout the body and crown sections – the all-knit rows in grey, and the rows with purls in pink.  (All these notes are in my ravelry project page, in case you want to use them later.)  I took a few quickie snapshots after blocking it:

Directrix in multi-colors Directrix in multi-colors

This is the size large, so it’s comfortably loose on me, but not too big, since it’s nicely stretchy.  If you want a REALLY large size hat, I’d recommend going up to worsted/aran weight, since this large size in DK weight is not super large.  (Pattern includes sizing/measurement info.)

Directrix in multi-colors Directrix in multi-colors

I love how the crown looks in the 2 colors.  As you can see, it can be worn more pulled down, or more slouched back, but I think it would really benefit from a pom-pom weighing it down a bit in the slouched back position.  I might need to add one!

Directrix, by Lee

So that’s Directrix, and that concludes my In Triplicate blog posts!  I also posted a mini-tumblr-post here about yarn trio choices; and you can see the Blue Moon Fiber Arts post about the collection here, and Shannon’s posts here (whole collection) and here (her patterns)!

Directrix, by Lee

Oh but wait, now that you’ve seen everything, a little more about yarn-usage.  With my 3 skeins of Blue Moon Gaea Sport, I made my 3 sample items + the extra Directrix (all below), plus those 3 big pom-poms pictured above, plus I had enough left of the pink for another hat, and a good chunk still left over (more pom-poms?).  That’s A LOT of items out of 3 skeins of yarn (they are large skeins!).

In Triplicate! Directrix in multi-colors

You get 10% off your order of 3 skeins of the yarn when you buy the collection, in your choice of any 3 colors (see lots of gorgeous options here – some of my favorites are shown below) through January; use the 3 skeins to make up to EIGHT of the In Triplicate patterns!  The collection includes some spreadsheets of different ways you can maximize your yarn if you want to nerd out with planning your projects.  You can also just start knitting, and keep making project after project after project until it runs out.  Be adventurous with adding stripes to things or using multiple colors in different ways in order to truly maximize every last bit!

BMFA Yarn Trios for In Triplicate

Our In Triplicate holiday knit-a-long (in the ravelry group) will begin in December, so get your yarn ready, share your color choices with the group, and post your projects to win prizes later on!  (You can totally make In Triplicate projects for the gift-a-long and cross-post them to the In Triplicate KAL!)  I can’t wait to see your color choices!!

Filed under: collaborations,hats,knit-a-longs,knitting,yarn — Lee Meredith @ 1:29 pm

November 12, 2015

In Triplicate!

New collection!  In Triplicate is a collaboration between me, Star Athena, Shannon Squire, and Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  There are 9 patterns, and they are all designed in the same yarn – Gaea Sport – in the same 3 colorways (Ochroid, Mica, and Lover’s Leap).

In Triplicate collection

I will be posting about each of my 3 patterns separately (left column above: Directrix, TransversalIncenter); today, I’ll just tell you the story of how our collection was built…

But first, I will say some basics: each of the 3 of us got 1 skein of each of the 3 colors – these skeins are LARGE (560 yards each).  We used our 3 skeins to design 3 things; we all ended up with leftovers after our initial 3 samples were done.  So, you can get 3 skeins of your own and use the collection to make MANY of the things!  We even included a page of spreadsheets that show you how to maximize your yarn – if you plan carefully, you can make up to EIGHT of the items with the 3 skeins!  Or, you can skip the careful planning, make a bunch of hats and mitts no problem, and then see about squeezing out a neck thing with whatever you have left; or make your favorite neck thing first, as big as you want, then use the rest to make some hats/mitts.  Point is, with the 3 skeins and 9 patterns, you can make lots of things… I have this vision of knitters making something for every member of their family with the same 3 colors, different items for each person, but all matching/coordinating, and it’s so cute in my head!  You should do it, and take a holiday photo with everyone wearing their things, and post a comment here to show me because I want to see how cute you are!

Okay I went off on a matching-knitwear fantasy there, sorry about that… So, yeah, maximize your yardage, make all the things.

In Triplicate!

The full 9-pattern collection is $20, and each individual pattern is available solo for $5.  They are all in the Gaea Sport, which is actually a DK weight yarn (according to ravelry – I think it even knits up like a light worsted, but I guess light worsted is basically the same as DK, right? Oh, yarn weight labels, so arbitrary!).

If you buy the collection before December 15th, it will include a 10% off coupon code for 3 skeins of Gaea Sport, in your choice of any 3 colors!  Aaaand, there will be a knit-a-long starting in December, with prizes to be won, in our new In Triplicate ravelry group!  (Side note: if you’re a Gift-a-Long knitter, the collection patterns will be eligible for that as well!)

In Triplicate!

Now, more about what In Triplicate is, and how it came to be!  Shannon, Star, and I each designed a head accessory, a hand accessory, and a neck accessory.  One of each of these is in 1 color, 1 is in 2 colors, and 1 is in 3 colors – that goes for both the 3 designs by one designer, and for the 3 designs of one accessory type.

THIS is the idea that Star, Vivian Aubrey (pictured below with me), and I came up with oh so many years ago (5 years? I think?) on a day trip to Black Sheep Fiber Festival in Eugene (I mentioned it very briefly here).  During lunch and in the car ride, we excitedly developed this idea – I think we even drew up a spreadsheet on a napkin over pizza.  Well, we might not have actually drawn it on a napkin (it was probably a notebook), but there was definitely pizza, I remember that!

Me + Vivian!

So, that was back when Vivian was designing more, and we three were planning to make this happen for several years, until finally one day this spring Star and I got talking about it, and we knew Vivian wouldn’t mind us rolling with it because she had really gone off and become an awesome knitwear photographer and hadn’t been focusing on designing in years… When we started building the collection this year, we had planned to have the photography done by Vivian, but due to jam-packed schedules and deadlines we sadly were not able to make that happen.  This was a bummer, but we so appreciate Vivian’s original part in the concept development!!

Vivian + Star!

After we got the okay from Vivian to go off and find a new third designer, we immediately knew our first choice was Shannon, local Portland designer and long-time knitting scene buddy of ours.  So we arranged a secret meeting (I think Star texted her something like, “we have a proposition for you”), and she was instantly on board!

In Triplicate!

Next was deciding on a yarn – a big decision since the entire collection would be in the same yarn!  We wanted to love it, we wanted it we be pretty versatile, have beautiful colorways, and we were really hoping it could be local… It just so happens that Shannon (Star too, actually) had worked a ton with Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts, which fit ALL the criteria!  So that decision ended up being super easy!  Tina was immediately on board as well, and she met up with us at Shannon’s house with an enormous box of colors.

color trios for In Triplicate collection

We had pretty much the BEST time ever playing with yarn colors for hours, trio-ing (like pairing, but with threes, right?) the colors up.  There were about 100 colors total, and we just started grouping them into sets of three:

color trios for In Triplicate collection

And then we twisted all the trios together:

color trios for In Triplicate collection

I really love colors.  This was an excellent way to spend an afternoon, I am not exaggerating at all, seriously, best time.  We made dozens of trio combos – these were our favorites:

yarn trio possibilities for In Triplicate

Update! A Blue Moon blog post just went up with much better photos of all our favorite color combos, and I put up a tumblr post of my personal favorites here!

The point was to make lots of fun combos that would work well, so we could show you ideas for your own color threesomes, and also to find our #1 favorite, to actually use for the whole collection.  Well, sometime near the beginning of the process, someone, Star? – that whole afternoon is really kind of a blur, I think I was high on color? – held up these three together, and they just POPPED.

color trios for In Triplicate collection

Like, magic.  All four of us were like, whoa, yes, I never would have thought “let’s do our collection in yellow, grey, and HOT pink” but dude, you guys, these three colors look AMAZING together.  I even documented when Shannon twisted them together for the first time, above, because we knew, these are our colors.

In Triplicate yarns!

So that was it.  None of our couple dozen other combos could beat it – of course, there were many that we REALLY loved, but we had our pick.  One of the best things about this collection’s release will be getting to see the patterns worked up in totally different colorways!  I’d love to see the designs in something like orange, aqua, and olive green… or black, white, and grey… or red, turquoise, and light grey… If you choose three colors with one being neutral-ish, one being really bright, and the third kind of a muted color, you have yourself a color trio!  So many possibilities!

In Triplicate yarns!

So next, we designed and knit the things!  We had tea meetings, brainstorming email chains, late-night texts, problems to be solved… the collaboration process was so cool!  I’m such a solo worker normally, it was great to have other people’s ideas bouncing around with mine, changing my design directions, giving me focus with my designs, so that the collection could really be cohesive and not just 9 random patterns.

In triplicate

When we first started, we were just like… 3 accessories, 3 colors, we’ll see where it goes… but then once we had some ideas sketched and swatched, we starting seeing common threads and rolling with that.  So we ended up with a few design themes: geometry-inspiration (bold lines and shapes, stuff like that), slipped stitches, garter stitch, texture.  Not all 9 patterns have all these elements, but they show up over and over throughout the collection.

In Triplicate!

Once we had our designs/samples done, or nearly done, it was time to figure out more collection specifics.  We decided not do a print version, and to release the collection as 9 individual pdfs (instead of an actual 1-file ebook) – we’re planning on having the collection be available as a collection through the end of 2016, and then we’ll just each have our own individual patterns available.  We divvied up the tasks, and I acted as graphic designer for the collection – here’s a glimpse at a pattern cover.  I made a custom In Triplicate font!

In Triplicate pdf preview

Star made drawings and doodles to use throughout all the patterns – both knitting and geometry themed.  They add so much awesomeness to the patterns!  LOVE them!

In Triplicate pdf peek

Early on, we grabbed the domain name intriplicatecollection.com on an impulse, but then kind of realized we didn’t really need it, since the collection would just exist on ravelry… but we had it, so, I took Star’s drawings and threw this webpage together just for fun!  It’ll just exist during the time that the collection is available; go check it out!

In Triplicate webpage screenshot

With everything almost ready for release, it was photoshoot time!  We gathered at Portland State University to get some good vaguely geometry-themed backgrounds, and with me as the main photographer and my husband as assistant, we modeled the heck out of our designs!

In Triplicate! In Triplicate! In Triplicate!

In Triplicate! In Triplicate! In Triplicate!

In Triplicate! In Triplicate! In Triplicate!

Of course there was other boring stuff involved, like LOTS of editing – we all edited each others’ patterns first, then sent them off to a pro tech editor to make them as perfect as possible.  It was fun building the pdfs because I got to see how different we 3 designers are.  My patterns are the longest (but not CRAZY long like some of my older patterns – these range 5-8 pages total) even though I thought I was trying to design simple things, comparatively simple I guess.  It’s just how my designing mind works.  None of my patterns are hard though, really!  They just have multiple sections and stuff that takes up a bit of space… they are all really fun to make!  Anyway…

In Triplicate!

I’ll show you my designs in detail next week.  Do check out the others though!  I love all 9 patterns, but I really especially love Shannon’s Trisectrix shawl (big holes and asymmetry!), the texture of Shannon’s Point of Symmetry mitts and Star’s Lemma hat, and the smart+creative simplicity of Star’s Abscissa mitts.

In Triplicate!

I can’t wait to start seeing In Triplicate knits popping up – be sure to post photos in your ravelry projects so we can admire them!  Happy knitting, times three!

Filed under: collaborations,hats,knitting,self-publishing,yarn — Lee Meredith @ 1:25 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 3, 2015

News, timelines, and lots of design process ramblings

News for Oregonians!  For the first time this year, I’ll be teaching at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in Canby – and registration deadline is very soon!  Register online by this Saturday (Sept 5th) to ensure your spot.  If you miss that deadline, you can still come and sign up in person at the event, but you risk there not being space left.

leethal hats

I’m teaching No-Pattern Hat Knitting; I’ll teach you how to make 3 different kinds of hats with constructions that allow you to size it to your head as you knit, in any weight/gauge.  I taught this class at Knit Fit! in Seattle last year and it was great!  I’m excited to teach it again!  My class is Friday September 25th in the afternoon slot.

Damn I've made a lot of hats! This is just a small percentage, for class examples. Excited to teach no-pattern hat knitting for the first time, at @knitfitseattle !

And another thing for more northern Pacific Northwest knitters – I won’t actually be at Knit Fit! this year, but my Game Knitting night will be!  This year’s movie is Clueless so I’m bummed to be missing it, but you should go and have tons of fun without me!!

Game Knitting night has begun!!

So, I don’t use this blog a ton anymore these days… I figure it kind of exists for followers of my work who want to keep up with what I’m up to, and as a place to talk in more detail about new designs and stuff.  It’s been quite a busy year, and is continuing to be, so how about I use this space to tell you all about what’s up with me, and you can read it all the way to the bottom if you’re interested… and I’ll tell you a few more newsy things up front.  I don’t have a big vision for this blog in the long term, but for now, right now, I feel like rambling on a bit about my year and design work, so I’m going to do that, and I’ll continue to announce new patterns as they come, and if there’s some random tutorial or project here and there that I find the time to post, I will, but yeah, mostly just the rambling and the announcements.

full body trio image triyang collection image adventure 3 cover page Remixed collection image

I want to address some things you may have pre-ordered from me, to let you know they are not forgotten and give you a general timeline.

  • Full Body Trio.  Tionne, the first pattern, was released last fall, Lopes came in the spring, and the final pattern (Chilli) was originally meant for the end of this year.  My original design idea was for a piece that was a warm layer for winter/fall, so that was my plan… but I did some rethinking on the design this year, a new idea popped into my head, and the concept evolved into a springy (possibly summery) kind of garment.  So, that is staying on hold for awhile longer – planned release is now early spring of next year.
  • Triyang collection.  Nothing new to say about that, but I’ll just repeat here that I plan/hope to get the other 3 patterns out by the end of this year.
  • Adventure Knitting 3.  The ebook is complete, has been for awhile, so if you buy it digitally you’re all set.  But the print book (like the first 2 have) is on hold for a little awhile because I just flat out ran out of time; I needed to get caught up on deadline projects first, then I’ll get that book together and hopefully have it released in time to make a good holiday gift possibility :)
  • Remixed.  This is my big guilty weight on my shoulders.  The pattern collection was complete several years ago, and the recycled-yarn-making ebook is still in progress.  I feel terrible about this, and I learned big lessons about how to plan long-term projects going forward… I keep planning/trying to squeeze it in between other things, but there ends up not being time enough to complete it.  It really is getting there, and my plan as of right now is to basically spend January on this ebook, like top priority for that entire month (unfortunately, there is no sooner month with time available).  As for the patterns, I have a huge update in the works, which I almost finished last spring and then wasn’t able to do the final steps, and I really hope to find the 2-3 days needed to focus on that and get it done and released – this will be all 8 pattern pdfs in a modified format to take up WAY fewer pages, more in line with my current pdf style, and edited/updated to just be better patterns generally.  Also, when the patterns are updated and the ebook is finally released, the price of the whole collection will be going up a bit, so ordering now will save a few bucks.

Okay, that’s that.  Now I’ll tell you all about what I’ve been up to, design-wise, for the last almost-year…

Last fall, there was a submission call for a publication that spoke to me – I immediately started brainstorming and came up with 2 different design ideas I loved, which I thought fit the call really well.  I put a ton of work into designing both patterns pretty thoroughly, and sent in my submission.  Unfortunately, the call got an overwhelming number of submissions (it’s a popular publication) and mine didn’t make the cut.

original Twou as a submission idea

original Twou as a submission idea original Twou as a submission idea

Which was totally okay with me, because during the proposal-making process, I’d thought and brainstormed, and ended up realizing, hey, this one design, the construction is awesome and super versatile, it would actually make for a perfect collection!  That design ended up becoming Twou – the lace design in the Triyang collection.  The big gold swatch in that photo was the design swatch for that proposal.  Twou will be a bit different (heavier weight yarn for one thing) but that was the beginning of the Triyang collection design process.  As soon as it didn’t get in there, I started planning the collection around the construction, deciding to do it similarly to the Betiko collection, a garter stitch, any-gauge pattern, and then lace, cabled, and colorwork designs in the same construction.  But unlike the patterns in the Betiko collection, I decided to just do one version per pattern, just a single gauge pattern for each of the non-garter designs.  I was super excited to get the ball rolling on this… but needed to work on other things first that were already rolling.  So, I’d get back to that collection plan in 2015 (this planning ahead after the proposal was still happening in late fall of last year).

So then, there was that other submission – remember how I said I proposed 2 different pattern ideas?  Shortly after that proposal didn’t work out, I saw another call for submissions for another publication, for which the second design idea fit perfectly!  The first proposal was for fingering weight, and this one was for worsted (or, based on the call, I wanted to change the design to worsted), so I made a new swatch and sent in that proposal… and didn’t hear back… and pretty much forgot about it… until earlier this year, I found out they’d held onto the design for a later issue from the one I’d submitted to, and it was picked up for that one, yay!

And, even though it’s not out yet, I can actually tell you what it’s going to be in, and show you a photo of it, because it was revealed in the fall issue of Interweave Knits!  (And online too.)  So yeah, this pattern will be in the Gifts issue of Interweave, coming out pretty soon!

Ohmygosh I was flipping through the new Interweave Knits fall issue and did a double take! This is my design!! It's shown on pages 3 and 4, with the featured needle set. It will be in the Gifts issue this fall!

So, that was designed and knit and everything in early spring of this year, around the same time I was designing and knitting Lopes.  And around the same time I’d originally been hoping to be designing the entire Triyang collection… I had this whole plan at the beginning of the year, which involved the then-unnamed triangle shawl collection being released in the spring, before the Adventure Knit-a-long launched.  Well, the theme of my life pretty much is things always take SO MUCH more time than I expect/want them to… Zulo took a ton of extra time, throwing off my early spring, and then Lopes did as well, and since that new Interweave pattern was thrown into the timeline, by the time I actually got going designing Triyang, it was already getting really close to the time of year I wanted to release the whole collection.

And then, like I mentioned in my Triyang post, I ended up spending WAY more time than expected swatching out versions of the shawl shape, trying to get it just right and figure out how to write the pattern, etc, etc.  So by the time I was actually ready to knit the samples, and figure out stitch patterns for the other collection patterns and stuff, it was late April, and I had to make some choices.  I could really try to get the whole collection out as planned, as quickly as possible, before the Adventure KAL, and then the KAL would have to happen in late summer, possibly like really late summer.  I didn’t want to do that – I wanted the KAL to happen in early-mid summer, and I knew trying to get the collection out pre KAL (which still needed to be designed at this point!) would risk things taking longer than expected and the KAL getting bumped even more… it just wasn’t going to work.

Oh, and then, kind of a tangent, there were a couple of other designs thrown into the mix right around this time of the year.  I worked really hard (spending way too much time, once again) on a publication proposal in May, cutting into that Triyang designing time.  And I did a design for a third party in June (a secret one, pixelated below, which will be revealed probably in a few weeks), which again lengthened my timeline on self-publishing plans.  Of course, I take on all these projects because I want to, and I love doing them, I just kind of am terrible at planning realistic timelines for myself.

I knit at a shipwreck yesterday! #wwkipday #placeswhereyoucanknit

I made my decision, got Triyang and the collection in general (especially Twou, which already had a lot of work put into it) into a state where I’d kind of worked through everything that was in-process in my brain and in notes, wrote up the whole pattern in as complete a format as possible, so that I could put the whole thing on hold for a few months, and I’d be able to pick it back up where I left off no problem.  (Putting a design on hold and coming back to it later is normally pretty risky, since you might not remember little things that you hadn’t thought were worth writing down at the time, or you might not be able to decipher your own notes, or just not being in the same headspace as before can hurt the design…)  During this first run of Triyang collection designing, I made alllll the swatches I mentioned last week, figuring out ratios and everything, all the design details, for the Triyang pattern, which would relate to the whole collection… lots of notes were taken.

Triyang notebook pages Triyang notebook pages

Since Twou had been semi-designed for that submission, I did more swatching in the new heavier weight gauge, made some stitch pattern decisions, and got that pattern basically done, to come back and knit the sample later.  Twou will be in Infinite Twist Helix DK weight yarn (in Spooky Purple):

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

I also made yarn decisions about the other two designs, so that I’d be ready to dive right in when the time came to focus on them, getting these skeins of Black Trillium Pebble Worsted (in Phoenix Rising and Saltwater) for the colorwork pattern:

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

And this giant skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Targhee Worsted (in Blue Moonstone) for the cabled design, perfectly squishy for the big cables!

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

So that collection was all planned out for later, and I set it aside, the first Triyang sample in-progress and the other yarns all ready to go, so I could pick them up as soon as possible.

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

I started work on designing this year’s Adventure Knitting collection then, in May.  With the plan to get that done, like completely totally done, by the time the actual KAL started, in July, so while the KAL itself was happening I could be knitting the Triyang samples and designing the other collection patterns.  And then, like a month or so after the KAL, I’d release the entire 4-pattern collection all at once.

These are all my color coded swatches for the new Adventure Knitting collection - 31 stitch patterns! I just posted the big reveal blog post with all the patterns and details! (Blog at leethal.net)

Well, of course, Adventure Knitting got totally out of hand and took SO MUCH more time than I wanted it to.  I had this plan that I’d make this year’s much simpler and shorter than last year’s, which was ridiculously long and complex and just too much.  Well, this year’s was different, and there were some things that were shorter/faster, but other things that kind of spiraled away from my plans and got bigger and bigger… and in the end, this year’s pattern book was even LONGER than last year’s.  Blech, why do I let these things get so overwhelming?  One idea leads to another and I can’t stop myself.  Great for you (SO MANY pattern options to choose from!), not so good for me and my timeline.  So, I was still finishing up samples and doing work on the pattern all the way through the KAL, and wasn’t able to even pick up Triyang until the KAL was over.

Which leads me to other factors… My plan to release the Triyang collection asap after the KAL was part of the greater plan/timeline for the year.  Because I’m doing the big awesome exciting collaboration project this fall!  (Mentioned back here.)  And then, three other opportunities happened to come up for the fall which I couldn’t pass up, because they are all so great and exciting and I’m wanting to branch out and do more third party stuff and diversify my income and all that self-employment stuff… so… I have deadlines now for 6 (SIX) different patterns within the next couple of months.  Which is insane, for me.  I usually design pretty complex patterns, and I usually average around 1 per month.  So yeah.

Just spent the most glorious 2 hours with @bluemoonfiberarts, @starathena, and @shannonsq around this table of about a hundred colors, scheming away about something.

This is why my Triyang collection plans got further bumped.  I really loved the idea of releasing all 4 patterns at once, and I even had a head start – Twou was almost completely designed in like April – but once the KAL was over, and these other deadlines had appeared, there was no way.  The Triyang pattern was almost done already, so I powered through that and got it out as quickly as I could, and now I’m focused on all this new excited stuff through early November.  And then, I really hope I’ll be able to get those 3 Triyang collection patterns designed and finished extra quickly, since they are all started.  Of course, there’s that theme of everything always taking longer than expected, but I’ll just do my best and see how it goes.

One thing I did to speed up the Triyang release was a new system that I think turned out really well, and will hopefully speed up future pattern releases as well.  I skipped the entire test-knitting process!  The pattern got knit by me (in the case of Triyang, knit over and over and over by me, like 20 times!), and then when it was in its as-finished-as-possible-by-me state, it went to an excellent tech editor who gave extremely thorough notes, found a couple of typos, checked that all my numbers were correct, etc, and now the pattern is all set for public use!  (Thanks Chris for the great edit!)  The only thing missing is project pages on ravelry when the pattern is brand new, which my patterns usually have from the test knitters; so if some of you fabulous knitters out there make a Triyang and post your projects on ravelry, I will be so happy!  There are already a few, which is awesome, including this finished one by Sarah!  Love it!!

So that’s a bunch of assorted behind the scenes leethal stuff that’s been going on in my year.  As for what you can look forward to for the rest of the year, besides those Triyang patterns around the end of it, more details about that collaboration will be revealed in a couple of months, and I’ll be instagramming peeks at those patterns as I work on them.

I was trying to photograph these giant cakes of yarn on my head, because why not, but they kept falling. My job is really hard.

I’m designing a hat in this Knitted Wit yarn…

I've been in heavy duty pattern editing, copy writing, and charting mode allllll day, so I'm very excited to be casting on a new hat in this fun speckle-y @knittedwit Targhee Shimmer Worsted!

…that you can expect around October 1st:

Hard at work on 3 different designs today, but this is the only one I can show you now. Looking good in worsted merino! #kwsnowy

And then a couple of other things I’m working on won’t be revealed until next year.  And speaking of next year, I have some big plans for 2016!  A couple of months ago, I brainstormed up an idea that I am SUPER excited about, but now I have to patiently wait until the end of the year to launch it.  At least I’ll have plenty of fun work to keep me busy till then!!

Filed under: hats,knitting,portland stuff,self-publishing,Triyang collection — Lee Meredith @ 7:06 pm

July 27, 2015

Adventure Knitting 3 – revealed!

The third annual Adventure Knit-a-long is winding down (but there’s still time to get in on the action!!) and now that all parts are released, I can start showing you what’s up with this year’s pattern collection!  First things first.

It’s currently Monday, July 27th, which gives you almost a week to get a finished project up on ravelry and qualify for the HUGE GIVEAWAY, which will happen next Monday, August 3rd.  All finished project pages with at least 1 photo of the finished item are eligible to win, so the more you make, the better chance you have.  Even if you haven’t started yet, there are some very small, quick-knit items, so you can totally whip one up in time!

The extremely generous prize sponsors are:

Anzula
Canon Hand Dyes
Hazel Knits
Infinite Twist
Jill Draper Makes Stuff
Knitted Wit
Schmutzerella Yarns
The Sexy Knitter
Space Cadet
Three Fates Yarns

ThreeFatesYarns TheSexyKnitter

SpaceCadet-Colour Schmutzerella-Yarns HazelKnits

KnittedWit JillDraperMakesStuff

Anzula CanonHandDyes InfiniteTwist

Check out the prizes forum thread in the leethal knitters! ravelry group for more details about them (they are all awesome and you should check them out!!); the official prize list will be posted tomorrow in the group!

So now, the pattern!  Warning to mystery KALers who are still in mystery-land with their knitting, there will be spoilers below, of individual parts of the whole, stitch patterns and some close-ups of items.  Nothing that hasn’t already been included in the spoilers sections of the pdfs.

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

For now, I will reveal what is included in the collection, and how it all works, and I’ll show you all the stitch patterns, and some peeks of items… After the complete ebook and print book are released, I’ll put up another post with all my samples and details about them.  That will probably be in about 2 weeks, but it depends on how long the print book takes to finish and ship and stuff.  The ebook will automatically be sent out to everyone who bought the knit-a-long, as soon as it’s finished, in about a week, after the KAL is over.

Adventure Knitting 3 swatches Adventure Knitting 3 sample stack

There are 5 items to choose from in this collection:  smooth hat (aka normal hat), pointed hat, standard cowl (which can be a scarf or stole if you don’t join it around), rounded cowl, or mitts (which can be made as hole-less wrist-warmers, or with plain holes for thumbs, or with knitted thumbs).

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

Any item can be made in any yarn weight, all custom fitted to the size you want.  The smooth hat can be fitted or slouchy; the pointed hat can be made more or less pointed; the cowls can be wide or narrow, long or short; the rounded cowl can be more or less rounded; the mitts are fitted to your hand, as long as you like.

For all items, you can choose how you want to join around: sewn seam, 3-needle bind-off, grafting, or buttoning closure.  (Some KALers are mixing and matching, like sewn seam with buttons sewn over it to hide the seam and look neat, or buttons only at the bottom.)

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

There are 5 “habitat” background stitch patterns, all patterns working with all items.  This is what they look like in color coded swatches – arctic, forest, grassland, lake, and ocean.  They each have one “embellishment” option, which is shown in the top half of each swatch.  (You can click any of the photos to see them bigger on flickr.)

Adventure Knitting 3 patterns

There are 5 motif patterns for each of the 5 background patterns – these are called “animal” patterns, because the animals live within the habitats.  Here are swatches of the 25 different motifs (26 actually, because Lake has a bonus extra pattern) – they are meant to be placed within the background pattern base, so they look a bit wonky standing alone in the swatches, but it gives you the idea of what they look like…

Adventure Knitting 3 patterns

Adventure Knitting 3 patterns

Adventure Knitting 3 patterns

Adventure Knitting 3 patterns

Adventure Knitting 3 patterns

You can add any of the animals onto the matching habitat that you’re using (if you have enough stitches), worked within the habitat stitches.  Use just one animal in an item, or a few, or all 5; work them once, or repeat them, or work in scattered clusters.  Check out the KALers’ projects on ravelry to see tons of different ways the animal patterns can be used!  Here are peeks at a few of my sample items, animals placed in different ways:

rounded cowl sample Adventure Knitting 3 closeup

Above are the Ocean habitat in fingering weight yarn (by Schmutzerella), and the Lake habitat in worsted weight yarn (by Anzula).  Below are both the Forest habitat, but made really differently – aran weight yarn (by Jill Draper Makes Stuff), and sport-DK weight with changing contrasting colors (the changing colors are by Infinite Twist, with the blue main color by Louet):

Adventure Knitting 3 closeup Adventure Knitting 3 closeup

I had lots of fun naming the patterns and drawing the animals to go with them!  They are very much not designed to look like the animals, it’s just a naming theme; I chose animals I like and wanted to draw, and picked a variety of different kinds of animals for each habitat.  With a cryptozoology twist!!  Each of the 5 habitats feature one crypto-animal!

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

Each habitat has the 5 animals (except Lake has the bonus one) – they each have 2 independent patterns, which are mostly pretty large and complex (ish), and then 3 patterns which are kind of smaller/medium/larger versions of each other.

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

These are named as babyteen, and grownup versions of the animal (eg, one of the patterns is Bison, so there is a Baby bison, a Teen bison, and a Grownup bison).  One of the animals is a Wolf, so I had to draw this to hide it tiny in the pdf/booklet.  I just couldn’t not do it.  Below is the print booklet page.  (I think this is just for the KAL, I won’t include it in the final book, too silly.)

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure KAL booklet page

So what else?  I’ve made 9 samples so far, but I’m working on a couple last-minute extras this week to round things out and show as many combos as possible.  Oh, I forgot to mention another option – you can choose to go on your adventure either on flat ground or walking uphill.  Walking uphill means making your piece on the bias, or diagonally – it makes the item more complex to make, but it looks extra cool.

It's finishing day! Grafting up my sock weight #AdventureKAL hat which I finally finished knitting last night. I'm so slow with fingering weight!

I’ll start showing peeks of my samples on instagram and ravelry soon – I’ve made all the different item types, some uphill, some flat, in all the habitats.  Below is my stack so far – from top to bottom, there are: an aran weight smooth hat in the arctic uphill, a worsted weight smooth hat in the grassland flat, a sock weight smooth hat at the lake uphill, a sport-DK weight pointed hat in the forest flat, worsted weight mitts with thumbs at the lake flat, aran-bulky weight mitts with plain holes in the arctic flat, an aran weight standard cowl in the forest uphill, a sock weight rounded cowl at the ocean flat, a bulky weight rounded cowl in the arctic uphill.  I will be adding one more pointed hat, and a pair of wrist-warmers (mitts with no holes).

Adventure Knitting 3 sample stack

You can check out the finished items thread in the forum, or FO’s on ravelry here, to see what some finished items look like by knit-a-longers.  There are some seriously awesome projects!!

The final #AdventureKAL section went out today! Each of the 5 habitats gets a family of 3 new stitch patterns (baby, teen, and grownup) - that's 15 this week, totaling 25 motif patterns in the collection! All animal drawings are on the webpage (profile li

Oh and, this year’s Adventure Knitting is the same as the last two, with the printable folding booklet (see 1 here and 2 here).  The KAL version of the booklet is kind of crazy long, because written and charted patterns are separated; the final booklet (included in the ebook, released next week to everyone who bought the KAL) won’t be quite so many pages.  You can find folding and binding instructions on my website here.

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

Speaking of tutorials on my website, there are lots of new tutorials which have recently been added, or updated, to go with the stitch patterns in this collection (shadow wraps, some complex twists, and new videos on the cables and twisted stitches pages).  My tutorials page is updated to be better organized, too – check it out!

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

 Okay that’s enough for now!!  Head to the leethal group to get involved with this last week of the knit-a-long; check out the collection on ravelry here or on leethalknits.com here.  Follow me on instagram or twitter to see peeks of my samples and stuff.  Happy adventure knitting!

Filed under: adventure knitting,contest/giveaway,hats,knit-a-longs,knitting — Lee Meredith @ 6:48 pm

January 15, 2015

New Dark Trio pattern: Warren the evil hat of chaos

The second pattern in the leethal Dark Trio is here!

Warren hat

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

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

…or the chaotic version.

Warren hat

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

Warren hat

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

Warren hat

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

Warren hat - evil version

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

Warren hat - chaotic version

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

Warren hat

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

Warren hat

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

Warren hat Warren hat

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

Warren hat

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

Warren hat

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

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

January 6, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2015 leethal knits calendar!

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

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

Kim Werker's Year of Making ebook cover

Kim Werker's Year of Making ebook page

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

Kim Werker's Year of Making ebook page

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

Page from Kim Werker's Year of Making ebook

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

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

01/01 spun yarn

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

planner plans

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

Instagram books homemade photo albums

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

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

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