March 25, 2014

Stuff and things going on with me…

Hi!  Things have been busy busy, as usual, and I just wanted to kind of catch up with you over here on the blog.  If you follow me on instagram or twitter, you may have seen a lot of these updates – most of the photos in this post are straight from instagram… Here are things!

There are a couple new interviews with me that you can read if you’re interested in my design process or other random things I talked out – one on Tin Can Knits, and another on Infinite Twist.

Unbroken hat!

Do you know about the Holla Knits knit-a-long that’s happening right now?  It’s kind of amazing – you automatically get one free pattern of your choice per Holla Knits item that you finish for the KAL, and then you also get entered into drawings to win bigger prizes at the end.  You can knit any Holla Knits garment or accessory (which includes my Unbroken hat, above), and the lists of pattern prizes are here.  The KAL runs through May 2nd, so you still have plenty of time to join in!  (The action happens in the ravelry group over here!)

Just shipped out TWO trunk shows to LA shops for the upcoming LA Yarn Crawl, along with fat stacks of promo postcards. LA crawlers, look out for my stuff!

If you’re in the LA area, I will have TWO trunk shows up at shops during the LA Yarn Crawl!  A Coloring Book show at Needle in a Haystack, and a general Leethal Knits show at Knit Culture (with coupon giveaways!).


I released a new pattern, like 3 weeks ago, but I’m waiting to officially blog it until I finish the Bulk Trio ebook of all 3 patterns together, which should have been done by now but it’s not yet.  So, soon, that will be done, and then I’ll tell you allllll about Mikkey!


I worked a really exciting and weird freelance gig doing crafty things for a commercial – I can’t show or tell you anything about that yet, but that’s a major reason I got off track on other things and you haven’t heard from me for awhile.

Currently knitting up a prototype of a sweater that I designed. Whoa. This is a BIG deal to me; I kind of thought I might try designing a sweater like in another couple years, but then this idea just happened and now I'm knitting it!! (The hot pink stripe

I designed a sweater!  This was one of those things where I had multiple in-progress designs that were supposed to be higher priority, but… I got this idea and I just couldn’t let it go!  I think it had something to do with getting my mind off everything else while working on that commercial, it like opened my mind up to new ideas that I wasn’t really supposed to be thinking about, but the inspiration struck and I spent some time driving to and from that gig and thinking about the sweater, and then I didn’t want to leave it with just notes to get back to in six months that I might not ever get back to because the energy may pass and never return… So I wrote up the pattern, and knit up a prototype version and the pattern is basically done now!  It’s a classic leethal-style any-gauge, custom made to your measurements design, so I made the prototype in a quick bulky gauge to try it all out.  My plan is to knit up the official sample in worsted weight over the next couple months, while focusing on other higher priority designs, and then once that’s knit I’ll get it out to testers, give them plenty of time, and plan on releasing the pattern around late summer / early fall.

Finished my bulky sweater prototype! The design is for any weight, so I'll be making the main sample in worsted; wanted to work everything out in a quick gauge first to kind of make sure it would go as intended, and it totally worked! This is a mystery sh

I spent a few days completely designing a hat that I was really excited about, and then when it was finished it turned out to be UGLY.  Damn.  So I threw that out the window.  (That’s it below – looked great in progress, but the finished piece was a huge failure.  Alas.)

Garter stitch + slip stitches in beautiful @infinitetwist handspun!

I’m slowly still working on the colorwork shawl for the Betiko Collection, and feeling crazy guilty about how long it’s taking, as I keep getting distracted by other things… but it will be released eventually.  It’s more of a spring design anyway  ;)

bechdel fest drawing

In non leethal knits things… I started a new tumblr, which will be a media-watching project starting soon-ish (maybe April 1st, or maybe a bit later, not sure yet) – Bechdel Fest.  Right now, you can check it out to see content related to the underrepresentation of women in film and television (and also of POC) as I just kind of set it up for the project.  When I start, I will be watching only movies and TV shows either made by women or featuring female main characters, for a month or so – see the about page to read the details of the project.  (It doesn’t actually have to do with the Bechdel Test, that’s just a punny name for the project/blog.)

Built to Spill - Keep it Like a Secret Waitresses, the - Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful? Aretha Franklin - Lady Soul Belle and Sebastian - This is Just a Modern Rock Song New Order - Power, Corruption & Lies

Depeche Mode - Speak & Spell Kinks, the - Kinks-Size Le Tigre - Feminist Sweepstakes Nina Simone - The Best of Nina Simone Mountain Goats, the - We Shall all be Healed

Speaking of projects, my 500 records in 2014 plan is going pretty well – I’m currently up to 119 (once I add the two I listened to this morning).  Pretty good!  And I’m having fun listening to more vinyl, getting more in the habit of putting on records, and I love how the flickr set is looking!

Rainbow records!!

It’s Pete’s spring break right now, so we’ve caught up on some movies in the theater – I really liked Frozen!  We had a friend stay at our house, which motivated some house projects, like our rainbow record shelf above, and getting our library room in order, so that’s neat! I can’t think of any other updates so now I’m just telling you things randomly :-p  So okay that’s all for now!

Filed under: knit-a-longs,knitting,lots of links,movies,music,personal — leethal @ 9:01 pm

May 1, 2012

Remixed: the music part

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

Parallel Lines Rumours Wild is the Wind

Freewheelin' Slanted and Enchanted

Freak Out! Gentle on My Mind Either/Or

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

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

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

remixed cover art process

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

album cover collage album cover collage

album cover collage album cover collage

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

album cover collage

Ready for tracing:

remixed cover art process

And here is my drawing, which was scanned…

remixed cover art process

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


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

Rumours pattern cover Gentle on My Mind cover

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

Remixed mix

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

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

Here’s the track list artwork:

Remixed mix

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

Remixed mix

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

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

January 19, 2012

Happy 2012! Here’s what’s up in leethal land…

How’s your 2012 going so far?  Mine is off to a slooooow start, but I feel like it’s just about to start taking off!  I wanted to jump in here after my long delay with kind of a catch-up post, with some stuff I’ve been up to so far this year, and random bits and news and things I wanted to share with you.

no-sew tee projects

First, Portlanders: I’ll be teaching a couple of free Library classes on making my no-sew recycled t-shirt bags, plus other things with the t-shirt leftover scraps (like the cuffs above), which you can see some more photos of over here.  The first class is this Saturday (the 21st) at the Capitol Hill branch, and the next one will be on February 18th at the Albina branch – check out my info page here for details and library links.

black sheep black sheep

And then a bit of leethal news – I wanted to let you know how much I ended up raising for Heifer… $110!!  Thanks to all who bought stuff in December, you are awesome!

Heifer thank you

And now moving on to what I’ve been up to… One thing I did on an impulse a few days ago, a kind of mixing things up for the new year new project-ish thing…. I started a tumblr!  I figure, I’ve always been terrible at little posts here on do stuff! – I’ve gone through phases of trying to regularly post small things like recipes, thrifty scores, mixes, etc… but it never sticks and I always go back to my long posts.

my new tumblr

So, I thought, how about I break it up?  Keep this blog as it is, but really try to do more tutorials and valuable content, and stick all that little content over on the tumblr.  I’m thinking of it as a halfway point between this blog and twitter – the posts will be more permanent than tweets, but much less of a big deal than the leethal blog.  My plan is to rarely even mention knit design over there, or even crafts in general – all valuable crafty content will be for here on do stuff! (so if that’s all you care about, you don’t need to follow both) – and to just use tumblr for silly personal stuff, assorted photos of things I’m doing, movies, books, music, food… we’ll just see where it goes, I don’t even know what to expect!

new (used) DVD stack amazing bow!

And now speaking of movies and music… I have a couple long term project updates.  Remember a year ago, when I decided to try to watch 365 movies in 2011?  Well, I did it!  JUST!  I watched my 364th and 365th movies on New Year’s Eve and just barely succeeded.  The list is a little embarrassing, but remember, I watch most movies while working, so I can’t give 100% attention to the screen, meaning I make silly choices a lot of the time, especially if I know I’m working on a pattern that needs some focus.  The questionable movies on the list weren’t really watched, they were just kind of background noise.  You understand, hehe.  Anyway, it was a fun project, but I’m happy to not have to count movies anymore and be more free to get sucked into TV shows whenever I want.  (So much TV to catch up with!  First up, probably Downton Abbey!  Not that I didn’t watch TV shows in 2011, but I just had to space them out and couldn’t keep up with everything.)

our record collection!

And my other project… well, you probably remember back in the summer when I went through that massive record organization project.  Chronological order!  Damn, it was a ton of work, and it was nerdy fun to do, but it was so not practical.  Cataloging and sorting our collection like that made Pete and I much more active about collecting records, like too much so, but hey, Portland has amazing shops that need our support, right?

our record collection!

So, once they were all organized, the collection started rapidly growing larger, and it became overwhelming, the thought of adding all the new LPs in their chronological spots.  So they just accumulated, and at the beginning of this year, the motivation kicked us and we spent a couple days immersed in re-organizing once again.

our record collection!

This time, alphabetical!  Sigh of relief!  So much easier to add new stacks where they belong and keep it all in order!  And, if you compare the photos of our collection from July and the current shots, you’ll notice how vinyl has almost completely taken over our shelving unit.  Love it!

our records! our record collection!

Another random fun thing I wanted to mention is that Pete has gotten suuuuper into Pinterest since joining a couple days ago.  If you have any interest in men’s fashion, or neat nature/science photos, you may want to follow his boards.

Pinterest screenshot

And then the last thing I wanted to mention… even though it annoys me that there’s no iPad app or functioning website and everything is through the iPhone app, I still like the idea of instagram and I’ve started using it a bit more.  I’m _leethal_ over there if you’re an instagrammer (instagrammar?)…

snow in portland! snow in portland!

Okay I think those are all the things I wanted to mention.  Happy 2012 all!

Filed under: home stuff,movies,music,personal,photos,portland stuff,random stuff — leethal @ 7:00 am

July 12, 2011

Analog Music!

Hey did you know I like records?  If you follow me on twitter, you’re probably sick of hearing about it, but my many-weeks-long project of reorganizing our collection is just about done now, so I’ll be shutting up about it after this.  I was planning to post about my collection, along with some crafty things you can do with records that are no good for listening to (thrift stores are full of those!)… but then it all just got too massive, so that crafty post will come later.  For now, read on if you like music on vinyl!

our records!

So, I just realized a couple weeks ago, while in the middle of my reorganization project, that it’s been exactly 10 years since I started collecting records!  At the end of my first year of college I started thinking it would be cool to have a record player, and then during the summer of 2001, between my first and second years of college, I found this record player on ebay for $12 and immediately started buying records.

my record player

During those first couple years, I didn’t live near any good record stores or thrift stores, so I was mostly buying new indie music on vinyl, not much old stuff.  But then I moved to a cool neighborhood for my last year of college and started digging through the rows of records at my local record stores, fun times!  I was pretty picky back then, though, and my collection grew very slowly…

our records!

Then a year later, in 2005 when I started dating Pete, we got really into record shopping together, and have been ever since!  We’re not always active about it – we’ll go long chunks of time without going to a record store, but then we’ll get back into it and go digging through albums whenever we have the chance.  Right now, because of all this record sorting that’s been going on, we’ve gotten obsessively into it and have found some awesome albums over the last month!  Our favorite shops in Portland are Everyday Music and Crossroads, and we also love Music Millennium, and thrift stores!


So, here it is – our entire LP collection:

our records!

Ordering it all chronologically involved days of sorting them all into stacks by decade/year, filling our entire living room floor with piles of vinyl…

piles of records

Which, of course, meant I had to grab that opportunity to sort of recreate an image from one of my all time favorite movies:

high fidelity

Not perfect, but it works:

me with my records

So, do you want more detail about my massive undertaking?  Probably not, but I’ll give it to you anyway!  I guess if you didn’t care about my records, you’d have stopped reading long ago… Anyway, I started out by cataloguing everything into a google docs spreadsheet.  Here’s a tiny glimpse of that:

a glimpse...

Then I used this list to group all the LPs into stacks of 50’s, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s…

piles of records

Then I went through group by group and sorted them into individual date piles, and finally shelved them in chronological order, alphabetically within each year.

our records!

The giant spreadsheet of every record we own is way too much fun, by the way… Want to know what we have tons of?  There’s more Bob Dylan LPs than anything else (15), with The Beatles and Elton John tied for second at 12 each.  Third is David Bowie and Joni Mitchell tied at 10 each, followed by Frank Zappa, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Beach Boys with 9 albums each, and then 8 LPs by Bee Gees.  John Lennon is the person represented most, with those 12 Beatles records, 3 solo by him, 4 by John Lennon and Yoko Ono together.  (I have 3 by Yoko alone as well.)  A couple you might be amused by include my 6 Glen Campbell records, and 5 Carpenters (feel like I should have more, I love them so much).  Ok I’ll stop now!

our records!

And then there are our 7″s…

our 7" collection

We rarely buy these anymore these days, but I used to be waaaay into them!  They are all catalogued in the spreadsheet, but I haven’t yet organized them – they’re just grouped into vague sections for now.

our 7" collection

Lastly, I made some record “bookmarks” – to mark the place when we take out a record to play it.  I have my old record player in my studio, so I take groups in there sometimes, hence the multiple bookmarks.  Plus, they’re fun to make out of ridiculous album covers:

record bookmarks our records!

I hope I didn’t bore you too much, but I just spent so much time with this project over the last several weeks, I had to share!  I’ve been pinning some of my favorite records that we own, so you can follow that if you’re interested.  I just love records so much – the covers as art forms, the vinyl for the analog listening experience, everything.  And now that they are organized, I will definitely be listening to them more than I had been!

me with my records

Filed under: home stuff,music,photos — leethal @ 3:46 pm

April 8, 2011

April’s ebook: Listen Up!

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

April club ebook cover

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

April's quick knits club stuff!

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

April's quick knits club stuff!

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

April's quick knits club stuff!

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

April's quick knits club stuff!

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

April's quick knits club stuff!

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

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

Here they are in action in my studio:

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

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

from the April quick knits ebook

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

from the April quick knits ebook

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

from the April quick knits ebook

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

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

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

November 8, 2010

Lace Stenciled Framed Song Lyrics! (+our wedding music)

If you’ve been following my blog, you know how I made 60 of these painted frames with song lyrics for our wedding decorations/favors…


Well, a lot of wedding guests loved them and took one home, but we had a ton left at the end of the night, which we boxed back up and took home with us…

wedding framed song lyrics!

So we now have 30 of them hanging on our big white living room wall!  Yay!!  There are several duplicate lyrics, some of which I already changed out to engagement photos, but once we get our wedding photos I’ll switch out some more lyrics with photos (but just a few, because we love the look of the lyrics!):

wedding framed song lyrics!

So, hey, you want to know how to make these yourself?  It’s a pretty simple project, but a bit time (and space) consuming… Well, that’s if you’re making 60 like I did… If you just make a few, it shouldn’t take long.  (This project was totally inspired by Mark Montano‘s Big Ass Book of Home Decor and Mark’s love of spray paint!)

I made 2 different types of painted frames: textured frames that were just plain spray painted, and smooth(ish) frames that were painted with lace used as stencils.

Your first step is to take a trip to your local thrift store (or several of them) and find frames – whatever sizes you want (mine were 3×5, 4×6, and 5×7), either textured to do the simple version, or plain untextured frames to do the lace stenciling.  (Of course, you can do the simple version with plain frames too, if you want to.)

wedding framed song lyrics! wedding framed song lyrics!

For the textured frames, simply take out the glass/backing (be sure to keep track of which goes with which frames), lay the (clean) frame down on a protected surface (like newspaper) in a ventilated space (I did it all outside, but breeze/wind makes it tough – an open garage would be ideal – either way, wear a face mask when doing lots of spray painting!), and spray (as the spray paint can instructs).

I did them in batches of 6-10 at a time – sprayed 1 coat over them all, then went back with a 2nd coat over them all.  Be sure to get the sides (unless the frame has an interesting edge and you choose not to paint over it).  After letting dry for 5-10 minutes on the newspaper, I transferred them to an outdoor table to dry completely (or, until bringing them inside for the night).

wedding framed song lyrics!

For the lace stenciled frames, there are a couple extra steps.  You’ll need: spray adhesive, spray paint, plenty of space to work, and lots of newspaper to cover your work surface, and a face mask for safety so you don’t breathe in all those glue and paint fumes.

And then the lace itself – find vintage doilies, curtains, and other home decor items from thrift stores, with interesting patterns.  I’ll show you lots of examples of different kinds of lace used as stencils, in a minute…

wedding framed song lyrics!

  • First, spray the lace with a thin coat of spray adhesive (with it sitting on newspaper).
  • Stick the lace onto the frame, as you want it placed – be sure to stick it all down the best you can.
  • Spray a good thick coat over the frame through the lace stencil.  (At first, I was doing 2 coats, like with the plain painted frames, but sometimes the lace would become un-stuck after the first coat, so the second coat would make it blurry.)
  • Let dry for a minute or so, then carefully lift off the lace (you don’t want the glue to stick it on there permanently!), and lay it flat somewhere to dry (you can use the same pieces again later).
  • Let dry completely as the spray paint can instructs.

wedding framed song lyrics!

Here’s what my yard looked like during this project:

wedding framed song lyrics! wedding framed song lyrics!

And some of the stenciled frames, drying:

wedding framed song lyrics!

I really like how the textured frames look too!  We ended up taking home mostly stenciled frames, which I’m happy about, but I might thrift for some more frames like those crazy curvy designs below and make more of those:

wedding framed song lyrics!

Here are a couple of the textured frames we did take home – that green one is one of my absolute favorites!

textured painted frame textured painted frame

Note – you can click on the pictures to go to the flickr pages and read what songs the lyrics came from, if you’re curious.  A couple more simple textured frames:

textured spray painted frame textured spray painted frame

And some close ups of the lace stenciling over a couple different kinds of frame surfaces (the one on the left is some kind of coated fabric surface, and shiny metal on the right):

lace-stenciled frame lace stenciled frame

And now to show you all different kinds of lace options…

lace stenciled frame lace-stenciled frame

These 3 (above and below) are stenciled with doilies – the above/left frame is the doily pictured in the above/left of the photo, and the other two are the same positions as well.

lace stenciled frame lace stenciling

Below, these are stenciled with pieces of vintage lace curtains (I think, maybe tablecloths?) that covered the whole frames…

lace-stenciled frame lace-stenciled frame

You can see how the lace on the left, with the fine mesh, made a more subtle, textured pattern when painted through (another example here, and one that didn’t turn out so well here), and the lace on the right, with the big holes, made the more graphic, bold design.

lace stenciling lace stenciling

Another big lace curtain, cut into pieces for these…

lace stenciled frame lace stenciled frame

…laid over partially for the purple one, and over the whole frames for the other 2 (green above and blue below).

lace stenciled frame lace stenciling

And then, a messed up, weirdly shaped piece of lace, that I cut into different sized pieces, around the curved shape of the lace design…

lace-stenciled frame lace-stenciled frame

You can see how the same lace can look different when used on a shiny painted surfaced frame (above, orange), or an unpainted wood frame (below).

lace stenciled frame lace stenciling

And lastly, I got this big Noah’s Ark themed kid’s room decor lace thing, which I cut into all different kinds of pieces…

lace-stenciled frame lace stenciled frame

…since there was so much going on, I could get lots of different looks out of the same lace item.  See those square parts, the top edging with the long curved rectangle shapes, and then all the curves and different hole designs in the pictures…

lace stenciling

lace stenciled frame lace stenciled frame lace stenciled frame

So, all the frames above and below here came from that same lace thing, cut and placed different ways (I obviously really like the squares).

lace stenciled frame lace stenciled frame

Look at your local thrift store for lace in the home decor section, with tablecloths, with dishcloths, with curtains, on end cap sections… I find lace in weird places sometimes.  If you try out this project, I’d love to see your frames!

Oh, and a side note, just a reminder that my October club ebook includes 7 of my favorites of these lyric artwork things for printing out.

If you want to make your own, it’s easy if you have a photo editing program that can do text (and some experience using it) – just download some fun fonts (some of my favorites for this project are Bleeding CowboysAngioma1942 ReportBenny BlancoVNI-Thuphap, Schneller), type your favorite lyrics, with the text box set to justify, and mess with the text size, letter spacing, line spacing, etc until it looks good.

wall of framed song lyrics

Because it somewhat relates… want to know about the music we played at our wedding?  We spent tons of time putting together playlists – an hour of songs to play before, and about 3 and a half hours worth for after.

The ceremony was bookended by The Magnetic Fields – It’s Only Time for walking down the aisle, and The Book of Love walking back down after we were married.

I love the whole playlist, but I’ve put together kind of a best-of that’s 1 mix CD length:

  1. The Book Of Love / The Magnetic Fields
  2. We’ve Only Just Begun / Grant Lee Buffalo (covering The Carpenters)
  3. Ceremony / New Order
  4. The Best Is Yet To Come / Tony Bennett
  5. Hazy / Rosi Golan feat. William Fitzsimmons
  6. Lovin’ You Lots and Lots / The Norm Wooster Singers
  7. I’ll Be Your Mirror / The Velvet Underground & Nico
  8. Summers / Loney, Dear
  9. I Found My Way / Dusty Springfield
  10. Our Love Is Here To Stay / Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
  11. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) / Marvin Gaye
  12. Top Of The World / The Carpenters
  13. Darlin’ Companion / Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash
  14. The Greatest Sum / The Avett Brothers
  15. Grow Old With Me / John Lennon
  16. Fly Me To The Moon / Julie London
  17. Pop Goes My Heart / Pop
  18. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) / The Proclaimers
  19. The Very Thought Of You / Elvis Costello
  20. On The Radio / Regina Spektor
  21. Take Me / Karen Dalton
  22. All I Want Is You / U2
  23. It’s Only Time / The Magnetic Fields

I had to put some boundaries on it in order to cut 4 1/2 hours down to 80 minutes – many of the songs played at the wedding were songs that Pete or I had put on mixes to each other when we were first dating, so since those already existed on mixes, I left them off of this mix (mostly).  A lot of the songs have a specific memory for us, or some reason for being on this mix beyond the song itself.  And then, I just tried to make it a good quality mix, lots of variety, ups and downs, etc.  A glimpse into our wedding soundtrack.

wedding framed song lyrics!

And lastly, about wedding music, my brothers played a set for us!  A medley of some favorite tv theme songs (including My So-Called Life and Pete & Pete) and a fantastic rendition of I’m Gonna Be (which is why that song made the cut onto the wedding mix)!  It was so good!! Yay!

Filed under: general crafts,home stuff,music,personal,tutorials — leethal @ 2:37 pm

February 17, 2010

New mini-ebook: First 4 months of Club Patterns!

Oh goodness, I have not been able to keep up with everything while Pete’s on vacation!  I’ve been working on deadline-y projects whenever I can squeeze it in, and I’ve spent the last many days (week? I don’t even know) working on this project I’m about to announce, bit by bit, but I’ve been completely detached from things like twitter and blog world… and I am weeks behind now on posting photos-a-day, though I’ve still been taking them, so you can expect 3 weeks worth of photos this weekend!

leethal quick knits club patterns Vol.1 Cover

Ok so, the one thing I have finished – the first 4 months of leethal quick knits club patterns are now available in a mini-ebook!  Each month’s pattern pair can be purchased alone, but it’s a much better deal to get the whole set – 8 patterns, plus extras (like the pencil cover), in a 20 page pdf for $5.99, versus 2 patterns from an individual month for $2.99.  But that way, if you really just want one pattern, you can get it for half the price of the whole set.

club #1: Strappy Pouch

The ebook is all up on ravelry too, and all the patterns are now on my quick knits patterns page, where you’ll find more photos of each pattern.

Old Timey Moustache!

club #2: Bookmarks Nov quick knits club patterns

Not much else to say about this, since the patterns have all already been released to club members and blogged about

jamming06 jamming03

A couple fun quick things… I’ve been spending some time in Pete’s studio playing around with making music!  So much fun!  Us and a couple musical buddies (Star and Grant! Yay!) have created a couple of songs (I’m the only non-musician, so I’m either on super-simple drums or xylophone) and then Pete and I made a song by ourselves yesterday.  Nothing to put out to the public (yet?) but I just wanted to tell you because it’s been such a fun time – yay music!


Lastly, I have another pattern I’m super excited about that I had been hoping to release this week, but it’s getting bumped to next week because of life… but hey, since I’m just self-publishing it, it doesn’t have to be super secret!  Here’s a peek for you!

DSC_6405 DSC_6406

Filed under: knitting,music,personal,quick knits,self-publishing — leethal @ 1:53 am

November 17, 2009

leethal “recipe” – Spicy Cup of Yum! (plus mix swap idea)


My Threadbanger roundup on Friday was Drinks for Winter Warming, and ever since then I’ve been excited to try some yummy hot drinks.  I thought the White Spiced Coffee on delish sounded so good, but the super crazy time-consuming recipe involves simmering the crushed coffee beans in a saucepan (not up to leethal “recipe” standards!), so I combined some ingredients from that one with a Christmasy Coffee recipe given to me by Diane, with my own additions, and this is what I made (and very much enjoyed)!

I used:

  • 1 big-ish serving worth of ground coffee beans
  • cinnamon
  • ground cloves
  • grated orange peel
  • soy milk (original flavor) (I’m sure regular milk would be good too)
  • honey
  • cinnamon stick (optional)
  • dark rum (also optional)

Make the coffee as you normally would (I use a regular drip coffee maker, but it would be even yummier using a french press I’m sure!) except add some cinnamon, cloves (not much), and orange peel (more) mixed in with the grounds.  If you have a cinnamon stick, then add only a little or no cinnamon, but if not, then add a whole lot of cinnamon with the grounds!  Now pour your spiced coffee into your mug and add milk – as much as you like, or a little more than you’d normally add.  Stir the milk in with your cinnamon stick!  Now stir in some honey, as sweet as you like it!  Last, add some optional rum if you want your yumminess adult-style.  Keep the cinnamon stick in there and it’ll get spicier as you drink it!  Enjoy!  Mmmmmm.

in the morning

So I’ve been thinking about this idea for awhile, and now that’s it’s halfway into November, I think it’s a good time to do something about it… Back in college I organized some Winter mix CD swaps with my fellow radio station DJs and buddies, and I have such fond memories of them that I want to do another one!  So I’m opening it up to anyone who wants it, but be aware, it’s a pretty huge time and effort commitment, so only join up if you want to do it right!  Here’s how it works:

  • Swappers each create an original mix – it can be Winter themed, or not, any genres, no musical requirements, as long as it’s made with mixxy love!  (I spend so many hours on my mixes, it’s ridiculous, but you don’t have to be so crazy like me)
  • Everyone participating makes a copy of their mix for everyone else (20 people swapping = make 19 copies)
  • All mixes include some form of packaging with some kind of artwork which includes the track list
  • Everyone mails their mix to every participant (remember, postage costs $ so this can add up a bit), except for swappers you see in real life, of course
  • So each swapper receives a mix from every participant (20 swappers = you get 19 new mixes! so much music!)

I have no idea how many people there will end up being – it gets to be just too much effort if there are more than about 25 people, so I’m kind of hoping for a low-ish level of interest.  Also, it needs to be restricted to US only, because of postage, sorry everyone else.  But you can organize a swap like this in your own country!

So, right now all I’m doing is putting the idea out there – if you are interested, or might be interested, email me at leethalkoala at yahoo dot com with something like “winter mix swap” in the subject, by Thursday night at 8pm (Portland time).  I’ll see how many people express interest, and I’ll send out a follow-up email to let everyone know about how many people there might be, and then if you want in for sure, you’ll confirm then.  So, emailing me now does not mean you’re committing, but please only email if you think you probably want to do it, so that I have a semi-accurate idea of the swapper number.

If a ton of you are indeed into the idea, and I get well over 25 interested mixers, I’ll figure out a way to divide it into 2 or more groups, so that everyone who wants in can do it, without have to make and mail like 50 copies.  Oh, also, once it’s all organized and planned out, it’ll probably be a couple weeks from now, which means after Thanksgiving, which means holiday gift-planning/crafting stress galore – so, the mix mail-out deadline will be after Christmas to make it easier on us all, and allow plenty of time for track list making.  (Around the first week in January perhaps?)

As for some specifics, if you need more info to decide whether you’re into it… I’ll be making up a .doc file with every participant’s name and address, so we can all print that out to attach to packages for easier addressing.  You can totally include anything else you want with your mix packages (like a business card for your website, or anything else like that) – the only requirement is that each package for each swapper includes a copy of your mix CD with packaging/artwork.

Want some packaging ideas?  Of course there’s a normal CD case, or the skinny kind, into which you can slip a piece of cardstock (or photo paper or whatever) with your art.  You could go all out with a normal sized case, making art for the front and back, or even a booklet, but that’s pretty intense.  One piece of paper or cardstock can fold into a case, by folding the 2 long edges over the CD first, then fold the short edges in and tuck one end into the other end.  I’ve made a few mixes like that, including my leethal mix, made with this strip of art/track list which gets taped onto a recycled book page folded around the CD:

leethal vol1

leethal mix vol1

There are other ways to fold cardstock into CD cases/envelopes, or you could experiment to figure out your own weird way of making cases.  Mix CD packaging doesn’t have to be a big deal, but be creative with the artwork, because it’s fun!

So yeah, let me know if you want in (or might want in) via email – I’ll be doing all the swap organization and communication through my yahoo email, so even if you let me know via twitter or elsewhere that you’re interested, please still send me a quick email.  Thanks!  And comment if you have any questions or confusion, and I’ll answer in the comments for all to read.

Filed under: music,recipes,swap — leethal @ 12:04 am

August 31, 2009

2 years in PDX, time to mix it up!

Last weekend we hit 2 years living in Portland (Portlandiversary, as Caitlin called it!) – and it’s been a fabulous 2 years!  So I made a mix to celebrate!

i am grounded

I hadn’t made an official mix, complete with title and artwork, since my moving to Portland mix, so I was excited to put some effort into this one!  It doesn’t tell a story like that one did; it’s just music I’ve gotten into since moving here.  I always associate music with a place or a time in my life, and  I have been pretty out of touch with new music since college, so most of the music I listen to these days was music I was into way back then.  So most of my music makes me think of San Diego, my college radio DJing days, 2/3/4 shows a week days… There’s not a whole lot of stuff I’ve newly gotten into since living up here, so this mix is just that – bands/artists/songs I associate only with Portland!

i am grounded i am humbled i am one with everything

Come By Storm                                [Laura Gibson]
Bag of Hammers                                [Thao]
Raincoat Song                               [The Decemberists]
I Like Giants                                    [Kimya Dawson]
Between The Bars                                [Amelia]
I Thought I Saw Your Face Today                    [She & Him]
Falling Slowly                                [Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová]
Fallen Snow                                   [Au Revoir Simone]
Heartbroken Forever                            [Tender Forever]
Hungry Liars (Featuring Justin Power)                   [Portland Cello Project]
Up North                                    [Alela Diane]
Skinny Love                                    [Bon Iver]
Heartbeats                                    [José González]
Journey Of The Featherless                        [Cloud Cult]
The Hazards of Love IV (The Drowned)                   [The Decemberists]
You’re The One For Me                           [Pete]


Want me to go into detail?  Ok not tooo much detail, just a little…..

Laura Gibson is my most Portland-associated artist – she’s from here, I first heard her on the PDX Pop Now! mix I bought at Q is for Choir when we first moved here (the song on my mix), we saw her live at an awesome Portland venue (The Old Church) with our awesome Portland friends (Caitlin and Patrick), and the song is even rain-related!

I was aware of Kimya Dawson pre-Portland, but mostly only through the Moldy Peaches; didn’t get into her solo stuff till Portland.  I saw her live here (with Tender Forever) at a super Portland-tastic show (at the Village Free School), and her song on the mix is where the title came from.

There are 2 songs by The Decemberists not because I love them that much, but because of how I got into them, or something… I didn’t like them much, but I tried, living here and having friends who were crazy about them, so I checked out a couple different albums, not caring much for any of them – except for the Raincoat Song, I loved that song!  Plus, again, it’s rain-related, so yeah, it had to go on the mix.  Anyway, that was pre-Hazards of Love.  When that album came out I decided to give them another chance, and I ended up totally falling in love with it!  So, to me, The Decemberists pre-Hazards is like a different band than Hazards of Love Decemberists, hence the song from Hazards and the Raincoat song both making the mix.

I didn’t really want the song from Once on there because it’s so overplayed, or at least it was for awhile back there, but it had to be because Once is one of the first movies we ever saw in Portland (at the Hollywood) and the soundtrack was one of the first CDs I bought in Portland (at Music Millennium) so it’s super Portlandy in my head.  And I used to love it a bunch, before I got sick of it… but it’s still a nice song.


And then the rest are just assorted artists and bands I heard for the first time here and/or got really into up here, some being from Portland/Pacific Northwest… and then the last one is a song Pete made for me here in Portland, with lyrics about our lives together here.  (examples: “We’ve got so much, it’s kind of rad, like a Banzo kitten, extra bad” and “We need one of our ideas to make it big and blow a mind or two, so we can sell out like Andrew Dickson and I can work from home just like you; and every day we’ll take a walk and work on songs and spin some yarn, and we’ll prove Notorious BIG wrong when they say more money means more darn, problems”)

Oh yeah, and the photo on the cover was taken around the end of the snowpocalypse last December through our front window.  It doesn’t have any special meaning or relation to the songs, I just like how it looks, and it’s from our Portland home.


So, enough about that.  The mix write-up is kind of instead of going through things that have happened in the last 2 years, because that would be way too much to go through.  One exciting new thing, though – Pete’s mastering studio is just about up and running!  The website is still pretty placeholder-y but the basic info is there (we’re still working on a real logo, and since the studio is still being remodeled, photos of the space don’t exist yet).  So, I’m really excited that Pete is pursuing his dream career, since I’ve been pursuing mine for a couple years now!  With some hard work and some luck, a few years from now we’ll both be doing only things we love!!


One last, unrelated thing: don’t forget that tomorrow (Tues) is the last day to sign up for the Sept quick knits club!  There is one change since last month – you know how the extra versions of the pattern in the August club were a bonus, since there was only supposed to be one pattern?  Yeah well, I decided to change that so that there will always be patterns for both yarns instead of just one!  Yay!

Filed under: music,personal,portland stuff — leethal @ 8:11 pm

July 2, 2009

yarn and fiber and weaving and knitting, whoa!

first of all, after getting all pumped up about spinning after black sheep, i did a spinning roundup on threadbanger to help people get started;  i was so happy to see it mentioned on the craft blog!  hopefully it’ll inspire many to at least try out a spindle…  i hope to have lots of handspun posts over the next month, with tour de fleece starting on saturday, so i hope you like yarn photos!  my plan for this year, since last year i started super strong then i lost my momentum and barely spun for the second half, is to either spin, dye, or unravel sweaters for recycled yarn, every day of the tour.  so basically, something related to yarn-making, instead of only spinning.  that way i think i’ll keep it up!

2-ply alpaca and wool colors

these are my two new yarns in the shop!  it’s been so long since i’ve had new yarn up!  i’m super happy with these two, the top one being half alpaca and half striping colors of wools, with some messy cocoons and beehives thrown in for extra fun; and the bottom being all different kinds of dyed wool, including some soy silk/wool blend, striping blendy stripes between the colors.  i named it spiraling every color because there are just so many colors, i couldn’t choose a name, or something… the top one – snow flowers – was named by pete!

super colors 2ply yarn

in other fibery news, i’ve done so much wool dyeing recently!  during about 5 days before and after black sheep, between doing stuff with pete’s parents, i managed to dye all this:


you can see close ups of it all here; these are some of my favorites below.  on the left is all the bfl from crown mountain farms i got at black sheep last year (yeah it took me awhile to get to it, i wanted to save it until i felt like i knew what i was doing more…).  on the right is some weird superwash pencil roving-ish wool, also from black sheep last year, and the chunky braid is south african fine wool from hello yarn – love the colors i got in all these!!

farmbfls2 superwash+africanwools

and then i really like this one because it’s so different from my usual dye colorways – it’s fun to venture outside your norm! it’s a grey base (wool blend from spunky eclectic) with different dark shades of purple, blue, and green – it doesn’t photograph well, but you get the idea.


i loved seeing all the hanging braids at black sheep, and we were talking about wanting to have braids hanging in our homes, so i figured out a way to do it!  it looks pretty silly in real life, over in a corner where the kitty can’t reach, but i feel like having some visible dyed wool will inspire me to spin more!

hanging fiber

those are, in order left to right, dyed by me, merino from black sheep, next 2 dyed by me, spunky eclectic romney in sangria colorway, dyed by me, spunky eclectic merino/bamboo in sumac colorway, and last 2 dyed by me.  yay color!

hanging fiber

now that i’ve dyed through a bunch i’ve fiber i’ve had for a year+ i can get dyeing on the big box of fiber i got from spunky eclectic!  i got small-ish amounts of a bunch of different fibers to see what i like best and order more of my favorites!  and speaking of buying fibery stuffs, i took advantage of twisted’s sale of the week the other night and got 6 different colors of louet riverstone chunky!  i only planned to get 2 or 3, but there were so many gorgeous colors, i couldn’t stop grabbing them!  what they will become is a bit of a secret, but it will be colorful!!

louet yarn

and hey check it out – weaving!  i finally made the pocket loom that came with craft:08 and started playing!  it’s totally fun, and i’m loving how it looks!  i’m using pieces of different wools to make a crazy stripey scarflet type thing, i think.  if you don’t have the craft magazine, you can download the loom here – be sure to print it on the thickest cardstock you have.  the cardstock from the magazine is a bit flimsier than i’d like; if i get into it, i plan to try making one with thicker cardboard.  as david said when i was playing at knit night, my heddle is not rigid!


and a close up:


oh and, what about knitting? you may ask… oh yeah i’m doing plenty of that too!  i actually have many patterns in some form of development at the moment (something like 8+) and i’ve been working on something invloving handspun because of my spinning obsession, but i’m thinking about putting that one aside to work on something potentially summer-friendly to try to release soon-ish, if it works out.  we’ll see…


this is a peek at my handspun project, which was knit with this yarn which i spun during tour de fleece last year – i lovvve how the stripey colors knit up!!

and i’ll leave you with something non-fibery.  i just have to share with anyone who will listen my extreme love of a cd i bought the other day.  i rarely buy new music anymore, on my self-employed non-salary, but i splurged at music millennium and bought the new portland cello project: the thao and justin power sessions and i just can’t stop listening to it!  i am a huge fan of thao, but i had never heard of justin power, and now i love him too!  i’ve never seen portland cello project, except accompanying laura gibson at her cd release show, but now i need to see them!  can’t recommend this album enough!

Filed under: knitting,leethal store,music,threadbanger,yarn — leethal @ 1:26 pm

February 14, 2009

mix it up!

roll around and laugh with me roll around and laugh with me

i have all kinds of fun stuff to post about, but i wanted to put it all on hold for now because valentines day has inspired me to post about my love of mixes!  i haven’t made one in awhile (my last one was a year and a half ago) because i haven’t been listening to much new music lately.  listening to mostly the same music as i was years ago means i’m not too inspired to make new mixes because they’ll have the same stuff as the old ones… but anyway, back in college and the year or two after, i didn’t do much crafting yet, but i was hardcore into crafting mixes! ha!

autumn comes... autumn comes...

so i’m showing you some of my favorites old ones i’ve made, because if you’re gonna make a mix, v-day is a great occasion to inspire one!  whether you make a sappy love mix, an angry anti-love mix, or a sad crying mix, i think mixes are a great way to express yourself and can make you feel better if you need it.

this is not my tune this is not my tune

i used to make mixes for gifts for individual people (like this one and this one), as well as general mixes to give out to all my friends.  every winter i’d make a mix for everyone, and for a couple years i organized these big mix swaps where you’d send mixes to all 20+ people, and you’d get one from each of them in return, it was awesome!  that one above – autumn comes and all of the sudden it’s gone – was for one of those swaps.

moving to portland mix cover moving to portland mix tracks

i am really proud of my moving to portland mix (above) that tells a whole story – i put so much work into it!  it starts out with being a californian, then wanting to leave california, looking for a place to move, saying bye to california, coming to portland, finding a home together, being in the portland rain, and being hopeful about our future together in portland.  yeah.

and then there’s the i love you 2 disc mix i made for pete for v-day a couple years ago (below).  there’s a hidden track on that one too – the last track on the second disc is phil collins’ a groovy kind of love.  my favorite parts are tracks 2 (when a woman loves a man and when a man loves a woman) and tracks 19 (love will tear us apart and love will keep us together)…

v-day mix (vol. 1+2)

and then there was my leethal mix that i used to give out with orders back in the early days when i first started selling stuff…  i still love love love this mix!

leethal vol1

(click on any of these track list pictures and click “all sizes” to read the tracks if you want to.)  that mix at the top was the first one i made for pete, then i made another one that i can’t find the artwork for, and an 80’s mix also – i found the track lists for both in a super old livejournal blog post.  pete has made some great ones for me too, but without artwork, so i’ll end this valentines post with the card pete made for me for v-day ’05, which also happened to be our second date! that’s the day i knew i was smitten…

pete's card pete's collage

by the way, the specific thing that inspired me to write this v-day post was listening to the all songs considered postcast on lesser-known love songs.  i was so so happy when carrie brownstein played the magnetic fields’ the book of love!  and there were some really funny quotes in the podcast, like “i feel like i’m the only one who came to the party and thought it was a costume party” and “i don’t think i’ve ever heard this song while not rollerskating backwards.”  and i’ve had harry nilsson’s without you stuck in my head for hours… but, in a good way.

Filed under: music,personal — leethal @ 4:51 pm

February 8, 2009

Craft: 10!

mitts times three

check it out!!

craft: contributors page craft: fingerless mitts

for manymany years i’ve dreamt of someday being on the contributors page of one of my favorite magazines… i still can’t believe i’m there! and to be on that page in a magazine with amy sedaris on the cover! truly unbelievable! in college i thought my career would be photography, and i was way into music photography, so i dreamed that someday i’d be a music magazine contributor. so i think it’s funny and cool how i’ve gone down such a different path, but still so similar. anyway, i did a three part project with two different kinds of recycled sock mitts, and one knitting pattern for these:

knit mitts knit gradient mitts

(the pattern is rav’d if you want to queue it!) it’s a crazy simple pattern – my thoughts about knitting in craft magazine is that, well, it’s not a knitting magazine, and i think probably a ton of craft readers know how to do a knit stitch, but are not hardcore knitters, might not be able or wanting to follow complex patterns, etc. so i wanted to write a pattern that anyone who knows how to make a knit stitch and is willing to try using double pointed needles (they’re not hard, you can do it!) can make. it’s really meant to be a knitting pattern for non-knitters. i hope you like it!

multi-sock mitts no-sew sock mitts multi-sock mitts

(it started raining during our photo shoot!) and then there are plain no-sew sock mitts (like the ones i did for my zine reading at the library) and multi-sock mitts, which are both in my zine (but with much less detailed how-tos). i think it’s really funny that they used that little illustration i made – i did not make it with the intention of it being printed!! hopefully that doesn’t reflect on my artistic ability in any way…

craft: fingerless sock mitts

and as for the rest of the magazine… freakin great issue!! so first of all, amy sedaris, love her! i was almost jumping around my living room with excitement when i first read she was going to be on the cover! and then there are a ton of great projects – well, there always are in every issue of craft! the recycle it is for glasses lenses… i had seen something like that on a blog somewhere and thought it was brilliant, so i was excited to see it here. i especially looove the camera example!

craft: recycle it craft: mixtape

and then there’s mixtapes! i am a long time mix lover, starting way back with cassette tapes in junior high and high school, and then in my college years i got obsessive about my mix cds.  i started to write more here but then i decided to save it all for a future mixtape blog post instead of cramming it in here…  but yeah, the writer of the mixtapes piece is right above me on the contributors page and she seems superrad! yay mixes!

craft: bitters

diane has a how-to for making bitters, so cool! i’ve been wanting to try out using bitters in mix drinks since diane started tweeting about it awhile back… so i don’t know if i’ll be making my own anytime soon, but it’s cool to know that i can!

craft: fingerless knit mitts

and then the guitar bag next to my knitting pattern is super awesome!  love it!!  just a great issue!  so, if you have a subscription, you’ve probably already gotten yours, and if not, it’ll be hitting newsstands on tuesday.  but you should subscribe!  it’s such an amazing magazine – it was my favorite long before i ever contributed!!

i suck for going so long between posts… in the last week i’ve gotten obsessive about this knitting pattern i’m working on, and then also working on another pattern, and doing blog posts for craftstylish and threadbanger (check out my knit/crochet hat roundups), so blogging here has been suffering.  but, i plan to release both patterns very soon (hoping for one tomorrow or tuesday, and the other next tuesday).  here are some super cropped sneak peeks:

cropped mystery knit cropped mystery knit

and then i do have a list of blog posts planned, it’s just finding the time to write them that’s a problem… i want to do a mixtape post now, and then there are a couple books i want to review, and a couple posts related to craftstylish tutorials i’ve done… is there anything particular you want me to post about? well, i’ll leave you with a couple recent finished knit items… the handspun bonnet that i mentioned i was knitting a couple weeks ago:

bonnet06 bonnet05

and more of the mystery pattern concept that i showed you with the orange hat. (not one of the soon-to-be-released patterns, this is a whole different thing):

msclcabledhat01 mscl lace hat

Filed under: general crafts,hats,knitting,music — leethal @ 4:26 pm

July 27, 2008

blocks, banjos, and metal!


for pete’s birthday i carved these two music recording gear lino blocks and printed a bunch of shirts – 7 to be exact. 4 with those and 3 banjo shirts, including this one which is actually embroidered, not printed, that i posted about on threadbanger a few days ago. wanna see them all? ok!

pete's tape recorders shirt pete's mixing board shirt

pete's mixing board bottom shirt pete's mixing board bottom shirt pete's tape recorder t-shirt

pete's banjo circle shirt pete's banjo t-shirt
pete's embroidered banjo patched shirt banjo patch close up

block printing is so much fun! i definitely plan to do much more in the near future!

oh oh and my other bday present to pete was soo super nerdytastic! i made him a website!! it’s still very much work in progress… i just built the site template kind of, and then we’ll change/add stuff as we get to it. the music sample mp3s are all many years old – his new stuff can be found on the myspace page for now; it’s all incomplete, but still fun to hear. (don’t be scared by the word “metal” – it’s a very experimental kind of mixed genres music that i don’t know how to describe, but there’s no growling vocals or anything, at least not in the new stuff.) he’ll probably put up cds for sale on the music page in the future, so if you like what you hear, you might want to subscribe to his blog!

one last totally random thing, since i’m on the subject of music… yesterday i was hanging out with star and scott and lauren and this question was asked: “if you could see any 3 people/bands play live, living or dead (or any 3 shows), who would they be?” so, i think mine are: the velvet underground with nico in ny when andy warhol was their manager, karen dalton + bob dylan + friends at a greenwich village coffeeshop in the early/mid 60’s, and the beatles apple rooftop show (last live show ever), but that last one is kind of tied with john+yoko post-beatles instead. i would list elliott smith if i hadn’t been lucky enough to have seen him once live, even if it wasn’t the best show to see him play (sunset street fair, so short set, huge crowd, not-great sound, etc). what are your picks??

Filed under: clothing,general crafts,lots of links,music,printing,threadbanger — leethal @ 12:28 pm

February 10, 2008

presenting “She’s A Baller” by Avant-Garde Ice Cream!

avant-garde ice cream

so ever since pete and i first started dating (which was exactly 3 years ago yesterday, by the way) we’ve talked about making songs together under the name Avant-Garde Ice Cream. don’t ask where the name came from, pete doesn’t even like ice cream, it’s just one of those things… anyway, the years went by and we talked about song ideas but never actually wrote/recorded any. oh, i should mention here, i am not a musician – in this project idea, i write the lyrics (or we write them together) and i do some/most of the vocals, and he does everything else (music writing, composition, playing, recording, producing, all that stuff i know nothing about).

then about a month ago, bored working the day job, i had some sudden inspiration, and i wrote words for a knitting rap. last week, while i was out of town and pete was trying to occupy his alone time productively, he made my lyrics into our first ever AGIC song!! he did an amazing job, considering this is not his genre of expertise (just about the opposite), according to me anyway. the point is to be funny, not brilliant musically, of course. and he did all the vocals for this particular song, because it makes more sense, but in future songs i’ll help with that part.

so here it is, for a limited time only, free for download. i plan to leave it up here for a week, so through next weekend (2/17 to be exact), then probably make it for sale through itunes. so grab it while you can!!

i am thinking about making a “radio edit” (which would mean bleeping out bitches, hos, and shit, i think that’s all) so that yarn stores could play it and not offend any customers. think there might be any interest?

so let me know what you think! hope it makes you laugh lots!!

Filed under: knitting,music — leethal @ 6:57 pm
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