September 21, 2015

New pattern: Galax Shawl in Interweave Knits Gifts issue!

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

Galax shawl

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

Galax shawl

Here it is in the magazine!

Galax in Interweave Knits Gifts 2015 issue

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

original Galax idea sketch Galax submission sketch

original Galax idea sketch Galax submission sketch

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

Galax in Interweave Knits Gifts 2015 issue

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

Galax shawl

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

Galax shawl

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

Galax shawl

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

Galax shawl

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

Galax shawl mistake in edging

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

Galax shawl

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

Galax shawl

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

Galax shawl

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

Galax shawl

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

instagram giveaway

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

Stash podcast Ep003

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

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

January 6, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2015 leethal knits calendar!

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

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

Kim Werker's Year of Making ebook cover

Kim Werker's Year of Making ebook page

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

Kim Werker's Year of Making ebook page

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

Page from Kim Werker's Year of Making ebook

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

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

01/01 spun yarn

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

planner plans

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

Instagram books homemade photo albums

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

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

July 7, 2012

Twitter mystery KAL pattern revealed: Orthogonal!

Well the twitter mystery knit-a-long came to an end on Friday, and I think it was a success!  If you joined, I hope you had fun!  If you didn’t know about it in time, I plan to do it again in the future!  (Keep up with the leethal ravelry group if you want to know the latest on leethal knit-a-longs!)

Orthogonal!

So, now that that’s over, the pattern is released as a FREE pdf to all!  It’s called Orthogonal, and it’s a cowl or scarf (as short or long as you like) worked in modular panels with a few different options.  Since it’s free, I won’t go in to tons of details here – you can click here to download right now if you want it!

Orthogonal!

The whole thing can be lacy or not, with 3 different pairs of panel options, and the panels each switch directions, without any picked up stitches!  There are intricate lace panels (which are both charted), and 2 different simple panel options, in which some striping is recommended to show the directional switches.

Orthogonal

Stripes in adjacent panels will be perpendicular, or orthogonal!  If you’re not into the lace at all, you could work the whole thing in the non-lace panels – linen stitch and seed stitch – and have a more dense, simple piece that would look awesome with stripes!

Orthogonal!

Many thanks to Star for modeling with me, and to Pete for being photographer!  I am way into both of my samples, especially the lighter one that Star’s wearing – so happy with how the colors and stripes turned out!

This pattern ended up being much more complex than I’d originally planned (as many of my patterns tend to do) but I’m keeping it free because that was always the plan, with the twitter mystery format.  It did take me tons of time though, so if you like this pattern, it would be real neat if you wanted to check out my other patterns and consider buying any that you love, to help me keep doing what I’m doing!  <3

Orthogonal Orthogonal

In other news, I want to spread the word to Portlanders about an amazing yarn spot I found through the Portland rav group.  It’s this organization called Project Grow which takes yarn donations from shops and is selling them all for $4 per skein, so it’s both super cheap and going to a great cause!  I went in planning to get like 2-4 skeins probably, but I couldn’t resist going through all the bins, and since it seemed like such a great place to give money to anyway (and there were goats!!), I walked out with this:

Yarn haul

And then a few other announcement-ish things…

I am on Math4Knitters podcast!

I will be teaching 2 classes, plus hosting a Game Knitting night (which I’m SUPER excited about!) at Knit Fit! in Seattle November 3-4.  Okay I think I already sort of announced this actually, but the class schedule is up now… I’m teaching a class on the sideways edge cast-on and bind-off, and another on self-publishing.  Yay!

I’ve been super occupied lately with working on some future designs which I can’t show you, the main one I’m obsessed with being my future mystery shawl knit-a-long pattern!  This KAL will start at the beginning of October, but the pattern is just about done, so I’ll probably start sign-ups extra early just for fun…  I am SO excited about this design, seriously, yeah, so excited.

Filed under: knit-a-longs,knitting,podcasts,portland stuff,yarn — leethal @ 9:09 pm

February 24, 2012

Pacific Northwest travels and other stuff and things

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks!  I’ve taken several overnight trips for various purposes, to places as exciting as Seattle and as boring as Salem.  I went up north to Washington with my buddies Star, Vivian, and Marcia, for the purpose of going to Madrona fiber arts retreat in Tacoma, but I think hanging out in Seattle was the real highlight of the trip!

Seattle!

We spent the night at Marcia’s sister’s fabulous cabin-like house in the Wallingford neighborhood, made dinner and knit and talked around the fire.

Seattle trip Seattle trip

Then in the morning we took a walk to the Fremont neighborhood…

Seattle!

…where we ate a delicious breakfast at Silence-Heart-Nest

Seattle! Seattle!

…and then stopped by the Theo Chocolate factory store!  Free samples of spicy sipping chocolate, oh wow, so good.

Seattle!

We walked back to the house along the water…

Seattle! Seattle!

…and saw some fun sights.

Seattle!

Then we headed down to Tacoma, to the Hotel Murano for Madrona.  We spent some quality time in the marketplace, and then sat and knit by the fire and the horse lamp (and the Chuck Close).  Another random trip highlight was stopping at Burgerville on the way up and on the way home – because of the usual goodness of Burgerville, and because of the crazy future touch screen sodapop machine at this location (in Woodland, WA).  Raspberry Coke Zero, mmmm.

Hotel Murano for Madrona Hotel Murano for Madrona

And then there’s something I can’t fully talk about yet, but… last year, when Star, Vivian, and I went to Black Sheep fiber festival, we brainstormed up a plan for a collaborative project, and then we were all so busy we never got it going.  Well, on this recent trip, the spark returned and we’re all really trying to make it happen this year!  Here’s us at Black Sheep, filled with new project excitement energy!

Vivian + Star! Star + Me!

Me + Vivian! Me + Vivian + Star!

So that’s all about that… besides all the mini-trips I’ve been taking, I also spent some fun times showing visitors around Portland recently.  We tried to pack as much awesome Portlandyness as possible into one full day, so we did: Genie’s for a late breakfast, Movie Madness, Multnomah Falls (below), Kennedy School, Ground Kontrol, and Hopworks.  Playing tourist for a day is fun!

Multnomah Falls

A couple other things I wanted to mention – I was recently a featured crafter on Think Crafts! so that was neat.  Even more exciting though, I was interviewed on Stash and Burn podcast!  I talked with Nicole for about a half hour, about all kinds of things… Remixed, my other patterns, color, TV spoilers, etc… You can listen to the podcast through iTunes, or stream it directly on the website (the interview starts after about 20 minutes).  Yay!

me on Think Crafts! me on Stash and Burn!

So, the traveling combined with some assorted teaching and other stuff has meant a brief pause on Remixed work, but I did spend all day yesterday working on that eighth pattern, so it’s on its way!  Now that I’m feeling more confidant that it’s going to work, I can reveal that it’s a design for your hands – more than that will be shown soon enough, once I have a decent enough prototype to photograph.  It’s a tricky pattern concept… I’ve made 4 prototypes so far, and still working out major problems to get the shape right…

I think that’s all for catching up.  I actually have another overnight trip planned soon, one which will involve lots of photos!  And something I’m trying to find the time to really focus on lately is getting my studio in functioning order (instead of a storage room that I can barely walk through), so I may post some studio stuff in the near future, we’ll see how that goes… Oh yeah, lastly, a quick reminder that you still have almost a week left of my birthday month sale – save 30% on any 3 or more of my patterns!

Filed under: photos,podcasts,portland stuff,random stuff — leethal @ 4:59 pm

October 24, 2011

Class, interviews, and knit shawls!

Oh gosh, stuff has been piling up.  First, for Portlanders, I’m teaching a class on my sideways edge cast-on, and sideways bind-off (used in Betiko and Wild is the Wind), at Twisted on Tuesday November 29th.  See all Twisted class info here.  If you like the idea of the technique, but can’t wrap your head around it, here’s your chance for some hands-on help!

mittscuffprogress

Complete info from the Twisted schedule:

Sideways edge cast-on and bind-off workshop
$30 With Lee Meredith
Learn how to knit a sideways edging (perfect for a brim or cuff) while casting on stitches along the edge at the same time, avoiding the need to pick up stitches or sew seams later.  Then learn the reverse – add a knitted on sideways edge to a piece while binding off the stitches at the same time.
Date/Time: Tuesday, Nov 29, 5-8pm
Materials:  Any yarn of your choice (a weight that you like working with best, something smooth and easy to work with), needles sized to match – a circular needle is recommended (everything will be worked flat, but the flexible cord will make it easier to see what’s happening), and a stitch marker.

game knitting

So that’s that, now onto non-Portland-specific stuff.  A couple things from awhile back that never made it to the blog (till now!)…  I was interviewed for the Knit Picks podcast, for their ebooks episode, about Game Knitting and also about how I started designing, etc.

I also did a blog interview over on je suis une monstre – head over there to read all about how I quit my day job to be a designer, my design process, and lots more…

Betiko - mystery pattern version

Tara of Blonde Chicken finished her Betiko knit-a-long and blogged the gorgeous finished Betikos – love them all!

Freewheelin' prototype

And now to let you know what I’m currently up to – I know the next Remixed pattern, Freewheelin’, is supposed to be due soon, but it’s taking more redesigning and reknitting than planned… The yellow bulky sample which was supposed to be the final (or close to final) version of the pattern just wasn’t good enough and I ended up working out yet another new update (I’ve redesigned this pattern so many times, ohmygoodness the hours I’ve spent, sigh).  So then I tried a super bulky sample of the new version…

bulky Freewheelin'

…and I’m super happy with it!  So now I’m on the final step of knitting up a worsted-ish weight sample, my last test and my main sample piece, and when that’s done the pattern will go out to testers and then finally out to Remixers.  So that’s what’s going on there.  This pattern really got away from me and took on a life of its own… the other Remixed patterns I’m in the beginning stages on should be quicker, fingers crossed.

in-progress Freewheelin' in-progress Freewheelin'

And lastly, a heads up that I’m planning on starting another round of twitter trivia soon!  If you follow me on twitter, look out for daily trivia questions for a chance to win a pattern coupon code each day!  Yay!

Filed under: knit-a-longs,knitting,lots of links,podcasts,portland stuff,Remixed — leethal @ 3:32 pm

October 1, 2010

Double Excitement! Ocean Breezes pattern release + KnitCast Interview!

Ocean Breezes!

It’s here!  Ocean Breezes is now available to all!  On ravelry or on my website, the pdf is 9 pages (3 of which are photo-less pattern pages for printing) and it’s $5.

Ocean Breezes!

I originally blogged the hat design here a year ago, when it was released to Twisted‘s Single Skein Club members.  Since then, I’ve knit up another Alpaca with a Twist Highlander version for myself, in the larger, beret style size (the rust one), and put these great tree buttons on it.  Not so oceany, but I love it!

Ocean Breezes! Ocean Breezes!

And then, super last-minute earlier this week, I made a smaller, cloche style size version, with contrasting color waves!  I absolutely love how it turned out with the 2 colors, and in the Malabrigo Worsted merino, couldn’t be happier with it!  (ravelry project page)

Ocean Breezes!

So that’s yay news #1.  Yay news #2 is that I was interviewed on KnitCast!!  I was crazy amounts of honored to be asked, and had lots of fun talking to Marie about alllll kinds of leethal knitty goodness… like… Game Knitting, any-gauge patterns, the quick knits club, other designs I’ve done, making my wedding dress during the make-a-long, and lots more!

Ocean Breezes!

Listen on the site, or subscribe in itunes, since it’s a great podcast!  (I’m still working my way through the older episodes… the Woolly Wormhead and Lucy Neatby episodes were both excellent!)  One totally random note – the recycled sweater circular needle holder that Cosy made, which I mentioned in the interview, can be seen here.  Let me know if I mentioned anything else you want links to…. And enjoy!

Filed under: hats,knitting,podcasts — leethal @ 3:39 am
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