October 5, 2010

Time to hit the road… and Celebrate!

So we’re leaving super duper early on Wednesday morning, and I’ve been working all day today on 4 hours of sleep… it’s now 1am and before my energy is drained completely I just need to get this one last post out there to you… I’ll be checking email (and comments) once in awhile, but I’ll basically be out of touch from the world until the 21st.  I’ve been really super appreciating all the great roadtripping recommendations, even though I’ve been so beyond busy getting everything done that I haven’t been replying, sorry about that!!

framed song lyrics

Anyway…  my brain isn’t fully functioning, so I’m going to mostly let the photos do the talking from now on…  October’s club ebook is out now!  (on ravelry here)

october club ebook cover

Inspired by my wedding crafting, but not wanting to do a wedding theme, I made all the projects relate in some way to celebrating – with friends over wine…

Drink Sweaters!

… or beer, with these drink sweaters (cabley, knit-tastic versions of wine glass charms for drink identification)…

Drink Sweaters!

…or celebrating out at a special event or just dressing up for fun, because it doesn’t have to be a super special occasion to wear a lapel flower!

Lapel Flowers!

They can also be worn as brooches, or you could turn them into hair accessories too I’m sure…

Lapel Flowers!

The non-knit craft project this month is frilly crocheted shoes, which are my wedding shoes.  As you can see, they can have all kinds of different styles depending on how you lace them up (well, these two aren’t super different, but you get the idea).  Tonight, after I’d already finished and released the ebook, I discovered another way of lacing them that I like even better, using the ribbon more as a drawstring instead of criss-crossing it; I’m sure there are tons more possibilities!

Frilly Crocheted Shoes! Frilly Crocheted Shoes!

This is what they look like before weaving ribbons through:

Frilly Crocheted Shoes! Frilly Crocheted Shoes!

This project is a 4-page photo tutorial of how to turn old flip flops into the new shoes – once you get to the point where the crochet starts, you can come up with your own stitches for your shoes, if you are experienced with a hook.  This is the first crochet design I’ve ever written out, and I wrote the whole thing more as a tutorial rather than a pattern…

Frilly Crocheted Shoes!

The final extra goodie in this month’s ebook is a set of 7 of my favorite song lyric cards that I made to frame for these wedding decorations/favors.  I included the title and author of each font in the included lyrics, so you’ll be able to find and download any fonts that you especially like, choose your own personal favorite song lyrics, and make your own lyric art!

framed song lyrics

These picture frames will be another project for another blog post… after the trip…  Have a good October, I’ll be back in 2 weeks!

oh wait, one more thing.  I keep forgetting to mention this!  Portlanders, I am teaching a self-publishing class at Twisted on the 28th!  This is going to be very similar to the class I taught at Summit of Awesome, except I won’t be trying to relate it to sewing and other craft patterns (which I did very badly since that’s not my area of expertise!).  If you are starting to design knitting or crochet patterns and want to try self-publishing pdfs, but have no idea how to start (or what that even means), then this class should get you on your way!

Ok, now, for reals, I am getting some sleep and heading out! Bye!

September 17, 2010

Home Decor and Traveling quick knits patterns available now!

In order to release the switch plate cover pattern sooner (since there was much demand when I showed the club back in May!), I’ve released vol. 3 of the first generation of quick knits club patterns early!  Only half the patterns are past their exclusivity periods, so right now the book just includes the first 4 patterns, and then in November an updated ebook will be released and automatically sent out to everyone who purchased the book, complete with all 8 patterns from May-August.

quick knits vol.3 cover Garter Strip Light-switch Cover

So, right now, the ebook includes the Garter Strip Light-switch Cover, Stuffed Ball Cord Pull, Luggage Tag Pouch, and Leaf-ish Sleep Mask; in November it will also include Blooming Flowers, Robot Monster Pouch, Custom Game Pieces, and Fitted Pocket Case – all those for only $6.  (Each month’s set alone is also available for $3, as usual.)  Buy it now – on my website or on ravelry – and get the update delivered to you when it’s ready in November.

To celebrate this release, but much more to celebrate the release of ravelry coupon codes (so so so exciting!!), I’m running a promotion for the next week, just for fun!  Through Friday Sept 24th, if your order includes at least 2 quick knits pattern sets (including this ebook, a club subscription, Ten 10 yard Cuffs, and all the club patterns ebooks) and you enter the code quickknits, you’ll save $2 on your order!  Either go to my ravelry pattern shop (everyone should be able to see and use the ravelry shop, not just rav members) and add what you want to your cart, then click where it says to add a coupon code and enter quickknits.  Awesome!

Stuffed Ball Cord Pull Luggage Tag Pouch

In other pattern news, Swerve is now for sale on Knit Picks, so that’s cool!  I think their Independent Designers Program is pretty darn great – designers keep 100% of sales, and we’re not even limited to selling for $1.99 anymore like we used to be.  (My mitts pattern is $2.99.)  And I really liked knitting with the City Tweed yarn – don’t love any of the color options, sadly, but the yarn is really soft and nice.

Swerve fingerless mitts!

If anyone’s wondering about the status of my hat pattern set…. my camera is still in the repair shop with no word yet, and since it’s Thursday night now, I’m doubting I’ll have it back before Monday (which sucks extra because the make-a-long is Saturday!), and I can’t release the pattern without photos (duh) so it’s still on hold…. next week I hope…

Filed under: knitting,quick knits,self-publishing — leethal @ 10:40 am

September 7, 2010

Get Organized! leethal quick knits club September 2010!

mini-ebook cover

Tah dah!  It’s the first mini-ebook for my next generation of the leethal quick knits club!  Yay!  The 12 page (computer screen reading friendly) pdf includes these two knitting patterns:

zig-zag lace cup! circular needles hanger!

Zig-Zag Lace Cup and Circular Needles Hanger…  both have a 20 yard version, which is what you see in the examples, but both patterns also have any-size, any-gauge (therefore any-yarn) variations!  Make the cup more lacy with a finer weight yarn, and/or make it bigger or smaller to suit your needs.  Knit up the needle hanger in any yarn you have leftover; add more levels lengthwise for extra categorization of your circular collection…

stiffening your lace knit cup zig-zag lace cup!

The cup can easily be stiffened with regular white glue – admiring it once it’s dry the next day is super exciting, by the way!  I want to make a ton more of these cups now, I love it so much!  You could also choose to slip it over a cardboard tube to make it a functioning cup, instead of stiffening it (instructions for both options are included in the ebook).

zig-zag lace cup! zig-zag lace cup!

(I’m sad my first club ebook had to be entirely shot with my point+shoot camera, since my D80’s still in the repair shop, boo….)  And then the other pattern is a pretty simple piece with lots of buttonholes and straps that get woven through them.  I learned how to make one-row buttonholes for the first time while designing this, and have no idea why it took me so long!  They’re pretty darn rad!  As I noted in the pattern, I think it would look super cool to knit the straps in a contrasting colored yarn from the main knit piece – it would really show off the woven construction (I kind of want to make another one to try it out).

circular needles hanger! circular needles hanger!

And then there are some other projects too, of course!  In fitting with the theme of organizing your knitting needles and notions, I show you how to make a carry-all case for your most-used needles, and a little drawstring baggy for your stitch markers and other wee bits…

carry-all needles case recycled fabric drawstring baggy

So, if you make everything in the ebook, you’ll have newly crafted storage solutions for your entire needle collection!  Especially if you do what I’m surely going to be doing, and make several more lace cups to hold all your straights (if you have a big vintage needle collection like me, that is).  The final extra goodie in the ebook is a page of silly little drawings of knitting needles and notions, which can be embroidered on to the baggy or needle case if you like.  There’s a glimpse of it below, beside a snippet from the stiffening tutorial:

a page inside a bit of the embroidery pattern page

So there’s the first month!  It’s all on ravelry, and you can now subscribe for 6 months (just $20) right there, which starts with this current month – so this ebook will automatically be sent to you immediately upon subscribing!  Neato!  You can also buy this ebook alone over there ($5), and you can also sign up through my club page (which still needs a bit more updating, but the ravelry link suffices for the time being).

If, for some reason, you want to subscribe starting with next month (like, you bought this ebook alone but now you decided you actually want a membership), you can do that on my club webpage.  This will be a useful feature when your 6 month membership runs out, as this is how you can renew it to continue your subscription seamlessly.

Remember, for every month that you’re a member on the ebook release day, you’re entered into a members drawing for a superfun club-related package of awesomeness!  This month’s winners were Miranda and Esther, yay!!

Ok I think that’s everything!  Hope you like the first new month, I’m super duper happy with how it all came together!  Yayyyyy!

Filed under: general crafts,knitting,quick knits — leethal @ 9:18 pm

August 23, 2010

August quick knits club, and the Next Generation!

First, I’ll make sure you know about the next generation of the leethal quick knits club, since I’m super excited about it!  The club is changing pretty drastically, but still with a major focus on knitting projects that use up small amounts of yarn, and fun crafty projects that use recycled/reclaimed/cheap materials!  Instead of getting a package with small amounts of yarn, members will get the patterns in a mini-ebook each month, with patterns designed to work great for using up leftover yarn bits!

Major changes for the Next Generation:

  • PDF-only (no more physical packages) which cuts the price of a subscription to less than a quarter of what it was for the old club!  ($20 for 6 months of ebooks.)
  • No more exclusivity!  When the ebook is released and sent to members, it will also be released for sale to the world ($5 for a single month via my site or ravelry), and you can still grab a 6-month subscription that begins with the ebook that’s already been released, through the end of the month.  So, if you don’t like signing up for something until you see the details, you can wait till the pdf is revealed, then still get the discounted subscription price!
  • Always a non-knitting craft tutorial of some kind in addition to the 2 knitting patterns.
  • No more strict yardage limitations – each of the 2 patterns will use something less than 20 yards, and will be flexible with gauge so they’re perfect for using up scraps.

quick knits!

Bonuses of becoming a member instead of buying each pdf after they’re released:

  • Lower per-ebook price ($3.33 per month vs $5).
  • Automatic delivery of the ebooks to your inbox each month when they’re released.
  • Entry into monthly drawing to win a club-related package of goodies!  Since one of my favorite parts of the first generation of the club was putting together all the fun extra stuff, I’ll still be doing that, but just with 1 or 2 packages, which will go to raffle winners each month!

There will still be a theme for each pdf that all the patterns, projects, and extras (like recipes, puzzles, games, templates, etc) are based around, but the themes won’t be revealed until they are released.  The release dates will be the first Monday of each month (unless I decide to change that in the future) and more details can be found on the club page.  I think that’s everything important, but comment if you have any questions!

quick knits!

And now, my last package of the first generation of the club!  Here was August (Games theme):

August club!

The 15-yard pattern was a Fitted Pocket Case, except that my vision for the case (sized to hold a deck of cards and other game stuff) wasn’t ideal for 15 yards, so I also included a card deck sleeve version, and an any-size/any-gauge version as well.

pocket case

So, if the any-size version is worked up with a bigger pocket and better sized to the card deck, it can hold the deck, some dice, and/or paper, pencil, etc, all for portable game playing!  Yay!

pocket case pocket case

Everyone got a button for the case, and a deck of cards, reclaimed from thrift or reuse shops!  Fun!

buttons! reclaimed decks of cards!

The 10-yard pattern was a set of Custom Game Pieces (10 yards makes 4 pieces), which get glued onto poker chips, and then you can glue on whatever fun or silly little toys and trinkets you want for the game pieces!  So then when you play something like Cranium, Trivial Pursuit, etc, in which you move a piece around the board, you can be the blue monster instead of just being blue

custom game pieces

I think my favorite is my broken needle graveyard game piece!  And everyone got 4 reclaimed poker chips in 4 different colors to make their pieces.

custom game pieces poker chips!

The rest of the fun extras were a little pencil, because a pencil is always a great thing to have with you for anywhere-game-playing!  And, a Farkle Points card – farkle is a dice game we’ve recently discovered that’s great for waiting for food or other kinds of impromptu playing, since all you need are 6 dice, something to write on+with, and points written down like on these cards.

little pencils and farkle points!

Oh yeah, and the yarn!  The spun recycled 10 yards was 100% cotton, yellow and orange plied together, called It’s a Game.  The dyed was recycled 48% wool, 22% viscose, 16% nylon, 9% angora, 5% cashmere, super light pink, overdyed with reds and blues to make a red/pink/purple/blue variegated yarn, called Mind Games.  (I’m not going to miss making up alllll these little mini-skeins each month!)

It's a Game yarn! Mind Games yarn!

So that was August, the last of the exclusive packaged club kits!  Hopefully in November the last club pattern set ebook will be released, with May-August’s patterns.  I’m really happy to not have anything be exclusive anymore, that was just a bad idea.

Thanks to all first generation club members, I hope you had fun with your packages, and I hope you’re all excited about the next generation!!

Filed under: general crafts,knitting,quick knits,self-publishing,yarn — leethal @ 2:04 pm

July 27, 2010

July leethal quick knits club!

My second-to-last physical quick knits club packages (before switching to pdf-only) got mailed out a week ago – it was some hectic times getting this one together, but I am so so happy with how it turned out!  The theme was Accessorize, and my aim was for there to be something for everyone…

Blooming Flowers! Robot Monster Pouch!

With the 15 yard mini-skein, the pattern was these Blooming Flowers, in 3 different sizes (barely blooming, blooming, and the cephalopod-esque fully bloomed) – the 15 yards is enough to make 6 or 7 of them!

Blooming Flowers!

By threading a pipe cleaner (or 2) through the flowers, and wrapping it around ribbon, the flowers can be turned into a necklace (like above), a headband (like below, or like this), a bracelet, or whatever else the maker can think up!

Blooming Flowers! Blooming Flowers!

Another option is to turn 2 (or more!) flowers into a pair of earrings, like these:

Blooming Flowers!

Each club package included everything needed to make earrings like those, which means members could also choose to use the parts to try out my 2-bead earrings tutorial (like the ones below), or make any other kinds of earrings with the 2 earwires, 2 headpins, 2 eyepins, and many assorted pairs of beads included in the package!

Blooming Flowers!

Or, another option for members is to use all those parts to make a collection of beaded stitch markers!  Turning each headpin, eyepin, and earwire into a stitch marker means you get 6 fancy-pants beaded treats for your knitting!  Aaaand, the other pattern can provide a place to store them:

July quick knits club stuff! July quick knits club stuff!

To accessorize your keys, bag, or whatever you clip it onto, the Robot Monster Pouch is sized exactly to hold a tic-tac case, which can be repurposed to store stitch markers, or anything else that fits!  The case wasn’t included in the package, but the googly eyes were:

Robot Monster Pouch!

Everyone got a bundle of 4 pipe cleaners and a piece of ribbon, and a little (recycled) baggie filled with all those jewelry-making parts, a keyring, a hook, and lots of beads…

July quick knits club stuff!

… mostly from Knittn’ Kitten, many of the beads are either vintage (like these 50’s glass chevron beads) or czech glass!  Pretty!

July quick knits club stuff! July quick knits club stuff!

Oh yeah and the yarn!  Recycled dyed is 56% nylon, 40% angora, 4% lambswool fingering weight – used to be a bright fuschia color, overdyed with blue, purple, and red to make a less bright purple shade.  I named it Dedicated Follower of Fashion.  The spun yarn, Fashion is Danger, is a lambswool/angora/rayon blend with a shiny silver strand running through, spun and plied with vintage lurex metallic thread and a variegated thread.

July quick knits club stuff! July quick knits club stuff!

And a complete club package:

July quick knits club stuff!

Don’t forget to sign up for the last club kit (only a few days left till the 1st) – August’s theme is Games and I’m way excited about it!!

Filed under: beading,knitting,quick knits — leethal @ 4:35 pm

July 6, 2010

leethal quick knits club patterns vol.2!

It’s out! You can now knit anything and everything from my January-April club pattern sets!  $3 for a month’s worth of 2 patterns, or $6 gets you the whole EIGHT pattern ebook!!  (on ravelry)  The 23 pages include…

leethal quick knits patterns vol. 2!

January’s Afterthought Earflaps and Pinwheel Earmuffs (original blog post):

Afterthought Earflaps Pinwheel Earmuffs

February’s Argyle Cuff and Bolt (original blog post):

cuffs01 bolt04

March’s Cabled Frame and Camera Patch (original blog post):

Cabled Frame Camera Patch

April’s Fruit+Veggie Scrubbies and Mini Produce Bag (original blog post):

fruit + veggie dish scrubbies mini produce bag

Sorry if I sounded all advertise-y but I’m sincerely excited about releasing this ebook!  I really love a lot of these designs so I’m happy for the exclusivity to be over and now anyone who wants them can get them!  Yay!

You can find and buy everything on my site here, or on ravelry here.  Happy knitting!

Filed under: knitting,leethal store,quick knits,self-publishing — leethal @ 1:01 pm

June 24, 2010

June leethal quick knits club!

June’s club theme was Traveling – here’s the package!

all June club stuff

The 15 yard pattern was a luggage tag pouch, which can be either knit only or crochet edged:

Luggage Tag Pouch

The yarn – Deep Sea Diving Suit – is 100% shetland, recycled lace-weight-ish, light green half overdyed with blue to make a striping turquoise and green pattern.  Each package included an info card to fill out and put in the pouch.

Luggage Tag Pouch June club yarn!

With the 10 yards of 100% recycled cotton – grey, light blue-grey, and green spun together for a bulky weight yarn, called Aeroplane Over the Sea – the pattern was a leaf-ish sleep mask

June club yarn! Leaf-ish Sleep Mask

…which is completed with a piece of elastic:

Leaf-ish Sleep Mask

So all packages included a length of vintage or reclaimed elastic, all from my favorite local craft thrift store:

elastic for June club patterns

Then for one extra, everyone got a reclaimed tag and a piece of recycled map (both from Scrap), which can be glued together to make a travel bookmark.  And the other extra (which took me way too long to make and is a major reason I’m so behind now! I love mixes too much!) is my summer road trip themed mix CD, let’s take the road, but not on track

map bookmark pieces road trip mix cd!

Like I said in the note to members, of course, while it was made with road tripping in mind, it will work just as well in your ipod on a plane or a train, on foot, or at home!  The cover art is a piece of Montana road map, and this is the track list:

summer road trip themed mix!

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!  A side note: back in November, the club included a winter mix, but at the time when I posted about it I was organizing a mix swap so I didn’t want to reveal the track list… in case there are any mix-lovers out there who are interested, I’ve now uploaded the track list image (which is designed to slip inside a floppy disk sleeve, hence the weird round picture)

So, that’s it for June’s club; I hope all the members enjoyed it!!

all June club stuff

If you’re into the club concept, there are still 2 months left before I switch to pdf-only format!  July’s theme is going to be Accessorize and I’m getting excited about it.  The mail-out date is a bit later than usual (July 20th) but the sign-up deadline is still July 1st, so grab your membership soon!  July only or July-August 2-month subscriptions are available for a discount.  Happy June!

Filed under: knitting,quick knits,yarn — leethal @ 4:33 pm

May 25, 2010

Future club 2.0 and May leethal quick knits club!

I’m so excited to tell you about my future leethal quick knits club plans!  I’ve been brainstorming about it and planning out all the details for the last couple of weeks, and I’m really looking forward to making the switch, which will happen after I’ve completed 1 full year of the current club.  Not sure what it’ll be called yet, some ideas:

  • leethal quick knits club: the next generation
  • quick knits club 2, electric boogaloo
  • quick knits club: the new class

Any better suggestions? hehe… Ok so here’s the deal: starting in September, my club will be PDF only!  But wait, it’ll be awesome, I promise!  (I was totally inspired by my buddy Star’s supercool sock club, by the way.)  Each month I’ll be making a club ebook, which will always include:

  • at least 2 quick knits patterns, perfect for using up yarn leftovers
  • at least 1 step-by-step tutorial for another project fitting with the theme
  • at least 1 fun extra, which could be anything from recipes to games/puzzles to embroidery or applique patterns, etc

Each month revolving around a theme, and everything designed with a focus on using up leftovers, recycled items, and things that you probably have on hand or are super easy and cheap to obtain.  I’m excited to put more attention into awesome project tutorials, instead of having to figure out ideas based on what I can include in 30-40 packages each month, limiting creativity potential.  And, of course, this means club subscriptions will be much cheaper (like, less than a quarter of the current club cost)!

Old Timey Moustache!

Other major change: no more exclusivity!  Each month, the club pdf will get released to the world, and be available for anyone to buy, forever.  So, if you don’t like the idea of  buying something when you don’t know exactly what it is that you’ll be getting (like my current club), you can wait until it’s released each month and see if you like it.  It will be a majorly discounted per-month price to subscribe, however, and there will be a rad bonus for club members only…

Each month, all subscribing members will be entered into a raffle to win a club kit package!  It won’t necessarily include everything needed for all the projects like my current club, it will vary each month depending on the projects, but every month I’ll be putting together a few packages of kit materials that fit with that month’s ebook and sending them out to a few lucky members!

club #2: Back to school set

Ok that’s enough info about this future club for now, since it won’t be happening for awhile, but the reason I wanted to tell you about it now (besides that I’m excited about it) is that there is only one week remaining to get 3-month subscriptions to the current version of the quick knits club! If you love the physical packages, grab a membership now for the last 3 months – June will be a Traveling theme (yay for summer road trips!), and July + August are yet to be announced, but I’ll be sure to make the last couple months extra awesome for sure!  Starting June 2nd, you’ll be able to get a 2-month subscription for those last 2 months, and then in July you’ll just be able to sign up for the August club alone… and in August you can start signing up for the new club.

(those photos above were from old clubs, now moving on to May’s package…)

all May club stuff

You already saw a chunk of May’s Home Decor club package, but here is everything that each member included (above), and the yarn – I Feel Like Going Home and To Go Home:

I Feel Like Going Home dyed yarn To Go Home spun yarn

Which are used to make the Stuffed Ball Cord Pull and Garter Strip Light-switch Cover:

Stuffed Ball Cord Pull Garter Strip Light-switch Cover

Everyone’s package included a standard switch plate to use with the knit cover, and I stuck an extra bonus idea in the pattern pdf, for this fitted cord pull cover:

switch plates fitted cord pull cover

The extra goodies were half of a record album cover, 2 book pages, 1 of them with 2 stamped designs added, and 5 reclaimed magnets:

club extra goodies club extra goodies

So with the club items, pictured on the left, and some basic craft supplies, pictured on the right…

projects materials in club package needed to make projects

…members can make 5 custom crafted magnets and a switch plate (or multiple switch plates, or more magnets, or other crafts!):

magnets! 0514

See my switch plates post for album cover plate how-to, and I’m planning a future post of magnet ideas!  It was a fun club month for me, hope you enjoyed it too!

Filed under: general crafts,home stuff,knitting,quick knits,yarn — leethal @ 3:01 pm

May 22, 2010

Switch Plates! And how to make one from an old record cover!

My club mail out day was Tuesday, and, like I do every month, I put the 2 patterns up on ravelry and flickr after sending out the pdf to the members.  Normally, since the patterns aren’t available to the public, plus they are small trinkets that most knitters don’t seem to care much about, this doesn’t really mean anything – but holy crap you guys, this light-switch cover pattern has gotten a crazy response!!

Garter Strip Light-switch Cover Garter Strip Light-switch Cover

It got blogged on Knit Hacker and the number of hearts on ravelry have surpassed not just all my club patterns, but most of my full-sized patterns as well!  Of course, I so wish I could be selling the pattern to everyone who loves it, but my club promises exclusivity for 3 months, so it’s members-only until August… this system will actually be changing soon, but that’s another post for another time…

Anyway, for the record, the knit switch plate concept was Pete’s idea!  I had thought of the cord pull for the Home Decor club theme, and we were trying to brainstorm other ideas, and genius Pete thought of this!  Here is my first try – the center hole was messy and uneven, so I tried solving the problem with ribbon, which probably made it look worse:

firstknitplate1 firstknitplate2

So, moving on to the point of this post, making the knit plate cover got me all inspired to make more, since the switch plates our house came with looked like these, about half of each:

oldplate2 oldplate1

A quick note to club members – most of you should have gotten your packages by now, but if you haven’t (because you live outside the US perhaps) and you don’t want any spoilers, you probably want to stop reading now and come back to this post once you’ve opened your package!

My first try, covering a switch plate with a book page, was a bit silly… I tried attaching the page to the textured kind of plate pictured above, with spray adhesive, not a good match, so the edges never really glued down.  But I learned from my mistakes and made some rad ones, and plan to make another, better book page plate, for the library light switch!  Once I started seeing how cool covered plates look, and how simple they are to make, I decided to include some extra goodies in the club packages that could be used to make more switch plates!

bookpageplate

So I included a couple of book pages and half of a record album cover, with a little instruction sheet for how to turn them into either magnets or switch plates…  The instructions included are just text, so I thought it would be a good idea, and fun for everyone, to put up a more visual how-to here, for making a switch plate with an old album cover!  (This is just how I made mine, and I am definitely not an expert – there are lots of great switch plate tutorials out there from people with more experience, which I collected for my recent Threadbanger roundup here, so check those out to see how to cover plates with fabric, polymer clay, and other things!)

Let’s get started!  First, you’ll need:

  • an old record album cover with a good switch-plate-sized image
  • an X-acto knife
  • a basic switch plate
  • craft glue (I use Aleene’s Tacky Glue, but there may be glues that would work better for this type of project), and a brush to spread the glue

Start by laying the plate down on the album and positioning it where you want the image, keeping in mind the where the holes will be for the switch and screws.

Use the blade to trace around the plate, with plenty of extra space for the curved edges – I made mine so the the paper curved around to the edge of the plate, but I think it would be better to have more extra image so it wraps around to the back a little.  To have it wrap around the back, cut at least a half inch out from the plate edges.

You don’t need to press down through the whole album cover cardboard piece with the knife, as you’ll see in the next step that you’ll just be using the top image layer…

howto01

Carefully separate the image into its own layer, peeling the cardboard apart – this is easier with some albums than with others, depending on age and wear.  You want the image layer to be as thin as possible, but not to rip; though if it does rip, you can put it back together when you glue it onto the switch plate.

howto02

Peel it all the way off and you should have a rectangle of thin cardboard with your image, curling up at the edges.  If it seems too thick to be able to curve around the switch plate smoothly, you can carefully peel more cardboard layers from the back.

howto03

Now lay the switch plate on top of the rectangle, centered, and cut an X across the switch hole, from corner to corner.  Also, punch holes with your blade where the screw holes are, but they don’t need to be big or neat, since you can twist through them with screws later.  Now turn the cardboard piece upside down and fold the X tabs back, like this:

howto04

Note: in the club instruction sheet, I just said to cut out the hole, but I’ve since found that this X method makes for a neater switch plate.  This first one I made used the cut-out-hole method, and it looks fine, just a little more handmade-y or something.  Here is a progress shot of that one, with the cut-out hole:

makingfirstalbumplate

Before gluing on, curve the edges back, like how they’ll be curved around the plate, with your fingers.  Now cover the back with glue…

howto05

…then spread the glue to all the edges, corners, and X tabs with a brush (I used a foam brush, but a paint brush should work fine):

howto06

Position the plate onto the glued piece, and center it so that the holes and edges line up:

howto07

This part gets messy, if you’re doing everything with your fingers like I do… Pull the X tabs down, and curve all the edges around, keeping everything centered and straight (it’ll want to slide around the whole time).  If you cut the piece bigger to curve around to the back, press the cardboard on to the back.

howto08

For the corners, I first curve the edges around up to the corners, then fold the corners down, as you can kind of see above and below.  You could also make the corners neater by making small cuts in them so they curve around without folding like this.

howto09

Let it dry, punch through the screw holes and twist them open with the screws (below).  Then you can coat it to make it longer-lasting.  (You could cover it with Mod Podge, or use something like Krylon Acrylic Crystal Clear, which is what’s recommended in The Big Ass Book of Crafts – I’ve never used it, but I bet it would work well and make your switch plate more permanent and durable.)

howto10

Screw it into the wall and enjoy!  I put mine in the bathroom to brighten it up in there, but I might need to make some kind of over-sized plate (like this or this one, for example) to hide that terrible paint job around the switch…

albumplate2 albumplate1

By the way, I have no idea who that is on my plate – anyone know?  It’s on some best of the 70’s album with this watercolor collagey kind of artwork… I just like the colors and the happy tone of the image.  Ok that’s all, and I’m hoping to be posting more home decor projects soon! Yay!

Filed under: general crafts,home stuff,quick knits,tutorials — leethal @ 2:55 pm

May 3, 2010

April leethal quick knits club!

Tea Towel

First of all, this post is much belated, so because of that, and because the May club mail-out date is later than usual, I’m extending the May club sign-up deadline through Wednesday (the 5th) – May’s theme is Home Decor, and I have some fun ideas brewing!  (Sign up for just May, or for a 3 month subscription at a discounted price!)

April Club - Everything

So, April!  Fruits + Veggies theme!  It was a fun one!  My favorite part is the spun yarn pattern – I managed (with much trial and error!) to design a mini produce bag with just 10 yards of yarn, a square of reclaimed vintage lace, and an extra little bit of recycled cotton yarn, plus a loop of t-shirt fabric for the handle.  With big needles, yarn-overs, and dropped stitches, it expands to hold a totally decent amount of fruit!  (in the pictures, it’s holding a lemon, an apple, an orange, 2 tangelos, and a lime):

mini produce bag mini produce bag

That spun recycled yarn is double stranded orange cotton, yellow lambswool, and a couple secondhand threads (green + orange), all spun and plied together – it’s called Trees Keep Growing:

Spun Yarn Closer

And then to complete the bag, everyone got the square of lace, t-shirt loop, and extra bundle of orange cotton:

Bag Making Stuff Yarn Plus Pattern Extras

The dyed yarn pattern was a bit different this month – included were 4 fruit+veggie dish scrubbie designs (well, 3 really, because the orange and the tomato are the same shape) and the members get to choose which 2 they want to make.  The yarn was divided into color sections with one end starting with red, to knit up either a strawberry or a tomato, and the other side starting with orange, to make either a carrot or an orange, and green in the middle for both leaf tops:

fruit + veggie dish scrubbies

This yarn was kind of nuts to dye – after balling up the whole bulky sweater worth of yarn, I decided to skein it all together as one gigantic skein, to make the dyeing easier – but it made the washing, drying, etc, much harder (wetter and messier!)…

Balled Yarn Skeined Yarn

But, it worked, and everyone got a 15 yard chunky mini-skein with 5 yards of red, 5 of green, and 5 of orange – called If it is Growing:

Dyed Yarn

The main extra crafty goodies were a kind of embroidery kit – a sheet of paper with drawings of a bunch of different fruits + veggies, a piece of fabric (like a mini tea towel), and a sheet of carbon paper for transferring:

Embroidering Stuff

Using a pen (or a mechanical pencil with no pencil sticking out, my favorite method), with the carbon paper blue side against the fabric, on a hard surface, trace the drawings you like, how you want them on the fabric, and tah dah – transferred!  Then embroider over the pictures however you want… or you could trace over them with fabric paint pens, or get creative with some other method…

Embroidery Transfer

And the final extra bit of fun – everyone got 2 of these fruit+veggie blank greeting cards.  I got them at Scrap reuse center (also where the carbon paper came from); the photography is by J. Christie Studio:

Cards

A complete April club package:

Full Club Package

And all the stuff hanging in my kitchen (I love how useful this club kit was!):

All Kitchen Stuff

A note to anyone interested in these patterns – sometime in July the last 4 months of club patterns will be released in an ebook, and separately (like the first 4 months were), so that’ll include the earmuffs + earflaps, cuffs, picture frame + photo patch, and these 2 designs!

Filed under: knitting,quick knits,yarn — leethal @ 12:59 pm

March 22, 2010

March leethal quick knits club!

It’s about time I show you what was in the March leethal quick knits club packages… But first, I think I’ve gathered a few new readers in the last couple of months (hi!) so, I’ll make sure you all know what the quick knits club is!  Once a month, I send out packages to all the members which always include: a 15 yard mini-skein of recycled hand-dyed yarn, a 10 yard mini-skein of spun recycled yarn, patterns to go with each of the yarns, anything that the patterns need to complete the project (could be buttons, ribbon, a piece of fabric, etc…) to make it a full kit, plus some extra fun goodies, which all fit into a theme for the month.  (See examples of past club packages here; I also have the patterns from the first 4 months in a mini-ebook here.)

photo book buttons

I’ve been doing the club since last August, I totally enjoy coming up with all the stuff to fit a theme, designing the mini-patterns, putting together the extra goodies… fun stuff!  Unfortunately, membership has seriously been dropping the last few months, so I really hope I’m able to continue doing it for awhile (I planned to keep it up at least through this year, if not longer)… If it sounds fun to you, you can sign up for a 1 month kind of trial membership, or a 3 month subscription at a discounted rate – sign ups for April are up through the end of this month.

March '10 club!

Ok with that said… March’s theme was photography!  Yay!

Pale Green Things Pale Blue Eyes

The dyed yarn was an unknown wool/blend from a reclaimed, hand-knit sweater, a light grey-green overdyed with blue, for a teal kind of shade… I named it Pale Green Things (after a Mountain Goats song).  The spun recycled yarn was a fine, 2-ply, 100% shetland wool yarn, which I overspun, then navajo plied, turning it into a cabled yarn.  I named it Pale Blue Eyes (after a Velvet Underground song).  With the 15 yards of dyed yarn, I designed a picture frame:

Cabled Frame

I’m so happy with how the frame worked out!  Lots of trial and error, ripping out and redesigning, but in the end, I think it’s pretty neato!  Basic cables over garter stitch, short rows to turn the corners, and a piece of mat board in back turns it into a functioning frame.  The kits came with the piece of mat board (remnants from my local art shop), and a piece of inkjet printer photo paper, salvaged from my old photo lab day job – photo labs have so much waste, it sucks, so I would take usable scraps whenever I could to save them from the garbage.  (The inkjet photo paper came from the expensive large-format prints, so it’s really nice, top quality epson luster paper, rad!)

Camera Patch i-cord wrist strap

For the 10 yards of spun yarn, I designed a camera-shaped patch… My original plan was to design a wrist strap, for point-and-shoot cameras, but I couldn’t figure out a good, functional design idea, so I made the patch instead.  But then I included a bonus alternative option – if you don’t like the patch, you could use the yarn to cover your camera’s wrist strap with i-cord!  So everyone got the 2 patterns, as usual, plus a bonus how-to sheet for the i-cord strap.

fabric "star filter"

For the extra fun stuff, everyone got… a camera! Just kidding… that piece of mesh fabric taped over my camera serves as a “star filter” – check it out… taken with that point-and-shoot:

star filtered photo star filtered photo

And this one was taken with my DSLR, for a pretty different effect:

star filtered photo

I even tried it with my crappy phone camera, and it worked, so it could be used on any kind of camera each club member has.  So, everyone got that piece of mesh fabric, an instruction sheet with how to use it, and shooting in the dark tips, plus a button that was made with a page of an old photography how-to book from the 80’s:

photo-related goodies

And lastly, everyone got 2 old slides, rejects rescued from my local reuse store.  I am planning a tutorial for slide earrings (soon!); as for other ideas for just 2 slides, I bet you could make a nightlight (though I can’t find a tutorial online for one), or a cool pendant… If you can come across a collection of old slides at your local thrift store, flea market, yard sale, here are a few links to crafty things you can do with more slides: window hanging, curtains, lampshade.  I’m totally planning on making a slide curtain for our new house!

old slides

So that was March!  I haven’t decided for sure on a theme for April yet, but I have a list of great themes to choose from…. I’ll throw this idea out there to see what you think:  the clubs have always been a complete mystery until they are mailed out, but would you prefer if I at least revealed the theme early, before the sign-up deadline (not the specific patterns though)?  Would you be more willing to sign up if you knew what the theme was going to be?  I like total mystery, but maybe most of you would rather know…

Filed under: knitting,photos,quick knits,yarn — leethal @ 1:51 pm

February 26, 2010

February leethal quick knits club!

Oh first of all, there’s only a few more days to sign up for the March club – and I’m really excited about March, it’s gonna be a fun one!!  Ok now for February…

FebClub04

There’s everything above, but I’ll start with the yarn… The 10 yards of recycled spun yarn is called Night Is The Day Turned Inside Out, and my color choices are totally inspired by Weaverknits’ love of Grellow!  It’s a 100% cotton recycled sweater yarn, in 2 shades of grey, wrapped in 3 threads – thin dark grey and variegated purple, and thick yellow/white/blue variegated:

cottonspun

And the 15 yards of dyed recycled yarn came from a reclaimed hand-knit sweater, so the fiber content is a mystery, but it’s some kind of wool or wool blend, dyed short striping sections of dark purpley red, blue, and grey-green, over the grey base.  It’s called Whatever Gets You Thru The Night:

wooldyed03

The 2 patterns this month were both cuffs, both meant to be as gender-nonspecific as possible – Argyle Cuff and Bolt.  The theme this month was a little weird – I called it “His or Hers” and it’s loosely inspired by Valentine’s Day.  I got thinking about the 14th… how it means really different things to different people, depending on relationship status, etc… so I decided to put together a kit that can be used for all different purposes or people.  So, the point is, either (or both) cuff could have been a V-day gift, or just an any-day gift, or not a gift at all…..

cuffs01

Bolt ties around the wrist, and the dyed yarn came with 2 buttons to use for argyle cuff closure.  The argyle knit up in a solid would pop more, as April shows in her ravelry project!

bolt04 argyle01

Then the extra goodies were a greeting card, and a bunch of card making and decorating materials – so they could have all been turned into Valentines, or any kind of greeting cards, or silly works of art!  Check out my awesome sticker-covered card:

cardsmade01

The non-specific greeting cards are reclaimed cards, cut to fit in the (reclaimed) envelopes, then made over with photos I took (either the dinosaur or the horse).  Then I included a 2-sided crayon, and 10 stickers inside the envelope.  Everyone got a set of fish stickers, and 6 foam stickers – 2 each of farm animals, sealife, and dinosaurs (awesome foam stickers from Dollar Tree)!  And then there were some strips of cool patterned paper (blogged back here), which could either be made into little mini-cards (or Valentines like mine), or could be cut into shapes to embellish the greeting card, or whatever else.  Thanks to Scrap, my local community reuse shop, for all these great cards, envelopes, and paper tags!

FebClub02

So that was February – weird disjointed theme, I know, but hopefully everyone had fun with it all!  March’s theme is more cohesive, I think it’s gonna be rad!  (See more quick knits club stuff and info here!)

Filed under: general crafts,knitting,quick knits,yarn — leethal @ 7:14 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!

jamming01

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

January 25, 2010

January leethal quick knits club!

Jan 2010 club

A little belated – I sent these out on the 12th – but that means everyone’s gotten them by now for sure, so I won’t be spoiling anyone’s surprise!  (It also means you only have a few more days to sign up for February!)  My club theme for January was keeping warm, so everything tied in somehow…

Pinwheel Earmuffs

The 15 yard pattern was Pinwheel Earmuffs (rav) – 2 swirly circles (weird decreases make the spiral design), backed with recycled sweater felt, bound together by a cord strap and ties.  You could also use something like a ribbon or strip of fabric for the top strap for a thicker look.

Pinwheel Earmuffs Pinwheel Earmuffs

And the 10 yard design – Afterthought Earflaps (rav):

Afterthought Earflaps

These are triangle-ish pieces of knit fabric, made slightly more interesting by eyelets along the sides, which get sewn into a hat that doesn’t get enough wear, to make it more cold-winter-wind friendly.

Afterthought Earflaps Afterthought Earflaps

The earmuffs are made with a bulky 86% wool, 14% acrylic yarn recycled from a Gap sweater, dyed shades of red, blue, green, and purple, over the beige base – each of the 6 skeins were dyed separately, making them all either slightly or drastically different from each other, so everyone’s mini-skein is unique.  (You can see in the back right down there, my first skein had some issues with dye absorption and I ended up adding more, so it turned out much darker than the rest.)  In the context of the club and the individual mini-skeins, I like that the dye lots were all so different so all the earmuffs will be one-of-a-kind!  It’s called Rose Parade:

Rose Parade

The earflaps are made with this bulky spun recycled yarn – a strand of 54% nylon, 40% angora rabbit hair, 6% lambswool dark red, plied with a strand of 95% extra fine merino wool, 5% cashmere brighter red – this yarn is SO soft!!  It’s from the 2 sweaters I blogged over here, and I love it so much!  It’s called Coming Up Roses:

Coming Up Roses

So then everyone got a piece of felted (yeah I know it’s technically fulled) sweater for their earmuffs lining, and also some light blue secondhand superfine yarn to use for sewing the earmuffs together and stitching the earflaps to a hat.  Everything needed for both projects except for the needles!

recycled felt pieces

For the extra goodies, I had to do something connect-the-dots related, since I’d been spending so much time with that obsession, so I made a Winter Knitting mini-zine!  7 number puzzles, all revealing pictures of various warm knit items:

connect-the-dots Mini-Zine

And then one last little thing to round it all out – everyone got 2 leethal “recipe” cards for warm winter drinks, 1 with alcohol and 1 without, just the way I make the drinks (chosen at random out of 6 drinks total):

recipe cards

So that was January’s package – hope everyone had fun with them!!

In case you’re wondering, I am planning to release the first 4 months of club patterns in mini-ebook form, available to everyone, sometime in February (and probably give the option of buying each month separately, if all you want is the moustache, hehe).  My plan is to group the patterns twice a year into quick knits club design sets, once the exclusivity periods are up, so each set will have 8-10 patterns, plus any extras from the months (like how to make pom poms in November).  Should be fun!

Filed under: knitting,quick knits,yarn — leethal @ 6:17 pm
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