March 15, 2016

New pattern: Custom Triyang!

The final pattern in the Triyang collection is the Custom Triyang pdf, only included with the full collection, for obvious reasons.  (On ravelry here.)

Custom Triyang mockup

Custom Triyang includes the original Triyang pattern rewritten in a way that allows the plain (garter stitch or stockinette stitch) sections to be combined with the sections from Twou, Vire, and Liy.  (Ravelry links: Triyang, Twou, Vire, Liy; blog posts: Triyang, Twou, Vire, Liy.)

Custom Triyang mockup

The three complex patterns are all designed with the same stitch/row counts for the parts that match up, so they can easily be mixed and matched.  These mockups are photoshopped examples using the different samples I knit of each separate pattern, to show approximately how it would look to combine the sections.  Check out the versions made by knitters on ravelry to see lots of different actual examples!

Custom Triyang mockup

You can combine different kinds of stitch patterns in one solid color throughout for a subtler mix-and-match look, like one single yarn with a lace section, a cabled section, and a garter stitch section.  I had fun with color for my sample!

Custom Triyang!

This is the custom sample I made, which starts with mixed-weight stockinette stripes for the bottom section 1 – bulky yarns (three different yarns: Patons Classic Wool Roving, Quince & Co Puffin, and Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky) striped with fingering weight (Knit Picks Palette).  Instructions for this option are included in the pattern:

Custom Triyang!

Then I switched to Universal Yarn Deluxe Chunky for the rest of the piece, working the middle section in the colorwork pattern from Liy, a 2-color slip-stitch pattern with big eyelet holes:

Custom Triyang!

I used the Vire pattern for the top section, for big, squishy, bulky cables:

Custom Triyang!

This shawl, in bulky weight, is HUGE, like wearing a blanket, so cozy!  Like the other collection patterns (besides the original Triyang pattern), the length is determined by the weight/gauge, if you’re using any of the Twou/Vire/Liy pattern sections for the top or bottom parts.  But, if you’re just mixing and matching garter stitch, stockinette, and/or a middle section from any of the patterns, then you can make any size with any weight.

Custom Triyang! Custom Triyang!

This is a tiny mini-sample, made with stockinette for the bottom section, the Vire cabled middle section, and garter stitch for the top section:

Custom Triyang!

So that concludes the Triyang collection!  The whole collection is modular, made with increases, decreases, and short rows, no picked up stitches, minimal yarn breaking (none at all if you’re using one single color throughout), designed so that the sections all fit together cleanly and lay flat even when different kinds of stitch patterns are mixed and matched.  It’s definitely recommended that you use yarns that will block out, helping everything to smooth out, but as long as you work it all as written there shouldn’t be any major bunching up, pulling in, etc, between the different sections.

Custom Triyang!

I’d LOVE to see your Custom Triyangs, so please post photos in your ravelry projects to share them, and you can post in the ravelry group as well!  Happy springtime!

Filed under: knitting,Triyang collection — Lee Meredith @ 11:55 am

March 1, 2016

New pattern: Liy!

The final normal pattern in the Triyang collection (ravelry link) is Liy, a slip-stitch colorwork design.  (The other patterns in the collection were blogged about: Triyang, Twou, Vire.)  The colorwork in Liy is all made with stripes, slipped stitches, and twists; you’ll never need to carry the 2 colors at a time.

Liy!

It’s designed in worsted weight, making a nice size for cozily wrapping around your neck, as you can see, but you can easily make a different size by using a different weight/gauge.  The pattern gives details about length estimates for different gauges.

Liy! Liy!

The three sections are all really different from each other, keeping the project interesting for the knitter, and making the finished piece very interesting to wear and look at.  The bottom starts with a kind of chevron pattern, the lines twisting out from the center, until the section reaches its point and the lines bend in and up.  The middle part is made with big eyelet holes, for a more lacy colorwork pattern.  And the top section is garter stitch stripes with a zig-zagging top slip-stitch edge, and striped triangles popping up across as it gets bigger.

Liy!

Remember, if you get the whole collection you can custom make a piece with just one or two of these sections, paired with plain garter stitch or other patterning, if you think these three sections together are a bit too crazy!  I know, there’s a lot going on!

Liy!

The slip-stitch patterns make this piece so squishy and warm to wear!  Like Vire, it doesn’t need to be huge since it’s so thick for warmth.

Liy! Liy!

The sample is in Black Trillium Pebble Worsted yarn, Phoenix Rising and Saltwater colorways.  I love this yarn so much!  So soft!  And the colorways are so beautifully, subtly hand-dyed – they are solid enough for the colorwork patterning to pop, but are far some true solids:

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

Nothing else to say about Liy, really.  So I’ll let some more photos speak for it!

Liy!

 

Liy!

 

Liy!

Find the whole collection on ravelry here; if you’re a leethal VIP club member, you automatically get 20% off Liy / the collection!

Filed under: knitting,Triyang collection — Lee Meredith @ 10:48 am

February 24, 2016

New pattern: Vire!

The Triyang collection is now complete (see the whole collection on my site here or on ravelry here)!  The cabled design is Vire, and it looks like this:

Vire!

It’s the most narrow of all the designs in the collection, more of a scarf than a shawl kind of, and it’s super squishy and cozy with all the cables!

Vire! Vire!

The bottom starts with a braided cable which gets wider as it grows sideways, then shrinks down to a point to finish the first section.  The growing braid was inspired by the concept of a french braid, which gathers a little more hair each time the braid crosses – this cable adds 1 more stitch to each part as it crosses, slowly getting thicker.

Vire!

The middle section has some twisty cables with purl eyelets between, helping the section to not pull in and mess with the shape, and adding a little openness to the dense cabley piece.

Vire!

And then the third section has a layered cables-over-cables design for a cozy warm top part.

Vire!

I’ll blog specifically about the Custom Triyang pattern later, but I used the top section of Vire in my sample, so here’s that section (the gold top part) in a different context, and in a heavier yarn weight:

Custom Triyang!

Like Twou, Vire is sized based on gauge; my sample is in worsted weight at a standard-ish (or a bit extra dense) gauge (approx 21 stitches per 4 inches stockinette), so use an aran or bulky weight yarn to get a larger piece.  Mine used 360 yards worsted; I estimate that you’d need about 420 yards of aran, or about 500 yards of bulky.  My sample is not huge, but because of the cables it’s plenty warm to wear!

Vire!

I used Blue Moon Fiber Arts Targhee Worsted for my sample, and I LOVE it.  It comes in a GIANT skein (616 yards) which means I have plenty left to make a matching hat and pair of mitts!  If you want a bigger Vire though, I have good news for you: Blue Moon also offers Targhee Bulky!  The yardage on that one is 462 yards, unfortunately, which means you might consider making your section 1 in a contrasting color, or you could buy 2 skeins and have plenty left over for matching accessories.  There’s a really good chance you’d be able to complete a Vire with that yardage, I just can’t guarantee it.  Blue Moon has amazing colorways, by the way, if you’re not familiar with them – this one is Blue Moonstone.

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

If you are new to learning about the Triyang collection, all the patterns use the same modular construction (with no picked up stitches) – you can learn more about that in the Triyang pattern blog post, and you can read about Twou here, which is the lace design.  All the collection pattern sections are mix-and-match-able with the Custom Triyang pattern, so if you love just one of the Vire sections, you can use that section along with garter stitch, or stockinette, or lace or colorwork designs from the Twou or Liy patterns.  (I haven’t blogged about Liy yet, that’s coming soon.)

Vire! Vire! Vire!

Check everything out on ravelry here (including lots of different Custom Triyangs by other knitters); and if you’re a leethal VIP club member you’ll get 20% off Vire or the full collection!

Vire!

Filed under: knitting,Triyang collection — Lee Meredith @ 12:51 pm

January 28, 2016

New pattern: Twou!

The first pattern in my Triyang collection (ravelry link) (besides the actual Triyang pattern) is out now!  Thanks for your patience, as this collection has been taking me a bit longer to get out to you than I’d originally hoped/expected… But Twou is out now, Vire will be out by the end of this week, and Liy about a week after that.

Twou!

Before I talk about the Triyang collection and Twou, a couple of quick things:

  • If you happen to be reading this right away, and you happen to know a teenager in Portland, I am teaching a free class for teens at the Kenton library on Friday (Jan 29th), no-sew crafting with reclaimed t-shirts (making tote bags and other things, materials provided).  Register to reserve a seat.  It’ll be fun!
  • I was interviewed by Joeli via Skype and it’s now up on YouTube!  And the whole thing was being broadcast via Periscope, so viewers could ask questions in real time, which was super cool so now I’m brainstorming ways to start using Periscope in the future…  I just signed up for account, so follow me there at leethalknits.
  • The annual Holla Knits knit-a-long is starting on February 1st, through April – read all the details here.  My Unbroken hat is a Holla Knits pattern, so if you’ve ever thought about making one now is the perfect time; for every finished knit-a-long project you’ll automatically win a free pattern!  And be entered to win bigger prizes too.  Fun stuff!

Twou!

So now, there’s a big reveal about the Triyang collection: All the patterns are written so that the sections can be mixed and matched with each other!!  And with garter stitch / stockinette, or even with your own stitch pattern ideas.

Custom Triyang

The final collection pattern release will be topped off with a fifth pattern pdf, the Custom Triyang pattern, which is the Triyang pattern rewritten for combining sections with the other collection patterns, and for using stockinette instead of garter stitch, so you can take your pick for each of the three sections – garter, stockinette, lace, cables, or colorwork.  So this means if you love just one of the sections of Twou (or Vire or Liy) but you’d prefer to just do quick & easy garter stitch for the other parts, you can do just that; or if you fall in love with the top section of Vire, and the middle section of Liy, and the bottom section of Twou, you can use all those sections together.  I’m currently working on a sample with garter stitch stripes on the bottom, Liy colorwork in the middle, and Vire cables on the top – I’ve been calling it my Frankenshawl.

frankenshawl

Anyway, more about the custom pattern will come when it’s actually released, but up there are my sloppy mockups of the Custom Triyang concept to give you an idea of what you can do.  For now, Twou!

Twou!

I won’t get into the construction, because all the collection patterns have the same construction, same as Triyang, which you can see details about here, including the animated gif of how it’s constructed.  It’s three modular sections with no picked up stitches:

Twou!

The sizing of Twou is determined by the yarn weight/gauge.  I have two samples, one in DK weight (on size US 4 needles for a somewhat dense gauge) for a small size, and another in the same DK weight held double, on size US 8 needles for a very densely knit aran weight larger size shawl.

Twou!

You can go up to a bulky weight for a very large size if you want, or you can mess with gauge/density to adjust the size as well.  Use a nice drapey kind of worsted weight yarn (like a superwash wool or silk blend or something else that will look good worked loosely for an openwork kind of lace), knit on extra big needles (like 2-3 sizes larger than you’d normally use), blocked stretched out to make it open and lacy, for a different kind of large shawl.

Twou!

The pattern includes all the details about sizing (approximate lengths you’ll get with different gauges, yardage estimates, other yarn info, etc) – some of these details are also on the ravelry page.

Twou!

The samples are in Infinite Twist Helix DK weight yarn (Spooky Purple colorway), a plied wool which looks and feels awesome in a dense-ish kind of gauge, for a squishy cozy kind of lace knit.  The smaller size in one strand (pictured below) used about 285 yards, and the larger size (above) with it held double stranded used about 920 yards of the Helix (so about 460 yards of aran weight).

Twou!

Helix is sold in 200 yard skeins, so you’ll need 2 skeins for the smaller size, 5 for the larger size.

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

And hey, Infinite Twist is currently having a HUGE SALE on Helix!!  Through February 15th, buy 3 skeins get 1 free!  So if you want enough for a large (double stranded) Twou, add 4 skeins to your cart, write a note in the “Anything else we should know about your order?” box at checkout saying which color you’d like for your free skein, and you’ll get 5 skeins.  If you want to make a smaller single-stranded Twou, you could get 4 skeins (add 3 to your cart, get a 4th free) and make two Twous!

Or, other things to match… I started making a pair of Incenters out of Helix and it’s a great fit (mine are scrap-busting with many colors, but Incenter is designed for 3 colors normally).  I also designed Krewe in Helix – the main sample uses mini-balls, but you could use just one color for the contrasting, and you’d only need 2 skeins total, 1 in each color.

So you could get 4 skeins, 2 in the same color to make a Twou, and 2 in different colors to make a Krewe, and it’s even meant to be because they rhyme!!  Just add 3 to your cart, and say which color for the free skein when checking out.

Here are direct links to the Helix pages, divided up by color families: reds & oranges, yellows, greens, bluespinks & purples (my samples are in Spooky Purple), and neutrals.  There may be shipping delays coming up because of Chinese New Year (Infinite Twist is based out of Shanghai) but shipping to the U.S. for orders over $30 is always free!

Infinite Twist Krewe kits! Infinite Twist Krewe kits!

While the shawl was designed in one color, you could knit the sections in different colors if you want a multi-colored version – the pattern includes notes on how to do this. For yardage estimating, the first (bottom) section uses approximately 30% of the yardage, section 2 (middle) uses approx 27%, and section 3 (top) uses approx 43% of the yardage, so plan accordingly.  (If you’re making a single-stranded shawl with Helix, you could use one color for the bottom and middle sections and another color for the top section, and 2 skeins would be enough.  For the double stranded, using 4 skeins in one color for the bottom and middle sections, and 2 skeins in a different color for the top would maybe work, but the yardage for the top section would be cutting it very close.)

Twou!

This is a really fun to knit lace shawl.  It’s not just me saying that… I hired my friend Emme to knit the larger size sample and she went on to pretty much immediately knit another one for herself, which she completed in four days!  That kind of proof that a knitter really loves a pattern I designed is pretty much the greatest thing for a designer to hear, makes me so happy! :D

Twou!

So I’m a bit belated on this blog post – as you’re reading this, there’s a good chance Vire is already released, so you can find that on ravelry right there next to Twou, and I’ve been posting details about the collection patterns on the leethal ravelry group over here.  And speaking of the ravelry group, the first VIP club mini-mystery-knit-a-long starts next Tuesday!  I’m suuuper excited about that!  So much going on!  Hope you’re having a good first month of 2016!

Filed under: knitting,self-publishing,Triyang collection — Lee Meredith @ 9:10 am

December 11, 2015

New pattern PDF: Insta-hat! Plus, Remixed poster!

(Temporary note: buy this now, by Sunday, for 50% to be donated to charity! See my previous post for details.)  New pattern re-release!  Insta-hat, now in re-written PDF format:

Insta-hat!

If you follow me on Instagram (or other social media), you’ll probably remember the mystery knit-a-long I posted for free last December, as a holiday gift to followers – the pattern was this Insta-hat, and those original Instagram posts still exist (links are on the ravelry and leethalknits pages).

Insta-hat!

The brand new PDF is re-written to be easier to follow (as a normal pattern instead of split into mystery KAL posts), extra sizing info added, some embellishment options added, new photos were taken, it was professionally tech edited… So now it’s a high quality normal for-sale pattern, but the price is extra low ($4) since it’s an upgrade of the existing free Instagram pattern.

Insta-hat!

The hat is a quick knit, in bulky weight, with easy lace repeat patterns – it’s a good adventurous beginner level pattern, or it’s a fun fast knit for more advance knitters.  It can knit up in 1-2 nights no problem, for most (depends how you are with bulky yarn, of course, but it’s definitely a relatively quick knit).

Insta-hat!

It is interesting enough to look cool in plain yarns, but simple enough to work with variegated, so it’s a good way to use up any skein of bulky you may have in your stash.  My samples are in madelinetosh A.S.A.P.:

Insta-hat!

Patons Classic Wool Bulky, plus handspun embellishment:

Insta-hat!

Punta Yarns Flame Handpainted (discontinued yarn), which is super bulky weight for an extra dense gauge:

Insta-hat!

Hand-dyed recycled yarn (made by me), a light-ish bulky weight for a more loose gauge:

Insta-hat!

And that extra big version works nicely with the brim folded under, for a warmer hat and a different style:

Insta-hat!

This hat is written in 3 circumference sizes, and a range of heights, so you can make it fitted to your head and more or less tall for slouch or a fitted top, as you like.  Detailed sizing info, and sizes/measurements of all the samples, are included in the new pdf.

Insta-hat!

And instructions for how I did the woven yarn embellishment are given in the pdf, if you like that:

Insta-hat!

This hat works well with a big pom-pom, especially if you make it slouchy!

Insta-hat!

Here’s an instagram shot I really like, from back when I first made this sample:

Insta-hat!

Last year when I designed this, I’d only meant to make a couple samples, but I ended up making four because it was such a fast, fun knit, I just kept going, “ooh but it would look so good in this yarn too!” and making another, then another.  It would make an excellent last-minute gifting pattern – make one for each member of your family!

Insta-hat!

So that’s Insta-hat.  Click here to ravelry where you can browse lots of versions by other knitters!  If you like it, consider using the new PDF version instead of the Instagram posts; it will be easier to knit from, and also I’d be very appreciative of you supporting my work :)

Insta-hat!

In other news, to go with my release of the newly updated Remixed patterns, I’ve just released a poster of the Remixed artwork! You can learn more about these drawings in this blog post; I added color to the knitted accessories for the poster:

Remixed Poster Remixed Poster

It’s available through MagCloud here, printed on high quality heavy paper, 12×18 inches, for $6 (plus shipping).  (Patterns are on ravelry here.)

Remixed Poster

Lastly, just want to let you know that the 3 upcoming Triyang collection patterns are coming along nicely!  Here are peeks at all 3, the colorwork, lace, and cabled designs (badly lit, sorry – Portland is gloooomy today!):

My Triyang collection shawls are coming along well! (Available for pre-order now, 50% goes to charity through Sunday!)

You can find the Triyang collection for pre-order on ravelry here or on leethalknits.com here – like all my other patterns, if you buy it by this Sunday, half will be donated to charity.  You’ll get the Triyang pattern immediately, and these 3 patterns in a few weeks.  Details about the collection are on my blog here.  I’m pretty excited about it!

September 3, 2015

News, timelines, and lots of design process ramblings

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

leethal hats

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

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

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

Game Knitting night has begun!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

original Twou as a submission idea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I knit at a shipwreck yesterday! #wwkipday #placeswhereyoucanknit

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

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

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

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

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

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

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

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

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…that you can expect around October 1st:

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

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

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

August 25, 2015

New pattern: Triyang!

New pattern time!

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Triyang (ravelry link) is a garter stitch shawl, made any size with any weight yarn, with a fun modular construction – 3 narrow triangles are joined with short rows, increases, and decreases, no picked up stitches, to form a long, slightly asymmetrical triangle shape.  Only 2 stitches are cast on, and there’s no bind off at all.

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It can be made with or without stripes for different kinds of looks.  The pattern includes detailed notes on striping.

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The pattern also includes instructions for maximizing your yardage – weigh your yarn before you start, and then make your shawl to use up as much yarn as possible without running out.

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The pattern gives small, medium, large sizes – my blue-green gradient sample is the small, and my grey+white striped sample is the large – but you can make any size.  The edge of the first section ends up being almost exactly half the length of the top edge of the final piece, so it’s super easy to make exactly the size you want!  Or do the yarn weighing thing and make it whatever size you can get with the yarn you have.

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My large sample is big enough to wrap around twice for mega coziness, or drape more loosely around once, keeping the shoulders comfy, or make weirdo poses like this:

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The pattern also includes a breakdown of the construction, with schematics, customization options – like adding ties…

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…or making it small for a kerchief…

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…or using 3 equal skeins for 3 color blocks without running out of yarn (this sample is using 3 mini-skeins – the same style made with 3 full size skeins would make an awesome big shawl!)…

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…and detailed instructions for the differing stripes pattern, which is what’s used in my large striped sample.  There’s also a photo tutorial for German short rows (there’s also one of those on my website here), which is the recommended method.

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The pdf is 8 pages total, but the pattern itself is on just 1 page!  (A sentence which does actually warrant an exclamation point, which you know if you’re familiar with a lot of my patterns, usually much longer than 1 page!)

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My large striped sample is in fabulous Anzula Cole aran weight silk/camel blend yarn – 2 skeins each color Au Natural and Pewter.  This yarn was excellent to work with, and this shawl is absolutely luxurious and I love it so much!!

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My small sample is in a Canon Hand Dyes William Merino Gradient yarn cake, fingering weight; I used approximately 430 yards out of the 460 yard cake, maximizing it the best I could without risking running out at the end.  I love how this gradient worked out!

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If you love the gradient look, but you like a larger shawl, I have some ideas for you!  I think it would look awesome to use 2 of these gradient cakes – 1 cake from the center out, then start a second of the same colorway from the outside in, so the colors shift blue to green and back to blue, or whatever the colorway is.  It would also look fantastic to stripe between a gradient yarn and a solid yarn throughout, doubling your yardage.  Or, you could use 2 gradient cakes of the same colorway and hold them together, doubling the weight, for a larger + thicker shawl, since the pattern is written for any weight.

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And then, my little cowl kind of sample with the ties – that’s in Knitted Wit Targhee Shimmer Worsted, which is 80% Targhee wool and 20% silk.  Love this yarn!  And these aren’t 3 colors I’d normally have chosen, if I had a full palette to choose from, but I got these from the dyer’s extras and I thought, hmmmm, maybe this would be cool, and then I ended up loving it!!  Yay for stepping outside your color comfort zone!

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Speaking of stepping outside your color comfort zone… what you do all think of my striped sample, modeled over grey clothes?!  That was a difficult photoshoot for me ;)

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Anyway, there are 2 more little samples – a kerchief version, in orange Knitted Wit Welterweight Rambouillet (which happens to be one of my all time favorite yarns ever, by the way), with a button closure:

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And then the first actual sample I made, to test everything out and figure out the yardage percentage per section, so I could better plan my main samples (I instagrammed it many months ago)… this one is handspun alpaca striped with hand-dyed yarn scraps from my stash, all around worsted-aran weight.  It’s just a little bit smaller than the official small size:

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Other pattern things!  This is the start of a new collection!  The Triyang collection is similar to the Betiko collection – this first main pattern is a basic version, any-weight/any-gauge/any-size, with customization possibility.  (Not to the extent of Betiko, but same kind of concept.)  The 3 upcoming patterns will use the same construction as Triyang, same shape, with stitch patterns plugged in.

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I am releasing this collection for pre-order in a new way – there are ravelry pattern pages up already for the nonexistent patterns, with preview photos!  The preview for Twou, the lace pattern, with swatches, a sketch, some chart bits, the yarn being used for the sample (Infinite Twist Helix), and the beginning of the sample knit on the needle:

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Then Liy, the colorwork pattern, with all slip-stitch striped colorwork, no stranded knitting (only 1 color used per row), directly below (in Black Trillium Pebble Worsted).  And the cabled pattern, Vire, is down below that (in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Targhee Worsted).  These will all be released around the end of the year, probably/hopefully in or around December.  If you pre-order the collection now, you’ll get Triyang immediately, and then each of these delivered to your inbox as soon as they’re out.  (On ravelry here.  Each individual pattern will be $6, the 4-pattern collection is $16.)

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The design details in these photos may change significantly in the final designs – these are sketches and swatches from the planning process, to give you an idea of vaguely what the shawls might look like.  I am at varying levels in the design process for these designs; I’ll be posting further previews as I work on them, but that won’t be for a few months.  I’ll be posting another blog post in the near future more about this collection, about the design process more, and I’ll talk about why the other 3 patterns are delayed a bit (other exciting things happening this fall! too much excitement!).

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Other things… For this collection, I created a new custom font for pattern headings and stuff, and I made a new pattern template, so the Triyang pdf has a bit of a different look to it from my other patterns.  I had fun thinking outside the box for the cover page!

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Oh, something else I had fun messing around with – I wanted to show you a visual of how the construction works, very basically, so I made an animated gif!  Not to scale, kind of a wonky shape, but just to give you an idea:

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So there’s the order of how things are worked – you start at the left point, across the bottom section 1, then the middle section 2 gets worked up from there, and the final section 3 starts again at the left point, out all the way to the other point.  Here are 4 samples’ left points, where the 3 sections meet up:

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The design process was pretty extreme for figuring out exactly the best ways to make the shape and stuff… I’d originally planned to have different options for things like increase ratios and short row stitch counts, to make differently shaped triangles (like, more or less deep, more or less asymmetrical).  But after a couple weeks of swatching (there are 8 of my large swatches pictured below), I came to the conclusion that the best pattern would be made by sticking to the best combinations of these elements instead of giving options and making it too complex for no good reason.

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Okay I’ll stop typing now and just show you a few more photos.  I’ll be back to the blog soon for kind of a more behind the scenes process post about this collection, plus more general leethal news kinds of things… For now, enjoy Triyang, and I hope wherever in the world you are you’re getting some good knitting weather!

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Edited to add a couple notes:

There’s a casual knit-a-long for Triyang in the leethal knitters! ravelry group, which basically means, if you make a Triyang you’re encouraged to share it there in the group, and if you have any questions, you can ask them in there.

If you own or work at a yarn shop, Triyang is enabled for ravelry in-store sales, and it should be available wholesale on Deep South very soon!

Filed under: knitting,self-publishing,Triyang collection — Lee Meredith @ 7:00 am
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