December 13, 2017

leethal recycled yarn!

I’m selling skeins of yarn again!

leethal recycled yarn leethal recycled yarn

They are recycled yarns, which I’ve unraveled very carefully (minimal knots, usually 1 per skein), washed well, and sometimes spun together. There are plain skeins, which are all wool or wool blends — the white one has some camel hair and the grey has a little cashmere!

leethal recycled yarn

leethal recycled yarn leethal recycled yarn

leethal recycled yarn

There are more than one skein available of almost all of these so you can grab multiples if you want to make something big. They are all priced based on yardage (which relates to time it takes me to unravel and skein, etc) with some variation for different fiber types (some sweaters are harder/take longer).

leethal recycled yarn

And then there are spun skeins!

leethal recycled yarn leethal recycled yarn

These are different recycled/reclaimed yarns and threads spun and plied together. Each of these has different colored yarn chunks, to make self-striping yarns.

leethal recycled yarn

Above is all 100% wool; one strand light green, the other striping colors—it’s bulky weight, or heavy aran.

leethal recycled yarn

This one is so soft! One strand is assorted wools and wool blends, in long striping colors, and the other is white 58% nylon, 36% angora, 5% lambswool, 1% spandex—it has a nice halo from the angora. It’s around aran weight (or heavy worsted).

leethal recycled yarn

This one was made from a strand of 100% wool yarn, striping colors, plied together with three threads (of unknown fiber content) in blues and variegated colors. It has a kinky, textured look because of how it was plied; it’s a worsted weight, or heavy worsted.

leethal recycled yarn

And lastly, a yarn for knitters who might be allergic to wool: one strand is 100% cotton in striping colors, the other is 55% silk, 20% acrylic, 15% angora, 10% nylon, in white. It’s around aran weight, or heavy worsted.

leethal recycled yarn leethal recycled yarn

I love the spun yarns so much! Where colors change, the other strand wraps around to hide the ends, making fun little blobby bits which look neat when knit up. They are quicker to spin than actual handspun yarn, but they are still totally handmade, spun and plied together by me on my spinning wheel, and it does take awhile (so they are priced according). These skeins are each totally unique so whatever you make from one will be super one-of-a-kind and special :)

These yarns have been up on etsy for a little while, since September; I instagramed/tweeted but never blogged or sent out a newsletter to let you know about it. September 23rd was the exact release date, which was the Saturday before I started fall term on Monday. I’d meant to blog about it asap but then fall term was total insanity. Five classes and no free time at all, so I never got to it. Sadly, this post is probably too late for holiday shoppers now, but if you get some xmas cash, now you know about it! ;)

kits! kits!

kits! kits!

Oh and btw also in my etsy shop are cute little quick knits kits which are also with recycled yarns, some of it hand dyed. I just renewed some listings so there are lots of color options. Make pen bookmarks, light switch plates, lapel pins, cuffs, and ice cream earmuffs!

Making Recycled Yarns ebook cover

And a last note: love recycled yarn but would prefer to make it yourself? Well just let me point you to my ebook with everything you need to know about it! It’s on my site, ravelry, and also in the etsy shop now.

Filed under: knitting,leethal store,Remixed,yarn — Lee Meredith @ 2:56 pm

December 11, 2016

Knit kits! And other stuff! Yeah!

Kits! I now have kits! Just barely in time for last-minute holiday gifting, they are mostly small quick knits…

kits! kits!

All kits are with recycled yarn, some of it hand-dyed, and everything else you need except the needles. There are five different kit types. First, light-switch plate cover (pattern info):

kits!

I just knit up a new one in this tweedy yarn, love it!

kits! kits!

A kit comes with enough yarn, the pattern on cardstock, and a switch plate. Some of the yarns are self-striping, and some are speckley variegated.

kits! kits!

The other two small kits are for pen tube bookmarks (bookmarks that hold a pen on the outside of the book/sketchbook, pattern info) and lapel flowers (pattern info). All the small kits come with a leethalknits I’m a baller pin, just for fun.

kits! kits!

The pen tube bookmark kits come with enough yarn, and a button.

kits!

kits! kits!

And the lapel flower kits come with three tiny balls of yarn, enough to make one flower, and a pin back.

kits!

kits! kits!

And then there are some bigger kits. The cuff kits include eight balls of yarn, each with two buttons, so you can make eight cuffs from the Ten 10 yard Cuffs pattern collection.

kits!

Each kit is packaged in a recycled tennis ball container, and includes the pattern as a high quality booklet with lots of photos of the ten cuff pattern options.

kits! ten 10 yard cuffs!

And lastly, Double Scoops ice cream earmuffs kits! (I used to sell these on my website a few years back.) Each kit includes four mini balls dyed to look like ice cream flavors, a coffee-dyed yarn for the waffle cones, and a larger ball for the lining.

kits!

The earmuffs look like this, but your flavors will be different, and your straps will be the color of the lining:

kits!

There are three kits in the shop, with different flavor options, so you can choose your favorite!

kits!

In other news, the final hat for the VIP club is being knit right now, Jalouse! And I just sent out a new treat for club members, connect-the-dots holiday cards. Pictured below is a couple of cards made by pasting the connect-the-dots print outs onto reclaimed blank greeting cards. If you join the club before the end of the year, you’ll get all six hat patterns, 20% off all my patterns, and the treats!

leethal VIP club hat #6 connect-the-dots holiday cards

Some of the VIP hats could make good last-minute holiday gift knits – the new one is for bulky weight, Provocateur (below, left) is for worsted or aran weight, and Vanguard (below, right) is for any weight, pictured here in bulky:

Provocateur Vanguard

Mokia is for any weight and has tons of options so you can definitely knit up a quick version – below left is an aran weight textured one, and right is a bulky weight cabled one:

Mokia Mokia

Some other patterns that could be fun gift kits are Incenter and Directrix from In Triplicate! The full 9-pattern In Triplicate collection is only available till the end of the year!

Incenter, by Lee Directrix, by Lee

Here are some other patterns of mine that could be perfect for quick gift knits… Twist on a Classic are super quick bulky fingerless mitts, made with stretchy sideways garter stitch and a perpendicular cable, all modularly constructed:

Twist on a Classic mitts

Haka is a fun and easy bulky hat, which can be made with or without the cables:

cabled Haka hat

Lemmy is a larger item but can be made with super mega bulky, like this sample made with three strands of bulky weight held together:

Lemmy

Barry is for any gauge, so it can be made very quickly, like this bulky sample:

Barry in superbulky

All my Remixed patterns are for any gauge, so they can be made pretty quickly; pictured below are samples of Wild is the Wind, Rumours, Rejuvenation, and Either/Or, all in bulky weight:

Wild is the Wind Rumours Rejuvenation Either/Or

Siskiyou isn’t so super quick, but it’s worsted weight so it’s not too bad, and is good for a giftee who likes trees:

Siskiyou hat

For a more specific gift, Warren was designed for the metalhead (or fan of supernatural/evil kinds of stuff) in your life, and Andrew can be made with or without secret hidden pentagrams:

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

Lastly, I have a new fabric design up on Spoonflower! It’s a repeating pattern of interlocked k‘s, hand-drawn:

fabric from my pattern design!

It’s a pattern I designed for my intro to Typography class a few months ago; the final design was filled in, but I scanned it when it was just the outlines, and put it over a yellow background. And I’ll leave you with this in-progress shot of projects from that graphic design class – I’m about a month away from starting the official graphic design program, exciting!

When my teacher saw my rough draft last week he said "I apologize in advance for how much your hand is going to hurt next week." It's now next week and I accept his apology. Still so much more to go!

Happy holidays!

Filed under: gifts,home stuff,kit creations,knitting,leethal store,quick knits,yarn — Lee Meredith @ 2:27 pm

May 12, 2016

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

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

Making Recycled Yarns ebook cover

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

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

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

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

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

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

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

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

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

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

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

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

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

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

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

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

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

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

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

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

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

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

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

Rejuvenation Rejuvenation

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

Rejuvenation

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

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

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

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

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

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

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

Rejuvenation Rejuvenation

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

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

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

from Making Recycled Yarns ebook from Making Recycled Yarns ebook

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

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

November 20, 2015

In Triplicate 1-color pattern: Directrix

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

Directrix, by Lee

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

Directrix, by Lee

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

pom-poms!

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

Directrix, by Lee

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

Directrix, by Lee

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

Directrix, by Lee

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

Directrix, by Lee

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

Directrix in multi-colors

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

3-color Directrix

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

Directrix in multi-colors Directrix in multi-colors

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

Directrix in multi-colors Directrix in multi-colors

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

Directrix, by Lee

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

Directrix, by Lee

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

In Triplicate! Directrix in multi-colors

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

BMFA Yarn Trios for In Triplicate

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

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

November 12, 2015

In Triplicate!

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

In Triplicate collection

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

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

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

In Triplicate!

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

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

In Triplicate!

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

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

Me + Vivian!

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

Vivian + Star!

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

In Triplicate!

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

color trios for In Triplicate collection

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

color trios for In Triplicate collection

And then we twisted all the trios together:

color trios for In Triplicate collection

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

yarn trio possibilities for In Triplicate

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

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

color trios for In Triplicate collection

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

In Triplicate yarns!

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

In Triplicate yarns!

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

In triplicate

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

In Triplicate!

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

In Triplicate pdf preview

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

In Triplicate pdf peek

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

In Triplicate webpage screenshot

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

In Triplicate! In Triplicate! In Triplicate!

In Triplicate! In Triplicate! In Triplicate!

In Triplicate! In Triplicate! In Triplicate!

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

In Triplicate!

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

In Triplicate!

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

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

June 26, 2014

New pattern: Krewe!

I released a new single pattern – a lightweight cowl, perfect for some summer knitting!  (on ravelry here)

Krewe cowl

Krewe is made with slipped and twisted stitches (how-to included), and then full columns of stitches are dropped all the way down when you’re finished knitting, to make the beaded necklace inspired look:

Krewe cowl Krewe cowl

It’s designed to use multiple contrasting colors, as you see in my sample, but it also works well with the same 2 colors throughout, or with a self-striping or variegated color as the contrasting color (with a solid color as the main color, which is the outline color).  A version like mine uses approximately 280 yards / 256 meters total DK weight, close to half and half main color and contrasting.

Krewe cowl

This is my first pattern release in a long time that’s not part of a collection – that’s because this was designed in collaboration with Infinite Twist to make into kits!  Kits include 6 mini-balls for the contrasting colors, the main color yarn, needles and some other fun notions, this pattern, plus my new free mitts pattern (which I’ll blog about separately), Blur.  The amount of yarn included in the kit is enough to make both the Krewe cowl and a pair of mitts!

Infinite Twist Krewe kits!

There’s the Dawn Patrol colorway (above) to make the items just like mine, the Dusk colorway with 6 beautiful shades of different purples (with the same Dovecote grey main color as mine), and the Terra colorway with greens and blues for all the contrasting mini-balls and a dark brown for the main.

Infinite Twist Krewe kits! Infinite Twist Krewe kits!

The yarn is called Helix; it’s a springy plied DK weight, hand-painted – a perfect fit for the dropped stitch design!  I really love Infinite Twist (I blogged about the company awhile back) and I loved knitting with this yarn!

Krewe cowl

If you want to think outside the box a little with this design, on the other hand, it can be made really differently from my sample.  The pattern includes notes for how to make it any width in any weight yarn, and any size/weight can be made as long as you want by just stopping when you like the length.

Krewe cowl

You can even make your Krewe as a scarf or a big wrap instead of a cowl if you prefer.  The piece is a simple rectangle shape, so if you don’t seam the edges together into a loop, it works great as a flat piece as well.

Krewe cowl

My awesome test knitters made Krewe in a variety of different weights and sizes – since I only made the one sample, I’ll show you some of theirs!

Here are a couple more cowls in DK weights, like my sample – on the left is blissfulolivian’s in a few different DK yarns (218 yards total used) ; on the right is zigzaggyknits’ cowl with a variegated yarn as the contrasting color (247 yards total used):

Krewe by blissfulolivian Krewe by zigzaggyknits

Here’s a cowl in sport weight by likeleigh with a self-striping yarn as the contrasting color (165 yards total used); and a heavier cowl in worsted weight by annaknitsalot (180 yards total used):

Krewe by likeleigh Krewe by annaknitsalot

And a few lighter versions in fingering weight yarns.  First a small, airy cowl by drdomestiKated with a self-striping sock yarn as the contrasting (171 yards total used):

Krewe by drdomestiKated

A big lightweight cowl by rgoriginals (blog here) in fingering weight yarns (472 yards total used):

Krewe by rgoriginals

And a small scarflet version by knittinluv with a striping sock yarn as the contrasting (139 yards total used):

Krewe by knittinluv

A couple testers made awesome giant wrap versions!  Here’s a huge wrap by SadieLou in aran weights (650 yards total used):

Krewe by SadieLou

This measures 20″ wide by 65″ long!  So cozy!  This was made with 5 pattern repeats across and 22 pattern repeats long.

Krewe by SadieLou

And another wrap, by ChaoticK also in aran weights, just about the same giant size!  (21″ by 62″ to be exact; made with 6 pattern repeats across and 18 repeats long.  The yardage is very different – 341 yards total for this one.)  The photo on the right shows the piece with the stitches only partially dropped, so you can see how the knitted piece looks before the stitches are dropped:

Krewe by ChaoticK Krewe by ChaoticK

And speaking of how the piece looks as you’re knitting it, here’s a shot I took while knitting:

Silver lining to all day spent in the passenger seat: a big chunk of knitting got done! @infinitetwist yarn!

And my piece immediately after dropping the stitches, before blocking:

Post dropping, pre blocking. So wiggly!

All that kinkiness blocks out nice and smoothly!

Krewe cowl Krewe cowl

If you make Krewe, whether with the Infinite Twist kit yarns or other yarns, as a cowl or a scarf or wrap, etc, be sure to post your project on ravelry so we can all see your interpretation!

Krewe cowl

Happy warm weather knitting!

Filed under: knitting,yarn — leethal @ 6:03 pm

February 17, 2014

Handspun Robin kits by Infinite Twist!

Do you know about Infinite Twist?  It’s a yarn company that makes handspun, hand-dyed yarn in Shanghai, which not only produces beautiful yarns, but also provides living wages for local spinners.  You can check out the video on the about page to learn and see more.

Infinite Twist yarn!

Some of the yarns are spun by Qinghai Spinner’s Cooperative, which gives sustainable jobs/income to rural Tibetan women (here’s an old blog post about that, when they were just starting to work together).

Robin shawl by Infinite Twist

So I am super happy that Infinite Twist is now offering kits to make my Robin shawl, in this gorgeous Qinghai Handspun yarn!

Robin shawl by Infinite Twist

There are three different kit options: Red Devil/Blush, Larkspur/Tibetan Turquoise, and Spooky Purple/Dovecote.  Each kit includes 475 yards of the beautiful handspun yarn, a bamboo circular knitting needle, stitch markers, and the download code for the Robin pattern.

Robin shawl by Infinite Twist Robin shawl by Infinite Twist

I also have plans for a design in Infinite Twist yarn very soon – I was sent the yarn for this design awhile back, and in the package with it was this awesome box of yarn samples!

Infinite Twist yarn! Infinite Twist yarn!

It just so happens that the person behind Infinite Twist, Cate Carter-Evans, has roots here in Portland, so I’ve gotten to hang out with her a couple times while she was in town visiting family.  What a fantastic person she is!

Got to grab a coffee with the fabulous @infinitetwist while wearing my UK trip sweater out in the world, and she's in a beautifully colored Robin shawl! Yay!

Really, I just can’t say enough good about this wonderful yarn company!  So, if you are ever craving some handspun, do browse around the Infinite Twist shop.  So much beauty!

Filed under: knitting,yarn — leethal @ 10:55 am

December 10, 2013

Malabrigo merino roving!

A few months ago I got an amazing package in the mail:

Malabrigo roving!

That’s six braids of Malabrigo’s merino roving, aka Nube.  In colorways: Mostaza, Piedras, Plomo, Arco Iris, Persia, Glitter.

Malabrigo roving!

The lovely people at Malabrigo contacted me when they released the roving, knowing that I’m a designer/blogger who spins, asking me if I had any favorite colorways… I gave them a list of six, thinking I’d love to spin up a skein of any one of those colorways.  When I opened the package to see ALL six colorways I was shocked and delighted!  Whoa there Malabrigo, so generous!!

Malabrigo roving!

So now I must do it justice!  As you know, it’s been a busy few months, so it’s been sitting there, looking pretty in my studio… an exciting project to look forward to… and now I’m almost ready to break out the wheel.  And I have a plan (a vague plan, but some kind of plan).

Malabrigo roving!

Once I get it allllll spun, I’ll see what weight it ends up being (I’m not good/experienced with spinning 100% merino, and my wheel is ideal for chunkier weights, so I’m going to try for an aran weight, but it might end up being bulky), and I’ll see what my total yardage is.  And then I’ll find a pattern to match up with that yardage and weight, some kind of garment!  And I’ll knit an amazing, colorful, handspun sweater, or vest, or something.  It will be majestic.

Malabrigo roving!

This is a long-term project, but I’m really excited to get started on it, and I will show you all the progress as I go!  I’ll be posting lots of progress photos (and notes and stuff) all throughout on instagram/twitter and tumblr, and then I’ll post major progress (like once the yarn is spun and I choose a pattern, etc) here on the big blog.

Malabrigo roving!

I’ve scrolled through hundreds of aran-bulky weight sweater/vest patterns, to get some idea of what I might want to knit… and it’s still completely up in the air.  I want to see not just the weight, but how the yarn ends up looking, to pick a design that would be a good fit.  I’m thinking very simple, no cables or lace/textural patterning, etc, but maybe with an interesting construction element.  I think I’m going to spin each braid into its own skein, then use each skein in the pattern entirely, so the garment is in six blocks of different colorways, kind of… but I might end up deciding to stripe them, or something else.

Malabrigo roving!

Aren’t those colorways beautiful?  I may not be experienced with spinning merino right now, but I’ll be an expert by the time I’m done with these!  I’ve barely done any spinning at all in the last couple years, wish me luck!!

Filed under: knitting,yarn — leethal @ 10:53 am

December 5, 2013

New (free!) pattern: Superduper in Knitty!

Have you seen the new Knitty yet?  That’s me on the cover!  Whoa!!  Very exciting!

Superduper!

My pattern is pretty bonkers, but only because of the yarn, which I feel like shouldn’t even be called “yarn”… it needs some other name… It’s The BagSmith Big Stitch Merino, and it knits up on size US 36 (20mm) needles at a gauge of 3 stitches per 4 inches!

Superduper!

My pattern, Superduper (on ravelry / leethalknits), is a giant cowl that can be worn many different ways.  Above, you see it as a double-layer cowl, with a smaller neck-warming inside, and a larger shoulder-warming outer tube.  If that’s turned around, you get this…

Superduper!

…and then the inside layer can be pulled up as a hood, for ultimate head/neck warmth:

Superduper!

(I tested out the level of warmth in some windy freezing snow, and it is COZY!)

Superduper!

So then if you flip it completely inside out, the tubes arrange so they’re together, as one giant double-thick tube (instead of the bigger outside and smaller inside), making a ridiculously humongous cowl:

Superduper!

This style is a bit silly and impractical, yes, but fun, I think.

Superduper!

And then you can flip the outer tube out to un-twist the whole thing, and it turns into a kind of figure-8 scarf+handwarmer piece:

Superduper! Superduper!

And if you pull that the other way, so that the two sides are the same size, it can be worn as a shoulder shrug kind of thing:

Superduper! Superduper!

Personally, I like it as a cowl hood that’s all-consuming and makes one look like a super-cozy performance artist or something:

Superduper!

How about a little backstory?  I was given the chance to design in this awesome yarn (and I use the term awesome in this case more with the dictionary definition in mind: extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear), which I could never afford to use normally, to be honest, not my normal yarn scene ;)  So it was a really cool opportunity to have, and I thought it would be a fun design challenge to come up with a great pattern for it.  My big bump sat around my house for awhile, as I waited for the inspiration to come to me…

Superduper! Superduper!

…and eventually an inspired idea struck, I spent a few days sketching and swatching in a regular super bulky yarn to get the pattern figured out, and then I realized it was way too complicated and wasn’t going to work in this yarn.  After days of work, it kind of hit me like a slap in the face, what was I thinking with this many-sectioned, modular, complex design?!  That wasn’t going to work at all, I needed to simplify!

Superduper!

So, I started from scratch and spent several days developing a flat, simple-shaped design, which I thought would be perfect for the yarn.  I knit up a sample using bulky yarn held triple-stranded, thinking that would be a similar weight to this yarn.  It was fabulous, I loved it!!  So then I knit up the real sample in this yarn all the way to the end, ignoring how much it WAS NOT working, until it was finished and I stepped back, and I realized how much of a complete failure it was.  Turns out, this yarn is MUCH much heavier than triple-stranded bulky.

The good news about that design: it turned into Lemmy (below).  The white Lemmy sample was the original sample, then when it failed for this project, I reworked the pattern and made the other samples in the other weights, and I’m really happy with that pattern, so it’s all for the best.  (Side note: the first failed design is on hold for now, but I plan to also turn that into its own pattern in the future.)

Lemmy

I VERY carefully frogged that whole failed piece, started from scratch once again, having learned from all my mistakes, keeping it SIMPLE, and came up with Superduper.  The final pattern uses the yarn in the best way, keeping to basic stitch patterns and simple shapes.  I’m really happy (super duper happy) with how it turned out!

Superduper!

Of course, if you want to make a Superduper but the yarn is outside your budget, substitutions are totally possible.  It might not be as easy as with most patterns, but if you think outside the box a little it shouldn’t be too hard.  One idea:  bulky yarn triple stranded twice, to make it 9-strands-thick, by chaining the whole skein using this technique, then chaining it again as you knit.  Or 6-strands thick by holding two balls together and chaining them as you go.  You’d need to play around with your bulky yarn to see how many strands are needed to get the approximate gauge – of course, you can mess with the gauge too, to make a slightly smaller piece.  Another idea:  knit with roving!  Okay I’ll leave other ideas up to you, but I just wanted to say that I know this yarn is a very specialty item that most knitters can’t really justify buying (myself included) so if you like the item, you can making something work!

Superduper! Superduper!

Let’s see, other fun things about the pattern… The cover shoot, in the snow, was done last weekend at Timberline Lodge (aka the Overlook Hotel from The Shining!) in some seriously cold, windy conditions.  You can see above how I couldn’t control my hair at times, and I don’t know what I was doing in that outtake shot, but I think I got a bit silly from the cold!  The cowl got put to the test in these conditions, and while my hands and feet were numb, my neck and shoulder region was toasty warm!  The initial photoshoot, on the other hand, was done back in August (thankfully not during a 100 degree heat wave, just a normal August day in Portland), and I recommend NOT wearing this item in the summertime ;)

Superduper!

I think that’s that, everything you might want to know about Superduper!  I hope some of you try making it, and then post photo in your ravelry projects so I can see!  I don’t expect this to be one of my most popular designs, but it really is fun, and it knits up QUICK, like a few hours total, so if you have yarn that will work, give it a try!  Fun knitting times!

Filed under: knitting,quick project,yarn — leethal @ 5:12 pm

November 25, 2013

Unbroken hat(s) in Holla Knits!

Have you seen this season’s Holla Knits Accessories?  It launched a couple weeks ago, and I have a hat in the collection!  Here’s Unbroken (on ravelry / on leethalknits):

Unbroken hat!

Unbroken hat! Unbroken hat!

It’s a simple-ish hat in two different styles – a stockinette stitch fitted cloche, and a garter stitch slouchy style hat.

Unbroken

When making this hat, in three different directions, you’ll never pick up any stitches, you’ll never break your yarn, and you’ll be left with absolutely no seaming or finishing, besides weaving in your two yarn ends.  It’s knitting magic!  Okay, not really, it’s just simple increases, decreases, and short rows.

Unbroken Unbroken

The pattern is for worsted weight yarn; the two sample pairs are in beautiful Jill Draper Makes Stuff Hudson (I guest blogged about these hats a little while ago)…

Unbroken hat!

…and Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed:

Unbroken

Since the modular construction is pretty simple and easily adjustable, the pattern includes detailed modification notes for making either hat in any weight yarn, custom fit to any head size!  This is another version I knit up in some bulky handspun yarn:

Unbroken hat!

This hat is a seriously fun knit!  The first section is the whole body, knit sideways, which is most of the hat – it’s a simple 2-row repeat that’s easy to memorize and great TV knitting.  Once that’s done, you make the panel, then the crown, which both fly by super quickly, and you’re done!  Bam!

Unbroken hat!

It’s not just me, the designer, who thinks that – Anna says in her project notes: “I plan on making 800 of these”.  Yay!  :)  I made two prototypes when designing the pattern (on ravelry here and here), then the two Jill Draper samples, and the bulky hat, and I never got bored with making them!

Unbroken hat!

Hey guess what!  You have a couple chances to win some yarn to make these hats!  Last week, to go with Jill Draper’s blog post, Holla Knits announced a giveaway of one skein of the very same yarn I used to make the blue samples, Jill Draper Makes Stuff Hudson in the Ariel’s Whisper colorway – and one skein is enough yardage to make one of each version of the hat!

Jill Draper Hudson Unbroken

And then today, to go with my post, there’s another giveaway – two actually! – for two pairs of skeins of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed yarn, same color used in the tweedy green samples above.  Both giveaways are just for Holla Knits email list subscribers, so if you’re not already a subscriber, you’ll need to sign up in order to enter to win.

Unbroken hat!

Lastly, Holla Knits Accessories!  How excited am I to be a part of this collection?!  I love every single pattern in the set, but I really especially love both of the cowls, by Karin Wilmoth and Emily Greene Blue.  Oh, but I also really love Annie Watts’s colorwork mittens, and Mari Chiba’s hat with the fabulous bright colors and pom pom… Excellent collection!!

Holla Knits Accessories 2013

See all the pattern details on Holla Knits, and check out the blog tour posts by all the designers and yarnies!  We’re now on the final leg of the tour; here are the dates (and head to the Holla Knits blog for giveaways to go with the tour route!):

Nov 12 – Wattsolak
Nov 13 – Mari Knits
Nov 14 – Knitters Pride
Nov 15 – Emily Greene Blue
Nov 18 – knittingkirigami
Nov 19 – Knits in Class
Nov 20 – Claire Sandow Designs
Nov 21 – Baah Yarns
Nov 22 – Jill Draper Makes Stuff
Nov 25 – Lee Meredith
Nov 26 – Wooly Wonka Fibers
Nov 27 – Bumblebirch

Filed under: contest/giveaway,hats,knitting,yarn — leethal @ 11:19 am

November 22, 2013

Color by Number: a pattern set within Coloring Book

Color by Number

The final pattern in my Coloring Book collection is actually a mini-collection itself!  Color by Number (on ravelry) is an extremely customizable pattern, with seven sample items to show how varied you can get with the pattern, and then patterns for each of those seven samples so you can copy them exactly if you want to.

Color by Number Chevrons Cowl Color by Number Checkered Headband

Color by Number knits use no stranded knitting or intarsia – just plain striping, worked in modular strips of garter stitch, connected with picked up stitches (worked into slipped stitches, so they’re easy peasy).  Yarn carrying and weaving-as-you-knit techniques make for minimal finishing.  The long, narrow sections can be either straight or slanted, and by switching the directions of the slanted sections, you can get chevron or zig-zagging kinds of shapes/designs.

Color by Number Plaid Cowl

The pattern can be made as a cowl, headband, mitts, or a blanket!  (Or, really, any other rectangular shape you want to make… you could easily use the pattern to make a long scarf, or legwarmers!)  The default closure (for everything but the blanket) is buttoning, but you can choose to sew the edges together instead if you want to skip the buttons.

Color by Number Zig-Zag Mitts Color by Number Lightning Headband

So, each of the seven samples is its own pattern (both on ravelry and on my website) and the customizable pattern is available as the set, since it includes both the full pattern and all the sample pattern details – that’s $10 for the entire full set (or it’s all a part of the Coloring Book collection, which is $20 for all this plus Pigment, Misanga, and Scribbled Lines).

Color by Number Chevrons Cowl

Let’s go through each of the samples!  First up, there’s the Checkered Headband (rav).  It’s one of the most simple, but I really love it – I’ll be wearing this one a lot!  It’s made in Malabrigo Rios worsted weight, in three colors (Teal Feather, Sunset, Lettuce), and it has an extra wide button band for a solid panel in the back:

Color by Number!

The Lightning Headband (rav) in bulky yarn (Malabrigo Chunky in Glazed Carrot and Water Green) is crazy super wide (and warm!) so the pattern is written for you to use any weight, so that the width can easily be changed by the weight/gauge changing.  There are even notes included for using a fine weight yarn, but making it wide by altering your stitch count, so you can really get any width you want, in any yarn weight.  Check out this awesome test knit version in fingering weight yarn!  You could make this one in black and white if you’re a vintage horror fan.

Color by Number!

I think my personal favorite of all the samples is the Plaid Cowl (rav).  In one of my all time favorite yarns – aran weight Malabrigo Twist – in five colors, the stripy color pattern is meant to resemble plaid, and I think my vision worked out pretty darn well!

Color by Number!

It’s a bit extra wide, for extra cozy squishiness (all Color by Number cowls can be made as wide as you want, but the given sizing guidelines in the full pattern make for a width measurement a bit shorter than this one).  The pattern explains how to choose your colors to result in the most plaid-esque look; this sample actually doesn’t follow those rules perfectly but I think it works well… maybe that’s just because I love the palette so much.  The colors used are Natural, Sunset, Sealing Wax, Teal Feather, and Lettuce.

Color by Number!

The other cowl is the Chevrons Cowl (rav), in five colors of squishy Chunky yarn (Bobby Blue, Water Green, Glazed Carrot, Frank Ochre, and Pearl Ten).

Color by Number!

This one is meant to be shaded chevrons, with the slanted sections switching between the darker colors and the lighter colors.  And then there are the contrasting V’s scattered around, for extra chevron-y-ness, or something:

Color by Number item

Then there are the Stripy Mitts (rav), in Malabrigo Sock fingering weight yarn, five colors (Terracota, Persia, Primavera, Ochre, and Ivy), with a random-looking striping design:

Color by Number!

These are designed for buttons, which is great if you want to be able to wear them as fully-closed wrist-warmers, as shown below.  As I wear mine around, however, I’m finding that the buttoning closure isn’t the most practical option for functioning fingerless mitts, so the pattern also includes modifications for making them with a sewn seam instead of the buttons, if you prefer that.  I don’t love knitting with sock yarn, but damn, I sure do love how these guys look!!

Color by Number!

The Zig-Zag Mitts (rav) are in four colors of sport weight Arroyo (Sand Bank, Glitter, Piedras, and Arco Iris), with shaded chevrons along the top and bottom, a different colored section in the middle, and contrasting zig-zag lines going through all the sections.  It’s not super easy to see what’s going on in these variegated colors, but I still like how it looks… you can see what’s happening a little better in this test knit version.

Color by Number!

These are written for a sewn seam, no buttoning option for these – I made the first one with buttons, and it totally didn’t work well, so I re-did it sewn, much better!  You can see below how it looks with buttons, worn on either hand you end up with buttons on the insides of your hand/wrist because of the slanting pattern.

When I tried to find a good seaming tutorial to use to sew these up, I couldn’t find a decent one anywhere, so I made my own!

zig-zag mitts with buttons zig-zag mitts with buttons

And lastly, the Stash-Busting Blanket (rav)!  This is ultra versatile – make it any size you want, in any yarn weight, in any striping patterns; make the sections any width you want, to get different looks, and use any combination of straight and slanted sections to make any shape!  All details are included to copy this one exactly, but you’re encouraged to make any changes you want to try out!

Color by Number!

The sample is a small lap blanket – it’s the biggest I could manage with my limited time without killing my wrists.  (I knit 18 items for this Coloring Book collection, you guys, and one of them was a freaking blanket, kind of intense!)  I used my aran and bulky weight Malabrigo leftovers, the aran weights held triple stranded and the bulky weights held double, on size US 15 needles, so it’s suuuper thick and warm and cozy.  Oh and, I put up my tutorial for triple stranding as you knit on my site!

blanket yarn Color by Number Stash-Busting Blanket

So, those are all the sample items.  One final thing about all Color by Number patterns… I made drawings of each sample, which was really fun…

Color by Number item Color by Number item

And the drawings have been turned into actual color-by-numbers, so you can play around with different color combos before committing to yarn choices for your projects!  The color charts for each pattern are numbered, so you can color in the drawings, and then color in the charts with your final choices.  (Each individual item pattern includes a page of color-by-number drawings; the full customizable Color by Number pattern includes the color-by-number charts for each item, and smaller drawings without the numbers; the complete Coloring Book ebook includes both the color-by-number charts and drawings for each sample item.)

Color by Number Stripy Mitts Color by Number Zig-Zag Mitts

(This pattern set is from the Coloring Book collection – here on ravelry – which is an assortment of accessory patterns designed to make the most of your colors, using basic stripes and easy slipped stitches!)

Filed under: Coloring Book,knitting,self-publishing,yarn — leethal @ 1:04 pm

November 21, 2013

Scribbled Lines: scarf and headband from Coloring Book

Scribbled Lines

The third pattern from the Coloring Book collection is Scribbled Lines, a simple shape for any weight yarn, with a fun stripy slip-stitch pattern, some short-row wedges, and ties on both ends.  It can be made as a long scarf…

Scribbled Lines!

…or as a short scarf which ties on to make a cowl…

Scribbled Lines!

…or small and short as a headband.  The size is completely customizable, so you can easily make the headband more narrow, or the scarf more wide/narrow/long/short, however you want it!

Scribbled Lines!

This pattern was inspired by a box of crayons.  The color wedges are meant to represent crayons, and I came up with the whole design because I wanted something that could use as many colors as you want, but also could be limited to a small assortment, and would look cool either way… like having a box of crayons and making the most of what you have to work with – I tend to use as many colors as I can, if I have a lot to work with!

crayons!

So, Scribbled Lines can be made with all different colors throughout, or in a rotating/repeating pattern between just a few – you can use as few colors as three.

Like the other Coloring Book patterns, this one includes techniques to take care of the yarn ends as you go and minimize finishing!

Scribbled Lines!

My first sample is the long scarf in six colors of Malabrigo Rios worsted weight (Teal Feather, Lettuce, Sunset, Ravelry Red, Niebla, Glazed Carrot).

Scribbled Lines Scribbled Lines

As you can see, it can tie around in a few different cowl configurations, as well as being wearable as a normal scarf.

Scribbled Lines!

I REALLY love this piece!  A little design backstory, just for fun.  I worked on a completely different design idea for weeks, knitting swatch after swatch and an entire sample, and then realized I hated it, tossed the whole thing aside and started from scratch.  It was a tough time.  But then I came up with this, and all that bologna was worth it, because the various failed aspects of the old design led me to this one, and I love this one, so hooray!!

Scribbled Lines!

The short scarf sample is in three colors of Merino Worsted aran weight yarn (Verde Esperanza, Tuareg, Coco):

Scribbled Lines!

It’s made with two ties on each end, to open up new possible tying configurations, as you can see above, with the ties wrapping around the cowl in different ways.

Scribbled Lines!

This one is extra wide, to make a substantial cowl size in the short length.

Scribbled Lines!

I love the texture of this stitch pattern!

Scribbled Lines

And then there’s the headband, in five colors of sport weight Arroyo (Glitter, Piedras, Sand Bank, Fresco y Seco, Arco Iris):

Scribbled Lines!

I made mine super wide, because I love this yarn so much and I wanted a big, bold, ear-warming accessory.  But you can make one in any width – although, the pattern recommends a minimum stitch count of 19 across, so if you want a really narrow headband you’ll probably want to use sock yarn.  This headband is 33 stitches across, so you can go significantly more narrow in sport weight.

Scribbled Lines!

Oh, another thing – the ties can be either braided or twisted.  The scarf ties above are both braided; the ties on this headband are twisted.  There are how-to photos included for both options.

Scribbled Lines!

A note:  This pattern is listed on ravelry as two different patterns – Scribbled Lines scarf and Scribbled Lines headband – for organizational purposes, so you can post your projects to the appropriate pattern listing.  But it’s all the same single pattern, you’ll get the full pdf for both items if you buy either one.

Scribbled Lines Scribbled Lines

(This pattern is from the Coloring Book collection – here on ravelry – which is an assortment of accessory patterns designed to make the most of your colors, using basic stripes and easy slipped stitches!)

Filed under: Coloring Book,knitting,yarn — leethal @ 10:12 am

November 20, 2013

Pigment: a shawl pattern from Coloring Book

Pigment

Next design up in the Coloring Book collection is Pigment!  (here on ravelry)  It’s an asymmetrical triangle shawl in squishy garter stitch, with a dot pattern meant to be worked in lots of different colors:

Pigment!

The dots are made with slipped stitches, so there’s no stranded colorwork, and the construction is extremely simple, compared to most of my designs ;)  Just cast on, knit with lots of decreases and a few increases, to make the wavy edge lines, until it comes to a point, and you’re done!  The rows get shorter and shorter as you work, making it grow faster and faster as you go, which is fun.

(Funny thing – I was actually originally planning this piece as a complicated multi-section weirdly shaped shawl, but once I started working up the first sample, I saw how great the stitch pattern stood out on its own, and I decided to scrap the whole plan and SIMPLIFY, which is a hard thing for me to do!  Ohmygosh I am SO GLAD I made that decision!!)

Something you may be excited to learn about this pattern:  Weaving in the ends of the contrasting yarns as you knit is written into the knitting pattern itself, so you do what it says and you end your piece with almost no ends to weave in!

Pigment!

Pigment can be knit in any weight yarn, to make any size shawl.  The pattern gives measurements for small{medium, large} sizes, but you can make any size in between, or go even bigger than the large!  The bright dot first sample up above is a large size shawl in bulky weight, above here is a medium size shawl in sport weight, and below is a small size shawl in worsted weight.  See how your dots will be different sizes in different yarn weights, so you can get really different looks in this piece depending on your yarn choice.  And, of course, depending on your color choices.

Pigment!

The large sample is in Malabrigo Chunky, a neutral (Pearl Ten) as the main color, and five different bright solids as the contrasting colors, rotating in a basic repeating pattern.  (The dot colors are: Frank Ochre, Bobby Blue, Glazed Carrot, Water Green, Cactus Flower.)

Pigment!

The large size is a big shawl no matter what weight you use, but in the bulky weight it is a seriously cozy item!  It’s like draping a big squishy blanket around my neck and shoulders!

Pigment!

The medium size shawl in sport weight Arroyo is my personal favorite, I think (it’s so close though – I really love the large one too!).  I don’t often work in sport weight, or any weights lighter than worsted, so this project felt overwhelming, but the yarn was so beautiful that I loved watching it grow and it didn’t feel tedious to make.  Arroyo was my big yarn discovery of this collection – I’d never used it before and I completely fell in love with it!

Pigment!

The colors here are Sand Bank for the main color, and four variegated/semi-solid contrasting: Glitter, Piedras, Fresco y Seco, Arco Iris.  They are used in a repeating pattern which is meant to seem kind of random at first glance (details are in the pattern).

Pigment!

This shawl drapes wonderfully at the loose gauge (it was knit on size 7 /4.5mm needles) and the size is perfect for everyday wear.  I have a feeling this will be my most-worn item of the whole collection; I’ve already worn it out a few times in the last week.  Love it so so so much!!

Pigment!

For the small sample, in worsted weight Rios, I decided to break away from the neutral main colors and go for Glazed Carrot as the main!  And then I rotated between the five contrasting colors (Teal Feather, Lettuce, Sunset, Ravelry Red, Niebla) in a kind of rainbow-esque pattern, blending from one to the next.

Pigment!

You can see what I mean by looking at the whole thing lying flat – the “rainbow” thing would be better if my purple was more purple-y, but I still like the effect:

Pigment

The size of a small is just a little neck warmer type thing, not exactly a warm winter wrap, but it’s cute for adding a pop of color to your outfit!

Pigment!

Want to see what the back side looks like?  It’s pretty cool looking!

Pigment - back side

And I love the way the garter stitch waves around the dots:

Pigment shawl

I was reading through my old tweets (you know, like you do) from when I started designing this shawl, back in late July / early August – tweets like “Totally in love with this new project I’ve been obsessively working on.” and “one of the best feelings in the world: you think of a PERFECT pattern name, look it up on ravelry, there’s not a single pattern w/it already”.  I’m still so happily surprised that the name Pigment was not taken!

Pigment shawl

This shawl is obviously a fantastic way to use up a pile of leftover scraps in the same weight – no need to rotate between the same colors throughout the whole thing, you can use little leftover mini-balls for just one or two stripes of dots.  I can’t wait to start seeing Pigment projects popping up on ravelry, in all different colors and styles!

Pigment shawl Pigment shawl

(This pattern is from the Coloring Book collection – here on ravelry – which is an assortment of accessory patterns designed to make the most of your colors, using basic stripes and easy slipped stitches!)

Filed under: Coloring Book,knitting,yarn — leethal @ 5:25 pm

Misanga: a hat pattern from Coloring Book

Misanga

The first pattern in the Coloring Book collection:  Misanga!  (on ravelry)

Misanga!

It’s a hat in any weight variegated yarn, custom fit to any size, worked from the top down with a slip-stitch body pattern and a sideways-knit modular brim.

Misanga!

The way the stitch pattern looks is dependent on the colorway of your yarn, since the woven slipped stitches happen as the colors change.  I found the variegated Malabrigo Silky Merino (DK weight) and Malabrigo Selección Privada (aran weight) to be perfect fits for this pattern!

Misanga yarns

The Rasta super bulky weight worked, but not quite as well, since the colors were a bit less contrasty than the other two, and had less length per color (colorway Arco Iris).  The keys to picking a yarn for this pattern are length of color runs, total number of colors, and contrasty-ness of the colors.

Misanga!

Four main colors seems pretty perfect – it’s enough that you can experiment with weaving two colors at once if you want to, and not too many colors so that the woven color gets lost in the crowd.  And having color sections short enough to work with the body pattern (no more than 10 inches / 25 cm long), but long enough to really show the chevron pattern of the brim, is excellent, as you can see in the Silky Merino sample (Marruecos colorway):

Misanga!

The Selección Privada (Code G Color Base) sample doesn’t show the brim chevrons quite as well, but I still really love it, and it’s my favorite of the three samples for how the woven stitch pattern turned out (especially where I used both the yellow and green at the same time as the stitch pattern slipping color, around the bottom).  It has color runs around the 6-10 inches / 15-25 cm range.

Misanga!

Here are some other things I learned from my sample knitting and my test knitters…  Smooth yarns are best for this pattern – thick+thin is just too much going on at once.  The pattern recommends color sections of at least 2 inches – definitely don’t go under that, and try to be more in the 4 inches and up range.  As you can see in this sample, having one color that clearly pops out against the others is ideal – if your yarn has four different colors which are all equally contrasty with each other, it will be harder to see the stitch pattern.

Misanga hat

The body stitch pattern was inspired by basic weaving – potholder loom type weaving, or basic nail loom weaving like the one pictured on the cover, which was my actual loom with the weaving still on it from when I was a kid!

Misanga! Misanga!

The brim pattern was inspired by knotted chevron friendship bracelets.  Fun side note: when I was a kid, I made tons of the rainbow spiral style friendship bracelets, but I never had a good teacher show me how to make the stripes or chevron styles successfully.  I tried, but they always came out terrible looking; I must have been making the knots in the wrong direction or something.  So I always loved the chevron style bracelets but never made one… and then I designed this hat, and decided I wanted to make a chevron bracelet to go with it, so I found an online tutorial and I totally successfully made one!  Thanks internet!

friendship bracelet!

The pattern includes a list of links to several different kinds of friendship bracelet tutorials, so you too can make bracelets to go with your hats!  The word Misanga is a Japanese word for a friendship bracelet, or a handmade good luck bracelet.

Misanga!

As for the shape of the hat, the brim pulls in at the bottom, so the body of the hat is not fitted – it doesn’t have any negative ease, like most knit hats do have.  So you can make it short, and have a loose-fitting style hat like the Silky Merino one; or you can make it a bit extra long, and have a slouchy style hat like the red/yellow/green aran weight sample.  The super bulky one looks more fitted, but while the wide brim is super tight, the body is actually pretty loose, it’s just pulled down on my head…

Misanga!

You can also make an optional pom-pom to pop onto your Misanga, if you want to.  (I kind of want to make pom-poms for a bunch of my hats now… it’s not a thing I usually think of doing, but it’s pretty great.)

Misanga hat

So that’s Misanga!  If you have a really contrasty skein of variegated yarn that just can’t find a home, perhaps you’ll consider this!

Misanga hat

(This pattern is from the Coloring Book collectionhere on ravelry – which is an assortment of accessory patterns designed to make the most of your colors, using basic stripes and easy slipped stitches!)

Filed under: Coloring Book,hats,knitting,yarn — leethal @ 9:54 am
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