November 19, 2013

Coloring Book collection!

Coloring Book is out!  It’s a collection of colorful designs in Malabrigo yarns, for the Malabrigo Freelance Patterns Project, all using stripes and slipped stitches – no stranded knitting or intarsia – and tricks to keep your yarns neat on the back side, and weave in ends as you knit to minimize your finishing!  (on ravelry)

Coloring Book

This collection is essentially four patterns, but one of them is actually a whole big pattern set within the bigger collection, featuring seven totally different samples, each with its own pattern.  There are eighteen individual knitted items in this collection!  I will devote a whole blog post to each of the four patterns throughout this week, to get into detail about each one, so for this introductory post, let me introduce you to my new designs…

all collection knits

Misanga (rav) is a hat for a single skein of contrasty variegated yarn, inspired by basic potholder loom type weaving, and knotted chevron friendship bracelets.  The samples are in DK weight Silky Merino, aran weight Selección Privada, and super bulky weight Rasta:

Misanga! Misanga!


Pigment (rav) is an asymmetrical triangle shawl for any weight and size, with a dotted slip-stitch pattern.  The samples are in bulky weight Chunky, worsted weight Rios, and sport weight Arroyo:

Pigment! Pigment!


Scribbled Lines (rav scarf/headband) is a versatile pattern that can be made as a headband or a scarf/cowl in any size, in any number of colors three or more.  The samples are in worsted weight Rios, aran weight Merino Worsted, and sport weight Arroyo:

Scribbled Lines!

Scribbled Lines! Scribbled Lines!

And Color by Number (rav) is a completely customizable pattern for cowls, headbands, mitts, and blankets, with specific pattern details for the seven sample items.  Plaid Cowl is in aran weight Twist, Zig-Zag Mitts are in sport weight Arroyo, Lightning Headband is in bulky weight Chunky, Chevrons Cowl is in bulky weight Chunky, Stripy Mitts are in fingering weight Sock, Checkered Headband is in worsted weight Rios, and Stash-Busting Blanket is in an assorted of aran weight Twist and Merino Worsted held triple stranded and bulky weight Chunky held double stranded:

Color by Number! Color by Number!

Color by Number! Color by Number!

Color by Number! Color by Number!

Color by Number!

Each pattern is available separately, on my website or ravelry, for $5-6 each, or the entire collection – as a 50 page ebook, plus all the individual pattern pdfs – is $20.  The Color by Number set by itself is also an option, for $10 (rav).

In probably a couple weeks, but maybe sooner, I’ll be releasing the print book – that will be available through MagCloud like my other print books, and it will be $23.

Update 12/2
:  Coloring Book is now available as a print book, through MagCloud here!

hand drawn/written bits

This collection involves lots of hand-drawn and written bits!  Fun!  The Color by Number patterns include actual color-by-number striping pattern charts (as you can see on the cover photos)!  I’m really super happy with how the whole thing turned out, I hope you like it too!

all collection knits all collection knits

I want to give a heartfelt THANK YOU to my awesome test knitters – this project was so very much improved thanks to their fantastic feedback, suggestions, and troubleshooting help.  Leethal testers, you are the best!!

And I’ll leave it at that for today – stay tuned throughout the week to learn/see more about each pattern, and you can scroll through photos of them all on flickr, and read a bit more on my website and/or ravelry.  Also, chat about the collection in the leethal knitters ravelry group, and be sure to add photos to your ravelry projects if you make any of them!  I want to see your versions!  :)

Oh wait, and speaking of sharing your versions, all of these patterns are eligible for the Indie Design Gift-a-long, so you can share your projects over there for chances to win tons of awesome prizes!  Yeah!  Okay that’s all for reals now, happy knitting!

Filed under: Coloring Book,hats,knitting,self-publishing,yarn — leethal @ 12:59 pm

July 3, 2013

Obligatory TNNA summer 2013 recap post!

The weekend before last I spent 5 days in Columbus, Ohio for the industry trade show of the year for all things fibery and needley.  We had a time.

TNNA summer 2013!

I roomed with the fabulous Andrea Rangel (who is pictured above and is the best at colors – check out this palette she rocked one day.)  And I booth-shared with the awesome Alexa of Tin Can Knits; we had tons of fun:

TNNA 2013! TNNA summer 2013!

Our booth was in the Deep South Fibers cluster, so we were booth-neighbors with lots of great people, yay!  Like Hilary Smith Callis (pictured below, adorably giggling about posing with the issue of Knitscene in which she was the featured designer!) and Carina Spencer, posing with me below, and lots more lovely people I don’t have photos of, like Carrie Sullivan of Irish Girlie Knits (my birthday twin!), Juju at Loop, Olga Buraya-Kefelian (one of my all time favorite designers of ever), Woolly Wormhead… the list would go on but I’ll stop there because that’s who was immediately next to us…  It’s great being around all these other designers once in awhile, since they are kind of like my co-workers but we all work alone in our homes with only twitter to connect us (basically, usually).

TNNA summer 2013! TNNA 2013!

So, my booth!  I started out with the hanging spray-painted frames on the back wall:

TNNA summer 2013!

Then I hung lots of photos along the side wall, with mini-clothespins (closeup):

TNNA summer 2013!

Then I built a ceiling!  I ran wire from bar to bar across the top, then more and more wire from wire to bar and wire to wire, and so on, until I had a spiderweb-esque mesh ceiling.  The photo to the left there is after I’d already started taking it apart a little at the end, but you get the idea.  Then, from the ceiling, I hung trays:

TNNA summer 2013! TNNA 2013!

And I put things on the trays, using them as mini-tables, instead of having a big table.  And I hung lots of samples along the tops of the side and back walls.

TNNA summer 2013!

So my business cards, postcards, buttons, and lots of smaller sample knits, were all on the tray tables.  It was a bit unwieldy, functionally-speaking… people were afraid if they walked into the booth and bumped into the trays everything would fall; but that wasn’t true, I made sure they were very stable.  Overall, it didn’t turn out perfectly, but I was pretty happy with the booth setup :)

TNNA summer 2013!

Here’s me standing in it, photo by Stacey Trock of Fresh Stitches!

Here is our whole booth, with Tin Can Knits on the right:

TNNA summer 2013!

Besides the actual trade show booth stuff, TNNA weekend also involved lots of eating (not just ice cream), a bit of drinking (Columbus has some good local beers!), and tons of talking!  Alexa and I were pretty darn into our truffle mac n cheese at Barley’s!

TNNA 2013!

Click to enlarge the photo to the right below to read all the amazing flavor options at Jeni’s!  My personal favorite out of the EIGHT flavors I tried throughout the weekend (that’s only 4 servings – my favorite thing about Jeni’s is that you get 2 flavors in a small size) was Queen City Cayenne, yum!

TNNA summer 2013! TNNA summer 2013!

Much fun was had at the Grass Skirt tiki room with the ravelry crew (where I took this photo of Mary-Heather, Jess, and Ysolda being supercute).  And, after all the mac n cheese and ice cream, I was happy to fill up on veggies (and a local beer, of course) at a pretty good greek place.  Good job, Columbus, I like you!

TNNA summer 2013! TNNA summer 2013!

I also hung out with lots of other designers and yarn-type people I didn’t photograph – some people I met last year at TNNA, and I met loads of new people.  Yarny people are the greatest!  Everyone is the best!

So then on Monday I broke down my booth and packed it all back into the suitcase it came in, but it was much harder to close this time!

TNNA summer 2013!

I brought home all the yarn I could possible fit!  There’s some secret hidden yarn I can’t show you yet, and lots of glorious Anzula!!  Enough Cricket and Squishy to make into two shawls (one 2-color and one 3-color) – these yarns will eventually become the samples of the colorwork shawl in the Betiko collection!

brought home from TNNA 2013

And then lots of bits of awesome yarns for future use – Imperial Yarn, Fibre Company, Sincere Sheep, and Cestari are pictured below, all so lovely!  There were a few others I talked to but have nothing to show now (notably Phydeaux, Space Cadet, Sweet Georgia, Cephalopod, Briggs and Little) – yummmm yarrrrrn.  And I didn’t even walk the entire floor or spend much time seeking out yarn, since I was focused on my own booth.  It’s overwhelming how much there is to see!

brought home from TNNA 2013

Lastly,  I treated myself to some new clothes for TNNA – I really love this dress (found at Village Merchants, my most favorite secondhand shop), so yay, because good dresses (for affordable-on-an-indie-designer’s-budget prices) are hard to find, man!  I think I scored this for about $12, with the original tag still on, so possibly never worn.  Oh how I love a good deal, so I had to share with you ;)  And another shot of me in my booth, to round things out, all covered in knitwear (too much air conditioning works out well when you want to show off your wooly samples).

TNNA summer 2013! TNNA 2013!

That’s TNNA!  Good times!

Filed under: knitting,lots of links,personal,photos,random stuff,thrifty finds,yarn — leethal @ 6:04 pm

July 7, 2012

Twitter mystery KAL pattern revealed: Orthogonal!

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


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


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


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


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

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

Orthogonal Orthogonal

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

Yarn haul

And then a few other announcement-ish things…

I am on Math4Knitters podcast!

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

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

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

December 23, 2011

What’s to come and some random bits…

Hope you are having a good holiday-ish week!  I am hanging at my parents’ house in Orange County for a couple weeks, hoping to get tons of knitting and ebook photo editing done, between silly times with my brothers and California adventures with my parents…  Just wanted to kind of check in here since not much leethal stuff is going on, but will be in the near future!

Remixed pattern #6 is basically done – just needs to be tested once I finished laying out the pdf.  Giving my testers a break for now, for gift knitting times, so it’ll go out to them next week, then be out to Remixers in another week or so, beginning of January:

Freak Out! Freak Out!

It can be super extra terrifying if you choose:

Freak Out!

But it can also be folded up into a hat for normal everyday use.  See more photos of the stripy one and the bulky one on ravelry.  It’s for any weight yarn, worked top down, to get the eye and mouth placement just right.

Freak Out! Freak Out!

And then the seventh pattern is just about done as well!  Gentle on My Mind is a bonnet style hat, which can be made with or without i-cord tails, and works excellently with stripes…

Gentle on My Mind Gentle on My Mind

This is my first prototype, and was made with normal short row wraps.  After completing it, I discovered Socktopus’s shadow wraps method, which is so freaking awesome and a perfect fit for this pattern!  So my other samples are using that, and that will be the recommended technique in this pattern…

Gentle on My Mind

Below is my second sample, in several different handspun mini-skeins and leftover bits (plus a couple stripes of Malabrigo Twist thrown in there)… I love the front part, and I like the back of the head, but the middle is kinda weird, oh well.  It’s a sample without the i-cords (more photos are on ravelry).

Gentle on My Mind

Right now I’m working on another striped sample – 2 contrasting recycled solids – which I am super loving!  So, this design should be ready for testing in a couple weeks, and then just one Remixed pattern left in the collection!

Besides the designing and knitting, I’ve been making lots of recycled yarns for the ebook.  This one is the yarn used in the stripy mask – a striped wool unraveled sweater yarn, plied with thread:

recycled spun yarn

Here are a couple of navajo plied recycled striped yarns – the left is cotton, the right is wool:

recycled spun yarn recycled spun yarn

And from the same sweater as that wool navajo plied, a sleeve became this stripy yarn, plied with an angora blend:

recycled spun yarn

So that’s what I’ve been working on – well, the work work I’ve been doing… I’ve also spent lots of time working on gift projects, or one main gift project, which you can see a peek at through my twitter.  It will be blogged at some point soon!

A couple other things I wanted to mention here…  I’ve been saving all my coffee cans for the last couple years, since I made this cubby, in case I might want to make another one, but now I have something like 16 or 18 saved up, and nowhere in my house to put another one, so I’d love to give all the cans to a crafter who doesn’t drink coffee and wants to make a cubby.  Anyone in the Portland area want them??  Comment if you’re interested and I’ll email you…


And this one last thing – thought there might be some readers out there who might be interested in this:

craft show flier

The casting agent happens to be an old co-worker from my day job in California many years ago… weird connection to my current world (that day job had nothing to do with craftiness).  So I just wanted to throw that up here… not exactly my thing (I don’t have that necessary tv personality) but it sounds pretty awesome!

September 26, 2011


You know how I’ve been mentioning since the beginning of the year that I’m working on an ebook?  Well, it’s a long process but there’s finally something ready to put out there into the world!  In the spirit of kickstarter campaigns, and other community supported projects, and because the knitting community is awesome, I’ve released the ebook for pre-sale.  Pre-order the book, get each individual pattern as it’s finished, starting with Parallel Lines right now!

Parallel Lines Cover Wild is the Wind Cover

Your pre-orders will help me to be able to focus on the ebook and get it out as soon as I can, and I think it’ll be fun for all to get each pattern, one every few weeks, like little gifts in your inbox, right?

The ebook is called Remixed, and it will be all about knitting with recycled yarns – how to make your own yarns, using thrifted/unwanted sweaters, and patterns that will work excellently with these yarns.  The reason the patterns work well with recycled yarns is that they are all super versatile, making them great for yarns of weird weights, or limited yardage, etc, which makes them perfect also for using up random single skeins or any other yarns you might have that are looking for a project.  Because of the flexibility, you can make the patterns over and over, differently each time, by changing up the yarn type and choosing different optional elements.  By remixing the designs, you might say.

remixed yarn

There will be 8 accessory patterns – the ebook is $16 and after the complete book is out, each pattern will be available individually for about $4 (some may be $1 more or less).  All the yarn-making tutorials will be exclusive to the ebook, which is sure to be long and packed with info, and will of course be formatted for easy reading on your computer screen or ebook-reading device.

infinity moebius scarf thing

Parallel Lines is the first pattern, which you’ll get right now when you pre-order (through my site or through ravelry) – it’s a moebius loop scarf, with a simple reversible slip-stitch pattern, some easy short rows, for any yarn weight and any width you like.  A quick thank you to my awesome test knitters for all their helpful feedback on this one!

Wild is the Wind

In about 10 days you’ll get the second pattern – Wild is the Wind hat (one, two, three on rav), which is currently being tested in all different yarn weights, sizes, and styles.

Wild is the Wind Wild is the Wind

A couple weeks after that, Freewheelin’ will be the third pattern – below are glimpses at my first and second (in-progress) prototypes, but I’m still making changes.  The final design will be differently shaped, and a wee simpler than the blue one, for easier (more enjoyable) knitting/pattern following.  It can be made with any weight yarn, and as big as you want it; the blue one shows the size it is when made with 1 skein of worsted weight yarn (Manos del Uruguay wool), but if you keep knitting, it’ll turn into a full size shawl.

future design prototype! bulky yellow cables

And then, as they are ready – I’m aiming for every 2 weeks, but some may take longer – you’ll get each of the remaining patterns.  One of them may be free for a limited time, but besides that, and perhaps the occasional twitter giveaway, the only way to get the patterns before the book is out will be by pre-ordering.

Without giving too much away, here’s a super vague list of the other 5 patterns:

  • fingerless mitts
  • a scarf which is meant for using up lots of bitsy yarn scraps
  • a crazy mystery accessory
  • a not so crazy mystery accessory
  • something meant for wild art yarns

So, that gives you a little bit of an idea of what you’ll be getting; if you like these designs that you can see now, that probably means you’ll like most of the Remixed patterns.

remixed yarn remixed yarn

I can’t give you a date for when the final ebook will be released, but I can tell you that I doubt it will be possible to get it out before the end of the year.  But, the good news: these patterns are great for gift knitting, and you’ll for sure be getting several of them in plenty of time to get them knit up by holiday season.  Most, if not all, of the individual patterns should be out to pre-orderers before the end of the year, and the complete book, tutorials and all, will be out as soon as I can complete it.  My top priority with this project is quality, so I hope you’ll understand if it takes me longer than you would like it to – it should all be worth it in the end!

remixed yarn remixed yarn

Throughout the pre-sale period (from now until the final book is released) I will be doing random giveaways for pre-orderers, whom I’ll call Remixers because that’s easier and more fun.  The giveaways will average around one every 2 weeks, I’ll be posting about them in the ravelry forums, and giveaway prizes will vary.  Winners may get a skein of recycled yarn, or other crafty goodies, or a free pattern, or their choice of something from my shop… Or other fun ideas I come up with!

remixed yarn

Also in the leethal ravelry group, I’ll be posting regular updates about new patterns and all Remixed-related news.  It would be awesome if Remixers want to share their projects from the ebook patterns, and post anything else you want to about Remixed.  I’m crazy super excited to be finally putting this out there, and I hope you have fun with the way I’m doing it one pattern at a time.

remixed yarn

I first starting brainstorming and outlining this ebook concept well over a year ago, made definite plans which I announced on the blog in February, which is also when I started the prototypes for both of the first two designs (Parallel Lines in handspun and Wild is the Wind in an unknown commercial yarn), but I’d planned to include all kinds of recycled yarns – “yarn” made from sheets, t-shirts, plastic bags, etc.  Now that I’ve been finalizing everything, my plan has changed so that this book will be only recycled sweater yarns, and (if all goes well) it will be followed by a second book with all those crazy yarns, and then after that, a third volume with hand-dyed recycled yarns.

infinity moebius scarf thing

So, that’s the plan.  If you are into it, awesome, and I hope you’re able to pre-order Remixed, because each and every order will really help me to make this ebook the best it can be, and get the patterns done as quickly as I’m able to.  So far, I love absolutely everything about this project – the recycley-ness, the musical aesthetic, the any-gauge accessories… it’s all really close to my heart and I hope that my love for it shows through in the work I put out to you!  And I hope you love it, too!

Filed under: hats,knitting,Remixed,self-publishing,yarn — leethal @ 3:34 am

May 5, 2011

Happy Spring Sale!

Ok so… I continue to be ridiculously busy and I’ve been pretty absent over here and on twitter too.  So, to thank you for bearing with me and continuing to follow me through these months of lacking content, I’m having a spring sale on my patterns!

Enter the code spring into your shopping cart coupon code box, now through Monday, either in ravelry or on my website, to get 20% off any and all of my knitting patterns and ebooks!  Just so you know I didn’t forget about you!  Happy spring!

bird on wire

Well, this is what spring looks like here in Portland most days…


I don’t have much to show you, as most of what I’ve been busy with is either secret or just not photographic; I hosted trivia again last night!  But no pictures of that… I finished a huge design project last week that I’m super happy with… I’ve been slowly doing bits of yard work here and there when I have a chance, but nothing to show you yet with that… anyway, those above and this one below are just some random pictures from the last couple weeks.  This is in the Ace Hotel, where I found myself killing some time waiting for a photoshoot to happen:

Ace Hotel

I spun some yarn the other day – birthday yarn for my buddy Caitlin!

Caitlin's bday yarn

And I did a brand new photoshoot for my old free pattern Waving Chevron Scarf.  Have yet to redo the pdf, with my new pattern format and the new photos…

waving chevron scarf waving chevron scarf

This weekend I’ll be hard at work on my second-to-last quick knits club ebook!  You can still grab a 3-month subscription for just 10 bucks (and you can enter that coupon code to make it 8!), which will get you April’s music themed ebook, May’s book on Monday (hopefully, maybe Tuesday), and then June’s which is the last one.  Follow my twitter to maybe see some peeks at the club designs as I’m working on them!

Filed under: knitting,leethal store,random stuff,yarn — leethal @ 3:51 pm

February 21, 2011

Spinning, knit-a-long, fiber retreat, and what’s to come!

Life has been busy and exciting and I have a bunch of things to show you and tell you about!  There is a Betiko knit-a-long about to get started, hosted by awesome spinner Blonde Chicken!  She has even spun up a bunch of yarn kits made especially for Betiko shawls!  How cool is that?!  Of course, you can join in the knit-a-long fun with any yarn you want to use, but handspun is definitely encouraged!

spun by me!

These photos are some of my handspun I’ve made recently… I might have to use one of them for a Betiko once I start seeing all the sure to be gorgeous handspun versions popping up.  I love looking through the Betiko projects, because the shawls can all look so different from each other – this stripey one on Michelynntires blog is beautiful!  And for this one blogged on OtterWise, she came with her own custom outer edging!  Ohdessa Knits also designed her own lacy edging, which she shares on her blog – it’s so pretty!

spun by me!

And in other handspun-related news… I’ve been going through a spinning phase!  I hadn’t really spun in the last year or so, just a couple of single skeins here and there.  I think it was because I was doing the recycled spun yarn every month for my old club and it made me not want to spin anything besides that (because recycled spinning for the club quantity was really tedious).  But then I decided to pick up the wheel again a few weeks ago and have been really into it!  Above is some 2-ply spun from Spunky Eclectic‘s BFL wool dyed in the Aspen colorway, love it so much!  And below is some bulky art yarn, spun to be fuzzy and full of big slubby bits, striping from all these colors of merino I got from Black Sheep fiber festival a couple years ago.  (I haven’t washed/blocked either yet, I was just too excited to photograph them and show you!)

spun by me!

Sort of related to spinning, I took a spontaneous trip on the train last Thursday to Madrona fiber arts retreat in Tacoma!

Madrona trip Madrona trip

I found out my buddies Star, Vivian, and Sorren has decided to go on Wednesday night, and I was leaving for the train station at 7am the next morning!  It was a whirlwind of fibery goodness, I’m so glad I went for it!

Madrona trip

It was at this amazing hotel – Hotel Murano – and while we weren’t there for long, we did find a little time to sit and knit under that Chuck Close in the cozy fireplace area.  Such a great location for a fiber retreat, I just wish we were able to be there for the whole weekend instead of one day!  (Maybe next year…)

Madrona trip

In the overwhelmingly-full-of-cool-stuff marketplace, we got to try out these way too fun hand-built electric spinners, by Hansen Crafts.  It was really fun and easy to use and all of us agreed that someday when we win the lottery / sell out / have an extra $700 we just need to get rid of, we are totally getting one!  Another highlight was us talking Vivian into getting this best puppet ever!  And by the way, Vivian has some more excellent photos of our adventure on her fabulous blog here!

Madrona trip Madrona trip

I had a tiny budget for the day, but I did get one braid of spinning fiber since I realized I has never spun Targhee before – this gorgeously dyed wool is from Sweet Grass Wool, in the Arizona colorway.  (That reminds me, if you’re a lover of sheep, you must see the documentary Sweetgrass if you haven’t already!)

to be spun!

I also got a small silk hankie – just enough to try out the knitting technique in this blog post that I totally fell in love with (along with just about every knitter in the world!).  If I enjoy knitting with this little trial-sized hankie, I’ll go for one of the amazingly beautiful Blue Moon hankies!  And, speaking of Blue Moon, for my birthday I got a massive 8 ounces of this handpainted Polwarth roving (another type of wool I’ve never spun before!) in the River Rocked colorway – so huge and squishy and those colors and… yeah, it’s pretty much the best thing ever!  (Thanks Pete’s parents!!!!)

to be spun!

Aaaand, also for my birthday (thanks Star!!!!) I got this… ack I feel like I keep saying the words beautiful and gorgeous and amazing too much, but it’s all of those things… Black Trillium merino/bamboo blend in the Too Many Pumpkins colorway.  I love it so much!!  So, once I get really back into practice with spinning and I trust myself to do these fibers justice, you’ll be seeing yarns made from them!

to be spun!

And, mostly just for more eye candy… this is a yarn I spun a year ago, with Spunky Eclectic hand-dyed shetland, all big and squishy, which I hadn’t gotten around to photographing until now (except for the singles on the bobbins here).  Love it!

spun by me!

This one was spun with some various batts from fiber festivals (like these), in long striping sections in a kind of uneven single ply…

spun by me!

…which was then knit into this, yumyum handspun garter stitch!

handspun garter stitch

And that leads me to something else exciting I can tell you about… I am finally starting actual tangible work on my ebook, which I’ve been slowly planning for the last year!  It was originally going to be a recycled-yarn-making ebook, with patterns to go with all the different kinds of yarns, including recycled spun, hand-dyed, and more… Well, after months of planning, brainstorming, outlining, I decided that was just an unrealistically huge undertaking and I came up with the idea of splitting it into 2 volumes – the first will be recycled yarns with no dyeing (super detailed on how to recycled sweaters into new yarns, and recycled spun yarns in tons of different styles, etc)…

Wrapped Up In Books Coming Up Roses

So, that garter stitch project above is a first prototype of a pattern which isn’t ready to show you yet, and I’ve also started work on a hat pattern for the book.  Work on this book will not be a secret, so I’ll show you progress as I go, and once I have a couple actual items to show from it, I’ll start selling book pre-orders.  My plan is to release each pattern as it’s ready – so, if you pre-order the ebook, then you’ll get new patterns one at a time until the whole book is finished and released.  So that’s that plan.  I have a lot of other stuff going on too, so I’m not able to fully focus on it yet, but I’m pretty excited about it!

And I’ll leave you with one more handspun photo, because I love this one so much!

spun by me!

August 23, 2010

August quick knits club, and the Next Generation!

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

Major changes for the Next Generation:

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

quick knits!

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

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

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

quick knits!

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

August club!

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

pocket case

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

pocket case pocket case

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

buttons! reclaimed decks of cards!

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

custom game pieces

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

custom game pieces poker chips!

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

little pencils and farkle points!

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

It's a Game yarn! Mind Games yarn!

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

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

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

July 5, 2010

Catching Up – coffee, interview, and a bunch of links!

I got a super nice message from Parisa of LightingLittleFires blog a while back, saying that I’d helped inspire her to start a blog and put together a blog “festival” of projects, which sounded like a fun idea!  She asked if I’d be interested in contributing something summery, so I put together a how-to for one of my favorite summer treats – cold brewed coffee!

cold brew! cold brew!

Along with the coffee instructions, you’ll also find a pretty wordy interview… be warned, when I’m asked about my business and stuff, you can’t shut me up!  So head over to day 10 of the Midsummer Day’s Dream blog festival – and check out the festival home page to see all the projects for all the days (including some free knit and crochet patterns, recipes, and more!).

cold brew!

In other news… did you know this year’s Tour de Fleece has started already?!  My, how time flies!  I’m taking the year off, sadly, too much going on, but I did participate the last 2 years – see my posts about 2009 and about 2008, or the flickr sets, for some inspiration perhaps?  It’s such a fun way to spin a bunch with a huge group of people all spinning right along with you, yay!  (Head to the ravelry group to get involved!)

ease your feet in the sea

I’ve been meaning to mention this since the Summit of Awesome, where I met the creator of this amazing new website – unanimous craft!  From the site:

Unanimous Craft is a tagable, sortable index of resources for crafters, artists and indie business owners. We submit our favorite resources and welcome the community to do the same.

It’s still super new, and the awesomeness of it is dependent on how much it gets used… I haven’t been able to spend any real time there yet, but I plan to for sure, and you should too!

I got an email from 9-year-old Hannah pointing me to this video she made about Hats for Hunger – seems like a great charity to know about if you’re looking for a place to donate hats, or want to buy some hats for a good cause, or especially if you have kids in your life who might be into loom-knitting (or regular knitting) up some hats for the cause, since it’s all run by kids!  Pretty rad!

And one last thing to tell you about – Google voice has recently come out of beta so an invite is no longer needed to get an account!  It’s a great service (watch the video to learn about it) and I now have a new number that I can share publicly since it’s all screened and stuff…  (971)-leethal will reach me via phone call or text! Yay!

Well I’m finally almost not sick anymore, and catching up slowly on everything after a couple weeks of rest… oh, my poor blog, hopefully I’ll be seeing more of you!

Filed under: lots of links,random stuff,recipes,yarn — leethal @ 11:08 pm

June 24, 2010

June leethal quick knits club!

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

all June club stuff

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

Luggage Tag Pouch

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

Luggage Tag Pouch June club yarn!

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

June club yarn! Leaf-ish Sleep Mask

…which is completed with a piece of elastic:

Leaf-ish Sleep Mask

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

elastic for June club patterns

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

map bookmark pieces road trip mix cd!

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

summer road trip themed mix!

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

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

all June club stuff

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

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

May 31, 2010

Make a scrap-yarn-wrapped branch decoration!

yarn branch art piece thing

While flipping through The Big Ass Book of Home Decor a couple weeks ago, I came across a project like this – yarn-wrapped twig arrangement.  I felt like I’d seen similar projects online too, like it wasn’t the first time I’d seen a branch wrapped in yarn, but now I can’t find anything in blog-land (at the bottom, I linked to some other related projects that I did find!)… Anyway, mine is a bit different from the book project, so now I’ll share it with you!

yarn branch art piece thing

I wanted to use a glue gun, but some crafty items got temporarily lost in the move and my guns were nowhere to be found, so I came up with methods that use as little glue as possible.  Some glue was necessary, so I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue, which worked very well.

All you need for this project are some branches/twigs (the size and amount that you want for your vase or other arrangement plan), yarn leftover scraps, glue, and scissors.

yarn branch art piece thing

You can barely see, but I tried out something with the solid blue yarn that I thought would look cool – as I was balling up the yarn, I tied knots in it all throughout, which made little bumps on the branches.  It would indeed look cool, I think, if I did more; if you make knots, make them super frequently (like every 4-6 inches or so).  I think I knotted the yarn an average of every 18-24 inches-ish, and that makes the knots pretty far apart on the branches, oops!

howto00 scrapbranch2

To make the scrappy version, you’ll need a bunch of yarn bits around 1-2 feet long.  For either version, to start wrapping at the bottom of your branch, wrap the yarn around itself a couple times then start wrapping upwards.  I found no need to knot or glue the piece at the bottom, just holding the tip down and overlapping it in the first wraps worked out well.

To change colors, when you have about 3-4 inches of your first color left, hold the tip of the next color alongside the branch.  Wrap the last 2-3 wraps of the first color around the end of the next color:

howto01 howto02

Hold the end of the first color against the branch, and start wrapping with the next color over the first color, wrapping over the tip to hold it down:


When you reach the end, cut the yarn when it’s wrapped all the way to the top, then unwrap a couple times around, dot some glue on the branch end, and wrap back over the glue.

To wrap the offshoots, the number one rule is be careful – they can be easy to snap!  Either wrap up over the offshoot and back down to continue upwards, like the red yarn above, or you can wrap the end of a new color into the base, continue up the main branch, and then use that new yarn for the offshoot.  The neatest way is to wrap up the offshoot just like the rest of the branch is wrapped, and glue it off at the tip, but on smaller offshoots you can wrap up loosely (further apart wraps), then wrap back down to the base, normally, so it’s double-wrapped and there’s no need for gluing the end.

closeup2 closeup1

By the way, I do recommend doing this project over newspapers – the little twig dust gets everywhere on your workspace, so newspaper makes for easy cleanup!

If you do snap an offshoot after wrapping, like you can see I did below, you can glue it back together, twisting it to get the wrapping back in place as much as possible.


So, just keep on wrapping until you’ve wrapped all the branches you want…


Then arrange them in a vase, or whatever (some kind of wall art arrangement could also be rad looking):

yarn branch art piece thing

I had a fun time photographing mine, it’s so colorful and fun!  I love how it turned out!!

yarn branch art piece thing

I made this one for our bathroom, which is white and boring, so now it’s cheery and colorful! Yay!  If we had some kind of entry area, this might be a great piece for that (bigger and crazier, perhaps)…

yarn branch art piece thing

So, as I was searching around to see if other crafters had made similar projects, I found some fun other ways to decorate with branches/twigs… I super love Betz White’s pussy willow rainbow, made with felt balls.  I also love the idea of pom poms on twigs, like Apartment Therapy shows here, and row home living shows here.

yarn branch art piece thing

Other ideas: branch jewelry holder, cherry blossom branch, and cherry blossom branch lights!  I think I see a roundup developing here…..

yarn branch art piece thing

It’s a fun project, I’d love to see photos if anyone does it!  The scrappy branch is my favorite for sure – I love that I found a use for some of my scrap jar yarn!!


Filed under: home stuff,tutorials,yarn — leethal @ 1:02 pm

May 25, 2010

Future club 2.0 and May leethal quick knits club!

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

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

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

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

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

Old Timey Moustache!

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

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

club #2: Back to school set

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

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

all May club stuff

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

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

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

Stuffed Ball Cord Pull Garter Strip Light-switch Cover

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

switch plates fitted cord pull cover

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

club extra goodies club extra goodies

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

projects materials in club package needed to make projects

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

magnets! 0514

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

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

May 3, 2010

April leethal quick knits club!

Tea Towel

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

April Club - Everything

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

mini produce bag mini produce bag

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

Spun Yarn Closer

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

Bag Making Stuff Yarn Plus Pattern Extras

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

fruit + veggie dish scrubbies

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

Balled Yarn Skeined Yarn

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

Dyed Yarn

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

Embroidering Stuff

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

Embroidery Transfer

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


A complete April club package:

Full Club Package

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

All Kitchen Stuff

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

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

April 16, 2010

Brimming with Color!

Brimming with Color!

Did anyone wonder what all the dyed Imperial Stock Ranch was for?  This is what! (rav link)  (I actually started out designing The Shapeshifter with it, pre-dyeing, resulting in this prototype, which didn’t work out; then I started designing Twisted Ankles with it, making this hand-dyed pair – then overdyeing, but that wasn’t working out for the context either, so then this hat happened!)  For now, I’m just showing you for fun, but in October the pattern will be available to all!

Update 7/04/10:  Turns out I got to release it earlier than I’d thought – the pattern is for sale to all now in my shop and on ravelry! Hooray!

Brimming with Color!

It’s for the Twisted Single Skein Club!  The same club that I designed Ocean Breezes for last year (which, coincidentally, will also be available to all in October!) – Twisted is the coolest yarn shop ever, by the way (duh)!  So yeah, the hat… it’s pretty basic, bulky, so quick to knit, and versatile – wear the brim up or down for different styles:

Brimming with Color! Brimming with Color!

Brimming with Color! Brimming with Color!

And the pom poms!  Optional, of course, but one skein of yarn is plenty for the hat plus 3 or 4 of them if you want (or fewer huge ones)!

Brimming with Color!

The top is a little bit interesting, easier to see in these pre-blocked shots with the harsher lighting (click to see bigger on flickr):

Brimming with Color! Brimming with Color!

So, the Twisted club members all received the skein of Imperial Stock Ranch Lopi yarn, the pattern (with pom pom tutorial), 5 packets of Kool-Aid, and pdf versions of all the dyeing tutorials!  Fun!!

Brimming with Color!

Designing this hat with the hand-dyed yarn in mind, and designing the dye jobs with the hat in mind, are what inspired me to do my next ebook on yarn dyeing!  The project is on hold till after the move, but I’m excited to get going on it!

crock pot dyed yarn! Self-Striped Yarn Dyeing!

Filed under: hats,knitting,yarn — leethal @ 12:12 am
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