August 15, 2013

Adventure Knitting: now completely complete!

Okay this is finally the final Adventure Knitting blog post – I got my final draft of the print book in the mail today, so the print book is now officially available and everything is complete!  But before I get into the print book info, let me tell you the whole deal about the ebook.  I made a video!

The first few minutes of that video (on youtube here) are an introduction to Adventure Knitting, so that’s a quick way to hear about what it is, and then there are the in-depth (aka long) tutorials for folding and binding the DIY books.  Oh yes, DIY books!

Adventure knitting! Adventure knitting!

So, the pdf includes the whole Adventure Knitting: A Day in the Woods book as an ebook, readable on your computer/tablet/etc, or even on your phone screen (everything is easily readable with some zooming!):

adventure knitting on a phone adventure knitting on a phone

And then the entire book is also included in the printable, foldable, bindable DIY book format!  To make the book, you’ll only need to print out 8 or 10 pages (depending on whether you want the optional chart pages), plus 1 more for the cover, to make a 64 or 80 page covered book!

Adventure book binding! Adventure knitting!

The pdf cover page tells you exactly what’s what, and which pages to print, depending on whether you want to print just the DIY book (and read the extra notes, view the sample photos, etc, on your screen), or print everything you need – the notes, stitch patterns, samples, etc are all on condensed printable pages so that you can print everything out with minimal paper/ink usage.  So, read that cover page and you’ll know how to print only what you need out of the 44 page pdf.

Adventure Knitting book Adventure Knitting book

That’s the pdf form… and now the whole thing is also in actual print book form (above)!  That’s a few bucks more (18 vs 14), but it’s everything (written, charts, stitch patterns, samples, diagrams, techniques, etc…) in a nicely full-color printed 32 page book, no DIY-ing necessary.  It’s a paperback book, perfect-bound (not staple-bound like my smaller booklets), approx 8.5×5.5 inches – about the size of a piece of letter paper folded in half, perfect for slipping into your project bag.

Adventure Knitting book

You may be seeing it at your local yarn shop (if you think they’d be into it, let them know about it!) or you can buy it directly from me online, through MagCloud.  If you buy it online, you’ll have to pay shipping but you get an excellent bonus – the book version as a pdf!  So you can get started right away and always have the digital backup copy.  (It’s not the same pdf as the ebook format, and it won’t go into your ravelry library, it’s just the print book version as a downloadable pdf.)

Adventure Knitting book Adventure Knitting book

 (The cover is complete with discolored background to make it look like a well-loved paperback book, and the spine is green!)

So that’s that!  Adventure Knitting, now actually complete and I’ve said all I can say… Oh in case you’re new here, check out my previous post for all the adventure sample knit items!

And a final note, to any LYS people reading this:  The print book is available wholesale through Deep South, and the pdf ebook is available in-store through ravelry for digital-friendly customers (of course, you wouldn’t want to print out the whole 44 page pdf).  Also, I’ve updated my leethalknits wholesale page and I now have a line sheet for all my wholesale patterns!

And now I’m going to get through some deadline projects that have gotten scarily behind schedule due to Adventure Knitting craziness taking over!  Worth it though! :)

Filed under: books,knitting,self-publishing — leethal @ 6:16 pm

July 2, 2013

leethal Adventure Knit-a-long! Get ready… get set…

It’s now beginning, the leethal Adventure Knit-a-long!  (on rav)  I was vague and cryptic before, but now I can tell you more details!  The pattern collection is inspired by Choose Your Own Adventure books, and each part is delivered as a printable, foldable 8-page booklet:

Adventure knit-a-long booklet!

(Each part is also in a screen-reading friendly format in the pdf file, so you don’t have to print it if you don’t want to.  Also, the printable booklet comes in both color and black & white versions.)  The booklet pages are numbered, and each new part will start where the last one left off, so that they can all combine into a choose your own knitting adventure book when the knit-a-long is over.

Adventure knit-a-long booklet!

The whole thing is adventure-in-the-woods themed, so you’ll be given options like what tree would you like to climb?  Then you’ll be told which page to flip to for your chosen option.  Of course, if you want to make sure to choose the knitting option that you’ll like best, you can just read through the booklets and see what kinds of stitch patterns there are to make informed decisions.  The titles of all the options (like the tree names, in that example) are just like code names, so the stitch patterns aren’t trying to look like what they’re called.  It’s all just for the fun of the adventure!

Adventure knit-a-long booklet!

For this first booklet, you’ll just choose your path, which is the type of item you want to make (each with a color code name – there’s the Aqua Passage, the Orange Trail, the Green Byway, and the Gold Route), pick your yarn, and you can cast on to be ready for knitting to start next week.  (I copied all the path info into the ravelry pattern page if you want to know more about the items before committing to the knit-a-long.)  You’ll also be given all the abbreviations that will be used in multiple parts throughout the sections.

On next Friday, July 12th, the second booklet will go out, pages 9-16, with the first section of knitting.  (A reminder: right now, the whole adventure collection is $9; when each knitting section goes out, it’ll go up $1, ending at $12 when the KAL is over.)

I made this video to introduce you to the Adventure KAL (on youtube here), and to show you how to make the booklet (there is also a photo tutorial below, if you learn better with photos/text than with video).  Watch how silly I am as I constantly move my hands!

So, if you have the pdf and are ready to make your first booklet, here’s how!  It’s very simple, but it is important to be precise with your folding and cutting, as sloppy folds/cuts can become exaggerated in the booklet and make for an uneven, messy looking book.  So just take your time, use a table, and match up those edges when you fold.

Edit 7/03:  I’ve added some new how-to notes on the webpage for if you are printing something different from centered on letter size paper (so mainly for if you’re in Europe and using A4 paper, and/or if your printer printed the page super off-center).  Basically, you’ll need to trim excess white space from the edges as needed to make the folds line up with the booklet pages, but check out the webpage for photos and details (down on the right side, below the drawings).

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 1

All you need are your printed page and scissors (and a flat table-like surface).  For all the initial folds, do not crease hard yet – these folds may need slight adjustment in the final booklet, so it’s best to leave them kind of loose.  Just fold with your fingers and don’t crease hard yet.  First fold lengthwise, which may or may not be right along the printed line – the important thing is for it to be exactly straight across your paper, so as long as that’s true, it’s okay if it doesn’t line up with the printed line.

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 2 How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 3

Now fold in half widthwise:

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 4

And then fold each of the outer edges up to that widthwise fold line, dividing the page in quarters (or eighths because of the lengthwise line):

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 5 How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 6

Now your page should look like this:

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 7

Keep it folded in half widthwise, and carefully cut from the fold along the lengthwise fold line, up to the next fold line.  This should be approximately along the printed line, but again, the important thing is for it to be exactly along your fold lines, since your printer might print slightly off-center.  So, this cut will make a slice across the center of your page…

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 8

…so when you open it up it looks like this.  After cutting, fold it back along the lengthwise fold, so the centers will be folded outwards from the folds you’ve already made:

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 9 How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 10

Now find the cover page, and fold the whole thing around so that the cover is in front (the abbreviations on back, for this first booklet).  Push and pinch all the pages into place, lining them up as neatly as possible, then hold them in place and crease everything now.  Use your surface and fingernails or something hard (I use the handle of my scissors, since my scissors are right there) to really crease the inner and outer edges into place.

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 11 How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 12

So when you’re done, your booklet should look like this!  The tutorial might make it seem hard or complicated, but it’s really simple; I’m just sharing the tips I’ve learned from making several sloppy looking books first before figuring out how to neaten them up!  Once you’ve made a couple, it should be quick and easy for you!

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 13

So that’s the booklet; as for the knitting – that’s still a mystery for now!  I am making 8 different samples, to test everything out well and show lots of different versions.  I’m making solid-color samples, multi-colored samples, leftover scrap-busting samples, two samples along each path.  I’ve put most of them in my ravelry projects, with photos of the yarns I’m using, and notes saying which path each is along – as the adventure continues, I’ll update with more photos and I’ll say which options I used for each one.

adventure yarn! adventure yarn! adventure yarn!

adventure yarn! adventure yarn! adventure yarn!

I’m really excited about everything I’m seeing so far in the forums, and just about the general fun adventurous mood of the whole thing!  I had this idea a few months ago, have been hard at work ever since, with kind of tunnel-vision on all the stitch patterns and stuff, so it’s awesome to be starting the social part and seeing it more for the fun project I envisioned in the first place (if that even makes sense)… Basically, yay adventure knitting, and I hope you are excited too!

Oh yeah, side note that has nothing to do with the KAL… Were you into Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid?  My brother Matt was really into them, and I liked them too, although I didn’t read that many because I felt like most of them were for boys and I cared too much about gender crap when I was a kid, I guess.  Looking at them now online, they totally don’t seem gender-specific, but I would look at Matt’s books and think they were, I dunno, I was a silly kid.  But I do remember my favorite one – it was Magic Master, about a magician!  Nerdy!  In trying to find that book online, I discovered that there are tons of fake Choose Your Own Adventure covers out there, like this Cabin in the Woods one!  I wish it was a real book, I would read that so hard!  So that’s fun.  Okay that’s all :)

Filed under: books,knit-a-longs,knitting,self-publishing,tutorials — leethal @ 12:20 pm

October 26, 2012

Woolly Wormhead blog tour! Classic Woolly Toppers! Yeah!

This is a first for me, here on the ol’ do stuff! blog – I’m a stop on the Classic Woolly Toppers blog tour!  Which is, of course, the new hat book by the wonderful Woolly Wormhead (on ravelry here):

© Woolly Wormhead

This is exciting for me, I’ve never been part of a blog tour before!  And what a fabulous one to be a part of!  I’ve always greatly admired Woolly’s hat patterns – the diversity, the creativity, the whimsey, they are oh so great!  Yes!  And this book is fantastic; a bit less of the whimsey and more of the classic, but not boring, that’s for sure!

Ravine © Woolly Wormhead

This book – available in print and/or digital format – has 44 pages packed with 10 beautiful hat patterns as well as technique tutorials, sizing info, styling tips, photos of the hats on different models to see them with different face types and hairstyles… As with all Woolly’s hat patterns, all the designs come in many sizes, so you can get a perfect fit.

Karenin © Woolly Wormhead

While the designs are inspired by classic styles, they are definitely modern patterns, and feature lots of innovative construction ideas and knitting techniques.  One of my favorite bits is that the Camden Cap (pictured on the cover above and below) uses a recycled plastic bottle to make the brim insert!  Smart!  And she gives plenty of detail about how to make the piece and insert it into your hat as you knit it.

Camden Cap © Woolly Wormhead

And speaking of recycled materials… I didn’t have time in my knitting schedule to actually knit one of the classic toppers for this post, but I did manage to make one of them!  (Not really but kind of sort of…)  One of my favorite designs in the book, Imagiro, is extremely beginner-friendly for the actual knitting part, as it starts off as a plain rectangle… then it gets folded and sewn in a mind-blowing magical way to turn it into this awesome turban!

Imagiro © Woolly Wormhead

Woolly’s description: “A delicate yarn calls for a delicate shape and this turban works both to glamorous effect. Worked flat, this piece is all in the finishing with fascinating folds and turns that turn simple garter stitch into a sculptural masterpiece.”  I took a look at it, wanted to try it so badly but didn’t have time to knit the rectangle (oh so many projects on the needles!!), so I grabbed a thrifted sweater from my for-crafting stash, cut out the sleeves to size, and I had my rectangle!

my Imagiro my Imagiro

Now, this is a far from perfect way to make the hat, as this stockinette fabric, seamed down the middle with the crocheted edges to prevent unraveling, is much different from the intended garter stitch piece.  But, I got to try it out, and it worked!

my Imagiro

I love my new tweed turban!  (Doesn’t look its best styled with my newly cut, too-short bangs, but once they’ve grown out for a couple weeks it’ll look great!)

my Imagiro

Some of my other personal favorite designs from the book are the pillbox style Taboosh, the button-embellished cozy Karenin, the asymmetrical cloche Ravine, and the bucket style Corbelle.

Taboosh © Woolly Wormhead

What’s your favorite design from the collection?  Tell me and you might win the pattern!

Corbelle © Woolly Wormhead

Yup, it’s giveaway time!  Woolly has generously donated giveaway copies for this blog tour, so leave a comment telling us which is your #1 favorite hat from the book – check them all out here on ravelry or here on Woolly’s website – and I’ll be picking 3 winners!  2 will get the pattern for their chosen favorite hat, and the grand prize winner will get the entire ebook, plus a copy of one of my hat patterns, just to make the giveaway a little bit leethal!

Sumner © Woolly Wormhead

I’ll pick the winners in a week and a half-ish, on Monday November 5th.  And, if you’re just dying to get your hands (literally or digitally) on a copy of this book, you can buy the print version for $16.99, the digital version for £9.00 (which is $14.50-ish), or both print+digital for £16.50 ($26-ish) – see Woolly’s site for all the buy links.

Alternato © Woolly Wormhead

Unfortunately (and infuriatingly, for me), my website/blog has been down all week – this post was supposed to go up on Tuesday, and as I was finishing it up Monday afternoon my site stopped loading… anyway, so the next stop on the blog tour was going to be Knitspot, but that’s happened already now. Now, the next tour stop will be my buddy Cirilia over on bricoleur knits – you can find links to all the blogs and podcasts on the tour, past and future, over here! Check them all out for different perspectives on the book, interviews with Woolly, etc, fun stuff!

Happy hat knitting!!

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway,hats,knitting — leethal @ 8:58 pm

February 22, 2011

World of Geekcraft!

I just want to take a minute to tell you how incredibly excited I am about this awesome book that’s coming out in May!  I know, that’s awhile away still, but I just have to show you a peek!  World of Geekcraft:


Update 6/4: Just a belated note that the book ended up coming out earlier than I’d thought, so it’s been on shelves for a couple months now!  My pattern is now listed on ravelry, so add it as a project if you make a geeky sleeve!

My buddy Susan put together the most nerd-tastic amazing collection of geekery inspired craft projects, and I am so lucky to get to be a part of it!  I designed this simple coffee cup sleeve knitting pattern that can be customized and embellished to show off whatever geeky obsession you might have:

geek sleeves!

My three chosen themes are: a Trivial Pursuit sleeve to display my board game geekery…

geek sleeves!

…a Jayne hat striped sleeve for the Joss Whedon nerd in me, and a Dr. Mario sleeve to show off my most favorite video game:

geek sleeves! geek sleeves!

I got the opportunity to flip through the book a few days ago, and my project’s spread looks so good!!


The book has tons of different types of craft projects represented, and so many awesome contributors – see the list here on the book’s site.  Two more super duper exciting things about this book – Pete wrote a page for a Geek Speak segment!


And, my project made it onto the back cover!!  Woooo so awesome!  Ok, so I’m sorry to tease you with how great this is, and you’ll have to wait to see more projects from it, but now you have it to look forward to!  It really is a fabulous book – I would be totally excited about it even if I had nothing to do with it, for reals!  So, follow the book’s blog and/or Susan’s blog to stay up-to-date, and I’ll definitely be posting more details about my design and the book in general when it’s released!

Oh, and be sure to check with Susan’s post for ways to pre-order and other book related links!

Geekcraft! (back cover)

And yes, that is Oregon Trail cross stitch.

Filed under: books,general crafts,knitting — leethal @ 5:08 pm

January 4, 2011

January’s quick knits club! Yay books!

This month’s quick knits club theme is Read Books! I chose the theme for two reasons (which kind of go together)…

January cover

We are getting our home library (old photo) into awesome functioning order – just got a fold-out couch so it can double as a guest room, and so we now have a comfy place to sit and read!  And, one of my (many!) goals for 2011 is to read more!  Since I quit having a day job 2.5 years ago, I’ve basically quit reading books, since I used to do all my book-reading on my lunch breaks (and on the clock when it was slow and the boss wasn’t around).  So, now with the new library, I’m really hoping to be able to put aside some time every few days to go in there, away from the computer, tv, etc, and open up some of those many books I’ve bought and never read!

pen tube bookmarks! pen tube bookmarks!

The patterns this month are both bookmarks, but very different from each other.  The Pen Tube Bookmark holds a pen (or highlighter, or reading glasses) on the outside of your book, while marking 1 or 2 pages with the yarn strand (or crochet chain).  You also get to choose whether to make it with a button closure or eyelet holes.  It’s an easy little pattern which uses about 12-15 yards of worsted weight yarn.


The other pattern is this Wavy Short Rows Bookmark – the point of this one is mostly that it’s fun to make, and will look cool in variegated sock yarn leftovers.  The piece is an easy way to have fun with short rows, since the bumpy garter stitch fabric means there’s no need to knit wraps together with wrapped stitches, and only 10 total stitches across means it works up quickly.  It’s worked in 5 sections, which are all different from each other, but all simple to work without having to carefully follow the pattern row-by-row.


Unfortunately, none of my yarn choices for the examples are the perfect type of multi-colored yarn to show the short rows pattern best… that variegated yarn I chose ended up having too-short color sections, and the light green is 2 strands of lace weight Noro held together, but those color sections are way too long and it didn’t really change colors at all throughout the whole thing… oh well.


And then I show you how I made three different bookends – all by gluing things to these basic Ikea ones, but you can use any plain bookends.


Basic project, but fun and full of possibility!


Lastly, the extra is instructions for 2 different word games that Pete and I play with the help of a book.  Great for lines, public transit, or other waiting situations, when you have a book in your bag.  One is based on the old game show game – Password – and the other is a sillier game that’s sort of inspired by Taboo…


Anyway, that’s this months club!  We got a few new members this month, thanks to the mention in Knitter’s Review (thanks Clara!!) so that’s super awesome!  Hope everyone enjoys it!


And a club announcement… I’ve decided to only continue the club for these first 6 months of 2011.  It’s getting harder to come up with the mini-designs each month and I just feel myself loosing steam with the quick knits.  I figure my energy can be better used with bigger designs, more mystery knit-a-longs, and maybe new ideas I haven’t even thought of yet!  You can still get a 6 month subscription starting with this month (through my site or through ravelry), and then starting next month the subscriptions will just be for fewer months, for the remainder of the club.

pen tube bookmarks!

Now would be the perfect time to mention any theme or pattern ideas or requests!  I’d really appreciate thoughts I can put to use in these last 5 months of club ebooks!

Filed under: books,knitting,quick knits — leethal @ 5:56 pm

April 2, 2010

Book Giveaway #5: Manga Cross-Stitch

Here’s my last book giveaway of the week, and definitely the most specialized one – Manga Cross-Stitch: Make Your Own Graphic Art Needlework, by Helen McCarthy:

manga cross-stitch

This book needs to find a very specific home, with a needle crafter who is a huge manga fan – I know you’re out there!  I think it’s awesome that such a specialized book got published in the first place, and it’s a super nice book!  If you’re a manga fan but have never tried cross-stitching, this book will go through all the basics to get you started with the craft, including lots of simple and complex stitches…

manga cross-stitch

I know basically nothing about both cross-stitch and manga, so I can’t get into much detail for you, but it seems like a great book with everything you could possibly want to know about making custom manga designs with a needle and thread on canvas.

manga cross-stitch manga cross-stitch

Oh yeah, and there’s a CD!  From the publisher’s website: “Also included is a CD with hundreds of unique manga designs. On the CD are charts for printing out and stitching. Plus, the software included lets artists create their own personalized manga designs by creating their own color palettes.”

manga cross-stitch manga cross-stitch

To enter to win this book, comment here either telling us your favorite manga character that you’d love to stitch, or sharing a cross-stitch project that you’ve done (either just say what it is, or link to a picture).

I’ll pick a winner (at random) on Monday (April 5th) around 3pm.  I’m sorry, but I need to limit these giveaways to within the US to keep my shipping costs low.

(Since I’m giving away 5 books this week, and I really want each of them to go to a home where they’ll be used and enjoyed, please only comment to win the books that you want.  If this book doesn’t appeal to you, see if some of the other books are more your style, and only comment on those – thanks!)

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway — leethal @ 10:00 am

April 1, 2010

Book Giveaway #4: Mother-Daughter Knits

This is my 4th, and last, knitting book giveaway (tomorrow is a different kind of craft book) – Mother-Daughter Knits: 30 Designs to Flatter & Fit, by Sally Melville & Caddy Melville Ledbetter.

mother-daugher knits mother-daugher knits

This book is all about making knits custom fit to your body, and includes a whole chapter on shapes and body types and getting the most flattering results.  The patterns, all designed by mother-daughter team Sally and Caddy, are mostly garments, as you’d expect, but there are a few fun accessories thrown in for good balance:

mother-daugher knits mother-daugher knits

The garments include a wide range: shrugs, coats, pullovers, cardigans, shirts, tanks, vests, skirts, and dresses…

mother-daugher knits mother-daugher knits

I like this Altered Austen Jacket a lot:

mother-daugher knits

You can browse through the patterns on ravelry to get a good feel for the book.  I think it would find a good home with any garment knitter who wants to be able to modify patterns to get the best personal fit.

Enter to win this book by commenting on this post… I’m running out of ideas for questions to ask you… Just share either why you’d like to have this book, or tell a story about your mom (or grandma), or daughter, and knitting, or other kinds of crafting… My mom taught me basic knit and crochet stitches when I first wanted to learn (in college), but then I was mostly self-taught.  I really wish I’d met my dad’s mom and been able to knit with her – she was a super amazing knitter but died before I was born.  I’m very anti “not your grandma’s knitting” kinds of slogans – grandmas’ knitting was/is awesome!  Ok that was a tangent, but comment with anything related to any of that to win this book!

I’ll pick a winner (at random) next Monday (April 5th) around 3pm.  I’m sorry, but I need to limit these giveaways to within the US to keep my shipping costs low.

(Since I’m giving away 5 books this week, and I really want each of them to go to a home where they’ll be used and enjoyed, please only comment to win the books that you want.  If this book doesn’t appeal to you, see if some of the other books are more your style, and only comment on those – thanks!)

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway — leethal @ 10:00 am

March 31, 2010

Book Giveaway #3: Scrumptious Toppers!

Today’s book giveaway is for Scrumptious Toppers for Tots & Toddlers: 30 Hats & Caps from Debby Ware.

scrumptious toppers

This one is pretty insane, but could be a good fit for the right kind of creative person with a baby and clever modification skills…  For example, I could imagine this one turning into a pretty cool monster hat (different colors, different kind of embellishing…):

scrumptious toppers

This one below is about as simple as they get – the most subtle, classic kind of design in the book:

scrumptious toppers

If fun fur scares you, I wouldn’t recommend flipping through this book….

scrumptious toppers scrumptious toppers

There are only 6 of the patterns on Ravelry, but you can get a pretty good idea of the style of the book and patterns from this peek on Google books.  I know it’s obvious that I’m not into these designs (which is why I’m giving it away) but I really hope it finds a good home and gets used – I would love to see some cool modifications of some of these hats!

To enter the giveaway, comment on this post telling us what’s your favorite hat you ever knit, or your favorite hat to wear, or the hat pattern that you’re most wanting to try… pretty much anything you want to write about hat knitting!  You all know I’m a hat knitter above all other knits; I’ve made well over a hundred hats, and I love choosing which one to wear each day!  I can’t choose a favorite, but as for a pattern I’m dying to knit – I spun up yarn for an Elizabeth ZImmermann Snail Hat months ago and have yet to cast on!

I’ll pick a winner (at random) next Monday (April 5th) around 3pm.  I’m sorry, but I need to limit these giveaways to within the US to keep my shipping costs low.

(Since I’m giving away 5 books this week, and I really want each of them to go to a home where they’ll be used and enjoyed, please only comment to win the books that you want.  If this book doesn’t appeal to you, see if some of the other books are more your style, and only comment on those – thanks!)

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway — leethal @ 10:00 am

March 30, 2010

Book Giveaway #2: Classic Elite Knits!

This second book in my week of giveaways is Classic Elite Knits: 100 Gorgeous Designs for Every Occasion, from the Studios of Classic Elite Yarns

classic elite knits

Very heavy on women’s garment patterns, most are not my style at all, but I do like these 2 ok (I’d wear the zig zag one in different colors):

classic elite knits classic elite knits

And this squishy cabled number looks pretty snuggly:

classic elite knits

There are shorter sections of men’s and children’s garments (mostly all sweaters)…

classic elite knits classic elite knits

I would totally wear this in my size:

classic elite knits

And then there’s a short section of accessories, with mostly pretty basic stuff, like these:

classic elite knits classic elite knits

You can browse through all the designs on ravelry, and also on the Classic Elite website here.

To enter to win, leave a comment on this post telling us what was your favorite garment you ever knit (a link with a photo would be fun!), or the sweater pattern that you most want to knit.  I’ve still never really knit a sweater (this is the closest I’ve come, but it doesn’t even close in front, so it’s more of a shrug), but if I had all the time in the world and could make absolutely anything, I might choose Fair Isle Short-Row Pullover by Teva Durham…

I’ll pick a winner (at random) next Monday (April 5th) around 3pm.  I’m sorry, but I need to limit these giveaways to within the US to keep my shipping costs low.

(Since I’m giving away 5 books this week, and I really want each of them to go to a home where they’ll be used and enjoyed, please only comment to win the books that you want.  If this book doesn’t appeal to you, see if some of the other books are more your style, and only comment on those – thanks!)

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway — leethal @ 10:00 am

March 29, 2010

Book Giveaway #1: Weekend Knitting!

I’m launching my week of book giveaways with my favorite one!  The other 4 books are ones that really aren’t my style, so I want them to go to people who will enjoy them, but today’s is a book that I really do like – I was given 2 copies, so I get to keep one, and give the other away to a lucky reader!

weekend knitting

Weekend Knitting, by Melanie Falick, was first released in hardcover in 2003, and re-released in this paperback version last year.  It features mostly pretty simple projects, treating knitting as a relaxing weekend hobby, nothing too intense, but also nothing too boring… I love these Argyle Slippers!

weekend knitting

There are a couple of nice brioche accessory projects, which makes me wonder, why have I never tried brioche stitch?!  Love how it looks in 2 colors:

weekend knitting

Including a wide range of home projects, bags, accessories, garments, and some kid stuff (see all the projects on ravelry), the book has a style that will appeal to most knitters.  I’m not a sweater knitter, but this Unisex Knock-Around Cashmere Pullover has me thinking about making one:

weekend knitting

If you know me, you know how I love games, so I was happy to see a couple of different game-related projects here, fitting with the relaxing weekend theme:

weekend knitting weekend knitting

Scattered throughout are also lots of weekend-y extras, like several recipes, lists of movies and books with knitting, hand massage techniques for knitters….

weekend knitting weekend knitting

So, to win my extra copy of Weekend Knitting, leave a comment on this post telling us your favorite relaxing weekend activity, or what you wish you had more time to do… for me, that would be reading – ever since I quit my day job to be full-time self-employed (almost 2 years ago!) I haven’t had any time in my life to read books, since any “free” time is spent knitting, or doing something else that’s fun and relaxing, but still work-related….

I’ll pick a winner next Monday (April 5th) around 3pm.  I’m sorry, but I need to limit these giveaways to within the US to keep my shipping costs low.

(And a note about this week of book giveaways – since I’m giving away 5 books this week, and I really want each of them to go to a home where they’ll be used and enjoyed, please only comment to win the books that you truly want.  If this book doesn’t appeal to you, just wait and see if any of the books later in the week are more your style, and only comment on those – thanks!)

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway — leethal @ 2:11 pm

February 8, 2010

Ebook Review + Giveaway! Card. Paper. Ribbon.


I’m so happy to tell you about this new ebook by Kristin Roach, of Craft Leftovers! Card. Paper. Ribbon. is a fabulous 63 page pdf ebook, packed with well photographed and illustrated how-tos for projects like turning used wrapping paper into “papercloth” and then sewing it into awesome things……


…..combining used gift wrapping ribbon with yarn to crochet or knit into sturdy bags and boxes……


…… and making paper from old greeting cards, which could then be turned into new greeting cards, or a rad stab stitch sketchbook!

card.paper.ribbon_1 card.paper.ribbon_2

Divided into 3 sections (greeting cards, wrapping paper, and ribbon, naturally), each project goes into great detail, and also has tons of room for creative personalization.  I love the horizontal format (in fact, thinking that’s how I’ll be laying out my next ebook!) – more friendly to computer screen viewing – and the whole thing is beautifully designed.

Kristin collaborated with Diane of Craftypod for the publishing part (love that idea of an indie craft business person publishing another indie crafter’s ebook!! keeping it all in our awesome community!) and they just did a fabulous job of putting this book together!  As all of Diane’s ebooks have, Card.Paper.Ribbon. has printable pages for each project, with no unnecessary photos wasting up your ink.  What really makes this book visually stand out for me is Kristin’s great illustrations throughout – both practical and super cute, love them!


So hey guess what?!  Diane and Kristin offered me a giveaway copy of this awesome ebook!!  Leave a comment here sometime in the next week (by Monday the 15th around noon) answering the question:  what’s something that normally gets trashed (like wrapping paper) that you’d love to see in crafty reuse project ideas? I’ll pick a winner at random to be emailed the prize ebook.

And if you want to grab a copy for yourself right away, head over to the Craftypod shop, where you’ll also find all of Diane’s awesome ebooks!

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway,general crafts,self-publishing — leethal @ 8:07 pm

January 21, 2010

A few fun knitterly things!

I was interviewed on a knitting podcast!  It’s called Knit Happens, and it’s part of, but we didn’t talk much about Portland-specific things (except to mention that Twisted is my favorite lys!).  She asked me about a bunch of different things that I do and have done, so we talked about Game Knitting, the quick knits club, recycling yarn, having patterns in knitty, crafty tutorials, how I learned to knit, and more….  It’s available on itunes too, just search knit happens in the itunes store and you’ll see it, with the pink yarn skull logo.


And something I just want to make sure you know about – this one’s for sock knitters… My buddy Star just released her brand new Socks for all Seasons sock pattern club!!  A new pattern every month, based on a holiday or some other element of that month, and huge savings by signing up for the whole year!  No pictures of club patterns since the socks are a secret till they’re released each month, so here are some shots of Star (holding a pair of socks knit by Barbara Walker, and a couple days ago with her new haircut)…

star with socks star's haircut

And one last thing just for fun… The Oregonian’s knitting blog posted about my chevron cuff pattern and quick knits pages back during their one skein pattern of the day series in December, which automatically entered me in a drawing for a giant prize package – and I won!!  Holy crap so awesome I still can’t believe it!  Look at all that stuff!  Most of it will be a much appreciated addition to my knitting and craft book collection (including 2 knitting audiobooks!) but there are a couple of books that I think someone else would get more use out of than me, so I’m planning a couple of giveaways!  Fun stuff!

wonbooks1 wonbooks2

Filed under: books,knitting — leethal @ 4:06 pm

November 19, 2009

Craft Leftovers Monthly for 2 of you!

You crafty readers are probably already well aware of Craft Leftovers, but for anyone who isn’t, I’m happy to enlighten you! is Kristin Roach’s website, which is focused on projects you can do with materials left over from bigger projects. Ranging from sewing to knit to crochet to embroidery to bookmaking to weaving and much more, you can find the archive of all Kristin’s free projects here.


So, in addition to those free projects on her site and blog, Kristin also has a fabulous zine!  Craft Leftovers Monthly is all about living life creatively.  It’s full of resourceful projects, patterns, and ideas for using what’s on hand.  It turned two years old in August, and is 100% recycled and handmade!  There’s also an optional kit each month that you can order with with the zine, so fun!  And starting with the current issue, the zine format has been upgraded to 5×7, 32 pages, and now with projects by guest designers!

clmboxset02 clm0201

To celebrate the new zine format, Kristin has donated 2 copies of the winter issue for me to give away to two of you!  Awesome!  Just leave a comment here before Monday at 8pm (west coast time), telling us what craft material you have most of in leftovers – for me it’s probably yarn, but I have a ton of fabric scraps too!  I’ll choose 2 zine winners at random, which I’ll post here Monday night – and there might be a little something special for all non-winners too!

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway,self-publishing — leethal @ 10:11 pm

November 10, 2009

Other countries are so much cooler than mine…

This is super belated, books I got back at the beginning of the year, but now that I’ve gotten a few more recently I’m going to do a series of Japanese book posts over the next few weeks!  You may remember my initial excitement about these incredible books from the first time I went to Kinokuniya last year, when I bought my first 2 books, both hats, one knit/crochet, one sewn.  I also wrote in that post about Japanese craft books in general, as well as more on Threadbanger, if you want more info.

Knit Work

First one, Knit Work by Hikaru Noguchi (isbn978-4-529-04645-9) – assorted knitting with great style!

Knit Work

Some of my favorites!

Knit Work

Something about most Japanese knitting books – there’s lots of crochet thrown in there, like knit+crochet are equal! Yay!  That headband below is crochet (with knit ties):

Knit Work Knit Work

I love this weirdo intarsia – the concept of having a chart for an abstract blob of colors.  Silly and awesome!

Knit Work

And lots of great photo how-tos means non-Japanese speakers can still figure out how to make things, yay!

Knit Work

And the second one, with no English words (isbn978-4-277-17216-5), is all hats!

Japanese knit hat book

Mmmmm hats… a couple of favorites:

Japanese knit hat book

Again, knit and crochet, together equally.

Japanese knit hat book

Speaking of knit and crochet hats, have you seen this 52 hats in 52 weeks project?  The artist, Edda Lilja, is in Iceland, and also values the two yarn crafts equally, as you can see in her amazing creations.  You can see all the hats here.  Some of my absolute favorites (but it’s so hard to choose!): this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one.  So inspiring!!  Now I need to practice what I preach and start working with crochet more!!

Filed under: books,hats,knitting — leethal @ 12:28 am
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