April 28, 2016

Book review: The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary

I’m so happy to be launching the blog tour for Wendy Bernard’s brand new book, The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary: 150 new stitch patterns to knit top down, bottom up, back and forth & in the round.  As designer, I love a good stitch dictionary, which this definitely is, but it has plenty of awesomeness packed in for non-designers as well!  Besides the 150 stitch patterns, which you can use different ways for different projects, there are also customizable project patterns for every type of stitch pattern, into which you can plug your favorites of the stitch patterns from each chapter.


Wendy Bernard’s first book in this series was Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary from 2014; this new book adds all those new stitch patterns and projects, and also incorporates some reader feedback to improve on the ideas of the first book.  So the new book shows more views of the reversible patterns, and shows when stitch patterns look slightly different in the top-down and bottom-up versions, etc.  There are chapters on knit & purl, ribs, twisted, slipped & fancy, cables, lace, and mosaics, with all the stitch patterns both written and charted, in the different ways they can be knit.


For the blog tour, I was given a stitch pattern to share with you!  This is the Fuji Rib pattern, which uses a cool technique in which a stitch is slipped up and over multiple stitches – very easy to do but makes an interesting look/texture in your knitting.  I’ve used this type of stitch technique in a couple of patterns in the past, it’s fun!  Anyway, here is the stitch pattern!


Fuji Rib FLAT

(multiple of 14 sts + 1; 18-row repeat)

Pkok: Slip third st on left-hand needle over first 2 sts and off needle; k1, yo, k1.

ROW 1: *K1-tbl, p1; repeat from * to last st, k1-tbl.

ROW 2: P1-tbl, *k1, p1-tbl; repeat from * to end.

ROWS 3 AND 4: Repeat Rows 1 and 2.

ROW 5: *[K1-tbl, p1] 3 times, pkok, [p1, k1-tbl] twice, p1; repeat from * to last st, k1-tbl.

ROW 6: P1-tbl, *[k1, p1-tbl] twice, k1, p3, [k1, p1-tbl] 3 times; repeat from * to end.

ROW 7: *[K1-tbl, p1] twice, pkok, k1, pkok, p1, k1-tbl, p1; repeat from * to last st, k1-tbl.

ROW 8: P1-tbl, *k1, p1-tbl, k1, p7, [k1, p1-tbl] twice; repeat from * to end.

ROW 9: *[K1-tbl, p1] twice, k2, pkok, k2, p1, k1-tbl, p1; repeat from * to last st, k1-tbl.

ROW 10: Repeat Row 8.

ROW 11: Repeat Row 7.

ROW 12: Repeat Row 6.

ROW 13: Repeat Row 5.

ROW 14: Repeat Row 2.

ROWS 15–18: Repeat Rows 1 and 2.

Repeat Rows 1–18 for Fuji Rib Flat.



(multiple of 14 sts; 18-rnd repeat)

Pkok: Slip third st on left-hand needle over first 2 sts and off needle; k1, yo, k1.

RNDS 1–4: *K1-tbl, p1; repeat from * to end.

RND 5: *[K1-tbl, p1] 3 times, pkok, [p1, k1-tbl] twice, p1; repeat from * to end.

RND 6: K1-tbl, *[p1, k1-tbl] twice, p1, k3, [p1, k1-tbl] 3 times; repeat from * to end.

RND 7: *[K1-tbl, p1] twice, pkok, k1, pkok, p1, k1-tbl, p1; repeat from * to end.

RND 8: K1-tbl, *p1, k1-tbl, p1, k7, [p1, k1-tbl] twice; repeat from * to end.

RND 9: *[K1-tbl, p1] twice, k2, pkok, k2, p1, k1-tbl, p1; repeat from * to end.

RND 10: Repeat Rnd 8.

RND 11: Repeat Rnd 7.

RND 12: Repeat Rnd 6.

RND 13: Repeat Rnd 5.

RNDS 14–18: Repeat Rnd 1.

Repeat Rnds 1–18 for Fuji Rib in the Round.


And then the book includes the pattern for this Fuji Rib Wrap, using the stitch pattern; but you can plug in a different stitch pattern from the book if you prefer.  I love the unusual styling in the photos, but the wrap is just a big rectangle with buttons, so it can be worn lots of different ways besides the way it’s shown here.  You know how much I love knits that can be worn in different ways!


And, in addition to the customizable patterns like this one, at the end of each chapter, the book also includes a Designing from Scratch section at the end, with formula-style patterns for socks in two directions, caps in two directions, and triangular shawls in two directions, all of which can be made with your choice of stitch patterns from the book.

The publisher has arranged a giveaway for you!  Wait but not just the book… Blue Sky Alpacas, the lovely yarn company who provided all the yarn in the book, is throwing in two skeins of yarn for the lucky winner!  So leave a comment, telling us what kind of project you’d like to plug stitch patterns into, or something else that excites you about this book, and I’ll choose a winner at random a week from today (end of the day on Thursday May 5th).  Important: make sure you receive replies to comments in your email inbox so that you will learn if you’re the winner and can claim your prize! :)

Follow the rest of the stops on the blog tour to see more stitch patterns from the book!

5/2: Yarniacs

5/5: Mason-Dixon Knitting

5/9: Craft Sanity

5/16: Knit Circus

5/18: AboutKnitting.com

5/23: Craft Gossip

5/11: WEBS

5/28: Blue Sky Alpacas

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway,knitting — Lee Meredith @ 8:00 am

March 4, 2016

Knitlandia by Clara Parkes, blog tour: Paris (complete with giveaway!)

If you are any kind of yarn lover, you probably know who Clara Parkes is.  She has been working in the industry, writing and reviewing yarn and other things, since the early internet days, the pre-ravelry (gasp!) days, and has been traveling around the world going to yarn-related events and festivals, visiting shops, shooting TV shows, you know, the usual knitter stuff, for all that time.  Her latest book, Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World, is a series of stories about these adventures.  I started reading my copy on a plane a few weeks back, seemed the right setting to dip into it!

Started reading this on the plane; seemed fitting. Good stuff!

I’m so glad I got to see Clara at Powell’s on her Knitlandia book tour – if you ever have the chance to see her speak, do go!  It was a fun time indeed.  She read a chapter from the book – the aforementioned TV show filming story (about Knitting Daily), and she talked a bit about the industry and stuff.  She explained that part of why she wrote this book, a travel memoir that happens to have a knitting tie-in, was so that knitters who get weird reactions from friends and family, when they travel to a fiber festival, or want to stop in at a yarn shop abroad, can show them the book as a reference.  “I’m not weird!  This is normal, see?”  That wasn’t a Clara quote, just me quoting what you can say to your weird-look-giving friends when you show them her book.

Clara Parkes at Powells

The best part about seeing Clara speak at Powell’s?  She brought a small bag of her homemade Claramels (caramels made by Clara) and played a game of knitter trivia to give them away – I wanted one SO BADLY and I luckily got picked for the final question and won one!  The question was about something that happened in the first chapter of the book, and the answer was Julia Roberts; thankfully the answers were multiple choice and easy to guess, since I skipped around in the book and hadn’t yet read the first chapter!

Knitlandia book with Claramel

Moving on to the actual book… for the blog tour, I was assigned the Paris chapter, which is great since I have fond memories of my brief trip to Paris way back in 2002, when I was studying abroad in England for the summer.  I was only in France for 4 days, but I packed in a lot of sights and had a great, memorable time; here is one of my favorite photos I took there:


Unfortunately, I was not yet a knitter at the time of my Paris trip, so I have no yarny stories for you.  But Clara does!  An excerpt from Knitlandia:


I’D PROMISED THEM no yarn stores, no fiber festivals, no chasing down that elusive sheep farm someone said might be in the next town. No endless waiting while I fondled, took notes and pictures, and transformed a perfectly fine family vacation into yet another business trip.

My nieces grew up having to share me with yarn. They learned early on that any time with Aunt Clara would likely mean a festival, or a mill visit, or at least one lengthy stop at a yarn store. And, always, some form of work deadline.

In 2013, Hannah had just turned seventeen and Emma was about to turn fifteen. My brother—feeling flush, or perhaps finally realizing how quickly they were growing up—had announced plans for a grand European tour that summer. Together with my mother they would visit Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Denmark. And their first stop would be Paris.


That’s all you get here, but I assure you, there will be yarn, eventually.  The photos above and below were taken by Clara on her Paris adventures – the shop below is L’Oisive Thé and Clara mentions their instagram in the book, which can be found here.  The chapter, like the book, is kind of more about travel and life than actually about yarn, and it deals with things like nostalgia, growing up, memory, connection between the past and the present, comfort and discomfort (and finding comfort in yarn)… I really enjoyed reading it.  And if I’m ever in Paris again, I will definitely seek out this lovely sounding shop!


I was excited to read the chapters of Knitlandia that I have a personal connection to – the Portland chapter about Sock Summit, and the Columbus chapter about TNNA.  I’d almost forgotten just how huge Sock Summit was!  I’m so glad to have a record of it in this book, as foggy memories came rushing back while I read it.  And the Columbus chapter was fun, since I’ve been a part of those experiences a couple of times, ice cream and all.  The chapter is more about North Market and Jeni’s than about the conference, so here’s a photo I took to give you a visual for when you read it:

north market

I think if you’re a hardcore knitter, you’ll like this book, and if you’re a reader of travel memoir type books, you’ll like this book, even if you’re not a knitter.  Her writing style is so fun and friendly, pulling me in so I want to hear all about her experiences with yarn, and with life in general.


And hey, there’s a giveaway!!  Comment here and tell us about a knitting related trip, or a yarn shop you visited while on vacation, or any other knitting + travel experience you’ve had!  Pictured above is a yarn shop I visited while on vacation in York, UK – I always try to stop in local yarn shops when I travel!  One lucky winner will be chosen at random a week from today (Friday, March 11th) around noon west coast time to receive a copy of the book; be sure you get comment replies in your inbox, or check back here to see if you’ve won!

Check out the other Knitlandia blog tour stops!

Feb 22: Knit and Tonic

Feb 24: My Sister’s Knitter

Feb 26: Mary Jane Muckelstone

Feb 29: Knit Circus

March 2: Yarniacs

March 7: Tin Can Knits

March 17: Marly Bird

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway,knitting — Lee Meredith @ 8:00 am

October 28, 2015

Book +kit review: The Modern Natural Dyer

Hey I’m today’s stop on the blog tour for this beautiful new book! I have been excited about The Modern Natural Dyer by Kristine Vejar since I first heard about it – Kristine is the founder of A Verb for Keeping Warm, the naturally dyed yarn company and shop in Oakland.


Like the shop (I had the opportunity to visit several years ago – excellent place!) and AVFKW yarn, this new book is absolutely gorgeous! The photos of all the dye materials and hand-dyed fibers and fabrics make for a book I just want to keep flipping through for the visuals, and then it’s of course packed with all the info you need to know to start natural dyeing.


Every type of dye material gets a photo spread showing what it looks like, and what colors you’ll get on different kinds of fibers – so many awesome colors you can get out of nature, especially in the yellow-orange range, which you know I love!!


I took a natural dyeing class with Kristine a few years back – a short lecture intro class – and basically came away feeling overwhelmed and like I probably wouldn’t find the time or motivation to take the next step and actually try anything I learned about. But this book gives me new inspiration, and a new feeling that I CAN manage to take that step, now that it’s all broken down in so much detail for me here.


Not only did I receive a review copy of the book, Kristine was super generous and sent me a dye kit as well! I chose the indigo kit because I am totally in love with all the indigo projects in the book – the A Verb For Keeping Warm website has this kit and three others: dye with flowers, madder, weld, logwood, or cochineal. All the kits are for specific projects in the book, so they include not just the dye materials but also the items to dye, and anything else you need, like thread, to complete the project.


The indigo kit I got is for the Waves Bandana project, so it includes two white bandanas for me to dye – a perfect way to try out indigo dyeing for the first time before I use it on something bigger. The bandana project is an introduction to bound resist dyeing – the fabric is wrapped, or bound, so the dye doesn’t touch certain places. I love how the bound fabric looks as it’s being dyed!


Pretty much everything I need is there in the jar. The kit should be enough for me to dye several medium sized items, so I’ll be pulling a few things from my closet to dip in there after the bandanas!


Indigo can be used on both cellulose-based and protein-based fibers, but they react differently, and it seems fabrics like cotton and linen are an especially good fit. I have a plain cotton dress that might be the perfect thing!


The book includes many different kinds of indigo projects – it teaches using indigo with different types of fabrics/fibers, dyeing with other natural dyes along with the indigo to get different colors, creating variegated yarn, bound resist dyeing, pole wrapping (that is a COOL looking technique!), stitch resist dyeing, and folding & clamping.


One of my favorite projects is this Fishbone Dress, made with the stitch resist technique. You sew the fabric in bunched up lines, then dye it, to create those fishbone looking stripes – so cool! Plus, I love the idea of dyeing already-existing clothes to make them special, like this basic linen dress:


Okay so here’s the best part of this blog post: giveaway! One very lucky reader will receive the book and one of the kits of your choice!!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment here saying what item you’d love to natural dye (it could be an item of clothing you already own, a skein of yarn to knit into a shawl, some linen fabric to sew into a shirt, etc). I’ll do a random drawing a week from today, Wednesday November 4th, and I’ll reply to the winner’s comment. Make sure you receive replies to blog comments in your email inbox, or check back here next week to see if you won!

Update 11/4:  Giveaway is now over – congrats to commenter fasdy on her win!!  You can find the book and the awesome kits all for sale on A Verb for Keeping Warm’s website here!

If you want to see lots more peeks into the book, and at different kits and projects, follow the rest of the posts in the blog tour!
Oct 20  STC Craft
Oct 23  DIY Network
Oct 26  Mason Dixon Knitting
Oct 28  Leethal
Oct 30  Mary Jane Mucklestone
Nov 2  Very Shannon
Nov 4  Make Something Blog
Nov 9  Heather Ross
Nov 11 Tolt Yarn and Wool
Nov 16  Made by Katrina

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway — Lee Meredith @ 1:12 pm

July 27, 2015

Adventure Knitting 3 – revealed!

The third annual Adventure Knit-a-long is winding down (but there’s still time to get in on the action!!) and now that all parts are released, I can start showing you what’s up with this year’s pattern collection!  First things first.

It’s currently Monday, July 27th, which gives you almost a week to get a finished project up on ravelry and qualify for the HUGE GIVEAWAY, which will happen next Monday, August 3rd.  All finished project pages with at least 1 photo of the finished item are eligible to win, so the more you make, the better chance you have.  Even if you haven’t started yet, there are some very small, quick-knit items, so you can totally whip one up in time!

The extremely generous prize sponsors are:

Canon Hand Dyes
Hazel Knits
Infinite Twist
Jill Draper Makes Stuff
Knitted Wit
Schmutzerella Yarns
The Sexy Knitter
Space Cadet
Three Fates Yarns

ThreeFatesYarns TheSexyKnitter

SpaceCadet-Colour Schmutzerella-Yarns HazelKnits

KnittedWit JillDraperMakesStuff

Anzula CanonHandDyes InfiniteTwist

Check out the prizes forum thread in the leethal knitters! ravelry group for more details about them (they are all awesome and you should check them out!!); the official prize list will be posted tomorrow in the group!

So now, the pattern!  Warning to mystery KALers who are still in mystery-land with their knitting, there will be spoilers below, of individual parts of the whole, stitch patterns and some close-ups of items.  Nothing that hasn’t already been included in the spoilers sections of the pdfs.

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

For now, I will reveal what is included in the collection, and how it all works, and I’ll show you all the stitch patterns, and some peeks of items… After the complete ebook and print book are released, I’ll put up another post with all my samples and details about them.  That will probably be in about 2 weeks, but it depends on how long the print book takes to finish and ship and stuff.  The ebook will automatically be sent out to everyone who bought the knit-a-long, as soon as it’s finished, in about a week, after the KAL is over.

Adventure Knitting 3 swatches Adventure Knitting 3 sample stack

There are 5 items to choose from in this collection:  smooth hat (aka normal hat), pointed hat, standard cowl (which can be a scarf or stole if you don’t join it around), rounded cowl, or mitts (which can be made as hole-less wrist-warmers, or with plain holes for thumbs, or with knitted thumbs).

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

Any item can be made in any yarn weight, all custom fitted to the size you want.  The smooth hat can be fitted or slouchy; the pointed hat can be made more or less pointed; the cowls can be wide or narrow, long or short; the rounded cowl can be more or less rounded; the mitts are fitted to your hand, as long as you like.

For all items, you can choose how you want to join around: sewn seam, 3-needle bind-off, grafting, or buttoning closure.  (Some KALers are mixing and matching, like sewn seam with buttons sewn over it to hide the seam and look neat, or buttons only at the bottom.)

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

There are 5 “habitat” background stitch patterns, all patterns working with all items.  This is what they look like in color coded swatches – arctic, forest, grassland, lake, and ocean.  They each have one “embellishment” option, which is shown in the top half of each swatch.  (You can click any of the photos to see them bigger on flickr.)

Adventure Knitting 3 patterns

There are 5 motif patterns for each of the 5 background patterns – these are called “animal” patterns, because the animals live within the habitats.  Here are swatches of the 25 different motifs (26 actually, because Lake has a bonus extra pattern) – they are meant to be placed within the background pattern base, so they look a bit wonky standing alone in the swatches, but it gives you the idea of what they look like…

Adventure Knitting 3 patterns

Adventure Knitting 3 patterns

Adventure Knitting 3 patterns

Adventure Knitting 3 patterns

Adventure Knitting 3 patterns

You can add any of the animals onto the matching habitat that you’re using (if you have enough stitches), worked within the habitat stitches.  Use just one animal in an item, or a few, or all 5; work them once, or repeat them, or work in scattered clusters.  Check out the KALers’ projects on ravelry to see tons of different ways the animal patterns can be used!  Here are peeks at a few of my sample items, animals placed in different ways:

rounded cowl sample Adventure Knitting 3 closeup

Above are the Ocean habitat in fingering weight yarn (by Schmutzerella), and the Lake habitat in worsted weight yarn (by Anzula).  Below are both the Forest habitat, but made really differently – aran weight yarn (by Jill Draper Makes Stuff), and sport-DK weight with changing contrasting colors (the changing colors are by Infinite Twist, with the blue main color by Louet):

Adventure Knitting 3 closeup Adventure Knitting 3 closeup

I had lots of fun naming the patterns and drawing the animals to go with them!  They are very much not designed to look like the animals, it’s just a naming theme; I chose animals I like and wanted to draw, and picked a variety of different kinds of animals for each habitat.  With a cryptozoology twist!!  Each of the 5 habitats feature one crypto-animal!

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

Each habitat has the 5 animals (except Lake has the bonus one) – they each have 2 independent patterns, which are mostly pretty large and complex (ish), and then 3 patterns which are kind of smaller/medium/larger versions of each other.

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

These are named as babyteen, and grownup versions of the animal (eg, one of the patterns is Bison, so there is a Baby bison, a Teen bison, and a Grownup bison).  One of the animals is a Wolf, so I had to draw this to hide it tiny in the pdf/booklet.  I just couldn’t not do it.  Below is the print booklet page.  (I think this is just for the KAL, I won’t include it in the final book, too silly.)

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure KAL booklet page

So what else?  I’ve made 9 samples so far, but I’m working on a couple last-minute extras this week to round things out and show as many combos as possible.  Oh, I forgot to mention another option – you can choose to go on your adventure either on flat ground or walking uphill.  Walking uphill means making your piece on the bias, or diagonally – it makes the item more complex to make, but it looks extra cool.

It's finishing day! Grafting up my sock weight #AdventureKAL hat which I finally finished knitting last night. I'm so slow with fingering weight!

I’ll start showing peeks of my samples on instagram and ravelry soon – I’ve made all the different item types, some uphill, some flat, in all the habitats.  Below is my stack so far – from top to bottom, there are: an aran weight smooth hat in the arctic uphill, a worsted weight smooth hat in the grassland flat, a sock weight smooth hat at the lake uphill, a sport-DK weight pointed hat in the forest flat, worsted weight mitts with thumbs at the lake flat, aran-bulky weight mitts with plain holes in the arctic flat, an aran weight standard cowl in the forest uphill, a sock weight rounded cowl at the ocean flat, a bulky weight rounded cowl in the arctic uphill.  I will be adding one more pointed hat, and a pair of wrist-warmers (mitts with no holes).

Adventure Knitting 3 sample stack

You can check out the finished items thread in the forum, or FO’s on ravelry here, to see what some finished items look like by knit-a-longers.  There are some seriously awesome projects!!

The final #AdventureKAL section went out today! Each of the 5 habitats gets a family of 3 new stitch patterns (baby, teen, and grownup) - that's 15 this week, totaling 25 motif patterns in the collection! All animal drawings are on the webpage (profile li

Oh and, this year’s Adventure Knitting is the same as the last two, with the printable folding booklet (see 1 here and 2 here).  The KAL version of the booklet is kind of crazy long, because written and charted patterns are separated; the final booklet (included in the ebook, released next week to everyone who bought the KAL) won’t be quite so many pages.  You can find folding and binding instructions on my website here.

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

Speaking of tutorials on my website, there are lots of new tutorials which have recently been added, or updated, to go with the stitch patterns in this collection (shadow wraps, some complex twists, and new videos on the cables and twisted stitches pages).  My tutorials page is updated to be better organized, too – check it out!

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

 Okay that’s enough for now!!  Head to the leethal group to get involved with this last week of the knit-a-long; check out the collection on ravelry here or on leethalknits.com here.  Follow me on instagram or twitter to see peeks of my samples and stuff.  Happy adventure knitting!

Filed under: adventure knitting,contest/giveaway,hats,knit-a-longs,knitting — Lee Meredith @ 6:48 pm

February 5, 2014

Rainbow-filled donation drive!

Knitters, are you getting ready for the Ravellenic Winter Games?  I’m participating (sort of) in this year’s games by having a donation drive!  If you are on the lookout for fun patterns to use for your projects over the next few weeks, and if you want to help a good cause, here’s the deal…

Rainbow Spiral Hat!

First, let me introduce you to a new sample of one of my very first patterns – a rainbow-tastic version of Spiraling Stripes Hats!  The pattern itself has been updated, all re-formatted in my new pdf style, with some edits and added notes about the different sizes/styles.  (here on ravelry)  This style is knit exactly as the pattern is written, in aran weight yarns, for the oversized slouchy fit.

Rainbow Spiral Hat!

It was made in 9 colors of aran weight leftovers, mostly Malabrigo (one Quince & Co in the mix), making a complete rainbow:

Rainbow Spiral Hat!

It was topped off with a fishtail braid.  Bonus: the yarn colors were all switched at the top, so turning the ends into the braid meant ZERO ends to weave in!

Rainbow Spiral Hat!

So, wait, what does this have to do with the Ravellenic thing?  Well, for the first 4 days of the Olympic games – this Friday February 7th through Monday February 10th – 100% of proceeds from this hat pattern will be donated to International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.  This organization does work all over the world (including Russia), and some of their main issues are decriminalization, stopping discrimination, torture, violence, and abuse, freedom of speech, assembly, and association, health, and human rights.

My donation drive is part of a bigger collection of designers all doing donation drives during this Olympic season – the fabulous Bristol Ivy had the idea and we all jumped right on board!  Check out her blog post here for a list of all designers participating – some are donating more locally; some are giving a cut of sales from throughout the entire Olympics time.  Check out the list and the patterns, and buy as many as you want to during this fundraising event!

As far as leethal patterns go, it’s not just that hat – I’ll also be donating from the sales of all of my patterns that could potentially be made with rainbows!  Of course, you don’t have to actually make them as rainbows… but you COULD.  Technically, I know, you could make any pattern with rainbows, but I’m counting the ones that either have specific instructions for striping, and/or that have a many-colored sample included in the pattern.

Update (the next day):  My husband was reading this post last night, and pointed out how perfectly fitting my Freak Out! mask pattern (rav) is for protesting Russian politics and how awesome it would be if someone made a rainbow version for their Ravellenics project; I don’t know how I hadn’t put that together when making the pattern list for this donation drive!  Duh!!  So, 100% of sales proceeds from Freak Out! will also be donated:

Freak Out! Freak Out!

50% of proceeds from the sales of all of these patterns (Friday-Monday) will be donated:

3 color Robin

Barry in yellow stripy cowl!

all Short Stripes Trio patterns (full trio or individually purchased) (rav)

adventure knit items!

Adventure Knitting (rav)

Flying V's

Flying V’s (rav)


Junction (rav)


Either/Or (rav)

Gentle on My Mind

Gentle on My Mind (rav)

Slanted & Enchanted scarf

Slanted & Enchanted (rav)

infinity moebius scarf thing

Parallel Lines (rav)

Note (added 2/7):  The above 4 patterns, as well as Freak Out!, are part of my Remixed collection (8 patterns total, $20, rav) – I will donate 50% of sales of the full collection as well!


Flippable (rav)

Betiko - mystery pattern version

Betiko (half of the pattern price will be donated whether it’s purchased alone or with the collection) (rav)

Custom Tritop! Brimming with Color!

Custom Tritops (rav), Brimming with Color (rav)

Shapeshifter! Skoodlet!

Shapeshifter (rav), Skoodlet (rav)

scarf5 clarissacuffs2

Game Knitting (rav)

ten 10 yard cuffs! ten 10 yard cuffs!

Ten 10 yard Cuffs (rav)


Haka (rav)

Ocean Breezes! Mr. Pointy

Ocean Breezes (rav), Mr. Pointy (rav)

Coloring Book

And lastly, 35% of all proceeds from any of my Coloring Book patterns, including the whole ebook collection (bought through my site or ravelry) will be donated.

Coloring Book Pigment Scribbled Lines

And just to let you know, the day after this ends (Feb 11th) is my birthday, and I will be having a birthday sale like I do most years, but it will only be on patterns not included in this donation drive, so the two events won’t conflict with each other.  I’ll announce details on that one later :)

If you do cast on for a rainbow, please show it off by posting pictures in my ravelry group (or at least adding it as a rav project) – I would LOVE to see some rainbow projects!!

Filed under: contest/giveaway,hats,knit-a-longs,knitting — leethal @ 9:50 am

November 25, 2013

Unbroken hat(s) in Holla Knits!

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

Unbroken hat!

Unbroken hat! Unbroken hat!

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


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

Unbroken Unbroken

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

Unbroken hat!

…and Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed:


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

Unbroken hat!

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

Unbroken hat!

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

Unbroken hat!

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

Jill Draper Hudson Unbroken

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

Unbroken hat!

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

Holla Knits Accessories 2013

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

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

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

November 1, 2013

Quick (gift-able) Knits ebook and the Indie Gift-a-Long!

A couple of exciting things!  First, you can now (finally!) get my best-of leethal Quick Knits book collection in digital form!

leethal Quick Knits Ebook cover

This book of 12 of the most popular leethal Quick Knits patterns has been out in print booklet form for awhile now (you can get that for $12 over here, or maybe at your local yarn shop!), but I’ve just now gotten the book into e-format, so you can get a pdf of all 12 of these selected 20-yards-or-fewer patterns for $11.  Just in time for quick gift knitting!

pen tube bookmarks! Garter Strip Light-switch Cover

The items range from functional and practical (like the pen tube bookmark, the guitar pick pouch, the drink sweaters, the picnic wrapper), to cute and not-so-practical (like the various wearable flowers and leaves, the light-switch cover)…

Drink Sweaters! April's quick knits club stuff!

…to fun and silly (like the old timey moustache and the superhero mask).  Many potential gift items, as well as patterns which may teach you new knitting techniques on a small, non-intimidating scale!

Old Timey Moustache! Superhero Mask!

So, there is a thing happening which is what pushed me to finally get this ebook together, since the Quick Knits were a perfect fit for gift knitting… and this awesome gift-focused sale and knitting event is about to begin!


Have you heard about it yet?  A TON of indie designers are teaming up to offer a huge selection of patterns at 25% off November 1st – 15th (with coupon code giftalong, GMT), and then you, the knitter, get to knit-a-long (or crochet-a-long) your new patterns for gifting (or for yourself!), share your progress, and have a chance to win lots of great prizes!  All the info is in the ravelry group over here.

The whole thing kicks off today, Nov 1st, and you have all the way till the end of the year to finish your knitting, but the more projects you post in the threads, the more chances you’ll have to win!  Oh and, only participating designs (the ones being offered for 25% off now) are eligible for the gift-a-long-ing.  (Side note:  I’m trying REALLY hard to release my upcoming collection before Nov 15th, so that I can include those designs as gift-a-long options, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it.  Wish me luck!)

Here are my leethal designs you can choose from (also listed in the gift-a-long thread here!) which will be 25% off with giftalong coupon code now through November 15th:

another pattern mosaic

So that’s the new Quick Knits ebook (normally $11), Ten 10 yard Cuffs, which are also super quick gift-able knits, and 7 accessory patterns which can knit up fast and make good gifts!  If you like bulky cables, you can choose Lemmy (shown below), or Twisted Ankles, or the Haka hat+cowl set


If you want to choose your own gauge, using a bulky weight for extra fast knitting, or a finer weight if you prefer, you can choose from Either/Or (shown below in the full mittens option), Wild is the Wind hat, Gentle on My Mind hat/bonnet/hood, or Wobble Bass hat.  Many of these are gender-neutral, and all of them can be customized based on yarn choice and other options, to best suit your giftee!


So, take advantage of that coupon code – browse through the forums (or the Pinterest boards!) and check out all the other awesome designers participating!  And then get knitting!  Yeah!

September 22, 2013

Fall pattern giveaway!! And lots of updated patterns!

Fall is officially here today and I want to celebrate with you!

leethal fall giveaway

Now through the end of the day (west coast time) Wednesday 9/25, use coupon code fallishere (either in your ravelry cart or through leethalknits) to get any one of these patterns completely free!!  No strings attached, one use per person, choose your favorite for some fall knitting!  Your choices are:

Lemmy Lemmy

Lemmy (ravelry / leethalknits)

Biratu Simple Biratu Shawl

Biratu (ravelry / leethalknits)

3 color Robin Robin in worsted

Robin (ravelry / leethalknits)

Barry in yellow Barry in self-striping and tweed

Barry (ravelry / leethalknits)

stripy cowl! long loop stripy cowl

Maurice (ravelry / leethalknits)

cabled Haka hat Cabled Haka hat+cowl

Haka hat+cowl set (ravelry / leethalknits)

Flying V's Flying V's

Flying V’s collection (ravelry / leethalknits)

Wobble Bass Wobble Bass

Wobble Bass (ravelry / leethalknits)

Flippable Flippable!

Flippable (ravelry / leethalknits)

Betiko - mystery pattern version Betiko

Betiko (ravelry / leethalknits)

Shapeshifter! Shapeshifter!

Shapeshifter (ravelry / leethalknits)

Twisted Ankles Twisted Ankles!

Twisted Ankles (ravelry / leethalknits)

cuff501 cuff304

Ten 10 yard Cuffs (ravelry / leethalknits)

big skoodlet! my bulky skoodlet Skoodlet!

Skoodlet (ravelry / leethalknits)

So you may be wondering, why these patterns?  There are all my newest ones up there at the top, and then a kind of random assortment of older patterns…

Well, around the beginning of the year, I updated my pattern pdf format (new fonts, different kind of layout, etc), so all the patterns I’ve released this year have been in the new format, and then throughout the year, off and on, I’ve been going through my old patterns and updating them.

For the patterns with the new format, you can now see pdf previews on the leethalknits webpages, the first 2 or 3 pages of each pdf, to give you more info and a peek at what the pattern looks like!  (Just click on the leethalknits links for any of those patterns above.)

old vs new leethal pdf formats

The new format takes up significantly fewer pages than the old, but it’s still designed to be easily readable on your screen – even on a phone screen, it’s pretty darn readable, by zooming in to one of the 2 columns, try it!  I always want to be screen-reading friendly, but for those of you who do print the whole files on paper, my new patterns take up much less paper :)

(These screen shots all show the old format to the left, vs the new format to the right.)

old vs new leethal pdf formats

And then, while already in the process of re-formatting layout, I’m also doing some heavy duty editing and updating, especially on my older patterns.  In the 6 years I’ve been designing, my pattern writing has evolved quite a bit, and looking back over the original versions of my early patterns is cringe-inducing for me.  The patterns themselves (like, how you knit them) are unchanged, but the details of the writing, and uniformity between the different patterns, is all being much improved with the new updates.

old vs new leethal pdf formats

So, the choices offered free are all in my new format.  Nothing but the best for you!  Happy fall!

(Remixed is a whole other issue, which I won’t get into now, still slowly in progress.  Talk about cringe-inducing; I’m really sorry to those of you patiently awaiting the ebook, it is coming eventually, I promise!)

Oh and, spread the word about the giveaway!  Grab that image up at the top to re-post places, if you want to.  It won’t last long, so make sure your knitting friends now about it before it ends!  And then be sure to post your leethal knits in your rav projects so I can see them, yay! :)

Filed under: contest/giveaway,knitting,self-publishing — leethal @ 10:18 am

July 30, 2013

Adventure Knit-a-long: final section release!

The adventure knit-a-long is winding around its woodsy paths and coming to an end this week, as the final knitting section pdf was released last Friday.  Now adventurers have everything needed to make this book:

Adventure knitting!

And, of course, to knit all the projects inside!  There are lots of projects with photos up in ravelry, if you’d like to peruse them, and you can see all my sample photos now on flickr, and in my rav projects pages.

Adventure knitting!

But, I’m going to leave the spoiler photos out of this post (except for this glimpse below) because my release schedule has changed a bit while I’ve been doing some assessing the last few days.  Instead of this week, the final pdf release, with everything all together in one place and photos and all that, will come next week.

I’ve decided to add charts to all the patterns (that’s 20 charts), and also to make a print book version!  These things are all in progress and actually pretty close to done, but I want to make sure everything is thoroughly edited before putting it out there for you, and I also am going to make an entirely new video to go with the full Adventure Knitting release.

So, all that is coming next week.  And, with all that new content, the final final price will raise from the current 12 to 14.  I say final final because the final pattern section is already out now, so you can pay 12 now and get everything, then you’ll automatically get the final complete pdf next week.  I’ll be sending out the charts to all KALers this week, before the complete pdf is done.

adventure knit items!

So, what exactly comes in this final KAL section file?  Well, it’s a big one!  Each of the four items (color paths) gets its own booklet, as all the items are finished differently, with their own stitch patterns, constructions, etc.

Adventure knitting!

And then there’s a fifth booklet of finishing and notes, with technique and construction help and how to finish all the items.  So that’s eight booklets (64 pages) total now (before the charts are added, which can be optional for your booklet).

Adventure knitting! Adventure knitting!

Which can all be bound together into a book!  The pdf includes a written how-to for binding them, and there’s also a video up (but it’s a bit longer than I like, so I’m planning on redoing the binding how-to video for next week’s release).

Adventure knitting!

You can bind all the booklets together with just a sewing needle and thread; it’s surprisingly easy to do once you get started and get the pattern of it down.

Adventure knitting!

And then, also included in this pdf is a foldable cover!  (The inner cover pictured here is the final book cover, not the Knit-a-long cover.)

Adventure knitting!

The way the book fits into the cover, you can lay it flat and it can stay open to any page for easy pattern following.

Adventure knitting!

The printable folding cover:

Adventure knitting!

Now that the KAL is finishing up, I think I can confidently say that it has gone really well and everyone had lots of fun on their adventures!  Hooray!!

adventure knit items!

And now, for KAL participants, it’s time to get those photos up in your project pages because when the week is over there will be some major giveaways!  I’ll draw the winners next Monday, so you have till then, and I’ll be doing three separate giveaway drawings.  You can read all the details in the giveaway ravelry forum, but in short:  the amazing donated yarn prizes listed below will go to winners with finished item photos up in their rav projects; another batch of winners will be chosen from ALL project pages with photos, so this will include still in-progress knits, to win $15 coupon codes for my patterns/ebooks; a third set of winners will be drawn from KALers who posted feedback in the feedback thread, to win $10 coupons for my patterns.

You can only win once (if your name gets chosen for two of the drawings, you’ll get the better prize), but the more projects you have up in your rav projects, the better chance you’ll have at winning.  And now, the prizes!  There are some seriously awesome prize donations!!  (Read the giveaway thread for a little bit more detail about each yarn company.)

One extremely lucky winner will get a Paintbox Kit of their color choices by Infinite Twist:


Someone will win this fabulous Party Cake by Art-by-Ana – so cool!

party cake

Eat Agar is generously donating one winner’s choice of a handspun skein of Sukoshi or Summer People yarn, mmmmm handspun goodness:


And one of my favorites (I’m biased since she’s a Portland local!), Knitted Wit, is giving away a skein of Shine fingering weight yarn in this rad Haute Pink colorway:

knitted wit

Even if you haven’t adventured along at all yet, you can still enter to win the prizes by jumping into adventure knitting right now and getting some project photos up before Monday!  You can do it!

Again, if you want to see some examples of adventure knit items, check out my flickr here.  (But remember, you can mix and match the stitch patterns and use any kinds of yarn you want, so your adventure knitting could look nothing like mine and be perfectly customized to your knitting preferences!)

knit fit!

Oh hey, an off-topic note to pacific northwesters!  I’ll be at Knit Fit! in Seattle again this year, November 2-3, and registration opens Thursday (Aug 1st).  I’ll be teaching recycled yarn making (my first time teaching that, I’m excited about it!) and hosting a Game Knitting night again, which was SUPER fun last year.  We’ll be playing along to Singles this year, kind of the ultimate Seattle movie.  It’s all going to be superfuntimes so register asap!  Yay!

June 10, 2013

leethal Adventure Knit-a-long!

Summer is almost here and it’s time for some adventure!  So in July will begin the leethal Adventure Knit-a-long!

mystery adventure!

A knit-a-long like no other, you will be led on adventures each week as you make choices about your knitting project.  You’ll be able to choose between four different items – three accessories, or one smaller gifty item – and then all the items will have many different specific design options to choose from.  Nothing will be that hard; there will be lots of different techniques used (like short rows, cables, slip-stitches, twisted sts…) but not more than a couple at the same time, and if you don’t like how one option is looking you can just pick another one!  Any yarn weight can be used; most items will need about 1-2 skeins of yarn (normal accessory amounts), in one or more colors.

mystery adventure!

Most details will remain a mystery for now, during this get ready… phase, and then we’ll get set… on Monday July 1st.  That’s when more details about the adventure knit-a-long itself, and about the different items, etc, will be revealed.  Finally, we’ll go! on Friday, July 12th, when actual project knitting begins, with the second part going out the following Friday, and the final pattern section released Friday, July 26th.

If you pre-order now, you’ll just get an intro page, and you’ll get a discount for early pre-ordering – only $8 now.

The whole adventure collection of patterns can potentially make well over a hundred different specific items (with the four different item types and all the options involved), so when all is revealed and the knit-a-long is over, the collection price will be $12.  But, since it’s all mysterious right now, and a new kind of knit-a-long I’ve never done before, I’m starting things out majorly discounted, then raising the price by $1 with each section’s release.  So when the first official pdf goes out on July 1st, it’ll be $9, then up to 10 with the first section of knitting, 11 on the second week of knitting, and 12 at the end.

mystery adventure!

I’ve been planning this for a couple months now, and continue to work out all the details and knit up my sample items during this pre-order time, but I have enough done to tell you I am loving how the items are looking, and I am extreeeemely excited for this to begin!!  I can’t wait to reveal more of the general details in a few weeks, because the way everything is going to be presented is special in and of itself.  I’m just really happy with how it’s all coming together, so I wanted to get the ball rolling with the pre-order phase, because I just couldn’t stand waiting any longer!

mystery adventure!

To celebrate summer and adventures and the beginning of this project and everything else fun, I’m going to give away three knit-a-longs today (Monday June 10th)!  Either comment here on the blog or tweet @leethal and tell me one adventurous thing you plan to do this summer (it can be anything from climb a mountain to stay up all night to play a new board game to watch a scary movie – your definition of adventure can be as broad as you want it to be!); if you enter on twitter, use #adventureKAL!  I’ll pick three winners at the end of the day, randomly from all the adventure comments.

Edit:  Winners have been chosen!  I picked from both the comments here and on twitter, but random number generator chose numbers kind of close together, all in the blog group, sorry twitterers.  The winners are misstlog, Nicole Reister, and Cindy Manzanares!  Yay!  Thanks everyone for playing – so many awesome adventures planned!!

Okay I hope you’re excited too!  There are adventure placeholder pictures on the webpage that you can use for ravelry project pictures for now, and feel free to ask me any questions in the leethal group forums!  I might not be able to answer them yet, but I’ll say what I can for now ;)  Happy almost-summer!

Filed under: contest/giveaway,knit-a-longs,knitting — leethal @ 10:12 am

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

June 2, 2012

Pop cobbler and lots of other stuff and news and things

Okay I’m going to jump around a bit since I’ve been gone for awhile (from here, busy times) – first, I’m extending the raffle for the Remixed knit-a-long by a few days.  I’ll be picking winners on Monday night or Tuesday morning, so you have till then to get any Remixed projects you’ve made up on ravelry (with photos) to enter the giveaway! (More in the rav forums here.)  If you’re late to the KAL and just starting a project now, that’s okay, the rav project photos can be in-progress and you’ll still be entered in the raffle!

twitter mystery KAL section 1

Speaking of knit-a-longs, there are some changes to the twitter mystery KAL; it is now going on a bit longer, ending on July 6th.  Section 2 still ends on June 26th, but now I’ll be giving you some options via tweets for what to do after that and there will be some new repeat rows tweeted daily, with the whole thing coming to an end after a couple more sections of those repeat options.  The free pdf will be released at that point, once the tweets are all out.  Above and below are some somewhat mysterious photos, but you can check in with the ravelry group weekly threads (or my flickr stream) to see weekly progress photos – we’re now a bit into section 2 so you can get an idea of how the construction is working.

twitter mystery KAL section 1

Yesterday, June 1st, marked an exciting anniversary for me – 4 years since leaving my day job to be self-employed full time!  (Well, May 27th actually, but I always think of it as June 1st being the self-employment mark.)  Since my high school and college graduations happened after 4 years, and I worked day jobs out of college for exactly 4 years, I kind of feel like I’ve graduated from my self-employment struggling trial period or something, like it’s really official now and I’m beginning the next stage of my life where hopefully this whole career thing just keeps getting better!  Yay!

easy cobbler

Another fun thing, though completely off in a different direction… we had a couple friends over last night so I decided to try out this insane recipe (found via pinterest), mostly out of intense curiosity.  It totally worked!  For my version, I used 1 bag of frozen strawberries and 1 bag of frozen blueberries, white cake mix, and ginger ale.  We ate it with some Tillamook ice cream on top:

easy cobbler

We want to try it with different experimental variations – I think our next attempt will be with apple slices, spice cake mix, and Dr. Pepper!  (Pete’s idea)  And next time I think I’ll stir it up just a little so that all the cake mix gets wet – the recipe blog post warns “If you stir the two, you will have a cake like topping” but that sounds pretty good to me!

a squirrel friend!

I took some photos of a squirrel in our front yard, and I thought you might like to see them.  Speaking of photos, I just finally finished going through and editing over 800 photos I took over our 2 day trip up north 2 months ago (they’re not all flickr’d yet), so you can expect a blog post about that soooon!  The main thing I’ve been working on for the last month or so is my new website – leethalknits.com – which will be the place you can find all my knitting patterns, organized and separated from everything else leethal.  I feel like leethal.net is getting cluttered and needs to be redone a bit, so this new site is the first step, then I’ll be fixing up leethal.net to be more representative of what I’m doing now.  So that’s that plan.

a squirrel friend!

A couple other things… I am going to be teaching at Knit Fit! in Seattle in November, along with many other awesome teachers and I’m super excited about it!  If you’re anywhere near Seattle, I hope you can make it; you can follow the Knit Fit! blog to learn more about everyone involved and stuff.  I may be doing another fun thing besides teaching… still a secret for now, but it might be awesome!

A little while back I was interviewed for Knitters Rumble blog, so you can read that if you’re interested.  I’ve been tumbling a few things lately, like movies and records, so when I’m absent from this blog, at least there’s that… I do have several posts planned for here… anyone want to give me extra hours in the day so I can do all I want/need to do?  Damn time!  Anyway, one thing at a time, and for now I’m going to try to get this new website done, then move on to the next things… So for now, keep on doing stuff!  And happy knitting!

Filed under: contest/giveaway,knit-a-longs,knitting,random stuff,recipes — leethal @ 3:41 pm

April 11, 2012

Remixed pattern #5: Slanted & Enchanted

First things first… As of last week, all Remixed patterns are now for sale individually, so if you’re not into the whole collection or making recycled yarn you can now grab just what you want!  Of course, $20 for all 8 patterns is still the best deal ($2.50 per pattern) but now you have the option… Also, all the patterns and the full collection are now available to local yarn store customers through LYSs participating in Ravelry’s in-store sales program, so if you work for a shop or would like to buy through your favorite shop, there’s that option now, so that’s cool.

Slanted & Enchanted scarf

So now, what happened was that I put out this Slanted & Enchanted design back during the crazy hectic holiday season – it went live on December 1st – and I guess I’d meant to blog about it as soon as possible but things were a bit too busy and I somehow forgot to blog it… When I realized, I was partway through my second sample, which I planned to add to the pattern when it was finished, so I decided to just wait to blog it until that was done…

Slanted & Enchanted scarf

So now that time has come and here’s Slanted & Enchanted!

Remixed Slanted & Enchanted Slanted & Enchanted #2

The top 2 photos are my original sample, and the one above on the right is that new sample I recently finished.  The scarf is designed to use up yarn leftovers of all lengths, even down to around a foot long.

The size of the scarf can be whatever you want, but one end will always be twice the width of the other end.  My main sample (below) is 57 inches / 145 cm long (not including fringe), and 4.75 inches / 12 cm wide on the narrow end, 9.5 inches / 24 cm on the wide end.  It’s knit lengthwise, so you can either just cast-on until you think it seems like a good length, or make a gauge swatch and determine the number of stitches you need for the exact length you want… and then just work until you like the width.

Slanted & Enchanted scarf Slanted & Enchanted scarf

My second sample (below) is much shorter and wider than the first – 36 inches / 91 cm long, 6.75 inches / 17 cm wide on the narrow end, 13.5 inches / 34 cm wide on the wide end.  It was knit with all pieces from the same unraveled colorwork sweater, so it’s all the same bulky weight yarn.

Slanted & Enchanted #2 Slanted & Enchanted #2

Here’s the sweater – I unraveled all but the sleeves (I have a different project planned for the sleeves!)…

recycling colorwork sweater yarn recycling colorwork sweater yarn

…and then divided all the scraps into tiny balls to use them for the scarf:

recycling colorwork sweater yarn

Yarn weights can vary within this project, since each row is knit with a different yarn, they should just all be around a general weight area – my main sample was all around worsted weight, ranging from sport to chunky but mostly worsted-ish.  A close up of the fabric, with each row in a different yarn:

Remixed pattern in progress

In the chunky sample, I experimented a bit with working 2, 3, or 4 rows of the same color – you can sort of see below how the pattern is different with wider stripes.  It would be a whole different look to knit an entire scarf with 2 row or 3 row stripes.

Slanted & Enchanted #2

The stitch pattern is super simple, kind of a cross between garter stitch and ribbing, so it’s a pretty beginner-friendly pattern.  It’s a little tricky because you have to work on 2 circular needles, but it’s all knit flat and the short rows are easy since there’s no wrapping+turning, just stop and begin a new row.

Slanted & Enchanted #2

The slanted shape is made by switching between a full row (all the way across the length) and a short row (stopping anywhere when the yarn runs out) so you should have a bunch of scraps that are long enough to reach across the whole length, and another bunch that are shorter, in all varying lengths.  See, it’s really the perfect pattern for using up allllll your leftover bits and pieces!

Slanted & Enchanted scarf

All yarn ends are tied together to make fringe on both sides, but there is a bunch of weaving in that needs to be done where the short rows end (just a warning)… You could cut the fringe straight across to make it neater, but I like it messy like this:

Slanted & Enchanted scarf

So that’s the 5th pattern I released for Remixed, and the final of the 8 patterns bloggedsee all 8 here (or on ravelry).

Slanted & Enchanted scarf Slanted & Enchanted scarf

Before releasing each for sale individually, besides adding that second scarf sample, I also re-knit this Gentle on My Mind sample bonnet:

orange stripy Gentle on My Mind

The original striped one was way too small, and I decided it would be much better to make it a good size (rather than showing it as a small version) and now I can actually wear it, yay!  Love it!

orange stripes Gentle on My Mind orange stripy Gentle on My Mind

I made another Wild is the Wind as well – not for an official pattern sample, since it does a terrible job at actually showing the design, but just for myself and to use a recycled spun yarn I made for the ebook:

soft+stripey Wild is the Wind

It’s an extra big and slouchy version (details are on the rav page) in a super soft wool/angora blend – the colors are fantastic and am totally in love with this hat, yay!

soft+stripey Wild is the Wind soft+stripey Wild is the Wind

Now everything is up to date with Remixed, blog-wise, but there’s one last fun thing for Remixers!

Remixed knit-a-long!  With prizes!  Details are here in the ravelry group, where you can talk about what you’re knitting, ask questions, share progress photos, etc, with all the knitters.  Post your projects in ravelry by the end of May to enter to win prizes, yay!

Happy knitting everyone!

Filed under: contest/giveaway,knit-a-longs,knitting,Remixed — leethal @ 2:03 pm

November 25, 2011

Buy Nothing Friday giveaways!!

Happy Buy Nothing Day!  Or, if you’re not observing that one, happy holidays!  To kick off the season on this day after Thanksgiving, I’m having some big giveaways!  First, all Remixers (everyone who has already pre-ordered the ebook) are automatically entered into a raffle today – I’ll be picking five winners total: three win a $10 off coupon code for my knitting patterns, and two win a prize package of goodies!  I’ll comment here, post in the ravelry forums, and email the winners once I do the drawing, which will be around 8pm today.

infinity moebius scarf thing Wild is the Wind

Rumours in sport weight bulky Freewheelin'

The second giveaway is for all who have not pre-ordered Remixed, who may be thinking about it or wanting to in the future, and it’s just this one day only, so enter now!

I’ll be picking FIVE winners from the comments for Remixed giveaways:  four will win 1 Remixed pattern of their choice, and a $5 off coupon code for the ebook in case you do decide you want to buy it later – kind of like testing out the one pattern to make sure you’re going to like it before you get the whole collection… And then one lucky winner will get the whole thing!  (meaning, the ebook pre-order, so these 4 patterns now, and the remaining 4 patterns as they are finished, and then the whole book later)

Parallel Lines Cover Wild is the Wind Cover

Freewheelin cover Rumours pattern cover

So, to enter the drawing, comment on this post with your favorite out of these four Remixed patterns that are out so far, and/or tell us about something you’ve made with recycled yarn, or something else Remixed-related… At the end of the day (midnight, west coast time, on Buy Nothing Day/Black Friday) I’ll choose the winners at random.

slanted & enchanted

And here’s a (badly lit) peek at the fifth Remixed pattern!  It’s by far the simplest of all the designs so far, and totally beginner-friendly, but using all your bits of leftover yarn scraps makes it look awesome!  It’s called Slanted & Enchanted, and it’ll probably be out to Remixers by the end of next week, if all goes well…

slanted & enchanted

Filed under: contest/giveaway,knitting,Remixed — leethal @ 7:00 am
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