October 5, 2010

Time to hit the road… and Celebrate!

So we’re leaving super duper early on Wednesday morning, and I’ve been working all day today on 4 hours of sleep… it’s now 1am and before my energy is drained completely I just need to get this one last post out there to you… I’ll be checking email (and comments) once in awhile, but I’ll basically be out of touch from the world until the 21st.  I’ve been really super appreciating all the great roadtripping recommendations, even though I’ve been so beyond busy getting everything done that I haven’t been replying, sorry about that!!

framed song lyrics

Anyway…  my brain isn’t fully functioning, so I’m going to mostly let the photos do the talking from now on…  October’s club ebook is out now!  (on ravelry here)

october club ebook cover

Inspired by my wedding crafting, but not wanting to do a wedding theme, I made all the projects relate in some way to celebrating – with friends over wine…

Drink Sweaters!

… or beer, with these drink sweaters (cabley, knit-tastic versions of wine glass charms for drink identification)…

Drink Sweaters!

…or celebrating out at a special event or just dressing up for fun, because it doesn’t have to be a super special occasion to wear a lapel flower!

Lapel Flowers!

They can also be worn as brooches, or you could turn them into hair accessories too I’m sure…

Lapel Flowers!

The non-knit craft project this month is frilly crocheted shoes, which are my wedding shoes.  As you can see, they can have all kinds of different styles depending on how you lace them up (well, these two aren’t super different, but you get the idea).  Tonight, after I’d already finished and released the ebook, I discovered another way of lacing them that I like even better, using the ribbon more as a drawstring instead of criss-crossing it; I’m sure there are tons more possibilities!

Frilly Crocheted Shoes! Frilly Crocheted Shoes!

This is what they look like before weaving ribbons through:

Frilly Crocheted Shoes! Frilly Crocheted Shoes!

This project is a 4-page photo tutorial of how to turn old flip flops into the new shoes – once you get to the point where the crochet starts, you can come up with your own stitches for your shoes, if you are experienced with a hook.  This is the first crochet design I’ve ever written out, and I wrote the whole thing more as a tutorial rather than a pattern…

Frilly Crocheted Shoes!

The final extra goodie in this month’s ebook is a set of 7 of my favorite song lyric cards that I made to frame for these wedding decorations/favors.  I included the title and author of each font in the included lyrics, so you’ll be able to find and download any fonts that you especially like, choose your own personal favorite song lyrics, and make your own lyric art!

framed song lyrics

These picture frames will be another project for another blog post… after the trip…  Have a good October, I’ll be back in 2 weeks!

oh wait, one more thing.  I keep forgetting to mention this!  Portlanders, I am teaching a self-publishing class at Twisted on the 28th!  This is going to be very similar to the class I taught at Summit of Awesome, except I won’t be trying to relate it to sewing and other craft patterns (which I did very badly since that’s not my area of expertise!).  If you are starting to design knitting or crochet patterns and want to try self-publishing pdfs, but have no idea how to start (or what that even means), then this class should get you on your way!

Ok, now, for reals, I am getting some sleep and heading out! Bye!

September 15, 2010

2nd Make-a-Long and Skirt I made during the 1st one!

This Saturday, Sept 18th, will be the second official make-a-long, wooo yay!  The first make-a-long, in case you missed it, was April 10th, and I first wrote about the idea here, then posted about the various ways you can participate here.  Scroll to the bottom of this post (under the skirt photos) for a recap of how you can make-a-long this weekend and join the fun!

shirt sleeve skirt close-up

So, I realized when I talked about everything I made last time, I said I’d be giving this skirt its own post, and then with the move, a lot of planned posts never got written… so now’s better than never!  I absolutely love this skirt I made out of the sleeves of 2 shirts:


The concept is simple – detach the sleeves from 2 long-sleeved, button-down shirts, and sew them together, rotating shirt #1 sleeve, shirt #2 sleeve.  Because left and right sleeves are different (buttons/buttonholes on opposite sides), two of the joins will have a button and buttonhole together (perfect – no need to add a zipper or anything), but one join will have buttons on both sides, and the last will have buttonholes on both sides.  In the top photo, you can see how I handled the join with the holes on both sides, with a ribbon closure.  If you make a skirt like this, you’ll have to figure out how best to join all the parts together depending on your particular sleeves.

shirt sleeve skirt close-up shirt sleeve skirt close-up

I added one button of my own to make for a smooth join (sometimes things don’t automatically line up perfectly), and as you can see, I added a few bits of ribbon where things needed to be neatened up.  And I added some wavy top-stitching all over, just for fun.  I wavy-sewed all around the bottom edge, which was just cut and not hemmed:

shirt sleeve skirt close-up shirt sleeve skirt close-up

And then I sewed extra wavy lines along all the seams where the sleeves were joined (below).   I don’t have a good photo of me wearing this skirt, but it fits perfectly and I love it!  If you want to make a skirt like this, hopefully you’ll luck out like I did and find sleeves that fit around your waist perfectly when joined together, but you may need to play around with different sleeve arrangements, or join them differently, to make for a good fit.  I didn’t take step-by-step photos, and the construction would be different depending on your sleeves, but hopefully this is enough info to inspire you to try one of your own!

shirt sleeve skirt close-up

For this make-a-long, I will be focusing on wedding-related crafting:  my dress, shoes, fabric flower decorations, etc.  You can make anything you want!  Catch up on old, forgotten projects, try a new craft you’ve been wanting to explore, finish up all your work-in-progress pieces, open up a craft book you bought and haven’t used yet, as long as you have fun making!

The date and time are loose… if you have plans scheduled for Saturday, but are free on Sunday, then make that your making day!  I will be again attempting to make for a full 24 hours (didn’t succeed last time, but maybe this time I’ll do it!), so I’ll be trying to go from 7am-ish Saturday to 7am-ish Sunday, or as long as I can last.  Read the original make-a-long post for my initial inspiration and ideas about the make-a-long concept.

stitching during the make-a-long!

And then, to participate (the “a-long” part) – use whichever social media outlets you prefer: twitter, facebook, ravelry, blogs (commenting on mine, posting on your own), flickr.  Use hashtag #makealong on twitter, join the make-a-long group on facebook, I’ll be starting a thread in the leethal ravelry group… and then I strongly encourage everyone to add any photos you take to the flickr group.  I won’t be posting photos during the actual make-a-long day (probably just some twitter pictures), but I’ll be shooting throughout the day for sure, and uploading them to flickr within the next couple days.

Share what you’re working on, your making trials and errors, talk about the crafty fun you’re having, and get inspired by fellow make-a-longers!  You’ll find me mostly on twitter throughout the day, but I’ll be checking in on the ravelry and facebook groups, and blog comments of course.  Hope to see you making!

Filed under: clothing,general crafts,make-a-long,skirts — leethal @ 3:53 pm

September 7, 2010

Get Organized! leethal quick knits club September 2010!

mini-ebook cover

Tah dah!  It’s the first mini-ebook for my next generation of the leethal quick knits club!  Yay!  The 12 page (computer screen reading friendly) pdf includes these two knitting patterns:

zig-zag lace cup! circular needles hanger!

Zig-Zag Lace Cup and Circular Needles Hanger…  both have a 20 yard version, which is what you see in the examples, but both patterns also have any-size, any-gauge (therefore any-yarn) variations!  Make the cup more lacy with a finer weight yarn, and/or make it bigger or smaller to suit your needs.  Knit up the needle hanger in any yarn you have leftover; add more levels lengthwise for extra categorization of your circular collection…

stiffening your lace knit cup zig-zag lace cup!

The cup can easily be stiffened with regular white glue – admiring it once it’s dry the next day is super exciting, by the way!  I want to make a ton more of these cups now, I love it so much!  You could also choose to slip it over a cardboard tube to make it a functioning cup, instead of stiffening it (instructions for both options are included in the ebook).

zig-zag lace cup! zig-zag lace cup!

(I’m sad my first club ebook had to be entirely shot with my point+shoot camera, since my D80’s still in the repair shop, boo….)  And then the other pattern is a pretty simple piece with lots of buttonholes and straps that get woven through them.  I learned how to make one-row buttonholes for the first time while designing this, and have no idea why it took me so long!  They’re pretty darn rad!  As I noted in the pattern, I think it would look super cool to knit the straps in a contrasting colored yarn from the main knit piece – it would really show off the woven construction (I kind of want to make another one to try it out).

circular needles hanger! circular needles hanger!

And then there are some other projects too, of course!  In fitting with the theme of organizing your knitting needles and notions, I show you how to make a carry-all case for your most-used needles, and a little drawstring baggy for your stitch markers and other wee bits…

carry-all needles case recycled fabric drawstring baggy

So, if you make everything in the ebook, you’ll have newly crafted storage solutions for your entire needle collection!  Especially if you do what I’m surely going to be doing, and make several more lace cups to hold all your straights (if you have a big vintage needle collection like me, that is).  The final extra goodie in the ebook is a page of silly little drawings of knitting needles and notions, which can be embroidered on to the baggy or needle case if you like.  There’s a glimpse of it below, beside a snippet from the stiffening tutorial:

a page inside a bit of the embroidery pattern page

So there’s the first month!  It’s all on ravelry, and you can now subscribe for 6 months (just $20) right there, which starts with this current month – so this ebook will automatically be sent to you immediately upon subscribing!  Neato!  You can also buy this ebook alone over there ($5), and you can also sign up through my club page (which still needs a bit more updating, but the ravelry link suffices for the time being).

If, for some reason, you want to subscribe starting with next month (like, you bought this ebook alone but now you decided you actually want a membership), you can do that on my club webpage.  This will be a useful feature when your 6 month membership runs out, as this is how you can renew it to continue your subscription seamlessly.

Remember, for every month that you’re a member on the ebook release day, you’re entered into a members drawing for a superfun club-related package of awesomeness!  This month’s winners were Miranda and Esther, yay!!

Ok I think that’s everything!  Hope you like the first new month, I’m super duper happy with how it all came together!  Yayyyyy!

Filed under: general crafts,knitting,quick knits — leethal @ 9:18 pm

August 23, 2010

August quick knits club, and the Next Generation!

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

Major changes for the Next Generation:

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

quick knits!

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

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

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

quick knits!

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

August club!

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

pocket case

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

pocket case pocket case

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

buttons! reclaimed decks of cards!

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

custom game pieces

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

custom game pieces poker chips!

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

little pencils and farkle points!

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

It's a Game yarn! Mind Games yarn!

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

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

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

August 15, 2010

My New Fabric-Covered Box Drawers!

I did a project yesterday!  And it turned out even better than it looked in my head!!  Isn’t it the best thing ever when that happens?!

fabric drawers!

Our house is extremely (embarrassingly?) Ikea-heavy with the decor… so I’ve been trying to find ways to personalize our Ikea, make our home more us.  I got these awesome vintage handles from Portland vintage-stuff-shop Smut (So Many Unique Treasures) awhile back, for some other project that didn’t really happen… so they were waiting for the perfect use…

fabric drawers!

And then in the move, we discovered that these boxes we were using from Pete’s work fit exactly perfectly into this shelving unit!  The idea turned out so well that you totally can’t tell they’re just old cardboard boxes behind those fabric fronts:

fabric drawers!

So, I’m going to show you how I made them, but you may just want to use some concepts with different kinds of boxes and a different kind of shelving unit to fit your own home needs…

For each drawer, I used:

  • a cardboard box that fits perfectly into the shelf space
  • a piece of fabric about an inch longer than the front of the box on all 4 sides
  • a vintage handle
  • screws to fit the handle, and washers for each screw
  • a hot glue gun
  • a box cutter, scissors, a screwdriver, and embroidery scissors

Start out by cutting the three (side and back) top flaps off the box.  Don’t cut off the front flap, the flap attached to the side where the fabric will be going.  I’ll talk about what to do with that flap later…  Then decide on handle placement, poke holes where the screws will go, and stick the screws in through the back, so the front looks like this:

fabric drawers!

Center your fabric piece on top of the box front, then use your embroidery scissors to cut little holes where the screws are.  Push the screws through the fabric, so it looks like this:

fabric drawers!

The screws holding it in place will help keep the fabric all lined up while gluing.  I glue the edges down starting with the bottom center, work my way outwards, up one side, up the other side, then the top, starting with the center again.  I glue a couple inches at a time, squeezing the hot glue along the fold of the box, then press the fabric down from above the fold, around the corner down to the cut edge of the fabric, so the glue spreads out from the box fold to the fabric edge.  Make sense?  The great thing about using hot glue is that by the time you finish one side and start gluing the other side, the first side is cooled enough that you can pull it taut, smoothing out the fabric nicely.  Once the sides are all glued down, you can go back and smooth the corners down well with some extra glue:

fabric drawers! fabric drawers!

Now take out those screws for putting in the handle.  There are a couple different ways to deal with the top flat.  For the first box drawer I made (the orange+gold patterned one), I just cut off the top along with the other flaps, and wrapped the fabric around the top.  Sadly, that made for a not-straight top edge, which I’m sure will bother me forever… So for my second try, I cut the flap off with a couple inches attached, then I folded that bit over and taped it down.  I did this before the fabric-gluing step, by the way…

fabric drawers!

And, for these first two drawers, this is how the handle was attached in the back – an extra piece of cardboard for extra strength, washers, screws through all the layers to the handles…

fabric drawers!

So then for my last drawer, I realized I could just not cut the front flap at all, fold it down, and use that flap for my extra cardboard layer.  Duh!  It was easier in theory than in practice – the flap doesn’t like to be held down flat like that (when I was first trying to get my holes placed, pre-fabric-gluing, I ended up pushing the entire screw and screwdriver through both cardboard layers – washers are important here!).  So, it’s a bit tricky, and requires some effort and patience, but it works out great in the end – straight top edge, extra strength where the handle is attached, simple construction…

fabric drawers!

For that last drawer, I used a square of fabric that happened to be the exact size as the box front, so no extra to fold around the edges.  When gluing the top edge of the fabric down, be sure to account for the top flap being folded down, so you don’t stretch the fabric unevenly after gluing.  And, a top view of the handle:

fabric drawers! fabric drawers!

Tah dah!  I love them so much!  Plan on making more, as soon as Pete brings more of these boxes home from work!

fabric drawers!

Now we just need to figure out some awesome things to fill all those empty shelf squares…

fabric drawers!

Filed under: general crafts,home stuff,tutorials — leethal @ 1:42 pm

July 30, 2010

A few things you should know about!

Through September 1st, $1 of every pattern and ebook I sell will go to The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research via Kim Werker’s Pancreatic Craftacular.  Kim is doing all she can to raise $2500 by Sept 12th, and a bunch of other designers, yarn makers, and crafters are helping out, so check out the Craftacular page to see all the stuff you can buy to help, or to straight up donate to the cause.

from leethal pattern page

If you’ve been thinking about grabbing any (or many!) of my patterns, now’s the time to go for it!

from leethal pattern page

A sort-of-related heads up – I’m currently working on redesigns of all my old patterns, so that they all have the same pdf format and stuff, and I will be raising prices of at least one, maybe more, patterns once all the layout design redoing is done.  If you want 10 cuff patterns, grab it now for $4.50 while you still can!

from leethal pattern page

In other news… remember back last fall when a bunch of Portland crafters were all trying to raise awareness about our most favorite local craft thrift store, Knittn’ Kitten?  And alllll of you non-Portlanders were saying things like “I wish I could go to Portland and check it out” etc etc…  Well, I am so happy to tell you all that the Kitten has opened up an etsy shop!!  It’s not exactly like shopping in the store, but it’s pretty darn awesome, full of vintagey crafty goodness!  Yay!!!!

knittn' kitten's new etsy shop!

And one more thing you must know about!  Croq zine has a Kickstarter going on so that we can all help get a new issue published!  I super love Croq, have all the issues, and am way excited to see another one being made!  But, it will only get made if we help, by essentially pre-ordering our copies through Kickstarter.  Once creator Heather has enough “backers” to afford printing a run of zines, the issue will get made, and all of us who helped out will receive our copies!

kickstart croq!

Of course, you can pledge more than the cost of an issue ($5) if you can swing it – a $25 pledge will get you some homemade vegan lip balm, made with Heather’s own amazingly delicious recipe!  Kickstarter is such a cool way to get a project off the ground – back Croq today, get your issue when it’s released, everyone wins, and we all help awesome things happen!!  Yeah!

June 28, 2010

Summit of Awesome!!

Ok this post was supposed to happen sooner, but sickness delayed it… there are a ton of photos, so I’ll be keeping the text brief… if you want to read more about the Summit of Awesome and how truly awesome it was, check out posts by my buddies Diane, Kim, Susan on Craft, or Hello Craft’s posts, and see hundreds more photos in the flickr pool!

So, the story of the Summit in photos and links… Got there Wednesday to sign in and pick up this fantastic program bound inside a custom made journal, with plenty of blank pages in back, love it!

summit of awesomeness summit of awesomeness

Also got a swag bag with this excellent knit swatch poster and lots of fun buttons and cards and stuff:

summit of awesomeness

Then I stitched up my name tag – since I arrived a bit on the late side, I kept it simple, just some embroidery on felt:

summit of awesomeness

On that first day, I attended a couple of great learning sessions – Getting Press for your Business with Kari Chapin and Christine Ernest, and Green craft: sourcing materials and business practices with Becky Striepe, Stephanie Weber and Christine Claringbold:

summit of awesomeness summit of awesomeness

Then Pete joined up since it was his day off and we ate with a bunch of rad crafty people…

summit of awesomeness Summit of Awesome

(photo of us by Christine) At the welcome party that night, we got to screen print our own Summit tees – so cool!

summit of awesomeness

Day 2 was the longest day – 5 sessions of awesomeness!  Since I did just learning sessions on day 1, and I was going to be teaching on day 3, I decided to make day 2 my fun day of making, so I chose to attend only workshops!  First up, Encaustic Painting with Bridget Benton!

summit of awesomeness summit of awesomeness

I knew absolutely nothing about encaustic painting going into this session, and was SO glad I decided to try it out!  Holy crap it was fun!!  The photos above and below show other workshoppers working on their pieces – here is a photo of me working on my painting by Hello Craft, sort of.

summit of awesomeness summit of awesomeness

And my finished piece!  Still hot and super foggy, then cooled:

summit of awesomeness summit of awesomeness

Next was Mighty Ugly: Challenge Yourself to Make Some Ugly with Kim Werker!

Mighty Ugly!

The above photo is by Susan, and here’s our “class photo” by Kim (or someone holding Kim’s camera actually, since that’s Kim in the middle there):

Mighty Ugly Workshop: Class Photo

My mighty ugly creature!

my Mighty Ugly creature!

And below is Vanessa‘s fabulous preppy creation, Blane (or is it Blaine?), and Heather working on hers:

summit of awesomeness summit of awesomeness

After Mighty Ugly was Glass Etching with Amanda Siska, which I was super excited about since I’ve been a fan of Amanda’s work for some time!

summit of awesomeness Glass Etching

Above is another etcher using the dental drill, and the photo of me etching above is by Hello Craft.  So, we got to use that dental drill to freehand etch, which is how I made this glass:

summit of awesomeness summit of awesomeness

(You can see other views here and here, and Amanda shot it before round 2 of etching, before I added more details and made it look less kindergarten-drawing-y.)  And then we also got to make vinyl stencils and use a faux etching paint stuff, which I used to make this candle holder:

summit of awesomeness Faux etched candle holder

Next up, Craft Throwdown Hour with Kim Dorn and Christine Ernest! It was fun, but super stressful, making things with a 15 minute time limit – first a Viva Las Vegas themed towel (photo of me making it below by Hello Craft), then a garden themed headband, and last was mythical creatures themed bunting, which I forgot to get a photo of…

Crafty Throwdown summit of awesomeness

The crazy flower headband was definitely my best out of the three objects, but it was not well put together – I want to fix it and turn it into something wearable…

Last for day 2 was Book Making with Mark Montano – I chose this one because I’m a huge fan of Mark’s books, so it was fun making something instructed by him:

summit of awesomeness

I was bummed out by the details of the project though – this book-making project could be so easily done with 100% recycled materials, but instead we made the books with new scrapbooking paper, new cardboard, and new copy paper… Oh well, now I know how to make my own books (with ALL recycled materials!) at home on my own:

summit of awesomeness summit of awesomeness

That night at home, I finished prepping for my classes, including making a new light box (since my old one got destroyed and tossed in the move) – here’s a photo of everything I made throughout the Summit!

summit of awesomeness

Day 3… first, I taught Photographing your work with your own camera (photo by Hello Craft):

Photographing Your Work with Lee Meredith

Then I let my brain rest a bit by sewing up a Cup Glove with Becky Striepe – fun!

Cup Glove Workshop

(Above photo by Hello Craft) Here’s my glove… I really enjoy hand-sewing, I should do it more often!

summit of awesomeness

During lunch, we got to hear Mark Montano speak about his career path (I didn’t know he started out in the fashion world!) and tips for success and stuff (like: no days off and no tv without multi-tasking, both things I already do!)… Then I taught my learning session on Publishing your own patterns, which I think went super well!  Hooray for self-publishing!  (below photos by Susan and Hello Craft)

Lee Meredith - Publishing Your Own Patterns Creating Your Own Patterns

To end the awesomeness, we all gathered in front of the Kennedy School to take a class photo!  The actual photo isn’t up yet, but here is one Kim took while we were getting set up…

Summit of Awesome Class Photo

And the photographers shooting us (shooting me shooting them, silly!)…

summit of awesomeness

A few last notes – having the Summit take place at the Kennedy School was GENIUS!  It was so great to have free good coffee whenever we needed it, good catering, the built-in hotel for out-of-town summiters, and bars and restaurants right there in the building where everyone could hang out together at the end of each day.  And, I love that now I can say I was a teacher at the Kennedy School!

Hello Craft is planning to do the Summit of Awesome every summer, in a different city each year, I believe… so if they take it to anywhere you can get to next year, I recommend so highly that you go!!  As we all agreed, it was total summer camp for crafters!

Filed under: general crafts,lots of links,photos,portland stuff,random stuff — leethal @ 8:14 pm

June 8, 2010

Dry Erase Magnets tutorial, plus other magnet ideas!

Dry Erase Magnets!

Look what I made yesterday!  I had this brainstorm about making dry erase magnets back when I was making magnet projects for the May club, but I was just going to try it with white paper, for a plain white background… then I saw this tutorial via Craft: and thought of using images for the backgrounds!  Now I have a great looking note-taking station on my fridge!

Note taking magnets! Note taking magnets!

First you’ll need a basic flat magnet – freebie promo magnets work fabulously.  If you can find an image that’s light and low-contrast enough that you’ll be able to see notes written over it, then you just need glue (glue stick works well) and packing tape – higher quality, thick tape is ideal, as opposed to the really cheap, thin type.

tutorial photos

Cut the image (could be: magazine/book picture, photograph, printed out image, etc) into a rectangle a bit bigger than the magnet.  Glue it onto the magnet, then trim the paper neatly around the edges.  (Now it’s probably good to let the glue dry, but I didn’t because I was anxious to finish and see how it worked!)

tutorial photos tutorial photos

Smooth a piece of packing tape over the front – as you can see below, my packing tape was just a wee bit more narrow than my magnet… Since my magnets are thin and easy to cut with scissors, I decided to trim the magnet to tape size, but you can also deal with this problem by layering another piece of tape to cover the whole surface:

tutorial photos

Trim the tape around the edges and your functional dry erase magnet is complete!

If you want to use an image that’s too dark/bright/high-contrast for the writing to be clear on top, then you can add an extra step to make it work…  You’ll just need tracing paper or tissue paper (or some other kind of paper that’s translucent enough for the image to show through, but will dull it enough so the writing will be clear), plus basic white glue (or Mod Podge will work) and a brush for the glue:

Dry Erase Magnets! tutorial photos

Complete the first couple of steps from above – cut out the image and glue it onto the magnet – then spread out white glue over the top of the image (photo is before spreading it out with the brush):

tutorial photos

Now smooth the tracing paper or tissue paper over the top… I used tissue paper because it’s all I had, but I’d expect tracing paper to work much better, since it wouldn’t tear nearly as easily.  On my first try, I attempted to smooth out the tissue with my fingers, ended up tearing the paper badly, and had to peel it off and start over.  So, just smooth it out the best you can without ripping it:

tutorial photos

Then trim the edges, add the tape over the top (after the glue is dry would be best), just like the first version above, and there you go!  By the way, both of my images came from an old yarn company catalog – great source for background images!

Dry Erase Magnets!

To complete your refrigerator’s dry erase station, you’ll need a clip magnet big and strong enough to hold a dry erase marker, and if there’s a spot where you can stick a piece of paper towel to use as an eraser, excellent!  Or, you can make one of these awesome fridge tin pen holders by Not Martha!

Note taking magnets! Note taking magnets!

And then my other note-taking magnet idea – this one needs no tutorial because it’s so simple – chalkboard magnet!  Buy some chalkboard paint at your local craft supply store (I used this kind), follow the instructions on the container to paint over your basic flat magnet, and tah dah!  Love it!

Chalkboard Magnet!

And then going back to my club magnet projects to finish things off… I mentioned these over here, but not in any detail.  I used a simple foam stamp (from the dollar section at Joann, impulse buy!) to stamp designs onto old book pages, then cut out the shapes and layered them on the magnets:


You could use the same concept with drawings over the book pages, or you could layer pictures from magazines or photographs over the text background… this one is a rectangle of book page with a stamp on it, then another cut-out stamp design layered over that.  I like the look of the text going in different directions on the 2 layers:


Then the final magnet idea, also from the club, was record album artwork magnets – no instructions needed, just cut out a piece of old album cover and glue it onto the magnet:

magnets! magnets!

If you make over some reclaimed magnets using any of these ideas, I’d love to see them!  Happy crafting!

Filed under: general crafts,home stuff,quick project,tutorials — leethal @ 7:23 pm

June 4, 2010

Farewell Threadbanger, it’s been a good 2 years!

I just got some bummer news earlier this week that my run of Threadbanger weekly roundups has come to an end.  It’s been over 2 years (109 roundups) of posting every single Friday, so it feels really weird today that I’m not collecting awesome projects to share with TB readers.  But, coincidentally, this gig ended exactly on my 2 year anniversary of leaving my day job, which makes it feel like it was time – I was starting to get kind of restless with the roundups being the same thing for so long, trying to figure out a way I could mix it up and feel less static… I realized that my Craftstylish blogging run ended right around the same time last year; it’s like the universe closes a door every 1 year of self-employment on purpose to make room for new paths and keep me moving forward.

threadbanger roundup screenshot

So, enough reflection… I’ve completed my list of roundups over here – all 109, categorized, linked, dated.  A pretty massive source of craft projects (tutorials, patterns, inspiration, etc).  For a pseudo-110th roundup I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite roundups from over the last 2+ years…

threadbanger roundup screenshot threadbanger roundup screenshot threadbanger roundup screenshot

Some of the best fun/funny roundups were ski masks, knit and crochet cephalopods and tentacles, Nintendo knit and crochet projects.  A couple of my favorite technique-based roundups were artful embroidery and printing on fabric:

threadbanger roundup screenshot threadbanger roundup screenshot

I definitely made use of a lot of the links I found in the drinks for winter warming list, I think there were some awesome ideas in the gift wrapping roundup, and I had a lot of fun collecting links for rainbow pride projects:

threadbanger roundup screenshot threadbanger roundup screenshot threadbanger roundup screenshot

And a couple great crafty lists – so many fabulous tutorials in the pincushions roundup, and I love a bunch of projects I rounded up for spring sewing:

threadbanger roundup screenshot threadbanger roundup screenshot

There are so many more memorable ones, but you can just see them all on the full list if you’re interested.  I had a lot of fun finding inspirational ideas every week, so I just might start doing occasional roundups here on do stuff!

Just to kind of close the Threadbanger door, a few more links for you…  my first TB post ever was in April 2008, kind of a pre-roundup post of cardigan reconstruction projects.  In May I officially started doing the weekly roundups, but I also continued doing other kinds of posts for TB for awhile, like an interview with Cosy, this post on revolutionary knitting, mini-tutorials like this shirt patch and kid-friendly freezer paper printing, book reviews, cool website alerts, and other fun posts like these.  Fun times!

Filed under: general crafts,lots of links,threadbanger — leethal @ 1:28 pm

May 25, 2010

Future club 2.0 and May leethal quick knits club!

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

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

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

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

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

Old Timey Moustache!

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

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

club #2: Back to school set

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

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

all May club stuff

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

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

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

Stuffed Ball Cord Pull Garter Strip Light-switch Cover

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

switch plates fitted cord pull cover

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

club extra goodies club extra goodies

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

projects materials in club package needed to make projects

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

magnets! 0514

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

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

May 22, 2010

Switch Plates! And how to make one from an old record cover!

My club mail out day was Tuesday, and, like I do every month, I put the 2 patterns up on ravelry and flickr after sending out the pdf to the members.  Normally, since the patterns aren’t available to the public, plus they are small trinkets that most knitters don’t seem to care much about, this doesn’t really mean anything – but holy crap you guys, this light-switch cover pattern has gotten a crazy response!!

Garter Strip Light-switch Cover Garter Strip Light-switch Cover

It got blogged on Knit Hacker and the number of hearts on ravelry have surpassed not just all my club patterns, but most of my full-sized patterns as well!  Of course, I so wish I could be selling the pattern to everyone who loves it, but my club promises exclusivity for 3 months, so it’s members-only until August… this system will actually be changing soon, but that’s another post for another time…

Anyway, for the record, the knit switch plate concept was Pete’s idea!  I had thought of the cord pull for the Home Decor club theme, and we were trying to brainstorm other ideas, and genius Pete thought of this!  Here is my first try – the center hole was messy and uneven, so I tried solving the problem with ribbon, which probably made it look worse:

firstknitplate1 firstknitplate2

So, moving on to the point of this post, making the knit plate cover got me all inspired to make more, since the switch plates our house came with looked like these, about half of each:

oldplate2 oldplate1

A quick note to club members – most of you should have gotten your packages by now, but if you haven’t (because you live outside the US perhaps) and you don’t want any spoilers, you probably want to stop reading now and come back to this post once you’ve opened your package!

My first try, covering a switch plate with a book page, was a bit silly… I tried attaching the page to the textured kind of plate pictured above, with spray adhesive, not a good match, so the edges never really glued down.  But I learned from my mistakes and made some rad ones, and plan to make another, better book page plate, for the library light switch!  Once I started seeing how cool covered plates look, and how simple they are to make, I decided to include some extra goodies in the club packages that could be used to make more switch plates!


So I included a couple of book pages and half of a record album cover, with a little instruction sheet for how to turn them into either magnets or switch plates…  The instructions included are just text, so I thought it would be a good idea, and fun for everyone, to put up a more visual how-to here, for making a switch plate with an old album cover!  (This is just how I made mine, and I am definitely not an expert – there are lots of great switch plate tutorials out there from people with more experience, which I collected for my recent Threadbanger roundup here, so check those out to see how to cover plates with fabric, polymer clay, and other things!)

Let’s get started!  First, you’ll need:

  • an old record album cover with a good switch-plate-sized image
  • an X-acto knife
  • a basic switch plate
  • craft glue (I use Aleene’s Tacky Glue, but there may be glues that would work better for this type of project), and a brush to spread the glue

Start by laying the plate down on the album and positioning it where you want the image, keeping in mind the where the holes will be for the switch and screws.

Use the blade to trace around the plate, with plenty of extra space for the curved edges – I made mine so the the paper curved around to the edge of the plate, but I think it would be better to have more extra image so it wraps around to the back a little.  To have it wrap around the back, cut at least a half inch out from the plate edges.

You don’t need to press down through the whole album cover cardboard piece with the knife, as you’ll see in the next step that you’ll just be using the top image layer…


Carefully separate the image into its own layer, peeling the cardboard apart – this is easier with some albums than with others, depending on age and wear.  You want the image layer to be as thin as possible, but not to rip; though if it does rip, you can put it back together when you glue it onto the switch plate.


Peel it all the way off and you should have a rectangle of thin cardboard with your image, curling up at the edges.  If it seems too thick to be able to curve around the switch plate smoothly, you can carefully peel more cardboard layers from the back.


Now lay the switch plate on top of the rectangle, centered, and cut an X across the switch hole, from corner to corner.  Also, punch holes with your blade where the screw holes are, but they don’t need to be big or neat, since you can twist through them with screws later.  Now turn the cardboard piece upside down and fold the X tabs back, like this:


Note: in the club instruction sheet, I just said to cut out the hole, but I’ve since found that this X method makes for a neater switch plate.  This first one I made used the cut-out-hole method, and it looks fine, just a little more handmade-y or something.  Here is a progress shot of that one, with the cut-out hole:


Before gluing on, curve the edges back, like how they’ll be curved around the plate, with your fingers.  Now cover the back with glue…


…then spread the glue to all the edges, corners, and X tabs with a brush (I used a foam brush, but a paint brush should work fine):


Position the plate onto the glued piece, and center it so that the holes and edges line up:


This part gets messy, if you’re doing everything with your fingers like I do… Pull the X tabs down, and curve all the edges around, keeping everything centered and straight (it’ll want to slide around the whole time).  If you cut the piece bigger to curve around to the back, press the cardboard on to the back.


For the corners, I first curve the edges around up to the corners, then fold the corners down, as you can kind of see above and below.  You could also make the corners neater by making small cuts in them so they curve around without folding like this.


Let it dry, punch through the screw holes and twist them open with the screws (below).  Then you can coat it to make it longer-lasting.  (You could cover it with Mod Podge, or use something like Krylon Acrylic Crystal Clear, which is what’s recommended in The Big Ass Book of Crafts – I’ve never used it, but I bet it would work well and make your switch plate more permanent and durable.)


Screw it into the wall and enjoy!  I put mine in the bathroom to brighten it up in there, but I might need to make some kind of over-sized plate (like this or this one, for example) to hide that terrible paint job around the switch…

albumplate2 albumplate1

By the way, I have no idea who that is on my plate – anyone know?  It’s on some best of the 70’s album with this watercolor collagey kind of artwork… I just like the colors and the happy tone of the image.  Ok that’s all, and I’m hoping to be posting more home decor projects soon! Yay!

Filed under: general crafts,home stuff,quick knits,tutorials — leethal @ 2:55 pm

May 10, 2010

From Thrifty Finds to Crafty Lamp!

A couple of years ago I came upon a bag of granny squares at the Goodwill bins!  Score!  No two colorways alike, they were obviously handmade, the start to a project that was never finished:


I washed them, then they sat there for 2 years, waiting waiting waiting for a project… and then I got a paper lantern style lampshade for $1 at a yard sale the other day, and this idea came to me!


It’s weird, but I love it!  I wove through the edges with some yarn leftovers and a blunt needle, tied them around, and pulled the squares all straight into 6 columns.  (A little more complex than that, but I didn’t take any step-by-step photos.  I feel like my methods were probably not the best way to get the final result – if you want to recreate the look yourself, the best results would probably come from actually crocheting the pieces together, or at least sewing them.)


It looks pretty cool with the light shining through!

atnight1 daytime2

I haven’t completed a crochet project in years (need to get back to that skirt now that the move is over), but I do love crochet, so I’m happy to represent granny squares in my new home, even if I didn’t hook them myself!


Filed under: general crafts,home stuff,thrifty finds — leethal @ 7:51 pm

April 17, 2010

Make-a-Long results!

Oh yeah, how did the Make-a-Long go?!  I’ve had to dive head-first into packing this week, as our moving day quickly approaches, so I kind of forgot to blog about it sooner…

I think many of you had fun with it!  I followed along on twitter and facebook a bit througout the day, but didn’t reply much since I was busy making!  Looking through the flickr group now, fibrouspics’ lemon ginger cheesecake looking amazing, I love notfroggiknit’s yellow/orange bracelet, and all of her food looks awesome, and esea’s soft ruffle top looks fabulous!

Plenty of blogging happened too!  Read about make-a-long fun at Craft Evolve (with the ruffled shirt), Big Girl Feet (love the colors in that granny square! and the tiki quilt is awesome), That Yarn Store, and again (about the cheesecake), Genuine Mudpie (shirt reconstruction!), Designed by Diana (cute PJs and apron), …Beachcombing Day, and Green Stockings Crafts & Design.  Hope I didn’t miss any!

As for me, how about first I’ll show you what I made, then I’ll tell you how it was and lessons learned… I got up around 8am, made some coffee, and started on an embroidery project first:

stitching during the make-a-long!

I worked on that till finishing around noon (more on the project later, which is related to my April club, with its fruits + veggies theme):

veggies stitching!

Sometime during the morning, I made myself a breakfast quesadilla, with asiago cheese, yumm!  I’d planned on food being a part of my make-a-long day, thinking I’d make a supergood dinner, and maybe bake something, but that ended up not happening because I was too immersed in the crafty stuff, so this is my only food photo:

breakfast quesadilla!

After the stitching, I headed into the studio, got it cleaned up, and finally did the sunny photoshoot I’d been needing to do forever (more on that later).  Once it was clean, it was time to mess it up again!  I dug through some old stash and pulled out a collection of partly done projects and to-be-done clothing repairs/reconstructions (these are some, there were more):

stash of in-progress projects

I decided to start with this top that I’d started sewing maybe 4 years ago – it was being a bit of a fail, so I’d set it aside with plans to fix and finish later.  Well, make-a-long day was later!  Ok so it’s still in the fail category, but I still plan to try to make it work, after which I’ll blog details (if I can’t, I’ll have to blog about it over here instead):

weird shirt worked on during make-a-long weird shirt worked on during make-a-long

So after giving up on that, I moved on to a black skirt I’d started sewing maybe 8 or 9 years ago and forgotten about – it’s the one in the top left corner of that photo above.  It’s super plain, I don’t know why I wanted to make it in the first place, but eh, it was still fitting, so I decided I may as well finish it.  I did so successfully, but man was it boring!  Definitely needed to be spiced up… Crochet Adorned to the rescue!  I’m not doing a project directly from the book, but I am using a pattern from the backpretty pineapples

crocheting for make-a-long!

This is as far as I got that day, and I’m sure I won’t have time to finish it till after the move; when it’s big enough (one pattern repeat maybe) I’ll hand sew it along the bottom edge of the skirt, and possibly make some more crocheted embellishments up the side or something.  See how boring the skirt is?  This is the back of it in the photo, with the zipper, since the front is just plain black (of course, once it’s all done, I’ll blog the finished skirt!):

skirt in-progress during make-a-long

After crocheting for a few hours, I moved on to what would become my only completed sewing project of the day.  Shirt sleeves skirt!  This one will get its own blog post later – I love it!!

shirt sleeve skirt made during make-a-long! shirt sleeve skirt made during make-a-long!

When that was done, I was well caffeinated and still getting so sleepy.  I had this in my to-do pile for like a year, so I decided to get it done, then crash.  It’s the alpaca applique I ironed onto a sweater back in November ’08, which was fine as it was, until the edges (especially the legs) started to come off.  So I needed to sew it on, but hadn’t ever gotten around to it – so happy it’s done now and I can wear it!

applique alpaca!

How did the whole 24 hours thing go?  Well, my main lesson learned was never to schedule a make-a-long for 2 days before a club mail-out day!!  I had been trying to get all the club stuff done early, but things took longer than I’d hoped and I stayed up later than planned Friday night trying to get more done, pushing my sleep schedule so I slept later than planned on Saturday morning.  But, much worse than that, being stressed about getting the stuff done right up until sleeping resulted in absolutely terrible sleep that night, so my intended 8 hours was more like 4ish decent hours and 4ish hours of tossing+turning half-sleep, or laying in bed not sleeping at all…

So, my main problem was sleepiness all day – if I had a full night’s sleep and wasn’t stressed out, I would have no problem at all staying up 24 hours.  Then on the other end of things, all for the same reason, I knew I had so much work to get done on Sunday (and really didn’t want to be working on the club during the make-a-long because that would be against the whole point of it!) so if I stayed up till 8 the next morning, I didn’t know if I could do it.  So I crashed around 6am, slept till 10, and finished all the club stuff on 4 hours of sleep.  Better than no sleep at all!

Those were the bookends of the day; as for the middle, there were some interruptions there as well… in between the crocheting and the sleeve skirt, there was a bit of a gap.  I took a nap for about an hour and a half, the only way I could make it into morning, and then Pete and I went out to dinner with friends – it wasn’t planned, but I didn’t want to say no to the invitation because of the making.  I knew I was already failing at the 24 hours straight plan, especially after the nap, and I had to eat something, so I got coffee with my food and had some social interaction thrown in there.  So from about 7:30 to midnight, the make-a-long was paused.

The only other problem I had, which wasn’t a huge deal, but I’ll be better about it next time around, was that my plan to not have any plans didn’t work out so well.  I thought, just planning to make stuff nonstop the whole day, and leaving what that stuff was up to whatever I felt like doing in the moment, would be the best way to do it; but it ended up resulting in all those still not finished projects, and gaps of time throughout the day that were wasted trying to figure out what I was in the mood to make… Next time, I’ll have a pile of projects ready to go, and I can still choose what I feel like working on, but with some limitations, there won’t be so much indecision, maybe…

Ok that was a lot of babbling, sorry about that.  In about a month and a half, something like that (maybe May 22nd?), I’ll arrange another make-a-long, on a weekend with no deadlines in front of me, and hopefully the date will work well for you too, and we’ll all give it another go!  Yeah!

Filed under: general crafts,lots of links,make-a-long,skirts — leethal @ 1:59 am

April 9, 2010

Make-a-Long participation details and making ideas!

Update 9/16/10: the 2nd make-a-long is happening on Saturday, Sept 18th – use these same links and info to participate again!

Ok this Make-a-Long (tomorrow, Saturday!) is getting a MUCH bigger response than I’d expected! Exciting!!  A couple of things have been asked about several times (and some fantastic ideas have been shared), so I thought it would be a good idea to do one more post about the event before it starts… First, exactly how do you participate (especially if you don’t use twitter)?

I’ve just set up a facebook group, a flickr group, started a ravelry forums thread, and then there’s the twitter hashtag, and there’s this blog, and the blog-world in general.  If there’s another place you think I should set something up, let me know… I’ll address each thing…

make-a-long on facebook

The facebook group is here; I’m not super facebook-literate (I kind of hate it, but eh, everyone uses it, so there I am), so I’m not sure exactly what you can do on the group.  Post messages to the wall, and share photos for sure – facebook people, you can go further if there’s more ways to interact through groups…  So, go ahead and post stuff there throughout the day, share photos of what you make during and/or after, and post later about how it all went!

make-a-long on flickr

The flickr group is here; it’s up to you how you use this group.  I will be waiting until a day or two after it’s all over, then sorting through and editing all the photos I took throughout the day and uploading them to flickr.  If you want to, you could post photos to flickr all throughout the day.  There’s also a discussion board over there, so feel free to use that!

leethal ravelry group

If ravelry is your discussion board site of choice, I started a thread there where you can post your progress throughout the day and talk about making.  Of course, if you have another forum (on ravelry or elsewhere) where you talk about making, get some members to join in the make-a-long and chat about it there!

my blog comments

You can also post about your making progress, links to photos, etc here in my blog comments, or do short posts throughout the day on your own blog!  If you are posting on your own blog, be sure to post a link to it either here, or on one of the other message boards – next week, once all photos are shared and everything, I’ll be writing a post with lots of links!


For me, I think twitter will be my main outlet to all you makers throughout the day, with the hashtag #makealong.  If you don’t know how twitter hashtags work, it’s very simple – a word with a hashtag (#) in front of it becomes a link to a search of all tweets with that same word.  To view all these tweets, without clicking on a hashtagged word, you can go to search.twitter.com and search the word (makealong, in this case).

#makealong on TweetDeck

If you happen to use TweetDeck, you can search the word using that little magnifying glass icon at the top, which will create a column for all tweets with the word, so you can keep track of make-a-long tweets throughout the day!  Of course, when you tweet about what you’re making, or anything make-a-long-related, include #makealong somewhere in the tweet!


The other question I keep seeing pop up is “what should I make?” – whether it’s meant to be hypothetical or literal, I’ll try to help you out!

Personally, I plan to use a bunch of the craft books that I fall in love with, purchase, then let sit on my shelf collecting dust because I only design my own projects and never do crafts just for fun!  I also might be going back to some online tutorials that I’ve favorited and wanted to try out.  So, you could try the same – look at your bookshelf, bookmarks, or wherever else you have project ideas stowed away for later use…

japanese hat book Crochet Adorned weavingbook

As I said in the first post, making can include anything, not just crafts, and I’ve loved reading some of the things makers are planning on doing!  I hadn’t even thought about food!  It looks like many people will be cooking/baking during the make-a-long and I think I might join in!

beer bread into pan

Some other thoughts for genres of making besides crafting:

  • gardening – it’s Spring!
  • home projects – like furniture hacking, room makeovers, wall decals, painting a mural?
  • art projects – maybe you majored in art like me, but haven’t touched a drawing pencil or paintbrush since you graduated, like me…
  • computery – like redesigning your blog/website, or backing stuff up with the Archive-Along!
  • writing – or zine making, or book-making
  • photo-related – organizing old photos and putting them into albums, perhaps

I’m sure there are many more I’m not thinking of… And how about some craft genres?  Maybe you’ll see something on the list that will remind you of a project you were forgetting!

  • clothing reconstruction
  • clothing embellishment
  • home decor projects
  • jewelry making
  • yarn making (spinning, dyeing, recycling)
  • weaving
  • crochet
  • knitting (finishing old unfinished objects, perhaps?)
  • paper crafts
  • print-making (stamp carving, freezer paper printing, to name a couple varieties)

Ok those are some, but there are so many more, of course!  Just trying to get your creative juices flowing, or something…  I did a roundup on Threadbanger today with Spring sewing projects, and I also linked there to some other sewing roundups I’ve done.  Threadbanger is a great resource for project ideas, if you want to find some tutorials to use during the make-a-long (all the roundups I did in my first year are here, but I haven’t updated that for the last yearish because I suck! sorry!)… Here are some other great online places to find crafty tutorials:

(If you have other favorites, share them in the comments!)  Ok that’s enough listing!  If you’re making something that I didn’t mention here, or have more ideas, tell us in the comments to help out those having a hard time figuring out what to make!

Now I need to try to get sleepy, so I can go to sleep early, wake up early, and get making!!

Filed under: general crafts,lots of links,make-a-long — leethal @ 9:49 pm
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