November 13, 2014


It’s that time, knitters!  The 2014 Gift-a-Long (or GAL) has just begun!!  The GAL includes a massive sale (293 designers, 3822 patterns total) through Nov 21st, and knit-a-longs (/crochet-a-longs) through the end of the year, with TONS of opportunities to win prizes!  There are 1866 pattern prizes that will be given away to winners throughout the GAL, which you can win by participating in the group, posting your works in progress, playing the games, etc.  (If you like the numbers, check out the stats page, with a giant infographic about the participating designers and stuff.)

GAL 2014 pattern collage

I have 20 accessory patterns in the sale – you can see them all here.  There is a mix of older and newer, some less popular patterns that I love and think can make great gift knits, and some popular old favorites.  The sale is 25% off all the patterns (that’s all 3822 of them!) with the coupon code giftalong2014.

Wobble Bass Junction Wizzö Barry in yellow

Rumours long loop stripy cowl ten 10 yard cuffs! Krewe cowl

ALL patterns by me (and all participating designers) are eligible to knit for the GAL, including patterns from outside publications (like my designs for Knitscene, Twist Collective, Holla Knits, etc), and ALL paid (not free) patterns are eligible for prizes.  So if you already have one (or more) of my patterns that you haven’t gotten around to making yet, this can be a push to get to it – knit it now, post it in the GAL group, and hopefully you’ll win a prize!  The only rule is that you can’t have already cast on before now – GAL things don’t need to be finished before the end date, but they do need to be started after the start date (Nov 13th).

So, check out the GAL ravelry group for all the details, KALs, games, and other fun stuff!  And now, part of being a participating designer is promoting each other, so we each got connected up randomly with another designer to interview (and more to tweet about, pin on pinterest, etc, so my social media will be all GAL-ified for the next few weeks!).  I was hooked up with Katherine Rollins, designer of some beautiful accessories featuring lots of colorwork and fun ruffles.

Gathered Dusk Path of the Peacock


What’s the first thing you ever knit?
A: Do you mean finished? The first thing I remember trying to knit was a Kaffe Fassett design from the book, “Glorious Knits.” I was a teenager pretty new to knitting and I hate to say that I worked one multicolored repeat but never finished the jacket! The first finished projects happened late in high school and college. I knit huge traditional Icelandic Lopi sweaters for almost everyone in our family!

What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever knit (or, one of your favorites, if you can’t choose 1 absolute favorite!)?
A. When I finally learned sock knitting in 2007, I got hooked. I love socks!

Is there a knitting technique that you haven’t tried yet that you are really wanting to explore?
A. I haven’t tried Mosaic knitting but I am intrigued.

Is there a technique you’ve recently tried for the first time and LOVED?
A. Lace! I need to explore it more.

What’s your favorite yarn you’ve ever used?
A. Okay this is a hard question. I haven’t explored near enough yarn to answer fully. My taste runs to luxury yarns but my wallet doesn’t always follow! I loved using Kashmir by The Woolen Rabbit. But I have enjoyed knitting with Knit Picks Capra and Capretta yarns. I have a Wollmeise skein and a Madelinetosh skein in my petting box. I need to use them but haven’t decided on a pattern.

Is there any local yarn in your part of the world (North Carolina) that you love and recommend that people check out?
A. There is a really fun cotton yarn made one state over in Virginia, Wolles Yarn Creations. The yarn has long color changes. I knit a Holden Shawlette from it and I hope to design a shawlette for it one day.  The other local yarn that has come on the scene recently is Silver Spun from Feel Good Yarn Company. It is an intriguing combination of cotton, silver, and lycra. I want to design some sporty socks with it.

What’s the one thing you wish you were knitting right now?
A. That changes from moment to moment! I would like to be knitting right now either a shawl or a blanket of my own design. Coming up with the right design, now that is the trick!

Evening Tide Ruffled Ascot

Thanks for the interview, Katherine!  (Click the photos to go to the pattern pages!)

Mt. Hood Snow Cap

So, I considered doing a quick round up of some of my favorite designs/designers here for the end of this post, but then I thought, there are so many, I won’t know when to stop!  So instead, I’m going to keep it local – here are my neighbor designers here in Oregon:

Star Athena (I love so many of Star’s designs – a few favorites are the Pendleton CowlMt. Hood Snow Cap {pictured above – I have plans to make this for myself and embroider snow on Mt Hood with thick white wool}, Galanthus, Interval, and Lebowski); Shannon Squire (tons of beautiful designs, including Mosaic Mason Jar Cozies which could be an excellent gift knit {pictured below}, and I really love the Tytonidae Cowl and the Mesh Leaf Cowl); Larissa Brown (lots of fabulous designs – I especially love Lichen, Layer Cake Blanket, and Cane Sugar Mitts); Marnie MacLean (so many fantastic sweaters, really gorgeous shawls – a couple favorites are Foothills Shawl and Estival – and she has some beautiful crochet patterns as well!); Michele Bernstein (I want Thrumbelina on my feet right now!); Birch Hollow Cottage (adorable kid stuff and toys); Carol E. Herman (love the Topiary Fingerless Mitts); Galzanne Knits (some really nice cowls and hats); and Sheila O’Keefe (the Snowflake Coaster is such a perfect gift knit!).

Mosaic Mason Jar Cozy

If you want in on the fun, go join the group, check out the designer list (you can browse through the designer names quickly here, but check out the thread for photos so you can discover new designers!) and buy all the patterns you want during the sale period right now!  But remember, you can knit not-on-sale patterns for the GAL, and posting in the group can win you awesome prizes!  Yay!  Happy knitting!!

Filed under: gifts,hats,knit-a-longs,knitting,lots of links,portland stuff — leethal @ 5:00 pm

March 25, 2014

Stuff and things going on with me…

Hi!  Things have been busy busy, as usual, and I just wanted to kind of catch up with you over here on the blog.  If you follow me on instagram or twitter, you may have seen a lot of these updates – most of the photos in this post are straight from instagram… Here are things!

There are a couple new interviews with me that you can read if you’re interested in my design process or other random things I talked out – one on Tin Can Knits, and another on Infinite Twist.

Unbroken hat!

Do you know about the Holla Knits knit-a-long that’s happening right now?  It’s kind of amazing – you automatically get one free pattern of your choice per Holla Knits item that you finish for the KAL, and then you also get entered into drawings to win bigger prizes at the end.  You can knit any Holla Knits garment or accessory (which includes my Unbroken hat, above), and the lists of pattern prizes are here.  The KAL runs through May 2nd, so you still have plenty of time to join in!  (The action happens in the ravelry group over here!)

Just shipped out TWO trunk shows to LA shops for the upcoming LA Yarn Crawl, along with fat stacks of promo postcards. LA crawlers, look out for my stuff!

If you’re in the LA area, I will have TWO trunk shows up at shops during the LA Yarn Crawl!  A Coloring Book show at Needle in a Haystack, and a general Leethal Knits show at Knit Culture (with coupon giveaways!).


I released a new pattern, like 3 weeks ago, but I’m waiting to officially blog it until I finish the Bulk Trio ebook of all 3 patterns together, which should have been done by now but it’s not yet.  So, soon, that will be done, and then I’ll tell you allllll about Mikkey!


I worked a really exciting and weird freelance gig doing crafty things for a commercial – I can’t show or tell you anything about that yet, but that’s a major reason I got off track on other things and you haven’t heard from me for awhile.

Currently knitting up a prototype of a sweater that I designed. Whoa. This is a BIG deal to me; I kind of thought I might try designing a sweater like in another couple years, but then this idea just happened and now I'm knitting it!! (The hot pink stripe

I designed a sweater!  This was one of those things where I had multiple in-progress designs that were supposed to be higher priority, but… I got this idea and I just couldn’t let it go!  I think it had something to do with getting my mind off everything else while working on that commercial, it like opened my mind up to new ideas that I wasn’t really supposed to be thinking about, but the inspiration struck and I spent some time driving to and from that gig and thinking about the sweater, and then I didn’t want to leave it with just notes to get back to in six months that I might not ever get back to because the energy may pass and never return… So I wrote up the pattern, and knit up a prototype version and the pattern is basically done now!  It’s a classic leethal-style any-gauge, custom made to your measurements design, so I made the prototype in a quick bulky gauge to try it all out.  My plan is to knit up the official sample in worsted weight over the next couple months, while focusing on other higher priority designs, and then once that’s knit I’ll get it out to testers, give them plenty of time, and plan on releasing the pattern around late summer / early fall.

Finished my bulky sweater prototype! The design is for any weight, so I'll be making the main sample in worsted; wanted to work everything out in a quick gauge first to kind of make sure it would go as intended, and it totally worked! This is a mystery sh

I spent a few days completely designing a hat that I was really excited about, and then when it was finished it turned out to be UGLY.  Damn.  So I threw that out the window.  (That’s it below – looked great in progress, but the finished piece was a huge failure.  Alas.)

Garter stitch + slip stitches in beautiful @infinitetwist handspun!

I’m slowly still working on the colorwork shawl for the Betiko Collection, and feeling crazy guilty about how long it’s taking, as I keep getting distracted by other things… but it will be released eventually.  It’s more of a spring design anyway  ;)

bechdel fest drawing

In non leethal knits things… I started a new tumblr, which will be a media-watching project starting soon-ish (maybe April 1st, or maybe a bit later, not sure yet) – Bechdel Fest.  Right now, you can check it out to see content related to the underrepresentation of women in film and television (and also of POC) as I just kind of set it up for the project.  When I start, I will be watching only movies and TV shows either made by women or featuring female main characters, for a month or so – see the about page to read the details of the project.  (It doesn’t actually have to do with the Bechdel Test, that’s just a punny name for the project/blog.)

Built to Spill - Keep it Like a Secret Waitresses, the - Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful? Aretha Franklin - Lady Soul Belle and Sebastian - This is Just a Modern Rock Song New Order - Power, Corruption & Lies

Depeche Mode - Speak & Spell Kinks, the - Kinks-Size Le Tigre - Feminist Sweepstakes Nina Simone - The Best of Nina Simone Mountain Goats, the - We Shall all be Healed

Speaking of projects, my 500 records in 2014 plan is going pretty well – I’m currently up to 119 (once I add the two I listened to this morning).  Pretty good!  And I’m having fun listening to more vinyl, getting more in the habit of putting on records, and I love how the flickr set is looking!

Rainbow records!!

It’s Pete’s spring break right now, so we’ve caught up on some movies in the theater – I really liked Frozen!  We had a friend stay at our house, which motivated some house projects, like our rainbow record shelf above, and getting our library room in order, so that’s neat! I can’t think of any other updates so now I’m just telling you things randomly :-p  So okay that’s all for now!

Filed under: knit-a-longs,knitting,lots of links,movies,music,personal — leethal @ 9:01 pm

July 3, 2013

Obligatory TNNA summer 2013 recap post!

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

TNNA summer 2013!

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

TNNA 2013! TNNA summer 2013!

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

TNNA summer 2013! TNNA 2013!

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

TNNA summer 2013!

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

TNNA summer 2013!

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

TNNA summer 2013! TNNA 2013!

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

TNNA summer 2013!

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

TNNA summer 2013!

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

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

TNNA summer 2013!

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

TNNA 2013!

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

TNNA summer 2013! TNNA summer 2013!

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

TNNA summer 2013! TNNA summer 2013!

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

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

TNNA summer 2013!

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

brought home from TNNA 2013

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

brought home from TNNA 2013

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

TNNA summer 2013! TNNA 2013!

That’s TNNA!  Good times!

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

October 24, 2011

Class, interviews, and knit shawls!

Oh gosh, stuff has been piling up.  First, for Portlanders, I’m teaching a class on my sideways edge cast-on, and sideways bind-off (used in Betiko and Wild is the Wind), at Twisted on Tuesday November 29th.  See all Twisted class info here.  If you like the idea of the technique, but can’t wrap your head around it, here’s your chance for some hands-on help!


Complete info from the Twisted schedule:

Sideways edge cast-on and bind-off workshop
$30 With Lee Meredith
Learn how to knit a sideways edging (perfect for a brim or cuff) while casting on stitches along the edge at the same time, avoiding the need to pick up stitches or sew seams later.  Then learn the reverse – add a knitted on sideways edge to a piece while binding off the stitches at the same time.
Date/Time: Tuesday, Nov 29, 5-8pm
Materials:  Any yarn of your choice (a weight that you like working with best, something smooth and easy to work with), needles sized to match – a circular needle is recommended (everything will be worked flat, but the flexible cord will make it easier to see what’s happening), and a stitch marker.

game knitting

So that’s that, now onto non-Portland-specific stuff.  A couple things from awhile back that never made it to the blog (till now!)…  I was interviewed for the Knit Picks podcast, for their ebooks episode, about Game Knitting and also about how I started designing, etc.

I also did a blog interview over on je suis une monstre – head over there to read all about how I quit my day job to be a designer, my design process, and lots more…

Betiko - mystery pattern version

Tara of Blonde Chicken finished her Betiko knit-a-long and blogged the gorgeous finished Betikos – love them all!

Freewheelin' prototype

And now to let you know what I’m currently up to – I know the next Remixed pattern, Freewheelin’, is supposed to be due soon, but it’s taking more redesigning and reknitting than planned… The yellow bulky sample which was supposed to be the final (or close to final) version of the pattern just wasn’t good enough and I ended up working out yet another new update (I’ve redesigned this pattern so many times, ohmygoodness the hours I’ve spent, sigh).  So then I tried a super bulky sample of the new version…

bulky Freewheelin'

…and I’m super happy with it!  So now I’m on the final step of knitting up a worsted-ish weight sample, my last test and my main sample piece, and when that’s done the pattern will go out to testers and then finally out to Remixers.  So that’s what’s going on there.  This pattern really got away from me and took on a life of its own… the other Remixed patterns I’m in the beginning stages on should be quicker, fingers crossed.

in-progress Freewheelin' in-progress Freewheelin'

And lastly, a heads up that I’m planning on starting another round of twitter trivia soon!  If you follow me on twitter, look out for daily trivia questions for a chance to win a pattern coupon code each day!  Yay!

Filed under: knit-a-longs,knitting,lots of links,podcasts,portland stuff,Remixed — leethal @ 3:32 pm

February 21, 2011

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

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

spun by me!

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

spun by me!

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

spun by me!

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

Madrona trip Madrona trip

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

Madrona trip

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

Madrona trip

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

Madrona trip Madrona trip

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

to be spun!

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

to be spun!

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

to be spun!

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

spun by me!

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

spun by me!

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

handspun garter stitch

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

Wrapped Up In Books Coming Up Roses

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

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

spun by me!

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!

July 5, 2010

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

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

cold brew! cold brew!

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

cold brew!

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

ease your feet in the sea

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 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 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

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 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

March 27, 2010

Month of leethal Giveaways!

So all the house-buying stuff has been going super well, and now our moving date is exactly one month from today!  That means many things, a major one being that I need to de-stash!  I also would like to make an extra bit of moving-expenses money, so I’m kind of combining these needs into a leethal giveaway sale!

giveaway stuff

I’ve created a giveaway page in the shop (which you can click to from the top of the shop home page, or the photo box on the leethal home page), full of various pieces of recycled sweaters and other fun crafty gifts, and if you place any order from my shop (that totals at least $9) you get to choose one – I pay shipping on the gift, you get some fun materials to craft with!

Want some ideas for how you could use these sweater pieces?  Here are some projects/tutorials I’ve made!


Felted sweater jewelry! For this project, it’s best if the sweater pieces are very felted (technically, fulled) to avoid any unraveling.

my new cardigan! 13white9

Use sweater pieces in bigger recycled sweater projects, as buttonbands and/or pockets, like the ones in my cardigan or vest.

bluessleeve1.jpg csleeve011.jpg

No tutorial for these, but coffee cup sleeves are easy to make, functional, and have tons of room for creative embellishments!


I’ve made tons of hats with felted and un-felted sweaters – this hat tutorial for the one above shows how to make a kitty hat with a sweater that doesn’t felt (only difference between a felted sweater is that there can’t be raw edges that will unravel).  I did a post on craftster many years ago (pre-blog) with a bunch of recycled material hats… Here are a few more examples below – the triangle top fabric on the left is one of the giveaway options:

yellow sold hat hat031.jpg leethal monster hat!

And one last how-to by me – also a looong time ago on craftster, I did a silly little tutorial for these felt boots:


You can find more recycled sweater projects in a Threadbanger roundup I did awhile back… I know I once saw a how-to for making a purse with a sweater yoke (which would be perfect for light pink piece three down on the right) but I can’t find it – if anyone knows what I’m talking about, you could post a link in the comments…

bead baggies

And then my other crafty giveaway option is a baggie of beads, which came from Knittn’ Kitten!  I have an alternate motive with this option of sharing a piece of my most favorite craft store with a few of you far away from Portland who aren’t lucky enough to be able to shop there.  Each baggie has a bunch of beads, mostly glass, all in pairs, so they’re great for earrings.  The reason I’m de-stashing so many of these beautiful beads is that I keep buying bags of them, use 2 for a pair of earrings for myself, and the rest of the bag sits there since I don’t really do any other bead projects, so now I get to spread the bead goodness!

easy 2-bead earrings easy 2-bead earrings

I did a tutorial for these simple 2-bead earrings, a good beginner project… Each giveaway baggie also includes some cheap earwires to play around with (the same kind I used in this pair and these) and a few eyepins.

If you were being observant at the top of this post, you may have noticed some books in the back of that giveaways photo – that’s because leethal’s month of giveaways will include some raffle-style blog giveaways as well!  This week, Monday through Friday, I’ll be posting a book a day to give away!  4 are knitting books, one is another kind of craft book, all ones I’ve been given and haven’t used, so I want them to go to new homes where they’ll be appreciated and used!

And one last thing, for you, my dear blog readers… I’m extending the shop giveaway to pattern sales (on leethal or ravelry) for anyone who reads this and contacts me about it – if you purchase $12 or more worth of pattern pdfs, through April 17th, email me (leemeredith at gmail dot com) with your gift choice and your mailing address, and I’ll send it your way!

I just found out from Heather this morning that she declared April Stashbusting Month!  So, I didn’t know it when I planned my giveaway month, but I’m totally participating in busting my stash (though I doubt I’ll be doing much stash crafting this month!) – play along and make things with your stash stuff! Yeah!

leethal printed shirt

I almost forgot – I added a bunch of new leethal recycled, printed shirts (and a couple sweatshirts) to the shop!  They were made back in December, finally online now… I’m working on more shop updates, so throughout the next couple of weeks I’ll be adding more stuff for sale, and probably adding more to the giveaways page too (I’ll let you know about both here on the blog), but then after the move, I’ll probably be taking certain things that haven’t sold out of the shop for good.

leethal printed shirt

I think that’s all for reals… Happy giveaway month!

February 5, 2010

New Conversation-Friendly Comment System, plus thoughts on Free

Ok, it’s a fact: I am a terrible blog host when it comes to comments.  I love getting them, as all bloggers do, but I just suck at responding, so I’ve done something to change that!  The main reason I’m awful at replying is that the way my wordpress commenting has always worked made it so email-replying was the way to respond… so the comments get mixed in with the rest of my emails and I just can’t keep up with it all… excuses, excuses…

So I’ve installed Disqus comment system!  The most significant thing that this means is now I (and you, and everyone) can reply to individual comments right here on the blog!  Replies automatically get emailed to the original commenter, and show up for all to read, and you can subscribe to get notices about comment threads you want to follow… it’s fabulous!

disqus commenting

I’d thought about doing this for awhile, figuring it would be more work to get set up than it actually was (easy peasy!)… I finally made the switch partly because of the issues I’d been having with wordpress comments not getting emailed to me lately, but mostly because of the excellent conversations that have been happening on Make & Meaning, started by Alice’s post here.  Just scrolling through the comments on that post shows how these kind of threaded disqus comments can turn single blog posts into conversations, really turning a blog into a community!  Rad!

disqus commenting

And speaking of great conversations, and Make & Meaning, I have been super inspired following Diane + Paul‘s talking and writing about Free.  I highly recommend the latest episode of Craftypod, especially if you are a blogger and/or trying to make money off of handmade things (or anything like that), and then there’s Diane’s follow-up post here, Paul’s original post, and Kim’s fantastic response post here.

A few excerpts… Diane:

In the creative community, because information is abundantly shared, we all learn more. We grow in skill, yes, but we also grow in interconnection to each other. Because of Free, we know more about each other, and this knowledge helps us to respect and help each other – despite geography or personal differences.

That interconnection has way more value (and future potential) than mere money transactions. In the podcast, in fact, we talk about the idea of there being different kinds of currencies in the online community. Web traffic is a currency. Goodwill is a currency. Connection is a currency.

Kim, writing about how the money part will “work itself out”:

The money doesn’t really just materialize, though. There’s one thing you have to do to get the money: seize (the right) opportunities when they come around. You don’t need to have an air-tight business model if you don’t want one. Free involves deliberately winging it. With a good emphasis on the deliberate AND on being comfortable winging it.

I, like Kim, started putting things out into the world for free (and some for no-profit cheap) without any plan to make a living and without thinking about the money end of it much at all, and it’s kind of magically transformed over the years into a rent-paying career.  I try never to stop with the free, and sometimes I do find myself distracted by the money part, realizing it’s been awhile since my last free pattern, for example, but there is plenty of free coming your way this year, I assure you!  “Woo-woo” for free, I say!

Filed under: lots of links,random stuff — leethal @ 3:17 pm

December 17, 2009

Giveaway x2! Plus some last minute gift ideas…

wonderlandsetup1 wonderlandsetup3

Oh my how quickly this month is flying by!  Crafty Wonderland on Sunday went super well – it was great to meet a bunch of you, thanks for saying hi!!  The new stitch sets were well received, I got some neato gifts from other crafters, met some new people, good day!


I’m making some holiday cards for the Scrap sale on Saturday, and since I won’t be selling them online I wanted to have some way to spread them outside Portland a little, so how about a last minute holiday giveaway?! Yeah!  I don’t have any pictures of the cards right now – they are holiday/winter themed connect-the-dots pictures, sealed onto recycled blank cards.  Since the cards are recycled, they don’t come with envelopes, but they’re great for attaching to a gift or giving to someone in person…

So, the giveaway will go through the weekend and I’ll mail the cards to the winners on Monday – I’ll pick 3 winners to get 2 cards each. (Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee you’ll get them by Christmas, but hopefully you will!  If not, they could be used as New Year’s cards…)

To enter, comment on this post before Sunday 7pm (west coast time) with an idea for a picture or a theme you’d love to see in connect-the-dots form!  (Could be a stitch set idea – something there could be 5 of – or just a stand-alone image, or anything else.)  I’ll email the winners around 7:30, then get back to me with your address by Monday at noon-ish so I can get them mailed out; US only because of shipping, I think that’s all the details…

Haka hat!

Remember my Haka hat pattern?  I decided it needed to be rephotographed, so Pete and I took my favorite version of it with us to Twisted the other day and did a quick photoshoot in front of their sock yarn wall.

Haka hat!

Haka is a fantastic last minute gift knit!  Using bulky yarn (texturey handspun like this one works fabulously) and big needles, you can knit it up during a movie or two (maybe three if you’re slow like me) and have several done in the next week!

Haka hat! Haka hat!

Haka is also a super fun hat to wear in the wintertime, as it can be worn 4 different ways!  Buttoned under your chin for maximum warmth, as in the top 2 pictures, hanging loose as you see above, or fastened behind your head to keep the strap out of the way – along the bottom of the hat so the earflaps still cover your ears and keep you warm:

Haka hat! Haka hat!

Or fastened up behind your head, holding the earflaps up:

Haka hat! Haka hat!

The Haka: strappy flappy eared hat pattern is only $2 on my site or on ravelry, since it’s such a quick and easy knit!  Because I’d love for there to be more projects pictured on ravelry, I’m offering another giveaway deal!  If you knit a Haka hat and post it (with pictures!) as a ravelry project anytime throughout the winter (how about through February to be specific), I’ll send you a free pdf of your choice, out of either: Double Scoops, Ten 10 yard cuffs, Ninja Mitts, or Bad Movie Bingo!  To claim your free pdf, send me a ravelry message once your project is up letting me know which pdf you’d like.  Yay!

cuff501 cuff305

As for other last-minute gift ideas… well, if you’re looking to knit, there are my quick knits patterns (all using less than 15 yards of yarn) and my huge quick knits links list, with tons of patterns by other designers using less than 20 yards.  My 10 yard cuffs would make great gifts, and then I have several free patterns that are quick – gradient mitts, big bulky bucket hat, mary jane style booties, or a 35mm film strip cuff could all be done in less than a week, easy!

35mm film strip cuff

Ok and this isn’t just about self-promotion, I promise!  If you need to find a great gift for someone who wants to learn to knit – maybe your mom/sister/brother/friend tried to teach themselves and couldn’t grasp it – Diane wrote a fantastic review of Blonde Chicken’s new Learn to Knit Kits.  It sounds like the perfect substitute for a super patient one-on-one teacher, and you can learn on your own time with the kit instead of sticking to a class schedule.  Go read Diane’s review to learn more, as she goes into detail and has actually used the kit to learn!

Ocean Breezes

As for a knitting-related gift for a loved one who’s already deep into the craft… Twisted’s Single Skein Club is still taking members for 2010!  This is the club that I contributed the Ocean Breezes hat to this year, and next year is sure to have some amazing patterns!  The club will ship to you (US only I think, but I could be wrong) so it’s not just for locals – it’s pricey since it’s a whole year of awesome yarn and patterns, but it could be a great gift for a family to go in on together!

easy 2-bead earrings

And how about some good last-minute non-knit handmade gift ideas?  I’ve done tons of tutorials in the past for quick projects, like those 2-bead earrings (super quick and fun!) – so you can browse through all of those on my tutorials page.  The newly redesigned Craft: site has lots of great tutorials, including some superdelicious looking food posts lately (like Chocolate Chestnut Mousse Trifle!) if baked gifts are your specialty!  And their Quick Crafts section is a good place to browse for last-minute gifts to make!

matted set

Also a reminder in case you missed this bit of info – my connect-the-dots stitch sets are available as pdfs too, which means you could buy the pdf and print the set onto fabric to give as gifts for as many people as you want!  (A stitch set, plus an embroidery hoop, floss, and a needle would make a great kit gift!)  The pdfs include a how-to for printing on fabric; or you could print the designs on paper to make a little mini-zine of connect-the-dot puzzles for the game-lover on your gift list.

I’m feeling guilty about not having time to do any new gift tutorials like I’d planned to do throughout the month, so hopefully I gave you a few ideas here, even if they’re not newly written for you…  Maybe I’ll have a chance to write up a quick one I’ve been thinking about on Sunday, we’ll see… Anyway, happy gift crafting, and don’t hurt yourself knitting too much this week! (that advice is for myself as much as it’s for you!)

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