October 1, 2015

New pattern: Siskiyou!

It’s now officially October, and I have a fresh new pattern for you, for the chilly season!  Siskiyou is a hat inspired by the Douglas Fir trees of Oregon.  (On ravelry here!)

Siskiyou hat

It features a twisted stitch trees design (3 different trees), which happens to be reversible!

Siskiyou hat

I was given this Snowy colorway yarn by Knitted Wit, a worsted weight white base with speckles of forest green, and of course my mind went straight to the fir tree filled forests of this beautiful state where I live.

Siskiyou hat

But wait, there’s more!  5 other Portland designers were also given these yarns in the new Snowy colorways, a different color for each designer, to use for new hat designs.  The result is the Snowy Hat Collection!

Snowy collection

Through December 31, 2015, you can get the 6-pattern eBook for $15 (on ravelry here), and Knitted Wit has kits on her website, while supplies last only!  The kits include: a skein of the yarn in Targhee Shimmer Worsted or Worsted Super Wash Merino, your choice of base and Snowy colorway, the ebook, plus a custom JaMpdx Snowy mug and tea tasting from Happy Rock Coffee.

snowy collection

AND, 10% of all proceeds from the kits, the ebook, and all the individual patterns, will be donated to Raphael House of Portland, a domestic violence agency committed to engaging our entire community in non-violent living through advocacy, education, and community outreach, and by providing a safe haven from domestic violence.

snowy collection

The other rad designers are: Star Athena, Shannon Squire, Michele BernsteinDebbi Stone, and Katherine Leek (links are to the ravelry pages of the hat designs).  There’s a really nice variety of hats – this would be an excellent collection for holiday gift knitting!

Siskiyou hat

So now, my design… there are the trees on the body, and the crown is a big starburst kind of design.  The hat can be more fitted to the head, or more loose – there are 4 sizes, and height can easily be added if you want it taller/slouchier.  Pictured above is the medium size, which fits perfectly on my 22 inch head, and below is the extra large size, for a loose fit on me.

Siskiyou hat

The extra large sample is in the Targhee Shimmer Worsted yarn, which is 80% superwash Targhee wool, 20% silk (I LOVE it), and the medium sample is in the Worsted Super Wash Merino (medium is below).

Siskiyou hat

And then my third sample, pictured below, is the small size, which does fit me but it’s a bit tighter than I’d like, best fit to a head around 20-21 inches – this one is also in the Targhee Shimmer.  Many thanks to my sample knitter friend Revi for knitting up this sample!!

Siskiyou hat

The reverse side is a cool swirly design, reminiscent of leaves, on a stockinette stitch background:

Siskiyou hat

The recommended method for the twisted stitches, the way I show on my tutorial page here, which makes twists over 2 back stitches by twisting all 3 stitches around each other, is what creates that pattern on the reverse.  If you instead work the over-2 twists like cables (the back 2 stitches staying oriented the same way, as a normal cable twist), then the reverse side will look how you see below, which you may like better!  So that gives you another modification option – one of my test knitters made her hat this way because she preferred it.  Looks good!

Siskiyou hat

And then the crown when reversed is a more subtle design, but still looks very nice, I think:

Siskiyou hat

Above is the medium size, and below is the extra large, for a more loose-fitting reverse side crown:

Siskiyou hat

Hey are you liking my photos?!  We went a bit crazy with photos for this pattern, because we went on a few end-of-summer day trips and brought the hats and camera along!  Good timing!  When I say “we” I mean my husband and I – so many thanks to Pete for being my patient photographer!!

Siskiyou hat

A few weeks ago, we took a trip to central Oregon, driving through Mount Hood on the way out, with a stop at Timberline Lodge (aka the Overlook Hotel!) – the above shot was inside Timberline.

Siskiyou hat

It was crazy foggy that morning, like we were inside a cloud!  And the misty air made some of the photos almost look like it was snowing, which is great!  Also, I was FREEZING during this outdoor shoot – it was going to be a super warm day, and the layers I had with me were not adequate for the mountaintop inside a cloud.  But we still got some great shots up there!

Siskiyou hat

Different angles outside the lodge – the above and below shots were like 30 feet away from each other, facing different directions.

Siskiyou hat

And I tried to shoot some non-modeled shots with Timberline backgrounds, but the lighting inside was no good and they didn’t turn out well.  This one looks okay, up against a lodge wall:

Siskiyou hat

Then we headed out to central Oregon, to the Painted Hills!  We’d never been before, it was pretty incredible!

Siskiyou hat

Siskiyou hat

These Painted Hills shots don’t really fit the forest theme of the hat, so I didn’t use any in the pattern pdf, but I like how all the photos represent a variety of Oregon nature, and the hat was inspired by Oregon nature.

Siskiyou hat

So then a few weeks later, we took a day trip out to Silver Falls State Park to hike and take more shots.

Siskiyou hat

Unfortunately, it was a bad time of year (and a bad year, I think) for waterfalls – the above shot is in front of where there should be a waterfall, and the blurry fall in the background below is the biggest one on the hike we took, which sometimes looks like this.  That wasn’t a surprise though, we knew the waterfalls wouldn’t be major at the very beginning of fall.

Siskiyou hat

So we searched for good lighting (this hat was especially hard to light!) and snapped some shots, and hiked through the forest… and then I was stung by bees!  Twice!  I’d never been stung before and it was shocking and painful, and kind of threw off our whole hike and photoshoot game.  I was a little worried and not feeling super smiley anymore… so we cut the hike short for the day.

Siskiyou hat

So to fill in the gaps and get all the shots I needed, we went for a walk at Mt Tabor last weekend.  Lots of Douglas Fir tree backgrounds there!

Siskiyou hat

Of course, I wore my Oregon t-shirt as a uniform for all these shoots, and the same glasses, so they’d all look cohesive, but now you know the truth that there were 3 different days of photoshoots!

Siskiyou hat

Siskiyou hat

Lots of great shots at Mt Tabor!  Thanks Oregon, and Douglas Fir trees, for the hat design inspiration!

Siskiyou hat

Many thanks to my excellent test knitters for whipping up hats in different sizes and kinds of yarn and stuff – check out their projects on ravelry!

Siskiyou hat

Hey a random note, since this was designed to look like Douglas Firs, and those are the trees featured heavily in Twin Peaks (they are “really something!”) – if you are into knitting + Twin Peaks, you should back the Kickstarter for this Twin Peaks pattern collection!  I am REALLY excited about it, not just because I love Twin Peaks, but because the patterns look fabulous!!  (I have no connection to it except that I donated some rewards for the kickstarter, I’m just telling you because it’s awesome.)

Siskiyou hat

So that’s Siskiyou!  It’s fun to knit, worsted weight makes it fairly quick, and it’s cozy to wear!  Happy fall weather knitting, all!

Filed under: gifts,hats,knitting,photos,portland stuff — Lee Meredith @ 10:36 am

April 1, 2015

Glad it’s April 1st, no foolin’

Happy April!  I have a few things to blog about to start off the month… firstly real quick, I just want to let EU knitters know that you can now, once again, purchase my patterns through ravelry (or my website), including collections/ebooks, yay!

Next, I made a word list for a photo-a-day challenge for this month!  Feel free to repost this image anywhere you want to share:

leethal photo-a-day April 2015

I’m doing the whole challenge (planning to take one photo each day, each based on that day’s word), and you can challenge yourself to the whole thing as well, or you can just pick and choose some words that sound fun to you, or participate only on days when you feel like it, or whatever works for you!  Post your photos (tagged #leethalPAD) on instagram, tumblr, twitter, flickr, or anywhere else you like.  I’ll be posting mine every day on instagram, twitter, and flickr, and probably some of my favorites on tumblr.  This was today’s photo for April 1st, Sky:

#leethalPAD day 1: Sky. Snapped on the walk home from breakfast; I'm so excited about @PortlandMercado, opening up in 10 days!

Moving on… I have a question for you: have you ever had a weird issue with my blog, like a virus type thing (a window popping up that looks sketchy, etc)?  I just had a report that someone was sent a link to a specific blog post of mine and her Windows computer crashed, after first showing a popup window that she clicked on, and she was told by a computer repairman that my site had some kind of Windows-specific bug… Anyway, I am definitely not asking you to start clicking around, especially if you’re on Windows, because I don’t want anything bad to happen to anyone else, but I’m just asking that if you have already experienced any weirdness, please let me know (email me at leemeredith at gmail dot com), so your input can help me get to the bottom of whatever this is.  (I’ve already done a lot of searching and scanning my site and blog and haven’t found anything wrong yet.)  Fingers crossed that I can find the problem and fix it and no one else will have any bad experiences on my site!

Speaking of website stuff, I completed a minor update of leethalknits.com.  It’s a little better for mobile now, I think, just some minor changes to the layout, and I’ve switched out a lot of the rotating background photos (in the top left-hand corner) for newer shots, so you can hit refresh a bunch to see some of those (there are 18 randomized images).  I also changed the all patterns page to no longer include the quick knits pattern thumbnails – there are so many patterns now, and I figured those can just be separate on their own page.

leethalknits.com 2015 minor redesign

So, I’m really happy to be starting a new month – March was really weird for me.  A lot of the time I thought the month was cursed.  A lot of stupid little bad things happened (like: needing new tires after having a flat, wasting a bunch of time+money trying to deal with a stupid plumbing problem and then needing to hire a plumber anyway in the end, my site being down a bunch, fearing my blog may have been lost forever, and then that possible blog hack issue, a big power outage, major ant problems in our house, blah blah blah) but actually some really awesome things happened between all the bologna.  So, I’ll share with you some of the positive highlights from my March!

upload A crater lake shot by Pete. #Repost @petebanjos with @repostapp.・・・@leethalknits in mid-shoot. There was still a bit of snow as you can see ...

Pete and I took a completely spontaneous overnight trip to Crater Lake last weekend!  I haven’t started sorting through my real camera photos yet (I took a ton, of course!) but here are two instagram shots above.  It was WARM but with tons of old snow – the best part was that the road from the main parking lot to the viewpoints was closed to cars for the winter, but plowed and open to people walking.  And we got there early since we stayed in a hotel somewhat nearby, so we walked a mile to the big viewpoint almost totally alone, and got to see the majestic views with no cars around and hardly any other people.  This is a major national park, which almost all the time is either A) open to cars and filled with people and tourist traffic, or B) completely closed all winter except to skiers and snowshoers, due to normal winter weather (at least, that’s what we gathered, I could be wrong, but I think the road we were on is not normally plowed during the winter).  So this insanely warm winter we’re having allowed us to have this rare experience of seeing this amazing natural sight in a way that hardly anyone ever gets to.  We felt SO lucky and happy that we made such an impulsive decision to take the trip!

Here's my dad looking out at Thor's Well. Such a fun day - thanks my parents! We saw three whales (!!) and tons of tide pool creatures, and seals from afar, and a giant puffin convention! Spending the day along the Oregon coast - the highlight has been seeing awesome creatures in the Newport tide pools, including some with blue glowing bioluminescence and many giant starfish!

And then, the days just before that trip with Pete, my parents came to visit, and we took them on a day trip to the Oregon coast (Newport area, then down to Yachats) – my highlight of that day was the tide pools at the Yaquina Head Lighthouse just north of Newport.  We went to see the lighthouse, but we didn’t know about the tide pools!  Such an amazing surprise!  I also have yet to sort through my photos from that day, but you can see a starfish above, and here’s a video of bioluminescence in the wild, soooo cool!!

My parents got into town this afternoon and we immediately took them to Pip's! My ginger molasses soy latte was amaaaazing!! Parents' last Oregon meal before heading back to California - breakfast at Jam, an old favorite! Yummmmm

We also took my parents to Corvallis (on the way home from the coast), up Mt Hood to hike to Mirror Lake, to the International Rose Test Garden, and (because it’s a required element of any trip to Portland) out for lots of awesome food!  Above is Pip’s Original Doughnuts and breakfast at Jam.  We packed so much fun times into 2 1/2 days!

@Yarniapdx wins for best signs! #rcyc2015 #rosecityyarncrawl rose city yarn crawlers

Earlier in March, I spent two days shop hopping with some new knitter friends for the annual Rose City Yarn Crawl – my first time doing that!  (I’ve had trunk shows for the crawl before, but never had actually participated as a crawler.)  I visited several shops out in the suburbs that I’d never been to before, and they were all really excellent shops!  Great job, Portland metro area!  I look a little silly in that selfie group shot above, but I think everyone else looks cute, so there you go.

I did this color workshop thing today (unrelated to the yarn crawl) and made this color collage, then mixed polymer clay to match the colors in the collage - it was really fun! #yearofmaking color workshop

And then, after a half-day of crawling, I took a color theory workshop that was super cool.  I made a color collage and mixed polymer clay colors to match the colors in the collage – all those colors were made from mixing bright fuchsia, bright cobalt blue, zinc yellow, and white clay.  It was lots of fun!

Betiko collection is complete! Find Zulo on ravelry or my site (profile link). You all liked that spirally photo of the final sample so much, that inspired me to make this as the collection graphic - thanks for all the hearts! Sleeve #1, done!  I think I'm pretty darn happy with how this is looking! (Upcoming leethal Full Body Trio pattern.)

As for work stuff, the March dumbness wasn’t just with home/life and website stuff, I also had some major frustration with knit design stuff.  Above is the happy bits – I’m so happy to have released the final design in the Betiko collection, and I love how Zulo turned out and everything, and I’m totally loving my upcoming design that I worked on throughout the month (pictured above right).

Using this silly mug my mom gave me because today I am Jane.

But, that upcoming design gave me lots of trouble… I spent a weekend going through some intense sweater surgery – ripping, cutting, grafting, re-knitting – and went through several major pattern rewrites throughout the month.  Three nights within one week I was up working till around 3am, to stay on top of my self-imposed deadlines.  All that trouble getting it just right was worth it, because I LOVE the final sample now that it’s fixed, and I’m REALLY happy with all the pattern rewrites and the final(ish) pattern.  It’s being tested right now, and I’m planning on a release date of April 16th if all goes well.

So, hooray for a fresh new quarter – after the weird, up-and-down, mostly not-great March I had, I’m feeling optimistic about this new month and ready for great things!

Filed under: knitting,leethal.net,personal,photos,portland stuff,random stuff — Lee Meredith @ 2:48 pm

March 12, 2015

Interviews, studio photos, and nerding out with sales analysis…

Want to see me being awkward on camera?  Well, now you can!  I was video-interviewed for Kimberly Golynskiy’s (aka 80 Skeins‘) travel-knitting blog, Around the World in 80 Skeins.

80 Skeins interview screenshot

She visited me at my home here in Portland, and then I took her out on the town to a food cart dinner and my neighborhood knit night (pictured below). She was awesome and her blog project is SUPER awesome – throughout the year she’ll be traveling to places like New Zealand, Iceland, Norway, Argentina, Germany, Belgium, Peru… the list goes on and on, those are just some especially exciting ones.  I’m really looking forward to following all her journeys!  Anyway, you can read/see her post about me here, and watch the video interview!

Knitting and drinking with @80skeins at Tuesday knit night! (IPA and bulky design prototype.)

Oh and speaking of interviews – I did a couple of blog interviews last November that I don’t think I ever posted here.  So if you’re interested: Eclectic Closet interview post, and Front Porch Knitting interview post.

Somewhat related:  My studio had gotten so overwhelmingly cluttered and disorganized over the last couple of years; I’d go through phases of spending chunks of time on one area, but then piling new stuff up… I just am terrible at maintaining order.  So, when Kimberly set up the visit, that was the kick in the butt I needed – some outside force beyond just me wanting to get it in order, an actual reason to clean things up.  Here are some embarrassing before shots I took around the beginning of the year:

2015 unfucking 2015 unfucking

So, with a mission to get it looking photogenic for the visit, and channeling motivation from years of following Unfuck Your Habitat on tumblr, I spent the better parts of about five days on it, and here’s how it looks now…

2015 unfucking

Because of all the STUFF I have packed into this small room, and how colorful all that stuff is, it kind of always looks messy even when it’s not.  But if you can look past the colors, you’ll see clear table tops!  Ooh yeah!

2015 unfucking

Everything in its right place.  So satisfying.

(Note: You can go to my tutorials page to find links to tutorials for the coffee can cubbies shown above, as well as many projects that were shown in photos of my living room area in the 80 Skeins blog post.)

2015 unfucking

And I even did some small extra projects, like hanging Interweave calendar pages that I’d had sitting around for like 3 years – you can see them above the window on the right in the above photo, and here’s a better shot of them:

I finally put up these old Interweave calendar pages in my studio! It had been on my I'll-get-around-to-it-someday list for years!

Because one thing I’m terrible at is putting yarn away where it belongs, I’ve devised an elaborate yarn storage system so everything has a place, and I can try really hard to put it all away right away in the first place, instead of tossing it onto a table top or an overflowing box on the floor.  So, full and almost-full skeins/balls go in the colored shoe cubby spots hanging there in the closet, and in the more decorative yarn-holders you’ll see in other shots; big partial-balls go in that white hanging unit in the closet below, with the drawers, smaller partial-balls go in the white tube-ish things in the center of the photo below, and then little tiny balls for scrappy future projects go in CD spindles which you can see in a couple of the photos, to the left of my record player.  And I have a container for tiny scraps near my ball winder, since I save EVERYTHING because I am a crazy person.

2015 unfucking

I have a nice selection of craft books in the studio which I may want to access in here, while working or doing other craft projects – stitch dictionaries, knitting technique books, sewing project books, general craft project books… and then I have many shelves full of other craft/knitting books in the library.  I still have several bags and boxes full of stuff that needs to be sorted through, but it’s a space in which I can actually do projects now!  Empty floor space, clear table tops, access to sewing machine, etc, etc!  Functional studio!

2015 unfucking 2015 unfucking

And working at my desk is so much nicer now.  When it was messy around the whole room, I’d be able to focus on my computer and ignore everything around me, but it would be a lingering source of stress all the time… or something.  It’s just a much more pleasant workspace now!

2015 unfucking

Another mini-project I did awhile ago – swatch pin-board thing above my turntable!  It’s just the 3-pack of round cork trivets from Ikea.

2015 unfucking

With nothing pinned up:

01/23 studio cleanup

I also did some unfucking in the library, including doing this zine display project inspired by a photo that I’d reblogged on my tumblr awhile back.  This is not nearly all my zines – notably, my collection of Croq issues is left out of this display, in their own space on the shelves.


I love this little room so much, so cozy and book-filled!


library library

Another big project I did recently is my 2014 bookkeeping for taxes.  Being inspired by Bristol Ivy’s stats charts in her Stockinette Market reports, and also by some talk in the ravelry designers forums, I decided to make some charts of my own sales numbers.

This is probably of no interest to most blog readers, but I figured lots of designers, aspiring designers, and maybe other crafty business types, might be interested, so I’m sharing!

First, my design gross income breakdown.  This is everything I do related to knit design, so it does include knit teaching, but it does not include the freelance gigs I had in advertising last year which were not related directly to leethal or my knit design.

sales stats

The above chart in more detail:

My total design income

  • 74% online pattern PDF direct sales (self-published patterns, direct to customers, almost entirely through ravelry / my website)
  • 11% wholesale print patterns & books (sold and distributed to yarn shops by my distributer)
  • 5% wholesale to companies for kits/clubs (patterns sold digitally wholesale, to be included in kits, clubs, etc)
  • 4% teaching
  • 3% online wholesale pattern PDFs (sold to yarn shops through ravelry in-store sales)
  • 2% print books sold directly to customers (sold through MagCloud or in person)
  • 1% third party pattern design income (magazine royalties, sales through sites like Knit Picks and Twist Collective, etc – I had no new third party patterns in 2014, so these are all old pattern sales)

Of course, this is specific to 2014, and the full year on average; it varies month to month.  In years where I release a pattern (or multiple) through a third party publisher, that percentage may go up quite a bit… but overall, most of my design income does come through direct online sales of self-published pattern PDFs.  My patterns don’t tend to be great sellers in yarn shops, for whatever reason.  I never know if that means I should try harder to market to shops, so that number might go up, or if I should focus all my energy where my patterns already do best, and just not worry about wholesale.

Now moving on, a breakdown of that 74% above.  This is only direct digital sales, not wholesale or print books, etc.  First, collection sales versus individual pattern sales; then a breakdown of those collections, categorized by type of collection:

sales stats

Collections are defined (by me, for my purposes) as a collection of patterns which can be bought altogether, and also each individual pattern can be bought separately.  “Small collections” are no more than 4 patterns – so these are my trios and the Betiko collection – and “big collections” are Coloring Book and Remixed.  (Not included are a few patterns that are sort of technically ebooks, but that I consider to be big patterns with multiple options, and the different patterns/items cannot be bought separately, like Flying V’s.)  And then, “ebooks” are my big ebooks which cannot be bought as separate patterns – these are my two Adventure Knitting books, and Game Knitting.  This category’s percentage is so huge because my Adventure Knit-a-Long is grouped in there.

And then I categorized all my individual patterns sold by type and did some analysis on what’s most popular.  The total sales per type has a lot to do with how many of each pattern type I have available, which is why I made the second chart.  For the second chart, I divided the sales total by the number of patterns I have of that type, to get the average total sales per pattern, to get a better sense of popularity of different types of patterns.

sales stats

For example, I have a lot of hat patterns – 25% of my total sales of individual patterns come from hat patterns, but I have more hats than anything else.  When I divide the sales total by the number of hat patterns I have, the sales average per pattern drops down much further, instead of being so close to cowls and shawls, which means hat patterns are not actually so popular.  Shawls, on the other hand, are the other way around, their per-pattern average shoots way up above all other pattern types, so the shawl trend seems to still be strong, for now at least.

Lastly, I did a quick basic chart of my annual pattern sales since I began selling pattern PDFs in 2008.  This says some valuable things, I think.  Mainly, that if you’re a new designer, in the first couple of years, know that my experience is the norm, of sales getting higher year after year, as we have more and more patterns in our catalogs.  For me, even though I did quit my day job in 2008, in those first years most of my income came from other things – freelance writing, photography, teaching, selling of handmade items – and over the last few years I’ve been focusing more and more on selling patterns and little else.

sales stats

That 2013 peak is a result of a couple things: I released some popular collections that year (mainly, Coloring Book, and my Short Stripes Trio, which has been by far my most popular of all my trio collections), and I had a huge giveaway which gave my sales a giant bump in the fall.  In 2014, my only really successful release was the Adventure Knit-a-long; nothing else gave me a big bump (and I also had fewer total releases than 2013) – but my 2014 dot is higher than where it would be if you were to ignore 2013 and go along the same pre-2013 line, so the 2013 bumps helped a bit even if 2014 went down from the previous year.  So there’s kind of evidence that just chugging along and not having any really huge successes, but regularly releasing patterns and keeping at it, can result in a slow & steady upwards climb; in order to make a big jump, you do need something big (or a combination of big things) to make that happen, but that big jump won’t necessarily mean too much for the future (although it sure is nice at the time when it happens!).  That was a bit rambly, hopefully it made some sense.

Good mail day!! That's @hazelknits DK in colorway Sedge <3  Can't wait to start knitting with it!

So there’s that!  In more current design news, I’m way behind schedule, but I’m really hoping to have my second Full Body Trio pattern done and released by the end of April, which will be in the Hazel Knits yarn pictured above (fingers crossed that everything goes well!) and then I have a collection planned that I wanted to get out before this summer’s Adventure Knit-a-long… which may push that KAL later than I’d wanted.  Last year it was in August, and I wanted it to be earlier this year, like start around July 1st, but that just won’t be possible if I try to do this other collection before.  So chances are, I’ll aim for releasing that collection around June (or possibly spread throughout May-June, not sure yet), and then Adventure KAL will be in August again.

And I am just sucking at the whole #yearofmaking thing.  I’ve taken some photos here and there that I need to sort through and upload… and I think the whole studio unfucking was a big deal, in my world of making, since now I can use it for future making!  Here’s a shot of the one and only zentangle drawing I did, after I bought a book a couple months ago – I bought a new pen the other day though, so maybe I’ll do more soon!

1/26 doodles

Phew!  What a couple of weeks it’s been!  Yesterday I noticed that my blog wasn’t loading, and it seemed to have completely disappeared from my website admin panel, so that 24 hours or so was kiiinda super stressful, thinking my entire blog had been deleted somehow!  But, obviously, it was not; my web host found some permissions issue, which they promptly fixed and all is well!  On top of that scare, in the last few days I’ve had a flat tire (then had to buy 2 new tires), a broken shower (that I wasted hours trying to fix and then had to call a plumber in the end), and early symptoms of a cold, blech, but I hope after a weekend of rest (and KNITTING) things will be back to normal soon enough :)

Filed under: home stuff,personal,photos,self-publishing,year of making — leethal @ 5:05 pm

February 9, 2015

Epic week of celebration (and sales)!!

First things first, my knittas, there is a lot going on this week and TWO different days are calling for sales!  My birthday is on Wednesday (Feb 11th), so I’ll have my traditional birthday sale, same as the last few years – but of course the percentage goes up each year!

Betiko - mystery pattern version Biratu shawl Tionne sweater! Jonathan

Enter coupon code lees33 to get 33% off any of my patterns/ebooks on Wednesday Feb 11th – the sale runs midnight to midnight west coast time.  (Through ravelry or my website.)

Barry in yellow Krewe cowl Wizzö Mikkey!

This is valid for all self-published patterns, ebooks, collections, including the Betiko Collection which will have the fourth pattern released later this month, and the price will raise then.  (I’m so sorry I’m not able to offer this discount to knitters in the EU, I wish things were different!  If you want a collection/ebook, email me at leemeredith at gmail and we can work something out to make it happen.)

Crafty Beach Weekend!

And then 2 days later, it’s Galentine’s Day!  Last year, I impulsively did a twitter Galentine’s giveaway thing – I’d just released a new pattern, so I tweeted that if you bought the new pattern, I’d gift a copy of it to your friend as a Galentine’s Day gift.  That was a last-minute quickie thing, but then I loved the idea and held on to it for this year!

send as a gift

So, for Galentine’s Day on Friday (Feb 13th), for 12 hours, from 7am to 7pm US west coast time (10am to 10pm east coast) if you buy a pattern on ravelry for a gift for a friend (you must use the ravelry “send as a gift” option), then I’ll gift that same pattern to you!  Ebooks/collections are eligible – gift any of my self-published patterns/ebooks to a friend, you’ll get the same thing for yourself.  Then you can knit it together!

TNNA 2013! pix on worldwide knit in public day

Again, this won’t work neatly for EU knitters, since you can’t “send as gift” through LoveKnitting, but we can make this work!  If you’re in the EU, we can do it the other way around – you buy the pattern for yourself normally (in the time frame above), then send me a ravelry message or email (leemeredith at gmail) and tell me the username or email address of your Galentine friend, and I will gift it to them, and tell them it’s from you.

Star and me designated resting area...

(I’m having a hard time finding photos with gal friends – I rarely take group photos when out with people.  I more often take photos of things like food or knitting when hanging with lady friends.)

v-day card 2005

What a week this is!  Beside those two things later this week, this evening will be exactly 10 years since my first date with my now-husband.  Our first date included a coffeeshop (Gypsy Den in Costa Mesa), dinner at Native Foods, and a weird orange county sports bar for drinks (I don’t know why; we didn’t know many places to go in that part of the world).  There happens to be a new-ish location of Native Foods here in Portland (Clackamas, actually, but close to where we live), so we’re going there for dinner tonight, and then maybe to a weird bar afterwards for the memories :-p

147_4701-01 p033

It’s been an amazing 10 years, and I am so glad that I replied to a MySpace message from a guy I knew a little in college who wanted to go on a date.  I told him something like “I don’t really date, but I’ll hang out with you” because I’d had a few bad date experiences, and in my introverted awkward mind I thought life would be easier if I didn’t define things as “dates” or something like that.  So our first date wasn’t really a date, but it was a fun time talking for hours and hours.  Our second date started with him surprising me when I got off work (I was a barista at a Border’s Cafe at this time in my unfocused life, after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in art) on Valentine’s Day, with a couple of burned CDs of music we’d talked about and a homemade card (above), and I took him to my favorite pizza place, where I’d worked in high school, and then we awkwardly watched a movie at my parent’s house, where I was living at the time.  I’m aware I’ve used the word awkward multiple times in this paragraph; it was an awkward time in my life.

120peteleaningdoubleex 154_5427-01

Anyway, that was ten years ago; now we live in a city we love, in a great house we own together, with the best cat ever, and I’m self-employed doing what I love, and life is great!!  Happy ten years together <3  All these photos here were taken within the first few months we were dating, in 2005.

art old fisheye us halloween05.jpg

Filed under: personal,photos — leethal @ 12:38 pm

December 18, 2013

leethal 2014 photo calendar!

I’ve been pretty into Instagram since I got my iPhone early this year, and I’ve been wanting to figure out ways to display my favorite shots.  The other day I thought, how about a calendar?  So I made one!

I made an Instagram calendar!

I love how it turned out: simple, functional, a lovely display of some of my favorite instas.

2014 instagram calendar

So I decided I should share it with you!  I turned the calendar into a pdf, with four versions.  You can go to my leethal.net wallpapers (and other downloads) page and download it with my photos…

leethal 2014 calendar pdf page

…or without any photos, so you can plug in your own square-format photos.  And both options come in the lighter text (as above) or the darker text (as below).  Note: the lighter text in the photos of it hanging in my kitchen looks barely-visible, but that’s mostly to do with the lighting in there; it’s actually plenty visible, I think.

leethal 2014 calendar pdf page

If you want to put in your own photos, you’ll need an application that can open and edit pdf files, to place your photos on the pages.  Or you could do it analog – print out the calendar as is, then print out your own photos, and glue them on there.

2014 instagram calendar

To make the calendar, you’ll need a photo printer (or a trip to Kinko’s or something), nice letter size* photo paper/cardstock to print out the pages (I used Red River Paper GreenPix, which I highly recommend, but unfortunately it’s only available in 4×6 inch size and rolls right now), a paper cutter (or scissors and the ability to cut super straight), and a hole punch.  Print, cut down the center dotted line, punch out the grey dots, and hang!

2014 instagram calendar

*The pdf is sized for US letter size paper (8.5×11 inches) but if you use a different paper size and print it fit to page, centered, it should work fine, just with some extra white space that you can trim off as needed.

2014 instagram calendar

Happy holidays!

Filed under: gifts,home stuff,photos — leethal @ 10:00 am

September 11, 2013

Some events and news and stuff!

I have a few announcement kinds of things for you – first, for Portlanders, I’m having a trunk show this weekend!  At Sellwood’s brand new excellent shop, Yarntastic, on Saturday (Sept 14th) 2-5pm.  My stuff will stay on display throughout the week, so if you can’t make the official event on Saturday, you can still stop by and see the samples and stuff.  (But try to make it to the event, and say hi!)

adventure knit items!

The show will kind of focus on Adventure Knitting, and all eight of my sample knits will be there, but there will also be other designs, an assortment of favorites (my newest, Lemmy, will be there for sure), to get you excited about the start of cool weather knitting season!  Check out the Yarntastic group on ravelry to learn more about the shop.

Knit Fit!

For the broader Pacific Northwest area, a reminder, because I only mentioned it very briefly before, that I’ll be teaching Recycled Yarn Making, and hosting a superfun Game Knitting night, at the awesome Knit Fit! in Seattle November 2-3.

Knit Fit!

(That photo is of the Game Knitting night last year, which I realized I never blogged about!  So I will be doing that soon, showing you all the fun we had last year.  This year we’ll be game knitting to Seattle classic, Singles!)

start of a new project start of a new project

And now, something for anyone anywhere… I wrote a guest post for the Fresh Stitches blog that went up yesterday, and it includes a discount code for Adventure Knitting!  Good through Sept 15th, so go check it out, for the code and also to read me talk about my love of options in knitting patterns, and to see a crazy flow chart thing I made about Adventure Knitting choices.

A review of Adventure Knitting also happened over on the Knit Picks blog, so that’s supercool.

And, just moments ago, another Adventure Knitting write-up went up over on Alex’s Dull Roar blog – she made a crazy water bottle sleeve, with two different section 2 patterns for extra adventure!  (She also just released an ebook about becoming a designer, so check that out while you’re over there.)

And that’s all the news I can think of… I’m spending most of my time working on the big project I can’t talk about; those photos above are the start of another sample knit for that, which I am loving!  I’m doing a photo-a-day thing on instagram, so there are lots of random photos being posted for that, like many of my cat, and assorted daily stuff and things.  So that’s that, happy knitting!

Filed under: knitting,photos,portland stuff,random stuff — leethal @ 9:03 am

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 4, 2012

Our trip to the UK + Ireland!

As you know if you’ve been following the blog, or twitter, or instagram, or tumblr… Pete’s awesome parents just took us across the pond for most of September, traveling in a big loop through southern England, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and northern England.  I could write a separate long blog post on every single day of the 20 day long trip… but I don’t have the time for that and you don’t have the time to read that, so instead…

Trinity College

I scrolled through the 5000ish photos I took, picked out a couple from each location that caught my eye, edited those and stuck them on flickr, and will take you through the trip very quickly in a whirlwind adventure blog post right now.  Then, over the next several months I’m sure, I will sort through and edit all those photos (probably cutting the 5000 down to around 500 maybe, we’ll see), put them up on flickr as I go, and tumbl individual photos that I want to share beyond flickr.  We instagrammed a bit while traveling, so I’ll link to some of those shots here as well.  I’ll also be blogging a few more specific trip-related things, like the Tourist Sweater I’m making (at which point I’ll talk about all the yarn shops I visited!), at some point in time.

So, if you are interested in more photos and stuff beyond this, follow my tumblr and/or flickr and see bits and pieces spread out over time…

our London hotel

And off we go!  We started in London, arriving early in the morning for one extremely sleep-deprived weird first day, then 2 full fun-packed London days.  We squeezed in the British Museum, V&A museum, Tate Modern, National Gallery, Westminster Abbey, Harrods, Liberty (where we had a very fancy afternoon cream tea), Savile Row, briefly explored lots of different areas, curry lunch in Camden, dinner at a pub, I’m surely forgetting other highlights but yeah, tons of London fun was had.


V&A museum

(I love taking self-portraits in interesting reflective surfaces, so there will be more of these as we go on…)


On the fourth day we started by taking a train to Oxford, where we explored the town, loved it, and ate lunch in a pub a bit off the beaten path, where they offered a vegetarian version of sausage & mash!  As a non-meat-eater, I didn’t think I’d be able to try many traditional foods on this trip, so I jumped on the chance here, and it turned out to be delicious (thanks to good quality veggie-filled fake sausage, which wasn’t trying to imitate real sausage too closely and therefore be gross).

Oxford pub vegetarian sausage & mash!

Then we started our rented car adventures part of the trip and drove through the Cotswolds, stopping in the towns of Stow-on-the-Wold and Chipping Campden, then eventually ending up that night in the country outskirts of Bristol where we were staying for the next few nights.


I made these maps of each day that we traveled the most, or through the most places… color coded for different travel modes: red is car, pink is train (orange will be bus, blue will be ferry).  They are not super accurate, but I had fun making them.  So here’s day four, Oxford/Cotswolds day:

Day 4

Day five was Bath – Pete and I were just along for the ride and didn’t think we had much interest in Bath, but we were both surprised to love it!!  The town was great, and the Roman Baths turned out to be extremely interesting and cool!  Two thumbs up to Bath!



The next day was spent in Bristol, which we also LOVED!  Having just one day and wanting to see as much as possible of this city, we decided to do a hop on hop off guided bus tour – cheesy and touristy, yes, but it allowed up to see and learn a ton in one day!  We ended up doing these tours in a couple other cities as well, when time was limited, and it works out well, I totally recommend it  ;)


Bristol highlight: we didn’t know it was Banksy’s hometown until we noticed that wall and had a minor flip-out moment!  We saw a couple more Banksy pieces in the art museum, but the street art was the coolest to see in real life!

Banksy in Bristol Banksy in Bristol

Day seven was Wales day – we drove from Bristol, across the water to the southeast Wales, then diagonally, through 2 different national parks, and past about a million sheep (yay!) up to the northwest.  Those little white dots below are sheep…


Day 7

We stayed in Criccieth that night, then drove about an hour further north the next morning to Holyhead at the northwest tip of Wales, and took the ferry across the Irish Sea to Dublin!

We spent that day and the next exploring Dublin – the highlight being Trinity College Library, the Book of Kells and all the other amazing old books!  One of my favorite things was the flower patterns in the French Book of Hours, which you can see a couple pages of here – those pages are not big; those flower designs are super intricate and beautiful!  No photos allowed inside the library, but Pete kinneared this one with his phone.

Trinity College Guinness in Dublin

Trinity College

On day ten we took a train straight across Ireland to Galway.  We loved Galway!!  Loved it.  There was a highlight involving yarn that I’ll tell you about later; another highlight was all the street musicians scattered all throughout the town playing all different traditional and non-traditional instruments and music.  The harpist was playing a lovely cover of Mad World by Tears for Fears!  <3



After Galway, we spent another half-day in Dublin, then on day 12 we headed up to Belfast for a partial-day.  We took the guided bus tour in Belfast to see and learn as much as possible with our wee bit of time in the city, it was great!  The bummer was that this was the day I started to feel a cold coming on, so with the cold+rainy weather we called it a night early, but not before spending a good several hours in the unhealthy weather, not good.

Belfast Belfast

The next day we took the ferry from Belfast to Cairnryan, Scotland, then a bus to Ayr and a train to Glasgow.  We got to see a lot of the beautiful west coast of Scotland on the bus, yay!

Day 13

Once in Glasgow, we had lunch and tea at a cafe then walked through a big chunk of the city to the modern art museum, in the cold rain.  This is what killed me; upon arrival at the museum my health was shot and the cold hit me full force.  We saw the museum, walked back to the hotel, and I sadly watched tv for that half-day and the entire next day, since I woke up the next morning much worse.  That was the saddest low point of the trip, considering how much I loved Glasgow when I was there ten years ago and how excited I was to go back.  This is in the museum:

Glasgow modern art museum

On day 15 I was partially recovered from the brutal cold, so after traveling to Edinburgh in the morning I was up to exploring the town a bit, before calling it a day in the afternoon and resting up so I wouldn’t get worse again.  We managed to squeeze lots of Edinburgh amazingness into those few hours – LOVED Edinburgh!!  I even got to visit Ysolda briefly while yarn shopping and see her new studio, and I also had some shopping fun at Avalanche Records and Armstrong’s Vintage, and Pete got an extra special souvenir.




The next day was Scottish Highlands bus tour day!  I love Scotland so much!  We saw lots of hairy coos, including Hamish in Kilmahog, tons of amazing views, multiple castles, and we took a boat around Loch Ness!


Loch Ness

The tour went northwest, up along the lochs to Inverness, then down southeast back to Edinburgh.  The only thing I wish had been different is that I’d wanted to spend a bit of time exploring the towns we passed through.  Since we traveled so much distance and spent a couple hours on Loch Ness, we didn’t get to spend time in any other towns or anything, we just had rushed meal stops and we didn’t even stop at all in Inverness, just drove through.  I’d love to take a Scotland trip sometime in my future life and spend time in lots of towns all over the country!

Day 16

The next day we took a train down to York, along a big chunk of Scotland and northern England coast, which was beautiful!  Saw lots of coastal sheep and cows!

Scotland coast

Day 17

York turned out to be another of our absolute favorites!  We knew nothing about York and didn’t have any particular interest in it, but we ended up being so happy to spend a day and a half there, it was fantastic!  Everything was walkable, which is always great, the medieval-ness of it all was so cool (winding narrow streets, the whole town surrounded by medieval walls, etc), the sinking buildings (that’s Shambles street below), everything, we just loved it.  But that’s not all!  There are more craft shops in York than almost all the rest we saw throughout the whole trip put together!  Seriously!  Multiple yarn shops, many craft shops with yarn and other stuff like embroidery, needlepoint, etc, bead shops, buttons shops, they just kept popping up every time we turned a corner!  So I’ll talk more about those when I post separately about yarn shops… There was also a great little record shop, lots of handmade stuff and things in cute stuff shops, vintage clothes, basically everything we love!  So yeah, York was our kind of town!



On day 19 we headed back down to London, where we stayed our final 2 nights in a fancypants hotel in the middle of the city, right next to the tower of London, with a rooftop bar and amazing views!  (We stayed most nights at little b&b type places out of the main cities, so this was an exciting change.)  Our last full day was supposed to be spent in Brighton, but we collided with a hurricane traveling through England, so we decided spending a day outside in a coastal city might be a bad plan…

So we spent an extra day in London, getting drenched in hard rain, drying off, then enjoying the late afternoon and evening in the dry eye of the hurricane, when we walked around the Notting Hill neighborhood (loved it!) where we did a little shopping, ate one last Indian dinner, saw the lit up London Bridge from the river docks, and had drinks in the schmancy rooftop bar.

London view London view

Here’s Pete and his wonderful parents in front of the bridge on that last night, all wearing Wobble Basses!  Oh so many thanks to them for taking us on this incredible adventure!

Wobble Basses at the London bridge

And I’ll leave you with a couple tea shots:

Tea at Liberty in London tea


Filed under: personal,photos — leethal @ 2:34 pm

August 28, 2012

UK adventures are approaching fast!

I’m going to the UK!  Really soon!  The summer flew by, as it often does, and now September is just about here and I’m getting on a plane in one week!


We’ve been preparing all summer – we bought raincoats and backpacks, lined up a house sitter, I’ve been working ahead like crazy in order to take the time off, etc – but it hadn’t really actually hit me until last night that we are really going.


Pete’s parents are taking us on a 3 week long adventure throughout England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland; last night they sent us the official itinerary and all of the sudden it was real!  It’s really happening, whoa!  So, the main point of this email is to ask you, my dear readers…

Aberfoyle, Scotland near Loch Lomond

Where should we go??  I mean, the cities are planned out, but I need yarn shops, record stores, vegetarian-friendly restaurants, smaller museums that we might not know about, other sights off the beaten path, etc…


The places where I know we will be spending a day or more are:  London, Bristol, Criccieth, Dublin, Galway, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and York.  I know there will be day trips to Bath, Brighton, and lots of other in-between places… we don’t know specific plans, which is making it more exciting for us!  We’re just along for the ride, ready for amazingness!


These photos here were all taken by me 10 years ago when I studied abroad for the summer of 2002 at the University of Sussex in Brighton, and took lots of day trips to London and other nearby spots, and long weekend trips to Scotland (Glasgow and Edinburgh), Paris, Amsterdam, and Spain (Madrid and Barcelona).


Although I did spend that time in the UK, I was a pretty different person then – I wasn’t even a knitter!! – and I don’t remember tons of specifics, as my memory fades over the years… so my experiences back then aren’t going to factor into our plans for this trip a ton.  My #1 favorite place I visited back then was Scotland, so I am extremely excited to go back there!

Lomo shot!

If you want to see more photos from that time, I’ve just put a bunch of the best shots on flickr, from all the countries I visited.  As for photos this time, I’m hoping to be able to tweet/tumbl/instagram photos throughout the trip, but I don’t know how connected we’ll be most of the time… Oh, and that reminds me – blog comments are a fine way to tell me recommendations right now, but if you want to recommend anything after next Monday the 3rd, I might not be checking blog comments as much as email or twitter – so tweeting place recommendations @leethal is probably the best way to get them to me :)


Thanks for any knowledge you can pass on, and I will surely share tons of photos, stories, etc, with you when we return!  I even have some crafty projects planned for the skies and roads!

Filed under: personal,photos — leethal @ 12:25 pm

June 15, 2012

One day my log will have something to say about this.

Way back on leap day Pete and I took a 2 day trip up through Washington, guided by an itinerary of Twin Peaks related stops.  It was awesome!


Besides all the Lynch nerdery involved, it was also a fun way to see tons of gorgeous places all over the great pacific northwest.  I love Oregon oh so much, but wow, Washington is kind of amazing.  More of that later, as I take you chronologically through our journey…

Shore off Kiana Lodge

There are tons more photos on flickr; these are a few select favorites to show you the highlights.  So yeah, we started at the beach where Laura Palmer’s body was found – the log was pretty spectacular!


Shore off Kiana Lodge

The Kiana Lodge, which was probably the most major Twin Peaks location, used as the Blue Pine Lodge and the interior of The Great Northern and other interiors as well I think, is right on that beach…

Kiana Lodge

And it’s all kinds of cool, and some pretty Lynchian creepiness as well…

Kiana Lodge

Kiana Lodge

The buildings were all closed but we peeked through many windows…

Kiana Lodge

Kiana Lodge

Kiana Lodge

Kiana Lodge

Kiana Lodge

So then we headed over to our hotel, which was just around the corner from the lodge (and across a bridge from Bainbridge Island) – the big building on the left of this photo (that’s the log on the right):

Shore off Kiana Lodge

Over there where we stayed, the owls are not what they seem


Coffee table top in the hotel lobby:

log table

That night, we took a short drive across the bridge to Bainbridge Island and checked out Churchmouse yarn shop there, then had dinner at the buffet in the casino next to the hotel.  We considered playing blackjack, in the Twin Peaks spirit of One Eyed Jack’s, but there was a minimum bet more than $1 and we didn’t feel like throwing away money… yeah, gambling isn’t our style ;)  We did loose a few dollars in the nickel slots though; see, we’re not total party poopers!  Anyway, the hotel lobby area is overlooking the shore, so we had our breakfast the next morning by the window:

hotel breakfast view from our Hotel

Then we got on the ferry from Bainbridge Island to Seattle…

ferry to Seattle

Which was amazing!  But… oh wow so cold!

ferry to Seattle

ferry to Seattle

ferry to Seattle

Once back on land, we drove straight through Seattle and out into the wilderness, then into a small town for lunch and pie

Double R Diner

…at the Double R Diner!  Er, Twede’s Cafe actually:

Double R Diner

Twede's Cafe

Double R Diner

Black as midnight on a moonless night:

Black as midnight on a moonless night.

Twede's Cafe

Then we drove through the small town roads and took in all the Twin-Peaksyness of it all…

Twin Peaks zone

…imagining that the teens were up to no good, of course (they were walking on the railroad tracks!)…  We even witnessed a local cop slyly passing a note, along with a secret handshake, to the clerk at the local creepy thrift shop (the secret part probably being in our imaginations, but the rest was totally true!).

Twin Peaks zone

Giant log:

Giant Log!

And up the road awhile, we arrived at Snoqualmie Falls, also the exterior of The Great Northern:

Snoqualmie Falls

Holy wowzers, it was majestic!!

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls

After taking in all that awesomeness, we hit the road again for a quick drive over to our next stop – and we passed by this bridge (pretty sure it’s this one)…

Twin Peaks bridge

…and some more picturesque scenery.

Twin Peaks zone

Then we turned the corner, and were at the Sheriff’s Department

Twin Peaks sites

…which overlooks the sawmill:

Twin Peaks sites

Twin Peaks sites

We needed a bit of a rest after a long day, before hitting the road back home to Portland, so we stopped off at the Roadhouse!

The Roadhouse

Sadly, the inside is nothing like what you’d think/hope, but it was still cool to have a beer at the Roadhouse, if you’re a big nerd that is.

The Roadhouse

And that was that, some more beautiful Washington nature and we were on our way home.

Washington out the window

It was quite the 2 day adventure!  If you live in the northwest, you should totally copy the trip; even if you’re not a huge Twin Peaks nerd, I still recommend some of the stops.  Amazing stuff, really.  Like I said, check out flickr if you want to see more – I took over 800 (!!) photos total, which is why it’s taken me three and a half months to edit them and blog the trip.  I narrowed it down to a mere 174 on flickr though!


And I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes (because we have a Doug Fir tree in our backyard)…  Got to find out what kind of trees these are. They’re reeally something.

Twin Peaks zone

Filed under: personal,photos — leethal @ 10:00 am

March 19, 2012

February photos a day!

I did this photo a day project thing for fun in February, over on my Tumblr, so I’ve gathered my favorite shots from the month together in one place over here.  A bit belated, but you know, time flies and whatnot… Here are Banzo’s paws held up by Pete’s hand, just how she likes it (weird cat!) for February 3rd: hands.  And our trivia answer sheet, along with some whisper sheets, at Monday trivia night for February 20th: handwriting.

February 3rd February 20th

For February 2nd: words, I shot my buddy rocking out to some Lionel Ritchie at karaoke night:

February 2nd

Here are a couple food shots for you… an awesomely satisfying burrito from Tecos (on SE Powell) for February 27th: something you ate, and some fabulous mac n cheese from Hedge House for February 6th: dinner:

February 27th February 6th

Around my house, we’ve got a shot of my studio closet (it looks a bit messy, but, sadly, this is the neatest view in my entire studio) for February 12th: inside your closet, and then February 22nd: where you work – because of the current state of aforementioned overwhelmingly messy studio, this sofa in my living room is where most of my work gets done:

February 12th February 22nd

Here are shots for February 21st: a fave photo of you, and February 25th: green, which is a salad on a painted table at American Dream pizza:

February 21st February 25th

And lastly, February 13th: blue and February 10th: self portrait, for which my caption read: I blue myself.

February 13th February 10th

If you want to check out all the photos, you can scroll through them on tumblr here.  This was fun, so maybe I’ll do another month like this some time in the future – anyone know of any fun photo game project things?

And a quick note to knitters – a main reason I’ve been so absent here is because I’ve been hard at work building the final Remixed pattern, which will be released to Remixers later tonight!  The blog post will happen later this week, so for now you can see info on my site here.

Filed under: personal,photos,portland stuff — leethal @ 9:01 pm

February 24, 2012

Pacific Northwest travels and other stuff and things

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks!  I’ve taken several overnight trips for various purposes, to places as exciting as Seattle and as boring as Salem.  I went up north to Washington with my buddies Star, Vivian, and Marcia, for the purpose of going to Madrona fiber arts retreat in Tacoma, but I think hanging out in Seattle was the real highlight of the trip!


We spent the night at Marcia’s sister’s fabulous cabin-like house in the Wallingford neighborhood, made dinner and knit and talked around the fire.

Seattle trip Seattle trip

Then in the morning we took a walk to the Fremont neighborhood…


…where we ate a delicious breakfast at Silence-Heart-Nest

Seattle! Seattle!

…and then stopped by the Theo Chocolate factory store!  Free samples of spicy sipping chocolate, oh wow, so good.


We walked back to the house along the water…

Seattle! Seattle!

…and saw some fun sights.


Then we headed down to Tacoma, to the Hotel Murano for Madrona.  We spent some quality time in the marketplace, and then sat and knit by the fire and the horse lamp (and the Chuck Close).  Another random trip highlight was stopping at Burgerville on the way up and on the way home – because of the usual goodness of Burgerville, and because of the crazy future touch screen sodapop machine at this location (in Woodland, WA).  Raspberry Coke Zero, mmmm.

Hotel Murano for Madrona Hotel Murano for Madrona

And then there’s something I can’t fully talk about yet, but… last year, when Star, Vivian, and I went to Black Sheep fiber festival, we brainstormed up a plan for a collaborative project, and then we were all so busy we never got it going.  Well, on this recent trip, the spark returned and we’re all really trying to make it happen this year!  Here’s us at Black Sheep, filled with new project excitement energy!

Vivian + Star! Star + Me!

Me + Vivian! Me + Vivian + Star!

So that’s all about that… besides all the mini-trips I’ve been taking, I also spent some fun times showing visitors around Portland recently.  We tried to pack as much awesome Portlandyness as possible into one full day, so we did: Genie’s for a late breakfast, Movie Madness, Multnomah Falls (below), Kennedy School, Ground Kontrol, and Hopworks.  Playing tourist for a day is fun!

Multnomah Falls

A couple other things I wanted to mention – I was recently a featured crafter on Think Crafts! so that was neat.  Even more exciting though, I was interviewed on Stash and Burn podcast!  I talked with Nicole for about a half hour, about all kinds of things… Remixed, my other patterns, color, TV spoilers, etc… You can listen to the podcast through iTunes, or stream it directly on the website (the interview starts after about 20 minutes).  Yay!

me on Think Crafts! me on Stash and Burn!

So, the traveling combined with some assorted teaching and other stuff has meant a brief pause on Remixed work, but I did spend all day yesterday working on that eighth pattern, so it’s on its way!  Now that I’m feeling more confidant that it’s going to work, I can reveal that it’s a design for your hands – more than that will be shown soon enough, once I have a decent enough prototype to photograph.  It’s a tricky pattern concept… I’ve made 4 prototypes so far, and still working out major problems to get the shape right…

I think that’s all for catching up.  I actually have another overnight trip planned soon, one which will involve lots of photos!  And something I’m trying to find the time to really focus on lately is getting my studio in functioning order (instead of a storage room that I can barely walk through), so I may post some studio stuff in the near future, we’ll see how that goes… Oh yeah, lastly, a quick reminder that you still have almost a week left of my birthday month sale – save 30% on any 3 or more of my patterns!

Filed under: photos,podcasts,portland stuff,random stuff — leethal @ 4:59 pm

January 20, 2012

California games, burritos, kitties, and more…

I spent about 3 weeks in late December / early January hanging with my family in California, meaning to get lots of knitting done, but that didn’t really happen.  What did happen was lots of game playing, movie watching, eating, and exploring different parts of southern California…  Here are highlights from the trip in photos (mostly taken with my phone or iPad)…

We had a couple massive game marathon days with my whole family – on one of those days we even made our own personalized version of Apples to Apples (that pile of paper scraps is our “card” stack… the poker chips were from earlier).  For xmas eve dinner, we had our traditional appetizer trays (crackers, cheeses, meats for the meat eaters, veggies, etc) and I made my homemade pickles!

family game times xmas eve dinner

And then for xmas morning breakfast, I made these sticky buns!  So good!

xmas morning sticky buns! xmas morning sticky buns!

My mom and I did some wandering around different parts of Orange and LA counties, including a day spent in Long Beach, where I used to live for a couple years before Portland.  My old favorite record store, Fingerprints, moved to a new neighborhood (from beach-y Belmont Shore, where we’d only ever go to go record shopping, to the downtown arts district, much closer to our old ‘hood), into an awesome space, so that was cool!  California record prices, however, not so cool… I am so spoiled by Portland!


My mom and I also played lots of games, and took walks around my parents’ new neighborhood, which has great character (and parrots!)…

farkle Floral Park tree

One excellent highlight for me was discovering that Santa Ana has flavors (colors!) of Kool-Aid that I can’t find in Portland – most importantly, mango!  My local Food-4-Less used to have this one, and it was my favorite color for yarn dyeing!  The golden orangey yellow shade was perfect for mixing with other colors to tone them down and make new shades.  Anyway, they stopped carrying it a couple years ago and I’d never been able to track it down, until now!  I bought up a ton of it, plus piña (which I’ve never had before, so I’m excited to see how it dyes!) and jamaica (which I’ve also never used, but it just looks like yet another shade of red); now when I run out, my parents can ship me more!  Yay!

kool-aid Holé Molé

The other photo up there is our old Long Beach neighborhood taqueria, Holé Molé, where I got to grab a burrito on my last day, before flying out of the Long Beach airport.  A huge highlight of spending time in California – food I can’t get in Portland!  I got to have In-n-Out a couple times, Wahoo’s (blackened mushrooms, yummmm!), my favorite pizza in the world – Pizza Bakery (where I worked in high school)… nomnomnom!

Bobby the snarlfaced kitty

Another highlight was hanging with my old kitties!  Bobby, who will be turning 19 this year, is looking much different than she did in her younger years, but is super sweet, despite her snarly old-lady face and clumsiness.  Sybil is also getting old, 13 or 14 I think, and is more aloof than Bobby, but when she feels like attention, she is a crazy purr machine and is very sweet!  I have no new photos of Sybil, but a video of a silly habit she has, of cleaning her face by licking the wall then rubbing her cheek on it – weirdo!  I don’t know if this embedding is working, so you can watch it on flickr here if it’s not showing up.

The third little beast living there is Muffin the dog, with whom I didn’t get along well when she was younger (my family got her after I moved away to college, so we never had a chance to bond), but now that she’s getting older and calmer (and doesn’t terrorize the cats so much), she’s not so bad…  and her toothy underbite is darn charming:

muffin the dog

And then I got to spend lots of time with my brother Paul, which was great!!  He was in the middle of a move, so he was staying with our parents for a couple days, and then I helped him with the move a little, to this great old apartment building in LA.  During the time we were both at the house, he introduced me to some awful television and I introduced him to some bizarre film, we went grocery shopping, where somehow this unicorn ended up in my cart, we played a bunch of Scene It? comedy edition… fun times!

Paul's new place unicorn

And then I spent a few days here and there in LA, where all three of my brothers live (sort of… Santa Monica kind of doesn’t count as living in LA, since it takes Matt as long to drive from there to Hollywood as it does for him to drive to Orange County).  I’m so glad I never had to drive, holy crap you guys!  I grew up in that area, but after a few years in Portland, you couldn’t pay me to drive around in LA!

My mom and Paul and I got to take a tour of Ben’s new office in the downtown LA arts district – he works at Cornerstone Promotion, and the office totally reminds me of Entertainment 720, except it’s awesome and not a parody.  (Yes, that is a DJ station set up in front of that massive Sonic Youth poster.  More shots here.)

Ben's office

Below are the outside of his office building, which is owned by Crazy Gideon (who once came into their office trying to sell them a refrigerator), and part of the wall of ghetto blasters.  Awesome!  On the night of that LA day, I got to hang with my bros and I talked them into a karaoke bar, where I sang 4 Non-Blondes to a cramped and intimidating LA crowd, and none of them sang, but it was still fun… no photos of that though…

Ben's office Ben's office

And on another LA day, my parents and Paul and I went to the LA Zoo!  Fun!!  So now, to finish off this rambly post, I’ll even things out with a few of my favorite zoo photos.  There are many more on flickr, here here and the bottom half of here

LA Zoo

Pensive gorilla.

LA Zoo

Dramatic chimp show.

LA Zoo

Obese beast.

LA Zoo

The cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.  (I highly encourage you to check out more tiger kitten playing photos.)

LA Zoo

So that was some of what I was up to during my leethal absence.  Not much work got done (here’s a glimpse at the only thing I completed) but I missed my family, so I’m glad I got to spend that time with them.  When I got home, Pete had a surprise for me:


Green bathroom!  So that’s all about my trip… Now that I’m slowly getting back on track, you can look forward to a big tutorial post next week!  Woo!

Filed under: personal,photos — leethal @ 12:00 pm

January 19, 2012

Happy 2012! Here’s what’s up in leethal land…

How’s your 2012 going so far?  Mine is off to a slooooow start, but I feel like it’s just about to start taking off!  I wanted to jump in here after my long delay with kind of a catch-up post, with some stuff I’ve been up to so far this year, and random bits and news and things I wanted to share with you.

no-sew tee projects

First, Portlanders: I’ll be teaching a couple of free Library classes on making my no-sew recycled t-shirt bags, plus other things with the t-shirt leftover scraps (like the cuffs above), which you can see some more photos of over here.  The first class is this Saturday (the 21st) at the Capitol Hill branch, and the next one will be on February 18th at the Albina branch – check out my info page here for details and library links.

black sheep black sheep

And then a bit of leethal news – I wanted to let you know how much I ended up raising for Heifer… $110!!  Thanks to all who bought stuff in December, you are awesome!

Heifer thank you

And now moving on to what I’ve been up to… One thing I did on an impulse a few days ago, a kind of mixing things up for the new year new project-ish thing…. I started a tumblr!  I figure, I’ve always been terrible at little posts here on do stuff! – I’ve gone through phases of trying to regularly post small things like recipes, thrifty scores, mixes, etc… but it never sticks and I always go back to my long posts.

my new tumblr

So, I thought, how about I break it up?  Keep this blog as it is, but really try to do more tutorials and valuable content, and stick all that little content over on the tumblr.  I’m thinking of it as a halfway point between this blog and twitter – the posts will be more permanent than tweets, but much less of a big deal than the leethal blog.  My plan is to rarely even mention knit design over there, or even crafts in general – all valuable crafty content will be for here on do stuff! (so if that’s all you care about, you don’t need to follow both) – and to just use tumblr for silly personal stuff, assorted photos of things I’m doing, movies, books, music, food… we’ll just see where it goes, I don’t even know what to expect!

new (used) DVD stack amazing bow!

And now speaking of movies and music… I have a couple long term project updates.  Remember a year ago, when I decided to try to watch 365 movies in 2011?  Well, I did it!  JUST!  I watched my 364th and 365th movies on New Year’s Eve and just barely succeeded.  The list is a little embarrassing, but remember, I watch most movies while working, so I can’t give 100% attention to the screen, meaning I make silly choices a lot of the time, especially if I know I’m working on a pattern that needs some focus.  The questionable movies on the list weren’t really watched, they were just kind of background noise.  You understand, hehe.  Anyway, it was a fun project, but I’m happy to not have to count movies anymore and be more free to get sucked into TV shows whenever I want.  (So much TV to catch up with!  First up, probably Downton Abbey!  Not that I didn’t watch TV shows in 2011, but I just had to space them out and couldn’t keep up with everything.)

our record collection!

And my other project… well, you probably remember back in the summer when I went through that massive record organization project.  Chronological order!  Damn, it was a ton of work, and it was nerdy fun to do, but it was so not practical.  Cataloging and sorting our collection like that made Pete and I much more active about collecting records, like too much so, but hey, Portland has amazing shops that need our support, right?

our record collection!

So, once they were all organized, the collection started rapidly growing larger, and it became overwhelming, the thought of adding all the new LPs in their chronological spots.  So they just accumulated, and at the beginning of this year, the motivation kicked us and we spent a couple days immersed in re-organizing once again.

our record collection!

This time, alphabetical!  Sigh of relief!  So much easier to add new stacks where they belong and keep it all in order!  And, if you compare the photos of our collection from July and the current shots, you’ll notice how vinyl has almost completely taken over our shelving unit.  Love it!

our records! our record collection!

Another random fun thing I wanted to mention is that Pete has gotten suuuuper into Pinterest since joining a couple days ago.  If you have any interest in men’s fashion, or neat nature/science photos, you may want to follow his boards.

Pinterest screenshot

And then the last thing I wanted to mention… even though it annoys me that there’s no iPad app or functioning website and everything is through the iPhone app, I still like the idea of instagram and I’ve started using it a bit more.  I’m _leethal_ over there if you’re an instagrammer (instagrammar?)…

snow in portland! snow in portland!

Okay I think those are all the things I wanted to mention.  Happy 2012 all!

Filed under: home stuff,movies,music,personal,photos,portland stuff,random stuff — leethal @ 7:00 am
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