December 9, 2013

Year coming to end announcements and future pattern release stuff…

Wow this season has gone by fast, hasn’t it?  It’s been below freezing here in Portland for the last several days, so it’s really feeling like autumn times are over and we are full on into winter, regardless of what the calendar might say.  I am hard at work, dividing my time between multiple design projects, some holiday gift projects, some personal projects I really wanted to get done for the chilly season (like this!), and I’m trying to give myself a bit of time here and there to relax, after having really overworked for that last month before releasing Coloring Book.  Things would be a lot harder to get done if I didn’t take care of myself and caught a cold, and this is the time of year that tends to happen.

Anyway, yeah I’m being a bit rambly, I know.  The thing is, I feel guilty.  I took on too much work this year, especially within the last four months or so, and I’ve fallen pretty far behind.  I need to let you know where things are at, since I am unable to stick to original release schedules.  I’ll go through the list…

Bulk Trio!

Bulk Trio.  I released the first pattern, Lemmy, back in September, at which time I’d planned/hoped to get the second pattern in the set out before the end of the year, and then the third pattern early next year.  I’m actually pretty close to on-schedule, but the next pattern won’t be before the year is over; it should be very close to the beginning of January though.  I’m basically done with the design, have begun the first sample, and just need to knit the three samples, build the pdf, and have it test knit.

Here's an in-color peek at the stitch pattern I'm using for my new design, in super bulky triple-stranded worsted weight. So squishy!! I spent all day yesterday swatching failed 2-color reversible stitch pattern ideas, finally gave up for the day, then at night an idea struck out of nowhere, and it was PERFECT!! You get a b&w secret shot for now, but I can't wait to reveal it sometime so

Here are peeks at the stitch pattern!  I won’t tell you yet what it is… you already know it’s an accessory that’s ideal for bulky yarns.  As for the third pattern in the trio, that’s already been started as well, so I’m hoping it can be released before the end of January.  (Bulk Trio is on ravelry here.)

Yarn for Lerro shawl

Betiko Collection.  Here is where the guilt starts to weigh on me.  I’d originally said, back when I released Biratu in May, that the colorwork shawl and lace shawl would both be released later this year… that’s not going to happen, and I’m really sorry about it.  The slip-stitch colorwork design is well on its way – the first sample, in beautiful Anzula Squishy sock weight yarn (above), is in progress, the design is coming along, and I’m super happy with it!

Snow day coincides with knitting day! That's the best! Taking a break from this new project in beautiful Anzula yarn to swatch out a couple other ideas that I'm too excited to try!

Like Biratu, there will be two versions, the more complex and the any-gauge simplified.  I’m hoping it can be released by early-to-mid-January, by the time I finish both samples, and the pattern, and have it test knit.  The final Betiko Collection shawl, the lace one, will be my next design, so I’m hoping for mid-February for that one.  (Here’s the collection on ravelry.)

Remixed cover image

Remixed.  This last item in the list is the major guilt-crushing weight on my shoulders… I still haven’t finished the Remixed recycled yarn making ebook.  It has been an absurdly long time since the final pattern was released (Either/Or in March of 2012, cringe), and I haven’t forgotten the book, really, I’ve just had to prioritize other things, over and over… and now I’m kind of humiliated about it, but my plan is to take a chunk of days this month to be my Remixed days and work on nothing else until it’s done.  I did take some quality time to work on it last spring and made some great progress, but then I had to put it aside again.

Side note:  After the book is released, around the beginning of the new year, the price of the whole collection will raise.  It’s currently $20 for all 8 patterns plus the future yarn-making ebook; it will be going up by at least a few bucks once it’s complete, so grab it now if you want it ;)  (Remixed on ravelry here.)

Remixed patterns

As I’ve transitioned over the last couple years to designing full time, my vague goal for this year was to basically take on as much work as I possibly could and try to grow enough that I could realistically see myself continuing to be able to design full time… if that makes sense.  And I succeeded at that, at the taking on new work and putting out as many patterns as I possibly could and growing, but the cost was this falling behind.  Adventure Knitting took MUCH longer than planned/expected, and threw off my schedule for summer/early fall, and then Coloring Book grew into a much bigger project than it was supposed to be.  I have absolutely no regrets, as I’m so darn happy with how both of those projects turned out in the end, and I hope that no one is mad at me for mis-judging my time lines and falling behind.  I will be catching up and finishing everything up there on that last before I take on any new work!!

Something else I’m kind of always behind on is blog posts… lately, the only reason I take the time to blog is to announce a new pattern, and I wish I had the time to blog other fun stuff.  So I’m planning to just take some time this week, as breaks between sample knitting, to blog about a few things that should have gone up months ago, but better late than never… So you can look forward to those throughout this week.

Coloring Book print book

A fun announcement: Coloring Book is now available in print book format!  It’s through Magcloud, and when you order it you’ll also get a free pdf download – so it’s not the same as the ravelry ebook + individual patterns in your rav library, but an ebook version of the print book.  It also may be available soon at your local yarn shop!  (You don’t get an e-version that way, but you also don’t have to pay shipping!)  If you happen to be associated with a yarn shop, I’ll point you over to where the print book is available wholesale through Deep South :)

Coloring Book print book

Something else fun: there’s an interview with me over on the BagSmith blog, about my Superduper cowl in their yarn, and about life as a designer and stuff like that in general.  The interview was done with Mari in person, so it’s much different from email interviews, in which I have full control over how answers are worded and stuff… I do not have full control over what comes out of my mouth if I’m put on the spot! Hah!

Yesterday we went to this crazypants Alpenrose Dairy Christmas village thing and saw donkeys and pigs and kittens and goats and lots of bizarre old timey-ness. #latergram 1223

And I’ll leave you with these holiday shots and a reminder that I have lots of patterns that could make excellent last-minute gift knits, like items from my best-of Quick Knits book, bulky Haka hats/cowl, super bulky Lemmy cowl, bulky Twisted Ankles legwarmers, and lots of any-gauge hats which could be made quickly… I hope your holiday season is going well!

Filed under: knitting,pattern Trios,Remixed,self-publishing — leethal @ 4:12 pm

November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving sale weekend: Print Pattern Packages (with digital downloads) on sale!

Remember when I used to sell full-color printed booklets of my patterns through MagCloud (and also self-distributed to yarn shops)?  Maybe you don’t, but yeah, I did used to do that… it was a lot of work and not many people were interested, so I stopped, and now I only sell a couple of collections in print format.  (And I use a distributor now for wholesale, because I pretty much sucked at that whole self-distributing thing.)

A side effect of this change in my methods is that I ended up with a pile of these nice quality print patterns sitting in my studio!  What to do?  Well, for about a year, they just sat, sadly, with no purpose in life.  But I want them to find good homes!  So, the biggest sale weekend of the year seems like a good time to address this issue, eh?  Especially since packages of pretty patterns could make great gifts for the knitter(s) in your life!

leethal print pattern set!

So I’ve gathered up all these print booklets, sorted them into sets, and listed them on etsy… except if you’re reading this on Wednesday or Thursday, they aren’t there yet.  They will go live as close as possible to midnight on Thursday night (west coast time), at discounted sale weekend prices!  They will stay at the discounted prices until Monday night around midnight, at which point all the sets that remain un-claimed will go up to their normal prices (which are still discounted from what the patterns would normally cost – all pricing details are explained at the end of this post).

Betiko - mystery pattern version ten 10 yard cuffs! big skoodlet! Twisted Ankles!

But wait, it gets better!!  Each print pattern will have on it a slip of paper with a download code, for the pdf pattern through ravelry (but it still works fine if you’re not a ravelry member).  Some of these print patterns are older versions which have been revised in the last year or so; the pdf downloads will be the newest, bestest versions, so you’ll have both the pretty printed booklet for your shelf, and the digital file to refer to if anything in the old version is confusing, or just to have a backup copy in your rav library, etc.

spiral hat Brimming with Color! haka! Ocean Breezes!

There are a bunch of patterns in print form – for some of them, I only have 1 or 2 copies, and for others, I have a ton of them, so they show up in many of the sets.  For most of the sets, only 1 exists – one set has 2 in stock, and another has 3; once they’re gone, they’re gone!

I’ll link to every pattern right here and now, so I don’t need to link them up every time they are mentioned.

Pattern links:

And: Etsy shop link to buy these print pattern packages.

leethal print pattern set!

There are a few small sets… I have 3 copies of this Quick Knits pattern package (above), which includes the Quick Knits best-of book, with 12 patterns using under 20 yards of yarn, and the Ten 10 yard Cuffs pattern, with 10 different buttoning cuff patterns in varying degrees of difficulty.  This package is a great learning tool for new knitters, or a perfect gift for someone with tons of small leftovers they want to use up!

leethal print pattern set! leethal print pattern set!

There are two different 3-pattern sets.  Haka/Ten 10 yard Cuffs/Skoodlet is a fun little package for adventurous beginner level knitters – Haka and the cuffs are easy, with the cuffs possibly teaching some new techniques, and then Skoodlet is a step up into the more intermediate range.  And then the Skoodlet/Betiko/Junction set is for the more advanced knitter – 3 bigger patterns which are customizable, fun to knit, and great to wear!

leethal print pattern set! leethal print pattern set!

There are two different 4-pattern sets as well.  There’s that same fun adventurous-beginner level package from above, but with Double Scoops added on, which is also a fun pattern for knitters ready to advance, or just wanting to make a fun little accessory.  And then a 4-hat package – Haka, Spiraling Stripes set, Ocean Breezes, and Custom Tritops set – which is a fun introduction to leethal hat patterns; all four hats are constructed differently from each other!

leethal print pattern set!

And now we step up to some 6-pattern packages.  Above is another great adventurous beginner kind of package, with Ten 10 yard Cuffs, the Haka hat, and the Brimming with Color hat all being very beginner-friendly, and then 2 more hats – Mr. Pointy and Spiraling Stripes set – both on the slightly more simple end of the leethal pattern spectrum, and Skoodlet being a great pattern for stepping into intermediate territory.

leethal print pattern set!

This one is a leethal short rows collection – 6 patterns which all make use of short rows in varying ways!  This would be a fun introduction to my design style for someone unfamiliar with my sideways edge techniques.  You get the Junction modular triangle shawl, Betiko customizable crescent shawl, Terrapin modular twisted stitch hat, Custom Tritops modular hat collection, Spiraling Stripes sideways-knit hat set, and Swerve modular sideways-cuff fingerless mitts.

leethal print pattern set!

And here is a 7-pattern set for hat lovers – a wide variety of different kinds of hat patterns.  There’s the Haka earflap hat, Terrapin twisted stitch hat, Custom Tritops versatile set, Mr. Pointy ziggy-zaggy fitted hat, Brimming with Color bulky slouch hat, Ocean Breezes wavy cloche or beret, and Spiraling Stripes customizable swirly hat set.

leethal print pattern set!

This one is kind of a world of leethal collection, with 7 different leethal accessories… Twisted Ankles cabled legwarmers, Swerve fingerless mitts, Ten 10 yard Cuffs, Double Scoops headband/earmuffs, Skoodlet hooded cowl, Haka hat, and Spiraling Stripes hat set.

leethal print pattern set!

Another leethal variety pack, with 8 patterns – 5 hats, and 3 other fun things.  There’s Haka hat, Spiraling Stripes hat set, Brimming with Color hat, Custom Tritops hat set, Ocean Breezes hat, Double Scoops earmuffs/headband, Skoodlet hooded cowl, and Ten 10 yard Cuffs.

leethal print pattern set!

The mega hat set includes 8 hat patterns – the 7 in the hat lovers set above, plus Wobble Bass, to add some sideways cables to the mix!

leethal print pattern set!

And lastly, this is the package pictured at the top, the ultimate leethal accessory collection!  You get all the leethal classics (okay I don’t know what qualifies as a leethal classic, but some of my all-time favorites are included here!) – Betiko shawl, Skoodlet, Double Scoops, Shapeshifter, Spiraling Stripes hats, Haka, Ten 10 yard Cuffs, and Twisted Ankles.

A couple things you might like to know…

Each pattern will come with its own separate download code, so if you want to split up your package and gift patterns to different people (or gift a few and keep the rest for yourself!), that will totally work fine!

Sale weekend prices are $2 less than the digital version of each pattern would be on its own, all combined (so if there are three patterns, and they each cost $6 normally, then the package price is $4 times the 3 patterns = $12 total).  The normal (still discounted) price that remaining packages will raise to after Monday will be $1 less than the normal pattern prices.  So for a 4-pattern package, the price will go up by $4; for an 8-pattern package, it will go up by $8.  All sale and post-sale prices are given in the etsy listings.

Shipping is the same for all packages – $2 within the US, $5 to anywhere else (see the etsy listings for more details).

I think that’s all there is to know!  Head to my etsy shop on Friday and get what you want while you can!  (Just so you know, there are a few pdfs listed in my shop, so the listings which don’t say print patterns are not print patterns.)  I am hoping to find good homes for all of these patterns over the weekend; I have no idea what to expect, so if you really want something it’s best to act fast in case they start selling out right away!

Thanksgiving '09!

Happy holidays!  I plan to eat way too much food tomorrow (mmmmmm stuffing and mashed potatoes!), and then avoid all stores all weekend – no Black Friday madness for me, no thank you!  If you do go out shopping this weekend, try to support local shops as much as you’re able to!!  :)

Filed under: books,gifts,hats,knitting,leethal store,self-publishing — leethal @ 3:53 pm

November 22, 2013

Color by Number: a pattern set within Coloring Book

Color by Number

The final pattern in my Coloring Book collection is actually a mini-collection itself!  Color by Number (on ravelry) is an extremely customizable pattern, with seven sample items to show how varied you can get with the pattern, and then patterns for each of those seven samples so you can copy them exactly if you want to.

Color by Number Chevrons Cowl Color by Number Checkered Headband

Color by Number knits use no stranded knitting or intarsia – just plain striping, worked in modular strips of garter stitch, connected with picked up stitches (worked into slipped stitches, so they’re easy peasy).  Yarn carrying and weaving-as-you-knit techniques make for minimal finishing.  The long, narrow sections can be either straight or slanted, and by switching the directions of the slanted sections, you can get chevron or zig-zagging kinds of shapes/designs.

Color by Number Plaid Cowl

The pattern can be made as a cowl, headband, mitts, or a blanket!  (Or, really, any other rectangular shape you want to make… you could easily use the pattern to make a long scarf, or legwarmers!)  The default closure (for everything but the blanket) is buttoning, but you can choose to sew the edges together instead if you want to skip the buttons.

Color by Number Zig-Zag Mitts Color by Number Lightning Headband

So, each of the seven samples is its own pattern (both on ravelry and on my website) and the customizable pattern is available as the set, since it includes both the full pattern and all the sample pattern details – that’s $10 for the entire full set (or it’s all a part of the Coloring Book collection, which is $20 for all this plus Pigment, Misanga, and Scribbled Lines).

Color by Number Chevrons Cowl

Let’s go through each of the samples!  First up, there’s the Checkered Headband (rav).  It’s one of the most simple, but I really love it – I’ll be wearing this one a lot!  It’s made in Malabrigo Rios worsted weight, in three colors (Teal Feather, Sunset, Lettuce), and it has an extra wide button band for a solid panel in the back:

Color by Number!

The Lightning Headband (rav) in bulky yarn (Malabrigo Chunky in Glazed Carrot and Water Green) is crazy super wide (and warm!) so the pattern is written for you to use any weight, so that the width can easily be changed by the weight/gauge changing.  There are even notes included for using a fine weight yarn, but making it wide by altering your stitch count, so you can really get any width you want, in any yarn weight.  Check out this awesome test knit version in fingering weight yarn!  You could make this one in black and white if you’re a vintage horror fan.

Color by Number!

I think my personal favorite of all the samples is the Plaid Cowl (rav).  In one of my all time favorite yarns – aran weight Malabrigo Twist – in five colors, the stripy color pattern is meant to resemble plaid, and I think my vision worked out pretty darn well!

Color by Number!

It’s a bit extra wide, for extra cozy squishiness (all Color by Number cowls can be made as wide as you want, but the given sizing guidelines in the full pattern make for a width measurement a bit shorter than this one).  The pattern explains how to choose your colors to result in the most plaid-esque look; this sample actually doesn’t follow those rules perfectly but I think it works well… maybe that’s just because I love the palette so much.  The colors used are Natural, Sunset, Sealing Wax, Teal Feather, and Lettuce.

Color by Number!

The other cowl is the Chevrons Cowl (rav), in five colors of squishy Chunky yarn (Bobby Blue, Water Green, Glazed Carrot, Frank Ochre, and Pearl Ten).

Color by Number!

This one is meant to be shaded chevrons, with the slanted sections switching between the darker colors and the lighter colors.  And then there are the contrasting V’s scattered around, for extra chevron-y-ness, or something:

Color by Number item

Then there are the Stripy Mitts (rav), in Malabrigo Sock fingering weight yarn, five colors (Terracota, Persia, Primavera, Ochre, and Ivy), with a random-looking striping design:

Color by Number!

These are designed for buttons, which is great if you want to be able to wear them as fully-closed wrist-warmers, as shown below.  As I wear mine around, however, I’m finding that the buttoning closure isn’t the most practical option for functioning fingerless mitts, so the pattern also includes modifications for making them with a sewn seam instead of the buttons, if you prefer that.  I don’t love knitting with sock yarn, but damn, I sure do love how these guys look!!

Color by Number!

The Zig-Zag Mitts (rav) are in four colors of sport weight Arroyo (Sand Bank, Glitter, Piedras, and Arco Iris), with shaded chevrons along the top and bottom, a different colored section in the middle, and contrasting zig-zag lines going through all the sections.  It’s not super easy to see what’s going on in these variegated colors, but I still like how it looks… you can see what’s happening a little better in this test knit version.

Color by Number!

These are written for a sewn seam, no buttoning option for these – I made the first one with buttons, and it totally didn’t work well, so I re-did it sewn, much better!  You can see below how it looks with buttons, worn on either hand you end up with buttons on the insides of your hand/wrist because of the slanting pattern.

When I tried to find a good seaming tutorial to use to sew these up, I couldn’t find a decent one anywhere, so I made my own!

zig-zag mitts with buttons zig-zag mitts with buttons

And lastly, the Stash-Busting Blanket (rav)!  This is ultra versatile – make it any size you want, in any yarn weight, in any striping patterns; make the sections any width you want, to get different looks, and use any combination of straight and slanted sections to make any shape!  All details are included to copy this one exactly, but you’re encouraged to make any changes you want to try out!

Color by Number!

The sample is a small lap blanket – it’s the biggest I could manage with my limited time without killing my wrists.  (I knit 18 items for this Coloring Book collection, you guys, and one of them was a freaking blanket, kind of intense!)  I used my aran and bulky weight Malabrigo leftovers, the aran weights held triple stranded and the bulky weights held double, on size US 15 needles, so it’s suuuper thick and warm and cozy.  Oh and, I put up my tutorial for triple stranding as you knit on my site!

blanket yarn Color by Number Stash-Busting Blanket

So, those are all the sample items.  One final thing about all Color by Number patterns… I made drawings of each sample, which was really fun…

Color by Number item Color by Number item

And the drawings have been turned into actual color-by-numbers, so you can play around with different color combos before committing to yarn choices for your projects!  The color charts for each pattern are numbered, so you can color in the drawings, and then color in the charts with your final choices.  (Each individual item pattern includes a page of color-by-number drawings; the full customizable Color by Number pattern includes the color-by-number charts for each item, and smaller drawings without the numbers; the complete Coloring Book ebook includes both the color-by-number charts and drawings for each sample item.)

Color by Number Stripy Mitts Color by Number Zig-Zag Mitts

(This pattern set is from the Coloring Book collection – here on ravelry – which is an assortment of accessory patterns designed to make the most of your colors, using basic stripes and easy slipped stitches!)

Filed under: Coloring Book,knitting,self-publishing,yarn — leethal @ 1:04 pm

November 19, 2013

Coloring Book collection!

Coloring Book is out!  It’s a collection of colorful designs in Malabrigo yarns, for the Malabrigo Freelance Patterns Project, all using stripes and slipped stitches – no stranded knitting or intarsia – and tricks to keep your yarns neat on the back side, and weave in ends as you knit to minimize your finishing!  (on ravelry)

Coloring Book

This collection is essentially four patterns, but one of them is actually a whole big pattern set within the bigger collection, featuring seven totally different samples, each with its own pattern.  There are eighteen individual knitted items in this collection!  I will devote a whole blog post to each of the four patterns throughout this week, to get into detail about each one, so for this introductory post, let me introduce you to my new designs…

all collection knits

Misanga (rav) is a hat for a single skein of contrasty variegated yarn, inspired by basic potholder loom type weaving, and knotted chevron friendship bracelets.  The samples are in DK weight Silky Merino, aran weight Selección Privada, and super bulky weight Rasta:

Misanga! Misanga!


Pigment (rav) is an asymmetrical triangle shawl for any weight and size, with a dotted slip-stitch pattern.  The samples are in bulky weight Chunky, worsted weight Rios, and sport weight Arroyo:

Pigment! Pigment!


Scribbled Lines (rav scarf/headband) is a versatile pattern that can be made as a headband or a scarf/cowl in any size, in any number of colors three or more.  The samples are in worsted weight Rios, aran weight Merino Worsted, and sport weight Arroyo:

Scribbled Lines!

Scribbled Lines! Scribbled Lines!

And Color by Number (rav) is a completely customizable pattern for cowls, headbands, mitts, and blankets, with specific pattern details for the seven sample items.  Plaid Cowl is in aran weight Twist, Zig-Zag Mitts are in sport weight Arroyo, Lightning Headband is in bulky weight Chunky, Chevrons Cowl is in bulky weight Chunky, Stripy Mitts are in fingering weight Sock, Checkered Headband is in worsted weight Rios, and Stash-Busting Blanket is in an assorted of aran weight Twist and Merino Worsted held triple stranded and bulky weight Chunky held double stranded:

Color by Number! Color by Number!

Color by Number! Color by Number!

Color by Number! Color by Number!

Color by Number!

Each pattern is available separately, on my website or ravelry, for $5-6 each, or the entire collection – as a 50 page ebook, plus all the individual pattern pdfs – is $20.  The Color by Number set by itself is also an option, for $10 (rav).

In probably a couple weeks, but maybe sooner, I’ll be releasing the print book – that will be available through MagCloud like my other print books, and it will be $23.

Update 12/2
:  Coloring Book is now available as a print book, through MagCloud here!

hand drawn/written bits

This collection involves lots of hand-drawn and written bits!  Fun!  The Color by Number patterns include actual color-by-number striping pattern charts (as you can see on the cover photos)!  I’m really super happy with how the whole thing turned out, I hope you like it too!

all collection knits all collection knits

I want to give a heartfelt THANK YOU to my awesome test knitters – this project was so very much improved thanks to their fantastic feedback, suggestions, and troubleshooting help.  Leethal testers, you are the best!!

And I’ll leave it at that for today – stay tuned throughout the week to learn/see more about each pattern, and you can scroll through photos of them all on flickr, and read a bit more on my website and/or ravelry.  Also, chat about the collection in the leethal knitters ravelry group, and be sure to add photos to your ravelry projects if you make any of them!  I want to see your versions!  :)

Oh wait, and speaking of sharing your versions, all of these patterns are eligible for the Indie Design Gift-a-long, so you can share your projects over there for chances to win tons of awesome prizes!  Yeah!  Okay that’s all for reals now, happy knitting!

Filed under: Coloring Book,hats,knitting,self-publishing,yarn — leethal @ 12:59 pm

November 1, 2013

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

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

leethal Quick Knits Ebook cover

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

pen tube bookmarks! Garter Strip Light-switch Cover

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

Drink Sweaters! April's quick knits club stuff!

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

Old Timey Moustache! Superhero Mask!

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


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

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

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

another pattern mosaic

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


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


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

September 22, 2013

Fall pattern giveaway!! And lots of updated patterns!

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

leethal fall giveaway

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

Lemmy Lemmy

Lemmy (ravelry / leethalknits)

Biratu Simple Biratu Shawl

Biratu (ravelry / leethalknits)

3 color Robin Robin in worsted

Robin (ravelry / leethalknits)

Barry in yellow Barry in self-striping and tweed

Barry (ravelry / leethalknits)

stripy cowl! long loop stripy cowl

Maurice (ravelry / leethalknits)

cabled Haka hat Cabled Haka hat+cowl

Haka hat+cowl set (ravelry / leethalknits)

Flying V's Flying V's

Flying V’s collection (ravelry / leethalknits)

Wobble Bass Wobble Bass

Wobble Bass (ravelry / leethalknits)

Flippable Flippable!

Flippable (ravelry / leethalknits)

Betiko - mystery pattern version Betiko

Betiko (ravelry / leethalknits)

Shapeshifter! Shapeshifter!

Shapeshifter (ravelry / leethalknits)

Twisted Ankles Twisted Ankles!

Twisted Ankles (ravelry / leethalknits)

cuff501 cuff304

Ten 10 yard Cuffs (ravelry / leethalknits)

big skoodlet! my bulky skoodlet Skoodlet!

Skoodlet (ravelry / leethalknits)

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

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

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

old vs new leethal pdf formats

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

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

old vs new leethal pdf formats

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

old vs new leethal pdf formats

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

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

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

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

August 15, 2013

Adventure Knitting: now completely complete!

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

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

Adventure knitting! Adventure knitting!

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

adventure knitting on a phone adventure knitting on a phone

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

Adventure book binding! Adventure knitting!

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

Adventure Knitting book Adventure Knitting book

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

Adventure Knitting book

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

Adventure Knitting book Adventure Knitting book

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

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

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

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

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

July 30, 2013

Adventure Knit-a-long: final section release!

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

Adventure knitting!

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

Adventure knitting!

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

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

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

adventure knit items!

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

Adventure knitting!

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

Adventure knitting! Adventure knitting!

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

Adventure knitting!

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

Adventure knitting!

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

Adventure knitting!

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

Adventure knitting!

The printable folding cover:

Adventure knitting!

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

adventure knit items!

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

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

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


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

party cake

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


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

knitted wit

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

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

knit fit!

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

July 15, 2013

Adventure Knit-a-long, Go!

The adventure knitting has begun!  After the get ready… get set… period finished up, last Thursday at midnight was GO! time.  The first actual pattern was released, again in the foldable booklet format (either color or black & white, along with the screen-reading format as well).  I printed one out for myself in b&w and colored the cover with markers:

second adventure booklet!

For the first section of knitting adventures, you get to climb a tree!  The cover reads: “We start our summer feats in a weird woods area, where we look around to all sides and see different kinds of trees and other things that normally wouldn’t be found in the same space… Cool!  Let’s get our adventure on!”

mystery adventure!

There are four kinds of trees, which are code names for the four different stitch pattern options for this section.  The four trees have no relation to the four paths that you pick from at the beginning, which are the different item options, so you can pick any stitch pattern to go with any item.

mystery adventure!

There are two stitch patterns meant for a solid or semi-solid yarn, one meant for striping between 2 yarns, and one meant for either striping between 2 or more yarns, or using a variegated yarn with short color sections.

second adventure booklet!

The designs came first, the tree code names second, so don’t expect the stitch patterns to look like the trees; but I did choose the tree names to symbolize elements of the stitch patterns.  I had fun finding the right tree choices!  There are: bristlecone pine tree, giant redwood, birch trees, and the basket tree, which all are very cool looking trees!  (Click the links for photos, much better to see what they look like than my silly drawings!)

Adventure knit drawing - Bristlecone Pine Adventure knit drawing - Basket Tree

I won’t show spoiler photos here, but I will link you over to my ravelry projects to see/read details for all eight of my projects, and I’ll link you over to flickr photos of each section 1 spoiler photo (click the path links).

I’m climbing the bristlecone pine tree in each of the two yarns below – orange Imperial Yarn Columbia on the Green Byway (hands accessory), and green Knitted Wit Merino Worsted on the Gold Route (mystery non-accessory item):

adventure yarn! adventure yarn!

Climbing up the giant redwood with the below handspun yarn along the Green Byway (hands accessory); also climbing a giant redwood with some bulky yarn I didn’t photograph, along the Aqua Passage (neck accessory):

adventure yarn!

I’m climbing up the birch trees with some Louet Riverstone Chunky yarn (seems like aran weight to me, but it’s labeled as bulky, and it’s discontinued now anyway, so whatevs) on the Orange Trail (head accessory), and with this Knit Picks Chroma self-striping and Louet Riverstone worsted along the Aqua Passage (neck accessory):

adventure yarn! adventure yarn!

And finally, up the basket trees I go with this collection of worsted weight leftovers, along the Orange Trail (head accessory), and also with some contrasty variegated Black Trillium sock yarn on the Gold Route (non-accessory item):

adventure yarn!

Furthermore, if you want to see spoiler photos of mystery knit-a-long-ers’ projects, there are lots going up in the rav forums.  You can also read about how it’s all going spoiler-free in the section 1 discussion thread.  Everyone is having lots of fun!  You can totally still join us now and catch up easily by the time the next section goes up on Friday (and it’s 2 bucks cheaper now than it will be when the KAL is over)!

I’m really happy with how this experimental adventure is going so far; if you’re knitting along, I hope you’re happy too!  Yay summer adventure fun times!

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

July 2, 2013

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

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

Adventure knit-a-long booklet!

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

Adventure knit-a-long booklet!

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

Adventure knit-a-long booklet!

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

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

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

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

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

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 1

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

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

Now fold in half widthwise:

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 4

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

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

Now your page should look like this:

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 7

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

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 8

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

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

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

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

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

How to fold the Adventure KAL booklets - 13

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

adventure yarn! adventure yarn! adventure yarn!

adventure yarn! adventure yarn! adventure yarn!

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

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

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

June 19, 2013

Off to TNNA!

So, if you follow knit designers, you surely have at least heard of TNNA – it’s the biggest industry convention trade show thing of the year, every June in Columbus, Ohio (though I think that’s changing next year; oh how the ice cream will be missed by the knitters).  Last year I went for the first time, as a designer wandering aimlessly, pretty much; this year, I’m going to have a booth for the first time!  I’m excited, and very very nervous.

Jeni's day 2

Because it’s a big deal, and big deals call for sales (right? maybe?), I’m having a sale this weekend!  And since I’m leaving on a red-eye flight around midnight tonight (Wednesday night / Thursday am), I’ll start the sale then, and it’ll run until Monday night, since that’s when I’ll get back.  So, Thursday-Monday, enter coupon code TNNA2013 to get 35% off any orders totaling at least $18.  This works out to be approximately buy 2 normal patterns, get 1 free, but this way it’ll work with collections as well – so you can use it on multiple normal patterns, or on the Short Stripes Trio or the Betiko collection plus one more normal pattern (you’ll save more than the price of a single pattern), or Remixed by itself (or plus more to save more).  The code will work on my website or on ravelry.

giant suitcase full of handknits

If you follow me on twitter/instagram, you’ve been seeing some peeks at my booth preparation – I’ve been spray painting picture frames, printing coupons and labels and tags, making buttons, organizing samples, and planning out my booth space.  I have some display details I’ve left secret, which I’m pretty excited about.  I’m nervous things aren’t going to come together exactly as planned, since it’s my first booth, but overall, I think it’ll be a pretty cool space… Oh, and I’m sharing the booth with Tin Can Knits, so that’s awesome too!  (If you’re going, we’ll be grouped together in the area with all the Deep South designers.)

Another TNNA prep thing I spent the last couple weeks working on is 8 new print patterns, now available wholesale to shops (through Deep South), and a new wholesale webpage on my site, which gives preview pdfs of every print pattern!  Click the preview link to see the first page, and sometimes more, of each pattern.  These are the print versions of the patterns, different from the pdf download versions – but, I am in the process of getting all my digital patterns up for preview as well!

For all my patterns which are in my new pdf format (I changed my pdf format this year, so most patterns still need to be updated), there are now preview pdfs of the first 3 pages (usually).  Currently, these previews exist for Robin (above), Maurice, Barry, plus that ebook, Betiko, Biratu, Haka, Skoodlet, and Shapeshifter (those are the only 2 older patterns I’ve updated so far).  So click those links to find the previews (orange links below the you need sections).  Eventually, I hope all my pattern pdfs will have preview links on my site, but it’s a long process…

I think that’s all for now.  My mind is very fluffy lately, with all the tnna prep and stress and excitement… Oh, I’m working on the Adventure KAL between everything else – if you see me knitting in Columbus this weekend, you’ll get a little bit spoiled if you want to ;)

Filed under: knitting,,self-publishing — leethal @ 1:08 pm

April 29, 2013

New and improved Betiko shawl, plus upcoming collection!

The first shawl I designed, back in 2010, was Betiko (on rav), first released as a mystery knit-a-long, then as a long multi-part pattern, with the more simple garter stitch edged version…


…and the customizable pattern, with full instructions for the wavy version (below), detailed instructions for striping in any version, and for plugging in your own stitch patterns for the customizable pattern.  All versions of the pattern for any weight yarn, and all custom-sizable… the original pattern, in my old pdf format, was 27 pages long and kind of overwhelming.  So, I’ve given the pattern(s) an extreme makeover, re-formatted, lots of it re-written, new diagrams, fully re-edited and condensed into my new pdf format down to 14 pages (still a long pattern, but not as long!).

Betiko - mystery pattern version

If you aren’t already familiar with Betiko, I’ll tell you a little more about it.  It’s constructed in four modular sections, with no picked up stitches, no seaming, very few stitches cast on or bound off, everything connected with short rows.  You start across the top edge, working the sideways edge cast-on technique to leave stitches along the side.  Then you start working from those sideways stitches, down into the body of the shawl, working normal short rows to start forming the U shape.  Now your base is established, so you start working around all stitches (no short rows in section 3), with lots of yarn over increases, all the way from top edge to edge to fill out the body.  Lastly, you knit on a sideways edging around the whole outside, working short rows with decreases to bind off the stitches at the same time.  The shawl blocks out to a big crescent shape; the exact shape (wider across, taller, etc) can be adjusted with custom sizing specifics.

mystery pattern revealed!

If you’ve already made a Betiko, I’ll list some of the changes to the new pdf so you know what’s different now…  Small{medium, large} sizes now given instead of smaller{larger}, with measurements for them all (there are still custom sizing notes as well); the customized cabled example is removed from the pdf, since I felt like it just took up unnecessary space and made things seem extra complicated; the diagrams are completely new; a couple changes were made to the actual pattern – wraps are now worked in the short rows in section 2, and the kfb increases in section 3 were removed (they were kind of pointless), and some other minor things.  A short rows tutorial is now included as well.  There are no longer the separate pdfs for the basic versions, since the new pattern is more condensed.

Betiko - mystery pattern version

Now, I know that most knitters have no interest in the whole customizable thing, plugging in your own stitch patterns, planning it all out for all the sections… so, I’m using the Betiko construction as a base for a new collection of shawl designs!  You can pre-order the Betiko collection right now (rav link), getting the Betiko pattern itself right away, and the first new pattern, a cabled shawl, in a few weeks.  Then, later throughout the year, you’ll receive a slip-stitch colorwork shawl pattern, and a lace shawl pattern, all using the same modular construction.

cabled shawl preview

All three of the new designs will include two versions each, to fully take advantage of the customizable nature of the Betiko construction (but each with their own specific patterns).  For the cabled design, there is one fully cabled pattern (with cables worked throughout every section), which is for a set gauge (aran weight yarn) and less customizable with size (there’s a set number of stitches for sections 1 and 2, then you can work the full body section 3 for as big as you want, basically).  And then there’s also a simple version of the pattern, with cables only worked around the edges (different designs for top edge and outer edge), which is for any weight yarn, and fully custom sized/shaped as you like.  All the cable designs are charted, and then the edge cables are also written out, so if you make the simple version you’ll have a choice to work the cables from the charts or written.

cabled shawl preview

The colorwork and lace designs will have similar versions – each with one complex, set gauge pattern, and then one more simple, any-gauge version.  The colorwork shawl will be slip-stitch designs (no stranded colorwork)… I can’t really tell you any more about those future two since they aren’t yet designed ;)  Each pattern will be available individually for $6, or the four-pattern collection is $16.

peek at upcoming design

If you follow me on twitter/instagram, then you’ve already seen these couple of peeks at the cabled design – I’m currently finishing up knitting the second sample, and then it’ll go out for testing and be released in a few weeks, definitely by the end of May.  The other two patterns will be more spread out, so if you pre-order the collection, you can expect them further along into the year, a couple of exciting surprises in your inbox!

peek at upcoming design

If you have already bought Betiko at any point in the last few years since it was released (first in mystery knit-a-long form then normally), then you can use coupon code betikoknitter to get the $6 you already paid off the price of the collection (knocking it down to $10 for the three new patterns!)… if the code doesn’t work for any reason (maybe because you bought Betiko with a different email address or rav/paypal account, etc), then just send me a quick email at leemeredith at gmail dot com and let me know the rav username or email that you used to buy Betiko, and I’ll send you a working discount code.

I hope you’re as excited about this collection as I am – it’s been so much fun to revisit the Betiko construction and go crazy with the cable designs in all the different parts!  I’ve definitely gone further with cable design in this pattern than I ever have before, I can’t wait to reveal the whole thing!

Filed under: knitting,self-publishing — leethal @ 11:59 am

April 10, 2013

Final Short Stripes Trio pattern: Robin the shawl!

The pattern was actually released a couple weeks ago, but I wanted to wait until I completed the whole ebook to do the blog post, and now I have!  So, not only is the third Short Stripes Trio pattern out – Robin – but the whole set is also now all together in an ebook.  The 20 page ebook (which you’ll get when you purchase the whole trio, along with all three individual pdfs) is condensed, one techniques section for all three patterns, fewer pictures, so it’ll take up a lot less space than the three separate pdfs (for tablet/ebook reader storage, that kind of thing).  And to celebrate the completion of the Trio, how about a promotion?!

3 color Robin

Now through the end of next week (April 19th), you can essentially preview the trio by buying any one of the three patterns, checking it out, deciding if you’re into it, then if you decide you love it and you do indeed want the whole set, you can get that $6 spent taken off the price of the Trio!  And it’s valid for previously purchased trio patterns as well!  Meaning, for example, if you bought Maurice a couple months ago when it was first released, then you saw Barry and Robin and thought, ah crap I shoulda bought the whole trio, now here’s your chance!  You can use this preview sale to get the price of that Maurice pattern taken off the price of the trio.

peek at Barry long loop stripy cowl

So, here’s how it works… assuming you’re using your same ravelry account and/or email address to purchase the trio that you used for the first pattern, just add the trio to your shopping cart (through ravelry or my site), and enter the corresponding code into the coupon code box:  mauricegibb if you bought Maurice, barrygibb if you bought Barry, or robingibb if you bought Robin.  If for some reason this code doesn’t work (maybe you weren’t logged into ravelry when you bought the first pattern, or some other reason), simply send me a quick email at leemeredith at gmail dot com and tell me your rav username or email that you used to buy the first pattern, and I’ll send you a working coupon code for $6 off the trio.

Robin in worsted

So that’s that, now on to Robin the shawl!  I’m so happy with how this design turned out!

3 color Robin

It’s for any gauge, but it’s the same pattern regardless of your yarn weight, no swatching needed or math or anything complicated – you just start working at the bottom point, and go up and out and out and out until your shawl is the size you want, or until you run out of yarn!

Robin in worsted

You can make any size with any yarn weight, in either 2 or 3 colors, and you can get different shapes based on when you decide to finish and bind off, anywhere from a pretty much symmetrical curved triangle shape to a very asymmetrical curvy triangle.  The pattern goes into detail about how to get the shape you want, modifications you can make to use up every last bit of yarn, and different ways you can finish, etc…


But don’t let any of that scare you because it’s really a simple pattern once you get the hang of it!  Just lots of basic short rows in garter stitch, so you don’t even have to work the wraps together with the wrapped stitches.  And a simple yarn over increase pattern along the sides.

3 color Robin

There are some techniques used (with full photo tutorials included) for carrying your striping yarns along the back side of your shawl neatly, so you don’t have to weave in all those ends.  Once you learn the techniques you’ll want to use them in all your stripy projects!

Robin the shawl

The two samples I made are in:  Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool (which I have completely fallen in love with!!) worsted weight (MC is Lime Green, CC is Milk Chocolate) – it used up most of the 2 full skeins, about 457 yards/418 meters total (244 yards/223 meters green and 213 yards/195 meters brown)…

Robin in worsted

…and Sandnes Garn Alpakka, which is either sport or DK weight depending on where you look (MC is blue #6554, CC2 is pink #4611), and Brown Sheep Lanaloft sport weight (Celery).  It used approximately 550 yards/503 meters total – 357 yards/326 meters in the blue MC, 68 yards/62 meters in the green CC1, and 125 yards/114 meters in the pink CC2.  So that was 3 full skeins of the blue main color, right up to the last little bit, just barely over one full skein of the pink, and under one skein of the green.  And so you know, the only reason I used a different yarn for the green was that I bought the 2 colors in the alpaca yarn, planning to do another 2 color shawl, then I did some more work on the design and decided to have there be a 3 color version, and since i wanted to get started right away I found the coordinating green in the same weight in my stash – I know I should have waited to go back to the shop to buy another color in the same yarn, but alas, I was impatient.  I’m fine with how it looks, but I just wanted you to know there’s not some designer-y reason I used the other yarn, so there’s no need to copy me with that ;)

3 color Robin

As usual with my any-gauge designs, I had my fabulous testers make versions in all different weights and yarn types, so you can see lots more samples by checking out the ravelry projects – including Valérie’s bulky self-striping version, Kristin’s and Jenifer’s and Lacey’s versions with variegated yarns, Maria’s aran weight version with a self-striping handspun yarn, and Maiya’s gorgeous madelinetosh fingering weight version!  (That’s not all of them, just some which are significantly different from my samples – thank you to all my wonderful test knitters!!)

3 color Robin Robin in worsted

I think that’s all I have to say about Robin – if you are making one of your own, or any of the three Short Stripes Trio patterns, it would be great if you want to post it in the leethal knitters rav group knit-a-long thread!  I can’t wait to see more versions in all different yarns and colors and personalities, yay!

3 color Robin

Oh one last note… of course I had to name this design Robin, but it’s kind of a bummer name because there are so many Robins in the ravelry patterns database (in pattern names and designer names), so people are sometimes having issues linking up to my Robin, both in rav projects and in forum magic linking.  Rav seems to find it easily if you type in “robin leethal” instead of just robin, or “robin-13” since that’s the url name… okay that’s really all I have to say now :)  Happy knitting!

Filed under: knit-a-longs,knitting,pattern Trios,self-publishing — leethal @ 11:54 am

March 7, 2013

Barry the hat! My 100th pattern! (and a celebration sale!)

Pattern #2 of my leethal Short Stripes Trio is out!  Barry the hat is for any weight yarn, with lots of options, variations, and modifications, so you can make it your perfect dream hat…

Barry in yellow

And hey, guess what, Barry was my 100th pattern added to ravelry!!  So that’s exciting!  So, I want to have some kind of sale-ish thing to celebrate, but since I just had a coupon code sale for my birthday less than a month ago, I’m going to try something different this time.  Let’s work together to get more project photos up for my patterns!

You put up a ravelry project page for any of my patterns, with at least 1 photo, or add a photo to a previously photo-less project page, and I will send you a personalized coupon code for 25% off any/all of my patterns!  But wait, it gets better!  Put up two projects with photos, the discount code goes up to 35%!  Three projects, and it goes up to 45%!  Whoa there!  That’s as high as I’ll go, but if you do put up more, then I’ll send multiple codes (so five projects = one 45% code and one 35% code) and then you can save one for later, or pass one on to a friend!

Ohmygosh and there’s still more!  To encourage good photos, I’ll be handing out some additional larger coupon codes for my favorite photos – this will depend on how many there are to choose from, but I plan on choosing my top 3-5 to receive free pattern codes (something like first place gets $12, second place gets $9, third place gets $6).  So shoot your things in natural lighting (if possible) and try to get it in focus and all that fun stuff ;)

This deal is only good for a few days – get your projects up by Monday night (west coast time) and you’ll get the codes.  I’ll send out the coupon codes on Tuesday (via ravelry message) – I should be able to see all the photos go up on my designer end, but if it’s Tuesday night and you haven’t received your code, you might want to shoot me a message to make sure I saw your project.  The discount codes themselves will stay valid for a long time (through the end of the year).

Barry in self-striping and tweed

So that’s that, now on to Barry!  Barry, like Maurice, has lots of variation options, but in different ways.  Barry is written for any gauge, and it’s custom sized to your head by trying it on (or measuring it) while you work the first part sideways.  So there’s no gauge swatching necessary, and you can pick out any weight to make any size!

Barry in self-striping and tweed

You can close up the sides with buttons, or by sewing up the seam, and you can choose whether to use the same colors as main and contrasting yarns throughout the whole hat, or switch which is which, or even incorporate more than 2 yarns if you want to!

Barry in garter stitch

The standard hat is slouchy, but the pattern includes modification instructions for a shorter, non-slouchy size if you prefer:

Barry in superbulky

There are also full instructions for making the garter stitch variation, like the red and blue one:

Barry in garter stitch

This hat is worked modularly with short rows, no picked up stitches, and no seaming if you make the buttoning version.  A yarn-carrying technique is used which prevents the need to break the contrasting yarn and weave in a zillion ends, so the pattern includes a step-by-step photo tutorial for that, as well as instructions for other techniques used.

Barry in self-striping and tweed

The hat is a bit on the complex side, as far as hats go, but it’s not hard, as long as you trust the pattern, read the notes, and just take it one step at a time.  It goes quickly since the first section takes the longest, and it grows bigger as it moves along, and then the second section rows get shorter as the hat grows, so it speeds up and then you decrease in for the crown and it’s finished, bam!  It really is a fun knit!

Barry in yellow

If you want to know details about each of my samples, they are all in the ravelry project pages – the main yellow sample is in wonderful Anzula For Better or Worsted; the self-striping+tweed is Classic Elite Liberty Wool and Berroco Blackstone Tweed (but I don’t recommend using these exact 2 yarns together because the weights differ too much – see project page for details); the garter stitch sample is Alpaca with a Twist Baby Twist; the short bulky sample is Brown Sheep Burly Spun and handspun.  Also check out my fabulous test knitters’ versions in the project pages, great hats!

Barry in garter stitch

Which reminds me, even though all my samples are a little bit on the girly side, this hat design is totally gender neutral, as you can see with Maiya’s fantastic Barry for her man, love it!!

Oh yeah, and you can wear the buttoning version different ways by unfastening some of the buttons (do the same with the seamed version by leaving a slit at the bottom when you sew it closed)…

Barry in garter stitch Barry in yellow

Barry in yellow Barry in yellow

Barry is part of my Short Stripes Trio, along with Maurice, and I’m currently working on Robin, so if my in-progress prototype goes well then I’ll start posting some preview shots (on twitter/instagram/tumblr) soon.  (The whole trio is $12; each pattern solo is $6.)

Barry in yellow

If you are knitting any of the Short Stripes patterns, come post about them in the knit-a-long thread of the leethal rav group!  Okay, that’s all I can think of to say about Barry.  I hope you like it!  Happy knitting!!

Barry in garter stitch

Filed under: hats,knit-a-longs,knitting,pattern Trios,self-publishing — leethal @ 8:09 pm
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