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

September 21, 2015

New pattern: Galax Shawl in Interweave Knits Gifts issue!

My latest pattern can be found in Interweave Knits Gifts 2015, in your local bookstore or yarn shop, or online here.  Galax Shawl is a worsted weight, lacy, modular piece, which is almost more like a scarf than a shawl in shape:

Galax shawl

It’s a long, narrow shawl/wrap, or a wide, lacy, curved scarf, however you want to think of it!  The worsted weight lace makes it nice and cozy but not too heavy, and it can be styled lots of different ways.

Galax shawl

Here it is in the magazine!

Galax in Interweave Knits Gifts 2015 issue

I mentioned in my big rambling recent post that this design was coming, and that it started out as a submission idea for a different publication and then got tweaked for this one.  It went through a few different iterations before finding its best version… The body has always been the same (except for changes to gauge/ stitch counts), but the edging got changed a few times throughout the design process.  I’m really happy with the end results!

original Galax idea sketch Galax submission sketch

original Galax idea sketch Galax submission sketch

I’m also really happy with how it looks in the magazine!  Yay!

Galax in Interweave Knits Gifts 2015 issue

The design is in HiKoo Kenzie yarn (same yarn I used for my Tionne sweater, one of my all time favorite yarns!) and it looks excellent in a tweedy, slightly halo-y kind of yarn blend like this one (which is 50% New Zealand merino, 25% nylon, 10% angora, 10% alpaca, 5% silk noils).  It uses about 660 yards / 600 meters of worsted weight yarn, so it requires 5 balls of the Kenzie.

Galax shawl

The finished measurements are approx 110 inches / 280 cm along outer edge, 70 inches / 178 cm along inner edge, and 11 inches / 28 cm wide.  It’s plenty long to wrap around your neck several times!

Galax shawl

Or it can be draped more loosely and shawl-like:

Galax shawl

It’s made modularly, with no picked up stitches – the edging is first, sideways, with a sideways edge cast-on technique to leave live stitches along the top for later, then the body is worked across those body stitches, up to the top.

Galax shawl

The lace patterns are charted.  It’s a pretty easy knit, in terms of complexity/techniques… just follow the charts and it’ll all work out.  But, do keep track of your rows well – don’t do what I did and accidentally skip 1 row two thirds of the way through the edging and then don’t notice it until your stitch count is 1 off at the end.  Actually, if you do that, it’s really not a big deal – just add an extra stitch and it’ll be fine, no one will ever notice.  Me, on the other hand, I was too worried the tiny mistake would show up in a photo so I frogged the whole chunk and fixed it :-p  Can you see the mistake below there?  I can!  I’m glad I fixed it so it doesn’t drive me crazy forever!  (It wouldn’t drive me crazy at all for the mistake to exist in the knit item, but if it showed in a photo in the magazine, that would have been a bummer.)

Galax shawl mistake in edging

Anyway, as long as you keep track of your rows, pretty simple pattern.  Well, compared to a lot of my designs, basic-ish.  Just the 2 sections, each with a repeating chart pattern, worked flat, no finishing steps.  And I love knitting chunky lace in worsted, so I think it’s a pretty fun knit!

Galax shawl

If you want to think variations/mods, I think it would look pretty cool with different colors used for the edging and body.  As for more advanced mods, it wouldn’t be difficult to adjust the size – well, of course you could use a different weight to make it either smaller or larger by just making it in a different gauge.  But, you could do a more extreme size mod by giving it fewer or more repeats across the length, by working this mod:  Stop the first section (the edging) when the body stitches on the long side of the marker total any multiple of 35, plus 4 (fewer than 284 for a shorter length, or more than 284 for a longer length); work the body section normally (you’ll just have a different number of pattern repeats).  If you have only 4 balls of Kenzie instead of 5, work this mod to make it 1 repeat shorter – stop the edging when you have 249 body stitches; or if you have 5 balls, that’s enough to make it longer if you want to, stopping at 319 body stitches.  For yardage planning purposes, the edging uses approx 45% of the total yardage.

Galax shawl

If you try a modification (or just if you make a Galax at all), be sure to post a photo on ravelry so I can see it! :)

Galax shawl

So that’s Galax – it’s in this magazine, find it on ravelry here (but not for sale there), see more photos in this Interweave post about it here.

Galax shawl

A couple other things real quick… I happened to notice this morning that my instagram account had 999 posts and 1990 followers, coincidentally, so I made this graphic to be my 1000th post:

instagram giveaway

The deal is, when 2000 followers is reached (as I’m writing this it’s at 1992), I’ll pick 5 winners at random from ALL followers (new and old) to each win a $6 off coupon code for my patterns!

Stash podcast Ep003

And lastly, I was interviewed for episode #3 of the new Stash podcast!  Stash, in Corvallis, Oregon, is one of my favorite ever yarn shops so of course I was thrilled to be one of their first designer interviewees!  Listen to hear me talk about designing, collaborating, binge watching, working at home alone, Portland, and more!  (iTunes link)

Filed under: gifts,knitting,podcasts — Lee Meredith @ 8:04 pm

September 3, 2015

News, timelines, and lots of design process ramblings

News for Oregonians!  For the first time this year, I’ll be teaching at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in Canby – and registration deadline is very soon!  Register online by this Saturday (Sept 5th) to ensure your spot.  If you miss that deadline, you can still come and sign up in person at the event, but you risk there not being space left.

leethal hats

I’m teaching No-Pattern Hat Knitting; I’ll teach you how to make 3 different kinds of hats with constructions that allow you to size it to your head as you knit, in any weight/gauge.  I taught this class at Knit Fit! in Seattle last year and it was great!  I’m excited to teach it again!  My class is Friday September 25th in the afternoon slot.

Damn I've made a lot of hats! This is just a small percentage, for class examples. Excited to teach no-pattern hat knitting for the first time, at @knitfitseattle !

And another thing for more northern Pacific Northwest knitters – I won’t actually be at Knit Fit! this year, but my Game Knitting night will be!  This year’s movie is Clueless so I’m bummed to be missing it, but you should go and have tons of fun without me!!

Game Knitting night has begun!!

So, I don’t use this blog a ton anymore these days… I figure it kind of exists for followers of my work who want to keep up with what I’m up to, and as a place to talk in more detail about new designs and stuff.  It’s been quite a busy year, and is continuing to be, so how about I use this space to tell you all about what’s up with me, and you can read it all the way to the bottom if you’re interested… and I’ll tell you a few more newsy things up front.  I don’t have a big vision for this blog in the long term, but for now, right now, I feel like rambling on a bit about my year and design work, so I’m going to do that, and I’ll continue to announce new patterns as they come, and if there’s some random tutorial or project here and there that I find the time to post, I will, but yeah, mostly just the rambling and the announcements.

full body trio image triyang collection image adventure 3 cover page Remixed collection image

I want to address some things you may have pre-ordered from me, to let you know they are not forgotten and give you a general timeline.

  • Full Body Trio.  Tionne, the first pattern, was released last fall, Lopes came in the spring, and the final pattern (Chilli) was originally meant for the end of this year.  My original design idea was for a piece that was a warm layer for winter/fall, so that was my plan… but I did some rethinking on the design this year, a new idea popped into my head, and the concept evolved into a springy (possibly summery) kind of garment.  So, that is staying on hold for awhile longer – planned release is now early spring of next year.
  • Triyang collection.  Nothing new to say about that, but I’ll just repeat here that I plan/hope to get the other 3 patterns out by the end of this year.
  • Adventure Knitting 3.  The ebook is complete, has been for awhile, so if you buy it digitally you’re all set.  But the print book (like the first 2 have) is on hold for a little awhile because I just flat out ran out of time; I needed to get caught up on deadline projects first, then I’ll get that book together and hopefully have it released in time to make a good holiday gift possibility :)
  • Remixed.  This is my big guilty weight on my shoulders.  The pattern collection was complete several years ago, and the recycled-yarn-making ebook is still in progress.  I feel terrible about this, and I learned big lessons about how to plan long-term projects going forward… I keep planning/trying to squeeze it in between other things, but there ends up not being time enough to complete it.  It really is getting there, and my plan as of right now is to basically spend January on this ebook, like top priority for that entire month (unfortunately, there is no sooner month with time available).  As for the patterns, I have a huge update in the works, which I almost finished last spring and then wasn’t able to do the final steps, and I really hope to find the 2-3 days needed to focus on that and get it done and released – this will be all 8 pattern pdfs in a modified format to take up WAY fewer pages, more in line with my current pdf style, and edited/updated to just be better patterns generally.  Also, when the patterns are updated and the ebook is finally released, the price of the whole collection will be going up a bit, so ordering now will save a few bucks.

Okay, that’s that.  Now I’ll tell you all about what I’ve been up to, design-wise, for the last almost-year…

Last fall, there was a submission call for a publication that spoke to me – I immediately started brainstorming and came up with 2 different design ideas I loved, which I thought fit the call really well.  I put a ton of work into designing both patterns pretty thoroughly, and sent in my submission.  Unfortunately, the call got an overwhelming number of submissions (it’s a popular publication) and mine didn’t make the cut.

original Twou as a submission idea

original Twou as a submission idea original Twou as a submission idea

Which was totally okay with me, because during the proposal-making process, I’d thought and brainstormed, and ended up realizing, hey, this one design, the construction is awesome and super versatile, it would actually make for a perfect collection!  That design ended up becoming Twou – the lace design in the Triyang collection.  The big gold swatch in that photo was the design swatch for that proposal.  Twou will be a bit different (heavier weight yarn for one thing) but that was the beginning of the Triyang collection design process.  As soon as it didn’t get in there, I started planning the collection around the construction, deciding to do it similarly to the Betiko collection, a garter stitch, any-gauge pattern, and then lace, cabled, and colorwork designs in the same construction.  But unlike the patterns in the Betiko collection, I decided to just do one version per pattern, just a single gauge pattern for each of the non-garter designs.  I was super excited to get the ball rolling on this… but needed to work on other things first that were already rolling.  So, I’d get back to that collection plan in 2015 (this planning ahead after the proposal was still happening in late fall of last year).

So then, there was that other submission – remember how I said I proposed 2 different pattern ideas?  Shortly after that proposal didn’t work out, I saw another call for submissions for another publication, for which the second design idea fit perfectly!  The first proposal was for fingering weight, and this one was for worsted (or, based on the call, I wanted to change the design to worsted), so I made a new swatch and sent in that proposal… and didn’t hear back… and pretty much forgot about it… until earlier this year, I found out they’d held onto the design for a later issue from the one I’d submitted to, and it was picked up for that one, yay!

And, even though it’s not out yet, I can actually tell you what it’s going to be in, and show you a photo of it, because it was revealed in the fall issue of Interweave Knits!  (And online too.)  So yeah, this pattern will be in the Gifts issue of Interweave, coming out pretty soon!

Ohmygosh I was flipping through the new Interweave Knits fall issue and did a double take! This is my design!! It's shown on pages 3 and 4, with the featured needle set. It will be in the Gifts issue this fall!

So, that was designed and knit and everything in early spring of this year, around the same time I was designing and knitting Lopes.  And around the same time I’d originally been hoping to be designing the entire Triyang collection… I had this whole plan at the beginning of the year, which involved the then-unnamed triangle shawl collection being released in the spring, before the Adventure Knit-a-long launched.  Well, the theme of my life pretty much is things always take SO MUCH more time than I expect/want them to… Zulo took a ton of extra time, throwing off my early spring, and then Lopes did as well, and since that new Interweave pattern was thrown into the timeline, by the time I actually got going designing Triyang, it was already getting really close to the time of year I wanted to release the whole collection.

And then, like I mentioned in my Triyang post, I ended up spending WAY more time than expected swatching out versions of the shawl shape, trying to get it just right and figure out how to write the pattern, etc, etc.  So by the time I was actually ready to knit the samples, and figure out stitch patterns for the other collection patterns and stuff, it was late April, and I had to make some choices.  I could really try to get the whole collection out as planned, as quickly as possible, before the Adventure KAL, and then the KAL would have to happen in late summer, possibly like really late summer.  I didn’t want to do that – I wanted the KAL to happen in early-mid summer, and I knew trying to get the collection out pre KAL (which still needed to be designed at this point!) would risk things taking longer than expected and the KAL getting bumped even more… it just wasn’t going to work.

Oh, and then, kind of a tangent, there were a couple of other designs thrown into the mix right around this time of the year.  I worked really hard (spending way too much time, once again) on a publication proposal in May, cutting into that Triyang designing time.  And I did a design for a third party in June (a secret one, pixelated below, which will be revealed probably in a few weeks), which again lengthened my timeline on self-publishing plans.  Of course, I take on all these projects because I want to, and I love doing them, I just kind of am terrible at planning realistic timelines for myself.

I knit at a shipwreck yesterday! #wwkipday #placeswhereyoucanknit

I made my decision, got Triyang and the collection in general (especially Twou, which already had a lot of work put into it) into a state where I’d kind of worked through everything that was in-process in my brain and in notes, wrote up the whole pattern in as complete a format as possible, so that I could put the whole thing on hold for a few months, and I’d be able to pick it back up where I left off no problem.  (Putting a design on hold and coming back to it later is normally pretty risky, since you might not remember little things that you hadn’t thought were worth writing down at the time, or you might not be able to decipher your own notes, or just not being in the same headspace as before can hurt the design…)  During this first run of Triyang collection designing, I made alllll the swatches I mentioned last week, figuring out ratios and everything, all the design details, for the Triyang pattern, which would relate to the whole collection… lots of notes were taken.

Triyang notebook pages Triyang notebook pages

Since Twou had been semi-designed for that submission, I did more swatching in the new heavier weight gauge, made some stitch pattern decisions, and got that pattern basically done, to come back and knit the sample later.  Twou will be in Infinite Twist Helix DK weight yarn (in Spooky Purple):

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

I also made yarn decisions about the other two designs, so that I’d be ready to dive right in when the time came to focus on them, getting these skeins of Black Trillium Pebble Worsted (in Phoenix Rising and Saltwater) for the colorwork pattern:

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

And this giant skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Targhee Worsted (in Blue Moonstone) for the cabled design, perfectly squishy for the big cables!

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

So that collection was all planned out for later, and I set it aside, the first Triyang sample in-progress and the other yarns all ready to go, so I could pick them up as soon as possible.

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

I started work on designing this year’s Adventure Knitting collection then, in May.  With the plan to get that done, like completely totally done, by the time the actual KAL started, in July, so while the KAL itself was happening I could be knitting the Triyang samples and designing the other collection patterns.  And then, like a month or so after the KAL, I’d release the entire 4-pattern collection all at once.

These are all my color coded swatches for the new Adventure Knitting collection - 31 stitch patterns! I just posted the big reveal blog post with all the patterns and details! (Blog at leethal.net)

Well, of course, Adventure Knitting got totally out of hand and took SO MUCH more time than I wanted it to.  I had this plan that I’d make this year’s much simpler and shorter than last year’s, which was ridiculously long and complex and just too much.  Well, this year’s was different, and there were some things that were shorter/faster, but other things that kind of spiraled away from my plans and got bigger and bigger… and in the end, this year’s pattern book was even LONGER than last year’s.  Blech, why do I let these things get so overwhelming?  One idea leads to another and I can’t stop myself.  Great for you (SO MANY pattern options to choose from!), not so good for me and my timeline.  So, I was still finishing up samples and doing work on the pattern all the way through the KAL, and wasn’t able to even pick up Triyang until the KAL was over.

Which leads me to other factors… My plan to release the Triyang collection asap after the KAL was part of the greater plan/timeline for the year.  Because I’m doing the big awesome exciting collaboration project this fall!  (Mentioned back here.)  And then, three other opportunities happened to come up for the fall which I couldn’t pass up, because they are all so great and exciting and I’m wanting to branch out and do more third party stuff and diversify my income and all that self-employment stuff… so… I have deadlines now for 6 (SIX) different patterns within the next couple of months.  Which is insane, for me.  I usually design pretty complex patterns, and I usually average around 1 per month.  So yeah.

Just spent the most glorious 2 hours with @bluemoonfiberarts, @starathena, and @shannonsq around this table of about a hundred colors, scheming away about something.

This is why my Triyang collection plans got further bumped.  I really loved the idea of releasing all 4 patterns at once, and I even had a head start – Twou was almost completely designed in like April – but once the KAL was over, and these other deadlines had appeared, there was no way.  The Triyang pattern was almost done already, so I powered through that and got it out as quickly as I could, and now I’m focused on all this new excited stuff through early November.  And then, I really hope I’ll be able to get those 3 Triyang collection patterns designed and finished extra quickly, since they are all started.  Of course, there’s that theme of everything always taking longer than expected, but I’ll just do my best and see how it goes.

One thing I did to speed up the Triyang release was a new system that I think turned out really well, and will hopefully speed up future pattern releases as well.  I skipped the entire test-knitting process!  The pattern got knit by me (in the case of Triyang, knit over and over and over by me, like 20 times!), and then when it was in its as-finished-as-possible-by-me state, it went to an excellent tech editor who gave extremely thorough notes, found a couple of typos, checked that all my numbers were correct, etc, and now the pattern is all set for public use!  (Thanks Chris for the great edit!)  The only thing missing is project pages on ravelry when the pattern is brand new, which my patterns usually have from the test knitters; so if some of you fabulous knitters out there make a Triyang and post your projects on ravelry, I will be so happy!  There are already a few, which is awesome, including this finished one by Sarah!  Love it!!

So that’s a bunch of assorted behind the scenes leethal stuff that’s been going on in my year.  As for what you can look forward to for the rest of the year, besides those Triyang patterns around the end of it, more details about that collaboration will be revealed in a couple of months, and I’ll be instagramming peeks at those patterns as I work on them.

I was trying to photograph these giant cakes of yarn on my head, because why not, but they kept falling. My job is really hard.

I’m designing a hat in this Knitted Wit yarn…

I've been in heavy duty pattern editing, copy writing, and charting mode allllll day, so I'm very excited to be casting on a new hat in this fun speckle-y @knittedwit Targhee Shimmer Worsted!

…that you can expect around October 1st:

Hard at work on 3 different designs today, but this is the only one I can show you now. Looking good in worsted merino! #kwsnowy

And then a couple of other things I’m working on won’t be revealed until next year.  And speaking of next year, I have some big plans for 2016!  A couple of months ago, I brainstormed up an idea that I am SUPER excited about, but now I have to patiently wait until the end of the year to launch it.  At least I’ll have plenty of fun work to keep me busy till then!!

Filed under: hats,knitting,portland stuff,self-publishing,Triyang collection — Lee Meredith @ 7:06 pm

August 25, 2015

New pattern: Triyang!

New pattern time!


Triyang (ravelry link) is a garter stitch shawl, made any size with any weight yarn, with a fun modular construction – 3 narrow triangles are joined with short rows, increases, and decreases, no picked up stitches, to form a long, slightly asymmetrical triangle shape.  Only 2 stitches are cast on, and there’s no bind off at all.

DSC_0180-recolored DSC_0224

It can be made with or without stripes for different kinds of looks.  The pattern includes detailed notes on striping.


The pattern also includes instructions for maximizing your yardage – weigh your yarn before you start, and then make your shawl to use up as much yarn as possible without running out.


The pattern gives small, medium, large sizes – my blue-green gradient sample is the small, and my grey+white striped sample is the large – but you can make any size.  The edge of the first section ends up being almost exactly half the length of the top edge of the final piece, so it’s super easy to make exactly the size you want!  Or do the yarn weighing thing and make it whatever size you can get with the yarn you have.


My large sample is big enough to wrap around twice for mega coziness, or drape more loosely around once, keeping the shoulders comfy, or make weirdo poses like this:


The pattern also includes a breakdown of the construction, with schematics, customization options – like adding ties…


…or making it small for a kerchief…


…or using 3 equal skeins for 3 color blocks without running out of yarn (this sample is using 3 mini-skeins – the same style made with 3 full size skeins would make an awesome big shawl!)…


…and detailed instructions for the differing stripes pattern, which is what’s used in my large striped sample.  There’s also a photo tutorial for German short rows (there’s also one of those on my website here), which is the recommended method.


The pdf is 8 pages total, but the pattern itself is on just 1 page!  (A sentence which does actually warrant an exclamation point, which you know if you’re familiar with a lot of my patterns, usually much longer than 1 page!)

DSC_9457 DSC_4770-1200

My large striped sample is in fabulous Anzula Cole aran weight silk/camel blend yarn – 2 skeins each color Au Natural and Pewter.  This yarn was excellent to work with, and this shawl is absolutely luxurious and I love it so much!!

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My small sample is in a Canon Hand Dyes William Merino Gradient yarn cake, fingering weight; I used approximately 430 yards out of the 460 yard cake, maximizing it the best I could without risking running out at the end.  I love how this gradient worked out!


If you love the gradient look, but you like a larger shawl, I have some ideas for you!  I think it would look awesome to use 2 of these gradient cakes – 1 cake from the center out, then start a second of the same colorway from the outside in, so the colors shift blue to green and back to blue, or whatever the colorway is.  It would also look fantastic to stripe between a gradient yarn and a solid yarn throughout, doubling your yardage.  Or, you could use 2 gradient cakes of the same colorway and hold them together, doubling the weight, for a larger + thicker shawl, since the pattern is written for any weight.


And then, my little cowl kind of sample with the ties – that’s in Knitted Wit Targhee Shimmer Worsted, which is 80% Targhee wool and 20% silk.  Love this yarn!  And these aren’t 3 colors I’d normally have chosen, if I had a full palette to choose from, but I got these from the dyer’s extras and I thought, hmmmm, maybe this would be cool, and then I ended up loving it!!  Yay for stepping outside your color comfort zone!


Speaking of stepping outside your color comfort zone… what you do all think of my striped sample, modeled over grey clothes?!  That was a difficult photoshoot for me ;)

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Anyway, there are 2 more little samples – a kerchief version, in orange Knitted Wit Welterweight Rambouillet (which happens to be one of my all time favorite yarns ever, by the way), with a button closure:

DSC_9978 DSC_0019

And then the first actual sample I made, to test everything out and figure out the yardage percentage per section, so I could better plan my main samples (I instagrammed it many months ago)… this one is handspun alpaca striped with hand-dyed yarn scraps from my stash, all around worsted-aran weight.  It’s just a little bit smaller than the official small size:


Other pattern things!  This is the start of a new collection!  The Triyang collection is similar to the Betiko collection – this first main pattern is a basic version, any-weight/any-gauge/any-size, with customization possibility.  (Not to the extent of Betiko, but same kind of concept.)  The 3 upcoming patterns will use the same construction as Triyang, same shape, with stitch patterns plugged in.


I am releasing this collection for pre-order in a new way – there are ravelry pattern pages up already for the nonexistent patterns, with preview photos!  The preview for Twou, the lace pattern, with swatches, a sketch, some chart bits, the yarn being used for the sample (Infinite Twist Helix), and the beginning of the sample knit on the needle:


Then Liy, the colorwork pattern, with all slip-stitch striped colorwork, no stranded knitting (only 1 color used per row), directly below (in Black Trillium Pebble Worsted).  And the cabled pattern, Vire, is down below that (in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Targhee Worsted).  These will all be released around the end of the year, probably/hopefully in or around December.  If you pre-order the collection now, you’ll get Triyang immediately, and then each of these delivered to your inbox as soon as they’re out.  (On ravelry here.  Each individual pattern will be $6, the 4-pattern collection is $16.)


The design details in these photos may change significantly in the final designs – these are sketches and swatches from the planning process, to give you an idea of vaguely what the shawls might look like.  I am at varying levels in the design process for these designs; I’ll be posting further previews as I work on them, but that won’t be for a few months.  I’ll be posting another blog post in the near future more about this collection, about the design process more, and I’ll talk about why the other 3 patterns are delayed a bit (other exciting things happening this fall! too much excitement!).


Other things… For this collection, I created a new custom font for pattern headings and stuff, and I made a new pattern template, so the Triyang pdf has a bit of a different look to it from my other patterns.  I had fun thinking outside the box for the cover page!

TriyangPDF copy

Oh, something else I had fun messing around with – I wanted to show you a visual of how the construction works, very basically, so I made an animated gif!  Not to scale, kind of a wonky shape, but just to give you an idea:


So there’s the order of how things are worked – you start at the left point, across the bottom section 1, then the middle section 2 gets worked up from there, and the final section 3 starts again at the left point, out all the way to the other point.  Here are 4 samples’ left points, where the 3 sections meet up:


The design process was pretty extreme for figuring out exactly the best ways to make the shape and stuff… I’d originally planned to have different options for things like increase ratios and short row stitch counts, to make differently shaped triangles (like, more or less deep, more or less asymmetrical).  But after a couple weeks of swatching (there are 8 of my large swatches pictured below), I came to the conclusion that the best pattern would be made by sticking to the best combinations of these elements instead of giving options and making it too complex for no good reason.


Okay I’ll stop typing now and just show you a few more photos.  I’ll be back to the blog soon for kind of a more behind the scenes process post about this collection, plus more general leethal news kinds of things… For now, enjoy Triyang, and I hope wherever in the world you are you’re getting some good knitting weather!

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Edited to add a couple notes:

There’s a casual knit-a-long for Triyang in the leethal knitters! ravelry group, which basically means, if you make a Triyang you’re encouraged to share it there in the group, and if you have any questions, you can ask them in there.

If you own or work at a yarn shop, Triyang is enabled for ravelry in-store sales, and it should be available wholesale on Deep South very soon!

Filed under: knitting,self-publishing,Triyang collection — Lee Meredith @ 7:00 am

July 27, 2015

Adventure Knitting 3 – revealed!

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

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

The extremely generous prize sponsors are:

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

ThreeFatesYarns TheSexyKnitter

SpaceCadet-Colour Schmutzerella-Yarns HazelKnits

KnittedWit JillDraperMakesStuff

Anzula CanonHandDyes InfiniteTwist

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

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

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

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

Adventure Knitting 3 swatches Adventure Knitting 3 sample stack

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

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

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

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

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

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

Adventure Knitting 3 patterns

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

Adventure Knitting 3 patterns

Adventure Knitting 3 patterns

Adventure Knitting 3 patterns

Adventure Knitting 3 patterns

Adventure Knitting 3 patterns

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

rounded cowl sample Adventure Knitting 3 closeup

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

Adventure Knitting 3 closeup Adventure Knitting 3 closeup

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

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

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

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

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

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure KAL booklet page

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

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

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

Adventure Knitting 3 sample stack

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

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

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

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

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

Adventure Knitting 3 drawing Adventure Knitting 3 drawing

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

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

June 3, 2015

Third annual summer Adventure Knit-a-long!

It’s coming!  This year’s leethal Adventure Knit-a-long starts in July!  It’s released for pre-order now, on my site and on ravelry, and you can start chatting about adventure plans in the leethal rav forum.  If you sign up, you’ll automatically receive each pattern section on the release dates, and the complete collection ebook when it’s all over.

Adventure Knit-a-long 2015!

There’s an early-signup discount right now – $8 until Monday, when it will raise to $9 for the rest of the pre-order time, then it will go up each time a section is released.  (Note: If you are in an EU country, your country’s VAT will be added to the price.)

Here’s the calendar:

  • (Monday, June 8th: pre-order price raises to $9)
  • Thursday, July 2nd: setup section released (price raises to $10)
  • Thursday, July 9th: pattern section 1 released (price raises to $11)
  • Thursday, July 16th: pattern section 2 released (price raises to $12)
  • Thursday, July 23rd: pattern section 3 released (price raises to $14, the final price)
  • ebook will be released shortly after the KAL ends

A leethal Adventure KAL is like a mystery KAL with tons of choices, Choose Your Own Adventure style, so you end up with a custom item.  So, KALers’ projects all look totally different from each other, which makes the sharing part really fun, and then when the KAL is over you have the whole collection and can make more different items in the future.  (To show you Adventure Knitting variety – first year’s collection; second year’s collection.)

If you join the KAL, you’ll be choosing from several different accessory items to make, selecting design details for your item, and picking from a wide variety of different stitch patterns to use.  Techniques used and experience level required depend on the choices made, so if you want to make a really simple, mindless kind of piece, that will be possible; if you want to make a crazy complex piece with lace, twisted stitches, cables, short rows, and more, that will be possible too!

Adventure Knit-a-long 2015!

The way the sections will work this year will be a bit different… I won’t reveal much now, but because of the structure, and the fact that there are several small-ish kinds of items, this KAL will be very inviting to making multiple items if you want to.

As for the theme, some of that is part of the mystery, but I’ll tell you this: there will be animals.  The pre-order pdf gives you a bit more theme info (not much), and these drawings show a glimpse of where the adventure will take place.  There won’t be so much of a story like there was last year – I’m focusing on the knitting itself this year – but there should be some fun drawings and stuff, and I might throw in an extra non-knitting item for fun, still planning these extra details out.

Adventure Knit-a-long 2015!

This year there will be prizes given out at random to KALers with ravelry project pages!  Details about that will be announced in the ravelry group as things progress, but basically, make sure you put up your ravelry project page(s) once you get started knitting, as prize drawings will be based on those.

The pre-order pdf gives some info about yarn needed, so you can start planning – I’ll paste some of that in here for you:

  • All items and stitch patterns will be for any gauge / yarn weight, but if you use a heavy weight yarn, you may have fewer options for stitch patterns.
  • Most patterns this year are for one single yarn, but that yarn can be multicolored – stitch patterns may be obscured by very contrasty variegated yarns, but more subtle variegation, or gradient style colorways with blending stripes, may be a very nice fit.  There will be an option for a two-color design as well, so if you have two solid colors you want to use together, that’ll work too!
  • Most items will use one or two skeins worth of yardage, so if you have one good single skein, you will definitely be able to use it!

Adventure Knitting DIY book

Above is the DIY bound book from the first year’s collection – KAL pattern sections come to you both as normal pdf pages, and as printable, foldable book pages, which you can bind together when the collection is complete and make yourself a book like that!  And all complete Adventure Knitting collections (post-KAL) are available as ebooks, which include these printable pages, so you can make the books of each collection for your bookshelf.  Also, post-KAL, the collections are turned into print books, for those who prefer normal books over KALs and DIY books – something for everyone!  Below are the first two Adventure Knitting collections on my shelf – A Day in the Woods and The Mysterious Trunk – and last year’s in the print book format.

Adventure Knitting 1 & 2 on the bookshelf! This year's is so much bigger than last year's! Ebook complete with book cover coming very soon to KALers! Working outside of the house today - final proofing of the Adventure Knitting 2 print book! And I'm wearing my knit pants for the first time, so that's exciting too!

This year’s will be the same – a collection of items, with tons of options; right now, the KAL is listed as an ebook on ravelry, with just one “mystery item” as a placeholder.  When the setup section pdf is released to KALers, the items will be revealed and pattern listings will go up for each item type.  Of course, projects of the same item type will all look different, depending on stitch patterns used, and also yarn weight, etc.

I’ve been designing all the stitch patterns over the last few weeks – pictured below is one of my swatches, over 20 different stitch patterns tested out in a row, many of them successes (many not!).  The structure of how the stitch patterns will work within the pieces is different from the last two years, and I’m really loving how it’s all coming together!

I've spent the last few days swatching one stitch pattern after another, creating the biggest swatch ever. That's a 7 inch wide swatch, wrapped around my neck 4 times, approx 110 inches long :-O

Things haven’t been plugged into pattern pages yet (mostly working from charts for now, while I plan it all out), but I’m really hoping it all comes together a bit more compactly than last year’s collection, which got kind of overwhelming and huge (112-page DIY book pictured below).  I LOVE last year’s collection – the knit items, the stitch patterns, the theme, the fortune telling objects – but it did get a bit out of control with the amount of time I spent on it, and getting the collection to fit into the print book format was quite the challenge.

Adventure Knitting 2

But, even with this year’s pattern collection planned to be a bit more compact, the quantity of samples made will probably end up being pretty similar to last year’s stack (below), since there are just SO MANY options and I want to show them all!  (Well, not ALL, then I’d have to make like a thousand samples!)  Luckily, this year there aren’t any really big projects like there were last year – there are a couple items which can be made extra large if you want, and would look awesome in large sizes, but I can choose to stick to smaller sizes for my samples due to time constraints.  Anyway, I’m rambling a bit here, giving you a glimpse into my process, or something :-p

The final pattern section of the #adventureKAL went out today, so here's a not-spoilery shot of ALL my sample items. 6 shapes, to make 10+ different items, 24 stitch patterns, endless possibility!

So, come adventure with us – the group is already chatting about yarn choices and stuff.  Also, there’s a casual KAL thread for making projects from the first two Adventure Knitting collections, for those who want some adventurous knitting fun this month before the official KAL starts!  This can be for if you’ve just now discovered Adventure Knitting and want to try out one of the previous collections, or for if you are already an owner of a previous collection and want to maybe make another item from it while you await this year’s KAL.

While we eagerly wait till July, I may post some very vague peeks on instagram during this month, glimpses at what kinds of accessories this year will have to offer, maybe some new drawings…

Oh!  Speaking of instagram – use #AdventureKAL on whatever social media you’re into, when posting about your KAL projects.  Of course, ravelry will be the main place for sharing projects (both project pages, and leethal group forum), but we can also check in with the hashtag for sharing beyond rav!

Adventure Knit-a-long 2015!

I think that’s all for now.  Any questions?  Ask them in the rav group and I’ll answer what I can… Yay Adventure KAL!  I’m so excited!

Filed under: adventure knitting,knit-a-longs,knitting — Lee Meredith @ 12:55 pm

May 28, 2015

What’s new this spring

Hi readers!  I am excited to tell you that I have a new page on my website: print patterns!  An assortment of my most popular patterns (kind of a random selection actually, based on things like formatting, not just on popularity) are now available in high-quality printed format; you can see them all on that page, where you can link to the pattern info pages to learn more about the patterns, and click over to buy them through MagCloud.

Print patterns!

When you buy a print pattern there, you’ll also receive a digital copy of the pattern (not the ravelry digital version in your rav library, just a pdf of the print pattern, but that way you can get started right away!).  The pricing of the print patterns there is the same as my print patterns sold in yarn shops; if you want to save on shipping, you can always ask your local yarn shop if they carry my patterns ;)

And speaking of yarn shops, if you happen to own or work at a yarn shop, the other big website update I just completed is my wholesale page.  It’s now all up to date, with a current downloadable line sheet, and previews of all available patterns.

So those are my announcements of what’s new right now… as for more exciting new pattern type news, I have been working hard on many things, including this year’s Adventure Knit-a-long!!  But you’ll learn more about that very soon (like, next week!) so I won’t say anything else for now.  Lots of other things I’ve been working on lately are supersecret, so I don’t have much to show you for now.

#leethalPAD day 22: Page. I actually took this shot last night, then was tired and forgot to post it, oops! Sketchbook page where I'm keeping notes on a bunch of design swatches to figure out the best details for this construction. #leethalPAD day 18: Stitch. I broke out my macro lens! Working on a big construction swatch for my next collection!

I just got this Ikea cart thing (way discounted, woo!) and filled it with my in-progress / soon-to-be-in-progress projects, meaning yarn which has a planned purpose and needs to be knit up asap.  I have A LOT of knitting to get done in the next few months!  Ah, who am I kidding, the next few months, I have A LOT of knitting to get done like always and forever.  So many exciting project ideas, so little time!

yarn in my new Ikea cart thing

So, I’m hard at work on Adventure Knitting.  I have a collection in the works, which includes that stripy project in the corner up there, which is not supersecret – I’ve posted some insta peeks at that one (below).  That collection was originally meant for a spring release actually, but due to timing issues, and more thinking on it, I decided it’s actually a better fall collection anyway, and I don’t want the Adventure KAL to be so late in the summer like it was last year (when it happened in August).  I’d rather push the KAL to earlier in the summer, then release the collection after that, when we’re thinking ahead to cooler weather, so yeah, that collection is something to look forward to a bit later in the year…

Mmmm handspun undyed alpaca and assorted hand dyed recycled yarns, all dug out of old stash from back when I used to spin & dye lots. Looking good!! Working on a design while hanging out on PSU campus, listening to Songza's "whip-smart women of the 90's" playlist (pretty good), on the first bare-legs day of the year.  Good day!  Hope you are having a happy Friday :)

And then I’ve been working on several secret things, one in the so-not-leethal yarns pictured below!  And another in a secret yarn I can’t show you, but it is fabulous and I can’t wait to show you eventually.

Currently working on a design prototype in this - solid black and off-white, fingering weight. WHO AM I? (That might have been the first time I ever bought solid black yarn in my whole life.)

And then there’s a collaboration project in the works which is VERY exciting – I’m working with awesome Portland designers Star Athena and Shannon Squire, local yarn dyer Blue Moon Fiber Arts, and our photographer friend (and sometimes designer) Vivian Aubrey.  This is actually the idea for which the seed was planted several year ago between Star, Vivian, and I – I blogged about it briefly here back in 2012 – but it got put on hold for years, and then evolved.  We’re really excited to have brought Shannon and Tina of Blue Moon on board, and the ball is officially rolling!!  Here is an epic pile of Blue Moon yarns:

Just spent the most glorious 2 hours with @bluemoonfiberarts, @starathena, and @shannonsq around this table of about a hundred colors, scheming away about something.

As for more personal life update stuff – I was down with a horrid flu for the last few weeks, so things have been slowed down a bit.  There were a few days, two weeks ago, when I felt like my body was trying to kill me and I couldn’t even knit, and then I was well enough to knit simple things but not really do anything else, for like a week… and I’ve been kind of slow and blah for about the last week.  Yesterday and today I’m finally feeling just about normal, so yay for normal!  (I think my furry buddy was a bit worried about me when I was really sick.)

Two days spent too sick to even knit :(  This little one has been so nice today, I think she can tell how miserable I feel.

Here in Portland, the weather is turning, the weeds are going crazy, and I’m trying to enjoy the nice bits and not think of the uncomfortably hot days ahead… I got this beautiful poppy plant for the front yard which makes me happy to look at everyday, and I’m growing tomatoes, strawberries, and blueberries in the back yard (and the wild blackberries, which involves mostly cutting them back, and keeping a small-ish patch to harvest).  I made granola yesterday for the first time, and it went really well – had my first warm weather season breakfast this morning: yogurt, blueberries (store bought for now), banana slices, and granola, yum!  (I’m a very seasonal breakfast eater – oatmeal everyday October-ish, through May-ish, and then cold cereal/yogurt topped with granola, berries, and other yummy things in the warm/hot months, one thing I love about summer!)  Anyway, to sum things up, the weather is super nice right now, the yard work needing to be done is overwhelming and awful, but berries are good, and flowers are pretty.

I fell in love with this Iceland Poppy while running errands at Home Depot, had to bring it home with me. Now it's being pretty in our front yard. Granola success! Since this was my first time making it, I kept it pretty basic - lots of slivered almonds, some sunflower seeds, some craisins, maple syrup and honey... Slightly modified from a basic online recipe. Next time I'll try personalizing it mor

So that’s all for now… you can look forward to Adventure KAL news very soon!  Happy springtime!

Filed under: knitting,leethal store,personal,random stuff,self-publishing — Lee Meredith @ 11:39 am

April 21, 2015

New Full Body Trio pattern: Lopes!

Lopes, the second garment pattern in my Full Body Trio mini-collection (after Tionne), has been released!  (On ravelry here!)  If you follow me on social media at all, you saw plenty of peeks a couple months back when I was making the first sample – I was posting all kinds of close-ups on instagram, revealing things like the sleeves (and the fact that it was an item that had sleeves), the seed stitch edge, the drop-stitch wedges…

Ahh seed stitch, I do so love how it looks but hate the act of knitting it. Which makes it good for just the edge :) Sigh. I'm no good at garment design yet. My sample was sized SO wrong - there are eight of these panels of 26 rows, and for correct sizing there should have been 16 rows instead. The heartbreaking thing is it would have been WAY quicker to knit if I'd fig

#leethalPAD day 14: Jagged. Ziggy-zaggy drop-stitches in my upcoming pattern sample. This was my first time hiring a sample knitter for a pattern sample (shout out to awesome knitter Chantal, who I don't think is on Instagram) and it was very exciting to Sleeve #1, done!  I think I'm pretty darn happy with how this is looking! (Upcoming leethal Full Body Trio pattern.)

But the BIG REVEAL when the pattern was released last Thursday night was that it’s a cardigan that can also be worn as a skirt!!  TAH DAH!

Lopes! Lopes

It’s a springy/summery, drapey, flared, airy, swingy wrap cardigan, with short sleeves which can be turned in and laced closed, turning them into the functional pockets of the wraparound skirt!

Lopes Lopes

I made a video showing you how it works and some different ways it can be worn:

That was fun!  (Many thanks to Pete for whipping up that background music for me!)

Lopes! Lopes!

So, here are things about the pattern…  It’s written for any yarn weight/gauge, though nothing heavier than worsted is recommended, and working at a loose gauge for maximum drape is ideal.  (I made a prototype to figure out shaping/construction/size stuff, in bulky weight, and it is totally ridiculous and unwearable.  Part of it is that the sizing is all wrong, so that all got fixed in the pattern, but the bulky weight is really not a good fit for this item.)

Lopes! Lopes

The samples were made with Hazel Knits Lively DK, the beautiful Sedge colorway (which very much shifts colors depending on light!), knit at a very loose gauge (size US 8 needles on the shorter sample, US 7’s for the longer sample), and it was a fantastic yarn fit.  Hazel Knits is an awesome yarn company, local-ish to me in the Pacific Northwest (based in Seattle), and they do dye-to-order if they don’t have the color you love in stock – turn around is two weeks (or less!) on custom dyed orders – there are so many gorgeous colorways, it was really hard for me to choose just one, but I really love the Sedge so I made a good choice!

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

Lopes is custom sized to your body, using your own measurements, and you can make it shorter or longer, as you prefer.  You’ll need to make a good gauge swatch, take a few measurements on yourself, then fill out a worksheet with some math (very easy with a calculator app) to find your custom pattern numbers.  (This is the same as how Tionne works, except Lopes is much simpler than Tionne, fewer sections and fewer numbers to find.)

Lopes Lopes

The measurements of the piece are based on the measurements of your upper body, so the cardigan fits nicely around the back/shoulders, and around your waist, so the skirt fits.  The fronts of the cardigan are therefore usually wide, overlapping quite a bit, for a double-breasted kind of wrap style sweater.

Lopes Lopes!

The cardigan flares out a lot, which makes it nice and swingy and fun to wear…

Lopes! Lopes!


…but, as you saw in the video above, you also have the option of using ribbons/laces to cinch it around your body for a more form-fitting look.


Lopes! Lopes!

The piece flares out with short row wedges, worked with a drop-stitch pattern – the fabric is already meant to be light and airy, so the dropped stitches make it more so, and the garter stitch borders add some texture.  Of course, the skirt is designed to be worn over another skirt layer, or opaque leggings, or as a beach coverup, etc.  Even if the fabric wasn’t see-through, it would still be scandalous to wear it without something under, since it’s open in the back!

Lopes! Lopes

That wraparound, open-back design makes for a very comfy, moveable skirt, as you can see in the shot below where I guess I’m being a dinosaur?  Photoshoots are silly.

Lopes! Lopes

The sleeves/pockets are in garter stitch, giving them nice stretch while functioning both ways, and they have braided cables running down the centers, matching the braided cables along the bottom edge.  And eyelet holes around the bottoms, for lacing up the pockets.


They are worked last, out from live stitches left in the body, in the round with short row shaping.  Here’s a closeup of the sleeve cable joining the body:


(Side note:  I had originally designed this with plain garter stitch sleeves; the idea to add the cables came to me as I was knitting up the sample, and I’m SO glad it did!  Test knitters agreed that the sleeves are one of the best parts of the pattern.  Love them!)

Lopes Lopes

The short sample has very short sleeves, which makes the pockets not very functional, only meant for putting my hands in; the longer sample has sleeves about an inch longer, making the pockets more functional, but they still can’t hold very much.  If you want really functional pockets for holding stuff, it’s recommended that you go about another inch or so longer than these sleeves.

Lopes Lopes

As you see, the sleeves can be worked in a contrasting color for a nice effect, especially when worn as pockets (I think).  These sleeves are Hazel Knits Lively DK in Low Tide (the leftover yarn from my Warren hat – those skeins are big!) – I love the subtle variegation just on the sleeves.  I think the whole piece is best in a solid/semi-solid, but that contrast works very well to my eye!

Lopes Lopes!

And you can play around with some other color pop ideas like I did in my longer sample – the beginning and ending edges are in a contrasting dark grey color (Anzula Cricket in Elephant), and the last panel is in a contrasting lighter green yarn (Anzula Cricket in Key Lime).

Lopes Lopes

As for yardage, my shorter sample used just under 3 skeins of the Lively DK – approx 730 yards / 670 meters total, and my longer sample used 3 full skeins plus all the contrasting bits, totaling up to approx 1100 yards / 1000 meters used.  I normally wear a size large; you can see my very approximate yardage estimates for all yarn weight and sizes here.

Lopes! Lopes

Let’s see, what else about the pattern?  Oh, buttons!  Buttons are always fun, of course.  Let me show you mine!  My yellow button came from an amazing little button shop in York, England.  I’d been saving it for just the right project, and I think it’s a perfect fit here!


And the second button there was found in my stash – I don’t know where it came from but I’m assuming a bag of old buttons from a thrift store, or from Knittn’ Kitten, since that’s where most of my random stash buttons came from.  There’s a deer on it!


The back side buttons on this sample are yellow as well, also random stash finds.


The other sample features antler buttons, bought at Paxton Gate in North Portland.  Love them!!



This sample is special, by the way, a first for me as a designer – I hired a sample knitter to make it!  Local knitter Chantal knit the whole body of the piece, and I just added the sleeves and did the finishing.  It was so weird and cool to have an almost finished pattern sample handed to me!  Hours upon hours of work that I didn’t have to do myself.  Not that I didn’t love knitting Lopes, because I really do love this pattern and I (mostly) enjoyed making the first sample, but, two in a row?  With tons of other deadlines and work projects on my mind?  The pattern would have been delayed a month probably if I’d done it myself, not because that’s how long it took, but because I’d have had to wait till I finished other deadline projects first before finishing it… Anyway, that made me feel like I took a new step as a professional designer, and Chantal did a great job, so hooray!  Thanks Chantal!!


And many thanks to my test knitters as well, but super especially to Megan, of the Stockinette Zombies video podcast!  (She shows her Lopes test knit in this episode, keeping the fact that it’s a skirt a secret since the pattern wasn’t released yet – thanks for that, Megan!)  I had a too-tight deadline for testers on this project, since I was eager to release it asap, and Megan is the only one who actually finished it 100% so she’s awesome.  (Don’t worry, other testers tested all the parts of the pattern, and the pattern was also tech edited – thanks Ashwini! – so it’s been fully checked and is up to my quality standards!)

Lopes Lopes

Okay now I’m going to get into a lot of detail about the design process for Lopes, so if that doesn’t interest you, just check out the pattern on ravelry and thanks for reading this far!  ;)  Here we go…


For my first garment pattern, Tionne, I blogged all about how I first got the design idea, and my design process… once I had that design concept in my head, I decided I wanted to do a trio of garment patterns, so I started casually thinking about other garment ideas, and the idea for Lopes just came to me.  I don’t have any kind of story about it; I don’t even remember how I first thought of it.  I just had a thought one day, something like, what if I made a really simply shaped, flared piece, in three panels, and there are sleeves which can fold in and become pockets, so it can be worn as a cardigan and a skirt?  Hmmmmm… and then eventually Lopes was born!


Oh but, my original design concept was for the three parts (the two sides and the center, between the sleeves/pockets) to all be the same width across, and I stuck to that all the way through completing the first sample, which is why this happened.  When it was done and blocked, it was WAY too big.  Horrible fit.  I was in denial the whole way though until it was completely finished, partly because the gauge stretched A LOT with blocking, and I’d measured my swatch without stretching it so much, so that was my fault and it really did get much larger than I expected it to… and part of my denial was just not wanting to frog and re-knit because I was in a big hurry to get it done and out to test knitters.  So, when it was almost done, only partially blocked, with the needles still in one half-done sleeve, I took some quickie photos to send out with my call for testers, and I really did think the fit was going to be okay at this point:

Lopes first fail

Looking back at these shots now, blech, it’s so obvious to now-me that the fit isn’t okay.  The sleeves are so droopy, for one thing.  Anyway, then I finished it, wove in all the ends and everything, and blocked it completely.  And then I did another quickie placeholder-photos shoot.  It was during this shoot that I reluctantly came to the conclusion that it was NOT OKAY and something needed to be done.  As you can see, I tried playing around with making it look cool as it was, but it just wasn’t working.

Lopes first fail Lopes first fail

At that time was when I re-did my original math based on the actual post-blocked gauge, and posted this panic-y instagram, when I was still thinking the pattern was okay as it was, but that the whole thing should have been smaller.  After lots more measuring, calculating, etc, I realized that actually that wasn’t true, and most of my sample was actually okay as it was (yay!) but the pattern needed to be re-written.  It just wouldn’t work for all three sections to be the same width.  So I re-did all the worksheet/numbers stuff, re-wrote parts of the pattern, and figured out how to go about fixing this sample.

I decided I could make the whole thing sized correctly by significantly shrinking the two center panels, and the sleeves; I tweeted about this and Kirsten suggested the excellent idea of grafting first, cutting second, so I could make sure the new sizing was good before doing anything permanent.  That turned out to be a REALLY helpful idea, because I did indeed need to unravel and re-graft the first panel!

Lopes surgery project Lopes surgery project

So I grafted, un-grafted those stitches, re-grafted, it was good the second time, so I cut and unraveled.  Unfortunately, even though I was trying to be super careful, I cut the wrong strand (I thought it was the right strand! It was hard to tell what was happening!) and made a new hole next to the grafted stitches, so I had to graft that closed too.

Lopes surgery project Lopes surgery project

For the second panel, I cut first, grafted second.  So then the center section was the correct size, fit to my body.

Lopes surgery project Lopes surgery project

The other major re-do was to completely frog both sleeves, graft up the armpits several stitches to make smaller holes, and re-knit them.  Here it is after the first was finished, for comparison; of course, the bigger one is post-blocking, and the smaller one is pre-blocking, knit with kinky frogged yarn.  But I made the sleeves MUCH smaller, which really gave the entire sweater a much better fit!

Lopes surgery project

 So that was that – I re-blocked the center and the sleeves, and it fit perfectly!  Phew!  I was so relieved when I tried it on and it actually fit right, unlike the first time when I tried it on and kind of convinced myself that it was okay before finally admitting that it was not.  And the pattern got all fixed up and written to work for all sizes, and to fit right for everyone!  Hooray!


So, overall, even though it was an annoying process, I learned a lot, I ended up with the best possible pattern/sample, and it all turned out for the best!


Okay I think that’s everything I have to say about Lopes.  The third garment pattern in the Full Body Trio (Chilli) will probably be coming near the end of the year; I’ve got to spread out these garment patterns, they are exhausting for an accessory designer!  There will be some exciting non-garment things coming soon, though!  Happy knitting, everyone!

Filed under: clothing,knitting,pattern Trios,skirts — Lee Meredith @ 3:39 pm

April 13, 2015

Book review: Knit Wear Love by Amy Herzog

I am not much of a sweater knitter – I’ve only knit a few sweaters, in my 10+ years of knitting – but I am slowly trying to change that, trying to learn more about garment shaping and design, and making myself some awesome wardrobe additions, with the limited for-fun knitting time that I have here and there between work projects.  So, when the publisher (STC Craft) offered to send me a copy of this book for review, I was super excited – seems like a perfect book for learning more about different types of knit sweaters!

Knit Wear Love by Amy Herzog

Knit Wear Love: Foolproof Instructions for Knitting Your Best-Fitting Sweaters Ever in Styles You Love to Wear is a book of super customizable basic sweater patterns, or “meta-patterns” – I love the illustrations showing the different versions of each pattern in simple line drawings, shown here on the back cover:

Knit Wear Love by Amy Herzog

There are 8 basic meta-patterns – pullover, cardigan, vest, cowl (neck), tunic, wrap, tank, and bolero/shrug.  Each pattern is written for 3 different gauges, each gauge being a different style version, and they are all written for 12 sizes.  The patterns are all given in kind of spreadsheet format, neatly organizing all the numbers by gauge and size, and then each meta-pattern has a fill-in-the-blank worksheet version, where you can fill in all your specifics for the sweater you want to knit.  Great way to present these customizable patterns!

Knit Wear Love by Amy Herzog Knit Wear Love by Amy Herzog

Each meta-pattern has three styles (each in a different weight/gauge), but there are a total of 8 different styles represented, so each style is only used in a few of the meta-patterns.  The styles are: vintage, casual, sporty, bohemian, modern, romantic, classic, and avant-garde.  Here are the three pullovers, in romantic, modern, and classic:

Knit Wear Love by Amy Herzog

A big part of the point of this book is to learn which styles/elements you like best, so you can make your perfect sweaters that you’ll love to wear the most.  And I learned something about myself!  Based on style elements, the styles I love the most in theory, or that I love the most to look at and think about design and stuff, would be avant-garde first, and elements of modern and bohemian.  But in the reality of the actual sweaters, thinking about what I’d most love to actually have and wear, the versions I felt an instant I-want-that! connection with while flipping through the pages were actually classic, casual, and sporty!  I would wear the crap out of this texture-tastic classic pullover:

Knit Wear Love by Amy Herzog

And, oh man, this casual cardigan, yes!  So comfy!!  (I also gravitate towards browns…)

Knit Wear Love by Amy Herzog

And the sporty version of the tunic pattern – love it!!

Knit Wear Love by Amy Herzog

I like a lot of the other styles too, but I’d want to mix and match elements probably.  Here’s the vest in avant-garde and modern styles – I really like the switching stripes in the modern one:

Knit Wear Love by Amy Herzog

One of my favorite things in the book is the pages explaining the different styles – mood boards for each one, and detailed descriptions, including fibers, fabrics, colors, and examples.  Since all the meta-patterns don’t include versions in all the styles, these notes can help you to actually create a version of any meta-pattern in any of the styles!  Or a mixture of a few styles.  Like, using the weight/gauge from one style, but making adjustments to the fit, texture, fibers, etc, to add elements of another style, for a totally personalized version.

Knit Wear Love by Amy Herzog

There’s lots of great technical info too, about fit, sweater knitting generally, using stitch patterns, changing up necklines, sleeves, etc.  Overall, totally my kind of knitting book, with all the customization and personalization, excellent stuff!

Knit Wear Love by Amy Herzog

So yay sweater knitting!  Now I just need a bunch more hours in the day so I can find the time to knit some of them.  Someday… There are several versions in bulky and aran weights, so maybe I’ll start with one of those so it’ll go more quickly!  Anyway, I’m glad to have the book in my library now so it’s there when I want it :)

Filed under: books,knitting — Lee Meredith @ 8:00 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

March 4, 2015

Final Betiko collection pattern: Zulo!

The Betiko collection is now complete!  Here is Zulo:

Zulo shawl

Zulo (on ravelry here) is a lace patterned version of the Betiko shawl construction, completing the Betiko collection (on ravelry here), along with Biratu the cabled version, and Lerro the colorwork version.

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!

It’s a leethal kind of lace shawl pattern, so it’s not lace weight!  The fully patterned version was designed in worsted-ish weight (the yarn is called DK, but it seems to me like a standard worsted, yarn labels can be weird), but it can totally be made in a lighter weight, knit loosely, for a more lacy looking lace shawl.

Zulo shawl

Like the other collection patterns, there is the fully patterned version (lace in all sections and panels), and a simple variation, with stockinette stitch in the main body, lace only around the edges and in the triangle wedges.

Zulo shawl

My simple variation sample is in fingering weight, the main color being 1 full skein of sock yarn, and the edging in a contrasting partial skein.  The simple shawl can be made in any weight, any gauge, any size, and you can even customize the shape (making it more short and deep, or long and narrow, etc, as you like).

Zulo shawl

The fully patterned version is in a standard size, the size of the sample (pretty darn large), but the size is adjustable by working the main body section more or less to make it bigger or smaller, or by adjusting your gauge.

Zulo shawl

The yarn used in the main sample is Three Fates Yarns Themis BFL DK (which is labeled as DK weight, but appears as a worsted weight), 3 skeins in Orange Love Machine.  I loved working with this yarn!


My simple variation sample is in Three Fates Yarns Terra Sock fingering weight, 1 full skein (460 yards / 420 meters) in Fremont, 1 partial skein (120 yards / 110 meters) in Netarts.  Love these colors, especially that pop of the gorgeous contrasting edging color!


There are two different outer edging patterns, thinner and wider edges – either edge can be used in either shawl version, so you can choose depending on how much yardage you have or whether you want a bit of extra size.  My simple sock weight has the wider edge, and my worsted weight has the thinner edge (which makes them actually about the same size, because of the gauge difference).

Zulo shawl

I have a feeling this orange shawl is going to get a ton of wear by me!  It’s big enough that it can wrap around twice and tie for extra bundling as needed.  (I don’t know what I’m doing in that photo, but I like it!)

Zulo shawl Zulo shawl

And while my medium-sized sock yarn shawl is smaller, it’s still big enough to wrap around the neck nicely, or even to cover the shoulders a bit… you can make the simple version any size though, so you can easily make a GIANT one if that’s what you want!

Zulo shawl

The pattern pdf is kind of massive, but that’s because of all the variations and patterning – all the lace patterns are charted and written, there are tutorials for the provisional cast-on and the short rows, and there are detailed schematics and process photos.  It has been heavily tested and edited, and you can see some beautiful other versions by my awesome test knitters on ravelry here.  I especially love Lisa’s because it looks so different from mine, so delicate and lacy and PRETTY, not a normal leethal-style looking knit item!  Kate’s is also worth pointing to – it really works in the colorful variegated yarn!  Many thanks to all the fabulous knitters who helped me test and edit this lengthy pattern!!

Zulo shawl Zulo shawl

So, Zulo finally concludes the long-term Betiko collection, which began in 2010!  That’s when Betiko was first released* (originally as my first ever mystery knit-a-long), but then I didn’t decide to turn it into a collection until 2013, when I released Biratu, then Lerro last year, and now it is DONE.  Let me tell you, it feels good for this to be crossed off my giant design to-do list!

Betiko collection - 9 shawls

And I am super happy and proud of the entire collection… which is really more like 8 patterns, pretending to be 4 patterns, since they all have two versions.  I plan to never do patterns this complex again, and to never do a collection spread out like this again… but in the end, I’m glad I did this one, because I love all the patterns, even if they are a bit overwhelming at first glance.  The great thing is, if you knit one of them, then you know how the construction works, and you can knit any of the other ones without needing to read most of the general construction-y info pages, since they all work the same way.  And they’re not actually hard to make, they just have lots of versatility ;)

Betiko collection - 9 shawls

*In case you didn’t know – if you were an early buyer of Betiko before the collection began, you can use coupon code betikoknitter to get the collection with the $6 you spent on Betiko subtracted from the total.

Betiko collection

Side story:  Above is the first collection graphic I made a couple weeks ago, getting ready for the collection to be complete… then last week, when I completed the final sample, I posted the below photo on instagram.  It got a record number of like clicks!  Omg you guys were into this shot!  So, I was inspired by your instagram enthusiasm and I made a brand new collection graphic, at the top of this blog post.  And I love it!  So glad that happened!

Sock yarn shawl, finished and blocked at 3:30am.  (My boss is a hardass you guys.)  Sample knitting is complete and pattern is on its way to being released next week!

Oh, if you’re in Portland, these two shawls will be hanging out at the Three Fates Yarns trunk show at Happy Knits this Friday and Saturday for the Rose City Yarn Crawl!  Check ’em out!  (I’ll also be around at a few shops throughout the weekend, so say hi if you see me!  I’ll give you a postcard or button!)

Zulo shawl

Another side note… now that this collection is done, I have another very similar collection in the beginning stages – it will also be a small group of patterns all using the same construction, just like this one, except not with the two different versions for each pattern.  Simplified.  But fun.  I’m really excited about it!  Once I have things to show, I’ll be posting about it on instagramtwitter, and my ravelry group :)


And speaking of my ravelry group… it’s been real quiet in there lately, and that’s a bummer, so I’m going to make an effort to make things more fun over there!  Which means, I’ll be posting more about what I’m doing, and announcements and stuff (the kinds of things I usually just post on twitter – since not everyone is on my preferred social media outlets, I’ll repost things from twitter and instagram in the group), and we can hopefully get some conversations going!  Let’s all hang out together, leethal knitters!

Zulo shawl

Well I hope you like Zulo** – it’s a great knit for this transitional weather season, since it can be warm or not so much, depending on how you make it and how you wear it.  Happy knitting everyone, whether you’re in this weird early spring here in the pacific northwest, or that brutal long winter over in the northeast, or wherever else in the world you might be!

**Betiko is a Basque name meaning eternal, as that shawl is forever customizable, and Zulo is a Basque word for hole (as in eyelet holes, in lace).

Filed under: knitting,self-publishing — leethal @ 7:31 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

February 3, 2015

Third Dark Trio pattern: Andrew!

The leethal Dark Trio is now complete! (ravelry link)  Andrew is a pair of fingerless mitts with elements of good and/or evil, your choice:

Andrew mitts

I made an animated gif to show Andrew in action!


They have illusion knit pentagrams and/or stars (your choice) on each hand…

Andrew mitts

…and eyes on the palms.

Andrew mitts

From the pattern:

The eye on your palm can have good or evil meanings.

Hold an eye outwards towards someone looking at you with malice, to ward off the evil eye – there are many cultures with beliefs about the evil eye, and with eye symbols meant to protect from it.  Several cultures even combine hands with protective eyes, like the Hamsa hand symbol used throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Or, hold your hands up to your eyes, palms out, to become disguised as Tenome, a creature from Japanese mythology with his eyes in his hands, or The Pale Man, a terrifying monster from Pan’s Labyrinth.

Or, for fans of specific shows, your palm eyes can turn you into the Seer from Once Upon a Time, or a Sister of the Sibylline from Doctor Who, if you wear your mitts on the wrong hands to put the eyes on the back sides.

Andrew mitts

Oh, and they also happen to be comfy, functional fingerless mitts for everyday wear!  I’ve been wearing them a ton – the garter stitch and slip-stitch panels make them nice and cozy.

Andrew mitts

My sample pair is in awesome Knitted Wit Welterweight Rambouillet, which I LOVE a lot (it’s the same yarn used in my purple Wobble Bass hat).

Andrew mitts

This pattern is designed for sport weight yarn, and includes four sizes, ranging from women’s small to men’s large.  The other sample is the largest size, in Brown Sheep Lanaloft Sports yarn:

Andrew mitts

This is an intermediate level pattern – it’s not hard to knit, but there is a lot going on, and you’ll need to read your knitting and keep track of the different segments (be able to tell knits from purls, and see which part is the slip-stitch panel versus the illusion knit panel, etc).  It’s worked in the round, all in one piece.  The eyes are made with twisted and slipped stitches.

Andrew mitts

The illusion knitting is just knits and purls.  I’d knit an illusion piece years ago, a piano scarf for Pete (pattern: Counterpoint Scarf by Jennifer Crawford), and it was fun and easy, but this was my first time designing with it.  It was fun!  Maybe there will be more of it in the future, if I come up with any other ideas…

Andrew mitts

I’m just finishing up putting Jonathan, Warren, and Andrew all together into an ebook, so if you buy the Dark Trio you’ll be able to download each individual pdf and/or the ebook with all three patterns (which will take up less memory than the 3 separate pdf files).  This trio goes well as a set, if you want to be fully decked out with the scarf, hat, and mitts at the same time.  (Unlike my other trios, which include multiple neck items so they can’t be worn at the same time, unless you’re into that kind of layered look!)  I should do a quickie photoshoot of us wearing all the items at the same time :-p

Jonathan Us dorking around during the Warren photoshoot - this pattern is now released! (Click profile link or search Warren on rav.) There's an evil version - perfect for your favorite metalhead - and a chaotic version, free of the satanism ;) Andrew mitts

Now that this trio is complete, I’m on to finishing up other incomplete collections – first up will be the final shawl in the Betiko Collection, and then the second pattern in the Full Body Trio!  After that, I’m planning a brand new mini-collection which I’m REALLY excited about, but I’m also really into those two upcoming designs, so lots to look forward to!  This is a glimpse of a swatch of pattern ideas for the lace Betiko shawl:

Swatching out a bunch of different lace ideas to see what works best for the final design in my Betiko Collection! Lace is a challenge for me since I don't design in it normally, but I'm loving it!

A note to you blog readers: I’ll be raising the price of the Betiko Collection (both the full collection and the individual patterns – see all on ravelry here) after that final pattern is released in a couple weeks, since each pattern is actually like 2 complete patterns and they are so much more complex than most patterns.  Prices will probably go up just a little, but for now you can still get all 4 patterns (which is really like 8 patterns) for $16 before it goes up.  (And if you bought Betiko by itself at any point, from back before the collection was a thing, then you can use coupon code betikoknitter to get the $6 you paid off the price of the collection.)  Just wanted to let you know!

Happy knitting, all!

Filed under: knitting,pattern Trios — leethal @ 12:26 pm
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