January 28, 2016

New pattern: Twou!

The first pattern in my Triyang collection (ravelry link) (besides the actual Triyang pattern) is out now!  Thanks for your patience, as this collection has been taking me a bit longer to get out to you than I’d originally hoped/expected… But Twou is out now, Vire will be out by the end of this week, and Liy about a week after that.

Twou!

Before I talk about the Triyang collection and Twou, a couple of quick things:

  • If you happen to be reading this right away, and you happen to know a teenager in Portland, I am teaching a free class for teens at the Kenton library on Friday (Jan 29th), no-sew crafting with reclaimed t-shirts (making tote bags and other things, materials provided).  Register to reserve a seat.  It’ll be fun!
  • I was interviewed by Joeli via Skype and it’s now up on YouTube!  And the whole thing was being broadcast via Periscope, so viewers could ask questions in real time, which was super cool so now I’m brainstorming ways to start using Periscope in the future…  I just signed up for account, so follow me there at leethalknits.
  • The annual Holla Knits knit-a-long is starting on February 1st, through April – read all the details here.  My Unbroken hat is a Holla Knits pattern, so if you’ve ever thought about making one now is the perfect time; for every finished knit-a-long project you’ll automatically win a free pattern!  And be entered to win bigger prizes too.  Fun stuff!

Twou!

So now, there’s a big reveal about the Triyang collection: All the patterns are written so that the sections can be mixed and matched with each other!!  And with garter stitch / stockinette, or even with your own stitch pattern ideas.

Custom Triyang

The final collection pattern release will be topped off with a fifth pattern pdf, the Custom Triyang pattern, which is the Triyang pattern rewritten for combining sections with the other collection patterns, and for using stockinette instead of garter stitch, so you can take your pick for each of the three sections – garter, stockinette, lace, cables, or colorwork.  So this means if you love just one of the sections of Twou (or Vire or Liy) but you’d prefer to just do quick & easy garter stitch for the other parts, you can do just that; or if you fall in love with the top section of Vire, and the middle section of Liy, and the bottom section of Twou, you can use all those sections together.  I’m currently working on a sample with garter stitch stripes on the bottom, Liy colorwork in the middle, and Vire cables on the top – I’ve been calling it my Frankenshawl.

frankenshawl

Anyway, more about the custom pattern will come when it’s actually released, but up there are my sloppy mockups of the Custom Triyang concept to give you an idea of what you can do.  For now, Twou!

Twou!

I won’t get into the construction, because all the collection patterns have the same construction, same as Triyang, which you can see details about here, including the animated gif of how it’s constructed.  It’s three modular sections with no picked up stitches:

Twou!

The sizing of Twou is determined by the yarn weight/gauge.  I have two samples, one in DK weight (on size US 4 needles for a somewhat dense gauge) for a small size, and another in the same DK weight held double, on size US 8 needles for a very densely knit aran weight larger size shawl.

Twou!

You can go up to a bulky weight for a very large size if you want, or you can mess with gauge/density to adjust the size as well.  Use a nice drapey kind of worsted weight yarn (like a superwash wool or silk blend or something else that will look good worked loosely for an openwork kind of lace), knit on extra big needles (like 2-3 sizes larger than you’d normally use), blocked stretched out to make it open and lacy, for a different kind of large shawl.

Twou!

The pattern includes all the details about sizing (approximate lengths you’ll get with different gauges, yardage estimates, other yarn info, etc) – some of these details are also on the ravelry page.

Twou!

The samples are in Infinite Twist Helix DK weight yarn (Spooky Purple colorway), a plied wool which looks and feels awesome in a dense-ish kind of gauge, for a squishy cozy kind of lace knit.  The smaller size in one strand (pictured below) used about 285 yards, and the larger size (above) with it held double stranded used about 920 yards of the Helix (so about 460 yards of aran weight).

Twou!

Helix is sold in 200 yard skeins, so you’ll need 2 skeins for the smaller size, 5 for the larger size.

yarn being used in Triyang collection pattern sample

And hey, Infinite Twist is currently having a HUGE SALE on Helix!!  Through February 15th, buy 3 skeins get 1 free!  So if you want enough for a large (double stranded) Twou, add 4 skeins to your cart, write a note in the “Anything else we should know about your order?” box at checkout saying which color you’d like for your free skein, and you’ll get 5 skeins.  If you want to make a smaller single-stranded Twou, you could get 4 skeins (add 3 to your cart, get a 4th free) and make two Twous!

Or, other things to match… I started making a pair of Incenters out of Helix and it’s a great fit (mine are scrap-busting with many colors, but Incenter is designed for 3 colors normally).  I also designed Krewe in Helix – the main sample uses mini-balls, but you could use just one color for the contrasting, and you’d only need 2 skeins total, 1 in each color.

So you could get 4 skeins, 2 in the same color to make a Twou, and 2 in different colors to make a Krewe, and it’s even meant to be because they rhyme!!  Just add 3 to your cart, and say which color for the free skein when checking out.

Here are direct links to the Helix pages, divided up by color families: reds & oranges, yellows, greens, bluespinks & purples (my samples are in Spooky Purple), and neutrals.  There may be shipping delays coming up because of Chinese New Year (Infinite Twist is based out of Shanghai) but shipping to the U.S. for orders over $30 is always free!

Infinite Twist Krewe kits! Infinite Twist Krewe kits!

While the shawl was designed in one color, you could knit the sections in different colors if you want a multi-colored version – the pattern includes notes on how to do this. For yardage estimating, the first (bottom) section uses approximately 30% of the yardage, section 2 (middle) uses approx 27%, and section 3 (top) uses approx 43% of the yardage, so plan accordingly.  (If you’re making a single-stranded shawl with Helix, you could use one color for the bottom and middle sections and another color for the top section, and 2 skeins would be enough.  For the double stranded, using 4 skeins in one color for the bottom and middle sections, and 2 skeins in a different color for the top would maybe work, but the yardage for the top section would be cutting it very close.)

Twou!

This is a really fun to knit lace shawl.  It’s not just me saying that… I hired my friend Emme to knit the larger size sample and she went on to pretty much immediately knit another one for herself, which she completed in four days!  That kind of proof that a knitter really loves a pattern I designed is pretty much the greatest thing for a designer to hear, makes me so happy! :D

Twou!

So I’m a bit belated on this blog post – as you’re reading this, there’s a good chance Vire is already released, so you can find that on ravelry right there next to Twou, and I’ve been posting details about the collection patterns on the leethal ravelry group over here.  And speaking of the ravelry group, the first VIP club mini-mystery-knit-a-long starts next Tuesday!  I’m suuuper excited about that!  So much going on!  Hope you’re having a good first month of 2016!

Filed under: knitting,self-publishing,Triyang collection — Lee Meredith @ 9:10 am

January 1, 2016

Happy 2016! Now I can reveal the leethal VIP club!

I brainstormed this idea late last summer I think, got super excited, and then was bummed I couldn’t actually do anything about it because I wanted it to be a full calendar year thing, and now hey, it’s the start of the calendar year!  The time is finally here!!  Introducing my BIG 2016 THING:

club-graphic

So here’s the deal.  If you sign up to be a club member, you get…

  • 6 hat patterns spread throughout the year (as mini-mystery-knit-a-longs, in the ravelry group)
  • 20% off ALL my self-published patterns ever released
  • 50% off all brand new patterns self-published in 2016, for the first week
  • extra club member treats in your inbox

The whole shebang is $20, for the full year membership.  Or rather, the 2016 membership (no matter when you sign up, it ends at the end of the year).  Sign up through ravelry, or my website, but be logged into ravelry so that the discounts will work.  I’ll give all the fine-print details below (also given on the webpage, and included in the club pdf that you’ll get when you sign up).  But before I do that, there is already one club treat you’ll get immediately!

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The first club treat is this vintage knitting coloring book calendar, with drawings of photos from vintage knitting magazines, mostly of the 60’s and 70’s.

IMG_8090-1200edit

I made the drawings by tracing the outlines of the photos on a lightbox, turning them into these coloring book style line drawings.  The knits are perfect for coloring!

IMG_8050-1200edit

Print out the 6 pages (2 months per page), and color them in, either all at once or as each month arrives.  I did these pages with colored pencils (top page) and markers (page below):

IMG_8014-1200pxedit

And there’s a bonus!  I had one extra drawing that didn’t really fit with the rest, as it had a more 40’s kind of vibe (the photo was from a 1951 knitting booklet), so I made it into a free-to-all 1-page calendar pdf, downloadable from my downloads page here.

IMG_8100-1200edit 2016freecalendar-tn copy

Other club treats throughout the year may include things similar to this (coloring or coloring-adjacent kinds of activities), and/or tutorial-type things like mini craft projects, recipes, mini-knitting-patterns… I have lots of vague ideas but the extras will basically be things that I get inspired to make in the moment.  If one day I suddenly have an idea for something fun I want to share, there’s an extra for you!  Spur of the moment inbox goodies!

me-2-colored

By contrast, the hat patterns are pretty well planned out already.  The 6 hat patterns, released at the beginning of every other month throughout the year (the first Tuesdays of February, April, June, August, October, December) will all have different constructions from each other, and they will use a variety of techniques.  Cables will be reoccurring, but not used in every pattern.  Yarn weights will vary; most likely, none of these patterns will be fully any-gauge, but some will have multiple gauge options, or be adjustable based on gauge, or have some other variations/options.  These will be more straightforward patterns than I often write though, meant to be fun quick projects without too much extra thinking required.

The first hat, to be released February 2nd, will use worsted weight yarn (my yarn is pictured below).  There is already a ravelry page up, since that’s required in order to be able to sell the club membership (which is technically sold as an “ebook”), but normally the hat pattern pages won’t go up until their release days.  I will give yarn requirement info to club members (and post it on the club page) a couple of weeks before release, so that everyone can get ready to cast on right away when the patterns are released.

DSC_5632-edit-crop

On each hat’s release day, the pdf will be released without photos, for a mini-mystery-knit-a-long, for the first week.  The whole pattern will be there, just no photos.  The knit-a-long will happen in the leethal knitters! ravelry group.  After one week, the pattern (and ravelry page) will be updated with photos.

To keep the mini-mystery-KAL’s mysterious, there are placeholder pictures on the club page you can use as your top project photos, and there will be new ones added with each hat release as well (please don’t put a photo of your hat at the top for that first week); there will be spoiler and spoiler-free KAL threads for each hat’s week of mystery.

The hats will only be available to club members throughout the year, not individually.  In 2017, the patterns will continue to be available as a collection/ebook, at the same price as the club, but without the membership discounts and extras.  1 year after the original release date of each pattern, it will be made available for individual sale.

me-3-colored

And now for some details about the discounts.  (There are a few more fine print details on the club page, so if you have a question, or if you run into an issue, it might be addressed there.)

You must be logged into ravelry at time of club membership purchase (and future pattern purchases) for the discounts to work.  If you don’t have a ravelry account, it’s free to get one, and you don’t have to use it for anything else, just be logged in and the discounts will happen automatically.

The 20% off all my patterns includes all self-published patterns, ebooks, and collections, purchased through my website or ravelry.  The discount will automatically be applied (no coupon code needed).  The only patterns this doesn’t include are by third party publishers and collaborations, so Meridian by Twist Collective, Unbroken by Holla Knits, Galax by Interweave, etc, and the In Triplicate patterns (because they are in a collaboration).

The 50% off new patterns is for the first week of release, and only applies to brand new patterns which were not previously available for pre-order.  After 1 week they will be 20% off like all other self-published patterns.  The discount will automatically be applied (no coupon code needed).

The half off doesn’t include patterns that could be pre-ordered before 2016 because it just wouldn’t be fair to everyone who already pre-ordered the patterns – this means the Triyang collection shawls, and the third pattern in the Full Body Trio.  Patterns which were previously released by a third party, and are newly self-published may or may not be eligible for the 50% discount, depending on specifics – it will be announced either way at time of re-release.  Basically, if it wasn’t available to purchase previously, and I’m under no pricing obligations to a third party, the discount will apply, but there might be outside reasons why it can’t, so if I’m able to discount a pattern to club members, I will.

Note to blog readers:  Things in my life have been changing a bit lately, and I’m not sure exactly how 2016 will go, which means I might not have a lot of design time beyond the 6 club hats.  I have plans/ideas for two collections (a smaller one and a bigger one) that I really want to release in 2016, but I can’t guarantee they are going to get done.  So, my point is, don’t expect the half off discount to have tons of opportunities to be used throughout the year… I’m hoping for around like 10 patterns besides the hats, but I might be overly hopeful about that.

The discounts will not work with gift pattern purchases.  This means 2 things.  1) If you are a club member, and you use ravelry’s “send as gift” button to gift a pattern to another knitter, your club discount will not be applied.  2) If you gift the club membership to another knitter, they will get the hat patterns and the treats, but the discounts will not work for them.  However, in that case, the discounts will work for you, and you are free to use them.

There will be no limited-time sales offered on my patterns throughout the year, with one possible exception of the holiday gift-a-long, but only new 2016 patterns will be offered in the GAL sale (if I do it), so only patterns which members had the chance to get at 50%.  I’m kind of burnt out on sales, so I’m opting to skip them this year (no birthday sale, etc) and do this club system instead.  Of course, the 50% discounts are limited-time, but tied into the release of a new pattern, which is already being promoted and talked about and stuff.  Anyway, we’ll see how it all goes.

me-4-colored

And a few other club details.

Hat knit-a-longs and other club chatter will all happen in the leethal knitters! ravelry group.

Use #leethalVIP with any club stuff posted to social media! (And if you want to pin it, there’s a custom-for-pinterest image on the webpage!)

Everything (new hat patterns, pattern updates, information about what yarn you’ll need, extra treats) will be sent to members through pattern updates, with notifications sent to email inboxes and ravelry message boxes (you can turn off the notifications from going to your email inbox from within any of the update notification emails, if you check ravelry often and don’t want them in both places).

I think that’s enough for this word-heavy post.  Post any questions you might have about the club in the comments here, or, better yet, in the ravelry group so everyone can read the answers there.  I’m really excited about this whole club situation; I am absolutely LOVING the first club hat design and can’t wait to share it with you!  I’ll blog the club patterns here each after the mystery week is over, and of course show them off on instagram and stuff.  Sign up now to maximize your membership and get your calendar right away; oh and, if you color your calendar pages and show them off, be sure to use #leethalVIP because I’d love to see your coloring!!  Happy new year! <3

Filed under: hats,knit-a-longs,knitting,leethal store,leethal VIP club,self-publishing — Lee Meredith @ 12:01 am

December 11, 2015

New pattern PDF: Insta-hat! Plus, Remixed poster!

(Temporary note: buy this now, by Sunday, for 50% to be donated to charity! See my previous post for details.)  New pattern re-release!  Insta-hat, now in re-written PDF format:

Insta-hat!

If you follow me on Instagram (or other social media), you’ll probably remember the mystery knit-a-long I posted for free last December, as a holiday gift to followers – the pattern was this Insta-hat, and those original Instagram posts still exist (links are on the ravelry and leethalknits pages).

Insta-hat!

The brand new PDF is re-written to be easier to follow (as a normal pattern instead of split into mystery KAL posts), extra sizing info added, some embellishment options added, new photos were taken, it was professionally tech edited… So now it’s a high quality normal for-sale pattern, but the price is extra low ($4) since it’s an upgrade of the existing free Instagram pattern.

Insta-hat!

The hat is a quick knit, in bulky weight, with easy lace repeat patterns – it’s a good adventurous beginner level pattern, or it’s a fun fast knit for more advance knitters.  It can knit up in 1-2 nights no problem, for most (depends how you are with bulky yarn, of course, but it’s definitely a relatively quick knit).

Insta-hat!

It is interesting enough to look cool in plain yarns, but simple enough to work with variegated, so it’s a good way to use up any skein of bulky you may have in your stash.  My samples are in madelinetosh A.S.A.P.:

Insta-hat!

Patons Classic Wool Bulky, plus handspun embellishment:

Insta-hat!

Punta Yarns Flame Handpainted (discontinued yarn), which is super bulky weight for an extra dense gauge:

Insta-hat!

Hand-dyed recycled yarn (made by me), a light-ish bulky weight for a more loose gauge:

Insta-hat!

And that extra big version works nicely with the brim folded under, for a warmer hat and a different style:

Insta-hat!

This hat is written in 3 circumference sizes, and a range of heights, so you can make it fitted to your head and more or less tall for slouch or a fitted top, as you like.  Detailed sizing info, and sizes/measurements of all the samples, are included in the new pdf.

Insta-hat!

And instructions for how I did the woven yarn embellishment are given in the pdf, if you like that:

Insta-hat!

This hat works well with a big pom-pom, especially if you make it slouchy!

Insta-hat!

Here’s an instagram shot I really like, from back when I first made this sample:

Insta-hat!

Last year when I designed this, I’d only meant to make a couple samples, but I ended up making four because it was such a fast, fun knit, I just kept going, “ooh but it would look so good in this yarn too!” and making another, then another.  It would make an excellent last-minute gifting pattern – make one for each member of your family!

Insta-hat!

So that’s Insta-hat.  Click here to ravelry where you can browse lots of versions by other knitters!  If you like it, consider using the new PDF version instead of the Instagram posts; it will be easier to knit from, and also I’d be very appreciative of you supporting my work :)

Insta-hat!

In other news, to go with my release of the newly updated Remixed patterns, I’ve just released a poster of the Remixed artwork! You can learn more about these drawings in this blog post; I added color to the knitted accessories for the poster:

Remixed Poster Remixed Poster

It’s available through MagCloud here, printed on high quality heavy paper, 12×18 inches, for $6 (plus shipping).  (Patterns are on ravelry here.)

Remixed Poster

Lastly, just want to let you know that the 3 upcoming Triyang collection patterns are coming along nicely!  Here are peeks at all 3, the colorwork, lace, and cabled designs (badly lit, sorry – Portland is gloooomy today!):

My Triyang collection shawls are coming along well! (Available for pre-order now, 50% goes to charity through Sunday!)

You can find the Triyang collection for pre-order on ravelry here or on leethalknits.com here – like all my other patterns, if you buy it by this Sunday, half will be donated to charity.  You’ll get the Triyang pattern immediately, and these 3 patterns in a few weeks.  Details about the collection are on my blog here.  I’m pretty excited about it!

December 7, 2015

December donation drive + Remixed mega-update!

A few days ago, Bristol Ivy posted this message on instagram:

I try hard not to get too political on here (with limited success sometimes) but right now I’m just worn out. Worn out by the violence, the sadness, the ignorance, the demonization, and the needless devastation happening all over the world. So I’m going to try to do my own little bit of good. For the month of December, 50% of all pattern sales from my Ravelry store will go to charity: 25% to UNHCR, 25% to Doctors Without Borders. Link to store is in profile–please help me spread the word! Let’s shine what light we can.

(Her follow-up post includes some other designers who are doing the same.)

I too am worn out.  So much.  Unfortunately, I just can’t afford to donate half of a month’s worth of sales (even if there’s a chance my sales would double as a result, it’s still just a chance, and I can’t take that risk), but what I can do is a week.

50% of all sales from now to Sunday December 13th, of all self-published patterns, collections, ebooks, will be donated – half to UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency), half to Doctors without Borders.

some leethal patterns

You can buy patterns through ravelry or leethalknits.com, and everything counts except for the few patterns I have through third parties (like Twist Collective or Holla Knits).  Everything else is fair game: Triyang collection pre-order, old Quick Knits ebooks, big collections, etc.

some leethal patterns

Aaaand, it includes the In Triplicate collection too.  It won’t be just half of my patterns’ percentage (which is a third of the patterns – the other two thirds by Star Athena and Shannon Squire), but half of the whole collaborative collection sales will be donated.  (Now is REALLY the time to grab that collection, because not only will half be donated, but also the knit-a-long starts today – check out the ravelry group for that.)

some leethal patterns

Oh, there is one exception for my patterns.  Siskiyou (and the whole collection it’s a part of) automatically has 10% of sales going to local domestic violence agency Raphael House of Portland this year; so during this week, I’ll up Siskiyou’s donation percentage to 60%.  So $3 out of every $5 pattern sold this week will go to Raphael House (instead of the standard donations that the rest of my patterns will contribute to).

Remixed patterns

The other major news I wanted to tell you is: all 8 Remixed patterns (pictured above; on ravelry here) have been completely reformatted, reedited, and improved!

Remixed collection image pattern cover page

The pdfs take up WAY fewer pages now (cut down by more than half in some cases), but all the info, and process photos, etc, are still there, just most process photos are smaller now, and some redundant wording has been cut down.  There is no longer the “printable pattern” version at the back of each pdf, since the full patterns are not so overwhelming for printing now (and of course you can choose not to print the cover and/or any other pages you don’t need on paper, like technique photo tutorials).

pattern cover page Slanted & Enchanted scarf

The patterns themselves, like how they are made, are the same as before, but some things are worded differently now, hopefully much improved for better understanding, and more enjoyable knitting!

Freewheelin’ and Wild is the Wind have been upgraded the most – both have totally redone charts, and parts now written out that didn’t used to be written out.  There are now no patterns in this collection that have something charted but not written (only 3 of the patterns have charts at all, but now all the charts are also written).

Freewheelin'

So, if you have Remixed in your pattern stash from way back, and you were overwhelmed or annoyed at the pattern length, replace those old pdfs with the new ones!  I’m hoping things are easier to follow now, and happy new knitting experiences will be had :)

And, of course, if you don’t already have the Remixed collection, now is the perfect time to grab it, while half is being donated.  (Also, when I finally get the yarn-making ebook done next year, the collection price will be going up.)

Happy holidays to you, and please consider my patterns for your gift knitting this week so I can donate nice big chunks to excellent causes this season!

Filed under: gifts,knitting,Remixed,self-publishing — Lee Meredith @ 7:20 am

November 25, 2015

leethal patterns printed on things!

Edited 12/7 to remove Thanksgiving weekend sale stuff.  Society6 and Redbubble continue to have holiday season sales, which are shown along the tops of the webpages.

leethal patterns printed on things

Brand new leethal thing!  You can now get some of the stitch patterns I’ve designed printed onto stuff!  So far there are 6 patterns that I’ve converted into seamless tiling designs; you can get all the patterns printed onto a ton of different things.

leethal patterns printed on things

I’ve made a page on leethal.net (you can also get to it from the top of the blog, under “shop”) where you can see what’s available on which sites, and see all the patterns.  You can get fabric (also wallpaper and giftwrap) on Spoonflower, and fun stuff on Redbubble and Society6.

leethal patterns printed on things

The 6 designs I have available now are (left to right, below): Siskiyou trees (2 different trees) in Knitted Wit yarn, Haka cables in Knit Picks wool, Adventure Knitting 3 forest sloth lines in Jill Draper yarn, Flying V’s colorwork in 5 colors of Knit Picks wool, Adventure Knitting 3 lake axolotl textured zig-zags in Anzula yarn, and Mikkey slip-stitch pattern in bulky neon yarn by SpaceCadet.  (Links are to the ravelry pages so you can see yarn info and stuff.)

printed cards

I put all the tiling patterns up on my wallpapers page so you can download them to use as desktop/phone wallpaper backgrounds.  The tiling jpgs have credit text on them, but they are pretty large so they won’t repeat many times, and if you use them as a phone wallpaper that text shouldn’t show at all.  They look cool as home screen backgrounds – I have the Siskiyou trees as mine right now!

pillows from Redbubble vs Society6

Redbubble and Society6 have lots of the same stuff (greeting cards, mugs, phone cases, pillow cases, tote bags…) but sometimes I made it so things are printed differently on the 2 sites, like the pillows and tote bags are all printed so the stitches are bigger on Redbubble, smaller on Society6, and sometimes the mugs and other things are different too.

stuff from Redbubble stuff from Society6

Some other stuff is available only on one site or the other – notebooks, postcards, leggings, t-shirts, scarfs, and more only on Redbubble; clocks, art prints, shower curtains only on Society6.

leethal patterns printed on things

I did a bunch of research to make sure the quality of everything seems good.  A couple of things that got not-great feedback from multiple people (or that I didn’t like the look of) I did not make available, so everything that is available should hopefully be good quality.  Everything pictured here is what I ordered for myself to check it out – it’s all great!  A couple of patterns printed a bit dark on some items, so I’ve lightened them up a little.  I got the large (15oz) mug from Society6, so that’s why it looks extra big, it is!

leethal patterns printed on things

The pillow was especially pleasing – it’s a really nice, thick, canvas-y kind of fabric and the printed pattern looks fantastic on it!  I got the Society6 pillow, but I think the Redbubble pillows are basically the same, and I believe the tote bags are printed on the same kind of fabric, so they will be equally good-looking.  (I got the smallest size, just the case; I got a cheapo pillow at Ikea and it fits perfectly.)

stuff with leethal patterns

The spiral notebook is cool – I got lined pages, but you can also choose graph paper if you want (awesome!) and there’s a pocket in the back; the cover is card stock (not hardcover) but it seems pretty nice, and the price is relatively low on the spiral notebooks, so yay for that!  There are hardcover journals too, for a fancier option.

leethal patterns printed on things

And then I got all 6 patterns printed onto Redbubble cards – some greeting cards, some postcards.  Good quality, prints look excellent, greeting cards include brown paper envelopes, and they all have my name as the artist on the back, so that was a neat surprise.  Redbubble has these 4×6″ cards, plus 5×7.5″ greeting cards, all available individually; Society6 only offers 5×7″ stationery cards in sets of 3, 5, or 10, not individually, but a better deal if you want 5 or 10 cards.  The Siskiyou trees would make a great holiday card!

leethal patterns printed on things

And then, Spoonflower!  They have a ton of different fabric types – I got these test swatches on the Cotton Poplin and it looks great.  A couple of the patterns (Haka cables and Flying V’s) printed too dark, so I’ve lightened them up a bit.

leethal patterns printed on things

I sewed the 8×8″ swatches into little mini project bags – they don’t fit much, but they are so cute!

leethal patterns printed on things

If you use a fabric of one of my patterns to sew something, I would LOVE to see it!  Please comment here, or tag me on instagram or twitter :)  And if you REALLY love any of these patterns, you can cover a wall with them – I love looking that the wallpaper previews, they look so cool!

leethal patterns printed on things leethal patterns printed on things

I had so much fun making all this stuff – I’m really hoping it sells a bit just so I’ll get to make more designs in the future!  I have lots of ideas for more, including other design ideas besides tiling patterns, and if there are any of my patterns that you would love to have printed on stuff, let me know and maybe I’ll include them in the next batch!  I want to do a batch of handspun/hand-dyed fabrics, and I want to do some bigger, non-repeating knit design images, and there are more ideas rolling around in my head that can be a surprise…

Filed under: gifts,home stuff,leethal store — Lee Meredith @ 12:59 pm

November 20, 2015

In Triplicate 1-color pattern: Directrix

Quick unrelated note for if you’re reading this post when it’s new:  The Indie Design Gift-a-Long just started, and it runs through the end of the year; you can get 20 of my patterns for 25% off through November 27th.  See the GAL ravelry group for details (and to see patterns by all 335 participating designers!) and check out my gift-a-long bundle on my designer page to see my on-sale patterns; ALL my patterns are eligible for gift-a-long knitting!!

Directrix, by Lee

And now for the final of my 3 In Triplicate patterns: Directrix the 1-color hat.  (The first two were Transversal 2-color wrap, blogged here, and Incenter 3-color mittens, blogged here, and the full 9-pattern collaborative collection was blogged here.)  Directrix is a really fun modular knit, with a squishy garter stitch base.

Directrix, by Lee

It works well with a pom-pom, which you can use to add a pop of some other color(s) if you want to!

pom-poms!

We had fun putting different pom-poms on all the In Triplicate hats – we made a bunch and let all the hats try on different ones during the photoshoot.  (See Line Segment and Lemma hats to see all the poms!)

Directrix, by Lee

Directrix is sized to be able to pull it down for maximum ear/forehead warmth, or to wear more slouched back, which works great with a pom-pom.  The height is totally adjustable, if you want to add more slouch height, or subtract a bit of height so it wears more fitted to the head.  And the circumference has three sizes – my sample is a size medium.

Directrix, by Lee

Since the bottom chevron section is worked sideways, you can try it on around your head to know when you’ve reached your ideal size, stretching it more if you want a snug fit, or stretching less if you want a looser, slouchier kind of fit.

Directrix, by Lee

The chevron pattern is made with increases and decreases, to make the bias garter stitch base, and slipped stitches to make the raised chevron lines – no cables, just slips!  You’ll pull the yarn tightly across the back when slipping to make the stitches pop up off the base like that.  Using a semi-solid kind of colorway is ideal, so that the color shows the movement of the garter stitch lines, going the opposite way from the chevron lines.

Directrix, by Lee

The hat is made modularly with no picked up stitches or seaming!  Start with a provisional cast-on, work the sideways section with stitches left along the top edge for later; when you reach your size, close it up with a 3-needle bind-off, then work around those top edge stitches, and in the round from there up to the top.

Directrix in multi-colors

I had some extra leftovers of my In Triplicate yarns, so I decided to make another Directrix in multiple colors, as an experiment – I think it worked out very well!  I added pink and yellow stripes to the grey base in the first section: rows 29&4 in pink, rows 5&6 in yellow, and rows 7&8 in pink, on every repeat.  I weaved (wove?) in the ends as I knit, to prevent so much ends-weaving finishing work.

3-color Directrix

And then I switched every row between grey and pink throughout the body and crown sections – the all-knit rows in grey, and the rows with purls in pink.  (All these notes are in my ravelry project page, in case you want to use them later.)  I took a few quickie snapshots after blocking it:

Directrix in multi-colors Directrix in multi-colors

This is the size large, so it’s comfortably loose on me, but not too big, since it’s nicely stretchy.  If you want a REALLY large size hat, I’d recommend going up to worsted/aran weight, since this large size in DK weight is not super large.  (Pattern includes sizing/measurement info.)

Directrix in multi-colors Directrix in multi-colors

I love how the crown looks in the 2 colors.  As you can see, it can be worn more pulled down, or more slouched back, but I think it would really benefit from a pom-pom weighing it down a bit in the slouched back position.  I might need to add one!

Directrix, by Lee

So that’s Directrix, and that concludes my In Triplicate blog posts!  I also posted a mini-tumblr-post here about yarn trio choices; and you can see the Blue Moon Fiber Arts post about the collection here, and Shannon’s posts here (whole collection) and here (her patterns)!

Directrix, by Lee

Oh but wait, now that you’ve seen everything, a little more about yarn-usage.  With my 3 skeins of Blue Moon Gaea Sport, I made my 3 sample items + the extra Directrix (all below), plus those 3 big pom-poms pictured above, plus I had enough left of the pink for another hat, and a good chunk still left over (more pom-poms?).  That’s A LOT of items out of 3 skeins of yarn (they are large skeins!).

In Triplicate! Directrix in multi-colors

You get 10% off your order of 3 skeins of the yarn when you buy the collection, in your choice of any 3 colors (see lots of gorgeous options here – some of my favorites are shown below) through January; use the 3 skeins to make up to EIGHT of the In Triplicate patterns!  The collection includes some spreadsheets of different ways you can maximize your yarn if you want to nerd out with planning your projects.  You can also just start knitting, and keep making project after project after project until it runs out.  Be adventurous with adding stripes to things or using multiple colors in different ways in order to truly maximize every last bit!

BMFA Yarn Trios for In Triplicate

Our In Triplicate holiday knit-a-long (in the ravelry group) will begin in December, so get your yarn ready, share your color choices with the group, and post your projects to win prizes later on!  (You can totally make In Triplicate projects for the gift-a-long and cross-post them to the In Triplicate KAL!)  I can’t wait to see your color choices!!

Filed under: collaborations,hats,knit-a-longs,knitting,yarn — Lee Meredith @ 1:29 pm

November 17, 2015

In Triplicate 3-color pattern: Incenter mittens

Incenter, by Lee

My In Triplicate pattern for the hands is Incenter (yesterday I showed you my neck thing: Transversal; a few days earlier I told you all about the In Triplicate collection).  These mittens have a really fun garter stitch construction, worked sideways across the hand, short rows making the triangular color blocks in the centers.

Incenter, by Lee

The hands are one size, which is one-size-fits-most-adults size, but the thumbs (and gussets) are placed and sized to fit your hand.  So, if you have long fingers, the thumb goes further down the hand; shorter fingers, higher up placement.  And the height of the gusset and circumference/length of the thumb is all sized for the best fit.

Incenter, by Lee

The pattern gives small/medium/large size stitch counts for all the thumb/gusset numbers; you can use stitch counts besides the numbers given to get a more precise fit as needed.  The stitch counts for the placement and gusset can be any numbers, as long as they match on the two sides where the mitten comes together, and the thumb circumference can be any number – you can try it on as you go to fit it to your hand, or just use the small/medium/large numbers if gift knitting.

Incenter, by Lee

Because of the garter stitch fabric, they are nice and stretchy and should fit most adult hands well, but you can make size adjustments by changing up the gauge / yarn weight.  You should be able to make kid size mittens by dropping down to a sport weight I’d guess.  They are designed in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Gaea Sport, which is DK weight (same as all the In Triplicate patterns), on size US 5 needles for a nice dense, squishy gauge.  Sizing/gauge details are in the pattern.  Size adjustment note: always work at a dense gauge for a nice mitten fabric (so if you want them larger, don’t just use the DK weight yarn on bigger needles, making a looser fabric; instead, go up in weight to a worsted/aran, and use small enough needles to get a dense gauge).

Incenter, by Lee

Incenter’s sideways construction starts opposite the thumb (beginning with Judy’s Magic Cast-on), with rows worked all the way around, from the bottom edge on one side, up to the top, then around the top and down the other side to the bottom edge.  But the design is made with short rows, so most rows do not actually go all the way from one edge to the other, rather from partway up one side to partway down the other side.  The triangles sections are worked on one side only, again with short rows to make the shapes – you’ll do the whole 2-color triangle design on one side, then the whole thing on the other side

Incenter mitten in progress

Then you’ll go back to working around both sides for the thumb side section, which is like a mirror image of the first section.  Once the main mitten body is complete, the side stitches above and below the thumb are grafted closed with kitchener stitch, and the thumb is worked in the round, decreases shaping the gusset.  There’s no seaming, except for closing up a couple of small holes with the yarn tails.  The pattern includes a page of process photos (like the one above) taking you through all the sections.

Incenter, by Lee

The left+right hand mittens are identical except for the triangle colors flipping sides – the contrasting colors are each used on the outside of the triangle on one side, and on the inside triangle on the other side.  Since they’re identical, you can wear them on either hand, so you can change up which is the top color.

Incenter, by Lee

And if you want to use this pattern as a leftover scrap-busting project, you can venture outside the pattern color instructions and do something like what I’m doing with the mitten below – that’s the 2 sides of one mitten.  So I started with the green for the first section, then basically every time the pattern switched colors, I switched to a different new color, to use all these little mini-ball leftovers of Infinite Twist Helix I had in my leftover stash (mostly from Krewe).  I’m planning on making the second mitten match the first.  You can see a bit more about this project in my ravelry projects.

6-color Incenter in Helix 6-color Incenter in Helix

In geometry, the incenter of a triangle is the triangle’s center point; the tip of the smaller inner triangle of this mitten hits the center of the larger triangle (also the center of the mitten itself).  I don’t think I actually mentioned this in the collection post, but all of our In Triplicate patterns are named after geometry terms.

Incenter, by Lee

So that’s Incenter!  This design took me awhile to figure out, a couple of failed attempts came before the final version, but it was all worth it because I LOVE this design, and the pattern, and I think they are really fun and satisfying to make, to watch come together.  I hope you love them too!

Filed under: collaborations,knitting — Lee Meredith @ 9:58 am

November 16, 2015

In Triplicate 2-color pattern: Transversal wrap/scarf

Transversal, by Lee

So, last post I told you all about the In Triplicate collection, generally; now here’s one of my patterns from it – Transversal is a big rectangle, which can be made wide as a wrap (like my sample), or narrow as a scarf if you prefer.

Transversal, by Lee

Like all the In Triplicate patterns, this is designed in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Gaea Sport yarn, which is DK weight – colors Ochroid and Mica.  It’s made on size US 5 needles for a pretty dense gauge, making a nice squishy, warm piece.  My sample is about 16 inches wide, 48 inches long, nice for wrapping around the neck and shoulders…

Transversal, by Lee

Could definitely be worn with a shawl pin if you like…

Transversal, by Lee

Or it can be folded in half for a double-thickness extra squishy scarf.

Transversal, by Lee

Here’s a closeup of the stitch patterns.  It features a nice looking curled slip-stitch edging, and a textured 2-color lace pattern panel running diagonally over a garter stitch striped base, starting at one corner, and then up along the edge once it hits the other side.  Once the panel is straight along the side, you can just keep on working until your yarn just about runs out, maximizing your yardage to make your piece as long as possible.

Transversal, by Lee

Here it is flat, my large size sample.  The pattern is written for small/medium/large, which are all the same length (for yardage estimation purposes – in reality, you can make any size any length) – the small size is half the width of the large (so about 8 inches) and the medium is between them (12 inches).  The panel width changes to be more narrow for the smaller sizes, proportionately.

Transversal, by Lee

You know how I love pattern flexibility, so I have to tell you, while this is written for this particular yarn, in this one gauge, it can totally be made in any weight, any gauge.  It’s just a big rectangle, after all, the most versatile of knitted things.  The pattern includes notes on how to make any size, with any weight (basically: cast on any number of stitches, and adjust panel stitches accordingly, but there are some more details in the pattern).

Transversal, by Lee

The whole pattern is written and charted.  It’s a pretty easy-to-remember repeat pattern – if you pay attention to what you’re doing for the first few repeats, you should be able to knit most of the piece without needing to look at the pattern.

Transversal, by Lee

I would LOVE to see this knit up in different kinds of colors – I am super happy with how it looks in these two kind of similar-tone colorways, but I imagine it looking awesome in really contrasting colors!

Transversal, by Lee

While this project is definitely on the large end of the scale of things I knit (780 yards total for this large size piece), the pattern is definitely on the short end of the scale of patterns I create – 5 pages total, including the cover page.  That’s so short for me!  The pattern written+charted and abbreviations takes up 3 pages, so that’s just 1 short page of notes (and photos), so short!  So yeah, simpler than most of my designs for sure, since the construction is just a flat rectangle.

Transversal, by Lee

That’s Transversal!  Can’t think of any more to say about it.  I really love the finished item, and will definitely be wearing it this winter.  Soft, squishy yarn, grellow garter stitch stripes, and a cool looking textured stitch pattern, can’t go wrong with that!

In Triplicate!

Next I’ll be posting about Incenter and Directrix!  See all 9 In Triplicate patterns here, and join the ravelry group to chat about color options and join the knit-a-long in December!

Filed under: collaborations,knitting — Lee Meredith @ 6:20 pm

November 12, 2015

In Triplicate!

New collection!  In Triplicate is a collaboration between me, Star Athena, Shannon Squire, and Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  There are 9 patterns, and they are all designed in the same yarn – Gaea Sport – in the same 3 colorways (Ochroid, Mica, and Lover’s Leap).

In Triplicate collection

I will be posting about each of my 3 patterns separately (left column above: Directrix, TransversalIncenter); today, I’ll just tell you the story of how our collection was built…

But first, I will say some basics: each of the 3 of us got 1 skein of each of the 3 colors – these skeins are LARGE (560 yards each).  We used our 3 skeins to design 3 things; we all ended up with leftovers after our initial 3 samples were done.  So, you can get 3 skeins of your own and use the collection to make MANY of the things!  We even included a page of spreadsheets that show you how to maximize your yarn – if you plan carefully, you can make up to EIGHT of the items with the 3 skeins!  Or, you can skip the careful planning, make a bunch of hats and mitts no problem, and then see about squeezing out a neck thing with whatever you have left; or make your favorite neck thing first, as big as you want, then use the rest to make some hats/mitts.  Point is, with the 3 skeins and 9 patterns, you can make lots of things… I have this vision of knitters making something for every member of their family with the same 3 colors, different items for each person, but all matching/coordinating, and it’s so cute in my head!  You should do it, and take a holiday photo with everyone wearing their things, and post a comment here to show me because I want to see how cute you are!

Okay I went off on a matching-knitwear fantasy there, sorry about that… So, yeah, maximize your yardage, make all the things.

In Triplicate!

The full 9-pattern collection is $20, and each individual pattern is available solo for $5.  They are all in the Gaea Sport, which is actually a DK weight yarn (according to ravelry – I think it even knits up like a light worsted, but I guess light worsted is basically the same as DK, right? Oh, yarn weight labels, so arbitrary!).

If you buy the collection before December 15th, it will include a 10% off coupon code for 3 skeins of Gaea Sport, in your choice of any 3 colors!  Aaaand, there will be a knit-a-long starting in December, with prizes to be won, in our new In Triplicate ravelry group!  (Side note: if you’re a Gift-a-Long knitter, the collection patterns will be eligible for that as well!)

In Triplicate!

Now, more about what In Triplicate is, and how it came to be!  Shannon, Star, and I each designed a head accessory, a hand accessory, and a neck accessory.  One of each of these is in 1 color, 1 is in 2 colors, and 1 is in 3 colors – that goes for both the 3 designs by one designer, and for the 3 designs of one accessory type.

THIS is the idea that Star, Vivian Aubrey (pictured below with me), and I came up with oh so many years ago (5 years? I think?) on a day trip to Black Sheep Fiber Festival in Eugene (I mentioned it very briefly here).  During lunch and in the car ride, we excitedly developed this idea – I think we even drew up a spreadsheet on a napkin over pizza.  Well, we might not have actually drawn it on a napkin (it was probably a notebook), but there was definitely pizza, I remember that!

Me + Vivian!

So, that was back when Vivian was designing more, and we three were planning to make this happen for several years, until finally one day this spring Star and I got talking about it, and we knew Vivian wouldn’t mind us rolling with it because she had really gone off and become an awesome knitwear photographer and hadn’t been focusing on designing in years… When we started building the collection this year, we had planned to have the photography done by Vivian, but due to jam-packed schedules and deadlines we sadly were not able to make that happen.  This was a bummer, but we so appreciate Vivian’s original part in the concept development!!

Vivian + Star!

After we got the okay from Vivian to go off and find a new third designer, we immediately knew our first choice was Shannon, local Portland designer and long-time knitting scene buddy of ours.  So we arranged a secret meeting (I think Star texted her something like, “we have a proposition for you”), and she was instantly on board!

In Triplicate!

Next was deciding on a yarn – a big decision since the entire collection would be in the same yarn!  We wanted to love it, we wanted it we be pretty versatile, have beautiful colorways, and we were really hoping it could be local… It just so happens that Shannon (Star too, actually) had worked a ton with Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts, which fit ALL the criteria!  So that decision ended up being super easy!  Tina was immediately on board as well, and she met up with us at Shannon’s house with an enormous box of colors.

color trios for In Triplicate collection

We had pretty much the BEST time ever playing with yarn colors for hours, trio-ing (like pairing, but with threes, right?) the colors up.  There were about 100 colors total, and we just started grouping them into sets of three:

color trios for In Triplicate collection

And then we twisted all the trios together:

color trios for In Triplicate collection

I really love colors.  This was an excellent way to spend an afternoon, I am not exaggerating at all, seriously, best time.  We made dozens of trio combos – these were our favorites:

yarn trio possibilities for In Triplicate

Update! A Blue Moon blog post just went up with much better photos of all our favorite color combos, and I put up a tumblr post of my personal favorites here!

The point was to make lots of fun combos that would work well, so we could show you ideas for your own color threesomes, and also to find our #1 favorite, to actually use for the whole collection.  Well, sometime near the beginning of the process, someone, Star? – that whole afternoon is really kind of a blur, I think I was high on color? – held up these three together, and they just POPPED.

color trios for In Triplicate collection

Like, magic.  All four of us were like, whoa, yes, I never would have thought “let’s do our collection in yellow, grey, and HOT pink” but dude, you guys, these three colors look AMAZING together.  I even documented when Shannon twisted them together for the first time, above, because we knew, these are our colors.

In Triplicate yarns!

So that was it.  None of our couple dozen other combos could beat it – of course, there were many that we REALLY loved, but we had our pick.  One of the best things about this collection’s release will be getting to see the patterns worked up in totally different colorways!  I’d love to see the designs in something like orange, aqua, and olive green… or black, white, and grey… or red, turquoise, and light grey… If you choose three colors with one being neutral-ish, one being really bright, and the third kind of a muted color, you have yourself a color trio!  So many possibilities!

In Triplicate yarns!

So next, we designed and knit the things!  We had tea meetings, brainstorming email chains, late-night texts, problems to be solved… the collaboration process was so cool!  I’m such a solo worker normally, it was great to have other people’s ideas bouncing around with mine, changing my design directions, giving me focus with my designs, so that the collection could really be cohesive and not just 9 random patterns.

In triplicate

When we first started, we were just like… 3 accessories, 3 colors, we’ll see where it goes… but then once we had some ideas sketched and swatched, we starting seeing common threads and rolling with that.  So we ended up with a few design themes: geometry-inspiration (bold lines and shapes, stuff like that), slipped stitches, garter stitch, texture.  Not all 9 patterns have all these elements, but they show up over and over throughout the collection.

In Triplicate!

Once we had our designs/samples done, or nearly done, it was time to figure out more collection specifics.  We decided not do a print version, and to release the collection as 9 individual pdfs (instead of an actual 1-file ebook) – we’re planning on having the collection be available as a collection through the end of 2016, and then we’ll just each have our own individual patterns available.  We divvied up the tasks, and I acted as graphic designer for the collection – here’s a glimpse at a pattern cover.  I made a custom In Triplicate font!

In Triplicate pdf preview

Star made drawings and doodles to use throughout all the patterns – both knitting and geometry themed.  They add so much awesomeness to the patterns!  LOVE them!

In Triplicate pdf peek

Early on, we grabbed the domain name intriplicatecollection.com on an impulse, but then kind of realized we didn’t really need it, since the collection would just exist on ravelry… but we had it, so, I took Star’s drawings and threw this webpage together just for fun!  It’ll just exist during the time that the collection is available; go check it out!

In Triplicate webpage screenshot

With everything almost ready for release, it was photoshoot time!  We gathered at Portland State University to get some good vaguely geometry-themed backgrounds, and with me as the main photographer and my husband as assistant, we modeled the heck out of our designs!

In Triplicate! In Triplicate! In Triplicate!

In Triplicate! In Triplicate! In Triplicate!

In Triplicate! In Triplicate! In Triplicate!

Of course there was other boring stuff involved, like LOTS of editing – we all edited each others’ patterns first, then sent them off to a pro tech editor to make them as perfect as possible.  It was fun building the pdfs because I got to see how different we 3 designers are.  My patterns are the longest (but not CRAZY long like some of my older patterns – these range 5-8 pages total) even though I thought I was trying to design simple things, comparatively simple I guess.  It’s just how my designing mind works.  None of my patterns are hard though, really!  They just have multiple sections and stuff that takes up a bit of space… they are all really fun to make!  Anyway…

In Triplicate!

I’ll show you my designs in detail next week.  Do check out the others though!  I love all 9 patterns, but I really especially love Shannon’s Trisectrix shawl (big holes and asymmetry!), the texture of Shannon’s Point of Symmetry mitts and Star’s Lemma hat, and the smart+creative simplicity of Star’s Abscissa mitts.

In Triplicate!

I can’t wait to start seeing In Triplicate knits popping up – be sure to post photos in your ravelry projects so we can admire them!  Happy knitting, times three!

Filed under: collaborations,hats,knitting,self-publishing,yarn — Lee Meredith @ 1:25 pm

October 28, 2015

Book +kit review: The Modern Natural Dyer

Hey I’m today’s stop on the blog tour for this beautiful new book! I have been excited about The Modern Natural Dyer by Kristine Vejar since I first heard about it – Kristine is the founder of A Verb for Keeping Warm, the naturally dyed yarn company and shop in Oakland.

DSC_3463

Like the shop (I had the opportunity to visit several years ago – excellent place!) and AVFKW yarn, this new book is absolutely gorgeous! The photos of all the dye materials and hand-dyed fibers and fabrics make for a book I just want to keep flipping through for the visuals, and then it’s of course packed with all the info you need to know to start natural dyeing.

DSC_3414

Every type of dye material gets a photo spread showing what it looks like, and what colors you’ll get on different kinds of fibers – so many awesome colors you can get out of nature, especially in the yellow-orange range, which you know I love!!

DSC_3473

I took a natural dyeing class with Kristine a few years back – a short lecture intro class – and basically came away feeling overwhelmed and like I probably wouldn’t find the time or motivation to take the next step and actually try anything I learned about. But this book gives me new inspiration, and a new feeling that I CAN manage to take that step, now that it’s all broken down in so much detail for me here.

DSC_3468

Not only did I receive a review copy of the book, Kristine was super generous and sent me a dye kit as well! I chose the indigo kit because I am totally in love with all the indigo projects in the book – the A Verb For Keeping Warm website has this kit and three others: dye with flowers, madder, weld, logwood, or cochineal. All the kits are for specific projects in the book, so they include not just the dye materials but also the items to dye, and anything else you need, like thread, to complete the project.

DSC_3406

The indigo kit I got is for the Waves Bandana project, so it includes two white bandanas for me to dye – a perfect way to try out indigo dyeing for the first time before I use it on something bigger. The bandana project is an introduction to bound resist dyeing – the fabric is wrapped, or bound, so the dye doesn’t touch certain places. I love how the bound fabric looks as it’s being dyed!

DSC_3493

Pretty much everything I need is there in the jar. The kit should be enough for me to dye several medium sized items, so I’ll be pulling a few things from my closet to dip in there after the bandanas!

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Indigo can be used on both cellulose-based and protein-based fibers, but they react differently, and it seems fabrics like cotton and linen are an especially good fit. I have a plain cotton dress that might be the perfect thing!

DSC_3429

The book includes many different kinds of indigo projects – it teaches using indigo with different types of fabrics/fibers, dyeing with other natural dyes along with the indigo to get different colors, creating variegated yarn, bound resist dyeing, pole wrapping (that is a COOL looking technique!), stitch resist dyeing, and folding & clamping.

DSC_3478

One of my favorite projects is this Fishbone Dress, made with the stitch resist technique. You sew the fabric in bunched up lines, then dye it, to create those fishbone looking stripes – so cool! Plus, I love the idea of dyeing already-existing clothes to make them special, like this basic linen dress:

ModernNaturalDyer_p176

Okay so here’s the best part of this blog post: giveaway! One very lucky reader will receive the book and one of the kits of your choice!!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment here saying what item you’d love to natural dye (it could be an item of clothing you already own, a skein of yarn to knit into a shawl, some linen fabric to sew into a shirt, etc). I’ll do a random drawing a week from today, Wednesday November 4th, and I’ll reply to the winner’s comment. Make sure you receive replies to blog comments in your email inbox, or check back here next week to see if you won!

Update 11/4:  Giveaway is now over – congrats to commenter fasdy on her win!!  You can find the book and the awesome kits all for sale on A Verb for Keeping Warm’s website here!

If you want to see lots more peeks into the book, and at different kits and projects, follow the rest of the posts in the blog tour!
Oct 20  STC Craft
Oct 23  DIY Network
Oct 26  Mason Dixon Knitting
Oct 28  Leethal
Oct 30  Mary Jane Mucklestone
Nov 2  Very Shannon
Nov 4  Make Something Blog
Nov 9  Heather Ross
Nov 11 Tolt Yarn and Wool
Nov 16  Made by Katrina

Filed under: books,contest/giveaway — Lee Meredith @ 1:12 pm

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!

DSC_9570

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.

DSC_9337

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.

DSC_9904

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.

DSC_9412

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:

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

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…or making it small for a kerchief…

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…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!)…

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…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.

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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!)

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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.)

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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!).

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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!

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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
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