I also recommend joining the leethal ravelry group and posting any questions or curiosities in there - you'll find lots of awesome people who have knit lots of leethal patterns, and I check in daily so I'll be able to answer your questions if someone else doesn't beat me to it.
about this pattern I'm working on...
Something is weird with my knitting, this isn't looking how it should, what am I doing wrong?
First, there's a good chance everything is fine, and it just will look weird for awhile before things start getting established. If the pattern includes process photos or diagrams, check those out and compare them to your work. (If you have a print version of the pattern, then you may find some extra process photos on the pattern's webpage here, which didn't fit in the print pattern.) If it looks like something is definitely wrong, re-read the part that you've worked carefully, line by line, as you may have missed a detail, or you may have done something that the pattern did not tell you to do. Un-knit or frog as needed to fix mistakes that you find. If you still can't find the problem, read the notes, as you may have missed a detail in there. If you still can't find the problem, take a photo of your work if possible, then email me (at bottom) and explain in as much detail as possible what's wrong, and I'll help the best I can!
When you say "turn" don't you mean "wrap and turn" for short rows?
I use a lot of short rows in different ways, so if I say "w+t" then wrap and turn (normally), but if I say "turn" then just turn. Trust the pattern! :)
I don't understand your cable directions. Why do you say "right" and "left" cables instead of "front" and "back"?
For my cabled designs, I recommend cabling without a cable needle (tutorials here), which (I think) makes a lot more sense to describe in terms of "left" and "right" twists instead of "front" and "back" cables, since front/back refers to where you're holding the cable needle. Left and right refers to the direction you see the cable twisting on the fabric; regardless of how you're achieving the cable, it will always appear as a left or a right twist, so it just makes visual sense to write it that way.
Translated into cable needle directions:
- Left always means the same as front. If I tell you to "cable x stitches left, _ over _," of the "_ over _" stitch counts, the first number is on top, "over" the second number, on bottom. Slip the top number of stitches onto the cable needle, and hold in front. Knit or purl the bottom number of stitches, then knit the the top stitches from the cable needle.
- Right always means the same as back. If I tell you to "cable x stitches right, _ over _," of the "_ over _" stitch counts, the first number is on top, "over" the second number, on bottom. Slip the bottom number of stitches onto the cable needle, and hold in back. Knit the top number of stitches, then either knit or purl the bottom stitches from the cable needle.
How do I _____? (fill in blank with any knitting abbreviation, stitch, or technique)
If I didn't explain it in enough detail in the abbreviations section, or in the techniques or notes in the pattern, and it's not on my techniques tutorials page, then I recommend knittinghelp.com for tutorial videos. Or, for lots more knitting videos, you can search the stitch/technique name on youtube. If you don't learn well with videos, then a google search will usually bring up tons of knitting stitch/technique how-to blog posts and webpages, with both written and photo tutorials.
I just finished and my thing looks terrible, not at all like the photos. Or, really, do I HAVE to block?
With most leethal designs, blocking is very important! Especially items with unusual construction, the finished object straight off the needles will sometimes look pretty wonky, might not fit well, and will just be overall un-finished looking. All it needs is a wet blocking and the parts will smooth out and all will be well!
Basic blocking steps for any accessory: Thoroughly wet - let soak in room temperature water with a little bit of gentle soap (either dish soap, shampoo, or a wool wash), for at least 15 minutes so it's fully submerged and has absorbed the water (or, if using a wool wash, follow directions on bottle). Gently rinse out soap with room temperature water (the key word when dealing with hand-knits and water is GENTLY, always through every step of blocking, no rubbing, ringing, hot water, or any kind of agitation). Squeeze out water in sink, then roll up in a towel and push or step on it to squeeze out as much water as possible. Now how you lay it out to dry depends on the item - with most leethal accessories, no pins or wires are necessary. Either lay it out flat, shaping it with your fingers, or if it's a hat, put it over a foam head or balloon (a bit smaller than head size) to form the round top shape. Leave it to dry, maybe moving its position when it's partway dry to prevent creases (depending on the item). If you used a superwash wool yarn (and the label says it's machine washable) then you may prefer to machine wash it, perhaps tumble it a little in the dryer, then lay it out to dry blocked out the rest of the way. If you used an unblockable yarn (like acrylic) then wash and dry it and hope for the best.
about leethal knits patterns in general...
Your patterns look really complicated - what experience level should I be before I attempt them?
While many (most) of them use unusual techniques and/or construction methods, they aren't that hard! I like to say most of my patterns are "adventurous beginner" level, or intermediate. If you are willing to learn new techniques, you don't have to already know a ton going into the pattern, as you can learn as you go along. Some patterns are easier than others, and there are only a few which are truly beginner-friendly, but if you are open to trying out new things, and you are comfortable with the basics of knitting (you've already made a few beginner projects), then I recommend that you put on your adventure hat and brave any pattern you want to try! The tricky part is not to second guess the pattern; in many cases, you may feel like something seems wrong, but trust the pattern and you'll be fine!
Your patterns are so darn long, doesn't this mean they are super complicated? And why are you making me use so much paper and ink? That's not cool!
No, it doesn't mean they're super complicated, it just means I try to give you everything you'll need to make the item - often including full technique photo tutorials, construction process photos, modification notes, etc. All that extra info which takes up space is there to help you have the best knitting experience possible! Secondly, you're not meant to print every page of leethal patterns! The cover pages are always just photos, and there are often several pages of technique tutorials which you may or may not need, so look through the pattern on your screen first before hitting print. Also, if you can read through the notes and techniques, etc, on your screen, and print only the pattern itself, that usually only takes up 2-4 pages or so. And, the pdf format has a large font size, perfect for reading on a laptop screen, tablet, or even a phone screen (zoomed in a bit), so if you knit near an electronic device, you need no paper or ink at all!
I see that a lot of your patterns are for any gauge - does that mean I'll have to do tons of math and figuring things out for myself?
(Usually) Nope! Most of my any-gauge patterns involve just measuring your knit sections to know when to stop and get a perfect fit/size; some involve a wee bit of very basic math. The most complicated math you'll ever have to do is multiplying or dividing numbers, a few clicks into your calculator (app). Some of the any-gauge patterns involve knitting a gauge swatch to use to figure out your cast-on number; many of them need no swatching at all, you'll just cast on a few stitches with any weight yarn and get started! Many patterns do have lots of custom options, so you'll need to make decisions about how exactly you want to make your object, but I'll walk you through how to make it and you'll get your perfect custom knit.
Can I test knit your patterns?
I don't really use test knitters anymore these days, but if you are really wanting the chance to, you can give me your info as instructed in this forum thread and if I end up reaching out for testers again in the future, you'll be added to the master list.
What's your policy on licensing? I want to sell items made from your patterns at craft shows and/or in my etsy shop (etc) - is that okay?
This issue is not at all black and white, so basically, if you want to sell a couple items hand-made from my patterns at a craft show (or somewhere similar), because you enjoy knitting them and want to help offset your yarn cost (or to raise money for charity), that's okay with me, but please don't try to make a big profit off my designs by selling large quantities of the same ones. If you sell an item made from my pattern, please include my name (Lee Meredith) and/or Leethal Knits and/or leethalknits.com as the designer, on your tag. Please ask a price which pays you a fair wage and doesn't undervalue both your and my hard work. If you sell an item made from my pattern online (in an etsy shop or somewhere similar), the same applies (give me designer credit, etc). I'm not okay with you trying to make a full on business out of selling my designs... this is where it gets grey... so just be a good person about it, please :)
It's not okay to resell my actual patterns, copy them and give them to friends, etc. I struggle to get by creating these designs, so if you like them, please pay for them and encourage others to do so as well. Six bucks is not a lot of money ;)
I (or my local yarn shop) want to teach a class (or host a knit-a-long) using one of your patterns - is that cool?
I'm fine with you using my patterns for classes or knit-a-longs, as long as each person involved purchases the pattern for their own use, either through the shop (wholesale info here), or through me directly.
Can I see your cat?
Did you get my email?
Yes! (Well, probably.) I'm sorry I haven't replied yet! I can be really bad at keeping up with emails sometimes, and chances are I read your email, was either busy right at that moment or needed to think about my response, planned to reply within a day or so, then got distracted and forgot to do so. I will probably reply eventually, but it might also be helpful if you send a quick follow-up email just to check in, which will make me feel guilty about taking so long, and push me to reply faster ;)
Who does your pattern photography / graphic design / web design?
I do it all! My background is in photography, so I'm very lucky to be a designer who can handle my own photography, and I have a tiny bit of schooling in graphic design and web design related stuff as well, so I wing it with all that. My patterns are built with iWork Pages, my charts are made in iWork Numbers with my own hand-drawn chart fonts. (I also made my leethal fonts, which you see in the heading text throughout this site, and my Remixed font, all using the iPad app iFontMaker.) My websites are hand-coded in TextEdit. (My blog is a Wordpress blog.)
Where did you get your glasses?
If you're looking at a photo of me with my orange glasses, I got them from my eye doctor (custom ordered the color from the catalog) and the brand is prodesign:denmark; I got them in 2008, so it might be hard to find the same frames now. If you're looking at pretty much any other photo of me with different glasses, I got them from Zenni Optical. And yes, I do need them to see.
if you still have unanswered questions, email Lee at: firstname.lastname@example.org
(All content on this website is copyright Lee Meredith - feel free to post photos on blogs, pinterest, etc, with credit to Lee Meredith and/or leethal and a link to the webpage, but do not use any photos or text without the appropriate credit and link. Thanks!)