leethal history

The path that lead to leethal...

Lee has been making things her whole life, but began to devote more time to crafting after graduating college with a degree in art/photography and no real life plan. She began knitting with a passion, making things for friends and getting great feedback, eventually deciding to sell her knit creations in late 2005. She chose the name leethal for her brand of stuff, knit up some hats, slippers, and beer cozies, and sold a few at her first show, at a bar in San Diego in October '05.

Working a day job as a photo lab tech in southern California, Lee continued knitting things for leethal, selling through her web shop and at the occasional craft show. She began working more and more with recycled materials and eventually stopped knitting things for the shop, in favor of sewing creations with thrift store sweaters, t-shirts, and sweatshirts instead.

2007 saw the release of do stuff! leethal zine, along with the launch of leethal's blog of the same name, followed by the relocation of Lee from California to Portland, Oregon. It was at this time that the leethal shop tossed all knit items and became all stuff crafted from recycled materials. It was also the year that Lee wrote her first knitting pattern, which was published on knitty.com.

As a knitter, Lee had improvised her own designs from the beginning, being self-taught and not bothering to learn how to read patterns for years. So although she was designing knits since about 2003, she didn't start designing patterns until late 2007, at which point designing became a passion and a career path.

Throughout 2007-2008, Lee was picking up freelance craft writing jobs occasionally, selling regularly at Portland shows, and exploring new crafts like print-making and yarn spinning. She officially left her day job behind to be a creative freelancer full time in June 2008; making her living doing a combination of designing, writing, teaching, and selling, Lee has turned leethal into more than she ever imagined it could be!

In Lee's past pursuing a career in photography, she shot for publications, freelance jobs (for weeklies, musician press shots, headshots), showed in galleries/cafes, and built multiple online photo portfolios - coloredlights.net being her first website, with its personal photography section and the later added professional photography page, and then leemeredith.com coming later as a photography-only portfolio website. When she got a pro flickr account, these sites stopped getting regular updates.

You may have seen leethal at:

Bazaar Bizarre, Los Angeles 2005

Bazaar Bizarre, Los Angeles 2006

Crafty Wonderland, October 2007

Scrap Holiday Bazaar 2007

Crafty Wonderland Holiday Show 2007

Crafty Wonderland, April 2008

Alberta Art Hop, May 2008

Portland Zine Symposium, August 2008

Iron Artist, September 2008

Crafty Wonderland, November 2008

Handmade NW Holiday Show 2008

100th Monkey Studio Holiday Show 2008

Scrap Holiday Bazaar 2008

Eco-Fest (as a Trillium vendor), April 2009

Crafty Wonderland, July 2009

Crafty Wonderland Holiday Show 2009

Scrap Holiday Bazaar 2009

[see the links page for where Lee has published work, taught, etc]