Mim's Knitting Frenzy

Follow the dark and skeery path into the dank recesses of Miriam's mind. There you will find many a knitting needle and the occasional ominous crochet hook. Sinister looking book presses and towering stacks of paper. Where various handcrafts lurk waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting...

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Saturday, December 31, 2005

2005 In Review

While in the shower this morning at 3:30 am, I was thinking about what kind of "year in review" post I should do. I toyed with the idea of listing all the completed knitted items, but frankly, that sounded like alot of tedious and boring research since there are easily a hundred things I've knit in the last year (maybe a couple hundreds, who knows). So instead I'm just gonna make it up. You may ask "how is that different from every other thing you post?" And to that I say "STFU!"

It's been quite the crazy year. This time last year I had just graduated with my Bachelor's degree (God! that seems like such a long time ago!) and it seems as if I was hardly knitting (as compared to now). But I am glad to say that my goal of getting knit designs published this year has been accomplished and I'm proud of myself for it. It may come as a surprise, but I'm still surprised and grateful when someone wants to knit one of my patterns.

I've grown so much spiritually in the last year and learned a lot about myself, which I wish I could go into here, but this certainly is not the place for that. I feel like I've grown in patience, understanding, a sense of community, and so many ohter ways that I can't think to list.

I really do appreciate the friends I've made through blogging. In fact, on Thursday when I was feeling lowest, I was weepy because I didn't have internet access and I felt disconnected from my friends.

My body has changed a LOT in the last year, and I'm learning to love it more everyday. Even when it's broken.

There has also been much sadness, but as I reflect on the whole year, the sadness is beginning to fade a little. Thank you all for your support as well. You'll never know how much it means to me. I promise that knitting will return as well as pictures (I don't have the programs to download and crop and manipulate my photos when I'm not at work). I'll show you my wonderful Christmas presents and I'm mulling over a new site design.

And as Sandy noted, the pattern links aren't working. I am aware. I've removed my files from silentism, and I haven't yet found a new web server and a new site, so until I do, you can e-mail me if you need one of the patterns and I'll do my best to get it to you.

I'll post tomorrow with my goals, hopefully a picture.


Friday, December 30, 2005

Not There

I'm not in San Diego. I was supposed to be. I wanted to be... but I have the flu. After vomitting on the side of the I-15 on the way home from SnB, I thought it might just have been something I ate, and that it would go away and I'd be ok for the 16 hour car trip to San Diego. Nope. Still feeling pretty shitty although (thank GOD!) the nausea and vomitting is gone. Coughing and weak and generally crappy, but ok.

So I missed it. I missed my grandfather's funeral. I hear it was lovely. *sigh*

I still haven't heard from IK about whether they got my contract or not. Wrote to the USPS about the number not working and haven't heard anything back from them either. So I've been working frantically on a shawl that may not even be published because they never got my contract. *bashes head into desk* Frankly, I'm cranky, and weak, and cold, and tired, and I want the whole world to go away, but I want someone to bring me soup and play with my hair because I'm sick and grieving.

K, that's pathetic enough for today.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Hi all. Just letting you know that I'll be away from the blog for probably the rest of the week. I'm leaving in a few hours to go to Salt Lake to take my BIL to a job interview, then I'll be going to SnB at the Jitter Bug tonight (see you there ladies!) and then on the way home getting dropped off at my sister's house to leave early Wednesday morning for the funeral on Thursday morning (it's a 16 hour or so drive). Probably won't be back until late Saturday night.

I'm feeling pretty shitty, so I hope that going to SnB will help up my spirits.


Monday, December 26, 2005

Rest Peacefully

Boopa passed on yesterday morning with his children and wife around him. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I'm sure they helped. He didn't go until my mom was there to see him. The rest of his kids live in the greater San Diego area, but Mom lives here in Utah, so she flew out early yesterday morning and Boopa passed on shortly after she arrived.

Thanks again,

Friday, December 23, 2005

Lavendar has many uses.

I'd never used Lavendar for baking before, but LORD ALMIGHTY! Soooooo goood.....
Inspired by 6.5 stitches

I searched and found a recipe for Lavendar Mint Shortbread. People, RUN, DO NOT WALK to make this recipe! It's sooo good. Melt-in-your-mouth good. Melt-in-your-mouth and leave-you-licking-your-lips-for-the-tiny-crumbs good. The recipe follows with my notations:

1 1/2 Cups (3/4 lb) butter, at room temperature (NO SUBSTITUTES!)
2/3 Cup sugar
2 Tablespoons very finely chopped lavender florets (fresh or dried)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 1/3 Cups flour
1/2 Cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Cover bottoms of two baking sheets with parchment or brown paper (I used a cut up brown paper bag). In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, lavendar, and mint with an electric mixer. Mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. (I used my kitchenaid stand mixer, and it never really got "light and fluffy", but it was sure blended well. Turned out fine though.) Add flour, cornstarch, and salt and beat until incorporated. Divide dough in half. Flatten into squares and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm.

On a floured board, roll or pat out each square to a thickness of 1/2 inch (mine were a little less so I could get more of them). Cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares or rounds (I used a 2" scalloped edge biscuit cutter). Transfer to baking sheets, spacing cookies about 1 inch apart. Prick each cookie several times with a fork. Bake 20-25 min. until pale golden (do not brown). cool slightly, then transfer to a rack. Sprinkle with lavender powdered sugar (recipe available in the original link). I used lemon granular sugar** instead because I had it on hand.

**Lemon sugar is good on cookies to give them a bit of citrusy zest, and also in hot and iced tea. To make lemon sugar, peel some lemons with a vegetable peeler, then dry the peels in an oven on the lowest setting until they're dry. Then pack them in layers with granulated white sugar into sterile canning jars. Layer about an inch of sugar, and then a sprinkling of peel, then a layer of sugar, etc... until the jars are full, then seal the jar and leave in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. The flavor in the peel will infuse into the sugar.

The last Christmas present is an FO now too. These socks are for Luke who likes to wear mismatching socks. He wears one gray and one black sock everyday. So instead of making him a pair of socks that he would not wear because they matched, I just made him a mismatched pair.
Pattern: My own. K3P2 ribbing for the cuff, doubled cast on using one strand of each color and alternating colors for the reinforced heel and the wedge toe.
Yarn: Fortissima Socka with Polypropylene. One 50g skein each of gray and black.
Needles: Size U.S. 2 for the cuff and U.S. 1.5 dpns for the foot.
Gauge: On the foot 9 spi and 11 rpi. And his feet are size 10.5. Bah to people with big feet!
Verdict: They're crazy, but I think he'll like them. I especially like the effect of using one strand of a different color for the doubled cast on. I think I may do this in the future just for the fun of it. The yarn seems like it will be really good for long wear.

And I got kind of bored with taking normal sedate pictures of my FO, so I made sock puppets. And then they started getting frisky.

The gray one tried to eat my face. The black one is looking on in horror. Trust me, it was scary!


Thursday, December 22, 2005

My Holiday Manifesto

I'd been thinking about it, but MamaCate's post (linked via Juno) kind of put me over the edge. Here is my creed for this time of year. Perhaps a bit morose....but you can deal ;)

1. REASONS In remembering the "reason for the season" I will ask myself what I REALLY love about the Holidays. Not what I'm "supposed" to love about the Holidays, but what I DO love. I will focus on that and I will place more peripheral things aside to enable the enjoyment of those things. For me that is food and family. If everything else was stripped away, those are the things I would be saddest to loose.

2. PRESENTS I will not buy into all the commercial shit. While others are spending thousands of dollars on Christmas presents I will give a few small presents from the heart. No one has a RIGHT to expect a present. Presents are gifts, not something one can claim. People will get gifts from my heart. I will never again give someone a fill-in present because I couldn't think of anything to give them. If I don't know you well enough to give you a present, you don't get one! So there.

3. GATHERINGS I will not expect more of holiday gatherings than I expect of everyday gatherings. There is no inherent perfection of meal that is required just because a gathering is held between certain dates.

4. SCHEDULING I will not make commitments I cannot keep. Similarly, I will not commit myself to too many things in one week. If all your spare time is spent in planning for a gathering and going to that gathering, then planning for the next one, you are TOO BUSY!

5. DOWNTIME I will take some time to sit by myself and knit, or just sit by myself. Just because it's a holiday doesn't mean we have to ignore taking care of ourselves. Have a seat, drink a cup of tea, eat a salad, take a multivitamin. Think about your blessings instead of all the things you have to do.

6. FOOD I will eat whatever I damn well please, thankyouverymuch. No, I will not gorge myself on chocolate (although I got a luscious box yesterday from a thankful graduate student), but if I want to eat it, I will. With no guilt, and no remorse. Because the season is about food to me. I will shamelessly make biscuits and sausage gravy on Christmas morning and no one can stop me! The season is not for worrying and stressing. Be responsible, but be happy foremost.

7. GRATITUDE When I sit down to a fabulous feast, or open that expensive gift that my family all went in on together, I will remember that I am loved. But I will not forget that there are those in this world much less fortunate than I. People who didn't get a whole week off of work because they don't GET paid holidays. I will remember that there are people who cannot afford to have a holiday and people who are starving. While I can't ship my leftovers to them, I can help them in some way. I will knit charity items (or give money if I've got the extra funds lying around), and I will encourage others to do so. I will give thanks to my deity of choice and reaffirm my commitment to be a better person everyday.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Late post is better than no post

*waves* Hi! There's 5 days until Christmas! How are y'all doing? Will you be the ones sleeping peacefully with presents wrapped and ready, or will you be frantically knitting a slightly-too-short scarf while people open presents around you?

My holiday knitting? Almost done. It would be done except I decided to add a present for someone who otherwise wouldn't have received one. What can I say, he's been nice to me lately. But here's some finished gifties.

A hat for Daniel of the no-beard.

Pattern: Susan's "Live Dangerously, Don't Swatch" Hat pattern (link to the pdf there). Very fun pattern. I modified it by doing an 1.5" I-cord on top and then folding it over and tacking it down to make a cute loop on the top. I used the I-cord bind off. I also used a stitch pattern from my Reader's Digest book for the body of the hat.
Yarn: Plymoth Galway 100% Virgin Wool in Dark Olive (?). Purchased from my LYS.
Needles: Size 6 Brittany birch dpns. I didn't have a 16" circ in size 6, or I would have switched.
Gauge: 5.5 spi, I think...
Verdict: I loved the pattern, and I think I'll do many more hats like this. I was always iffy about hats, but this made it easy and un-stressful. Also, the yarn felt pretty wooly before, but after washing it got quite a bit softer. I think it would be a really good wool for general use. A bit of ick came out of it, (spinning oil, I think) but it's quite soft now. I like my mods too and the i-cord bind off is a great idea. Thanks Susan!

And..... a scarf for my sister Laura, sorry there's just blocking pics.

Pattern: My own. Made up from a stitch pattern ganked from one of Barbara Walker's Treasuries... don't remember which one and I don't remember what it was called. But I stuck 2 repeats of it together and called it good. Technical, eh? ;)
Yarn: Every inch of 2 skeins of KnitPicks Andean Treasure in "Mystery". For both this and the hat I used a felted join (thanks Laurie for giving me the courage to do it instead of just thinking it was interesting!). I was trying to save every inch of yarn I could. As it was I had to bind off twice, making it tighter the second time to make the yarn last.
Needles: Size 8 Brittany birch straights. They're pretty, I like them :)
Gauge: Noooo idea... but I blocked the hell out of it to give it some length, so I'm sure the gauge changed.
Verdict: Laura will LOVE it! It's very soft and I chose an eyelet pattern to counteract the sometimes "too-hot"ness of Alpaca (I keep typing "Aplaca"... hmmm...) since Laura tends to run hotter than most people.

Right now I'm working on socks for Luke... they're interesting to say the least. I'm past the gusset on both and just working the foot. Shouldn't be too long now. Good thing since Christmas is 5 DAYS AWAY!. I'm gonna do some baking tonight, so I'll let you all know how that goes tomorrow :) With pics.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

For all my Uber-Crafty Bitches

Tampon Crafts! Link via Feministing via Heather.

Happy HNT!

Another week goes by. Today is a multi-person HNT. C joined in... I'm sure you can tell which limbs are his. He's got that scottish/welsh whiteness goin' on.

Happy HNT!


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Knitting Content! Woot!

Finally some knitting content! I've finished the pair of socks I've been working on.

Pattern: My own, with a k3p2 rib for the cuff and worked down the instep to the toe for a snug fit on the foot. I used a reinforced flap heel, and my favorite heel turn, and nicely rounded wedge toe.
Yarn: KnitPicks Essential in Navy Blue (75% Superwash Wool, 25% nylon).
Needles: @ sets of Clover Bamboo 7" US Size 1 dpns. I worked both socks at once on 2 sets of neeldes. Like Cassie says, it makes sock knitting a race between the two socks. My favorite way to work them so far. It also means I don't have to write down my pattern, just repeat it on the second sock as I go.
Gauge: Not precisely sure... I didn't measure it after the ribbing, but I know I was getting about 11.5 rpi. probably somewhere between 8 and 9 spi.
Verdict: They're good, and I think Dennis will like them. Plus I got paid, so I can't complain. :) As for the yarn, it's a bit stiff, but not any stiffer than other 75/25 Wool/Nylon blends. I get the feeling it will soften quite a bit when washed though.

So... my new toy that I was supposed to post about yesterday is THIS!

Woot! I was at my parents house for dinner and talking about how I have all these ideas for projects (a book among them), but I can't make do with the digital camera I've got now. And they dissappeared into a back room and then came out holding a wrapped present! Merry Christmas to C and me! It's a Fujifilm FinePix S3100. 6x optical zoom, and 4.0 Megapixels! *dances* I'm having fun learning how to use it and it's got alot of nifty features. Pictures may be not very good until I get the hang of it though.

I need a camera case or camera bag though... anybody got any recommendations? I was thinking of making a bag myself with a nice zipper around the top and all that... but if I can get something cheaply that will work really well, I'd go with that. I also need a larger memory card. This thing even takes VIDEO! So maybe I'll have some kind of demonstration videos soon. Maybe for the beading technique used for Icarus.


Friday, December 09, 2005

A little moooooood music

What a great way to start the morning :)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Happy HNT

Today is Half Nekkid Thursday.

I'm trying to use HNT to love parts of myself that I don't usually. So, here you get a bit of my freckles and my chicken pox scars, and my infamous chin.

Happy HNT all!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


*If you're looking for the info on the mini books, I've put a link in the sidebar under "Books To Buy". I'll keep a running listie of books for sale up there if anyone is interested.

Seraphim is done! I'm so happy with it! Here's the specs, then I'll talk about the design.
Pattern: My own, soon to be available for purchase. It's being test knit right now.
Yarn: Any fingering weight yarn, but mine was knit with an annonymous wool/acrylic blend that I bought a huge cone of. It was originally gray and overdyed with Berry Blue Koolaid to get this VERY interesting Aqua color.
Needles: US Size 5 Addi Turbo 24" circulars... my very favorite needles :)
Gauge: 5 or 5.5 spi.. depending on where you measure... it's a bit tricksome.
Verdict: LOVE IT! If I had someone to give a shawl to, I would knit it again, but not any time soon.

So here's my design thought process:

I had finished Icarus and wanted to do another shawl...

Me: Jeez! All these shawls I've been making are so thin and airy! So insubstantial!
Me2: You should be knitting a sweater! That would be substantial.
Me: Yeah, but that would require shaping and math. Bah to math.
Me2: Knit some socks then.
Me: No.... I've GOT IT! Another shawl!
Me2: *rolls eyes*
Me: But this one will be in a heavier yarn, and have a more substantial upper to keep the torso warm on cold wintery nights in drafty houses.
Me2: Um... sure. You do that then....

So there you go. The edging is lovely. I'm so happy with how it turned out. I hope to have it for you soon.

You can see more photos in my flickr album, with some commentary if you're interested.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Mini Books Post

And here's another shot for scale.
They would make lovely ornaments and I can string some metallic thread through the binding to hang them from if you're so interested. They'd also be lovely for dolls, dollhouses or shadowboxes. They'd make great presents for the librarian or booklover in your life!

Each book is handcrafted by myself to exacting standards. They are each 1 and 5/8" tall, by 1 and 1/8" wide and 3/8" thick. These are the colors I have had time to make so far. I have alot of other colors of bookcloth, so if you've got something in mind, feel free to e-mail me with any questions.

The pages of each tiny book are carefully folded and sewn together with linen thread to make a bookblock. Then the bookblock is encased in acid free board covered with Cialux bookcloth using Acid Free and very durable glue. If you're interested in purchasing any of them or special ordering some in a specific color (or colors) e-mail me. If sold individually, each book is $5 USD, or a set of 5 for $20 USD. These prices include shipping as they are TINY, so shipping is minimal. I'm also open to negotiation. If you want to swap yarn or something, e-mail and we'll see what we can work out :)

Monday, December 05, 2005

At it again....

this time it's 1 am. Geez. This time I woke up panting thinking that I'd seriously messed up some socks I was trying to knit in my sleep. Apparently my doped up throat crazed mind thought I had figured out some ingenious way to work rows in my head and then using some great mind powers transfer them with a thought to my knitting upon waking. Of course, my mind powers of transferance involved swallowing painfully, so that's why I thought I messed it up. My throat is swelling shut and it's making me dizzy everytime I swallow. Perhaps I should see a doctor in the morning. I may need my tonsels out, or an antibiotic... or something....

*edit* Father/Doctor has called in a Rx for Pennecillin for both of us. Yuck. I really hate that stuff. I ALWAYS get a yeast infection when I take it. But he says to just do an over the counter yeast infection treatment WHILE I'm taking the course of antibiotics and all should be well. SHOULD being the operative word there.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Seems I'm not the only one

There are quite a few of my blogging friends who have the ba-humbug spirit. And I'm glad that I'm not the only one in Logan too. I heard about this on the radio (the link is to the Salt Lake Tribune article) this morning and I just laughed out loud. Four Logan 18 year olds have been charged with 14 counts of harrassment each for leaving threatening notes on houses with Christmas lights up:
"You're going to burn in hell," the computer-generated missives warned. "It is too early in this holiday season to have your damn Christmas lights on."

The notes said they'd burn down the houses if the owners didn't keep the their lights off until December 14th. heheheh.. I'm not sure why that makes me so happy... but it does.

Oh, and you know what else makes me happy? There is a package. A mystery package from God knows who! It's sitting in my old-dude-neighbor's house. And it's driving me insane! I didn't order anything, and I wasn't expecting anything to be sent to me. So I don't know what it is. I love mail, and I'm slightly pissed off at the octegenarian in #2 who isn't awake at 11:45 when we get home, or 7:00 when I leave the house in the morning. Grrrrrr.....