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

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Greetings from Pennsylvania! I'm having a fabulous time and got myself completely exhausted today!

Just to touch bases, I'm still checking my e-mail, and I have received a couple delivery failure notifications for pattern download e-mails. If you purchased a pattern and didn't receive the download link, PLEASE E-MAIL ME at mlbrilliant AT yahoo DOT com.

Over and out,

Monday, March 27, 2006

Eleanora Socks Pattern Available

These socks are inspired by the socks found in the tomb of Eleanoro de Toledo, the wife of Cosimo I de’Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany. She was buried in 1562 after dying of the plague and her crimson silk socks are amazingly well preserved. (Images of the original socks can be seen here and here)

They were knee-high with turned down cuffs. The lozenge patterned cuffs on this adaptation are NOT turned down and the motifs have been reduced in number of stitches due to gauge differences.

Yarn Requirements: 100 gram ball of sock yarn. I used Opal (75% Superwash wool/25% polyamide) (425 meters) in color 1997-13. Please note, this is the German Opal sock yarn, as seen here, not Louet Gems Opal (which is a fine sport weight and too heavy)
Suggested Needles: US Size 1 (2.25mm) and US Size 0 (2.00mm) double points (sets of 5) or size needed to obtain gauge.
Gauge: 17 sts and 25 rows per 2 square inches in stockinette on US 1's and 19 sts per 2" on US 0's.
Finished Size: 6.5" from cuff to top of heel flap. 12" around upper cuff. 9" around foot. 9" from heel to toe.
Techniques Used: This pattern uses the following techniques:
knit, purl, k2tog, k tbl, yo, placement and slipping of markers, slipped stitches, twisted stitches, p2tog, ssk, psso, and sl2-k1-p2sso (centered double decrease).

Other Notes:

  • The motifs in this pattern are charted. Charts are in black and white.

  • Included are some links and interesting notes on the history of Eleanora and her stockings.

  • This pattern is 6 pages long, and will print on standard 8.5" x 11" paper.

  • This pattern is a downloadable .pdf file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open it. You can download Acrobat here for free.

  • This pattern may only be purchased through PayPal. If you do not have a paypal account, you can open one by clicking that link.

  • Once your paypal payment has gone through, you will be e-mailed a link to download the pdf file. BE AWARE THAT THIS LINK EXPIRES after a time. You CAN request additional downloads if you miss this window of time. Also be aware that if you pay with an e-check, you will not receive the download link until your payment has cleared, which may take up to 7 days.

  • With this pattern (and with all of my patterns I offer full technical support. I will do anything at all possible to help you figure out the best way to download and use this pattern and knit these socks.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to e-mail me.

The cost for this patten is $6.00 USD. You may purchase it by clicking the Buy Now Button below.

Please go to my new shop to purchase this pattern

FO's and travel plans.

It's been a weekend of socks, finished books and packing. I'm getting ready to leave tomorrow morning for Philadelphia to stay with my friend Miriam (we're nametwins). I'm really excited! ehehehehe! I'll have a 3 hour layover in Cleveland too, so I should have plenty of knitting time. I'm working on some commissioned gloves in a black Falkland Wool and I'm about to start a cobweb weight version of Mountain Peaks in some BEAUTIFUL wool from Andie and Renaissance Dying. Should be plenty of knitting for the plane. Plus I'm going to start HP3 as well.

I did finish the Eleanora Socks and the next post will be the pattern-for-sale post. Here's a pic and the specs:

Yarn less than 100 grams of Opal sock yarn (75% Superwash wool/25% polyamide) in color 1997-13.
Pattern My own, link in the sidebar.
Needles: US Size 1 (2.25mm) and US Size 0 (2.00mm) double points (sets of 5).
Gauge: 17 sts and 25 rows per 2 square inches in stockinette on US 1's and 19 sts per 2" on US 0's.
Verdict I LOVE them! The way I worked out the toe shaping makes them super comfortable! Isela liked the fit too :) I'm very pleased with them and hope you all will be as well.

I also finished the Koigu socks (which I was not allowing myself to work on until I finished the Eleanora socks).

Yarn Koigu KPPPM gifted by Margene, I think it may be colorway P711.
Pattern Yarrow Rib sock from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks.
Needles: US Size 1.5 (2.5mm) Crystal Palace Bamboo Dpns.
Gauge: 8 spi.
Modifications: I made them a little shorter because they just fit better on my leg that way. I also made the heel flap a bit shorter since it was risking being too long.
Verdict Another home run! I chose this pattern because I wanted to try out a german heel (the heel with garter stitch bands at the sides) and I was not disappointed! I was a little apprehensive about the french toe (the reason why seen here), but it's really quite comfortable! And how could you go wrong with Koigu? Squooshy goodness.

Well, I may be MIA for the duration of my trip. I expect I will be checking e-mail, but I don't know if I'll have time to blog. If not, see you all on Tuesday, April 4th!


Friday, March 24, 2006

Attention: Kathleen Courtois

I am trying to contact the knitter with the Paypal ID of "Kathleen Courtois". Your download link and all e-mails I send to you are getting sent back. Please e-mail me at mlbrilliant AT yahoo DOT com from a valid e-mail address so I can send your download link along. If I don't hear from you in 2 days I will cancel the download and refund your money.

The little things

Every now and then I realize that my mind is going 50 billion directions at once and I feel so overwhelmed with the list of things in my head to remember or do or buy or say that I just have to take a step back. Yesterday was that day for me.

Waking up to such a shocking sight as your cat pooping along the carpet** may serve to shock you into realizing you're not nearly ZEN enough today.

So I walked around outside barefoot and felt the power of the earth beneath my feet, I practiced making a tinder ball well enough to start a fire in the wilderness, we took a drive in the canyon and saw deer and squirrels and ducks and tiny little birds, I took a 3 hour nap, I sipped tea, I read, and knitted and meditated on my knitting. I layed on the floor and stared at the ceiling. In short, it was exactly what I needed.

A thought struck me as we were driving through the canyon. There are mice (and other creatures) who will live their whole lives in that canyon within 2 miles of the highway, but they know every blade of grass in their small world and they know when it has been disturbed. They feel the other animals, they know where water is, they know the good places to hide.

Our worlds are so big, with the internet making our neighborhoods global, and our man-made boundaries of states and countries. Space and interstellar travel... and yet, me miss the microcosm. We don't even notice the plants that surround our homes unless we plant them ourselves, we don't notice the spiders and mice and other creatures who share our space unless they become a problem to us. We miss the natural order of things because we're so busy planning how to change it. Which way is better? Knowing the microcosm at the cost of missing the big picutre? The mice and birds don't know how they fit in with the scheme of the world, but neither do they CARE. But if we worry so much about the macrocosm, we miss so much beauty!

I'm not saying that we shouldn't be able to change our world and make it better, or make it better suited to us at least... I just think that we should take the time to dwell on the earth and all it's inhabitants with reverence. Afterall, we are all interconnected whether we like to admit it or not. And I find that the more people focus on the little things and acknowledge them, the happier they are.

Stop to pick up a rock and REALLY look at it next time you're outside. That rock will probably never be held by another person. EVER. Take the time to appreciate it. Time is the only thing we can really give back to the earth for all it gives to us.


**Thanks for all the advice and concern. Ekho is fine. Did some investigating and figured that he got at some of the chicken on the stove that we had left uncovered... it was spiced for tacos. If I were him with chili pepper, garlic and tabasco coming out my bum I'd probably have tried to rub in off on the floor too. I checked for anal gland problems, and there was no evidence for that. And he's up to date on his worm shots. It was solid normal poop too... ok... that's enough of that.

*ETA* Just after I posted I saw this on Judy's blog. Beautiful!

Thursday, March 23, 2006


So I got out of bed to call my supervisor and tell her I won't be coming in to work today because of back problems, and I hang up the phone and to my horror, Ekho is dragging his butt across the hallway floor and pooping the whole way! HELP! What does this mean?! Is he sick? Will he keep doing it? I closed him in the bathroom with his litter while I cleaned it up, changed his litter (it wasn't FULL but it was nowhere near empty and it sounded like he was flicking it around before the butt dragging incident). I kept him closed in the bathroom while I did a quick google search, and I can't seem to find anything, but maybe "dragging butt and pooping" isn't the correct search term. He kept meowing to get out, so I took him in the tub and washed his butt (he still had nasties there) and then let him out. He's now grooming himself by my chair.... anybody have any great insight into cat behavior? Is there something I should do, or was it just that the litter was too full for his liking, so he decided to poop on the carpet? HELP! I've never had a cat before.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Completely ambiguous entry!

Hello! Sorry I haven't really been posting regularly... I've been busy with work and trying to get all sorts of things taken care of before I leave for Philadelphia.

Frankly, I'm a bit despondent... I want to start a new project, but I need to finish Eleanora's socks first, and I want to work on my Koigu socks (they're both on the home stretch of the foot), but Eleanora socks are taking priority. The first one is done, as you can see in that pic, and the second is begun. Sorry for not showing the whole thing... I kind of want to unveil the finished pair instead of being very anticlimactic by already having shown one finished sock.

And now... I shall distract you from the lack of content by a cute cat!

This is Ekho with the catnip mouse I made him, right after I gave it to him. It's now been a bit beaten up, clawed and turned into a one-eyed fuzzy blob. After one night of being woken up at 1:46 am by a loud kitty repeatedly pouncing on a very tasty catnip mouse, we decided to only let him have it during daylight hours. That seems to be working. We also got around to trimming his front nails, so he doesn't claw so much at night and wake us up.

OK, that's all I got.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Browser trouble!

Hey, it's come to my attention that if you are using Internet Explorer, you can't see my posts at the top of the page... I believe it's a problem with the column width for posts and a column width for the sidebar. They just don't like eachother in IE. If you keep scrolling down PAST the sidebar text, then you will see the posts. Even though I would love for you all to download Firefox (as it is more secure and less likely to lock up and FREE open-source software), I am working on a fix for you IE folks. I've asked blogger if they know of anything that will help, so I'm waiting for an answer from them. But hopefully it won't be like that for much longer.

Sorry for the inconvenience!

*EDIT* OK, I found the culprit... one VERY long link in my bloglines listie, so I made it private and now it doesn't push the entries to the bottom, but it's still got all my text centered for some STRANGE reason that I haven't yet figured out.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

1984 Weekend

I spent yesterday (Saturday) mostly watching movies. We went to see V for Vendetta (which was VERY good) and then rented Good Night, and Good Luck, so I suppose there was a theme there of "BEWARE! The government is trampling our civil rights!" Makes me want to be an activist or something.

I also watched A History of Violence which was also very good. It brought up interesting questions of how we view violent people, even if they're violent for the right reasons (to protect their families, etc...) and where do we draw that line? When is it too violent for what is needed? How much does intent matter? Things that are very important to ask ourselves. And Viggo is hot too ;)

Be sure to go check out Megan's finished Adamas Shawl! YAY! It looks GREAT Megan!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Sock love!

It's a veritable sock orgy over here! (I just KNOW I'm going to get some strange google hits for that one). I didn't post yesterday for a couple of reasons.

1. Not a lot of sock progress due to Harry Potter reading and
2. Too busy fighting with working on my new website. I think I've got a format that will work for me for a while. Of course, as I learn more in the program I'm using (Adobe GoLive CS2) then I'll probably make it cooler :) Right now what I want to do is just get a clean, usable site up and running.

Anyway, I thought I'd show you some knitting, since this is (duh!) a knitting blog. :)

Eleanora's sock is really a much warmer brown, but it's heathered, and I put it in overcast indirect sunlight for the photo, so it kind of washed out. But trust me, it's nice :) I battled with the heel... At first I thought I should do a Dutch Heel, as it was more period that the turned heel we like so much today, but decided against it, because it's an "inspired by" pattern, and frankly, I find this heel more comfortable. I tried doing an eye of partridge heel flap, but it just wasn't showing up in the solid, heathered yarn, so I decided to just do my normal slip-stitch reinforced heel and I think it compliments the patterning very well. The grand master plan is to finish this sock, write up the pattern and then knit the mate from the pattern so that I can test the written instructions. It should work since I've already sort of forgotten what I had done before because I've been obsessing over working on the Koigu socks. Mmmm...Koigu socks......

That's them behind Eleanora's sock. They're both ready for a heel flap, but I'm keeping myself from working on except when watching movies or doing something complicated, because I feel I ought to finish Eleanora's sock first.

Now I'm off to work on my website some more.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Grrlfriends are Goood!

Random Wednesdays at work again... list form comin' at ya!

1. Happy Ides of March! The day when we celebrate the death of Julius Ceasar as made famous by Shakespeare's play. Et tu, Brute?

2. My lovely friend Kim was visiting family in the area while on Spring Break from Lexington, Virginia. And the Logan grrls took a roadtrip! It's been so long since I was able to go the 3 hour round trip drive to Salt Lake to hang out with all the lovely ladies! Bloggers in attendance were Myself, Kim, Tina, Isela, Margene, Eliza, Susan, Laurie, Katherine, Bonnie, and Teri. Non-bloggers included Heather, Jessamin, a new girl named Julie, Karen (who sells her FABULOUS hand dyed yarns here. and I'm sure someone else I'm forgetting....

3. I rationalized not buying some of Karen's sock yarn by inventing a thing called Sock Yarn Karma. Where if you buy sock yarn when you shouldn't really be spending the money, then your socks will carry bad Karma with them and terrible and annoying things will happen to you. Unless you let the sock yarn marinate in your stash long enough that the sock yarn karma dissipates.... shut up. It totally worked in my head! At least it kept my from buying the yarn. I'll get some someday though.

4. Speaking of socks! I took a picture of handknit socks representin' at SnB! I even photoshopped it so I wouldn't have to mess up the description of who's socks were which (although Margene was distracted so her handknit socks aren't in this picture). SHINY!

Please note Isela's very newly finished Saxony Sock :) It's sooooft!

5. I've succumbed to the evil and started reading Harry Potter ;) I'm about two thirds done with the first book.

6. My socks progress apace. One of the Koigu socks is ready to turn the heel, and the other is close behind. Eleanora's sock is ready for the heel turn too, but I just decided this morning to go for a practical and comfortable heel instead of something more period. Because above all, I want these socks to be WEARABLE history.

7. The only good thing about having your period is that you know that you're not pregnant. Other than that, I feel like shit.

8. I also am still having a hard time breathing at 3:30pm because this morning I was at the bus stop and realized I had forgotten something, so I ran back home, got it, and ran back to the bus stop. Thankfully the bus waited for me, but my lungs were on fire... I must be sicker than I thought.

9. I leave for my trip to Philadelphia in 12 days! Woot!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Up and coming

I'm glad you guys all liked the post yesterday (or at least didn't say anything mean ;) ) I was worried it sounded way too historian-geeky.

So yeah.. real knitting content today! I've been working a bit here and there on the Koigu socks that I ripped and restarted in the Yarrow Rib incarnation.

I think they're turning out really well and I can't wait to wear them! But I must admit I've been seriously distracted. I've been carrying 3 socks in my bag with me. I've been reluctant to blog about this since it will be my next design release, but it seems to be working really well and I love it.

This sock is sort of inspired by the socks that Eleanora of Toledo was buried in in 1562. Being the wife of Cosimo de'Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, she was buried in much splendor even though she died of the plauge and was buried hastily. But one of the only things that survived were her socks, which were knit in crimson silk at a ridiculously small gauge. So this pattern will be not so much an adaptation as an "inspired by" version. But I LOVE THEM! And I hope you will to. There was a very impractical and very disproportionate (in my opinion) pattern published in Cast On's holiday issue in 1990. Anyway... Caleb even said he'd like a pair like this, crazy boy... I told him they were girl's socks, mostly because I want them for myself ;)


Monday, March 13, 2006

F is for....

Family and Fiber.

I took the picture expecting to also blog about Rose Gardener Brilliant, my paternal great grandmother who crochetted the afghan underneath, but I forgot to get a picture of her yesterday, so this entry will only be about the shawl on the top.

The shawl is woven rusty-orange colored wool, with a few moth-eaten spots, and beautiful detail in the weaving. It belonged to my great great Grandmother, Rosa Vittoria Arnoldo Amaral Furtado (alot of names... which I will try to explain...)

She was born Rosa Vittoria Amaral in Povoacao on the Azore island of Sao Miguel so far into the Atlantic ocean to hardly be called part of Portugal. She married Francisco Amaral (who was her 3rd cousin), emigrated to the United States (by sailing ship!) and had a little girl named Mary, but Francisco died of pneumonia when Mary was only 6 months old. Rosa then went back to the Old County where she remarried to Manuel Furtado*. She then returned to the United States, this time by steamer in 1910. There she bore 7 more children, Rosa (who's daughter is my Maternal Grandmother, Hilda Dias Simas), Evangeline, Manuel, John, Joseph, Anthony, and Helen (who was roughly the same age as my grandmother). That's her in the middle of the picture, with her husband standing in the back left, and her children except Mary and Rosa (who were pregnant at the time and therefore unphotographable).

Rosa basically raised my grandmother, Hilda. She and Helen grew up as sisters and Helen even moved out to San Diego after Hilda moved there with her new husband.

Rosa died in 1938 in Providence, Rhode Island.

*The Furtado name entered our line when one of our ancestors had a long-standing affair with the widowed Queen of Portugal. Furtado meaning "stolen" as in the stolen virtue of the queen who probably would have married him had it been possible in her situation.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Thoughts on Self-publishing Online

Now that Mountain Peaks has been out for about a week (and I've already sent out 2 corrected versions), my thoughts have finally been allowed to congeal on the subject of self-publishing online.

I think a lot of people online (certainly on ebay) equate online shopping with bargains, and while that's mostly true for ebay, there is a risk taken. You don't know for sure that the item you are purchasing is really what it's stated to be. You can't heft it, you can't flip thorough it, you can't check the color in natural light... it's "iffy".

As a consumer of knitting patterns and paraphenalia online I highly value having a personal connection with the seller I'm purchasing from. If someone has a blog and I can get a sense of who they are, or if a friend of mine has had e-mail conversations and can vouch for someone's professionalism, then I am more likely to consider purchasing a pattern, even if it's something that I could probably figure out myself. i.e. Kristi's Spearfish Socks. Everyone raved about what a great design it was, and I had NO desire to purchase it until I started reading Kristi's blog, and swapping e-mails with her. Now I love her guts and I have purchased the pattern. I'm sure I'm not alone in this, and I know that this has influenced by business ethic. I have tried to be available for every question from "do you think this yarn would work with your pattern" to "how can I adapt this for a smaller version" etc... I like to be there for you knitters because I like designers to be there for me.

This is something unique to the online publishing world. When you purchase a paper pattern at your LYS, a designer has written a pattern (sometimes for a certain company who has already paid her her fee), and then a distributor sold the pattern to your LYS and now your LYS sells it to you. The proprietors of the store may help you figure out the pattern, but they are not paid to give you pattern support. The designer is very removed from the knitter, in fact, the knitter may just glance at the by line in the pattern trusting more that the company's name is the important thing, i.e. A FiberTrends pattern instead of a pattern by Bev Galeskas and PUBLISHED by FiberTrends.

For self-publishing designers, it's their name (and ONLY their name) on the line. For myself (being a self-proclaimed perfectionist) I expect that every error in a pattern of mine (even if it's been test knitted) speaks directly to my skill as a designer. It's really irrational, seeing as we're all human, and self-publishing designers generally don't have a whole tech editing crew to review every pattern before it's made available. But still, every time you put a pattern out there, it's scary! What if it's a complete flop! What if it ends up being ripped to shreds on YKW!?. It's enough to make you question your sanity.

And the removal of distributors and middle men means that there's no one else to absorb the cost of failure. If a pattern doesn't sell, the designer has put time and energy (which we HAVE to assign a monetary value to) into a pattern that we will never break even on. I set myself a dollar amount as my Break-Even-Point based on what I would have charged to sell this design to say a magazine or a pattern publisher, etc... I still haven't broken even on Seraphim, but I'm getting close on Mountain Peaks after only a week.

And with such a strong connection to the designer, that means that the designer is offering online tech support for her pattern. I spend a lot more time answering e-mails and tweaking technical aspects of my self-published patterns than you would ever believe! To me, this justifies charging more for a self-published online pattern. You'd be willing to pay a bit more for a car that had a 10-year warranty than you would for one without. You'd pay more for a computer with a full technical support package than you would for one without. Why not pay more for a pattern with full pattern support than you would for one without? I don't think most knitters online really understand that. It took me 3 days to make all the charts for Mtn. Peaks. And that's just transferring them from my original handwritten charts!

I'd appreciate your thoughts on the subject, even if you disagree with me. I would love to hear how everyone else justifies pattern price. Is price even an issue? What would you want out of a designer/knitter relationship. This may be cheap market research, but I feel like I'm sort of shooting blind, and I'd like a better idea of where I'm heading.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Momentous Occasion

OK... generally I have a really good sense if something is overdone or not... but I just can't decide. I think I'm emotionally attached to these socks... but I need to know, should I knit or rip? Is the pattern competing with the yarn? Can you even SEE the pattern?

With flash

In natural, late afternoon sunlight

I need opinions, please.


*edit* Thanks for all the input. I ripped them. You all were right. It didn't do either the pattern or the yarn justice. And for Anna and Kit, the yarn is some Koigu in an unknown color that Margene gave to me just because she's fabulous. It MIGHT be P711, but it's hard to tell.

Starschmucks & Book Meme

I have a beef with Starbucks (don't we all*). I'm not a coffee drinker, so I can't speak to the quality of their goods, but when they take over every campus-run drink dispensing unit so that I have to pay 27 CENTS for a crappy paper cup to use MY OWN TEA BAG and get FREE HOT WATER so I can have tea in the morning I just want to beat them all about the head with stinky dead fish! 27 CENTS for a freaking CUP that's too hot to hold unless you use their crappy carboard wrapper! I am overflowing with Squirrelly Wrath!

I was tagged by Carole. Now... if there were more books about history on here, I'd probably have read a greater portion of them. :)

Meme instructions: Look at the list of books below. Bold the ones you've read, italicize the ones you might read, cross out the ones you won't, underline the ones on your book shelf, and place parentheses around the ones you've never even heard of.

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
1984 - George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J. K. Rowling
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
(The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini)
(The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold)
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
(The Secret History - Donna Tartt)
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
(Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell)
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
(Atonement - Ian McEwan)
(The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Dune - Frank Herbert

I've seen this meme floating around blogland, and I'm always curious why people would say they would never read a book. I'm interested in reading ANY book. It might not be high on my priority list, but I'd still read it if I had it and didn't have anything else I'd rather read. Oh, and if you want to be tagged, yoink it.


*I highly suggest watching "Squirrel Songs", and the content relevant ones are "Small, Medium, Large" and "Coffee House Propaganda". I can't get them to link individually. Don't click if you don't like curse words and crazy talkative squirrels named Foamy :)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Sorry for so long since the last real post!

I'm back. Sorry I've been sort of MIA lately. It's been rather busy at work and with designing, etc... I've been answering a lot of questions, and working out some cool new stuff.

But I DID finish the Trekking socks!

Pattern: Gentleman's Fancy Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush (I love this book!).
Yarn: Trekking XXL in Color 102, purchased from Yarn Today.
Needles: US Size 1 (2.25 mm) Clover bamboo double points. Oh, and I used a longtail cast on on US 2's so the ribbing would be SUPER stretchy.
Gauge: 9 spi.
Modifications: I shortened the cuff by one repeat (20 rows) on each sock so that I didn't run out of yarn since the original pattern called for a 4 oz skein of Shaeffer Anne and I only had a 3.5 oz skein of the Trekking. That was probably good because I don't htink I would have made it. I also shortened the heel a little since it seemed like it was getting rather too long for comfort. I SHOULD have modified the toe. It came out VERY pointy and I don't like it, but C doesn't mind, so I won't rip it out.
Verdict: C loves them, so I'm happy. I loved knitting with the Trekking. It's nice yarn while still being fun. I like the variegations without pooling and flashing. It all just blends into the next color stripe, and it's really very subtle.

I bought some good stuff this weekend. I bought and dyed some 100% extrafine merino laceweight (which you can see here) for the KAL contests. And I got a skein of Mountain Colors Bearfoot to make a pair of socks for my mom. She was with me and picked out the colorway. She bought me a niddy noddy (I still need to sand and finish it), so I bought her sock yarn :) I'm excited to work with it.

This morning on the bus I started a pair of socks for myself in the Koigu Margene sent me. I'm using the Child's French Sock in Citron Pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks. :) I've only got about an inch done, but I like how it's coming out so far.

In non-knitting news, I'm getting really excited for my vacation to Philadelpia later this month, and Kim is coming to visit early next week. I've missed her alot. Expect pictures :) Also as soon as I finish the book I'm reading now, I'll be starting Harry Potter. This could become a whole new obsession. Like I need another one of THOSE!

*edit* You HAVE to see these kitty pictures from Not An Artist (scroll down)! They totally made my day!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Funny little thing

I woke up from a nightmare... one of those standard family-dying-and-you-can't-do-anything dreams. So I'm sitting in the other room, futzing on the computer. There's a 12 pack Dr. Pepper box on the floor. Ekho is trying to stick his head in it, but the hole is on the end, so he's turning the box around and around in circles trying to get his head inside. Oh! He's pushing it forward... and into the leg of the drafting table! His head is now firmly stuck inside. He shakes the box to try to free himself and can't. He finally manages to get his head unstuck by pushing the box away with his front paws. He is looking at the box as if to say "What did you do THAT for?!"

Is it sad that I enjoyed that so much?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Mountain Peaks Shawl Available

I designed this shawl to evoke the feeling of the beloved Wasatch and Rocky Mountain Ranges. This shawl echoes my deep and abiding love for the mountains that surround my high desert home. From the many foothills to the craggy peaks all throughout the year. From rocky ridges to sleeping snow-capped titans.

Yarn Requirements: 600 yards (about 65 grams) of lace weight wool. Sample was knit using KnitPicks Shadow (100% Merino Wool) in 'Sunset'.
Suggested Needles: 3.75 (US 5) 24" circulars.
Gauge: 5 sts per inch in stockinette when blocked.
Finished Size: 68" across the top from point to point, 24" from neck to bottom.

Techniques Used: This pattern uses the following techniques:
knit, purl, k2tog, k3tog, k tbl, yo, double yo, placement and slipping of markers, p2tog, p2tog tbl, p3tog, sl, ssk, psso, and wrap and turn short rows (explaination included in the pattern).

Other Notes:

  • This pattern includes full color charts, an example of which can be seen here. It also includes a detailed section on construction of a top-down shawl.

  • This pattern is 6 pages long with 3 pages of charts. The charts can be printed on standard sized paper, but are meant to be printed on legal sized paper for best viewing. If you have trouble getting them printed, please e-mail me for help.

  • This pattern is a downloadable .pdf file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open it. You can download Acrobat here for free.

  • This pattern may only be purchased through PayPal. If you do not have a paypal account, you can open one by clicking that link.

  • Once your paypal payment has gone through, you will be e-mailed a link to download the pdf file. BE AWARE THAT THIS LINK EXPIRES after a time. You CAN request additional downloads if you miss this window of time. Also be aware that if you pay with an e-check, you will not receive the download link until your payment has cleared, which may take up to 7 days.

  • With this pattern (and with all of my patterns) I offer full technical support. I will do anything at all possible to help you figure out the best way to download and use this pattern and knit this shawl.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to e-mail me.

The cost for this patten is $6.50 USD. You may purchase it by clicking the Buy Now Button below.
Please go to my new shop to purchase this pattern

pdf file updated 6/30/2006

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Passed on plea for help...

Does anyone have one ball of Knit Picks Merino Style, Color Vanilla, Dyelot 59136? SJ is desperate for JUST ONE BALL. KnitPicks is out of stock until March 17 and even then, there's no way for her to have the same dyelot. She's SO CLOSE to finishing her sweater. She just has the bands and seaming left.

Help a knitter out, would ya?

Saturday, March 04, 2006


I guess I was so excited that I didn't state things clearly in my last post.

1- If you want to join the knitalong, and want a chance to be one of the 5 who get the pattern free, then you need to wait until I post the pattern and officially open the knitalong.

2- If you'd like to join the knitalong now, and just wait to buy the pattern once it comes out and remove yourself from the 5-free running, you can e-mail me now and I'll add you in. Make sure you tell me what your choice is.

Either way you'll still be entered in the contest to win the yarn drawing on March 15th as soon as you've joined up.


Friday, March 03, 2006

So much news that I'm bursting at the seams

Hi all,

I've got plans. So many plans my head feels like its going to burst open. So many plans that I am skipping lunch even though I'm already starting to feel light headed because I have to finish things up.

The Mountain Peaks Shawl pattern is ready. I will be launching it on Monday. Along with a knit a long hosted here. The knitalong will officially start April 1st so KALers should have plenty of time to find yarn, etc...

On Monday morning I will post to this blog that the pattern is available and the first 5 people to join the KAL will receive a free copy of the Mountain Peaks Shawl pattern.

Everyone that joins the KAL before March 15th will be entered into a drawing for some hand dyed yarn (more than enough to make the shawl). That should give me time to get it mailed out to the winner before the cast on date.

There will also be a contest with some more hand dyed yarn for the first person to finish the shawl. I'll be dying the yarn this weekend, so I'll post pictures of it on Monday on the KAL blog.

I am so excited! And I'm close to having 2000 comments as well, so there will be a prize for the person who posts the 2000th comment. Contests and craziness, all the time around here. *squee!*

Spread the word to anyone who might be interested.


*edit* The link for the KAL has changd. We're combining the Mountain Peaks Shawl with Susan's Mountain Stream Scarf and making a "Mountain Lace Knitalong". If you've already bookmarked it, please update your bookmarks.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

E is for....

... Ekho. Blog, meet Ekho.

This is our new housemate. Ekho is a 3 year old Siamese cat that we adopted yesterday from the Cache Humane Society. When I first saw him (his name was Buddy... blech) he was terrified. Huddled in his cage, pupils hugely dilated, and his heart beating out of his chest. Then the next time we came to see him he came to the wall of the cage to be petted. He was still scared and uncomfortable when we got him home, but as soon as we set up his litter box and sat down with him he turned on the motor and started rubbing up against everything, especially our hands.

We kept him in the bathroom for about an hour and a half and then he was just so eagar to explore that we let him out. He went around the house poking his head into every cranny to see what's there. He managed to turn off our computers by flipping the powerstrip's switch.

When he purrs intensely there's a little cooing trill on top of the base rumble. It's the cutest thing I've ever heard. He layed by me while I fell asleep until C came to bed, then he curled up by C's feet. He woke us up at 1 am meowing that he wanted to play. I gave him a pet and he let us sleep. When I got up, he got up with me so I could pet him, how nice of him. ;)

I'm so happy with how happy he seems to be with us. I was worried that he had been abused and was too far gone to every trust people again, but it looks like he was abused by the other 7 cats his previous owner had. He certainly wants to be an only cat. I'm sure Ekho will play a part in future blog posts, but luckily he seems to be uninterested in yarn, except to sit in piles of it. There was yarn dangling all over and he was totally oblivious. And I even knit with him on my lap and he didn't look twice at the twitching yarn. YAY!


p.s. his eyes are almost the same gray blue that C's are.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Finally some pictures!

Check out Lori's finished Adamas! It looks so great!

Pattern: My own basic stockinette sock with tapered cuff and wedge toe.
Yarn: Regia Cotton Surf (41% Superwash wool/34% cotton/25% Polyamide) in color 5420, Brown Stripes. Frankly, I didn't really love this yarn. I got it on clearance from Black Sheep though, and they're pretty comfy. The yarn hurt to knit with after a while because it had very little give and it made pretty hard solid stitches (as cotton is want to do).
Needles: US Size 1 (2.25 mm) Clover Bamboo Dpns.
Gauge: 9 spi
Verdict: I love the socks, although I didn't really enjoy knitting them.Now that I think about it though, I probably should have done a reinforced heel instead of a plain stockinette heel, but I was worried about the hard cotton yarn hurting my heel if I did a reinforced heel. In retrospect I think it would have been fine as the finished fabric got pretty smooth.

After finishing the shawl and getting stalled on the baby sweater (ran out of yarn with only one sleeve to go, but blessedly Tracey is sending me some more), I started the Gentleman's Fancy Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush.

I had originally bought the yarn (Trekking XXL in color 102) and begun the sock for myself, but as the cuff striping appeared, C (who is very picky with his socks) decided that he liked it, so I shortened the cuff by one full repeat and made the foot longer for him.

I finished the first sock this morning, but wasn't sure I'd have enough yarn for the second as the pattern calls for a 4 oz skein of Shaefer Anne, but I weighed the sock and the rest of the skein this morning. Good thing about working in a Chemistry department, there are plenty of scales around, bad thing is that I couldn't find one that measured grams. So now I know that the sock weighs .0900 lbs, while the unused yarn ball is .1186 lbs. Good thing it went to 4 decimal places!

I'm getting the Mountain Peaks pattern done slowly because there is a lot to do at work right now, but hopefully I can get it done before the end of the week. I also have a lot on my mind about my creative future, which I'll probably do a whole post about soon after things are more settled.