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

Friday, June 30, 2006

L is for....


I realize I'm late with this one, but my ABCalong mojo had deserted me... until now.

I think my first lace shawl was probably the Flower Basket shawl. I fell in love instantly! I then moved on to the Wool Peddler shawl from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls and then I was off like a rocket, designing my own, and going somewhat crazy with it all.

I have often had people ask me why I started designing lace. Mostly I think it was because I have this fascination with how positive and negative space interact and give us an overall picture of something. For years I drew a lacey sort of doodle, which I will try to find a picture of for you guys, that was purely positive and negative space. I love that it can give such a fantastic illusion of texture and depth.

I love that simple things like yo's and k2togs can make something so intricate and beautiful when put together as a whole.

I made the conscious decision to focus on lace designing over other things because I knew that it was a niche that was somewhat untapped in the blog/online market, but I truly do love it more than most other kinds of knitting (socks rank really high up there, but lace still tops them). And as Margene would say, lace is truly all about the process. It can be tedious, treacherous and tempermental. But in the end, that's what we love about it.


Another pattern update

The Mountain Peaks (the original version, not the lightweight one) pattern has been updated. There are minor formatting changes, and the rest is purely visual, but again, if you would like the updated version, please e-mail me. And as with the Seraphim pattern, please refresh the pattern page so you make sure you've got the update date before you purchase it. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Finished socks x 2

So I've had a couple of FO's that I just hadn't gotten around to sharing with you yet, so here they are.

Yarn: KnitPicks discontinued Sock Garden yarn in the Zinnia color, a blend of Red, Orange and Yellow (and damned near impossible to photograph properly).
Pattern: My own, a basic stockinette sock with a 3x3 ribbed cuff, a reinforced "heel stitch" heel flap, modified round heel, and a rounded wedge toe. Both knit at the same time on 2 sets of needles.
Needles: US Size 1 (2.25 mm) Clover 7" bamboo dpns.
Gauge: 9 spi and about 11-12 rpi.
Verdict: Honestly, they were a bitch to knit. Not that the yarn was bad, or anything like that... but I highly dislike orange and yellow and while everyone told me they were RED socks, they still look like ORANGE socks to me. But they're not for me, so it doesn't really matter. These were the socks Imbrium recalled me cursing at Estes. When we piled in Michaele's car to head out on Friday morning, they were only ribbing, and by the time we got home Sunday evening I only had the toes to work.

Yarn: Dale Baby Ull in Navy (left over from the colorwork in the Blessing Socks.
Pattern: My own, a basic stockinette sock with a 2x2 short ribbed cuff, modified round heel, and a rounded wedge toe. Both knit at the same time on 2 sets of needles.
Needles: US Size 1.5 (2.5 mm) Crystal Palace 6" bamboo dpns.
Gauge: 8.5 spi and about 10 rpi.
Verdict: Quick, easy, and they fit the kidlet perfectly. I knit them for my nephew for his 2nd birthday. Sorry for the crap picture, it's hard to take a picture of a 2 year old's feet.

So there you go. This makes 11 pairs of socks for me so far in 2006. Crazy! Hopefully I can get the revised version of Mountain Peaks out soon, so people *coughErincough* can stop bugging me ;)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Update for Seraphim PDF

I have updated the Seraphim Shawl pdf to be the new layout, and to have better charts. The essential information is the same. All downloads from this point on will be the revised version. If you have purchased seraphim in the past and would like the updated version, please e-mail me.

*edit* If you plan on buying Seraphim now, but have looked at the page in the past, PLEASE refresh your browser before you purchase. You should see a notice of when the pdf was updated at the bottom of the post. If you do not see that notice, REFRESH AGAIN. People are purchasing the old pdf by clicking the old button. It makes a whole lot of work for me, so please just refresh and save me a big headache. Thanks!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Lovely weekend

First, to get this out of the way, here is a picture of my Estes Park purchases. If you want to get to the pretty Utah pictures, skip on past the list.

From left to right:
1. Mary Thomas' book of knitting patterns. I checked this out from the library and loved it so much that I had to buy it. Especially when I saw it was 30% off $7.95. Purchased from some place that also had spinning wheels... *shrug*

2. One skein of Textiles a Mano organic cotton. I usually don't like cotton, but this was SO GREAT! I'm going to make a summer top or something out of it. Purchased from Textiles a Mano.

3. One generous skein of "superlamb" Lambswool laceweight. It will become a shawl, although I'm not sure what kind of shawl yet. Purchased from Galina's.

4. One skein of Brooks Farm's limited edition Superwash Wool/Silk/Viscose blend. I don't recall the name of the colorway, but it was BEAUTIFUL! It's got gorgeous muted tones of all sorts of colors in there. It is destined to become socks, probably lacey ones. Purchased from (duh) Brooks Farm.

5. 2 skeins of Misti Alpaca in a bright lovely red. I'm trying to branch out and allow myself to wear colors that are bright. This looks very good on me. It will probably also become a shawl. Purchased from Yarn Today, my yarn store in Smithfield, UT

6. Unpictured, but I bought a Lantern Moon black sheepy tape measure. I couldn't resist. :) Also purchased from Yarn Today.

So this weekend, Margene escorted Michaele, Laurie, Gwen, Janise, and me up to Silver Fork Lodge for a lovely brunch, and a walk around Silver Lake as a farewell to Michaele who is moving back to Colorado. Since I'd never been, I was excited to see the beautiful place where Margene takes so many of her photos.

I got some good ones myself. Sorry for the picture heaviness of this post. Click the images for larger views.

We saw a bull moose up close, he was still "in the velvet" meaning that his horns still had fuzz on them. He must have been fairly young. We also saw 2 calves, but they had the good sense to stay far away from the trail.

These are some of the landscape pics I took (as well as the large one farther up that is my favorite).

I took these great Macro shots too. I LOVE nature photos!

I was going to take a shot of some really cool stumps, but the light wasn't right for it, but then I looked up and realized that Margene was right in the line of sight from the stumps. Bloggers blogging bloggers and all that.

We also found a letterbox that was hidden at Silver Lake. It was very cool and we're already plotting where to put our own letterboxes. I also found it fitting that Julie's new stitch cast is about letterboxing and carving your own stamp for letterboxing.

Hope you had a good weekend too!


Sally, Sophie, Sarah, and Merlin have all finised their Icarus Shawls! I LOVE seeing the variation that people come up with!

And Nadine finished a Seraphim shawl! She dyed the yarn with KoolAid too! It looks great, although it might swallow you alive! :)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Estes Park blogging

I've been thinking about Estes Park and how to do it justice, and honestly I don't think I can. I don't mean to sound like I'm gloating over all you people who weren't there (neener, neener!), but it was just absolutely fabulous!

I met a whole lot of very nice and fabulous people and I felt more accepted than I've ever felt before. Imbrium (another quite fabulous person) explained it very well in her post. In many ways we're very much the same (slightly gothic at heart, unabashed love for Fantasy Novels), but on this we're not only on the same page, but in precisely the same sentence on that page. Read her post, it's good :)

So basically yeah... this was all a long winded way to tell you that I'm not going to blog the day by day of the trip. It was great and I'm sort of directing all of my energy to internalizing it, so you can follow all those links up there and see my pictures in my flickr photostream here, and call that good, k? I promise I'll show you my yarn and book acquisitions, but I need a sunlit picture of it to do it justice and I've just been too tired when I get home to do that.

On to the finished objects (by other people, not me... I'm still waiting for sunlight and energy to take the pictures of mine)!

Look at Bunchkin's finished Icarus shawl!

FOUR finished Seraphims!

Inky finished her Seraphim shawl! It's camoflaged for cat hair!

And Keri finished a Serpahim shawl too! I LOVE the color Keri!

And Linda (who is blogless) finished her seraphim and sent me pictures! You can see them here and here. She used Colinette Marinette in Blue Parrot. It's BEAUTIFUL Linda!

And Eva's is all but blocked!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


A bit of housecleaning before I get deep into Estes reliving. Finally(!) available in the sidebar is the pattern for the Simple Trekking Socks. It is FREE! And I have also added the Retro Wedge felted bag pattern as free as well. If you would all be so kind as to open the Trekking Socks pattern and let me know what you think of the new layout, I'd appreciate it. I'm working on trying to make things just a big cleaner and easier to follow. I like this font better, and the placement of the page numbers, etc... Also, the copyright notice at the end. Just take a look and let me know.

I'm working on setting up my new site, and I'll be going through all of my patterns to update the format and give them a bit more consistency. Like Seraphim's charts need numbering and I want to make ALL my charts shaded for rightside and wrongside.

Let me know what you think.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Cop out

I'll get around to Estes when I've got some photo editing software installed, but for now, I've been tagged multiple times, so I'd better get this up.

Please leave a one-word comment that you think best describes me — it can only be one word long. Then copy and paste this into your blog so that I may leave a word to describe you.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

A picture says a thousand words

Katherine has photographic proof of the Chicken Show & Extravaganza! Go check it out!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Trekking Socks

Here are the finished Trekking socks for the Trek With Me KAL!

Yarn: Trekking XXL in Color 105, gifted to me by the LOVELY Margene.
Pattern: My own. Soon to be released... in fact, as soon as I print the file to a pdf and set up the to ftp to my new server, it will be available as a free pattern.
Needles: US 1 (2.25mm) Clover bamboo dpns.
Gauge: 9 spi and 11 rpi.
Verdict: They are PERFECT for the Trek With Me KAL. They gave me something simple to knit while I finished up Mtn. Peaks V. 2.0, and the subtle patterning is just perfect for the yarn. I hope you all will like the pattern.

EDITED TO ADD: There was a portion missing in the toe of the pattern, I have updated the pdf, please download the new version in the sidebar. Thanks!


More finishing news!!

has finished her Icarus shawl! And so has Kate in NYC! They're both beautiful ladies!! Congratulations!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Too many things to NOT do a list :)

1. I'll be at Estes Park Wool Market this weekend! If you're coming and you've knit something, or ARE knitting something with one of my patterns, BRING IT ALONG! I'd love to see them all and take a great big giant picture! Come to the blogger meet-up at 11 am on Saturday!

2. I've finished my trekking socks for the Trek Along with Me KAL. Now to go hiking... or does my afternoon walk through the cemetary count?

I'll be taking some better pictures and posting the free pattern for these later this week (hopefully).

3. To international readers who would like to knit Adamas, I got an order in from KnitPicks, and I got 3 extra copies. If you live outside of KnitPicks' shipping area and would like a copy of Adamas, please e-mail me with your address and I will send you a paypal invoice for the pattern price plus the cost of an envelope and postage. Please put "Adamas" in the subject line so it doesn't get lost.

4. I also got the green Mtn. Peaks done, but I'm still trying to take some better photos. I got some good close up shots, but the thing I was trying to get a good full size shot didn't really work so well... I'll have to keep at it. The new version of the pattern should be available soon. I have to get the right software installed first.

5. I got my garden in! YAY! Tomatoes (2 kinds), Red bell peppers, Butterstick squash, and a whole balcony full of herbs in pots :) I plan on planting the lettuces in pots when I get back from Estes.

6. I went to a Chicken Show and Extravaganza with Katherine on Saturday... it was absolutely hysterical! The grand finale was a girl with a cowboy hat on, a chicken resting upside down in the crook of the cowboy hat, while the girl swung a rope around in circles with a boston terrier attached! There were also Chicken races, where Emerson lost and upset a lot of people who had bet on him. :)

I didn't realize things were quite so crazy this weekend! I'll give you a more detailed going over of things tomorrow or perhaps later today.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Brithdays that last a whole week are the best!

My SnB is the best! Now you may say that your is, but you're WRONG, because the SLC-SNB wins out hands down. Where else do you get white chocolate lemon bars, hazelnut chocolate cake and a veritable TON of presents just because you happened to have lived another year and you like yarn? Nowhere else, but Stitch'n'Bitch. Click the picture and read the notes on the picture to see descriptions. Thanks so much ladies! You made my week! I'm verklempt!


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Beginnings of a Garden

I did manage to finish the shawl this morning (didn't get it done at lunch), but I should hopefully be blocking it tonight or tomorrow. I have SnB tonight.

Yesterday I bought tomato plants, a red bell pepper plant, and some peppermint. I also bought a new pot to plant my basil in because it was getting a little bit root bound and anemic. So imagine a picture of a happy plant in a big ol' pot here :) I will probably plant the tomatoes and pepper today or tomorrow. I'll put the peppermint in a pot with the other herbs.

I've also planted some seeds for butterstick squash that I will transplant once they are sprouted and large enough, and some lettuce seeds that I'll plant somewhere else. It should be a GOOD summer! :)



Take a look at Tina's finished Adamas shawl! YAY! Way to be not-scared of lace Tina!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Please Lord, have mercy on me.

I am 5 border repeats away from being done with this godforsaken sadistic lovely shawl. Don't get me wrong... I LOVE the shawl, I'm so convinced it will be absolutely stunning that I'm going to enter it into the county fair. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the yarn. It's beautiful and soft and amazingly strong for how thin it is. (I'll do a full yarn review when the shawl is done). I love seeing the pattern emerge. But the border sort of got old after "emerging" 36 times. You see... even though I knew that knitting Mountain Peaks on size 1 needles would require that I repeat the upper chart multiple times and therefore increase the number of border repeats that I'd need. I didn't really realize how many more rows that would add. The border just drags ON and ON!

The real problem is that I've told myself I can't start any of the numerous other projects I want to work on (except my trekking sock that's already in progress) until I've finished this shawl. I have stuff I want to design, things I want to throw myself into wholeheartedly. And if I have this monkey shawl on my back on the needles, then I will just beat myself up with guilt over not finishing it. If I sit for my whole lunch break I might be able to finish the 5 repeats. So I'm going to give it a shot.

In retrospect, I look back at my first lace shawl (knit on size 5 needles) and I realize that I felt the same way about that one (HOW CAN THESE ROWS BE SO LONG!!). So I guess that I've grown, even if it's just growing a bit closer to CRAZY.



Check out ZenKnit's Razor Shell socks!! And yes, I know the free patterns aren't working. I'm trying to get transferred to a new server, and it's taking longer than anticipated.

And also, go see Kit's finished Mountain Peaks shawl! The colors are great!

AAAAND check out Karen's finished Eleanora socks! They're beautiful!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

So cute you should just gag me with a spork now....

Have you seen these? They're absolutely adorable! I'm fighting the urge to make a knitpicks order right now JUST to get those! In fact, I may not fight it any longer :)


Friday, June 02, 2006

K is for....

... Kung Fu Movies, or more generally all martial arts movies.

C and I LOVE martial arts movies! The really good ones like Fist of Legend, to comedies like Kung Fu Hustle and classics like Shichinin no samurai and Enter the Dragon to action movies with a modern twist (and better plots!) like Kill Bill.

We love all of those action movies and I have a special place in my heart for surreal kung fu movies that are more like Chinese fairy tales than normal action movies. Movies like Hero and House of Flying Daggers. I also have a secret love of everything Jet Li does. He has such an amazing grace!

A more recent find (and well worth renting) is Ong-Bak, which portrays Muay Thai, a fighting style I'd never seen before. It was AMAZING! Now go forth and watch some kung fu movies!


Check out Peg's finished Eleanora socks! She had a bit of trouble at the end with the toes, but no harm no foul, right?


p.s. for my birfday I bought the aforementioned yarn and I also got some NEW BRAS! YAY! Turns out the recent change in number of curves on my body changed my bra size a bit, so I got refitted and found some good ones that are MUCH more comfortable!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The day I was "Birfed"*

Hello fellow knitters! All is well in Miriam-land. Finally settling down after some upheaval, and I'm itching to start designing again. I've had a bunch of ideas float through my head in the last month, but I haven't had time to put any of them down in yarn, although I DID swatch for a sweater I've got in the works, but I don't really care to have a big old cardigan in my lap this time of year :)

My almost constant companion has been my lighterweight version of my Mountain Peaks Shawl. I've been working on it whenever I've got a moment (which hasn't been often), but it's growing steadily.... hopefully I can turn the bottom short rowed point tonight and then the long final stretch of the border on the other side. The yarn is lovely, and it makes good process knitting, but now and again, I JUST WANT SOME PRODUCT! And knitting on the same thing on TINY needles for a few months isn't quite condusive to product knitting. I did break down and start a pair of socks for Margene and Norma's Trek Along with Me KAL. Margene was kind enough to provide the yarn, and I'm sort of making up the pattern as I go. The colors are quite washed out there because I took it in astonishingly direct sunlight. Gotta love skylights in offices :)

AAAAND today is my birthday :) My older brother and I write e-mails to each other but type as if we were speaking with speech impediments. So the title of this post comes from his Happy Birthday e-mail. He said "Today is the day you were Birfed. Happy Birfday!" :) I'm gonna buy some yarn today in celebration of my birf.


And I'm terribly late in posting it, but check out Rene's finished Eleanora Socks! They're so beautiful! I love the heathery yarn!


p.s. I'm 24 today in case anyone was wondering.