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, July 06, 2006

Blog and Purge

Gotta clear out the que in my brain, so a list seems to be a good way to do that.

1. I wanted to wax a bit more poetic about the yarn that I used for the Lightweight Mountain Peaks Shawl. The yarn is a crewel wool (meaning it was originally intended for crewel embroidery, it does not by any means make a statement about the wool's personality) that is dyed with natural ingredients by a lovely woman who lives in France by the name of Andie. Andie originally sent me an e-mail asking if I would mind if she linked to one of my patterns with a list of mods to be worked in her yarn. I told her that I wouldn't mind making a shawl myself and posting a modified pattern, and she thought that was a good idea, so she sent me some yarn. This yarn surpassed my expectations. It was lightweight (but not so light as cobweb), soft, and VERY strong. To give you an idea, my nephew Aiden loves to grab my yarn while I'm knitting, and he would snag my ball and run off with it, and in the many times that he got away from me and twisted up in the yarn, he never once was able to break the yarn. He's a rather strong little 3 year old, so that's saying something.

Another thing that I really loved about this yarn was the subtle color variations that the dyeing process gave it. It gave the color a lot of depth that it wouldn't otherwise have had. Her color range is astounding too! I liked knitting with it so much that I agreed to design a scarf pattern for Andie, and the yarn you see above is what she sent me for that. I think it will work up beautifully doubled up and it should go more quickly than the shawl (which used a single strand on 2.5 mm needles).

2. When I saw Cassie's shawl pin, I immediately e-mailed the artisan who made it, Leslie Wind. We got to e-mailing and next thing I know, I have a shawl pin in my mailbox!

It truly is as beautiful and delicate as it appears, and Leslie even engraved it on the back to say "To Miriam from Leslie 2006". Isn't that sweet? Go look at her stuff!

3. So I'm working on this pair of socks for C.

They're my first toe up socks. I decided to try a toe-up pair because C likes taller socks and I always end up shorting the cuff for fear of running out of yarn when I make him socks from the cuff down. So I decided I would go toe-up (with the help of Sensational Knitted Socks-and what a GREAT help it was!) so that I could just work the cuffs until I ran out of yarn, then do a tubular bind off and call it good. So those astute among you, might have realized what those little spools are on TOP of each of those socks-in-progress. Yes, that is the cute little spool of reinforcement thread that Jawoll sock yarn has so kindly tucked away inside. Well, I was 2 rows from finishing the short row heel on the SECOND sock before I realized that I hadn't used the reinforcement yarn at all. *headdesk* Oh well.... Maybe I'll use it to jazz up the heel on another pair of socks later.

4. I finished an FO last weekend, but haven't gotten around to blogging it:

Yarn: Louet Euroflax Originals Blended Linen (100% Wetspun linen) in Color "Melon Mix". Gifted for my birthday by Michaele (miss you!).
Pattern: Shopping Bag
Modifications: I skipped out on the ratan handles and made a convertable strap. I also altered it to be knit in the round so I didn't have to seam it, with a 3 needle bind off at the bottom.
Needles: US 4 and US 13 circs. Be wary... the pattern has a typo in the specs section that says you need US 4 and US 3, but then in the text it tells you it's a US 13.
Gauge: God only knows... it's open and meshy... I don't think gauge matters.
Verdict: The linen was a little harsh to knit with after I'd been knitting so long with wool, but once I learned to loosen up, it went quickly and easily. And although it seems stiff in the skein, it really softens when you wash it.

5. I am working on a new shawl design. It's a bit slow going right now since I'm fighting sinus-infection induced equillibrium nausea and it's hard to knit hand-drawn charts in that state, and it will probably have to take a back seat to the scarf I'm knitting for Andie, but it's gonna be pretty! I'm excited about it.

OK, that's enough verbal diarrhea for now.