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

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Olympics are over...

... and so is the weekend. I wish the weekend were longer. I could have used a bit more relaxation.

But check it out! TWO finished Adamas shawls! First, there's Disentagled's Olympic Adamas shawl at A Little Loopy. And there's also Rose's finished Adamas at Rose Read. They look lovely ladies! Good job! I'm fairly certain I've missed someone who knit Adamas... if I did, leave me a comment and I'll be sure to post it, and please accept my profuse apologies, the winter doldrums are setting in and I'm slightly overwhelmed by everyday life, so I've been missing things.

*edit*: It's HEATHER's I forgot! Congrats on the gold Heather!

Hopefully I'll have a better entry with pictures tomorrow. I've got a new sock past the heel and almost done with the gusset, so I'll get pics of that and the poor baby sweater... you may never get pics of my finished regia cotton/wool socks haha! Kind of going crazy here... Maybe I'll elaborate tomorrow.


*edit 2* Did you SEE who left a comment! I think I may just die a happy knit blogger now ;)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Linky love

Holly is awesome... just take my word for it... but she just opened a webstore (Three Dog Designs) that sells her beautiful knitting bags! She'll do special orders too if you're interested. Go check her out!

Friday, February 24, 2006

D is for....

Duplicate stitch, today's saving knitting technique.

So I've been working on this baby sweater for my cousin's new baby Samuel - and my sister just had her new baby yesterday, so welcome to the world Anthony! - and once again the knitting goddess chose to smite me for my hubris. I had just finished the Mountain peaks shawl and I thought I was a knitting genius! "NOT SO!" said the Goddess in a stern voice. I was merrily knitting along on this sweater in (sadly discontinued Lion Brand CottonEase) and I had finished the arm increases and started the stripes before I realized that the stripes would be a little low for my taste... like... around the baby's belly button! But there was no way in hell I was going to rip out half of a baby sweater in cotton/acrylic yarn including putting sleeve stitches back on the needles. So.... I made the stripes slightly shorter, and duplicate stitched an extra stripe higher up on the body.

I think it will work, although it still may be a little low, but this means I can make the sleeves solid blue without a lot of trouble. I also used duplicate stitch to fix a BIG problem. The cotton ease had a knot in it and I thought "oh well, I'll just make sure it stays in the back of the work and it should be fine." But again, the knitting Goddess says "Uh-uh! *smite*" And the knot came undone and a couple stitches got all fucked up. So I tied the ends in a knot really quickly, and then today I duplicate stitched the opening closed. It looks a little wonky, but only if you're looking for it.

Thanks for all the great comments on the Mountain Peaks shawl (I didn't realize that Susan's scarf was called "Mountain Stream" until I visited her blog this morning and saw it there... a bit too close, but maybe we just love our mountains a lot ;) ) I'm working on replying to comments, but they may have to wait for the weekend, when I don't have 5 prospective graduate students visiting and I don't have to spend the next 2 hours walking backwards in the cold giving a campus tour.

*edit* My inbox is too overwhelming and so I won't be answering all those e-mails individually. Sorry... I love you all and love your support, but frankly, I'm sooo ready for the weekend and I just don't wanna worry about it. So a collective thank you to all of you, and here are some answers to things asked in the comments.

The shawl used 64 grams (564 yds) of KnitPicks Shadow lace weight yarn (less than 2 skeins). I would suggest that you get 600 yds at least.

Happy Weekend Knitting!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

*happy sigh*

It is done. Here you see the unnamed shawl having been extricated from the needles along with the hand drawn border charts. This is what I had last night at about 6:30. Unfortunately I had to be somewhere at 7, so I couldn't block it until about 10:00 pm.

But now, without further ado, may I present....

The Mountain Peaks Shawl. 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 crags to sleeping snow-capped titans. I love my mountains!

Pattern: My own, soon to be offered to you, the knitting public!
Yarn: KnitPicks Shadow in the Sunset color
Needles: US Size 5 Addi Turbo 24" circulars
Gauge: About 5 spi once blocked.
Verdict: Absolutely love it. I was iffy about how it was turning out until I blocked it. I usually end up doing this with my shawls. I worry that they're going to turn out horrid and not up to snuff, but then I block them and the magic happens. It's different than my most recent shawls. They were more simplistic with clean lines, while this is much more traditional. I think it's echoing my state of mind. I've been reading a lot of books about the history of knitting lately, so I'm going more traditional. I really like the knitted on border. It allowed me to have more drastic peaks than a border that was worked as part of the whole shawl would allow. And it meant that although I spent a long time working on the border, I didn't have to bind off a million stitches with a finicky cast off. :)
Final verdict? I LOVE it and I'm very pleased. This shawl challenged my skill as a designer more than anything I've ever done before, and it taught me to trust my creative gut (so to speak). I hope you will all be pleased as well when it's available to you.

I also finished my pair of cotton/wool Regia socks, but I'll post about those another day. This shawl needs it's own moment. :)


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

...knit a lot

Hi! Just to let you know, I've got some double pointed needle cases for sale in the previous post, take a look if you're interested. I put it in a separate post so that I didn't bombard you with it if you weren't really interested. Here's the knitting content. This is the unblocked shawl...

I had much headache with this shawl... and charted so many things that totally didn't work out. Including picking a border, modifying it and THEN realizing I'd charted it backwards... *headdesk* But alas, it is coming together and it's BEAUTIFUL! I'm so relieved! And finally a spot of luck. I was thinking I would need to tweek the border to get it to match up with the repeats in the shawl (it's knit on perpendicular to the stitches in the body of the shawl so it would require a bit of math), but then I decided I just wanted to be done with it, so I used it as is, and VOILA! It lines up all by itself! I sighed in relief and then poked C until he looked at it and acted suitably surprised. :) I even managed to short row the corner of the border to my satisfaction on the first try! If the rest of this shawl was murder, the border was my reward for putting up with the rest.

Here's a detail shot (unblocked still) of the border.

Thanks for all the responses to the poll yesterday. I'm taking it all into consideration and it looks like I will probably be offering this shawl pattern with multiple choices for the patterning.... I'm not sure whether I can still charge $6 or less for it, but I'll have to do some math and ask around before I can figure that out. It's just a lot more work to do that much charting and also the typing for a written out pattern.


Sew a little...

Hi! I had a good long weekend, how about you? I sewed a little bit over the weekend. I made some double pointed needle cases!

The first 2 are $20 each, including shipping and the red and black one is $25 including first class shipping to contiguous United states. They're each sewn carefully with top stitching for nice clean lines. The pockets graduate in size (each one has a slight variation because I was kind of just sewing for the fun of it and didn't really want to measure and mark each pocket. ;)

Each one folds over and rolls up to be tied by the ribbons. This fold-over allows for varying heights in double pointed needles.

Each one is about 12" tall and about 18" wide.

The ribbons both come out of one side and then when it is rolled up, wrap around the case and tie however you'd like. I prefer a bow :)

1. The first one (that you see in most of those modeling pictures) is blue & white plaid on the inside and a denim-colored chambray on the outside, with a white ribbon tie. It has 13 pockets.

2. The second one is a burgundy fine-wail corduroy with a burgandy and pink floral motif and a matching burgandy ribbon tie. It has 13 pockets as well.

Sorry, this one is sold

3. The third one is fabulously beautiful! The fabric is from my Senior Ball dress (which was really REALLY hot). It's a true-red Japanese silk brocade with a black cherry blossom design on them and a black satin. The brocade is on the outside and makes the pockets, and the rest of the inside is black satin, and a black organza ribbon tie. There are 12 pockets.

Sorry, this one is sold

If you're interested in purchasing, please e-mail me and mlbrilliant AT yahoo DOT com. If you've got a color combination or a special order one in mind, also let me know :)


Monday, February 20, 2006

Choose your own adventure*

OK, since the last poll was so very enlightening, I thought it was time for another. This one will almost certainly effect how I publish patterns from now on. So here you go...

How do you prefer lace patterns?
As charts showing right side rows correctly and wrong side rows as they appear on the right side.
As charts showing right side and wrong side rows as they are knit.
As written out patterns, word for word instead of a graphic representation (chart).
Free polls from Pollhost.com

If you have an OTHER option... leave it in the comments.

*does anyone else remember those books? They drove me crazy because I could never keep track of what all adventures I COULD have had.... I started going through and marking off each line of "adventure" until I lost interest.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Um... yeah....

So we're sitting in the kitchen. And I look up and notice that there is a lightbulb missing from the fixture. I ask C and his brother, I, "Do either of you know why there's a lightbulb missing?" I looks me straight in the face and says "Yeah. That's why the light upstairs works". *blink* So he took a lightbulb from the kitchen to put in his room. And I said "You know, we have extra lightbulbs." "Well, C didn't know where they were." haha. So instead of calling me and askign where the lightbulbs were, they took one from the kitchen and put it upstairs. Boys are crazy.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

For everyone who's ever dated a gamer...

... you must see this video. You will pee your pants laughing. Link via Peeve.

Over and out,

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A REAL post!

Sorry for all the book stuff yesterday. I had made quite a few books over the weekend and tI needed to gethem up while I had the time to do it. If you're looking for books, scroll down, or as always, the links are in the sidebar.

Updates in list form so I don't ramble on and on (and on...):

1. I FINALLY steam cleaned my living room carpet... well... most of it. I didn't do a few patches because I wanted to leave somewhere to sit on the floor that wasn't wet, but the other parts are dry now, so I can do that tonight or tomorrow. The water that came out of my carpet was almost black though... that's bad. REAL bad. I also might not be the best at vacuuming.... *shifty looks*

2. As you can see, I made a bunch of books :) I dug through stuff that I had tucked away in corners and behind other things and found some goodies. I've got a bunch more wrap journals in the works and in my head. If you've got a request, e-mail me and I'll tell you what I've got.

3. The shawl is progressing BEAUTIFULLY!

This one will have a knitted on border... like knitted on parallel to the rest of it. I've got plans, just trust me :) I will be offering this one for sale online as a pdf unless someone approaches me with a design deal first. See the lifeline? I had a retarded weekend and realized 1) DO NOT thread a lifeline through your stitch markers and 2) You don't have to cut off stitch markers once you've threaded your lifeline through them. You can just let them hang from the lifeline and replace them with new ones until you remove the lifeline. I lost 4 stitch markers, but I learned a valuable lesson. Speaking of the lifeline, I've ripped back to it twice trying to find a good border pattern, and since I'm making it up, I've charted about 5 times, and I finally think I'm liking the results.

4. In my infinite insanity, I've decided to submit a sweater design for a future issue of IK. Yes, I realize I have never really designed a sweater before... what of it? I have plans and they're beautiful! Now to find some Kid Silk Haze to swatch with... anyone got a ball leftover that they'd be willing to trade? Don't know what you want for it, but e-mail me if you've got something in mind. This publishing bug really has my by the throat.

5. I have registered & purchased the domain mimknits.com. I will be building a site very soon and hopefully getting it up before the Summer Issue of IK comes out. Right now, I'm trying to figure out all the DNS shit... *sigh* It's causing some contention in my overcrowded household. Once it's up in all it's glory, I will be moving my blog. If I can't get the blogging template to work or something, then I guess the blog will stay here, but I'd rather have it all in one place. I plan on having a section for books, a section for knitting patterns (free ones and ones to purchase), put my tutorials from my old website up as well as probably some more... maybe videos if I have the bandwidth. I'm really excited!

6. I have a flight booked for my trip to Philadelpia in March! I will be leaving March 28 and coming back on Apr. 3. I plan to meet up with Naomi at some point. Which of those days will be best for you N? Anybody else in the area? Anyone got any suggestions of things I need to do or see or eat?

7. The best thing in the world on a shitty Tuesday that also happens to be a shitty )#%&ing Valentine's Day is to run into a beautiful person as she's coming out of the ladies room. Especially if that person is so happy to see you that she gives you *4* of the BEST HUGS IN THE WORLD, and makes herself late for class because she genuinely cares about how you're doing. Annemarie, I love your guts!


Monday, February 13, 2006

Burgandy Wrap Journal

Specs: 4.25" wide by 6.25" tall by .85" deep. 80 sheets or 160 pages if used front and back. The pages are blank for sketching or writing.

This book i covered in a slightly textured burgandy Canapetta bookcloth. This sturdy cover material makes for a long-lasting book even with daily use. The end papers are a handmade pink paper with burgandy inclusions (a better picture of the paper can be seen here). A beautiful pewter-colored 'North Star' button and matching burgandy satin ribbon create the wrap that keeps this book closed.

The binding is a coptic stitch in waxed linen thread, which is great for journals, as it will lie completely flat or even fold around. This journal would be good for anyone to jot down thoughts at odd moments. It would also be good for a travel journal as once the wrap is done up, it will stay closed in a backpack or luggage and the pages won't be damaged.

Cost is $17.00 including first class shipping to contiguous US States (if you want Priority Mail, it will be extra).

PAYMENT INFO: I accept paypal. If you are interested in International shipping, I can do so, but it will cost you more (as I'm sure you're aware) and you should e-mail me and NOT pay by using the paypal button.

Cream & Copper Dragonfly Journal

Specs: 5.75" wide by 8.75" tall by .75" deep. 60 sheets or 120 pages if used front and back. The fine cream-colored, flecked pages are lined for writing.

This book is covered in creamy Mulberry paper with hand screen printed copper dragonflies.

The binding is a coptic stitch in waxed linen thread, which is great for journals, as it will lie completely flat or even fold around.

Cost is $23.00 including first class shipping to contiguous US States (if you want Priority Mail, it will be extra).

PAYMENT INFO: I accept paypal. If you are interested in International shipping, I can do so, but it will cost you more (as I'm sure you're aware) and you should e-mail me and NOT pay by using the paypal button.

Black/Gray Mango Leaf Journal

Specs: 7.25" wide by 8.75" tall by .75" deep. 60 sheets or 120 pages if used front and back. The pages are lined for writing.

This book is covered in black Rayon Cialux bookcloth and gray and black Mango Leaf paper from Thailand.

The binding is a coptic stitch in waxed linen thread, which is great for journals, as it will lie completely flat or even fold around.

Cost is $28.00 including first class shipping to contiguous US States (if you want Priority Mail, it will be extra).

PAYMENT INFO: I accept paypal. If you are interested in International shipping, I can do so, but it will cost you more (as I'm sure you're aware) and you should e-mail me and NOT pay by using the paypal button.

Brown Hardback Journal

Specs: 5.75" wide by 8.75" tall by .5" deep. 60 sheets or 120 pages if used front and back. The page on the left as you open the book is left blank so that you can sketch, or paste pictures, etc... and the page on the right is lined for writing.

This book is all about the details, the hand sewn bookblock, the headbands, This book is bound in durable Rayon Cialux bookcloth in a rich chocolatey brown. The end papers are a beautifully colored marbled paper.

It would be good for someone who loves simple, but beautiful and functional things. It looks deceptively plain when you look at the simple brown cover. The solid spine will hold up to years of hard use. This book would prove a daily joy for any journal writer.

Cost is $28.00 including first class shipping to contiguous US States (if you want Priority Mail, it will be extra).

PAYMENT INFO: I accept paypal. If you are interested in International shipping, I can do so, but it will cost you more (as I'm sure you're aware) and you should e-mail me and NOT pay by using the paypal button.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Mmmm.... knitted goodness!

This is my sweater shelf. My happy place of goodness. I LOVE my sweaters. I may like them because I'm usually pretty cold (low blood pressure), and sweaters are cozy and warm. The problem with those 17 knitted sweaters, 1 mohair wrap, and 3 sweatshirts (one not pictured because it was in the wash), and 1 polar fleece jacket is that of all of them, only 3 of them are remotely form fitting and flattering.

*edited to add* Just to clear up some confusion, I've only knit 2 of those 17 sweaters, and I knit the mohair wrap too. But yeah... not THAT prolific!

My quest? To design a BEAUTIFUL and functional sweater that will make me look hot. :) I've been paying attention to the cut of shirts that make me look longer wasted, and minimize my tummy bump, make me look well proportioned, etc... I've been taking notes, and I've got plans for some wool/alpaca/silk yarn I got a while back from KnitCraft in Ogden. It's a really pretty light gray with brown tones so that you almost think it's tan. It's good. I've swatched (and washed the swatch), and I'm getting 6 spi on US 3's. The plan is to do a top-down sweater with a wide round neck.

I can't start the sweater until I finish this shawl design (which is going pretty well... I'm still in the boring upper part with the same pattern repeats). So any suggestions before hand would be appreciated. I may actually write up the pattern and offer it in multiple sizes (something I've never done before). Isela already wants to knit it just from my description :)

Also a shout out to Margene, the sweetest woman in the world! She has graciously gifted me with a mountain (at least a mountain to ME) of Koigu! And a prefect little orange chibi with small needles that are great for socks! Thank you again, Margene! I love your guts! Quick question though... are all those balls the same colorway or not? I'm trying to determine that, but it's difficult. I'm thinking perhaps 2 of them are a darker colorway or maybe dyelot... *shrug* It's lovely no matter what. It made my WEEK!

p.s. Check out /vm's finished Adamas (check the links within that entry)! BEAUTIFUL!


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Knitting Confessions

Check out Heather's finished Adamas! It's LOVELY! And she even started another one! Glad you like it Heather!

OK, I have some confessions to make.

1. I have never owned any Koigu. I cast on a wee swatch, knit a few rows and then ripped out some that Marnie brought on our meet up. But I've never had the joy of Koigu otherwise.

2. I have never owned a Chibi. I hear those bent tipped needles are NICE, but I've never worked with them.

3. I secretly watch everyone's Gathering of Lace projects take shape, and I plot ways to get my LYS to stock the book so I can drool over it every week. So beautiful, and yet, I haven't ever even flipped through the pages! I would love to buy it, but can't justify spending the money on a book that I don't need when I'm having a hard time making ends meet as it is.

4. I've only recently started swatching. I didn't used to do it, and after reading things on blogs, I realized it really IS important. In fact, I'd never WASHED a swatch until this weekend after Margene's quasi-rant about how important it was.

Got any confessions of your own? Consider this a sort-of-a-meme. If you want to be tagged, go for it.


Monday, February 06, 2006

My Mommy Loves Me

She bought me a new coat!

It's a wool and CASHMERE blend! *drool* It replaces my old coat with a disintegrated lining that had been replaced and disintegrated again. Plus the old coat was wearing thin around the buttons and it had a hole in the wool on the back. Happy!! My little brother (who is the photographer for this pic) says I look like a Pirate today with the black headscarf.

Knitting also loves me, while chores... not so much. I was going to clean my carpets again (like the weekend BEFORE last) and didn't. In fact, I didn't get much of anything done other than a load of dishes in my dishwasher, and a couple sinkfuls of the big stuff that can't go in the dishwasher. But I finished a book that Carole will give to her husband for Valentines Day. Just trust me, it's cool :)

But knitting has been good. I had started a new shawl design using Judy's handspun, hand dyed merino silk yarn, but in the end, the design I wanted to do was much too complicated for the variegations in the yarn. So I ripped that back and I started the design in some Shadow from Knitpicks. Here's a peak... not that you can SEE anything. But this one is complex. This is a pattern with design on BOTH right and wrong sides. For ADVANCED knitters, trust me. :)

We went to see Tristan and Isolde (pretty good movie, I must say) on Saturday, and I KNEW the shawl wasn't going to be good movie knitting, so I cast on a really boring, really simple pair of socks. Love on the Stockinette! It's a cotton/wool blend yarn from Regia. It's kind of a bitch to knit with, but it's making some pretty nice socks. Not as stretchy as wool, but still nice. And I LOVE the subtle browns. All in all, perfect for knitting while working on the complicated crazy shawl...

Which I think will be LOVELY when it's done, I just wish I had more time to work on it. I requires that I sit with the pattern, not a lot of distractions and good lighting, which is something I haven't encountered in YEARS! All my knitting has been memorizable after a couple repeats and then I usually can knit anything anytime (including lace on the bus while having a conversation). A little irksome, but this will pass :)


Friday, February 03, 2006

Autumn Leaves in Winter and a Poll

Autumn Leaf Socks are Finished!
Pattern: Leaf Socks by Cindy Walker in Socks Socks Socks.
Modifications: Quite a few, first I omitted the bobbles. I HATE bobbles. Second, I left off the border around the top. It was supposed to be knit separately and sewn on. Like I really want to sew something onto the top of my socks after I've finished knitting them! And also, with the variegated yarn, it would have made blocks of color perpendicular to the lines in the actual sock... that sounded WAAAY too busy, so I left it off. I also made the leg longer than the pattern calls for.. but that was actually a mistake. :)
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the color "Gold Hill", traded with Norma for a book.
Needles: Crystal Palace Bamboo Dpns in US Size 1.5 (2.5 mm). I broke one by leaving it stuffed in my bag, but I managed to super glue and sand paper it back into use... good thing too. I originally bought 2 sets of 5, but I seem to have lost or broken 3 of them, leaving me with just enough to have 3 on each sock and one working needle to switch between them. Sadly, now that I'm done with the sock I can't seem to find needle #7. Dammit... I guess I'll get another set of 5.
Gauge: 8 spi
Verdict: Good! Snug and soft, but still very bright for my tastes. They're growing on me though.

I've added pics of the patterns available in my sidebar... tell me if you think it's clear, whether you like it, etc... Also, those pdf patterns that were missing are back up. I think the Baby Sock pattern is wonky, but a pdf of that is forthcoming. I just have to find the time to do it while still at work (the only place with the right software), then I can upload it at home. Anyway, let me know if you like the images up there. I think they're eye-catching.

I was having an e-mail conversation with Michelle the other day and she mentioned that she'd rather buy a .pdf online than wait for a paper one to come in the mail. That got me wondering how you all felt about it. It's come up as a question in the KnitDesign yahoo group, but people seem pretty mixed on it.

All things being equal, would you rather buy a pattern:
Online as a paper pattern that will be mailed to you
Online as an instantly dowloadable .pdf file
At a LYS (get a paper pattern and instant gratification)


Free polls from Pollhost.com

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Bloggers (Silent) Poetry Reading

Call via Grace's Poppies link via Juno... check out Juno's poem post today. So beautiful!

Words from my C. They sort of remind me of Desiderata by Max Ehrmann, but more concise and a bit more cynical.

Be who you are,
Do what you can,
Change when you should,
Think before you speak,
Speak when you must,
Worry wastes energy,
Pain educates.

C is for.....

Calla Lillies. Calla Lillies are my favorite flower. I love their clean lines and the slow fade from green stem to white petal.

I got these silk Callas many years ago. I had been going through a very hard 3 or 4 years and I was very depressed. I finally went to see a therapist and we began working on my issues (of which there were many). I was so far down that I couldn't accept that there was anything beautiful or worthwhile in the world to be striving for. No reason to pick myself up from depression, no good in myself or the rest of the world to applaud.

My therapist asked me if there was anything that I thought was beautiful. After a lot of thought I said Calla Lillies. She told me to buy some Calla Lillies and put them in a place where I would see them every morning when I woke up. I put them on the chest at the foot of my bed. Every morning I woke up and saw those flowers. I could make out their shapes in the dark before I even turned on the light. And then I'd spend the whole rest of the day thinking about them, wanting to get through my day and home again to look at them and be effected by their beauty.

They were the key. Without these flowers as a reminder that there were beautiful things in this world worth saving, I probably would have killed myself 5 years ago. These are more than flowers to me... they are my salvation.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Almost Finished Socks and other FO's

Check out Kellie's finished Seraphim! She gave it to a friend who is about to start chemothreapy and made her cry (in a good way). Click the link in my sidebar for the info on the pattern and to buy it.

Aaaand I've finished one autumn leaf sock.*

All in all, the socks are a bit snug so far, but I like them that way. My row gauge must have been off from what the pattern called for because they're a wee bit short, but that adds to the snugness. The yarn feels nice though :) I should have the other toe finished by the end of the day with a finished pair to show you tomorrow.

Sorry for yesterday's fly-by post, but it was one of those crazy days at work when you've got a million things to do RIGHT NOW but because they're little things you finish the day still feeling like you haven't actually accomplished anything.


*I'm experimenting with the size I save my photos at to see if I can get a better compression in flickr... maybe I should just give it up and upload them to my own server... *sigh*

*edit* A bit better... I'll keep tweaking it.