Join me as I share my crafty journey with you. I continue to expand my repertoire of hobbies. I knit, sew, crochet, bead and probably most importantly am a lover of science fiction. Occasionally I even pick up a book. I play Nerd Wars for Team Stargate Command which consumes most of my time.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Down With The Sickness...

     There are only seven days left in Round 1 of Tournament 6.  I was hoping to have more done by now, but alas, real life has taken its toll on me for the last two and a half weeks.  There are a few colds going around at work.  I think I keep getting re-infected with a mutation of the same thing.  I was feeling better now I'm getting sick all over again, with different symptoms.  It probably doesn't help that I've been living at work either.  This overtime is appearing at a good time though, since the front struts on the Bonneville decided to snap in two at 3 in the morning.  Thank goodness it was in the morning.  On occasion, when one of the night shifters are on vacation, the evening shifters stay 'til three and one particular day shifter comes in at three to relieve us.  The few evening gluttons get rotated and this particular morning was my turn.  Hubs and I are lucky in the fact that we work at the same hospital.  He actually works for the hospital, I work for an outside company that is in partnership with said hospital and two others, but I digress.  Whenever I work into the morning, I'll have him walk me down to the car.  (The downside of working in an intercity hospital, is that the surrounding neighborhood can be... interesting.  Although of the four local hospitals St. Joes is about the best.)  So he had walked me to the car, I was going to drive him back up the hill to the door.  All I did was pull out of my space, about two feet, we heard a very loud ominous metallic snap.  (Ya know, a "that was something really important" kind of sound.)  He proceeded to look inside the wheel well, drive in circles in the parking lot and determined it was okay to drive home.  I was pretty skeptic, so I took one of the surface streets, since I was in no way comfortable driving it at 70 miles an hour on the highways to get back.  I didn't go over 35 MPH and every time I hit a bump it clunked like I had a box of tools in the passenger seat.  That was probably the scariest car ride of my life.  I made it home just fine, the car also made it over to the mechanic just fine, twice.  (The frame was sitting on the rubber mounts.)  Its halfway fixed now, there are all new shocks and struts in the front end.  My husband has driven it, he says it drives like a whole new car.  It still needs tie rods a wheel bearing and an alignment.  We've also decided to put new shocks and struts in the back as well, since it looks a bit goofy having the front end sit higher than the back end.  This car is the one that has given us the least problems and the one we plan on keeping around the longest.  So that's the really long story if where all my overtime money is going.

     So back to knitting.  I've finished my Aunt's Swirly Hurricane Mitts.  I have them all ready to be mailed, but haven't had the chance to get to the post office.  Here they are all done.  I have good pictures now :)
I used these for the Intellectual challenge:  A picture is worth a thousand numbers.  We were tasked with crafting a project that exhibited the properties of a math symbol.  Math is not my strong suit by any means so I went the easy peasy route.  The swirls are created with purl stitches strategically placed among stockinette.  Purl stitches look like a minus sign, or a negative sign.  I used Sam Carter as my tie in.  She always wears pretty girly civilian clothes off base.  She wore a top about this color while she was dating Pete Shannahan.  Sadly this is it when I comes to completed and submitted Nerd Wars projects. 

     I have one more that is done but I have yet to take pictures and submit it.  The project for the Geek Pride challenge:  All Hallows Eve.  For this one we were tasked with crafting a project inspired by a scary moment in our nerddom.  For me personally, the scariest types of episodes are altered states of mentality.  The episode I chose is "The Real World" from Atlantis.  Weir wakes up in a mental hospital on earth, two years before current time.  She is told by the doctors that the last two years of her life never happened, the Atlantis and the Stargate program don't exist and that Simon Wells (her X-lover) was killed days earlier in a horrible car accident.  She asks General O'Neill to visit her in the mental hospital.  He doesn't know her.  I find these types of episodes scary.  I think its the whole concept of going crazy and not knowing what reality is real anymore.  There is also a dark figure that calls Elizabeth's name and comes through the walls at her, which is creepy.  It turns out in the end that the dark creepy figure is Sheppard making an attempt to reach her in this generated reality.  She had been infected by replicator nanites.  Gen. O'Neill, the psychologist and Earth were a false reality manufactured by the nanites.  Eventually she figures that out and with Sheppard's help, she makes it back to Atlantis, which is her true reality.  (She never actually left Atlantis of course, but it makes 'splainin a bit easier.)  SO, to meet this challenge I decided to encorporate elements from both realites into one project.  In the manufactured mental hospital, in the common room, there is a very colorful and bright granny square afgan.  Its quite pretty actually.

Sheppard, who appears in both the manufactured and real reality, always wears a black sweat band on his right wrist.  So I made really colorful bright wrist cuffs.  I've made two and I'd like to make a third before I call this one done.  This is the pattern I used:  Band Cuffs.  The two I've made turned out really nicely.  I'm not sure if anyone would like to wear knitted cuffs.  I'm thinking of using them as cup cozies or vase cozies, not sure yet.  I need to make that third one and get it submitted already.  Call me the queen of procrastination.

     I've been working on another project as well.  If I can make it fit into another challenge I'll be golden.  I can donate money for Giving Geeks.  I'm working on this pattern:  Gift Card-igans.  They are little sweaters for gift cards, to make them a little more personal and to stash bust.  I've done the knitting on one, but not the seaming and I just started a second one at dinner break.  Samantha wears some rather frumpy sweaters in Mobias I and II, maybe I can pull this off.  We are supposed to be making actual costume pieces for that challenge, which is why I had a whole other project picked out, but I dont have enough time to complete it any more.  I was going to make a replica pair of fingerless gloves, like the knucks Jack O'Neill wore early on.  My husband has been asking for a pair for a while now, but I knew it was going to be alot of work so I've been putting it off.  He wants black fingering weight yarn and articulated fingers.  I found a pretty good pattern that I will have to modify to fit his large manly hands.  I've done a gauge swatch and some preliminary math, but I'm still going to be winging it, pretty much competely.  This is the pattern I'm using as my jumping off point:  Koigu Fingerless Gloves.  I'll be using the Cascade 220 Fingering I showed off a little while ago.  Between being sick and living at work my motivation level has been at -3 lately.  I hope I pull out of this funk soon.  The only real upside is that in loo of starting new project I've gotten quite a bit done on my dissertaion sweater Abalone.  I'm nearly through the first yarn cake.  I stalked the project page for Abalone, a few other people used Vintage, they used threeish skeins, so I'm close to a third done already, huzzah! 
     I have gotten some more yarn.  This morning actually.  I did a bit of restock of my dishcloth cotton.  Which segues into a rant about Walmart's yarn department...  UGH!!!  Thats the most sucinct way I can put it.  The only thing I get at Walmart now is my dishcloth cotton.  I get it else where too, but after this last trip I may be done with Walmart completly, out of principle.  My Walmart just re-did the display cases again.  They have the cotton in the most disfunctional peice of merchandise storage I have ever come across.  The skeins of cotton are all lined up by color, or at least I'm assuming that's how its supposed to work, since all the colors are mixed together.  (Which as you may or may not know, gives my OCD serious twitch.)  They are lined up vertically, so one behind another, then there is a piece of clear plexiglass in the front to keep the skeins from sliding out completely.  The problem is the shelves are mounted too close together, so the opening above the plastic is too slim, only a small child can get their hand in, the cotton doesnt even fit out of this opening.  Clearly, the design was not trialed, and clearly a crafty person did not come up with this in the first place.  Several of the skeins I got were already mangled.  The remainder were mangled by me attempeting to get the flippin things out so I could buy them.  If it haddn't been 4am I would have found a manager and laid into them.  I still may, albait, tactfully.  Or, I may just not get my cotton at Walmart any more.  If I pay attention to sales, I can get cotton at Michaels and AC Moore cheaper.  I just have to put in the effort of checking sales and then going to thoes shops durring "normal" hours.  Its probably evident that I dont keep "normal" hours at this point.  Anywho, end rant.  Cotton is thankfully very durable, so mangled or not, I can still make lovely dishcloths with it.  I'll have some pictures next time I post.  Until then, Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Past Time for an Update

     So it's October now and Nerd Wars has started again.  I've been busy on the knitting front.  Before T6 began I made another pair of Elf Clobbers.  I used Berroco Vintage for the wrist and crochet sections and Queensland Collection Soft Comfort Mohair for the fuzzy mohair section. 
This is my second go at this pattern.  I made sure to do a very loose bind off at the top of the 2X2 knitted rib section.  I also made the mohair portion looser and longer. 
     I never really got to all the finishing I wanted to do.  The tea towel toppers and the Star Trek Pot Holder taunt me every day.  I keep them out as a reminder of the things I need to complete.  One of these days they'll finally get to me and I'll finish them. 
     As I said Nerd Wars started so I've been plugging away at projects and another dissertation.  I was able to go yarn shopping twice, yes twice!  On my first trip I picked up the yarn for my dissertation.  Four skeins of Berroco Vintage Colors for Abalone.  
One Skein of Berroco Weekend for Swirly Hurricane Mitts.  
My Aunt Ann asked me to make her a pair of fingerless mitts.  I sent her a link to my previous Swirly Hurricane Mitts, but it turns out she's allergic to wool.  She really liked the pattern though so all I had to do was get non-wool yarn.  I still wanted to get something nice and I was going to the yarn shop anyway...  Weekend had the best color choices so I grabbed a lilac and the rest is history.  I'm working on these now.  I just have the thumbs to go.

You'll  have to pardon the cruddy cell phone picture.  That's usually what's most handy when I knitting away on the couch.  Once these are done, they'll be my third submission for Nerd Wars.  So back to yarn, on my first trip I also picked up another skein of Classic Elite Yarns Liberty Wool, in the same colorway and dye lot that I was given for my birthday.  So if I want to, I can make another pair of socks.
I was in a very purple mood that day if no one could tell.  I was even wearing a purple shirt.  On that trip I forgot to pick up another set of US8 DPN's.  Half my set is being borrowed right now and I really didn't want to wait to get them back.  I've been wanted to switch over completely to Hiya Hiya's so this was the perfect excuse to go back to the yarn shop.  So, on my second trip I picked up the needles and of course more yarn.  I had a bit of cash left over from the first trip and I sold a few dishcloths so...  I got some Cascade 220 Fingering in black for knucks I'll be making for Hubby.  He knows about them already, he's been asking me to make him something since I started knitting.

Black really doesn't photograph well, in any light.  I picked up a skein of Berroco Vintage for my stash.  I really love Vintage.  Its my go-to yarn for anything at this point.

Last but not least I bought my first skein of Malabrigo.  Rios to be exact, its a superwash and very, very pretty.  I spied the Mal on my first trip to the yarn shop and it called my name, so when I went back I really couldn't say no.  I mean could anyone say no to this?

I got this for me, as a splurge, since I've been working stupid hours lately.  That's probably self centered but I really don't care, the knitting is for me, why not some of the yarn. 
     So on to Nerd Wars.  My dissertation was approved so I've done a little bit of work on the sweater.  I don't have pictures yet and there's not much to show yet anyway.  I have gotten two challenges done.  The first one was for Technical:  The Power of One,Two or Three...  We were tasked with crafting a project from either multiple fibres or multiple colorways.  The yarns could not be preblended or self striping alone.  I made two Tricolour Dishcloths.  Yes, more Tricolours, have I mentioned how much I love this pattern.  Here's how they came out:
I used four different yarns for these cloths.  The white and the solid blue are millends, so probably Hobby Lobby, and the self striping is Sugar and Cream Stripes.  In the second cloth (the one on the left) I ran out of the Sugar and Cream so I used Peaches and Cream Scents for the last row and a half (near the top, its hard to see on this picture).  I really like how these turned out.  I think the one in the foreground is my favorite Tricolour ever.  Thus far I've kept it. 
     The second challenge I've completed is the Intellectual:  A Lion Rampant.  For this we were tasked with crafting an element of what would be our coat of arms, if we were to make one.  Since the Hubbs and I enjoy winter and snowmobiling and I do the majority of my knitting in the winter, I made a snowflake to represent this love.  I also used a pattern that required both knitting and crochet, since I do both.  Here's the pattern:  Snowflake Ornament.  (This pattern is actually part of a bundle of 5 patterns). 
I'm not super thrilled with how it came out.  My decreases don't look correct and I'm still crappy at crochet.  I made this from Red Heart Super Saver which of course is acrylic so to make this lay flat I had to "kill" it.  That was fun actually.  I think I did it correctly.  Basically you run a steam iron over it, with out touching it.  It changes an element of the yarn so it doesn't curl or buckle anymore.  This only took me an hour total so I may make some more for the Christmas tree.  That's it for now.  I'll try to keep up a little better.  I foresee the knucks being a long ordeal as the yarn is fingering/laceweight.  I don't actually expect to get them done in a month, but ya never know, miracles do happen occasionally.  Happy Crafting!