Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Geekcraft Explosion!

I suspect this will be the last time that Entertainment Weekly blog will scoop me on a Joss-Whedon-related crafting story. Here is a story about CrochetMe's attempt to get an interview with Joss Whedon. I think I might actually be indirectly responsible for this very cool campaign, because I posted on Ravelry about the "Crocheting Monthly" reference in the interview Joss did with Wired. For all I know, though, people had been talking about it on Craftster for days before I noticed it. But I like to think it was all me. Anyway, if anyone reading this has done Whedon-related projects, get thee over to CrochetMe and post a picture. They're hoping that Joss will be so overwhelmed by all the examples of Whedony crafting that he will feel obligated to give an interview.

Can I just say that it's a little odd that the mainstream media has apparently picked up my totally geeky sci-fi crafting obsession?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Brief update

Hello! Greetings from New York, where I am currently going through a stack of xeroxed historical newspapers, instead of doing cool, New Yorky things. Perhaps this evening I will take a break from manic chapter-writing and attempt to take advantage of the lovely city in which I find myself.

In knitting news, I just finished my second Maude mitten. I'm very impressed with myself for avoiding second mitten syndrome. There won't be any pictures until I get back to Chicago, block this sucker, and reunite it with its mate, but it is done.

While I was in Boston, I went to an LYS and picked up the yarn for my Firefly-swap project. It is going to be really tough not to blog about that one, because I have my fingers crossed that it will be awesome. It could also be a total disaster, but I am hoping for awesome.

And finally, we get to the picture portion of our update. Yesterday, I went to Salem, MA with my friends Lisa, Tracy, and Tracy's sister Julie. We saw a big, fake old boat:

and the custom house where Nathanial Hawthorne worked:
and the original House of the Seven Gables:
and the lovely modern garden attached to it:
We also saw lots of witch-related stuff:

That last picture of was the Salem Witch Museum, which might have been designed with the express intention of pissing off American historians, of which three of the four of us are. It's a mess, but it's an entertaining mess with giant puppets acting out key scenes from the witch trials, and it's hard to argue with that.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Geekcraft of a different color

Gryffindor Bag, final
Originally uploaded by Quietish
I'm not really a Harry Potter fan girl. I liked the books a lot, but not in the way that makes one want to knit things on the theme. But I'm sort of tempted by this pattern for Harry Potter house themed stranded bags from Quietish, just because they're so very pretty.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Better Mitten Pictures

Here are some post-blocking mitten pictures:

My camera is kind of shot. I think I'm going to ask for a new one for my birthday.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Low-rent mitten blocker

I finished my mitten. I will try to take pretty pictures tomorrow, with natural light and all that, but in the meantime, here's a picture of it mid-blocking. I wrapped a tube of chapstick in plastic wrap for the thumb, and I stretched out a wire hanger for the hand. I think this is going to be my mitten-blocking method from here on out. Actually, I'll probably use a wire hanger for socks, too. I just can't see spending $30 on sock blockers when a free hanger works just fine.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

What I've Been Up To

What I haven't been up to much is leaving the house, thanks to a visit from the Vertigo Fairy. Here is what I've been doing during my (hopefully soon-to-be-over) period as a shut-in.

First of all, I've been working on my stranded mittens. They're called Maude mittens, and I'm testknitting them for a Raveller named Sophia. I think I'm about a third of the way through the first one. Here is a picture of the front:

And here's the back:

Aren't they pretty? I'm not crazy about the color, which I selected entirely because I had it on hand and therefore could knit it for free. (It's Knitpicks Palette, which is quickly becoming my go-to yarn. It's cheap as can be, and they've recently added all sorts of pretty colors.) But I really like the pattern, and I'm having a blast knitting these mittens. I think that my recent knitting slump can be attributed to the fact that I haven't actually been knitting things that I enjoy knitting. But this is different, because I could do stranded colorwork all day long. In fact, I kind of have been doing stranded colorwork all day long. I may knit nothing but stranded hats and mittens for the rest of my life.

When I haven't been doing stranded colorwork, I have occasionally been eating. This is a bit of a sore spot, because the Vertigo Fairy is making the eating situation difficult. Actually, eating isn't the problem. Actually keeping what I eat down for long enough to digest it has become somewhat difficult. Despite these issues, which I realize are well over the border into TMI-land, yesterday I made popovers, using this recipe that I found at Not Martha. I don't have an upright blender, so I used the immersion blender and the little beaker that comes with the immersion blender. (A whisk would work fine, though.) I also don't have a popover pan, so I used a muffin tin. They came out great. Here's a picture of the batch:

And here's an individual popover:

Considering that I have a fairly crappy oven that doesn't bake very evenly, I think that's pretty impressive! I'm switching to this popover recipe permanently.

Friday, July 4, 2008

As per usual, I have bitten off more than I can chew

So you know how I said that I wasn't going to do any more geek knitting? I totally lied. I've signed up for the Firefly swap, which means that I have to knit another Firefly-themed thing by September 30 and send it off to my swap partner. I have also signed up for the Knitting Olympics, which means that I have committed to knitting a vest during the Olympics. I have to cast one during the opening ceremonies and cast off before the closing ceremonies. Scary! So here is a list of my outstanding knitting commitments:

1. My mom's socks. I'm almost done with the first one. These need to be done in the next two weeks or so. I'm planning to finish sock number one tonight. I am getting over my disappointment about screwing up the stitch pattern. It doesn't matter. I need to finish them.

2. The stranded mittens that I'm test knitting for SophiaKnits. So far, I'm loving these mittens, but I'm a little worried that I'm a bad test knitter. Basically, I don't trust that I know what I'm doing, so I tend to think that if something isn't clear, the problem is me, not the pattern. I need to remember that the pattern is being designed for idiots as well as experienced knitters, and I'm test knitting it for the moron contingent. Sophia said it was ok to blog about the mittens, so I will post pictures in a couple of days when I'm a bit farther along.

3. I am planning to do Stefanie Japel's Back-to-School vest for the Knitting Olympics, assuming I can get Fitted Knits from the library.

4. I've got some ideas about the Firefly swap, but I'm not going to talk about them here, because it's a secret!

Ok, so this is a lot of knitting. And therefore, I am hereby declaring that I will not start any new projects until I have finished these. My knitting dance card is full for the summer!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hey, M &G

This one is for you! I give you the the Chicago pub quiz blog.