2015 Geek-A-Long: Dr. Frank N. Furter

Week 27 Frank N Furter (3)

I’m just a sweet transvestite, from Transsexual Transylvania.

Last week in America, love won, so it seemed like the perfect time to bring out my very favorite mad-movie-scientist: Dr. Frank N. Furter. Have you guys ever had to describe The Rocky Horror Picture Show to someone that’s never seen it? I did this week when a friend asked me what was going to be on Sunday’s square. That explanation got weird. I can’t remember what all I said (I think I was too busy dealing with the fact that there’s an adult in my life that hasn’t seen Rocky Horror), and after rambling for a bit I just started singing the Time Warp. I did voices. I’m pretty sure I looked really cool while doing it, and I’m just sad I don’t have a video for you. To compensate please enjoy this Time Warping Flash Mob.

Before I move on, can we talk about the mad skills on the one guy dancing in the group. If you know that dude, please tell him I’d like to be besties.

Week 27 Frank N Furter (5)

Anyhow, before I got distracted by the Tubes, I’m not really sure how to go about describing The Rocky Horror Picture Show or Frank N. Furter to you. We generally strive to do that in this space, but where do you even start on this? Look, if you haven’t seen it, get some friends together and make it a party. A best case scenario is a live screening, or to check out the stage play for your first viewing, but those can be hard to come by. Feel free to use the comments though to post about upcoming screenings you know about.

I’ve been dying to put this square out. I would go so far as to say that I was shivering with antici…..

Week 27 Frank N Furter (2)

…pation.

I actually learned a lot when I was doing the research for this post. For example, I knew that the red triangle on Dr. Furter’s lab coat is a pride symbol. I did not, however, know the history behind that particular imagery. An upside-down red triangle was used by Nazis to identify gay people in the same way that the yellow Star of David was used to identify Jewish people.  Later, the gay community turned it right side up as a show of pride and solidarity. For your pleasure, here are 21 fun facts about Rocky Horror.

For this square I chose to represent the mad-man-building Doctor with the red triangle from his lab jacket and the iconic Rocky Horror Lips. The lips went through several revisions, but I’m really happy with how they turned out.

Week 27 Frank N Furter (4)

Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Dr. Frank N Furter pattern here. When you’re finished making it, don’t forget to tweet or instagram your squares at me @Doctor_Llama or Jac @jac_attacking with the hashtag #geekalong, so we can all oooh and ah at it together.

~Megan-Anne
Give yourself over to absolute pleasure. 

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider making a donation to Child’s Play Charity. Here is a direct link to our donation widget benefiting the charity. Please help us raise $1,000 this year! No contribution is too small.

2015 Prize Baskets: Skacel

Addi 2015 GAL (1)

I’m super excited to announce that Skacel is returning as a Geek-A-Long benefactor this year! In 2014, they blew us away with project kits that included yarn, needles, and some super-sweet project bags. You can read about last year’s prizes here. This year they have taken the prizes up another notch with the bags that I drooled over last year (seriously, it’s prizes like these that make me wish I were eligible for the GAl raffle!), and Addi-Art Diamond Needles.

Before I tell you more about these unbelievable needles, here is a quick reminder for those of you just joining the Geek-A-Long:

We’re raffling off four prizes again this year and in order to be eligible to win one of the three prizes, you must post a picture of your completed 2015 blanket to the Ravelry GAL group by January 31, 2016. The blanket must contain 24 of the 48 squares released in 2015, be joined and edged. Just like last year, the fourth prize will be raffled off for just being a member of the group. If you’re not a member, however, it isn’t too late to join and get in on the fun! You can find everything you’ll need to know about the Geek-A-Long on the FAQ page.

Addi 2015 GAL (2)

About Skacel

The Skacel Collection, Inc. has been a wholesaler of high-end yarns and needles for over 20 years. Our fibers are manufactured using the highest quality materials in our German, Italian, and Peruvian mills.

Skacel is proud to be the sole North American distributor for the addi Turbo line of hand-knitting needles and accessories, as well as the Zitron, Schulana, and Schoppel-Wolle yarn lines. Skacel also distributes the Schoeller+Stahl and Austermann yarn lines within the United States. As a family owned and operated entity, we strive to provide top-notch customer service, world-class products, and cutting-edge designs.

Okay, so let’s just all take a minute to deal with these needles. Do you see those jewels sparkling inside them? Those are freaking Swarovski Crystals. Yeah. You read that right. They are stuffed with Swarovskis. It’s not a secret that I love Addis. They are the needles I choose for my own projects, and you can read all about that here or on my instagram feed. But these just transcend the normal reasons to purchase a pair of needles. I’ll be honest, I don’t own any Addi Diamonds, though I’d like too. But if I were the proud winner of these needles, I wouldn’t even know if I should use them or frame them. If you win them, you’ll have to tell me what side of that debate you come down on. ;D

Thank you for your generous donation to the Geek-A-Long participants, Skacel! You can find Skacel on their website, Twitter, Facebook, Ravelry, and Instagram.  If you’d like to view the other Geek-A-Long benefactors and prizes, you can find them here.

~ Megan-Anne
These are so opulent I imagine Marie Antoinette knitting with them. 

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Knitshame: Vacation Edition

Ladies, cats with thumbs, and gentlemen, my husband knitshamed me last night. There I was folding laundry and trying to remember where I put our suitcases, when he waltzed into the bedroom and said, “What’s all this?”

To which I replied, “Our laundry.”

“No, I’m talking about the pile of knitting projects laid out on my half of the bed.”

“Oh, that…”

“It’s only five days, Jacquline.” He walked over to my pile of WIPs and poked them. “And when did you start half of these?”

Alright, so maybe I’ve had a case of the starts lately since I’m on a crusade to knit or crochet all of my Christmas/Hanukkah gifts on time this year without freaking out. And maybe I’m in love with my yarn and want to knit lots of socks and breezy summer tops with it, but is that really such a crime?

The answer is no. There’s nothing wrong with liking a little variety. I don’t expect him to play the same video game everyday or eat the same breakfast every morning, so why should I feel bad about being the kind of person who doesn’t want to work on the same WIP everyday or have enough project bags for her projects?

As a matter of fact, I didn’t feel bad. I laughed and told him he knew about my love affair with yarn when he married me: That beautiful single skein of yarn I can’t do anything with, but refuse to let go. Half finished projects I have no intention of returning too that are collecting dust, because I don’t know… I might totally come back to that one day. Maybe tomorrow. You never know.

mislaid project

Then, my dear husband pointed out that he could only find the one piece of luggage, so unless I wanted to stuff the trunk full of project bags, I needed to parse it down a little bit. I probably didn’t need to bring two different socks, my crocheted sock blanket, a fair isles sweater dress, a book cover with a zippered pocket, or that lacey tee I casted on after I managed to give myself shin splints. But I still hemmed and hawed and told him I needed to go switch the laundry.

So maybe both of us were right in different ways. I probably don’t need to bring six projects to the beach, two should be efficient since it is a holiday weekend we’re spending with family. But, there’s also nothing wrong with having a variety of things to work on. In summation, ladies, cats with thumbs, and gentlemen, let your knishameful flag fly! Just remember to leave room for toiletries and clean undies in your overnight bag.

~ Jac
“I feel like we’ve had this conversation before.” “That’s because we have. And we will again.”

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You can find more of our knitshame here. If you have knitshame you’d like to share, link back to this post or email us at contact [at] lattesandllamas [dot] com  and we’ll feature you next Tuesday.

2015 Geek-A-Long: Walter Bishop

week 26 Walter Bishop (3)

Welcome to week 26 of the Geek-A-Long! If you’ve been knitting or crocheting with Megan-Anne and I from the beginning, then you have enough squares to make your afghan. If you’re picking and choosing your favorite scientists or are making a full-sized 48-square blanket, then let me introduce you to my favorite mad scientist this year: Walter Bishop from Fringe.

Yes, you heard that right. Walter Bishop is my favorite mad scientist of all time. Maybe it’s his love of Red Vines or the way he knows the chemical formula of the perfect root beer float, but it’s probably the duality of his character:

Walter is like a King Lear for television. He’s got all of those extremes. He goes from the raging fool into these incredibly tender moments. He had moments that, to most of us, are quite insane and then show this incredible lucidity. He can be laser-like at times. But do you know what? I don’t know that those aspects of a person are far different from a lot of us, to be honest. It’s just that Walter’s barriers are so low that he actually does the things that most of us sit on. That’s a great opportunity for me as a character actor, obviously.

-John Noble on his character
week 26 Walter Bishop (5)

Fringe is a blissful hybrid of The X-Files and Lost. Although, Fringe actually has the decency to resolve its mystery-filled plot lines unlike another show I just named. The majority of the first two seasons revolve around an extraordinary string of strange events referred to as “the Pattern,” which almost always involve Walter Bishop and one of his numerous inventions. Granted, every time a new evil technology showed up, it wouldn’t have been such a surprise if Walter hadn’t removed parts of his own brain…

Regardless of how much LSD Walter does or that he insists on having a live cow in his laboratory, you can’t help but love him despite all the twisted things he made before his time in the asylum. Sure, he eats Valium like candy and has a complete inability to remember Astrid Farnsworth’s name, but you can’t help loving a man who blew a hole in the space-time continuum to save his son.

week 26 Walter Bishop (2)

I admit that I didn’t watch the show until it came to Netflix. I always wanted to get into it, but Fringe isn’t the type of show you can just jump into at anytime. It is, however, the perfect show to binge on. I watched the entire series over the course of one long weekend when I was sick. Then, I made Megan-Anne sick too, and we rewatched the whole thing together.

Let me tell you, my second viewing of the show was difficult. Every time I noticed September in the background, I would break out with giggles and then get really sad because spoilers.

Somewhere between eating Red Vines and passing Megan-Anne the box of tissues in the first episode, she asked me what the commercial bumper images meant. Where they part of the plot? Did they symbolize something? It was the only thing they never really addressed in the show, and I assumed it was just cool imagery. But she did an internet search and discovered that the six-fingered hand, the seahorse, etc were part of a code. Each glyph represented a letter and spelled out a word during an episode. In the pilot, they spelled out observer.

There were a lot of different things we could’ve put on the square to honor Walter Bishop: Red Vines, the chemical structure of LSD, a cow. But we decided to chose one of the glyphs since it was a neat part of the show. The six-fingered hand on the left is the letter U and the right glyph equals the letter S. We tried to fit the glyphs for W and B on the square, but they refused to fit.

week 26 Walter Bishop (4)

Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Walter Bishop pattern here. Instructions for both knit and crochet are listed in the pattern. When you’re finished making it, don’t forget to tweet or instagram your squares at me @jac_attacking or Megan-Anne @Doctor_Llama with the hashtag #geekalong!

If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and a tutorial on crochet here. Want to hang out with other people making the blanket? You can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here.

~ Jac
“Please allow me a moment to entertain my fantasies. They often lead to a truth.” – Walter Bishop

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider making a donation to Child’s Play Charity. Here is a direct link to our donation page benefiting the charity. Please help us raise $1,000 this year! No contribution is too small.

2015 Geek-A-Long: Dr. Zarkov

Week 25 Dr. Zarkov (1)

I want you to put aside everything you think you know about bad television. Because you haven’t seen delightfully cheesy, scenery chewing, “bad” TV until you have seen the original 1930s Flash Gordon serials. As of typing this, they were on YouTube, Netflix DVD, and Amazon. I’ll just wait here while you watch it.

Waiting… Waiting… Yep, that’s an iguana you see attacking the rocket ship. Waiting… Waiting…

Like many of my nerdy loves, I was introduced to Flash Gordon by my father. So for a very special Father’s Day edition of the Geek-A-Long, this week we will celebrate Hans Zarkov: a scientist so confident he doesn’t even need pants.

Who needs pants when you have science?

Who needs pants when you have science?

Flash Gordon follows the story of dreamy hero Flash, his lady love Dale Arden, and Dr. Hans Zarkov as they fly to the planet Mongo to attempt to negotiate for peace. At the time, Mongo was headed straight on a collision course for Earth. I’m not really sure what the game plan was there. I suppose Zarkov planned on reasoning with the planet itself? Anyhow, they get there and are quickly taken prisoner by Ming the Merciless. Over the next few years, hijinx ensue, very few pants are worn, and the iguanas just keep getting meaner.

Of all the fandoms we might have chosen for Father’s Day, I knew it had to be this one. Sometimes we get very heated emails from folks, who didn’t see something they wanted on the GAL. My dad gets a huge kick out of these and a while back he sent his own. The following email exchange is a pretty good window into our relationship:

convo with dad

click to see a larger image

So happy Father’s Day dad, you can call off the uprising!

Week 25 Dr. Zarkov (3)

For this square, I chose the rocket ship from the comics, which reminds me a bit of a blimp, and the emblem on Zarkov’s tunic in the serial. We went for a retro color scheme to match the overall feel of Flash Gordon.  And seriously guys, if you get a chance, check out the serials, they are super fun!

Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Dr. Zarkov pattern here. Instructions for both knit and crochet are listed in the pattern. When you’re finished making it, don’t forget to tweet or instagram your squares at me @jac_attacking or Megan-Anne @Doctor_Llama with the hashtag #geekalong!

Week 25 Dr. Zarkov (2)

If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and a tutorial on crochet here. Want to hang out with other people making the blanket? You can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here.

~Megan-Anne

Pathetic earthlings. Hurling your bodies out into the void, without the slightest inkling of who or what is out here. If you had known anything about the true nature of the universe, anything at all, you would’ve hidden from it in terror. -Ming the Merciless

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider making a donation to Child’s Play Charity. Here is a direct link to our donation page benefiting the charity. Please help us raise $1,000 this year! No contribution is too small.

 

2015 Geek-A-Long: Poison Ivy

week 24 Poison Ivy (4)

Welcome to week 24! I can’t believe we’re already halfway through the 2015 Geek-A-Long. When I pulled the pictures of the square out of the file, I was like: “Week 24, that can’t be right.” But it is! We’ve released enough of the Mad Scientist patterns to create an afghan:

week 24 Poison Ivy (2)

This week we’re honoring one of my favorite Batman villains, Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley. She first appeared in Batman comics in 1966 as a notorious eco-terrorist. Robert Kanigher created Poison Ivy, and modeled her after Bettie Page. At her debut, Poison Ivy didn’t have a strong (well, any) origin story. However, over the years she was developed into a complexly developed character. In fact, she just made many fans happy (or irate, depending on who you ask) by confirming rumors that she is in a romantic relationship with her long time BFF Harley Quinn.

Honored in IGN’s list of top 100 comic book villians, Ivy is considered one of Batman’s most formidable foes. She is also the only Batman Villian with powers that could be described as “superpowers.” The accident that transformed Dr. Isley into Poison Ivy filled her with toxins that rendered her touch poisonous, while giving her immunity to other types of poison. She can communicate with plants, and in some versions of Batman she can control them with her mind, and using spores and pheromones can even control the minds of other humans. She’s an extreme supporter of ecological causes, and I think she’s a perfect addition to this year’s GAL.

week 24 Poison Ivy (3)

For the square I chose her signature leaf covered mask and the chemical symbol for Urushiol, the compound that makes up the “poison” in a poison ivy plant. I think Dr. Isley would appreciate that the bulk of the square space went to science.

Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Poison Ivy pattern here. Instructions for both knit and crochet are listed in the pattern. When you’re finished making it, don’t forget to tweet or instagram your squares at me @jac_attacking or Megan-Anne @Doctor_Llama with the hashtag #geekalong!

week 24 Poison Ivy (1)

If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and a tutorial on crochet here. Want to hang out with other people making the blanket? You can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here.

~ Jac
I don’t care what anyone says. I LIKED the Batman & Robin movie with Uma Thurman.

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider making a donation to Child’s Play Charity. Here is a direct link to our donation page benefiting the charity. Please help us raise $1,000 this year! No contribution is too small.

Oh So Alluring…

Change is lame. I avoid it a pretty much all costs. But every now and again the stars align in just the right way, and I am talked into trying out a new product. While I was out at the Maryland Wool and Fiber festival, one of my friends raved about Allure Fiber Wash. It’s made by the same people that make Bijou Basin yarn, so that’s a pretty big count in it’s favor as far as I’m concerned. But I already had a wool wash that I liked, and like I said, change is lame. What convinced me to try it was being told about the unscented wash.

It’s not just “no scent added,” but legitimately scent free, and that’s a HUGE perk for yarn dyers. So I went against my nature and picked up a bottle in each of the three scents. I blocked a huge pile of socks with them and used the unscented in the place of my previous wash for a few pounds of yarn. It was love at first smell. I had to know more about how it was made so I reached out to the mad scientist behind the wash, Eileen Koop, and was lucky enough to be able to chat with her about how Allure came to be.

Allure Fiber Washes

Before we get into the knitty-gritty of Allure, I would love to share some about your background, Eileen. My career began in science and shifted to yarn, and I love nothing more than spending time with other people that love chemistry and fibers as much as I do. Can you tell us a little bit about where your career started and how you wound up raising (and of course, washing) yaks?

I joke that I’ve done product development for air fresheners to zit creams and everything in between except paint. I kind of lucked out with a first job in chemistry for the Airwick Company.  I knew I found my calling developing consumer products and did it my entire career.  From Airwick I went to Givuadan which is a fragrance company.  I thought I might want to be a perfumer but quickly decided that product was much more fun so Brut became all the ancillary products for men, not the actual fragrance (thick after shave lotions and such).  From there I joined Colgate Palmolive and did toothpaste gels and laundry detergents.  Moved to Colorado for Carl’s company and actually worked doing food spice blends and deep fry cooking bases.

Hated working in foods, they have no sense of humor!

Joined Scott’s Liquid Gold and did air fresheners again and household cleaners.  It was a small company and the founder was still there and he asked me to do a cosmetic concept.  We came up with ‘Alpha Hydrox” that created the whole anti-aging skin care category.  On to Orange Glo where we did OxiClean and other household products.  Was an exec. at this point and semi-retired when we sold the company in 2006.  Always wanted a ranch, so we bought one and came upon yaks as we were looking for something agricultural to do.  Pure coincidence, no plan!

Didn’t want to raise meat and we heard about this nice down that the yaks have so we said, let’s give it a try.  Took some raw fiber to the Taos Wool Festival in 2006 and asked vendors and visitors what they thought of the fiber.  We got wow reviews and said, OK, let’s give this a serious try.  We had no idea about fiber or the industry or craft at all.  Found and worked with some great folks to get us going (Buffalo Gold Co., WildFibers mag., etc) and developed a yarn line via our fiber, my textile contacts from cleaners and Carl’s marketing creativity.  Finally decided to put my product experience to work with the Allure wash when I realized that the products out there were either fairly standard old laundry chemistry or designed to deposit lanolin onto your hand knitted project.  Well, that just wouldn’t do for Yak and I know a thing or two about detergent!

Allure unscented

Allure is a brand of no-rinse wool wash. This is a must for delicate fibers that shouldn’t be stressed out with agitation or running water. Please tell us more about the science behind a no-rinse wash, and how it gets the dirt out without a traditional wash cycle?

A no rinse wash must be fully and quickly biodegradable. It’s got to lift soil and make the soil more attractive to staying in the water rather than re-depositing on the fibers.  Allure does all of this with a unique and proprietary formula.  I’d become aware of some of these materials over the course of my career, but they are not typically used by big companies because they cost too much, don’t provide enough benefit for a ‘normal’ wash and rinse detergent, or any number of reasons. But they work exceptionally well in our more narrowly focused product.

Allure Wash 1

The Allure Wash that really floats my boat is the unscented wash. While the scent combinations you chose for the other “flavors” are inspired, and have made my socks smell magical, the really impressive thing to me is that you have created an unscented wash that isn’t just “no scent added” but truly scent free. I smelled it. A lot. I was convinced if I smelled it long enough I would find that trace of detergent-smell. I didn’t though. Can you tell us about the process of creating a truly scent-free wash, and how it is that the same mind responsible for Brute cologne made it happen?

The unscented, truly odor free nature of the product is a direct result of very high quality naturally based ingredients. Most time base odor comes from petroleum derived materials that are heavily synthesized.  Ours does not utilize these types of ingredients and so has no odor.  Again more expensive but worth the cost for the consumer benefit.  Also, from my time at the fragrance house Givaudan, I never again liked heavily scented products, they give me headaches!  I learned how to make odor free and also beautiful but lightly scented product using naturals and high quality materials.

Allure Wash 2

Ok, slightly off topic question. Bijou Basin specializes in yak yarn, which is a wonderful treat, and a very unusual fiber choice in main-stream American yarn making circles. Since we share a love of making left-of center fiber choices I pose the following scenario to you: If you had your choice of making yarn from the hair of a polar bear or a platypus which would you choose? We’ll just assume for the sake of the question that these are very happy bears and platypuses (…platypie?) that would like nothing more than to be shorn. Please show your work.

I’d go with the polar bear because I’ve learned so much about warm luxury fibers that I now have a basis for marketing such a product. On the other hand, I happily go for the platypie because, who knows where this could lead.  I am by nature an explorer and am just about ready for a whole new thing!

Queen Bee blocked with Allure

I could talk to you all day, but sock-knitting waits for no man, I know you have to get back to blinding us with science. Is there anything else you want to share with us before you go?

We could never have gotten as far as we have without the help of so many wonderful people in this crazy yarn industry. From graphics to designers to production workers to mill masters, they, the great unseen, are our secret to success.  So, to you as well, we say thank you!

Queen Bee (5)

Eileen, thanks so much for taking the time to hang out with us, and for sharing more about the process behind Allure!

If you get a chance to try out the washes I really recommend them. It’s my new standard. :D

~Megan

2015 Geek-A-Long: Doc Brown

Good evening. I’m Doctor Emmett Brown and I’m standing here in the parking lot at Twin Pines Mall. It is Saturday morning, October 26, 1985, 1:18 A.M. and this is temporal experiment number one. Please note that Einstein’s clock is in precise synchronization with my control watch.

The Back To The Future movies are some of my all time favorites. Marty is so approachable. Teenage me simultaneously wanted to date him, and be him. I was a complicated kid. Anyways, as great as Marty was, the movies wouldn’t be worth showing up for if it hadn’t been for Doctor Emmett Brown. So this week we honor the incomparable Doc, and his Delorean.

Doc Brown 2

Before we started the GAL, I naively believed that “most people” have been exposed to the majority of the fandoms we cover. Some are pretty obscure, but for the most part I remain surprised every time I meet an adult that hasn’t seen Star Wars. The way I see it, some of this stuff is so much a part of our culture that I would put it in the “required viewing” category. Prior to reaching that magical moment in a young adult’s life where they are now legally permitted to make their own decisions regarding presidential candidates and consuming booze, I think there ought to be some mandatory cultural education.  I would include books, music, shows and movies on the list, and I would start it out with Back to the Future. If you haven’t had the pleasure of reaching 88 miles per hour with Doc Brown, cancel your plans for tonight and go get the movie.

Doc’s character is handled differently than most “absent minded older scientists” in fiction. Although his ideas are pretty far left of center, and his personality is over the top, he is shown as a respected scientist within the scientific community (one scene shows a newspaper clipping where he had won an award for his work). The other people in town regard him as a bit of a joke, but he seems to be able to complete his experiments with impunity. OK, I suppose that may be an overstatement, he did have to “cheat some Libyan terrorists out of stolen plutonium,” but I think we can all agree that made the world a better place anyhow.

The writers pay quiet homage to several real world scientists through Doc’s character, and he’s a strong and affectionate role model for Marty. All too often, I see TV scientists portrayed as either cold and respectable, or upbeat, “zany” characters ignored by the scientific community. One of the things that really drew me in to the series when I was a kid was that Doc is approachable, fun, AND scientifically successful all at once.

This week’s square features the front grill of the Delorean, because Doc wouldn’t have it any other way.

The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?

Additionally, I included the iconic “Back To The Future Arrow” that was seen in the title of all 3 movies. Oh, and just in case you happen to be a hoverboard aficionado like myself, this is happening.

Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Doc Brown pattern here. When you’re finished making it, don’t forget to tweet or instagram your squares at me @Doctor_Llama or Jac @jac_attacking with the hashtag #geekalong, so we can all oooh and ah at it together.

~Megan-Anne

Fun fact: my spell check is DYING to change “Delorean” to “Delawarean”. 

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider making a donation to Child’s Play Charity. Here is a direct link to our donation widget benefiting the charity. Please help us raise $1,000 this year! No contribution is too small.

Vacation Yarn

So, for a long time now we’ve been mentioning that some changes were afoot. With no further ado, Jac and I are beyond thrilled to introduce Vacation Yarn by Lattes & Llamas!

Colors 1-20

We are getting our line started off with our favorite of all the yarns: Sock Yarn. You may not be able to sneak away for a holiday whenever you want, but you can always take a yarn vacation! Each and every skein is hand dyed right here in the L&L studio by me and Jac. Each of our fun tonal shades is available as either 300 yard full skeins or 100 yard mini-skeins.

Hey Megan-Anne, how come I can’t find the dye lot #?

There isn’t one! All of our yarns are dyed in small batches using our own special process to get those deep, fluid, tonals. Because of that there may be small variations between skeins. If you know you will need more than one skein of a color to finish your project I recommend alternating skeins every row or 2.

In addition to the 20 tonals, we have a selection of kits available, and plan to add more kits each month.

Dancing Robot Kit 2

 

All of our yarn was designed with color work socks in mind, so the kits are probably my favorite part of this whole announcement. I am debuting 2 new patterns as kits, and I honestly think it’s some of our best work to date. You can grab yourself a kit (a great value by the way, it includes the yarn and a printed pattern for less than the cost of the 2 skeins alone!) for the Dancing Robot Socks, and/or the Queen Bee Socks.

Dancing Robot Collage

queen bee collage

As of typing this we are only able to ship within the US. This isn’t because we don’t want to ship to you, Other Countries. But frankly, there is a ton of paperwork involved because of customs and sales tax and VAT. We have filed all the paperwork and our customer service llama is hard at work on making sure this gets fixed soon. We expect to be shipping to Canada in a few weeks and Europe next month. So hold tight, we’ll get it to you soon!

We’re also going to be running special promotions all week long on our favorite of the social mediums, Instagram. I’m @Doctor_Llama, and Jac is @Jacattacking. Stay tuned for some pretty sweet coupons and giveaways.

My favorite color is Vacation in Hatboro

My favorite color is Vacation in Hatboro

Jac's fav is Vacation in Fort Wayne

Jac’s fav is Vacation in Fort Wayne

Our yarn adventure has been a really long time coming and we are excited, and anxious, about hitting “publish” on the whole thing. Also, exhausted. “We’ll sleep in June after the yarn launches” has pretty much been the mantra around here since February. I genuinely hope that you guys love the yarn as much as we do.

A ton of thought went into every color, and we agonized over what the perfect fiber is for our debut yarn. Each color is named after a town that means something to us, and the yarn was specially selected to satisfy our overly critical expectations. We wanted it to represent us, so anything that wasn’t Superwash was out. ;) We went with a soft, durable blend of 75% superwash merino wool and 25% nylon for sheen and longevity. What’s the point of spending all that time knitting socks if they can’t handle the wear and tear of shoes? On the flip side, what’s the point if the fiber isn’t soft and fluffy? I feel really good about our final decision on the yarn. It’s soft, warm, and has a nice squishy halo to make it a treat to knit with and wear. And you can throw it in the washing machine, so that people like me will actually wash it.

We’ll be adding more bases down the road, and more kits and patterns monthly. You guys have been there with me for some really special moments. My first runway, the completion of the first geek-a-long, and now my first yarn line. It’s an honor for me to share it with you, and I hope we made you proud.

~Megan-Anne

If you need me I’ll be sleeping for the next few weeks.

 

Geek-A-Long 2015: Dr. Horrible

week 22 Dr Horrible (1)

The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it.

I hardly know where to start on everything that is amazing about Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog. If you haven’t seen it, I want you to stop what you are doing, go here, download it, and consume this golden nugget of modern cinema.

No, seriously, nothing I have to say here is more important than watching Dr. Horrible for the first time.

week 22 Dr Horrible (2)

I’m a fan of almost all of Joss Whedon’s work, we’ve told you about our love affair with Firefly and how Buffy influenced our development. But, Dr. Horrible is the best of Whedon condensed into the most delightful 50 minutes. I dare you not to start singing when you hear someone say, “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.”

Written during the writer’s strike of 2007-2008, Dr. Horrible was produced for almost nothing (by film industry standards) and released exclusively online. It was released in three acts, and I remember waiting hitting the refresh button two weeks in a row, salivating for the next chunk. I’ve got the DVD and you should get it too. Then you MUST watch the commentary. I don’t even want to spoil it by telling you why you should watch it, just trust me on this one.

To represent Dr. Horrible, we chose to superimpose the Caduceus (as seen on his iconic lab coat) onto the Evil League of Evil’s coat of arms. We considered a design that incorporated his goggles, but ultimately decided that he would be best represented by the 2 things that he pursued above all others: Science, and membership in the Evil League of Evil.

week 22 Dr Horrible (3)

Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Dr. Horrible pattern here. Instructions for both knit and crochet are listed in the pattern. When you’re finished making it, don’t forget to tweet or instagram your squares at me @jac_attacking or Megan-Anne @Doctor_Llama with the hashtag #geekalong!

If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and a tutorial on crochet here. Want to hang out with other people making the blanket? You can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here.

~ Jac
I don’t have time for a grudge match with every poser in a parka.

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