2014 Geek-A-Long: Narnia

week 42 Narnia (1)

I told you a while back that we would have my first, deepest, and most fan-girling love on the blanket this year. Week 42 is all about the lust I have in my heart for Narnia. Certainly for those of you that know me IRL, and even for most of you that just know me as Dr. Llama, it probably won’t come as a surprise to hear that I spent a great deal of my childhood in my closet reading the cover off of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I desperately wanted into Narnia. I really connected with the Pevensies. OK, I’ve never been evacuated due to war, but what made them so real to me was the feeling of being forgotten.

I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been – if you’ve been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you – you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing is ever going to happen again. -C.S. Lewis

If I’m being totally honest, I put off writing this particular post pretty much until the last minute. Thinking about what Narnia means for me and writing about it, makes me feel exposed, even through the veil of the interwebs. My personal world was not in a great place when I “built a fort” in my closet and spent hours in there rereading the books and waiting for the cold breeze and sound of Mr. Tumnus just on the other side of my clothes. If you had asked me, even a very young Megan-Anne would have sworn that “yes, obviously, it’s just a story.” And that would have been a lie. Even now as I write this I’m not totally sure that I believe that. What’s interesting, is that those are happy memories all the same. Sitting in that closet, munching on snacks I was not supposed to have in my room, and compulsively checking to see if the back wall was still definitely there while reading, was a pretty great way to spend the day.

week 42 Narnia (3)

You probably wouldn’t guess this, but I think I spent more time on this design than any other. For me, nothing was good enough. It still isn’t quite good enough, but I guess that’s the artistic condition in a way. I went through several overly complicated designs. As a rule, I always edit my work down as my first inclination tends to be to FILLALLTHESPACE. On this one I felt like the only way to do it justice was in simplicity. I didn’t want a “cartoony” rendition of anything, and in a 45×57 “pixel” workspace that’s tough to avoid. So I brought it down to just the Victorian street lamp, glowing in the dark and lighting the way into Narnia.  I feel good about that choice. In the end, I liked the “wrong side” better, and that’s the one that I’ll probably have facing on the blanket.

week 42 Narnia (4)

Narnia

© Megan-Anne of Lattes & Llamas, 2014

Needles: Size US6

YarnCascade 220 in 2 sharply contrasting colors.

Gauge: 10 sts over 13 rows = 2″ x 2″ square. Final square is 45 sts by 57 rows.  Please note that in the written pattern I instruct you to knit the rows above and below the active color chart.  These rows are shown on the chart as solid color rows above and below the design.

Download PDF of the color chart Narnia. Cast on 45 sts for each side of knitting (with two strands held together CO 45, for a total of 90 sts on needle).

Work 1 row of double-sided knitting (knit the facing sts and purl the back sts across). Note that the first row is a wrong side row.  You may choose to work the opposite color for the first stitch of each row (I do this), which will keep the edges closed. Alternately, you may choose to knit them without doing this and seam the sides when putting the blanket together. There is no “right” way to do this. It is really just what you are more comfortable with.

Follow color chart over next 55 rows in double-sided knitting.

Work 1 rows of double-sided knitting. BO.

week 42 Narnia (2)

Don’t forget to tweet or instagram them at me @Doctor_Llama or Jac @jac_attacking with the hashtag geekalong, so we can all oooh and ah together. We even have a fancy new GAL Participation Button you can put on your blog or your Geek-A-Long posts. You can grab the html out of the side bar or find it here.

If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and you can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here. We’re even raffling off some sweet prizes for our members at the end of the year! You can learn more about it in the group or on the GAL Benefactors page.

~ Megan-Anne
I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t think of switching it so that HHGTTG would be this week until someone on the Ravelry group mentioned it. You deserved better from me. I shall atone.

* * * * *

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.
About these ads

2014 Geek-A-Long: Alternate Pokemon

I wish that I could make all the things I want to make when I want to make them. Case and point: I have this GORGEOUS Plymouth Yarn Superwash Merino that I’ve been sitting on for a month now, and I’m only now getting around to casting on with it. If you are wondering, it’s going to be a totally fabulous pencil skirt for the Kniterary line.

I wish that I lived in a world where I could wake up and make art to my heart’s content. Whether that meant drawing, painting goats, or knit-knit-knitting the whole day through, that’s how I’d like to spend my time. Of course, that’s not overly realistic. I’ve gotten kind of hooked on sleeping indoors and eating. The end result is I wind up with way more ideas than I have time to knit them.

#FirstWorldKnitterProblems

The Geek-A-Long has been no exception to that. There are some fandoms with so much juicy content that one design isn’t enough. Jac wrote a post about this way back when, but here’s the cliff-notes version:

In the process of making the 2014 Geek-A-Long blanket, Megan-Anne and I often rejected multiple designs for a square before settling on the right one. Sometimes we actually liked a certain design more, but ultimately we had to put it aside when it didn’t fit the overall look of the blanket or when a better idea came alone.

In this case, it’s not that I had too many ideas for one square, I just couldn’t fit all the squares on the blanket. It would be ludicrous not to include Pokemon, but in the final round of cuts it gave up its space to Pong. I think we made the right move there, but I think it’s well worth releasing it all the same.

Our family was fairly Poke-centered for a while there. After my husband, Jac’s husband, and our baby sister got Pokémon X and Y for Christmas 2013, they insisted on being referred to as “Pokemasters” and discussions on Pokemon-husbandry went on for weeks. I was genuinely glad when the three of them finished that game. It was so Poketastic around here that Jac was even inspired to compose a Buseyism.Pokeball

People

Obsessively

Keeping

Every

Monster

Oh

Noes!

As you can expect, they weren’t thrilled when they learned Pokemon didn’t make the final cut, and I know that some of you were really looking forward to a Pokemon square as well. So, Enjoy! And don’t forget to share pics of your square with us using #geekalong on instagram or twitter!

Official Alternate Square of Geek-A-Long 2014

© Megan-Anne of Lattes & Llamas, 2014

Pokeball

DSCN0904

Dr. Daisy Espresso, personal assistant to Megan-Anne and Jac.

You can find the full list of alternate squares here along with the other released squares. If you knit or crochet them, please share pics with us! We would love to see them. If twitter and instagram isn’t our thing, you can email the pictures to our assistant, Dr. Daisy Espresso: dr.daisyespresso [at] gmail.com  Or link to your finished alternate squares in the comments section of this post, so we can all oooh and ah together.

~ Megan-Anne
Gotta catch them all.

* * * * *

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.

2014 Geek-A-Long: Pong

week 41 Pong (2)

The issue was never whether we would put video games on the blanket, but which ones to include that has been controversial from the get-go. We get an email almost every single day asking if [fill in your favorite fandom here] will be on the blanket, or wanting to know why something hasn’t been included, or wanting to know why [fill in your least favorite fandom here] is on the blanket. We’re coming up on the end of the first annual Geek-A-Long (and yes, there WILL definitely be a 2015 blanket) and some of you will not get to see your favorite thing memorialized in yarn. Some of my favorite things aren’t even on it. The first list of ideas Jac and I put together had over 100 items on it. We had to slash more than half of them, and there were only a handful that we never considered cutting. Pong is one of those squares.

As we round up on the end of the GAL, I wanted to take some time to honor the building blocks of what makes up the creamy filling in our nerdy cakes. For week 41, we salute Pong, the game that started it all.

week 41 Pong (3)

The early success of Pong opened the door for developers to create progressively more advanced games. I’m not even sure what my household would look like without video games. I wanted to write “Pong” at the top of the square in the old arcade lettering, but ultimately decided a true-to-life “screen shot” was the best way to honor it.

week 41 Pong (1)

Pong

© Megan-Anne of Lattes & Llamas, 2014

Needles: Size US6

YarnCascade 220 in 2 sharply contrasting colors.

Gauge: 10 sts over 13 rows = 2″ x 2″ square. Final square is 45 sts by 57 rows.  Please note that in the written pattern I instruct you to knit the rows above and below the active color chart.  These rows are shown on the chart as solid color rows above and below the design.

Download PDF of the color chart Pong. Cast on 45 sts for each side of knitting (with two strands held together CO 45, for a total of 90 sts on needle).

Work 3 rows of double-sided knitting (knit the facing sts and purl the back sts across). Note that the first row is a wrong side row.  You may choose to work the opposite color for the first stitch of each row (I do this), which will keep the edges closed. Alternately, you may choose to knit them without doing this and seam the sides when putting the blanket together. There is no “right” way to do this. It is really just what you are more comfortable with.

Follow color chart over next 41 rows in double-sided knitting.

Work 3 rows of double-sided knitting. BO.

week 41 Pong (4)

Don’t forget to tweet or instagram them at me @Doctor_Llama or Jac @jac_attacking with the hashtag geekalong, so we can all oooh and ah together. We even have a fancy new GAL Participation Button you can put on your blog or your Geek-A-Long posts. You can grab the html out of the side bar or find it here.

If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and you can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here. We’re even raffling off some sweet prizes for our members at the end of the year! You can learn more about it in the group or on the GAL Benefactors page.

~ Megan-Anne
You’re welcome.

* * * * *

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.

The Scarlet Letterman’s Jacket

I am thrilled to announce that The Scarlet Letterman’s Jacket has joined officially joined the Kniterary collection, and is available as a Ravely Download.

$3.99

A PDF will be emailed to you by Ravelry. You don’t need to be a Ravelry member to order, but if you are, the PDF will show up in your library. If you are a member of Ravelry, you can view the Scarlet Letterman’s Jacket here.

Or you can go old school and purchase the pattern from our Etsy store.

Shot 5 choices (1)

This sweater is for all you hip cats that like to wear your hearts on your sleeves. Well, in this case, on your pockets. Perfect for a night out at the Soda Shop with your main squeeze, the sweater was inspired by the letterman’s cardigans made popular in the 1950’s.

Updated for a modern look with hoodie-style pockets, and emblazoned with a scarlet A, the Scarlet Letterman’s Jacket perfectly marries form and function. Worn with pride, the scarlet A is a fashion statement that says, “I’m never ashamed to be me.” So be you Daddy-O.

Shot 4
Knit up in gorgeous Bijou Basin Ranch Himalayan Trail yarn, this sweater is all about being yourself. My love affair with Bijou Bison is nothing new, and using it on this sweater was a real treat! The subtle variegation in the red gave a lot of interest to the sleeves and collar, and the yarn is just decadent in your hands.

Shot 3 choices (1)

The Scarlet Letterman’s Jacket is worked top down with contiguous raglan sleeves. Stitches are picked up for the button band, and a special bind-off is used to create the shawl collar. A photo tutorial of this technique is included. I would rate this sweater at an advanced beginner-intermediate difficulty. The yoke is worked in intarsia and you should have experience with that technique before beginning the sweater.

Wish you could get your hands on even more Kniterary goodness? The Scarlet Letterman’s Jacket joins the H.P. LoveVest, Daisy Buchanan Gloves, and Seven Rings Cowl in the Kniterary collection. Stay tuned because there’s much more to come!

~Megan-Anne

“What can thy silence do for him, except it tempt him —yea, compel him, as it were —to add hypocrisy to sin?”

 

 

2014 Geek-A-Long: Atom

week 40 Atom (1)

There was some contention in the L&L office over whether this week’s square theme was science or The Big Bang Theory. I maintain that they are inextricable from one another, so for week 40 we will honor both. :D

The Big Bang Theory has done a lot for “normalizing my people.” I love science, my friends love science, and we get together every Wednesday to play D&D and talk about Medicine. We all gather at Mike’s house, log onto Roll20.net, order some food, and in about 30 minutes you’ve got this:


This is the last square of the year to feature a science theme, and I feel like the basic unit of all matter is appropriate. Writing this post is bittersweet for me. On the one hand, I’m really bummed out to be done with science squares and on the other, I am thrilled with the response they’ve gotten. I can’t even tell you how much I love you guys for loving science with me. One of the emails I get most often from y’all is, “Will there be more science squares?” This is the last one for the year, and I hope that it takes the sting off a bit that we’re handing out an alternate as well.
serotonin

I wanted to include one more molecule square on the GAL list this year. So as an alternate square, Serotonin will join Caffeine and Dopamine on the blanket. Click here to download the Serotonin color chart, and get your official square below.

week 40 Atom (3)

Atom

© Megan-Anne of Lattes & Llamas, 2014

Needles: Size US6

YarnCascade 220 in 2 sharply contrasting colors.
week 40 Atom (6)
Gauge: 10 sts over 13 rows = 2″ x 2″ square. Final square is 45 sts by 57 rows.  Please note that in the written pattern I instruct you to knit the rows above and below the active color chart.  These rows are shown on the chart as solid color rows above and below the design.

Download PDF of the color chart Atom. Cast on 45 sts for each side of knitting (with two strands held together CO 45, for a total of 90 sts on needle).

Work 2 rows of double-sided knitting (knit the facing sts and purl the back sts across). Note that the first row is a right side row.  You may choose to work the opposite color for the first stitch of each row (I do this), which will keep the edges closed. Alternately, you may choose to knit them without doing this and seam the sides when putting the blanket together. There is no “right” way to do this. It is really just what you are more comfortable with.

Follow color chart over next 43 rows in double-sided knitting.

Work 2 rows of double-sided knitting. BO.

week 40 Atom (2)

Don’t forget to tweet or instagram them at me @Doctor_Llama or Jac @jac_attacking with the hashtag geekalong, so we can all oooh and ah together. We even have a fancy new GAL Participation Button you can put on your blog or your Geek-A-Long posts. You can grab the html out of the side bar or find it here.

week 40 Atom (5)

If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and you can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here. We’re even raffling off some sweet prizes for our members at the end of the year! You can learn more about it in the group or on the GAL Benefactors page.

~ Megan-Anne
Our whole universe was in a dark dense place…

* * * * *

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.

Blue Sky Alpacas Extra Yarn + GIVEAWAY

SweetSixteen1

photo courtesy of Blue Sky Alpacas

There are three things in life that are better than new yarn. The top two are triple-grande cinnamon dolce lattes and free yarn. So when Blue Sky Alpacas asked us to participate in a blog tour for their new EXTRA Yarn, I jumped at the chance.

They sent us a delightful box containing a hank of Extra Yarn in “Lei”, the Sweet Sixteen Hat knitting pattern from their new Destination Collection, and a Pretty Cheep Project Bag. And of course, an identical set for one of our lucky readers. ;)

But before I tell you how scrumptious this yarn is — and seriously, it’s so yummy Megan-Anne joked about putting whipped cream on it and serve it for brunch — let me tell you a little bit about the Destination Collection.

photo courtesy of Blue Sky Alpacas

photo courtesy of Blue Sky Alpacas

Blue Sky Alpacas gathered six top-notch designers from around the world to put together their versatile new collection. The line is a self-proclaimed journey through yarn and needles, specially created for the new Extra Yarn. The designers drew their inspiration from locations that were meaningful to them, and every piece requires just one or two skeins to complete it. Megan-Anne and I checked out all the patterns before deciding to make the Sweet Sixteen hat. It’s fun, and funky, and as American as apple pie. And I always go for pie.

The Sweet Sixteen Hat pattern by Elizabeth Mautz-Redmann takes its inspiration from a blend of “all-american swagger with the sweetness of the girl next door.” In that spirit, I felt like there was no better recipient for the hat than our little sister Alena.

She was really excited when we told her it was for her. But she’s met us, so she was also ever so slightly suspicious of free hats. But guys, Laner-Pooh is about as girl-next-door as it gets, and she doesn’t need to know that this hat only took about 4-5 hours to make. Let’s all let her believe Megan-Anne toiled over it for days.

Sweet 16 Hat (3)

The yarn is amazingly soft and squishy. I mean, like, really squishy. I’m considering filling a wading pool with it declaring that “my nest.” I can’t wait to get my hands on more of it to design some fluffy mittens.

A luxe mix of baby alpaca and fine Merino wool, Extra comes in generously sized hanks and a rich color palette, making it ideal for one and two skein projects. Light and lofty with a springy twist, it’s a versatile Aran weight that lends itself beautifully to a variety of knitting tensions and needle sizes.

Sweet 16 Hat (4)

Working with Extra yarn was a real treat for Megan-Anne. She talked through several episodes of Supernatural about the yarn, and was constantly making me “squish these cables.” The hat knit up in two short sittings and has just the right amount of slouch. It went from this:

To this:

All in about five hours. The twisted rib and short rows kept it interesting while the bulky yarn made it fast. Here at Lattes and Llamas, we’re huge fans of one-skein projects. Megan-Ann wound up having enough of that single skein left that she might make some matching hand-warmers next week.

I could go on and on about Extra yarn, but I think I’ve kept you waiting on this giveaway long enough. When you’re done entering the giveaway, check out Blue Sky’s nifty Extra video. It’s ever so slightly more eloquent than I am.

::::::GIVEAWAY::::::

Would you like to receive a package in the mail that looks eerily similar to the one pictured below? Well, here is your chance!

THE PRIZE

THE RULES

  • The giveaway is open to all of our readers currently residing on planet Earth. We’re not shipping to Mars, so don’t ask. Sorry, interplanetary readers!
  • Giveaway is open until Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 11:30 PM EST.
  • All comments must include a valid email address or Ravelry ID, so that we can contact you if you are the winner.
  • Winner will be chosen via random number generator and will be contacted within 48 hours after giveaway ends.

HOW TO ENTER

  • Leave a comment below letting us know what you love more than new yarn or at least what your favorite caffeinated beverage is. Don’t forget to include your email or Ravelry ID in the comment or else you’ll be disqualified!
  • Bonus Entries: Tweet, Facebook, or Pin this post. Then, come back and leave an additional comment for each place you’ve shared.

Tweet: Can’t wait to get my hands on #blueskyalpacas new Extra Yarn! Enter to win with @DoctorLlama @jac_attacking: http://wp.me/p30KHy-Ku

A huge thank you to Blue Sky Alpacas for inviting us to be a part of the EXTRA Yarn Blog Tour! You can find the rest of the tour stops below:

Week One: Cosmos and Cashmere
Week Two: Woolen Diversions
Week Three: Lattes & Llamas, woooo!
Week Four: Rock + Purl
Week Five: HeyJenRenee
Week Six: Miso Crafty Knits

~ Jac
The third thing is between me and my God.

2014 Geek-A-Long: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

week 39 Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (3)

If there are two pieces of wisdom that have served me above all others throughout my adult life, they have to be:

Don’t panic.

-and-

Don’t forget your towel.

In the spirit of staying calm and dry for week 39 of the Geek-A-Long, we honor The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I love this book. What makes it really special for me though is that it is one of only two books I’ve ever read, loved, and then loved the movie even more. The other, if you’re wondering, is The Maltese Falcon.

Hitchhikers Guide is one of those fandoms that shaped the way a particular genre is “allowed” to behave. Before authors like Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchet there wasn’t really such a thing as “funny science fiction.” Sci-fi was supposed to be hard and cold, filled with adventure and terror, but not a lot of laughs. A fun fact about Hitchhiker’s is that it actually originated as a radio program that grew into a book series.

For this week’s square, I considered a few looks, but ultimately landed on the classic thumb logo. I can’t even tell you how long it took to get this thumb to look just right. It was worth the extra time though. I feel like I did justice to one of my favorite books.

week 39 Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (1)

Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

© Megan-Anne of Lattes & Llamas, 2014

Needles: Size US6

YarnCascade 220 in 2 sharply contrasting colors.

Gauge: 10 sts over 13 rows = 2″ x 2″ square. Final square is 45 sts by 57 rows.  Please note that in the written pattern I instruct you to knit the rows above and below the active color chart.  These rows are shown on the chart as solid color rows above and below the design.

Download PDF of the color chart Hitchhiker. Cast on 45 sts for each side of knitting (with two strands held together CO 45, for a total of 90 sts on needle).

Work 2 rows of double-sided knitting (knit the facing sts and purl the back sts across). Note that the first row is a right side row.  You may choose to work the opposite color for the first stitch of each row (I do this), which will keep the edges closed. Alternately, you may choose to knit them without doing this and seam the sides when putting the blanket together. There is no “right” way to do this. It is really just what you are more comfortable with.

Follow color chart over next 43 rows in double-sided knitting.

Work 2 rows of double-sided knitting. BO.

week 39 Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (4)

Don’t forget to tweet or instagram them at me @Doctor_Llama or Jac @jac_attacking with the hashtag geekalong, so we can all oooh and ah together. We even have a fancy new GAL Participation Button you can put on your blog or your Geek-A-Long posts. You can grab the html out of the side bar or find it here.

If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and you can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here. We’re even raffling off some sweet prizes for our members at the end of the year! You can learn more about it in the group or on the GAL Benefactors page.

~ Megan-Anne
 “It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination.”

* * * * *

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.

Free Stuff: Eucalan

Eucalan (3)

Let’s have some hard truths: No on likes finishing work. I have never, ever, in all my time knitting met a knitter or crocheter who said, “Oh, yeah. I LOVE to weave in ends.” So when you find something that makes those undesirable tasks nice, it’s a real treasure. Blocking with Eucalan wash makes the piece — and me by extension — smell delightful! I actually blocked something the other day that didn’t really need it, just to use it. And then I spent the rest of the day smelling my hands like a creeper cause that’s how I do.

Turns out that Eucalan loves you guys as much as I love them! They kindly sent over four big bottles of my favorite no-rinse wash for the GAL prize baskets. All you have to do to qualify to win this spectacular prize is join the Geek-A-Long Ravelry group before midnight on December 31st, 2014. It’s never too late to join!

Well, OK, that’s a lie. At 12:01 AM EST on January 1st, 2015 it will be too late to join, so don’t dawdle.

When you post a picture of your finished Geek-A-Long blanket to the Ravelry GAL group in any of the three sizes (baby blanket, afghan, or full-sized), you will be entered into the raffle for that sized blanket. However, everyone in the group is eligible to enter the drawing for the fourth prize basket as our thank you for just being a member. 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.

Eucalan (2)

These baskets are essentially a parade of my favorite things, and this month is no exception. I love the function of Eucalan. It doesn’t leave residue or affect the feel and texture of your fibers, all while still giving them a great cleaning. Also, this wash lasts forever. I’m still working through a bottle I bought over 6 months ago and I’ve hardly dented it! What really sets it apart for me though is the long-lasting scent that sticks with my knits. Each basket will be outfitted with a different (and delightful) scent! Lavender is my favorite, and it’s the one I use for my own work. Jac’s a grapefruit girl and the Misters love the Eucalyptus.

Eucalan (1)

About Eucalan 

Mary Ellen Edgar is the founder of Eucalan and her story is an inspiring one. Her venture into the world of alternative laundry products all started with a visit to a friend in Australia who gave her a Ministry of Agriculture home remedy for a no-rinse laundry product for woolens. Living in the country and accustomed to economizing with well water and a septic tank, Ms. Edgar tested the formula herself and was amazed at the results; her best red and white Argyle wool sweater washed up beautifully and she saved time, water, and energy because of the no-rinse benefit of the formula.

Encouraged and enthusiastic, Ms Edgar proceeded to go to the next level and produced the new product on a commercial basis.

The derivative of the company name, ‘Eucalan’, is the combination of two of the prominent ingredients from the original product formula — eucalyptus and lanolin. The eucalyptus scented product is still available along with recently launched sweet-smelling lavender (which like eucalyptus has moth-inhibiting qualities) and grapefruit, which has natural disinfectant properties. There is also a non-scented option for people with scent sensitivities.

In addition to its ecological value, the practical significance of Eucalan is that it can be used in both front and top-loading washing machines as well as in a basin for hand-washing. And with its unique ‘no-rinse’ benefit, Eucalan is the perfect travel companion, making it simple to wash delicates in away-from-home accommodation and hotels.

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

~ Megan-Anne
Do washing machines in Australia spin in the opposite direction?

* * * * *
If you enjoyed this post and want to stay current on all things Geek-A-Long, join our email list via the link in the sidebar or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Heathen

On this day we mourn the loss of my beloved Wacom tablet. I’ve had it for a literal decade, and all things considered it’s a pretty big testament to its craftsmanship that it survived 10 years of nearly daily use. Please join me in a moment of silence.

RIP Trusty Wacom

It’s not a secret that I don’t like change. I think we can all agree that change is stupid. However, I am sometimes forced to endure it. And sometimes, just sometimes, it turns out pretty OK. A great example of that is my recent love affair with Addi Turbo Needles. If I’m being honest, I rarely try new things. I only tried the Addi Turbo needles out of necessity when I was on a trip and didn’t have the ones I needed. Addis were all the local yarn store had in the size I needed.

OMG you guys, I’m so in love with them. I’ve been slowly accumulating a collection and may take the plunge soon to get the interchangeable set. But, I digress. Back to the mourning:

goodbye wacom tablet

I think that it was some combination of age and cats occasionally chewing on the wires that ultimately took the life of my Wacom. It’s hard to let go though. I’ve been through a lot with it.

It came with me from Indiana when I moved to Philadelphia. Jac and I have been doing art together for a long time. When I first moved to Philly and she was still in Indiana, we were going through a time in our lives that could be described as “not great”.  We coped by getting super intense about a comic we were working on together:

georgio 1

It was about a dwarf, who wanted to rise above the mining-centered social constraints. He wound up going to a camp for misfit fantasy creature children. Look, I didn’t say it was good. But I did get to paint goats, and I do so like to do that.

georgio 2

The point is when 22-year-old me was pouring her feelings into goat paintings, that tablet was there for me. I put it through its paces and with a heavy heart I have to say goodbye. I wanted to get a Cintiq. That conversation when something like this:

Me: Oh, hey, BTDubs, I think I probably better get a Cintiq now that my tablet needs to be replaced.

Jac: Um, no.

Me: But…but… We could write it off.

Jac: You know what else we could write off? A wireless mouse. I’m not convinced you couldn’t design with a wireless mouse.

Me: Heathen.

So I don’t have a Cintiq, but I did get a new tablet. I’m rocking a Huion now, and I have to admit it’s not bad. I had to get used to the heavier pen, but now that I have, I’m getting a whole lot of surface area for my buck. I think there is probably a Cintiq in my future, but I’ll probably have to become a doctor first. ;)

~Megan-Anne

“Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.”

2014 Geek-A-Long: Atari

week 38 Atari (2)

For week 38, we are going old-school with a little sweet 8-bit action. Jac was into video games way before I was. I didn’t really get into them with any fervor until college. Jac, on the other hand, has been killing pixilated bad guys from the day she was old enough to manage a controller. I remember having to wait for her to finish Diablo before we could leave for Tae Kwon Do class and fighting over the TV when I wanted to watch my stories and she was playing Zelda. When Jac was pretty young, she used to walk down to the Laundromat with another kid from the neighborhood and spend hours just dumping quarters into this table top Pac-Man game they had there.

week 38 Atari (5)

week 38 Atari (3)We chose all the squares together and collaborated on every design. I think that isn’t always apparent from the GAL posts since I write them. Most of them anyways. ;)

Since I did the actual sketches and chart creation, the squares have a distinct “Megan-Anne was here” vibe. But I think it’s worth mentioning that I really didn’t design a single one of the video game squares, that was all her. I did the sketch, but was really just drawing what she told me too. So let’s give her a round of applause, shall we? Because this square looks awesome, and I just can’t take credit.

week 38 Atari (1)

Atari

© Megan-Anne of Lattes & Llamas, 2014

Needles: Size US6

YarnCascade 220 in 2 sharply contrasting colors.

Gauge: 10 sts over 13 rows = 2″ x 2″ square. Final square is 45 sts by 57 rows.  Please note that in the written pattern I instruct you to knit the rows above and below the active color chart.  These rows are shown on the chart as solid color rows above and below the design.

Download PDF of the color chart Atari. Cast on 45 sts for each side of knitting (with two strands held together CO 45, for a total of 90 sts on needle).

Work 2 rows of double-sided knitting (knit the facing sts and purl the back sts across). Note that the first row is a right side row.  You may choose to work the opposite color for the first stitch of each row (I do this), which will keep the edges closed. Alternately, you may choose to knit them without doing this and seam the sides when putting the blanket together. There is no “right” way to do this. It is really just what you are more comfortable with.

Follow color chart over next 43 rows in double-sided knitting.

Work 2 rows of double-sided knitting. BO.

week 38 Atari (4)

Don’t forget to tweet or instagram them at me @Doctor_Llama or Jac @jac_attacking with the hashtag geekalong, so we can all oooh and ah together. We even have a fancy new GAL Participation Button you can put on your blog or your Geek-A-Long posts. You can grab the html out of the side bar or find it here.

If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and you can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here. We’re even raffling off some sweet prizes for our members at the end of the year! You can learn more about it in the group or on the GAL Benefactors page.

~ Megan-Anne
“Now, why the chicken might have done it, I just couldn’t say
But if I’m gonna make it home, this is the only way
Five lanes of traffic, an embankment, then a stream
It’s like it’s some kind of amphibianic fever dream” -Frogger! The Musical

* * * * *

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.