2015 Geek-A-Long: Dr. Eggman

week 30 Dr. Eggman (1)

“Curse you, Sonic! Not only do you foil my plans, but you foil my speeches as well. I work hard on them.” – Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik after Sonic interrupts his gloating before the final boss fight of Sonic Colors.

In the early 90s, we were a Super NES family, not a Sega Genesis family. I spent hours playing Donkey Kong, ClayFighter, Home Alone, The Legend of Zelda, The Lion King, Mortal Kombat, Star Fox, and of course Super Mario World. None of my friends had a Sega either, so my experiences with Sonic the Hedgehog are limited. The only time I got to play the video game was when I went over to my aunt’s house.

Aunt Lisa’s house was my mecca in the 90s. She had all the best video games and her Disney movie collection could make a ten-year-old girl weep with joy. She introduced me to Kiki’s Delivery Service, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Sixteen Candles. She also showed me how cool crafting and reading could be. Still, some of my fondest memories from that time are of playing Sonic the Hedgehog with her and my uncle.

I’ll be honest. I was terrible at Sonic. Doctor Eggman thwarted me at every turn. If I was the only thing standing in his way, he would’ve succeeded in building the Eggman Empire. Luckily, my aunt and uncle were there with a cookie, kind words, and mad video game skills to get me to the next level.

week 30 Dr. Eggman (3)

For those of you unfamiliar with the vaguely egg-shaped doctor, Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik is the archenemy of Sonic the Hedgehog. Inspired by his mad scientist of a grandfather, he became one himself and eventually pursued a teaching degree so he could tell people what to do. That wasn’t enough for Dr. Eggman though. He became obsessed with the idea of an entire world under his rule, convinced it would become a utopia if they just did exactly what he said. He built everything from evil space stations to vast armies and cities that polluted the land. Once, he even teamed up with a Time Eater and used time travel in the hopes of defeating his nemesis, Sonic. Still, no matter how many times Sonic and friends thwarted his plans, Eggman always came back to try again. And really, what more could we ask of a mad scientist?

week 30 Dr. Eggman (2)

Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Dr. Eggman 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 just hope I can be half as awesome of an aunt for Lazerwolf.

 

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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.

The Babe With The Power

So apparently this is what happens when I clean up the stash. ;)

megan and kevin baby announcement

I can’t even begin to tell you how thrilled we are to announce that I have perfected human cloning, and soon my own little llama will be joining us. Plus, as an added bonus, Stormageddon Lord of All* was thoughtful enough to plan his/her entrance in the winter so I can go crazy making baby sweaters in advance. I’ve already got the baby blanket well underway, in Tardis Blue of course. I’m rocking out with Baah Yarn La Jolla in London Blue and the pattern is Feather & Fan by Eugen Beugler.

A nasty cold has me stuck in bed. :( thank goodness for shark week and lace. #knitting #knitstagram #laceknitting #sharkweek2015

A photo posted by Dr. Megan-Anne Llama (@doctor_llama) on

This has been a pretty crazy ride for Kevin and me. We were married in 2012 and wanted children right away, but we married knowing that having kids “the old fashioned way” may not be on the table because of my severe Endometriosis. We had discussed options before we were even engaged, primarily adoption. But we really haven’t shared this publicly before. It occurs to me that even members of my own family are finding out about it here for the first time. Ultimately, I decided to write about it today, along with the baby announcement, because like many others struggling with infertility, I experienced the bittersweet feelings of other’s baby announcements. I was thrilled for friends and family that announced pregnancies, but at the same time it’s impossible not to feel a little pang of “why not me?”

Most of my friends and family didn’t know that Kevin and I had been trying to conceive for years, and before I found out I was pregnant, we had begun seriously exploring adoption. I took this year off of school so that we could get our house and finances in order to begin that process. If people asked about babies, I would tell them we weren’t trying or that the timing was bad or that I was focusing on school/Lattes & Llamas/etc… But the truth is, it was just too hard for me to talk about. I knew what my options were and the idea of rehashing it with each new person that found out, hurt more than I can convey with words.

The CDC estimates that 1 in 8 couples experience trouble conceiving, and that’s why I wanted to get real for a few paragraphs. I don’t usually like to get quite this personal with things here, but I also wanted to acknowledge any of you that have had to deal with infertility, I get what you’re going through, and for what it’s worth I’m sending you an internet hug right now. You are not alone.

As per usual, I’m going to deflect my feelings now with yarn. Here’s a tiny elephant I’m making for my tiny overlord!

I'm making a tiny elephant, but right now it kinda just looks like eggplant emoji ;) #knitting #knitstagram #amigurumi

A photo posted by Dr. Megan-Anne Llama (@doctor_llama) on

In the end, we didn’t do anything special to conceive. This pregnancy caught us both completely by surprise. The first few months were pretty rough, but the 2nd trimester is living up to its reputation of being much easier. The baby and I are both progressing well. Of course, that is if you don’t count the fact that I’m fighting the urge to buy EVERY SKEIN OF YARN and baby pattern book ever written, but we’ll see how long that kind of willpower lasts. Lazerwolf loves cashmere almost as much as s/he loves thin crust mushroom pizza.

~Megan-Anne

*Kevin and I have actually decided to refer to the baby as Lazerwolf until we make the final name decision, which might also be Lazerwolf. Sorry not sorry, Mom.

Boys Don’t Knit (In Public)

Did you know libraries exist?

On Sunday, I drove halfway to Barnes & Noble, before I recalled the two hours my husband and I spent going over the new budget. (It was awful in case you’re wondering. Being a grownup is stupid.) I sighed and decided that fondling the new paperbacks would just make me sad, so I turned around and went home. But then a miracle happened as I drove away from the mall, I remembered there is a place that will let you borrow books FOR FREE.

FREEEEEEEEEEE

I’d like to tell you  I dusted off my library card and totally remembered where they keep my favorite genre of books, but those would be bold-faced lies. I haven’t been inside a library since we moved to the suburbs of Philly. I had to fill out a new application and as a nerd, I was a little disappointed in myself.

Once I had my temporary card in hand, I wandered around, mad with book-borrowing power, and stumbled upon the greatest book of all time. Alright, maybe that’s a bit of hyperbole, but as a knitter, who thinks the world would be a better place if we all just shared a cup of coffee over a pair of clicking needles and blue faced leicester yarn, it hit me right in the feels. Please let me introduce you to the book everyone should read, Boys Don’t Knit by T. S. Easton.

After an incident regarding a crossing guard and a bottle of Martini & Rossi (and his friends), 17-year-old worrier Ben Fletcher must develop his sense of social alignment, take up a hobby, and do some community service to avoid any further probation.

He takes a knitting class (it was that or his father’s mechanic class) with the impression that it’s taught by the hot teacher all the boys like. Turns out, it’s not. Perfect.

Regardless, he sticks with it and comes to discover he’s a natural knitter, maybe even great. It also helps ease his anxiety and worrying. The only challenge now is to keep it hidden from his friends, his crush, and his soccer-obsessed father. What a tangled web Ben has weaved . . . or knitted.

While filled with deadpan humor, irreverence, and yarn-y goodness, the thing that really struck me about “Boys Don’t Knit” was the main characters anxiety. It’s no secret that I crocheted my way through a difficult situation or that studies have shown knitting and crochet relieve stress, but to see a Young Adult novel normalizing knitting as way for teen boys to deal with their anxiety… Well, it made my heart swell.

“I’m starting to think that maybe knitting has healing powers greater than I ever imagined.” ~ Ben Fletcher

There was a time that I had my own proverbial “box of shame” hidden under my bed filled with yarn, crochet hooks, and yarncrafting magazines. As a teenager and then an early twenty-something, I didn’t advertise my love of yarn (unless I was at a craft show where elderly women thought my pursuit of crochet was a noble venture). At the time, it was still considered a hobby for expectant mothers or grandmas. While we’ve made a lot of headway since then, there’s still a distinct lack of guy knitters and crocheters out there. Every time I stumble upon one on Instagram or one joins the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry, I want to high-five them. They give me hope, and so does this novel.

Besides my knee-jerk reaction to squeee about the book’s social implications or it promoting knitting as a way to deal with anxiety, “Boys Don’t Knit” is a fun and sometimes tawdry novel. I devoured it in one day. There were a couple of fact-checking mistakes regarding knitting, but overall, it hit the nail on the head. While Ben Fletcher itched to get home and hide in his room with his knitting, I wished I had mastered the art of knitting and reading at the same time. Let’s just say, it was good I finished it early enough in the evening that I was able to spend a few hours with my own needles before bedtime came.

T. S. Easton’s Boys Don’t Knit hit U.S. shelves a few months ago, but has been available in the UK for a while. They already have access to the second book, An English Boy in New York, and I’m insanely jealous. I neeeeeeeed it.

~ Jac
“To me knitting is many things. A creative outlet, a mental challenge. I can knit on my own, losing myself in the work, in the pattern. Or I can knit with friends, chatting and putting the world to rights. I don’t think it makes me less of a man. It’s no different to carpentry or being a painter or an architect or a chef. It’s using your hands with skill and creativity. It just needs some better PR.” – Ben Fletcher

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2015 Geek-A-Long: Brainiac 5

week 29 Brainiac 5 (3)

This year, there’s been slightly less abject fan-girling in this space, mostly because our scientists deserve to be treated with respect. And frankly, when your freshman GAL is “fandoms” and the sophomore is “mad science” you would expect a little less squeeing the second time around. But this week we are talking about Brainiac 5, so squee I will!

squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

week 29 Brainiac 5 (2)

A long, long time ago, in a DC universe far away, Brainiac became obsessed with destroying Superman. Flash forward to a few Brainiac generations later and Brainiac 5 joined the Legion of Superheroes to atone for the sins of his great-great-grandfather. Both Brainiac and Brainiac 5 are highly accomplished scientists, but this week we’re giving props to the green-skinned-know-it-all that 12 year old me had a serious crush on:

In addition to being a total hunk, Brainiac 5 is one of the few people that can successfully throw shade at Superboy.

In addition to being a total hunk, Brainiac 5 is one of the few people that can successfully throw shade at Superboy.

Normally, this is where I would tell you that the Silver Age version is the one I want you to go check out. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a little bit of a comic snob. But I’m not afraid to confess that sometimes the revamp is better. If you’ve never had the pleasure of watching it, it is definitely worth a little YouTube time. (Sadly, it’s not currently streaming on Netflix). This is off topic, but X-Men Evolution is on Netflix, and it’s just as good. :) Oh, and I’m not the only one impressed by Brainiac 5’s total hunkiness; Supergirl is dating him in several of his story lines.

Brainiac 5 Silly Reflection

Mmmmmm. Dreamy.

So for this square I focused mainly on the new Brainiac 5 as he was portrayed in the Legion cartoon. But I also tried to incorporate elements of the original Brainiac in the facial features and overall style. Even though I LOVE the WB Legion, I think it’s definitely worth paying tribute to it’s Silver Age Roots.

week 29 Brainiac 5 (1)

Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Brainiac 5 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
It takes a real man to rock a pink jumpsuit. 

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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.

Is it fall yet?

I know the fourth of July was two weeks ago, but if you spent the evening in my neighborhood, you’d think it was still Independence Day weekend. The air perpetually smells like barbecue. Much to my cat’s ire, fireworks are still set off once the sun sets. There’s rarely any street parking since my neighbors are throwing a perpetual pool party. Clearly, summer is in full swing. But I can’t stop thinking about the fall, and it’s not just because I got an awful sunburn at the shore:

sunburned Jac

There isn’t enough sunblock in the world to keep my pale, pale skin safe. I should’ve stayed indoors after I hit this level of burn. When will I learn?

I miss wearing over-sized sweaters with cozy hand-knit socks. I miss the crunch of leaves and the crisp air. I want to throw open my windows and listen to my cat meow at squirrels that he might be an indoor cat, but the yard still belongs to him. I want pumpkin spice everything and to get into a fight with my sister about whether or not she should get a real Christmas tree. (The answer is always no. Megan-Anne always forgets to water it, and then it becomes a fire hazard.) I even miss the creepy Castiel angel topper she knitted for the tree.

I am Castiel, Angel of the Lord. I am the one who gripped you tight and pulled you from Perdition. And I like warm hugs.

I am Castiel, Angel of the Lord. I am the one who gripped you tight and pulled you from Perdition. And I like warm hugs.

Don’t get me wrong. Summer is pretty awesome. I spent the actual fourth of July weekend at the Jersey shore, visiting my in-laws. I worked on the Kimono-Sleeve Tee knitting pattern by Deborah Newtown, using Vacation Yarn in Laotto. I enjoyed the Ocean City boardwalk and time with family. I even managed to get my husband in the water, which is a huge feat since he has an irrational fear of sand crabs.

Yeah, you heard me right. It wasn’t the recent shark sightings that kept him out of the water. No, it was the tiny little crabs that might pinch his toes and magically pull him under the water.

Fireworks on the beach is my new favorite thing. #4thofjuly #fireworks #acboardwalk #beachlife

A photo posted by Jacquline "Cappuccino" Rivera (@jac_attacking) on

Maybe I’m catching the Christmas-in-July fever? I have this urge to bake gingerbread men and mull cider. I want to cuddle under a blanket and watch The Muppet Christmas Carol. I even started sketching designs of nerdy colorwork holiday socks. I spent two hours yesterday trying to convince Megan-Anne that the other socks kits we’re working on should wait in favor of the Christmas socks. Because, yay Christmas!

She wasn’t impressed.

Anyway, so my question is this, gentle readers: Are you ready for autumn? What do you miss about the season of reds, golds, and oranges?

~Jac
You will have your day, Christmas Dinosaur Socks. Don’t you worry. Sooooooon.

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2015 Geek-A-Long: William Moulton Marston

week 28 William M Marston (1)

“Frankly, Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for a the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world.” – Marston

William Moulton Marston was a real weird dude. I always knew that Marston created the fantastic Wonder Woman and the systolic blood pressure test, which became an integral component of the modern polygraph. But when I did some research to find out more about his life as an inventor, I discovered some colorful things about his personal life.

Marston had a wife and a mistress. That’s not too shocking. We’ve all sang Destiny Child’s “Say My Name” and accidentally watched hours of day time television. Adultery isn’t new. No, the real surprise is that the creator of Wonder Woman fathered children with both of them, and they all secretly lived together in New York. Mrs. Marston fulfilled her ambition to maintain a full time job while Olive Bynre, the mistress, raised the kids. There was even a third woman in their little polygamist family, who came and went as she pleased. She didn’t have children with Marston, but she did wear thick silver bracelets and the two of them were really into bondage.

week 28 William M Marston (4)

While William M. Marston was a hardcore feminist and based many of Wonder Woman’s stories and characteristics on Margaret Sanger, an iconic figure in the reproductive rights movement, there were also BDSM themes in his depictions of WW. His stories were filled with playful domination, spanking, bondage, and cross-dressing. In “Sensation Comics” #35, released in November of 1944, WW even says:

On Paradise Island where we play many binding games, this is considered the safest method of tying a girls arms!

To learn more about William Marston and the story behind Wonder Woman, I highly recommend Jill Leopore’s The Secret History of Wonder Woman. The paperback version just came out and it has been my go-to read during my treadmill time at the gym since I picked it up.

week 28 William M Marston (3)

Marston’s colorful personal life aside, he was also a psychologist, lawyer, and an inventor. He graduated from Harvard and taught at American University and Tufts University. His doctoral dissertation was titled, “Systolic blood pressure symptoms of deception and constituent mental states,” and it’s hard not to draw parallels between it and Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth.

To represent William Marston and his contributions to both comics and science, we melded the two. On the square is a polygraph readout with the WW symbol hidden in the lines.

week 28 William M Marston (2)

Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the William M Marston 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
“Kal looks to the future, Batman looks to the past… and I reside in the present, securely bridging the two.” – Diana of Themyscira

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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. 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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