This Is Usually Where I Bail

When I first told friends and family that I’m preggers, the words of “wisdom” came pouring in. I never realized how much ladies LOVE telling the newly-impregnated exactly what their pregnancy will be like. Buzzfeed summed it up well I think.

In all seriousness though, most of the advice I’ve gotten has been nice or, at the very least, well meaning. Most people are super nice to pregnant ladies. I think it’s an unspoken rule: You have to give brides and pregnant ladies whatever they want. Sometimes I even open up my mail and find my favorite chocolates.

Despite all the advice that came pouring in, no one prepared me for the effect this was going to have on my knitting or my self-esteem. When I first found out I was pregnant, I immediately imagined myself surrounded by a cloud of baby-yarn, turning out booties and toys by the dozens. I am, by most accounts, a speedy knitter, but these days I feel like like it takes foreeeeeeeeeeeever to finish a project. It took me all week to make this sock:

I used to be able to make a sweater in a week, but I’m so tired and sick all the time that I’m just not getting much done. I’ve had a cold the last few days, and last night I went back to my bedroom at 6pm, turned on the humidifier, and stared half-heartedly at my project bag for a few hours before passing out. I realize that some of this is due to going from 2 pots of coffee a day to 2 cups. No more triple espressos for this girl. (I told Jac’s husband that the second this baby crowns I want him to go to Starbucks and order me a triple-grande-cinnamon-dolce-latte. I think about that drink A LOT. I tried the decaf version, and it just wasn’t the same.) Between the caffeine withdrawal, and being sick so much, I haven’t finished one single baby project. I generally only do things I’m good at. If this were any other endeavor, I’d have bailed by now, leaving it to the folks that are better at it. I don’t have the option to outsource growing this baby to an intern though, and I’m having to come to terms with my own limits.

As if that weren’t taking enough of a toll on my ego, I have never experienced such fat-shaming in my life! I really like my OB’s office overall. But man, they do not miss an opportunity to write “obese” on something. The next person that tries to tell me about BMI is getting cut. I’m 5’2″ and according to a BMI chart I should weigh between 105-135 pounds. I think the last time I weighed 105 was elementary school. My blood pressure is super good. I passed my glucose test with flying colors. I eat lots of veggies. So I’d like to pass on the lectures about the complications that can come from being overweight. News flash medical community, this is what 5 months pregnant looks like!

20150818_103456

I LOVE my bump, and I refuse to apologize for my chocolates.

Oh, and if you were wondering, maternity jeans are basically the greatest thing ever. I’m never wearing real pants again.

Throughout this process, I’ve gotten better at telling medical professionals where they can stick it when they start commenting on the complications that they are just certain I’m going to encounter. I mean, after all, at a size 14-16 it’s amazing I can even walk! ;) I know I’m not the only girl that’s had to put up with that kind of crap at the doctor’s office, so let’s all agree to refuse to take it. Guess what, Dr. McJudgey: I’m hormonal, hungry, and armed with knitting needles that I’m not afraid to use. Probably safer to skip the lecture and hand me the chocolates.

~Megan-Anne

I am literally counting the days to the return of my sweet sweet Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Viva la PSL!

2015 Geek-A-Long: Dr. Frankenstein

week 34 Dr. Frankenstein (3)

“It’s pronounced ‘Fronkensteen.’ ” — Dr. Frankenstein

Alright, so technically week 34 of the Geek-A-Long isn’t Dr. Frankenstein from Young Frankenstein, but how can you talk about Mary Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein without mentioning Gene Wilder? You can’t.

I remember the first time I watched that movie. It was Halloween. I was twelve and “too cool” to go trick or treating anymore. I had dressed up like a vampire to pass out candy and some eleven-year-old boy in a pirate costume said I had “nice stems,” which was the first time a boy paid me a compliment. Anyway, my parents got into a small argument about whether or not I was mature enough to watch Young Frankenstein. I announced that I totally was, which was evident by me passing out candy and not acquiring it on the streets like some baby-child. So, I got to watch the movie and I fell asleep halfway through, because it was way past my bedtime.

Oh, the irony.

week 34 Dr. Frankenstein (1)

Unlike Young Frankenstein, which I was totally old enough to watch, I was too young for Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein when I read it at the tender age of eight. I didn’t understand the language, let alone the message of the book at the time, and I didn’t actually finish it until my third time reading it. By then, I was in high school.

We tend to imagine Dr. Frankenstein’s monster as this angry, unintelligent, violent psychopath, but I think it’s more relevant to compare him to a disenfranchised school-shooter than some sort of generic monster. Don’t get me wrong, nothing excuses the behavior. However, the monster experienced nothing but fear, loathing, and abuse from both his creator and society. When I finally read Frankenstein cover to cover my Freshman year of high school, two students at Columbine High School changed the way we view school violence and bullying forever. It was hard for me not to draw a parallel between the monster in the book and Eric and Dylan. And I realize this may been influenced (ok, heavily influenced) by teenage angst, but all the same, it was sad to realize that so little had changed between 1818 and 1999. I think that as a people we sort of collectively decided that actually portraying the monster as the dark, fiercely intelligent, and uncomfortably real character from the book would just hit a little to close to home. So we make him funny, or cartoonish, or some caricature of dumb-rage, because it’s easier than acknowledging what made the monster so hideous in the first place.

week 34 Dr. Frankenstein (2)

It’s strange how pop culture can shape images in your mind. To me Victor Frankenstein will always look like Gene Wilder (even though his character was actually a distant relative) and Frankenstein’s monster will always be Boris Karloff with the flattop head and bolts in his neck, even though I’ve never actually seen the 1931 film. Baring that in mind, it made it difficult for Megan-Anne and I to agree on what to put on the square. She was in favor of the iconic image of Boris Karloff, but I wanted there to be a distinction between the monster and the man since people tend to refer to the creature as Frankenstein. So, we went with lightning striking the castle and a mob out front. I don’t know why, but it makes me giggle every time I see it. I adore it.

Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Dr. Victor Frankenstein 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
“Didn’t you use to have that on the other side?” — Dr. Frankenstein in Young Frankenstein, referring to Igor’s shifting hump

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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: Marie Curie

week 33 Marie Curie (3)

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” – Marie Curie

Marie Curie is one of the most ass-kicking, shade-throwing, convention-dismissing women of her time. And also of any other time. She did so much in her short life that it’s overwhelming sometimes for me to try and really conceptualize it. She was not only the first woman to be recognized with a Nobel Prize, but she is also one of only 6 people ever to receive 2 Nobel Prizes. And just in case you aren’t adequately impressed, she is the only person in all of history to be awarded Nobel Prizes in 2 different sciences. In 1903 she received the award for Physics and in 1911 she received the award for Chemistry.

Marie is best known for her work in radioactivity. Fun fact: in addition to pioneering it’s uses, she also named it! Her credits include creating practical field X-rays that were particularly important to medical care during World War 1. She discovered 2 elements: Radium and Polonium. She founded the Curie Institutes, and led the first studies into the treatment of neoplasms using radioactive isotopes. At only 66 years old, Marie died of Aplastic Anemia, which had resulted in her ongoing exposure to radioactivity, most of which was due to carrying test tubes of radioactive substances around in her pocket.

week 33 Marie Curie (2)

For this square, I chose Polonium and the symbol for radioactivity to honor Marie’s scientific contributions. The rings and dots are the electron configuration for Polonium, and the center is the very recognizable radioactivity symbol. This was one of the more challenging patterns to actually knit because the pattern lulls you into a false sense of symmetry, but it also went faster than most of my knits because I really had to pay attention to it.

week 33 Marie Curie (1)

Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Marie Curie 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 @Doctor_Llama or Jac @jac_attacking 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.

~ Megan-Anne
Fun fact: Marie was born Maria Salomea Skłodowska, and was very proud of her Polish heritage. Polonium was named after Poland.

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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 Prize Baskets: Allure Fiber Wash

Allure unscented

I’m super excited to announce that Bijou Basin Ranch is returning as a Geek-A-Long benefactor this year! In 2014, they sent us some amazing yak yarns. You can read about last year’s prizes here. This year they are hooking you up with another one of my favorite items: Allure Fiber Wash.

Before I tell you more about the Allure fiber wash brought to us by the awesome people behind Bijou Basin Ranch, 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.

Allure Wash 2

All 4 of our winners will receive a 3 piece Allure gift set, which is enough to block about a year’s worth of knitting, if not more! Everyone who completes a blanket will be entered in the raffle for the first 3 prize baskets, and every single member of our Ravelry Group is entered in the raffle for the 4th prize. That lucky group prize winner will not only get the Allure gift set, but also a special treat from Purrrfectly Catchy Designs.

I’m super excited to be adding Allure to the baskets. It takes a pretty remarkable product to get me to legitimately switch from what I am used to using, and Allure is one of those rare Unicorns. A while back I hung out with Eileen Koop, the creator of Allure, and learned more about what makes it so special. She’s more interesting than I am, so even if you don’t care what I think about wool wash, check out what she has to say. ;)

Allure 2015 prize

About Bijou Basin Ranch 

Established in 2005, Bijou Basin Ranch is a small family owned and operated yak ranch situated on the open plains of the Colorado outback. We are located about 65 miles southeast of Denver, Colorado, just outside of the small town of Elbert.

Our primary goal is to produce and sell high-quality fibers and yarns made with premium yak fibers and other luxury fibers. We raise registered, full-blooded Tibetan yaks that have superior glossy coats which are harvested annually. We also supplement the fiber we harvest from our yaks by purchasing quality yak fiber from other yak ranchers across the country and abroad.

Thank you for your generous donation to the Geek-A-Long participants, Bijou Basin Ranch!

You can find Bijou Basin Ranch on their website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  If you’d like to view the other Geek-A-Long benefactors and prizes, you can find them here.

~ Megan-Anne
Eileen swears it’s made with science, but it smells like magic.

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2015 Geek-A-Long: Fallout

week 32 Fallout (1)

“Yes, yes. Cardiology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry. Whatever your needs. You’ll find I can handle, well… I can handle just about anything.” – James (Fallout 3)

How do you pick only one scientist form the Fallout series? If you take the right traits and stack your stats correctly, you as the player become a hardcore scientist. Then there’s RobCo Industries, the largest and most influential computer and robotics company before the Great War, and the Vault-Tec Corporation, the company that designed and produced the vault systems that kept people safe during and after the nuclear holocaust. There are many other scientists out there in the Wasteland, but the one most near and dear to my heart is James from Fallout 3.

But before I talk about James and how he was voiced by Liam Neeson (my fictional father figure), I should probably bring those of you who have never played the games up to speed:

week 32 Fallout (3)

Fallout is a post-apocalyptic role-playing video game series set in an alternate history where atomic physics became the cornerstone of scientific progress after WWII. Things like nuclear-powered cars and advanced robotics were a part of every day life in the 1950s, and combined with cold war paranoia, the society locked themselves into a cultural stasis well into the 21st century. Everything changed in the year 2077, however, when the energy crisis led to a full out war between the US and China over resources, which resulted in an exchange of nuclear bombs that created the post-apocalyptic world you must navigate.

Back history aside, Fallout 3, which is arguably the best game in the series so far, follows the Lone Wanderer. (That’s you!) After the death of your mother, you and your father James lived in Vault 101. Depending on your choices, you become either a misfit or a good kid, but either way, your father eventually disappears under mysterious circumstances. This pisses off the leader of the vault, who sends security forces after you and forces you to escape out into the ruins of Washington, D.C. Assisted by a number of human survivors and hampered by super mutants, you must navigate the “Capital Wasteland” in search of your father. SPOILERS: You find him and the ending is sad.

Okay, now I should probably explain why Liam Neeson is my fictional father figure. Have you seen Taken? Not only does he have a soothing voice to read me bedtime stories, he would also destroy anyone who hurt me and rescue me from bad guys. It’s a weird long-standing inside joke. People closest to me don’t actually say, “Hey did you know Liam Neeson is the voice of Bad Cop in the Lego Movie?” They say, “Hey, your dad is in the Lego Movie!” Then, I squee and tell Megan-Anne our dad is in a new movie. Our family is weird.

Anyway, my dad does the voice for James, which totally isn’t the only reason why he’s my favorite scientists from the Fallout universe. I can’t remember how spoilery this is, so if you plan to play the game, avert your eyes and scroll down to the next picture.

Are the spoilees gone? Okay. Cools.

While James has extensive medical training, which is pretty awesome, he formed a group of scientists to work on Project Purity, and anyone that wants to bring clean and free water to the wasteland is number one in my book. Then there’s the whole dying to save your life thing. Also, James gives you a pip-boy and you couldn’t survive Capital Wasteland without it. I mean, if it weren’t for VATs, I wouldn’t have been able to play the game. I’m terrible at first person shooters. The VAT system made the combat more turn based and I actually got to play it on normal mode instead of the usual “cry-baby” mode as my brother calls it.

Thumbs up! #crochet #lattesandllamas #geekalong #spoilers

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

For this square, we chose the iconic Vault-Boy, who is the mascot of Vault-Tec. He appears in their adverts, manuals, products, and training films, but he is also used in the representation of various stats a player character can have. His prevalence made him a mascot of the Fallout series, and what better way to represent the scientists of Fallout than with this guy.

Before I end with the usual “get your pattern here” spiel, let me just say: WOOOOOOO, Fallout 4 is coming in November! I pre-ordered my copy last weekend. I can’t wait! I’m thinking about replaying Fallout 3 and New Vegas in the meanwhile.

week 32 Fallout (2)

Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Fallout 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
Maybe next time I’ll tell you about my fictional mother figure.

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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.

Interview with T.S. Easton

After that fateful day when I remembered that there’s a place I can get books for FREE, I went to the library and stumbled upon a novel filled with deadpan humor, irreverence, and yarn-y goodness: Boys Don’t Knit by T. S. Easton. You can find my review of it here. What I didn’t tell you was that I read it in a day and somewhere around the advent of Act 2, I put down the book long enough to send an email to the book’s author to ask for an interview. As you might’ve surmised, he agreed! And I’m completely over the moon about it.

– – – Q & A with T.S. Easton – – –

What drew you to write about knitting? While I’m super happy you chose it to drive the humor and tension of Boys Don’t Knit, why did you chose it over other “feminine” activities such as making jewelry, soap, candles, or quilting?
Because knitting is a cliché, there’s a supposed ‘stigma’ of effeminacy attached to knitting that just isn’t there for less well-known activities such as jewellery-making or quilting. Knitting is a well-worn trope that’s immediately identifiable as something ‘boys don’t do’. It’s supposed to be for grannies, or crazy cat ladies. Of course Ben learns this is nonsense, that boys do knit and that the knitting community is as diverse as any other.

I love that Ben kept a diary and insisted on calling it that instead of a journal. It displayed his sensitive side, and telling his story in diary format kept the chapters short and punchy. When you’re already writing a funny novel that pokes holes in gender norms, was this a conscious choice or was it just fun to do? Personally, I’m a sucker for diary books.
I love a diary book, too. The short, punchy chapters really work for me. This form allows me to sprinkle random, tangential, slightly surreal happenings throughout the book as well as to keep a number of sub-plots going, returning to them off and on. It also allows me to end each little segment on a cliff hanger or a joke which keeps the narrative engaging. Also, I’m a bit lazy and I like that the diary format doesn’t require too much detail and description.

Are you a knitter?
I’m sorry to say I am not. My wife showed me how to knit while I was writing the book so I’d be able to give a reasonably convincing description of the process. But I was terrible at it! A few knitters have (mostly kindly) pointed out where I got a few things wrong in the book, and of course I realise it’s not really possible for Ben to be quite so fast, but it’s not supposed to be a How-To book. I hope I gave a good enough account of the delights and joys of the craft.

What would say is Ben’s favorite FO (finished object)?
The Hoopie!

Also, this isn’t a question, but you have our full permission to put us in your next Ben Fletcher novel.
Watch this space…

If you were a meme, what meme would you be. Personally, I’m runaway llamas and Megan-Anne is baby goats wearing pajamas.
I’m not very good at keeping up with memes, but I have lately been spending a lot of time watching YouTube clips of cats making contented noises while eating. (Or does my meme have to rhyme with llamas and pyjamas? In which case I like apple farmers who talk like Barack Obama dressed as snake charmers.)

What’s your next project, both in the knitting and writing sense?
I’m currently working on a couple of books for middle grade readers. The first is called Our House and will be published by Piccadilly Press (an imprint of the UK publisher of Boys Don’t Knit) in April 2016. I’m keeping my fingers crossed it’ll find a home in the US. My next YA book to be published in the US won’t be out until the end of 2017 I’m afraid. More details to follow…

– – – – – – –

Thank you for joining us, Mr. Easton! And don’t worry, I think you did an awesome job of showing how awesome knitting can be. :D

You can follow T.S. Easton on Twitter @tomeaston or check out his website hereBoys 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.

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

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2015 Geek-A-Long: Torchwood

week 31 Torchwood (2)

Hey guys, it’s my birthday! I’m spending it recovering from a wild* night out at the drive-in (we saw Mission Impossible and Trainwreck) with breakfast at my favorite diner with my favorite people, followed by a date with Netflix. Yesterday during the day I binged on Pivot‘s Veronica Mars marathon, and I can only assume that was an intentional birthday gift from them to me. Frankly, I like to imagine that everyone quietly celebrates National Megan-Anne Day. So please feel free to join me in my binge-watching festivities, and let’s see how many of us can watch a whole season of Torchwood!

week 31 Torchwood (1)

If you are totally new to the Whovian Universe, I recommend starting at the beginning on this one. We meet Captain Jack Harkness in the first season of the Dr. Who revival (The Empty Child-2005), and he makes appearances with both the 9th and 10th Doctors. So if I’m talking about Torchwood, and you don’t know what I mean, do yourself a favor and start with Chris Eccelston’s Dr. Who. Once you’ve seen through the fist 2 years of David Tenant you could switch over to Torchwood, but really, you may as well just finish Dr. Who through the current season first. You deserve Dr. Who.

Mmmm. Yep, I'd like one Captain Jack for my birthday. K, thanks.

Mmmm. Yep, I’d like one Captain Jack for my birthday. K, thanks.

After parting ways with the Doctor, Captain Jack joined the Torchwood Institute and heads up a team of ass-kicking scientists. Torchwood has both a UK and an American version, and I prefer the UK show, but they are both pretty great. And as much as I will always hold a torch for Captain Jack I really had Toshiko Sato in mind when I made the square.

week 31 Torchwood (4)

Jac and I disagreed over which Torchwood scientist most deserved the square space. Owen, Toshiko, and Ianto all deserve to be honored, so rather than deciding who wouldn’t be on the square we decided to deviate from form on this one, and honor the whole group. The square features the Torchwood Institute logo, and I think it looks really cool.

week 31 Torchwood (3)

Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Torchwood 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
*Somewhat less wild than last year now that I’m in a family way, but funnel cake and staying up past 11:30 is my kind of wild.

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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.

Yellow Stone Slouch

Yellowstone 10

I am thrilled to introduce the newest pattern from Lattes & Llamas, the Yellow Stone Slouch. Designed to capture the majesty and power of Yellowstone Falls, the delicate color work and beading on this hat mimic water cascading over rocks. Bijou Basin Lhasa Wilderness yarn is a personal favorite, and I was thrilled with it’s performance on this hat.

You can get the pattern as a Ravelry download right now by clicking the button below:

$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 Yellowstone Slouch here.

Yellowstone 7

Worked in an incredibly soft and luxurious blend of yak and bamboo yarn this hat will quickly become a staple in the wardrobe of anyone lucky enough to own it. Beware making this hat as a gift, it’s really hard to give away! You will only need one ball of each color and some craft store beads, so it’s a nice inexpensive treat for yourself (or a friend, assuming you are more generous than me). ;)

The Yellowstone Slouch is an ideal project for knitters with some color-work experience, however the charts are simple and you don’t need to be an expert knitter to enjoy making them! One size fits most adult women, and the beads are added with a small crochet hook as you go along, so there is no need to prestring them. And have no fear if you’ve never worked with beads before! Adding them is super easy, and the process is fully explained in the pattern.

yellowstone collage

~Megan-Anne
The next time you’re told to ‘stop slouching’ tell them no and knit another hat.

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Wish you could get your hands on even more L&L garment pattern goodness? We recommend the Scarlet Letterman’s Jacket, 7 Rings Cowl, and Peacock Kneasocks to round out your super-cool wardrobe. Stay tuned because there’s much more coming soon!

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.