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.
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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?

* * * * *
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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.

Daisy Buchanan Gloves

Daisy Buchanan Gloves (1)

I am thrilled to share the second pattern from the winter accessories section of Kniterary Crochet: the Daisy Buchanan Gloves. Inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, these fingerless gloves are crocheted in rows and later seamed together, leaving an opening for the thumb. The combination of lace and ribbing provides two inches of negative ease, which make them stretchy and able to fit most adult women’s hands.

I mean, just look at the difference before they were put on:

Daisy Buchanan Gloves (2)

Indulge in some 1920s decadence and embrace you’re inner Gatsby. The Daisy Buchanan Gloves will instantly transform you into the socialite you were always meant to be. The pattern includes a chart along with the written instructions for your convenience, and you can get the pattern right now by clicking here:

$3.99 USD

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 Daisy Buchanan pattern here.

Or you can go the old-fashioned route and purchase the crochet pattern from our Etsy Store.

Daisy Buchanan Gloves (3)

One of my favorite things about this pattern, other than the look itself, was that I was able to make them with the Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light I had left over from crocheting the Seven Rings Cowl. I’m one of those utilitarian people who hate throwing away even the smallest of yarn scraps, so being able to use the leftover 170 yards for this project felt awesome. Plus, I’m in love with the “Candlewick” colorway. It just seems so regal and opulent to me.

~Jac
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

2014 Geek-A-Long: Firefly

week 37 Firefly (3)

Funny story guys: The week 37 square was not supposed to be Firefly. I got the order mixed up when I posted the spoiler pic on Ravelry this week. Firefly was meant for next week and Jac is totes annoyed with me, because I have denied the Ravelers one last week of guessing Firefly when it wasn’t. I’m annoyed with me, because frankly, that was a highlight for me. I realize academically it should have gotten old, but the running joke of the GAL group guessing Firefly for every square cracks me up week after week. On the flip side, my oversight is bringing out Firefly one week early, so sorry-not-sorry on this one.

 

I almost don’t even know where to start with this one. Much like Buffy and BSG, it is one of those shows that had an enormous impact on nerd culture and my personal development. I was a senior in High School during Firefly’s short lived stint on Fox. I might forgive Fox for canceling it one day, but then again, I probably won’t. Of course, there is something to be said for the show getting martyred the way it was.

Adversity brought us together. As one, the nerd community has been rising up against the cancellation of the show ever since it happened. Just mentioning the show brings a tear to our eyes and a lump to our throats. That single short season had a resounding effect on us. Charities have sprung from it. Countless Jayne hats have been knitted. Plus, it spawned one of the best written graphic novels I’ve ever read, The Shepherd’s Tale.

I know that I’ll never really stop missing it, but I have stopped mourning it. I think even the show’s actors miss it, if this is any indication…

I really struggled with what to put on this square. My feelings for Firefly are vast, and so were my ideas. I loved Wash most of all and had several ideas that honored the fallen Hoban Washburn. Ultimately though, we wanted to go with something that encompassed not just the cast, but also the ship. So this week’s official square is the Serenity logo. I wouldn’t feel right with not giving Wash some special attention however, and this week we have an alternate square that remembers Wash the way I think he would want us to.This land

Yes… yes. This is a fertile land, and we will thrive. We will rule over all this land, and we will call it… This Land.

Download the PDF for This Land and get your official square below.

week 37 Firefly (1)

Firefly

© 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 Firefly. 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 37 Firefly (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
“I’d like to be king of all Londinium and wear a shiny hat.”

* * * * *

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.

Supernatural Con

Supernatural Con 2014 (29)

Last weekend, Jac and I went out to scenic Whippany, NJ for Creation Entertainment’s Salute to Supernatural. If you you’ve been hanging out with us for the Geek-A-Long, then you probably know how we feel about the show. To prep for season 10, (which is supposed to have a musical episode!) we have been binge watching the first 9 seasons. We’re half way through season 7, and trying to pace ourselves to draw it out until 10 premiers next month. Season 9 left us with the feels:

OMGIAmSoUpsetAboutDeanAndHowCouldYouDoThisCrowly
IMeanIKnowYou’reADemonAndTheKingOfHell
ButHowCouldYouLetThisHappenToHim
AndAlsoWhatTheHellCastielHowDidYouNotSeeThisComming
AndYouBetterBeAbleToFixHimIDon’tCareThatYou’reHumanRightNow
JustFigureItOut!

Ahem.

Anyways, we are pretty pumped up on SPN right now, so this con couldn’t have come at a better time. We were only able to make it out on Friday, so we missed out on seeing Jared, Jensen, and Misha.

mmmmm…Misha.

We did however get to see Rob Benedict (Chuck).

NJCon Rob Benedict as Chuck

Richard Speight Jr (Gabriel), who celebrated his birthday with the Friday crowd.

NJCon Richard Speight Jr as Gabriel

Julian Richings (Death)

NJCon Julian Richings as Death

Gil McKinney (Henry Winchester). You might also recognize him as Prince Eric from season 3 of Once Upon A Time.

NJCon Gil McKinney (Henry Winchester)

And Osric Chau!

NJCon Osric Chau as Kevin Tran

Seeing Osric cosplaying as Tony Stark was the highlight for me. It prompted a lengthy conversation with the audience about the likelihood of an “Irontran” movie, costarring Mark Sheppard as the Hulk.

Mark Sheppard as the Hulk.  Now that’s a nice image.

Jac’s favorite part was meeting Julian Richings, who is really cool in real life. He actually reminded me a lot of Mr. Llama. Except, you know, with hair. He talked about ska music, being a homicidal hillbilly, and of course, making this:

Man, that song gives me the chills every time.

The good folks over at Creation knew what they were doing when they booked Richard Spreight Jr. as the emcee and Rob Benedict’s band for the house music. It turns out they are besties in real life and romp around the world having SDNcon shenanigans.

Gabriel and Chuck Shurley

I competed in a trivia contest. Wow, those questions were obscure! I was surprised I made it as far as I did. I think the fishy faces helped.

Supernatural Con 2014 (10)

We also repeatedly heard girls that would express how large something was relative to Jared Padalecki.

It’s like 1.5 Jareds.

That’s about 10 feet.

I briefly considered putting out a SPN inspired pattern with yarn requirements measured in Jareds, but ultimately decided it’s less endearing when I do it. Coming from a bright-eyed teen though, whose mother had taken the day off of work to bring her to the con and bond, it was downright delightful. We saw several parent/child duos and it was really awesome to see parents supporting and encouraging their children’s fandoms.

~Megan-Anne

“Dear Sam and Dean, this hotel is haunted. You must haunt down the ghost. Interview witnesses, discover clues, and find the bones. First team to do so wins a fifty-dollar gift card to Sizzler. Love Dad.”

2014 Geek-A-Long: Dragons

week 36 Dragon (4)

This year has been a wild ride for Jac and I. L&L keeps us busy 24/7 these days, and a lot has changed at the company over the course of the last nine months. So, bear with me when I tell you that it feels like forever since we sat down and designed all the squares. I didn’t make them in order either, so each week when I go to write this post sometimes I’m looking at a square I haven’t thought about in many months. Anyhow, early in the week Jac asked me what was scheduled for week 36, and I told her:

PUT A DRAGON ON IT!!!

In retrospect, I must have looked really crazy when I shouted it at her. I occasionally forget who I’ve had any given conversation with, and as it turned out the “put a dragon on it” joke was between Mr. Llama and I. She backed away slowly while making some sort of soothing sound as I bounced around shouting, “Put a dragon on it! Put a dragon on it!” Our office is weird.

week 36 Dragon (2)

I don’t know if you guys watch Portlandia. I don’t watch it regularly, but every now and then Mr Llama sits me down to show me a sketch I “can’t live without seeing.” He’s usually right and “Put A Bird On It” is my favorite one so far.

A while after we watched that, we were at the mall and saw a lamp and some throw pillows with dragons on them. Mr. Llama looked at me and said, “Put a dragon on it.” I lost it. I was laughing hysterically complete with attractive snorting in the middle of this suburban mall. It was really classy.

We couldn’t possibly honor all that is nerdy without putting a dragon on it. They are the cornerstone beast of our culture. One might argue that these dragons and their subsequent dungeons were the catalyst that activated the solution of the modern nerd. Gaming culture has become synonymous with nerdom, and it couldn’t exist without dragons. I chose to put a “general” dragon on the square rather than choosing a specific one. I think that’s the most fair way to represent them.  But if you are wondering, my favorite dragon is Trogdor the Burninator and he is this week’s alternate square.Trogdor

To begin, draw an S…for snake. Or dragon. Er, whatever. Next, we’ll draw a more different S. Close it up real good at the top for his head, and then, using consummate V’s, give him teeth and angry eyebrows. Maybe some wings, you know, if he’s a…wing-a-ling dragon. Let’s put one of those beefy arms on him for good measure. That looks really good. Now he needs a name. How about TROGDOR the BURNINATOR. Oh yeah. Check out all his majesty.

Click here to download the Trogdor color chart, and get your official square below.

week 36 Dragon (1)

Put A Dragon On It

© 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 dragon. 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 36 Dragon (3)

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 she be your girlfriend.

* * * * *

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 Seven Rings Cowl: A Yarn Tasting

I wrote about the Seven Rings Cowl a couple of weeks ago when we were calling for testers, and I can’t tell you how wonderful it felt to get the kind of response we did. Thanks guys!

Without further ado, let’s talk about battling the forces of evil one single crochet at a time:

Patrolling graveyards at night in search of freshly risen vampires is a thankless job, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look fabulous!

Whether you’re Buffy the Vampire Slayer battling Hell or Dean Winchester climbing out of it, Dante was there first. Inspired by Dante’s Inferno, the Seven Rings Cowl is made with seven different yarns, which range from fingering to worsted. The varying fibers and weights provide a unique texture and drape. It’s an ideal project for stash busting luxury yarn left over from other projects or to try an array of fine yarns while only purchasing a single skein of each.

Seven Rings Cowl (4)

We already have the HP LoveVest representing the knitwear side of our literature inspired patterns, and now I’m excited to have the Seven Rings Cowl kick off the crochet aspect of Kniterary! You can get the cowl pattern right now by clicking here:

$3.99 USD

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 Seven Rings Cowl pattern here.

Or you can go the old-fashioned route and purchase the crochet pattern from our Etsy Store.

Seven Rings Cowl (2)

The Seven Rings Cowl was designed to function as a utilitarian yarn tasting. It gives you the opportunity to sample new-to-you yarns before committing to use them for larger projects AND you get to walk away with a comfy, chic cowl. It’s a versatile pattern than can be made with almost any combination of weights and is great for the Advanced Beginner, who is comfortable with crocheting alternating stripes of color.

Of course, ease and fun aside, I don’t recommend wearing it in the middle of summer…

Lattes and Llamas photoshoots tend to be filled with wacky hi-jinks and tons of laughter, but that wasn’t the case this time. As it turns out, modeling a cowl in 90 degree heat isn’t very much fun. Megan-Anne deserves a medal for managing to smile and not look as if she’s dying of heat exhaustion.

~Jac
If Dean Winchester can climb out of hell, you can wear this for 15 minutes and smile.

2014 Geek-A-Long: Earth Kingdom

week 35 Earth Kingdom (1)

My grandmother used to tell me stories about the old days, a time of peace when the Avatar kept balance between the Water Tribes, Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, and Air Nomads. But that all changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Only the Avatar mastered all four elements. Only he could stop the ruthless firebenders. But when the world needed him most, he vanished.

Week 35 brings us our final Avatar square: the Earth Kingdom. I’m sad in a way to be done with them. I get a real rise out of hearing that some of the GAL participants started watching Avatar/Korra after hearing about it here. So this is my last chance to tell you to go watch the show.

I mean, right now. Put down the needles and go watch it.

I saved the Earth Kingdom for last because Book 2 was my favorite. Season two introduced Toph, who was an amazing character. Her flaws were never downplayed, and I love that “blind” was never the flaw being highlighted. Really, the only thing ballsier than the writers’ handling of Toph as a child, was the way they handled her as an adult in The Legend of Korra. Seeing Toph grow up to be an absentee mom struck a real chord for me.

These characters feel like real people, and I’ve gotten very emotionally invested in them. There was some concern this year over whether Korra could continue past season 3 and I’m thrilled to say that as of now there will definitely be a season 4, even if it’s not on your TV. :D

week 35 Earth Kingdom (2)

Earth Kingdom

© 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 Earth Kingdom. 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 53 rows in double-sided knitting.

Work 2 rows of double-sided knitting. BO.

week 35 Earth Kingdom (3)

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 already a hundred years late.”

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