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.
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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.”

* * * * *

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

Free Stuff: O-Wool

O-Wool (6)

Lattes and Llamas is proud to announce O-Wool as the Geek-A-Long benefactor for August! They kindly sent us eight skeins of Classic 2-Ply yarn to go into the prize baskets for the participants in the Geek-A-Long Ravelry group. All you have to do to qualify to win this spectacular yarn 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.

O-Wool (2)

Something you may not know about Jac and I is that we really love Philadelphia: the cheesesteaks, the sports-ball teams, the parties in Fishtown, the bars on South Street. We love it all*. We ran away from home years ago, landed here, and never looked back.

Of course, one of my all-time favorite things about living here is the sweet succulent yarn. Not only do we have some truly excellent local yarn stores like Loop, Rosie’s Yarn Cellar, and Knitting to Know Ewe, but we also have awesome local yarn companies! I’m really excited to be able to introduce you to some home-grown Philly yarn this month: O-Wool.

O-Wool (4)

What I love about this yarn is how honest it is. It’s minimally processed so the fibers get to really express themselves. The best way for me to describe it is that you can touch it, smell it, look at it, and really sense the connection between the animal and the wool. It’s a rustic yarn that knows what it’s about. You can almost imagine it scolding lesser yarns, lecturing them on how to act in public. It makes the super-processed big box yarns seem like a caricature rather than a real thing.

O-Wool (3)

O-Wool kindly donated two gorgeous skeins of Classic 2-Ply Yarn in Begonia (4411), Indigo (5203), Saffron (6402) and Dogwood (4412) to each of the GAL prize baskets. Made from 100% certified organic merino wool, the Classic 2-Ply is perfect for color work, especially fair isles.

O-Wool (1)

In true Philadelphia fashion, even O-Wool’s bio is full of character:

O-Wool is a small company with the goal of providing knitters and crafters with a yarn that is environmentally responsible, affordable, and made locally in Philadelphia and the USA.

O-Wool’s skeins are wound by a gentleman in Philadelphia who has been working in the textile mills since his teens. It is a joy to watch him work – stopping and starting the skeining machines, snipping and tying off the skeins with the speed of someone who’s been doing it their whole life. He works in an old mill in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. In 1928, one third of Philadelphia’s 850 textile companies resided in Kensington, and it was considered the heart of manufacturing in the city. As textile manufacturing became cheaper abroad, Philadelphia could not compete. There are likely less than 50 textile companies in the whole city, and Kensington’s booming industry has given way to drug dealing and violence. I am happy that O-Wool can play a small part in supporting this last vestige of Kensington’s history.

O-Wool is dyed in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. The mill was built in 1885 and has served a wide variety of textile services, including spinning, dyeing, weaving and carpet making. It currently produces woven twill tapes and provides dyeing services. Germantown, like Kensington, had a booming textile manufacturing industry that is now almost completely gone. In Philadelphia, it is a rare and beautiful thing to see a textile mill that is still a textile mill. Despite some technological advances, when I walk in to this mill I am humbled by its history, and feel honored when I step in to the dye house and see O-Wool dripping over the pots.

Thank you for your generous donation to the Geek-A-Long participants, O-Wool!

O-Wool (5)

You can find O-Wool 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
*Fun fact: our fav bar is not actually on South St. It’s Good Dog on 15th. Get the salmon burger.

* * * * *
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Call for Testers: The Scarlet Letterman’s Jacket

Shot 5 choices (1)

If you come around here much, chances are you’ve heard either Jac or I mention Kniterary. The H.P. LoveVest and Seven Rings Cowl got us started, and the next pattern in the line is almost ready to drop down into the collective knitting consciousness that is Ravelry.

Submitted for the approval of the midnight society Caffenistas everywhere, I bring you the Scarlet Letterman’s Jacket:

Shot 1 choices (3)Knit up in gorgeous Bijou Basin Ranch Himalayan Trail yarn, this sweater is all about being yourself. I try not to get political in this space, but it’s worth saying that I’m proud of all the people out there standing up for every person’s right to be who they are. Guys, this one is for you. The scarlet-A was originally used to bring shame on a woman who stepped outside of society’s conventions. I used it here as a badge of honor. Live your life, and live it proudly.

Shot 3 choices (1)

This pattern is set to be released soon, but I need your help! I’m looking for testers HERE. You will get the pattern for free and before everyone else. If testing isn’t your thing, don’t fret! This pattern will be available to purchase in just a few weeks in our Etsy and Ravelry stores.

~Megan-Anne

Be you Daddy-O.

 

 

2014 Geek-A-Long: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

week 34 Nautilis (3)

Welcome to week 34 of the 2014 Geek-A-Long, a mystery blanket knit-along (or crochet-along for you rebels out there)! If you’re new to the GAL craziness, check out the Geek-A-Long FAQ page for more details and information. For the seasoned pros, let’s talk about Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

I feel strongly that Jules Verne ought to be required reading in Elementary/Middle school. For the most part, it isn’t, but it should be. I learned much more from Captain Nemo than I ever did from the historical biographies that were being shoved down my throat at that age. (I’m not knocking them, but how much does a 6th grader REALLY need to know about Dwight D. Eisenhower?) I was mostly left to my own devices to discover great science fiction and fantasy books, and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea was my second foray into a magical literary world.

Towards the end of the year, we’ll feature a square that will represent my first love.

week 34 Nautilis (1)

After the Nautilus, I was hooked. I devoured every Jules Verne book my library had in stock and was left hungry for more. When I was 12 or 13 there was a 20,000 Leagues mini-series on TV, and it’s fair to say I became obsessed with it. I taped it (back in the stone ages of the VHS) and watched that tape until it wore out. I fell in love with Captain Nemo and had a trapper-keeper that bore this totally-not-embarrassing emblem scrawled in glitter ink:

Nemo <3 Megan-Anne 4ever

The Geek-A-Long project just reminds me over and over what a very cool kid I was. ;)

This week’s square depicts the Nautilus going into battle with the giant squid. Don’t worry guys, Nemo will make it through this.

week 34 Nautilis (4)

Nautilus

© 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 Nautilus. 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 54 rows in double-sided knitting.

Work 2 rows of double-sided knitting. BO.

week 34 Nautilis (2)

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

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

~ Megan-Anne

“No sir, it is evidently a gigantic narwhal”

* * * * *

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

2014 Geek-A-Long: Lord of the Rings

week 33 LotR (5)

Welcome to week 33 of the 2014 Geek-A-Long, a mystery blanket knit-along (or crochet-along for you rebels out there)! Can you believe there are only 15 more squares to go after this? If you’re new to the GAL craziness, check out the Geek-A-Long FAQ page for more details and information. For the seasoned pros, let’s talk about LotR.

The Lord of the Rings is one of those book series that just about every literate adult has heard of. First published in 1954, Tolkien’s series has sold over 150 million copies worldwide. There are college courses devoted entirely to analyzing the books and when the movies came out, the books enjoyed a new surge of popularity.

Teenage me was every so slightly into the series…

I actually really like that picture. It was taken right before going to see the midnight showing of Fellowship, but what you aren’t getting to see is how far I was taking the LotR cosplay in those days. I went to my junior year semi-formal as Galadriel and wore a flowing white costume shop gown. I made my date (who’s main attraction to me was his long blond hair) go as Legolas. I know, right? I was super cool. ;)

I had originally thought to put the golden ring on this square, but no matter how hard I tried it kept looking lame. In a burst of genius, Jac suggested I put the elvish word for “friend” on. I love how it turned out, plus, now this blanket will get you into Moria.

week 33 LotR (1)

Lord of the Rings

© 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 LOTR. 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 9 rows of double-sided knitting (knit the facing sts and purl the back sts across). Note that the first row is a wrong side row.  You may choose to work the opposite color for the first stitch of each row (I do this), which will keep the edges closed. Alternately, you may choose to knit them without doing this and seam the sides when putting the blanket together. There is no “right” way to do this. It is really just what you are more comfortable with.

Follow color chart over next 40 rows in double-sided knitting.

Work 8 rows of double-sided knitting. BO.

week 33 LotR (2)

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

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

~ Megan-Anne
Ú-bedin edhellen

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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.

Seven Rings Cowl

Seven Rings Cowl (3)

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

Seven Rings Cowl (2)

I am excited to debut the first pattern in the Kniterary Crochet line: the Seven Rings Cowl. Whether you’re Buffy the Vampire Slayer battling the forces of evil or Dean Winchester climbing out of Hell, 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.

I will be publishing the pattern in the Lattes and Llamas crochet store on Ravelry and Etsy at the end of August. But if you’d like it now AND for free, I am looking for testers here.

Seven Rings Cowl (5)

This cowl holds a special place in my heart. It was one of the first pieces Megan-Anne and I dreamed up for the Kniterary line. Plus, the sample was crocheted out of the seven yarns I purchased on my mini birthday yarn tour back in March. Now, it’s an awesome souvenir from that weekend. I can’t wait for autumn to arrive so I can start wearing it!

Seven Rings Cowl (4)

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. These are the fabulous yarns I used:

  1. Plymouth Yarn’s Worsted Merino Superwash in the “Royal” colorway.
  2. The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze’s Peppino in the “Into the Shadows” colorway.
  3. Stonehedge Fiber Mill’s Shepherd’s Wool Worsted in the “Raspberry” colorway.
  4. Mountain Color’s Mountain Goat in the “Ruby River” colorway.
  5. Spud & Chloe’s Sweater in the “Barn” colorway.
  6. Baah!’s La Jolla in the “Orange Amber” colorway.
  7. Madelinetosh’s Tosh Merino Light in the “Candlewick” colorway.

I’m sure you’ll see them used again in other Kniterary patterns. ;-)

~Jac
Give Dante some slack. He’s been to hell and back!