2014 Geek-A-Long: Aperture Science

Aperture Science

Welcome to week fifteen 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. Then, meet us back here when you’re ready. For the seasoned pros, let’s talk about Aperture Science from my favorite video game, Portal.

In my humble opinion, Portal is one of the best video games of my generation. GLaDOS is easily one of the scariest villains I’ve ever had the pleasure of going up against.  Even the theme song is good.

(The song takes a couple of seconds to start playing, so please be patient.)

You wouldn’t know it from looking at it, but this was one of the harder squares to design.  There’s so much you can do with the franchise.  I considered a companion cube, and I considered the orange portal on one side of the square and the blue portal on the other.  I ultimately decided to pay homage to the well meaning company behind all the mayhem: Aperture Science.

Aperture Science was founded as Aperture Fixtures in the early 1940s by Cave Johnson. Aperture Fixtures was primarily dedicated to the manufacture and distribution of shower curtains – a low-tech portal between the inside and outside of a shower – with Cave Johnson winning the “Shower Curtain Salesman of 1943” award.

Some time between 1943 and 1947 the company’s name was changed to “Aperture Science Innovators”. While this was initially done to make their shower curtains sound more hygienic, the company’s focus would indeed soon shift to actual science. Cave Johnson purchased a large, abandoned salt mine in Upper Michigan in which Aperture Science’s Enrichment Center would be built; however, there was at least one alternate location in Cleveland, Ohio.

Throughout the late 1940s and the 1950s, Aperture Science would begin its comprehensive testing and research practices. The best possible test subjects, the likes of Olympians, astronauts and war heroes were first chosen.

full geek blanket

If you’re hungry for more history on Aperture Science check out the wiki. I highly recommend playing Portal 2 if you haven’t already. Besides being a fantastic puzzle game, it delves deeper into the bizarre origins of GLaDOS and the Aperture Science’s founder, Cave Johnson. Honestly, Portal 2 is worth playing just to hear all of the Cave Johnson quotes. Here is one of my favorites:

“All right, I’ve been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade! Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don’t want your damn lemons; what am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life’s manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down… with the lemons! I’m gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!”
―Cave Johnson

This week’s square is one of those delightfully reversible ones.  I haven’t actually decided yet which side I like best for the front of the blanket, so weigh in with your opinions and let me know which way you think it should face.

Aperture Science dual pic

Aperture Science

© Megan-Anne of Lattes & Llamas, 2014

Needles: Size US6

Yarn: Cascade 220 in two sharply contrasting colors. Half a ball of each is plenty for each square.

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 Aperture ScienceDirections for double sided knitting AND tapestry crochet are listed in the PDF.

Cast on 45 sts for each side of knitting (with two strands held together CO 45, for a total of 90 sts on needle).

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

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

Work 3 rows of double sided knitting. BO.

GAL squares

Don’t forget to post links to your finished squares, 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 on our at 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 here, here, and here.

~ Megan-Anne
You will be remembered, Companion Cube.

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