Archive for ‘nerd wars’

December 2, 2012

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,/”To talk of many things:”

Like how to convince my two-year-old that it would be perfectly reasonable for her to go to bed around 8:00 at night, and wake up around 8:00 in the morning. She seems to think it’s much better to stay up as late as possible (sometimes the sky is starting to get light already when she finally conks out), and then probably wake up in the middle of the night and refuse to go back to sleep unless Mommy holds her (which means I get to sleep sitting up), and then sleep until 10:30 or 11:00. I’ll admit, she did fall asleep around 6:30 tonight, but then she only slept until about midnight. Now it’s anyone’s guess just how late she’ll stay up. And I can’t just pop her in the playpen or crib and let her stay up while I sleep. She’s a climber. In fact, we call her our little jewel thief, because she’s frighteningly good at it, and quiet to boot.

Or we could talk about the real purpose of this post, which is what I’ve been up to for most of the last month.

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June 29, 2012

The State of the Knitting

I’m making a pair of Paraphernalia socks (Ravelry link). I finally got really started on them around the 16th. Last Friday, the good spouse bet me $19.05 that I couldn’t finish them by the time we left my mother-in-law’s house on Monday. I wasn’t yet finished with the first sock. I took the bet. I might have made it, even, except my cousin died, and her funeral was on Monday, and that took precedence. But, I figured I could at least get them done in time to turn them in for Nerd Wars last night. But then it became an everything that can go wrong, will situation. So, I am not yet finished with them, but I feel pretty confident that I can knit a pair of socks in two weeks, if I put my mind to it (at least, a pair of socks with no colorwork), and I will have them done by the real deadline, which is someone’s birthday.


My pattern didn’t get into the Knit Picks Late Winter/Early Spring collection. Which just means I have to finish it so I can submit it to Knitty for the Spring & Summer issue next year. The sooner I get it done, the more likely that I can take season-appropriate pictures, but submissions aren’t due until January 2, so I’ve got time. Just so I don’t keep saying that and don’t get it finished.


I am doing a dissertation for Nerd Wars this tournament, and it is a design that I’m working on for the Design Along group. At first, I was working with the idea of Medusa, and her snakes. I wanted to do a cowl on the bias, but the Medusa angle (heh) wasn’t quite what I was looking for, and I moved from there to the Midgard Serpent, and from there to Yggdrasil and Nidhogg. So I added leaves to the bottom of the cowl. This is what I came up with for my first sketch:

Cowl sketch #1

The clown colors are what I thought I was going to use, because I had it on hand. Then I did a little swatching, and found more yarn, and came up with this:

Cowl sketch #2

The proportions are off, but the colors are a little less clownish.

Then I kept thinking about it, and realized that the number of leaves was the same as the number of tails on the oldest and wisest foxes in Japanese folklore (Kitsune grow more tails as they age, to an apparent maximum of nine), and decided those weren’t leaves after all.

Cowl sketch #3

I’m still working with the pinks and green, because I have them, but I think a combination of reddish-oranges and browns would be perfect.


Twist Collective has a call for submissions out for their Spring/Summer 2013 issue, and I’ve got an idea that I think would be good for that, too. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for at least a year, but this might be the kick in the pants that gets me doing more than doodling and thinking.

June 8, 2012

Hi there.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Let’s see . . . my spinning dissertation for Nerd Wars failed. The hook fell out of my spindle just as I was getting ready to start spinning the final thing. I tried using my mom’s little spindle, but either the fiber was too slippery, or the whorl is, or something. The spun yarn kept unwinding from the shaft. Someone on my team gave me a suggestion for wrapping the yarn around the shaft, above the whorl (a top whorl spindle). I tried that, and it worked, a little, but it was still very frustrating, and I gave up for the time being. I’d already decided that spinning is not really for me. Neither is World of Warcraft. Oh, well. You don’t know if you don’t try, right?

I am doing Nerd Wars again this tournament (#5), but I stepped down from being captain. It was taking up way too much of my time, more than it needed to be, probably.

I’ve been thinking about doing a dissertation for this tournament, but I’m not sure. I want to participate in the summer Design Along challenge, and if I can come up with something in time, I can use that for my dissertation, too. The problem is, I’m having a hard time getting inspired. The theme for the Design Along is mythology. Here’s the mood board. It looks great, and I voted for mythology (the other options were harvest, back to school, and autumn leaves), so I should be able to come up with something. But I’m stumped.

I submitted a pattern idea to Knit Picks for their Late Winter/Early Spring 2013 collection (there are links to all the important information here). The deadline is actually the 15th, but the good spouse bet me $5 that I would still be saying, “I really need to get that proposal together,” by the 5th. At first I refused to take the bet, because I know myself too well, but then I decided to go ahead and do it. I turned in my submission on the 5th, and I have five shiny golden dollar coins in my mad money coffer. If it isn’t accepted, I’ll probably try to get it all finished in time to submit to Knitty for the Spring + Summer issue (deadline is January 2, should be plenty of time), and if they don’t like it, I’ll self-publish, including through the Knit Picks IDP thing, if they’ll take it there.

I haven’t been reading blogs much more than I’ve been writing in this one, but I’m trying to get back into doing that. Since my mom died, things have just really sucked, in many ways, but I’m trying desperately to claw my way back out of the hole I let myself sink into. I’ve actually posted a few things on my LiveJournal recently, and I expect I will be commenting more on other people’s blogs, and writing more here, in the near future.

March 17, 2012

Le Mouton

Or would it be “la mouton”? Does mouton refer to either ewe or ram? I’m not sure. Anyway.

Part of my dissertation proposal was that I would also be learning how to play World of Warcraft (WoW) during this Nerd Wars tournament. And I have! I’ve got a free, starter account, and so far I’ve got a Draeni hunter named Ulva who is 20th level (the highest you can get with the starter version), and a Gnome rogue named Everingen who is . . . I think she’s 13th level right now.

What inspired me to give WoW a try, at least in part, was the Jean-Claude Van Damme ad.

He turns his enemies into sheep! Jean-Claude Van Damme is the spinner’s friend!

Last night, Everingen made her way to the Valley of Kings, and has been seeing sheep everywhere.

a sheep!

I have actual spinning news, too. I’ve finished spinning the second single.

2 singles

I’ve actually got it wound into a ball now, but I don’t have a picture of that. My mom had these plastic clamshell-type containers with holes in the top to thread yarn through, to keep balls of yarn from getting tangled. I borrowed a couple, and I’ll use those to hold the balls of singles while I ply them together.

I also finally found my mom’s spindle! I have to charge the batteries for my camera and take a good picture of it. It’s a cute little thing, and it’s already got a full cop of Sapphire’s fur (my mom’s dog who died about thirteen years ago). Mom had a lot of Sapphire’s fur, and was always planning to spin it into yarn and make . . . something with it. Now I have to decide what to do with all the fur, and this little bit of yarn she spun from it.

March 7, 2012

You Spin Me Right Round Baby Right Round

By Frigga, I think I’ve got it.

First, I predrafted some of my Brown Sheep roving, about .4oz.

.4oz Brown Sheep roving

Then I spun it. I used park and draft for pretty much the whole thing. There were a couple of times that I tried to draft while the spindle was spinning, but it just didn’t work for me. But, I did get the whole thing spun, and I’m pretty pleased with the results!

.4oz spun

Now I’m working on spinning up about another .4oz of roving, so I can ply the two together.

roving and yarn

So far, I’m about half-done with the spinning, and I’ve gotten up the courage to do some drafting-while-spinning, even!

February 18, 2012

Spinning me ’round

I haven’t been doing my fifteen minutes a day. I got frustrated, and was busy, and . . . well.

So, today I picked up the spindle, and I think I actually got it!


Not exactly a full spindle, but I'm working on it!

I finally started just flicking the spindle, instead of twirling it in my fingers, which was a lot easier on my shoulder. I’m still doing park and draft, but I managed to get all of that spun without breaking it. w00t!

February 5, 2012

Necessary Spinning

(This is a live recording, and not the greatest, but I ❤ this song! Nice to see the band is still together, or at least they were a couple years ago.)

So, I’m doing a dissertation for Nerd Wars. A dissertation is a project that will take about the whole three months of the tournament. I’m going to learn to spin with a drop spindle for mine, and I’m going to write up the experience here. At least, that’s the plan.

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January 26, 2012

Busy busy busy . . . kind of

So, I’ve lost another job. There just hasn’t been enough business at my sister’s sandwich shop to justify having two people there, so, I’m unemployed again. I really, really need to find something, or win the lottery. Or come up with a design that goes viral. I’m working on all of those.

Obviously, that viral pattern is not going to be As a Flower Blossoms. I can count the number of sales of that pattern on one hand of the guy who gave us a tour of the Kokomo Opalescent Glass factory about fifteen years ago. He’d lost a couple fingers on each hand. It was a really awesome tour, but I never, ever want to work in a glass-making factory!

Among other things I’ve been doing (like looking for a job, buying lottery tickets, and trying to come up with the next big knitting pattern), I’m one of the captains for Team Epic in Nerd Wars for Tournament 4. Sign-ups are open until midnight EST on 1/26/12.

Not sure what Nerd Wars is? According to the Game Master, EyeAmElise, “This is a silly game designed to help motivate you to finish projects you wanted to do anyway!”

In a nutshell, you join a team based on the things you enjoy (outside of crafting), like Jim Henson’s creations (Team Fraggle), musicals (Team Jazz Hands), or playing role-playing games (Team Epic, the best team out there!). (For a list of teams and what “nerdery” they encompass, see this chart.) Each month of the tournament, there are six challenges posted. You answer as many challenges as you want by crafting something within the month of the challenge, and earn points for your team. You can also do a dissertation, which is a project that will take you the whole tournament, or three months. You also get to meet new people both in your team thread, and by participating in the chat room, Otaku Lounge. Mostly what you can win are new friends, bragging rights, and a feeling of accomplishment, but there are opportunities for actual prizes, too!

The team to join is, of course, Team Epic! We are the home for social role-players (tabletop, MMORPG, on-line text-based games, LARPing . . . one or two player games, like Zelda and Baldur’s Gate, are covered by our sister team, Team 1-Up). Whether you play Dungeons & Dragons, World of Warcraft, GURPS, or Spirits of the Earth — or something no one else has ever heard of — we’d love to have you join and tell us about your latest adventure!

You do need to join Ravelry before you can join Nerd Wars, but joining Ravelry is free, easy, and worthwhile even without Nerd Wars!

Nerd Wars is intended for adults. If you are under the age of 18 and would like to play, please contact one of the Nerd Wars mods.

Now, I have some projects I’d really like to get done before the tournament starts next week, so I’d better get knitting!

November 28, 2011

I have been remiss

I have been very busy knitting and crocheting for holiday gifts/Nerd Wars/Mystery 220. And there’s still so much to do, not to mention the baking.

And I need to figure out spinning with a drop spindle, too. One of my Nerd Wars teammates gave me one of her old spindles (and some roving and a small pot of the Knitters’ and Spinners’ Balm she makes and sells in her shop — it smells really good, and does soften my rough spots nicely), and I’ve borrowed my mom’s book Respect the Spindle, and I’m trying to do it. I finally got the hang of just using the dowel and spinning on a stick (I looked for an example on-line, but I don’t see anything), but once I get some spun, and try to draft some more . . . it breaks. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do, how thick I leave the draft, it still breaks. I know, this takes practice, and I haven’t been at it very long (like maybe . . . twenty minutes total?), but I’m very frustrated. I want to get drafting to the point where I can do more than ten inches of yarn before the fibers come apart before I try the spindle again.

And I need to finish the shawl I’m designing. Not to mention the other couple of designs I’ve got started.

Next year I’ll get cracking on updating this more often. Really.

Oh, and just so’s you know, 7-UP Mixed Berry (I get diet) is awesome, and I really wish it wasn’t a “limited edition” flavor.

October 7, 2011

Things to do, the rough draft

To do in October, I hope. Thankfully, some of the Nerd Wars and Mystery220 stuff can double as holiday gifts.

Oh, crap, would you believe I wasn’t even thinking about Hallowe’en costumes? I had thought that I should dust off my pictures from last year when I tried to put together a tutorial for a trick-or-treat bag, though.

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