Tag Archive | Doctor Who

Mother’s Day Knitting

Yes, yes, I know. I have six WIPs going right, including two that are paid commissions, and I have another order I need to start. But that didn’t stop me from casting on for a new project yesterday. Mother’s Day should be the epitome of selfish knitting time, right? I had some quiet time between brunch with the MIL and dinner with the mother, so I happily wound my newest splurge, the Baah Chocolate Cherries, and cast on for the perfect little shawlette.

I chose a pattern called Find a Penny mostly for the round eyelet border, but also because it’s smaller and relatively simple. I’d hate to get bored with this lovely yarn. So far, it’s going very quickly. I’ve already got over four inches and this yarn is heaven to knit with. It’s soft and supple, and the resulting fabric is so nice and squishy. And the color? Yummmm. It’s mostly the dark red but the chocolately undertones give it an intriguing richness. I’ll definitely be keeping this little beauty. IMG_2223I got another thrift store goodie the other day too. I only found one thing but I’m quite tickled with it. IMG_2225Yes, another bag. But here’s the kicker: I didn’t buy it for the bag. I bought for the handles. I’d probably pay $5-6 for these at Joann, but I got the bag for a whole 99 cents! Haha! Yay me!

Before I stop for the day, I have to show off what I got from the kids yesterday. I think I’ve mentioned they’re big Doctor Who fans, and they both love to draw. From the girl, I got this delightful card. IMG_2208This one is from the boy. Our heights aren’t exactly accurate, but I sure love thinking of myself as Wonder Woman! IMG_2226_2I have good kids. I think I’ll keep them. And I have good puppies too. We had company most of the day, including small humans that move quickly and make loud noises, and the puppies did so well! No barking or lunging, just some inappropriate sniffing and a bit of exuberant licking. I was rather proud of them. IMG_2215Oh! One last thing! I had another request to feature a photo on a pattern page on Ravelry! I confess, I get excited every time. It’s my Funky Cowl and you can see it here.

Planet Comicon

We spent Saturday at Planet Comicon, a first for my little family. Karen Gillan (Amy Pond on Doctor Who) was attending, and my Whovian people thought they just HAD to meet her. I couldn’t blame them; I would feel the same with a star from one of my favorite shows. We arrived a little after it opened, stood in a very long line to get in, and then followed the masses into the convention hall. It was…hmm, what word to choose? Awesome. Terrifying. Overwhelming. Amazing. Crowded. It was all those things and more. I’m not great in crowds, so the first hour or so was not a lot of fun, to be honest. There was just so much to see, so many people moving around you and bumping into you and there were costumes and props and vehicles and I didn’t know where to go or what to do and it was all very very scary.IMG_1715I let my husband and son take the lead and followed them as we slowly wandered through with no real goal or destination. It really was amazing, once you got past the initial shock. I loved seeing the TARDIS, the R2D2s, Kitt from Knight Rider, the DeLorean, and the Batmobile. I loved seeing Chewbacca (so TALL), Storm Troopers, the Fetts, Leia in the gold bikini (brave girl) and lots of Doctors. There was a screen set up for photo ops with Han Solo, Obi Wan, Luke and Leia. IMG_1716There were people in costume EVERYWHERE. I didn’t recognize half of them. I was constantly poking my kids and asking, “Who’s that?” or sometimes “What the heck are they supposed to be?” I saw a girl dressed up in a blue skirt suit with a red fedora and I was sure she was Carmen Sandiego. Nope. I was informed she was Agent Carter. Oops. There were a lot of Agent Carters once we got inside, with all different color hats. And of course every superhero you can imagine, along with several Captain Jack Sparrows, some Poison Ivys, and a few Frozen princesses. I only saw one good Wonder Woman though, wearing a nifty chain mail suit.IMG_1719Pretty soon the kids were ready for the main event: Karen Gillan. The line was long, and that’s an understatement. We left the kids in line and the hubby and I moved on to look around. As we walked through Celebrity Row, I saw Mitch Pileggi and thought about going up to say hi, that I loved him on Grey’s Anatomy, then thought better of it. I saw lots of celebrities I didn’t recognize, and then I saw the sign for Ming-Na Wen. She hadn’t arrived yet so the line had just started to form. I didn’t want to pay for an autograph, but I did want to meet her, so I decided to stand in line for the 20 minutes until she arrived. There were around 6 people in front of me, at least until the VIP line formed. Then there were probably 15 people who’d get to go first. Fine, I thought. I had ten minutes left when my daughter texted me that they were getting close to the front of the line for Karen, and I did want to meet her. I also wanted to watch the kids meet her. Sadly I left the line for Ming-na and joined the kids. I was glad I did, too. They were so fun to watch, all giddy and excited and spilling over. Then we got in front of her and they were speechless, just standing there grinning at her. Karen said hi, and I think my daughter said hi. She signed the photo, and I think she complimented my son on his Doctor costume. As we left, I told her how much I enjoyed her on Selfie, and she gave me a big grin and a thank-you. It was pretty neat.

Once the kids calmed down from that, we went up to meet Caitlin Blackwood, who played the young Amy Pond. She was sweet and tried to get my poor starstruck kids to chat. I broke the ice by asking her a question, and after that the kids loosened up and got to talk with her for a few minutes.

That was enough celebrity craziness for me. I’d brought my copy of The Princess Bride to get signed by Cary Elwes, but his line was even longer and I just didn’t have it in me to deal with it. So we lunched and split up, boys and girls. Katie and I had a great time exploring all the shopportunities. IMG_1717We restrained ourselves pretty well until I found a few booths with local crafters. I bought the cutest little robot watch pendant, and an amazing new bag from an artist called The Costume Wrangler’s Closet. She sews bags, keychains, skirts and so much more from pop-culture inspired fabrics. You know it’s a good artist when they can inspire a minor-league Whovian like me to buy a bag like this. I love the style, the colors, and the extremely high quality of the workmanship. It’s fantastic.IMG_1731There was so much more. We went to a Q&A with Karen Gillan, the boys went to a Q&A with Bill Amend (artist of Fox Trot comic strip). We shopped A LOT. We people-watched a lot. By 5:30 we were almost pooped and ready for the last part of the day. The girl had signed up for a photo with Karen at 6 p.m. One more line, a quick snap, and our Planet Comic-Con experience was over for the year.IMG_1721My kids were exhausted but over the moon. David especially was so happy, wishing he could go back again the next day. He asked me if I’d go back again next year. I had to think about it. Soon after we’d arrived, I’d told my husband I would never go again. But after a whole day of watching my kids enjoy the unabashed geekery, after watching all these people embrace their weirdness and put it all on display, after seeing so much artistry and craftmanship…yeah. I’ll do it again.

p.s. I was going to include the bit of knitting that got done that last few days but this post ended up so much longer than I expected that I think it’s best to save it for another day!

Nothing to do but knit

Gosh, there are so many things I *could* do this morning (go buy milk, go buy more dog food) but I can’t. Thanks to a minor fender bender in which NOBODY WAS HURT (thank goodness) my husband’s truck is out of commission. Since his job kind of pays the bills around here, he’s driving my car today and I’m stuck at home. I’d pretend to be sad, but really, it’s fine by me. I like to be home by myself anyway. What to do with my time but knit?

I went out to one of my LYS yesterday to get some Eucalan. I’ve never used it and I’ve read it can help with the felting process, so I’m going to give it a whirl. I love felting, and I’ve been so frustrated with my lack of felting skills that I’ll try almost anything. But I can’t start felting my silk bag yet because I still don’t have the handle issue sorted. I want to do wood handles, but I need to get them so I know where to sew on the handle tabs before I felt the bag. Plus I’m thinking, the bag will shrink when it felts, so if I sew on tabs beforehand, won’t they be in the wrong place after felting? I’m not sure about this. Has anybody done this before? Obviously if I bought handles that could go through the felting process, it’d be fine. I guess I just need to wait and see what I can find at Joann.

Until then, I’ll console myself with the Malabrigo I bought yesterday. Come on, you didn’t really think I’d go to a yarn store and not buy yarn, did you? Just two skeins, though; I was good! One skein of pink wool from the sale section, and then the Malabrio. It’s Rios in Ravelry Red. How can one resist it with a name like that? I wound it as soon as I got home, found a pattern I liked, and cast on last night.IMG_1579This will a River Deep, Mountain High cowl. I’ve got the ribbing and two pattern rows done and anticipate making much progress today. And speaking of progress, I knitted more on my Gradient cowl yesterday and got two more sections done. It’s coming along quite nicely. I must take a picture and show you tomorrow.

Oh, and yesterday I did something else fun but not knitting-related at all: I bought tickets for us all to go to Planet Comic-Con next weekend! The husband and kids are so excited because Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) will be there, and I’m excited because Cary Elwes will be there. I have a copy of The Princess Bride (the book) that I might take for him to sign, if I decide I want it badly enough to spend $40 on it. John Barrowman was supposed to be there too, but he’s canceled, sadly. And Mitch Pileggi will be there too, which is really only cool for me because he’s been on Grey’s Anatomy. Anyway, should be fun. My son’s already planning to dress up at the 11th Doctor, and my daughter will wear her nerd girl glasses. I will not be in costume at all, I’m sorry to say. I will be the one marveling at all the other people in costumes. But until then, off to my knitting!

Yarn, Hat, Cowl

Don’t you just love getting new yarn? It’s even better when it’s being shipped because who doesn’t love getting mail? There’s the anticipation, the anxious tracking of the package, then finally getting to rip it open and see your new treasure! Ahhh. Love it. I won two skeins of Malabrigo Worsted on eBay recently, two skeins for the price of one, and they arrived yesterday.IMG_3949The brown will be another unisex hat, maybe another Barley! I’m not sure about the green yet. A hat, of course, but what pattern? It might get to be something new and different.

I did finish a hat last night, a nifty Swirl Hat. I have named it the Time Machine Hat, because the rich cobalt color reminds me of TARDIS blue and because the swirl is all timey-wimey wibbly-wobbly. It’s a unisex hat, beanie hat for a big/male head, slight slouch for smaller/female head. This is more HiKoo SimpliWorsted and it’s delicious yarn. Bouncy and soft and warm. I was wearing this last night (like you do whenever you finish something new) and I really think I need to make myself one in bright pink or purple.IMG_3946 All I have left on my needles now is another swirly cowl. I’m using my Nerd Girl Yarns Smashing in Secretly Spiders and oh it’s so lovely. Rich, deep pinks and purples and black with a sparkly thread in there too. This will be mine to keep forever and ever.IMG_3955Okay, that’s not really ALL I have on needles right now. I have a cardigan from months and months ago that I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to, and I have a rainbow silk cowl in that’s driving me bonkers. It was marked worsted but there’s no way. It’s a Sport weight at most. Ooh, but I have my Quadratic shawl too! I need to get that back out and finish it before spring comes along. IF spring ever comes along.

No news on the puppy front. I’m still waiting to hear from the shelter about the two puppies, though my husband did come to his senses and decide that two more dogs was too many. Sadly, I will not have to puppy brothers that we can name Fred and George. Sighhhhh. But at this point, I would be happy if we could get even one of them. My fingers are still crossed.

It is bitterly cold here today and the kids finally went back to school after a 5-day weekend, so my plans include a couch, knitting, and catching up on my TV shows. I hope you can have a day equally relaxing!

Doctor Who Tote Bag

Several days ago, my SIL and I made a pilgrimage to Nerd Girl Yarns to check out her studio and hopefully score some Doctor Who-inspired yarns. There were several to choose from but not the one we both wanted the most: Blue Box Exploding. It’s a gorgeous blend of TARDIS blue and golds. See, look at it here. Go ahead, order some. You know you want to. It’s okay. I’ll wait. … Happy now? Okay. So I bought a couple of other skeins and figured I’d order some myself in the near future. Then I went to Knitcraft and found two separate skeins of mercerized cotton that spoke to me.IMG_2857

They said, “Hey! This blue looks like TARDIS blue! And look, here’s a fiery blend that could be explosion colors!” And I said, “Hey! You’re right! I’ll buy you then.” And I did. And it was good.

I knew they needed to become a market bag so I had to find a good pattern. Fortunately, I had several in my Ravelry library. (Of course.) My favorite is the Ilene Bag. It’s pretty, it’s knitted, I love the short and wide handle. So I cast on and within a day I had a new market bag! And I love it!IMG_2883

The only part I’m not crazy about is the way the handle attaches. It’s a 3-needle bind off, which I normally like, and it’s definitely sturdy, but it’s not seamless and the seam jumps out at me.IMG_4840

Overall though, I think it’s pretty darn cool. I’m not a Whovian but I play one at home, so I was sorely tempted to keep this little baby for myself. Instead, it will be a gift to the Gifted program teacher who helped my daughter make it to DC in National History Day, a teacher who is unfailingly kind and encouraging and fun and wacky and wild. She has been my daughter’s favorite teacher for the last three years and is now my son’s favorite teacher, and the one teacher I truly look forward to seeing at every school function. She’s a Whovian too, and I think she’ll enjoy this little tote. And I like knowing it’s going to a good home.IMG_2884

On School, Bullies, and Doctor Who Knitting

So the kids started school yesterday, and overall both considered the first day a success. The girl said her day was “Awesome!”, and the boy said his day was “okay”. Given that he didn’t get lost, show up to class tardy, miss the bus, or have problems with his locker, my son said his day was better than he was expecting. In my mind, that’s a win, especially since he was in a good enough mood this morning while we waited for the bus.

My daughter loves her teachers, her classes and her new high school. She got a map from a helpful teacher and is figuring out where everything is. She’s excited about all the club and activity options offered, and is trying to decide which ones she wants to join to go along with marching band. She’s in a somewhat difficult situation, because 99% of her middle school friends went to a different high school, so she’s trying to find some new ones. She’s a great kid, friendly and helpful and kind and outgoing, and it won’t be long before she’s got a gaggle of friends again. But it’s hard to get there, especially when the people you trust turn on you.

With all the talk of bullying these days, I’ve seen more friend-on-friend meanness than true bullying. I know bullying happens, believe me, I do know. I’ve been through it and it’s horrible. And the Mean Girls stuff has been around forever, too. It’s just sad. It’s sad that kids can’t even trust their friends to be kind to them. Maybe it’s typical, maybe everybody makes fun of their friends. But it hurts. I think it might even hurt more to hear it from a friend than from a stranger. And it’s not just kids, it’s parents too, questioning and ridiculing my daughter’s choices. So maybe these kids are taking the hurtful things said to them and spewing it back out. Could it be a defense mechanism, a way to cope? I don’t know.

All I know is that I’m trying to teach my daughter how to be strong in the face of unkindness. I’m thankful she is self-confident, so these incidents sting but don’t crush her. I’m thankful she’s sympathetic and generous, and I am confident she would never talk to someone else the way some of her “friends” have talked to her.

I know I am trying very hard to restrain my mama-bear tendencies to go after those who have hurt my girl. She *has* to learn how to deal with people like this, unfortunately. And the sooner the better. I’m trying to help her find ways to communicate with these people, to let them know their words hurt, but it’s a hard skill. It’s something I didn’t learn until I was an adult. But boy does it help. I know sometimes teasing comes with love, and is not intended to hurt. But if it does hurt, you’ve got to let them know or else it will keep happening. And if it keeps happening, then you’ve discovered a sad truth about that person and you can move on.

Dealing with these hiccups, I’ve found that one of the best ways to cheer up my kids is to say the words “Doctor Who”. Yesterday I distracted them by showing them my LYS find. I celebrated the first day of school by going to Knitcraft and found some gorgeous TARDIS blue mercerized cotton. A row below was a fabulous red-orange-yellow multi. Well, put those two together and what do you get? Exploding TARDIS! I may not be a Whovian but I can speak the language pretty well. Needless to say, I bought them and am planning to make a market bag with them. I’ve cast on the bottom of the bag and hope to get plenty more done today.IMG_2857

Yarn for the Nerd in all of us

Have you heard of Make magazine? Or maybe the Maker Faire? They’re parts of a larger Maker movement that encourages people to…well, to make stuff. They want people to interact with their environment, to open their minds enough to think about how to do something differently, or to create something fun and interesting and helpful. The magazine has all kinds of project ideas, and my husband has been reading it for ages. He loves to find fun things to do with the kids. I’m awfully glad he does too, because it led to a new yarn source for me.

So, the Maker Faire. It’s “the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.” Sounds cool, doesn’t it? Kansas City hosted a Maker Faire last month, but unfortunately it fell on a weekend when we simply did not have time to go. But shortly after, the Make blog featured one of the KC vendors, Nerd Girl Yarns, and since Alex reads the blog, is a nerd, and has a wife who loves yarn, he watched the interview. (Watch her interviews here) And then he shared it with me, and I got all excited because guess what? NGY is in Odessa, Missouri which is only about 30 minutes from me!

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I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of them before, but as I poked through the website I realized that it was because she focuses on the dyeing, and selling custom orders. She does have a small retail space, but it seems to be more of a sideline. And I’m okay with that, because the yarns she creates are awesome. Yesterday I got out to the studio for the first time to see some of the yarn in person. The retail section is small, with just one little bit of wall devoted to yarn. The other side has the hand-dyed clothing, and there were a couple of chairs for those inclined to stay and be crafty. I wasn’t there for that. I was there for the yarn.

A lot of the colors are inspired by Doctor Who, like a blue and brown named Tenth Doctor. There was a red named I Am the Cyber King, and a Gallifrey with oranges and reds. There was a TARDIS blue, of course, and a yellow/orange with a touch of blue Sunflower. I was really hoping for the Blue Box Exploding, which is mostly blue with some yellow/orange too. She has Don’t Blink, Doctor Donna, Fantastic, Raggedy Man, Regenerate, and Time Machine. Both my kids (and the husband) are Whovians so I’d love to get some of each to make them lots of Whovian presents. I can’t do it all at once, though. I know. Patience, grasshopper.

They’re not all Doctor Who, of course. There’s Windu, Nevermore, Resurrection Stone, Serenity Firefly Class, Forbidden Forest, Walking Dead, Girl on Fire and so much more. So many references that I don’t even get! I can’t list them all, so you really should check out her stuff yourself. Go to her website here.

The really cool thing is that you can order the colorway on any base you like. So if you adore fingering weight, you can get that. If you love bulky yarn, like me, you can get that. You can get exactly the yarn you want!

“What did you get??” I can hear you asking. My eye went first to a gorgeous purple sparkly yarn named Secretly Spiders. The site says it’s inspired by Night Vale, and sadly I have no idea what that means. All I know is that I love it. It’s on Smashing, which is a DK of 70% merino and 20% silk with 5% silver-toned stellina to make it shine.IMG_2677I kept picking skeins up and putting them back. I really needed to restrain myself to 2 or 3 skeins, but it was hard. I struggled with choosing based on the Whovian names or the colors. I ended up going for the colors this time. So my second skein was a beautiful blue-green blend named #nofilter. The colors were more vivid on the fingering weights, but I knew I’d enjoy a heaver weight more, so I went with Foxy. Foxy is a DK weight too, but it’s 85% Polwarth Wool and 15% silk.IMG_2679Once I got through the initial getting-to-know-you phase, I was able to look beyond the wall o’ yarn, and that’s when I saw the sale section. It wasn’t big, and there were only two bowls of yarn, but any sale yarn is good yarn in my book. My third selection came from that.IMG_2682This is called Shtako. No idea what that means. Feel free to enlighten me. But the purple caught my eye, and as soon as I touched it, it was mine. It’s on the Luscious yarn, and it really is luscious. It’s Heavy Worsted, 60% superfine merino and 40% silk. It’s heavenly. It’s only 100 yards so it will have to be a small project; I’m thinking some fingerless gloves.

I also got a medium project bag with the logo, like you see in that first picture. You can never have enough project bags, and at $12 it was the perfect price. She didn’t have any Blue Box Exploding, so I’ll probably be ordering some in the near future. And we got to talk to Christa, the owner, for a little while, and she mentioned the possibility of doing quarterly events where they dye larger quantities of some of the popular colorways. I’m really hoping that happens, because I’d be there in a heartbeat! If you’d like to find out when that happens, follow her blog here. Maybe I’ll see you there!