Monday, May 13, 2013

Nerdy Knitting

Another few months between posts. Someday I'll get the hang of this blogging thing. I do notice that some people stop by, though. I hope they enjoy the old stuff.

My main knitting projects over the past few months have been for something called "Nerd Wars." It's a game on Ravelry, the social network for fiber artists. People join teams based on their favorite fandoms and work on projects every month. The tournament leadership picks topics for challenges each month and people have 28 days to make something that relates to the challenge and the fandom. There are three rounds - one each month - and each contains five challenges. People can choose to participate any or all of the challenges. Some people even completed all 15 challenges over the tournament. I wish I had the time to do that. I completed one challenge in the first round and two in both the second and third rounds. Each project is scored based on relevance, challenge requirements and creativity. The points go to the team and the team with the most points at the end wins.

This tournament was my very first and I enjoyed it. I even won a lottery for one of the things I made and got a skein of pretty sock yarn. I was on Team TARDIS (shocker!), so most of the projects I did tied into the Whoniverse.

A few of the things I made:

Round 1 Challenge: A Nerd's Dream/Food (Other Challenges: Simple Machines, Carnival, Whatever the Weather, Giving)

For the first challenge, we had to make something that we would eat on a first date with a character from another fandom. I chose to have a slice of pie with Emerson Cod from Pushing Daisies.

Round2 Challenges: Water, Architecture (Other Challenges: T-Shirts, Turn Back Time, Giving)
For "Water," I made socks from a pattern called "River Rapids" in a colorway called "Blue Lagoon." I noted how water, specifically rivers, can have a great impact over time. They carve out landscapes and encourage civilization. Another river with an impact through time is River Song from Doctor Who. She's the Doctor's wife, the daughter of two companions, and half timelord.

For Architecture, I chose to make an art deco-inspired hat to match the architecture prevalent in New York City. The Empire State Building and Chrysler Building are both featured in Doctor Who.

Round 3 Challenges: Equinox, We Are All Made of Stars (Other Challenges: Color Therapy, Chuck Norris, Giving)

For Equinox, we had to make something that represented either autumn or spring. Being a big fan of spring and a resident of the DC area, I chose to make a scarf inspired by cherry blossoms. It came out a lot better than I expected and I've received a ton of compliments on it. It's definitely unique. It kind of reminded me of the flowers from the episode "Amy's Choice."

For "We're All Made of Stars," we had to either recycle something into a project or use scraps/leftovers to create the project. A few years ago, as a member of a yarn club at my local yarn store, I got a couple skeins of pencil roving (unspun yarn in long strands), and knitted it up into the pattern included with that month's kit. It wound up being a super-bulky cowl - something that added unnecessary bulk to my already bulky figure. I've never won it and had no idea what to do with it, so I "frogged" it (ripped it out) and spun it inot yarn. It made about 200 yards of super-bulky yarn. I think I'm going to make a laptop sleeve from it, since I had to give up my neoprene one when I left my old job.

And that brings me to the last bit of news: I started anew job at the end of April. Actually, I went to one of my former projects with a new company. I left Arc Aspicio after almost four years and went to a larger, but not too large, defense and homeland security company. I'm back at immigration, with former clients and received a hefty salary increase. It's going extremely well and has been like a homecoming. One of my former/present clients has just taken up knitting, so we're always chatting about it. She even shops at my local yarn store. I try to help her when I can.

While I wait for the next Nerd Wars tournament to begin, I'm working hard on my Beverly cardigan. It's going to take a while, but I'm cranking through. It's so soft and will be very cozy. I'm hoping I can make a significant dent in it before the end of June!

Oh, and as a bonus, I also made these during Nerd Wars, but not for a challenge. They're based on Rose Tyler's mittens in Army of Ghosts/Doomsday in the second season of the new series. Love them!