Back for more nerd fun


I didn’t even try to convince myself to not play this tournament. I knew I’d get sucked back in.

I did, however, change teams. (I’m hoping this one will be my long term home though.) This time around I’m part of Team Paranormal Investigations…Team PI for short. We focus on shows and movies that center around investigating the unexplained and unusual. The shows that drew me in are Warehouse 13 and Eureka, with a side helping of Twin Peaks.

My "Ravatar" for the Tournament

Since this is my third tournament, I’ve decided to take a different (and hopefully more realistic) approach. First, I’m not even going to attempt a dissertation. It took me 4 months to finish the last one and I didn’t make the end of tourny deadline. Second, I’m going to determine a few projects to work on each month of the tournament and plan to work on those only. I know the basic gist of my inspirations and I’m sure I won’t have a problem fitting them into specific challenges. Third, I’m going to make pieces that I can use or gift…I’m going to avoid making items simply for the sake of completing a challenge.

As for my blogging approach – I’m thinking that I’ll do a beginning of the month “plan summary” and and end of the month “round up.” If I’m particularly enjoying (or loathing) a particular project I might do a separate post about it. What I won’t do is only write about Nerd Wars stuff since it has to be less than interesting for anyone not as geeky as me.

And now I’m off to swatch and watch some Warehouse 13.


Playing dress up

After a little rest for my weary wrist (yay for occasionally resurfacing carpal tunnel) and a trip to San Francisco, I managed to get back to my Nerd Wars projects and finish up the last 2 projects I planned to do for the month.

First I finished up my Abby Kadabby accessories.  The little girl loves to put on accessories and she LOVES Sesame Street.  So, I made Abby pigtails & a wand for her to play with.

Then I completed a set of legwarmers…also to be used by the little girl.  They are green & white striped to look like the stockings that “Nanny” wore on Muppet Babies.  I went with the legwarmers because it’s starting to get colder around here and my girl is potty training (mostly code for enjoying not wearing pants A LOT).

The Abby accessories answer the “Costume” challenge.  A challenge to create a costume or costume accessory inspired by our respective nerdery.  The Nanny legwarmers are for the “Colortastic” challenge.  This one you need to create an item utilizing 2 or more distinct colors and they can’t be from a single yarn (like a self-striping or variegated).

Now that these 2 challenges are done, I’m going to spend a few weeks working on my dissertation/grandmother’s Christmas gift.  I figure I’ll probably only do 1, maybe 2 challenges in November so that I can spend the bulk of my knitting time on that shawl.  I really do want to get it done in time.

I promise I’ll write about something other than Nerd Wars soon…I do have other things I think about, I swear.

Pumpkin Hat Evolution

I made another pumpkin hat.  Yes…another.  There just so easy to make for babies of unspecified gender and my husband’s cousin just had a baby.

This one came at an opportune Nerd Wars time though.  One of our challenges this month was to write a haiku & create a corresponding object related to our nerdery.  I chose Abby Kadabby of Sesame Street because she’s always poofing things into pumpkins.  Hence the hat.

This particular pumpkin hat is the 3rd I’ve made & I think it’s the cutest so far.  I’m not sure if it’s because it’s the smallest or I’ve just practiced making it enough times.

Here’s what they’ve looked like…

Pumpkin Hat #1 – made back in 2008:

Punkin Hat

Pumpkin #2 – made earlier this year (2011) for a friend of mine:

Pumpkin #3 – just made 2 weeks ago:

Just when I think I’m out…

Nerd Wars.

A tournament of knitting fun times and nerdy goodness.

I played the last tournament as a member of Team Bazinga.  It was awesome…and a lot of work.  So much so that I had initially planned on sitting out this tournament in order to make sure I was able to get to all of my holiday and gift-giving knitting done.

And then I saw that a new team was forming and needed members.  Hello Team Fraggle!  A team dedicated to all things Jim Henson.  Oh my god!!!  I love Jim Henson so much that I seriously wanted to be a puppeteer at one point.  There are so many things about Jim Henson that remind me of happy moments of my childhood I can’t even begin to explain how excited I was to see this team.  So yeah, I got sucked back in.

And on top of it, I decided to do a “dissertation.”  In Nerd Wars, a dissertation is a large project that you work on for the duration of the tournament in addition to the small projects to complete in each round.  The good thing about the dissertation is that I was already planning on making a shawl for my grandmother for Christmas so I can use that, and I’ll have extra motivation to get it done on time.

At midnight tonight, they post the team assignments.  I put Team Fraggle as my first choice and I really hope I get it.  If I don’t, I’d be okay with either of my other two choices.  But I really hope I’m on Fraggle.

Time flies…

Round 3 of Nerd Wars Tournament 2 is over.  I actually made it through!  And I even got to use the idea I had months ago for a “Bus Pants Contingency.”

Here’s what I made the last 3 months:

It was hard work…a little more than I actually thought it would be.  But it was really fun.  I got to enjoy other geeky people and see people make insanely creative things.  And I learned that I can be pretty fast when I want (or need) to be.  Most importantly, seeing what other people were capable of making has inspired me to try some knew things.

I’m working on my first real lace shawl right now.  And I’ll be trying out some instarsia in the near future (possibly after my holiday knitting though).

As for the next Nerd Wars tournment, I haven’t decided if I’m going to play yet.  I’m leaning toward no though.  I want to make a bunch of things for Christmas this year, including a shawl for my grandmother and gifts for Lainey’s day care teachers.  I also still have a “winter” gift to make for my friend’s baby and I need to make Lainey her hats for this fall & winter.  So yeah, I might need a tournament break.  And then I’ll be able to get in on the next one.

And when I do, I’m hoping to join – or form if I have to – a Warehouse 13/Eureka team.  I have an idea for a name…Team Tesla.  (It works because of the “guns” they use on Warehouse 13 and the high school in Eureka.)  It’ll be nice to have something to look forward to for spring.

Because Chinese Food Night would be incomplete without them

Fortune Cookies!!!

For my first project of Nerd Wars, I have answered the Intellectual Challenge – “An adage a day.”  In this challenge, we need to take an adage or proverb and create a project inspired it.  In addition (and for more points), the project should somehow tie back to your chosen Nerdery…in my case, The Big Bang Theory (TBBT).

How can fortune cookies apply to a proverb challenge?  Easy!  Every Friday night is Chinese Food Night for the Big Bang Theory gang and what would Chinese Food Night be without fortune cookies?

For my proverb, I went with “Man does not live by bread alone.”

The pattern is Felted Fortune Cookies by Tanya Brooks.  It’s a free pattern I got from Ravelry and was published in several other places.  For yarn, I used  Patons Classic Wool in Natural.

The pattern was simple and quick to knit up (I made 3 cookies in a couple of days), although one area I found to be slightly less than helpful was the final assembly instructions for the pattern.  There weren’t too many pictures included in the pattern and the instructions were less than specific as far as how the project should look as you went through the different stages of finishing.  I had to guess a little more than I like to on how to make up the cookies and actually get them to look like fortune cookies.

In the end, however.  I think they came out quite well.

Here’s my step-by-step:

1. Knit a circle (instructions in the pattern)

2. Sew the center hole shut – it will look a little more oval now.

3. Felt the circles (ovals) in the washing machine according to the instructions in the pattern.  Then block them each into a circle.  Make sure you wait until they’re dry to take them off the blocking mat.

4.  Once the circles are dry and you’ve removed them from the blocking mat, it’s time to sew them up.  Fold the circle in half and use clear thread to stitch the folds together – only at one point though, no need to close the whole thing.

5. The trick to making it look like a cookie is to fold the semi-circle in half again and then fold the cookie lengthwise until the 2 points meet.  Where those points meet (on the underside) is where you want to sew with clear thread again to hold the shape together.

6.  When you’re all done, they’ll look like fortune cookies!

Letting my geek flag fly!

It’s here! It’s here!  Nerd Wars has finally started!!

After nearly bursting out of my skin all day yesterday, the first day of June has finally arrived and with it, the first round of the Nerd Wars Tournament (#2).  In all seriousness, the little girl was awake at 3:30 this morning for no apparent reason and I half considered opening my laptop to check out the challenges.  I’m on Team Bazinga, which is the team for fans of The Big Bang Theory.

(Quick summary for anyone who has no clue what I’m talking about…Nerd Wars is a tournament of fiber arts geekery on Ravelry.  People divide into teams based on their chosen nerd-doms and create projects related to that nerd-dom for points in a number of challenges.  Each tourny is 3 months and there is 1 round per month with 6 challenges in each round.  The prize for winning?  As I told the Hubs, Nerd Glory.  So really, it’s all just for fun.)

There are 6 challenges, though you don’t have to complete all 6:

  • Challenge (Nerd Culture): I see what you did there – The crux of this challenge is to take a video from You Tube that could be considered “viral” (or a least viral-worthy) and create something inspired by it.
  • Challenge (Intellectual): An adage a day – In this one, you are to take a common adage or proverb and create a project displaying or inspired by the adage/proverb.
  • Challenge (Giving Geeks): No more naked newborns – Provide clothing to a local organization that will distribute it to those who need it.  This is the only category where something can be purchased rather than created.
  • Challenge (Scientific): Lightning – These projects are to be inspired by electricity.
  • Challenge (Team Spirit): There is no eye in team – Projects inspired by your particular Team’s geekery.
  • Challenge (Technical): 3(Dimensional) – Make projects that are 3 dimensional in one way or another.

As you can see, I’m CRAZY EXCITED about this game and I can’t wait to share my projects.  More posts to come!!