Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where Are They Now? - 2KCBWDAY4

From Eskimimi Knits

Where Are They Now? - Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.
There are a lot of different aspects to look at when looking back at a knitting project and it can make for interesting blogging, as much of the time we blog about items recently completed, new and freshly completed. It is not so often that we look back at what has happened to these items after they have been around for a while.

I decided right away which project I wanted to hunt down and find out about.
Al 003
This bunny was a gift to the new son of a friend from college. He is now a year old, and part of one of the sweetest, funniest and most generous families I know. I can always count on my friend Rikki for a smile and unique advice. She has promised me some pictures of Sam and his bunny, but I haven't gotten them yet. I'm sure they will come, but until then, you will have to enjoy this baby video.

Did you see that comedic timing? How could that bunny not be loving life in that house? It is not possible. Everything is good for him.

Find out the fate of other finished projects.

Tidy Mind, Tidy Stitches - 2KCBWDAY3

This post was delayed due to technical difficulties please enjoy even though it is a day late.

From Eskimimi Knits

Tidy Mind, Tidy Stitches - How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised? It seems like an easy to answer question at first, but in fact organisation exists on many levels. Maybe you are truly not organised at all, in which case I am personally daring you to try and photograph your stash in whatever locations you can find the individual skeins. However, if you are organised, blog about an aspect of that organisation process, whether that be a particularly neat and tidy knitting bag, a decorative display of your crochet hooks, your organised stash or your project and stash pages on Ravelry.

I am slightly embarrassed by the current state of my stash. I yearn for a visible and organized stash, but this is what I have:
From Drop Box
That is my childhood toy box. It is jam packed full of yarn. All of those bags sitting out are the sets of yarn that go with projects that I have cast on. Here is what it looks like inside:
From Drop Box
I keep everything in bags. Most of the bags are groups of yarn for particular projects. The rest were organized by weight at one time, but that has been lost a bit. I love the sentimentality of keeping my yarn in my toy box, but my access to it is horrible. I have to dig to find anything, and usually I have to pull everything out to get to that one ball I know is there somewhere. I've gone beyond hinting to Hubby that I want a new way to organize everything. So far, he's giving me some wall space in the living room that could put the organization system against. We just haven't worked out a new system or taken that inspirational trip to the container store. Until then, I keep everything organized on Ravelry.
From My Stash
Since this has become my main method of organization, I've become a little obsessive. You may notice that some of those say things like 0.14 or 0.46 left. I measure my remaining yarn when I finish a project so I know exactly how much was used so I can know how much is left. I don't have all of it that detailed, but I keep most of the new stash items up to date.

Check out the innovative and beautiful ideas that others have for organizing their stash!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Skill +1UP - 2KCBWDAY2

From Eskimimi Knits

Skill + 1UP - Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?

I have learned or at least practiced a few new things over the past year. I didn't really set out to learn anything new so I can't claim to have accomplished any goals, but I am a little proud looking back over what I have done.

From Beartato and Reginold
Toy Design - I haven't designed toys as much as I've made some toy modifications. For my Nedroid project, I improvised and made something all my own. I didn't create my own patterns, but I used shapes that I already knew and added some embellishments to make them what I wanted. I think it is fair to consider that a step in the right direction.

Color Work - I didn't learn to do color work over the past year, but I did get a lot of extra practice. All of the dice bags that I made recently gave me a great opportunity to play around with using colors. I am still not very confident in my color work skills. I think I need to learn to throw my yarn so I can knit with both hands. What I'm doing right now, is just not working for consistent gauge when I'm stranding. I doubt this is my last chance to practice, but I am not ready for any argyle sweaters.

Viper PilotsYarn Bombing - I haven't become a rebellious knitter by any means, but during my I *heart* NYC project I left my little bits of yarn graffiti throughout the city. It wasn't nearly as great as the Bull Cozy, but it is a beginning.

Through the Back Loop - Here is another skill that I didn't learn this year, but I can confidently say I perfected it. It took me an entire year, but I finished my Viper Pilots. Close to every stitch in this pattern is twisted. I am no longer afraid, intimidated, or slowed down by "tbl."

Lace Garments - I didn't learn lace this year, but Reid taught me a lot about blocking, seaming and general finishing for a lace garment with multiple pieces. I'm confident enough that I've started a adult sized lace sweater for myself. I even gave Reid a crochet boarder. (I'm not ready to consider that a new skill yet though.

You should go see all of the other mad skillz that knitters have developed over the past year!

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Tale of Two Yarns - 2KCBWDAY1

From Eskimimi Knits

A Tale of Two Yarns - Part of any fibre enthusiast’s hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.

From Drop Box
The first yarn that I want to talk about is the yarn I love. It has been with me since Arkansas, and I occasionally I pull it out to fondle and contemplate. I love this yarn because it is incredibly soft and cuddly. I don't have much grey or black yarn, but this color is somehow perfect. It soft and simple and still compelling. It is the warmest black I have ever seen. Beyond that, it has great memories. It was a gift in one of my very first yarn swaps when I was still just learning to knit.
What I don't love is that I just couldn't find the perfect project for it there. Initially I tried to make a Feather and Fan Scarf, but it was just too short for my liking. I frogged it and set it aside while I searched for a better pattern. Right now I have the two balls wound up together to make a Foliage. That didn't work out so I tried again with a Hermione. It didn't seem right either. I started to search around Ravelry for someone destashing so I would have a scarf's worth, but I never had luck.  Lately, I've been considering picking up another couple balls in a different color and maybe making the Chevron Scarf. I'm sure if I wait long enough, Knitty will show up with the perfect pattern.

IMG_1227This second yarn has been quit an opposite experience. I had never heard of Frog Tree prior to receiving it, but I've been reading everyone on the internet rave about Noro since before I knew what yarn weights were. I finally picked some up for myself when I was visiting family in Seattle over the holidays. Everyone was right about the colors. They are fantastic. I love the long slow transitions and the combination is perfect for my Seattle memories. The trouble is that it feels absolutely horrible in my fingers. It is scratchy and stiff. There are bits of plant embedded in it. I don't mind every so often, but this is a lot. I've been making a shawl with it, and I don't know if I'll want to have it around my neck. I haven't washed it yet so I've still got my fingers crossed, but right now, I just don't understand why a process knitter would use it.

Please go check out some more fiber filled posts from Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2011.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Eye Candy

I bought some new yarn! Here is some eye candy for you.

Since I'll be caught up in blog week next week, I probably won't be talking about my WIPs very much. I have a quick update on my Bo Brite scarf. I am close to finished with the second balls of yarn, and my scarf is fantastically long. Really, really long. Taller than me long!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Aurora

Blog Week is coming up and I am working to get things ready. That and some other writing I have to do this weekend means I've been distracted from my blogging.  Here is a beautiful video, and tomorrow I have some pretty yarns to show you.

The Aurora from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.

Via LikeCool

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Please enjoy this adorable film.

Hooked from Character Matters on Vimeo.
Via LikeCool

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Queued: Ramona Sweater

From Sensual Knits
Ramona Sweater is published in Sensual Knits: Luxurious Yarns, Alluring Designs and is written by Jared Young. There are absolutely no surprises about why I want to make this sweater. I love Jared, I love sweaters, I love v-necks, and I love Ramona. Of course all of my previous comments about Jared's patterns being elegant and sophisticated apply again, but the simple truth is that I want to look like that. I want to wear that outfit to work and feel the confidence of wearing something I knit and the confidence that I look good. Everyone who has made this sweater looks good in it. It may be the perfect sweater.

This pattern is the reason I first looked at Sensual Knits and I picked it up because the entire book is full of beautiful patterns that are just as classy as this one. I haven't done nearly enough knitting from the books that I own. I've become reluctant to buy new books because I haven't used the ones I currently own enough. I think I need to prioritize some of the book patterns in my queue to alleviate that guilt.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Giganto Blanket

If I did this could I skip push ups?

I love that her giant sticks were too small and she ended up getting some pvc pipe and duct tape.  I don't know why, but I am really tempted to make something like this. I think I am drawn to the giant loops. They seem extra cuddly. I love the look of the giant knit rugs by Bauke Knottnerus. I want my kid's room to have a giant colorful knot in the corner instead of a bean bag because I'm sure it is great fun.

Video Via @MundaneJane

Monday, March 21, 2011

FO: Brite Hat

Brite Hat FOI have finished my Rainbow Brite Hat! It feels really nice to have something new for me. I may be to blame for the cold weather coming back after our beautiful weekend because I really want a chance to wear this before I put it away for the summer. I'm sorry NYC.

I followed the pattern but switch between the two Chroma yarns when I switched as I switched from knitting to purling (the last knit row before purling was always done with the blue/green instead of the pink/orange so the first set of purl bumps would match.  Despite the double thick brim, I did use a little bit more blue/green than pink/orange. I think the purl sections are a perfect match for Rainbow Brite's sleeves (or her new bracers). I love the peeks of pink/orange throughout the hat. It is exactly what I imagined, and I couldn't be happier.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Last Night on Earth (Review)

From Flying Frog Productions
Last Night on Earth
a Flying Frog Production
by Jason C. Hill

2-6 Players
Ages 12 and older
Game time- 1 to 1&1/2 hours
$49.95 from Flying Frog

Box Contents:
(from rulebook)
1 Full color Rulebook
1 Town Center Game Board
6 L-Shaped Outer Boards
8 Unique Hero Figures (grey)
14 Zombie Figures (7 green, 7 brown)
40 Card Hero Deck (Basic Game)
40 Card Zombie Deck (Basic Game)
20 Advanced Cards for the Hero Deck
20 Advanced Cards for the Zombie Deck
6 Reference Cards
8 Large Hero Character Sheets
5 Large Scenario Cards
2 Full Color sheets of Die Cut Counters
16 Dice
1 CD Soundtrack of Original Music

Gameplay: It takes a couple rounds to get use to, but isn't overly difficult. The variety of goals and game set up keeps each play unique. 3 of 3 stars
Social Interaction: A fantastic balance of cooperation and competition that keeps everyone talking. 3 of 3 stars
Strategy: A little bit is good, but with zombies on the loose you can be much more reactive than proactive. 2 of 3 stars
Presentation: They left no detail to chance; honestly, it has a soundtrack. 3 of 3 stars

Overall Rating: Two thumbs way up, a cheesy grin and a crazy nod. (approximately 5 of 5 stars)

From Flying Frog Productions
Game set-up is unique each turn. The game board has one center piece (with two sides) and six L-shaped pieces. One L-shaped piece goes around each corner of the square center board. The L-pieces have the different buildings which can affect your resources and zombie spawning points. Each character has different strengths and weaknesses so your abilities to resist zombie attacks or use different items will depend on who is in the game.

Depending on the number of players, there is either one or two zombie players and every one else is on the hero team. Each round of gameplay has a zombie turn and a hero turn. The zombies pretty much just move fight and spawn more zombies. Since their general goal is just destruction and brains, there is not much else that they need. Generally, each hero only do a few things per turn, but they have more options than the zombies. They can move, look for weapons (and other things), heal themselves or each other, and/or fight. Fights depend on a role of the dice, and items, abilities, and other assistance you can find depends on a shuffled card deck.

The hero's goals vary from game to game. They may need to kill as many zombies as possible, or round up the townsfolk and keep them alive until morning. The game comes with 5 scenarios. There are several expansions with new goals and there are currently 5 additional scenarios available as web content. The game setup provides a basic starter game to get use to the gameplay and rules. I recommend it, but I'm confident you'll have the full game structure figured out before that game ends.

Social Interaction:
The cooperative aspects of the hero team keeps everyone talking about the plan and the impending zombie fights. Having one of the players play the zombies also fosters some competitive banter. Just don't play the zombies if you're not prepared to be ganged up on.

The strategy varies from game to game since the goals and the resources are different each time. The zombies do not have a lot of strategy options. Appropriately, they are pretty mindless and they get their strength from numbers. As a hero, you can develop a strategy based on the game set up that you have, but your plans could be thwarted you buddy sitting across the table controlling the zombies (and listening to everything you say) or that other hero who refuses to leave the corner and will only shoot at zombies as they come through the door. I think the fun factor will be just as high if you grab a baseball bat and start swinging.

From Flying Frog Productions
As a former Disney cast member, I can assure you that I have extremely high standards for my theming. This game completely hits the mark. Every cliche you could want from a good or bad zombie movie is here. The characters include the preacher, the sheriff, the busty nurse and some angsty teenagers. You can fight zombies with a chainsaw, your favorite fire arm, or you can just start punching when things get desperate. The characters and the cards come with cheesy catch phrases. I find all of this wonderfully entertaining, but keep in mind there is some adult content. If you wouldn't let your child watch a move with this cover, then you will probably have similar reservations about the game.

Beyond just the creativity of the game, I feel that the quality of the components is fantastic as well.  The cards for the hero and zombie decks are much thicker than I am use to. At first I found it a little uncomfortable to shuffle, but I've since grown to like them. The miniatures are sturdy and clean. There is no left over molding plastic, and they came in reusable bags with air holes. I am also excited because I've heard that the game box will comfortably hold the two expansions that I've ordered.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Cyclotrope

In my stuffy congested haze, I just realized that I haven't blogged yet today. I haven't even thought about blogging. So instead of the originally planned post, I have some old school animation for you.  Hopefully my brain will be less clogged tomorrow and I'll be able to give you something with some more content (it won't be nearly as cute as this though.)

The Cyclotrope from tim Wheatley on Vimeo.

Via Likecool

Friday, March 18, 2011

Follow Friday: DC Women Kicking Ass

From DC Women Kicking Ass
DC Women Kicking Ass is a Tumbler for "Thoughts, pictures, reviews and other stuff about the women of DC Comics, and occasionally Marvel and other places, who kick ass."

I have been trying (and I think finally starting to succeed) to get into and understand comics better lately. While I don't have a blanket affinity for the female stars, I am drawn to the women characters more. I relate to them more than most of the guys and I want to cheer when they get to be strong individuals rather than frivolous eye candy.  Though I haven't figured out why, I also seem to more of a DC fan than most of the other publishers. So, this tumbler is great for me. Most of it is fantastic art of these beautiful characters, but I can also count on updates and news about them as well.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Queued: Strangling Vine Lace Scarf

From Nicole Hindes
Strangling Vine Lace Scarf is designed by Nicole Hindes. She has made an absolutely beautiful scarf.  Unlike most of what you've seen from my queue I have the yarn picked out and in my stash to make this project. I have a wool silk blend that I hoped would make a nice gift scarf. I made one of Nicole's patterns before, and it was written well, but I had bad gauge.  I ended up giving the socks to a girlfriend with smaller feet than me. I expect this pattern to be just as good, and I think the new rule might be working. I'm already thinking about keeping this scarf for myself. We'll just have to see how much I fall in love with the yarn.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Meaningful Expression of Care

My love for Sesame Workshop is a secret and I've been watching the news about potential CPB funding cuts closely. You can see Gary Knell's comments about the cuts on the Sesame Workshop site. I support NPR and PBS. Public broadcasting is a worthwhile cause, but you don't have take my word for it...

On a lighter note, it is March which means March Muppet Madness!! Voting has already begun. I don't want to unfairly influence your votes, but I know who I'm rooting for!

From James Hance - Relentlessly Cheerful Art

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

WIP: Seattle

I managed to do a fair amount of knitting over my wonderful game weekend. Not only did I have a long bus ride, but I also find that the right project means a lot of knitting can get done between turns.

I like to pick up some sock yarn as a souvenir when I travel but this trip I knew I wouldn't venture far enough away from the convention center.  I decided to combine my last souvenir yarn into a trip project so I could have one project full of two trips.  I picked up this yarn at Tricoter in Seattle. It is my very first ball of Noro. I confess I was a little concerned about making socks out of it. It feels really rough, and I just don't want rough socks. I went with the shawl, but I'm still worried that it might be too scratchy.  Hubby is confident it will soften up once I wash it. I am going to trust him (and the overwhelming love for Noro that I always hear about) and hope for the best.

Monday, March 14, 2011

All Fun and Games

From Drop Box
I am still recovering from my weekend full of fun. I think I am going to try to write up some game reviews in the future. Today, I am still trying to catch up on the world that happened while I was in Boston.  So today, I would like to hear from you.

What is your favorite game and when was the last time you played it? It doesn't have to be a board game.  Punch Bug and Angry Birds are great favorite games. Alternatively, you could tell me about a game you've been wanting to play, but haven't yet.  I really just want to hear from you about fun.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

PAX was a blast

I am on my way home from an amazing weekend. I've been at PAX East in Boston playing games. I intended this to be a single picture pose, but I'm still so keyed up, I'm going to jabber on and explain my photo.

This is me and Steve Jackson. He is a game designer. He and his company have designed some of my very favorite games. I've already mentioned some of them, and I'm sure I'll be gushing about more soon. This weekend I played a half a dozen new games (several of which were Steve Jackson games) with a great group of friends. We talked all weekend about games and gaming. I even got to tell Steve how much happiness and laughter his games have brought me. It was a perfect weekend.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Amigurumi is Simple

I am still out of town (and having a blast) at PAX, so I have another video for you today.

Via Dr Chop Suey Knits

I could barely crochet an elephant ear, but this makes Amigurumi look so easy. Have you made both knitted and crocheted toys? Do you have a preference? The toys are just so cute I'm certain that I'll learn how to do it eventually, but for now there are plenty of adorable things for me to knit.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Follow Friday: Cake Wrecks

From Cake Wrecks
What's A Wreck:
A Cake Wreck is any cake that is unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, inappropriate - you name it. A Wreck is not necessarily a poorly-made cake; it's simply one I find funny, for any of a number of reasons. Anyone who has ever smeared frosting on a baked good has made a Wreck at one time or another, so I'm not here to vilify decorators: Cake Wrecks is just about finding the funny in unexpected, sugar-filled places.

I confess, I've made and I've bought my share of wrecks. Jen and her team crack me up every day with wrecky mistakes. You could laugh yourself to tears just looking at the photos in each post, but I promise reoccurring giggle fits throughout the day if you read along. (Though sometimes, you'll need to sing along for full effect.)

Amazingly enough, this site has almost completely overcome my sweet tooth and ended all of my cake cravings. Throughout the week, the wrecks are unappealing enough, that I have no desire to eat most of them. On Sunday's the sweets are far too incredible to eat. I couldn't bear to cut into a single one. The best and the worst are all here, and thanks to Jen, I appreciate my local bakers like never before.

Twitter Bonus: @Cakewrecks

Thursday, March 10, 2011

One Rat Short

This is a fantastic animation of one rat's evening adventure.

One Rat Short from Charlex on Vimeo.

Via One Cool Thing A Day

When I saw this I thought immediately of The Secret of NIMH. I saw the cartoon a couple times, but I had a large picture book with images from the movie that I would read over and over again. One night I had a nightmare about the dad mouse escaping from the lab. It is, no question, my  most memorable nightmare. I can still recall the anxiety and urgency that I felt when I woke up. I wouldn't say the dream was scaring, but I did start reading other books.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Be Neither Weak Nor Weary

I am headed out of town to PAX tomorrow, but before I go, I have an FO to show you.


This will be dropped in the mail on my way out the door.  I hope it brings an extra smile once it makes it where it is going.

Scholastic let me know that it is World Read Aloud Day and I instantly knew what I should share to celebrate. Poe has always been one of my favorite authors to hear aloud. Back in middle school, I stole* the course book from my Poe/Hawthorne class because I couldn't part with it. I love reading The Tell-Tale Heart and I cannot do it silently. Please enjoy this wonderful reading of The Raven by John De Lancie ("Q")

via GeekDad

*Don't steal books. Stealing anything is wrong. I was young please forgive me.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Brite Wurm

From Drop Box
Knit Picks has some more rainbow-like colorways of Chroma than the two that I chose for my scarf, but I've decided to name it after Rainbow Brite anyway. I am halfway done with the scarf, but I've decided to put it on hold for just a bit while I make a hat. This way, I'm certain I have enough yarn for the hat, and I can use the very last bit on the scarf.  I have finally chosen between two different patterns. Originally I was drawn to Minty. I think I liked being having it available in two colors to look at, but in the end I think that the skinny stripes in changing colors on my head would be too obnoxious. (Yes, I am aware that I'm planning an outrageously bright striped hat and scarf set and worried about where the line for obnoxious is.) Instead I decided to go with Wurm. I'm hoping that this will result in a mostly blue/green hat with bright pops of orange and pink.  I don't have much progress to show you because I had to rip out the entire brim and start it over.

On a barely related note, have you seen what happened to Rainbow Brite? She was one of my favorite characters as kid. My uncle still loves to tell stories about my constant babbling about, "Bo Bite." I don't know when it happened, but she's gotten a whole new look.
From Hallmark

It is almost a Bratz make over. I am not too upset about changing her up, but I am really disappointed that all of her friends are gone. I especially loved the Color Kids and all that diversity is gone and it seems like the personalities are gone too. I was never certain should be Patty O'Green or Shy Violet.  Now she's just got two girlfriends, and I doubt I'd want to be either of them.  

Monday, March 7, 2011

Queued: Vinnland

From Becca Compton
Vinnland, designed by Becca Compton, is a beautiful sock pattern. I added these to my queue because I was excited to learn toe up and short row heels.  The leaf motif is a simple knit/purl pattern and I thought it would be great for learning new things.  I have since made some toe up socks and short row heels, but I'm still keeping this queued. The socks look great, and I think that now I'm confident in all the techniques, they should be a quick knit. My grandma was clearly jealous of my grandpa's Christmas socks so I've been thinking a pair of these would be great for her.

If the sock pattern wasn't great enough, this one comes with some suggested listening.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mixed Motives

WIP: Mixed MotivesJust over a week ago, I found out from a friend that she has brain cancer. When I first saw the news, the only way to describe how I felt was mentally winded. My mind had all of its processing power knocked out of it and for the next hour, I lost my ability to really do anything. I wasn't reacting. I wasn't working. I wasn't feeling.

Once I got over the shock, I was still at a loss for what to do. We are not close enough both physically or as friends that she really needs my help. If she had come to visit NYC, I would have dropped everything to spend the time with her, and I'd do the same if she needed me to come be with her now. She doesn't though. She has a great support group, and it sounds like she is doing a great job of taking care of herself. Knowing that, I did what I could. I pulled the softest most colorful yarn out of my stash and cast on.

I've been knitting nonstop in this project and with every stitch, I've been thinking of her. Each of the last minute late night perfectionist changes we made to our final paper in grad school. Every single stair that we climbed in Paris. The discussions from our counseling class. The moments we should have spent together that I skipped out on. Each bright color that passed through my fingers reminded me of how vibrant she is.

WIP: Mixed MotivesI never backed away to look at this project. I just kept stitching and looking at it one loop of yarn at a time. I'm not certain if I've been infusing the memories into or drawing them out of this project. Now that I am casting off, and looking at it with a just a little bit of distance, I think my motives may have been lost.  I wanted to create some comfort for my friend Danielle. I wanted to knit up the hug that I am not nearby to give.

Now, I am questioning what I had intended based on what I have accomplished. I look at the colors together and see that their combined brightness has made a dark shawl.   This yarn served me perfectly one stitch at a time, but I don't know that she'll see the beauty in it that I did. The more I look at it, the more I see a project that I would have made for me and not a non-knitter. I am often a problem solver, driven to help whenever I see an issue. There is nothing that I can do to cure cancer, and I think that this was my answer. I couldn't fix anything, so I created a project that I could do in order to allow myself to cope. I am confident that this shawl will still work to warm chilled shoulders. Hopefully she will still find the intended comfort and this will bring her some of the peace it has brought me.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

Follow Friday: Brooklyn Tweed

From Brooklyn Tweed
From About:

Jared Flood is a Brooklyn-based knitwear designer and photographer. His articles and designs have appeared in Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits and various other print and online publications.

His first book Made in Brooklyn, a collection of handknitting designs in natural fibers, was published in August 2009.

In October of 2010 Jared launched Shelter, an artisanal line of American wool yarn. Shelter was meticulously developed as an ideal product for handknitters with an aim to support the American textile industry.

It seems silly for me to be gushing about Jared Flood again but it was inevitable. His blog is where I get my first reports of new projects, finished patterns, and now original yarn. I know that I've used elegant to describe his work before, so this time I am going to call it graceful. Both his designs and photos are filled with undeniable beauty, and they inspire me to create with the same perfection.

Twitter Bonus: @BrooklynTweed

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Axe Cop (Review)

This time yesterday, I wasn't even considering writing a comic review, but I am so smitten with Axe Cop, I can't resist. I am certain that I'm late to the Axe Cop party since it has been a web comic for the past year, but I'm happy to be in the know now. Yesterday I didn't have one of my regular comics to buy so I was looking for something new. Geek Chick Daily recommended Axe Cop, and I was drawn in by the artist story. This comic is written by a 6 year old and drawn by his older brother. While goofing around and playing together they create Axe Cop and now they are expanding off the web and into Dark Horse publication with Bad Guy Earth.

Who is Axe Cop?

Axe Cop is an unconventional cop who prefers his axe and sweet fighting moves over the standard issue gun. He and his sidekick Dinosaur Soldier are very good at what they do. Inevitably, that irritates the normal cops so they want Axe Cop out of the way. Axe Cop has a full origin story, but his time in the police academy summarized everything that I needed to know.
From Bad Guy Earth Preview

What is Bad Guy Earth?

Story by Malachai Nicolle
Pencils, Inks and Lettering by Ethan Nicolle
Colors by Dirk Erik Schulz

Bad Guy Earth Issue One is about Axe Cop and Dinosaur Soldier saving the world from the growing planet that squish the earth. Along the way, they broke the rules, rocketed into space, got some new inventions. There are surprising plot twists on every page, and I can confidently say there is nothing predictable about this story.

Who will like it?

I love this comic is because it has absolutely no creative limits. If you have ever heard a kid make up a story, you know that anything goes. If you are willing to believe anything and laugh, then this story is for you. The art adds a whole new layer of humor. It lets us take everything literally and embrace it fully. At the same time, we secretly smile at the absurdity of it all. I can now have a visual reference for power-ups, a tyrannosaurus rex with machine-gun arms and fire breath, and robotic chicken brains. For that, I am grateful.  If you want to get goofy and watch a rebel save the world, then you will like this.

I originally picked this comic up solely because I wanted to support the creative writing of a 6 year old.  If that was a selling point for you, then I have a couple other recommendations. Please check out 826NYC (or your local chapter.) This non-profit organization works to inspire creativity and help elementary age children write. Our chapter walks each kid through a super hero supply store on their way to tutoring. It would be a great place to find the next Malachai Nicolle. You can start with The 826NYC Review: Issue 4. While I am recommending Axe Cop to adults, if you have kids I recommend The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl. This was written by Robert Rodriguez's son and is full of jokes that I know would have had me in stitches when I was in 4th grade.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

FO: Munchkin Bag

PAX East is just around the corner, and now I can excitedly say that I am completely prepared. It is also official that I am over dice bags for a while. This last bag is for a friend who we are tagging along to PAX with. He is my game buddy, and I owe him for so many late nights of endless laughing. One of the most hilarious things he has brought to my life is the game Munchkin from Steve Jackson Games. Some day I'll have to write a review for it, but for now, I will just say that it is full of adventure, cheating, jokes, and witty references to all of geekdom (and I am very excited about buying the new Munchkin Zombies next week before they hit shelves.)

The quirky art of the Munchkin games is done by John Kovalic. He has created this mascot for the game.
From John Kovalic

And this fella's silhouette is now adorning the game die and other accessories. Like this:
From Steve Jackson Games
Of course I decided that this would be the perfect image for the bag my friend needs for his Munchkin accessories. I charted:
From Drop Box
And I used the same front flap procedure as my last bag to make this:
FO: Munchkin Bag

The image is a little squatter than I was shooting for.  His neck is a bit too short and his nose a bit too Fraggle, but I think that anyone who knows what they are looking at, will see it just fine. With that, I am done with dice bags for the near future. If anyone is looking to play games that inspire giggle fits, I am up to the task though!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blog Week is Coming

From Eskimimi Knits
Eskimimi Knits has announced the 2nd Annual Knitting & Crochet Blog Week! My friend Laura participated last year. I thought it was a great idea then, but I wasn't blogging much at all then. This year, I am very excited.  I am already thinking through what I might write up.  I even have a challenge I am setting up for myself for Day 5. Are you planning to participate? Have you looked at the topics or are you waiting until the time comes to look? (I confess, I peeked before I finished looking at the rest of the page.)