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It’s the (second-)Most Wonderful Time of the Year… Thus, first free pattern giveaway!

June 22, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s literally like (insert anachronistic, gift-rendering winter holiday here) in July! I can’t wait till Nerd HQ!

And guess what?

…. I get to be a volunteer again!

Nerd HQ is in San Diego July 12-15, this year…

Bam!

To that end, while there wasn’t a community knitting project on The Nerd Machine this year (but I did come up with something for next year! Stay tuned…), I am still working on something Nerd-related to bring to the con with me!

The beauty of this project (it’s a “surprise”!) is that it’s a bunch of little components that I can sew together on a night where I feel like my wrists are too ill-abused to work the needle. I’m releasing one of the little components into the wilds of the internet, because it can function as a standalone mini-project just fine:

(As with anything The Nerd Machine-related, I don’t own the rights to the images, content, slogans, etc. that they use… I just make large-scale, dorky fan-art and throw it at them at conventions.)

I wrote this pattern to be as idiot-friendly as possible, so apologies to more-experienced knitters who might feel “dumbed down”… we all needed to learn somewhere!

Roy the Robot’s Disembodied Head:

Materials ~

Two size 4 dpn (double-pointed needles)
Two size 2 dpn
Worsted-weight (“4″) acrylic yarn in red, white, and black  (Not a lot is needed, this project was designed to be done with yarn remnants.)
Yarn needle
Polyester fiber stuffing, or cotton balls (in a pinch!)

Instructions ~

Head:

Right side, Row 1 – Cast on 5 stitches onto a size 4 dpn, knit across first row. Turn at the end of this and every row.
Wrong side, Row 2 – Purl across all 5 stitches.
Row 3 – Increase in first stitch (knit into front and back of the same stitch before sliding old stitch off of needle), knit three stitches normally, then increase in the last stitch in the same way. (7 stitches on needle)
Row 4 – Purl across all 7 stitches.
Row 5 – Increase in first stitch, knit 5 stitches, then increase into last stitch. (9 stitches on needle)
Row 6 -Purl across all 9 stitches.
Row 7 – Increase in first stitch, knit 7 stitches, then increase into last stitch. (11 stitches on needle)
Row 8 – Purl across all 11 stitches.
Row 9 – Increase in first stitch, knit 9 stitches, then increase into last stitch. (13 stitches on needle)
Row 10 – Purl across all 13 stitches.
Row 11 – Knit all stitches in row.
Row 12 – Purl all stitches in row.
Row 13 – Knit all stitches in row.
Row 14 – Purl all stitches in row.
Row 15 – Knit all stitches in row.
Row 16 – Purl all stitches in row.
Row 17 – Decrease by slipping two stitches from the left needle to the right needle one at a time, as if to knit them but without actually doing so, slip left needle underneath both slipped stitches and knit them together (SSK), knit 11 stitches, decrease by knitting the final two stitches together as if they were one stitch (K2tog).
Row 18 – Purl across all 11 stitches.
Row 19 – SSK, knit 9 stitches, K2tog.
Row 20 – Bind off in purl stitch. (Purl the first two stitches, then use the left needle – or a crochet hook! – to pull the first purled stitch over the second purled stitch so that only the second stitch remains on the needle. Then purl another stitch from the left needle and repeat slipping the previous stitch off the needle over the top of the newer stitch. Continue in this manner until there is only one stitch remaining, on the right needle.  Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail, and pull the tail through the last stitch, making a slip knot.)

Make another head the same way as the first.

Knit a connecting strip out of worsted-weight red yarn, by casting on four stitches onto a size 4 dpn, knitting all odd rows and purling all even rows, until you’ve reached 11.5″ – 12″ in length, then bind off in purl stitch, leaving a long tail.

 

Glasses:  (use size 2 dpns for these)

First, use white worsted-weight yarn and cast on 4 stitches, leaving a long tail of yarn at cast-on.

Row 1 – Increase in first stitch (knit into front and back of the same stitch before sliding old stitch off of needle), knit two stitches normally, then increase in the last stitch in the same way. (6 stitches on needle)
Row 2 – Purl
Row 3 – Increase in first stitch (knit into front and back of the same stitch before sliding old stitch off of needle), knit four stitches normally, then increase in the last stitch in the same way. (8 stitches on needle)
Row 4 – Purl
Row 5 – Knit
Row 6 – Bind off in purl stitch, leaving a long tail.

Make another lens the same way as the first.

Using black worsted weight yarn, knit approx. 7.5″ – 8” of 3-stitch I-cord.  (For the purposes of this pattern, the I-cord is where you cast on three stitches onto a size 2 dpn, leaving a long cast-on tail, knit those three stitches, then knit the next row without turning the needle around! Continue knitting without flipping the needle around at the end of every row, until you have reached the length necessary.  The result will be a long, reinforced cord, useful for edgings.  In this case, the frame for Roy’s horn-rimmed glasses!)  If you’re worried about making it too short or too long for the lenses, you can sew the edges lenses into the I-cord as you knit it, using the long black yarn tail you left at cast-on!  Then just stop knitting the I-cord and bind/sew it off and finish it off when it’s the right length!

Use the long tails in the appropriate colors to piece the parts together, according to the picture below. Use one of the long white tails to sew around the black frames in the middle (between the lenses) to both secure the glasses’ middle to his face and to simulate “tape”!

Enjoy your Nerdy Roy head!

Someone order a nerdy pincushion?

Someone order a nerdy pincushion?

Catapults are for people who are too damned lazy to fling themselves through the air using more creative methods.

September 8, 2011 7 comments

So, I’m sitting here trying to figure out what to write and I’ve been out of meds for my anxiety for over 24 hours.  I’ve had anxiety disorder since 2006 (possibly longer, but that’s the year that I started showcasing the crazy for public consumption).  I’ve gone through different meds and therapy options, within my limited income, and finally found a medication that works better than anything else I’ve tried.  Unfortunately, it’s very expensive, which often results in me going without and becoming a hermit until the meds can be bought.

Unmedicated anxiety disorder is like being shoved naked into the path of oncoming traffic: you’re not sure you’ll survive the day, but your dignity is now up for grabs.

Most of my coping mechanisms revolve around the important principles of distraction and self-delusion.  I’ve gotten fairly good at both.  Unfortunately, my distractions vary wildly, and frequently, depending on the amount of unmedicated stress that has just hit me in the face.  This would be why I have trouble blogging sometimes… you try to write when you’re head-underwater and have developed a level of anxious paranoia reserved for fugitives and politicians’ mistresses.

Tomorrow is one of my husband’s paydays, though, so we should be able to refill my prescription in the morning.  Today, I plan to do what I can to vent steam… I have come up with the following list of activities to (hopefully) provide catharsis and stave off panic attacks:

  1. Finish a knitting/crochet project or two. ~  I always feel better when I get that “Hah! See what I just did, bitches?” high.  You know what I’m talking about.
  2. Clean the house until I pass out from heat exhaustion.  ~  Usually reserved for times of utmost pissiness, housecleaning is something I do to give myself time to think, calm down, and silently plot the deaths of those who oppose me.  I can get pretty creative with a bottle of Clorox wipes and a toaster.  Do not fucking test me.
  3. Play World of Warcraft.  ~ I figure, after I teach Siobhan how to forage for her lunch and afternoon snack, and tie a hospital-grade adult diaper to her ass, that’ll buy me somewhere in the ballpark of six hours to pretend I’m a gun-shooting werewolf on a vendetta against anything that moves.  (Also, fake money is like crack for people who have no real money. My werewolf can sell a moldy pair of boots for two gold pieces.  I can’t sell a pair of earrings for ten bucks.)
  4. Finish unpacking until back gives out.  ~  I plan to turn this into a game, to keep it interesting.  I love my husband, but rearranging his face because all the unpacking has been left to me while he’s at work has become a favorite fantasy of mine the last two days.  I think I should unpack on the principle of counter-intuition:  socks in the junk drawer, junk in the pillowcase, deoderant in the vacuum, vacuum in the dresser, anti-depressants in the spice rack, and craft supplies in the underwear drawer.  It’ll be like a treasure hunt of awesome!
  5. Paint murals on the neighbors’ cars.  ~  I’ve given this one a lot of thought.  I’m fairly certain our next door neighbor’s kids would love a Tardis hiding in the Metreon Cascade on the windshield.  No one will ever see them coming.
  6. Teach Siobhan how to game with the best.  ~  This one could prove difficult, as the Wii remote makes me seem like I haven’t played Mario a day in my life.  I used to rock that shit every Sunday at Marie Calendar’s while my parents waited for a table.  Like hell I can’t goomba-stomp with the best!  However, tradition holds that whatever I think I’m good at, my daughter will be better.  She was playing Street Fighter 4 on her daddy’s arcade-style fight stick when she was a year old.  Ergo, training her early ensures that she’ll kick Justin Wong’s ass by the time she’s five.
  7. Write a book.  ~  On a slightly more serious note, I’m actually kicking around ideas for geeky pattern books in my head… I’ve got at least two knitting books, a nonfiction plot line, and a fiction plot line kicking around in my head.  Whether or not I can write on any of them remains to be seen.
  8. Create more stuff for my store. ~  If you haven’t been to my store yet, for shame.  It’s not got much in there yet, though, so the ritual floggings will be suspended.  The problem with this plan, though, is that it means digging through random unpacked crap in search for more random unpacked crap with which to make stuff.  I’ll reserve this for the moment before I kill someone in the face.
  9. Poke at fellow bloggers on Twitter for shits and giggles.  ~  It always makes me feel better when I can make someone spit-take on their monitor, or just run screaming into the night from the horrifying mental imagery.  Honestly, I consider either a win.  (Spit-taking is considerably better for site traffic, however, so we’re aiming for that…)
  10. Teach Siobhan to yodel.  ~  Dignity is overrated.  I figure if I teach her an interesting skill, she’ll make a killing as a street performer.  Of course, it would have been easier if I’d had twins, so I didn’t have to contend with child performer labor laws… Maybe I should teach her pickpocketing instead…
  11. Exercise. ~ There’s a reason this is at the bottom of the list.  It’s too fucking hot to do it.  However, the Wii is set up, and I haven’t touched Wii Fit in months… if it gets cooler, maybe…

 

What do you think?  Any other ideas for distracting one’s self from anxiety issues?

Where the fuck is Lassie when you need her? (Also, Nerd HQ pics that were promised an age ago…)

August 19, 2011 1 comment

Well, I feel like I fell down a well, anyway…

Okay, so first off, I’m sorry about my prolonged absence.  After the initial panic from the aforementioned emergency died down, our finances started kicking our butts.  Some of you may have seen my panicked crafting blitz on Twitter and Etsy.  I also told the slum apartment owners and property manager that I was moving out after five months of roach infestation, broken appliances, and unfinished repairs.  After using choice words, including “lawsuit”, “attorney”, and “loud, Republican mother”, they decided to “amicably” handshake and agree that I be let out of my lease early, at no penalty.  All of this, and more, have combined to make my life a living hell for the last three weeks.  I didn’t mean to delay you guys, and I’m glad you guys understand!

First off, Nerd HQ was amazing!  For those of you who did not make the annual pilgrimage to San Diego this July, Nerd HQ was a “side con” to Comic Con, thrown by The Nerd Machine.  Held at Jolt’n Joe’s, on the corner of 4th and J Street, the event had an entire floor of first-look video games (Gears of War 3, Rayman, Gunstringer, and others), a merchandise booth full of cool Nerd gear, and large HD and 3-D televisions showing Break.Com videos and Nerd Machine PSA’s.

Roy the Robot made a prominent appearance there, sitting in a place of honor at the merchandise booth.  We got to meet the artist who drew The Nerd Machine’s logo artwork, Jim Mahfood.  Mahfood was cool and had some awesome things on display at Trickster (a free comic artist mini con across the street from Comic Con), and he signed Roy! **

At times, he would choose to mingle with the crowd, stopping to pose with his fans…

Roy posing with me and SweetKT

Roy takes a moment to pose with the artist who created him...

Skyetk is swept off her feet...

Roy the Robot turned out to be a whopping 50 inches tall! I have his keyboard and other pieces that weren’t available in time for NerdHQ, and will be piecing those onto him before putting him up for auction. I haven’t forgotten!

Roy would like to thank everyone who supported him along the way...

I got the chance to meet some awesome nerds from TNM, including two girls who each are dead ringers for Claire Littleton from Lost.  We named them Claire One and Claire Two.  I’m sure their parents named them Laura and Emily (respectively), but four days of knowing them rendered us better-equipped to name them properly, y’see.

One of them was Claire from "Vancooter"... Because Laura had to learn that Kella fails at spoken language. Hard.

We also had an actual Claire, and she was designated “Claire Prime”.  We’re not nerds at all.  Swear.  I also met up with TNM chat regulars such as Tessay/pinaynerd (the awesome lady who was my roommate/hostess for NerdHQ), Beefkiller, may.the.nerd.b.with.u, Andriana, Jaimemac, NerdyCruz, juniper728, theurbanraptor, XFKirsten, and a bunch of others whose names I can’t retain in my head after a month, I’m sorry!

By the time Roy and I got there on Thursday afternoon, the place was packed already and there were panels going on upstairs.  I am definitely regretting the intervening mayhem that kept me from updating sooner, because all the details have faded from my brain.  I remember a few things though (in no particular order):

#1.) There was a couple cosplaying there, first as Flynn/Rapunzel from “Tangled”, then as Chuck/Sarah from — well — “Chuck”.  Michael Haneline took his geeky girlfriend, Genevieve, on a whirlwind mission-tour of Comic Con and NerdHQ, and along the way there were stormtroopers, mission clues from Chuck (who was apparently with Sarah on assignment in Brazil… or something. I don’t know. I’m sure Casey was there. With guns…), and ended it all with a steampunk puzzle box at Comic Con booth 1331.  Inside was a gorgeous ring. Great cosplay, great attitudes, and genuinely great people to talk to. (And Genevieve is an admitted craft!nerd…go figure!) Their wedding website is here.

So cute! (And able to kill you with their pinkies in about 50 different ways...)

Zac gave them a great engagement present: an impromptu Break.com spot on camera!

This was what she had to "defuse" for her shiny...

#2.) I got to meet Zac Levi (and the entire Nerd Machine team, who are all incredibly metal for working their asses off!), Scott Bakula, Seth Green, Felicia Day, and Michele from Team Unicorn accidentally stepped on my foot and elbowed me in the boob in a crowd surrounding the aforementioned Break.com interview (which I still consider a “meeting” and therefore a win, by the way). They’re all awesome people, and getting to see Scott Bakula and Zac Levi do a spur-of-the-moment musical number during a panel was a weekend highlight.

#3.) Nathan Fillion going “incognito” up the sidewalk past NerdHQ.  In his green “Captain Mal”-style shirt, distinctive haircut, red bandanna over his face, and tight jeans, I had absolutely no freaking clue who he was… for about 0.5 seconds. I nodded at him as he walked along and went about my work.  I was trying to find something to do, about 15-20 minutes later, and was walking into the bar when he almost ran me down on foot on his own way into the panel room upstairs.  Now, after about two years of my brother regaling us with his “Nathan Fillion almost hit me with his car in a crosswalk across the street from the L.A. Film School!” story, I’ve come to the conclusion that Nathan Fillion has it out for my family.  Thankfully, my sister is out of state, or I’d be worried about another celebrity-generated attempt on my family’s safety!  (I jest. The only thing Nathan Fillion is genuinely guilty of is twine-avoidance. And being studly!awesome. As he will tell you.)

4.) Caitlin Kagawa does awesome costume design. She crossplays a bunch (i.e. this year, she paraded about NerdHQ as Flynn Rider, Captain Jack Harkness, and Neal Caffrey) and is so convincing that I was embarrassed to be told, finally, that she was actually a girl!  I had an awesome chat with her and her roommate, Salina, who is a writer.  (Fair warning, Caitlin: I will probably be hijacking you for your input on a knitted cosplay for next year… as threatened previously.)

Convincing, ain't she?

I met many awesomely geeky couples, worked with some hilarious nerds, and got to meet the men (and woman!) behind the curtain: Zac Levi, David Coleman, and David’s wife, Courtney.  (David and Zac even signed Roy!)

I don’t have many pictures, unfortunately, as I was busy schlepping all over the place and working my ass off. I swear I lost 10lbs that weekend alone! I shall forever recommend volunteering for NerdHQ as the new “P-Nerdy-X” diet.  The friends I made and fun I had was intense and I can’t wait to do it again next year.  Also, I’m very proud of myself for only having ONE panic attack that entire four-day trip, toward the end of it all.  I was so afraid I’d freak out in public and not be able to work my shifts, let alone have fun.

Through all the rush, I got this pic near the end. Zac loved the doll, thankfully!

Whew! Now that I’ve actually “ripped off the band-aid” and posted this, for better or worse, I can stop thinking of myself as a horrible person for procrastinating on this post.  The longer my drama went on, the more blogging became this insurmountable obstacle; I’d waited so long, it was impossible to complete!

 

**Wrong draft got published, did not intentionally omit Jim from original posting. I’m just not that technically brilliant between the hours of 1:00 AM and 10:00AM, Pacific Standard Time.

First product launch! Woot!

June 28, 2011 5 comments

Today, I am proud to announce the launch of my “Bytez” novelty minis!

Through a partnership with Level Cap Clothing, I am now able to showcase and (hopefully) sell my creations to fund my questionable addiction to more yarn and The Nerd Machine events.

Available in a set or individually.

Please go and take a look at the stuff I have up now, and keep an eye out for more! I’m still working on new Bytez…

If I love you, I will shrink you into yarny miniatures of yourself…

June 21, 2011 3 comments

So, I bet you’re wondering where I’ve been for the last week. (Or maybe you’re blissfully oblivious to my comings and goings in general, and that’s okay, too…) Between school, parenting, and crocheting minis and knitting socks, I’ve been a bit overwhelmed. Also, today is finals week for this class block.

Translation? Kella is an unhappy geek.

But, here’s some shinies that I finished in the last couple of days that should be distracting enough…

Morgan Grimes, from "Chuck" on NBC

Sarah Walker, in her Wienerlicious uniform, from NBC's "Chuck"

John Casey, from "Chuck" on NBC

I’ve started “Jeffster” as of today. Then the Awesomes, then Chuck. Chuck, himself, is gonna be hard for me because I wanna get it just right…

After this, I plan to go after “Leverage”. I apologize in advance to anyone associated with that show who is offended by the idea of the cast being immortalized in yarn.

First Official Roy the Robot Update – May 27, ’11

May 27, 2011 Leave a comment

I know you’ve all been waiting with baited breath, anxious to hear about how Roy the Robot is coming along. Well, after 17 days of work on the part of ethelmuggs, hhooppyy, and myself, we’re almost 1/3rd of the way through!

Layout of Roy, pre-stitching


Read more…

Domo arigato, Roy…

May 15, 2011 Leave a comment

If you have been watching the #RoytheRobot Twitter hashtag, or the TNM thread on the subject, then you already have a pretty good idea on what this post is about.

(If you haven’t a clue, click on those links and then return here in an enlightened state.)

Below is a progress sheet to track which robotic-yet-knitted bits have been completed/shipped/received/assembled. Almost makes you feel like you’re in the action, eh? (And no… this is not just a shameless attempt to fill a post with my new Google Docs/Wordpress-posting toy…)

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