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Psst! Panda Paraphenalia Post…

August 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Hey guys!  Guess what???

For $4.99 + tax, in the Lakeline Mall in Austin, TX, you can TOTALLY own your own…. (wait for it)…

 

SOLAR POWERED PANDA READING A NEWSPAPER ON THE TOILET!!!

This a children’s toy, you bastards. Take comfort in the fact that, as it’s screwing your kids up for life, it’s doing so in an environmentally-conscious way.

 

 

And now, I leave you.
You’re welcome.

 

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?

Adventures in Parenting: I am 3 going on 17…

May 14, 2012 2 comments

So, my three-ring circus consists of a three-year-old child, two sibling cats, working from home, making handmade items for spare cash, and trying to complete my degree through online college. Since we recently moved to Austin, our finances have (understandably) been in severe flux and we’re still waiting for the dust to settle. This means that my barely manageable chaos between work/self-employment/school is also complicated by having to ensure my daughter is still breathing and not stockpiling reasons to seek therapy by the end of the day. This becomes more and more difficult as she develops her own opinions. I tried to decline the update but it was pushed overnight as part of the whole “dressing herself” convenience package I opted into.

That’s a note to all you geeky parents out there: Always read the fucking EULA.

We recently allowed Siobhan to turn three years old. It was a tough decision for her father and I, as we barely survived her two’s and felt ill-prepared for the added challenge of regular, informed debates with a midget. Luckily, however, my husband pointed out that she would be much easier to train with the update’s freebies like English, connection-making skills, and self-entertaining subroutines to keep her on a repetitive, placid mode in her bedroom so I can get some goddamned work done during the middle of the day.

Part of her learning to entertain herself has been playing with Mina and Pepper, our two 10-month-old kittens. She loves to take shoelaces or craft yarn and lead them on merry (if not psychotic) chases around our small apartment. It has the dual effect of providing all of us with entertainment and giving me a prolonged break from the child micromanaging so I can get some work done.

Today, I needed to start transcribing something (as I’ve had absolutely no time to do it all weekend), and Mina wouldn’t leave my lap alone. So I called Siobhan into my bedroom. She came running in from her room, breathless and naked except for her Pull-Up, where I knew she had been doing everything except cleaning it like I’d previously asked…

Siobhan (innocently): What is it Mommy?
Me: Here. Can you play with Mina and Pepper so I can get some work done, please?

Siobhan crosses her arms and rolls her eyes dramatically before she sighs as deeply as you’d expect from a petulant 15-year-old. “Fine, Mommy. I’ll do you a favor.” Then, she plasters on a plastic smile and opens her eyes wide (think “Pre-School Teacher on Methamphetamines”) before turning to Mina and Pepper: “Come here M’na, Pepper! Let’s go!”

Thanks for the solid, smartass.

Categories: Child, Random Weirdness

Yeah. That just happened…

April 26, 2012 2 comments

Today I picked up the husband from work, with our 3-year-old in her toddler seat, and started driving us toward the pharmacy on the way back home.  Our daughter picked an argument with me (I can’t remember what it was about, to be honest, as it’s not the first we’ve had today, and probably won’t be the last…) and after some whining and general verbal flailing about, the conversation continued as follows:

Me:  Sorry, kiddo. Mommy wins.

Husband: Yeah, honey, mommy always wins.

Me: Yep. It’s a fact of life. Learn to accept the loss…

Husband: Seriously not a concept I think she’s aware of.

Daughter: …Lose? (puzzled look)

Husband: See???

Me: You lose.

Husband: …Fa…tality?…

Me: Yeah, I’m Mommy!Shredder.

Husband: …

Me: …?

Husband: I think you’re aiming for Sub-Zero or something…It’s a Mortal Kombat reference, dear.

Me: I know…Shredder, Sub-Zero, whatever…

Husband: You can’t combine Mortal Kombat with Teenage Goddamned Mutant Fucking Ninja Turtles, dammit. Quit cross-pollinating your fucking geek.

Me: *cries tears of broken nerd shame/hysterical laughter and tries not to wreck the minivan on the frontage road…*

What a long, strange trip it’s been! (or: Dr. Who Sex Toys and You…)

April 11, 2012 3 comments

Kella, where has the Stay-at-Home Geek been???

Glad you asked. I’m sorry for my absence these last six or seven months, but I’ve…

a.) Been a full time-mom

b.) Been a full-time student

c.) Got a job outside the house, which prompted me to have an identity crisis as I was no longer staying at home, but then we moved three times and then out to Texas and I was able to take my job “on the road” so that all worked out…

d.) (See above, re: moving three times in-state, then once from Orange County, CA to Austin, TX. Then pity me.)

e.) Been starting a new business: Knit Your Geek On, which will offer geeky handknit/crocheted items for the discerning individual. (Or even the not-so-discerning. Don’t care, money please.)

f.) Been hosting an athletic competition for my lungs, to see which can project itself the furthest outside my chest cavity, via my mouth. (Also known as: battling bronchitis/pneumonia/crackhead lung-dwelling Mogwai…)

All of this has conspired to make me the most seemingly-unproductive fucker on the planet.  Luckily, I have managed to retain my sense of humor about it all.

I still have Roy. He will be put up for auction, proceeds going to Operation Smile, as soon as I unpack him from the anti-moth/dust/critters/air precautions he’s in and give him a good airing out!

And now, something that may help kick off the reboot of this blog: Facebook Ramblings with Stu.

Stu and I have been friends since 2005. I’ve moved around like a gypsy on the lam, but we still keep in contact, intermittently (and I recently discovered that I’d accidentally memorized his phone number, despite never calling it in the last 7 years).  What helps keep our friendship going, I think, is the fact that his insanity parallels my own.

Stu is British, lives in Oklahoma, and plays host to four feline terrorists. We share Doctor Who/Star Wars/Whedonverse love, and he tolerates my craft-making rantings online with enthusiasm.  Often, he’ll post something outlandish on his wall, I’ll respond, and then (sometimes with the involvement of his other friends) it takes a turn for the bizarre and blogworthy.

Case in point (actual Facebook conversation from yesterday, with other friends of his chiming in):

Stu:  So.. Doctor Who sex toys. The sonic screwdriver is obvious (mine has three speeds).. but how about the Tom Baker scarf cock ring? Or the K9 Sybian?
Stu:  We could offer TARDIA .. Time and Relative Dimensions in Anal. “it gets bigger on the inside”
Kella:  ><;
Amber:  that last one just made me think “OUCH”
Stu:  Various screw drivers in various sizes.. four five six seven… and David TenInch. And “disappointing” for Eleven. Oh and don’t forget the Master!
Kella:  Wait till he changes the desktop theme to “coral”…
Amber:  The Dahlek vibrator, it’s already ribbed for her pleasure. Bonus points if it said “Ejaculate!”
Kella:  Not ribbed. Bumps. Dalek Bumps. /JeremyPrice
Amber:  The cyberman blow up sex doll.
Kella:  ‎…get off mah brainz.
Amber:  Adipose ball gag?
Kella:  I’ve actually knit one of those…
Stu:  I like the way you think.  Silence gags and Weeping Angel blindfolds…
Kella:  Raxacoricofallapatorian butt plugs…
Amber:  The Ood bullet, round and glowing, of course. the remote control is even part of the appeal!
Kella:  Only if the bullet is shaped like a brain, and it’s squishy.  I think I’ve actually got a pattern in my head for an Ood ski-mask, which could be easily altered to have an “uncut” Ood appearance… “The Ood ski mask, now 100% less Jewish/Puritanical!”
Amber:  I’m pretty sure that needs to happen!
Kella:  ‎…Don’t tempt me. People in Austin may die as a result.
Katie:  This is amazing.
Stu:  Cyber corsets. With upgrades. And attachments.  River Song’s Sensation Enhancing Lipstick.
Kella:  Window washer’s cart sex swing… for when you absolutely need suspension of your sexual disbelief.
Stu:  The Captain Jack equal opportunity toy… a vibrator at one end, a fleshlight at the other.
Kella:  The Gimp Mask of Bo.
Stu:  The Mickey Smith… a giant vibrating pussy.
Kella:  …with optional car charger!  The Martha Jones: invades your spaces in all the ways you don’t want, so you feel better after it’s been removed.
Stu: 
Empty Child brand bondage gas mask… Changes everything you say to “Are you my mummy?”
Sarah: 
Omg…. This was by far the strangest thing I read all day.
Kella:
  The Jackie Tyler: Comes in a wide array of dated colors, half out of its package, and will black your eye if you’re not careful.

I’m back. You’re welcome.


Demand to speak to life’s manager!

October 13, 2011 3 comments

As you may or may not have realized by now, I am a creature of craft-centric impulses. I am also a compulsive video game nut. This works well for my husband, who works for a video game company. He usually avoids my yarn-related projects, unless they’re of a geeky bent… then he adopts them and pimps them out.

He is currently fiercely protecting this Portal 2-inspired little guy:

It's just a lemon...

And if you want to know who’s to blame for the combustible yarn-lemons:

 

That’s right people.  That’s all it takes for me to shiny object.

I have plans for this flammable citrus.  I’m going to install a zipper with a lit fuse fob on the end.  Then, I’m going to try to rig it so that the flames accordion up and out of the lemon while you’re unzipping it.  Then I’m going to find a way to swap them for the lemons in Valve’s cafeteria.  Assuming they have lemons.  Oh well.  Who are they to argue with free, questionable, fake lemons?

You can see I’ve put far too much thought into this…

Next, a portato gun!

 

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?

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