Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Episode 68: Geek Love

In this episode, Sandy & Jade discuss the events happening for February, as well as the dreaded Valentine's day gift giving with some helpful tips on geek gift giving. España sends in a field report reviewing the book, "Rivers of London". In Get Crafty!, the girls talk about their recent project disasters. Sandy announces a Harry Potter "Craft-A-Long!" Come and join us!

Get Geeky!


  • DundraCon - Sandy is doing another Karaoke LARP - Feb. 13-16. 2015
  • GallifreyOne - The Doctor Who Convention in LA. Special guests include: Alex Kingston and John Barrowman. Jade will be attendance. Feb. 13-16, 2015
  • Stitches West - Santa Clara Convention Center - Feb. 20-22

Valentine's Day Gift Giving

Traditionally, V-day gifts include flowers, candy, and jewelry. Here's some takes on those traditional gifts, geek-style.

Review of "Rivers of London" by España Sheriff

Get Crafty!


Sandy wants you to geek out about Harry Potter! She's organizing a Potter Craft-a-long. Make your favorite Potter Universe item, whether it be knitting, sewing, baking, or otherwise. Check out the Geek Girl Crafts forums on G+ and Ravelry:
Check out the official Harry Potter Universe website at: https://www.pottermore.com

Fiber Optics


  • Project Name: Cranford Mitts
  • yarn: scrap Koigu and Zitron Trekking Pro Natura
  • http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cranford-mitts
  • Whovian Long Gloves
  • Link: Jade’s  own pattern
  • Yarn: Cascade 220 Sportweight Superwash
  • Milly Molly Mandy Socks
  • Stray Cat Socks
  • Progress Finished -- but, the dye has bled and now they are dingy!

  • Project Name: Fjallsippa nordic sweater
  • Yarn: anything!
  • Progress: finished one sleeve, on to the next
  • MEGA MISTAKE!! Frogged back to beginning of second sleeve
  • lots of hexies
  • Fingerless gloves pattern
  • Stray Cat Socks Yarn
  • Jade's own pattern

Make It Sew!

Jade had to re-do her bag after a trial run. She found some issues, including it being too floppy. She's posted about it on her blog along with her fixes:

Monday, January 12, 2015

Episode 67: Tools of the Trade - Beading with España

This article is part of the Tools of the Trade series, sponsored by the Geek Girl Crafts Podcast. The author, España Sheriff describes the basics of beading and what you need to get started. 

You can listen to this podcast:
Or directly download it from this link.:

Beading Basics

by España Sheriff

This article should cover the basic equipment you’ll need to get started with beading. It assumes an absolute beginner status, someone interested but  just getting started. It also assumes a basic project such as a simple necklace composed of beads strung on a wire.


This is obviously your most essential element. Most projects  will start with you choosing the beads that you want in order create your project.

There  are an almost infinite variety of shapes and sizes from tiny seed beads to big old baubles. There is no wrong answer here, find something you like and want to wear and take it from  there.

Stringing Material: 

This is your other cant-do-without. There are  many to choose from, but for my favorite for stringing beads  is probably wire. Whichever you choose it’s wise to have a few shades from light to dark to choose from, especially if you’re  working with translucent beads.

Findings & Components:

Findings refers to all the functional bits and pieces of a piece of jewelry. The clasp, the hook of
 an earring, and so on. In this case, for a necklace you would  probably want a clasp to open and close it.

As for COMPONENTS, some projects may not need any but generally speaking you are going to want to have some CRIMPING  BEADS on hand.

CRIMPING BEADS are small metal tube shaped beads that you squeeze  shut after looping your wire or cord through it forming a  closed loop in order to attach a clasp. They have plenty of  other users as well.

Once you have your beads and your components, you’re going to realize that’s a lot of fiddly bits to manage.


You want some clear plastic storage to sort and find all these  little pieces quickly.

I recommend at least one good sized box with compartments that you can hold the essentials in. There are tons of great options at most craft stores nowadays, I personally like the tackle box type of storage for my main supplies, like tools and findings, with a separate box that has small removable jars, boxes, or tubes to hold the beads. This allows me to just take out the beads I want to play with.

So now you have everything you want to put together, and a place to keep it. Whats next?


Your  working area. I recommend a beading mat. This is a neutral colored cloth that holds the beads so they’re easy to find and at the same time serves the purpose of stopping your beads
 from rolling around and onto the floor.

A beading design board serves a similar purpose, and as the name suggests also allows you to design the piece on it. It comes indented with grooves in the shape of a necklace so you can
 try out your design. The grooves have measurements so you can make sure you have enough materials to fill the design.

SO, you’ve got your beads, they’re laid out on the board or mat. Now you want to have some tools to actually put the pieces together.


 Your absolute basics are; Pliers and Cutters. Most craft stores sell decent little starter sets with the essentials; a set of cutters, a set of round nosed pliers, and a set of flat nosed pliers.
  • The cutters are obviously to cut the wire, chain, or so on. They’re sturdy and made to deal with materials that scissors can’t.
  • Chain nosed pliers have a flat edge and are for almost anything from holding and manipulating findings, beads, and wire, to flattening crimping beads. These are your new hands practically.
  • Round nosed pliers are also very good for manipulating things, but their shape is mainly in order to make loops in wire. This is actually something that comes up an awful lot, so these are
  •  handy little things.

As  you progress you’ll find yourself adding to these, getting different sizes and more specific tools, for example there are  crimping pliers that are better for that specific task. But these will do for a start.

Tweezers are also going to help you a lot by letting you manipulate smaller beads, threads, wire, knot, etc.     (TWEEZERS and GLUE are optional but often very handy to have.)       

Bead Stoppers

This last piece of equipment is a massive time saver.  They come in a few varieties but my favorites are little springs  that you grip the cord with.

These tools will allow you to complete a project from start to finish, including some pretty complex ones. There are many wonderful beading project guides online that will walk you through making stunning creations; a Google, Tumblr, or Pinterest search will turn up more projects than you can complete in a year.

It's probably good idea to get comfortable and familiar with the capabilities of the basic tools before you give in to the inevitable temptation to get other new shinies. That will also let you figure out where your interests really lie; as you make different things you'll find that some techniques are far more appealing to you than others.

And once you find a project an complete it, share it with us!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Episode 66: Multi-tasking in 2015

Happy New Year!!! In this episode, the girls review the animated movie, Big Hero 6 (note: SPOILERS), and our geek-in-the-field, España, sends a report from Leicester, England.  In the second half of the episode, the girls discuss their crafting round-up for the year and their current works-in-progress.

(Click to listen! Uses Flash)

Get Geeky

Happy 2015!!

(From Back to the Future: What we should be wearing according to the movie)

Announcement: Our Tools of the Trade episodes are going to start going live this January, with hopefully at least one mini-episode a month in addition to our regularly scheduled episodes.

Moment of Squee: The girls LOVED the movie, Big Hero 6, and recommends that you go see it!

Report from the Field: Our own intrepid España has sent in a field report from Leicester, UK.

Get Crafty:

The girls have a lot on the needles and are multi-tasking on various projects.

Fiber Optics


  • Project: Portland Sparkly Fall Socks
  • Yarn: Unknown (superwash merino/nylon) that she got from Yarn swap.
  • Project: Vanilla socks for Eric because of NaNoWriMo
  • Yarn: Kroy FX: Cadet Blues
  • He loves ‘em!
  • Project: BIL Bulky Hat
  • Yarn: Cascade 128 Superwash Multis
  • Progress: Made to match the fingerless gloves from last year. REALLY FAST KNIT with BULKY!

  • Project Name: Fjallsippa nordic sweater
  • Yarn: anything!
  • Progress: finished one sleeve, on to the next
  • Project: Milly Molly Mandy
  • Yarn: Stray Cat Socks.
  • Progress: 95% done. Have about 2” left on the cuff. She wants to finish by the end of recording the podcast.
  • Hexipuffs! lots of hexies, since she's running around
  • Cranford mitts in pink Zitron Trekking XXL (using up sock leftovers)
  • Link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cranford-mitts
  • Project: Palatinus shawl by Adrien Antal
  • Yarn: Malabrigo lace in Spruce green, using slightly smaller needles
  • Progress: About three motifs into the pattern
  • Adrien Antal’s wonderful site: http://kezimunkazas.blogspot.hu/
  • Project: Aran Sweater
  • Link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/st-brigid
  • Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers
  • Progress: She has completed the bottom sweater band and cuff bands. She only needs to attach the cuff bands and do some finishing work

Make it Sew


Jade's been sewing a TARDIS messenger bag for everyday use, especially at Cons! She wrote up a brief tutorial on how to make the messenger bag using a commercial pattern. You can read it at: her blog -- Geek Girl Crafts