Thursday, December 31, 2015

Episode 88: BB88 - Spoiler-tastic

In this week's SPOILER-tastic episode, Sandy & Jade talk in-depth about the latest Star Wars movie, the Force Awakens. CAUTION: There are a lot of spoilers in this episode.

Afterwards, they geek out about their end-of-year projects, then wrap up with a review of Star Wars Crochet kit, by Thunder Press.

Get Geeky

Events 2016

Dundracon 40: San Ramon Mariott February 12-15, 2016, HOTEL IS FULL, last day for prereg prices 1/31
Sandy is helping with the karaoke event again this year-- proposed theme: Princes of the Universe
  • Stitches West: FEB. 18-21, 2016


Sandy & Jade talk about the new Star Wars movie, their thoughts about the characters, etc. This is a SPOILER-HEAVY episode, so if you haven't seen the movie, skip to the Get Crafty Section.

Get Crafty

Fiber Optics

Finished Objects
  • Raspberry Ice
  • Yarn: Queensland Kathmandu Chunky - Merino, Cashmere, Silk.
  • Progress: Complete. Jade had hoped it was a 2 week sweater, but finished instead in 21 days on Xmas day.
  • Modifications: Seed stitch instead
  • Pattern: GAP-tastic cowl
  • Yarn: Eco Wool in Ecru -- left overs from the Hemlock Blanket by Jared Flood
  • Modifications -- Double moss stitch instead of the single moss stitch.
  • Pattern: Vanilla Fingerless glove pattern
  • Yarn: “Asia” -- Super Sock Abstract Fibers
  • 80% done knitting the Maple Leaf Knit Shawl by Natalia @ Elfmoda, as part of a December KAL. Mine is in Malabrigo Sock, color Fresco y Seco, a stunning emerald green.
  • not using the charts, still counting to finish the corners
Started some vanilla socks for Eric in a very old skein of yarn-- Brunswick Nylamb in the color Cranberry.  
Two inches of cuffs underway.

Review: Star Wars Crochet

Author: Lucy Collins
Publisher: Thunder Bay Press 

DISCLAIMER: This kit was given to us by Thunder Bay Press to review.
We’ll upload a more comprehensive review on our blog, with photos, but here’s a shortened version:

Overall, the kit was well put together. It contained: yarn, a crochet hook, instructions, stuffing, eyes, and a darning needle. Jade made Yoda, which is the first project in the book while at Convolution this year.

  • The yarn == The yarn was wool, which was a nice surprise. It was pleasant enough to work with.  I thought it’d be acrylic, but it’s actual wool yarn.
  • Crochet hook == The hook is metal, which Jade doesn’t personally like, but you can’t be picky. Also, the crochet hook is the correct size for the yarn
  • Instructions == The instructions are very good, clear and concise.
    • The front part of the book contains instructions for beginning crocheters with photos and details on how to do all of the stitches necessary for each project -- including how to tell the wrong / right side of amigurumi. It’s a good start for a beginner.
    • You might want to supplement this with an actual beginning book on crochet -- “Stitch & Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker” (at least 2nd edition)”
  • Eyes == The enclosed doll eyes did not work. Both Jade and Sandy, who are experienced toy crochet/knitters, could not get the screws for the eyes to work. They suggest getting new doll eyes from a big box craft store or embroider the eyes, if you know how.
  • The darning needle == Jade found the darning needle a bit too small to work with, especially if you’re a child with clumsy hands.
  • The Star Wars characters == All of them are SUPER cute. And Jade wants to make them all. Sandy wants this kit for herself, as well.

PROS: Excellent kit overall, with minor nits. Jade recommends this for adventurous beginners, experienced crocheters, and any crafter who loves Star Wars.

CONS: A couple of things
  • The eyes and darning needle were useless as noted above . 
  • The Storm Trooper should have been the very first project instead of Yoda as there are too many things as a first project … including making very small Yoda ears and his cloak.
  • The weight of the yarn is mentioned only at the beginning of the book under "NOTES". When looking at each project, the yarn weight is not mentioned at all.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Episode 87: The Good, the Bad, the Over-Commercialized

In this week's episode, Sandy and Jade talk about the over-commercialization of certain geek franchises, and ask, When is too much too much? Then they play catch-up on their cosplay and crafting projects from the past month.

Get Geeky

30 Seconds of Squee

  • Sandy Squee: Sandy is gaga over Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs aromatherapy oils -
  • Jade Squee - Jade is sque’ing over the new Doctor Who season. No spoilers.

Over-commercialization of Geek Franchises

The girls discuss the GOOD and BAD of the over-commercialization of our geek fandoms. For the longest time, it was hard to get geek-themed objects, unless it was a limited run made by a fan that you could get at a convention. However, nowadays, this has changed.
Using Star Wars as an example, there might be a super saturation of the market, from Darth Vader showerheads to Chewbaca Coffee Mate creamer.
Where’s the line? How much is too much? Does it lower the mystique of a fandom? Or does it increase your enjoyment?
Sandy found this video by SNL that spoofs collectors vs. kids who buy Star Wars.

Get Crafty

Make it Sew - Cosplay Creations

Jade is currently still working on her Jedi outfit. She finished one, and started another.

Fiber Optics

Jade: 200 projects on RAVELRY!
Sandy has 63.

Finished Objects
Malabrigo merino Worsted, color Blue Graphite
Quick knit, I’d been meaning to make this for a while, and it felted up beautifully.
  • Yarn: Shibui - Linen, Cloud, and Pebble
  • Notes: Jade FINALLY finished this after some hassle. There were points where the sweater was frogged, which is a pain, because MOHAIR. She added a crochet border around the neck and edges to prevent too much rolling.
  • Pattern: Hulky Invader Sock pattern
  • Yarn: BCY Self Striping Sport Sock -- “Hulk”
  • Reminds Jade of ZIM from Invader ZIM. Sandy remarks that she thought it was from the Planet Hulk animation.
  • Pattern: Vitruvia -
  • Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug. Leaf Velvet. FINGERING WEIGHT
  • Progress: This was Jade’s trip knitting in the car. Slow progress but oh, so pretty. She’s two repeats of the cable pattern on the back.
  • Hermione's Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder
  • Araucania Itata Multy: wool, silk, bamboo
  • green, purple, yellow…
  • Sandy is halfway through the second sock
  • Pattern: Vanilla Sock pattern
  • Yarn: Electric Avenue by Stray Cat Socks
  • KNITTING ATTACKS JADE. She has so many broken sock needles and one lost sock. She is going to try out carbon fiber needles recommended by the Purl Girls.
  • To Sum up of National Finish a sweater month: the sweater is blocked, seamed through the body, both sleeves knit and attached to armscyes, then cut back because they were too long and reknit, but I didn’t manage to finish before the end of November.  I still have the hood and neckline to go, and then seaming the arms down the center. Can’t even begin to count the Knitting Attacks while doing the !@#$% arms.
  • Raspberry Ice - Project 201
  • Yarn: Queensland Kathmandu Chunky - Merino, Cashmere, Silk.
  • Notes: This is working up very fast. In 5 days, she has cast off the body and started on the sleeves.
A bunch of us gamer geeks are knitting or crocheting the Maple Leaf Knit Shawl by Natalia @ Elfmoda, as part of a December KAL. Mine is in Malabrigo Sock, color Fresco y Seco, a stunning emerald green.
It’s an easy pattern to work, but a lot of counting and record keeping. Make sure everything lines up and you’ll be fine.