Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Nerd Wars T9 R3 Recap

I had a very successful third round for Nerd Wars. I completed projects for every category which in Nerd Wars parlance means that I dwarfed the nebula. This is the first time in the three tournaments of Nerd Wars that I participated in that I managed to answer all of the challenges. One of the captains of Team Most Amused likes to recognize team members when they dwarf the nebula by making a humorous, quasi badge for them. Here is mine:

During this round, the team was a little less social but I think it is just the nature of the timing. December is a pretty busy month for most people with lots of family obligations and travel so there is just less time for knitting and internet shenanigans. We still ended up with 100% participation although we were one person short of having 100% participation for team unity this month. Our team unity for this round was to tie your project to Monty Python and, to extend the unity, our badges were all Monty Python related.

Giving Geeks:
This round of Giving Geeks was an end of the year special and you could answer the any of the challenges that had been done throughout the year. I went with the "donation inspired by weather" challenge and made a donation to the American Red Cross. I opted for this donation as the midwest had just been hit by several devastating tornadoes & the Philippines had just been hit by Typhoon Haiyan. My Britcom tie-in was the episode of The Vicar of Dibley when the vicar installs a plain window instead of a stained glass window in the church and donates the money she raised for a new stained glass window to earthquake relief.

Encyclopedia & Team Unity Project
The challenge for this round was to craft something inspired by some aspect of the European Medieval period. I took my inspiration from the Black Death, the largest pandemic in history, and crafted a black Thorpe hat. I crocheted the trim in red because I wanted to use the Black Knight from the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail as my team tie-in and unity project. The Black Knight has a red symbol on his armor and he spouts quite a bit of blood over the course of his scene. I have a special fondness for that movie because I watched it several times with my Dad and brother when I was little. We still use it as a pop culture touch-point.

For this round, we had to try something new. It was a pretty broad mandate and there is a lot that I haven't tried when it comes to knitting. I decided that I would try double knitting as my "something new." Although it was a little fiddly it is definitely a technique that I would use again. I went with a very basic potholder for my project so that I didn't have to worry too much about mistakes. I mean, an ugly potholder is still completely functional, right? I tied this project to the Britcom Mulberry as the titular character arrives in a long, brown coat.

The challenge was to craft something inspired by a pun. I found a hippopotamus pun about weight loss so I knit a hippo dishcloth. The pattern that I used suggested knitting with a size 6 needle instead of the size 8 that is often called for with dishcloths as the tighter gauge helps the pattern stand out. I tied the color of the dishcloth to an outfit that a character is wearing in the sketch show Little Britain.

Flexible Schedule
For the flexible schedule category you can submit two projects that you finished during the round, as long as you did at least two hours worth of crafting on the project during the round. If you completed an unfinished object, you need to provide a before and after picture to show how much work you completed. I finished a dishcloth that I had started for a previous tournament and I also knit a pair of slippers. I tied the color of the slippers to the opening credit colors of the Britcom Good Neighbors.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

First real snow of the season

I snapped some photos on Friday night while it was snowing. The photos were taken when we had about five inches of snow and it was still coming down. It was gorgeous, fluffy snow that was perfect for making snowballs. Unfortunately, no one at work wanted to have a snowball fight.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Team Most Amused First Place T9 R1

You can't see me but I am doing a little happy dance at my computer. Team Most Amused was in first place at the end of Round One of this, the Ninth Tournament of Nerd Wars. I'm sure that we won't end up in first place at the end of the tournament because other teams seem to focus on getting dissertation points which don't factor in until rounds two and three. That being said, I am pretty proud of my team. Moving on the my summary of round two...

First up, another picture collage of all the badges I earned from Team Most Amused.
Giving Geeks
Our prompt for this round was to "show the smallest among us that you care." To fulfill the challenge, I made a monetary donation to Crisis Nursery, a wonderful organization that provides respite care for children birth to age 6 when the family is in the midst of a crisis. In addition to respite care, the Crisis Nursery also provides parenting classes, support groups, postpartum depression services, play groups, and referrals to other community service providers to help the family to get through whatever crisis they are facing. Did I mention that the Crisis Nursery is staffed 24hours a day, all year long? They are never closed because they are aware that a crisis can happen at any time. If you have some spare money and are looking for a great place to donate it, I would recommend Crisis Nursery. Don't live if the area? See if your community has a similar organization and support it.

For this round we had to craft a project in the colors of carotenoids and anthocyanins, the chemicals that are revealed during fall when the leaves change colors. I knit a brown Haka (a hat by Lee Meredith) and tied it to the brown outfit that Mrs. Doyle wears on the show Father Ted. The hat is a super quick knit and I will probably make more in the future for charity knitting. This hat is headed to the charity Wool-Aid as it is made of a bulky wool yarn and it has ear flaps for extra warmth.

Nerdology & Team Unity
The prompt for this round was to raise your nerd flag high and craft something inspired by another teams nerdery.  I knit a Nibbler dishcloth inspired by the cartoon Futurama. I am really sad that it is being cancelled. This project was also my team unity project. Our team unity for this round was a cross team unity so we had to craft something that was inspired by Team Space Alliance and they crafted something inspired by Team Most Amused. Futurama is one of the shows covered in their scope. I didn't know it at the time but Futurama is also covered by Team Shady cells so I got to be an honorary member of their team for this round. What does that mean? Another badge for my collection.

I hope that you are having fun with your knitting!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Kntting Nerdy

So I am still participating in Nerd Wars on Ravelry. I was initially planning on sitting out this round as I wasn't feeling inspired but I found different team to play on and I feel renewed and excited again. I was previously playing on Team Cancelled which is a great team focusing on television shows that were cancelled after three or fewer seasons. What drew me to that team initially? My love for amazing shows like Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, The Unusuals, Life, and Veronica Mars. However, deadline knitting has never been my forte and I was starting to get irritated by the rules and deadlines.

What could possibly have staved off a big "you're not the boss of me" fit and kept my nose to the knitting grindstone? Team Most Amused, a Nerd Wars team devoted to British television comedies! I grew up watching Britcom Saturday night on the local PBS affiliate and I have many fond memories of my whole family watching Are You Being Served (also on PBS).  I enjoy the classic Britcoms. And by classic, I mean stuff I think of as quintessentially Britcom-y: Are You Being Served, Keeping Up Appearances, Mulberry, As Time Goes By, The IT Crowd, Good Neighbors, and Waiting for God. I also really enjoy Coupling (we should never speak of the American remake) although I think of it as a British comedy and not a Britcom (my brain sees them as distinctly different).

I completed challenges in three of the five challenge categories and one of those projects was also a team unity project.

Giving Geeks:
For this challenge we were supposed to express our humanity by combating fear through a donation of time, money or items. I answered the challenge by making a donation to the local foodbank to combat the fear of going hungry. With this challenge, there were so many worthy causes that could qualify but since we were in the midst of the federal government shutdown and I knew several people that were having to make do without a paycheck, I opted to give to the foodbank. Although the federal government wasn't paying employees, their employees still had to pay bills and feed their families.

For this challenge we were supposed to craft something inspired by a trip to the zoo. I was looking for a quick project so I went with a bear washcloth. I knew that I would need to tie it to one of the television shows covered by the team scope so I went with a pattern that looked more like a teddy bear so I could tie it to Mr. Bean and his teddy bear.

For this challenge we had to craft something inspired by an atmospheric phenomenon. I went with a rainbow as my inspiration item because I had some rainbow-colored self-striping yarn in my stash. I went with another quick project, a Kindle cozy. I tied it to all of the colors in the animated opening title sequence for The IT Crowd. This project also served as my Team Unity project because it used two of our team colors (red, white & blue representing the Union Jack flag).

Do any of you participate in Nerd Wars? If so, what team are you on?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Family Time

Sunday we got together to celebrate my sister-in-law's birthday. We went out to eat and, although we had a good time, we had to cut it a little short so my brother could go home and rest. He had an impacted wisdom tooth cut out on Friday and he was still is enough pain that he was on prescription pain killers. Needless to say, he was pretty tired.
After dinner, I swung by my mom's & dad's house to spend some more time with them. My dad showed me the garden which is doing fairly well and the orchard which is doing amazingly well this year. Last year we had a late frost that killed all the blooms so we had no fruit but the trees seem to be making up for it this year. I'm already drooling over all the apple pies, apple crisp and applesauce that will be made this fall.

One last family note, my dad showed me the item he picked up at the family reunion: a war bond that one of the old maid aunts and her bachelor brother bought on Valentine's Day 1944. It was so interesting be see that little intersection of family history, American history and world history.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Change is hard

In the past week, two co-workers have moved on to greener pastures. One is moving back to her hometown and starting a new job while the other is retiring. I've worked with N.K. since I started as an intern with the department in 1997 and with H.C. since she started with the department in 2000. It is hard to wrap my head around the fact that I won't be seeing them all of the time. We did send these women off in grand style. We had a going away party for H.C. at a local bar & a retirement luncheon at work for N.K. to celebrate the time that we had with them.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Local Foods Eat-Along

The lovely JoAnna of the Knit Spin Farm podcast is hosting a local foods eat-along in her group on Ravelry. I thought I would get in the mood with some strawberries served over vanilla yogurt and some light reading.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy Fourth of July

I was fortunate enough to spend the day with my family. We had awesome food & then went to see the fireworks display that Bement put on.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer plans

Hopefully this will be a summer chock full of knitting. I am participating in Stash Dash and Nerd Wars as well as attending the second SSK retreat. Here is a little glimps at a project that I am working on.

Oh the places I've been...