Saturday, November 26, 2011

Nerdy Knitting

In the last episode of Rainyknitsalife, our intrepid knitting heroine had just joined the Nerd Wars knitting tournament as a representative of Team Rangers (Babylon 5 fan nerds).  And now, for a new adventure of Ranger Rainy, knitting geek!

Each Nerd Wars tournament consists of three monthly rounds with 6 challenges each.  You can submit one project for each challenge.  Each challenge you complete earns 10 points for your team, with an extra 3 points if you can tie the project in to your team's theme (Babylon 5 for us).

The six challenge categories are always the same, but the actual monthly challenges change are posted at 12:01am on the first of the month.  The categories are: scientific, intellectual, technical, nerd culture, team spirit, and giving geeks. Projects cannot be cast on before 12:01am EST on the first of the month and must be posted by midnight EST on the last day of the month to count, with the exception of the giving geeks (charity) challenge. For giving geeks, the important part is the GIVING not the knitting, so previously knit items or even monetary donations may be allowed in this category (depending on the challenge) as long as the donation occurs in the challenge month.

I am thrilled to report that I managed to go 6 for 6 for both the October and November rounds!  So, without further explanation, let's see some knitting!

Scientific - the October Scientific challenge was Prehistory -
"Nerds have been around since the dawn of time. That guy who invented the wheel? Totally a nerd. I mean, come on. All the other cavemen are out doing manly things like killing saber toothed tigers and that one nerd decided to stay home and invent a wheel. Just because it was just about the most useful thing ever doesn’t mean that guy wasn’t a total nerd.
This month, take your inspiration from things from before anyone thought to write things down. Dinosaurs, cave people, prehistoric fauna and flora. Land your time machine in a puddle of primordial goop and find your inspiration!"
For this challenge, I knit an iPad Cover for my Mom for Christmas (shhh!  don't tell her!).  
Rav project link  this is knit in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino (worsted) colorway: Terrarium.  This stuff knits like a dream!  
To make it fit the challenge, I chose a colorway that reminded me of a primeval forest, so that ancient races who visited our planet in prehistoric times could use this bag to hide their advanced tablet computer technology from the prehistoric humans.  See how well it blends with a mossy oak tree in a primitive forest (aka my backyard)?

Knitting the bag was a snap.  The hard part was "liberating" the iPad from my Mom's house so I could make sure it fit and decide where to place the button and, of course, take the picture.  That was accomplished by an extremely lame subterfuge.  The even harder part was getting her to leave the living room again an hour later so I could return the iPad.  That was accomplished by an even lamer subterfuge.  Fortunately, my Mom just assumed I had lost my mind, so my petty larceny appeared to go unnoticed.

Intellectual - the October challenge was to write a haiku inspired by something you knit.  This was a dual purpose project, it was a test knit and a Nerd Wars submission, I made a pair of felted men's slippers:

 I love to compare sizes pre and post felting, that never gets old!

They are really much better looking in person, I can't seem to get a decent picture of them.  The color is darker and richer blue-purple, not the bright pink they appear here.  The matching haiku is only the second I've ever written, so don't expect much.  It is for Commander Sinclair, the first commander of Babylon 5, to honor this hard working (and probably very tired) man:  
Thirty-Six hours straight
“Commander, we have problems” 
Slippers feel like hugs

Technical - the October challenge was colorwork.  This one was great fun and is probably my favorite FO of them all.  Babylon 5 is "our last best hope for peace".  Bob likes peace signs, so I made Bob's Last Best Hat for Peace:
The main yarn is also Madelinetosh Tosh Merino in a dark purple colorway called Duchess.  He barely takes it off.

Team Spirit - the October challenge was to make a birthday present for someone in your nerdom.  I made a lacy butterfly dishcloth for Delenn.  Fans of B5 will know why Delenn would want this.  For you non-fans ... well, it's complicated, but trust me, she'd love it.

Unfortunately, while it is very pretty, it is an awkward size - 12" by 11.5", which in my opinion is way big for a dishcloth.  So, it is currently in the "time out" pile waiting to decide what it will become.  It would make a pretty pillow, or if I make a few more, it might be a doll blanket.  We'll see.

Nerd Culture - the October challenge was to make something that someone in your nerdom would wear.  Remember the 198 yds of Heavenly Malabrigo  I made last year?  Well, I love it and wear it a lot to work, but it really is a bit too small and dense.  So I made another one, only this one is 225 yds of 70/30 alpaca/merino on size 10 needles and it is much better.  I wore it as a head scarf for the B5 tie-in, but assume it will be worn as a shawl primarily.  I do love the way the pattern and striping shows up in this picture though.

The yarn, Cascade Eco Duo, is two tones of undyed alpaca and merino.  As you can see from the two pictures, the striping is more visible when it is wet and quite subtle when dry.  It really looks more like waves or texture than color change.  I will definitely be using this yarn again SOON.  It is so soft and subtle.

Giving Geeks - since October is cancer awareness month, the challenge was to donate (money or FO) to a cancer charity.  Monterey Yarn has a "Knit For The Cure" donation box.  Hats or other FOs in the box are brought to the oncology departments of local hospitals for distribution to cancer patients.  

I have noticed that most of the hats in the box tend to be either for babies or pretty and feminine for adult women.  So I decided to knit a hat that would be appropriate for a teen boy or young man with cancer.  I couldn't find a pattern I liked with the yarn I had, so I designed this hat myself: jumpgate-blue-teen-charity-hat

It doesn't fit Bob well, but that's okay since it was designed and knit for someone with a smaller head.

I like that Nerd Wars always has a charity related challenge, I have wanted to make some hats to put in that box for ages and it finally motivated me to DO IT.

And now, if you will excuse me, I am off to my Mom's to watch the thrilling Season 3 of Babylon 5 on her fabulous TV while I knit more Christmas gifts.

No comments: