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As has been very firmly established, when I like something (movie, book, tv show, etc), I tend to make things. Following in that proud tradition, may I humbly present my greatest nerd crafting achievement to date, a Star Trek dress:
This opus, knit in fingering weight (recycled) yarn on size two needles with no pattern (but contiguous sleeves) took over eight months from conception to completion. I put it down and didn’t touch it for a couple of those months, but still. It took a long-ass time to knit. It’s a ton of stockinette. I can’t even think of how many yards of yarn are in it, lest I faint dead away.
It is probably my proudest knitting accomplishment to date. I love it.
I’ll try to keep my blathering to a minimum, but Star Trek is My People. I adore Star Trek. There are episodes of The Next Generation that aren’t just good, but are probably some of the best television you will ever see. (There are also some episodes of Next Generation that are probably the worst television you’ll ever see, but we don’t talk about those). I am so utterly confused by people who didn’t like Deep Space Nine. Star Trek has fascinating worlds, captivating plots, and representation in SPADES. Not to get all social justice on y’all (I save that for Twitter and Tumblr, mostly), but there are just SO MANY LADIES in Star Trek. I love it.
Now, my dress isn’t really an exact replica. It’s mostly based on the Original Series uniform. I’m sort of still in the middle of the Star Trek franchise (I’m in season five of Voyager with Enterprise next up and I haven’t seen most of TOS (but I have seen most of the movies)) (and the first person that tries to nerd shame/fake geek girl me is going to get a lecture and the ban hammer in that order). But there was a lot of knitting to be done and I didn’t want to make most of it black. And the coloring for the Next Generation uniforms would have required intarsia in the round, which, no.
It was, for the most part, a pretty easy knit though. I mean, it’s mostly just around and around and around with some increases thrown in at the skirt. I’m almost crazy enough to knit another one for my Nerd Wars dissertation. I’ve been wanting to do a dissertation for the next round, and it would almost have to be a lace weight dress because there are few things that would actually take three months to knit. I’ll have to look through the yarn stash and see what I have in enough quantity–the sweater that the yarn for this dress came from was enormous with a gigantic cowl neck. I guess I could always do stripes.
I made this dress for being-a-gigantic-nerd purposes, but also to wear to a comics convention that was in DC in April, Awesome Con. As usual, I took no pictures (well, that’s not true. I took a couple of pictures of awesome cosplay), but I had an absolute blast. It was very different from the anime conventions I’ve been to in the past (for more than just the different subject matter), but I’m definitely going again next year. Plus I got to meet Timothy Zahn, author of the Thrawn Trilogy among other things, and that was just SO COOL. I also got to meet Janine Spendlove and Matt Slay of Time Traveled Tales and Silence in the Library Publishing, both of whom signed my copy of Time Traveled Tales, and JK Woodward, an artist for IDW who draws the Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover comics. He drew me an amazing commission of Data and Spot.
One of these days I’ll go to a convention and actually take pictures that I will post on the blog, but today, as they say, is not that day.
I have a camera card and card reader again, so I can get back to taking pictures of my FOs. My mother came to visit this past weekend and brought a few things, including a new card for my camera since she had a spare. On Sunday morning, I drove to Walmart and bought a new card reader. Now, when I moved and during the ensuing week of unpacking, I searched EVERYWHERE for my card and reader. Looking for that motivated me to empty out more than a few bags and boxes and put stuff away, I’ll tell you that. I looked, Joe looked. It was looked for. So it’s not like I gave it up for lost lightly. Keep that in mind when I say that literally THE MINUTE I brought the new card reader in to my apartment, I reached in to my purse and pulled out THE ONE I’D LOST. I swear it was not there before. I took everything out of my purse and it was not in there. The moment I replaced it, there it is. Ugh.
So the new card reader is going back to Walmart, and I finally got some pictures of this yarn I finished on January 28th.
The fiber is BFL from Dancing Leaf Farms, which I purchased at Maryland Sheep and Wool last year. It used to look like this:
The yarn is spun entirely on Alexandra, and I’m pretty chuffed with it. It’s pretty soft too. Spinning on the wheel is interesting because I can spin the flyer/wheel/whatever at a constant rate–it won’t slow down unless I stop treadling. When I spin on a spindle, I have to do all the actually spinning of the spindle at the beginning and then hurry up and draft as much out as I can (or want to depending on the method) before the spinning slows down. This usually results in way over spun yarn, since I spin the spindle as hard and fast as I can in the beginning so I don’t have to stop halfway through an armslength of drafting to spin it again. It’s a lot easier to spin softer yarn on a wheel because you’re not constantly racing against the “clock” of the spin slow down.
This yarn is about a sport weight, around 244 yards. I was hoping for a bit more (quite a bit more, actually, around 350) as I was spinning the singles quite fine, but it’s navajo plied, and that ate a lot of yardage. Plus near the end of the singles, it felt like they were taking FOREVER and I wanted to get to plying already, so they came out a little thicker than at the beginning of the bobbin.
Plying went pretty quickly once I figured out what I was doing. I’ve chain plied on a spindle and I’ve chain plied from a sweater piece to both a ball and a skein winder, both of which call for fairly similar motions since you’re not adding twist at the same time you’re chaining. On a wheel, the twist is going in at the same time as you’re making your chains, so you have to hold your hands completely differently. Once I figured this out (thanks to Leslie of The Knit Girllls’s YouTube video showing how to chain ply), it was a breeze. I think I’ll be chain plying more things on the wheel since I absolutely love how it looks.
Now for some life news: Katsucon is this weekend in National Harbor, and I will be attending. Hopefully. Well, almost certainly, since tickets were like $65, and that’s too much money to just eat. Anyway, the reason for the hopefully is that my neck of the woods is supposed to get hit with a shit ton of snow this weekend. Like a foot. Yeah. This cannot happen. I have Plans and Things To Do (Things for which I will be doing some madcap sewing this evening), and I do not want to drive to National Harbor in the snow. In good weather and traffic, that’s half an hour, but in bad weather? Nope. Worst case scenario (barring my injury or death) is I drive there in the morning, it snows in the afternoon/evening, and I’m stuck there overnight without a hotel room and have to sleep on a couch in the Gaylord lobby with no extra clothes or a shower.
So do me a favor and pray to whatever deity you believe in (or, if your deity of choice is science like mine, to the inherent inaccuracy in meteorology) that there’s no snow. Or at least only a little bit that doesn’t make 495 impassable.
Sooooo this past weekend was Katsucon, an anime convention I attended in National Harbor. It was super mega awesome fun though I completely neglected to take any pictures. I did, however, dress up in costume because that’s how I roll. I recently watched and read the anime/manga Fruits Basket, so one of the days I dressed up as Tohru Honda. There are no pictures, but I basically just wore a cute dress. But I also make a cat-form Kyo to carry around.
Pattern: none, made up as I went along
Yarn: 100purewool.com merino singles, a skein and a half almost exactly.
Needles: US 2/1.75 mm
I’m pretty pleased with the way he came out. He is super cuddly and a perfect use of yarn that’s been kicking around my stash for a while. I will have to cosplay Tohru again so I can carry him around some more. Maybe I can sew or appromimate Tohru’s school uniform for next time.
Speaking of Katsu and Fruits Basket, as a result, I’ve been on quite the anime/manga kick lately. I just watched Ouran Highschool Host Club and I got the manga from the library. I’m currently reading the Library Wars manga.
And speaking of cosplay, here is a bonus picture of me in a red wig I bought for cosplaying Amy Pond, Mara Jade, Ariel, and other redheads.