Monday, April 30, 2012

Knittin' Crap: Starfleet, Month III

This month, Starfleet Fiber Arts Corps has been tangling with those nasty Romulans!

Division and Mission Requirements My report
Engineering: The hits we’ve taken from the Romulan Warbird have severely drained our dilithium crystals. Craft something with beading. This mechano-bird is studded with crystals to help fly and maneuver around the live dilithium crystals safely. In addition, it has a storage compartment which allows it to carry additional replacements.
Goodie Bird
Medical: We took a bit of a hit when the Romulan Warbird snuck up on us. Doctors and nurses need all the help they can get in running triage and taking care of the injured – especially head injuries. Make something to combat possible concussions. Perhaps something to keep people awake since you’re not supposed to fall asleep, etc. By affixing this rubber chicken to the head of a concussed patient, it will ensure that, should the patient start to fall asleep, their head will bounce safely off a surface, with the chicken absorbing the impact, and the patient will be knocked into an upright position and woken up in the process.
Rubber Chicken
Command: It is important to always be up to date and on top of things that are happening on your ship. The latest news, technology, and current events are essential to effectively running a ship and it is your responsibility to take charge to keeping up with these items.

Take charge of your knitting and knit something using an advanced technique (cables, lace, beads, short rows, entrelac, modular, intarsia, fair isle, tapestry, mitered, the list goes on and on).
For this month’s Command mission, I made a sampler to experiment with using beads in Tunisian crochet. Combining these two technologies could allow us to find more optimal configurations of dilithium crystals for our warp engines.
Beaded Tunisian crochet sampler
Diplomatic: Craft something to encourage a diplomatic resolution to this confrontation by making something a Romulan might see as a peace offering.This cat purse will remind the Romulans of two important facts: they can profit greatly from peaceful trading with the Federation, and that we have cats. And everyone wants cats.
Cat Gamaguchi Purse
Tactical: Craft something that will help get us out of this mess if things turn ugly. Here are some Red Shirt clones to act as decoys and draw fire if we get in a big mess and need to make a quick escape:
Red Shirt!
Red Shirt #2
Science: The Romulan Warbird managed to make it across the Neutral Zone without being detected. It has some sort of field preventing our attacks from being effective.

Mission: Craft something to disable whatever this mechanism is so we are able to detect the ship and fire if needed.
Starfleet xenobiologists have discovered a large feline creature which has a number of unique characteristics. Firstly, it seems to live slightly out-of-phase with our dimension. Secondly, it can not only detect cloaked Romulan warbirds, it thinks they are great fun and loves to stalk them. Because of the phase difference, it cannot interact with them physically (nor can the warbirds harm the cat), but when the space cat is stalking a warbird, its tail starts to twitch, which generates a specific form of radiation. Starfleet engineers are working on a device which can not only detect this radiation but also use its frequency and wavelengths to pinpoint the position and orientation of the cat, and extrapolate the warbird’s position based on optimal space-cat stalking position.

Plus it’s darned cute.
Space Cat
From The Brig (for completed UFOs* or for projects started and finished in the same month but not submitted for other missions)Lt Jr Grade Fuzzykaren of the USS Kitchener requesting release from the brig for this Chinese hopping vampire. He only entered the brig this month, but he’s promised not to try to gnaw on anyone if we let him out.
Mr Vampire Finger Puppet

Yes, that's right, I got promoted to Lieutenant, Junior Grade, at the beginning of the month!

Fortunately, May is a rest month. UFOs have been piling up, so I'm hoping to clear at least a couple out.

Bird Sachet pattern from Japanese Amigurumi Lucky Charm book
Rubber Chicken pattern by Cassidy Clark
Space Cat pattern from Japanese Amigurumi Collection #2
Cat Gamaguchi Purse pattern from Japanese Komono & Amigurumi

*UnFinished Objects

Friday, April 27, 2012

Knittin' Crap: Mr Vampire

Hop. Hop. Hop. No Chinese death blessing to save you this time! Hop. Hop. Hop. You could just take him off your finger, you know. Hop. Hop.

mr vampire

Created with

Monday, April 23, 2012

Knittin' Crap: He's Dead, Jim

How Red Shirt #1 came back from the away mission:

He's Dead, Jim

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Knittin' Crap: Harvey the Rubber Chicken

lineus (aka Kevin #2) took this awesome photo of the (knitted) rubber chicken I sent him, which he (or maybe his kids) named "Harvey." Pretty cool name for a not-so-rubber rubber chicken, and certainly less cringe-inducing than the lump of coal which the recipient named "Gary Coalman."

Friday, April 20, 2012

News: Cats, Cats, Cats, Cats, and an Antelope

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Knittin' Crap: Birth of a Red Shirt

While innocently walking the corridors halls at HQ yesterday, to my surprise I espied my sr. officer director and accosted him approached respectfully to inquire about the status of Red Shirt #1. Red Shirt #1 was, in fact, safe and sound, but as my sr. officer director still needed him for another mission meeting, I agreed to leave him in his hands. Literally, because he is a finger puppet. I decided instead to make another Red Shirt in my quarters hotel room that evening.

Red Shirt in Progress - 9PM
9PM - Starting point
However, I got back later than I expected, so I didn't begin the endeavor until 9PM. Also, I had decided after Red Shirt #1 that it might make more sense to knit the puppet from the top down rather than the bottom up, as this would reduce the need to turn it totally inside out to finish the details on the head and sew in ends around the neck, etc. I had scrawled some notes on how to do that before my away mission trip, but this was the first time putting them in practice.

Red Shirt in Progress - 9:30PM
9:30PM - Hairpiece and top of head
Red Shirt in Progress - 10PM
10PM - Head finished and hair attached

I took a 20-minute break a little after 10. Then after I knit the first row of the pants, I realized I needed to swap the last two rows of red shirt color (a purl and a knit), so I had to rip out 3 rows. Around 11:30, I was really sleepy, so I went to bed, leaving the cast-off end to sew in and the arms to make. (I figure they're about 10-15 minutes each to make, attach, and dispose of all the yarn ends.)

Red Shirt in Progress - 11PM
11PM - Shirt done
Red Shirt in Progress - 11:30PM
11:30PM - Bedtime. Just needs arms

Monday, April 16, 2012

Knittin' Crap: Why Finger Puppets Are Not Voodoo Dolls

Red Shirt! != Zip-it Voodoo Doll

Supernatural effects aside, when you stick a pin in a voodoo doll, nothing happens. When you stick a pin in a finger puppet on your hand: "Owie! That hurts!"

When you twist the head of a voodoo doll, maybe some stuffing pops out. When you twist the head of a finger puppet: "Owie! That hurts!"

When you set a voodoo doll on fire... get the picture? That's why finger puppets make really bad voodoo dolls. Unless you really do want to punish yourself, in which case, one would wonder why you need to wear a small avatar of yourself on your finger to do so. Actually, I wouldn't wonder, because I really probably wouldn't want to know.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

News: Cats, Cats, Cats, Cats, and... Cats

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Knittin' Crap: Away Mission, Day 5

My sr. officer director did not return as scheduled yesterday with the Red Shirt, or even report in send an email. This means I will also be without a surrogate target on my own away mission trip to HQ next week. As it's currently a disaster zone major pollen locus up there, I'm a goner.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Knittin' Crap: Away Mission, Day 2

The sr. officer director did send a short communication email after my last report post, giving no indication of distress. However, we are still analyzing the message for an encoded update in case he was forced to send it under duress. One officer group manager has postulated that the sr. officer director may be part Romulan, in which case we will have to re-evaluate our interpretation of his messages.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Knittin' Crap: Away Mission, Day 1

Red Shirt! Red Shirt #1 and my sr. officer director have been gone over 24 hours now, with no communication. This can mean one of only two things: Red Shirt #1 is already a casualty but hasn't been placed on the casualty rolls because my superior has been taken captive in meetings all day, or they're under fire, um, in really crappy meetings but can't call for help because communications are jammed the damn office wifi is crapping out. Again.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Knittin' Crap: Life of a Red Shirt

Saturday: Faceless Red Shirt #1 comes into being.
Monday morning: Bring Red Shirt #1 to office. RS#1 narrowly escapes encounter with desktop creeper:
Red Shirt!
Monday, throughout the day: I learn to type while wearing a finger puppet.
Monday afternoon: My boss3 asks if I have a Star Trek finger puppet handy. I say yes and produce Red Shirt #1. He asks if he can borrow him this week for his trip to headquarters for a meeting with his boss. I say ok.
Monday, 5 minutes later: I start to wonder if Red Shirt #1 will come back in one piece, or have a giant scorch mark on its chest.
Monday, late afternoon: I miss the nameless, faceless Red Shirt #1 already.

Friday, April 6, 2012

News: Why I'm Joining Friendface!

I haven't bashed on Facebook for awhile, so here are some funny, and at least one creepy, themed items.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Knittin' Crap: Before You Ask

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Why I make stuff:
  1. It's a productive hobby.
  2. I like making stuff for myself and for others.
  3. It is, by turns, relaxing, challenging, mindless, and technical.
  4. Making the perfect gift for a friend or a well-fitting sweater for myself is extremely satisfying.
Why I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to try to sell stuff I make:
  1. People do hobbies for fun. Making the hobby into a profession is a good way to make it not so much fun anymore.
  2. My time is worth more to me than it is to anyone else.
  3. People who don't knit/crochet/make handcrafts rarely have any idea of how much time is invested in a well-made item.
  4. Most people selling their personally handmade items at craft fairs and many even on Etsy are rarely charging enough to make minimum wage. I really wish they wouldn't undervalue their work that way. At the small amount, if any, of profit they make after materials and other expenses, how can it be worth it? But it also reinforces the mindset many people have that time spent "crafting" is somehow not worth much.
  5. Adding the pressure of trying to sell an item or making an item on commission and thus needing to please some other person and hope they don't bail out of the commission doesn't appeal to me.
  6. Having to explain to people who are used to buying sweat-shop output the prices I'd charge based on the hourly wage merited by the skill and time involved is also definitely not my idea of fun. I've heard from too many people in similar situations of how many dumbasses say shit like, "But you can buy a dozen pairs of socks at Walmart for $3."
  7. I don't have enough time to make the things I want for myself and the gifts I want to make for friends, and since I would never make nearly as much money selling my work as I do at my day job, even if I worked on it 80 hours a week, unless I opened my own personal sweat shop (do I have to explain after the above why I wouldn't do this?), It's Just Not Fiscally Worth It.
  8. Seriously, folks, if I started selling those Angry Birds or Star Trek finger puppets that you like so much, someone would eventually sue my ass.
I appreciate that most people who tell me I should sell my stuff or offer to buy it are being complimentary, but I'm tired of explaining again and again why that idea just doesn't work for me.