Thursday, February 27, 2014

Gallifrey One Convention Report (Part II Fiber Arts at Gally)

The one nice thing about Gallifrey One is the sheer number of very crafty people who make their own costumes as well as their own crafty goodness. It's pretty impressive how imaginative people can get. It's so impressive that I left the convention with a bunch of ideas to make -- sew, knit, and make. Even my dear Viking was MUST MAKE ALL THINGS!

Everywhere you walked, you saw people who made something -- either a costume or knitted item. And there are a LOT of knitted & crocheted items at Gallifrey One. There's a Ravelry forum, Who Knits, that's just dedicated to Doctor Who fiber arts.

The biggest knitted item for Gallifrey One is, obviously, the infamous Doctor Who scarf. I made one for myself (albeit using a knitting machine) several years ago. I saw plenty at Gallifrey with some interesting twists.

There were some interesting ways to wear them. I mean, what do you do with a 13 foot scarf?!?
Wear it ala Toga style!

You can turn it into a dress:
If that's wool, she's gotta be really warm!

Of course, you can always turn a scarf into a raglan sweater. (I'm going to need to steal this idea!) Her aunt had made this for her years ago. It's a crocheted sweater out of sport weight with small bits of lace.

The scarf wasn't the only knitted or crocheted bit of goodness at Gallifrey. I saw one crocheted Tardis and a mashup of 4th & 11th Doctor goodness.

There was also an amazing vendor (Hand-Knit Habitat) who sold HAND-KNIT scarves, hats, and knitting kits for those who don't knit, and she sold out of nearly ALL of her stock during the convention. It was awesome to see a successful knitter. I bought one of her knitted bow-ties in support.

She specializes in Science Fiction knitting, which I highly approve!

Monday, February 24, 2014

GallifreyOne: Convention Report (Part I - Costuming)

I'm finally getting to catch my breath again from the whirlwind between GallifreyOne and Stitches West 2014. I've tried to write up my Con-Reports with photos, but I was a bit delayed until I got the photos completed. It's no fun to write up a Con-Report without photos!

I'm going to write-up a multi-blog post on Gallifrey because there was Just. So. Much. If you're not familiar with GallifreyOne in Los Angeles, it is the Doctor Who Convention over President's Day weekend. We have attended for a number of years, and always have absolute blast. There are panel discussions on Doctor Who, interviews with guests of honor, panels on crafting, costuming, and then everything in between. If you ever wanted to geek-gasm about Doctor Who, then this is the place to do it! This year, they had two guests I particularly wanted to see -- Billie Piper (Rose) and Arthur Darvill (Rory).

We didn't think we were going to be able to go this year until the 13th hour (okay, about a month before the convention), but a bit of luck and some help of some friends with the hotel room, we managed it. (Anyways, we shall be attending Gally again next year with a bit more pre-planning.)

The convention sold out its tickets (~3000 people), and some of the evening events were jammed pack, like the Ice Cream Social on Thursday night.

Gallifrey started on a Thursday this year, and LobbyCon (the unofficial part of the convention) was jammed pack on Thursday evening when we arrived.

The convention is pretty costume heavy (nearly as costume-heavy as CostumeCon). A large percentage of the guests were in some form of Dr. Who regalia and a ton of cosplayers as various characters from the show. Everyone was showing their love of the good Doctor.

There were some very good Doctors this year.

And there were a lot of Daleks too....

Some of them were robotic in nature and others were human driven. And others were almost human.

Our friend does some amazing prosthetic work!

And it wasn't just the adults, there were a lot of very young fans cosplaying ranging from really cute to kinda creepy.
This costume was kinda creepy, especially as he kept asking everyone if they were his mommy.

The extremely geeky assistant from "Day of the Doctor" 50th Anniversary was extremely popular this year. In the show, she was definitely a fan girl, which I think many can relate.

It's always good to see the different interpretations of various costumes ranging from a very comfy K-9 to Twin Tardises!

There were also a lot of mashups, costuming-wise. (A mash-up is when you take two different shows/movies genres and mash them together, like a FireFly x Dr. Who.......)

Everyone needs a bandolier of sonic screwdrivers!

This year, we were shangheid(j/k) honored to help out with the Masquerade by judging for presentation (how well did they present their costumes). Our friends were judging workmanship (how well did they construct their costumes). Here's one of the contestants....
Can you bellieve this is her FIRST costume?!?

It was fun to be a judge again, and we got awesome seats (front row!) We've volunteered for judging next year. :-) Hopefully, we'll see you there next year as well.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ravellenics Victory!

This weekend, I went off to Gallifrey One, the Doctor Who convention. As there was going to be a lot of waiting at the airport, it was a good chance to continue with my Ravellenics project. I brought my I had wound up half of a cake of new skein of yarn, figuring it would be enough.

Here's the sleeve at the airport, waiting for our flight. I'm done with 5/6 cables for the main body of the sleeve.


At Gallifrey, I managed to get some knitting time in at various panels, interviews, and at dinner/lunches. There were some hiccups, including one where I had to drop down 8 rows to fix mis-crossed cable. Plus, I kept looking at the shrinking ball of yarn, hoping I had brought enough. (I also brought my Color Affection with me, so I had plenty of knitting, but I really wanted to finish this sleeve!)

At one point, I actually stopped knitting on this project and picked up the Color Affection because I was very concerned about not having enough yarn. However, I did pick it up again at the airport on my way home, because, at least if I ran out of yarn, I'd be closer to getting it done and I'd be home in few hours.

LUCKILY, I managed to finish all 8 inches (~20.5cm) of lenght with about 12 inches of yarn left to spare!


I have to say, these black airport chairs at LAX are very uncomfortable. I had to keep getting up every 20-30 minutes to stretch out. Here's the entire sleeve, bound off, along with some of my carry-on luggage (filled with knitting, naturally!)

 Finished the second sleeve! And by the grace of the knitting gods, it matches the first sleeve.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ravellenics 2014: Close to the Finish Line

 I'm getting close to finishing the second sleeve of my cardigan. You really can't tell from looking at the sleeve, but here's my wonderful knitting app -- Knit Companion.  (See all of the highlighted cable crosses and sticky notes? I love this app!)

I'm at the last cable repeat (5/6). I have 24 more rows in the last cable repeat (3 inches), then the bind-offs, and the final three repeats of the saddle (9 inches) over 8 stitches. I've been watching some of the Olympic coverage while knitting, so it's a win-win.


I've got a good solid 2 hours of dedicated knitting time on a plane for the upcoming US holiday (Presidents' Day Weekend), and I hope to have this last part finished. Then I can move onto my stretch goal of finishing my Color Affection.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

DIY: Travel Case for Pens, Pencils, and Knitting Needles

I am about to travel soon to Gallifrey One (the Doctor Who convention). This year, we are flying and I realized that I have to do some safeguarding of my knitting through airport security. Although knitting is allowed on airplanes by U.S Federal rules, whether you can take your knitting on the plane is still at the discretion of the individual security agents. I don't like taking chances, and there are many helpful pieces of advice that many knitters have imparted.

Personally, I like to stow my knitting needles in a pencil case along with a few pens and pencils. I use interchangeable needles, so I take the needles off the cables and stick them with pencils. (I also bring a small notebook for sketches and note-taking despite the electronic age in which we live).

I couldn't find my pencil case, not remembering the last time I used it, so I opted to make another. A pencil case is just single rectangle folded over with a closure (either buttons, zippers, or cord).  It took me about 15 minutes to finish this project.

1. I took a pencil and crochet hook and measured it out  -- 6 inches or ~ 15cm long. I would need fabric at least 7 inches wide (assuming a 1/2 inch  (~1.25 cm) seam allowance).

2. I found some left over fabric when I was making my ditty bags for the holidays. I trimmed it to 7" x 12".
I serged them wrong sides together into a single piece. (Make your pencil case as big as you want.)
  • If you don't have a serger, you can baste it together OR
  • Sew the pieces right sides together along three sides and turn it right-side out and then sew shut the open side. Make sure to press all seams.
  • (I like using the serger in this manner because it's one less step for me to take.)


3. Fold over 1/2 inch (1.25cm) and sew along all other edges.


4. Right sides together, fold over and sew down approximately 3.5 inches (~8.9cm) to form a pouch with a 1/2 inch (1.25cm) seam allowance.

5. If necessary, clip the edges.

6. Turn right-side out. It should be long enough to hold several pencils, pens, and knitting needles.

7. Add a closure of your choice. I used a button, but you can also use elastic or a cord closure.
(Sammy with the finished case)

Enjoy the trip!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Ravellenics 2014: Status!

I'm making decent progress with my Ravellenics project (WIP Dancing!) It helped that I was sick for two days during the week, so I got caught up with my knitting a little bit.


The sleeve is about 70% done. I have 1.5 more cable repeats and then to do 3 inches of saddle for the sleeve. (Each cable repeat is about 3 inches).

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ravellenic 2014 Projects

For this year's Ravellenic games, the podcast is joining Team Sasquatch (the podcaster conglomeration) and our primary set of projects is to finish some WIP / UFOs that have been languishing. Currently, I don't have enough bandwidth to start and finish a project, so I'm sticking to more realistic goals.

My primary goal is to finish my Alice Starmore St. Brigid sweater, which I've converted to a cardigan (the Ravelry project link).  I've already completed the back and the fronts.

Untitled Untitled

I've even finished one sleeve.

My goal is to finish the second sleeve. (I'm not aiming to finish blocking & seaming by the end of the Olympics.

I do have a stretch goal, which is to finish my Color Affection. I'm halfway through the three-color section. I don't know if I'll get to it, but I'm hoping.


And, of course, the kittens were VERY interested in lying down on the sweater, despite having their own blankets to lay upon.