Posts tagged ‘knitting’

GeekCraft Friday #3. This one’s for the literary nerd.

Before I get to the geeky craft goodness, I’d like to say that I finally got sucked into Pinterest, thanks to my friend Megan.  If you’re interested, I have a wedding board, a fashion board, and a most relevant to this blog’s interest, a crafty stuff board. Those last two don’t have much in them yet, but I’m sure I’ll add more soon, Plus, the wedding one has a lot of crafty stuff in it at the moment.

Moving on to GeekCraft Friday the 3rd!

This is getting to be a dangerous blog project for me, because I want to buy everything I see.  But I’m exercising self-control and refraining from purchasing everything. I make no promises for the future though.

Speaking of promises, last time I said no Loki next week, and I’m keeping true to that. 😛

This first Etsy shop, ptierneydesigns, has a very special place in my heart. I am most definitely a book nerd, among other things, and this shop has projects relating to two of my favorite literary works of all time.  In fact, I found this store originally after searching for Nero Wolfe on Etsy. (If you are unfamiliar with Nero Wolfe, I highly suggest you educate yourself, particularly if you enjoy mysteries and humor.) The Nero Wolfe showed me two things: a) that a lot of people sell Nero Wolfe “vintage” paperbacks (and it would never have occurred to me to look on Etsy for the few that I’m missing) and b) this stunning decorative pin with various Nero Wolfe charms on it.  My first thought (other than “I want that!”) was that I’d love to have these charms as stitch markers for knitting/crochet.  She also has a great pair of Nero Wolfe earrings. I have no idea where I would wear them, but they’re also great.

When I visited the shop, I also found an awesome amount of Dracula items— movie references rather than the book itself, but hey, I’ll take it. The items include a Dracula pin and earrings, similar to the Nero Wolfe ones already described. There are also a bunch of really nice charm bracelets with “dark” themes (which, again, just make me think of stitch markers…one track mind, I’ve got) .

What I think is the coolest item on the site, because it’s customizeable* is this typewriter pin:

(*spellcheck is telling me that this it not a word, both with and without the first e)

Seen here with a quote from The Maltese Falcon (love her taste in mysteries!), you can get a custom pin with any quote that you’d like on it up to 145 characters, making this the perfect gift for book nerds of all types.  I am very tempted to get one with my favorite Dresden Files quote on it.  (I’d get strange looks at work, but it would be worth it.)  Or any number of Nero Wolfe quotes such as “The police will receive no sandwiches!” Or “‘What passed between you on Friday night?’ “Corn. Corn passed between us.'” (That last one, you probably need context for, but hey, if you’re going to confuse people anyway, you may as well go all the way.)

The second shop for today, SewKawaiiStudio, makes great Kindle/iPad cases.  There’s an awesome vintage monsters one (which includes Dracula), some vintage comic book designs, PacMan, and this great Space Invaders one.  Makes me wish I could sew better.  I actually considered buying some of her Kindle cases, but ended up making my own. It’s just a sleeve though, so perhaps I’ll get one of these eventually. Of course, I need to stop buying things from every cool geeky shop I see.  Or maybe I’ll wake up one day able to sew like my Mom–OK, that’s probably not going to happen. But maybe FindXDesigns will have a class, and I can learn how to operate a sewing machine properly.  Still unlikely, but more possible. 🙂


07/20/2012 at 8:35 am 4 comments

GeekCraft Friday #2

My original intention was to actually write some entries in between my GeekCraft Fridays, but my 10 hour days at work and an impending move (I’m not moving, but my space is being moved both in and out of by others) has kept me quite busy.  But I do actually have something I made to share in this post!

This week I’m featuring an awesome yarn dyer/spinner I found on etsy called GnomeAcres.   Her yarn is awesome, and most definitely of the geeky variety.  The vast majority of fiber at the moment is Harry Potter themed, with yarns for Dobby, Hermione, Dumbledore, and even Bertie Bots, pictured here. I WANT ALL OF IT. *ahem*

She also has fiber dedicated to other random cool things, like Rainbow Brite ,Darkwing Duck (remember that show??), and everyone’s favorite sorceress Maleficent.  Also as a spinner, I have my eye on this slimer fiber seen here for obvious reasons. OK, I have my eye on everything in the shop. Let’s be serious.  Writing about it is dangerous, because it’s just making me want to get it all. And I haven’t even gotten to the best part.

The comic book yarn! More picture time:

X-Men’s Hank McCoy (AKA Beast)

Batman’s The Joker

The Avengers’..well The Avengers. Plus Loki.

And speaking of Loki, I did actually purchase one thing from this shop the first time I saw it.  (I know this makes two weeks in a row that I’ll be talking about Loki stuff. Next week no Loki. Probably.)  I bought some awesome Loki yarn, and because my office is so darn cold, I made some arm warmers. The arm warmer are a free pattern available from Lion Brand Yarns, who have lots of awesome free patterns on their site. (You may have to be logged in for that link to work, but signing up is free.)

Here are my arm warmers of mischief:

(Please excuse the crappy cell phone photos, but my digital camera was a college graduation present to myself and it’s been long enough since then that the camera has become old and crotchety, and only works when it feels like it.)

It’s a sock weight yarn, and I believe I knitted them on a size one needle. That means a normal person probably would have used a three or four to get the gauge that I got.  I don’t know why I always have to go down several needle sizes, but I do.   I have a little over a third of a ball left, and I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. If anyone has any suggestions, please do pass that along.

Also, as a bonus, for Jen, who is celebrating a birthday today, embroidered Chakra symbols from Urban Threads. You’re welcome.

So that’s my GeekCraft for the week: GnomeAcres. If you like yarn and geeky things you can find something you like there.  (And even if you’re not a geek, hey pretty colors!)

07/13/2012 at 5:33 pm 2 comments

Ravelers Strike Back!

[First, hello to new readers who found this blog searching for info on the Ravelry vs USOC situation. I’m not usually an angry person, so I hope some of you stick around for the more fun side of crafting.]

To be fair to the US Olympic Comission, they have issued an apology.

The commenters [spellcheck is telling me that this is not a word…also that spellcheck is not a word–well played…] pretty much said exactly what I was thinking, but I’ll say it here anyway.

There is no way that the apology was “a standard-form cease and desist letter” considering it included the offending passage that most of the commenters quoted:

We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games. In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.

I can’t imagine that that finds its way into most cease and desist letters.  I don’t think that the USOC really sees just how offensive that comment is.   I can deal with a little bit of gentle teasing from friends about my craft obsessions, mostly because I know that they actually know how much work it takes and, for the most part, actually think it’s kinda cool.  But for strangers to go out of their way to tell me that my hobby somehow disrespects someone else’s work is just plain insulting.

Also, notice the end of the letter where they try to make it up to us, without actually giving us anything.  Instead, they ask for knitted garments for the team.  I am trying to be calm and rational here, but my only reaction is: Whaaa?  I don’t know what kind of things they would expect us to make, since the Olympic rings or anything else is completely out of the question, since Ravelers have been asked to stop making Olympic themed patterns.  And calling a hobby disrespectful to the athletes and then asking for knitted items?  We don’t like making things for people who aren’t going to appreciate them and, while the actual athletes might, it’s clear that the powers that be at the commission do not.

I appreciate that the USOC tried to apologize, but I hope they see how inadequate of an apology it was.  And I’m sure that many non yarny people think that we’re overreacting.  While some may go a bit too far fighting back, the original response on the part of the crochet/knitting community is completely justified.

I’d also once again like to commend The Powers That Be (TPTB) at Ravelry for handling this situation gracefully, as they handle all things.  They have not lashed out at all, and are instead using their legal representation to calmly discuss the situation with the USOC.  Bravo, TPTB!

UPDATE: Holy NPR, Batman!

06/21/2012 at 3:12 pm 1 comment

The US O*y*p*c Commission are a bunch of big fat doody heads

Ravelry, the beloved knitting/crochet website received a letter from the US Commission on a certain summer/winter sporting event that takes place every 2 years.

At the same time aforementioned sporting event, Ravelry hosts an event titled the “Ravelympics”.  Actually, if you want to get technical, Ravelry users sponsor the event, and the Ravelry staff helps promote it like they promote many other member efforts.  The Ravelympics includes events such as “Sweaterboarding,” “Hat halfpipe, ” and “Bag Jump.”  I had a great time participating in 2010.  I made 3 hats, a bag, and a sweater while the games were going on…which is a lot quicker than I would usually do that.

The letter (Which was posted on Ravelry here for those with accounts, and partially tweeted here) goes like this (emphasis mine):

Dear Mr. Forbes,

In March 14, 2011, my colleague, Carol Gross, corresponded with your attorney, Craig Selmach [sic], in regard to a pin listed as the “2010 Ravelympic Badge of Glory.”  At that time, she explained that the use of RAVELYMPIC infringed upon the USOC’s intellectual property rights, and you kindly removed the pin from the website.  I was hoping to close our file on this matter, but upon further review of your website, I found more infringing content.

By way of review, the USOC is a non-profit corporation chartered by Congress to coordinate, promote and govern all international amateur athletic activities in the United States.  The USOC therefore is responsible for training, entering and underwriting U.S. Teams in the Olympic Games.  Unlike the National Olympic Committees of many other countries, the USOC does not rely on federal funding to support all of its efforts.  Therefore, in order to fulfill our responsibilities without the need for federal funding, Congress granted the USOC the exclusive right to use and control the commercial use of the word OLYMPIC a and any simulation or combination thereof in the United States, as well as the OLYMPIC SYMBOL.  See the Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, 36 U.S.C. §220501 et seq. (the “Act”).  (A copy of the relevant portion of the Act is enclosed for your convenience.)  The Act prohibits the unauthorized use of the Olympic Symbol or the mark OLYMPIC and derivations thereof for any commercial purpose or for any competition, such as the one organized through your website.  See 36 U.S.C. §220506(c).  The USOC primarily relies on legitimate sponsorship fees and licensing revenues to support U.S. Olympic athletes and finance this country’s participation in the Olympic Games.  Other companies, like Nike and Ralph Lauren, have paid substantial sums for the right to use Olympic-related marks, and through their sponsorships support the U.S. Olympic Team.  Therefore, it is important that we restrict the use of Olympic marks and protect the rights of companies who financially support Team USA.

In addition to the protections of the Act discussed above, the USOC also owns numerous trademark registration that include the mark OLYMPIC. These marks therefore are protected under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §1051 et seq. Thus,’s unauthorized use of the mark OLYMPIC or derivations thereof, such as RAVELYMPICS, may constitute trademark infringement, unfair competition and dilution of our famous trademarks.

The USOC would like to settle this matter on an amicable basis. However, we must request the following actions be taken.

1.  Changing the name of the event, the “Ravelympics.”;  The athletes of Team USA have usually spent the better part of their entire lives training for the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games and represent their country in a sport that means everything to them.  For many, the Olympics represent the pinnacle of their sporting career.  Over more than a century, the Olympic Games have brought athletes around the world together to compete in an event that has come to mean much more than just a competition between the world’s best athletes.  The Olympic Games represent ideals that go beyond sport to encompass culture and education, tolerance and respect, world peace and harmony.

The USOC is responsible for preserving the Olympic Movement and its ideals within the United States.  Part of that responsibility is to ensure that Olympic trademarks, imagery and terminology are protected and given the appropriate respect.  We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games.  In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.

It looks as if this is the third time that the Ravelympics have been organized, each coinciding with an Olympic year (2008, 2010, and 2012).  The name Ravelympics is clearly derived from the terms “Ravelry” (the name of your website) and OLYMPICS, making RAVELYMPICS a simulation of the mark OLYMPIC tending to falsely suggest a connection to the Olympic Movement.  Thus, the use of RAVELYMPICS is prohibited by the Act.  Knowing this, we are sure that you can appreciate the need for you to re-name the event, to something like the Ravelry Games.

1.  Removal of Olympic Symbols in patterns, projects, etc.   As stated before, the USOC receives no funding from the government to support this country’s Olympic athletes.  The USOC relies upon official licensing and sponsorship fees to raise the funds necessary to fulfill its mission. Therefore, the USOC reserves use of Olympic terminology and trademarks to our official sponsors, suppliers and licensees.  The patterns and projects featuring the Olympic Symbol on’s website are not licensed and therefore unauthorized.  The USOC respectfully asks that all such patterns and projects be removed from your site.

For your convenience, we have listed some of the patterns featuring Olympic trademarks.  However, this list should be viewed as illustrative rather than exhaustive.  The USOC requests that all patterns involving Olympic trademarks be removed from the website.  We further request that  you rename various patterns that may not feature Olympic trademarks in the design but improperly use Olympic in the pattern name.…\…………………

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.  We would appreciate a written reply to this letter by no later than June 19, 2012.  If you would like to discuss this matter directly, please feel free to contact me at the number above, or you may reach my colleague, Carol Gross.

Kindest Regards,

Brett Hirsch

Law Clerk

Office of the General Counsel

United States Olympic Committee

1 Olympic Plaza

Colorado Springs, CO 80909

There are soooo many things wrong with that:

  • They are obviously concerned with money more than anything else, even though the Ravelympics doesn’t make any
  • If the games are really about “world peace and harmony”, this is a great way to disturb the peace and prevent a bunch of people coming together to celebrate an event
  • Quite a lot of people watch the games while they work on their Ravelympics projects
  • The overall tone is just insulting.
  • The games have been going on “over more than a century”…read a book, honestly.

(Note that these are all my own words and, other than being a user, I have no affiliation with Ravelry or its staff, who are being quite gracious about it.)

I do understand to a certain extent that they want to maintain some “brand integrity.”  But Ravelympics isn’t even the same word, and does not make any money.  It’s clearly a fun tie in and meant to pay tribute to the games.  This is childish and silly and, in my opinion, denigrates the true nature of the Olympic Games.

I’m glad I got to enjoy the last one. I always prefer the winter games anyway (which, incidentally, is apparently rare).

06/20/2012 at 1:35 pm 23 comments

My stitches. Let me show you them.

I’ve been on a huge embroidery kick lately.  More on that when I have pictures, because this wouldn’t be very interesting without them.

For the moment though, I’ll do a tad bit of shameless self-promotion for my knitting and embroidery classes this month.  You can go here to see Find X Designs’s schedule for June with classes on knitting, embroidery, and quilting.

I’ll be doing a beginning knitting, kids embroidery, and also a class on this scarf, which uses really funky/interesting yarn.

06/09/2012 at 4:57 pm Leave a comment

Every Knitter’s Dream

Well, I had the most productive lunch break ever yesterday.  I got another job. (As in an additional job, I like my current job.)

Rewind to when I first started this job–or even earlier than that to the interview. I was asked, “If you could have any job in the world other than this one, what would it be?” I thought for a few seconds and blurted out, “I’d like to own a yarn store.” It got a good reaction, and I got the job, so hooray!  When I started here, I searched for a yarn store in town with no luck.  (I did find a weaving place, which I’d still like to check out just because, even though I don’t weave.)   A few weeks in, some of my co-workers mentioned that there was a new one that had just opened.  I resolved to check it out during my lunch break, and one day last week, I did.

They had yarn, fabric, and supplies for working with both. I started chatting with one of the employees as well as the owner.  I mentioned that I was just browsing since I’d heard there was a new yarn store in town but had a few things in mind to make. (One of them: fingerless gloves for my freezing office.) I picked up a ball of yarn, some needles, some pins, and a spool of thread.  When I was paying, the owner asked me if I’d be interested in teaching knitting classes. I taken aback because it was so unexpected–but how cool! I said possibly and that I would come back to talk about it.

So I went back yesterday with samples of things I’d made (both completed and in-progress fingerless gloves, for the aforementioned freezing office).  The in-progress glove was in a bad that I’d embroidered.  Evidently they’re looking to get some embroidery stuff in there along with the  yarn and fabric,and that they want an embroidery teacher as well!  Hooray for being multi-craftual!

I was given some things to work on that I’ll potentially be teaching, but I’ll hold off on saying what yet, in case something changes.

I’m so thrilled! I kind of work at a yarn store! And what knitter/crocheter wouldn’t want that??

On a completely unrelated note, I love upcycled things and comic books, so etsy seller comicsalvage is right up my alley.  I want everything on there, including the cuff links, and I don’t even wear cuff links! Thanks to When Geeks Wed for pointing it out to me.

05/31/2012 at 12:05 pm Leave a comment

It’s not the size that counts

Long time no write. I said I was going to keep up with the blog this time, and I meant it! But things do get busy, and a 40 minute drive to/from work tires me out.

Today, I came home with plans to write about a few smaller projects I’d made, and as I was taking pictures, my dog started barking furiously at the mail lady who was bringing a large package up to my front porch.

Hmmm…Frah-gee-ley. Must be Italian.

Actually it’s from New Zealand*, which makes it my Ashford traditional spinning wheel! Look at it in all of it’s IKEA like glory!

*Spell check is telling me that “Zealand” isn’t a word. Seriously? 

I had decided to name it Schrodinger after my reluctance to admit actually purchasing a wheel.  I’m sticking with that name, but I’m super excited that it’s here, and I will not be shamed for my love of fiber arts!  Schrodinger also came with a bag of wool to practice on, which is also pretty sweet.  More on that when I have time to assemble it.

Back to what I had originally decided to write today: smaller projects!  Long drawn out projects can be fun, and are usually really rewarding when finished, but they can also be really exhausting.  It’s nice every once in a while to bust out a completed project in a weekend, or sometimes even a shorter amount of time.

Since the office at my aforementioned 40 minute away new job is constantly freezing, I decided to expand my wardrobe of fingerless gloves, so I can stay somewhat toasty and still remain able to do my Excel magic.  I went with a pattern that I’d always liked, but had never gotten around to doing, and a yarn in my favorite color, and this weekend made these. They were relatively easy, but the pattern did require paying a lot of attention to where I was so as not to get off the pattern.  The little zig zags are done with cables, which is something I’m really not a huge fan of doing.  I’m lucky in that my dislike of cables comes without a great desire for complicated cable sweaters, because I would absolutely hate doing them.  They’re not difficult at all, even though a lot of cables look it; they’re just tedious.  As long as you have patience for watching for where you are in the pattern, and for actually doing the cables, they’re really easy.

These weren’t bad to knit. It was about as much cabling as I could take, but I really like the effect.  And they also include
something I’d never done before, which was a thumb hole.  Well, I’d done a thumb hole before that’s just that- – a hole.  But this was actually part of a finger.  Again, not a difficult thing to do, but annoying as hell, which is why I will never make gloves. (Side note: this reminds me of an amusing anecdote about me knitting gloves, but I feel like I should probably check with the other party involved before sharing it.)

My other project, which I’m really proud of, was also knocked out over the span of a weekend.  One day for the embroidery and another evening for the sewing.  I made a needle book to hold my embroidery needles, and my scissors.  Basically, it was an excuse to embroider something since Urban Threads has so many wonderful designs that I want to try.

Basically, I took a piece of blue cloth and embroidered two patterns on it. (The colors are purposely bold because of the comic book like designs. Also, I like color.) I got a piece of contrasting fabric for the inside.  Before sewing them together, I put a piece of craft plastic (basically a semi-rigid plastic net) in one half of it, so that the bottom would be rigid, and the flap would be left floppy.

Onto the rigid inside, I attached a piece of red felt to hold the needles. It’s a good thick material that they won’t slip out of.  I attached it with some double sided tape made especially for fabrics. I wasn’t sure how well it would work on the felt, but it actually worked really well.  I wanted this book to hold my scissors as well as needles, I only attached it on three sides, making it a great pocket to hold a tiny pair of scissors.

I am totally in love with this thing!  I’m actually thinking of making some to sell on that Etsy shop I keep saying I’m going to open.  What do you guys think? As long as I’m careful with the embroidery, do you think people would actually buy these? I actually want opinions, so don’t be afraid to say no. I can take it 🙂

05/21/2012 at 7:50 pm 1 comment

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