GenCon 2015: Schedule and Stuff

I’m going to Gen Con this week! If you’re going and want to meet up, here’s what you should know about where I’m planning to be! There are some tips in here about social awkwardness and such; if you are socially awkward or anxious, here’s the user manual to interacting with me.

My hair is currently blonde and medium-length. I am short– 5’1" when I stretch– so you will not spot me easily in a crowd. I’m also loud, however, so you might hear me before you see me. This is me:

Stephanie

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Dragon Knitting

I’m following along with Kim Harrison’s dragon knit-along! This weekend’s homework was to knit 5 pieces of a wing:

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There are increases and decreases in these pieces, some of which are a little weird. I’ll be honest– Harrison could use a good technical editor (there are common guidelines she isn’t sticking to, and she has a huge typo in her pattern and stitch instructions), although she is really clear at the beginning that the pattern hasn’t been professionally edited.

Anyway, this week’s assignment is a bunch of icord wing bones. That’s fun… but it means I am now a little stuck because I didn’t get pipe cleaners yet! I can fix this by using floral wire (as long as it’s not expected to show), or I can wait to cast on until I have the pipe cleaners.

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Pretty Teal Shawl

I started knitting this shawlravelry-round in February, using yarn I bought during San Diego Comic Con last year. The pattern is Dianna, and the yarn is a discontinued colorway of Zitron Filigran– long color repeats that were exactly what I wanted for this entrelac lace shawl.

For the record, I have had this shawl in my queue for about 5 years. I have also tried to start it several times before giving up.

I finished it yesterday!

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I added a modified feather-and-fan border to “pull it together” and finished with about 5 yards of yarn to spare.

It’s a lovely blue-teal, which will go very nicely with the blue infinity dress I made last month:

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More details about the pattern, needles, progress photos, etc. are in the Ravelry link above.

Next up: the Kim Harrison dragon knit-along and a traveling project for Indiana.

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Making a List, Checking it Twice…

So, this is pretty cool and an example of how I’ve cultivated a community of good people online (yes, it’s an echo chamber. No, I don’t care.) And there’s a call to action at the end, for cis and trans people of all genders.

About a month ago, I saw a post on the Facebook about #IllGoWithYou, the trans ally response to #WeJustNeedToPee.

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3 Easy Patterns if You Don’t Want to Knit a Dragon

So, I’m going to jump on the Dragon Knit-Along over on Kim Harrison’s blog, and a few friends have commented that their skills aren’t up to the task.

First, let me say: nonsense. The point of a KAL is to be able to get help and ask questions as you go. Kim Harrison is obviously planning to go nice and slow with this project, so you can learn as you go along.

Second: Stuffed animals are a great beginner knit, because the gauge doesn’t matter, and you’re usually knitting tons of stockinette, only focusing on the shaping of the piece. But even if you are way off and everything is lopsided and weird… it will still be awesome. I have knitted and sewn some truly deranged-looking stuffed animals in my time. The main trick is to get the eyes "right." Everything else pretty much falls into place. If the eyes are a little derpy, that’s fine, too.

Third: OK, say you really really just can’t do it. Shaping is beyond you. You have too much going on right now to learn something. You are daunted. That’s fine. Here are three  free, adorable stuffed animal patterns you can knit this month to be part of the KAL and still have fun:

Bunny: A great project for felting, this project is done by knitting a big rectangle and then folding it. It’s ori-yarni, really. Super easy, super cute. You can knit it in garter or stockinette, as you prefer.

Knitten: This was the first thing I ever knitted– a knitted kitten I then gave to Alladin. He still plays with it sometimes. Knitted flat in 3 pieces, all garter stitch (that means all knit stitches, no purls), and very little increase/decreases (just the tail, actually).

Grumpasaurus: This is knit in the round (stockinette) with some shaping. The ridge teaches you a picot stitch. The tail carries most of the weight of the project. It’s basically an egg with a tail and a couple of stubby legs.

For any of these projects, you will need:

  • Yarn, about 1 ball, maybe 2 if you are using bulky yarn.
  • Needles to get a night tight gauge for the yarn. You don’t want it to be super stretchy or holey when you stretch it.
  • A bag of polyfill stuffing
  • A yarn needle to stitch things up
  • Either craft eyes, a pair of buttons, or contrasting yarn you can use to embroider eyes onto your creature. The Grumpasaurus is the only one that really needs a face in order to be recognizable– the kitty and bunny are fairly identifiable even without eyes.
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