Geek Crafts

Science and yarn, two of my favourite things.  Geekiness and creativity, I’m a happy lady!

MAD Science hat

mad_science_002_medium2

Hyperbolic Plane

hyperbolicplane

Amigurumi Test Tubes

amigurumitesttubes

Arriba Amoeba Mitts

Arribaamoeba

Brain hat

brainhat

Neuron softie

neuron

Do you know of any awesome science crafting?  Let us know in the comments so we can all love them too.

All of these patterns are found on Ravelry.

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Are you a Harry Potter fan — Star wars, Doctor Who or sci-fi geek? Get some nerd knits on your sticks!

  1. Hermione hearts Ron (Harry Potter)(my daughter is wearing this hat in this pic)
  2. Tardis socks (Dr Who)
  3. Insulate (Dr Who) [pictured above]
  4. Jane Cobb hat (Firefly)
  5. Star wars knitting charts
  6. bmp (space invader socks)

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Guest series 2012: I asked fellow bloggers, makers and creators to write on their creativity and focus their essay on one of four topics: creativity and health, creativity and business, creativity and parenting or creativity and process. I am very excited to have a wonderful lot of fellow creative folk guest posting here at whipup.net over the next couple of months. Please welcome…

MostlyNerdyCrochet is the love child of Tracey McNamee and her adoration of nerd culture and yarn. She’s in her mid-twenties and enjoys long walks on the beach, candle lit dinners, and—wait. Sorry, let me restart. She’s in her mid-twenties and enjoys colorful yarn from thrift stores, weekend projects, and all things nerdy.

Alright, so my creativity isn’t so much a process as a mostly failed attempt to control the chaos. When I’m inspired it’s not just for one thing, it’s usually about ten things and I have to choose the most interesting (and practical) one. Why just choose one? Because I know myself! If I start too many I’ll never finish any of them, and if I try to rush through one to add in a second I’ll burn out before I get there. Thank goodness crafting isn’t a job for me. I’d be terrible at it! I work solely off my muse, who pops in now and then when it’s convenient.

So there I am, sitting at my “work station” and it hits me, I should make one of those! But wait, if I make that, what if I made THAT instead and combined it with this and this. Oh this goes on for a while until I’ve decided that my original idea is not only easier, but I have all the colors for it. You wouldn’t believe how many of my projects are determined by my limited yarn collection.

Let me preface this by saying I’m a very organized person. I even worked as an assistant professional organizer for a while, but as soon as the craft supplies are out I become a storm of flying fluff, misplaced hooks, and sitting on scissors. Seriously. One time it was a needle, and no, my husband doesn’t let me forget it.

This is where the magic happens.

And this is while the magic is happening.

This lasts for a couple of days until I’ve sewn on the last pupil (for some reasons the eyes are always last, it’s something with how they turn “real” once those eyes are looking at me. I think Toy Story instilled this fear that a toy would see anything I did, but not without eyes sucker!) and I sit, covered in thread, polyfil, and bits of my hair that I’ve pulled out, admiring my work. Did I seriously just make this? It’s AWESOME!

I’m especially not kidding about my reaction. I’m always way more impressed than I should be that my work looks like I want it to. For years I struggled with traditional art, but crochet? Finally, a place where I belong.

Back to that muse. Not to assume a gender, but I need a pronoun to refer to her. It’s been a while since we’ve had lunch, sadly, a couple of months. Luckily, when she’s away on vacation I turn to Pinterest. If you haven’t sold your soul to Pinterest yet I recommend you avoid it like the plague. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the best thing that ever happened to me on the internet. The problem? You’ll lose all your free time. Days will pass and somehow you’ll only feel like you stepped through the garage door and saw a sandworm (please ignore my obscure Beetlejuice reference). It leaks into your mind, polluting you with DIY projects, home décor, inspiration, humor, and FOOD. Oh God the food.

Right, back to the creative process. Where did I leave off? Oh yeah, food. WAIT, no.

Ok, since I’ve clearly been distracted by the ever present existence of Pinterest I would like to do a quick follow up on my personal goals from the last time I was invited here. I mentioned that I wanted to learn how to sheer my own sheep, spin my own wool, and dye my yarn. Guess what? I’m doing this in August! Turns out my in-law’s neighbor has her own sheep and does the whole process on her own from start to finish and would love a helping hand! Now that this goal is so close at hand I’ve started planning on another. So here it goes: I want to own my own yoga studio café. I’ll teach yoga, and hire my friend to make all the goods at the café with 100% all natural local honey from my own bees, which naturally I take to my sister’s farm to pollinate her crops, which is where my sheep frolic happily in open fields. See? It all works out. Oh, and I’ll live in one of those surprisingly spacious tiny houses with incredible and innovative use of limited space. Happily. Ever. After.

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Joan of Dark (a/k/a Toni Carr) is an avid lover of all things knit and crocheted. She has been featured on two DIY Network shows, Uncommon Threads and Knitty Gritty. She’s the author of the book Knockdown Knits (Wiley), and her patterns have been published on KnitPicks.com and in Vampire Knits (Potter Craft). Her sense of style was also profiled in Indianapolis Monthly, Nuvo, and Intake Weekly. With a science fiction writer for a mother, and a father who made sure that her comic book collection was always stocked, she had no choice but to grow up a geek! She can be reached on line at www.joanofdark.com

Tony Carr has recently published Knits for Nerds (Andrews McMeel Publishing, February 2012), which includes 30 knitting projects inspired by her love of science fiction. She discusses the book here.

Coming up with the concept of  Knits for Nerds  was surprisingly easy. I’m a big nerd, I always have been. I preferred to read on the playground instead of swinging on a swing, my summer vacations and spring breaks were spent at sci-fi conventions instead of Daytona Beach, and one of my coolest memories from childhood was getting to see K-9 (from the classic Doctor Who series) in real life!

Actually deciding what patterns got to be in Knits for Nerds? That was the hard part! Some of my initial ideas couldn’t be done because of copyright concerns. Then there was the difficulty of making things that would never be seen outside of a convention, and while costumes are cool, as a knitter I want to be able to wear what I knit all the time!

Finally my publisher, agent and I decided that the book should be a mix of slightly “out there” patterns and wearable pieces. Some things were easy to come up with. Star Trek mini dresses and a cadet sweater were a natural inclusion. Firefly was a little trickier. It’s one of my favorite TV shows, but the only really memorable knitwear is the Jayne Cobb hat. I thought about including my pattern for that one, but it’s a pattern that’s been done over and over again by many different designers, so why muddy the waters? Instead I decided to simply do some items inspired by my love of the show. My friend Laura Hohman is a brilliant sock designer, so I begged her to whip up a pattern for a beginner pair of socks in the classic Jayne Cobb hat colors. A good pattern for a newer sock knitter and perfect to pair with the Jayne Cobb hat that probably already exists in most knitters closets! The scarf was another natural fit. We were having so much fun with the yarn when testing out the sock pattern that we decided to make a scarf to match, complete with pom-poms and fringe, thinking that is the way Ma Cobb would have made it. A brown coat inspired pattern was next. Lacy, delicate, and perfect for the girlie Firefly fan.

Other patterns I plucked straight from my favorite books. American Gods and Alanis Boys by Neil Gaiman described the character Mr. Nancy at one point, yellow gloves, and another wearing a green fedora. As a knitter I couldn’t resist making these! I was really lucky to bring on some other designers to help me out with some of the projects. The above mentioned Laura Hohman handled all the sock designs in the book, while Ashley Fay, created the lovely Light of Earendil Shrug. Marilee Norris designed a cute little robot loosely inspired by Doctor Who, Genevieve Miller, who I had previously worked with on Vampire Knits, made the fabulous Space Princess Hats inspired by Star Wars, Callie Need contributed the Cat Woman hat, my own sci-fi writer mother Linda Dunn made Padme’s battle cape, and of course Rilana Riley-Munson and her incredible lace shawl, inspired by the book Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr.

I like to think that overall we came up with a nice mix of patterns for the casual nerd who still wants to wear their knits during the week, and the uber nerdy convention attendee who wants to rock the Princess Leia bun hat.

Shooting the photos for the book was a fun nerd fest of its own. My friend Lorraine (who is the gorgeous model with the chessboard laptop bag) works for Neil Gaiman, and offered up his house to us for one weekend. We piled into a 15 passenger van with models, a make-up artist, two photographers, equipment and lots and lots of knitwear. When we weren’t dressing the models, setting up shots, beseeching Lorraine to make us more tea, or shooing dogs out of the frame, we got to geek out in the library over the first edition books, drool a little on the original Dave McKean art in the kitchen, and check out all the limited edition toys in the attic. After we wrapped up the last shot we made snow angels in a field while talking to Neil about roller derby. I like to think that those pictures, shot with friends, in a cool house, with dogs occasionally tipping over photographers, and cats cuddling up on a models lap to take advantage of her warm sweater help make the book what it was meant to be. Warm, silly, sometimes beautiful, but definitely not taking itself too seriously.

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Nerds and knitting seems to go hand in hand. Geeky crafts abound on the internet. You just have to look up nerd or geek on Ravelry or Etsy to see that.

Because Joan of Dark (a/k/a Toni Carr) is discussing her new book  Knits for Nerds here tomorrow I thought I would get into the nerdy geeky knitting spirit a little bit first. 

So you are a knitter and a nerd – a sci-fi or math or robotics geek – or your loved ones are anyway. And you want to knit what you love – something nerdy. Start by searching for nerd or geek on Ravelry. A whole slew of Dr Who and Computery type stuff comes up. Then narrow down your search with some more defined search terms like Harry Potter or Math. And you’ll find some cool things like these…

  1. Irrationally Constant Mittens by Lisa Stockebrand
  2. Cthulhuclava by Anne-Marie Dunbar
  3. Love Bytes (Robot Mittens) by Grace Schnebly
  4. Atomic Blocks: The Periodic Table by Alegria DaSilva
  5. Microprocessors by Heatherly Walker
  6. Doctor Who Scarf – Season 12 by Chris Brimelow

  1. Hermione’s Scarf by Freshisle Fibers
  2. The Oncoming Storm by Laura Isaac
  3. Fractal Cowl by Emily Peters
  4. #20 Pi Vest by Kate Williams
  5. Binary by Christine Dumoulin
  6. TARDIS Socks by Keladry Bonnett

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