01 April 2014

An Explaination of Why Anti-Vaxers are Wrong *LINK*

I love science. My motto here is "Live loud. Question everything." Science is the process by which we find answers to those questions. I want to be clear on a few things here.

1.) Science is not simply a means to an end, nor is it perfect. As our understanding evolves, science evolves. The recent discovery that Black Death may not have been a bubonic plague after all shows this.

2.) Science is still the best method we have for understanding the way our universe works. The results of that process are still the best explanation we have for natural phenomena.

3.) Opinions are NOT as valid as science, no matter how loudly they are stated.

4.) Science says vaccines don't cause autism, but they *do* save lives and keep children from suffering needlessly.

For a much clearer explanation, see here:

10 March 2014

Crochet? Hooray!: Captain America Beret

Full disclosure: I have actually been crocheting for about a year and a half now.

I found my grandmother's hooks in my basement while cleaning one day. She had died when I was...I wanna say 10? I was in school and the funeral was out of state, so I wasn't able to go. When my parents came home, they brought me a few trinkets, some jewelry and her pouch of crochet hooks. She was very creative. I have one of her afghans, one she made me for Christmas one year. It's my favorite blanket, warm and soft and full of love. I tried at one point to learn how to crochet in middle school, but some tension issues and adolescent frustration lead to putting them away for many years. I picked up knitting and I loved it, but when I found the hooks, I felt guilty for not using them.

So, I set out to change that. I sat down with her hooks, and some yarn, and a few YouTube videos, and made my first granny square. Then a shawl. And I loved it. Now, I crochet almost every day. I hardly ever knit, crochet is so much faster. I still have my needles, and maybe someday I'll pick them up again. But for now, it's happy hooking for me.

Last year, a friend wanted a hat to commemorate her love of all things Cap. I couldn't find a pattern at the time, so I designed one. I crocheted through this pattern a few times, and the number of stitches of blue to crochet around the star hasn't been quite...consistent. But the overall technique is solid. So here it is, in time for the upcoming premier of  Winter Soldier, the Captain America Beret:

I used the silvery yarn and a darker red to look more like the shield from the movies, but bright red white and blue work equally well.

G hook

~With white yarn~

Create a slip knot.
5sc in loop, pull tight
2sc in each sc around (10)
*2sc in stitch, 1 sc* around (15)
*sl, ch 6, [1sc in 1st ch, 1hdc, 1dc, 1htc, 1tc], skip 1 stich, s1* 5 times
sc around
sl st join 2nd color [blue]

ch 5, 1tc, 1htc, 1dc, 1hdc, 1sc, *1hdc, 1dc, 1htc, 2tc, skip 1, 2tc, 1htc, 1dc, 1hdc, 3sc* repeat 3 more times, 1hdc, 1dc, 1htc, 1tc, sl to join {ed. note: No matter how many times I test this, this row, and as a result the next, are always a bit off. The take away is basicly to transition from triples at the bottom to singles at the points.}
ch3, dc, hdc, 2sc, sl *sl, 2sc, hdc, 3dc, hdc, 2sc, 2sl* repeat 3 more times, s1, 2sc, hdc, dc, sl to join 3rd color[red] (55)

ch3, *4dc, 2sc in same st* around, sl to join (66)
ch3, *5dc, 2dc in same st* around, sl to join [white] (77)

ch3, *6dc, 2dc in same st* around, sl to join (88)
ch3, *7dc, 2dc in same st* around, sl to join [red] (99)

ch3, *8dc, 2dc in same st* around, sl to join (110)
ch3, dc around, sl to join (110)
ch3, *8dc, dctog* around, sl to join (99)
ch3, *7dc, dctog* around, sl to join (88)
ch3, *6dc, dctog* around, sl to join (77)
ch3, *5dc, dctog* around, sl to join (66)
ch3, *4dc, dctog* around, sl to join (55)
ch3, *3dc, dctog* around, sl to join (44)
ch2, hdc around, sl to join, twice
ch1, sc around, sl to join
Repeat final row once, finish off

If you use this pattern, please do not sell the items. It is for personal use only. However, feel free to send me a picture, I love to see what people make!

28 January 2014

Nerdy Knits: Whovian Alphabet for Knitting

As I said last week, I am continuing my series of geeky alphabet charts for you yarn crafters out there. You can find my first two installments here: Potter! Twilight!

This week's alphabet is near and dear to my heart, the Whovian Alphabet.

Now, I am not caught up. Seriously. I don't have cable, so I watch on Netflix, or occasionally elsewhere on the internet, so I haven't seen anything since the Ponds left. That said I am seriously excited for Peter Capaldi's take on our favorite Madman with a Box.

Let me know if you use my lettering, I want to see what you make! If you want to sell what you made, just link back here. (And please, don't try to sell my charts.) You should also consider checking out my fob watch inspired baby rattle.

So who are my fellow Whovians? Sound off in the comments, but please no spoilers. ;)

21 January 2014

Nerdy Knits: Twilight Alphabet for Knitters

It's been well over a year, but my Potter Alphabet continues to be my most popular post, by far, outstripping all other posts combined. In that vein, I have decided to continue with a series of sci-fi/fantasy fonts so that you lovelies can let your own creativity shine. SO with out further ado, I present, the Twilight font:

I chose to do all lower case, as the book titles are all written in lower case.

As always, you are free to use this pattern in any way you see fit, provided two things:

1.) Do not sell my charts directly
2.) If you sell an item made using my charts, please credit it back to this page

Other than that, it's free, always will be. Have fun!

New! A Doctor Who font!

23 December 2013

On Grief and Grieving

I want to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to my cousin. When her mother, my dear aunt, passed away a few years ago, I was very sad. And I was (internally) snarky every time she said "it's different when it's your own mom." My aunt was like my second mom, I thought it was exactly the same. I was very wrong.

My own mother passed away this year just before Thanksgiving. She had a very unexpected heart attack that took her instantly, no one could have done anything to save her. A month later and I am still not okay. I am so very far from okay. This grief is powerful; it steals my breath and boils my blood. This is a sadness that goes deeper than I have ever felt, even over my aunt. It is more pure than the chronic depression I have battled since adolescence. This is a new beast entirely.

The first few days were just shock. Nothing felt real. I kept trying to wake up, like it was a nightmare I could shake off with a good cup of coffee. Then came the insomnia and anxiety. I was unprepared for the raw panic that hit me. It was unrelenting. I shook, I cried, I couldn't breathe. I was terrified all of the time for weeks. Some therapists actually believe that anxiety should share space with bargaining in the stages of grief, because not everyone bargains. I apparently do not bargain. Now, I am finally sleeping, and the panic has mostly subsided.

Now the anger has settled in. I am furious. I am mad at the universe for taking her away. I am mad at Mom for abandoning me. I am mad at everyone who still has a mother and doesn't appreciate her. I am mad at myself for being such an insufferable tool. I keep lashing out at people, whether or not they deserve it. I cry over nothing. I punch things. I want to scream a primal scream until my throat bleeds. I want to hide under my bed covers and escape into a book. I want to be everywhere and nowhere.

But life doesn't stop for grief, no matter how intense. The dishes need done, classes must be attended, and shopping lists accumulate. So I learned to put away my sadness, anger, and anxiety. I tuck it away, and get on with life until I can't take it any more, and it comes flying out with rage and pain, and takes out anyone near me.

So, no I'm not okay. I think I'm going to be, though, and I'm planning to see a therapist to make sure of that. I don't know if any of my rambling could be helpful to anyone else. I hope there is something in this that is of value. If you have found this because you are in pain and you are not okay either, just know that you are not alone. And I am sorry for that. I'm sorry that you are not okay, I am sorry that you are hurting. But you, like me, will get through this.

I think.