An exciting new collection of Firefly themed colorways from Knitcircus


I love Knitcircus’ inspiration for this new yarn collection. Firefly. One of my favorite shows EVER!

I have some colorways I’d love to add to this list:

  • Cunning (something in the colors of Jayne‘s notorious hat)
  • Companion (a rich warm red or pink, with bits of metallic gold)
  • Two by two, hands of blue (obvious)
  • Shindig (something pink and girly)
  • Saffron (how convenient that her name would lend itself to a yarn color)

What else can you think of?



Joss Whedon’s a genius, and after we worked our way through all of the Buffy and Angel episodes, Mike and I decided to give this Firefly series a try. At first, I thought, “Okay, it’s Han Solo with a new crew,” but after one episode, the complex characters hooked me for good.

Recently, I re-watched the show’s 14 episodes all again, and found myself loving the bright, western-style landscapes contrasted with the ship’s beat-up interior all against “the black,” or deep space.

Big, geeky fangirl? Yep, I even have  a couple of Firefly books. Combing through them for “research” on costumes and characters, no trouble at all.

Firefly fans, or Browncoats, are legendary for their passion for such a short-lived show, and have a reputation for helping out charities and the like. So in the Browncoat spirit, for every Still Flying yarn sold, Knitcircus will donate a dollar to Kids Need to read, a group cofounded by

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How to Knit a Nerd Magnet


I’ve just knitted a shawl that seems to delight every nerd I meet. It’s the Dr. Who-inspired Bigger on the Inside shawl, by Kate Atherley.

This shawl puts up a demure front, concealing its fearsome nerd-netic powers.

I began knitting this shawl a month ago in honor of my trip to GenCon. A wonderful project for a car ride and for winding down in the hotel room after long days at the convention.

The Roommates: My roommates showed interest in the project–more than they would normally show for one of my knitting projects, but then they are all avid Dr. Who fans. The BF seemed to enjoy watching the tiny Tardises take shape row by row, like the they were materializing very, very slowly.

Fellow GenCon Fiber Geeks: The ladies and gents in my craft classes showed much more enthusiasm. At the end of my drop spindle class, the group got to talking, and as fiber lovers are wont to do, we each reached into our purses and backpacks and pulled out our convention projects to share. I was not alone in having chosen a special project to knit while at the convention. But mine was by far and away the nerdiest. They all loved it and wanted to know where I had found the pattern.

Whoo whoo whoo, whoo, whoo whoo.

Finding Dr. Who Fans in My Knitting Community Back Home: I didn’t quite mange to finish the shawl while at GenCon, so I continued work on it when I returned home. At my Wednesday night knitting group, I pulled it out and within the hour discovered that three other women at the table were also Dr. Who fans. They lovingly fingered the emerging row of Tardises and laughed over it. The next day, I noticed that one of them had added the shawl to her Ravelry queue.

Later that week I brought the shawl to Pints & Purls. One of the ladies had brought her teenage daughter who, while not a knitter, seems to have a keen appreciation for knit wear. She saw my nearly finished shawl and immediately asked her mother if she could make one for her.

I bound off the shawl while at Pints & Purls. Our group has a standing agreement with our regular server whereby he will model any project finished while at the bar. He gamely agreed to model mine.

I managed to catch him in a brief moment of fear-eyes. I’m a scary, scary knitter. It’s the pointy sticks, you know.

The 6 Degrees of Dr. Who Fiber Geekdom: Or rather, in this case, only two degrees.

The next Monday, while talking to some friends via Skype, one of them asked how my shawl was getting on. She had told another of her knitter friends about it (one who has been known to knit those monstrously long, varicolored Dr. Who scarves). In her words, her friend “went ape-shit” and demanded to know where she could find the pattern. I gleefully passed on the information.

The original Dr. Who scarf from season 12, and a schematic for a pattern that is similar (as seen on the Knitpicks Community Page). Just LOOK at the length of that thing.

I really feel as though this shawl is introducing me to other Dr. Who fans, and not the other way around. I wonder who I’ll meet next.

SYTYCD Yarn Along – In Which I Get Distracted and Forget to Knit 4 Prep Rows


I’m so excited that SYTYCD auditions are over and that now we’re getting into the show proper. The auditions are fun to watch, but I don’t think they need to run 5 or 6 episodes of them. My two cents, FOX.

My knitting and I trundled over to a friend’s house to watch the show on Wednesday night. She had TiVoed it earlier in the evening. We don’t have regular TV at my house so, if I want to have a chance to watch this show live, I need to work my connections 😉 Or camp out at an appliance store.

I’ve decided to start a new project to work on while watching the show. Something inspired by dance. Specifically, inspired by this scene from Singing in the Rain.

The fabulous Cyd Charisse, dancing gracefully while somehow failing to trip over this long, white, billowing scarf.

Now, I’m not about to try knitting something that long or that white. Not worth it. I’d stain if the first time I wore it. I’m knitting this shawl instead. And I’m knitting it in this gorgeous Juniper Moon Findley Dappled colorway.

The Dancing Cranes Stole by Shui Kuen Kozinski and Benne Ferrell, as seen on Ravelry.

This was a fabulous first night of competition. Nobody sucked, and that’s rare, especially when it comes to ballroom.

It’s sort of comical to watch the classically trained dancers and hip-hoppers who usually make it into the top 20 try to grock ballroom. Their knees are too turned out. They forget how to stay grounded. They don’t know what to do with their partner. For all the world, they look like spraddle-legged cowboys trying to Cha Cha with their horse.

Not so last night. I was particularly impressed with the Lindsday Arnold and Cole Haribe’s Paso Doble. Lindsay comes from a ballroom background, so I expected her to be good. Cole comes from more mainstream types of dance and martial arts. Honestly, I think it’s the martial arts that makes him “get” this dance.

Paso Doble

Lindsay Arnold and Cole Haribe

The other ballroom numbers were very good too, especially for the first night of competition. Nothing special, but nothing to make your eyes bleed either. Full marks for that.


Amber Jackson and Nick Bloxsom-Carter


Witney Carson and Chehon Wespo-Tschopp

Time to frog and start over. Thankfully I had the first episode of Covert Affairs season 3 to keep me company and keep me in good humor.

In Which I Realize That I Can Knit Anything I Put My Mind To: SYTYCD Yarn Along


Without a doubt, Leroy Martinez was the highlight of the So You Think You Can Dance Salt Lake City Auditions. He may not have been the most talented dancer we saw that night, but I enjoyed watching his audition more than any other I’ve seen so far. This is a guy who works for a doggy day care center by day, and moonlights as a mentor for the Peacemakers, a dance organization for disadvantaged youth.  He comes from a self-professed rough background and he believes in the power of dance to change lives. He is living proof. Kids see a light like that and they’ll follow it anywhere.

A true inspiration. And more charm than a basket full of breakdancing puppies.

I feel as though I witnessed something miraculous in watching Mr. Martinez. He makes you believe that you can really do anything if you try.

During the last year, my knitting has really taken off. It’s as if the fear of challenging myself has melted away. I no longer avoid cables and lace. I no longer shy away from three-dimensional objects larger than a hat. I’m really learning how to read and understand patterns. Really understand them. That’s an amazing thing for me. I feel as though I can pick up any pattern. I can learn any technique. I can diagnose my own mistakes and even mistakes in other people’s patterns.

I can do anything. Just like Leroy. And just like YOU!

Imagine that last thing declared in a loud, ringing Oprah-esque voice.

Ok, I’m done now.  *sheepish*

Here’s one of my recent finished objects: Gemini by Richmond. I finished this a few weeks ago and I’ve already worn it to work three times. When I wear my finished projects to work I feel so accomplished. It’s a big confidence boost. Everybody needs that at work, now and then.

I should have bound off the sleeves a little more tightly. Other than that, i think this turned out pretty well.

There were a few other big highlights from the SLC auditions.

I’ve been disappointed with the quantity and quality of the ballroom contestants in the auditions this year. Ask anyone who knows me. I talk about it a LOT. I’m delighted that Witney Carson made it through to Vegas. I don’t think she measures up to Anya from season 3, but that’s a pretty tall order. Plus, Anya had several more years of dance experience and had been a national finalist before she ever made it to SYTYCD. I remember seeing her on America’s Ballroom Challenge in the early 2000s. Rooting for Witney. Definitely. Image from

I’m really looking forward to seeing what Gene Lonardo (a.k.a. the preying mantis) can do. He’s really got the inhuman movement thing down. And he has a really entertaining androgynous quality that reminds me of Billy from season 7. As Mary Murphy quipped, “the ladies will eat him up.” Totally. Save me some. Image from PbMom’s Blog.

Righteous Indignation, Thy Name is “Knitter” – Ravelympics Under Fire By USOC


The U.S. Olympic Committee just did something pretty ridiculous and comical, and it’s got a lot of fiber crafters royally pissed off.

This year is the third  Ravelympics, an event put on by during the Olympic Games. The idea is to challenge yourself to start and finish projects during the games, while rooting on your favorite athletes. Participants pick “events” to enter, such as a “sweater triathlon” and many also join teams, such as “Team Tardis.” The 2012 Ravelympics runs from July 27 to August 12.

It’s all in good fun, right? We get to work on fiber crafts and cheer for our favorite Olympic athletes?

Not so, says the United States Olympic Committee.

Ravelry recently received this notice from the General Counsel of the United States Olympic Committee.  In essence, it says:

  • There’s a law prohibiting unauthorized use of the Olympic symbol (the five rings) or the word “Olympic” and any derivation of it for any commercial purpose or for any competition.
  • Ravelry’s use of  a derivation of the word “Olympic” in the name for the “Ravelympics” competition may” constitute trademark infringement, unfair competition and dilution of the trademark. It falsely suggests a connection to the Olympic Movement.
  • The use of the derivation “Ravelymics” for a friendly crafting competition “tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games” and is “disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.”

I could try to take this point by point and argue it to death., but that’s no fun. We all know the USOC are stomping around in their big old brand-protection boots and squashing things they don’t need to squash.  What I think is more fun is watching the amusing commentary roll in on Twitter. If crafters can make a big issue of this, the USOC may find that “I’m a big-old-brand-ogre” actions of this sort hurt their brand more than a friendly fiber arts competition ever could.

In Which I Discover That Some Stories about Artistic Inspiration are Universal — SYTYCD Yarn Along


Earlier today I was catching up on some saved video of the So You Think You Can Dance Los Angeles and Atlanta Auditions. And knitting, of course.

I’ve assigned myself a rather large project to start off this Yarn Along that I hope will last me at least part way through the season. It’s the Rocky Coast Cardigan by Hannah Fettig. I seem to know scads of people who are salivating over this cardigan right now. Mom knew exactly which pattern I was talking about when I mentioned it to her yesterday.

Rocky Coast Cardigan, as seen on Ravelry.

My version of the cardigan doesn’t look like this. At least not yet. It looks more like this:

Rocky Coast on the needles, momentarily dropped into my lap as I watched the Ninja Twins and their goofy antics. Too bad they’re too old for the show. Still, I think they got some really beneficial exposure, which was the idea, I’m sure.

I’m knitting Rocky Coast in a different yarn than was called for in the pattern. I was visiting Borealis in the Twin Cities and one of the yarn shop ladies talked me into trying this Shetland Aran weight yarn. I had to go down a couple of needle sizes to get gauge, as this yarn is a bit heavier than the yarn that the pattern calls for. Still, I like the way it’s turning out. This heathered gray wool really makes the cables pop. It will be a sturdier, thicker cardigan than the orignal Rocky Coast, but I think I will still like it a lot.

I had this shot all set up and Orion decided he had to take a look-see.

The hills and dales popping out in the cables of this cardigan remind me just a little bit of the gorgeous landscape shots at the beginning of Prometheus, which we went to see last night. The whole movie was breathtaking and very detailed. I would expect nothing less from Ridley Scott.

So anyway, back to So You Think You Can Dance.

My favorite moments from the LA and Atlanta tryouts were the following:

Alexa, who was cut from the top 20 last year, for showing growth and…interestingness. I loved that her tryout dance was not all about pretty developes and sexy moves.

Johnny Wacks, for making Nigel blush. We was choking. He just could not get the word “Wacking” out of his mouth. It was evident that his brain wanted to add another word after it. And thank you for innocently going on to talk about how you got started by “training by yourself.”

Eliana the aerialist, pole-dancing ballerina. I can see exactly why you belong in Cirque du Soleil and I really hope you make it into the top 10 this year. It’s a treat to watch you move.

One thing that struck me as I watched the tryouts was how often the dancers looked to their families as their major influence and inspiration. It made me think back to the “My Knitting/Crochet Hero” blog topic during the recent Third Annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week. Many of us crafty types also chose to honor parents or grandparents. And it makes sense. A famous knitwear designer, yarn maker, or LYS owner may inspire you every once in a while. But for pure emotional impact and influence, you just can’t match the patient family member who:

  • Teaches you how to cast on for the first time. Then teaches you seven or eight more times until you get it down.
  • Gives you your first set of needles and a ball of yarn. Or even (gasp) give you permission to knit with yarn from their own stash.
  • Advises you to put your yarn away so that cats won’t drag it around the house. Then laughs at you when you forget and helps you clean up the mess.
  • Appreciates you first creations and wears them with pride, even they are full of holes or knitted from ugly scratchy yarn.
  • Demonstrates their own joy with fiber craft.
  • Gracefully points out your fiber craft blind spots (we’ve all got them)

The same sorts of things can be said about dance parents. I danced all the way through high school and I feel I should now thank my parents for:

  • Spending your week day evenings chauffeuring me to dance class.
  • Buying scads of new dance shoes, tights and leotards for a growing child.
  • Plunking down cash for recital costumes with a minimum amount of grumbling.
  • Faithfully laundering the above mentioned tights and leotards each week so that I would always have clean things to wear to class.
  • Saving dinner for me when I could not be home to eat with the family.
  • Tolerating and ignoring my requests to build a ballet barre in the basement. You and I both knew I would never really use it.
  • Being my biggest fans, even though I was honestly never going to be SYTYCD material.

Join the SYTYCD Yarn Along


Hi fellow blogsters.

You are cordially invited to join the So You Think You Can Dance Yarn Along.

So You Think You Can Dance just started its 9th season on Fox. It’s one of the few reality shows I can bear to watch because the dancing is that good. 

The purpose of this Yarn Along is to bring together lovers of the fiber arts and lovers of dance in a blender of bloggy joy. Here’s how it works.

Each week you are encouraged to write a post in which you share:

  • A fiber arts project you are currently working on. Perhaps something you work on while watching the show. (It doesn’t have to be a dance related project, but don’t let me stop you if you get inspired. As I write this I’m already thinking about going out on Ravelry and looking up patterns for leg warmers.)
  • Your favorite dance moment(s) from a recent episode. Please also feel free to share the music you really liked, how awesome you think the choreographers are, etc…
  • Do you have a dance background of any kind? Share your perspective.
  • Share your insights about the intersections between fiber art and dance. I know it’s there.
  • Anything else that happens to inspire you. Far be it from me to criticize other for not staying on topic.

To make it easy for others to find your posts consider including this copy in your title or tags: 

SYTYCD Yarn Along”

Group Logo

I have created a little logo for our group, below. Please feel free to use this in your blog posts or in your sidebar. (WordPress users, the easiest method I’ve found is to add an Image box to your side bar that allows you to link to this image using the image’s URL.)

Keep it polite and keep it fun.

Common courtesy and respect, y’all.

Let’s get blogging!