There are many ways fans like to enhance their love of books, tv shows, and movies to carry on through the end of the story and beyond. One of those ways for crafters who knit are Mystery Knit Alongs. I heard about these just last year when one for Downton Abbey debuted. There have been others for Game of Thrones and Outlander just to name a few.
The "mystery" behind a Mystery Knit Along is that, in the beginning, you are not sure what it is you will be creating exactly. You are given instructions on the type of yarn needed, the size needles, any notions necessary, and usually a gauge swatch to try and match.
Then each week a new part of the pattern is debuted with each new episode and you can knit along with fellow fans of the show and chat about what happened in that episode and talk about your progress on the project. It's a great way to share the love of your craft and your fandoms together with others from all over the country/world. Most of the projects are easily picked up by a beginner and you are sure to be able to find a new friend willing to help you out along the way.
There is a new mystery knit along for the second season for Outlander that begins Sunday, April 4th. You can find the pattern and other information here.
by Maria Ingmire
Not every celebrity meeting goes as expected. While it’s not unusual to have a case of nerves, always remember that your nerves will get the best of you when a meeting with a favorite celebrity takes a turn for the worse.
One of my favorite fantasy writers is Jim Butcher, author of the Dresden Files series. I got hooked some years back (before the awful television show came out), and since then I’ve enjoyed reading about the adventures of wizard detective Harry Dresden. The last time Butcher had come to Dragon Con, I tried to wait in his line for two hours and I still didn’t get to his table for an autograph. He’s one popular guy in the authors’ signing room. Cut to Dragon Con 2013. This time I got in line early and finally got my turn.
When Celebrity Encounters Go Wrong
Now, the last time Butcher had been a guest at Dragon Con, that time I couldn’t get in to get my books signed, Butcher had appeared with his famous-romance-author wife. At his panel that year he spent a lot of time talking about family life in a household with two writers. I swear I thought I was giving him a compliment. Also, his hair really did look terrific. It was super shiny and healthy looking, like he uses expensive conditioner.
I got my comeuppance, at the end of the day. The photos my friend took of the encounter are grainy and awful. Neither of my autographs is personalized, either. It’s okay. I’m still a big fan and will check Jim Butcher out at his panels. Think I’ll skip the book signings, though.
This is Jim Butcher politely signing my book after being side-swiped by my “compliment.” See what I mean about his amazing hair?!
The photo op I deserve, blurry and with poor Jim bravely smiling long enough to get rid of me.
In honor of Tolkien Reading Day, here are a few of our favorite J.R.R. Tolkien quotes:
Tolkien Reading Day is every year on March 25th, in honor of the day Sam & Frodo destroyed the One Ring in fires of Mount Doom.
And always remember:
The Hallmark store is not typically a place that I frequent, unless I'm shopping with my mother (who, like many mothers and grandmothers, is quite fond of tchotchkes). Today, however, I want to go there all by myself with a pile of money - because the store and website are featuring so much adorableness that I literally just cannot take it! Check this out for yourself, and tell me you are not simply overcome by the cute:
Not since I discovered Funko POP dolls have I had such an urge to BUY ALL THE THINGS!
There are more than 60 Itty Bittys to choose from, and through April 5th they are buy one, get one 50% off online and in stores. Some of them are generic muggle cuteness, but many are Star Wars, DC and Marvel superheroes, Muppets, and Disney creations from princesses to Monsters Inc.
Sound off in the comments - which one of these cuties are you dying to bring home?
How is your everyday life affected by things you cannot see? This is the question that inspired the NPR podcast Invisibilia. Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller describe their podcast as one that “explores the intangible forces that shape human behavior – things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions.”
When a friend raved to me about this podcast, I thought - really? Hour-length episodes about invisible things that aren’t ghosts? What’s the big deal about this show? But I value this person’s opinion, so I gave it a shot anyhow
And it blew me away. Each episode centers on a different topic – everything from dark thoughts to fear to bullying – and covers them in a depth and manner that is simply fascinating. Interspersed with interviews with academic experts and individuals who have experienced invisible forces in deeper and different ways, Alix and Lulu will entertain you and make you think about things you take for granted everyday.
There are six episodes in the first season, but Spiegel and Miller say they’ll be back for more – and I can’t wait to see what topics they’ll cover in the future!
Listen to Invisibilia on NPR’s website or download it for free from iTunes.
There are many resources for the “alternative bride” to craft the quirky wedding of her dreams. When it came to planning our big day, the hubby and I wanted a universally palatable mix of sophistication with a pinch of geek. I didn’t think my family was ready for a lemonade-peeing-glitter-sneezing-fire-breathing unicorn, but we still wanted subtle nods to our love of Star Wars and other geekery here and there.
Grand Geek Entrance
The most obvious showcase piece for your geek message is the cake or the groom’s cake. A Pinterest search will yield endless dessert designs from every geek fandom you can imagine. Having a fondant Tardis for a groom’s cake wasn’t going to work for our garden affair, so I spent hours looking for simple but attractive nerdy cake toppers. I wasn’t even sure we should splurge on a second cake - until I fell in love with this adorable robot couple from Etsy seller AdoptabotWorkshop. Resistance was futile!
A photographer once told me wedding guests enjoy personalized touches that help them get to know the bride and groom, so I pieced together an engagement scrapbook to tell our love story. I included a Star Wars spread, a Princess Bride page, pictures of us at Dragon Con and a tribute to our engagement at an astronomy observatory on a volcano. A book all about you and your SO is a great way to let your geek flag fly.
Special Guest: Loki
There are endless ways to sneak a geek undercurrent into your classy mainstream wedding. Offer superhero-themed favors. Place little signs with love quotes from your favorite movies around the venue to delight your in-the-know friends.
Have the officiant start your ceremony off with “Mawiage. Mawiage is what bwings us together today.” Just kidding about that last one (or am I?).
Have fun, and may the force be with you on your wedding day!
by Maria Ingmire
Many of my celebrity encounters have happened at Dragon Con, but my Lord of the Rings fandom has put me in proximity with some cast members on multiple occasions.
Sean Astin is not your ordinary former child star.
Sean is truly down to earth and friendly with fans, and he often speaks about normal things like family and parenting when fans go up to his table. His panel really showcases his personality in this Dragon Con video clip.
My question starts at about the 12:05 mark in part 2 of the panel videos, where I ask him about why he turned out to be so normal even after being a child actor.
He’s refreshingly honest about his parents, Hollywood veterans John Astin and Patty Duke, in his answer which concludes in part 3 of these video clips of that panel.
It’s obvious when speaking with Sean, that he knows that he might always be best known for his portrayal of Samwise Gamgee, and he embraces that. In fact, he appreciates any fans whether they love him best as Sam, as Rudy, or as Mikey from The Goonies. Trust me, not every actor who comes to a convention wants to be there, but Sean Astin is one of the most gracious celebrities I’ve ever met.
Couldn't fall asleep last night? Your alarm go off way. too. early. this morning?
Why is Daylight Savings Time even a thing anymore - what are we Farmers!
John Oliver Explains... (an hopefully makes you laugh through your extra cup of coffee)
The way the narrator, Sarah Koenig, unfolds the story is nothing short of brilliant as she navigates - without judgment - the twists and turns of this 15-year old murder case.
Here's the summary from their website:
On January 13, 1999, a girl named Hae Min Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland, disappeared. A month later, her body turned up in a city park. She'd been strangled. Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.
Sarah was approached by a friend of Adnan to dig into what she believed was incompetent (and possible corrupt) work by his defense attorney that resulted in Adnan's wrongful conviction. As she began to dig through court reports and interview tapes - which you get to hear - she realized the story was much bigger and more complicated than it first appears.
Over the season, she recounts facts, analyzes transcripts, talks to experts, finds and interviews old friends and witnesses, visits the crime scenes, and challenges Adnan's side of the story through frequent phone calls from the jail where he is serving a life sentence.
Who is lying? Who is telling the truth? And really - how can you tell? Can you ever really know what someone is truly capable of?
We all show our love in different ways. As a crafty fangirl, I plan on making a geeky tribute to Leonard Nimoy. Here are some great ideas if you want to do the same.