Robot Roll Call!

Tom Servo!

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There are 27 Servos on this sweater. I still need to duplicate-stitch his arms and other details; first I’m forcing myself to do the (boring, boring) sleeves.

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Trust me, not a minute goes by that I don’t wonder why I decided to make this a long-sleeved sweater instead of short-sleeved like in the original pattern. Then I remember I live in Wisconsin, and what am I ever going to do with a short-sleeved sweater?! I’ve already ripped that sleeve out once because it felt too snug. I’m glad I did, though; no use making a sweater that’s too uncomfortable to wear.

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There’s some puckering going on. Hopefully blocking will help with that, but it’s not the end of the world if there’s a little puckering on the final product. I kind of like the 3D-ish look it gives him. Also, I ended up taking out the neck ribbing because I was already starting to enter turtleneck territory, which isn’t really what I was going for. I’m not sure how I feel about the i-cord bind-off around the neck. It doesn’t have much give; I can at least get my head through and it sits OK while the sweater is on, but I may end up replacing it with something stretchier.

Overall I’m pretty happy with how this thing is turning out. I just have to get my butt moving to finish it so I can get to the 462559140 other things in my knitting queue! (Mostly other sweaters. 😛  )


Servo Sweater

All right, there are lots of knitting projects I’ve finished over the past few months that I SHOULD be posting about, but since I haven’t gotten around to taking proper pictures of any of them, instead I’m going to talk about my current project!

Ever since I saw all the cute modifications people have made to Kate Davies’ Paper Dolls pattern, I started craving my very own geeky sweater. After giving it some thought, I decided to make a sweater featuring my favorite robot, Tom Servo from Mystery Science Theater 3000.

I made my very own super-awesome Tom Servo knitting chart:

After much agonizing over which yarn to use, I settled on Dream in Color Smooshy in Romeo Blue.

I also ordered Knit Picks Palette in Pimento, Silver, White, and Black for Tom Servo himself.

After deciding on yarn, I spent an obscene amount of time on Ravelry looking at other people’s Paper Dolls projects to learn about issues that they’d encountered or mods they’d made. As a result, I’ve come up with a  fairly lengthy list of ways I’ll be deviating from the pattern as written. (This is probably going to be boring for non-knitters [and possibly knitters] to read; it’s more of a way for me to keep track of it all.)

  • The pattern starts out with an i-cord cast-on for the body, but a lot of people seem to have had issues with it and I didn’t really want to deal with it. So instead, I’m doing a provisional cast-on, knitting the corrugated ribbing for the bottom of the sweater downwards, then doing the i-cord bind-off. Then I’ll pick up the stitches from the provisional cast-on and continue on knitting the body upwards. (Reminder to self: increase one stitch after picking up the stitches.)
  • A LOT of people had issues with the yoke of the sweater puckering, and one way they’ve mitigated that is to knit the yoke a size smaller than the rest of the body. I’m seriously considering doing this, and also redistributing the decreases in the Servo chart so that they happen a bit more gradually.
  • I’m planning on making long sleeves instead of short, and also knitting them downwards. So once I get to the  yoke, I’ll provisionally cast on the sleeves, knit a few rows, and then connect them to the body for the yoke.
  • I’ve also read that the decrease row on the chart (where half of the stitches are eliminated) is pretty extreme. I’m considering either making the decreases more gradual or moving them up closer to the neck.
  • I may also skip the last set of decreases at the neck since a lot of people complained about it being too tight.
  • I’m probably going to knit a few extra rows of yoke before starting the Servo charts to avoid the tight underarm issue.

I think that’s about it. I’m really excited to make this sweater!


If only I could get paid for video game achievements…

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So, last time I mentioned games on this blog, I had just finished getting every achievement in Skyrim. After that, I picked up Final Fantasy XIII-2. It wasn’t bad, although the plot seemed to get confusing after awhile. (Wait, they have to do what? And why? Something something the timeline is altered?) Oh, and the ending was an unbelievable downer. I haven’t tried the DLC yet, but sometime I probably will. I did, however, get all the achievements, of course.

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High on my success of having 1000 achievement points for two games, I realized I’d never feel right unless I picked up FFXIII again (which I had beaten at the end of November 2011, after a year and a half of extremely sporadic playing) and finished off the last few achievements I needed for that. Of course they were pretty much all the most difficult and time consuming ones; it didn’t take long for me to remember why I’d skipped them the first time around.

But, I’m pretty stubborn when it comes to grinding out achievements.

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After I finally finished that, I bought Diablo 3, which had come out a couple weeks before. It’s the first Diablo game I’ve ever played, and I was pretty into it for awhile, especially since there were all sorts of achievements to get. And unlike WoW, they were account-wide! Hooray. Since I had no intention of getting ALL the achievements (level two characters from each class up to 60? NO THANKS), my main goal was just to catch up to my bestie Travis, which unfortunately I was unable to do before I burned out. I did get to about 3400, though.

Another factor in my loss of interest in Diablo was that the Dawnguard and Hearthfire expansions for Skyrim had come out (and with them…you guessed it, more achievements). So that’s what I’m currently playing. I finished the main questline for Dawnguard (on the vampire side), and right now I’m grinding my way through building three houses. The one achievement I’m having my doubts about is “Kill a legendary dragon,” because apparently those don’t even appear with any regularity until level 70 or so, and I’m still at level 50 (and have been ever since I started playing again.) So if I want to have any chance of getting that achievement, I foresee some long hours of level grinding ahead. Too bad there’s not a job that would pay me for being an achievement junkie!


220 Hours

It occurs to me that so far my blog has been pretty heavy on the “Domestique” and not as much on the “Geek,” so I’m going to talk about video games for a little bit.

For Christmas, Kevin’s brothers gave me Skyrim, and I started playing it the day after Christmas. I created a female Nord warrior named “Skalmöld,” which is a Valkyrie name meaning “sword-time.” Clever, eh? Other than the fact that I almost never actually used a sword. (I favored the warhammers and battle axes. I did get a kick out of the guards saying “The gods gave you two hands, and you use them both for your weapon. I can respect that.”)

I “finished” playing it on March 2, and by “finished” (because how do you finish a completely open game that generates random quests indefinitely?) I mean I got the final XBox 360 achievement for it (50 out of 50, baby!) and finally allowed myself to move on to something else.

Out of the approximately 68 days between starting the game and putting it down, I logged over 220 hours of game time. That equates to nine solid days, an average of 3.2 hours per day over those 68 days, about 13% of my time. Not too bad (or maybe not too good?) considering I also have a baby to look after! Of course, a lot of that game time took place while nursing (which doesn’t work as well these days; he’s taken a keen interest in the XBox controllers!) or when Drake was sleeping or under Kevin’s care.

By the end of it, it was honestly feeling more like a job than a game. I’d already completed the main questline, the faction questlines, and a fair amount of randomly generated quests and unique quests. The last achievement I needed was to reach level 50, and I admit I pretty much churned out levels 42-50 by leveling the crap out of my smithing, enchanting, and alchemy. I ended up smithing a pretty nice set of legendary ebony armor, but of course I barely ended up using it since I unceremoniously abandoned the game once that last achievement popped up.

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It seems like it’s been much longer than 26 days since I stopped playing. Is that a sign of withdrawal? Oh well, Final Fantasy XIII-2 is keeping my attention for now, but one of these days maybe I’ll pick up Skyrim and plunk around a bit more.