Strange Things Are Afoot at the Crafting Store

IMG_2064I’m already gearing up for my next round of conventions – San Diego Comic-Con, (I hope!), Convolution, Professor Mondo’s Dangerworks ConclaveRT Booklover’s Convention and a special, no work/no panels day at Baycon with my daughter.  I am the luckiest off all cosplayers on earth, because while I don’t sew, my mom does – she also knits and is a whiz with a hot glue gun.  On the plus side, this means that I do not have to make my own stuff.  On the down side, this means that yes, my mommy does still dress me even though I am an adult woman.

Today is a foggy day, I’m behind on everything, and Mom and I are going to the yarn store, so I’m taking a break from reviews and deep thoughts to give you some sneak peaks re future costumes.  Somedays one feels less like thinking deep thoughts and more like playing dress-up.  This is one of those days.

Here’s a photo of the Steampunk Jane Austen outfit that Mom made for me last year:


Mom and I love the coat, hat, and bag, but the dress underneath never fit quite right.  So she’s making me a new dress with a knitted shawl for Regency Cosplay and a Steampunk themed wrap for Steampunk cosplay – put on my trusty Steampunk hat and my octopus jewelry and I’m there!


I have a new pet that can ride on my shoulder.  He followed me home from the Seaside Resort of Lyme Regis, where he escaped from Mary Anning’s shop.  He wants to flop around on my desk and advise me regarding manners and marriages.  Can I keep him?  I have to make him a steampunky leash.  I am taking name suggestions.


And what might this yarn and tights and fascinator grow up to be?  Might the yarn become a TARDIS shawl that matches a Doctor Who dress from Hot Topic?  Am I allowed to wear Doctor Who cosplay even though I’ve hardly seen any of the new Doctors (I’m a Tom Baker girl)?  Why yes, I am!  Perhaps a better question might be, “Am I allowed to shop at Hot Topic even though I’m above the age of twenty?”  Yes, but only to buy the geeky stuff.  I’m pretty sure that’s a rule that’s posted on the door.


This concludes todays’ dress up.  Comment, and send pic of your craft projects in the making, whether cosplay related or not.  In this wintery weather, nothing is better than looking at yarn.


Book Review: Needles and Artifice, by The Ladies of Mischief

needlesartifice_coverNeedles and Artifice is a joyful romp through steampunk with a group of women who love to invent, adventure, and knit.  The story is mixed with knitting patterns.  While the story is not the best writing ever, it sure is fun, and the designs are lovely!

The plot concerns the problems of Ana Roisin O’Hare and her true love, Kristoff,  who find themselves under attack by Kristoff’s twin brother.  Ana calls on all her friends for help.  There’s Miss Joanna Obscura, who was terribly injured in a lab accident but makes inventions that help the Ladies communicate long distance. Caldonia is a botanist, Alyssa is a courtesan, Coraline is an airship captain, Mirian is a ranch owner who happens to be raising some surprisingly useful sheep (their wool is perfect for knitting), and Theodosia is an explorer.  Together these Ladies do some knitting, drink some tea, and kick lots and lots of ass.


The story has the odd feeling of starting in the middle and ending rather abruptly – possibly because the adventures began and continue on the blog The Ladies of Mischief.  This is a story written purely for fun, and it’s indeed a fun romp that had me running to the blog for more.  It’s not a very well-developed story, and the characters aren’t well-developed either although they are a kick.  If you aren’t into steampunk, it will probably leave you flat – but for me, it was an airy lark.


As far as knitting goes, I had to pull in some expert help because I can’t knit thus the patterns mean nothing to me.  What I did appreciate was the abundance of lovely photos.  I imagine they are very helpful when trying to make the project, and I just liked looking at them – they are fun designs and helpful to me in trying to think of cosplay ideas.

I consulted with my Mom and her Knitting Group, and they said that the patterns may be too hard for beginning knitters,  They liked the fact that the patterns include lots of helpful tips as they go along.

75100D needles and artifice-v1.0(1).pdf

If you are a knitter or into feminist steampunk adventure, you will have a blast with this fun, creative, and beautifully put together book – I love the photos and drawings.  As far as knitting goes, the ideas are fun, useful, and involve a great deal of variety, including several things that could be worn day to day as well as more esoteric offerings (I have my eye on the spats).  As far as story goes, I recommend this for when you are sick or tired or stressed, and just want something light and adventurous to lift your spirits!