Check Your Geek

***The following, although promising at the start, quickly devolves into a non-crochet, totally smug and self-indulgent trivial pursuit, and is a strictly temporary aberration.  Meaty crochet stuff should continue to appear here in future, unless I decide otherwise.***

Avid crocheters may have experienced the Zen of crochet.  This is the state of mind, or lack of mind, often a place of blissful calm, that you can achieve once you stop thinking about your crochet and just do it.  When the physical work being done by your hands, the rhythmically repetitive action of creating row upon row of crochet stitches, becomes smooth, hypnotic, automatic, your higher brain functions are freed up to think about other things, to dream, to foster creativity…. and to watch TV.

I am at a peculiar stage of my current crochet project where I’m doing the same thing over and over to the point where it’s not terribly interesting. To help me through this mind-numbing task I have been catching up with some of my favorite programs and films, stuff I’ve possibly viewed before but don’t recall in detail, stuff I missed, vintage stuff I’ve finally been able to find.  Through the miracle of modern technology (downloading and streaming) I can now wallow in programming that was previously unobtainable.  I wish I could report that my recent viewing has been high-brow, intellectually stimulating, uplifting, enlightening.  Not.  My taste runs to terminally geeky, sci-fi and fantasy shows, the sort of fare obsessed over by the guys on The Big Bang Theory.

To those detractors who are quick to label my shows as stupid, time-wasting, time-sucking vices, let me say I have no defense.  Geeky fan-girl that I am, I just love this stuff.  From the Star-cana major, the seminal star-triumvirate of Star Wars, Star Trek and StarGate, to the British import Doctor Who (classic and new series) and it’s darker spin-off Torchwood, to the deeper cuts, the cult programs from Farscape to Firefly, Babylon 5 to Blakes 7, I geek-speak them all.  Do you?

Here’s a little pop-quiz to check your geek. The points, although nice to score, mean nothing. No fair web-searching. Either you’ve been there… or you’re about to run screaming from this page.

#1 We’ll start off easy.  Give yourself five points for each of these alien species you can identify by their respective works of science fiction/fantasy:

a) Ferengi; b) Foamasi; c) Nebari; d) Minbari

Add 10 points if you know which species lives by the Rules of Acquisition. 

50 bonus points if you can quote any one of the rules (of which there are 285).

#2 Give yourself 10 points for each of these villains or seriously unpleasant characters by their respective yadda yadda:

a) Scorpius; b) Boba Fett; c) Davros; d) Servalan; e) Adria

#3 Score 10 points for each of these space-faring ships you can identify by their respective yaddayadda:

a) Heart of Gold; b) Moya; c) Liberator; d) Protector; e) Excalibur; f) Serenity

#4 Gain 15 points for each of these destinations, planetary or otherwise you can yaddayadda:

a) Chulak; b) Coruscant; c) Cygnus Alpha; d) Bajor; e) Delvia; f) Raxacoricofallapatorius;

#5 Gain 15 points for each of these geek-tech devices you can yaddayadda:

a) Sonic screwdriver, b) Zat; c) DRD; d) infinite improbability drive; e) vortex manipulator; f) Orac

#6 Score 15 points for each of these substances yaddayadda:

a) naquadah; b) spice/melange; c) shakan oil; d) latinum; e) retcon; f) pangalacticgargleblaster

Add 25 points if you know which comes from tannot root.

#7 Rack up 20 points for each of these phrases, terms or refs yaddayadda:

a) qapla; b) klaatu barada nicto; c) wibbly wobbly timey wimey; d) hezmana; e) never give up, never surrender!

#8 Dig a little deeper and score 25 points for each of these alien species yaddayadda:

a) Talosians; b) Toclafane; c) Tok’ra; d) Tollan

Add 25 points if you know which one is actually us.

#9 Dig a lot deeper and score 42 points for each of these alien species yaddayadda:

a) Vogans; b) Vogons; c) Vorgons; d) Vorlons; e) Vorlians

50 bonus points if you know which has the worst poetry.

#10 Trick Question: Do you remember the Silence?

Give yourself 5 points if your answer is yes.

Give yourself 50 points if your answer is no because you realize that nobody can remember the Silence.

#11 Score a whopping 100 points if you own or have considered owning any of the following:

a) any model of USS Enterprise, any generation; b) a dematerializing TARDIS mug; c) a light saber, or better two light sabers; d) a Borg cube Christmas tree ornament; e) the full technical specs for any space ship or other vehicle or orbiting station; f) a Klingon dictionary

#12 Check your T-shirt. If any geeky logo or phrase is  emblazoned across your chest right this very moment, give yourself a a bazillion points, for example:

a) Keep Calm and Don’t Blink; b) Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal; c) May fortune guide your journey; d) Resistance is futile; e) Exterminate!; f) rock-paper-scissor-lizard-spock

Congratulations for making it to the end of this little exercise. Check your geek. If you have scored zero points, please come back to this blog at such time when I am not geeking out and you will be more entertained by future crochet talk. If you have scored any points at all, then welcome and thanks for all the fish.  If you have scored, like, a million thousand points then you win and we are on the same page. And, I realize this is a futile gesture, but I am advising everyone to please refrain from posting comments that contain clues or answers.  SPOILERS!


Awarding Seamless Crochet

WOWSERS!  We had ourselves a party the past couple of days.  A big welcome goes out to all who stopped by to help me wrap up the blog tour for Kristin Omdahl’s new book, Seamless Crochet: Techniques and Designs for Join-As-You-Go Motifs
I noticed two distinct threads running through your comments: an outpouring of love for Kristin and a nearly universal hatred of weaving loose ends.  I can totally relate on both counts.

As promised, I have a free e-copy of Seamless Crochet to award tonight.  The lucky winner is…

Sharon AKA Twirlygig! 

Hey, Sharon, congrats!  And many thanks to Interweave Press for the play.  Now, which of you fan girls is gonna volunteer to help me sweep up the virtual confetti?

Moving… Maybe

Hey Readers,

I think my blog may find a new home here at WordPress.  Stay connected as Doris Chan: Everyday Crochet undergoes some construction.

Congratulations to all who have followed the breadcrumbs from the old home at Blogger.  Please update your bookmarks and whatever so you will land here next time.  Appreciate your visits.

And welcome to those who just stumbled onto this place for the first time.  You can disregard the previous two paragraphs!

>The Best Way to Get Answers

>OK. Here’s the thing. It is nearly impossible in blog format to answer crochet questions person to person in an efficient way. So, if any readers need answers about any of my books, designs, patterns and such, please hold that thought and go over to Ravelry.

Ravelry is the site where we play. All fiber enthusiasts are welcome to sign up and join the fun, whether it’s crochet, knitting, spinning, weaving… it’s all good. This is a free ride, no fees, no hassles, no junk e-mail, pretty much no downside. Well, actually there is one fairly significant downside. You’ll find yourself spending so much time there that you won’t get anything else done. Trust me.

The site is the brainchild of Jessica and Casey Forbes, a young, brilliant, adorable couple. Jess is the knitter; Casey is the code monkey. Together they built this central web site where we can share and organize information about the fiber arts. In just a couple of years, Ravelry has grown to include nearly 350,000 members from all over the world.

When you click on the link I’ve provided, you can put yourself on a waiting list. Being asked to wait really sucks, but this has nothing to do with exclusivity. I understand the waiting list is necessary for technical reasons. Hey, you don’t want the site to crash, do you? So please don’t be put off. In a couple of days you’ll receive an invitation to join and all will be worth the delay.

Once you’re in and you’ve looked around, search “Doris Chan” and you’ll get to my design pages, where you can find practically everything I’ve ever done, with images, information and links to available patterns. Please wander over to a Rav group that is dedicated to my designs, Doris Chan: Everyday Crochet. On the group’s forum you’ll be able to ask all your crochet questions for me and the posse, hundreds of friendly crochet fans who are eager to help.

Thank you for your interest in my stuff. Hope to see you at Ravelry! 🙂

>My Flamie


Ah, yes. Don’t we enjoy the spectacle of awards night! I mean, even though I had not seen one single film or performance that got Oscar-nominated, and honestly could not have cared less which would win, I still watched the Academy Awards show. It was partly… well, mostly… would you believe totally because I needed to see Hugh Jackman in a tux, without evil-looking steel shooting from his fingertips, sans wolfish sideburns.

But I also tune in to view, with morbid curiosity, the reactions of those who did not win. For it is the manner in which you handle defeat that you show your true face. Some years the production allows for enough cameras that there is a split screen shot of all the nominees’ faces just as the winner is announced. This year there was none of that, perhaps a blessing. What the heck. More screen time for Mr. Jackman.

The declaration “It is an honor just to be nominated” falls from every not-Oscar-ed star’s lips. And I used to think it sounded and felt hollow. Dangit, just once I’d like to hear, “I really wanted to win and so should have won and now I’m gonna have to drag my sorry butt to all these fracking post-parties and get supremely waffled on pity champagne.”

Compared to Oscar night, what happened earlier this evening during the live segment of the blogtalk radio show Getting Loopy wasn’t as big-time or as glamorous. But I could not have been more thrilled if I had been handed one of those gold statues. All who tuned in were witness to the presentation of the first annual Crochet Liberation Front Crochet Awards (Flamies). I was voted best designer in the category womens garments from a list of designers that read like a Who’s Who of the crochet firmament. I joined a Getting Loopy guest list that included movers and shakers in the industry and other celestial beings in the form of fellow designers I call friends.

This blog was actually on the ballot for best blog. Didn’t win, though. That Flamie went to the CrochetDude, the alter ego of Drew Emborsky. It’s all about the cat images, I tell myself.

It is an honor just to be nominated. Funny how those words coming from my lips right now aren’t sounding as trite or pitiful as I might have believed before tonight. I truly am honored and happy just to be on the short list because the Flamies are gifts of validation from an outrageous, majorly off-kilter, completely insane group of rabid, obsessive crochet freaks. And I say all that with love because I, too, am a member of the Crochet Liberation Front.

If you missed the ceremony you can always hear or download the segment from the Getting Loopy archive. If you’re curious about CLF please join us at And watch for my virtual award thingie to appear here soon.