Somewhere around 1997 or so, there was a cultural shift. I'm not sure how it happened - maybe it was the rise of Microsoft and Bill Gates becoming the richest man in the world - but suddenly nerds ruled the world. It was hip to be square. Or, at least, being a nerd didn't automatically generate ridicule.
For some of us, this shift was both scary and affirming. I'd spent more years than I care to admit trying to fit into the cool crowd. And then, seemingly overnight, I was not only allowed to be a giant geek but being a geek was actually kind of cool (in a way... sort of...)
It took a few years but eventually I embraced my geek-ness completely. It started in 2005 when a dear friend who lives in Atlanta invited me to come to Dragon*Con - the country's largest pop-culture fan convention. I went - a little reluctantly. I figured it would be good for a laugh and an excuse to spend a weekend with my friend. Little did I know that I would "find my people."
Now, before you start making fun of me, let me be clear that I don't do "cos-play" (costuming) which also means I don't LARP ("live action roll playing" for those not in the know.) I'm not a hard-core gamer and I don't know every line from every Star Trek episode ever. But, I love pop culture and the media. And this convention has it in spades.
In the end, most of the people who attend this convention are just like me. Their personal geek might be different than mine. They may actually be able to name every actor that played Dr Who. In order. With their respective years. But that's not what matters. What matters is that for one, glorious weekend 40,000 people respect that you love whatever that thing is that you love. And you don't have to hide your geeky thing - even if it is being a Furry.
So what does this have to do with crafting? Well...nothing really except that I made a dragon scarf (Morehouse Farm pattern*) for my friend who attends the convention with me and I'm desperately trying to complete another one for myself in the next 6 days. Here's the completed one:
The new one has about 7 spikes of the tail done. At this rate, I may finish it before the actual convention - if I don't get sidetracked as we all know I'm prone to do. (See blog name.)
Just to give you all fair warning, you can expect any post I do between 9/2 and 9/7 to be specifically about Dragon*Con. You will be regaled with real-time photos and stories because we're so "high-tech" over here at Ooo! Shiny!
The one thing from the convention that our readers might enjoy will be SteamPunk which is full of awesome craftiness - from clothes to everyday items to interiors and architecture. Check out this totally steampunked computer:
Last year was the first year of the Dragon*Con SteamPunk track. It's completely fascinating and I'm really taken with it. Had I not been so distractible, I might have actually pulled it together to make a costume this year - thus pushing me over the edge into the cos-play world and cementing my position forever as a complete and utter geek.
*The Morehouse Farm site is great. They have TONS of fun "critter" patterns and kits. If you're specifically interested in doing the Dragon Scarf, I encourage you to visit my project page on Ravelry to get my tips on correcting a couple of mistakes in the pattern.