The last decade has seen a rise in the popularity of crafting. Knitting and quilting are among the top handicrafts that are currently popular. People who study society have credited the economy with encouraging people to cut back and make things themselves. Ask most crafters, though, and you'll be told that a lot of the rise in the popularity of arts and crafts is thanks to the Internet. It is easier than ever to look up a lesson and learn how to do something. The Internet also connects people, taking crafting out of the private realm and into the most public forum humanity has ever experienced.
Being that geeks have long been enjoying things that come with social stigma, it's really no surprise that geeks are heavily invested in the craft movement. The fun thing about crafting is that you can indulge your obsessions and be creative. Plus, crafters tend to be pretty friendly. I've yet to hear of anybody being bullied on a crafting forum for coming up with a great tutorial for making geeky stuff.
Knitting seems to be very popular with the geek set. From knit DNA strands, to Binary scarves, knitting is essentially using math to turn a straight line (piece of yarn) into a three-dimensional object. What's geekier than loving Doctor Who? How about knitting a Dalek (or Dalek socks)? Of course, once you knit a Dalek, you'll need to knit up a little Tardis, so the Doctor can come save you from extermination.
Close-up of a binary scarf made by Christine Dumoulin, who also created the pattern. (Photo credit: Christine Dumoulin)
Dalek socks. (Photo credit: Tia Haller)
Quilting is all about geometry, and it turns out that old, blocky looking video games make great quilt designs. All those pixels are perfect for making simple quilt blocks into geometric, fabric works of art. Quilting also offers a great medium to express math and science geekery in particular.
The Plumber (based on Super Mario Bros.) and The Monkey (based on Donkey Kong) quilt patterns. (Photo credit: Emily Cier)
The City and The Castle quilt patterns (both are based on Final Fantasy). (Photo credit: Emily Cier)
The geek craft movement has grown so much that Etsy, a handmade goods e-tailer, has devoted an entire store section to Geekery. The Geekery Etsy shop is a great place to see examples of geek crafting beyond knitting and quilting. Steampunk geeks seem to enjoy making jewelry, which certainly counts as arts and crafts. I almost want to include robot building as a geek craft, though I think it may be too high-tech to count.
Also check out the photos in the TechRepublic gallery: Offbeat laptop sleeves at Barry's Farm.
What geek crafts do you enjoy? Do you think building robots count as a geek craft? Let me know in the comments.
Nicole Bremer Nash is Director of Content and Social Media for HuTerra, where she uses SEO and social media to promote charitable organizations in their community-building and fundraising efforts. She enjoys volunteering, arts and crafts, and conducting science experiments at home. Nicole has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Transylvania University, and has experience in copywriting for education, print, business, and the web. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter via @HuTerra.