Friday, July 30, 2010

July (and Spring Term) Wrap-Up

The July (and end-of-term) Wrap-Up: Ancient Runes (post #503), a Flock of Fluffy Fledgling Finches for my Father, turned in Thursday, July 8; History of Magic (post #140), Celebration Baby Shrug, turned in Monday, July 12; Charms (post #92), Tilting Tardis Cowl, turned in Monday, July 12; Defense Against the Dark Arts (post #113), Choker of Comforting (beading), turned in Friday, July 16; Herbology (post #137), Warm Cabled Hat, turned in Friday, July 16; Potions (post #172), Green Leaves Shawl, turned in Monday, July 26; Completed Charms O.W.L. (post #435), Girasole, turned in Thursday, July 29.

Well, for Spring Term at HPKCHC, I managed to pull off a First-year Ultimate Quest, which, for first and second years, is: All eighteen (18) classes + One (1) OWL + Quidditch (3 projects) + Headmistress' Challenge (4 projects). I DID IT. Also, somehow, forgot to add the four Challenge bookmarks project to one of my collages. Ooooops! But here you go, all sorts of awesome stuff, knitted from start to finish by me in the past three months. (And remember - this isn't ALL I finished, this is just the HPKCHC stuff!!)

I totally kicked ass, if I do say so myself!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Okay, more sleep would've been a good idea, but IT'S DONE!!!

So, yesterday, by the time I got to work, I had about half the edging of my Charms OWL/Girasole done. It had taken about four days. So, naturally, I decided that NO MATTER WHAT, I was finishing the danged thing before I went to sleep, and I did.

At approximately 1.05 am, I grafted the final stitches, and wove in the two ends, leaving me with about 2/3 of a ball of yarn left over. It will turn into something. Probably pillow covers, but not any time soon!

Then it was time to block the sucker, which was, once off the needles, HUGE. I don't own a bowl big enough to hold the whole thing, so it was Large Bathroom Sink to the rescue. Had to scrub out the sink first, of course (1.15 am), and make sure it was sparkly-clean and rinsed.

Then it was out to the garage, and trying to get the thing spread out completely - which, with wet wool in high humidity, is no picnic. The only reason I was able to be at this point so quickly is that my husband set up the garage for me. Moved the car, swept the floor, put down tarps, put down blocking squares, and, when the blocking squares weren't big enough, covered some clean boxes with clear plastic bags and spread everything out. If I'd had to do this at 1am, I totally would've cried. As it was, I got to spread out a warm, wet wooly blanket.

And eventually (2.25a), it was finished. Here's some photos. I may eventually get photos of it actually being a bedspread on my bed, but for now, this is what you get. I'm just psyched that I actually knit a BLANKET in under three months!!!

right-click to View Image to see the whole thing

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The panic sets in.

Monday, at lunch, I finished the body of the blanket, and started the edging. Got back to my desk, and took a moment to do some math. Each edging repeat covers three stitches on the edge (less the one stitch for the "set up row") - which means there are 213 repeats of the six edging rows. I made it to 85.4% (the end of the second repeat of Chart G). I have done three repeats of the edging. Just 210 left to go, at the end of Monday lunch.

Monday evening, it got a bit easier once I got home - I was able to switch a DPN for the right needle, which was in no way attached to the danged blanket. (Yes, I'd been working back and forth on the circular needles still in the blanket before then. Yes, it was working about as well as you'd expect it to work, which is to say, Not Well At All.) Here is Monday Evening's work.

Now, each little point gets rid of three edge stitches. Woohoo! And there, you can count them, I have 37 little points. This represents four hours of solid knitting. Math (ever my nemesis) says that 37 little points per four hours means I need 22 hours to finish the edging of this blanket. TWENTY-TWO HOURS.

Twenty-four hours later, there are now 64 more little points (yay, more than 100?). Which means that yay, I'm gaining speed, and more little points are forthcoming. Sadly, it also means that there is almost no way in heck that there are enough hours left in July to finish my O.W.L. - but I will finish it anyway! I do not need sleep! No! Nor food, nor potty-breaks, nor any of those mortal things. I WILL FINISH THIS BLANKETTT..... *Ahem.*

It is now Wednesday morning. Turns out, I actually do need food and sleep, or I get pretty sick. The edge is halfway done. OMG, it's already 4.5 FEET across and I haven't even stretched it out yet. It's gonna be HUGE. *Sigh.*

I can do this!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Futue O.W.L.: Stained Glass Blanket

So, I realize that I'm going to do some really, really crazy intarsia knitting for my Potions O.W.L. And I realize that, for the most part, knitting and stitching that say they're "stained glass" usually look nothing like stained glass (the joins are usually wrong, or - this one gets me - there aren't joins, it's just bright colors. WTF?). So, I'm going to knit myself a thing - lap blanket/wall hanging sized, I'm thinking - that actually LOOKS like a stained-glass window. Yarn choice, like glass choice, will be important to get the correct look, and while the smallest joins will be added after the fact, most will be knitted in. (Heck, if it looks OK, all the joins will be knitted in; I'd prefer that, but I want this to look good, too.)

I hit my favorite glass pattern catalog site (yeah, eventually, I'm going to be making most of these in glass, but that's not the point right now), and found my six favorites, then found another one I hadn't seen before. Of those, I narrowed it down to three possibles:

This one is traditional Tiffany, and not too tricky.

I like peacocks, and intarsia should work in the round, right?

The Windsor Window looks like a real window; leaning towards this one the most - although I opened to a vote in the Slytherin Dungeon, and my fellow snakes decided on the Magnolia window, so that's that. My crazy has been chosen, and I can totally blame them for my "misery" until it's finished.

These are the four that didn't make the cut. They're lovely, but I'm not completely insane, and they're either not a practical shape, or they're complicated enough that I'd be doing another king-sized blanket, which I'd REALLY rather not do again after my Charms O.W.L.

The Tiffany windows are lovely, though:

Still really pretty though!

Monday, July 26, 2010

18 classes, 3 Quidditch goals, 4 headmistress challenge items... just the OWL left now.

Well, finally finished my eighteenth and final class for the term: July Potions. The idea was to "create something beautiful but fiddly. Delicate lace, gorgeous colorwork, complex socks. This is essentially free reign to run wild and impress the professor." This counts under both lace and fiddly - there is NO CENTER STITCH on this shawl, and it drove me nuts figuring out how it worked at first. I'm pretty certain the pretty mantilla-front isn't actually suppsoed to be there - but it works really well (see my lovely cousin modeling, below). The MadTosh Pashmina blocked like a dream again, and the Malachite & Fathom compliment each other nicely.

I ran out of Malachite right at the final "leaf" row - cutting it a little too close!!! - and thankfully had some Fathom left over. I still have some fathom left over... but somehow, I think it and my leftover Miss Babs Marigold (a nice orange color) will turn into some sort of Broncos thing for me. (Really, did anyone NOT see that coming?) Here is my 2nd favorite photo of this shawl:

... and here is my favorite, as worn by my cousin. I hadn't planned to give anyone the shawl, but it looks amazing on her (and her hair, which, although you can't see it in this photo, is a beautiful blondish-red). So, clearly, it was meant to be hers.

I think I should just be glad she let me get one of the rare photos of her - she's usually on the other end of the camera. (PS, check out her blog, it's a lot of fun.)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Does leftover Pashmina actually ever count as "leftover"?

Kinda bummed; my backup file for my July posts about my HPKCHC stuff seems to have vanished into the ether. Easy enough to recreate, but still - where did it go in the first place? Sigh.

Anyway, manged to not knit ANYTHING once I got home last night, which isn't good for finishing my Charms O.W.L. Not at all! Got sucked into an excellent book (If you read Anne Bishop's Black Jewels books, "Shalador's Lady" is tough to put down. If you haven't read any of them, start with the stand-alone "Invisible Ring", then the Black Jewels Trilogy, and by then, you'll know the rest of the order to read them in.)

This is what I've managed to do on Potions, and thank heavens for that extra third-ball of MadTosh Pashmina left over from my Tilting Tardis Cowl! I managed to get the green to last to EXACTLY the edge rows, so the actual edge will be in blue - which is fine, since all the leaves are in green, and that's the really important part.

Hopefully, by Monday, I'll have something to show you - something FINISHED, that is - and possibly two somethings.Wish me luck!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wow, I could mistake this for a *real* rabbit!!

While looking for amazing knitted rabbits on the 'net (hey, if anyone's going to bring you knitted rabbits from the 'net, it's me!), I stumbled across Natasha Fadeeva's photostream. This is just one of her amazing creations:

This little guy is here

I'm just blown away at how realistic she's able to make her little animals!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I was in a giant room full of yarn. It should surprise no one that I bought some.

A list of Things, in alphabetical order.

First up, some Debbie Bliss Pure Cashmere, from Marie's place, aka Stitch DC, obtained the day The Sign returned to her. (Yes, that journey will eventually be posted!) Originally, it was intended to be a replacement hat for my husband, whose last cashmere hat is AWOL. It may still be a hat for him... or it may be a hat for me. We'll see.

Now, on to the stuff from the TKGA Convention. I saw this at the Elegant Ewe table, and SQUEEEALED. It's Dream In Color Starry!!! I really liked Stephanie's Viper Socks, and although I don't plan to make my own Viper Socks, I'm totally making myself a cool long-sleeved lace shrug with cuffs-with-buttons at the wrists. (To use up the four leftover buttons from my Tilting Tardis Cowl.)

Spotted an ad for FibreSpace in one of the free mini-papers yesterday - here's the scoop (read: SALE!!!):
Monday - Thursday, July 19-22:
Tug a discount: pull a tail from our tangled mess and select a discount of 5-25% off all purchases on yarn, fibre, ribbon and books.

Friday, July 23rd is our one year Birthday party:
Bring in something that you have knitted from our stash of fibre over the last year and get 15% your entire purchase of yarn, fibre, ribbon and books.
Wear a festive hat and receive an additional 5% for a total of 20% off!
Enjoy coffee and pastries all morning and birthday cake in the afternoon and evening, during our day long birthday party.

This is my mother's ENTIRE yarn stash before the TKGA con. She doubled it with one trip!

Found this near closing time at the 'con. This will be my husband's hat; the color suits him better. The Alpaca is also a bit shiny, and has a wee bit of a halo; I think he'll like it.

Here's a what-can-I-use-for-this-yarn-emergency Yarn Bra, custom made from large Post-it Notes. Getting near the end of the center-pull ball of Pashmina I'm using for my Potions homework (yay, it's due soon!). Post-it Notes are adjustable, too!

And to end with Z - I scored a Slytherin Zauberball!! I'm going to make thigh-high lace stockings with these, just because.

Lucky for you (and me!), that's not all I got at the TKGA con. More vicarious stash enhancement for all y'all next week!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Giant - REALLY - Woolen Rabbit. And it's Pink!

Cool things that get knitted, Item #1:

Gigantic Woolen Rabbit, as in visible-for-miles gigantic.

This is just amazing - and HUGE. See more here: (includes film clip), or visit the artists' site.

Extreme knitting. It's out there!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Crunch time begins...

Okay, so, just over ten days to finish my Ultimate Quest. I have two things to finish to make it; my Potions assignment and my Charms O.W.L. Potions is coming along nicely; it's relaxing (mostly) to do during my commute and during lunchtime; I'm not too worried about finishing it, even though I probalby should be, because I can still finish a row in under five minutes, and it's at about 4" across now (final target: wingspan of 5"6 - about 2 more pattern repeats). That may seem like a long time - but really, it's not. Not at all.

Especially since it takes 45 minutes to finish a row now on THIS monster, aka my Girasole blanket. I did 12% of the blanket over the weekend, and was knitting for about six HOURS. That was about 10.5 rows' worth of knitting; I still have 19.5 to go until I get to the edging - and heaven only knows how long that will take. Luckily, my husband understands that any housework is getting done in the morning; in the evening, it's come home, dine, park on the couch and knit until bedtime because I'm NOT getting this close to my Ultimate Quest and failing (barring, of course, any actual emergencies, which I'm hoping do NOT crop up).

See? I'm at about 67% (remember that half-row I've got done), and I have to get to 85% to be ready to go on the edging.

I'm actually having fun plotting and planning what I'm going to be working on in August, before Fall Term starts. I'd like to finish at least five things off the list (one way or another), and I'm trying to decide which OWL to propose for fall. I was originally thinking Herbology, then realized I want Arithmancy and Transfiguration for my eventual NEWT, but really, I'd also like my Whistler sweater, which would come nicely under Muggle Studies. Decisions, decisions. Plus, once I'm a third-year, I can start doing two OWLs a term, so it'd be better to get one of the larger projects out of the way when I'm just allowed to do one a term, right? Right.

Anyway, the next two weeks are likely to be filler posts for Interesting Things in the Knitworld, and more photos of progress on these two items. They're all I'll be doing for now!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Not that I NEED a warm hat just now...

Finished something last night. Whee! Since I'm exhausted, here's what I turned in, with extra pictures:

Hello, Professor! This is CraftyGryphon, First Year Slytherin, turning in her Herbology assignment. I should start by saying that I made a version of this for my mother, and it was warm and snuggy, so I wanted one for myself. I also just learned the proper way to start cables from nothing and end them the same way (thank you, Melissa Leapman!), so I wanted to try that. So, once again, I completely winged it, but I wound up with a very snuggy ear-warming hat!

There are three cable panels, and, but for two small seams at the top and the brim, it's all knit as one organic whole.


And yes, I realize I look like something from the 16th century. "And a wonderful morning to ye, Goody Bee; might you have any eggs for sale today?"

Don't care. My Ears Will Be Warm!!