Monday, February 28, 2011

Care of Magical Creatures - Done!

Well, it's the end of the month. so this week, I'll be showing you the rest of the classes I turned in for February assingments. First up, Care of Magical Creatures - here's my turn-in post. We were each given a Fwooper (a lovely, bright-colored bird with a harsh/earsplitting cry - don't worry, they were under silencing spells before they were handed out to the students) and we were to make something beautiful, ugly, brightly colored, or an aid to hearing-loss prevention.
Hello, Professors! This is CraftyGryphon, Third Year Slytherin, turning in her assignment. I have opted to do a combination of options one and two; I have crafted brightly colored objects that I think are really, really beautiful. They are the Spirogyra mitts from Knitty, and I've wanted to make a pair forever. When a ball of MiniMochi landed at my feet (literally, it fell off a shelf!), I took the cosmic hint, and made the mitts I've wanted! Here they are:

It took 190 yards of yarn to make these lovely mitts (since I have 5 yards left from my 195-yard ball, this qualifies as "math even I can do".

I hope these mitts are acceptable, Professors. I really love them, as does my little Fwooper. Can I keep her?
Here's some closeups:

I think this was the first pattern I queued in Ravelry; I know it was the first "I MUST MAKE THOSE!" pattern I saw in Knitty. So, now I have them. Yay!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Into the homestretch....

Okay, so, going well. Finished the Hallowig; just need to crochet up the WITH FLAMES bow tonight, and I can turn it in.

Seamed the Pinwheel Purse, and it's blocking. Yay for remembering pins and having access to office supplies!

Started to knit the second Spirogyra mitt... and realized I had the wrong size needles. DANGIT. This means NOTHING to knit on the way home... well... no, I guess I'll knit stripes for my OWL out of the leftover wig yarn. Sigh. I was really hoping to have my six classes turned in tonight!

Yep, gonna be a SlythAnarchy icon...

And, just because they're so danged fun, here's the 2010 United States of Pop mashup of the Top 25 by DJ Earworm!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

BUS to Maryland Sheep & Wool!!

Nature's Yarns in Fairfax, VA is chartering a bus to go up one day to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival!! I'm one of the ones who thought this would be a grand idea, so I need to get the word out!

The trip will be up and back on Sunday, probably leaving early in the morning to be there for the whole Sheep-to-Shawl contest. If you've kinda wanted to do Sheep & Wool, but weren't crazy about getting a hotel or driving yourself through all that traffic, here's your way around that. PLUS - there's a whole lot of space under a bus for carrying home purchases!!!! The festival is open from 9am to 5pm on Sunday, so it'll be a nice long day filled with yarn, sheep, sheepdogs, llamas, alpaca and COOL STUFF. Did I mention yarn?

amazing graphic by artistDiane Blevins

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival Field Trip

8 May 2011 - We're headed to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival!! We're chartering a huge bus to give you plenty of extra room for your acquired treasures! You get all of the fun with none of the parking pains. Cost is $50. Please sign up as early as possible. If we don't get a minimum number of people by 7 April we'll have to cancel.

There will, of course, be a Ravelry meet-up at some point. And there's probably going to be cool buttons again this year, too...

So, call Nature's yarns and reserve your seat! You know you want to go!! (And yes, I called yesterday, so I'll see you on the bus!)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Six days, seven projects...

So, I've turned in three classes; there are three more I *must* turn in, and four I'd *like* to turn in. Plus, I would like to get the points for my 50% OWLs, but I might let that go and just go for the completion points at the end of March. Here's where I was as of Monday evening.

First, my Arithmancy OWL. At this point, I need 11 balls done (or the strips knitted for 11+ balls) to hit 50%. As of right now, I have four completed balls, plus three dozen strips for more balls. Ideally, I'd have 42-45 strips, which would be enough for 11 balls, and the halfway point (as I've already made balls from 27 strips).

OWL strips, three dozen

My Lobster for charms is languishing. I MUST finish him; it's sort of a group project. At least I'm up to the red part on the next round, which means the body (the part that takes longest) is almost done.


I have one of my Care of Magical Creatures mitts finished, and I LOVE it. I just hope I can finish the second one. They'll have to be blocked... but, honestly, that might happen AFTER I turn them in. Also, messed up with the fitting; when I thought I went down two needle sizes for the wrists, I didn't. Will make the same mistake on the second mitt, so they match.

The Left Mitt

I finally got to the flames on the chest-part of my sweater for Herbology; once I get past that, it should be smooth sailing. And there's some real incentive to NOT be trapped by Second Sleeve Syndrome - I really want this sweater, and it's going to be too warm to wear it if I don't finish it up this week!

Tuesday, I started my Hallowig, for Defense Against the Dark Arts. It's a joint project with GeekyDuncan of Hufflepuff... we're each making one. So, like the Lobster above, this HAS To get done. Luckily, it seems to be a very quick knit!

Given that it's possible I'll finish the four classes above, I might as well try for the eighth. I found this little origami folded purse, and since I just *happened* to have Slytherin-appropriate colors (and c'mon, it's five little squares), I started it last night, too.

So, may say goodbye to the 50% points on my Ancient Runes O.W.L., but will stay FIRMLY on the crazy train. March will start with me FINISHING said Ancient Runes O.W.L. before getting anything else started!! WOOhoo!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More Art!

We saw more than just a room with yarn yesterday - we saw this... I have a video, but I need to edit it down before posting it. The music from Black Box (the exhibit in the next room) carried over into this one, and was oddly soothing, hypnotic, and fitting. Here's a still:

"The collection is constantly updated with best of contemporary art, which often includes fun, interactive installations, such as Danish artist Olafur Eliasson's Round Rainbow, a room in which a rotating prism transforms a beam of light into undulating colors bathing visitors' faces."

Outside, I found what is CLEARLY the Hogwarts House Unity Cauldron. I mean, look at it: there's a bunch lion/snake/bird thing holding it up, and cupcakes and berries all around the edges. Clearly, Gryffindor/Slytherin/Ravenclaw + Hufflepuff. Clearly.

The gift store had some pretty darned cool stuff (my husband got me this when he saw me squeaking. The rule is MUST NOT have anything like it already. He had to admit that I did not).

It's all ZIPPERS!!!

... and then we might've gone to Old Town. We met some actual clowns on the Metro (which was fun; they were headed to the big President's Day parade). We had an absolutely DELICIOUS lunch at Eamon's a for-real Dublin-style Chipper. WHY did I not know about this place before?

PS, this photo is the ENTIRE place.
To scale, or so it seems
just after noon on a big Parade Day.

Then, yarn might have happened. Old Town, it must be said, has some mighty nice yarn.

All in all, a very pleasant day off, and, unlike most folks that live here, we actually went to SEE some of the Tourist Attractions!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Interacting with Yarn

What I did today: Went to the Hirshhorn Museum in DC, and found Yarn Art, which I greatly appreciate. Yarn, after all, is Art all on its own! (Yes, I stand very, very still when I have to. I thought I was being photographed at first, not filmed.)

There was also a bit of knitting in public - I have to get my 50% OWLs done!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Weekend Plans

First, I finished my fourth Braided Ball. I've now run out of strips to turn into balls; luckily, the new yarn (Sanguine Gryphon Sock Club leftovers) is knitting up MUCH more quickly than the Spud & Chloe wool. No idea why, but I'll take it. So, hopefully, more balls to show you on Monday.

I've turned in two classes, so I need four more, three of which are started:
  1. Herbology - my WITH FLAMES sweater. I need to knit about an inch on each sleeve and on the body, and then start THE FLAMES. Would like to have FLAMES started by the end of the weekend.
  2. Charms - Rock Lobster. Would like to have the main body done by the end of the weekend.
  3. Care of Magical Creatures - finish at least one by the end of the weekend, if not both.
Oh... it's spring here, now. Surprise!!

I need to start my Hallowig for DADA.

I need to finish a minimum of 7 more balls (should be able to do this) by next Friday, to turn in my 50% Arithmancy OWL.

I have proof that last night's workout really WAS from hell:

I need to both figure out and GET to the 50% mark on my shawl. I think it's going to be by weight, if nothing else. Would like to be halfway through Chart C by the end of the weekend.

I think that's enough random thoughts for the day, some of which are actually related to knitting. Oh, one more:


2 days

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Astronomy - Done!

So, I collected all my leftover sock yarn. Most of it is remnants of Sanguine Gryphon Sock Club kits, with some leftovers from my Eclipse socks (the black and red) and some green Koigu that I remember getting... but don't remember using. But I must have used it, since there's not a whole ball here...?

It, too, is destined to be lots and lots of little braided balls. Since they're smaller (thinner yarn does that!), this batch will be Xmas Ornaments (aka "lookit all the Christmas knitting I'm getting done, and so early!). Sadly, they knit up just as slowly as their big cousins.

Finished another of those big cousins at lunch today.

The big news, though, is that I finished my Astronomy homework. It's a Can Cozy (WITH FLAMES, of course) for the Daytona 500, which I will be watching. And during which I will TOTALLY drink at least one soda (yeah, living on the edge, that's me). Here it is before it was finished, because wrapped around a can, it's hard to see the Car Number...

And here it is finish-finished, complete with Can. (The colors are better in this photo; it really IS black, yellow, and red!)



3 days

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

OWL progress... somewhat...

So, yesterday, I finally got to the point where I deemed it necessary to start grafting together my braided balls for my Arithmancy OWL. The first one appeared to go well. Strips were fitted together.

Grafting commenced. I'm actually getting pretty good at grafting now; if I'm careful, *I* can't even see where I did it.

Then I discovered that no matter how pretty the grafting is, if the strips aren't woven together properly, it just doesn't work. So, now, I'm also proficient at UN-grafting.

Eventually, the strips went together properly, and I did some stealthy grafting at my desk, because, darnit, I wanted at least one ball finished. And here it is:

... and then I did a second one at lunch. *Phew* - only 20 more to go!!


4 days

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Two more classes, but not finished...

First, some cute Slytherin icons. The first one was on SparkPeople as a Thought For The Day in yellow, I color-shifted it green; the other two were made by other lovely Snakes on rav.

And now to the knitting. Astronomy will probably be the next thing finished. I got the base fabric crocheted last night and finished working out the stitch pattern, so that shouldn't take too long, except it will, because I have precious little knitting time today.

And I started Care of Magical Creatures; we can make something Really Colorful, so I found some MiniMochi when I wandered into Fibre Space last Friday. I've wanted a pair of Spirogyras since I first saw them in Knitty, and I'm pretty sure they were the first pattern in my Rav queue. So, I worked it so both arm-end cuffs start with green, and I'll go from there. I'm just starting the first large-needle pattern repeat for, I think, the Left One.

So, galloping apace with my projects, and really hoping I pull off both OWLs 50% and six classes in just under 14 days. Between this and the gym, I think "sleep" will be what gives!


5 days

Monday, February 14, 2011

History of Magic - Done!

Today, I give you a chocolate bunny for Valentine's Day!

Okay, really, I don't. It's for my niece for Easter. It's also my History of Magic assignment ("make something inspired by candy").

But it's really, really cute. I wish the photos had come out better; his eyes are a very pretty pink. And yes, that's a Snitch lamp in the background (my mother's - also headed to said niece, I believe). And at least I've turned in one class, so I won't get kicked out of Hogwarts this month, even if I go down in flames on all the other knitting that has to be done in *EEEK* less than two weeks!


6 days

Friday, February 11, 2011

It's never too early for a Chocolate Bunny.

So, for History of Magic, we have the option of making something inspired by candy.

I'm making a Chocolate Bunny out of some Lion Suede (aka "brown chenille"). I'm up to the ears and, thankfully, it looks like I'm not going to run out of yarn. (I was worried.)

The instructions say I should stuff it now, then do the ears. So, I'll be working on my Astronomy Can Cozy on the ride home.

Yay for actual knitting/crochet time!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Snowflake Patterns for a Great Cause

Thanks to KnackfulKnitter for today's pointer to Snowcatcher's blog, her lovely pattern book, and her story.

MS is Not Fun. My sister's dad was diagnosed years ago, and every day is a challenge for him. He's hopeful, though, because every year, more research is conducted that offers a bit more hope, better treatments, and possibly, soon, the Holy Grail of a cure. But that takes money, and there are some wonderful organizations and fundraising efforts out there, one of which is BikeMS.

Here's part of Snowcatcher's story (click the link below to be taken directly to her blog for the Whole Thing):

"Humor aside, the MS-150 is where a big chunk of my heart lives. And sometimes where my heart breaks the most. To see a volunteer in a wheelchair who wasn't in one the year before...

My First Snowflake Pattern Booklet

So, in an effort to try to raise as much money as I can to help put an end to this disease, I've put together my top 20 snowflake patterns (according to Google Analytics), two brand new, never-before-published patterns, the Rainbows of Hope scarf pattern I designed to raise money last year and the Plarn Snowman pattern (because we all have way too many white plastic grocery bags, and the snowman is a great way to get rid of them). The PDF booklet is formatted to be spiral bound or three-ring hole punched on the left side."

Her patterns are lovely, and if you've been considering a donation to BikeMS this year, this is a great way for crafters to contribute!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February - new projects (so far)

So, February classes started over a week ago... and I still haven't turned anything in. I've started three of the six classes, at least.

First up, Herbology. The assignment: make something WITH FLAMES. Seriously. I think the Professor (a good Ravbuddy of the "I double-dog-dare-you" sort) is waiting to see what I come up with, since I managed, more or less, to make things WITH FLAMES for all eight classes in January. So, I'm making the sweater I was originally going to make for Transfiguration, before Hamish told me I was making another Bunny Nugget for him to hang with. Here's the sweater at the beginning of Monday:

... and here it is at the end of Tuesday. I've picked up and knit the neckband in black (which went really, REALLY well - I was surprised how well), and I've just finished the short rows for the bustline. Should actually make it to the "separate into sleeves and trunk" shortly - and that's where the flames will begin. Also surprising that it actually fits, and falls where I want it to... which is the point of custom making anything, I know, but I'm still surprised when Doing Things As They Should Be Done actually results in Things That Look As They Should.

For Charms, it's Choir Practice - make something based on a song. I'm making a Rock Lobster WITH FLAMES (well, it's rock!), but to fit it into Hellion House's Lobster Wedding, I'm going to make him a wee vest, collar, bowtie & tophat to cover up his "tattoos". Just for the special occasion. My husband had the brilliant idea of filling it with ACTUAL ROCKS (we need a doorstop), and I think that's great! His body is about half done at this point. I think all his legs will be black, too... but it might be black, yellow, red, depending on where they fall. Or all three. Dunno yet.

For Astronomy, we can make something to mark An Event in February - I chose the Daytona 500, and I'm making a #33 can cozy for myself. (My cup cozy WITH FLAMES, while wonderful, doesn't work on cans.) I haven't gotten really far along on it, as you can see. I'm doing it in three color bands (red, then yellow, then black) in afghan stitch, so I can just cross-stitch the flames and the numbers on after it's done, then stitch up the side & put on the bottom.

I have ideas for other things... a chocolate bunny WITH FLAMES bow; I'm making a lime-green Hallowig WITH FLAMES hairbow for DADA with my Hufflepuff co-conspirator, GeekyDuncan; I might finally make my Earmuff Covers. Since I've still got a LOT of work on both O.W.L.s to get them to the 50% mark, they're more important. If I fall off the St. Mungo's Express, so be it; I must GET ALL THE O.W.L.s!!!