Thursday, March 31, 2011

Um, and then I finished something.

Much to my surprise, I actually finished something I could turn in for a fifth class Tuesday night, and turned it in Wednesday. (I'm going with the relief I felt over having let myself Not Finish my OWLs and Not Have To Turn In More Classes relaxed me enough so I felt like knitting again.) It's the short pair of bedsocks I started about a week and a half ago (when I wasn't feeling well, I think). They fit well, and stayed on all last night - which is impressive, since I tend to kick if anything's on/near my feet, unless they're completely warm. (And they're from my own pattern, which is here.) I'm going to give these bedsocks Four Stars!

Corny, but I've been waiting to use the Four Stars icon for a while now!!

Here they are without feet; with feet is in my turn-in post, below.

And... the turn-in post:
Hello, Professors! This is CraftyGryphon, Third Year Slytherin, turning in her assignment. I have chosen Option Two, "create a strengthening potion".

There are all sorts of strength. Physical is what we tend to associate with "strength", but there are mental and emotional varieties as well. To me, the most difficult type of strength to muster is strength-of-heart, more commonly referred to as "courage". Sometimes, when faced with a difficult and frightening task, I get Cold Feet. To that end, I have crafted some courage-encouraging footwear - to prevent Cold Feet, as it were.

I didn't really expect to finish them, as I've been a bit overwhelmed in March. Last night, I had one strip-of-knitting and a ball of fluffy yarn, and I managed to turn it into two strips-of-knitting, then seam them into socks. Which are warm, and fluffy, and definitely help with cold feet - and, hopefully, Cold Feet.

Having worn them all last night, I already feel a bit braver!

Thanks for the assignment, Professors. I really think I needed it!
PS, did I mention they fit super-well and are really nice and toasty? Oh, I did...? Eh, it totally bears repeating!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ten Short of Goal

So, yesterday, I let the Slytherin OWL examiners know that I wouldn't be turning in either OWL, and let the nice folks running the St. Mungo's Express know that I was no longer eligible to stay on the Crazy Train. I did finish up the two mostly-done balls that were, well, mostly done. I may, for fun, with no pressure, finish up the three mega Multi-House balls and the Rabbit Ball that are in the halfway stage.

This pretty much killed my chances of being able to get all twelve OWLs during undergrad days, and kills my NEWT idea. I *have* to have an Arithmancy OWL under my belt to do my Chess Set! (And also Transfiguration, Divination, and Potions.)

Sigh. I feel bad that I didn't finish stuff, but mostly because if I'd realized at the beginning of January how much time I'd lose to sleep and exercise once the docs figured out what was wrong with me.... I probably would have proposed things I'd actually be able to DO.

Oh well, lesson learned!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Stash Enhancement - Canvas Edition!

So, I took a long weekend, and, thanks to a card left on a pretty antique table at a local Historic House with Massive International Needlework Show, I was finally able to stop by Waste Knot Needlework in Arlington. Turns out, it's a pretty easy drive (as in "I could drive it myself"). Once inside the lovely, brightly-lit and colorful little shop, I found some lovely things that had to come home with me. My goal is to finish them all in 2011, thus ending the chain of lovely, unfinished (and frequently unstarted) canvases building up in my house.

First up, a Charley Harper canvas. I have a cross-stitch pattern for another Charley Harper squirrel. And a loon. And probably several other things; I like Charley Harper's style. Anyway, here's my canvas, and I can't wait to start it. (I will wait until after the end of term, which is Thursday.)

(One does wonder how the artist is dealing with Charlie Sheen's character having almost the same name.
I'm hoping at least some of the people looking for the character on-line stumble across the lovely artwork, and buy some.)

Then, I found a kimono. The background will be a pale mint green, the pinks will be the same tone, the silver will be a muted metallic, and the gold I'm actually going to do as laid-down goldwork. I can see it in my head; let's see if I can get it on the canvas.

The big discovery of the day was that LEE is once again making the leather wallet of the style I used to have. You see, when my little American Flag canvas wallet finally breathed its last, I stitched this:

Yes, my love of all things shiny and coppery is showing.

... only to discover that my wallet was DISCONTINUED. Well, not only did Waste Knot have the wallets, they actually had THAT CANVAS. So I know it will fit! They also had a lovely little fancy shoulderbag, which I'm going to do up to match the wallet. (Makes sense, right?)

Finally, remember my little "EEK" canvas? They had a "BOO" to match! Had to get that.

I got a few extra needles (since I'm always misplacing the ones I have), and all the black Very Velvet and most of the black Very Velvet Petite left in the store, but that was it for fibers. Because SOMEWHERE in my house, I have THIS:

... and really, I can't justify more fiber just because some got lost. And I'm pretty sure I know where it's all hiding, anyway.

But if not... well, at least I know where I can get some more!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

449 Days Ago...

Finished something! The Double-Sided Reverse-Negative Hello Kitty Illusion Scarf is FINISHED! This was my "fun, whimiscal knit to start 2010" - started it on the first of January last year, and finished it on Saturday. That's 449 days, kids. For a scarf. Although there's a perfectly rational reason for a scarf to take a year, two months and twenty-five days to knit - because it was really TWO scarves, and each of them was an illusion scarf. That had to be reverse-negative mirror images of each other. And it worked - here's my proof:

Being several layers of non-breathable acrylic, this scarf is quite heavy - and it's WARM. Which, as it turned out, was necessary - suddenly, it's winter here again!

So, scarf is finished, and it's a "real" item off the list. (And I'm turning it in as my Headmistress' Challenge for this term, too, which was the *real* incentive to finish it up once and for all!)

And here's that turn-in, just because...
Dearest Headmistress, this is CraftyGyrphon, Third Year Slytherin, with her Message to her Earlier Self.

Dear Self of January 1, 2010: **Don't do it.** Yes, you know you want to cast on that "whimsical" little Hello Kitty scarf you found a few years back on Ravelry. Yes, you've got pink and black yarn screaming out to become that scarf. The problem with you, though, is that you have "ideas" to "improve" perfectly good patterns.

I know you. You're going to decide that the Hello Kitty and Flower panels in the original pattern, aren't enough, and you're going to design a Happy Star and Happy heart to go with them. And then, about halfway through (or close to what SHOULD have been the end of the new, extended scarf), you'll decide that Illusion Scarf Backs are ugly, and wouldn't it be so much prettier if you just made a back to the scarf? Which, of course, could look like the front. Except... it would be so much cooler if you flipped the images and reversed the colors.

Here's a photo of all that, four hundred and forty-eight days later.
[Insert first picture from above]

Okay, yes, that does look INCREDIBLY cool when laid out like that. But, Past Self, do you see the problem? DO YOU?? Well, let me help. Here is the scarf, finished, four hundred and forty-NINE days later. (And yes, you did grow out your hair, and yes, you have lost weight.)
[Insert other picture from above]

Now do you see the problem? You've got a nice, heavy pink and black striped scarf. The illusion may be visible, from time to time, on one side or the other. BUT NO ONE SEEING IT FINISHED WILL EVER REALIZE HOW COOL IT IS. Seriously. If you're going to put that sort of effort into something, make sure people can see it, okay?

It's not like you know you're about to find a really cool group of folks running amok in an old castle somewhere in England. (You do, by the way. It's called "Hogwarts." Yes, like that Hogwarts. Never mind that right now.) You're just trying to knit something fun. I get that. Fun is good.

So, instead, how 'bout you cast on that nice Henry VIII Alice Starmore sweater you've been thinking about?

Just consider it.


Thanks much,
Your Future Self.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I'm calling the blog "off" for the rest of the week. It's so DEAD BUSY at work that I haven't even had time to come up with stuff to drop in if I don't have time to write stuff fresh... so the blog will be back next Monday.

Sometimes, life just gets in the way!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lucky Seven Sampsion

So, for Arithmancy, we had an option to do something with the number "7" - and this came to mind, immediately. As one of the children of a Certain Age quite Some Time Ago, I grew up humming Schoolhouse Rock tunes, and Lucky Seven Sampson was one of my favorites. So, I made a little L7S Bunny Nugget, and did a wee photo collage, just for fun:

He's even got the little 7 on the bottom of his right foot.

Now, if you happen to be young enough that you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a
Link to the Video
on YouTube, and here are the words:

Lyrics & Music by: Bob Dorough/Performed by: Bob Dorough

Now you can call me lucky,'cause Lucky's my name.
Singin'and dancin', that's my game.
I never did a whole day's work in my life,
Still everything seems to turn out right.
Like a grasshopper on a summer's day,
I just love to play
And pass the time away,
'Cause I was born 'neath a lucky star.
They said I'd go far.

Makin' people happy, that's my favorite game.
Lucky Seven is my natural name.
Slippin' and slidin' my whole life through,
Still I get everything done that I got to do,
'Cause I was born 'neath a lucky star.
School is where you are?
Aw, that's not hard.

Let me show you something.
You multiply 7 x 1,
I got 7 days to get that problem done.
Multiply 7 x 2,
Take 14 laughs When you're feeling blue.
Multiply 7 x 3,
A 21 -day vacation you can play with me.
Multiply 7 x 4,
You got 28 days (that's a one month more)
To pay the mortgage on your store.
Don't worry. Something will turn up!
Multiply 7 x 5,
I don't know how you did it, but man alive, that's 35.
Multiply 7 x 6,
Grab a stick and make a 42 clickety-clicks.
Multiply 7 x 7,
Take 49 steps right up to seventh heaven.
Multiply 7 x 8,
They got 56 flavors and I just can't wait.
Multiply 7 x 9,
63 musicians, all friends of mine.
Multiply 7 x 10,
And that brings you right back to 70 again.

You know, I think that's important.
There's a trick there somewhere.
Multiply 7 x 11,
Even a rabbit knows that's 70 plus 7.
Multiply 7 x 12,
You got 84, and isn't that swell.
I'm gonna try 7 x 13, just for fun,
70 plus 21.
7x 14 must be great.
Well, exactly, that's a 70 plus 28.
7 x 15, man alive
That's 70 plus 35 ... 105!
Man, this stuff is simple-no jive.
You got it, now I gotta fly.
Excuse me folks, I'm saying good-bye.
I sure do thank you for the huckleberry pie.
Take it home, boys.

Remember Lucky Seven Sampson that's my natural-born name,
If you should ask me again, I'd have to tell you the same.
You'll wake up tomorrow, you'll beglad that I came
'Cause you'll be singin' one of thesongs that I sang.
So keep a happy outlook and be good to your friends,
and maybe I'll pass this way again.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Still with the startitis...

... but at least this time, it was for a class. DADA this month had a "get on Umbridge's Good Side" option... so I made a bubblegum pink Kitty Nugget with big, cute eyes (a la Puss-n-Boots from Shrek). Seriously. Soooo cute; she'd totally love it:

See, that's adorable. These little guys (on sale now at Border's... for reasons that escape me entirely) are CREEPY:

Yeah. I like mine better...!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Startitis... I haz it.

Also on Wednesday, when I started the little Michael Powell kit, I started knitting myself a new pair of bedsocks out of yarn I'm supposed to be using for my Arithmancy OWL. My only defense is that it's such a pretty green I wanted to keep it near me. Or something like that.

That fascination didn't survive into Thursday. So, naturally, I started something else - but, unlike the bedsocks, I finished it. And then did another one. It's two facecloth-sized dishcloths, from one ball of Sugar'n'Creme cotton. I used the outline shape from my Hello Kitty star & heart panels (which I made up in the first place).

As you can see, these aren't really designs for ombre yarns. Here's an outline of each design so you can see what you're supposed to be seeing:

Yeah, I know. But looking at them at an angle doesn't really help much...

But... hey! One more ball of yarn used up, and two little facecloths with happy, if nigh-invisible, pictures on them. Now I just have to figure out which class I can turn them in for. That seems to be the theme this month: have an idea for a class, then do something completely different without any classes in mind, then try to make it fit. I think I like the "plan, execute, turn in" method better, but it's just not working in March!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Why yes, I am wearing the lovely green sweater I made myself.

First - Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Yes, I'm wearing green today. I just happen to have a lovely Celtic-cabled Kelly green sweater (aka my Herbology OWL)...!

Next, the progess of things. When last we saw my version of Barbara Thompson's Tiffany Window - Wisteria, it looked like this:

I've been carrying it around the past three days, and I swear I've made progress, although even *I* almost can't tell. While this is going to be lovely when it's finished, I started it when Scarlet Thread was still on Main Street in Vienna... and that was a while ago. For whatever reason, for a small piece, it's taking forever, and it's tricky to work on. (Okay, some of that is my fault; I added all the metallics to make it sparkly, and they're a bear to work.) Here it is today:

I think the left panel is done, the right is almost done; that means the inside panel is what I've got to finish up. With, of course, mostly metallicks. **Headdesk** Oh well, at least it's closer to done than it was!

And, since I'm burned out on Things I Should Be Working On, I started a little Michael Powell kit I picked up (also at Scarlet Thread). It's been staring at me from the sideboard for about a year now, so I finally caved.

Tomorrow: Knitting I Shouldn't Be Working On Right Now!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Wee Bit O' Irish Lace

Last night, I realized that if I didn't turn in at least ONE class this month, I risked getting booted from Hogwarts, a fate worse than awfulness, since even when it's driving me nuts, it's keeping me sane. So, I tried something completely new: Irish Lace. (Seems appropriate, what with St. Paddy's being tomorrow.) This is one Rose Medallion from a lovely Rose and Daisy collar designed by Megan Mills. It took about 140 yards of size 10 crochet cotton, and about two hours - most of which was spent figuring out the instructions. Which, by the way, were fine, just primarily for non-US crocheters. I hadn't realized that Things Were Different elsewhere regarding crochet terms, but, as it turns out, they are! Anyway, here's the little medallion once finished:

As you can probably tell, it needs blocking. So, I blocked it - using a LOT more pins than I'd realized I'd need, intially. (Finding "more pins" in my house... um, well, it's a challenge just now, but I managed.)

And here it is all done, as presented in my Herbology turn-in. It's possible this will be the only class I do this month, but I'm going to try the Daisy Medallion for Charms tonight, which may open the creative floodgates and at least let me turn in a couple more. (Sadly, I'm going to have to hit a yarn store one of these days. I seem to be out of white sock-weight yarn, which I'll need for Arithmancy and History of Magic.) Anyway, here's my turn-in post:
Hello, Professors! This is CraftyGryphon, Third Year Slytherin, turning in her assignment. It is a crocheted Irish Lace Rose Medallion.

I've never actually tried Irish Lace before; it seemed scary, what with the three-dimensional bits and the loops and getting everything to show up where it ought. This pattern was a bit more of a challenge than I was expecting, since I'm in the US and, evidently, all the crochet terms across the pond are the same - but what they Actually Mean is different. Yikes! I managed to get through it, though, and I'm glad. I really really wanted to turn something in for Herbology this month, since I whiffed it last month!

It's really pretty. I'm going to attempt a Daisy Medallion (I think) for Charms class, and if I survive that as well, I'm going to attempt a Lace Collar in much finer thread for my niece (well, for my sister, really, since my niece is a little young to appreciate it). That, thankfully, won't have a time limit. The medallions are just For Pretties.

It took about 140 yards (!!) to crochet this little tiny thing - it's only about 5" across, but there are a lot of triple crochets hidden in there. I keep being surprised at how much more yarn crochet things take than knitted things!

I hope this little project is acceptable, Professors. It was a challenge, but I think it's really pretty!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Today never happened. That is all.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Free Day!

Sunday, I gave myself a Free Knitting Day, and came close to finishing my Hello Kitty Illusion Scarf. (There are going to be pictures in this post, and lots of 'em.) Here are the two sides, so you can see that each square will have a mirror-image reverse-negative on its back, as if I somehow managed to combine illusion knitting and double-knitting. Which, I admit, I'm hoping to fool at least one person into thinking I did (unlikely, but hey, it would be cool...).

And lots of little close-ups (you were warned there'd be photos)...

Here's a movie of it, just because. I really, really like the way it's turning out...

And then, seaming the sides. I decided to crochet (using pink) the sides together from the inside first.

I have one of those seams done, and about half of its corresponding outside seam. Yes, I really, REALLY want the two sides to stay (mostly) flat and lined up - thus, seaming nigh-unto-death.

I'm hoping to finish it up tonight - or at least this week. Yay! That'll be something Off The List (and, incidentally, the thing I'm turning in for this term's Headmistress' Challenge)!!

Friday, March 11, 2011


This morning, I finally made it to the end of Chart D, which, for no apparent reason, has taken all week. (I'll blame being sick, knitting braided balls, watching movies, and work.) At least I finally get to Chart E today, and the basic background pattern (the feather-part) is pretty ingrained by now. I think you can see the first "feather eye" here...

... and if not, certainly here...

From the next few charts, it doesn't look like it's going to look remarkably different once I have all the eyes in, until it's blocked. So, really, I don't know how many more photos of a pile of shawl I can get away with this month... but you'll find out eventually, as will I.


Thursday, March 10, 2011


Okay, two quick things. Fun site for Making Things, via Zazzle - Intentional Intelligent Humor -

Wonderful new favorite Webcomic, Promises, Promises -
. Since I'm getting into the whole "gym" thing, it's really helping me keep my sense of humor about it. (And the Public Service Announcements are actually really good things for newbies like me!)

Um, knitting tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day Off

Today was Doctor's Appointment Day, and took much longer than I thought it would... so I didn't actually make it in to work.

Work tomorrow, catch-up on everyone's blogs this weekend, and, hopefully, some more crafting posts from me for the rest of the week!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

February Wrap-Up

Finally, here's the stuff finished for classes in February (and, okay, one thing NOT finished)...

History of Magic, Chocolate Bunny, post #115, February 14, 2011 (approved post #141, 828 and 829 - 3 bp); Astronomy, #33 Can Cozy WITH FLAMES, post #220, February 17, 2010 (approved post #259); Transfiguration, Snake Bench Cozy, post #168, February 22, 2011 (approved post #260 and 453, 1 bp); Care of Magical Creatures, Spirogyra Mitts, post #400, February 28, 2011 (approved post #783 - 6 bp); Defense Against the Dark Arts, Hallowig and WITH FLAMES bow, post #340, February 28, 2011 (approved post #378 and 581 - 8 bp); Potions, Pinwheel Potion Purse, post #269, February 28, 2011 (approved post #355); Charms, Rock Lobster, post #350, February 28, 2011 (approved post #447).

It's going to be a while before there's anything other than Braided Balls finished, so I'll try to find someting interesting to put here for the next few days!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lots of Little Braided Balls...

After working on NOTHING but my Ancient Runes OWL (the Pretty as a Peacock shawl) since March 1, my treat yesterday was to play with the Braided Ball strips I already have knit up. I'm still one strip short for this batch of six, but four of them are grafted, and one's about halfway finished. (Plus I've started strips for several more). As you can see, they're all different, slightly. And, yes, when there's a green and silver strip, they run together...!

Need to finish up my Fluffy Strips for my Braided Bunny. Braided Sheep needs a friend!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Not quite done with February yet...

Okay, almost done with February knitting (yeah, I know, but this week it's been all Ancient Runes OWL, and there's not enough noticable change that it's worth posting a photo of THAT yet.). Last weekend, I managed to knit up the strips for another eight braided balls, and assemble two of them. I think little #5, the Sheep Ball, is my favorite so far:

I'm starting to COMPLETELY run out of some colors of yarn. I've gone through a lot of my Yummy Toes, most of my superbulky (that isn't designated to be thigh-high candy-striped bedsocks), and I'm starting in on the frightening amount of cotton. Even the Yummy Toes balls, which will be very similar, will have no two alike. Kids, that's a LOT of yarn I'm going through!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Charms done - Rock Lobster!

So, I had six classes finished by Sunday night, and that was all I needed. I'd almost finished my little lobster for Charms (WITH FLAMES), of course. The whatever-it-was that I'd been fighting off most of last week finally got me Sunday afternoon (I missed part of the NASCAR race, so you know it was pretty serious), and I wasn't sure I'd survive the commute to work on Monday. (Turns out - I wouldn't have... or, rather, the other people in the car wouldn't have been at ALL happy.) So, here was my little lobster as of Sunday:

As you can see, he only had a claw left. So, very slowly over the course of Monday morning (and it was just 30 rows, some as short as six stitches, so the fact it took all morning... sigh... I finished him up and turned him in.

Here's the actual turn-in post...
Hello, Professors! This is CraftyGryphon, Third Year Slytherin, turning in her assignment. I have chosen to do a piece representative of the B-52's classic, "Rock Lobster". While it's really more of a spoken-word piece, there's definitely something resembling music behind it, and it definitely refers to an actual lobster. I think. Anyway, I knit up this little guy. Since he's a ROCK lobster, I had to knit him WITH FLAMES. Rock is all about the attitude.

I think he's a redeemable Bad Boy, though. I mean, just lookit that sweet face...

As some students might not be familiar with the musical work in question, here's a link: Link to YouTube B-52s "Rock Lobster" Video

Yes, it's a bit strange. But I got a lovely little lobster-friend out of it, and he even matches most of my accessories. (He has, however, warned me that I WILL NOT wear him as a hat/headpiece, EVER. Or Else.)

Thanks for a fun assignment, Professors!!
And because I want to make it easy for you, here's the B-52s Rock Lobster video, right here!

Yep, today, it's all about the strange!