Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I have a pocket!!

So I actually managed Care of Magical Creatures this month, which means I actually did all six classes. Since the theme was "Gryphons" and "How Gryphons Guard Stuff", I had this wonderful photo of me, my car, and all my plush Gryphons planned... but it was REALLY FREAKIN' HOT out yesterday. As in "Code Orange" - which means, sitting at my desk this morning in this lovely building with the completely f'd up air exchange system, I'm having trouble catchng my breath. Code Orange during pollen season? It just sucks.

So, the quick, less-clever photos. First, the object: it's a quick little button-on cowl. Except it isn't.

The back, you see, is nice stretch ribbing. And the buttons work - but not to disassemble the cowl into one flat thing, as with most button-on cowls. The buttons open the SECRET POCKET.

Which can hide all sorts of things. Like, say, magic wands. (Or wallets, or whatever.) Won't need it for, oh, six months or so, but it'll be nice to have when it's cold enough to walk outside and breathe at the same time!

... and I think that's it for me doing six classes in a month. I love you, Slytherin housemates, but I really have to finish my OWLs!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Enjoy the day, but remember those who fight to keep us free. Please go read the poem One Soldier's Life, by R. Widing, at memorialdaypoem.com.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Deathly Hallows: The Yarn Version (sorta)

No related yarn or project photos in this post,
so here's a cute extra-fluffy bunny.

So, there's a fourth round of Quidditch next week - Potter Puppet Pals (no, I don't know either) - but before then, I need to lock & load my plans for the rest-of-term Quidditch, Hallows or Horcruxes. I'm choosing the Hallows option - only three projects to keep track of, and 35 points each. Here's the Official Rules:
For those of you who choose to pursue the Hallows, yours is a quest for enlightenment. You will seek out the items that make you invincible, and craft items that represent your quest or the item you find. The lists below show possible ways to interpret each Hallow. Individual interpretations are welcome here provided you can explain how your item fits the Hallow in question. When in doubt, ask in advance! (because if your item doesn't fit the prompt it will not be accepted!) Students may do one Hallow or all three, but cannot do each more than once.

Since there are fewer Hallows than Horcruxes, Hallows projects are worth 35 points each, but must use at least 300 yards per Hallow.

Note: You may make multiple smaller items to represent one Hallow, but these multiple objects must be at least 300 yards combined and will earn 35 points total!

The Elder Wand:
  • Choose an Unstoppable Ravelry Pattern (Knitting = more than 2000 projects, Crochet = more than 300 projects). Find these this way! (links to a rav search)
  • Make a project you've made before so you know you can make it again. (Provide a link to the first project page as well, if available)
  • Show other ways that having the Elder Wand empowers you. (And we mean really empowers you! Stretch! I'd recommend telling us first, so we can tell you if it counts!)
Resurrection Stone:
  • Take a second attempt at making an UGH project.
    Example: I have a Whisper Cardigan WIP. Its an UGH because the yarn doesn't provide a fabric I like. I'm unsure if I want to ever finish it but I like the pattern. So I start a new one with different yarn/needles/whatever, finish it, and turn it in for the Resurrection Stone. I also show a picture of my first cardigan (with a link to a project page if available) and explain why it was deemed an UGH. I hopefully learned something awesome and have a newly Resurrected project that I love!
  • Reclaim a project (UGH, unfinished or otherwise) and give the yarn a new life (before and after pictures required here, no WIP finishing allowed!) Thrifting a thrift store sweater and turning it into another project also counts here.
  • Give life to a vintage pattern! (Vintage in this case = 1986 or older)
  • Pay respect to a great crafter who has gone on before us. Explain when you turn in. (i.e. Elizabeth Zimmerman)
  • Give a Face to a faceless Ravelry pattern by crafting a pattern that no featured project photo. Here's the list! (links to a rav search)
Invisibility Cloak
  • Make something in House Colors to blend in among the movie goers!
  • Make a shawl of at least 300 yards.
So, I already decided to make more Deathly Hallows Dishcloths - I have yarn for three, and as each ball of cotton is 120 yards, that puts me well over the 300 yards needed for the requirement of the Elder Wand. For the Resurrection Stone, I found The Craft Yarn Council's American Flag Potholder. There's no picture of it out there ANYWHERE that I can find... so, should be interesting. Might have to make two if it's not that big. Then, for the Invisibility Cloak, I'll be making a $5 in Paris sweater, which I've wanted for a while. That's gonna be the big, tricky thing - because there's still my two OWLs and all my classwork, too. (Oh, and that pesky "real life" thing with the "job" and "family" and "exercise" and "laundry" and other timesinks that take away from my knitting.)

And if you made it through all of that,
here's one of Katie Cook's wonderful drawings.
(Prints of this one are available, yay!)
See more at www.katiecandraw.com!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quidditch Round 3: Animal Crackers WITH FLAMES

Um... so CoMC hasn't actually gotten started just yet, but I know what I'm making. Hopefully, that'll be for tomorrow's post. Today, it's all about Quidditch Round Three - which is to make an Animal Crackers hat (that's the pattern name). There's a "yarn barf" contest in the Snake Pit to see who can make the ugliest one of these, but I couldn't find the full range of my high-contrast eyebleed yarns, and I'm not dealing with Fun Fur just now, so I went to what I usually have on hand: WITH FLAMES colors. This time, I added orange. I'm only doing the hat in four colors (or three colors and black, which to get really picky, is an absence of color entirely), but figured out if the earflaps are black, it all works. (And the red is near my face, and it's one of my Best Colors, etc.) So, the progress:

Tuesday, 6:45 a.m.
Tuesday, 4:30 p.m.
(lots of under-the-desk knitting happened)
Wednesday, 7:05 a.m.
Paperclips can be used
in place of yarn needles
12:15 p.m. at desk
Still needs tassels
And at 1:55 p.m.
It's a HAT!
I really wish you could see how
flourescentthe colors really are...!

So, I just need to do CoMC tonight/tomorrow, and then I've got the weekend free to do nothing but my OWLs. WOOHOO!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Charms - Smitten!

Turned in May Class #5 yesterday, Charms. The assignment was to make something to show a link between people, or a way to keep people in touch. I chose to interpret it literally, and made a Smitten ("Lovers' Mitten"). Given that it's going to be in the 90s (F) this week, it's not exactly timely. But it will come in handy next winter whilst standing on freezing-cold Metro platforms.

One hand

Two hands

Two hands actually visible

Plus, I found a project that's PERFECT for Care of Magical Creatures - it should be done by tomorrow. Plus, Round 3 of Quidditch started today - gotta score there, too. The project is a hat - using colors. I debated whether to make it normal (Slytherin) colors, or as eyebleedingly bright as possible. Turns out, there was a third option. You'll see the result soon. Whee!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Is the world still here?

If you're reading this, either (a) the world didn't end/Rapture didn't happen on Saturday, or (b) it did, and there's some irony going on. Anyway, forgot my second class in last Friday's project drop... For Ancient Runes:
Name: CraftyGryphon, Fourth Year
House: Slytherin
I chose *Option 2 - Craft something that could serve as a shibboleth, that is, something that proves membership in a particular group.* The group I chose is the noble House of Slytherin, and I made this stylish braided wristband in House colors. (Yardage: 26 yards of Green Heather Wool-Ease; 31 yards of Vanna's Glamour (extra rows needed to "match up" the thinner yarn).)

You see, sometimes, showing support of a particular group is just about fashion. It's trendy, it's the in thing. All the cool kids are doing it.

Sometimes, it's all about attitude. And it's not just about showing support - it's showing you belong.

Thanks, professors! This was fun, quick, and seems to be permanently affixed to my wrist. I Belong.
And I'll be doing a lot with the faux-cable braid thing. It's really fast, and it looks COOL!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bonus Weekend Blather

Since today is allegedly the end of the world according to some, you should check out my cousin's Do's and Don'ts: A Guide to the Apocalypse, just in case I'm wrong and it really *is* the end of the world.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Quidditch #2, and Potions & Muggle Studies classes

So, I had a bit of a turning-stuff-in/finishing frenzy over the last two days.

First up, my Second Quaffle for Quidditch this term was a Deathly Hallows Illusion Dishcloth. I just love illusion stuff, but didn't think I'd be doing any more this year after the Hello Kitty Scarf That Ate 2010. But, for my Snakes, I'll do it. Plus, it turned out pretty cool.


Then, for Muggle Studies, here's my turn in post:
Muggles have an absolute fascination with static imagery. Anything (or anyone) can be the subject of one of these images, and they can be found everywhere in the Muggle world. Some are painted, some are photo-graphed, and not a ONE of them moves. (Really, honest! Not at all!) Some of these images even wind up in museums, where lots and lots of Muggles can come and watch the images *not do a single thing*. For example, here is a photo-graph of a sign that caught my fancy:

Snake Sign Photographic Print
(from the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, Australia)

Now, if it wasn't a Muggle sign in a Muggle in a Muggle museum, the little snake would slither back and forth, hissing at appropriate intervals. But it doesn't. It never, ever looks any different that what you see above! EVER!!

Based on the image above (unmoving though it is), I have crafted this little wrist-cuff. It only took 80 yards (!!) of cotton yarn to make it (roughly 50 of the white, 30 of the red/brown ombre), which is pretty cool, especially since there's more than one strand running behind most of the colorwork.

You can't see the Whole Snake - I forgot to take a photo of it flat - so here is a linkto a tiny moving picture so you can see the whole thing; I could't quite get it to "embed" itself properly, it kept squirming away. (See, proper pictures move!)

Thanks for a fun assignment, Professors! I love my little Snake Cuff, even if my little snake doesn't move!
Now, since Blogger will allow flash videos, here it is embeded.

Last up, a headband for Potions. The idea was to make something with Balanced Colors, so I made a headband cover. And finally found a use for all the bright orange and yellow scratchy acryllic yarn in my house!


Not too bad, considering I was just going to do one Quaffle (I've done two) and one Class (I've done four)! And yes, I could've gotten three days of blogfodder out of this, but I'd rather just have it out here and worry about knitting more for next week, y'know?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quidditch Round #1

So, last Friday started the Quidditch season at HPKCHC. Our first match was against Gryffindor, and the weapons were Snitches. Each player can contribute one snitch to the tally. Knitting or crocheting could commence on the 13th (no earlier!), so, at 6:47am I took a photo of my supplies.

In the car, I wasn't able to start right away. The yellow yarn needed to be unraveled from the filet crochet practice thing I was making - so that happened; then I was able to get about half the snitch-body done before the ride ended. After four days of HORRID traffic, of course this commute took almost no time. Sigh.

Then, at breakfast, I was able to get the body done... and discovered that my scissors are in my other bag.

So, I got to my desk, and being unattended and unsupervised (and able to go through my e-mails whilst crocheting), I finished the body, then did the two wings and attached them.

Then, it was a case of finding a good background. I ended up going with the "in the clouds" shot for the turn-in post photo.

Once that was done, and deemed good, I stitched on a quick happy face. And now, my little Happy Snitch is sitting on my speaker, watching me work.

So, 15 points for Slytherin, and a cute little Happy Snitch for me!!

(The Second Round started yesterday, so I'm hard at work on that. Wish me luck!!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jenny and the Tack-y Dress

So, I watch Nuestra Belleza Latina. (I also watch ANTM and Model Latina; I'm a sucker for pageants crossed with modeling tryouts.) Anyway, NBL's second-to-finale episode was this past Sunday, and my favorite, Miriam Hernandez, was eliminated (sigh). My second fave, Jenny Arzola, was wearing a really... interesting dress. I'm officially calling it The Tack-y Dress, because - well - look at it. The grapic elements on the dress ARE SPARKLY TACKS. (Oh, screen captures, if only I could remove your little "play" buttons.)

Tacks, I tell you.

I don't know if Jenny's going to win. The competition is pretty evenly matched this season (as opposed to 2007, when it was Alejandra Espinoza's crown to lose). I'm not sure if this dress helped or hurt her - it fit well, and it was flattering, and it was certainly memorable. And she did get the coveted Golden Ticket to the Grand Finale this Sunday.

But... it's definitely Tack-y, and might cross over to actually tacky. (Which is fine by me; if I had her figure, I'd be trying to find out where I could get one!!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The logical next step in growing my own yarn: Spinning.

After yesterday's Crochet Roadblock (my History of Magic O.W.L. is in time-out until Thursday), I needed a Happy Fiber Thing. So I finished spinning up my 1.6oz of aqua tussah fluffystuff. I felt inordinately proud of getting something that looked like a Disney Spindle Full of Twisted Fiber:

Of course, it had a couple of spools that went with it. Yep, I got two spools' worth of aqua fluffystuff turned into something that actually - just maybe - might be yarn. Singles, of course, since I'm not even going to *try* plying until I know I'm always putting in a Z-twist for all my singles. (Sometimes, my brain forgets which way to spin. Not pretty when that happens.)

Once it was all spun up, I got it all pasted (spun, glued, adhered, whatever the proper term is for getting one end stuck to another end so they don't pull apart) together, and ran it over a 17" Q-Snap - which just happens, if you measure around the outside up and down, to be One Yard. Turns out I have 106 yards of silk aqua yarn. And it's.... actually yarn.

Still trying to figure out what to do with it. Maybe a rose hair-tie? Or a little bracelet? Or a small bag? Or spin up the "matching" pink fluff, and do something larger? Decisions, decisions. I'm just glad it actually looks like it's YARN!

Monday, May 16, 2011

When Bad Counting Happens

So, over the past week, I've gotten a pretty good start on my History of Magic OWL. I discovered, fairly quickly, that I mangled my swatch - didn't chain enough/skip enough between dc boxes? - and the lovely buffet scarf will, in fact, be a lovely tablecloth. That, I could deal with. But this morning, when I was trying to figure out HOW IN HADES I'd lost three stitches entirely, when my grid matched up perfectly? I was having problems. Something wasn't matching up with the pattern.


Staring and counting and staring and counting, I determined that all the elements were correctly related to each other, but somehow, the motifs in the center had two few - and an odd, not even number - of stitches between them. More counting commenced - and I discovered the Horrible Truth. The curlicues along the edge? The outer two on each side are seven stitches long - THE CENTER THREE ARE EIGHT STITCHES LONG. Now, being a person who tends to make all motifs of the same shape and basic placement identical in size when I design things, because really, THAT MAKES SENSE, I didn't expect this one-block switchup. But you can see it, right there... the center three of the seven are eight blocks wide, not seven.

The Problem

Which did, in fact, explain everything. The only downside is that having figured out what the problem was, there was NO way to do compensation or scooting-of-stitches or anything else to make the lacet stitches at the center of the design work AT ALL. So.... during lunch... RRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP.


So, tonight, I start all over again.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Oh, nevermind, I'll just repost now.

So, in Astronomy, we're studying the solar system's asteroid belt. Option #2 was make a belt. Now, I immediately have a small flash to the old '80s arcade game, so I ran with that.

Yes, it's an Asteroids Belt. (That's allegedly the Atari logo before the word on the belt - I guess I should tack in in place better?)

I finally figured out that I needed to attach the middle of the buckle, not one of the ends, to the danged thing - that'll get fixed tonight. But it's kinda wearable this way. It'll just be *more* wearable fixed.

And, unrelated to school (YET), when I got the buckle for the Asteroids Belt, I got these cool Slytherbuckles at 50% off. These are TOTALLY getting used in something!!

*plot plot plan plan*