Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Washcloth of Mystery

This is a round dishcloth/washcloth made my my Gramma Suzie. This one is her daughter's, but her other daughter has one, too (and probably her granddaughter, my SiL; can't remember if my cousin said she had one or not). It is a very pretty round washcloth, looks to be made from short rows, with a yarnover increase near the ends to make the petaly bits.

It's possible Gramma just made them off the top of her head. I did a Rav search to see if I could find the pattern, but didn't, not exactly. Marion Torgerson's is close - enough to give me an idea how to start it, anyway. And I do have a pretty good photo.

Once I've turned in my 50% HoM OWL (or failed spectacularly to do so - 18 rows left!), I'm going to do one of these just to relax on Friday. I'm sure there's a class for which I'll be able to make it work!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday - DADA done!

The Easy Pretty Dishcloth took about two hours, one ball of yarn, and was done for my mom at her request. This is the same mom that, when I made her a fairisle sweater with sailboats around the yoke UNRAVELED IT because it was too big. (She then knit it the size she thought she wanted. Which fit her then six-year-old godson perfectly and became his favorite sweater.) I don't tend to knit things often for mom, because either I'm worried she'll undo them, or she'll save them and not use them Because They Are So Much Work. This wasn't that much work - I think I'll even be able to convince her to use it, and wash it, and treat it like a normal dishcloth! It's in the next post, since I want that one to be Just The Pattern.

Dishcloth Pattern!

Easy Pretty Dishcloth

This dishcloth is made on the long edge, from alternating 5-row bands of stockinette and reverse stockinette, with a garter stitch border. It took exactly one ball of Lily Sugar'n Cream - 95 yards. (I knit loosely; your mileage may vary.

Cast on 54 stitches using long-tail method. (Explained in Knitty's '05 Summer Issue, here.)

Knit four rows. The long-tail cast on creates a row as it's made, so you'll have a total of five rows to start.

Begin Pattern:
Row 1 - K5, place marker, k across to last five stitches, place marker, K5.
Row 2 - k5, p across to last 5 stitches, k5.
Row 3 - k across
Row 4 - k5, p across to last 5 stitches, k5
Row 5 - k across

Row 6 - K across
Row 7 - k5, p across to last 5 stitches, k5
Row 8 - K across
Row 9 - K5, p across to last 5 stitches, K5
Row 10 - K across

Repeat rows 1-10 three more times (a total of forty rows of pattern, plus the five from the cast on and k-across at the beginning); then repeat rows 1-5 one time.

K four rows, then bind off. (Various methods also at Knitty, here.) If desired, crochet a hanging loop from the yarn left in the tail, slip stitch firmly back where you started the loop, tie off, and weave in ends.

Monday, June 27, 2011

June Class: Charms

This was today's turn-in post. The assignment was to make something EXACTLY following the pattern, including using the yarn called for. I actually had a project that I was comfortable making, and had the actual yarn, so this month just sort of fell into place. Here's the turn-in post:
Hello, Professors! This is CraftyGryphon, Fourth Year Slytherin, and I've actually managed to make the American Craft Yarn Council's American Flag Potholder EXACTLY according to the instructions. First, the yarn is to be Lily Sugar & Cream 4 Ply Cotton: Red #95, Wwhite #01 and Bright Navy #09. Here are my Yarn Labels as proof I used the proper yarn:

Then, I did the 37 chain stitches, and started the stripes. I kept following instructions. Exactly. (I should also add that at this point, I've made half a dozen of these, with no stars attached yet, for Quidditch/Horcruxes. Unlike my Quiddy ones, though, this one has Stars.

I also did the chain hanging loop as per the instructions. I usually prefer to just do it as I start the final row, so it's solidly attached no matter what (I don't trust slip stitches, always), but I slip stitched it here.

And then the French Knots. The pattern doesn't really specify how many stars, or where to put them, so I went with all fifty. French Knots in four-ply cotton yarn, which is NOT smooth as is, say, embroidery floss? NOT fun. I can usually make perfect French knots -and I think I got maybe three out of the fifty to look right. I will *not* be adding stars to my Quiddy potholders. They look just fine and pretty without 'em, and for the extra hour of effort, it just doesn't look that great!

This, however, must be done Exactly According To The Pattern. And, so, it is!!

So, that's all I *have* to do in June to keep playing. I've got one other class done, and I still need to get the 50% on my HoM OWL...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bunny Yarn!

Okay, so, I'm not crocheting fast enough. Or enough. I'm getting home from work, drained from the commute (which does, thankfully, include crochet), and not getting any further crafting done. (I'm also blaming the heat.) I did manage to get some yarn in the mail, though - from Knitty-Noddy. I've been getting stuff from them for... quite a few years. (They tend to have Claudia Hand Paint Silk Lace in stock.) Anyway, this is Fleece Artist Peter Rabbit Yarn, which is angora with a wee bit of nylon. The colorways are Harvest, Blue Lagoon, and Fire Opal.

The Harvest and BLue Lagoon will be used to make little Peter Rabbits based off HandMadeAwards' amazing patterns. I have one of hers which is my FAVORITE PATTERN EVER, "Sweet Grandparents", which is two bunnies. I need to make a LOT of practice bunnies first, so when I do the real thing, my bunnies will be of Good Quality.

The skein of Fire Opal? I just liked the name. It'll be a pretty cowl for me, using a pattern as yet to be determined (but possibly in the latest issue of Knitty - which is up now).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yep, it's still a tablecloth.

So, this is mostly what I'm working on this week - and I say "mostly" as in "if I'm working on something, it's this, I should just be doing more of it". It's my History of Magic O.W.L., and it's definitely going to be a tablecloth. I've almost got the peacocks done, which should see the last of the tricky counting for quite a while. (The more of the large grid there is to do, the faster it goes. Go figure: less stitches = faster.)

I'm really hoping the Friday photo will have a marked difference from this one. I'm hoping to have 50% done by the end of Sunday, although by the end of Saturday would be better. We'll be seeing my in-laws Saturday, and their floors are actually big clear enough to spread things out on!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A slow sort of weekend.

Okay, still a little "off", so didn't get as much crafting over the weekend as I'd hoped. (And, OK, went to see Green Lantern. Which was fun. I had some issues with it, being a GL fan of long standing, but Kilowog was perfect, so I forgive all.) Did manage to wander around a few stores, though, and found BACON YARN. Okay, it's not made of bacon, but look at those colors. THAT'S BACON. If there's a July class at Hogwarts that I can fit a Bacon Dishcloth into, there will be a Bacon Dishcloth. (And really, I'm going to make it anyway, it'd just be nice if it fit into a class.

I'm getting some other dishcloths going - I'm at about 1.3 of the four I need for the Pineapple Dishcloth. Found two other colors to make 'em in, too (all shades of peach/yellow/gold). But only one finished so far. (When are Hallows due again?)

Really, I've got my Charms potholder and all my Hallows potholders ready to go, except for weaving in the ends and stitching on the stars. I've got to finish the Charms one, for certain, and get that in. Then it's tablecloth, tablecloth, tablecloth. At least it's getting faster now that I'm getting to the center bits with the big lattice stitches!!

Friday, June 17, 2011


There was knitting - I've got about half of the second Pineapple Dishcloth done. There was crochet - I've almost finished my "perfect" American Flag Potholder for Charms.

Mostly, however, there was this:

It's the third book in the series, and I will be tracking down the first two. Sigh. Clearly, I need to get more audiobooks...!

There should be lots of crochet pics next week, I promise. I have to get a LOT of work done on my tablecloth!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I get to wear my hat sooner than I'd thought.

Brief note to say that it is cold in my office. As usual, it's just bothering me right now. So, I'm wearing the hat I made for Quidditch last month. (It folds up tiny and lives in my desk drawer. When I'm not wearing it.)

The *why* of the botheration? This amazingly dirty, yukky vent that's DIRECTLY OVER MY HEAD. Can't do anything about it; there's nowhere else to move my desk.

When I go on vacation, they're going to clean it, THANK GOODNESS. If I'd known I was going to be out all last week, I'd have had them clean it then.

Of course, if I'd known I was going to be out all last week, I would've won the lottery ages ago, and work wouldn't be a problem!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Following A Pattern. Exactly.

Okay, not quite up to working *and* daily updates, so it'll be M,W,F (I hope) this week and next. Sorry 'bout that! (I figure most people either have final exams, are grading final exams, or are dealing with someone doing either or both, or are on Summer Vacation - so sporadic updates won't really be noticed just yet. Okay, totally not, but it's what I'm telling myself so I don't beat myself up about getting sick.)

ANYway, for Charms this month, there's a challenge to Follow A Pattern EXACTLY. You know me - I'm not good at this. But, at this point, I'm working on my sixth American Flag Potholder, I've figured out most of the tricks to making it look good within the "specifics" of The Pattern. And I think I can make it EXACTLY according to the pattern. First, I actually have The Actual Yarn Called For By The Pattern. I'm not 100% certain, but this may be a first for me! Here are my ball-bands for proof.

Then, I'm falling onto "or size needed to obtain gauge" - I'm a really *tight* crocheter (the opposite of my knitting!), so I actually had to kick up to a 6.50mm hook to get gauge. But that "or size needed" means I can do this, and still be following The Pattern EXACTLY.

As silly as it sounds, I actually have to count every row to make sure I've got 36 stitches across. Something about stitching into just the back loop throws me off, which doesn't make sense, but is what's happening. Sigh. Anyway, this is what I got done during lunch today.

Starting chain, exactly 37 stitches long. Woohoo!

... and the first five stripes done. Finally figured out how to make the front-side all pretty (and the back not all that bad) while still doing the "finish last stitch with next yarn" thing.

Now, what's really kicky is the total vague at the end of the instructions."With A, work French Knots for stars." Note it never says how many stars or where to put them. Or, for that matter, how to make a French knot - which is cake for me, since I do embroidery & cross-stitch, but might be a total mystery to a new crocheter. Because I'm doing Exactly To The Pattern, I decided What The Heck - I'd do all fifty, and mirror the back side. (Um, photos of that will be on Friday. Because I just noticed I dont' have a yarn needle with me. And I'm just not up to the stairs over the canal to get one from Exquisite Fabrics at lunch.)

Then, there's "If desired work hanging loop as follows: Join B with ss to top left corner of Flag. Ch 9. Join with ss to joining sp. Fasten off." Working the loop in as you change from the second-to-last to last row might work better, but by gosh, this one's gonna have a slip-stitched loop.

And yes, I know, I've got to work on my other Hallows and get to my 50% mark on my second O.W.L. Really, I will. Just as soon as I stop sleeping every last second I spend at home!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Little flag potholders!

My weekend, in cotton yarn:

For one of my Hallows, I'm giving a face to a faceless pattern, i.e., making this, without a photo: American Craft Yarn Council's American Flag Potholder. It's actually pretty cute. I need to use 300 yards at least for it to count - so at this point, I've used up an entire ball of red (120 yards) and I'm about to finish my first white (120 more yards). Since I really, really like making these, and they match my kitchen (no, really, they do), I'm just going to keep going until I've made as many as I can with the yarn I have in these colors. (With hopefully a little white left over, so I can do the stars. There are supposed to be "french knots for stars" - placement, I guess, will be up to me. I'm only doing ONE with all fifty stars (which will be 100 french knots, since I want it to be reversibel) - and that will be The One For The Picture on Rav. I'll do one with the thirteen colony stars, and maybeone with the 1812 flag (because I go by one every day on the Key Bridge - named for Francis Scott, he who couldn't have possibly seen a flag at a fort but hey, it's a great song, if impossible for normal people to sing). And then I'll make a few in washed-out muted tones, because it would be pretty. Most of them will not have stars, though, since the stars are a pain.

For another Hallows, I'm knitting something I've knit before, and making a bunch of my Pineapple Dishcloths. I don't know what I did with the first one - it's probably somewhere "safe" because it was my first actually GOOD pattern (yeah, there are two others, but they're just okay. The Pineapple Dishcloth is GOOD. Anyway, I want some, darnit! And the pattern is actually good - I have one so far, and will keep going until I get 300 yards' worth of Pineapple Dishcloths.

For the third Hallows, I'm making myself a cute little cotton tanktop, since I don't seem to actually own any tanktops (the Jessica Rabbit one from Hot Topic is a tanktop, but I shouldn't wear it to work). Well, wear-to-work tanktops, I guess. And I need to start getting more Vitamin D, which seems to involve actually baring more than my nose to the occasional sunbeam. Anyway, that's for tomorrow. I'd take a nap now, but I'm at work, and I'm trying REALLY hard to make it through a full day here!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Yay, it's not bronchitis!!!

This has not been a good week, health-wise, but I've been cleared to go outdoors starting tomorrow - in small doses. I expect to be back to work next week, which is sooner than I was worried I'd be allowed back. (Had one of my friends call today to make sure I wasn't dying. Seriously. But it's a warm fuzzy feeling to know I've been missed.)

Anyway, in between bouts of hacking up a lung/sleeping for fifteen hours straight, I had enough energy to lie in bed and knit, so I got a major part of my DADA OWL out of the way. Here's my turn-in post, otherwise known as "everything I've done this week, except for hacking up lungs and sleeping a heck of a lot".
Hello, Professor. This is CraftyGryphon, Fourth Year Slytherin, turning in what I hope will be enough for a 50% OWL for Defense Against the Dark Arts. I had originally stated that "I was going to call the first 50% twelve swatches (because then there is still the hat in the second half), at least 12 completed questions (because at least four questions require finished swatches)." Thanks (??) to a wretched cold that yielded a lot of time where moving my forearms to knit was the extent of my physical activity, I was able to knit all sixteen swatches...

... and start The Dreaded Hat.

I expect I will need to re-knit the hat at least once (in the case that it does not block to the measurements required), and I plan to re-knit Swatch #15, "choose your own cable" swatch to make certain I've written the pattern for it correctly. I expected to have 12 of the 18 questions finished. I have eight completely done, with footnotes, and another two with blanks for citations. Of the remaining eight questions, four are partially completed, and four I'm just staring at with dread (the gauge/swatch comparison questions.)

I have a rough draft of my blocking report; it needs citations, and needs the section written on "how I blocked my swatches" - which isn't written yet because as you can tell from the photo, the swatches are not yet blocked.

Since I finished more swatches (and hat!) than expected, I am hoping this is enough to count as 50% for the DADA OWL. (I figured I would turn in to check, so that if I needed to make changes, I'd still have a few weeks to do so.)

Thanks for reading, Professor, and I hope this is enough work to qualify.
That's it, I'm going back to sleep now. Hopefully, regular blogging - and health - will resume next week!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Nothing to Sneeze At...

... except I'm sneezing. Went to the library for several hours (yay, internets!!) on Saturday, and got a lot of crochet done. Also discovered that on a 4'x10' table, I am, in fact, crocheting something a LOT bigger than a "buffet scarf". YIKES!! Getting to 50% on this sucker this month is gonna be a challenge, let alone finishing it by the end of July!!

And, sadly, while I have "loads of time" home sick today (and yesterday), I'm choosing to use my five waking minutes to update my blog. Hopefully, tomorrow, there will be more crochet.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Pocket Potter Puppet Pals!

Had to stay late at work Wednesday night, since my ride (aka DH) was working late, and there was a storm, and I really didn't want to be out in it, so I stayed at my desk. Off the clock, of course.

Then, once I got home, I started Round Four of Quidditch. Discovered Wednesday that it's 10 points EACH for up to six Pocket Potter Puppet Pals, so I cranked out six little bodies and twelve little arms before crashing for the night.

That meant Thursday was crank out six little heads and twelve little hands, plus assorted ears and noses, then lots of hair (and a beard). Then the stitching started. And didn't stop. And then there was the Innovation and other ideas that slowed me down.

So, I JUST finished these. At my desk at work, because my bosses understand the stitching stops if there's Stuff Going On, but today is quiet, luckily. Here they are!

I think Dumbledore came out best. I figured out how to make his beard bushy (one row of single crochet will curl!), and his half-moon spectacles are just a bent paperclip, but they look pretty good.

I also like Harry. His glasses are gold jump rings (what I use for stitch markers), and he looks happy.

I really liked Hermionie's hair - but I like it less, since Dumbledore's is better. Oh well.

I like the expressions I got on Snape and Voldemort. Snape looks like he's about to give someone a LOT of detention, and Voldemort just looks cutely evil.

Poor Ron. Nothing really special about him, other than he's cute. And his right arm is stuck up next to his ear.

Okay, Competition Quidditch is over. Now, back to my OWLs!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

An excuse to spin up the stuff I just bought...

So, there was a huge yarn sale at Uniquities on MemDay. I got a bag of grey cotton, a bag of green alpaca, another bag of green cotton, and a bag of fluff. If any of the HPKCHC classes lend themselves to spinning stuff, I'm going to try to spin up that entire bag of fluff during the course of June.

So, let's look at the class list, which went up yesterday:
Care of Magical Creatures - Using a Ravelry approved craft, use one of the three options to a) create something jewel-like, b) create a cauldron or container, or c) create something to protect you from fire.

Charms - Be exact, be precise, be faultless - show us you can follow directions without making personal changes.

DADA - Students will use one of the class options to create something that a) reveals a truth about their character, b) is dull, difficult or will cause pain, or c) can be used to bind and secure an opponent.

Divination - a) Craft something that makes use of “negative space” in the design; b) that can be viewed or used two or more different ways, or c)Interpret the prophecy that Professor HelenHandbasket just made (see Rav for details).

Herbology - a) Craft something that is a new challenge for you; b) craft something that needs an explanation; c) craft something totally inappropriate to wear as jewelry; d) craft something upside down.

History of Magic - Using any Rav craft, create a finished object to represent something to help you while confronting an unknown Task, to symbolize a new Triwizard Task, or in honor of your chosen HPKCHC Champion.

Muggle Studies - Craft a Doll, something for a Doll, or a “Doll-like” stuffed creature. Spin doll hair (measured by WPI).

Transfiguration - Summary: 1) Steeks. 2) Use scissors to make something new. 3) Make something inspired by scissors (sell it!). 4) Spin or Dye yarn for a colorwork and/or steeked project!
Looks like My Spinning Fluffystuff will work for Herbology. So, um, I guess I should start?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Too Much OWL, not enough TIme

Well, I got in about eight hours of crochet over the weekend - about half what I was hoping for. As of Monday evening, I was still three rows shy of The Part That Will Go Faster, and well off the quarter-done mark. So, it's definitely gonna be a race to finish the whole thing in time. Here it is Monday:

And yes, it's definitely a small table cloth rather than a large buffet scarf. I really have to NOT DO any more quidditch or classes until I'm at least halfway on this and my other OWL!!

But I did pretty good - here's the May Wrapup. Lots and Lots of points for Slytherin here:

OWL Proposals - History of Magic - proposal, approval, Approved May 3; Defense Against the Dark Arts: proposal, approval, Approved May 4; Astronomy - ASTEROIDS belt - Post 95, May 12 (marked complete Post 167); Quidditch, Round 1 - Snitches, Post 356 - May 13; Ancient Runes - Braided Wristband - Post 240, May 18 (marked complete: Post 242); Muggle Studies - Snake Cuff - Post 248, May 20 (marked complete: Post 286); Potions - Braided Cabled Headband - Post 363, May 20 (marked complete: Post 370); Quidditch, Round 2 - Illusion Dishcloth, Post 2008, May 20; Charms, - Smitten, Post 172 (marked complete: Post 179), May 23; Quidditch, Round 3 - Animal Crackers Hat WITH FLAMES, Post 2762, May 25; Care of Magical Creatures - Secret Agent Cowl, Post 516 (marked complete Post 528), May 31.

Now, let's hope June goes okay...!