Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rocket Ship!!

Care of Magical Creatures is finally done. Trust me, making a rocket ship totally makes sense for the class, even though it doesn't appear to. But it does. And, thankfully, it's done. I'll try to get it to Fibre Space early next week (it's not going to happen THIS week, that's for sure), and coordinate turn-in times with my classmates.

Anyway, here's my little Rocket Ship. It was able to take off okay...

... but then OH NOES!! It starts spinning out of control! IT MIGHT CRASH!!

Then, a sudden swerve to the left prevents CERTAIN DOOM...

... and it flies back on course. YAY!!!

It heads off to Parts Unknown and Great Adventure. Woohooo!!

(Why, yes, I'm a geek and have fun vrooming toy rockets around the living room. I refuse to grow up any more than I have to!)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Quidditch Rules!

For Quidditch this term, there's a lot of stuff going on. One of the Things Going On is the Yule Ball, and that's its own separate thing. One has to get a dance partner (I found a first-year Hufflepuff) and craft the same object with them for the First Event. We've got a project picked out - and can start working on it today. We chose this cute little Tulip Preemie Cap, which can be easily sized up for larger noggins.

The official spiel is: Students will select a partner from a different house. Together the pair will pick an item and each make the same thing. Items should be more than 25 yards and no bigger than 200 yards, and be something both partners are able to complete within one week. Students may choose to spin or dye for this event, but both partners must do the same craft. Spinners must produce a minimum of 50 yards.

Then there's our Tasks - we pick an element (no surprise, mine is fire), and do stuff with that. That's due... tomorrow, I think. If you remember Chee-to from last week, you know I've completed Task #1 already. Waiting now for Task #2!! I made up a bunch of icons for it (slavishly copying Hufflepuff, just with a totally different look); people can use them if they wish for Quidditch.

There's also an AWESOME set in the Snake Pit, which is these 12 icons - with DOOM GOAT added to every single one!! (The DOOM GOAT Saga is a tale for another day.)
Another Snake added Doom Goat to all the icons; I snagged the fire ones back, and added "DOOM GOAT COMPELS YOU". These are the ones I'll be using:


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bronze Yarn for the Ravenclaws

I'm not certain I announced this - and it was a few weeks back that I discovered it, but Vanna's Glamour finally comes in BRONZE. Ravenclaws finally have their 2nd color represented - I expect to see some awesome 'Claw scarves this winter!

There's also some really violent hot-pink out there now... I'm not quite sure what to make with it. I'm sure, once I think of something, I'll buy them out. (The temptation is to do a Katherine Hepburn sweater (from Lace Style) out of it - it's been in my queue forever.)

I seem to really be into the Vanna's Glamour. I'll eventually be knitting/crocheting a full-circle hooded cloak out of it for my NEWT. (Which is why I *really need to finish my Astronomy OWL*...!)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hipsters, Plaid, and Humidity

Ugh. It is hot and humid. AT MY DESK. (So, no, not glad to be back at work. The work I don't mind; the humidity can LEAVE ALREADY.) Since I am just back after a few days off (and it appears that Giant Project of Doom is waiting for me, just a quick entry today.

First, Obligatory Yarn Content: A page with all sorts of content for Hipster Knitting. But by pointing it out, it's not obscure enough any more.

It's been raining a lot this fall. I'm really glad I got my new rainboots - much less clunky than the usual Wellies. (Okay, plaid harness-cowgirl boots? Didn't know they existed until the day I got them.) They're comfortable, with great traction, too - and don't scream out "rainboots!!"

Yeah, not really yarn related, but I really like these boots!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Double knitting WIN!

Today, I learned double knitting - and actually got it correct this time! I took Melissa Leapman's class (the second class I've taken from her), "Two Color Double Knitting". First, we just did one color on side A, one color on side B, then switched:

Then, we had to try it with a pattern. With the magic of "here's how the color change goes" and "keep that color close/on top"... it WORKED! I continued my class swatch and tried to upside-down the chart from that to see if I could ... and it WORKED! I can do double knitting!

Of course, Melissa had some truly stunning things to show us. The first was the totally reversible baby blanket; then there were double-knit hats that were two completely different patterns on each side. SO COOL! (If the Double Sided Double Knit Hat class is offered next year, I'm taking it!)

There's out there, somewhere, an amazing guy named Alistair who does multi-color double knitting with completely different pictures on each side. I'm going to try to find some images of his stuff, if possible; it sounds BEYOND cool!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

School Day!!

I am learning New Things right now.

Like intarsia (and argyles) from Arenda Holladay:

...and the basics of well-fitting Thursday, September 22, 2011sweater design from Chris Bylsma:

Lots of knitting is happening, but mostly in Tiny Swatches that, with the exception of the argyle above, aren't terribly exciting.

But lots of knitting is, indeed, happening!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Chee-to is On Fire.

No post yesterday, almost no post today. Let's just leave it at it was one of those 24-hour periods that invovled driving through downtown DC at 4am with a Birthday Cake strapped in the backseat and leave it there.

The Tri-Wizard Tournament started on Sunday, and I've completed my first task. Due to a lack of time and possibly too much sugar (blame the Birthday Cake!), here's my turn-in post.
Name: CraftyGryphon
House: Slytherin
Tag: SFire1QF11
Project Page: Chee-To!!!

Woohoo! This is CraftyGryphon, Fifth Year Slytherin and Tri-Wizard Tournament Contestant, checking in with the Scoring Judges! I have chosen the Path of Fire (henceforth the Path WITH FLAMES), and, to that end, I have found a way to protect myself from fire - most especially Fire Damage Caused By Direct Dragon Flames. I decided that since Phoenixes are both awesome...

... and tend to fight off Fire-Breathing Dragons, I'd see if I could find a baby one to protect me. (And possibly see if it would imprint on me. I could be a Mama Phoenix!)

This is Chee-to, my baby Phoenix. Phoenixes, as we know, are impervious to flames themselves (except that special end-of-life one that they don't talk about), and their tears have magical healing properties. Just a cute little bundle of flame protection, he is! And a bit of a show-off. (He made me post multiple pictures, really, he did.)

He took about 180 yards of yarn, which I was NOT really expecting, except that to get the Vanna's Glamor (the sparkly stuff) to be as voluminous as the Red Heart Super Saver (orange and yellow), I had to crochet double the number of rows and used about double what I thought I'd need! Yikes!!

Without his cute little wings and big fluffly tail and sparkly feet and beak, he didn't quite hit 100 yards. If he had somehow been over the 150 yard mark then, he would have spent the rest of his life as an Actual Chee-to, instead of just having an embarassing name.

I think he'll forgive me for giving him the powers of flight and extreme cutness!
More tomorrow.... or something. Unless there's another fierce Birthday Cake waiting in the wings!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

I have a rocket ship?

I'd forgotten Friday's post was titled "I want a Rocket Ship!" - so I'm giggling right now. Because that's kinda what I did this weekend...

I didn't actually get much crafting done this weekend. There were contractors crawling all over the house, a lot of boxes to shift around, and other assorted stresses. So, with the newly-clear middle room floor, I did what any sane child of the 80's would do: I decided to finally build the TIE Interceptor I'd gotten as a Christmas present about a decade ago.

TIE Interceptor

Breaking into a new LEGO kit is always a fun time, especially the bigger ones. This is the largest, space-wise, that I've done. (Number of pieces, though, no; there are only 703. And there were only 3 extra pieces in the kit - all little tiny things that tend to run away, too. At least one of the duplicates tried to run for it, but I caught it at the edge of the yoga mat.)

The first thing you make is the cockpit, of course - it being the center of the ship. I was giggling happily for a good fifteen minutes over the level of detail on some of the pieces. I HAZ TARGETING COMPUTER!! Woohooo!

Insane Levels of Detail!

There also may have been a few minutes spent opening and closing the front hatch. Possibly more than a few.

There was a moment of panic when I realized one of the pieces was, in fact, malformed - which would've been a disaster, except it was easily hidden in the wing assembly. And now I will be able to tell my TIE Interceptor apart from all others! Which, you know, when everyone's running for their ship could be important... really.

I've always kinda pooh-poohed the idea of sorting all the pieces before you start builing one of these kits. By the time I was starting the upper wings, though, I'd turned into one of Those People. And it did make it go faster. (Although sorting pieces before each step probably doesn't count, so I may still not be Quite That Bad.)

Wings do take a while, though.

There's even a stand you build at the end, with tiny writing that really should've photographed better... ah well. Trust me, it's cool.

Since I've finally finished that, I think my whimpering about getting the Imperial Shuttle this Christmas may bear fruit... because the TIE Interceptor is super-cool, but the shuttle is MY ship!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

I want a Rocket Ship!

I've been working on the HSS Unity for a couple of weeks. It's going to be adorable, and it's totally going to be submitted for the Fibre Space Window Contest:
We are busy planning this year’s holiday window which will be entered in the Old Town Alexandria window decorating contest – but we need your help!
Knit or crochet a small or large rocket, and you will be entered for a prize drawing that will include yarn, books and gift certificates. 8 prizes total will be awarded – each one worth over $50. You are entered once for each small rocket (5") that you make and twice for each large rocket (10").
I figured out a way, thanks to the now-available Vanna's Glamour BRONZE colorway, to make it a real House Unity ship, with all four colors and all four metals represented. The extra additions, though, are REALLY slowing me down and making it less fun than it should be right now. It'll be fine once I get all the fiddly bits finished (trim on the fins, the third booster, the flames in the boosters). But here it is, and here it will probably stay until the race on Sunday. (NASCAR = work on the Thing That Needs Doing Now).

The yellow/red thing on the left = ship.

Progress towards Order First Class:

18 Classes (over the course of term - 3 months) - Status: Five classes done, four turned in (CoMC is a group project, Astronomy is being turned in en masse on the 25th)
Quidditch (Participate in at least one match) - Status: signed up for Yule Ball and Fire Task #1
Headmistress' Challenge - Status: N/A as yet
Detention (Complete one Detention assignment) - Status: DONE
OWL or NEWT - Status: OWL Proposal accepted, 18% OWL accomplished
BROOM - Status: Mission Request submitted.

(Doing an OWL and a BROOM also qualifies me for the Silver Serpent.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

O.W.L. Progress!

So, I'm chugging along on the Evenstar Shawl. Here it is at the end of Chart 1, right before I dropped in the second lifeline.

I'm into the second ball of yarn now - I did the yarn-bracelet thing again to keep the very end of the ball from tangling - especially since it's mohair. The bracelet thing really does work well!

After a commute from hell with an extra four hours of knitting, followed by a weekend of almost no knittng, I'm just about at 16% done, which just plain isn't far enough along at this point. I have to have well over 50% done at the end of October to even have a chance at getting this thing finished on schedule! I'm hoping to get in a LOT of knitting on it this week. I got a row done on the way to work, and will hopefully get a couple more done at lunch. If I could be at 25% at the end of the week, I'd feel a lot better about things! Here's where I am now, and you can see how far back the lifeline from above is. (I'm going to be pulling that lifeline and replacing it in another 8 rows, before the really strange stuff starts happening on the chart.)

According to the Master Chart of Evenstar Shawldom, being done with Row 33 of Chart 2 puts me closer to 18% than 17% (by a row). (Turns out I miscalculated on the 16% previously; I was only at 13% after the Commute From Hell.) My goal is to be well into Chart 3 by the end of September, preferably past the "repeat these four rows six times" part. I think the Headmistress is there on hers NOW - but she got a month head start, so I know I'm never going to catch up to her. I get to see progress photos quite a bit on the Evenstar-along ("Stargazing with the Centaurs") thread, which is cool - and gives me hope. And lets me know what each stage looks like, too - that's super helpful!!