Monday, October 31, 2011

October is DONE.

October Wrap-Up:
1. Transfiguration - Acorn, Large, turned in post 24, marked complete post 66, October 4;
2. Care of Magical Creatures - Zombieproof Hat, turned in post 102, marked complete post 157, October 4;
3. Defense Against the Dark Arts, Neckwarmer!, turned in post 79, marked complete post 242, October 4;
4. Ancient Runes, Holastafur Hotpad, turned in post 42, marked complete post 46, October 5;
5. Muggle Studies, Glittery Faux-Lei, turned in post 127, marked complete post 129, October 10;
6. DETENTION - Nancy Shawl, started April 2011; turned in post 206, marked complete post 208, October 12;
7. Quidditch - Fire Task #2, Mantle of the Phoenix, turned in post 3283, marked complete post 3303, October 12;
8. Quidditch, Yule Ball event #2 - Dances - The Chudley Cannonball; The Tarapoto Tree-Skimmers Tango, post 3809, scored post ???, October 20;
9. Potions, Swiffer Cover!, turned in post 464, marked complete post 530, October 25;
10. 50% OWL (Evenstar Shawl), turned in post 373, marked complete post 377, October 27;
11. Arithmancy, Fractal Hot Pad, turned in post 345, marked complete post 376.

... and November promises to be even crazier. Whee!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Arithmancy win?

Arithmancy - FOUR three fails and a win!

Attempt One: Sierpenski Triangles, shawl. Crocheted in chocolate & teal chenille, very soft, in a continuous piece - so planning What Happens Next was a brain-hurter. Would need another two of these, minimum, to make anything - could not face it.

Attempt Two: Sierpenski Triangles, scarf. Crocheted two-colors, carrying the "off" color between the stitches. Actually works fairly well, and have figured out how to form the pieces better. Still probably getting frogged, though, since getting through 2.5 rows (8 needed) was mind-numbing *and* too-much-thinking all at once.

Attempt Three: Sierpenski Triangles, um, needle case? Decided to make just ONE set of opposite triangles (see chart), and see how that went. Worked out the best method for actually getting sharp triangle-shapes to work, got about halfway through. COMPLETELY LOST INTEREST. Will probably get finished up for Detention next month, since I could use a DPN-rollup case.

Attempt Four: Gave up on triangles, went to a simple nine-square "shoo-fly" grid, which can be expanded up on itself. Not truly fractal, since it wouldn't occur in nature, but the assignment was "Option 3: Craft anything you like, but be sure to explain clearly how it relates to fractals." And since it's a block made up of tiny similar blocks, I think it this pattern counts. It was going to be a sparkly pillow-top, with five 27x27 black-and-copper squares squares, made up of five 9x9 black and copper squares broken up by four 9x9 copper squares, broken up by four 27x27 copper squares. Just not enough time to finish the whole thing. (It's in Vanna's Glamour, and on size 3 needles. GAH.)

Attempt Five: Coasters, based on the 27x27 patch, double knit in yarn that was lying around. A dark/light nine-patch square made up of little dark/light nine-patch squares which is made up of little dark/light nine stitch squares. I totally think it counts as the spirit of fractal, if not actually fractal itself.. Of course, by the time I had my Baby Ull cast on (in lovely purple and green), I realized I was making another hot pad - that's the second this month, and about the size my attention span will permit me to double knit.

*phew* That's everything I need done for October! Yay!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

50% Astronomy OWL!

First, hello to Natasha at Unplanned Peacock -I'll definitely be bugging you about getting more Kitty yarn! I just love it!

Now, to the Serious Stuff, aka OWL progress, I'm at 50% (actually 50-and-a-scooch%), obtained yesterday at lunch. I thought I still had one more row to go, so this is 3/4 of the way through Row 34 of Chart 3 - and the 50% mark (according to the Spreadsheet of Evenstar) is tucked inside Row 33. So I made it! This is going to be a very large, very fluffy, very light shawl:

I ended up pulling the thing completely off the needles, and running a perle cotton lifeline through row 34, making sure it was long enough to actually allow me to see how big the shawl is, and what the stitch patterns look like now. (My last lifeline, at row 25, was way too short, so the whole shawl kinda bunched up uncomfortably in places, and I was worried it would start to felt before too much longer.)

There's another forty or so rows until the edging starts, and I'm hoping to get that done this week, since I'd really like November to be All-Edging, All The Time. I've already decided that Catkin is my Yule Ball #3 project, and I will make ALL my classes fit the things I need to make for Christmas (several washcloth/facepoof sets, four more glass cozies, swiffer covers, knitted ornaments). In November, my sit-in-my-chair project will be this OWL (which will be getting beaded at that point, and will no longer travel well), the carryaround will be my BROOM plus one other project for class, and hopefully by Thanksgiving weekend I'll be in good shape to turn everything in first thing on the 29th.

Because otherwise, there's not going to be a lot of sleeping at the end of the month.

Oh, did I mention I'm also doing NaNoWriMo again, too?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

More things to do with cotton yarn....

So, for Potions this month, we had an option to make an Item Used in Muggle Cleaning. So, I found a crochet pattern for a a "Swiffer Cover". Swiffer is one of those sinister products that uses the "Razor and Blades" scheme - the consumer is able to purchase the handle assembly at a low price, but has to to purchase replacement refills and pads over the life of the product (and that adds up to a multibillion-dollar industry in fifteen countries). I happen to have competitor's product, engineered along the same lines, and still (allegedly) reliant upon buying refill after refill of the "mop pads". Or, rather, it was, until I made this:
It's's pattern, but the website is down right now, so the only way to get to the pattern is to look at the Ravelry Page for it (sorry!).

Half a ball of washable cotton - nice, washable reusable cotton - can substitute easily for one of the mop pads. So, for a small outlay of time and yarn (in this case, fifty cents - one half of a ball fo Pisgah Peaches & Cream, scored at the Dollar Store!), one can stop shelling out money for one-use pads.

The only problem is that mine looks so nice and pretty I don't actually want to get dirt on it!!

On the other hand, I know one of the things I'll be getting my mom for Christmas is a bunch of these in pretty colors. She's hit the "impossible to buy for" stage, but still loves anything I make for her. Yes, even Cleaning-Related Items.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What to do with All That Yarn.

In case you were wondering what you can do with one ball of Peaches & Cream, here's some examples. Yep, all four things took 97 yards of a 98-yard ball, and all told, it was about four hours of knitting/crocheting-while-watching-TV. Well... maybe just three.
Who: CraftyGryphon
Where: Slytherin, Fifth Year
Why: Quidditch, Yule Ball event #2
What: Dances - The Chudley Cannonball; The Tarapoto Tree-Skimmers Tango
When: (aka Tag, because I wasn't sure which heading it should go under) ybslyqf11
How: 97 yards (for all four items)

Hello to my fellow dancers! I'm here with two dances to perform (somebody cue the orchestra please). First up, is the oh-so-fun Chudley Cannonball, half in knit steps, half in crochet!

And then, we move to the Tarapoto Tree-Skimmers Tango (a crowd favorite) Two-steps are always fun!


Goodness, that was exerting. Someone fetch me a hottie to fetch me some Ginger Ale, please!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Um. That's a lot of yarn.

The Dollar Store had Pisgah Peaches & Cream 2 for $1. The cart-seat is my mom's haul; the cart is mine. I am set for cotton yarn forever, or at least until I crochet up a mess of American Flag dishcloths for the USO, a bunch of swiffer covers for me and my mom, glass cozies and washcloths for my family, and a bunch of Slytherin and pumpkin ornaments just for my own amusement!

(And no, I don't have anywhere to put it. I'm knitting/crocheting it up as fast as I can and still work on my OWL.)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Extreme Double Knitting!!

I also got obligatory knitting magazines. (Seriously. I haven't gone on a magazine binge for months, you expected me to stop at two?)

Interweave Knits kinda suckered me; while I do read most of the articles, I was most interested in this, which I caught out of the corner of my eye during a cursory flip-through:

Turns out neither it - nor the techniques involved - are actually in the magazine. They're from Extreme Double Knitting: New Adventures in Reversible Colorwork by Alasdair Post-Quinn, which is now available for preorder from I'm getting this book, since it's one of the techniques hinted at during Melissa Leapman's double knitting class at the TKGA conference in Greensboro (she had the COOLEST hat done this way). And you can get a digital edition, or a digital edition AND a book! So, the magazine is forgiven for having a lead on a really, really cool book.

I also swiped my copy of the Vogue Knitopedia, finally:

It's a great resource for All About Knitting - and it really does try to cover EVERYTHING. To wit:

I'm going to have a lot of fun curling up on a cold winter weekend morning and reading it front to back!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I want a beaded tiger.

You didn't think I'd just bought ONE magazine, did you? Now, I don't get Jill Oxton's very often - once, maybe twice a year, if something really strikes my fancy. This is the Christmas Issue, and it had a couple of things I really liked.

I seem to have a liking for tiny stitched and beaded trees this year. I like the little ornament - it's simple, but lovely, and reminds me of... well, a lot of other ornaments I've done, so it would match. And I want the bracelet!!

The most interesting thing, though, was in the "coming next issue" section. I WANT THIS TIGER!!

... and yes, there's more printed matter discussion tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cloth Mag and

So, I might have wandered into a bookstore over the weekend. And I might have wandered into the magazine section. Wherein I might have found this:

.... inside of which was this...

Now, I'm not sure about fashionable burlap, but there were several bags in the issue I just loved, and lots of nice technique hints. When I went looking for a good copy of the magazine cover to post (mine was oddly grainy), I found the magazine's site (yay!), which linked to their VIMEO uploads. For the current issue, there were two "behind the scenes" short videos. They were really interesting - and fun to watch. (Haven't quite figured out how to embed from VIMEO yet.)
Cloth Mag - Autumn JacketsCloth Mag - Plain White Tees

All of that, combined with this (a photo of a robe taken by RandomKnits - I don't know if it's actually hers or not)...

... left me trying to actually *find* some fabric like that. (It's brightly colored, it's a crochet PRINT... yes, I'd make one for myself!)

No luck finding the fabric, but I did find a wonderful resource:, which is part of, ANOTHER resource I hadn't known about. If you click through on the photo below (from the site - and another thing it would be cool to make!), you can read some really interesting stuff. And then click somewhere else on the page, and read more interesting stuff...

Yes, because I NEEDED another on-line time sink!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blatant Blog Filler

So, at the halfway point of October, I'm doing pretty well:

1. Transfiguration - Acorn, Large, turned in post 24, marked complete post 66, October 4;
2. Care of Magical Creatures - Zombieproof Hat, turned in post 102, marked complete post 157, October 4;
3. Defense Against the Dark Arts, Neckwarmer!, turned in post 79, marked complete post 242, October 4;
4. Ancient Runes, Holastafur Hotpad, turned in post 42, marked complete post 46, October 5;
5. Muggle Studies, Glittery Faux-Lei, turned in post 127, marked complete post 129, October 10;
6. DETENTION - Nancy Shawl, started April 2011; turned in post 206, marked complete post 208, October 12;
7. Quidditch - Fire Task #2, Mantle of the Phoenix, turned in post 3283, marked complete post 3303, October 12;

The thing I *MUST* concentrate on now is my OWL. I have to have 50% turned in, or Gryffindor is going to totally WAIL on us in the points (they pulled as much as 900 points ahead last week!)

I have a lot of fun turning classes in, mostly in the weird little write-ups I come up with. (It's nice when one can entertain one's self.) This is my Second-Round Quidditch turn-in.
Name: CraftyGryphon
House: Slytherin, Fifth Year
Tags: sfire2qf11 sabfall2011
Project page: Mantle of the Phoenix
       So, there I am, minding my own business after the FIRST round of the Tri-Wizard Tournament, and there's Cheeto, the little Phoenix from said last round of said Tournament, waiting for me in the Great Hall. And having some sort of fit.

       "Hey, little guy!" I say, trying to smooth his feathers and calm him down. But no, he's pretty agitated! He flutters down the hall towards the Snake Pit, then reverses, and heads towards the Gryffindor Common Room. He flies in (with me skidding to a halt at the door - I can't go in without a password, but I guess that doesn't apply to Phoenixes!), and grabs something white off the back of a chair, then flies out and dumps it on my head.
       It's my friend Ali123's Elise Shawl from CoMC last month.
       "What the heck are you DOING?" I ask Cheeto. He lands on my shoulder, sticks his beak under the shawl, and stares at me.
       "This isn't my shawl," I tell him.
       He rolls his eyes. (Very expressively, too.)
       "Okay, you're trying to tell me something." (He nods.)
       "Ali's in danger?" (He shakes his head.)
       "You want a shawl?" (He sort of half-shakes and stares.)
       "You want ME to have a shawl?" (He nods.)
       "You want me to have THIS shawl?" (He shakes his head, grabs the shawl, flies it back to its chair, then comes back to my shoulder.)
       "I need a shawl?" (He nods, and rolls his eyes.)
       "I need a shawl for the Tournament?" (He nods; at this point, we're both wishing I could actually speak to him. Parseltounge, yes; Viridiaspeak, no.)
       "What does it need to do? How will it help me?" (He stares at me, then sets my hair on fire.)
       "OW, you silly bird! Okay, I need protection from fire - or from YOU?" (I swear he laughed at me, but nodded to the first thing.)
       So, I spent quite a bit of time researching fire-protection, and how to create fabric that has fire-protection properties. I wound up with this, which I'm calling the Mantle of the Phoenix:

And, I can attest that Cheeto hasn't been able to set me on fire since I put it on.

So, I should be protected from Fire from here on in during the rest of the Tournament. Also, am NOT taking it off if that dratted little featherhead is in the area! He's got a vicious sense of "humor"!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Another finish

Also due to the commuting trauma last week (and not actually having cast on my actual Rogue hoodie until Tuesday evening - AFTER the commute), I was able to finish a lovely shawl I started back in April during the DC Yarn Crawl.

It's Color Changing Cotton, and I used all but three yards of it.

I also really like the lattice texture - it's just the "Nancy" part of the Nancy & Judy shawl on Ravelry; I'll be using it again in something-or-other!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bad week for Metro; good week for Knitting

Monday had a bit of a commute from hell, and Tuesday, and Wednesday, and Thursday... so Monday, while waiting for the bus to get to the OTHER half of the train (track work = bus to train to bus to train to bus commute!), I whipped up my gauge swatch for my BROOM, which is the Rogue hoodie from Girl from Auntie. (And Monday wasn't nearly as bad as the commute home Tuesday - as I showed you Wednesday.)

While at work, since it was really slow (all our regulators and clients being closed), I was able to get the basics of my schematic set up:

What I've done so far should keep me entertained for about ten days, or to the armhole shaping/start of the hood. I have to check my class notes to get the math for the armhole shaping correct (I know how many inches I need to decrease to have the danged thing actually fit my shoulders properly, I just need to know that in "rows" and "stitches"), but it should be all good. I'm not even going to WORRY about starting the sleeves (or figuring them out!) until the 20th.

I allowed myself to actually start knitting my OWL Monday, since it's a holiday, and this is how far I got by Wendesday morning - actually knitting the hem in place, and 9 rows into Chart A:

Since there was a bit of commuting trauma Wednesday evening and Thursday maorning, I let myself have the rest of the work-week with the Fun New Sweater. As yesterday was XBRL (yuck!) training at work, which resulted in no time to post, and more stress, I had this by the end of the day:

That's the first 25 rows, plus the hem (already turned) and the front pocket knit up. With all the decreases involved in my hip/waist ratio, it's going pretty quickly now.... so, now, it's NOTHING BUT OWL until I hit the 50% mark. As a result, I'm finished with Quidditch (having knit three things for it already, with only one required) and classes (assuming my DADA gets accepted - if not, I'll turn it in for whatever the eighth class I was going to ignore is).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Long, Dark Teatime of the Commute

Last night, a man was struck by a train in Clarendon Metro station. Last I heard, he was hospitalized, but still alive, which is good. All things considered, Metro acted appropriately and as quickly as it was possible to do during the height of rush hour, when the accident occured. The Orange Line was shut down from Rosslyn to Ballston to allow the EMTs, CSIs and other necessary TLAs access to the incident site. Shuttlebus service was deployed - but during rush hour, it took a while to set up.

The escalators at Rosslyn shut down - AS THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO DO - when confronted with overloaded/too much weight conditions. The alternative is maybe having the brakes slip and everyone plummet to the bottom. Since that's happened on a Metro escalator earlier this year, I'm glad the safety kicked in. It did, however, make for a fascinating sight while trying to get *in* to the station and onto the platform:

Metro did convert a third escalator to "Up", and restricted the number of people on it so it could keep running. Meanwhile, the platforms were 100% full of people - I've never seen it so bad, EVER. I and three East Indian girls managed to crowd-dance to the platform edge and catch a train going in the other direction. Coming back the other way (on the Blue Line, which was still up and running), there was NO stop at Rosslyn, because the number of people on the platforms made it too dangerous to try to put anyone off the train. (The last thing Metro wanted was *another* person pushed in front of a train!) Because trains stacked up, were run in reverse (to get some of the people off the platform and headed the other way to the shuttlebus), were single-tracked (one case only, just for safety reasons)... it took quite a while to get home. I left work at 5; I was home by 8:30. It doesn't sound like anyone else was injured, though, which in those crowds was nothing short of a miracle!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fire Task #2

So, last Thursday, I started Task #2 for Quidditch. It's a Crovontuli shawl (free Ravelry download!), which is a crochet version of AnneM's very popular Revontuli (another free download!), which has been in my queue forever. The yarn is a ball of Sereknity (back when it was Sereknity!) Perfect Sock that I found up in Beverly Farms MA last weekend, in the Campfire colorway. I’m going to call the finished thing the Mantle of the Phoenix.

Here's how it looked Friday morning:

Yes, I need to change the page on my desk blotter

... and here it is now:

I used all but three yards of my yarn, which includes adding six-stitch iCord ties at the front. I'm trying to decide whether or not to block it; I kinda like the way it stands up on itself right now. And I still have to do the write-up explaining it... but it's not due until Friday, so I have some time to decide & write.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Non-Wool, Ukelele-related

For Muggle Studies this month, we have the option of making (a) something from Knitty, (b) something without any wool, or (c) something to do with a ukelele. I'm doing a (b) and (c) combo - totally synthetic yarn to knit up a faux-lei. (Ukelele = Hawaii = Leis.) However, I learned that the Rozetti Marina tries really, REALLY hard to dive off your needles. And if it does manage to drop itself, it is a PAIN trying to find a place below what's unraveled to pick up the stitches again!

It's possible, but that glob of yarn in the center of the frame that isn't part of the scarf? We'll call that "Thursday morning's progress, completely gone". Now, mind you, this is *not* an entire skein of Marina Glitz - it's about 60%. My 33 yard skein had a KNOT in it - and a pretty easy-to-untie one at that, so that became where I ended - about 18 yards in. Which, as it turns out, is a good length for my "lei".

I made another of these with Rozetti Flora, which I think I like better - it's much, much floofier! I may have to find some green sparkly Flora (if it exists) to make a Christmas wreath. Because if you're gonna have a knitted wreath, that's a pretty cool one to have!