Sunday, July 24, 2011

Project 35: The Golden Snitch

This project was completed in May 2011.

In the HPKCHC this term, Quidditch was split into four quaffle matches between houses in May and later hallows or horcruxes in June and July.  The first quaffle match was to make a golden snitch.


Near instant geeky gratification!

Pattern: The Golden Snitch by Melissa Mall (free pattern)

Yarn: Stitch Nation Full o' Sheep in honeycomb and Red Heart Super Saver in soft white, roughly 15 yards total.

Needles: Boye crochet hook, size G (4 mm)

Mods: None that I can recall!

Monday, July 18, 2011

April Stashdown Report

April was busy - I only finished one project. But I did sell off some stash on Ravelry!


And I got some very pretty stash additions.

Younger Yarn Sexy String in Alice Longbottom 430 yards


Younger Yarn Fiber 100% Punta Wool in Daydream Believer


Younger Yarn Fiber of the Month Club for April 2011 - Superfine merino in "Sidewalk Chalk"


Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 Twin in Pfauenauge (peacock) and Petit Poison No. 5 medium - a "We're Different" grab bag. 1020 yards total


And last but not least, Alina Shea Creations yarn club April 2011 - Yin and Yang base (50merino/50silk) in "A Year Ago".  I only got one skein, but purchased one of the extras she put up for sale in May (so I get to confess about this one twice...) 430 yards


So much yarn, so little time.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Project 34: Lehmus-Huivi

This project was finished in April 2011.

The second leaf shawl component of my Nerd Wars dissertation was the Lehmus-huivi shawl, a pattern that had been translated from the original Finnish.

I'm not sure if this is a pattern modification or a mistake that I corrected, but I kept the three edge stitches on both sides and the band across the top at the bindoff in garter stitch throughout.  I found the chart a little confusing on those points, and garter stitch works!  So that is what I did.  I think it worked.



I gave it sunlight and watered it regularly, and it grew into this!



Pattern: Lehmus-huivi (free pattern available in Finnish and English on the designer's website)

Yarn: Left Coast Yarns Merino/Nylon 80/20 blend in Forbidden Forest, 396 yards of a 400 yard skein


Needles: Size 6 (4.0mm) Knit Picks Options nickle-plated interchangeables

Rav page

Mods: I used fingering weight yarn and larger needles than the pattern indicated for a shawlette. Also, the chart only prints with the Finnish directions, and there is a small error in the chart that is corrected in the English instructions.  If you can get as far as I did in that first swatch, you've got it made.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

March Stashdown Report

Yes, yes I am aware that it is currently July.  I'm catching up here as best I can...

Here's what I finished in March!


2011-03-31 11.42.30.jpgIMG_6380IMG_63862011-03-31 23.57.49.jpg

And the lovely yarn I brought home in March:


This is 440 yards from Kara (dnatheory) who was my upstream swapper for the Staff Swap last term.  She dyed it herself!  Isn't it lovely?


This is Alina Shea Creations Shmerino in Whispers of Spring, the yarn club shipment for March 2011.

And just before month's end, I was given a gift pattern on Ravelry for Cassidy, a cabled sweater in worsted weight.  I wanted to start it for my Spring11 OWL in Herbology, so I needed to find appropriate yarn quickly.  I mentioned in the Stash Knit Down group that I was not finding anything good in the stash and what I was looking for just in case someone had what I needed... and KarinMT (of The Periwinkle Sheep) had just the thing!


Seven skeins of Cascade 220 Superwash, ready to go live at my house.  We met at a grocery store we both frequent and made our swap.

I made some great stuff in March and got some lovely yarn as well, but the best part of March was that it was the first month since I started tracking my yarn yardage in and out in January 2010 that I finally managed to have more yards out than in.  The net decrease was over 1600 yards! I am moving in the right direction!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WIP Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Behold, the triumphant return of WIP Wednesday!  Here's a quick look at what I've got going today.

2011-07-13 13.12.14.jpg

A sweater blocking in pieces while I finish the second sleeve! I'm trying to get it finished by this weekend.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Project 32 and 33: More Quidditch Hats!

On the last day of the Winter11 HPKCHC term, I finished up two more charity hats for Quidditch.  This time I pulled out all my wool scraps and worked on making scrappy but fabulous hats.

Errrr.  Well.  They look better in person.

This one used up as many blues and purples as I could coordinate together - lots of my little bits and bobs of dyeing practice over the years:


and this one got pinks and earth tones:

2011-03-31 23.57.49.jpg

To turn them in on time, I was up late and the camera was not cooperating so we got camera phone pictures. But, I managed to make two impressively not ugly in person hats using up roughly 435 yards of yarn that will warm some heads on the other side of the world.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Project 31: Emily Shawl

This project was finished in March 2011.

I love how this shawl came out.  It's an unusual construction, which is how it became part of my Nerd Wars dissertation last spring.  The yarn is a silky, drapey thing that I only regret I do not have more of. It blocked nicely and looks great as a yarn and pattern match.  I almost - almost! - wish I hadn't given it away!



Pattern: Emily Shawl by Mandy Moore, published in Knitscene Winter/Spring 2010

Yarn: Alina Shea Creations Grassy Feet (65% superwash wool, 35% bamboo) in Summer Fun, the June 2010 yarn club offering


Needles:  Size 7 Knit Picks Options nickle-plated interchangeables

Yardage: 324 yards

Rav page

Mods: none

I enlisted the help of then-three-year-old Spike to photograph the back.  He did it well!


Sigh.  I might have to make another one of these.  In addition to being part of my Nerd Wars dissertation, I turned this project in to the HPKCHC for Charms, March 2011.

Transfiguration OWL, Spring 2011

In the HPKCHC the three-month projects are called OWLs, in reference to the big exams of fifth year students in the Harry Potter series. There is a set of guidelines by subject and to achieve an OWL in the subject you have to propose and complete a project that takes longer than six weeks but less than three months and that presents a personal challenge.

Option 1: Knit or crochet and then full (felt) something large, such as a carpet bag, a skirt, a rug. 
Option 2: Knit a large item (adult vest, sweater, large bag) that must be steeked. 
Option 3: Dye and spin enough fiber to produce sufficient yarn to craft a small adult garment. 
Option 4: Demonstrate proficiency with Vanishing and Conjuring Spells by vanishing a large quantity of yarn or fiber and conjuring one or more finished items using the vanished yarns. To truly demonstrate your virtuosity, you must use one new-to-you technique on one of these items, such as first-ever I-cord edging, first-ever socks, first-ever magic loop, first-ever Tunisian crochet, etc. Knitters must vanish a minimum of 1800 yds (this is a change from previous terms); crocheters a minimum of 2400 yds. Spinners - spin a minimum of 1.5 lbs (0.68 kg) of fiber. Machine knitters, please negotiate yardage amount with your Examiner. In line with the House Cup as a whole if a yarn is held double while crafting, it counts as a single yardage (i.e. if you use up a total of 360 yards while knitting a hat holding your yarn doubled throughout, it counts as 180 yards towards stash vanishing)

Name: Needlesnswiffers
House: Slytherin
Year: Sixth
OWL and option: Transfiguration, Option 4: Stash blowing-upping
Abyssal made with my own handspun “Swamp Thing” (light fingering weight), 271 yards (15.06% of total)
free pattern online in French and English, stockinette swatch on size 7 needle, aiming for “aĆ©rienne” version, although I have no idea what that means. It’s the smaller one I think. Hope.
Tunisian Resolution Scarf with Heirloom Easy Care 8 Ply (dk weight), 321 yards (13.375% of total)
free pattern online, beginning of scarf swatched with my one and only tunisian hook, suspected to be size J
Brigid Sweater with Lion Brand Wool-Ease, 1374 yards (76.39% of total)
proof of pattern in swatch photo, size 9 obtains gauge, significant size modification (see under challenge)
To ensure that these projects achieve the required yardage total since I am mixing crafts, I have created a spreadsheet (stop snickering, you know I can’t resist a spreadsheet!). As you can see, as proposed my three projects will achieve 104% of the required work. If my projects should fall short, I assure you, dear Examiner, that I have no shortage of yarn in my house or items in my queue. I will make it happen, and consult with you as needed. If my yardage should fall short of the 100% needed, I may not know until after the deadline to modify proposals. Since yardage is the goal here and the new technique is satisfied, is that okay? It is also possible that the yardage may fall short of what I anticipate, but still over the requirement for this OWL. My estimates are based on the total yarn available to me for these projects, so I hope that falling short but still over 100% will result in a completed OWL.
Sequence & Challenge: My entire experience with tunisian crochet is my swatch for this scarf, so that is my brand new challenge! I think I want to overdye the finished scarf for Potions class this term, so that will likely be my first project attacked. I will likely work on them all simultaneously to stave off that bringer of doom, Boredom.
Regarding challenges, well, tunisian crochet is brand new to me so there’s that. For the Abyssal, I’m knitting with my own handspun and I’m a pretty new spinner, so I’m hoping to not have any problems with the yarn but you never know. Also, the pattern is translated but still not as easy to navigate as you might hope. For St. Brigid, the pattern is for a cropped jacket. I just don’t see myself in a cropped jacket; I want it to be a full-blown sweater. I will be extending the body to my waist and extending the sleeves as far as I can until I reach a regular full sleeve length or run out of yarn. This is going to be a challenge for me as I am not an experienced sweater knitter so I’ll be learning how to modify sort of as I go. I have lots of extra yarn, plus more in other colors, and a can-do attitude, so I’m hoping that will get me through.
50% Mark: Well, this one is pretty easy. Since the darn thing is based on yardage, I’ll call it at half of the required yardage (proportional to craft) with plenty of math to back it up!
Photos of Supplies and Swatch:
Here are all my swatches out sunbathing.
Handspun for Abyssal:
Heirloom 8 Ply for Tunisian crochet scarf:
Wool-Ease for Brigid:
Thank you for your time!

Herbology OWL, Spring 2011

In the HPKCHC the three-month projects are called OWLs, in reference to the big exams of fifth year students in the Harry Potter series. There is a set of guidelines by subject and to achieve an OWL in the subject you have to propose and complete a project that takes longer than six weeks but less than three months and that presents a personal challenge.

Herbology – Students should be able to easily manipulate organic materials.
Option 1: Knit or crochet an adult-size sleeved garment with multiple cables or an afghan with multiple cables. Garments usually must have at least one complex cable that travels the entire length of both the front and the back body AND at least one complex cable that travels the length of the sleeves, OR more extensive and complex cables in either of these areas. Please note that these are guidelines. The Examiners are looking for projects that demonstrate the student’s ability to follow mutiple cables. Think: all-over cabling.
Option 2: Create an item using freeform knitting or crochet.
Option 3: Spinners – spin a minimum of 600 yds of plant fiber into a plied yarn which is spun and finished in ways appropriate to the medium (meaning no drifting apart cotton singles, no stiff-as-sticks linen, etc.).
Option 4: Spinners – Spin at least 8 oz of fiber into a cabled yarn.

Name: Needlesnswiffers
House: Slytherin - first time I got to type this!!
Year: Sixth
OWL and option: Herbology Option #1 - cabled sweater
Project/Pattern(s): Cassidy
Sequence & Challenge: I intend to complete the sweater in the order the pattern suggests (back, fronts, sleeves, hood) but would like to retain the privilege to adjust this order as necessary and possible. Regarding challenges, this is my second attempt at a Herbology OWL. My first attempt had me run out of time with big chunky cables and chunky yarn. This pattern has demure little cables, lots of them, and uses a worsted weight yarn. Time will be my biggest challenge.
50% Mark: Based on the following percentages, I hope to present 50% of a sweater before the end of June.
30% back
25% fronts
20% sleeves
5% button bands
8% hood
12% finishing work
Photos of Supplies and Swatch
Seven balls of Cascade 220 superwash!

(I have four more in a different dyelot if needed too)
This is my swatch, and you can see the pattern on the screen of my computer.

As far as sweaters go, I’ve finished one adult sweater and it was my Muggle Studies OWL last term. The list of shame of my unfinished sweaters is …. it’s long.
Thank you for your consideration!
ETA: This swatch was made with a size 7 needle! :D

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Project 30: Paul's Saturday Morning Not-Hoodie

This project was completed in March 2011.

I finally finished my first sweater!

2011-03-31 11.42.30.jpg

Like the first sweater I ever started, lo these many years ago (2005 I believe), this one is for my husband.  We saw its humble beginnings in my Muggle Studies OWL proposal last January.  Despite the name, he did not want the hood. I dove in hoping that I'd figure out how to not have a hood later, and as you all can see - I managed!


I just picked up stitches for the collar/buttonband as I would have around the hood, except there was no hood.  Shockingly, it worked.  And now Paul has a sweater!  And it actually fits!

Pattern: Saturday Morning Hoodie (free pattern from Lion Brand Yarns)

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky, only 807 yards (I still have 6 skeins and some change left! Incredible!)

Needles: Size 11 and 13 Knit Picks Options nickle-plated interchangeables.

Notions: six recycled plastic buttons purchased at Jo-Ann's Fabrics.

Rav page

Mods: I didn't knit the hood - see text above.

I still look at it and wonder if I really made such a thing.  It looks like real clothes. And I made it.  I'm impressed!


Project 29: Charity Scarf

This project was completed in March 2011.

I finished a third and final scarf for the same charity as the fluffy pink scarf before I boxed up my scarves, leftover kits, and some yarn to donate and sent the box back to California last week.  The short answer as to why I didn't make all the kits is that I found no joy in crafting these scarves for this charity anymore, so I fulfilled my obligations of donating postage to the charity, donated some yarn I thought they might find useful, and returned the scarves and kits I had.

Here's the last one!


Now I can direct my energy to others in need.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Projects 26, 27, and 28: Challenge Hats for Quidditch

These projects were completed in March 2011.

One of the Quidditch challenges back in March was a duel where you set the terms between you and your partner, and my partner and I decided to make as many hats for charity in one day as we could.  She beat me, soundly, but I still made three more hats for charity than I otherwise would have.


The purple hat and the green-purple-blue hat are my own hand-dyed yarn.  The orange hat is from wool I inherited so I don't know what it is.  The pattern is my own (same as this project) but as of yet unpublished.

In total, I estimated 404 yards were used in these three hats.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Project 25: Celeste Shawl

This project was finished in March 2011.

Last Christmas my parents were up visiting and as usual I got out my newest pattern books for my mom to look though.  She saw the Celeste Shawl pattern and fell in love.  The picture in the book has the shawl on a hanger and it's hard to tell much about it, but a quick look through projects on Ravelry helped.

Shawls are very popular right now, but this is a shape you don't see all that often.


But it sits nicely on the shoulders,


and floats nicely too.


Yarn: Sliver Moon Farms 65% superwash wool, 35% bamboo fingering weight yarn purchased at Rhinebeck in 2009


Needles: US 7 (4.5mm) Knit Picks Options, Nickel-plated tips

Yardage: 543 yards

Mods:  I left off the beads in the edging.

This project is the finish for my Care of Magical Creatures OWL, which I successfully completed last March.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Just a break, not broken

Since the beginning of blogs, bloggers and their blogs have gone on breaks both announced and unannounced. I didn't decide to take a break - it just happened. And then it kept happening. In fact, I started to write a return post back in May and my computer crashed spectacularly, leaving the thought incomplete and extending the break even more. Just a little break, not broken.

Of course, I've been busy, which is why blogging has been a low priority over the past few months. Many projects have been finished, and I will give them their moment in the spotlight accordingly, but it's just going to take some time. My husband and I have been working on our house a bit too, getting grown-up furniture and finishing some handy projects that were left in limbo for so long, so expect a full report on that. And, of course, my job of being the mom to my two little boys is difficult and easy and wonderful and tiring.

So, here I am. I am back!