Saturday, April 19, 2008

Finally! Pictures!

Behold! The goodies I got from my lovely swap partner from the swap! Thank you so very much! You see here a booklet of simple sock patterns from Patons, the Knitting Answer Book, Knit Picks Options needles, Classic Elite Alpaca Sox yarn, and a felted bag! Yay! More pictures on my Flickr!

Monday, March 31, 2008


Yeah, so, canvas. Canvas would seem to be good stuff... nice and sturdy. Its care tag says "Dry Clean Only" but I always figure thats more of a guideline than a rule... surely nothing bad will happen if I toss it in the wash, right? I mean, I did pink it first, to keep it from fraying...


Canvas apparently frays like the nerves of a mom with 1 hours sleep and two-year-old twins... even when pinked. I lost 4 inches off the total width I bought due to fraying, which I hadn't counted on. On the plus side, at least the fabric has a really nice hand now... I'll just have to buy more (which, of course, is not in the budget =P) and wash it again, taking into account how much I might lose.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Winding Down

Blarg. I missed posting last week. I hope no one minds; it was Spring Break and I didn't get on the PC much at all.
I received my package in the mail from my lovely and generous swap partner. I've borrowed a portable light box from a friend so I can take nice photos of the package, and I will post them as soon as I find the camera and get them taken.
My own package for sending out continues apace. As always, I've decided to be ambitious with the bag portion, to really push my sewing skills. Wish me luck so that I don't fall on my face!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Quidditch Round 3

1. When Rita Skeeter prints a bad articles about Hagrid in the Daily Prophet, which Professor teaches Hagrid's Care of Magical Creatures class while he is away?
c. Professor Grubbly-Plank

2. What was the article Rita Skeeter wrote about Hagrid called?
c. Dumbledore's Giant Mistake

3. When the school champions were being chosen from the Goblet of Fire, whose name cam out first?
b. Viktor Krum

4. What is the spell Ludo bagman says to magically magnify his voice when he commentates?
a. Sonorus

5. What kind of dragon did Cedric have to face in the first task?
b. A Swedish Short-Snout

6. Who raised the trophy after winning the world cup?
b. Troy and Quigley

7. How many bedrooms did Mundungus Fletcher claim to have?
d. 12

8. For what did Moody mistake his birthday gift of a carriage clock?
b. A basilisk egg

9. What did Mr. Ollivander produce for the end of Cedric's wand?
d. Silver smoke rings

10. The dark mark is on Snape's left arm.
a. Yes
b. No
Both, according to
In chapter twenty-five of the Goblet of Fire, when Harry gets stuck in the stairs and Snape and Moody come along, Moody makes some statement. I forgot what it was, but it was something pertaining to the Dark Mark on Snape's arm. Snape suddenly grabs his right arm; therefore the mark should be on that arm. But later, he shows Fudge the mark on his left arm...

Picture Scavenger Hunt
A Basilisk
Mundungus Fletcher
Amos Diggory

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

House Quiz 5

Experimental Magic Theory Homework

1. Do my homework for me. Exercio Expletious
2. Tidy up my bedroom. Purgo Cubiculum
3. Make a delicious chocolate cake. Coceri Torten
4. Make my professor stay in bed today. Quiesco Insegnante
5. I would like breakfast in bed, please. Deporto Ientaculum
6. Stick all my Quidditch opponents' feet to the floor. Pedi Radix
7. Give everyone the giggles. Adfero Hahota
8. Dye some yarn in my favorite color. Imbuo Atra
9. Unravel the mess I've made with my yarn. Extrico Fonal
10. Knit my Prefect the perfect bag! Plesti Crumens

A some Latin, a little bit Romanian, a little bit Hungarian, a tiny bit Serbian... (yay for InterTran)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

House Quiz 4

1. What colorless and odorless potion forces the drinker to tell the truth?

2. If the spell to Apparate goes wrong and leaves half of you behind, you have been what?

3. Who wrote the Standard Books of Spells Grades 1 and 2?
Miranda Goshawk

4. What is it called when brother wands meet?
Priori Incantatem

5. Name the charm used by Ludo at the World Cup to amplify his voice.

6. For what is the charm Aparecium used?
To make invisible ink visible

7. What charm requires the use of a Secret-Keeper?
Fidelius Charm

8. What color should the Strengthening Potion be?
Clear turquoise

9. What plants are used in preparing a confusing potion?
Sneezewort, lovage, and scurvy-grass

10. What condition is cured by Glumbumble?
Hysteria, caused by consuming Alihotsy leaves

11. What poton makes a werewolf safe so he can keep his mind when he transforms, and what substance makes it useless?
Wolfsbane Potion makes a werewolf safe(r). However, sugar makes it useless.

12. When does Fluxwood, an ingredient used in making Polyjuice Potion, have to be picked?
At the full moon

13. What color should a Shrinking Solution be?
Bright acid green

14. What potion is made from asphodel and wormwood?
Draught of Living Death

15. For what are Jobberknoll feathers used?
Potions affecting the memory, such as truth serums and memory potions

Monday, February 18, 2008

Quidditch Round 2

1. With whom does Ginny go to the Yule Ball?
a. Neville

2. When Harry arrives at the Burrow and Mrs. Weasley makes them all dinner the night before they leave for the Quidditch World Cup, what does her wand turn into?
a. rubber mouse

3. Since some of the sixth-year girls didn't have any quills on them, what did they think Krum might sign their hats in?
c. lipstick

4. How old does the Quick Quotes Quill say that Rita Skeeter is?
a. 43

5. What color cloak is Wormtail wearing in the Riddle house?
b. Black

6. What color is "Mad Eye" Moody's magical eye?
d. Blue

7. What color are the robes that Rita Skeeter was wearing when Harry meets her at the Weighing of the Wands ceremony?
b. Magenta

8. What does Sirius Black tell Harry, Ron and Hermione to call him when speaking around anyone else?
b. Snuffles

9. Which team beat Wales, disqualifying them from competing for the Quidditch World Cup?
c. Uganda

10. What does Madame Maxime say is the only thing her steeds will drink?
c. single-malt whiskey

Picture Hunt
Goblet of Fire
Madam Maxime
Dragon from first challenge
Viktor Krum
Madam Pomfrey

Thursday, February 14, 2008

House Quiz 3

1. What is Professor McGonnagall's first name? Minerva

2. Who is the librarian of Hogwarts? Irma Pince

3. What is Madam Rosmerta's job? She runs the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade

4. What is Rita Skeeter's secret? She is a Beetle Animagus

5. Madam Hooch is instructor of what subject? Flying

6. Who is Parvati Patil's best friend? Lavender Brown

7. What Quidditch position does Cho Chang play? Seeker

8. What is the name of Fleur Delacour's little sister? Gabrielle Delacour

9. Who is professor of Divination? Sibyll Trelawney

10. Who wrote "A History of Magic"? Bathilda Bagshot

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

100 Things Meme

100 Things about Me
- a meme that went around ages ago, but might be useful to this swap

001. I am somewhat sensitive to wool, and find most non-merino wool to be rip-it-off-and-throw-it-across-the-room-ITCHY within a few minutes of putting it on.
002. I can knit with itchy wools, but not wear them. The resulting things sit around and nothing ever happens with them.
003. I am absolutely IN LOVE with alpaca yarns.
004. I'm currently working on 3 different projects in alpaca - a pair of socks, a simple scarf, and a lace stole.
005. I want to own an alpaca farm so that I can have an endless supply of Alpaca yarn!
006. I enjoy working with mercerized cottons, and have never found them to hurt my hands.
007. I love semi-solid hand dyed yarns, like those from FearlessFibers.
008. I spend hours looking through Etsy obsessively, but more often buy things for swap partners than myself.
009. I love swaps, and have been in at least 1 swap a month since August '07
010. I like blue and silver way better than blue and bronze as Ravenclaw colors - but I prefer the Ravenclaw patches with the Eagle on them - because we're eagles, not ravens!
011. However.... I do love the Raven Clan colorways that Socks that Rock are doing now!
012. I am learning to spin on a hand-spindle.
013. I wish I wasn't in school, so that I would have time to take spinning classes.
014. I wish I wasn't in school, so that I would have time to take beading classes, too.
015. I am looking for a pattern so that I can knit my own wedding veil.
016. I love cyberpunk and steampunk.
017. Art-deco is one of my favorite design esthetics.
018. I really like Mission-style, Praire-style, the Arts and Crafts movement, and Mid-century modern, too.
019. Frank Lloyd Wright's work is really inspirational to me.
020. I am at a computer for over 10 hours a day, most days.
021. I love milk and dark chocolate, but hate white "chocolate."
022. I wore my Ravenclaw uniform as a costume for Hallowe'en '07 - but the muggles didn't suspect a thing!
023. Writing with a quill/pen/pencil makes my hands hurt... but knitting doesn't.
024. I have never tried Berty Bot's Every Flavour Beans - and never intend to do so.
025. I love sewing almost as much as knitting.
026. I knit a lot more than I sew, because its more portable.
027. I design and stitch my own cross-stitch patterns, as well.
028. I wish I had more time to play SecondLife.
029. I love Gothic and Industrial music.
030. I dig retro-futurism.
031. I love knitting cables.
032. My favorite cables are closed-end cables, such as seen in Eunny Jang's Tangled Yoke Cardigan, the Rogue Pullover from The Girl From Auntie, or Alice Starmore and Elsebeth Lavold's work.
033. I've only dabbled in lace, but it seems enjoyable, and not *that* hard - then again, I've only done easy patterns. I can see how it gets much harder.
034. I've only ever done mosiac/slip stitch type color work in my knitting - no intarsia or stranded color work.
035. I'm not adverse to color work... but I'd need an easy pattern with which to start.
036. I have at least 4 projects on the needles right now.
037. I'm hardcore suffering from Second Sock Syndrome on a pair of socks I'm knitting for my mum.
038. I knit at stoplights, sometimes.
039. In band class, I knit while the conductor is working with other sections on pieces - but not just during rests in my part.
040. I've been collecting my cat's hair when she sheds, with the intention of someday spinning it and knitting it into... something.
041. I sometimes worry that my knitting is the most interesting thing about me.
042. I ordered the yarn to knit my own OotP style house sweater, and it got stolen off my porch after it was delivered, about 7 months ago.
043. The yarn I ordered to make the sweater, that got stolen, is discontinued. It makes me ill to think about that beautiful yarn that's impossible to get now, rotting in the garbage dump because some idiot decided to steal it off my porch, and threw it out when they realized it was yarn.
044. I don't actually know any other knitters in person, only over the internet.
045. I have a bad habit of picking up and dropping crafting methods.
046. At various times, I have done needlepoint, cross stitch, chainmail, rug hooking, beading, weaving, costume sewing, fashion sewing, origami, and knitting. I still want to learn crochet, quilting, temari, lace tatting, and blackwork embroidery.
047. Knitting is the craft I've stick with longest and most consistently.
048. The scarf I'm working on now is the first thing I've knit for myself. Everything else I've made has been for someone else.
049. I'm terrible with deadlines.
050. I knit my first socks ever for Sockapalooza 4. They were sent on time.
051. I cook like I'm in a chemistry lab or potions class.
052. I'm very precise in how I measure, because I've been in too many science classes to let myself be sloppy that way.
053. I love Alton Brown and his show Good Eats.
054. I carry a sketch book around, and sometimes draw out pictures of sweaters that I see on other people that I would like to try to make for myself.
055. I still have yet to knit a sweater.
056. I'm a member of the Yarn Pirate's Booty Club.
057. I read 10 knitting blogs every day. It used to be 11, but then Eunny Jang stopped posting when she became Interweave Knits Editor... which was a loss for the blogosphere even if it was a gain for the knitting magazine world.
058. I desperately need to bring some order to my yarn stash.
059. I keep putting off bringing order to my yarn stash, because I want to take pictures of the yarn and put it on Ravelry while I'm bringing said order, but I don't have a lightbox so that I can take pretty pictures.
060. Organization was never really my strong suit anyway.
061. I wish a knitter would make it onto Project Runway - but there's no way they'd have enough time to actually knit something, unless it was a horrible thing on those ginormous needles.
062. If you can't tell, I think *most* things knit out of yarn heavier than worsted weight tend to be ugly. This includes Wenlan Chia's Twinkle knits, even though it seems everone and their mother likes them.
063. That said, there was this couch-blanket that I saw in a furniture store once, that was knit in a monochrome verigated, chunky/bulky, thick and thin singles yarn, on those crazy size 35, or maybe even size 50 needles. It was so unlike anything I'd ever willingly knit, and yet it was just this really beautiful blanket, that I vaguely think about copying.
064. Most of my wardrobe is black. Cables don't show up on black very well.
065. My big problem with most Fair Isle type patterns is that they come in colors that I wouldn't be caught dead wearing.
066. The clothes in my closest break down about like this: 65% black, 19% grey, 5% red, 5% blue, 5% green, 1% white.
067. For about 5 years, I wore only black/grey/white clothing exclusively. Its only recently that I've been incorporating color back into my wardrobe.
068. All my jewelry is made of "white" metals: silver, white gold, and platinum.
069. I like metal knitting needles. I generally use Boye's aluminum needles, or Susan Bate's Silvalumes, but I recently got my first Addi Lace needle. I have used plastic in a pinch, but really don't care too much for wood needles.
070. I tend to think that being an adult is overrated.
071. I used to do gymnastics when I was younger.
072. I play clarinet, relatively well.
073. I used to play baritone too, but that was a long time ago.
074. I like Ravelry, but I don't find it to be the time-eater that some people do.
075. I am three quarters of the way through this list.
076. I was a Girl Scout for 6 years.
077. I can't stand the taste of coffee.
078. I like tea, but only real tea, not herbal "tea." My favorites are Oolong and Jasmine tea. I also once had smoked lime tea from Japan, but have never found it anywhere else since.
079. I am addicted to caffeine, and get a withdrawal headache if I don't have at least 1 can of caffeinated soda a day.
080. I'm not addicted to anything else, so things could be a lot worse.
081. I call it soda, but most other people here in Ohio call it pop. I think I picked up "soda" from my dad, who grew up in Connecticut.
082. I like reading about knitting, as much, or possibly more, than I like knitting itself.
083. I am a completely self-taught knitter - I learned mostly from Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Knitting.
084. I wish JK Rowling had spent more time fleshing out the more obscure parts of her world... like how the wizarding world's economy supports itself, or what house artistic types and musicians would get sorted into, or why there was no wizarding university for advanced studies?
085. I refused to call myself a feminist for a long time.
086. I know identify as (among other things) a third wave, sex-positive feminist.
087. In my ideal world, I would be a professional student. However, its awfully hard to by the bills that way.
088. I have been so busy lately that my just-for-fun reading has slowed significantly. I used to read 3 or more books (not counting books that are primarily or solely knitting patterns) a month. I think I've managed only 3 books total in the last 6 months. This make me really sad.
089. I *love* editing papers/essays/reports/what have you. There's something really satisfying about going over things with a red ink pen and making them better.
090. The only reason I would want to be sorted into Slytherin is that I have house color envy.
091. Little girls may be made of sugar and spice and everything nice... but I am not. I definitely have some snake and snails and puppy dog's tails in here too. Probably also some bat wings, eyes of newt, and little white mice. *grin*
092. I love The Anti-Craft, and *really* need to get around to buying their book.
093. "I don't give a damn 'bout my bad reputation" Thanks, Joan Jett. Actually, though, I don't have a bad reputation. My feedback on Etsy, Swap-Bot, and eBay are all perfect scores.
094. Ash Wednesday is one of the very few things I miss about being Catholic.
095. I'm surprised how much I miss my sister, now that she lives 353 miles away.
096. I don't use my YMCA membership anywhere near often enough.
097. I just finished another row on my soft black ribbed alpaca scarf.
098. I love making stitch markers... but I rarely, if ever, use them myself.
099. I have never felted anything, but its on my list of things to learn.
100. I underestimated how hard it would be to come up with 100 things to write about myself that were mostly knitting related.

YAY!!! DONE!!!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Quidditch, Round 1

Just posting the Questions right now. I'll edit it to reflect my answers tonight after classes!


1. What was Harry dreaming about the first time he woke up with his scar on fire?
b. Voldemort and Wormtail plotting to kill him

2. What is the problem with leprechaun gold?
a. It vanishes after a few hours

3. Why did Mad-Eye Moody turn Malfoy into a ferret?
c. Malfoy attached Harry when Harry's back was turned

4. Sirius warns Harry to be careful around Karkaroff because he had been a Death Eater. Which one of the professors at Hogwarts, who also used to be a Death Eater, is frequently bothered by Karkaroff?

5. Voldemort could have used the blood from any foe to make the potion that revived him work, but he held out for Harry's blood. Why?
c. The special protection Harry received from his mother would also pass to Voldemort

6. How old would Frank have been on his next birthday?
d. 77

7. Amos Diggory works for?
b. The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures

8. Who shared a carriage with the three friends on the way from the train to Hogwarts?
Answer: Neville

9. What date in October did the delegates from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang arrive?
a. 30th

10. What color were Percy's dress robes at the Yule Ball?
a. Navy Blue

Picture Scavenger Hunt

Mr. Ollivander
Mad-Eye Moody
World Cup Tournament (the stadium, anyway)
Dark Mark

Friday, January 25, 2008

House Quiz 2

I missed the first quiz, and am struggling with this one. However, here is what I have so far:

1. RWIDZTAIR UANONETRMT - TriWizard Tournement

2. NRNAGIHAU RAHNIOTL - Hungarian Horntail

3. AEEMDY ONYOME - Mad-Eye Moody

4. ARTI KEESTRE - Rita Skeeter



7. NEPSVEIE - Pensieve

8. RMUEIIPS - Imperius

9. TREUEEBTBR - Butterbeer

10. ROFELIBT - Firebolt

I will edit this post as I come up with more.
*Edit* Finally got 8 and 10. Two to go. Its so tempting to look at other Ravenclaws' answers... but Ravenclaws don't cheat... that's a Slytherin's job =P

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Since everyone seems to be posting about their wand, I thought I'd include a picture of mine (US Quarter included for scale).

Its a sturdy wand, not very swishy. Eleven and two-thirds inches in length, Hazel with an Ebony handle and Fairy hair core. It comes from an American wandmaker, from The Wand Shop.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Class is in session - Tubular Bind Off

Classes have finally started, and boy are they keeping me busy! I'm once again loving Magical Theory and History, but Herbology just escapes me. I must have a black thumb rather than a green one!

Anyway, I did have a little spare time to find some more tutorials for you. Luckily this muggle computer my mum gave me lets me connect to the internet even from Hogwarts! Today its a bind off to match the cast on I posted previously - the Tubular Bind Off.

Much like the Tubular Cast On, I perform this cast off straight from ribbing, without the tubular stockinette stitch setup rows. I prefer it that way, but of course your experience may vary. Unfortunately, there are no YouTube videos for this one.

1. Text and picture description from My Fashionable Life. If I don't have my Monste Stanley with me, this is the guide I use.

2. Text only description, from a page full of useful information. Also include descriptions of different decreases, as well as the steps to the Kitchener stitch (more on that later, perhaps).

3. Text and picture walk through from KnitPicks.

4. Text and pictures from Crankygrrrrrl. This one includes how to join the cast off nicely into a round for socks/hats/what-have-you. Also, pretty bright colored yarn!

5. A slightly different text and picture guide. This one is all illustrations, not photos. Also, the technique is demonstrated with the piece off the needles.

6. Another text and picture walk through. I don't know if this one is as clear as the others.

7. A version from TECHknitting, that basically is Kitchener from two needles. It looks the same in the end, but this is not my preferred method.

I hope these help someone out there! I know that different people learn different ways, so even though these might seem repetitive, each other approaches the technique from their own perspective. If you don't get it from one tutorial, keep going down the list, someone else may describe it in a way that clicks for you.

Alright now, back to the books! If I'm going to have *any* knitting time before bed, I have to get finish this History of Magic homework... and make sure that the ink stains are off my fingers! I still need to master writing with quills =P

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Classes haven't started yet, because students are still arriving; I guess snow must be delaying some people's return from the winter holiday break. In the meantime, the Ravie knitters have put together a knitting night, and are already sharing patterns.

Unfortunately, while everyone else is wandering around relaxing and knitting before classes start, I've been holed up in the library working on my muggle Physics homework! I apparently missed some fun yesterday in our common room - the first years flooded it! Well, maybe it wasn't the whole pack of them, the gossip wasn't clear. One or more of them was apparently trying to get a glass of water without having to give up her seat on the couch, and sploosh! Still though... good on whoever it was for experimenting and pushing limits!

Anyway... apparently force = mass times acceleration. I wonder if Madame Hooch could help me measure the mass and acceleration of some of the Quiditch players? I wonder if you can quantify magic in Newtons?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


The course list came out today. I've got my required courses scheduled for me, of course:

History of Magic
Care of Magical Creatures
Defense Against the Dark Arts

I've also arranged to get some private tutoring in Enchanted Kit Planning and Magic in Threadwork and Weaving. I learned to knit the muggle way, through books and the internet, so I've got a good grounding for both. I can't wait to find out how to knit magic right into the loops of my knitting!

This is going to be a busy year for me, though; on top of all these classes, my mother (a muggle) has decided that I shouldn't forgo learning muggle science and technology. She's decided that I'm going to be taking my laptop and cellular broadband card with me to Hogwarts, so that I can keep up my blogging to study English, and she's going to be sending Physics homework to me from her homeschooling group.

I guess its the best of both worlds, science and magic. But I wonder if I'll have any time to knit?!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Class is in session - Tubular Cast On

As a Ravenclaw, it should come as no surprise that I am a process knitter, not a product knitter. I've been knitting for almost 4 years, but I have very few FOs (Finished Objects) to show for it. For a project to get - and keep - my attention, it better be challenging me in some way.

Since I love learning new techniques, I thought I would put together some posts with links to tutorials, to spread the love around.

In this first collection, I would like to highlight my favorite new cast on for ribbing: The Tubular Cast-On! I actually learned it from Montse Stanley's Knitter's Handbook (which is far more likely to be found on my coffee table than my book shelf).

1. A very clear demonstration from YouTube of the Long Tailed Tubular Cast On. This is how I personally perform this cast on. However, since I only use it for ribbing, I *do* purl the purls rather than making the tubular stockinette as this tutorial describes.

2. Another demonstration from YouTube, without a voice over (unless you count the rooster in the background). I believe this was done by the Djinnj of LiveJournal's HP_Knitting community.

3. A text description using a provisional cast-on in waste/contrast yarn.

4. A text and picture description of the waste/contrast yarn method.

5. Another text and picture description of the waste/contrast yarn method.

6. Yet another text and picture description of the waste/contrast yarn method. The pictures on this one seem particularly clear to me.

7. The waste/contrast yarn method, this time from everyone's favorite free online knitting magazine, Knitty!

8. Part 1 and Part 2 of a text and picture tutorial for the long tail tubular method (as in # 1).

9. An interesting variant on the long tailed method, using two hands. The author calls this the Italian Tubular cast-on. Text and pictures at the top, scroll to the bottom for a video demonstration.

10. A text and picture description of the waste/contrast method, from Lucia. Also check out her sock-u-lators, by clicking on the Calculators (newer) link at the top of the page.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Hopefully I'll be starting off 2008 as a second year at Hogwarts!