Graphics!!!

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These are badges I've been working on for the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup. My most noble house of Ravenclaw has won again this term, and we had the pleasure and honor of sharing that win with the lordly house of Gryffindor!! It was a Tie!

NaNoWriMo

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Do you know what is more awesome than 50000 words in 30 days?

50000 words in 29 days!!! WINNER BABY!!!



Progress

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I haven't been updating too much. This is largely in part because I haven't been knitting very much. The hubby and I are dealing with some issues with the house and being unemployed at home right now. So I've been distracted and focusing my energy lately. I'm still getting things done, just at a much slower rate. Right now in progress...


Sylvi. I've also got both sleeves and one front panel finished. I want to get this finished so badly. Other things just keep jumping in my way. I have the other front panel, hood, seeming, and the flower petals to do. Really, it isn't THAT much.


Swallowtail. Now this is an inprogress picture of the one that is already finished. But imagine this in black and it's a near acurate view of the one I ma working on now. Yes... I said BLACK.. hence why it is taking so long. Well that and the fact that for some strange reason, this is a challenging pattern for me. It is, thankfully, easier than the first time though.


Balmoral. This one is in hybernation, but I thought I would show it to you anyway. I love the yarn, and I am in love with the shawl. I just got overwhelmed during the crafting process as that is when everything started going nuts here at home. I'm a good deal further than this, but I don't have a current project picture. It's probably 2-3x's the size in the picture. But I'm only 10% into it or so. This will likely go on hold until the weather warms up again. It's just not high on the priority list right now.
And then of course I am working on NaNoWriMo. I am behind at the moment, but not desperately so. I still think I have a good shot at completing on time.

NaNoWriMo

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So NaNoWriMo is upon us again! For those of you who have no idea what this means, it stands for National Novel Writing Month.

30 days, 50000 words. GO!

I'm making good progress this year despite the fact I started four days late. Root for me!

New things!

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Here are a few things I haven't shown you yet. I REALLY must get better about updating this a bit more regularly. I do love showing you what I have been up to recently.


This is my Halloween Travels shawl. the yarn was an absolute joy to work with. It's Kroy sock yarn and I think I am in love. I am also thankful to have some knitting friends with the same taste in yarn that I have. I ran out at the end and two people from over at HPKCHC sent me their leftovers so I could finish!

I've also been working on a series of tea wallets. I really like them. They are quick, cute and allow you take tea with you anywhere. They can also be change purses or really carry anything you like. I'm still working on perfecting my owl design one. But I do like how this came out.


The two pictures above are of the wallet I did for my sister's birthday.


This one is mine. I keep it in my purse.

This one I made for my swap partner in reducio!

So there are a few more things. But I will save them for another post.

Frsutration!

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i AM ALL SET TO START KNITTING A TEST KNIT FOR A FELLOW RAVELER.

Well, I thought I was. I cast on and began knitting. At the end of the second day I was 15 rows in, lifeline inserted and ready to start the first decrease round. When... uh oh. Extra stitch. This means the foundation row is wrong, and that is a problem because after it is knit, you then go to the cast on edge and knit a lace border onto it. Ugh. Also, It was coming out too large.

So I ripped it all back and began to cast on anew. I HAVE TRIED TO DO THIS 5 TIMES NOW. I am so frustrated. I like using the long tail cast on for knitting in the round. I can join it easily and it doesn't leave a funny gap. But I have not yet been able to get the right length of tail. Either MILES too long, and by that I mean somewhere in the ballpark of 8 feet... or way to short... 14 stitches or more. WHY CAN'T I DO THIS?

I am measuring the yarn the same I way I did the first time I cast this on and it worked. So now, two days later I have zero progress... a mess off yarn and very frayed nerves.

Socks!

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I finally finished my two at a time no purl monkeys. I as upset, because as I finished them, they really didn't fit very well. However, after a good blocking, I can now get them on and off. The lace pattern doesn't show up hardly at all, but that is the fault of the yarn I chose. Also, I am not sure if it's worth messing around with the numbers on the needles, since I am trying to lose weight anyway. But I really think I need to figure out how to increase the stitches around the ankle and leg. My leg is to thick so I can't pull the sock up all of the way. And, getting it over the diagonal area where my heel is, and my foot bends to become my leg is the though part. So for my next sock, I migh try added 4 stitches and see how that works. I have a slew of ankle socks to work on. So those won't be of much help in that area, but I will definitely be able to see if the 64 stitches is the right amount of stitches for my foot.

Also, I worked them on a size 3 needle. I don't have a 3 circular needle, but I do have size 3dpn's that I could try. That might increase the size slightly. Hmm, decisions.

The House Cup!

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Hurray! My most awesome house of Ravenclaw won the house cup in the HPKCHC!!!! I made this to celebrate. :D

WIP

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That stands for Work In Progress for those not in the know. I am in love with this scarf. I hope i have time to finish it soon! I am currently working on two other WIPs that I will take pictures of to show. This is a recent picture though so I thought you might like to see it!

Owls!!

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How cute are these little guys? They are push pins for my cork board! I mean obviously, they are owls but they are push pin owls. The flas whashed them out a little bit, the stitch definition is better than is showing. I just think they are adorable, and from start to finish take maybe 10 minutes. AWESOME! They are kind of big though. They worked up to be about 3 inches tall. I think I want to try making some smaller ones the for board too.

For the Kitties at WARL

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My friend Robby volunteers at the Washington Animal Rescue League in Washington DC. She talks about it often and naturally when it came out we would be crafting for our own chosen charities this term, I thought of her immediately. So for my quidditch contributions to HPKCHC, I crafted lots of catnip toys for the kitties at WARL! I've been trying to explain to my kitties, these toys are not for them. They are for the Shelter Kitties waiting for their forever homes. You can just see Orion's face in the picture with the cat nip elephants.

My turtles are even being featured on the pattern page now! To keep them safe I have them in a shoe box with two rubber bands around it! Boots actually managed to steal a purple mouse before it had ears! So I had to craft a new one of the shelter kitties so there would be three. I hope they are enjoyed!




The Swallow Tail Shawl

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Around the beginning of July I finally finished the Swallow Tail Shawl for Mom. This is the shawl that became known as the Shawl Of Doom. I had such trouble with it. This is the 4th attempt at this shawl. It was a gift for Mom's birthday - IN MARCH - but alas took me a wee bit longer to complete. I do have to say though, I am absolutely chuffed at how it came out. It's beautiful! I learned a bit about lave weight yarn. The mere fact it is lace weight makes it that much more difficult to work with. I am actually willing to try this shawl again, but I think it will be with fingering, or better still worsted weight yarn.

Some people have asked what I did to make my Swallow Tail so much larger than the finished one in the directions. I went up several needle sizes. That is all. For this term in the HPKCHC we needed to swatch our OWL proposals even if they did not require a swatch. I am glad they did because I swatched it on a few different needle sizes and found it looked better and better as I got larger. so I went with size 8 needles.

It ended up taking just over 1 skein of yarn as I ran out during the last chart. But on even slightly smaller needles this would have been a one skein project.











Convocation Badges

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Now that the term is over, it is safe to show the achievement badges I designed for the Convocation of eagles in Ravenclaw House. I am very proud of these. They were a lot of fun!


Goodies for the Eyes!

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It's been a while since I have posted! I have actually been busy however. A sampling of what I have been up too.

OWL progress

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And now to show you all how I am faring with my two large projects. These are the ones that must be completed by the last day of July. Whew, it's going to be a busy month.

The Back of Sylvi


The Sleeves of Syvli


Swallowtail Shawl - It looks all bunched up here because my lifelines are short and pulling it together.

Lifeline = A separate thread run through live stitches while they are on the needle and fastened off to itself. This holds your place basically. Then if you make a mistake and need to rip the stitches back, they won't unravel all of the way back to the beginning.

June Projects

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It is once again time to show what I have been working on in the month of June. There will be one project not shown until sometimes later however. I try not to show gifts until they have been delivered after all. :) So without further ado, this months objects, and the Harry Potter inspired stories that accompanied them to class.



Do NOT Look at the following website if you have issues with seizures.

Inspired by this language in the omniglot. http://www.omniglot.com/writing/alfakinetix.php

Specifically by Libo (thousand) and Laksa (10,000).

Dear Professor,

Silverwing26 of Ravenclaw Tower submitting this months assignment.

You charged us with studying another language form the Omniglot this month. When I happen to stumble across the Alfa-Kinetix writing system developed by Frederick Victor Paredes Añana. It is based on the Baybayin alphabet both of which are used to write the language Tagalog. Tagalog is a language spoken by approximately 57 million speakers in the Philippines. Tagalog means Resident Beside the River. However, now, the actual Baybayin writing is used only decoratively as the Latin alphabet is used to write Tagalog now.

The Alfa-Kinetic alphabet takes the same principles of Baybayin and adds motion. Each of the symbols has characteristic movement of some sort. Most of the letters have a dot that moves around the symbol or as part of the symbol, while numbers and punctuation deal more with blinking lines and symbols such as squares.

I have chosen to represent the language by two of its symbols. The symbol for 1000 is a circle with a line moving through its center. The symbol for 10,000 is a circle with two lines moving across its inside.

According to the creator of the alphabet, Frederick Victor Paredes Añana, his goal has to been to save his dying language. The Baybayin writing system has become almost extinct. Since he is of the Philippines himself, his goal is to make the language more complete by the creation of his alphabet. He sited how the Chinese alphabet has changed over time to make it more complete and he reasons doing the same for his own language will help preserver it.

He does point out, his only goal is to modify the extinct language and not the ones still in use. This is quoted from his site where he talks about his E-Book and the creation of the writing system.

“My goal is to modify only the extinct Baybayin variants and not those that are still surviving. The Mangyans (Buhid & Hanunuo)of Mindoro and the Tagbanwas of Palawan are still using their ancestral script. So let’s not meddle with their writing system. I’m not sure if they”ll allow someone else to modify their script.”

Thank you for this chance to learn a little more about the way other people speak and write.





All finished, stuffed with catnip, and ready to go off to the needy kitties at WARL.

Dear Professor,

Silverwing26 of Ravenclaw turning in her Herbology assignment! For an assignment based on food, I took a walk down into the Hogwarts garden. I do believe I have spent this entire month inside and around the place! I decided to create something from the garden for my assignment. Also, taking a page out of the classroom as it were…

Leaping Toadstools - or - Dude, You Gonna Eat That?

I decided to create something I don’t eat very much off. On that note, I present to you…. RADISHES! Yes radishes. Lovely little red white and green bundles of goodness… that I don’t especially enjoy. However, these radishes will be dearly loved. LOVED I tell you. And now I shall tell you why. These radishes are simply STUFFED with catnip. Each one has been stuffed full of this herb that drives cats mad. At the end of the term these radishes shall be winging their way to Washington DC to some kitties that have not yet found their forever homes and are still living at the Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL)






Dear Professor,

Thank you for making us study the marvel that is the Mirror or Erised. Sometimes being faced clearly with your desires, gives you a new perspective on how to go after them.

Silverwing26 of Ravenclaw turning in her assignment. When faced with my most coveted desire, I was not surprised to find an image of hubby and I with our first child. This desire has been eluding us for several years now due to several factors. However, it is my most desired wish to have a family of my own. Faced with this, I am working harder than ever to attain this.

While I won’t get into all of the sordid details, part of the assignment was to think about how one might attain such goal. Well some of my obstacles are health related. So I have, this year, been working on a healthier living lifestyle. In celebration of this class and chasing my desire, I vow to become more accountable to myself.

And so I have something to remind me of this and keep me going on the days when I am not feeling strongly that I can do this, I have created a two (a pair of) miniature baby booties. To ensure I can take them with me wherever I go, I have fashioned them into earrings!







Dear Professor,

Silverwing26 of Ravenclaw turning in her Charms assignment. When you charged us to explore the relationship between light and dark, my mind immediately went to nature. After all, magic is a natural force and is best studied under those conditions. While I was contemplating how to best show how light and dark could live harmoniously together, a large bumble bee went zooming past. Clearly the bee exhibits such properties of light and dark as its bright yellow and black stripes coincide together on its fuzzy bumbley body! I followed the bee around all day noting how it gathered it’s nectar from the beautiful flowers blooming in daylight and then took it back to the dark hive it resides in to turn it into beautiful golden honey that I will store in a dark dark cupboard!

However, I spent so much time examining the bee, I completely lost track of time and found myself alone in the dark near a bee hive.

This is how I stumbled onto my potions assignment Professor!

Silverwing26 of Ravenclaw Turning in Potions! This month we were to demonstrate something that lights the way. Boy did I ever need something to light the way as I was lost in the dark next to a bee hive! I didn’t want to draw my wand and cast lumos. What if I woke the bees up!? Are they light sleepers? Would I suddenly be chased through the darkness by a million groggy bees!?

But just then, I noticed a gentle glowing. It appeared first near my feet, and then along the bark of the tree that the hive hung on. Soon the shrubs, grasses and air dance with small twinkling lights. For here and there flew Lightning Bugs! Yes, cute adorable bugs with blinky butts I could follow back to the castle! Some of them floated about in the air trying to attract mates, and some landed on the ground to lay their eggs so the next generation could come forth and save poor lost witches and wizards from the darkness! Thank you little glowy butt bugs!

Stitch Markers

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I found these little charms on Clearance one time and absolutely fell in love with them. I am glad I bought an extra set so that I could have one, and give one away. This set is for Margie in the HPKCHC. I am sending her a little something because she wasn't eligible to win the prize for the may Flowers competition. It was entirely my fault. I host the competition and I left her off the list entirely. So, in light of spring, June and Flowers... I made here this growing, blooming, beauty, thriving, sprouting set of stitch markers. These are really neat actually and I am hoping to find more of these findings soon in different sizes. These probably won't fit needles above a 9 or so. But they make complete closed circles, however they can be opened if you should accidentally run your life line through one. They won't just pop open on you however though. I really like them. I hope she does too.

What do you think?

I hope I can find more of these. I would love to put some of these on Etsy.

Sylvi

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I am currently working on the Jacket called Sylvi.

This is what it looks like. Mine will be in green, and in an extra large. This one I think is probably the extra small. It is the largest project I have ever undertaken. It is also the most complex cable work I have ever attempted. Now, I finished the sleeves with relative ease. I had a small freak out from not understanding the instructions, but the 'Claws straightened me out. I have also been going along merrily on the back and getting through all of those cables and enjoying myself. And then I hit the decreases. The decrease section of the back is so ungodly confusing. Maybe if you are used to raglan decreases it makes sense to you, but for me it's like it's written in Greek. No worse than that. I was translating the Greek that is working from charts. The decreases are like being written in cuneiform!

It took probably 10 hours yesterday from me to get from row 100 to row 109. That's more than an hour per row folks. The most frustrating part is if a few sentences had just been written into the pattern to explain some of the directions, I wouldn't have been in such a mess yesterday trying to figure out why it wasn't working.

What is the point of having a chart if the stitches you are actually knitting don't match? Why then wouldn't the information be presented in written form which is so much easier to understand! (for me anyway) The part that exploded my brain last night was that k2tog are marked in the chart with this symbol '/', So you k2tog and continue on with the pattern as written. Once you get to the dec rows, the symbol appears to k2tog just as normal, but you somehow magically need to know that you now need to SKIP the next stitch as it is written. You don't do it later, you just SKIP the thing. HOW IN THE WILD WORLD OF SPORTS are you supposed to know this?

Fortunately my husband is very mathematically minded and after I completely lost it with this pattern he sat down with me. He had me explain all of the stitches and what they did and then he worked on the pattern mathematically. He is the one who figured you that you need to skip the next stitch. OH and to make it more fun, you also need to skip the stitch BEFORE the SSK... fun eh?

And to think... I am actually thinking ahead to making another one of these? At least I will have been through all of the crap first!

Stories as Promised #6...

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HPKCHC Spring2010 Potions

Dear Professor,

Silverwing26 of Ravenclaw submitting her Potions Assignment.

I was ever so glad to don my gloves, goggles and robes and begin experimentation with potions! I spent a good deal of time perusing my manual of potion ingredients trying to find the perfect combination. I had known the effect I was going for. If my experimentation in the fine art of potion brewery was successful, I would have something to adorn myself with that would be both alluring, lovely, and sweet.

So into my cauldron I added one part Chinese Chomping Cabbage, one part part Unicorn Hair, and one part Powdered Sugar. The mixture started out a sickly green, then turned a muddy yellow. After a few hours it became a lovely shade of purple and when it finally finished brewing, it was an iridescent white color. My results were as follows…


Stories as Promised #5...

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HPKCHC Spring2010 Herbology



Dear Professor,

Silverwing26 of Ravenclaw submitting my Herbology assignemnt.

THe Puffapods were so exciting to work with! I watched carefully in the greenhouse while you showed us how easily they were to get to root. Just drop one down and POOF!!! A flower! How amazing.

Unfortunately, I was a bit careless with my puffapod and accidentally dropped it right on top of my assignment I had turned in for Ancient Runes! Within a moment it had sprouted into a lovely bloom right on my protective headband. Well, since the headband will protect me I consider it good luck the Puffapod was able to bloom there!

Here is my (now) embellished Headband featuring my new sprouted Puffapods.

Stories as Promised #4...

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HPKCHC DADA Spring2010


Dear Professor,

Silverwing26 of Ravenclaw submitting her DADA assignment.

I had never seen an extendable ear in person before. It kind of grossed me out to be honest, but the possibilities for mischief.. err, I mean LEARNING were endless!

I spent a great deal of time just nonchalantly listening about as students walked by. Then something caught my interest! vacantmuse was mentioning a project she had lined up to work on. It was Knitted Bunny! Well I could barely keep my wand still. I needed to bring this little bundle of fluff into existance!

And now this little fellow will be gifted to my best friends baby son.