Thursday, May 21, 2009

Straw Into Gold

Today is unmercifully hot and sunny, which means that I was able to take some pictures of my scarf! Yay!

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Pattern: No pattern. I used the "Wavy Shell Stitch" pattern I found in my crochet dictionary.
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Caution (6 skeins)


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The assignment was to create something based on a muggle fairy tale, and I chose Rumplestiltskin and the idea of spinning straw into gold as my inspiration. The pattern looks like little piles of gold coins and the tassels on the ends represent straw.

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I'm so happy with this project. The finished scarf measures about 6.5” wide and 5’10” long including the tassels. I will be proud to wear this scarf once it gets cold out. I'm usually such a "follow the pattern line by line" kind of knitter that making this scarf really took me out of my comfort zone. I had to decide everything about yarn weight, hook size, stitch pattern, tassel length and so on. It's a one-of-a-kind item now! I definitely want to design more pieces myself in the future.

And now for the promised yarn pr0ns from yesterday:

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Malabrigo Laceweight in Purple Mystery

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Dream in Color Baby in Ruby River

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Madelinetosh Tosh Lace in Warm Maize

I love everything, but the Tosh Lace is the star of this show. The color is rich and saturated and it feels so . . . classy. Soft and expensive feeling. It's hard to describe, but I love it. This is a new yarn. I think I will need a skein in every color.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fail

So I was all set to take a bunch of pictures and post the scarf I made for my Ancient Runes homework today, but the weather is totally not cooperating. My camera pretty much only functions well in natural light, and it is pouring outside today! I 'll have to wait until the weather isn't so wet to go outside and snap some pretty pictures of it. For now, here's a poor quality teaser shot that I took inside on my desk:

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More information will be posted shortly on this scarf, which I designed myself and am very truly happy with.

I just got a box of lace yarn from eatsleepknit.com that I am thrilled with. I'll get some stash pictures going tomorrow (hopefully). This is my last little shipment of yarn until June because we bought a Wii this weekend and need to establish a budget. I got some Dream in Color laceweight in Ruby River, some Mal laceweight in Purple Mystery and some Madeline Tosh lace in Warm Maize. It's all amazing. Seriously. This box was a winner.

I had a very rough day at work today. I feel like such an imposter sometimes. I'm really a glorified chair-warmer, honestly. Today the teacher next door asked me to step between my class and hers to watch over her kids while she ran to get a cup of coffee (ninth graders). She was gone five minutes, tops. In that amount of time, two of her kids got into a screaming match over nothing, and the girl who was involved threw her open bottle of chocolate milk at the other kid's head. She got chocolate milk everywhere. On the ceiling, on the floor, on the tables, on her teacher's files. Thankfully it did not get on me. That's about the only good thing I can say about my day. I didn't get doused in chocolate milk. What an accomplishment.

I felt like SUCH AN IDIOT when the teacher came back after five minutes to find her classroom in ruins. I must have looked completely incompetent- like I couldn't handle watching some kids for five minutes. Sheesh. I was so embarrassed. I honestly feel like there was no way I could have handled the situation better. Her kids are true crazies and it all happened so fast. What was I supposed to do? The slow motion dramatic leap in front of the chocolate milk, arms outstretched, screaming "NOOOO!"? The girl that threw the milk seemed quite unstable. I know it's not my fault, because they should be able to behave, but that doesn't help me feel any better about it.

There's only another week of school left after this one. Let's hope I can make it through alive (and milk-free).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Hat Fit for a Mandrake

Here I am checking in with another finished project. This time it's for Herbology:

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Pattern: Thorpe by Kristen Kapur and Mountain Laurel Leaf by Bonnie Sennot
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky in Hazelnut and Wool of the Andes Worsted in Grass
Mods: I knit the hat using a size 10 needle as that's all I had in a 16'' circ. The green yarn is held double throughout the hat and the leaves. I knit the leaves using size 10 and 9 needles (they alternate in size around the top)

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The idea of this project was to knit something inspired by the mandrake plant. My twisted mind went to a hat with leaves on it right away. The hat is a little bit big, but it will definitely keep my head warm (you know, if I ever decide I'm crazy enough to wear it outside). I'm happy with how it came out.

Now onto Ancient Runes! After that project, my homework will be complete and I can move onto Quidditch.

Tomorrow I'm subbing in a nasty classroom. I hate the kids, but the teacher is really nice and asked for me especially, so I agreed to the assignment. This is a high school reading class that is filled to the brim with with the felons of tomorrow. I literally think I could get several of them to take a swing at me if I chose to give them a hard enough time. All I can do when I am there is prevent them from wandering off (MUCH harder than you probably think).

All she's left them to do is watch random movies. This means I have to try and keep them relatively quiet throughout their 90 minute period. Yeah, okay. Right away. It's going to be interesting tomorrow, that's for sure.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

There's a Can

Today I've got a quick project to share. It was my assignment for Muggle Studies this month: The Lisa Simpson Necklace!

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Pattern: None - I cobbled this together using techniques I learned crocheting amigurumi
Yarn: Red Heart Soft Yarn in White

The assignment for this class was to create a project based on a movie or TV show. For my inspiration, I chose Lisa Simpson (one of my favorite Lisa quotes makes up the title of this post). She always wears a big ole pearl necklace on the show, so I decided to imitate that. I used worsted weight acrylic yarn, cotton batting and a little bit of elastic to tie it all together. I think it came out pretty well.

In my next post I will hopefully be able to share the rest of my homework. I've been hard at work lately - Go Slytherin!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A New Term Has Begun!

May has finally arrived and with it comes the start of the Spring 2009 Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup! I am so excited to be back at home in the Slytherin dungeons that I have finished three assignments already.

First up is Defense Against the Dark Arts:

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Pattern: Ribbed Lip Balm Holder by Dawn L.E. Riden
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in Teal and Marble Heather
Mods: None in the knitting process, but I did add the stripes by changing colors every two rows of ribbing.

The object of this assignment was to knit something that protects something else. There were bonus points promised for making the item in house colors. This is actually my first green and gray project (but not the last one of this month).

The pattern is fantastic and the cozy fits around my chapstick like a glove. The only difficulty I ran into on this project was getting starting knitting in the round on size zero double points! It was very fiddly trying to get the first few rounds done. I'm quite happy with the finished object though!

Next up is Charms:

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Pattern: Deathly Hallows Wristband by not_gini
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Evergreen and Mist
Mods: Sadly, none. I should have reduced the needle size and maybe cast on less stitches. This came out too big for me.

The idea of this project was to knit an object that would identify you as a witch to your fellow witches, but not be obvious to muggles. I decided to finally take the plunge of learning Fair Isle on this small project. It was a good way to learn it, because the chart for it is very simple and short. I think that the colorwork came out great, and I accomplished one of my New Year's Resolutions (in part) by learning it! Like I said above, it came out too big. It fits my husband perfectly though, so it belongs to him now. I fully plan to make another one for myself with some modifications later.

Lastly, Arithmancy:

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Pattern: Snails and Slugs by Anna Hrachovec
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in Teal and Marble Heather
Mods: None. I made the size 1 needle version.

This is the smallest and perhaps the cutest thing I have ever made. It is super tiny at 1 and 3/4 inches long and 3/4 of an inch tall. The assignment was to knit something representing the Golden Ratio. This little guy's spiral shell does that. Don't ask me how, because I don't do math. I just copied what another student made!

You can't help but smile when you hold him. I did him up in Slytherin colors and named him Severus. He's officially the coolest snail on the block.

All I have left to do now is post my Muggle Studies assignment (pictures coming soon), and figure out projects for Herbology and Ancient Runes. Not bad for the first week of the game, huh?

Oh, and I made Chaser on the house Quidditch team! More on that in future posts. :)