Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Term: D minus 12 Hours!

Wheew...Break's almost over! I can't believe a month has passed!

Welcome to all Badgers, old and new. We have so much going on this term here at the Blog! Check out the links just above for prizes and the mentor program. We'll be updating daily with finished projects and keeping the whole team motivated.

I did want to post a few pre-term reminders for everyone as far as etiquette in the House Cup is concerned:

  • The professors prefer that you not earburn them (if necessary, send a PM) because they will lose their spot in their threads. This means that some people might accidentally get missed in grading (way not cool.)
  • Please remember that all staff is totally voluntary and no one is getting paid. This means that sometimes people will be away from their computer for a day or two--including even the Headmistress--and give them some slack if stuff isn't done as quickly as you expect.
  • Keep any conversation or photos in the common rooms and Great Hall relatively clean. (i.e. no naked Gerard Butler or any other given hottie.)
Some great tips for keeping everything organized:

  • Ignore the threads that aren't relevant to you (like common rooms you don't visit and old classes). You can always search for them and un-ignore them later.
  • Have a special tag for favorites that are for the house cup and OWL's. You can use it in your queue and stash, as well.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Important OWL Changes

Important...but not life-altering...

The powers that be have made a few minor changes to the OWL's this term. The OWL thread is here. Read the whole thread before term starts to get a good foundation for your OWL!

Notable changes include a few additions to your OWL options, but the most important change is swatching. What's a swatch? It's a small piece of cloth knit or crochet in the pattern stitch, which you will then wash & treat as you would the finished garment. You will then see if the end result is what you're hoping the final project to look like. If not, swatch again with different needles and/or yarn.

So, say you're making a sweater or socks. You are permitted to knit only 2-3 inches (that's 5-7cm for you metric folks) of a sleeve or sock top as your swatch.

In addition, if you are going to propose an OWL, you must submit as many swatches as you will have different yarn/needle combos, up to 5 swatches. So if you're making a small herd of baby hats in various weights and needle sizes, you need to swatch 5 times. If you're making four pair of socks out of the same yarn, on the same needles, in the same pattern, you only need to make one swatch.

Please do not forget the importance of swatching! The OWL examiners want you to not only finish the project, but have the end result that you are hoping to achieve, and a swatch puts you a heck of a lot closer to that goal.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Best Cornbread

Get those ovens hot!

House Elf Liaison, back from the kitchens…

The House Elves were so interested to learn that lots of you want to make desserts and baked goods! (Did you miss out on the House Elf poll? Make sure you vote!) As the term starts the House Elves will have certain types of recipes on certain days but our wonderful Liaison is still working out a schedule with them. For now, they wanted us to share this absolutely delicious cornbread recipe with you all!

This is our Dear Liaison's favorite cornbread ever! It’s better than those Jiffy packs and almost as easy. It’s a little bit cake and a little bit bread and it’s absolutely wonderful with a little butter and honey on top!

Best Cornbread

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 tablespoon oil


Preheat oven to 400° F (204°C)
Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a second bowl, beat egg then add milk and oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry- mix, but don’t overmix, you want those happy bubbles to do their job!

Get out a square pan or a pie pan (approx 9” x 9”) and grease it with oil or butter. Add batter to the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Your finished cornbread should be a golden yellow on top and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.


As the Blog Assistant to the House Elf Liaison, I have to say I'm stopping at the store for cornmeal today!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

House Elf Liasion Recipes

*tap tap tap* Is this thing on? *feedback skreeeeeeetch!*

*cringes* sorry....

As an enterprising Not Quite Hufflepuff, for my own amusement, I decided to collect the recipes that the House Elf Liaison brought to us straight from the kitchens, in a word document. Since I'm already
obsessively collecting
copying and pasting them, I've been asked by the powers that be to assist the Liaison by posting recipes here to the blog :-D And so, we have our first recipes!

First, a throwback from our own Bijou3owl: Five Minute Mug Brownie!

  • 4 Tbs Flour
  • 2 Tbs Sugar
  • 2 Tbs Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tbs Veggie Oil
  • 2 Tbs Water
  • Dash of Salt

Combine dry ingredients in a mug. Add wet and mix well. Microwave aprox. 1 min. The middle should still be a bit liquidy, though you can microwave a little more (15s-30s, depending on your microwave) if you like. She likes to add chocolate chips after it’s done, and a splash of vanilla with the wet ingredients.

The house elves have developed Five Minute Strawberry Ice Cream to go with it!

  • 10 ounce package frozen sliced strawberries (or frozen fruit of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream (half and half, lowfat milk, or even soymilk work too, it just isn’t as creamy)

Combine the frozen fruit and sugar in a food processor or blender. Process until the fruit is roughly chopped. With the processor running, slowly pour in the heavy cream until fully mixed. Yum! If liquid nitrogen is in short supply, a quick stash in the freezer will help the ice cream to firm up.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bonus prize

The winner of the March bonus points award is clementine1 with 17 points! The profs really pulled back on bonus points across the board this month, so I want all of you to know you did fabulously and please don't anyone be disappointed if you handed in something you were really proud of and then saw it not receive the same recognition it might have gotten other months; overall grading was scaled back a bit for everyone in every House, so just take great pride in what you made and what you shared.

But in a slightly related announcement, I want to publicly recognize 3 special 'Puffs, our super-achievers among super-achievers (which is all of you): curiouskate, pacasha and JMN each earned 600 points individually this Term! Way to go!

By Leesy

Thursday, April 8, 2010

March Winners

Everybody, March prize winners have been announced.

Let's applaud Ajoyce, who was awarded for her Lily Potter mittens from History of Magic, Savvy-Stitch, awarded for her little badger from Potions, and ScarletFever, awarded for her Devil's snare socks from Charms.

Well done, girls!

Exploding Snap Report!

Here are a few fun facts about Exploding Snap thus far.

So far, the day in which the fewest Snappers started new projects is a tie between April 2 and April 7, in which 29 of 30 Snappers resisted the urge. April 3 had the most new projects, with only 23 of 30 Snappers resisting.

These intrepid individuals have not started ANY new projects in April!


Eleven WIPs have been EXPLODED and 2 newly begun projects have been completed already, for 13 new finished objects and 360 points.

Our superstars thus far with over 50 points each are:


Congratulations to everybody. Every point is an exploding victory!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

NQFY's Quick Rundown

Hi NQFY's (and returning students). Here's a quick rundown of how the House Cup is played.

Sometime in April, the signup form will appear. You enter your Ravelry ID and your house preferences. Ideally, you will get your first choice, but it is not always so as ScarlettB tries to make sure that the houses have equal participants. Signups close, and we are sorted during the last few days of the month.

On or around May 1st, the classes will be posted. You earn 5 points for a partially completed project, and 15 points for a fully completed project. OWL and (possibly) NEWT requirements will be posted at the same time. You receive 50 points for being 1/3 finished by the end of the second month, and 100 points for finishing your OWL. NEWT points are still slightly uncertain.

Take pretty pictures, and if you are good with words, a good story goes a long way towards bonus points! If you can't think of a good project, post to the Common Room, Great Hall, or look at what others have already finished. Almost any project can be made to fit most classes. If you have a project and don't know where to put it, never despair, the geniuses in the Common Room and Great Hall will help you. We will also be putting simple project ideas here on the Blog. Also, sometimes you earn bonus points for using House Colors or House Unity colors. Definitions thereof heavily debated, but for Huffs, it's definitely Black & Yellow.

Quidditch will also be open, but no one knows the details until term starts. Typically they are based on crafting for charity, but it changes every term.

Oh, and don't forget prizes! There are prizes all over the place that you can win. Make sure to read the Blog for the House Cup as well as the blog for your house. (This one, Hufflepuff.) The Huffleblog even offers Prizes & Awards - Spring 2010. These are available for Spring 2010, but prizes will be given out for each term.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Apparition Lessons Have Begun

Are you learning Apparation during break? If so, here are your threads:

Crochet Bag
Magic Loop Knit Scarf
Beginner Socks

You can also reference the primary Apparation thread, to your left in "Things To Do Now!"

Sunday, April 4, 2010

March prize nominations

Prize nomination are up and, oh boy, we have lots of nominees this month! Don't forget to drop by the prizes thread to vote for them!

Yarnvista was nominated for her finished DADA OWL: a gorgeous entrelac stole.
In detention we have paganinigirl's cute baby blanket and Bijou3owl's bright orange socks.
In HOM we are represented by ajoyce's amazing Lily Potter mittens.
In Transfiguration there is faerie's wonderfully bright "tomato surprise".
In Potions we have savvy-stitch's cutest little badger and knitbunnie's quite classy cardigan.
In DADA there is hoodlumknit's funny fish hat and coribug's adorable granny square blanket.
And in Charms, Hufflepuff is really standing out with a total of four nominees: JMN with her lovely handspun purple yarn, curiouskate with her beautiful test socks, scarletfever with her Devil's snare socks and Roeska with her forest at twilight mittens.

Quite a list! Congratulations to the nominees, your beautiful projects are an inspiration to us all!

Leesy's bonus prize

February's bonus prize winner is our much adored needlesnswiffers who earned a whopping 37 bonus points! Second was lalaith and third was a tie between JMN and suzanneoswald. Way to go Badgers!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Exploding Snap: A WIP Fun Frenzy!

The Newest House Cup Game: Exploding Snap!

Yes, the Hufflepuffs have invented the House Cup version of Exploding Snap. The official link is Here. The goal is to clean up your knitting/crafting area, finish the projects that didn't get finished during term, wrap up other crafting projects, and get all cleaned up for the Summer term.

We'll be tracking the game here in the Blog. Didn't sign up in time? Go ahead, play along anyways, you can still call it Exploding when you knock something out. Heck, track your own points. Projects can be worked in Snap and Detention. Make sure to post your pictures in the forum, and we'll be sure to feature some here in the Blog.

Have fun!