Monday, April 30, 2012

OWL Proposal Time starts May 1!

One of the fun challenging portions of the House Cup is sitting for an Ordinary Wizarding Level Examination, more commonly known as an O.W.L.   I successfully completed my first OWL during my first term.  Incredibly nervous well described my apprehension about submitting a project, but the love and support of Hufflepuff and all of the OWL mentors made the project so much fun!  A completed OWL is worth 150 points to Hufflepuff, including the 50 points awarded for successfully meeting the 50% mark.

If you've never attempted an OWL before it is hard to wrap your brain around it.   There is a simple guide, if the project takes two to three months to complete, propose it as an OWL.  If it takes a month or two to complete, sign up for a mission with the Order of the Phoenix*.  If it takes a month or less, it would be perfect for a class or do multiples and submit it for an OWL.  

 Here is a list of all of the OWL themes for you to select from.    The opportunities are endless!

The timeline for the submission of an OWL is key.  The OWL thread will open for projects on May 1 and close on May 31.  All OWLs must be approved by the OWL examiners before the student can begin working on them.  Swatching is essential!  The format is straightforward and was presented by the OWL examiners to guide you through the process:

Proposal Summary Template for Spring ‘12

House (or NQFY / SoS): 
OWL and option: 
Sequence & Points of Consideration: 
Proposed 50% Mark: 
Photos of Supplies and Swatch:
OWL and option: Please include the both the option number and name
Project/Pattern(s): All proposals should include links to all pattern pages as well as to (if relevant) project pages.
Sequence & Points of Consideration: The examiners would like to request that students provide a summary of their crafting sequence and what they think will be some of the ‘interesting areas’ of their OWL. Please do feel free to write a full story and/or explanation of your proposal underneath the proposal summary as they are more than welcomed by the examiners.
Photos of supplies and/or Swatch
  • Please ensure that you include a photo of all your supplies (yarn, needles, pattern, beads). Students may choose to purchase zippers and/or buttons at a later stage, however this information must be included in their proposal.
  • Swatches are mandatory for all projects. For candidates attempting multiple-item OWLs, a swatch is required whenever there is a change of yarn/fiber, stitch pattern or needle size, up to a maximum of 5 swatches per proposal. For spinners, sampling is a good idea and we would strongly encourage you to include some element of sampling in your proposal.
  • For each swatch, please include explanation of whether gauge was achieved, and if not, if you will be making adjustments to the pattern to accommodate for this.
Hexapuff ruling 
Early in January we made an annoucement regarding 102 being the minimum number of hexapuffs needed for an OWL. We wanted to ensure that all students were aware of this as it was announced after the commencement of term. 

Ravelry has a page that covers everything OWL that is extremely helpful.   This is also linked to this blog through the bar on the right had side......way over here  ------------------------------------------------->

If you'd like to have a fellow housemate look over your OWL proposal, please post it in the Den's advanced studies thread.   It is also a nice place to park your proposal so that when it is time to submit it, all you will need to do is copy and paste it.

I hope that you consider proposing an OWL this term.  It is a fun and rewarding experience!

TTFN - MsOyster, your Advanced Studies correspondent

*  We will talk about the Order of the Phoenix missions in our next blog entry.

GeekPhilosopher: Instant download of free stock photos, images, backgrounds, and desktop wallpapers. Pictures can be used for personal and commercial web sites.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Staff: Spring term!

That's right!  We're doing Sunday Staff for the Spring term now! 
First up, we have LumosKP, formerly KnittingPrincipal, who is in charge of our Spring Sock-a-long!
Tell us someting interesting about yourself.
I started a theatre troupe for young people, specializing in Shakespearean acting. To date, I’ve directed Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
What started you crafting?
I’ve known how to crochet since I was a kid, but never got really really into it. But a bit over a year ago, I decided I wanted to learn to knit, primarily as something to take my mind off of my stress at work. So I learned to knit and I love it! :)
What’s the most exciting thing you crafted last term?
I’m still awfully proud of my Badger Tea Cosy! :)
If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?
  1. All monetary debts (houses, cards, cars, etc.) of mine and my family’s to be paid off immediately.
  2. A cure for all forms of cancer.
  3. A 6-month-long, all expenses paid, trip to Scotland.
We’re vacationing at your house this summer! Don’t panic, we’ll get hotel rooms but you have to entertain us. What local attraction are we going to go see?
We would go for a nice car ride and enjoy the variety of sites that are on the Palouse! We would see the beautiful wheat fields that are currently green; we would drive to Elk River and hike to the Falls; we would go see Cordelia Lutheran Church, which is just a few miles from my house and is the oldest Lutheran building in Idaho (est. 1883 and is lovely in its simplicity); and then I’d take you shopping in Spokane (80 miles north of here)! We would go to Paradise Fibers! :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Greetings!  MsOyster here, your Advanced Studies reporter for this term. 

We have two Hufflepuffs working on Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test (NEWT) this term:  MediaPeruana and Lea67000.  As we've all been taking the month of April off, these ladies have been toiling under the weight of their exam.  Undertaking a NEWT is a big task and one that takes much training in order to even sit for the exam.    Here are some NEWT basics presented by djmeurer.  

GeekPhilosopher: Instant download of free stock photos, images, backgrounds, and desktop wallpapers. Pictures can be used for personal and commercial web sites.

NEWT Basics:
1 NEWT = at least 2 complex OWLs worth of work that is somehow related; the item/items must be a set or otherwise combined in theme, purpose, technique, or similar relationship. You will find the guidelines below are similar to the OWL guidelines, but slightly amplified.
  • NEWTs address two areas of study. You must have completed an OWL in at least one of the areas/subjects you wish to combine.
  • Students may sit for a NEWT after successful completion of a minimum of 4 OWLs, although we encourage you to complete more than the minimum number of OWLs for maximum flexibility in developing your NEWT proposals.
  • NEWTs may use any of the Ravelry sanctioned fiber crafts. Spinners: for each subject you may find it useful to insert the words “or spin enough yarn to make the item(s) in this category.”
  • Remember, the two subjects must have a shared relationship. How you explain the relationship is a crucial component. Portions of each subject may partially overlap into the other. The relationship is up to your imagination and creativity.
  • Students may complete a NEWT in each combination of subjects only once. There are 66 combinations which will take 22 years, assuming they are all successful, after which you may repeat combinations. Good luck!

    As the term progresses we will check in with MediaPeruana and Lea67000 to learn more about their individual NEWTs.   A NEWT is a great accomplishment.  I hope that you will consider sitting for one soon, just think about all of those possible combinations!  

    One of the key things to sit for a NEWT is to have accomplished 4 OWLs.  Have you considered proposing an OWL?  Want to know what is involved?  Check the OWL thread in the DEN for a quick review if you can't wait until the next Advanced Studies blog post.  

    TTFN - MsOyster

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hufflepuff: For the Win!

I hope you've turned in your sorting form: The Sorting will only be open until high noon POT on Monday, April the 23rd. 
But even if you have, now is not the time to slack off.  There's only about a week until term starts!  You need to be making plans and sorting yarn and finding needles!

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's Sorting Time!

The Sorting Form is up!

And we have new members of the Hogwarts Poetry Society!

Look at this lovely 'Puff verse that shared with us!
I am Hufflepuff through and through
Simply no other house for me will do
A deep love and appreciation for all houses involved
But for me to be a Puff would be a ball
This is my last effort to do a bit of persuading
and if necessary, some negotiating
I have pockets full of sweets and breads
or perhaps I could conjure up a new accessory for your head?
My nature is to be kind, sweet and caring
I’m honestly not the least bit evil, elitist or daring
I love all things Disney, I really do
and, as you know, Walt would have been a Hufflepuff too!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Quiddich: FTW!


We won the Quiddich Cup for the THIRD TERM IN A ROW!

Join us at The End of Term Feast, or The Muffin Feast in the Uncommon Room and Celebrate!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Final Sunday Staff from Winter Term!

We've got one last Huffle Staff member to chat with: Travelista, who was in charge of our Hufflecleaners Thread!

What shall we call you?
Travelista because that´s what I am!
What you do in muggle world?
I am a social media consultant. Right now I pull analytics for companies like SAP and Cisco and along with my co-workers help companies implement social media campaigns on various social media websites.
What’s your craft?
What project are you most proud of?
My Laminaria baby blanket which is knitted.
Tell us something interesting about yourself.
As my name implies I loooove to travel. I´ve been to 35 countries and taken the spawn along for the fun. So far she´s been to 29. We love to experience new places and people and it´s definitely a passion for the whole family.
We’re all going out to eat, but it’s up to you to decide where. So, where are we going?
Spanish tapas! I love trying all the different plates of food and sharing among friends with a big pitcher of sangria. Don´t forget the patatas bravas!
What one thing would you like to see happen this term?
I would love to see us win the quidditch cup again!

Friday, April 6, 2012

More Completed OWLS

Ready for the last installment of final OWLs?
We have some more seriously impressive work by our fellow puffs!

frimptes toiled away on cabling to produce this sweater for her Herbology OWL.

Marushka produced this lovely Sipalu bag for her Potions OWL. (If you click on the link to her project page, you will see that she more pictures of this bag... including some showing that it is FULLY LINED!)

MediaPeruana completed her History of Magic OWL by knitting a stylish beret representing Fleur Delacour, a Wildflower Cardigan representing Professor Sprout, and a rustic shawl that Professor Trelawney would be proud to wear.

PrivateJane showed her lace-knitting skills off by completing this lovely shawl for her Charms OWL.

simplyme5252 completed her Herbology OWL by knitting a gorgeous cabled sweater for herself.

WomblingStar completed her Muggle Studies OWL by knitting an impressive Melia cardigan.

acwmaiden crocheted A New Hug to show off her skills in Charms.
knitsNhikes represented Walburga Black with a vest, Arabella Figg with slippers, and Moaning Myrtle with a Saroyan scarf for her History of Magic OWL.

craftyshanna completed her History of Magic OWL by knitting a pair of socks for each of 3 characters: Ginny Weasley, Nymphadora Tonks, and Cho Chang.

All together, we had about 30 completed OWLs from Hufflepuff this term! All of them were stunning. If you missed any of the projects, please sure to check out these posts to catch up.
March 3, 2012
March 9, 2012
March 15, 2012
March 19, 2012
March 23, 2012
April 4, 2012

I tried to feature all of our outstanding Hufflepuff OWLS as they were turned in. If I missed any projects, no offense was intended. Just met me know and I will add you in!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Activities Announcement!

Do you want to be on the Hufflepuff Staff?
I am in need of a couple of volunteers: I need two thread monitors - this involves starting and keeping an eye on an activity thread. If you want to go above and beyond, we can work on challenges and badges but it’s not required.
-A Tv/Movie Maven
-A Hufflecleaner Cheerleader
I also need:
-Writers for our blog - This can be a commitment of anywhere from monthly to weekly and we’re happy to have you report on ANY aspect of cup/Den life.
(If you’re currently a HuffleBlogger, please shoot me a note and let me know if you want to continue on.)

Also, don't forget to visit our Awesome April Activities:
Visit the Rocks thread for help with moving rocks, both literal and figurative.

Stop in at the Scissors thread to cut out bad behaviors and play with fabric.

Hang with us in the Paper thread and play with origami or lists.

And don't miss the new Amigurumi thread:  April Showers Bring Amigurumi Flowers

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Completed OWLs

Wow! Did we ever have a good turnout on OWLs!
There were some seriously impressive projects turned in!
I have tried to keep up with the projects as they were turned in, but the last week of classes yielded an unwieldy number of OWLs turned in, so I will be splitting this post in to two (rather large) posts.
Anyway, without further ado...

msoyster completed her History of Magic OWL. She knit a Henley Sweater to go along with her Woolie Wellies, Turn a Square Hat, and Ingram scarf, which were completed for the 50% mark.
lanismom knit a featherweight cardigan with a decorative border for her Defense Against the Dark Arts OWL.
nwheatley knit four pairs of socks for her Arithmancy OWL. (1, 2, 3, 4)
GardeniaPatti pushed her new knitting skills to the limit with her CoMC OWL. She knit a basic pair of mitts and then knit more difficult Kensington Mitts.
kirsts tried her hand at steeking for her Transfiguration OWL badge and the results were a beautiful Sleepy Monkey blanket.
paulinaknits completed her HoM OWL with 4 seperate projects: Seamless Raglan Sweater, Devon Socks, Merletto Mittens,and Newfoundland Mitts.
Shagma completed her HoM OWL with 3 gorgeous pairs of socks.
susi vanished 1886 yds of yarn for her Transfiguration OWL this term. She completed a throw, a cowl, a shawl, a scarflette, and a bag.
theresmiling completed her divination OWL with some lovely spinning. She has a sweater's amount of handspun now!
Aren't these projects impressive. Stay tuned for the second installment of OWLs. We have some very talented Hufflepuffs!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April flowers...

It's Spring break!  Hooray! 

After a term that included some incredible crafting, and a lot of fun in HECK... it's time to take a break.  Play a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock and make time for other kinds of crafting or organizing.

For those who just cannot put the yarn down though... we are playing with amigurumi as well.  Join us whether you are crafting or not to chat about this style of toy/softie making!

Let's see... how does this work again?  Oh!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday Staff!

Let's talk to Womblingstar, Quiddich Captain and Cete Mama!

1) What shall we call you?
My real name is Sarah. My Rav name is WomblingStar as I carry a Womble with me to the tops of mountains. He likes to have his photo taken on the summit, and is far more photogenic than I am. (My OoTP code name is Madame Cholet but don’t tell anyone!). I respond to most things though.
2) What do you do in the muggle world?
I work as a general practitioner and a lecturer in primary care. I love me job but it can be stressful at times and the knitting helps me relax. I am also doing a part-time PhD which consumes most of my time at the moment. I have given myself a 2 year deadline to finish it.
3) What’s your craft?
Knitting is my favourite and what I spend most of the time doing. I also like to crochet and spin. I purchased a loom last year and I am slowly learning how to use a rigid heddle loom.
4) What project are you most proud of?
My Blakeley design as I designed it from scratch. I’m hoping to publish it in Feb. I also love the fisherman’s gansey I did for DBF as he wears it all the time. It took me a year to do and was a labour of love!
5)Tell us something interesting about yourself.
Erm….I wake up to rogue sheep bleating under my window. The local sheep have learned to do commando rolls across the cattle grids and come into the village to eat everyones flowers.
6) We’re all going out to eat, but it’s up to you to decide where. So, where are we going?
There is a lovely restaurant near us called the Olive Tree. The food is amazing and it is very small and cozy. My favourite :D
7) What one thing would you like to see happen this term?
The Quidditch Cup win of course!!!!! (oh - and to not be last in overall points!)