Sunday, September 29, 2013

Homework Highlights

There's still over a day of September left to get in some last-minute homework, Badgers---I know I've got several projects in various stages of completion going on for my usual end-of-the-month-homework-rush!

But from more timely students than I, here are some amazing turn-ins from the second half of September.

broknmachin14 wowed me with these wonderful photographs of her dyeing project---there's a skull, guys.  And candles! And mysterious bottles of blood dye!

anneknits made a hat I would love to be wearing, come winter.

And a tinier hat, which comes with a cheer from me for CharityUK for conquering her fear of crochet by making it!

andy8715, a braver crocheter than I, made this awesome basket with plarn.  (Yarn made from plastic bags---a very cool idea, but really hard on the hands.)

finasc finished her second bear for the Mother Bear Project.

Skrewkat completed this zigzagalicious cowl.

Humppa combined knitting and crochet in this elegant candle cozy.

KateLemmers spun this beautiful Falkland wool.

VampiratKnits visited the Leaky Cauldron with this most excellent pair of flip-flop socks.

lucamama made a fantastic transforming rabbit/top hat (not pictured here: top hat.  see her project page for more photos).

Marushka did an epically awesome turn-in for this pretty baby blanket---lots of fun photos, lots of adorable story.

Stay tuned for next week, when I'm going to start flailing about Halloween themed projects---I already have some earmarked from September, but I expect October to make them increase exponentially, and I can't wait.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Firstie Friday: Do ALL the Things!!!

Hey all!

This is Maria/venusfueri, a first year in Hufflepuff. I blog and podcast regularly over at Subway Knits when I do not have a pile of middle school homework to grade and take a break from my knitting.

I will be blogging every Friday to share my experience as a first year in the cup and anything else that strikes my fancy that is cup related.

This week's post is about the feelings of exhilaration and !!!!!!!!!! that comes with joining the cup and being sorted into a house. When the hat sorted me into Hufflepuff, I totally felt like this at first:

Be ready. There will be alot of Hyperbole and a Half references. 
I got in! I decided to revisit the cup literally ATHELASTMINUTE and was able to submit my Tour de Fleece spinning for a class. Given that the cup is now extremely popular from the last time I visited, (which is another story) I also got mentally ready to be a full term NQFY.

So now that I am in Hufflepuff, my feelings changed a bit after the classes, Quidditch, OWLs, games and everything else posted on September 1. After going through The Den and Hogwarts in general on my first day, I felt a little bit like this:
So, where do I go? Where are classes? What is quidditch? 
I was very, very overwhelmed. Thankfully, Hufflepuff has a great support system with the Cetes and the Room of Requirement - if you are a firstie and stull not sure how to handle the madness that is the Cup quite yet, GO THERE FIRST.

Cetes took me away from the madness that are the common rooms - Hufflepuff's, The Great Hall and the Firstie Common room is alot to keep up with, so the cete provides a space to participate in the fun albeit on a smaller scale (which is great for me because when I return to my Muggle Day Job™, things are going to get crazy out in the Muggle World!).

The Room of Requirement is your one stop shop for everything related to the cup and a support network. It used to be known as HECK (erm, what the heck does HECK mean?) and I have found it really useful so far.

As for Quidditch, well, here is where I learned my lesson as a firstie real quick. The most important thing that I have realized to get the most out of hte Cup is to peruse everything, but pick and choose wisely.

For example, I still don't get Quidditch. I know I won't have time to play Quidditch. Therefore, I put the Quidditch thread on ignore.

This lead to my next lesson and tip: it's totally okay to put threads on ignore. In fact, it cleans up the boards and helps you focus more on what you want to do and makes one's experience at Hogwarts a bit less overwhelming. There is definitely the urge to EXPLORE ALL THE THINGS! but you have 8 terms plus Baccalureate and even MA terms to complete. The Cup will be there. There will be time to play Quidditch if you can't figure it out now.

One other thing, which is also very important to me: take care of yourselves. That means, do not let the Cup drive you mad - the point of the Cup is to have fun!

On a more serious note, take care of your wrists/back/any body part that gets affected by knitting. I have RSI in my left wrist due to the 2010 Ravelympics (there, I SAID it) and it flares up.

These past few weeks my wrist has been acting out - not pain per se, but its telling me that it's tired and I can't do much. It kills me to just sit there and putz through the Internet using my right hand (I'm left handed, which makes things even more annoying) but I know in the long run, I will be able to knit for the whole Cup, as opposed to checking into the Infirmary next

Do you have any tips to share, firstie or not? What lessons have you learned so far about yourselves as a knitter/crocheter/crafter from the Cup? Share in the comments below!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Homework Highlights (Chosen by

You excellent Puffs are keeping me on my toes---as I peruse the class threads this month, I'm keeping a text file on my computer with some of my favourite projects, and just from the first ten days of term, I already have so many that I decided to let a random number generator pick which ones to showcase today!

Taking advantage of the non-Ravelry-crafting option at the Magical Menagerie this month, HogwartsKnitting submitted a beautiful sewn tea wallet.

Also at the Magical Menagerie, WAgirl98 made this gorgeous cabled hat, and crafted a very cool story to go with about how its cables resemble the ears of magical shape-shifting rabbits.

I love it when a project/turn-in photo features the crafter's pet, so I'm a big fan of this homework from TinyStitcher, who is keeping her gorgeous feline familiar happy with a crocheted fish.

Tricotjo made this very dashing mustachioed cowl, a most excellent disguise for getting around Knockturn Alley.

In "projects that  you are definitely going to see in the Prize Nominations Thread," ashleybah knitted this completely perfect Care of Magical Creatures charm bracelet.

Please join me in boggling at this turn-in from LadyDragonsinger: her 73rd Molly Weasley sweater.  That isn't a typo!  I'm pretty sure that kind of creative feat requires actual magic.

HazelRose has been turning in a lot of cool woven projects, but I think my favourite is this ingenious way to use practice squares (and this idea could work nicely for knitted or crocheted squares/motifs, too) by turning them into a needlebook.

In the "yarny turn-ins I would like to get on my hooks" category, Maylablue dyed some amazingly vivid yarn in Gryffindor and Ravenclaw colours---the red is even her handspun.

And finally, a selection from Detention at the Leaky Cauldron in the form of a shawl of breathtaking beauty by jpester.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Early Bird Badgers: First Day of Term Turn-Ins

Sunday was the first day of a brand new term at the House Cup, and while there's been a change of scenery for September and we're meeting in the various shops of Diagon Alley, our intrepid badgers were undaunted by this upheaval, and got crafting with lightning speed and enviable skill. 

To begin with, a special cheer for Lea67000, who was not only the first badger to turn in a project (in the form of a charming moon and stars hexipuff) at this month's Detention Classroom, she also swung by the Apothecary,  Quality Quidditch Supplies, and Flourish & Blotts with more!

Lyonette also paid visits to both the Apothecary and Quality Quidditch Supplies with some mini granny square motifs.

Torsparkles made the Magical Menagerie much more adorable with her sweet knitted fish and beautiful cat.

littlefit christened Potage's Cauldron Shop with this pleasingly coloured dishcloth.

Meanwhile, back in Detention (currently being held in the Leaky Cauldron)...

 Another very pretty hexipuff, this time from thatgirl1225.  I love that yarn.

And our first Sock Turn-In of the term by Jenstc2003, Monkey socks that are causing me more yarn envy.

There were plenty of other garment projects, too.  A gorgeous baby sweater by Chococupcake, a hat in amazing yarn by texaninalaska, some clothes for a bunny by Suseknits (click the link for extra cute), a crocheted baby sweater that made me think ooh, I have to try that pattern! by vtgirl, and a hat in swoonworthy colourwork by PatriciaO.

There's nothing like a little Detention to nudge one into some limb-attaching on an unfinished toy.  Webschaf submitted this mischievous monkey, and Twirlymom delighted me with the lovely Sheldon the turtle.

We are off to an amazing start, fellow Puffs, and I can't wait to see what you all make this term, and share some of my favourites on the HuffleBlog.  And if you're stuck, the Room of Requirement is there to help you find the right place for your projects.

Monday, September 2, 2013

It's Labor Day! Let's Get Ready for Quidditch!

Good day Quidditch Fans!  It's Labo(u)r Day in the U.S. and Canada, the unofficial End of Summer for muggles and the beginning of the Fall Term of The House Cup for us!

Along with the beginning of the Term is the beginning of Quidditch!  Our Headmistress, yarnvista, had this to say, "The Quidditch season promises to be exciting, and there should be something for everyone. Since Quidditch is a very unpredictable game everyone should be prepared for any possibility. There is more than one path to victory, and strategy is more important than ever!"

Doesn't that make you say, "Hmm?  Tell me more."  Here is my understanding of Quidditch this term.

There are TWO paths to earn points.  Path 1 runs 3 September through 5 November and Path 2 is three events, one each month.  Here's the breakdown:

Path #1) Explore Quidditch Positions (3 Sep - 5 Nov)[150 Points possible for each chaser!]:
  • Beaters: Knit, crochet, weave or spin up to 15 projects using 50 yards/project minimum.  Each project will earn 10 points.
  • Chasers: Knit, crochet, weave or spin up to 6 projects using 150 yards/project minimum.  Each project will earn 25 points.
  • Keepers: Knit, crochet, weave or spin up to 3 projects using 300 yards/project minimum. Each project will earn 50 points.
  • Seekers: Knit, crochet, weave or spin up to 2 projects using 500 yards/project minimum. Each project will earn 75 points.
When you turn in your first item for this Activity, please let us know which position you will be studying by including one of the following tags. Once you’ve turned in your first project you will be locked into that position, so choose wisely!
TAG: HQ16Beater, HQ16Chaser, HQ16Keeper, or HQ16Seeker

Path #2
1) Get to Know Your New Nembus! (5 -16 September) [Each project will be awarded 15 points. 1 project per player]:

For this activity:
Using any Ravelry-approved crafting method, craft something using “top-of-the-line” materials, colors or stitch patterns.
Dyers: you may either dye a fiber that you feel is a luxury fiber or use a “top-of-the-line” dyeing method.
Please tell us why this is something special for you to use.
In this case, “top-of-the-line” is subjective. Use what you feel to be top of the line. Don’t break the bank just to go out and buy that skein of $4000 Quivit for this challenge. We want you to craft with something that you think is a luxury. Love cotton? Craft with cotton. Have a fondness for acrylic? Craft with acrylic. We just ask that you tell us why you feel it is top-of-the-line to you.
TAG: HQ16Nimbus

2) Pre-Match Jitters (10 - 19 October)[One project per student, 15 points per project]:
For this challenge:
Option 1: Using any Ravelry-approved craft, create something to soothe your nerves before a Quidditch Match.
Option 2: Using any Ravelry-approved craft, create something that makes you nervous or use a technique that makes you nervous.
TAG:  HQ16Jitters

3) Victory! Butterbeers all around!! (17 - 28 November):
joseybug, that sly Slytherin, is keeping the detail for this one under wraps, for now.

Wow!  Two ways to play this term!  There should be something for everyone just as yarnvista said.

That's all for now, I have some plotting to do...
Until next time; Keep your eyes on the Golden Snitch.