Sunday, December 14, 2008

I think I finally have it figured out.

After a year and a half, at least, of having a specific knitting blog, as opposed to a knittingandwhatever blog largely read by non-knitters, I think I have finally figured out what knit bloggers blog about.

They blog about their knitting.

I mean, obviously, but they blog about the KNITTING part, not just the finished-object-please-look part.

So here is some bloggery about my current knitting project. Pull your bifocals down to the perfect spot and pretend the post starts here:

Amy March's Slippers...

I read the I Hate to Cook Book long before I realized how much I really do hate to cook, just because it is funny. And one of the ways it is funny is that the author will do things like write "seven happiness food-thing" and start off with a list like

1. Has only four ingredients
2. If you substitute three of them, it still works
3. You don't need a knife...

You know, the sort of things that when you have the flu, and you hated to cook to begin with, and four children under the age of six are wailing for food, really matter, as opposed to seven ways in which it is delicious.

Well, I took one look at this pattern and thought it was the "Some number of happiness slipper pattern" for the following reasons:

1. Takes only about 100 yards of yarn

2. Knits up on size ten needles and from the commentary seems like she finished a pair plus in one day

3. No binding off (Not that I hate binding off so very much, but saves time)

4. You can tart it up with fancy ribbons if you have more money than time

5. They are cute

6. They are not weird, so your most conservative and boring relatives would like them, but see #4 regarding what you can do with dismembered Barbie doll parts for your more interesting folks...

7. The pattern is free.

The pattern is also written in a funny style, so a fun read.

Now they did a knit along on Ravelry with these, and it certainly seemed from the forum that people were ending up with wearable slippers that looked like the pictures, but as usual I have, with very little effort, found ways to complicate this simple, fast fun pattern and turn it into, if not a death march, still not exactly a stroll down lover's lane as it certainly looked like it ought to be.

Now I am not using the right yarn, of course, because I do not buy Rowan yarn. I do not even look at Rowan yarn. Not even on Elann.com. No, I have some nice...well, I forget what you call it, but it is really soft and furry and I got it on sale at Smiley's and when I triple stranded it and knit it up on size 8's instead of size ten's, I got stitch gauge.

Row gauge must be off though. I did exactly the number of rows required, and instead of coming halfway up the foot, it sort of covers the toes. Cute. Very fuzzy. I am practically breaking my arms knitting it up (Probably only needed two strands) but I am getting stitch guage. The row guage, though, seems to be off by a factor of either 2 or one half. I never get math terms straight. Anyway, the front is half as long as it should be.

Ignoring the fact that this surely must mean it is also taking much, much more yarn than I thought, I leave that slipper in medias res and cast on with a different yarn, Lion Brand Wool-ease Gargantua, or whatever they call it. It is supposed to yield, I dunno, 10 or eleven or nine or something like that stitches to four inches instead of twelve, but that seems to me to be a simple matter of mind and needle size over the matter. I like things you put on your feet knitted firmly anyway, so that you are really walking on slipper, rather than holes in stitches.

Sure enough, same problem again. The yarn is too big. If anything, the stitches should be bigger in one direction or the other. Nope. Shorter.

Now I realize that I can just do twice as many rows to get up to the point on the foot where the front is supposed to end, but this is already violating happiness number one and the all important happiness number two, which implies that this knit will not be a never ending pain in the Aspirin. And I am not entirely sure where we are on five and six.

I knew I was on the slippery slope away from "quick simple and you barely need to think about 'em" when I found out recipient had wood floors and that I would be buying and applying for the first time the dippit made famous by Vamanta, knitting over in Edith's house there, but I thought I was only partly down the slope. I am currently at the bottom, heels over teacup, feeling like a Beatrix Potter Character that is not quite getting the best of the situation.

Is it just me?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I went to Stitch and Pitch

I went to Stitch and Pitch and it was a lot of fun even though it rained and I got to shake hands with Nicky Epstein and that is all I have time to write but I may come back and edit this...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Gryffindor Quiz

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Gryffindor House Quiz 1


1. What is a Niffler, and what are the pros and cons of owning one?

A Niffler is a rooting animal that likes to dig up/root out/find and collect items made from precious metals/of considerable value.

The pro would be that if you lost an earring, the Niffler could find it. Or, if you were a Mundungussy sort, you might get it to do some dirty work for you.

The con would be that the Niffler would not necessarily give you/give you back what it found. Also, when someone comes in to another's abode and is instantly attacked by a small furry creature after their wedding ring, silver eyeglass frames and gold teeth, that someone might particularly enjoy this experience, and there could be repercussions.

(Lee Jordan airlifts a couple of Nifflers into Umbridge's office in Order of the Phoenix, with disasterous results...but that is for NEXT swap...)

2. What department of the Ministry of Magic would be alerted if you were found flying around on a Magic Carpet?

That would be the Mis-use of Muggle Artifacts Office, where you would probably find yourself explaining to Arthur Weasley or the one man who worked with him why you had charmed a proscribed article, as well as how, which I am sure would have interested him.
3. Of the three tasks of the Tri-Wizard tournament do you think you would have been best at completing and why?

Probably the first. After all my years of teaching I am pretty sure I could have bored the dragon to sleep and then taken the egg...

4. Of the three tasks of the Tri-Wizard tournament would you have been least successful and why?

Oh, definately the Lake. I am, and always have been, a lousy swimmer. I could have wrestled a Horace Slughorn into the proper position to save him from drowning, but I could not have made headway in any particular direction once I had. On the other hand, I react very strongly and without panic to threat of life, so I might have found a way. I would not have put my money on me, though...

5. In Potions if you were asked to take out your ground scarab beetle, cut up ginger root, and armadillo bile, what potion would you be making?

A wit-sharpening potion. Do you think Snape thought it might help Harry in the final task if they made some and he used it??
6.What is Veritaserum and what is its purpose?

Veritaserum is an odorless, colorless potion which forces one to answer questions truthfully. A drop or two and there would be no secrets left to you.

In a sense it is a real shame Snape didn't use it on Potter. If he had gotten the answers to whatever questions he had about Harry, he might have viewed him differently.

Veritaserum also reappears in the next book, and one could make the arguement that shis scene serves the purpose of letting us in on it in advance.



7.What Dragon did Harry face in the first trial?

The Hungarian Horntail, which was the one he got a really good look at a number of wizards trying to subdue while he was out with Hagrid.


8. Please describe the badges everyone wore after Harry was named the 4th contestant in the Tri-Wizard tournament.

These badges flashed from "Potter Stinks" in green luminescent writing to "Support Cedric Diggory, the Real Hogwarts Champion" in glowing red when pressed.

Picture Scavenger hunt: paste a link or insert the picture into your post.




Dean Thomas



Seamus Finnegan




Harry and a Dragon together




Hagrid






Hermione and Viktor Krum together

Monday, August 18, 2008

The freedom of imperfection

I cannot say I am a perfect knitter, (or a perfect anything else, for that matter, although that is fuel for a different fire...)but I do like to make my projects as perfect as possible. Considering how far from perfect they end up, this is probably a very good thing.

However, I am currently knitting a pair of socks on the fly, and the joy of imperfection are pressing themselves upon me.

The socks are for my mother. She really liked a skein of yarn I dyed. I was going for Burgundy but ended up with an almost neon red variegated. Very pretty, but not what I needed, so it was lying around when she admired it. Aha - use for the useless yarn - pleasure number one.

Then, my mother is not a perfectionist. In fact, my perfectionism in my knitting drives her absolutely up a wall. That level of attention to detail makes her skin crawl - especially in things where, as far as she can see, imperfection does not affect useability. So, I gave myself permission to knit them the way she would knit them for herself, if she ever knit socks - the QDD, "Done is Good" standard - as opposed to my own ripping back of what was probably 3000 stitches in one sock...

I have to say, imperfection is a certain amount of fun, but I don't think it would be if it were not that I know she will love them better this way.

The knitting is moving right along. I realized I was six rows past a missed eyelet in a whole row of my lace pattern, and kept moving. I am not even questioning the improprieties in gusset decreasing - a grey area, where I will fudge for myself but feel funny fudging for, say, swap partners.

The result is that she will have these socks to wear before I need to touch up my dye job, an unheard-of feat. And I am moving in some direction, although I am not sure which...

But sometimes doing a half-assed job is...kinda fun.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Quidditch

1. When Hagrid returns to Hogwarts after being sent to see the giants with Madame Maxime, Professor Umbridge questions him on his late return to school. She suspects that Hagrid had been to the mountains, but where does he tell her he has been?

d. South of France

2. Professor Umbridge comes to Hagrid's Hut and searches his cabin one evening (as she believes Harry, Ron and Hermione are there visiting him at night when they are not supposed to). When she walks past the place where Harry, Ron and Hermione are hiding under the Invisibility Cloak, Harry holds his breath. True or false?
a. True


3. A stately-looking witch in an emerald green shawl is one of the members of the Advance Guard who rescues Harry from Privet Drive. What is her name?
a. Emmeline Vance

4. What is the name of the witch who was killed two weeks after the photo of the original Order of the Phoenix was taken?
b. Marlene McKinnon


5. Which two fifth year Ravenclaw students does Dumbledore choose to be prefects?
d. Anthony Goldstein and Padma Patil

6. Which house was Rose Zeller sorted into?

d. Hufflepuff

7. What is the color of Murtlap's essence?

c. Yellow

8. Name the Ravenclaw girl who became prefect in Harry's fifth year.
b. Padma Patil

9. According to a healer's portrait at St. Mungo's hospital, which disease was Ron suffering from?
d. Spattergroit

10. Which book did Harry give Hermione for Christmas?
"
d. "Moste Potente Potions"



Padma Patil



Hannah Abbott



Percy Weasley



Dumbledore's Army



Cedric Diggory

And the extra five points - the movie in which "Cedric" will be appearing as Edward this fall will be Twilight.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Inter-house Unity knit-along

I have looked at a few, not all, of the scarves, and they are all lying politely flat, crossed section very fluid and relaxed, more or less exactly like the pattern. Mine, however, looks like this:





There is a lot of texture there, beyond what comes with the thick and thin yarn I am using. The knitting is sort of pulling up into cuplike sections. I can't say I don't like it, and I can't say I haven't thought of possible "fixes" - using a much larger needle, for example, or blocking. I am not sure I will do either, however. For one, I kind of like the way it looks, and for another, well, it seems very me to have knitted a really simple pattern that just - isn't like the rest, even though the rest are very very nice.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

THE BOX

So, I finally, this term, got around to joining the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap, and if I were into bitter regret, I would be bitterly regretting the four terms I've missed. The friendliness and society is superb, and what luck - one of the busiest knitters and posters turns out to live 15 mintues from me and be awesome in real life as well. Sometimes you hit an experience that makes up for a whole lot of traffic tickets and stolen parking spaces and nights you had to knit by yourself, and this is one of those. And that is all before the kit itself.

But what a kit.

I sort of knew I was in for a marvelous ride opening this when I found out my spoiler, Cassandra Puddlemere, was a prizewinner last time around. Cassandra is a prefect and one of the most prolific posters, so I've gotten to know her fairly well already, and there are weeks of this swap left to go. But no one could really have expected this.

First of all, there was too much swag to fit in one container, so she had to send two:






Which I carefully excavated, much like an archealogical dig.










there were delicious treats:



The resident house elf had ripped open the box of Bertie Bott's before I could so much as read the letter! It was forcibly retrieved and placed out of his reach. The lemon drops remind me of Dumbledore, and the rootbeer is a touch of home here in the castle...


Gryffinly paper goods included red bugs (Whose animagus is that? They are way too sweet to be related to Rita Skeeter!)a Trio bookmark, Gryffindor gold notepaper emblazoned with a G, magical roses which can stick on to metal and hold sheets of paper on as well, the snitch keychain I was slobbering over on the net the other day and two textbooks! I have been dieing to read Fantastic Beasts and now I can!



The tyvek bag was astounding. It had two hand made owls; a Baby Brother owl for my little one, and Big Brother owl for my older son, along with another toy for each - a tiny Thomas the Tank Engine for the baby, which is not in the picture because said baby would not let it out of his grubby little paw, and a planet sun catcher for my older son. The note that explains these choices is priceless, and I thank you for that especially, Cass.




Approaching the sock itself, I show you one of the Hiya Hiya 000 needles Cass sent, displaying the gorgeous stitch markers. I specifically needed this size, and I was thrilled beyond belief with the needles and with how pretty the stitch markers are. Do you think the discerning will notice if I wear two as earrings while displaying the rest on my needeles?


>

(There was also a CD of knitting patterns, which you can see in the final picture)

And now, we get down to the heart of the matter...the nitty gritty guts of a sock kit: Fiber. Yarn. Bag.


I was very surprised to find this roll of roving, hand painted by Tempted Hand Painted Yarns - 4 oz of Blue Faced Leicester. Is it any surprise that this colorway is called Godric? I am wondering if it is going to become socks, or a shawl. It is SOOO soft! There are a ton of options as to how I can spin it up - just deciding between them is delectable!




Then, there is sock yarn! 435 yards of machine-washable goodness in this colorway, which the Painted Sheep is calling Tulips. Well, I guess they want people who don't know or don't care that it is the perfect Gryffindor colorway to buy it, too? This is a five and a quarter ounce skein, so despite the impressive yardage we are talking a hefty, substantial sock yarn. This may become a pair of my Eight Great Gryffindors sock - pattern available soon...I have to see how it works up with the patterning. If not, I'll be trying Inukshuk71's Minerva's Lucky Quidditch socks. Audrey was my spoiler in HSS2 and I have a pair of those in my drawer already, and they are superb! We will have to see what the yarn wants to be. Although I should warn it - I think there might be enough for a nice coffee cup sling, or at least cuff, after the socks are done...




and now, the piece de resistance... the ne plus ultra...the moment you have been waiting for...

A teaser look at that bag. I call this photo "The Heart of the Matter" and I think I may be making prints to put on cards...



And now...drumroll... the bag, THE bag, the bag that has my mother WILD with Envy, and she a woman who does not have a jealous bone in her body...(A little jealous cartilidge, maybe, but not a bone...)



Is. This. Not. FANTASTIC???????????????????????

I love it. I love the color. I love the sheen of the fiber. I love the pattern, which I have contemplated making numerous times but never gotten around to. I love the button. I love the handle. I love the lining, carefully machine stitched for strength and then even more carefully hand-stitched in. Teh only possible way to improve this bag is to fill it up with sock knitting and enjoy it.

Which is exactly what I am about to do!



Thanks, Cassandra. MARVELOUS job!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hello Gryffindors. Here's a little fun quiz for you. Hope you enjoy it!

Who is your favorite member of the Order of the Phoenix?

Probably Mad-Eye. He and I have a lot in common.

Favorite person at Hogwarts?

Hagrid. Wait, he's also in the Order of the Phoenix! Well, since Mad-Eye is not at Hogwarts, we will let them each take one and no one's feelings get hurt.

Favorite spell or charm to use?

Does Apparating count?

Best and worst classes at Hogwarts?

Best is History of Magic. Worst is Potions.

Favorite flower?

Iris

What is your beverage of choice? Coffee, tea, latte, soda/pop?

Recently, Seltzer

Favorite muggle music?

Not one favorite kind. I like Gregorian Chant, I like Led Zeppelin, I like singing old Civil War Songs... I am not much into hipping and hopping, though.

How many family members do you have?

Family of Origin had five before people started getting married. Family where I am the mother has four.

What do you do on your summer vacation?

Well, I'm not in school so it is not really a summer vacation. I keep on doing what I usually do, and then here or there we may go away for a few days. We like to go to County fairs, and last year we went to Lancaster PA and Gettysburg. Once we went to Cooperstown, and that was SOOO cool because it is not just baseball.


What is your Favorite vacation ever taken?

Probably my honeymoon. We stayed at West Point and at the Mohonk Mountain house.

What is your favorite subject at Hogwarts? Why?

I like History of Magic because I already understand how to understand History. All the others are very difficult for me. Potions is darned near impossible.

How many pairs of shoes (footwear)do you have?

I have not counted recently, and I am not going to go count now, because I do not want to know.

Which are your favorite pair? Right now probably the strappy red high heeled sandals.


How many projects do you have OTN (on the needles)?

I have needles with projects on them since 1991. Do you really want me to go count them all?????

I am actively working or thinking of working on at least 3 pair of socks, a shawl, a blanket square, and probably a few other things I am not registering in my mind at the moment.
What is the oldest project you're working on and when did you cast it on?

An Avocado green sweater I cast on After I was married, but Before my son was born. That was probably around 1990 or 1991.

Favorite food(s)?

Rare Roast beef, my mom's salad with blue cheese and walnuts, my mom's veal marsala, peaches, string beans, certain varieties of apples, chocolate croissants, cranberry and orange muffins like they used to have at Balducci's in the 80's, real thin Italian pizza, Brooklyn Pizza (no, these are not exactly the same) dark chocolate, I could go on for days and days and years....

This assignment is due by Monday night 9pm ET. AND thanks Ophelia B for coming up with much of it!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Quidditch!

1. At the beginning of the year feast, who is the only person who rudely interrupts Dumbledore during his speech?


b. Professor Umbridge (and everyone is SHOCKED, as no one EVER interrupts Dumbledore!)




2. Off what street is the alley where Harry first met Sirius?


c. Magnolia Crescent




3. Tonks’ mother had two sisters, both pure-bloods, and both left on the Black Family Tree. What are their names?



c. Narcissa and Bellatrix




4. What spell are the students studying in McGonalgall’s class when Umbrdige is doing her inspection?

d. The Vanishing Spell


5. Who comes to warn Harry and the rest of Dumbledore’s Army that Umbridge and her group of followers are coming to break up their meeting?

Answer: __Dobby_____________________ (five letters)


6. Who are the members of the Order that met Harry Potter in the Dursely’s house during the summer before his fifth year?


c. Alastor Moody, Nymphadora Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Elphias Doge, Dedalus Diggle, Remus Lupin, Emmeline Vance, Sturgis Podmore, Hestia Jones



7. Moody used the Disillusionment Charm on Harry.

a. Yes



8. Which of these Death Eaters is Sirius related to?


d. All of these (And many others. All the pure Bloods seem to be related to some degree - it is just a matter of what degree...)


9. At what age did Sirius leave his home?

Answer: ________16. ___________ (Number)(he stayed with the Potters until he came of age, at which point money from his Uncle Alphard was available and he got a place of his own.


10. How many of the original Order members were killed (don’t include those who disappeared)?


b. 8

This includes members in the picture Moody showed Harry, but did not include their family members. Caradoc Dearborn is the one they never found.

Picture Scavenger

Post these pictures to your blog. They must either be posted or linked to from your blog in order to receive points.



Kingsley Shacklebolt



Bellatrix Lestrange





Nymphadora Tonks (with Movie!Moody. I could not resist. Even though he does not look like MY Moody, still...)



Remus Lupin

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Socks you may want to see.

I thought I'd post all my Potter Socks for people in the current swap to see. They still are not up on Ravelry.

This first sock was knitted for a Hufflepuff, and is inspired by the three challenges in Goblet of Fire. The top is false flame stitch, for dragons; the middle is bubble stitch, for the lake, and the foot is the maze pattern, a mosaic. I designed this sock.



This next sock was knitted for a Gryffindor whose favorite character was Hermione. I also designed this one. The ribbing is hourglass ribbing - for her time turner, and for the points she was always getting for the Gryffindor points hourglass. The first colored section at the top depicts the canaries she sicced on Ron... The middle section represents both the coins she charmed for the DA and the SPEW badges. The foot is as close as I could get to little beaded handbags. You do need a bit of imagination there, but now that you know it, can't you see it?



I did NOT design this sock, which is called "King's Cross" after the station, but I felt King's Cross did fit the Potterverse so well. I got the pattern from the blog of a Raveler called "wollehun" although I am probably spelling that incorrectly. I will try to edit with a direct link tomorrow - I love this pattern so much I have already knit it twice and will be doing it again.



I would love comments. I am writing up the patterns for the two I designed and wonder what people think.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Second Gryffindor Quiz

1. onihexp__phoenix______________
2. nro____ron____________
3. mayr__army______________
4. seelway___weasley_____________
5. hrigda__hagrid______________
6. ifdynrrgof___gryffindor_____________
7. dawn___wand_____________
8. oshawrgt___hogwarts_____________
9. busnim___nimbus_____________
10. bdulodeerm__dumbledore______________
11. bydob____dobby____________
12. bugmrdie___umbridge_____________
13. emionehr___hermione_____________
14. rhayr___harry_____________
15. arkreech__kreacher______________
16. riissu___sirius_____________
17. dootvlemr___voldemort_____________
18. ptrote____potter____________
19. hwgedi__hedwig______________
20. ebtahlkclso____shacklebolt____________

Obviously most of these are proper names and would normally be capitalized, but I kept it to exactly what we were given.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

1. Which of Arabella Figg's cats ran out from under the car?

a. Tibbles


2. Which of the following is NOT one of Albus Dumbledore's middle names?

a. Ignatius (It is, however, Percy Weasley's middle name.)


3. Which educational decree introduced a High Inquisitor to Hogwarts?

23

4. Apart from Harry, Ron and Hermione, who was the first person to enter the Hog's Head that showed an interest in Harry's Defence Against the Dark Arts classes

b. Neville Longbottom was the first person to enter, but Anthony Goldstein was the first person to express verbal support, by calling out "Hear, hear!" while Hermione was talking about the idea


5. In the first Quidditch match of the year which player attempted to score first?

a. Angelina Johnson

6. What kind of bush does Harry hide behind to listen to the news

b. A hydrangea bush

7. Why is Mundungus Fletcher disguised as a woman when he witnesses the DA (Dumbledore's Army) meeting in the Hog's Head pub?

b. He was banned from the Hog’s Head pub 20 years ago


8. When Harry and Cho go on their first date to Madam Puddifoot's in Hogsmeade, what is it decorated with for Valentine's Day?

c. Golden cherubs and pink confetti

9. How old is Sturgis Podmore and where does he live?

a. 38 and number 2 Laburnum Gardens Clapham


10. What did Fred and George Weasley do to Montague?

d. Forced him down a toilet in the girl’s bathroom on the fourth floor.

I will be back with pictures!



Picture Scavenger Hunt





Fred and George Weasley (together)



Hog's Head Pub



Sirius Black



Mr. Weasley and Harry (together)



Draco Malfoy

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Major Errors, and Quills...

No! No! I don't need 00 needles. I need 000 needles. Merlin knows where my head was when I posted that!!!! size 1.5mm, 000 in US Sizing.

(yes, I've got three sets of aluminum, but they BEND....which is fine if you are knitting really fine yarn, but if you are using them to get regular sock yarn really dense, oooh, what a mess you can end up with! {Ask me how I know.})

I got a lovely response from Ophelia Ballycastle about my sadly thwarted attempts to post on parchment. She wanted to know where I got my quills.

In fact, I used two quills. The blue words were written with a a fountain pen from an "as seen on TV" offer - I did not pay full price, however. I found the set for about a third of it's original price, and of course no postage, at Big Lots, a Muggle Salvage store.

The Red words were written with a steel nib and a red nib holder, which I purchased in a box at a Muggle Book store in their bargain section. It seems Hermione and Mad-Eye (I HAVE mentioned that Mad-Eye is not dead, haven't I? I thought I had...anyway...) cleverly packaged a concealed writing kit under the guise of a Muggle love letter kit! Apparantly the Muggles were not too loving around Valentines Day 2007, because this year these showed up for less than a Starbuck's Latte in January, and I cleverly snapped a few up.

However, that does not tell Ophelia where she can get one, and so I thought I'd expand a bit.

Metal Quills, in fountain pen or dip varieties, are often encountered in any of several parts of US Muggle Bookstores. Generally, the fancier Calligraphy kits will have them, usually as fountain pens, and these might be either in the art area or the bargain area. Be careful - the less expensive kits often have markers, which are easier to use, but I am sure you all already know where to buy markers. The other place is the gift section. The Chain Barns and No Bells seems to always have an array of the metal nibs, some attached to feathers, some in straight wooden or metal holders, and also glass pens which are lovely but not the same thing at all.

Other places fountain pens can be encountered are office supply stores - not all, but many, and art supply stores - the better ones, not necessarily the art supply section of the nearest chain crafts store.

They can also be ordered from http://nostalgicimpressions.com This site does actually metion Harry Potter himself when you click on Quills, so perhaps they are accustomed to outfitting Witches and Wizards. They offer steel nibs and also real feather quills.

Now I have not made an extensive study of magical pen technology, but I do know that when made by Muggles, quill pen points are only good for a few pages at most. Just one of Professor Snapes assignments of "three feet of parchment" on some potion ingredient would have necessitated recutting the nib.

Bearing this in mind, I went and found two other sources which tell you how to process and cut your own pens from the plain old feathers which one can often find at craft retailers. (These are often sold so that little children can make imaginative and entirely innacurate renderings of American Indian garb, if that helps you find them...) I found the first website thorough, but a tiny bit confusing. I found the pictures on the second website to be a great help, but not enough on their own to easily yield one a really superior pen.

http://www.flick.com/~liralen/quills/quills.html
http://www.regia.org/quill2.html

The second website, by the way, seems to be run by Muggles who take their history very seriously indeed. American Civil War re-enactors would find them kindred souls as to accuracy, I think.

I hope that any of you who have been finding it difficult to get your homework done because you did not get enough quills at Scrivenshafts and were hoping your people would send from home, instead of making you spend your Hogsmeade weekend allowance on them, may now be able to owl this information to the appropriate parental or other units and have this miscalculation taken care of. (Because most certainly, no student would willingly leave for school without enough equipment to get their homework done...)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Gryff assignment




Okay, you still can't read it, so much for all my efforts...I will type it out for you...

Molly and Arthur Weasley have ____ children. Name three.

They have seven children. Percy, Ron and Ginny are three of these children.

2. What is the full name of Gryffindor Ghost Nearly Headless Nick?

His full name is Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington.

3. Which Ravencalw sports a hat with a Gryffindor-like life-sized lion's head which roars in Order of the Phoenix?

Luna Lovegood wears this hat to support Gryffindor at a Quidditch match.

4. Name five members of the Order of the Phoenix.

Alastor Moody, Mundungus Fletcher, Severus Snape, Remus Lupin and Molly Weasley are five members of the Order.

5. What is the profession of Hermione Granger's parents?

Their profession is dentistry.

6. What is your favorite thing to knit or crochet?

I think that for a while my favorite thing has been socks.

7. What is Professor Minerva McGonagall's animagus?

Her animagus is a cat.

8. What size needles(DPN's, circular or loop) do you prefer for knitting socks?

I strongly prefer DPN's. I use from size 0000 up to about a US. 1.5, and I am always loosing them. Right now I am in particular need of Steel 00 needles.

9. Where are the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix?

The HQ of the Order is number 12 Grimmauld Place.

11. What is the name of the last book you read.

Assuming that listening to an audio book counts, Eragon. Assuming you had to actually hold it in your hands, That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis.

12. Which Gryffindor used to play "Charlie's Angels" and was always Bosley?

That was Lizzie Wychwood.

I really really really hope spelling does not count. I am wonderinf if Mimsy has an e....

Friday, May 23, 2008

A meme....

Girlwithneedles tagged me for this and when I thought about it I realized my classmates here don't know all these things about me, so I figured I would fill it in for you all...

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
Ten years ago I had not yet heard of Hogwarts, I believe. I was living where I am now - Same husband, same older son, baby not born yet. I was spinning a lot more, working a weekend job as well as at night, teaching HS students English and Adults ESL


2. What are 5 things on my to-do list today?

1. Answer Audrey's email

2. put answer to Gryffindor Quiz up

3. Write the perfect questionaires for ascertaining my partner's likes in scarves and bags and maybe even socks.

4. See if the store I am wondering about has nice fabric

5. eating some more chocolate.

There are other, Muggle sorts of things on the list, but I don't CARE about those...



3. Snacks I enjoy...

Dark Chocolate

Spinach Pie

strawberries

ice cream

(Although really, a nice big rare roast beef sandwhich on a roll with butter and salt and some potatoe salad and a kosher dill pickle would be nice just about now...as a snack...I have an appetite like Ron Weasley)


4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire....

Go back to Italy

Visit my online friends all over the world.

Buy a Vita-Mix

Endow scholarships

Buy the family homes in Brooklyn

Buy my parents a house in Rockaway for weekends

Try to start business that would provide jobs to all sorts of people

Find a way to lose weight

Get a dog

5. Places I've lived

Brooklyn, NY

Hudson River Valley

Syracuse, NY (3.5 years, College)

Florence, Italy, one semester

Manhatten

Watertown, NY

Queens, NY



6. Jobs I've had.

Babysitting

Counselor at Cub Scout Day Camp
Nature Director at Cub Schout Day Camp
Arts and Crafts Director at Cub Scout Day Camp

Dining Hall in College (This is the job where I got to make salad for 700 and also pull other people's cigarette butts out of their mashed potatoes)

Meal Card Checker in Dining Hall

Box Office Help at Community Live Theater

Assistant to Family Service Dept at Salvation Army

Secretary at IBM (2 summers)

Temp at Minolta Corp.

Office help/Library at Program Abroad

Secretary in Japanese Company in Suburban NJ

Admin. Asst., Library, Major University

Teacher of English 7-12, Upstate

Teacher of English, 9-12 Summer school

Teacher of English/ESL various posts in NYC BoE

Teacher of English/Esl/Tutor/ various nickel and dime operations.

Clerk at Fabric/Craft Store

I even did piece work for the Garment District.....


7. Peeps I want to know more about...

I do not like putting people on the spot, so the following are invited to respond if they care to..

Cassandra Puddlemere

Morgana Black

Clidonia Acromantula

Emerald

Lizzie Wychwood

Now I have to go post on their blogs...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mystery Solved

The mystery of why it was the Slytherin table his big brother's spell finally sucked my baby out from under has been solved - it seems they may have been slipping him cookies under there! So the unkind muttered suggestions that they were considering holding him for ransome were just that. But they do not know what they have let themselves in for - he'll be expecting cookies all the time, now, and woe to them when the House Elves serve a dinner without them!

And that Gryffinitter! Showing off about her needle sizes! She should have mentioned that she is a very loose knitter, and needs persnicketily small needles just to get 8 or 9 stitches to the inch on a sock. It's not like she is Althea Merbeck or anything. Ms. Merbeck is one presumed non-magical person who has learned how to work a magic of her own!

I did brew my first simple potion without killing anyone. It turned the color of mud and had to be dug out of the cauldron with a spoon to sample it, but at least the kids got a kick out of it. Really, I need to keep a sense of humor - being bested at almost everything by eleven year olds will quickly get to me if I don't!

I am going to get my revenge one of these days, though. From the looks on people's faces when hobbies come up in conversation, there are no spinning witches in Britain. Wait till I bring my Lendrum down to the courtyard one of these sunny, mild days...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

And I must say, Canadians do not get the credit they deserve...

While Belladonna is at class, I am taking over this blog to let everyone see what wonderful stuff I got in my Hogwarts Sock Swap Three box.

First, ha ha, you can tell my spoiler was a Slytherin - pleasantly crafty!. She oh so off-handedly mentioned that she had gone shopping in Diagon Alley and did I like the Harry Potter Colorways that some indie dyers have...without mentioning, of course, that she is one herself! So these socks were knit from "Fawkes" Faery Fiber





The socks are marvelous and fit like a dream, a really deluxe pair, even among hand-knitted socks. Thank you, Cassandra!

But of course, there was much more than these terrific socks (Which went immediately upon my feet and will probably only come off to be alternated with socks from the last two swaps...) A skein of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Solids, in a burgundy shade that just screams Gryffindor, stickers of Harry catching the snitch, an authentic Harry Potter journal with Hedwig of blessed memory on the front, a copy of Judy Sumner's "Taking Flight" socks which calls for the very sockweight the Cherry Tree Hill happens to be...(you can see Cassandra thougth this all out very carefully!)the remains of the skein my socks came from, for repair, and the very needles I have been searching for - 1.75 MM, steel. Bless you, Cassandra, I was going crazy over finding these!



What you don't see in this picture, because I didn't find it till after the picture was taken, is the second set of needles she sent me - size zero, Rosewood! This was entirely above and beyond the call of swapping and I am stunned - they are not only gorgeous, but have nice sharp points. The next pair of socks I cast on for myself has to be a pair I can use these on.

Lastly, there are edibles - and this is where Canadians are seriously underestimated. I have never found a terrific local chocolate or confection of any kind I can put in a swap box and have had to resort to nice chocolate, but nothing my partners couldn't find, probably, in their own neighborhoods. I keep getting boxes from Canada, however, filled with incredible local candies. This one features a candy bar labelled "A Taste from Alberta" - Roger's milk chocolate. I ate the whole thing. In one sitting. I was a pig and didn't share, either - if my sons want candies this tasty let them make their own international friends! There is also a box of Cupper's Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans, absolutely perfect, and a bag of Maynards original Gummies, "Objects in here are chewier than they appear." We expect amazing chocolates and goodies from Europe, but I think we have to add Canada to that map - between the lavender hard candies from my last box, and these coffee beans and chocolate bar, the next time I go up there I am going to have a budget line for incredible edibles.




I hear Belladonna in the hall - she is going to want the blog back! Bye for now - I will try to post my Reducio Sock tomorrow!

Spent the Morning at St. Mungo's

Well, I spent the morning at St. Mungo's with my fifth-year. I got absolutely no knitting done, but at least he did admit to me that the yarn I bought to make socks for him with did not please him one bit. Better now than after I spend hours on the socks!!!

This potions professor - still a bit of a mystery to me, actually. I am not that entranced with light-haired men. Then again, I maybe be being so hare-brained myself as to be mixing them up and be talking about the wrong person!

The feast was marvelous tonight! I don't usually go down to the Great Hall because the House Elves will bring the food up so families can eat together for the few of us who are adult students with families, but since it was the feast, down we went. The baby ran under every single house table, and I was utterly mortified. There were people at the Gryffindor table muttering about two students named Fred and George who used to go here, and chuckling, while my older son wanted, probably, to disappear. He was very good, though. Accio'd his baby brother and brought him back to us, and then used a temporary sticking charm to keep him on the bench where he belonged. He promised he'd teach me that one when no one is looking.

It has been slightly embarrassing that he could do all this magic and I could not, up till now - it is one of the reasons we finally came. My husband does not love his commute by international portkey, but one look at what would have been his department here was enough. My son could never teach me because of the ban on using magic out of school when you aren't 17 yet. He whispered to me as he went his way, however, that he would come by on Sunday and help me out.

Anyway, there is this Black Bean Pumpkin soup...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Got my pals, and Slytherins, take note!

I got my pals. I am being spoiled by Cassandra Puddlemere, a former Gryffindor (or maybe just one on hiatus - she's in Slytherin this time around) who apparantly really knows how to spoil one. I am spoiling a Hufflepuff, Clidonia Acromantula. She's a second year also, which means she really knows what's going on - I had better get everything right!

Now the Slytherins should take note because I am designing a sock called "The Sevenfold Severusbane Sock" It is "Bane" more in the sense of things being the bane of one's existence, rather than being like wolf'sbane, except that Nagini is going to be an option. I'm going to need a test knitter sometime soon, if anyone is interested.

Actually, since most of the Banes of Snape's existence were Gryffindors, it should also work well in Red and Gold, for any Gryffs who think it sounds interesting.

Potions has yet to go down the tubes for me (Speaking of Hogwart's most famous Potions Master)but that may only be because I haven't had to actually brew anything yet. I am sending for some Mise en place dishes, however. I need all the help I can get.

I didn't kill anything in Herbology, though. That's something...

Got my pals, and Slytherins, take note!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I'm not sure I like this...

What Harry Potter Wand Are You?
Your Result: 12.5" Yew, Dragon Heartstring
 

Your wand is longer than average, with a flexible and long-lasting wood. Dragon Heartstring is a common Ollivander core. Your wand is ideal for jinxes and hexes.

11.5" Yew, Unicorn Hair
 
11" Mahogany, Unicorn Hair
 
9" Willow, Phoenix Feather
 
10.5" Ash, Phoenix Feather
 
14" Holly, Veela Hair
 
11" Ash, Hippogriff Talon
 
8.5" Mahogany, Dragon Heartstring
 
What Harry Potter Wand Are You?
See All Our Quizzes


Hexes and jinxes? Well, if that's true - and it doesn't seem to be Mister Olivander who wrote the quiz - if that's true, maybe it will help me out. I suspect I am not the hexy jinxy type, so at least one of the two of us will have an aptitude that way. Something to even things out a bit.

I have my class schedule and it is enough to make my hair stand on end. I'm not eleven. I do know a few things about myself. I stunk at Muggle Chemistry, I'm not much of a cook - and I have to make potions? Really? What are they thinking?!? I come by my inablities totally honestly. My mother's college chem class nearly poisoned themselves by not using the hood. She got in trouble for bleeding on the floor when she used one of the tools improperly - and that was plain, old, relatively inert Muggle stuff. Can you imagine what I, who only got through HS chem by cleaning up after the two kids in my lab group who could actually do the work, did it, am going to do in a potions classroom? I've been asking around and apparantly one of the ways you can go wrong is by melting your cauldron. I've already sent an owl to Diagon Alley to see if I can get some sort of quantity discount on them.

Then there's Transfiguration. I have serious scruples about Transfiguration. When you change an inanimate object to a living thing, are you actually making it live? And if you turn a turtle into a soup bowl, are you killing it? The whole thing makes me very uncomfortable. I can just see the discussion with the Professor, too. They never really want to hear things like this, not even in office hours. Still, I had better go address the issue before I am standing there, asked to turn a porcupine into a shoe brush and surprise her by refusing, and then insult her by explaining that I think her entire subject is unethical...

On the other hand, they could have given me Ancient Runes. I already read a little Founder's Era English. I already know Muggle Runes - more than one kind. I'd fit right in to Ancient Runes. But I did not complain. The Transfigurations thing is bad enough.

One thing I am not worried about is that DADA teacher. First, he looks young enough to be my kid, so no real thrill there. Then, well, after you've taught the muddled Muggle Students I had for 20 years...piece of cake.

I am very very happy with my quills. And my parchment! *dies and goes to neorxnewanga* Everything an old Muggle Medieval Studies Major could ask...

Oh, I hope the other students like me!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Hurray!!!!

I remember seeing the HSKS the first time, about a year ago, and I had just signed up for the Hogwarts sock swap. That was my first sock and I guess I thought two was too many? I am now an experienced swapper, and a Gryffindor again!!!!

So, for the next few months this blog will be written by a witch named Belladonna Boomslang, a first year adult student at Hogwarts. Sorted into Gryffindor, I am looking forward to all the events that surround a Hogwarts first year - shopping in Diagon Alley for my wand, riding on the Hogwarts express (I think I am bringing a very fancy basket lunch - not quite as pretentious as Slughorn's, but something besides candy, and enough to share with whomever is in the railway carriage with me. My son told me years ago that if you bring food, people will like you, and I see no reason to argue with that logic.) and being taken across the lake in a little boat by Hagrid. My DH better watch it, because that horrible LIE that Mad-Eye died when he fell off his broom is just that, and who knows, I might get to meet him. (Belladonna <3's Mad-Eye like craaaaazy. Of course, so does his wife. You didn't know he was married? It was in the Quibbler...)

Of course the Gryffinitter herself may guest blog from time to time, but mostly it will be me, BB, adult witch from a family of lost witches and wizards, recently re-discovered...

Monday, April 14, 2008

We all have days like this...

This morning I had a 50 foot tree from the front of the house cut down. It needed it. It has been losing branches for 7 years, and not only was it shaggy looking, we were starting to worry about it deciding to come down of it's own accord - probably on someone else's car, or house, or self, even. The men were done by 8:45. I am blaming it on this.

Anyway, after the men, and a number of people who just had to either call or show up at the door, or call back, or forget to call back, and cleaning the couch from the creative efforts of the two year old who has started making a habit of this, I decided to call Patternworks and ask about a sock yarn I've been eying in their catalog. It is the Kertzer On Your Toes, color 3812.

It is in the same box with color 3817 ,which is shown knitted up into a pair of socks, and very clearly the socks have strong stirpes of Hot Pink about 3 inches wide, with stripes of multicolor in between. I was discussing this with customer service, and went on to explain that This was not my favorite look, although I do like the color pink, and anyway, if they are too bright,

"All you have to do is pull your pants down."

I probably should have included the word "cuffs."


We had a good laugh, though. You'd hope that would distract from your socks, wouldn't you?

See, knitting CAN cure anything. Even a crazy day...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Cast your bread upon the waters...

As the woman who wrote the I Hate to Cook Book pointed out, sometimes when you cast your bread upon the waters, it comes back nicely buttered.

I got my bread back toasted, buttered, and with a dollop of something delicious on top from my Hogwarts Sock Swap Two Partner, Daisy Hippogryff.


Look at this wonderful package! All it had to include was the following:

Socks in my house colors
A sock pattern
An HP bookmark (Which you can see better in the next foto)
Yarn for a pair of socks

Hmmm...yep, I think that was all, but look what she picked out for me!



First, there is a pile of edible goodness - Petite Ecolier Cookies, which are even more delicious than any I have had here, Cocoa sent to me by Remus Lupin, an Easter Egg that Dobby made me, and a box of lavender candies that are just - OOOH! I can clearly see I am going to have to start ordering them for myself - I have been very carefully eating them one at a time, as a special treat.




The major part of the gift, what she really concentrated on, was the yarn, and I think she totally outdid herself. Observe:

Two Skeins of Elann's Sock-it-to-Me sock yarn in Gryffindor burgundy.

Two skeins of Bergere de France Lima in machine washable wool and alpaca - I had never even heard of such a thing! - in a terrific green to make my son a pair of socks. I have no idea how she knew, but it is almost exactly the color of his eyes.

The leftover yarn from my socks, for repair, and

Effiloche, which is sea wool dyed locally in brazil wood. This is also machine washable, and a perfect color for me. I was stunned, actually. I kept holding it as if it were very fragile, almost afraid it would disappear from my hands.

The other items in the box were all also very special, and some of them were specifically sent to me by members of the Hogwarts staff and extended family. I think you can see in the photo:

A scarf woven by Hermione hanging up over the back of the box.

A bottle of honeysuckle scented bath and shower gel brewed for me by Madame Pomfrey

Minerva McGonagall came up with the lovely little notebook - there was a whole story about it in the letter which came with the package.

The little yellow rat you can just see on the top of the skein of Gryffindor yarn is the bookmark - Petter Pettigrew, hiding out as Scabbers.

There is a lapel pin of Hedwig, and a black and red pendant which relates to my pal's screen name.

The black circle you can see is actually the round top of a little skein holder I can put sock yarn in to keep it neat in my project bags.

The bracelet is a row counter bracelet, which she made for me herself! I have only been wanting one of these since the first time I saw something like it in a catalog...

There are three Cd's - a movie she thought I would like, and two sock patterns because she liked them both and could not decide between them!

And dear, busy, Molly Weasley out did herself! That is the bit you can see of a felted oven mitt she made me, there in a corner. (I had a whole picture of it, but Blogger was very mingy about how many pictures it would let me post... : - ( )

But you have been waiting to see the socks, haven't you? I have to warn you they are a tiny bit dusty, from being put on my feet the minute I got them and not taken off for quite some time... Here is one on my right foot...



And here is a photo that shows how much attention to detail Daisy put into them. The little hole that almost ALWAYS shows up at the side of the gusset? GONE!



You may have noticed that this was a bit more lavish than the average sock swap package. Daisy and I got to know each other very well. I think the swap mom paired us very carefully, possibly partly because we had each designed our own sock pattern for the first round. You can see her pattern here, along with the pattern for the socks she made me - Daisy is a very generous knitter who offers her patterns free on her website, and they are all worth knitting. Right beneath the pattern for my socks is the pattern for a baby bunting, and below that, her showcase of what I sent her.

We actually opened our boxes at the same time, while hanging out together on Yahoo messenger. It just took me a while to get this post together... (Very red face here...)

We took our time with this, by mutual consent. The packages were due at the end of October, but we did not mail till March, for various reasons. We corresponded throughout the whole time, however, and got to know each other fairly well. At this point she is a friend, not just a swap partner who did a great job, and we continue to correspond. So, not my bread came back not just buttered, but toasted, buttered, and layered with little delicious bits. Occassionally, things do turn out much better than one could ever have expected.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A WIP I can show

No one at the HSS3 seems all that excited about showing pictures this time - I have no idea why. Maybe they are all on Ravelry looking at other stuff. Anyway, I am happy to report that I am working on King's Cross Socks. I am doing them in Lane Cervinia Calzetteria in a color to go with my pal's Hogwart's House. I Ravelled the designer and she did name them after the station, so I figure that is a good connection - they really do look like train tracks. I'm going to try to get a 9 3/4 in there...

These socks are a breeze so far. Well, the part I have knit twice and am about to start a third time is a breeze. 12 rows of 2 by 2 rib, and then you do a little massive cabling for one round, and then another 12 rows of rib. Moreover, the cabling manages to look like you did it twice, when actually you only did it once. Very clever!

I think I have isolated the problem - the cables cross over 4 stitches, and virtually the whole row is cabled at once, so instead of going way down in needles size as one might normally do for rib, one uses a larger needle than could be believed. At least, this one here seems to need to. In my case this is a whomping US size 2 - I normally use nothing bigger than a zero for sock ribbing, and have been known to use much smaller. Well, alas and alack! I am up to the size mentioned in the pattern! This usually only happens when it is like, size 13. But this is hardly the pattern's fault; it is a very nice pattern, and I love the designer's ravatar. Little feathery t-rex there...

When there is more of this to show, it shall be shown. I could not be bothered to photograph the wool. Especially since I should probably make it black and white so if my partner happens to be scanning blogs and trying desperately to figure out who I am, she will not guess... But when there is actually something to show that seems like it will fit...

I am working on the Toddler Moc-A-Socs for a three-soon year old boy. I am also using Calzetteria for that. The first one of that ALSO came too small - I think stress is getting to me and making me knit tighter or something. Well, and the child does take after his mother an have wide feet... This is a pattern you pay for and I think I got my money's worth - it is very clear, and the one question I had was answered by the designer within 24 hours of my sending her a Ravelry message. Can't ask for better service than that! There were one or two spots I got momentarily stuck on and then unstuck myself from with no major to-do. I am planning the cuff part in some nice green Kroy I have had marinating in my stash for a while.

Something else I am thinking about... The spring pattern book Make it Modern has a cute, cute sweater called Feather and Fan Cardigan. I may use the yarn I frogged from the two dollar sweater to knit it up in- a wool single, just a bit tweedy, in a green. I can wear it over my burgundy Henley and look like Gryffindor and Slytherin are fighting it out on my person.

I may be stuck thinking of colors in terms of Hogwarts Houses for life, people. I still think of SU every time I see International Orange, and it has been over 25 years since I had to wash that color acrylic paint out of my hair...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Misfit Cocoa Swap

A little while ago Grace, of Lovincomfortknits.blogspot.com , ran a small swap for people who had missed out on the cocoa swap. It was only ten people. I think they were all regular posters of Grace's, and, well, Grace is one of my favoritest people, so I threw my hat in the ring. Even though I was still knitting furiously on my Hogwarts sock, I figured that since I didn't have to actually knit anything for this one, I could fit it in too.

Well, my terrifically sweet swap partner, Alana, ( stringsandpurls.blogspot.com ) has already long since posted what I sent her, but I have been sitting on the pictures of what she sent me, which is totally unfair, since she sent me one of the best swap boxes ever. So here it is, finally, in almost all its glory.

First, everything in it came beautifully wrapped. I did not have the patience to grab the camera before I started wildly unwrapping everything. This may give you some idea of the pretty paper, and the frenzy...




Of course, the paper was covering terrific stuff. As a whole, it looked like a page from some upscale giftshop catalog - this would clearly have been the deluxe box, suitable for CEO's and VERY important clients...





It included some very terrific knitting goodies, some of which I had specifically asked for - like the fantastic pin-and-needle cushion. I use a lot of multiple zero needles, and I need a place to park them - replacing them is starting to run into serious numbers! I have lusted after one of these since the first time I saw one in the Patternworks catalog - back when Patternworks was in NY. Can't be much more than ten or twelve years that I was slobbering, but now I have one!



My measuring tapes run for the same black hole everyone else's do, so I really appreciated the fancy covered one (She did that herself too, folks,) and she also made the stitch markers. You can't appreciate how gorgeous they are. I have slipped them on earwires and worn them as earrings already. I tried to take a picture of them on my ears, but it turns out my ear and neck did not do them justice, and, well, what if any of you had been eating when you saw the picture...I want to be kind to my friends, after all. So you will have to take my word on how nicely they look on my ears until I get a better photographer than I to minimize the neck and maximize the sparkly goodness.

The needles - I have been aching to try those Harmony double points, and they did not disappoint. I am not a huge fan of wood needles, or bamboo needles - they are not usually quick enough for me. These, however? Just as perfect as everyone says. I am planning to get them in a few other sizes...

And the little cardboard tubes...you have no idea how I heart the little cardboard tubes. I was WANTING them, precioussss. They work exactly the way it says they do in the catalog, and have already been useful. They make the sock sitting around on its needles look very well-dressed, too - note illustration sock in photo.

Of course, it was a cocoa swap, so there was plenty of edible goodness. The Dove bar wrapper looks a little funny because...well... we all know what happens to good chocolate when a knitter's box is opened, right? Do I really need to explain? But there were also chocolate covered potato chips, which vanished in a FLASH. Yum. Not even the box was left. And there were FOUR kinds of hot cocoa! Yummy warmness till spring! (I am mean, and do not share! : - ) )



But, of course, it was KNITTERS swapping cocoa - and what is sending anything to a knitter without the yarn? Alana is clearly psychic. I adore SWS and am always almost buying myself enough to do something. Almost, because I am very very cheap with myself over these things. I keep waiting for the day I will have 7 Michaels coupons and seven friends in the van with me, which is probably unrealistic as I don't think I have seven friends in this half of the state. I did, however, once buy myself the one very most gorgeous color, and make a pair of fingerless mitts from it. Guess which color it was?





That's right - the same color as the three skeins she sent me! *Faintsplat!*

And the sock yarn is all the very best colors for me! If I planned an entire wardrobe around the colors in this yarn I would be looking happy and healthy every single day till it all wore out and fell apart. In fact, maybe I should do that...

So, Although it has taken me a while to post it, I have to say that my swap partner did an amazing job! And she is fun to correspond with. In fact, I have to go send her some pics of something else right now.

Thanks, Grace!!!! You ran a fantastic swap!!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Do you know these people?

If you are an Elannite, or, as Betsy calls us, an Elannimal, you probably know these people:




Baby has not knitted anything yet, but I maintain this is just because she's been too busy eating, pooping, and sleeping.