Monday, February 28, 2011


I finished the black pouch! Now I just have to turn it in.

I'm in a hurry, so I'm just going to post the photos. I think they're pretty well self-explanatory. It's a small little bag, but it's just big enough for a small project or some notions, and it's easy to carry. I like it.

This is my 5th project for the House Cup for February, plus 50% on my OWL, and my 3rd for Nerd Wars. I turned in the first two hats (Viking Hat and Mom's Hermione Hearts Ron hat) for the OWL; the lightbulb and conversation heart for the House Cup; and Cookie the murloc, the Icarus cowl and now this for both challenges. Go me! It was a busy month!

Short post

It's late, and I'm tired, so I'll make this short. I finished the Icarus cowl. I'm not satisfied with it (partly due to unforeseen circumstances with the pattern and partly due to plain old mistakes on my part) and will either redo it or start over and work another version later. But, this will do for the time being; it's still pretty and will still keep my neck warm.

You can't really tell in either of those photos, but the bottom part uses the feathery pattern from Icarus.

Last night I cast on my final project of the month, which I will (hopefully) finish tomorrow. It's just a small black wool pouch with six internal photos. I'll post photos when it's done.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Introducing ... Cookie!

This is Cookie.

Cookie is a murloc. (You can see his glamour shots here.)

He lives on a boat, or at least he used to. But people kept coming along and killing him when all he really wanted to do was fix supper for the crew, so he left his homeland for, shall we say, greener pastures. Now he lives in our computer room and poses for photo shoots with the kitchen sink. (He likes to be near the water, being a little bit frog-like and all.)

Cookie is generally a pretty friendly fellow. Give him a hug, and he'll holler out a friendly murloc gurgle (or murgle, if you will), like this.

Just don't mess with his stirring rod, or he will EAT YOUR FACE OFF.

I warned you.

Technical details: Cookie was knit from all acrylic yarns, mostly Simply Soft with the exception of his mouth, teeth and dark blue side stripes. His arms are pose-able, and so are his feet, but that was mainly for ease in stuffing. He has a soundbox inside him so that, when squeezed, he does, in fact, emit a nasty murgle. He is eligible for homework points in both the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup and the similar Nerd Wars knitting challenge.

Cookie is based on a well-known character from World of Warcraft, by the way, and he was a just-because gift for my husband. AKA a make-your-blood-run-cold-and-give-you-nightmares-about-being-ganked-by-murlocs gift for my husband. Because yeah, I'm just that evil. ;)

And, in other news, I cast on my Icarus cowl last night. I'm keeping track of it on Ravelry so it can be duplicated in the future if need be. So far, it's working out well.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

New stuff! (Warning: very photo heavy!)

So, last weekend was a special "Hogsmeade weekend" in the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup group. Basically, that just meant there were a lot of special events going on for the group. One of the special events was a big sale from some of the vendors in the group; they all offered 10-15% discounts to House Cuppers. I've been doing really well about not buying a lot of stuff, but I couldn't resist -- I found some awesome stuff in their shops, and it was all on sale!

First I ordered a set of snagless stitch markers from PrincessOnica, who just so happens to be the founder of the House Cup. It came with 20 markers, 5 for each of the four Hogwarts houses, and she threw in a special set of 5 markers in House Unity purple.


Hufflepuff (!):




They look so pretty all lined up together!

The markers even came in this nifty little storage box:

I also ordered a couple of skeins of yarn. One of them is coming from overseas, so it hasn't arrived yet, but you can see it here: JelliebeanYarns.

I'm considering using it for Sarcelle, but I haven't decided for sure yet. I'm excited to see it in person though.

I received the second skein today. I was REALLY excited about this yarn. It's from Hermione Jean Creations, and I fell in love with some of her colorways when she posted a promo in the House Cup. Initially, I was interested in the Butterbeer color, which is a nice slightly variegated sparkly golden-yellow color. Very pretty, but I just don't do much with yellow, so I managed to talk myself out of that one. (Plus, someone bought the only skein of Butterbeer before I got there, so that helped.) I liked a lot of her colorways, but by the time I got there, she'd already sold out of several of my favorites, so I decided not to buy anything. Then I wandered into her past sales page, and that's where I saw it. Oh. My. God. Ogden's Old Fire Whiskey. It was beautiful: a nice deep semisolid scarlet with golden sparkles But it was sold out. But! I happened to mention my disappointment in missing out on the thread, and she offered to dye another skein just for me. How could I possibly resist? I have a fondness for rich scarlet colors, and sparkles, and by all accounts her base yarns are lovely and squishy, so ... yes. I ordered it. And let me tell me, I was not at all disappointed when I ripped open my package today. It's beautiful and squishy and soft but still feels sturdy enough to be long-lasting. This photo does not do it justice at all, but trust me, it's great. I highly recommend Hermione Jean.

And now, because I'm excited that I finally finished all the knitting for Cookie the Murloc, here's an in-progress photo from a few days ago. Neither of the arms was completed here, and I still had to knit the mouth and the second leg. And obviously, I was still working on the leg pictured here. I was working on the foot. But the photo kind of shows the basic look and layout of the little guy.

Yes, it's sideways, but I'm too lazy to rotate it. Just turn your head sideways. Oh, and the little tutu-looking piece at his butt (it's actually a tail fin) isn't oriented correctly either; it actually goes around his body just like a tutu would. But I couldn't lay it out that way.

Maybe it's just because I'm tired, but with those dpns in his foot and the way his legs are bent slightly, it kind of looks like he's skiing.

I'll post another picture once I get him all sewn up. I'm still waiting for the soundbox to arrive, but I left a small section on his back unsewn. I'll just leave that until the soundbox arrives, so I can shove the box in there and get it positioned and then sew up that little strip. Piece of cake. I hope. Anyway, I should be able to go ahead and get the rest of it done.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Still knitting

My knit murloc is turning out to be a gigantic pain in the butt. Seriously. But I'm getting there. I've finished the body (except it's not stuffed or sewn up yet because I'm waiting on the soundbox to arrive), one leg (actually two but one is wrong and must be redone) and both arms. Basically, I need to knit another leg, find my red yarn and knit the mouth, record the "murgle" (murloc gurgle), place the soundbox, stuff, sew up the body, sew on the mouth, arms and legs and then find and sew on eyes. All this by the end of the month. PLUS I still want to knit an Icarus cowl and a small black pouch before the end of the month. Today's what ... the 18th? I have a week and a half.


And I didn't do anything today. Well, I did, but I didn't do any knitting. Instead, I spent my day working on a new blog theme. Look for it to premiere sometime soon, after we come up with a nifty new tagline and I figure out how to make it look good on the header.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Jess's February post

I'm pretty good at knitting. I am a lot worse at keeping up with posting on the blog. I love reading blog post. I just don't really think what I write is worth reading most of the time. Which really cuts into the will to want to post.

BUT I do love that I have a blog. and I do love to knit. So lets get tho those FO's that you know you wanna see. :)

I knit myself a pair of socks.


If they look familiar they should. I knit Amie a "similar pair" not long ago. I loved making hers so much I bought the yarn again and knit myself a pair. With a couple difference. For Amie I did a short row heel. But I have a higher instep than Amie so I knit myself a slip stitch heel flap with gusset. Other than that they are pretty much identical. I've had the chance to wear them and I'm even happier about them. They are super warm and not to thick to be uncomfortable in shoes. I would definitely knit with this yarn again.

Pattern: basic k3p1 rib
Yarn: Patons Kroy Sock FX in cameo colors
needles: 2.25mm (us 1)
Start: January 17, 2011
Finished: January 28, 2011

Next up we have an interesting little knit. Its a little odd. But was a blast to knit.

praying mantis

was a very involved knit. I wouldn't really call it a hard knit. It is however, a more advanced pattern. Mostly I'd describe it as "involved"

Pattern: Praying Mantis by Hansi Singh from Amigurumi Knits (also available as a rav download)
Yarn: Patons classic merino in purple and dark green
needles: us size 5 and size 2 (for eyes only)
Started: February 1
Finished: February 3

I used clothes hangers in his hind legs to help him stand. Chenille stems are recommended in the book. But chenille stems alone didn't allow him to stand up without help. Coat hangers however worked like a charm. I was even able to slide them in after he was completely put together. Added bonus since I didn't want to disassemble him.

I also did a little KAL with a friend in my NY knitting group.

Pattern: IceQueen by Rosemary Hill from winter 2007 version b
Yarn: Knit One Crochet Too Douceur et Soie in color 8318
needles: US8 and US6
Started: January 28
Finished: February 10


was a pretty quick fun knit. I didn't make any changes other than yarn substitute. If I made it again I'd most likely do the stockinette version (version a) with more beads (similar to the beads in version b). For no other reason than it will knit up faster. Garter stitch in the round goes pretty slowly.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I received a swap package today for the Winter 2011 Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup Hufflelove Exchange. :) It's just a mini-swap -- the only requirement (for regular participants) is a greeting card, and we weren't allowed to send anything other than the card, some stickers and a handmade bookmark.

My partner, SimplyMe5252 on Ravelry, made me this lovely bookmark:
And it came inside this fun card:

She even decorated the envelope in 'Puff colors! (Yes, I took a LOT of time blocking out the names and addresses, as I'm sure you can tell.)
I love it. I'm so happy about this little swap! And I kind of had a bad day today, so this really made my day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I've been a busy little bee

First and foremost, I finished Mom's hat!

I'm tired, so I won't go into details that I've already explained on Ravelry, but I cut out one repeat. It still turned out huge and had to be shrunk a bit. I hope it fits now. There's no chance of it being too small, but it may require some additional shrinkage.

By the way, I LOVE this yarn (Road to China Light). It feels amazing and has great drape, and I love this color. You can't really see in the pictures, but it has a lot of depth to it ... lots of flecks of deeper greens and blues that you can't quite tell are really there unless you stare very closely. It's kind of like the ocean, except of course not quite the right color. The color's almost alive. And yeah, the yarn's just great ... I mean, look at that stitch definition! I want more.

Then today at work, I got bored and decided on a quick project ... a knit conversation heart.

It was a very quick knit. I happened to have the lavender yarn in my car (I used it for demonstrations in my knitting class) and used Julie Edwards' Little Stuffed Heart pattern to knit up a quick little heart. It took about 30 minutes to knit the heart, another 10 to sew it up and stuff it, 10 minutes to find suitable pink yarn for the writing and 10 minutes to embroider a sloppy slogan on it. It ended up as another cat toy. And a project for History of Magic in the House Cup! I didn't intend to turn in a History of Magic project this month, but it was so quick ...

Now, I really must finish the bookmark for my Hufflelove Exchange partner so I can get that in the mail. Then I still need to do the murloc, the black pouch and of course, the Icarus cowl, all by the end of the month. Hah!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mom's Hat

I finished my first project for this month's House Cup assignments. No big deal, just an amigurumi lightbulb. Very quick. I gave it to the cat to use as a toy.

I wasn't entirely happy with the shaping ... the socket turned out a little long, and the bulb part was a little too short and flat on the top. But I figure since it's just a cat toy, who cares?

I also gave my brother his Viking Hat. The beard is a little narrow. When I get time, I'll knit a wider one to replace it with. But he loved it, and aside from the beard being a little too narrow for his face, it fits pretty well. And the beard does hug his face nicely, it just doesn't cover as much of his cheeks and jaw as I think it should.

So, with those two projects done, I've been working on a few others. I'm trying to design and knit a cowl using the feathery edging from Icarus. I've got the design finished and yarn purchased (I'm using Alpaca with a Twist Fino in a light blue ... it feels completely amazing!) but I haven't had a chance to wind my yarn into a ball yet. I've also been trying to find/come up with a good design for a lacy bookmark for a swap we're doing in Hufflepuff in the House Cup. I tried one out already, but I wasn't satisfied with it, so it's back to the drawing board. I'm using Kidsilk Haze for this, in black. It's the first time I've worked with Kidsilk Haze. It's softer than I expected ... I think I like it. Which is good, because I'm probably going to have around 200 yds. left over, even if I don't frog the bookmark I already knit from it. And I am open to good bookmark suggestions, by the way. I'm looking for something rectangular, maybe with a scallop or v at the end, and lacy and pretty and delicate.

And I've been working on Mom's Hermione Hearts Ron hat. I've finished 3 repeats of the cable and lace pattern. The pattern calls for 4 repeats of the pattern before you start decreasing, but I need to measure the hat first. It's looking a little long. I may need to start decreasing before that point. Mom's head is only slightly larger than mine, so if it fits me well, it should fit her too. I tried it on earlier, and it's just a little loose on me (good, since she needs an extra half inch to an inch, plus hats that are too snug look weird on her). It also reaches from the middle of my ears to where my skull starts to flatten at the crown, so I'm thinking I'll be cutting out that 4th repeat. But we'll see.

No pictures of that yet because my camera batteries are dead and I'm not sure where the replacements have disappeared to. I'll have to find some before the end of the month so I can post a photo showing I've completed both of the first two hats for my OWL.

And then I have to finish the rest of my class assignments, both for the House Cup and for the Nerd Wars challenge, which works basically the same way. Fortunately, I can use the same projects for both challenges, as long as I can find a category to fit each of them into. The Icarus Cowl will count for both. I'm also planning a knit murloc for Luke and a black wool pouch to count for both challenges. The lightbulb only counts for the House Cup, sadly.

Oh! And speaking of the House Cup ... point totals are in for the first month. I earned 66 points! I turned in 3 class assignments for 15 points each and one "detention" project (a project that started the month as a WIP) for 10 points. And I got bonus points on each of my class assignments ... 1 bonus point for Earpaper, 7 bonus points for Saroyan and 3 bonus points for my Lord of the Earrings. My new goal is to top those amounts this month, but that may not happen ... it is a short month, after all, and I have spent a significant portion of the first week working on my OWL and swap projects. But we'll see.

Friday, February 4, 2011