Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Welcome To Charity Chat!

Good morning Gryffindors! My name is Robyn, although most of you know me as "adevinelife". Or "that crazy hat lady". I answer to either.

I'm excited to be joining the Gryffindor blog this term, sharing a weekly update on charity knitting around the prides, in our common room, and all over the House Cup! There's so many opportunities to give this term, and so many of you folks are already on board!

To kick things off, I wanted to remind you of a few on-going ways you can give back this term and ROAR for Gryffindor!


Squares For Gryffindor Babies! There seems to be something in the water at all times in the Gryffindor Tower, as more and more Lions are having babies! I love that we band together as a team to ensure each of these babes is wrapped in some handmade love - I know that when my son Owen was born, he loved snuggling up in his Gryffindor blanket!

The group is always looking for squares to add to blankets, and will definitely help you find a class to turn it in for points if you need the assistance, so pop on by and lend a hand!

Hats For Ghana Babies! New this term, a group of us Lions (myself included) have been whipping up baby hats as fast as we can find classes and Quidditch prompts to fit them into! This fall, our own Dejapup's niece will be headed to Accra, Ghana for a semester abroad, and is bringing baby hats with her for a maternity clinic!

We still have a few details to flush out, but there's tons of patterns being passed around, help finding places for your hats in classes, Quidditch, OWLs and Brooms, and with a few super passionate folks this group is a fun place to stop and visit!

KAS Memoriam Collection! In memory of fellow Lion dumelaisuzu, who lost her battle with cancer this past winter term, we have banded together to send squares to Knit-A-Square in Sue's honor. She was an avid crafter for the group and her presence has been greatly missed. In honor of her devotion to the babes of South Africa and the amazing KAS organization, we are sending squares to them all year to honor Sue's memory.


We've got tons of great charity ideas cropping up on a regular basis, and bunches of amazing Gryffindors dedicating many of their projects to others -- I can't wait to share some of these stories with you as the term continues. For now, if you're looking for ways to craft for others, these are three good ways to start!

See you next week with some ways you can craft for charity that fit into June class prompts!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Project Inspirations: Quick Progress

Do you ever have trouble coming up with something to submit for that one extra class? With less than a week left in the month, turning in one more project can make the difference for bringing the cup home for our house! Here are some great ideas for quick projects that Gryffs have been turning in. I hope these inspire you to cast on one last project for the term!



Undyed mitts


Hybrid Dragon

Vivid Blanket

History of Magic:

KnitandFiber- (winning the SQUEE!! of the day award)
Mini Amigurumi Top Hat

kreachers new boots


Fishies for Ms. Kitty (and friends)

Chrysanthemum Washcloth

Crocheted Flower

badges and pics


DADA May 2013 Homework



Soap Nut Vessels

Huffy-Puffy Dragonfly


flowers of many things


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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Adventures in OWLs!

We're more than half way through the month, Gryffindors! How are your classes coming? Are the projects flying off of your needles, or are things taking more time than you expected?

Today on the Gryff blog, we'd like to highlight some of the wonderful OWL proposals members of our house have submitted so far. OWLS can be so much work, and this is a great opportunity to cheer Gryffindor on and help them go the distance! Of course, these are just a few of the amazing proposals submitted so far. Take a look at the thread if you're interested in seeing more!

Dobarah: Ancient Runes, Option 1:

"There are SEVEN (7) charts for this project…which is a bit scary (IMO). According to the directions, half-way through the wrap would be 15 repeats of Chart E. This little tidbit made me realize that although there may be SEVEN (7) charts, I get to use some charts over and over. Oh joy!"


OneKnittyChick: Ancient Runes, Option 1:

"Looking to the chart now, I still get chills, though I have created at least one lace shawl successfully. There are technically only (7) charts but Chart 2 repeats and Chart 3A, B, C, and D are all filthy with nupps. The mixture of written instruction and charts is also a bit confusing.

Added Challenge(s): 1) I work 60 hour weeks. I have very limited time to myself and any large project on top of my classes will be tough. 2) This will be my first lace shawl actually knit with lace weight yarn. In fact, this is my first time knitting with lace weight yarn. 3) Summer in Oregon is nigh, with sweet breezes and garden beds singing their songs of sunshine and budding wonders."

Summer Shawl

PurpleSnowdrop: Arithmancy, Option 4

"I have decided I need to know more about maths and how the magic of numbers work in patterns. So this term I am going to be concentrating on fractal patterns of self similarity.
My project for this is a large fragmented geometric shape.
It has 15 parts.
The centre 5 parts are a uniform mass centre fractal. And the outside 10 parts end with a wavy fractal curve.
There are lots of short rows and wraps and turns in this pattern. This is a fairly new skill for me to learn. I have done the odd w&t on some of my granddaughters cardigans, but I have never done them on this scale."

HP Knitting, OWL Arithmancy

EmilyOT: History of Magic, Option 3

"I would like to submit my (first ever!) OWL proposal for the Spring 2013 Term. I feel like the Narragansett sweater has a vintage-inspired air to it- I can imagine a teenaged Lily Evans wearing this boat-necked, body skimming design on visits to Hogsmeade or walking the Hogwarts grounds on weekends. The sweater has a romantic feel to it- she might have even worn it on a date with James Potter! Although I would assume hers would have been green or some color other than my chosen shade of pink, to set off her lovely auburn hair. This sweater echoes her classic style, with just the right touches of cabling and ribbing.

This sweater has a top down, raglan sleeve construction. I plan on knitting the body of the sweater first, and then the sleeves. I like the look of the 3/4 sleeves shown by the pattern, so I plan on knitting the pattern as written. This pattern involves both cables and eyelets, on both the body and continuing onto the sleeves. I will knit these as written as well. I achieved gauge on size 8 needles, and I plan on knitting a size 34. The pattern calls for 850 yards for that size, and I have 1050 yards, so I should have plenty of yarn.

While this appears a fairly simple sweater, I would like to put forward two points of consideration: 1) I work full time, and therefore have only limited knitting time in the evenings and weekends. 2) This will only be my second adult sweater involving cables (and my first with cables on the sleeves), and I’m still getting the hang of cabling without a cable needle."


Amandajenks: History of Magic: Option 2

"Shawl 1: (Dragon’s Rest) is my interpretation of Charlie Weasley, or well something he’d give to a love interest.  :) It resembles dragon wings. The yarn I chose for this is the red heart midnight boutique. Its purply-green and sparkly. Everything i’d love for my dragon to be.
Proposed yardage: 1200yds"
HPKCHC HoM OWL Spring 13

"Shawl 2: (Vortex Shawl) is my interpretation of Professor Snape. The yarn I chose is a red-heart brand acrylic green & white variegated. The green is representative of Slytherin, the white and the vortex design in the shawl represent his pure love for Lily that was never ending. Always.
Proposed yardage: 840 yds"
HPKCHC HoM OWL Spring 13

Shawl 3: (Black Death) is my interpretation of Luna Lovegood. I chose to knit this like a rainbow, because Luna is always bright and cheerful, like a beacon of happiness. The shawl design itself may seem complex, but once you get to know it, (much like Luna) you find its a great pattern. All skeins are Red-Heart acrylic yarn in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
Proposed yardage: 350yds
HPKCHC HoM OWL Spring 13

dlyn1124: Astronomy, Option 2:

"I’m beginning with a slew of natural, un-dyed fibers in the form of commercially combed top and raw, unprocessed fleece. Pictured I have 100% Heinz 57 breed wool, 100% Yak down, 100% black mohair, and a sampling of a raw, mixed breed fleece. The fleece will need to be cleaned, but will most likely be left un-dyed and possibly unprocessed, depending on the amount of texture needed for the sake of representation. Other fibers will be dyed accordingly. I’ll be using food coloring to prepare my dye solutions. The dye methods and spinning structure will be quite varied in this project; also expect to see “spin-ins” (i.e. beads, threads, etc.) decorating appropriate skeins.

The biggest challenges will be producing skeins that actually evoke the essence of what they’re supposed to represent without looking like crazy, junk yarn. Hopefully, the completed skeins would make someone say, “I can see the moon in that… a little bit…” Another challenge will be in the dyeing process, trying to achieve specific colors or tones of colors, and not just relying on my usual happy mistakes! I’d also like to achieve the color red to some degree in my representation of the sun, and red is not yet a color I’ve been successful with."
OWLs, Spring 2013

kjirstiben: Charms, Option 1

"The stole is knit from each end up to the middle, where the lace is grafted together in the center. Each section consists of Prelude, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gigue, and Finale. Cleverly, all of these are arranged from different combinations of 3 4-row charts; the pattern changes as you knit the charts in a different order.

This is a complicated project composed of simple motifs, much like the classical canon by the eponymous composer.

Considerations: This pattern is written out in a way that isn’t initially obvious. Puzzling out the first two sections of the pattern (which I did for my swatch, including finding the video for the picot cast-on) slowed me down; it is possible that I could misread a section and have to frog it back. Additionally, though I have quite a bit of experience grafting, the method outlined in the pattern is somewhat unusual and may take more than one try."

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ooos and Ahhs

The first part of the term is over, and Gryffindor House has turned out some amazing projects! Here's a glimpse of some of the beautiful work that your fellow house members have been producing. Great job, Gryffs!

PurpleSnowdrop, Canary Creams
HP Knitting, DADA. Spring 2013

HolyCuteness, Animal Crackers


JKauder, Fizzing Whizbees
Purple Owlie Socks

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Dandy Miss Cephalopod

Nicolanna111, Fizzing Whizzbees
Werewolf baby mittens


Maggievanderstok, Canary Creams
Long Princess Gloves

Sheepspyjamas, Animal Crackers
Sock Blockers

OneKnittyChick, Animal Crackers

meriadoc, animal crackers
Tiliacaea - the Linden Leaf shawl(ette)

Robs Tardis

frogcakes, Pepper Imps
Rosy Cadence

Shadawyn Fiber Arts Alpaca/Merino/Silk Fiber

Inglenook fiber White Concil

Again, this is just a small portion of the wonderful work that Gryffs are doing right now! What's on your needles right now?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Staff Interviews - May Edition

There are a lot of fantastic people working hard day and night to make The 7th Floor an amazing place to be!

This month we get to know Tesseractivate and Jensta79!


First we meet Tesseractivate:

Welcome! Give us a bit of an introduction, if you please! Your name, your life in the muggle world, how long you’ve been a Gryffindor and a bit about your position on staff.
My name is Amy, tesseractivate here on ravelry. My muggle life consists of being a nurse and being owned and well trained by 2 cats, Macey and Frankie. I’ve been a Gryffindor for 6 terms, and this will be my second term on staff.

6 terms? That's wonderful! So, if I may ask: what is your favourite part of being a staff member of Gryffindor?
I am the baby blanket mistress and squares for KAS in memory of Sue. I coordinate where blanket squares go, who is in need of what, and I hope to get enough squares this term for our regular babies’ blankets to have squares to make blankets for charity. I love cheering other Gryffs on, and helping out when and where I can. [You can check out the thread HERE]

That is quite fantastic! But now on to the hard questions! Like ... why Gryffindor anyways? What drew you to this house over the others?
I always felt I was a Gryffindor, with my personality traits, and this group is fun loving, and has so many different activities to choose to do- it’s always an adventure, and pushes me to craft more than ever.

And crafting more is never a bad thing. So, can you show us a project you’ve made for HPKCHC that you are insanely proud of?
I think I am immensely proud of my lioness stuffie that I made. She just turned out so nice!

Amazing! She looks fantastic! So, what about Spring term? Tell us about some of your WIPs for classes this term – anything exciting on the needles?
I’m excited about my OWL this term- it’s my second attempt, and I think I’ll succeed this time. I am also excited about learning to do 2 at a time toe up socks soon- I hear socks are addictive!

Congratulations on your OWL attempt - good luck! Speaking of ... Classes, OWLs, NEWTs, Quidditch … there’s a lot to do as a student in the House Cup. What advice can you pass along to our newer house members to have a successful term?
My advice for new students is to just breathe, and try to enjoy yourself before getting stressed over how to get everything done. I take a tablet and go through the classes and write down possible projects for each class. If I get to them, great, if not, no stress, this is for fun! As long as you get your one class in for the month, everything else is gravy.

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us! Before you go, just for a bit of fun … if you could pair any two HP characters together, who would it be and why?
Who would I pair together from Harry Potter? Me and Snape! Just kidding, I like Ron and Hermione together. They act like real life couples do.


Next up meet Jensta79:

Hello Hello! Give us a bit of an introduction, if you please! Your name, your life in the muggle world, how long you’ve been a Gryffindor and a bit about your position on staff.
I’m Jennie, stay at home mum to two boys aged 12 and 9, and a little girl who will be one very soon. I’ve been a Gryffindor in the House Cup all the way through since I started playing in autumn 2009. I’m a newbie prefect so still finding my feet a bit!

Wow, a long time player - congratulations! So tell us, what is your favourite part of being a staff member of Gryffindor?
I love chatting to and interacting with people. After being a Gryffindor for so long I feel like I’ve got friends all over the world! So being a prefect I feel that I’m getting to know people even more, as I’m trying to get an opportunity to talk with everyone this term!

That is definitely a wonderful part of the cup - Gryffindors all over the world! But really why Gryffindor anyways? What drew you to this house over the others?
To start with, I chose Gryffindor because I identified most with the ‘original’ Gryffies, especially Molly Weasley since having my family. But since settling in, I love the dynamic we have, made by all the other lovely Gryffies and I can’t imagine myself ever leaving!

Molly is amazing, and very inspiring herself as a knitter! So can you please show us a project you’ve made for HPKCHC that you are insanely proud of?
I love that the house cup has inspired me to try to design - I think the items I’ve designed are those of which I’m most proud, like my Butterfly Vines shawl from last term, or maybe Erin’s first bobble hat, a picture of which then became my Ravatar and made me a bit more recognisable in the common room!

Absolutely gorgeous (and I adore the colouring!) So I'm excited for you to tell us about some of your WIPs for classes this term – anything exciting on the needles?
I’ve got a few things planned, including my OWL and hopefully a spinning mission, but the thing I’m currently most excited about is a commission from my best friend. She has asked me to dye the yarn and then knit her a bolero to wear with her bridesmaid’s dress at her sister’s wedding in July - I feel so honoured, and also very proud that she thinks my knitting is good enough to wear at such an important occasion!

That sounds like an fantastic honour to me, and best of luck on your spinning mission! Sounds like a lot to keep up with, along with classes, OWLs, NEWTs, Quidditch … there’s a lot to do as a student in the House Cup. What advice can you pass along to our newer house members to have a successful term?
Don’t try to do everything at once, get your first class of each month done and then have fun and join in with whichever of the activities take your fancy. After a couple of terms you’ll know more or less what goes on when. Also, I’d really encourage students to join in with the chatting in the Seventh Floor. I get so much more out of the game when I make time to catch up on the happenings and see what people are up to.

Great advice! Thank you so much for speaking with us! And just for a bit of fun … if you could pair any two HP characters together, who would it be and why?
Ooh, tricky! I think JK Rowling made all the pairings I would have considered, but maybe some of the Hogwarts staff could get together - perhaps Argus Filch would be less bitter towards the students if he and Madame Pomfrey made a match?!


And there you have it! Look for these wonderful ladies in and around the rooms in the 7th Floor and we'll be back next month, getting the scoop around the house from other staff members!
~ PrincessSerenity

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Class Round-up

Classes have been posted for May! Whatever your crafting interests may be, there are challenges for everyone to attempt this term. Lets do our best to turn in at least one project a month, and bring the House Cup home to Gryffindor!!

The classes for May:

1. Practice conjuring your corporeal Patronus and craft something that evokes it.
2. Craft something you could hang on a hook.

1. Craft something which may be used for or represent a future career.
2. Show us something that you can be a bit fanatical about.
3. Challenge an intolerance.

1. Craft something related to a potential use of The Draught of Living Death and/or Wiggenweld potion.
2.The Draught of Living Death is a complicated potion. Study the recipe and craft something that represents one or more ingredient, potion stage, instruction, and/or piece of equipment.

1. Craft something you wouldn't normally make.
2.  Spin some yarn out of a fiber you normally do not work with or in a color you don’t normally gravitate towards or spin in a technique you don’t normally use, i.e., long draw as opposed to your normal go-to of worsted spin or Turkish spindle as opposed to drop spindle.
3. Dye some yarn or fiber with a type of dye that you don’t normally use or in a color that you don’t normally gravitate towards.

History of Magic
1.Make something epically huge or epically tiny, or intricate and complex.
2. Craft something using your second-choice materials.
3.  Take another run at a project that failed in the past.

1. Explore bast fibers such as hemp. Bast fibers come from the inner bark of many types of plants.
2. Craft using the noble art of macrame.

1. Craft something to keep a werewolf in check or to soothe the werewolf so he retains his human sanity OR explore the duality of the werewolf by crafting something with a dual purpose or comprised of TWO different things. The key for this option is TWO.

Craft a fish or flower, or something with a fish or flower motif.

Harry Potter Dog
(Image via: