Monday, December 30, 2013

Gryffindor Study Halls

As the castle is being prepared for the new term, the new study hall threads have appeared! I know I'll be taking advantage of these threads to reach goals this term, get shiny badges, and feel the love and camaraderie of fellow Gryffindors. If you're interested in a thread, be sure to watch it so you can keep track of it once term starts.

Charity Hat Challenge

Like knitting hats? Like giving to charity? This is the thread for you! There is a fabulous list of charities and free hat patterns to choose from, and a whole bunch of people who have a lot of experience knitting hats for charity. Over the course of Fall 2013 term, the Charity Hat group managed to make 270 hats to donate! Let's all hope they have as much success this winter, and keep the thread in mind if you have a few days and a class that needs a turn in. These were part of adevinelife's Potions OWL last term, all of which she donated.

Destash Study Hall

If you've recently found yourself trying to hide yarn behind the books on your bookcase and pass it off as cushioning to protect the glasses in the kitchen cupboards, the destash study hall might be the place for you. Find stash busting patterns, take a vow to use stash or even go cold sheep, and flash your current stash (for a badge!) here. One participant, mio, has vowed to use stash for her Potions OWL and charity blankets for classes. Not surprising given this is just her charity stash:

Sock Study Hall

Whether you're making your 1st sock or 100th sock, you can show them off here. Free for the taking are links to help a beginner, beloved free sock patterns, not-so-free but highly recommended sock patterns, and badges for honoring three classic Gryffindor classmates. Filled with both new sock knitters and experts, this is the place to come for help with a sock, from actual knitting to fitting it into a class turn in. A favorite of KnitInferno is the Bellatrix socks she knit recently.

Spinning and Dyeing

The spinning and dyeing study hall has links for beginners, as well as for more advanced spinners and dyers. There are also some very nice badges and suggestions to fit spinning and dyeing into classes each month. Gryffindor's resident spinning and dyeing expert, kmroberton dyed yarn and knit it into a Trillian, a good way to make yarn work double for classes!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Break Month Activities

Right now there are several break month activities going on in Gryffindor, and throughout the castle. First, a look at Gryffindor goings on.

Stairway to the TOP

Every week, a new step to prepare for the coming term is posted. First, there are wonderful tips to organize your Ravelry queue to help fit the things you want to make into the cup. Then, you take care of the WIPs floating around (perhaps with the help of the next break month activity). Finally, get a concise overview of advanced studies and how to begin planning for them, even if you can't start knitting or crocheting them just yet!


This is the place to take the WIPs you're working on over break and projects you're getting almost, but not quite, complete to be prepared for WIP the First every month next term. Did you know that last term there were 87 participants for September, 68 participants for October, and 42 participants for November? Having 3 projects waiting with just the ends to be sewn in would be a great way to participate in all 3 months, get 30 easy detention points for Gryffindor, and get 4 cool badges (not to mention the bingo squares!). The waiting projects might be as small as a dishcloth or hat that you don't need right away, or as big as an afghan you've finally finished, but for the seaming. Check out this beautiful afghan from PennyIA(and note that she's broken this project up into 2 NEWTs, an order mission, and 2 panels!):

Advent Scarf

Making the Advent Calendar Scarf by designer Kristin Benecken? Join other Gryffindors working on it in the Advent Scarf thread. It's very close to Christmas, but there's still time to cast on or continue your work with the camaraderie of fellow HPKCHC students! I want to avoid spoiling the designs just in case, but f1bercat was kind enough to share her long, gorgeous scarf from last year.

Gryffindor Movie Nights

Finally, if you want to take a break from crafting or like crafting while watching a movie, there's the Gryffindor Movie Night thread. It offers movies to watch, yummy recipes to try, trivia, and pretty badges for participating. This week the movie is Edward Scissorhands, which is not quite your typical holiday movie. The recipe of the week is for Ambrosia, a particularly topical snack for the movie and one I can vouch for being particularly delicious.

Read Along! HP & the Chamber of Secrets

If you want to venture away from the cozy Seventh Floor, you can always join the read-a-long of the 2nd Harry Potter book taking place in the main castle. They're almost done with the book, and the discussion is delving quite deeply into the books. Just be warned that there might be spoilers for the entire series and tread carefully if you haven't read all of the books and/or seen all of the movies!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Blog Renewal

After taking a little time off, the Gryffindor blog is being relaunched for the Winter 2014 term. Keep an eye on this space for new posts coming soon!