Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pride summary - 23-29 January

The Sugar Quills continued to be busy this week and passed the 1000 mark for posts.  In other news, one member is working on developing a bib that looks like a house scarf, one demonstrated non-rav skills by turning some old t-shirts into diapers, Flat Harry made it to Montana, and the Pride discovered that one member is a published children's author.

The Animal Crackers used their talent to craft handles for a purse, demonstrated that this freezing weather is not worldwide, changed things up, and dreamed of mastering OWLs.

The Pepper Imps planned for February Quidditch, hitchhiked about, made significant progress on a beautiful blanket, and made plans for the mad dash at the end of the month.

The Canary Creams had a quick patriotic turn in, got yardage mission pointers, got into a bit of a tangle , and showed some Dalek love.

The Fizzing Whizbees WIP'd it good, shared a knitting bucket list, got some "help" from their toddlers, and offered seaside stitch markers for 100% pride participation in classes.

The Exploding Bonbons are very colorful, fostered a cutie, finished some very pretty fingerless mitts for class, and started their postcard exchange.

The Acid Pops had a couple of people exceed their 2000 yards for a mission, learned about the fun of ribbing on socks, got good advice on Quidditch vs classes for points, and turned in some lovely projects,  as well as a darling dress for a new arrival. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Gryffindor Baby Blankets

Gryffindor has a tradition of doing baby blankets for Gryffies with new babies, and this year we have plenty of opportunity to practice that, with 6 of our fellow students expecting new additions within the next few months.   With all these blankets needed, this is a perfect time to join in and help out and it's really easy:  The square can be knit or crocheted in any color or pattern.  The only real restrictions are that they be 12", worsted weight, and machine washable.    If you want to be able to spread the squares among classes, you can also do 4 6-inch squares and join them together.  Also, remember that these squares count as charity crafting.  If we get more than is needed for the Gryffindor babies, blankets will be donated to children's hospitals.   For more details and contact information, check out the full forum.  One square apiece would get us plenty for our own babies and others!

Just to give an idea of the diversity of squares that can be used, here are some blankets that have been donated in the past:

For some closeup photos of the lovely blanket above, see the forum posting here.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Common Room 20-26 January

As January rapidly winds down, the Common Room continues to be busy.   Sunday was a busy day, with the start of the Quidditch speed match and 65 Gryffindors turned in something for maximum points that day.  The Exploding Bonbons became the first pride to reach 100% participation for January. There was a good dose of eye candy.   A cute Gryffindor lion was posted as well as an incredible wedding dress. After a discussion of baby names and weddings, there was also a fun link to a tool giving name statistics.  We learned some interesting British wedding traditions but that at the end of the day,  they're very similar on both sides of the Atlantic.

There was a new convert to sock knitting, a great formula for knitting generic socks, some recommendations on sock yarn, and a demonstration of the restraint required to not yell out another favorite yarn.  There was also discussion on how to maximize points for doing socks. There was also a good explanation of why sock yarn doesn't count as stash.

Some members have already started looking at the next Quidditch round, giving good ideas herehere, here and here.   There were also some lovely suggestions for one-skein shawls here and here, as well as a generic recipe here.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Featured Classroom, Ancient Runes January 2014

Friday again, which means taking a peek into one of our classrooms and featuring some of the projects turned in there. Not only to show off the pretties, but also to maybe share some ideas for meeting the prompts.

For Ancients runes, the professors told us “For your assignment this month you will choose a rune and craft something that represents it. Please provide a picture of the rune, its translation and how your project represents it. You may use any Ravelry sanctioned craft. At this time, we will not be accepting any WIPs, please take them to Detention.”

We have many students showing off a real talent for runes, it was hard to just pick two from each house, so hard in fact I let a random number generator pick them for me. I really really recommend you drop into Ancient Runes and look at all the amazing projects

By House we have


Roseinstitches took her inspiration from the Ingwaz rune

MsNicci took her inspiration from the Othala rune 


Quiltyone took her inspiration from the Fehu rune 

winterfi took her inspiration from the Othala rune


mushroom took her inspiration from the Algiz rune

misselle took her inspiration from the Sowulo rune


Caranam took her inspiration from the Berkana rune

indigoroses took her inspiration from the Wunjo rune

NQFY Lounge:

loneilteaches took her inspiration from the Fehu rune

Flachk took her inspiration from two runes, the Fehu and Hagalaz runes

Amazing rune work, and awesome projects all over the place. One could spend hours just looking at the amazing pictures. Join us next week, for our last Featured Class of January. I will be taking a vote on which of the classes that we have not visited should be the last one for January in the Gryffindor Common room which anyone is welcome to vote in. (NQFYs included)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blog Interview with Geekima, NQFY

Hi there everyone, what better way to get to know each other then to ask a few questions.See how the Cup feels to those who are just finding it, or maybe get to know old our friends around the castle better.

And following that line today we are going to sit down with something to drink and a snack in NQFY Lounge and have a chat with Geekima.

KMNash: How did you find the Cup?
Geekima: A friend casually mentioned it. I un-casually got hooked! :)

KMNash:How are you enjoying your time in the NQFY Lounge?
Geekima:I’m actually glad that I jumped in when I did, which was after sorting for the term was already completed, but right before the start of term. I feel like time in the NQFY takes a lot of the pressure off and is a fun way to learn all the acronyms and ins and outs of the cup without worrying about anything. Plus, it’s great to have time to get to know the houses! Our NQFY mods and mentors do a great job of helping everyone feel welcome and answering questions, no matter how repetitive or goofy.

KMNash: What would you say is the greatest change to your crafting since joining the cup, have you tried some new thing that maybe you had not heard of? Or maybe taking on something bigger then you usually do for an OWL or Order Mission?
Geekima:I usually do longer projects, so one change has been doing some smaller projects for classes. I’ve always had this kind of block that everything I knit should be utilitarian and not just decorative and it’s been fun feeling like I had “permission” to do fun, smaller projects I might not otherwise make time for because they were for a class.
I also chose to do a BROOM this term and I feel like it was the encouragement I needed to pick out a project that will be a challenge and learn some new techniques. I’ve also discovered a new interest in spinning and dyeing from seeing all the projects submitted for classes in those.

KMNash:Have you ever traveled to the other houses common rooms, if so what houses have you visited, if not have you ever thought about it?
Geekima:I have just started this process and I admit, it’s a little daunting at first since most of the common rooms have hundreds of messages just after the first day! I’ve gotten lots of warm welcomes, though, and I’m starting to get a feel for the different personalities.

KMNash:How active are you with OWLS and NEWTS and other Advanced Studies options? Do you think they will help motivate you to finish things you might not have done?
Geekima:My BROOM proposal was accepted, so I’m excited to start on that on the 18th. I admit that I find the OWLs a bit scary right now. I’m thinking I might wait a couple of terms before attempting one, but I think the BROOMS are probably a great way to work up to that. I do like the idea of trying something I might not otherwise and taking on a challenge. Besides, isn’t the worst that can happen that you don’t finish?

KMNash: Do you have an OWL or NEWT option that you think will be especially hard for you to complete?
Geekima: I’m not as familiar with all the options, but I do know there are some that I’ve never even done. I haven’t done beading or colorwork and I’ve only done some basic lace, so all of those would be new and a challenge. I’m hoping to work in some smaller projects that use some of the things I haven’t done before for classes before I look at those OWL options.

KMNash: Have you told anyone about the Cup? If so what are some of the things you love to tell people about to maybe make them want to come play?
Geekima: My kids want to learn how to knit specifically so that they could one day do the cup. LOL! Other than that, I’m just starting to meet crafters up here in my new home state of Alaska. The past year, I’ve been too busy with projects and playing in the mountains.

KMNash: Of all your turn ins to the cup, this term and any past, what are some of the ones you are most proud of and what were they turned in for? (providing links to project page or picture would be wonderful)
Geekima: This is my first term, so I don’t have as many as I might, but I have a few I’m rather chuffed about. :)
A Dice Bag for DADA.MuggleStuddies

KMNash: Have you won any special badges that you are really proud of playing the Cup, and if so what did you earn them for?
Geekima: I’m pretty proud of my class badges and surprised at how quickly I got 5 classes! I’m sure it will be more challenging balancing a BROOM project with classes next month.

KMNash: Do you have any pointers or comments you would like to say to everyone about anything?
Geekima: Only that anyone considering jumping in and playing should. It’s really not hard to keep up with the one class a month requirement and you can figure out all the jargon and such as you go. Don’t all the acronyms and rules and dates intimidate you. As long as you can do at least one small project a month for a class, jump right in!
[End of Interview]

Thank you so much for your time, and your great advice on just jumping in and playing. It is wonderful to get to know you and I am very glad you found the Cup and are getting to open up your creativity in new ways. Oh and don't feel to worried about losing track in the common rooms, heck I am not sure any of us can stay completely caught up lol. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Prides 16-22 January

Another big week in the prides, led off by the Exploding Bonbons who were the first pride to reach 100% participation for January classes.

It was not surprising of course that the Bonbons did so well with this chant powering them on, although the real incentive was apparently the opportunity to get to vote on Knitinferno's hair color.   They came up with a new word to describe their members and asserted that they are not hobbit obsessed, just appreciative of the finer things in life.

The Canary Creams got some nice encouragement from the Doctor, and a good push to contribute to the Gryffindor Baby blankets.  They were relieved to realize that all their spinning counts against Yardage missions, they set up a pattern swap within the pride and they set up a google chat while working on the Quidditch speed challenge.

The Acid Pops had a roll call to see where folks were with 11 days left to go, and several of them noted that they pretend to do housework.   Plans were made to put Quirrell in a corset.  One member learned about the dangers of drinking and going to a silent auction

The Sugar Quills saw Flat Harry visit Canal Fulton, Ohio, and Dejapup did a great story on the importance of not waiting until the last minute to post your mandatory 1 class.  Some lovely Quills offered a prize to anyone posting for speed  entries, as well as one for turning in a class in January.  They also posted a nice guide to the correct format for posting in classes.

The Animal Crackers came up with a great Badge for anyone who does the Speed match in the first 3 days, and have other prize drawings for classes.  One came up with a decluttering plan, and some really nice projects were turned in for classes.

The Pepper Imps got some quick Quidditch scores.  They were excited about their pride swap, felt like Brad Pitt, and spun some gorgeous singles

The Fizzing Whizbees got some good ideas for class turn-ins,  came up with a skirt for Quirrell (and some eye-candy to go with it) as well as a lovely detention shawl.  They also organized a Flat Harry swap.

Roving Reporter, Mitten Mitten Whose got the Mitten.

Hey there folks, Roving Reporter here traveling around the castle looking for mittens. Last week we took a peek at some awesome, amazing, socks and just to be fun I decided to do something that is both "wintery" and comes in pairs like socks today. Mittens.

So how many mittens can we find around the castle.. Mittens Mittens whose got the Mittens. Well lets pop around and see.

There are mittens in Detention
by maggievanderstok (Gryffindor)

by Jillian79 (Ravenclaw)

by AuntTallulah (Slytherin)

and by Rockinsticks (Slytherin)

There are mittens in Astronomy
by tricotjio (Hufflepuff)

and by Puffygriffinclaw (Gryffindor)

There are mittens in Ancient Runes
by dixiehellcat (Ravenclaw)

There are mittens in Arithmancy
by theeverendeavor (NQFY)

There are even mittens on the Quidditch Pitch
by: Chococupcakegirl (Hufflepuff)

There are warm mittens all over the castle, such an amazing show of talent from everyone. Tune in next Wednesdays when we go roving reporting again. What we shall we be looking for you ask, you will just have to come back and see.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Common Room update, 13-19 January

It was a relatively quiet week in the common room, as people worked on getting their classes in and prepared for the Quidditch "Speed" round.  There were suggestions for a nice family vacation spot and ideas for being able to play your movies throughout your house and on all devices.  There was a visit by an NQFY.  Links were provided for the forms to donate prizes, either to the house or the Cup and another prize was added to the Advanced Studies pool.  There was also a link for a group looking for hand-knit microbes to teach children about handwashing.   House members made secret plans for derailing the 'Puffs in Quidditch, but it didn't seem to work too well.  There was concern that the 'Puffs had struck first, but a brave second-year proved it wrong.   Kims announced that she is looking for volunteers for a secret event in February.  Teknosugar showed us some of her fabulous cakes and several people answered a question on baby diaper advice.

FUNDAY SUNDAY #1: Winter Olympics Coloring Book

Which is your favorite Winter Olympics sport? Do you like to watch figure skating? Maybe you're more of an ice hockey person. Or perhaps skiing is your thing?

Pick one of the three images linked below, color it (digitally or with crayons/markers/etc.), take a picture of it (or scan it), and post it in a comment below. Make sure you put your Ravelry username somewhere in the picture.

Post them here by February 2nd, and we'll show them off in the common room sometime during the Winter Olympics!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Featured Classroom, Astronomy Janurary 2012

Here we are at Friday again, and Friday means it is time for Featured Classroom. This is where we drop by one classroom and take a look at the turn ins from all over the castle. A fun chance to look at some pretties and maybe get ideas on things to meet the prompts.

Today's Featured Class is, Astronomy. This month in Astronomy we are studying Jupiter and the options for turn ins are all about crafting Jupiter. Showing off the red color, crafting something fast like Jupiter spins or something related to Jupiter's possible core

Seems a lot of people felt the muse for hats in Astronomy.

We have pink hats like this one from
 Icanmakethat (Gryffindor) :

Blue hats, like this one turned in by
christinawest (Gryffindor)

We have Red hats to match the color of Jupiter, like this one turned in by
LoveKnotDesign (NQFY)

We have hats with faces Like this one by
TheWindWraith (Gryffindor)

And this one by knitnetic (Ravenclaw)

However it is not just hats. We also have some amazing yarns, made to show off different parts of Jupiter. Like this one spun to remind you of the core of Jupiter
by StarKnits (Slytherin)

Or this one showing off the amazing red color
by nicolana111 (Slytherin)

Talking about red color, take a look at this yarn too
by HOLLYGOOD (Hufflepuff)

Yarn wasn't the only thing turned in to show off the color though, cant deny this hexipuff shows off the red amazingly
by sunshine9087 (Hufflepuff)

These socks are sporting some pretty awesome red too,
by Irononmaiden (SoS)

The ideas are just amazing, these cables are not only oval like the possible core of Jupiter, but it was also a rapid project.
by QueSarah (NQFY)

And showing off the amazing talent of crocheting metal in a project that fits with the rapid rotation of Jupiter and giving off an awesome look of rotating planets we have this necklace
by SadieLou (Ravenclaw)

It is just amazing the talent over flowing all over the castle, and Astronomy is just one class you will find it in. Choosing projects is never easy, and it gets harder as more turn ins show up. These are just a few that I thought you might enjoy. Stop by the class thread to see even more, maybe get some inspiration for your own turn in. Next week we will drop by another class and look around, never know where we might be stay tuned.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Blog Interview with AmyPC Gryffindor, Head of House

 Hey everyone, today will be the first of hopefully many interviews here on the blog. Hopefully these interviews will give everyone a chance to get to know each other more, and to get a feel for what the Cup feels like from different positions, from those just coming in, to those who have been playing for a few terms, to those on Staff. These interviews will take us all over the castle, all houses and years, including NQFY Interviews and Hopefully an SoS as well. If you know anyone special you would like to see on the interview roster, drop me a PM on Ravelry and I will try to get them set up.

I figured who better for the first interview of the Gryffindor blog then our very own Head of House AmyPC, so without further ado, I give you my interview with AmyPC

 KMNash: How did you find the Cup?
AmyPC: I found the house cup quite by accident. I had joined ravelry because I was doing a Lion Brand KAL and followed the link from their website. I explored several groups including the Lost group where I participated until the show was done and the Pittsburgh Steelers group and Harry Potter Lovers. But until I stumbled into the house cup I really hadn’t felt at home on ravelry. It was April, so a break month, and I signed up for sorting after joining in on a couple break month activities, but really had no idea what I was getting myself into!

KMNash: How long have you been playing the Cup?
AmyPC: 3 years and 9 months, 12 terms, I’m a B5

KMNash: What would you say is the greatest change to your crafting since joining the cup, what have you improved on the most etc?
AmyPC: When I joined the house cup, I was a crocheter dabbling in knitting, today I am a knitter and a crocheter! I have learn to knit socks, to double knit, intarsia, stranded, and slip stitch (mosaic) color work, I’ve knit lace, and I have completed more projects than ever before and in a shorter amount of time. The encouragement I get from house cup friends is invaluable.

KMNash: What year were you when you joined staff?
AmyPC: Not sure, I think I may have been a 3rd year.

KMNash: What are some of the positions you have held on staff?
AmyPC: I have been a Detention Professor in the cup group and in Gryffindor I’ve been an OWL wrangler, pride leader, prefect, head girl, and now Head of House for 4 terms.

KMNash: What are some of the unexpected trials and joys of your current position (things that are harder to deal with then you thought, and things that are even more fun then you thought)?
AmyPC: Thankfully we have very few issues in our group, but I think I’ve grown more confident with my ability to deal with issues and personality conflicts. I have a tremendous team of people backing me up and I am thankful for them and their friendship. Since my first month as a sorted Gryffindor I have been greatly impressed with this groups’ generosity. The most emotional thing I have had to deal with was the death of one of our members in my first term as Head of House, I still think of her every time I craft for charity.

KMNash: Have you ever traveled houses, if so what houses have you been in, if not have you ever thought about it?
AmyPC: I used to think about traveling houses. I had toyed with the idea of 7 terms in each house, but when the time came I was on house staff and no longer interested in travelling! I may never leave!!

KMNash:How active are you with OWLS and NEWTS and other Advanced Studies options?
AmyPC: In 11 terms I have completed 8 OWLs, 1 NEWT, and 1 Order Mission. I have failed 2 OWLs, and several missions. I am currently working on my 2nd NEWT.

KMNash: Do you have an OWL or NEWT that was especially hard for you to complete?
AmyPC: My most challenging completed OWL to date was my Arithmancy OWL, I completed 4 pair of socks. I was fairly new to sock knitting at the time, and it was a real stretch for me to complete it

KMNash: When you tell others about the Cup what are some of your funnest memories to talk about?
AmyPC: I am embarrassed to say that I don’t often tell people about the cup. I often speak fondly of my “online knitting group” and all the friends I’ve made from around the world. But I usually keep the bit about imaginary points and Hogwarts classes to myself - some things are just too hard to explain to muggles!

KMNash:Of all your turn ins to the cup, this term and past, what are some of the ones you are most proud of and what were they turned in for? (providing links to project page or picture would be wonderful)
Be careful what you wish for! A walk down memory lane through my turn ins and projects and I couldn’t decide on just a couple! :D In my early terms I crafted to the prompts (now I craft what I want and make them fit the prompts). Here’s my very first class turn in from May 2010. It was DADA
I also loved the Headmistress Challenge that term. We made bookmarks. I made these double knit ones:
This was a particularly fun turn in. I disguised myself as needlesnswiffers!
This was my contribution to the Great Pumpkin Escape of October 2010.
I still love these mitts from my Ancient Runes OWL back in Winter 2011:
 This little pig was my first felted item, he’s so cute!
This HeadMistress Challenge turn in post is an A-Z rundown of my Winter 2012 term!
My first completed NEWT - 2 very favorite blankets!
Tie Dyeing yarn was fun! Fitting it into classes was… interesting!
My Herbology OWL was a favorite - I’m actually wearing the wrap as I type this!
And I wear last terms OWL almost daily! It’s like wrapping up in a warm blanket - perfect for how cold it’s been!

KMNash:Do you have any pointers or comments you would like to say to everyone about anything?
AmyPC:Keep an eye on the deadlines and at least get that one class per month in! Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
[End of Interview]

Wow, taking a look at your past projects is amazing, and that first turn in ever for our illustrious Head of House is a real piece of history. Thank you so much for your time, and for all you do as our Head of House.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Prides 8-15 January

It was a great week in the Prides, with lots of good projects being turned in. 

The Pepper Imps reported great progress on WIPS.  Someone turned in their first class EVER.  There was a Yarn Eating OWL flash and an impromptu spirit lifting performance.

The Fizzing Whizbees found love for a class, spent some very productive time in detention, tried to dress Quirrell, and designed some lovely cables for Quidditch.

The Sugar Quills were bit by the African Flower bug, and found Harry, Ron and Hermione taking Seattle by storm and enjoyed some board games.  They also really really like hats.

The Canary Creams have a lot of Pride pride and like Harry Potter a lot.  They got a late introduction to a lovely Gryff and expressed some OWL love.

The Animal Crackers have OWL hats galore, learned about Reddit, ran a half marathon and made a chocolate chip cookie that looks very tasty. 

The Exploding Bonbons agreed to take on the knitting police, spin beautifully, took time for a massage and just might be hobbit crazed.

 The Acid Pops figured out the correct priorities in life, investigated cheesecake turnovers for science, came up with a great plan to destash, and revealed the secret to having turned in 6 classes already.

Roving Reporter, Traveling Socks

Today we are going to do some Roving Reporting, just taking a look all over the castle, different classrooms, different houses and all just seeing what there is to see.

Since this is our first Roving post I thought what better to pick as a topic then a very important thing to any roving experience, socks. Socks are very important for roving feet, they keep you warm and cozy and help you keep going to get the story sooo

Here is a look at socks, from all over the castle.

We have socks in Detention

TheDoctorsPlusOne (Hufflepuff)
Nicolana111 (Slytherin)
snarkypirate (Slytherin)

We have socks in Arithmancy
AuroraSelene (Gryffindor)

SineMairi (Ravenclaw)

We have socks in Divination
DonaQuixote (Ravenclaw)

We have socks in Care of Magical Creatures
LumosKP (Gryffindor)

We have socks in DADA/Muggle Studies
baxgirl (Hufflepuff)

These are just a few of the socktastic socks. Can you imagine the stories and traveling your happy feet could do in these awesome socks. And this post is just sock tour stage one, there are so many socks OWLs and BROOMs I cant imagine not doing a stage two at the end of term to show off even more of the awesomeness.