Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Want to know why everyone is in a tizzy over N1H1 Novel?

Here's why:

See that second increase in deaths this year, the pink bit at the end of the graph. Notice there hasn't been anything like that in previous years. Not normal. Kinda scary.
Stay home if you're sick people.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The New Boy.

K started school a few weeks ago. On back to school night she met the new boy in her class. She asked him his name and he said "He who shall not be named."

She then asked him if he liked Harry Potter. He said "No, I hate that series."

Hero to zero in less than 10 seconds.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I can't wait for the house cup to start again! Seriously people, I'm losin' it!

I absolutely loved the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup! I came late to the party, just a few days after the last round of signups closed, but they so kindly invited me to join a house and play in June and July. I was a proud though rather silent Hufflepuff. Go Badgers! We didn't win, those crafty Slytherins were amazingly creative, productive and downright enthusiastic. Congrats Snakes, you did a marvelous job!

K and I had so much fun looking through all the classes, admiring everyones homework, planning our projects and sitting, watching Harry Potter, of course, and playing with our sticks and string.

Here's everything we submitted:
In May, as a not quite first year, I submitted my tiny crocheted Mandrake to Herbology. Just for fun, it didn't count or points.

Same for my Mad Eye Moody dishcloth scrubbie. This was for DADA, to protect one from baked on food.

After I was sorted into Hufflepuff in June, I crocheted Professor Trelawney's favorite tea cup for Divination,

Knitted a cell phone cozy for Muggle Studies,

And some slub yarn for Herboblogy,

In July, I knitted some very simple wristies for Quiddich.

And then K got in on the act. She designed and crocheted a Wheeping willow belt for Herbology as representative of my wand: weeping willow, very flexible, 14 inches long, kneazle whisker core. Wonderful for charms and casts extremely good guiding spells. I helped weave in all the ends.

And we both finger knitted house scarves for Charms as demonstration of our skill with Geminio. Got 25 points for them!

I hope the lovely people how worked so hard to create and run this wonderful group, know how much we appreciate their time and talents and how much fun we had. Thanks guys! It was great fun!

September can't come soon enough.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Grammies Holiday Pillow Collection: Fourth of July

This summer we went to visit Grammie and spend a week in Mr. Man's hometown. We had a wonderful time relaxing with Grammie and visiting with a few old friends. We swam in Lake Michigan (actually, only K swam in the lake, it was too darn cold!) , visited the Museum of Science and Industry and spent three hours in the Harry Potter Exhibit, and spent the Fourth of July on Grammies back porch eating smores, playing with sparklers and watching the neighbors shoot off some of the most amazingly huge fireworks. It was so wonderful.

This year I have been making Grammie a holiday pillow collection. She really seems to like them, always has one in the big chair, and I've had a lot of fun making them. For the Fourth of July, I made her a Paper Pieced Star Pillow.

I couldn't find the exact star pattern I wanted so, I designed my own. It is of course, very simple and very much like many I found, so I won't pretend to call it original. But I could make it the exact size I needed and it really didn't take much time to design it. I think I'm finally getting the hang of it. K picked the background material and the bobble fringe. I just love how it turned out and Grammie loved it so. success all around.

One problem: Grammie still had her Easter pillow on display, in July! I now see I need to make her some generic seasonal pillows, you know, winter spring,... just so she can have a little more variety. And I think I've been making them too small, only 12" square. They look tiny in that big chair. I'm thinking maybe 18" square would be better. So I'm going to buy two 18" pillow forms, and make the rest of the pillows 18" pillow covers. I've already started thinking about the Halloween one. *grin*

So that makes, Christmas, Valentines, Easter, and Fourth of July done. Only Halloween, Fall, Thanksgiving, Winter, St. Patrick's Day, Spring and Summer to go. Heaven's have I missed any? Hum... Better get to work!


Jennifer, of Sewhooked, and HP Paper Piecing, and crafty therapy, started handing out Sew Awesome Awards last May. She's featured three fabulous crafters and their absolutely wonderful creations. This morning I found this in my comments:

sewhooked said...

Hey you! I'm proud to present you & K with the sewhooked Sew Awesome Craft award for both K's Adipose stencil and your TARIS stencil.You can find the post here. Feel free to nab the award graphic for your own use. And THANK YOU for sharing your awesome stencils! Jennifer

K and I emitted such high pitched noises, Miss. Kitty ran for her life!

Thank You Jennifer! We are so thrilled to be included in a totally awesome group of crafters. We had fun making our shirts and have loved sharing them.

If you don't know what all the squeeing is about, K and I made Tardis t-shirt from a stencil that was once offered on the BBC website.

The stencil is no longer available from the BBC, but you can download it from my Flickr account here, Tardis Stencil.

K's designed and painted her Adipose shirt and it has been such a hit!

You can down load the Adipose Stencil and make your own. We know our friend Pren (who we hope is OK after her brush with hit and run death this morning) has made one and it turned out really cute.

Thanks again Jennifer, you really made our day!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tunisian Crochet Hogwarts House Book Scarf Pattern

Tunisian Crochet Hogwarts House Book Scarf

What you will need:

crochet hook size 1 2.75 mm

1 skein Pearle cotton in Scarlet

1 skein Pearle Cotton in Gold

Row 1: Cast on 10 stitches of the Scarlet using a two strand knitting cast on. Yarn over and pull through the first stitch on the hook. Yarn over again and pull through the next two stitches. Continue to yarn over and pull through 2 stitches until you have one stitch remaining on the hook.

Rows 2 - 5: If you look are your work, you will see vertical threads, or bars, running along the length of the row you just finished. Pass your hook behind the first vertical bar in the row, yarn over and pull through, leaving now 2 loops on the hook.Repeat for each vertical bar until you have 10 loops on the hook. Yarn over and pull through the first stitch on the hook. Yarn over again and pull through the next two stitches. Continue to yarn over and pull through 2 stitches until you have one stitch on the hook.

Repeat until you have completed 5 rows of crimson and have two loops left on the hook.

Row 6: Now, drop the Scarlet and pick up the gold, leave a gold tail to weave in the ends and yarn over the gold and pull it through the last two loops on the hook. Pass your hook behind the first vertical bar in the row, yarn over and pull through, leaving now 2 loops on the hook. Repeat for each vertical bar until you have 10 loops on the hook. Yarn over and pull through the first stitch on the hook. Yarn over again and pull through the next two stitches. Continue to yarn over and pull through 2 stitches until you have one stitch on the hook.

Row 7: Drop the gold and switch back to the scarlet and repeat row 6.

Row 8: Drop the scarlet and switch back to the gold and repeat row 6.

Remaining Rows: Drop the gold and switch back to the scarlet and repeat rows one through 8, until your book scarf is as long as you need.
You will need to cut and start the gold after the second gold bar, and weave in the ends. Or I guess you could carry it up along the edge by twisting it with the scarlet at the end of each row. Either way would be fine. Finish by slip stitching in every vertical bar then tying off and hiding all your ends. Add fringe at the ends, Scarlet at the edges alternating with gold, two strands of Pearle cotton per fringe and you're done!
If you find errors, please let me know. Thanks!

Another summer at Hogwarts.

It's funny how every summer, we go back to Hogwarts. I know that's the plan, either a movie or a book release or something each summer, just to keep us interested, but we seem to go back to the books each summer of our own accord. Just when I think K's moved on, to some new book or interest, summer comes around and she pulls out Harry out and off we go. I think K read the whole series again, and we made some cool crafts, thanks to Ravelry and the House Cup. I, well we, were Hufflepuffs and our house lost, but we had such fun. Planning to sign up again any day now. Anyway, summers for us are always more than a little Harry.

Some of this summers Harry Highlights:

Harry Potter Exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry, no pictures allowed:

Ravelry Hogwarts Knitting and Crochet House Cup: Finger Knitted House Scarves

Madame Trelawney's china cup, with the blue flowers, her favorite

Hufflepuff Wristies

K's new Ginny skirt for the premiere: Got to get a picture of that.

Tunisian Crochet Book Scarf

K and E interviewed at the pre premier party for the news:

Can't wait till next Summer.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Last week of summer :(

Can you believe there is only one more week of summer!?! One more week and we send K off to Hogwarts. Actually, she's off to middle school, but she keeps telling me she got her letter from MacGonagall on her birthday in the spring and she and her friend E are going to Hogwarts September first. Our ickle firsty *sniff*, oh how we'll miss her.

Until then we are having fun buying school supplies and getting new glasses, uniforms and shoes. And books. Our copy of Deathly Hallows was in 6 pieces, one more and it was gonna get dangerous, so we bought a new paperback copy. And I made her a book scarf for her new book using Tunisian crochet!

I have been trying to make a book scarf for years using 5 tiny knitting needles in the round and just couldn't get it to work. But Tunisian crochet is soooooo easy and I love the result. If you haven't heard of Tunisian crochet, it's also called Afghan stitch and it's kind of a cross between knitting and crochet. You work only on one side and don't turn the work. It does stretch on the bias and lays a little curled, though not like stockinette. Maybe if I took the time to block it,... but I'd have to get it back from K and that's not happenin.

I've posted the pattern in a separate post, you can find in here, Tunisian Crochet Hogwarts House Book Scarf. Have fun and if you make one, let me know, send me a picture, I love that kinda thing.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm Back!

I've been out of town a lot this month, but I'm back and have I got stories to tell.

Picture this, driving from the southwest to the deep south in a '75 GMC Rally Wagon, with K and Mr. Man and NO air conditioning,... in AUGUST! 55 miles per hour max! Crazy? Oh yes! But it was seriously loads of fun!

We bought K some books for the trip so, most of the time, K read her new paperback copy of Deathly Hallows or "If I tell you I love you then I'll have to kill you" which, based on the constant giggling fro m the back set, sounded really funny. Oh, and "The Time Travellers" which she liked so much be bought the sequel. This is how K spent most of her time,

She's really a great traveler. She surfaces for food and fun and only starts whining after the third 8 hour day in the car. I started whining on day two, but my tushy was totally asleep and I was hungry, and...

Mr. Man drove and I read the road atlas. The whole trip was about 1300 miles, about 24 hours of driving, and we only got lost once, in Tulsa, because the road we wanted was closed for construction and the detour signs made absolutely no sense. We went the way they said and ended up back where we started, twice. It was nuts. After that I ignored the signs and got through the city just fine.

I kinda hate and love long drives. I hate the driving part, but I love that Mr. Man and I can just talk for hours. Although 24 hours is a lot of time to talk, and there were some lovely companionable silences, we had time to just talk. It was lovely.

Why, you might inquire, did we make this journey in a car that is too old to even qualify for cash for clunkers? Long story short, this was the car I grew up in. My folks bought this van new, and have kept it up ever since. It has crossed the country too many times to count and has been to Canada and Mexico in the same trip. It's a work horse with maybe 30 moving parts that can be repaired by almost anyone and came with the shop manuals that tell you how. It also comes with two front seats for driver and shot gun and two bench seats, with seat belts, for a total of 8 passengers, four bunks, curtains, spare parts galore and the original three on the tree stick shift, in a box in the back. Long story that. My parents decided they just didn't need it anymore so, we flew out and drove it home.

Why did we want it? It is the ultimate camping machine. Just pull out the back bench seat, set up the bunks, stow our gear under the bunks in laundry baskets and you could pull into any camp site and be in bed in 10 minutes. No setting up tents and no worries about lions or tigers or bears, oh my! Once in Canada, a group of bears wandered through our campsite. One bear stiffed at my window and leaned against the side of our van to see if it could roll the yummy insides out. We were too much like a big tin can for them to bother with us, the tents next door were much easier to open. Nobody was hurt, but there was a lot of screaming and running in the night.

We are headed for the hills as soon as we recover and finish out laundry. And the temp goes down a bit. Did I mention, no air conditioning?