Monday, September 29, 2008

Another Hufflepuff Quiz or Now, back to knitting . . .

Hufflepuff Quiz #2

1 Which is your favorite book in the series (and why)? Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire because it shows a lot of character growth - these are older teens, now - and the action really moves the plot along. After this book, I think the books get so long that they slow way, way, down. And, I like the Triwizard Tournament and the Yule Ball.

2 If you were taking Owls, which class would you get an E in? Would you get any Ts? Runes, Potions and Charms. I love to read hard things and to cook. And I don't mind making mistakes. I would probably get a T in Arimancy or Flying.

3 Who is your favorite character (or characters) in the Harry Potter series? I like the non-main students the best. Seamus Finnigan - I'd like to know more about him. Or people like Nicholas Flamel or the founders of Hogwarts. Of the main characters, I like Hermione Granger the best.

4 If you had to pick 1 character for a roommate, who would you pick and why? Who'd be your least-favorite to have as a roommate? Susan Bones seems very thoughtful and studious. Pansy Parkinson: I don't actually think we could room together as she is a Slytherin but she is a bully and has a nasty case of self-importance. Plus, she is stupid!

5 Hufflepuffs are a hardworking bunch, but also a bit mischievous. Which Hogwarts professor would you most like to prank, and how would you do it? Oh, Madam Hooch! I'd spread some anti-gravity mist outside her office door and then, from around the corner, I'd yell, "Oh, is that a Silver Arrow?" When she stepped out to investigate, pop, up she goes!

6 Favorite DADA professor? (from the books, Lucius does NOT count :) Remus J. Lupin - knowledgeable and kind.

7 Favorite magical creatures? (Also, if for example you like a certain creature in general, but not how they are represented in the HP canon, feel free to elaborate :)Pixies. Just because they have a bad attitude, doesn't mean that they are bad!

8 What is your favorite food in the HP universe? Which food or foods would you like to try in real life? Do you have any recipes to share with us ;)? I think I'd like Christmas pudding or cake. Also, the Chocolate Frogs. I'd like to try chipolatas in real life.

9 Broom, floo powder, portkey, or magic carpet? Carpet or broom - the slower the better.

10 Since we're Hufflepuffs... Yellow or Black? Black - yellow looks terrible on me! And, at last count, I had seven black turtlenecks, four pairs of black pants and at least 12 pairs of black shoes. And a black winter coat.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A big day tomorrow!

Knitting wise: join me at our own MKG's annual fall Knit-Out, with knitting clinics, a fashion show, a fastest-knitter contest, and representatives from local yarn shops. And THERE WILL BE BUTTONS! ASK ME ABOUT THE BUTTONS!

Admission is free. For directions to the mall, go to the Mall's website

The fun will run from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. I am actually not sure how long the buttons will hold out . . .

Earlier in the day, I'm going to the MMRF Race for Research at 9 a.m. at Lake Phalen. I just found out that we were going (Thanks, Mr. Daisy!), so I don't know if I'll run or walk. Either way, I'll be sweating!

The Saturday Seven were all videos or DVDs. Someone else can find a little room for them!

Friday, September 26, 2008

I am a boring person.

Sorry but that's all there is to it. I took a quiz on the Knitting Daily site and asked my husband which "time spent knitting" category was I in. Well, hesaid that I knitted 12-24 hours per week and then added that I worked out another 10 and where was all the "Him" time? So he says. Well, that's when I realized I was so dull. Oddly enough, I thought I was having fun.

I did pick up a little of this fun-time-goodness for myself yesterday when GF Melissa and I were out buying Ravenclaw yarn for my HSKS partner. Yes, I HAVE LOVELY YARN FOR YOU, CHRYSTA! This lovely colorway is called "Firestorm" and it's all I can do to not cast on today. Must . . . knit . . . Gentleman's Socks . . .

I am expecting to finish my "Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks" hat today - this is so soft and easy. I will probably make one or two for Christmas presents. HEAR THAT, LURKING SISTER OF MINE? BigSis has been reading and privately sending me comments, mostly about why am I not fixing her extra big sweater. Because I am having too much fun with the other stuff. And I am a bit stymied about how to fix it - rip it all out, just redo the sleeves or knit another sweater entirely. Hmm.

Watch on, MacDuff - Try this Friday film on for size:

Note to Husband: This helps account for those 10 hours at the gym per week!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Twin Cities Knit Out 2008

Hey! Tell your friends - call your neighbors!

Don't miss this weekend's Twin Cities
Knit Out (courtesy of the MKG) at Brookdale Mall.

The fun will be Sunday, September 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
There will be Public Knitting (as opposed to that Secret Knitting!), knitting lessons, door prizes and shopping!
Be there or be square!

(oh, and there will be BUTTONS!)

Oh, and I went sock yarn shopping today for my HSKS partner! GF Melissa found me some good yarn!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On to the hats

I picked up two skeins of this yarn, Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran, to combine with my Schoeller + Stahl Elfin for the Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks Hat. It is so soft and the combination is lovely.

I am using the needle size mentioned in the pattern - very rare for me as I am a lazy/relaxed knitter! - but in a circular needle. Maybe when I start decreasing, I'll switch to double points.

And finally, one sad photograph of my sad 7x9 rectangle for the MKG's A Square for the Fair charity knitting project. Right now, they are just starting to collect sample some but the Guild is going start handing out patterns and collecting squares in earnest in January. Hopefully, my skills will improve by then!

Always a first time - Quiddich Round One

Just a quick review for those HSKS people: More for the muggles later on!

1. At the beginning of the book, Cornelius Fudge is talking to the Muggle Prime Minister. Which member of the Order of the Phoenix has recently been found dead?
a. Hestia Jones
b. Elphais Doge
c. Emmeline Vance
d. Dedalus Diggle

2. What animal does Bellatrix Lestrange kill when she and her sister, Narcissa, are going to see Professor Snape?
a. Owl
b. Fox
c. Rabbit
d. Cat

3. What time does Professor Dumbledore collect Harry from Privet Drive?
a. Midnight
b. 11 p.m.
c. Noon
d. 11 a.m.

4. What did Professor Sluhorn transform into when he was trying to hide from Harry and Professor Dumbledore?
a. An armchair
b. A bed
c. A table
d. A wardrobe

5. What grade did Harry get for Herbology?
a. E – Exceeds Expectation
b. P – Poor
c. O – Outstanding
d. A – Acceptable

6. Herbert Chorley, the Prime Minister’s Junior Minster, has been entertaining the public by impersonating which animal?
a. A hen
b. A duck
c. A lion
d. A squirrel

7. What is Professor Sprout’s first name?
a. Pimmy
b. Pomony
c. Pommy
d. Pomona

8. What is Dumbledore’s idea of ‘a few words’?
a. nitwit, odder, blubber rand tweak
b. nitwit, odder, bubblegum and tweak
c. nitwit, oddment, bubblegum and tweak
d. nitwit, blubber, oddment and tweak

9. Who is Marcus Belby’s famous uncle?
a. Bertie
b. Damocles
c. Tiberius
d. Savage

10. What is Snape’s mother’s name?
a. Helana Prince
b. Eileen Prince
c. Lily Prince
d. Elizabeth Prine

These are the answers to the photo clues!
Narcissa, Bellatrix and Snape - together again!

Professor Sprout

Professor Dumbledore

Monday, September 22, 2008

Picture Day at Hogwarts

Well, I guess it must be time for that most dreaded thing - picture day at Hogwarts. I'm not feeling terribly photogenic today - I am still under the weather with my daughter's cold. So, I think I'll just put together a little Flickr Mosaic. Enjoy!

On second thought, maybe I should pick a photo where I actually used a hairbrush first . . .

I've been using my down time to finish the "Feeding ducks, holding hands" scarf and start the accompanying hat. Today I picked up a little Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran yarn in Navy Blue to go along with the Schoeller + Stahl Elfin. The original hat pattern called for a bulky yarn so I think doubling up the two will work just fine. I've also been working on a "Warm up America" afghan square but I'm finding out that my rectangular knitting skills leave much to be desired. Thank goodness for blocking!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturdays and tisssues

Still have a cold. Still needing a nap. But . . . the "Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks" scarf is almost done. I'll be moving on to the matching hat next week. In the meantime, I owe Mr. Daisy a few rows on his Gentleman's Socks as payment for his modeling fee.

After my family flew the coop this afternoon - the girls off to a movie and then a dance and the boys, the grocery store - I canned tomato sauce. When the revolution comes, my family will be able to have - at least seven nights of spaghetti sauce. There were two more quarts in the hot water canning bath. I think this is why commercial canning was invented! Or perhaps, why potatoes are the preferred currency of revolutionaries everywhere.

When your Five Year Old Boy is picky about his socks, you know you are in for a long running fashion battle. Two pairs went into the donation box this week because he said "They're not right." They joined a fleece sweatshirt, two books and (the un-photographable-due-to-early-pickup) booster seat and box fan.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled sniffling and coughing.

Friday, September 19, 2008

One thing Diet Cola doesn't kill . . .

is Germs. Don't finish your soda after your daughter says you "owe" her a drink. She was just becoming sick and now, so am I. I am seeing myself turn into one of those old people who yell out their windows, "Hey, you kids, get off my grass!" Except, I'll be mumbling something about "Leave my soda alone!"

One lovely thing about today was that when I make the pizza dough, Mr. Daisy makes pizza. He is very creative and they are always good. Add a lovely green salad and dinner is served.

Since tonight is Pizza Night, there has to be a Friday Film to knit to. This one made my cold seem very minor . . .

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Huzzah Hufflepuff!

I love the little House Quizzes from the HSKS 6 blog. It's a fun way to learn about my housemates' lives without having to read every one of their blog posts. Easy and fun - that's for me.

1. Do you knit and/or crochet? Yes - I just learned crochet this year.
2. How long have you been at your craft? I've been knitting for about twelve years and crocheting for just one.
3. Do you spin? If yes do you use drop spindle or wheel. Yes. I have spindles but I much prefer my Lendrum double treadle model.
4. What is your favorite color? Blue and green.
5. Do you have any other hobbies? Yes. I am a triathlete and open water swimmer. I also love reading and baking.
6. What are your favorite yarns/fibers? I have a small addiction to alpaca. Blue Faced Leicester or Cormo are also big favorites.
7. What are your LEAST favorite yarns/fibers? Cotton and Linen.
8. Are there any yarns that you’ve been eyeing and wanting to try? Spinning silk from hankies.
9. What are you currently working on? A pair of socks and sweater for my husband, a scarf and hat set for charity and I'm planning some holiday crafts.
10. What is your favorite Finished Object? (Pictures are welcome.) I love Evelyn A. Clark socks and shawls. I could spend all my time on her projects.

My first pair of Go with the Flow socks.

My Lupine Lace socks. These were actually just part of a display of socks from the Minnesota Knitters' Guild at the Textile Center of Minnesota. Luckily (or unfortunately), Middle Daughter had never worn them. She is so off my sock list!

A Flower Basket Shawl. I'm planning on making another in Sea Silk!

11. Are there any knitting/crochet techniques that you would like to learn? I don't really know much crochet besides the basics. Also, I'm terrible at Intarsia.
12. What is you favorite type of book or movie? Mystery or action movie - mystery or suspense fiction.
13. Who is your favorite person at Hogwarts? Neville Longbottom
14. Favorite class and/or subject at Hogwarts? Herbology, Ancient Runes and Charms.
15. How many family members do you have? 6
16. What is your favorite Fall activity? Walking, Masters Swimming, pumpkin hunting.
17. How many projects do you have on your needles/hook? Four.
18. What is your favorite type of footwear? Simple shoes, Mizumo running shoes, clogs.
19. What is your favorite beverage of choice? Iced Tea or Diet Coke Zero.
20. What is your favorite park of Half-blood Prince? The Hogsmeade visit with Katie Bell.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

There's an odd story there . . .

Tonight was the annual Minnesota Knitters' Guild State Fair meeting. This is our best-attended meeting and it was worth the time spent. Knitters who have entered this year's State Fair display their items and then read aloud the judge's comments from the judging sheet.

Some of the background revealed tonight . . .

"There's an odd story here . . ."
"It would have been a blue ribbon if that other person hadn't entered!"
"They were talking about you in Fergus Falls!"
"The Table Linen entry people are much nicer - there was a happy face on the info sheet!"

(reading aloud)"Very nice work." "Okay!!"
"It was a symbolic victory for me!"
(Speaking about the fit of her sweater) "My husband said he might not let me out of the house!"

and, finally, the nicest statement came when one lady said, "but they are just slippers!" about her prize winning entry and
and someone else said

"but Blue Ribbons don't get given if they aren't deserved."

The lovely green shawl in the middle is a Laminaria knit by Deb over at Cashmere Dreams. Ever since I saw over at This Boy Knits, I've been longing for one - maybe this winter?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Back to Hufflepuff - true and unafraid of toil!

I'm in HSKS Hufflepuff! Go Badgers!

The Sorting Hat's Description:

These belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal.
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil.

And you know - Cedric Diggory was a Hufflepuff, right?


The rest is really just for my swap mates:

My Potter Name is Penelope "Daisy" Clearwater.

Rav ID: Humbledaisy

I am allergic to: sleep.

Pets that I have: Zelda the dog

My favorite yarn: Mountain Colors, anything with alpaca

If you are a Ravenclaw, do you prefer the film colors or the book colors? No - I've been expelled and now reside in Hufflepuff.

My favorite flavor: Orange.

My favorite holiday: Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas: Oh, Halloween, it's the best!

I would like to receive a: (Sock kit, scarf kit or yarn dyeing kit) I think a sock kit or the yarn dyeing kit.

List your favorite brand of needles or hooks, including size and length: Lantern Moon sock stix, size 1 or 2, 5 inch length.

Is there a brand that you are dying to try?: Casbah sock yarn, Vesper sock yarn, black bunny, local alpacas, Signature sock needles.

I've participated in HSKS: (How many times have you participated in HSKS swaps?) 1.

Do you have a birthday during this swap? If so which day? No.

Foolish Girl . . .

I didn't want to be greedy and only picked up two skeins of Persia Color at our last MKG meeting. Well, those are long gone - I'll be searching out two more skeins to finish my scarf set.

But all this searching for yarn sent me to my yarn stash for my next project - probably something from my new copy of "A Fine Fleece."

Perhaps something from Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran weight in Cheer?

A scarf or shawl made from Rowan Felted Tweed in the Sigh colorway?

Or maybe another knitted bag in Rowan Big Wool?

I'll have plenty to ponder - rainy weekends are good knitting!

The Saturday Seven for this week was easy - I was already in my knitting stuff. I picked up these patterns and needles at last year's Yarn Over at the Mall of America. I'll be sending them on to Interim House.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Oh, maybe not too late to be a Ravenclaw?

Everyone enjoys playacting a bit. Especially if there is a Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap involved.

In celebration of the spirit of playacting, I would recommend viewing the following short Friday Film from Snag Films. Lots of heroism but probably not much knitting . . .

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Old friends and new ones as well

My self photos are terrible. When this is the best standing-on-the-piano-bench-taking-my-own-photo I can produce - it's just sad. For some reason, I found that I never photographed my Puggy Shruggy. My only change would be a short row raising of the neckline but that's just because I don't actually like shrugging.

The edging is kind of fun, however, and the real thing hangs nicely. The alpaca yarn, however, stretches a bit as I learned when Oldest Daughter (Muscles Flannigan, I'll call her) wore this and stretched it.

The New Friend was a little Bingo yarn that I bought at the Yarnery (on sale) for a scarf from A Fine Fleece. It will probably be for the Get Set for Winter program.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Come for the Convention, stay for the Classic!

That would have been a great slogan for the Saint Paul Bike Classic on Sunday! Although, I'm not sure how many Republicans were in the crowd . . .

It was one big biker party. I saw bike jerseys advertising everything from beers, bars, the rock group Kiss, prayer and Pirates in Tight Pants. I felt positively bland in my yellow bike jacket. It was chilly and windy but things cleared up and we beat the rain home. Mr. Daisy and I did the 30 mile loop and even stopped to "Bike with a Ranger" along the Mississippi River. I think Mr. D. might be a little sore but I loved it.

Here, Mr. Daisy contemplates life's big questions - and drinks some yummy Peace Coffee.

Today was my first full day home without Youngest Child - he's at all day kindergarden. So, I vacuumed, did laundry, and spent a few hours learning how to the star stitch. I was so dense - maybe more coffee next time!

I've started my scarf for the Minnesota Knitters' Guild "Get Set for Winter" charitable knitting project. I'm working on a "Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks" scarf from A Time to Knit. I'm using some Austermann Persia Color (multi colored) and Schoeller + Stahl Elfin in navy blue - both yarns were donated to MKG members by Steven at The Yarn Garage in Rosemount. Stop by and say "Hello" and "Thanks" some time - it's very nice yarn!

So far, so good.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Saturday fiber goodies

Sometimes you just have to get your fiber goodness where you can. I was out on a birthday-promises shopping trip with Middle Daughter and I found the best skirt pattern today at Crafty Planet.

She hasn't been too keen on the ones I've made for her before so I'll give another one a try with the Cute Skirts from Favorite Things. I also found some lovely fabric and Youngest Daughter bought a craft book. So, I'm guessing I'll be saving my knitting for the evening hours and working on sewing again.

I do love the shifting cable-esque pattern of the Gentleman Socks. With the lovely cool weather, I tried to find a fall leaf to set off the colors of the Trekking yarn but my trees haven't started to change yet.

Today's Saturday Seven was culled from my daughters' closets. Four sweaters (sacrilege!), a tank top, one tee shirt and a pair of tan pants.

What is it about khakis that makes my girls hate them so? Oldest Daughter had to buy a pair just to be able to volunteer over at the RNC this week. None of them have any for everyday wear. OD claims it is because they have worn twill dress pants as part of their school uniforms over the years.

I have many, many pairs of khakis in various shapes and sizes. I can remember the Preppy phase of the 1980's - that's when my sisters and I would go to Kmart to buy the Dickies brand of men's twill pants because they were cheaper than the Gap brand.

Ah, to again have a butt that would fit in men's cut pants!

Friday, September 05, 2008

For all those hockey moms (known and unknown)

Oldest Daughter doesn't play hockey anymore (the plate from her broken leg makes the skate boot uncomfortable), so I'm out of the category but we still have hopes for Youngest Child. Enjoy another Friday Film!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Happy Birthday Blue Eyes!

Or as she said today, "Quit watching those protesters and pay attention to ME!" Completely understandable: we had a long ride home from school today through all the convention ruckus and I think she was ready for a cupcake.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

An unfortunate choice of names . . .

I took this photo with my cellphone camera while driving to school this week. Perhaps their advertising company didn't think this through?

Getting started with my Gentleman's Socks did take a bit of thought (and time - I kept miscounting my cast on of 80 stitches!) but I think I've got the pattern underway. It's a subtle, shifting kind of cable that runs through a repeat of four lines. It is important, however, the keep track of what line you are on.

It's not too hard, however, to knit while watching the convention and its attendant sideshow on television. I never imagined hearing the words "Saint Paul, Minnesota" and "anarchists" in the same sentence. Ah, well, a side effect of democracy.

Monday, September 01, 2008

It's in the bag - again.

I blocked the bag, sewed it together, added the handles and a black and white lining, tangled with my first magnetic bag closure and, Ta Da, a handbag!

Both of my older daughters immediately asked for one of their own so I might be making more for Christmas this year! Unfortunately, the pictures of the lining didn't turn out - picture black and white flowers and a little yellow pocket. Just right for my phone. I don't know why I didn't finish this project earlier - it was very easy.