Wednesday, February 27, 2008

HSKS4 Ravenclaw Quiz #4

1. What colorless and odorless potion forces the drinker to tell the truth? Veritaserum

2. If the spell to Apparate goes wrong and leaves half of you behind, you have been what? Splinched

3. Who wrote the Standard Books of Spells Grades 1 and 2? Miranda Goshawk

4. What is it called when brother wands meet? Priori Incantatem

5. Name the charm used by Ludo at the World Cup to amplify his voice. Sonorus

6. For what is the charm Aparecium used? To make invisible ink visible

7. What charm requires the use of a Secret-Keeper? Fidelius

8. What color should the Strengthening Potion be? Turquoise

9. What plants are used in preparing a confusing potion? sneezewort, scurvy-grass, and lovage

10. What condition is cured by Glumbumble? hysteria caused by eating Alihotsy leaves

11. What potion makes a werewolf safe so he can keep his mind when he transforms, and what substance makes it useless? The Wolfsbane Potion allows the werewolf some peace, sugar makes it ineffective.

12. When does Fluxwood, an ingredient used in making Polyjuice Potion, have to be picked? During a Full Moon

13. What color should a Shrinking Solution be? bright acid green

14. What potion is made from asphodel and wormwood? Draught of Living Death

15. For what are Jobberknoll feathers used? memory potions and Truth serums

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Great Wheel Acquired!

But not mine...

K had called the guy for the one we saw on Craig's list, and he called back today and asked if she wanted to come see it. So, she, her DH and I piled into their SUV and headed out to the guy's house. It was a beautiful wheel. Very little wood failure that I could see. There was a crack on the wooden disc that the cop backs up to, but that was about it. The band that was on it wasn't optimal - it had a huge knot on it that often had to be guided over the spindle. No Miner's head - she can look for one later if she wants one. Oh, and the wheel support arm would move a bit without too much coersion (backing up or getting that knot over the spindle) and the band would fall off. Those minor issues aside, it's beautiful. So, she got it and we piled it in the car to take home. I haven't seen it since she made the adjustments we talked about, but she's planning to work on that this evening.

Tomorrow we are going to have a dyeing day. We have some Knitpicks sock yarn that we'll dye (I'm thinking I may dye the yarn for my HSKS4 Pal tomorrow!!). I have some Merino/Tencel and also a couple of silk caps. K has some Corriedale I believe... So we're going to have a fun day and dye all sorts of things. And I might try out the Great again while I'm there...make sure the new setup works properly of course...

Will show the results of our dyeing day in a couple of days...

Making slow progress on destashing and organizing too...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

SP Package & Trunk Show!!

I got a great new package in the mail from my SP yesterday....

This was my "purple" package!! A really cool sewn sock bag in brilliant bright colors (including purple!), purple tea (Twinings Darjeeling - never tried Darjeeling before, thanks!), a cool heart shaped ornament in purple, and YUMMY purple wrapped dark chocolate! Oh wait, did I mention the purple packaged kitty treats??

It's funny really....Timothy has had treats a few times when he was a kitten, and occasionally over the past 15 years. He adores them and chows down. It's even more exciting if he has to "catch" it. Smokey? He'll go lick at it a bit and then walk away, leaving it where it sits. I've seen him do this with quite a few different kinds of treats. Strange cat. Timothy loved them though, and was more than happy to eat Smokey's portion :)

In other news, we had a trunk show at our knitting meeting tonight from Blue Heron Yarns! What a wonderful array of yarns! Some were mis-dyes, some were closeouts, there were all sorts of different materials, colors, etc. I took my camera to take pictures, and then I got so preoccupied, I forgot to even get it out!!! Everyone had a great time browsing though, and the prices were excellent. Here's a photo of what I got. These were each "Rayon Metallic" yarns, and about 550 yards per skein.

I think the first two will make for a very nice sweater/shell for me. The blue/navy?...will make a DIVINE shawl... And the black...well, it's not quite a true black (which was why it was in the closeout bin), but it's pretty close...and will make a lovely elegant shawl for evening wear, etc. I've been in need of a black shawl for a while, and this one will be just great!

Fun was definitely had by all!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Quidditch - Round 2

Quidditch ~ Round Two

1. With whom does Ginny go to the Yule Ball?
a. Neville
b. Dean
c. Seamus
d. Harry

2. When Harry arrives at the Burrow and Mrs. Weasley makes them all dinner the night before they leave for the Quidditch World Cup, what does her wand turn into?
a. rubber mouse
b. rubber chicken
c. rubber duck
d. rubber cat

3. Since some of the sixth-year girls didn't have any quills on them, what did they think Krum might sign their hats in?
a. nail polish
b. eyeliner
c. lipstick
d. lipliner

4. How old does the Quick Quotes Quill say that Rita Skeeter is?
a. 43
b. 44
c. 34
d. 335.

What color cloak is wormtail wearing in the Riddle house?
a. Grey (Gray)
b. Black
c. Gold
d. Silver

6. What color is "Mad Eye" Moody's magical eye?
a. Green
b. Hazel
c. Brown
d. Blue

7. What color are the robes that Rita Skeeter was wearing when Harry meets her at the Weighing of the Wands ceremony?
a. Lilac
b. Magenta
c. Mauve
d. Cerise

8. What does Sirius Black tell Harry, Ron and Hermione to call him when speaking around anyone else?
a. Tibbles
b. Snuffles
c. Scruffy
d. Padfoot

9. Which team beat Wales, disqualifying them from competing for the Quidditch World Cup?
a. Hungary
b. Romania
c. Uganda
d. Luxembourg

10. What does Madame Maxime say is the only thing her steeds will drink?
a. cabernet sauvignon
b. bourbon
c. single-malt whiskey
d. gin and tonics

Picture Hunt

Goblet of Fire
Madam Maxime
Dragon from first challenge
Viktor Krum
Madame Pomfrey

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Oh what a JOYFUL day!!!

Yes, that's right, this is the start of the back of my jacket! Some of you may recognize the bright brilliant colors in the center square. With huge thanks to Carla, I was able to obtain yarns in the original dye lots for my jacket. I cast it on today and began knitting it, and the only way to describe the feeling was that of utter joy. I said that and one of the women asked me if that was sarcasm. It totally is not. I felt fulfilled to be able to start this again.

For those who may be new readers, the ultimate goal is this:

The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, designed by me, published by Cherry Tree Hill.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ravenclaw Quiz

Here is your House Quiz. How well have you studied the women of Ravenclaw? We'll see, because this is not a multiple choice quiz! Remember, answers are due by Friday, February 15, at midnight. A wonderful prize will be awaiting one person!

1. What is Professor McGonnagall's first name? Minerva

2. Who is the librarian of Hogwarts? Madam Pince

3. What is Madam Rosmerta's job? Owner and Bartender at the Three Broomsticks Pub

4. What is Rita Skeeter's secret? She's an unregistered animagus - a beetle

5. Madam Hooch is instructor of what subject? Broomstick flying

6. Who is Parvati Patil's best friend? Lavender Brown

7. What Quidditch position does Cho Chang play? Seeker

8. What is the name of Fleur Delacour's little sister? Gabrielle

9. Who is professor of Divination? Professor Sybill Trelawney

10. Who wrote "A History of Magic"? Bathilda Bagshot

GREAT Weekend!!!

I imagine I must have mentioned, if not here then at least in some of my forums, that I would be going to a Pioneer Museum event last weekend. This was something that K found out about and arranged. The deal was, they already had a spinner and didn't need any more, but they were happy to have us come out in costume and knit for the weekend. The venue was the Pioneer Florida Museum in Dade City, FL.

It's a great site, and they have a dozen or so buildings which have been rescued from other locations and moved to their little "town". Sadly I did not charge my batteries before going, so I have some pictures, but several that I wanted to take are not here. When we arrived, we were directed to the John Overstreet house, a lovely two story colonial built in the mid 1860's. The porch had a wooden porchswing, a stationary bench, and several other chairs. K and I took up residence on the porchswing end, since we were the first to arrive. She in a chair and I on the swing. We covered our non-authentics (Mickey Mouse tote bag and a Playmate cooler!) with a plaid blanket and sat down to knit.

The residents of the other end of the porch were a corn straw broom-maker and her mother, who was quilting. Each room of the house was set up with a little period display for people to look at as they walked through. Also found in the house, on the second floor, was a Great Wheel. Later conversation indicated that this was a working wheel.

K and I took turns walking around to see some of the displays and such. She went to find the spinner first, and directed me when I went for my walk. The spinner was a lovely lady who lives locally, spinning on an Ashford Traditional in a room full of antique sewing machines and spinning wheels. I took stock of her room while chatting with her...there were three great wheels in various states, and an antique Saxony sitting high on a shelf in one corner. The Saxony was missing the footman, but otherwise looked to be in good condition. There was a Great in the closet underneath it. Wheel was beautiful, but the upright and spindle/miner's head were missing entirely. On the other side of the room were two more Greats, one with it's drive band wrapped around the wheel shaft, the other with no band. Both seemed to have complete spindles. Talked with G for a while - she was trying to get us to bring our wheels the next day and come spin with her...only one problem - it was an hour and a half drive to each of our houses to get wheels. K tried to talk her DH into bringing both her Saxony and Lendrum, but he wasn't having any part of it. Said goodbye to G and that we'd be back the next day to drop in.

Saturday night we stayed in a local hotel...checked in in costume...when we came back from dinner, the desk clerk quipped "Oh, you changed clothes!" On Sunday we were off again. It was a little cooler and downright chilly in the shade on the porch. I decided to see the other half of the compound that I hadn't visited Saturday, so went to visit the church:

Then visited the little red one-room schoolhouse...

Was up in the front of the main checkin building when a man came in to talk to the front cashier, asking where he could find the "spinners"...well, of course my ears perked up, though I didn't say anything since officially I was a "knitter" for the weekend. She sent him around to G's room, so I quickly wandered out and down the path to drop in for a visit...

Turned out he had 300 lbs of Alpaca Fleece, and he was looking for someone who would sit in his friend's antique shop in town and spin it!!! His friend would get the benefit of having a spinner in house for atmosphere, and the spinner would be able to sell the spun yarn in the shop to make a little extra money. Ah, if only it wasn't an hour + drive to get to that town!!!

Anyhow, he left after a bit and I got to talking with G again. I was once again eyeing the wheels, and looking over the Greats. The more I looked, the more it looked like the one with the drive band might actually be spinnable! So, I convinced G to let me/help me turn it around (the spinning side was against the wall). We unwound the drive band and slid it onto the wheel. A turn or two and it fell off. We had already discovered that the wheel pivoted on it's axis....when we turned it around, the wheel ended up at a 30' angle to the base! So, we adjusted the angle a little more to try to keep the band on, and it worked!! G handed me a ball of fiber and I borrowed a bit of spun yarn for a leader, and tied it onto the spindle. Last year I had seen one of these spun very briefly, and had actually attempted to spin on it myself, so I had a tiny bit of a clue what I was doing (but only that!). It was definitely a little creaky, and the spindle didn't want to reverse very well... After spinning on it for a while, it was getting louder, so I borrowed the oil bottle from G and put a couple of drops inside each of the leather straps supporting the spindle, and a couple under the drive band where it connected with the spindle (it was a direct drive, not an accelerated head). Continued spinning and WOW! All of a sudden backing it off was a BREEZE! It definitely needed that little bit of oil!

I did finally go up and get K and let her know where I was/invite her back down. She came with. At that point she took this picture for me...the last one before the batteries died!

The wool is a merino/mohair blend, raised by G's friend in Massachusetts. He handwashes it, then indigo dyes, then combs into lovely lightweight roving. It's got just a touch of lanolin in it (part of G's schtick...getting the kids to feel the lanolin then telling them what it is). It spins great, and was a perfect fiber for the long draw needed for the Great Wheel. K came down to visit with us and hung out for a little while. She brought a drop spindle, so at one point we had a drop spindle, and Great, and a Traditional all going at once. It was fun to talk the evolution of spinning with all of the cool demos going on.

K got tired and went back to the porch (sadly it was a little close in the room...especially with three of us in there spinning). I planned to go back...really I did... The Great just totally pulled me in. G went to lunch...and came back...and still I was spinning. I finally decided to go to lunch, then someone came and asked how the Great I demo'd again... I did finally go eat...around 2ish! Overall, I think I spent about 4 hours spinning!

Then came the next challenge...what to do with the single that I'd spun?! Since there was nothing on the spindle, I really didn't have any way to slide it off and retain the shape. I wasn't really sure how I would go about plying on the Great either for that matter. I did have a nice sturdy, if somewhat "fuzzy" single. I think the Great lends itself to a more "woolen" fiber, since you aren't guiding/smoothing with the second hand. So, decided to wind it off onto my hand in an Andean style.
I did mention that my camera had died, right? So right near the end of the day this man comes along, asking about what I was doing, etc. He asks me if I read "The Laker"...turns out it's a local paper. For which he works. He asked to take my picture and said it might get published (G said she'd send me a copy if she saw it - since I live totally out of the area of that paper). I agreed and gave him my card so he could email it.

Finally got it all wound off...and it was 3:40. Twenty minutes to ply 180 yards of single into a 90 yard two-ply...spinning backwards on a Great Wheel... I tried it. Really. Plyed about two yards and changed my mind. Wound it back to my hand, slid the whole thing around my wrist (ok, so it was already there), and packed up our stuff. Packed the car, drove an hour back to meet K's DH, sat down at a restaurant and had dinner, then drove another half hour home. Yes, still with my big fat yarny bracelet. Got home, plied it on my antique Saxony (so it was still plied on a period wheel), then wound it off onto the Niddy Noddy. Ended up with right around 85 1 3/8 ounces. Here's the skein:

And here's a closeup:

As I mentioned, you can definitely see that this is a more woolen yarn. Now I have to figure out what I can do with 85 yards of fingering/dk weight yarn - and what in a "colonial period" context.

So, what now? G has told us all about the event that they do on Labor Day weekend, which tends to draw a lot more kids. This event was in large part a Draft Horse pull and Tractor pull competition, as well as a quilt show, and therefore tended to draw an older crowd. Even though the temps will be a lot higher in September, the Great Wheel draws to me... I'm very inclined to come out for Labor Day just to spin on it again... We really enjoyed showing people the amount of work I was doing, then comparing that to G with her seated, treadled wheel and flyer uptake.

Oh...and there's something else... I WANT MY OWN GREAT WHEEL!!! This doesn't sound like such a huge request, unless you've seen my apartment...or my car... I live in a studio apt. 450 sq feet. It's small. It's crowded. There's really no way I can spin on a Great in my apt. But... I could take it to demo events and show it off THERE!! And I could hang the wheel from hooks on my wall... So I'd only have to find storage space for the base... Am I insane? I know someone who has a Great that she's been wanting to sell for the past two years...and there's another on Craig's list that looks pretty good too... Oh, and I have even more inspiration since I found this amazing wonderful, inspiring blog.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

No more Excuses!!!

GREAT NEWS!! I got replacement yarn in the mail today to finally make my jacket with!! No, no, not from CTH. As it happens, Carla from Chez Casuelle (now Hanks) had some sample balls of the various colors that she had rolled up for people to play with while the contest was going on. When she sold the store, she retained all of those partial, I contacted her, because of course THOSE were the same dye lots that I made the original from...and lo and behold, she still had them!! They are pretty much complete skeins, with only a few grams missing from each, so there will be PLENTY of yarn for me to remake the sweater!! Hooray!!!

So, now I have no more excuses not to finish it... well... except for...

I'm in the middle of my bag for the HSKS4 Swap... It's coming along nicely...the pattern is sort of a hybrid between a few things I found online and my own design! It will be felted two color entrelac! (that's a hint, though it'll be a long time before it is received, so this post should have migrated down a bit and will be harder to find...). I'm still trying to get to a decent yarn store to pick out some sock yarn and needles...and I think a friend is going to help me a bit with my stitch markers.

This weekend K and I will be doing period reenactment knitting at the 18th Annual Quilt Show and Farm Festival. It looks like a fun event...too bad they already have spinners... So I'll be casting on a handspun woolen sock on Rosewood DPN's to work on for that event.

Trying to also get information on the St. Augustine Spin-In, which I've been to the past two years. Last year it was March 30th.

Ok, those might be the big things between me and my jacket... I would love to get it done for the Central Florida Fair, but that means completing it in 2 months. That's exactly how much time it took me the last time, but I was knitting REALLY hard to get it done in that time frame. Maybe it'll go into NEXT year's fair...