Monday, November 17, 2008

Prometheus Found!

When Tia, my Slytherin upstream partner for HSKS 6, told me that her owl Prometheus was on his way (and to watch out for his snipping!), I was super excited! I was hoping it would arrive on Friday, but alas, that was not the case. On Saturday, I headed out to Berryville to visit my mom and the rest, so I wasn't going to be there to watch the skies. Sure enough, when I arrived home Sunday morning, there was Prometheus, patiently wating with my package by my front door!

Well, after carefully extracting the package from his talons (and avoiding his beak!), I opened a WONDEROUS package! Tia, all I can say is WOW! You are a thoughtful and VERY talented spoiler and I am lucky to have had you! :) So, take a moment to take a gander at all that Tia has sent me.

First, a picture of all the nicely wrapped gifts just for me.

Next, all of the gifts unwrapped and fabulous!

Next, here is a close up of the AMAZING Ravenclaw Tia made (she even made up the design herself!). This bag truly blows me away. I'm impressed with anyone who can do color work and this bag is a great example of it. :) The bag is also lined, which I now know I really need to learn how to do!

The next handmade item was a super cute Ravenclaw sock ornament for my tree So cute! I'm looking forward to putting it on my tree this year. :)

I think this next item is one of my fave gifts EVER! As many of you know, one of Tia's many hobbies is caligraphy. Well, I was hoping that I would be gifted with an example of her talent and boy howdy was I! She made a great notebook for me! She even wrote out my schedule for me inside. I LOVE this book and will treasure it always! :)

She also made me so handmade stitch markers. The little charms on the ends say things like "peace", "dream", "believe" and "hope". They're in the Ravenclaw colors and are VERY pretty!

Here is the great Cascade 220 yarn that she also sent. A really pretty blue and grey-ish/beige-ish color. Together they'll make a great Ravenclaw item.

And finally, here is a close up of the little extras she sent. I got three fabulous bookmarks (which is great because I'm usually reading that many different books at the same time!). Some Mary Kay chapstick, some Crystal Palace size US 8 straights (my FAV needles). I also got a blue pencil that looks like it was made out of a piece of wood, along with a red pen so I can edit my potions papers! Oh, and I didn't get this in a close up, but she sent me not one, not TWO, but THREE boxes of Mike&Ike's, the BEST candy ever!

So, as you can clearly see, Tia has been a great spoiler and I am a VERY lucky Ravenclaw witch! :) Thank you SO much, Tia, you're the best!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Round 3 of Quidditch

Ok, the third and FINAL round of Quidditch is on Sunday, which of course means it's time for a new trivia quiz. So, here it is in all its final glory! :)

1. Who was Tom Riddle Sr.'s girlfriend before Merope gave him the love potion?
a. Eleanor
b. Cecilia
c. Sally
d. Mandy

2. What does Luna say floated into Harry's ear when he was in the train car that supposedly caused him to lose focus?
a. Demiguise
b. Jobberknoll
c. Wrackspurt
d. Runespoor

3. How much do the primary Apparition lessons cost?
a. 10 galleons
b. 8 galleons
c. 15 galleons
d. 12 galleons

4. What is Professor Merrythought's first name?
a. Eileen
b. Galatea
c. Carol
d. Jocelyn

5. What Hogwarts club was Eileen Prince captain of?
a. Charms Club
b. Gobstones Club (well, team actually)
c. The Slug Club
d. Occlumency Club

6. Who is head of the Goblin Liaison office?
a. Ambrosius Flume
b. Dirk Cresswell
c. Ciceron Harkiss
d. Barnabas Cuffe

7. Mrs. Weasley offers Fleur a goblin-made tiara for the wedding with Bill. What family member is currently in possession of the tiara?
a. Aunt Muriel
b. Aunt Ethel
c. Aunt Edna
d. Aunt Thelma

8. How many points does Snape take from Gryffindor for Harry's late arrival and muggle attire?a. 30
b. 70
c. 50
d. 90

9. When Profressory Slughorn first meets Hermione, he asks her whether she is related to Hector Dagworth-Granger. What society did Dagworth-Granger found?
a. The Most Extraordinary Society of Charms
b. The Most Extraordinary Society of Herbology
c. The Most Extraordinary Society of the Defense Against the Dark Arts
d. The Most Extraordinary Society of Potioneers

10. Which of these describes Golpalott's Third Law?
a. The antidote for blended poison will be equal to less than the sum of the antidotes for each of the separate components
b. The antidote for a blended poison will be equal to less than the product of the antidotes for each of the separate components
c. The antidote for a blended poison will be equal to more than the product of the antidotes for each of the separate components
d. The antidote for a blended poison will be equal to more than the sum of the antidotes for each of the separate components

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Life outside of knitting

So, I really DO have a life outside of knitting and now that I am between swaps, I can catch you all up on it.

First off, the big news. I'm MOVING at the end of the month. I'm very excited because I get to live in Arlington which will allow me to start taking the Metro again. Since my office will pay up to $110 a month in Metro fees, this is pretty much free for me. I did have to revisit my budget though since rent in the new place is higher than my current home, but after giving some luxury things up and moving some payments around, I'll be able to swing it just fine. I did a major clean/purge/pack this weekend and discovered that I don't have nearly as much stuff as I thought I did. I'm wondering if I'm missing something or maybe I didn't unpack everything the last time I moved... either way, it means fewer boxes that had to be boxed up, which means less to move come the day.

In other, sadder, news, a couple of people were laid off at my office. It was such a shock because we're a small office (staff wise) to begin with and I thought we were pretty much as lean as we could get without sacrificing the quality of the work. Turns out I was wrong. I only started here in April, but I was really sad to see the two go. One of them just had a baby and the other is just out of college. It's so sad! On the other hand, I'm greatful that they didn't adhere to the old adage "last hired, first fired" because then I would be the one out of a job! Oh well... I'm just going to focus on doing the best job I can and pray that this economic crisis ends soon!

I've started my Christmas shopping and list making. I have quite a few hand knitted (see, can't keep knitting out COMPLETELY!) items on my list, but they're small and hopefully with the week off for Thanksgiving I can get many of them done. I'm doing the Utopia hat for a couple of friends, a basket weave scarf for my brother and the Irish Hiking Scarf (Ravelry link) for my BIL. This might actually become the hat version of the pattern if the scarf is taking too long! Some hairbands for my nieces, a pair of Fetchings for my mom and some cup cozies for my dad and stepmom. So, yeah.... LOTS of knitting to get started on!

And on that note, I head to the needles! :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

SP13 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I like just about everything. Ella Rae Classic and Cascade 220 are my go-to yarns. I'm not a big fan of acrylic and novelty yarnds though.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? Right now I'm using a small LYS
bag... I really need to get something better.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I learned about 3.5 years ago, but only recently started really getting into it. I would put my skill level at advanced beginner.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? I have a very old and outdated Amazon wish list under my email address: ashley dot cavell at gmail dot com.

5. What's your favorite scent? My fav perfume is Happy by Clinique. I really like light and citrusy scents.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I do have a sweet tooth. I like chocolate, but I'm trying to eat more fruity/chewy candies, like twizzlers, starbursts and skittles. My favorite sweet though are Peanut Butter M&Ms. :)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD). I like singer/songwriters like Jason Mraz, KT Tunstall, Duffy, James Morrison and the like. Andy yes, I am MP3 ready.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? My favs are blues/greens/greys. But I really cannot STAND oranges and some yellows.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I'm a single lady with no aminals. Wow... that sounds a little sad.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I am more inclined to wear hats and scarves. I do not wear ponchos at all.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I love to knit hats, dishcloths, and bags/purses. I'm really into felting right now.

13. What are you knitting right now? I'm working on my Christmas gifts right now. A pair of fetchings, scarves, hats and cup cozies.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? I love receiving handmade gifts.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I prefer circulars and LOVE my Denise Interchangables! So, plastic is favorable, but I also like bamboo.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? I do not, but my roommate does so I'm fortunate enough to be able to use hers.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? My oldest UFO is the basic sweater I started in September of 2005.

18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe? My fav holiday is 4th of July because I LOVE fireworks.

19. Is there anything that you collect? Do books count? I really can't say no to books.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I have bought Knit Picks Harmony needles for others, but have not yet tried them myself, so would LOVE that. I have only recently REALLY gotten into knitting, so don't own any books or subscribe to any magazines.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I would LOVE to learn Magic Loop!

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I am in the learning stage still of sock knitting. I wear a size 8.5 shoe.

23. When is your birthday? December 22

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? dramaqt99

Friday, November 07, 2008

Super Secret, Super Fabulous, Quiz!

1. Astrid Cloverleaf
2. Cassandra Grubbly-Plank
3. Enna Kirts
4. Slena Starfire
5. Henry Longstaff
6. Ceciley Fortescue
7. Mona Ravenscroft
8. Argentia Pascal
9. Prendolyn Wilcox
10. Lizzie Wychwood
11. Ursula Longbottom
12. Rowena Weasley
13. Aurora Curlyfur
14. Lily May Clearwater
15. Megaera Black

Bonus #1. Hermione Bagnold (aka Smileynetta)
Bonus #2. Less than half.

Shipping Queen! (And a Witch of a Hat Update)

I don't mean to sound cocky or anything, but I really am a bit of a shipping QUEEN! Since I have started participating in swaps I have been to the post office more times than I ever have before! Yesterday was my favorite day though. I mailed two swap packages. One to Kristin (aka Thomasina Riddle), my downstream partner in the HSKS 6 swap. The other was to Stephanie, my downstream partner in the Fall Starbucks & Yarn swap. I am very proud of myself for getting both pakages out before the early ship deadline. It means extra points for the Ravenclaw House (HSKS 6) and the House Blend (FS&Y). Go me!

In other, sadder, news, my witch's hat arrived from Draco on Wednesday. A full day before mine landed on his doorstep. As you can see from the picture, it is a very lovely shade of blue and flops on my head beautifully. If I had to go out, at least I went out in style! Thanks, Draco!

That's a brief update for now. I have other things to catch you all up on, but I'll save that for a later date. TTFN! :)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A Witch of a Hat

As some of you may know, I am participating in HSKS 6. Well, as part of that, I am also participating in the Dueling Club. I get paired off with a fellow Hogwarts student and the goal is to get a knitted item to them as quickly as possible. Whoever gets a hat first "dies" and is eliminated from the competition. It's been a lot of fun so far and I've gotten further than I thought I would. I even made a hat in a 24 hour time period. I was definitely starting to feel a little cocky!

Well, the most recent round had me battling Draco Firewalker. We were challenged to make an actual Witch's/Wizard's hat. This hat was indeed a challenge. It was one of the most TEDIOUS projects I've ever done. It's a top down hat and you increased the width by adding ONE stitch to the end of ever row. Just ONE stitch! And the pattern doesn't tell you which way to add the extra stitch, so I chose the kfb way. Added a nice spiral to the overall hat. Well, I spend ALL day Saturday knitting and ended with 97 stitched (after starting with 4!). I thought I was going along at a good pace. Well, I wasn't able to spend all day Sunday on it like I would have liked because I had weekend errands and chores to do. And sure enough, Draco was able to pull ahead and was able to mail it on Monday. I on the other hand wasn't able to mail until Tuesday. As his arrived in Virginia, mine LEFT Virginia. So, I'll probably get my hat today while his won't arrive until tomorrow. Bummer!

P.S. Draco, if you read this, could you please take a picture of the finished hat? I only got a few of the hat in progress and was in too much a hurry to get it mailed to remember to take a picture of it. Thanks!