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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Beaded Wire Shawl Pin on: February 27, 2017 01:21:39 PM
I recently participated in the Warm & Cozy swap, with the lovely LadybugsAndBumblebees as my partner.  As my main project for the swap, I crocheted a blanket sweater for her.  But since it didn't have any sort of closure, I decided to try my hand at making a shawl pin to go with it.  This was created from 14 gauge wire, and wrapped with some thinner copper and bronze wire, and finished with deep teal AB beads.  



Important to note:  Dogs do NOT like the sound of you hammering wire on your work desk, as they try to nap underneath it!   Cheesy
2  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Warm & Cozy Blanket Sweater on: February 27, 2017 01:21:34 PM
I recently participated in the Warm & Cozy swap, with the lovely LadybugsAndBumblebees (henceforth referred to as Lb&Bbs) as my partner.  She had the Light Frost Blanket Sweater on her Pinterest, and I was intrigued by it so I decided to give it a go.  I picked up some bulky yarn in a colorway Lb&Bbs liked and got to hooking.  I noticed a picture in her profile that showed us to be similar in size and shape, so I felt pretty safe making a garment for her, without benefit of a fitting.



The pattern is very simple, and does go together quickly and easily.  (Basically it's a rectangle that has its corners folded together to make a wonky diamond shape.)  Sadly, I really didn't like the pattern once it was done.  When reading the blog post, the author indicated that the sweater is 'probably a small', and that if you are bigger than her, you could 'add 10 stitches' to bring it up to a size large.  Since the pattern was so new, at the time I started it there were no other projects of it on Ravelry, not even the author's own!  (Now there are 4.)  Hence, there were no other notes to reference about size.  Yeah, adding 10 stitches did NOT make this a large.  Once my rectangle was complete, I basted the edges together as indicated and tried it on.  Nope.  It basically fit like a wad of yarn across your back, with partial arm holes.  Actually, it was kind of like having a blanket hold your arms behind you, so that when you look in the mirror, your own body shame can sucker-punch you in the gut.  Not good.   Angry



While I'm not the most experienced crocheter in the world, my experience in theatrical costuming paid off.  I could easily tell that the outer circumference of the garment needed to be much bigger in order to fit around my shoulders, and my butt.  But, that the back of the garment didn't really need to be any different.  So, I hooked up two wedges, 36 stitches wide at the base, and 3 stitches wide at the top, 15 rows tall.  I inserted these into the seams, and tried it back on.  Now it was closer to being a sweater!  The gussets alleviated the tension around the shoulders and hem, but it was still a bit short, and the neckline was an odd height.  Too tall compared to the original design, but not tall enough to turn down into a shawl collar.  So, I added 5 or 6 rows around the circumference, that incorporated the body and the gussets, increasing by 12 stitches in each row.  That was enough to let the hem fall to just below the bum, and the collar to turn down.  This made it a cross between the original design, and something like a circle sweater.  


(In this picture you can see the gussets, which are inserted between the bottom of the bust, and the side of the hip.)

Since the sweater didn't have any sort of closure, I decided to try my hand at making a shawl pin to go with it.  You can see the results HERE.  And while it was a rocky crafting process, in the end I'm pleased with how it came out, especially since Lb&Bbs seems very happy with it.  Cheesy

*Note: I'm not trying to be down on the author of the pattern.  The sweater she designed looks great on her body shape, which happens to be tall and thin.  I try very hard to be body positive, but no matter how positive someone is, there are just some things that look great on one body, that don't look good on another, and vice versa.  (I'm fairly my curves rock a fitted sweater in a way she doesn't!)  My point in explaining what didn't work for me in this pattern, is to help anyone else who wants to give it a try, not to bash the author.  Smiley  
3  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Quilt As You Go Rainbow Mug Rug on: February 27, 2017 12:47:48 PM
A quick little project for the recent Warm & Cozy Swap.  My partner LadybugsAndBumblebees likes bright colors, so I created a cheerful little mug rug to brighten the end of winter.  The fabrics were all from my stash, and I used the Quilt-As-You-Go method to make it faster.  I can't remember where I first learned to do it, but you can find a tutorial for a similar mug rug HERE. I'm really pleased with the bright and happy color scheme, and am tempted to make another one for myself. 




4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Birds & Bees Antique Key Pendant on: February 05, 2017 05:22:55 AM
This piece was created for my partner gigglygirl in the I Love Valentine's Day Swap.  It was inspired from a few different projects on her Pinterest, including some antique key pendants, and a piece with flowers encased in resin.  Because the theme was Valentine's Day, I wanted to put some love related references in it, but still keep it subtle enough that she could wear it throughout the year.  There's the Kiss charm, as well as a bird (owl), and a bee, as well as some Swarovski crystals.  The key came to me as a swap extra from AugustBell

5  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Valentine's Day / Valentine's Button Art on: February 05, 2017 05:15:29 AM
I made this for my partner gigglygirl in the I Love Valentine's Day Swap.  It was inspired from a few different pieces on her Pinterest; this canvas button art, this piece of antique key art, and several shabby chic bits and bobs that she had pinned.  Aside from the frame, everything came from my stash!  The fabric is linen embroidered with rose vines that I had leftover from a quilt, the plum & pink buttons were leftover from creating a button wreath for my front door a few years ago, and the key came from AugustBell, as a swap extra.  The frame is 10"x10", and there are approximately 90 buttons in the piece!  Even sewing them on with a few strands of embroidery thread, it still took several days to get all the buttons on there.  I'm pretty thrilled with how it turned out.  Smiley



And a head-on shot that my partner took...
6  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Crocheted Cat Hats for Pussyhat Project on: January 17, 2017 01:43:37 PM
I am very excited to be attending the Women's March on Washington this weekend.  I am going with a close friend, and feel so fortunate that we are able to go together to stand up for women's rights.  I had not thought I would be able to attend, but Sunday night a happy set of circumstances came together to make it possible, so I immediately started crocheting us each a pussyhat to wear as part of the Pussyhat Project.  

This is mine.  I personally hate the color pink, and even though I know it's intended as part of the solidarity of the project, I couldn't bring myself to wear a solid pink hat.  Tongue  So instead I went with a variegated yarn that held a good deal of pink, mixed with purples and blues.  The pattern is the Seamless Pussyhat by Joyful Darkness.  It's made from Yarn Bee Aspyn, in the colorway Mountain Bluebird.


This one I made is for my friend Audrey, and is made from the Crocheted Pussyhat pattern by Brittany Harrell.  The yarn is Yarn Bee Soft Secret in colorway Rosey.  


After finishing the third one below, I felt this one was too plain, so I went back and added two contrasting stripes and a heart applique.  


As I was writing up this post, one of my former students, who will also be attending informed me that she needs a hat too.  So, here's the third one I hooked up for her!  It's a messy bun version.  You can find the pattern HERE. The yarn is actually 2 yarns held together, Yarn Bee Soft Secret in Rosey, and Red Heart Unforgettable in Petunia.


And finally, here is Audrey & I in our hats, standing in the Ellipse, with the Washington Monument behind us.  


Edit: February 11, 2017

Two of our fantastic Mods mentioned wanting hats of their own, so I made up a few more!  For both I used the Crocheted Pussyhat that I used for Audrey's hat, but tweaked the pattern a bit by stitching the ears to give them more definition from the hat, like in the Messy Bun Cat Hat

kittykill's is made from Caron Simply Soft Party, in fuchsia. 


MissingWillow's is made from Caron Simply Soft in blackberry. 
7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Ostara Term 2017*~ Join anytime! on: January 14, 2017 04:48:56 PM

~*Harry Potter Craftalong ~ Ostara Term 2017*~

~*Begins February 1st, 2017*~
~*Ends May 31st, 2017*~



Welcome to Hogwarts!
The Harry Potter Craftalong (HPC) is not your typical craftalong; we are gathered here to celebrate our love of crafting and the Wonderful World of Harry Potter.  In the HPC you will be completing classes and challenges with your skills in crafty magic.  These classes and challenges all have HP centered themes, but your crafts do not have to be Harry Potter."  Your mission, as a student at Hogwarts, is to complete at least one class or challenge during this semester.  You may join any time during the semester.  I hope you join us; the HPC is a great way to stretch your crafty muscles, meet HP crafters, and have fun!


~*HPC PROJECTS*~
---The HPC is here to help us each finish projects and to explore new challenges as we better our crafting skills.  Prompts and guidelines are there to help stimulate creativity and growth; the size and complexity of the project submitted should reflect a level of personal growth and challenge over the time you spend in the HPC.
---Projects for the HPC should represent your best crafty skills.  Take pride in your work.  Classes and challenges should take a minimum of 30 minutes to make.  
---A project can only be submitted for one class/challenge (the same project cannot be entered in multiple categories) unless noted in prompt (it will be CLEARLY noted if allowed).
---Projects must be turned in within the timeframe designated by the type of assignment or challenge.
---For a project to be counted, it must have a picture or picture link included AT THE TIME OF POSTING.  If your item is a private piece, or is being kept secret for a Craft Swap, you are more than welcome to post a link for the Headmistress to view.  EDIT 4/17/15: As of today, I will no longer be posting reminders to folks about pictures.  I simply do not have the time to chase folks down for pictures.  If you post your project without a photo or photo link, it will simply not be counted when I tally House Points.
---For any cooking/food project, in addition to a photo, you must post a complete recipe, or link to the complete recipe you used.  No recipe = no points.  [EDIT due to questions: *For our purposes, a "complete recipe" means it includes a full set of ingredients that includes amounts, and step-by-step instructions that another HPC member could replicate themselves at home.  Think of writing your recipe with a beginner cook in mind, who needs full instructions.
---There is SO MUCH to do in the HPC.  Do not feel like you have to craft everything.  Think of the HPC as a "Choose Your Own Adventure".  Craft what inspires you, but don't try to do everything and get burned out.  Keep in mind these wise words , "It does not do to dwell on lists and forget to craft."  


~*HOW TO TURN IN A PROJECT*~
For each assignment/challenge, use this header:
Class/Challenge/House Pride:
SPEW: (If your item is for charity, enter that here; if not leave blank or add n/a.)
House:
Project Name:
Project Page Link (if available):
Brief Description: (how it fits the requirements, pattern/techniques/recipe used, any fun tips, etc.)
Project Picture: (REQUIRED! NO PICTURE (or link) = NO HOUSE POINTS)


-Feel free to also include your house and any storycrafting you've created for your project.
---You can add more than one project to your post, but a header must be used for each project.
-When posting your projects, you are more than welcome to post more than one at a time. But if you do so, then please attempt to post your projects in alphabetical order by SUBJECT.  Floo Powder Challenges, Detention Prompts, and Headmistress Challenges should be posted under B, D, & H respectively.  For more information, see this post.



~*HPC FAQs*~
---How long is a semester?  Semesters are as follows: YULE- October, November, December, January; SPRING-February, March, April, May; MIDSUMMER-June, July, August, September
---When can I join?  You can join anytime in the semester.
---Do I have to sign-up to join this craftalong? No, all you have to do is post in the thread a "hi" or a completed project post.
---How do I complete a semester/earn my year? To complete a semester/year, you only have to complete one class or challenge during the semester.
---What timezone do we use?  We use the Headmistress' Time Zone,  Mistress Jennie is in Central Standard Time.
---Do you sort me?  NO, you will decide which house you belong to, but you can only choose one.
---I have a problem or question; who can I ask?  You can send a Personal Message (PM) to Headmistress Mistress Jennie, or Deputy Headmistress noodle-bug.  You can also ask specific questions to HPC staff.  And you can post your question in the thread; our students are very helpful!
---Can I turn in something I did earlier? With a very few exceptions the answer is NO!  You must complete your project during the current semester. Exceptions are Detention and OWLs; look for details about these projects in their information posts below.  If you started a project, for example a quilt, a day or two before the semester started, but then did the bulk of the work and finishing (a good 90%) during the semester, you can submit it.
---Are we swapping? No, this is not an organized swap.  We are just encouraging crafting with a HP twist.  But if you enjoy swapping, keep an eye out for HP themed swap info in our thread.  Also, we occasionally do things like Valentine or Christmas Card Exchanges.  These are completely voluntary, and are NOT required, and are not organized swaps.
---Do I have to craft all the classes and challenges? NO!  Smiley Just pick what you inspires you.  There is tons to choose from so choose your own HP Craft Adventure through the castle.
---What kind of projects are allowed for classes/challenges? If Craftster has a category for it, then it is a viable HPC project.  And since Craftster has a board for almost everything, your choices are vast.
---Does my craft project have to be Harry Potter themed? NO, if your item fulfills the class/challenge prompt, then it can be posted in the HPC.  Above all, we are here to encourage crafting.


~*House Points*~
~*Your triumphs will earn you points*~
Points System
15 points for a Class Assignment & Challenge*
100 points for OWLs
150 points for NEWTs
10 points extra for SPEW aka Charity Items

House Points Guidelines
--- *You cannot double dip for Class & Challenge points.  For example, if you turn-in a project for Herbology & Floo Powder Challenge, then you would get 2 badges but only 15 points for the project.
---You cannot get credit for a class or challenge twice.  For example, if you turn in 2 Alchemy projects, then you will only get points for the first one.
--- SPEW points are extra credit.  You can earn SPEW points for each project you turn in if it goes to a legitimate charity.  You do not have to give the charity's name, just that you are donating to a certain cause.  (I happen to know that some Battered Women's Shelters don't like their names/locations posted.) SPEW projects must be clearly marked with SPEW to earn extra points.  Also, SPEW project can be turned in as stand-alone projects; they will earn 10 points.  Unlike most projects, you can turn in more than one SPEW project for points.
---HPC Challenge Points do not include House Challenges.  For Example, a Slytherin Scavenger Hunt project would not count for points unless it also fulfills a HPC Class or HPC Challenge.
--- To determine House Cup Winner, an average from the points accumulated per house and the number of members per house.  If there is a tie, then more than one house will win the cup.  Note, a House Member is someone who has turned in at least 1 project.
--- Don't stress over House Points, but do craft your personal best. (This varies from person to person.  And I'm not really worried about "crafting your best" bit because HPCers are amazing crafters!)


~*HPC Portkeys*~
Headmistress Tower - Headmistress Challenges & Badge Station
Deputy Headmistress's Office & S.P.E.W. Headquarters
Floo Powder Challenge Series
Diagon Alley
Magician of the Month
Wizard & Witch Career Placement Agency
Pinterest Pixie's Projects Page
Hogwarts Kitchens
HPC Facebook Group

Common Rooms
7th Floor Gryffindor
Hufflepuff PARTY Common Room
Ravenclaw Tower
Slytherin Dungeon



Professors' Classrooms
Detention in the Dungeons
Alchemy
Apparition
Arithmancy
Astronomy
Care of Magical Creatures
Charms
Defense Against the Dark Arts
Divination
Flying
Herbology
History of Magic
Muggle Studies
Potions Dungeon
Study of Ancient Runes
Transfiguration
Ordinary Wizarding Levels
Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests


~*The Great Hall OT Chat*~

Craftster craftalongs are for crafting and crafting encouragement.  If you would like to talk off-topic, such as in-depth Harry Potter discussions, then please visit The Great Hall.  Thank you for keeping the HPC within Craftster guidelines.

~*HPC on Facebook*~
The HPC is now on Facebook!  This is a way to share links, photos, or videos with your friends here in the HPC, that you cannot post on Craftster.  Please feel free to use the page to ask questions, share craft related or Harry Potter related links, pictures of your kids dressing up like Hogwarts students, or anything else that might be of interest to the group.  This group is Closed, so folks must message me with BOTH their Craftster username, and a way to locate you on Facebook, in order to be added. This is to keep it to just folks within the Craftalong, rather than a general HP forum, and anyone who participates here is welcome there as well.  If you send me a message via FB, PLEASE include your Craftster username.  We've been getting lots of requests to join, from faux accounts who just want to spam us with porn, so I've become *extra* cautious about adding folks.

~*Ostara Term HPC Staff*~
Headmistress Mistress Jennie
Deputy Headmistress noodle-bug

Gryffindor Head of House Abbeeroad
Hufflepuff Head of House Moonflame
Ravenclaw Head of House FiberAlchemist
Slytherin Head of House ErinAquaheart

Alchemy Professor  TechnicolorAquahearts
Apparition  edelC
Arithmancy Professor  noodle-bug
Astronomy Professor  Inselaeffchen
Care of Magical Creatures  ErinAquaheart
Charms Professor  edelC
Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor  Magpirate
Divination Professor  ErinAquaheart
Flying Professor  gaudiknight
Herbology Professor  Inselaeffchen
History of Magic  jenleahlynn
Muggle Studies Professor  Magpirate
Potions Professor  noodle-bug
Study of Ancient Runes  TechnicolorAquahearts
Transfiguration Professor  ErinAquaheart

Kitchen Elf Abbeeroad
Pinterest Pixie seeuudee

~*Previous Winner of House Cup*~
Winter 2012/2013: Gryffindor
Spring 2013: Gryffindor
Summer 2013: Gryffindor
Fall 2013: Gryffindor
Winter 2013/2014: Ravenclaw
Spring 2014: Ravenclaw
Summer 2014: Ravenclaw
Fall 2014: Gryffindor
Winter 2014/2015: Gryffindor
Spring 2015: Gryffindor
Summer 2015: Gryffindor
Fall 2015: Gryffindor
Winter 2015/2016: Slytherin
Spring 2016: Slytherin
Midsummer 2016: Hufflepuff
Yule 2016/2017: Gryffindor
8  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Thundercake Slouchy Hat & Mitts for a Friend on: January 13, 2017 10:52:22 AM
A bit of a story....  I spent 6 years teaching theatrical costuming at the college level, and in that time I had many students who taught me many things.  One of those students was a young woman named B.  She wasn't a theatre major, but rather an art major who specialized in weaving.  She was always dreaming up and working on something.  She had great sewing skills, so I hired her to work in my costume shop.  B. was always bright and joyful, happy and funny both in and out of work.  She approached everything she did with an open heart and a smile on her face.  She adored cupcakes and bright colors, fairy tales and Chewbacca.  She was the first person to volunteer to help, and the last person to go home at night.  When we needed someone to design the costumes for a children's theatre production of Cinderella, we knew B. would be perfect.  Children's theatre shows didn't get help from the costume shop staff, just the work of the student who designed it.  A week before the show, B. broke her arm.  She didn't ask for help, she just tried to assure us all that she could certainly sew one handed.  Two days later, she sprained her other wrist, and still she smiled and sang and worked and asked for nothing.  (Yes, I promise we did help B. even though she assured us she could do it all herself.)  

I asked all the students who worked in the shop to name their own imaginary Hogwarts House, and she named hers the Thundercakes. She even made a brightly colored House banner complete with cupcake and lightning bolt. She made me laugh every time I saw her.  B is 29 years old now, and lives up in the cold of Michigan, where she is a Jill of all Trades, one of which is hosting ceramics parties in local pubs, much like Paint Nights.  

And B. has just been diagnosed with cancer.  I can't fix it for her.  I can't even be there for her.  So I did the only thing I could, I crafted for her.  I made her a cuddly new hat and warm cozy mitts in all her favorite shades of happy Thundercake color to keep her warm and cozy.  I'm sending them along with an afghan I made over the summer, for her to snuggle with.  I know that this is just a part of B's story.

The hat pattern is the Unforgettable Hat from Crochet in Color, and the mitts are the Quick Wristers from Crochetology by Fatima.  Both are made with Yarn Bee Aurora Borealis yarn, in the shade Sandrock Mountain.




*Special thanks to crochet goddess pinkleo for the suggestion on the mitts pattern!
9   / JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Featured Projects for July-December 2016 on: January 02, 2017 11:54:51 AM
By hitting the "This Rocks" button, Craftster members have chosen the Featured Crochet Projects for the Second Half of 2016! Thanks for your contributions and congratulations!

10  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Scale Maile Poinsettia Ornaments on: December 22, 2016 01:48:33 PM
Each year, as the craziness of the holiday season winds down, I get myself a new craft supply or kit, to play with during Christmas.  This year I decided I wanted to learn a little more about making chain maile & scale maile, so I bought myself the supplies to make some jewelry and Christmas ornaments.  Yesterday I decided I'd had enough of work for the day, and broke out my new toys.  I made three of the scale maile ornaments as stocking stuffers for my mother-in-law & sisters-in-law, while watching a sappy Christmas romance on Netflix and enjoying a hot toddy.



They are relatively simple to make, but the final row of small petals are a bit of a pain to wrestle in there.  I'm glad I took the advice of the website I bought the supplies from, and ordered the long nosed pliers that they recommend.  The pattern and supplies all came from The Ring Lord.  I also got another ornament pattern, to make a drape of chain maile around a glass bauble that I can't wait to make for gifts next year.  Smiley

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