I'm so sorry I've been remiss as a professor lately everyone Real life has just gotten completely out of hand, I haven't even really been crafting! Between the 3 weeks and counting of prodromal labour with baby, and trying to finish work, and get the house ready, it's just gotten away from me. If I've missed putting your craft into the classroom post and you'd like it listed there, please PM me and let me know! The points are still counted by the lovely headmistresses.
I'll still be here next semester doing a bit of crafting, but taking a professorship leave of absence. I hope to be back in Summer semester once we've adjusted to being a family of 4!
I have one single craft to submit before the end of term:
Challenge: Bertie Botts' Tomato Bean SPEW: N/A House: Gryffindor Name: Little Boy Blue
This is another sweater to surround the new baby with love and snuggles. It's heavily modified from a ravelry sweater I liked, done in greyish-blue baby yarn. I had to rip it back once, when it was complete past the raglan increases, so it took a lot longer than expected!
Congratulations to all the new WotWs, and especially to Ant Bee for getting engaged! I've caught up the Charms and Herbology classrooms as well. Pinkleo, shingles SUCKS! I had it on my right sciatic nerve at 24, and my husband had it on his chest two years ago. Feel better!
Third trimester continues to suck the life out of me, with very frequent contractions. I'm now 35 weeks so it's ok if he comes early, but I have a project I really want to finish at work (and a training course on the 11th and 12th). So buddy you either need to decide to just arrive, or stop pretending to and let Mummy get some sleep
Advanced Studies Friday:
I haven't worked on my OWL in awhile, as it's not a priority with all the baby stuff I'm trying to finish. My cross-stitch birth announcement NEWT has made progress though! I've got the pattern graphed out in Excel, including the colours but without the little "stats" section at the bottom which includes two little butterflies. I've also matched the potential colours using my laptop and the PDF version of the DMC colour chart, but I need to see if they'll work once I'm at Michaels to pick up the floss.
I needed stitch markers I could use on large knitting needles, and were also light. I was tired of my heavy key-fob style glass beaded ones weighing on my wrists and getting caught up in the yarn. Once I had my awesome plier set to make my charm bracelet, I knew I could do it!
Each stitch marker is well under 3", and I used the reductor charm to shrink down flowers and stars tiny enough to add as decoration!
Hey guys! I'm sorry this is a drive-by post. We all went down like dominoes with a really bad stomach flu (yet another full day in the hospital for mummy but thankfully they stopped the contractions) and then my parents came to visit.
I've seen most of the projects and they're all wonderful! I'll be updating the classrooms soon again.
I have a NEWT proposal:
Class: SoAR Name: Classic Pooh Birth Sampler
I'll be making this baby a cross-stitch sampler as well. The project itself would be NEWT in length anyway, but there's the added bonus I need to reconstruct the pattern based on photos I found online, as the only kit I liked is discontinued. I'll be graphing it in Excel, matching colours as best as possible with the DMC chart, then stitching.
OK peeps who have been with us the whole 7 "years", prepare yourself for something I'm sure you never thought you'd see again...
BEHOLD! I have finished the birth announcement of epicness!
Class: January Detention House: Gryffindor Name: Beatrix Potter birth announcement
For those who didn't start way back in 2012, I proposed a NEWT of a cross-stitched birth announcement for my daughter. It proved to be much more epic in scale than I expected, and I put it on hold twice before finally setting it aside in discouragement. Well a little while ago I had no inspiring crochet or knitting to do, so I picked it back up and finished it!
There's probably well over 100 hours of work in here, including graphing out the stats and completely seam ripping to (finished!) characters and redoing them when I realised they were misplaced. It's done on 28-count aida, so it was very small and finicky. I altered some of the backstitch slightly because even one strand was thick on the 28-count, so a few little details got modified or left out (like I had to move some of Mrs. Tiggy-winkle's prickles, and adjust some of the fingers on the mice, etc.). Overall I'm really pleased!
Now I'm just in time to rest before starting one for her brother... I'd like to do Classic Pooh, but the one I found and loved is a kit that is no longer available. I'm seriously trying to pick a pattern out by using photos I've found online and graphing it in excel. Anyone seen any Classic Pooh cross-stitches around?
This afghan was something entirely new for me, I've never made a whole afghan, and I've never crocheted anything larger than a little baby blanket before! It went pretty well, though when I was in the hospital in December I ended up having to rip out nearly as much as I crocheted, because I kept making mistakes - I blame the medication It's quite large, though I wish it was wider. I used up a full ball of Lion Brand's "Pound of Love" in white. I have woven in the ends, but have not cut them yet as I had to use less than a meter of another white acrylic to finish the very last row of the last repeat. It's not very visible in person, but because it's a photo prop I'm not sure if it'll stand out there from the studio lights. Just in case, I want to know where the ends are so I can rip out the last repeat if need be.
Challenge: DA Shield Charm House: Gryffindor Name: Squish cowl
My aunt gave me some crazy soft yarn called Cascade Eco Duo, and I was looking for a reasonably fast project. It's very drapey as it's 80% baby alpaca/20% baby merino, and with our temperatures into the -30C's with windchill I thought one of those big cowls you can double over would be perfect! It's just a long chain joined in the round, worked in HDC. It's so very, very buttery and soft, and incredibly warm from the alpaca. I love it! I have two balls left, which is enough I think for mittens AND a slouchy beret too.
The wonderful Mistress Jennie donated a prize last semester, and I was lucky enough to win a personalized loaded charm bracelet kit! I gave her a big list of all the things I love, colours, I like, etc. and she built me an amazing kit! I had SO much fun making the bracelet, and am now addicted. It's OK, I have a huge stash for everything else so I can move some of my "allowance" into beads and charms
It's perfect for the Protean charm because although it's a pretty bracelet to look at, some of the charms have hidden meanings.
There are flower and star beads because I love both things, and they are all in my favourite colours. The charms are:
tea set, safety pin, book, measuring tape, kitty, squirrel, music, owl, fish, lightning bolt, sweater, scissors, and stand mixer.
Most you could probably guess from looking at them that they are something I like to eat, drink, or do, but a few are hidden: my husband's favourite animal is a squirrel, and I'm sure it would be his patronus. Fish USED to be my daughter's favourite animal, but now she's completely abandoned them! I'm going to be swapping it for a dragon, to represent Smaug. The music is because I have my Grade 10 RCM piano certificate, and took voice in University as well as belonging to the Unversity's Mixed Chorus. The safety pin isn't for sewing, but because I have one (soon to be two) child(ren).
Challenge: DA Fred and George Fight Back House: Gryffindor Name: Pecan Apple Spice muffins
Muffins wouldn't normally be a big project for me, but at 7 months pregnant, with a toddler, and needing to cook up one of the stir-ins before I even make the muffins it starts to get that way! Plus, the first batch was so delicious I ended up cooking another batch of the apples up so I could cook another batch of muffins, so it ended up being a pretty epic project.
For one batch I cut up one granny smith apple, diced it finely, and cooked it over medium-low heat in a skillet with butter, cinnamon, ground allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and some maple syrup. Once they apple were just starting to soften I took them off the heat. Then I chopped up a handful of pecans, somewhere between a rough and fine chop. I stirred these into my muffin batter, and then added in more of the same spices and baked!
My husband would love all that Gravity Falls stuff, he's a big fan of the show! Those hourglass pendants are gorgeous as well.
Advanced Studies Friday: Still chugging away on my NEWT afghan, I've got around 12 sets done, and am going to go until I run out of yarn as it's narrower than I expected. I'm hoping more length will make up for it to let her use it better as a prop for family photos.
I cast on my OWL scarf yesterday, and found some leftover bright ruby red beads to go with it. They're from some really nice Christmas socks I made years and years ago. It's going to be a loooooooooong project and a long scarf, because I have 600m to work with and I intend to use up all of it in the scarf! I added some width with an extra repeat in hopes it won't wind up a Doctor Who length scarf.
I'm going to make myself a scarf with the beautiful yarn I got from my Mom and Dad for Christmas this year. We all know that time at which magical plants are picked can affect the strength and focus of their magic, and the colours in my yarn remind me of deep fall - bright chartreuse, rich orange, yellow and ochre, and intense ruby red. The scarf will be lace, with either green or brown beads in the borders. It's actually a pattern I've made before, but I loved the resulting scarf and can't wait to knit another. The pattern is Kernel, found here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/kernel and the yarn is Zitron Filigarn #05, found here: http://www.skacelknitting.com/s.nl/it.A/id.10656/.f?sc=2&category=50982
This crown is both gold (admittedly not shiny though) and is 100% pure wool! I altered this pattern to be small enough for my little girl's head (she's pretty tiny), which meant I had to reinvent how to do the fancier points in the centre of the crown, which I basically just winged.
I have some crafts to submit I was able to complete before winding up in St. Mungo's. Hopefully I'll be well enough to craft again soon! I am able to keep crocheting on my NEWT at least, but much else has been out of my grasp.
Class: Potions OWL House: Gryffindor Name: Christmas Quilt set
I made this Christmas quilt and cushion covers using a set of 10 fat quarters I got 50% off way back in 2010 (I think, possibly 2011), and a panel I got 75% off at another store in their bargain attic, 1600 km away, in 2012 . The inner border on the quilt is fabric left from my first quilt backing, also used in another quilt as an inner border. I winged it for the quilt top, but did a ton of math to sort out the best way to fit together the strip pieced outer border, since the panel made it a bit of an odd size. It's back with red polar fleece, a favourite way for me to finish quilts. It's light but still relatively warm, won't slide off your lap, and doesn't required the close stitching a regular top-batting-backing sandwich requires.
I also did something new for the first time - free-motion quilting! I couldn't afford to go buy a proper free-motion or darning foot, so I ended up doing it by using the machine without a presser foot, with feed dogs down. I don't think I did too terribly badly. The holly pattern is based off of a line pattern I found online that I converted to a continuous line design. I tried to figure out how to transfer the pattern, and finally pin-pricked the whole design, then pounced it onto the border using the toe of a stocking filled with cinnamon and traced the pattern with a washable red pencil. I left the pencil on so that the quilting pattern is a little easier to see in the pictures, but I tested it and it will wash out.
The cushions are an "Antique Tile" square, with a white border (different white than the quilt as I'm FINALLY out of that fabric, I think this pattern looks like little snowballs) and an overlapping envelope back to make them easy to change. I fussy-cut the one church piece that's the centre of one cushion, but the rest are leftover pieces from strip-piecing the border. Thank heavens I ended up going with a standard 2.5" width for the border, as I hadn't planned out the cushions yet but they were the right width for the antique tile pattern!
I'm thrilled, THRILLED with this project. I'm so proud of how it came together, and of my being brave and trying the holly design. I usually only work stitch-in-the-ditch quilting because I prefer the fun of piecing the top than quilting. My next major quilting project (besides possibly a baby blankie for Mr. Wigglemunch who's thankfully still baking) is a paper-pieced snowflake quilt. That's also something I've never done! I think I'll make it a NEWT though so it won't happen until I finish the afghan.
Class: Herbology House: Gryffindor Name: Cherry Peak Cookies
My 2nd attempt to make my family's favourite christmas cookie gluten free. It's originally a shortbread-ish dough (but not particularly crumbly or delicate, more like a whipped shortbread or spritz cookie type dough) wrapped around a drained maraschino cherry, that is then baked and iced. I tried using a drop sugar cookie dough this time, and despite chilling them thoroughly outside in the -30C weather for 10 minutes they still spread wayyyyy too much. Anyone have a good GF shortbread recipe?
They fit the prompt because I used both green and red cherries, and decorated with red and green sprinkles! They taste not bad, but they are still just not. right.
Challenge: DA Stunning Spell House: Gryffindor Name: Homemade Instant Oatmeal
I can only eat oatmeal made with pure oats - those grown on a field used only for oats, and processed in a plant that processes nothing but oats (most major companies like Quaker use the equipment for other grains, and there seem to more issues with oats cross-contaminating than other grains). You can buy GF instant oatmeal, but it's extremely expensive, so I decided to make up my own! Each bag has:
2/3 c. quick cook pure oats 1 tbsp brown sugar 1 tsp chia seeds sprinkle of cinnamon
Some bags also have dried blueberries, coconut, or almonds mixed in as well. At work I add hot water and a splash of milk!
This is extra finicky peppermint bark, because it involves two double boilers to make a dark chocolate ganache centre, and the ingredients are all measured by weight (something I'm used to through GF baking). It's also surprisingly difficult to get the crushed candies to spread evenly across the bottom and top layers! The recipe is here: http://orangette.blogspot.ca/2008/12/look-at-that.html
My daughter and I made these soft sugar cookies, and I thought they'd be extra cute with some snowy frosting! 013
Challenge: Gravy Bean House: Gryffindor Name: White chocolate marshmallow nougat
I absolutely adore this holiday treat, and it's dead simple. White chocolate, marshmallows and butter melted together, with baking gums stirred in. It's sticky as all get out but if you pour it into a container lined with parchment paper and then freeze it, it's possible to cut apart. You're supposed to line the container with rice wafer paper, but I can't find it ANYWHERE, and regular Vietnamese rice paper wrappers are much much too thick. Recipe here: http://www.recipecommunity.com.au/recipes/nougat/76633 I just do the melting in the microwave instead.
I mentioned when I did my daughter's jammies that I had a lot of fabric left, and that we had started this new tradition of new jammies and a Christmas movie on Christmas Eve. I can tell you I have great joy to see how much SHE has joy and love for the Cabbage Patch dolls I found for her. She calls all 3 "baby", and I have been collecting genuine Cabbage Patch patterns from second-hand shops so I can make clothes for her. This little nightgown is from a pattern that comes with a dolly nightgown pattern as well as a girl sized pattern, but I couldn't make the girl nightgown as it's a size 4 (and she's not even a size 2 yet, especially in sewing patterns!). I think it turned out pretty adorable, and I hope she loves it when she opens it up on Tuesday.