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21  Talisman Necklace & Asymmetrical Earrings in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by Mistress Jennie on: October 16, 2019 01:31:25 PM

This was made for Powerhouseofthecell in the recent Fiber/Mixed Media Jewelry Swap.  While I do make a lot of jewelry, this was way outside my wheelhouse.  I loved that the swap forced me outside my comfort zone.  (Thanks sheepBlue!)  I also really enjoyed getting to use crochet in jewelry.  

There was no pattern that I followed.  I used a beading needle to string most of a small box of 'bead soup' onto it before I started, then I simply began crocheting.  I believe I chained 16, then started doing single crochet in both sizes of the chain, for a total of 30 stitched per row.  I didn't join at the end of each row, just continued in a spiral around to create the pouch.  The yarn is Premier Wool Free Sock Yarn, in the color Rainforest.  The beads came from a mix called Butter Tart I bumped into at Joanns.  I did a few rounds without beads to establish the base of the pouch, then I alternated doing a row of beads and a row without.  I tried alternating my beads with 2 small in a row, then 1 bigger, then 2 small again, so that when they are all piled together, the bigger ones have a bit more room to shine, with the smaller often hiding behind/under/beside them.

I also only beaded 1 side, so that it would be soft and smooth against either skin or clothing.  At the top I stopped doing single crochet for a stretch, and filled in chain stitches, then restarted single crochet, and went around again, up and over the sc stitches, so that I had a natural loop to close over the button I planned as a closure.  I did several rounds without beads to provide a flat surface to sew the button to.  The button was a Czech glass treasure that I received in a swap many years ago.  (Possibly from rackycoo?)  I have been hoarding since, waiting for the perfect project to use it on, and this was clearly it.

Once I had completed the pouch, instead of finishing off, I started chaining stitches, to create the necklace portion.  I think I did 2 chains, then a bead, then two more chains.  Once that was done, I cut the yarn, and started a new piece of necklace chain, without beads.  I made that piece the same length, before attaching it beside the first strand, then slip stitching over to the other side, and creating more chain, so that I would have 3 individual strands, that could be braided together.  I braided them loosely, then attached them on the other end, and added a few beads to each end, which you can see below.

After all that, I added a bit of fringe to the bottom, and filled the pouch with a few bits and bobs to protect Powerhouseofthecell on her journeys; a piece of seaglass (also a swap extra, from calluna!), an antique key, and a stamped lucky penny.  As I was packing up my swap package, I included the remaining beads, so Powerhouse could use them if she wanted to make a matching item.  I was literally writing that in her card, when I stopped, and dashed back over to my jewelry making area, to create a set of asymmetrical earrings for her to match the necklace.  

It was SO HARD to force myself to make a pair that were not identical!  Seriously, what should have been a 5 minute pair of earrings took more like 20, to get my right brain to get on board with my left brain.  

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22  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong ~ Yule Term 2019/2020*~ in Craftalongs by Mistress Jennie on: October 11, 2019 10:29:14 AM
Great call on reviving Advanced Studies Friday Abbee!  It got me thinking about my own NEWT, and current lack of OWL.  My NEWT seems to be a dissaster that I'm not sure what to do with.  So instead of dwelling on the negativity of that, I'm going to work on something positive.  A new OWL for an old project.

Project Name: FLYING - Dragonfly Afghan
House: Gryffindor

Brief Description: I started this project in September of 2017 as a stash buster, but it got put aside for a year, before being picked back up in fall of 2018.  And again it got put aside for nearly a year.  I picked it back up again on October 2nd, and I've been working on it steadily at night since then, but I've only managed to get one more band done.  (A band being 1 set of the 4 row repeat that forms the pattern.)  Goodness, I forgot how long the Virus pattern can take!  Especially when scaled up into an afghan, instead of a shawl.  So, in an effort to get myself to actually finish it this time, I'm turning it into an OWL.  Whether we count the start date for the OWL as Oct 2, or today Oct 11, either way it should take at least 3 weeks to finish, as I plan to do somewhere between 2-4 more bands of Dragonfly, depending on how much I can do with the yarn on hand, and finishing with another band of Petunia.  At my current rate of 1 band per week, that's 3-5  weeks!  Below you can see a progress pic I took a while back.  I have since added 3 more bands of blue & one of Gossamer (rainbow that includes the same teal & pink).  I'll try to get a better progress pic this afternoon.
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23  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong ~ Yule Term 2019/2020*~ in Craftalongs by Mistress Jennie on: October 08, 2019 03:17:28 PM
Class/Challenge: Charms
House: Gryffindor!
Project Name & Page Link: Dragon Shawl in Filet Crochet

Brief Description: For my Charms homework, I decided to focus on something detailed, to help me slow down and concentrate.  I learned a new crochet technique!  Filet crochet is simple enough to do, but you do need to follow along on the graph, and make sure you don't lose your place in the pattern.
Project Picture:

(photo stolen from Ant Bee)

Class/Challenge: Floo - Potage's Cauldron Shop
House: Gryffindor!
Project Name & Page Link: S'mores Blondies 

Brief Description:  When these popped up in my NY Times Daily Briefing, I knew I had to make them.  They are freakin' amazing.  Plus I got to use my butane torch to give the marshmallows a bit of browning! 
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge: House Unity
House: Gryffindor!
Project Name & Page Link: Mandragora Tee Shirt

Brief Description: Inspired by the fantastic Potions Masters of Slytherin House, I created this tee for Ant Bee in the Madam Malkin's Swap.   
Project Picture:
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24  Dragon Shawl in Filet Crochet in Crochet: Completed Projects by Mistress Jennie on: October 08, 2019 02:55:33 PM

(Photo stolen from Ant Bee)

Guys, I did a thing!  I learned to do filet crochet.  And did I pick a small simple project to learn on?  Nope.  Of course not!  I picked a giant shawl.  (Seriously, this thing is nearly 7' wide.  It's HUGE.)  It was made for Ant Bee in the Madam Malkin's HP Wearables for All Occasions Swap.  Thankfully Ant Bee is tall, so the wing span is much more appropriate to her frame than mine.  

The pattern is The Dragon Shawl by Alex at Yarn Geek Makes (formerly Two Hearts Crochet).  The yarn is her suggested yarn, Malabrigo Rios (#4 worsted weight), but I did switch up the color I chose.  Her suggestion was for a black with hints of red/orange/gold, which gave off a burning fire feel, but I went with Candombe, which is mainly black with hints of green, blue and purple.  Kind of a Maleficent-dragon feel, that I thought would compliment Ant Bee's Slytherin nature.  I had a really hard time capturing the color of the yarn.  The last picture of 3 tassels is probably the most accurate in terms of yarn color.

The pattern does work up very quickly.  Absolute start to finish on it was 10 days, but some of that time was waiting for a third set of blocking boards to arrive.  (I had 9 boards, and assumed I'd be safe with ordering 3 more as I was nearing the end of hooking, for a total of 12.  But this thing was so huge, that when I wen to pin it out I discovered I needed another order of 3, meaning it took 15' of board!)  Honestly, I didn't find filet confusing at all, after learning to do a graphghan last year.  It was just knowing what counted as an 'open' box vs a 'closed' box.  Easy peasy.  

I made 3 yarn & bead tassels with the leftover yarn, and put them onto jewelry clasps so that they can be added or removed as needed.  Ant Bee has a little one, so I think she might need to hide the tassels until tiny fingers aren't tempted to grab and pull.  I'm so pleased with how this came out, and I'm looking forward to messing around with filet crochet more in future.  
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25  Mandragora Tee Shirt with HTV in Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Discussion and Questions by Mistress Jennie on: October 08, 2019 02:28:21 PM

This shirt was made for Ant Bee in the Madam Malkin's HP Wearables for All Occasions Swap.  I bought the SVG design on Etsy, and cut it from a sage green glitter HTV.  I'm going to be honest, this one was really hard to let go.  I think I'm going to have to make a second one for myself.  Smiley

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26  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong ~ Yule Term 2019/2020*~ in Craftalongs by Mistress Jennie on: October 01, 2019 02:53:34 PM
Welcome one and all to the new term of the HPC!  As a special start of Term treat, I've made you all a gift I just know you're going to LOVE!  Well, to be honest, I didn't do it all alone.  The legendary Ms. Hermione Granger did lend a hand.  What is it you ask?

Hermione's Homework Planner!
Basically it's a Google spreadsheet with spaces for all the prompts that will happen throughout the semester, arranged by color coded categories, and includes edited down summaries of prompts, spaces for you to add your own notes and ideas, and a spot to mark off what you handed in and when.  Throughout the term, as I reveal future Headmistress, Holiday, and Floo Prompts, I will add their prompt summaries into the Homework Planner.  You are welcome to print it out and scribble all over it, or to use it in Google Docs.  If you do choose to use the online version via Google, you will just need to claim one of the 'sheets' at the bottom of the screen, and change the Sheet Number to your name; then you can edit, make notes, change colors, etc.  Essentially, you can do whatever you want to your own sheet on the Doc, but please, PLEASE don't try to change/claim the Master Sheet, which is the one I will edit and update.  Here's a pic, so you can see where the Sheet tabs are.

And finally, here's the link to the document: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1q8KtOsHaxWj_iY6OhCdOfWZrlhXiolGTuh0KM7cuITo/edit?usp=sharing
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27  Re: Fiber/Mixed Media Jewelry Swap Rd 2 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Mistress Jennie on: October 01, 2019 12:50:39 PM
After some scares on the part of the post office, I received a lovely package from Powerhouseofthecell!

The first piece I opened was this adorable bottlecap tassel necklace.  I'm pretty darn sure I never mentioned that I like Blue Moon beer, but I do, so that's a happy little coincidence.  I love the scrappy nature of the tassel, and the little beads hidden in the frayed fabric edges. 

Then I found this lovely long necklace!  It's a mix of her handmade fabric beads and stone beads, on handmade eye pins, all hanging from a strand of deep purple silk.

Here's a detail of the owl pendant, formed from a filigree piece, some buttons, and empty bezels.  I love how she used the loops of the bezels to be the eye rings to attach the 'chain' of the necklace to.

And here's some detail of the beautiful fabric beads she made...

Thank you so much Powerhouseofthecell!  The bright purples, teals, and blues will pop bright and beautiful against my largely black wardrobe.  Can't wait to show them off.  Cheesy

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28  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong ~ Midsummer Term 2019*~ Join ANYTIME! in Craftalongs by Mistress Jennie on: October 01, 2019 03:09:47 AM
~*Awarding the House Cup for Midsummer Term*~

HPC students have submitted an impressive 203 projects this term!  Congratulations on all your hard work!  The results from the House Points Spell are:

Hufflepuff with 8 students and 1130 points,
an average of 141.25 points per student

Slytherin with 3 students and 555 points,
an average of 185 points per student

Ravenclaw with 7 students and 2240 points,
an average of 320 points per student

Gryffindor with 3 students and 1335 points,
an average of 445 points per student

The Midsummer House Cup is awarded to GRYFFINDOR!!
A hearty congratulations to Abbeeroad, jenleahlynn & Mistress Jennie!

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/student is someone who has turned in at least 1 project.  To learn more about House Points check the first page, first post of HPC thread.  The House Cup competition begins anew each semester.
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29  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong ~ Midsummer Term 2019*~ Join ANYTIME! in Craftalongs by Mistress Jennie on: September 30, 2019 06:18:15 PM
Class/Challenge: Detention - Advanced Studies
House: Gryffindor!
Project Name & Page Link:  2 Hours on Fantasy Fair Isle Socks

Brief Description:  I put in two hours on my NEWT this weekend in an effort to push through and finish them.  Here are the before and after pics.  
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge:  Detention - Work In Progress
House: Gryffindor!
Project Name & Page Link:  Rainbow Wrap

Brief Description: I have been working on this piece for dear noodle-bug for a few months now.  Sadly I have had to put it aside several times.  Since I don't want her to see it before it gets to her, I'm not going to risk posting a pic, but have sent a photo to Abbeeroad, so someone knows I finished it.  (This is something normally noodle & I do for one another when we cannot post in the thread, but obviously doesn't work in this case.)  Once she receives it, I'll post it for real on Craftster, and add a pic into our new thread to show it off.  
Project Picture:

House: Gryffindor!
Project Name: Fantasy Fair Isle Crochet Socks (& Love To Do List Item)

Brief Description: This NEWT nearly killed me!  I proposed it back in 2016, and had to put it on hold for various reasons.  Then I picked it back up in March, in an attempt to have them done to wear at the Craftster Meetup in Asheville.  But somehow everything kept going wrong with them.  I frogged them and remade them several times, with different sized hooks, until I finally got as close to the correct gauge as humanly possible.  They are not perfect, and they are actually a pinch too small for me, but they are DONE.  And done is beautiful.  
Project Picture:
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30  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong ~ Midsummer Term 2019*~ Join ANYTIME! in Craftalongs by Mistress Jennie on: September 29, 2019 11:32:42 AM
Class/Challenge: Floo - Tea Break!
S.P.E.W.: Brightstone
House: Gryffindor!
Project Name & Page Link: Stamped Name Charms

Brief Description: After finishing the hemp bracelets and zipper pulls, my swim coach buddy requested some way to add the students names to them.  Hence these little stamped aluminum charms, reminiscent of silver coins.    
Project Picture:
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