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1  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Cozy Silk Slippers & Mitts to fit with Apple Watch on: October 26, 2019 09:12:58 AM

Been feeling a little under the weather lately, and a friend pointed out that I should try to be good to myself, and rest up.  So I put aside my monster afghan crochet project, and whipped up a cuddly pair of silk slippers just for me.  The pattern is called Silk Mer-Slippers by Miranda Nippert.  It was originally designed for Darn Good Yarn's Silk Roving Worsted Yarn in a colorway reminiscent of mermaids, and utilizes a shell stitch, hence the name Mer-Slippers.  I used the same yarn in Crimson Fire instead, because I had 5 skeins of it on hand.  This project busted nearly 2 skeins of it from my stash!  The pattern is very quick; I did the first slipper Thursday night while watching tv, and the second on Friday afternoon, while curled up with some GBBO on Netflix.  Since I'm still feeling tired, I plan to spend the afternoon on the couch again, and might make a pair of fingerless gloves to match it.  Or I might nap.   Cheesy

I just finished up a pair of mitts to match my new slippers!  I love fingerless gloves and mitts, but they are always problematic with my Apple watch.  I created a little window in the left mitt, so I can still access my watch screen while I wear them. 
2  Craft Swaps / ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED / HP Holiday Ornament & Stocking Stuffer Swap - Round 3 (SU CLOSED;Send 12/2) on: October 20, 2019 01:21:57 PM
Harry Potter Holiday Ornament & Stocking Stuffer Swap - Round 3

ornament by lyndseynicole

Swap name: Harry Potter Holiday Ornament & Stocking Stuffer Swap
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Mistress Jennie
Craftster member who is co-organizing this swap: jillybeans
Sign-up date range: October 20th - November 3rd, 2019
Date to send item by: December 2nd, 2019

Limited to a certain number of people? no
Restricted to people who all live in the same country? no

Swap Organizer herself meets these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: YES
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: YES
- Is at least 18 years old: YES

Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 16 years old: YES
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES

How are you spending the holidays?  Perhaps you will be cozied up at The Burrow, wandering the halls of Hogwarts, or having a good old-fashioned Muggle gathering... but really what better way is there to celebrate than with a little Harry Potter Holiday crafting!  For this swap we will be exchanging 1 Small Harry Potter holiday ornament or a stocking stuffer such as mini-hooplas, jewelry for the Yule Ball, etc.

~*This swap is for 1 small item (1-2 hours crafting time) in the theme of HP Holiday.
***Please note that while many folks in the swap will celebrate Christmas, this swap is open to EVERYONE and swappers are welcome to ask for Yule, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or other other holiday themes if they prefer.***

~*You can Invite Your Own Partners!  If you have your eye on a Craftster you'd love to swap with, you are welcome to ask if they would like to partner with you.  Please remember that people may refuse for any number of reasons, and that is totally okay.  Perhaps they already have a partner, or they have asked someone else.  If they do accept, you must BOTH send a PM to, Mistress Jennie, declaring your wish to be partners.  

-Since this is a holiday swap, if you have not sent by 3 days past Sendouts, you will get temporary negative feedback.  It is sad to not to receive your holiday parcel during holiday time.  This temporary negative will be reversed when your partner receives.  
-If you do not have an IYP partner, and I am pairing for you, that will be done by random draw (with appropriate attention to allergies and shipping given.
-BE SURE TO READ THIS ENTIRE POST.  There is a secret pass phrase within this post, to help ensure that you read all of the information.  You must include this pass phrase in your questionnaire in order to join the swap.
-Please note that per Craftster rules, you MUST post in this thread at least once a week to let us know you are still around.

If you want to participate, fill out the below questionnaire and send to organizer.
(Remember to send your info to the organizer via Private Message (PM) and not to reply with it here)

Name of swap: Harry Potter Holiday Ornament & Stocking Stuffer Swap - Round 3
Craftster username:
Email address:
Your real name:
Mailing address including the country
(as it should appear for shipping please):
Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country? (This is for just 1 small item, please consider being willing to do this.)
Confirm that are at least 16 years old or, if not, that you have moderator approval (yes/no):

*Confirm that you understand if you do not send by 3 days past Sendout Deadline, then you will receive a temporary negative. (yes/no):

*Confirm that you understand that tracking numbers are required for packages within the US, and a photograph of the receipt from mailing is required for all international packages. (yes/no):

What holiday, or holidays, do you celebrate within your home? (Christmas, Yule, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year's, etc.)

Is there a holiday you would prefer your partner craft for?  (ie, perhaps you celebrate both Christmas and New Year's, but would prefer a Christmas themed item.)

Would you prefer an ornament for your tree, a decoration for you home that is NOT an ornament (banner, garland, etc.) or a 'stocking stuffer'? (aka a small misc Harry Potter item)

What are you favorite crafts to make?
What kind of crafts would you like to receive?
(Ornaments, other holiday items, small HP present, etc.?
Any special wishes? (no guarantees)
Anything you really DON'T want to receive? (i.e. animal products, religious, adult", HP items you already have)
What house do you belong to/support?

Who/What is your favorite HP...
Magical Creature?
Magical Shop?
Magical Item?

What is the secret pass phrase?

Do you or anyone in your home smoke?
Do you have pets?
Are you allergic to anything?



Anything else to tell your partner?
(A great place to list your blog, Facebook, Pinterest, sizes, etc.)

Remember to read the Swap Info Guide and Swap FAQs before participating in a swap.

-NO, you do not have to send extras.  Do not fret about if you are only sending 1 small item; that is all that is required for this swap.  Yes, some of us will send more, but don't underestimate the glory of 1 fabulous small HP craft.
-NO, your item does NOT have to be an ornament; some people in the swap don't want ornaments.  Here communication is key!  Find out what your partner wants; first place to check, their questionnaire.  Wink
-The secret pass phrase is: 'God Rest Ye Merry Hippogriffs'
-A small item should take 1-2 hours of crafting time.  

3  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Sari Silk Wrapped Bangles on: October 16, 2019 01:42:25 PM

These were made for Powerhouseofthecell in the recent Fiber/Mixed Media Jewelry Swap.  Powerhouse mentioned liking bangle bracelets, which I've never really dabbled in before.  These were the result of some inspiration from her Pinterest, and my stash of recycled sari silk ribbon and yarn.  

The blue and the pink were each made from recycled silk cloth, and the green is from recycled silk yarn.  The cloth ones were also wrapped in wire, and have some Swarovski crystal beads sprinkled along them.  They felt a bit unfinished to me, so I called on sheepBlue & PerfectlyBohemian for advice.  The recommended a few charms to finish them off.  Incidentally, I believe the dinosaur charms actually came from sheep herself!

4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Talisman Necklace & Asymmetrical Earrings 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.  

5  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Dragon Shawl in Filet Crochet 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.  
6  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Discussion and Questions / Mandragora Tee Shirt with HTV 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

7  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Madam Malkin's HP Wearables for All Occasions Swap Gallery on: September 26, 2019 11:34:02 AM

Madam Malkin's HP Wearables for All Occasions Swap

Mistress Jennie (Sent 10/3) ---> Ant Bee
Ant Bee (Sent 11/13/19) ---> Mistress Jennie

Abbeeroad ---> patty_o_furniture
patty_o_furniture ---> Abbeeroad

edelC ---> jillybeans
jillybeans ---> edelC

FiberAlchemist ---> jenleahlynn
jenleahlynn ---> FiberAlchemist[/b

Status Colors
Green = Sent
Orange = Sending Late with Communication

Blue = Received
Purple = Received & Posted Pictures

Strikethrough = Feedback Given
8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / ~*Harry Potter Craftalong ~ Yule Term 2019/2020*~ on: September 11, 2019 01:58:05 PM

~*Harry Potter Craftalong ~ Yule Term 2019/2020*~

~*October 1st, 2019 - January 31st, 2020*~
Welcome to Hogwarts!

The Harry Potter Craftalong (HPC) is a craftalong that celebrates our love of crafting and the world of Harry Potter.  In the HPC you complete classes & challenges with your craft skills, and each project you submit earns you House Points.  These classes and challenges all have HP themes, but your crafts do not have to be Harry Potter" related.  You may join any time during the semester, and may do as many (or as few) projects as you wish.  To participate, simply read through the class & challenge prompts below, find one that inspires you, create a craft to fit the challenge, then post it here.  That's all there is to it!  Each term we have prompts inspired by the classes that appear in the HP novels, as well as Detention prompts to motivate you on mundane crafty tasks, monthly Headmistress Challenges often related to the current season, as well as special challenges that come up from time to time.  Each class or challenge prompt may be completed only once per term.  You do not have to 'sign up' to participate.  Just post your first project, and you are in.  Headmistress Jennie will add you into the student list below when she next tallies House Points.  At the end of each term we count up the House Points, and declare a winner!

To submit a project, cut & paste the following header into your post, and fill in the required info.  (This helps the Headmistress in awarding you points.)  You can add more than one project to your post, but a header must be used for each individual project.

SPEW: If your item is for charity, enter that here; if not leave blank or delete this line.
Project Name & Page Link: Use the insert link feature to add a link to your projects posted here on Crafster, or to a recipe, pattern, etc.
Brief Description: How it fits the requirements, pattern/techniques used, any fun tips, etc.
Project Picture: REQUIRED! No picture = No House Points

-Projects should take a minimum of 30 minutes to make.  
-A project can only be submitted for one subject or prompt.
-Projects must be crafted & turned in within the timeframe designated.  No posting crafts you made years ago!
-For a project to be counted, it must have a picture or a link to a picture included at the time of posting.  If your item is a private piece, or is being kept secret for a Swap, you are more than welcome to post a link to the image or send a PM directly to the the Headmistress.
-For any cooking/food project, in addition to a photo, you must post a complete recipe, or a link to the recipe you used.  No recipe = no points.  

~*HPC FAQs*~
-How long is a Term?  4 months
-When can I join?  Anytime!
-Do I have to sign-up to join this craftalong? Nope. All you have to do is post a 'hello' in the thread or just post a completed project.
-Do you sort me?  No, you decide which house you belong to.
-I have a problem or question; who can I ask?  You can send a Personal Message (PM) to Headmistress Mistress Jennie.  You can also ask questions in the thread; our participants are very helpful!
-Can I turn in something I did earlier? No.  You must complete your project during the current semester. Exceptions are OWLs & NEWTs which carry over from previous terms, or completing a WIP for Detention.
-Are we swapping? No, this is not a craft swap.  
-Do I have to craft all the classes & challenges? No, just pick whatever you inspires you.  
-What kind of projects are allowed? If Craftster has a category for it, then it is a viable HPC project.
-Does my craft project have to be Harry Potter themed? Nope. Craft anything you like.  Smiley

~*House Points*~
Each project you post earns points for your House.  Points are awarded thusly:
-15 points for a Class & Challenge prompts
-100 points for OWL projects (explained further below)
-150 points for NEWT projects (explained further below)
-10 bonus points for SPEW (Charity) Items

-You can complete any class or challenge prompt only once per term.  
-Bonus (SPEW) points can be earned for any project you turn in, that goes to a legitimate charity.  If it doesn't fit a prompt, SPEW projects can be turned in as stand-alone projects and will earn 10 points.  Unlike other subjects, you can turn in all the SPEW projects you want.
- To determine House Cup Winner at the end of term, we take an average from the total points accumulated and number of students per house.

~*HPC on Facebook*~
The HPC is on Facebook!  This is a place to share links, memes, photos, or videos that you cannot post on Craftster.  Please feel free to use the page to chit chat, ask questions, share pictures, etc.  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.  

~*Yule Term HPC Staff*~
Some members of the HPC donate their time to help keep the Craftalong running.  They are listed below.  If you are interested in helping out, please send a PM to Headmistress Jennie. Smiley

Headmistress Mistress Jennie
Deputy Headmistress noodle-bug (on sabbatical)

Gryffindor Head of House jenleahlynn
Hufflepuff Head of House Gaudiknight
Ravenclaw Head of House FiberAlchemist
Slytherin Head of House ErinAquaheart

Alchemy Professor seeuudee
Apparition Professor imera
Arithmancy Professor imera
Astronomy Professor Inselaeffchen
Care of Magical Creatures Professor ErinAquaheart
Charms Professor edelC
Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor edelC
Divination Professor  FiberAlchemist
Flying Professor  gaudiknight
Herbology Professor  Moonflame
History of Magic Professor jenleahlynn
Muggle Studies Professor jenleahlynn
Potions Professor  Inselaeffchen
Study of Ancient Runes  jenleahlynn
Transfiguration Professor  ErinAquaheart

Kitchen Elf Abbeeroad
Pinterest Pixie seeuudee
OWL/NEWT Examiner Abbeeroad   
Witch Weekly Editor FiberAlchemist

9  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 127 ENTRIES / Kingfisher Shawl - Including a free pattern! on: September 10, 2019 11:55:42 AM
I make a lot of shawls, but this one is special.  This is the first shawl pattern I've ever written myself!  I wanted to challenge myself to try writing my own patterns, and the good folks in the Crochet Shawl-Along inspired me to actually do so.  The name came from the bright teal colors, which reminded me of a Kingfisher bird.

And since this challenge in encouraging us to share things that have languished in craftalongs, without a post of their own, I'm sharing the pattern as a PDF download.  (Scroll to the bottom of this post.  Or you can download it on Ravelry HERE.)  The pattern uses worsted weight yarn, and makes for a soft, drapey, and generously sized shawl, perfect for cuddling with your favorite book.  It measures 64" across the top and 30" from top to point.  If you'd like to make a smaller, denser shawl, you can go down a hook size or two, and keep the worsted weight yarn.  If you'd like a smaller, lighter weight shawl, you can try working it up in a fingering or dk weight yarn.  

Finally, if you make a shawl from the pattern, I'd love to see it!

P.S.  A very special Thank You to sheepBlue who acted as pattern tester for me!  And to all the lovely folks in the Crochet Shawl Along for their constant inspiration and good cheer.  
10  COOKING / Dessert / Roasted Strawberry Shortcake on: September 08, 2019 05:05:01 PM

Strawberry shortcake is a summer classic.  Fresh fruit, sweet little cakes, and whipped cream.  Simple, and not to be messed with, right?


You need to try making it with ROASTED berries! 

The roasting brings out a different sweetness to the berries, more reminiscent of a HOMEMADE berry pie.  Not that thick, gloopy, overly sugared canned pie filling used in grocery store pies.  The balsamic adds the touch of acidity that the berries actually lose when roasted, and the results are amazing. 

Roasted Strawberry Shortcake
1 16oz package strawberries OR a 3 smaller (6 oz) packages of berries like blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries
3-4 good Balsamic Vinegar
2 T Honey
Few Tablespoons Strawberry Jam (optional)
Shortcake Dessert Shells (or rilled biscuits, or croissants, warmed in the oven)
Whipped Cream, or non-dairy whipped topping

Preheat the oven to 400.  Like a baking pan that has a lip at least 1/2" high, with foil. 

If using strawberries, chop them into quarters or sixths.  If using smaller berries, leave them whole.  Place all your berries on your baking sheet, clustered together, and lightly drizzle with your balsamic and the honey.  (I used about 2 T honey, and 3-4 T balsamic.)

Place in the oven, and roast 10 minutes.  Take out and stir, making sure all the berries get coated with a bit of the liquid.  Roast an additional 10-20 minutes, checking on them every few minutes.  You want softened berries that are clearly cooked through, and you want the liquid to have thickened a bit to a syrupy consistancy. 

Remove from the oven, and pour into a bowl.  If you wish to add a bit of jam, do so now.  (I had a bit of homemade to use up!) 

Place a cake or biscuit in the bottom of a bowl, top with the berries & juice, and some whipped topping.  You're welcome!  Cheesy
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