Saturday, 30 May 2009

Harry Potter Knitting

I found this fab group on ravelry, the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup, and it is so much fun! The basic premise is that it's like in the books, you're basically roleplaying that you're at Hogwarts, you get sorted into a house and everything (I'm in Ravenclaw, yay!) Then at the beginning of the month, new classes are posted. The classes are like those in the books, such as Defense Against The Dark Arts etc, and you get given a task along the theme of that class. It's basically a creativity exercise where they give you an idea, and you run with it. Then, when you start and finish your project, you get points for your house, and at the end of the term, hopefully your house will have the most points!

I've had so much fun this month, because it's given me a chance to just let my creativity run free (along Harry Potter themed lines, of course). I participated in 4 of the 6 classes.

Pentagon Bag

This is the first project I created, for the Arithmancy class. The task was to make something that demonstrated the golden ratio. Pentagons do this, with the length of their diagonal being approx 1.6 times the length of the side. So I found a pentagon pattern on ravelry (the Pretty Pentagon Mini-Washcloth by Hallie Madhoun), and started crocheting some to make into a bag. I discovered while doing this that pentagons apparantly do not lie flat when you sew them together, unlike hexagons. That explains why they're not used so often in patterns, at least. And of course, I learned all about the golden ratio, and fibonacci numbers. So it was fun and educational :)


This was my project for Defense Against The Dark Arts. The task was to make something protective. This was protective against the ribbon yarn in my stash (I ripped out a charity shop sweater, not realised that you can't really rip out ribbon yarn without it looking like chewed spaghetti), it's protective for the environment as I won't need plastic bags, and my house is protected from all those plastic bags cluttering it up! The pattern is the Japanese Blossom Handbag by Mimoknits.

HPKCHC Muggle Studies Stargate Hat

This is my version of the Stargate Fair Isle hat by Carol Schoenfelder. This was for Muggle Studies, where we had to make something based on a show that "muggles" would watch on television. I adapted the pattern, basically just used the charts for the zigzags and the stargate address symbols on a basic hat pattern. It's not the prettiest colourwork that I've done, because there's really too much space between some of the strands, but I like it :)

HPKCHC Ancient Runes Socks
HPKCHC Ancient Runes Socks - Close Up

This is my favourite of the projects, I think. It's for the Ancient Runes class, where the task was to knit something monogrammed. I saw the word "runes" though, and went with that. I looked runes up on wikipedia, and found out that medieval runes correspond with the alphabet (more or less), so I picked out my initials, and duplicate stitched them onto a pair of socks knit in ravenclaw coloured yarn. I had to learn how to duplicate stitch for this project, and I absolutely love this technique now! I can totally see much more duplicate stitching in my knitting future! It's almost magical, how you weave the yarn in and out of the stitches, and it looks like the colour has been knitted in :)

This month in the HPKCHC was fun, and it got me back into doing some colourwork, which I'd kind of neglected for a while. The Year of Colour continues!! :D Plus I learned a whole new technique, and a mathmatical theory (I've been boring everyone I know IRL with facts about the golden ratio, and pointing out golden spirals to them!) I totally had to quickly upload my photos today to claim my points though, cos the new classes go up in June. I can't wait to see what they are!!

Thursday, 14 May 2009


I have a new favourite pattern of the moment :)

Jamaican Tam
Jamaican Tam
Jamaican Tam

Black and Pink Hat
Black and Pink Hat

Pattern: Peaked Slouch by Zuleika Lambe (rav link, buy pattern link

Seriously, I cannot impress upon you all how much I love this pattern! I've barely had the jamaican striped one off of my head since I made it!

I became obsessed with making this pattern after I saw Zu's jamaican tam come up on ravelry, and needed to have one! It's so cool!

I made a couple of mods, just added one extra row in the working straight section, and did stripes on what would have been 10-12 (11-13 since I added one in grey) after asking the designer exactly where she had placed her stripes :) My hat did have to be the same, after all! I also added decreases on the first sc row, and made the brim using a 4mm hook to make it more solid ( Ihad to add a couple of rows to compensate for smaller size).

This pattern is so fast and fun to make! I made those two yesterday, and I've become a bit addicted :) They're excellent stash busters too, cos the stripes can go anywhere (so many ideas in my head just now, it's not even funny!)

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Mariposa Sock Pattern Available For Sale!

Mariposa Socks
Mariposa Socks
Mariposa Socks
Mariposa Socks

I've designed these socks, and put them up for sale on ravelry. You can buy them there for £2.50, if you're a member of the ravelry site. If you're not, you can email me at the address in the top right corner (the contact me box), and we can work out another way to purchase the pattern.

I designed these socks thinking about what the perfect summer's day would be like. I imagined butterflies, one of my favourite aspects of summer, and thought about how I love to have them flying around me, being all pretty :) So I designed some socks so I could always have butterflies flying around my ankles.

The socks are knit cuff-down, and the butterflies are made using cables and twisted stitches. The pattern is both written and charted. I used Opal Uni 4 ply, in shade 1412 (pink), but any other fingering weight yarn can be substituted. The pattern is written in one size, but instructions are given on how to customize the fit.

Hope you like them :D

Monday, 11 May 2009


It was my birthday on Saturday. And yes, as you probably guessed from the title of this post, I'm now 30 years old!

I feel like I should finally be officially an adult, but to be honest, the inside of my head still doesn't feel very adulty :) I was a bit worried in case I'd feel terrible about turning 30, but I actually feel more excited than anything else, about having a whole new decade to do new things in!

I went to my parents on the Thursday, and came back on the Friday. On the Saturday I went to my dance classes same as usual, because I figured what else would I be doing? I'd just spend the entire day on Ravelry :) And I had a bollywood performance at night, which was actually a really nice way to spend the evening. Most of the class went, and we did our dances, which went quite well, and then we all had fun dancing to bollywood and bhangra. The performance was at a charity event for empower the children, a really worthy cause, so I didn't want to be a grump and stay home. I just celebrated my birthday on the Thursday with my family, and the Friday with the BF, who, now that I'm 30, should really be called the OH or "him indoors" or something :D

I got loads of great presents, I was quite awed by it all really. I got a new camera,

My New Camera

which I love! I've been experimenting with it since I got it, and it's so cool how having more features means my pictures can change. It does great video too, which I wasn't even looking for in a camera, but is a wonderful bonus! (Dance vids, yay!)

My lovely sister got me a digital photo frame so I can see all the photos I take, and the OH (see how I slipped that in!) is getting me a tattoo, well, paying for it. I decided what I want, and I'm making the appointment tomorrow. I've checked out the studio and everything already, talked to the artist, I just need to phone and get it all confirmed. I'm very excited!

I got some knitterly presents too (I know that's what you were wanting to see!). I got The Knitted Odd-bod Bunch by Donna Wilson, and some yarn, which is probably going towards a belt for my tribal style dancing.

New Yarn!!

Lovely colours, all purple and pink :) I got a couple of other books: bead knitted bags by Julia S. Pretl and fabulous flirty crochet by Katherine Lee

All in all, I had a wonderful time over my birthday. Turning 30 was fun! :D

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Jewel of Yorkshire, April 2009

Time for my long belated post about Jewel of Yorkshire spring 2009 (it was April 4 and 5, so yeah, more than a little belated), but I've gotten round to it finally!

It was fab! I did 4 workshops, and bought some things. I bought the Sharon Kihara DVD, a DVD with Joe Jakes teaching a tribal drum solo choreography with Issam Houshan (which is fantastic!!!! New favourite dance DVD!), Beats Antique's new cd Collide, Hossam Ramzy cd Sabla Tolo 3, "Pure Punjaabi" cd, and another tabla songs cd. I also got a pair of black dance trousers which have dangly bits at the top with beads on, since I was looking for a pair of black dance pants last October but couldn't find any that I liked. This time I found some, about ten minutes after going into the souk! And five minutes after going into the souk, at the first stall I went to, I was looking through the stall and found a top and skirt costumey thing. (I'll have to get photos). The woman told me it was the sale area and it was £15 less, so I got it. I was her first customer of the day, that's how early I went! And that's it for the buying stuff. :D I swore when I went down I wasn't going to spend much, but I always end up buying tons!

I did 2 workshops with Meissoun, a swiss dancer who taught us Lebanese style dancing in high heels, and a bhangra workshop. She's very exuberant and energetic!!!! I was knackered at the end of both (luckily they were both on different days!). She's funny, and explains everything well, and brings swiss chocolate to her workshops! I hope she comes back next year!!! Lebanese dancing is really interesting (BIIIIG movements, very dramatic, and of course on high heels, which makes level changing easier) She had us doing turns and spins on heels too, which is a big part of Lebanese dance (very dramatic!) Luckily I didn't fall over! I'd seen some Lebanese videos on Youtube, so I knew it was a style I liked, and she taught it really well.

I also did Golden Oldies with Lorna Gow, where she explained the differences and surprising similarities between "vintage" style and "modern" style egyptian and showed us how each style would do different moves. She was fab, as always! She danced really well at the hafla, she was my favourite that night, I think!

And I did Tribe Electronica with Wendy Marlett. She was great too! We did slow spooky combos, and I had to take notes of all of them, cos I iz hopeles at remembering tribal combos!

The hafla where the teachers performed was fantastic. There was Lorna (awesomely inspiring! Every time I watch her dance I have a new apprciation for dancing, and feel totally inspired to improve myself!)

I can't remember her name now, but there was a woman who owns a costume store, and she did a sort of trance style dance with a red veil, which was cool and spooky and fun. Meissoun did a dance which had some of the Lebanese movements and styles in it, and she also did a bollywood dance which was really good. I thought she interpreted it well, it was like I could understand the words, even though they were in another language! Fereshteh did a stick dance, and was really good. Khaled also was really good, he's great at getting the audience going! 400 Roses did a medieval inspired tribal group dance - I loved the costuming, and it was a fun routine to watch. Lulu Sabongi came on at the end and must have gone on for about fifteen minutes! She was so energetic and really good.

It was a fantastic weekend, and I had lots of fun. I've already picked out the classes I want to go to in October, just need to save enough money and send a cheque off! I love going there, I always meet new people, and get inspired in so many different ways. I'm practicing a lot of the technique and moves I learned while I was there in April, that should definitely keep me going till the next one, lol!!

Monday, 4 May 2009

April Review

At the beginning of the month there seems to be a big break in my ravelry projects, from the 26th of march till the 9th of April. This must have been the main bit of my creative slump, but I honestly can't remember what I did durig that time. Probably sat around, complainging about being bored! I just couldn't get into making things at all. Anyway, then I started with a shrug, and decided to just make small things, and it seems to have worked, I'm back into full creative mode now :) Here's what I did do in April:

Black Ribbed Shrug (Two toned shrug from fitted knits by Stephanie Japel, but all in black)
Baktus Scarf (ah, this is one that was responsible for my slump. I kept having to rip it back, and back again), but it's one of my favourites now.
Drunken Bees socks
Express Lane socks
I started the Bit of Baroque scarf (ravelry project page link)
and I also started a Feather and Fan shawlette

I started some Josephine crocheted gauntlets as well, but they got ripped. One yarn I tried was too fluffy for the pattern, the next was too scratchy.

So lots of starting, and lots of socks. Socks are great for getting out of a creative slump, and they're also addictive!

March Review

OK, I'm going to do reviews of March and April today (in different posts, to keep it seperate), so that they're DONE! And here, a month late!, is March:

OK, in knitting and crochet, I did:

Alpine Frost Scarflet
Tubey (I haven't blogged about this yet, but I love it!)
Sea Wool Scarf from Yarn Forward magazine (again, no blog post, I think)
Sparkly Gauntlets of No Regrets and
Black Gauntlets of No Regrets
Armwarmers You Can See From Space
Raspberry Beret

Ooh, there's quite a few projects there! Obviously before I went into my mini-slump :)

I also performed Isis Wings at a hafla on March 28th. I danced to Aziza by Hossam Ramzy, and it went great! It's my new favourite Isis Wings tune, lots of spinny bits, and muchos drama! I was quite surprised by how much I got into the dance, in the photos, my head is even leaning down into the spins. I have a tendency to keep my head straight up, so to see myself emoting, and relaxing into the dance is quite strange, and exciting. Here's some of my favourite photos of me from the night, taken by my friend.

Me with Wings
Me with Wings 2
Me with Wings 3