Friday, May 1, 2009

Term End

It's hard to believe that the term is coming to an end. I started at Hogwarts immediately after a trip to a fiber festival with my roomies Elanor and Violette, and I'm ending my Hogwarts career with another trip to that same fiber fest. I've met many wonderful people talented in knitting and crocheting, received marvelous kits from near and far. During the flood and other woes everyone hs been warm and supportive of me. I can't say how much I appreciate that! My Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap experience has been absolutely fantastic. I will not be participating in the Summer Camp coming up only because I will be too busy this summer for extra activities. I hope everyone else who participates has a great time! Fond farewells to all.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

United We Sand!

That's the motto of Fargo ND and Moorhead Mn.

At last! It's a beautiful day with sunny skies and warm temps. Tonight I'm going to unpack my flood evacuation bag. Fargo seems to have gotten thru the flood with minimal damage. Moorhead was a bit worse off, but still not so bad. Valley City, an hour away by muggle vehicle, had a mass evacuation of 40% of their citizens due to the failure of the sewer system. A grand total of 9 deaths can be blamed on the flooding in North Dakota, most of them because of health problems. Hard to estimate the dollar amount of damages done. but it's in the millions. The flood fight alone was millions, when you add up the lost wages of people who couldn't go to work and filled sandbags instead, plus the business closed, and now the massive clean up. Beautiful lawns destroyed, the soccer fields that were dug up to provide clay and earth for the dikes, the roads that have washed away or collapsed, city parks with playground equipment that were under tons of water... We have tons and tons of contaminated sand to move out. The dikes are being torn down now, to the sound of weary cheers.

Friday, April 17, 2009


1. This “Harry Potter” character’s first name comes from Roman mythology. The mythological character’s twin brother is named Romulus. What is the Harry Potter character last name?

2. Which “Harry Potter” character’s first name is the Roman equivalent of the Greed Goddess Athena?. McGonagall as in Minerva!

3. In ‘Harry Potter’ World, this wizard has created the Philosopher’s Stone (called the Sorcerer Stone in the US). The historical figure from the 14th and 15th centuries was a scribe and a manuscript-seller who became famous as an alchemist. Who is this individual?
Nicholas Flammel

4. What is the first name of a character whose last name is the name of a Bulgarian leader from early 9th century who doubled the country’s territory?
Viktor as in Krumm! (Boy, do I have a crush on him! Nothing like the sight of a man in a Quidditch uniform, hm?)

5. Which character’s name is the name of goddess in Indian mythology? Patil

6. “Where the Wild Things Are” tells the story of Max, a young boy sent to bed without his supper for his wild antics. Who created this winner of the Caldecott Medal? Maurice Sendak

7. What was NOT one of the unexpected defense mechanisms that Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Griphook encountered in their attempt to rob Gringotts
The Geminio Curse

8. What was Snape aiming at when he cut off George’s ear?
Another Death Eater’s wand hand

9. How much older than James was Lily? (Referring to Harry’s parents, not children).
2 months

10. Food is one of the five exceptions to what magical law? Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Kollage Square Knitting Needles --a Review

On Saturday I received a set of the Kollage double point needles, 2.25 mm, as part of my swap package for the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap. I was so excited I started a pair of socks right away. I couldn't wait to see how they felt, how the socks knitted up with these. My grade: A. I really like them. I am working on another pair of socks on KnitPicks Harmony wood needles, which I also like. But the square needles feel good. I don't gouge a groove in my index finger pushing the needle down, like I sometimes do with the sharper wood needles. Not that the Kollage aren't sharp. I am working with Tofutsies, which has a tendency (for me at least) to split with the harmony and my Addis. But with the Kollage the yarn hasn't been splitting. From the fabric I've knitted you can't tell that the needles are square and not round. I am so pleased that I plan to order a few more pairs of these. My mom is a knitter but her finger joints are swollen from arthritis. These may be more comfortable for her. The needles don't roll as I knit, so I don't seem to grip them so tightly. I tend to knit tightly, especially when I'm tense or nervous (and with the Red River Flooding and parts of Fargo-Moorhead evacuating, I'm nervous these days) and with these needles I am more relaxed. Coinsidence? I don't know. What i do know is that I can do a knit 3 together without trouble.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wow! I have been Spoiled Beyond Belief!

My spoiler, Cassandra Puddlemere, (Yes, She of the Crucio List) has been unbelievably good to me. I received my package today. Actually, it came yesterday but I wasn't able to retrieve it until today. I drove to the post office to pick it up, very curious and excited to see what it would hold. I got home and all three of my cats were even more curious than I was. The white Merry Miaow apparently thought she needed to try to hatch it for me. :)
I got so many wonderful things! There was two boxes of organic herbal teas, a pound of jordan almonds, a set of aroma therapy bath salts on a shallow glass bowl with a candle, and a bath fizzy on a stick, (and a coupon to an etsy shop for more!) Taht was wrapped in a cute bandana with bunnies saying things like "Please, make the stupid people shut up" and "Hi, where's your off button?" A box with sachets, a notebook and notecards and lacy coasters in gold and black were in there too. There was a roll of handpainted fiber in the "Pumpkin Patch" colorway for me to spin. There was TWO skeins of sock yarn, one a Tofutsies in Hufflepuff golds and blacks colorway and a lovely skein of what must be hand dyed yarn in a really nice blends of black/pearl gray/gold/pink. I can't wait to see how that knits up.

I can't believe she got me the square needles! Last term my spoilee had requested the new square needles so I went online and ordered them. When I got them I was intrigued and wished I had ordered a second pair for myself. Now I don't need to! I also received not one sock pattern, not two sock patterns, but a CD with FOUR sock patterns loaded on it. I can't decide if I want to try Nagini first or Merope.
The last thing I unwrapped was the bag. OMG! The bag is wonderful! It's a french market bag in black with gold and steel blue stripes along the top and bottom, and an open mesh design in the body. It is so perfect for what I want. I was at the store just this afternoon, and almost bought one of the shopping bags the grocery stores sell so you don't need to use the plastic sacks that end up overflowing under my kitchen sink. I am looking forward to using this next time I shop, or this summer when I take my knitting and a snack to join friends to knit in the park.

Cassandra, thank you so much! You totally rock!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Back to Back Homework posts

I am determined to not be late this week with my homework!! So although I am not positive aobut question #1 I am posting what I have and will edit to correct if necessary...

1. Who gave Harry an enchanted mirror? -- Sirius. It was a two way mirror.

2. Who said, "Imagine if something went wrong and we were stuck as specky scrawny gits forever?" -- Fred Weasley, when helping Harry leave Privet drive forever.

3. Who said "Are you planning to follow a career in Magical Law, Miss Granger?" -- Scrimgeour, when speaking to Ron, Harry and her at the Burrows about the Will.

4. a. What is Ron's middle name? -- Bilius
b. What did Dumbledore give Ron in his will? -- the deluminator

5. a. What did Hermione want to talk to Mr. Lovegood about? -- horcruxes
b. What is his first name? -- Xenophilius

6. What does it mean? --Greek for Lover of the Foreign/Strange (I think. Had a semester of Greek in college for transalting the bible. I don't believe Xenophilius was used in the gospels...)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Late, late, late!!

I been late with just about everything this term :( And I can't entirely blame the flood any more. The mayor says this weekend is supposed to be a break for the city. A time to relax before getting back in the saddle for the second crest. Sigh. Here's this week's Hufflepuff homework.

1. James Potter and his friends have nicknames for each other - give three names and who they belong to.James Potter - Prongs Remus Lupin - Mooney Sirius Black - Padfoot Peter Pettigrew - Wormtail

2. What are the three Deathly Hallows?The Elder Wand, The Resurrection Ring and The Invisibility Cloak

3. What are the four items that belong to the founders of the houses at Hogwarts?Gryffindor - Sword Ravenclaw - Diadem Hufflepuff - Helga's Cup Slytherin - Locket

4. What is the Hogwarts Motto? Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon

5. What is the Hogwarts school song (Book 1)? Hogwarts, Hogwarts, hoggy warty Hogwarts,Teach us something please,Whether we be old and bald,Or young with scabby knees,Our heads could do with filling,With some interesting stuff,For now they're bare and full of air,Dead flies and bits of fluff,So teach us things worth knowing,Bring back what we've forgot,Just do your best, we'll do the rest,And learn until our brains all rot.

6. What does O.W.L. stand for? Ordinary Wizarding Level

7. What exams do Hogwarts students take at the end of their 7th year? NEWTs - Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests (took that one from my roomie Elanor)

8. What form does Snape's Patronus take? A Doe

9. Who takes over teaching divination after Trelawney is sacked by Delores Umbridge (Book 6)?Firenze the centaur

10. Who is Elanor Cadogan's boyfriend? Easy. He's always hanging around our dorm. Dean. And his brother (not quite as cute as Dean, but not bad) is Sam

Thursday, March 26, 2009


The assignment this week for Hufflepuff is to blog about our week. Well, probably most of you know that my muggle town, Fargo ND, is facing the worst flood in the entire history of North Dakota. It has kept me (and about 125,000 other people) a tad too busy for school work.

I feel shell shocked. This afternoon it was announced that the projected crest will be up to 43 feet, 2 higher than previously expected. They have raised the crest of the river about a foot each day, always saying this is the highest it can go. And each day they look grim and say they were wrong, it's going higher. Our dikes are fine at this level, but if we don't add to the dikes we will be innundated by Saturday. We have to raise the dikes another 2 feet. More neighborhoods have been evacuated. The mayor is looking grim on the news. The city council is no longer "cautiously optimistic". I got my evacuation bag ready to go. Allergy and asthma meds? check. Fresh undies and socks? check. A couple changes of clothes? check. Toothbrush, etc? check. Extra knitting project? check. Bedding? Check.

But I feel like I'm sagging. So tired. So worried. I have 3 cats. What will happen to them? And I'm in the middle of this swap. I simply don't have room to take all that with me. The city is advising one bag only. Should I mail what I have at least? Then if the flood does not take my town under I can still send the other items later. And if the flood does overwelm us and I have to flee then at least Cecily will have almost the entire kit. All I have left actually is the bag and one or two little gifts.

I'm done sandbagging. I actually haven't done that much. It just seems like it. But the ladies in my church are asking for people to bake bars to take to the National Guard troops. My pastor is a chaplain in the Guard. That's easier than sandbagging. But getting accross town to drop the bars off at the church is going to be troublesome. So many roads have been closed that it will be tricky to find the open ones that will take me there.

OK, done whining now.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Flood Update

So far pretty much so good. We are still working hard to get the sandbags filled and in place. We went from rain to snow last night. Lots of it. My car got stuck in the parking lot this morning. The city is not plowing since the equipment and manpower is needed for flood fighting. So I wrestled my car back into my garage and called in to work to say i couldn't make it. Last night one of the dike in the south part of town broke and one neighborhood was evacuated. Since I'm home from work I am going to work on my spoilee's bag today.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My weekend

This weekend some of us who are from the upper midwest in America were going to get together in Minneapolis for a meet and greet and yarn shop crawl. (Yes, I know we were off school grounds, but since one of us was the assistant headmistress, we got a pass)

Unfortunately I had to bow out. It was really said to not be able to go. Instead I got together with a muggle friend. I had taught her to knit before Christmas. She was very strange, She refused to knit anything but socks. I suggested, somewhat desperately, that really a dishrag was an easier first project. But she would hear none of it. It was socks for her or nothing. Not even a gauge swatch. So I taught her to knit socks. I purposely put on a positive face. I said that knitting was just knit and purl, no matter what you were making. But inside I was cringing, expecting her to fail. But no. She produced her first pair of socks, very well made, in two weeks. Since then she hass knit 4 pairs of socks. I must confess I am green with envy. I did NOT make my first sock so quickly or easily.

As a thank you for teaching her to knit she gave me a 90 minute massage. She is a liscensed massage therapist with her own business. After the massage we had lunch and then we went to both yarn shops in Fargo. She bought two sets of double points for more sock knitting and a skein of yarn for socks for herself. I picked up the prettiest yarn for my spoilee and another pattern for her kit. I'm almost set. Just need to finish the hand made item.

Anyway, I promised my roommate Elanor that I would take pix of the yarn outing. Here it is.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dear Hogwarts friends, sometimes life gets the best of you. First my 'puter died. Then when I went to the library to use their computer I found I am not able to get on Ravelry. I have absolutely no idea why. Rumors are that I was a member of a group whose discussions became politically heated. I don't know if that's true since I never looked at the board much less posted. I joined because a friend invited me. I have emailed Ravelry asking for an explanation, but no answer yet. Hopefully it will be sorted out soon. :) Too bad I don't have a charm that will hurry things up...

I apologize for not being very active this term. I completely missed Quidditch because of little to no computer time. I deeply regret that and promise to do better. Not being on the 'Net does not mean I have been neglecting my spoilee or her package. I am moving nicely along collecting the items needed and plan to have the handmade item complete by March 29.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hufflepuff Homework

1. Who likes TeaPots and cat toys? That would be ME!!

2. Who wants Polyjuice so they can have Cullen Eyes? Cliodna Trelawney - mmm, love those smoldering Cullen eyes

3. Who wants postcards and a hardcover book? Eladora Madley

4. Who wants silky terrier? It is not a type of wool but a dog. Winifred Wartbobble

5. Who would like a wicked necklace and bloody stupid johnsan hat? Felula Pinkstone

6. Who never had anything made for her? Violet Starfire (we gotta fix that!)

7. Who learned how to knit with Maya and Soren? Kaae

8. Who is Pretty as a Peacock Pattern? Lily May Clearwater

9. Who does Fair Isle mittens and Tea for Toe up socks? Mafalda Grubbly-Plank

10. Who likes Cinnamon flavored coffee? Antonio dela Weasley

11. Who likes clever storage systems and mysteries? Mantacora Crimson

12. Who wants World Peace and Wool Wash? My roomie Violette from France

13. Whose Ancient Runes notebook holds the secret of Moonstone earrings? Mona Ravenscroft

14. Whose dog is on a low protein diet? Selena Starfire

15. Who does not have much of a ‘stash’ and favorite scent is Pine trees? Sian Doge (this week's birthday girl!)

16. When you go to her wish list, you find yourself surfing the net? Suzie Weasley

17. Who really, REALLY misses Hawkins Cheezies, Big Turk chocolate bars? Ursula Longbottom

18. Who likes pencilthings and rosewood? My roomie Elanor Cadogan

19. Russian nesting dolls and cute stationary are on this list. Winifred Hornswaggle

20. Who likes the Seven Dwarves and the Evil Stepmother? Bernadette Hobsworth

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My week

So, I have a sinus infection. Maybe. On Wednesday I woke up with a sore upper gum. You know, sort of a tooth ache. Just an aching pressure. But I'm an expert on sinus infections. After 12 years of chronic sinusitis and 4 sinus surgeries I oughta be an expert, right? So I ignored it. On Thursday we had a really nasty winter storm and I left work early to go to the doctor about my "face ache". After only a few blocks I decided to go home instead. There was just too much snow blocking the intersections and there was an inch of ice under that, so getting stuck or going off the road was a real possibility. Besides, it wasn't that bad yet. I woke up friday in some pain, which only got worse as the day went on. Now, I'm a sinus expert, right? And I practically live at my ENT's office so he takes my word for it when I say I have an infection, so I called and got a prescription for antibiotics over the phone. Saturday morning I had no pain. then I brushed and flossed my teeth. Oh lord! It hurt something fierce for hours afterwards. Not just one tooth, even touching any of the three molars on top hurt. Maybe it's a bad tooth after all? But all of the teeth on top? It's the weekend, tho, so I can't even call the dentist. I'm continuing on the antibiotics and maybe Monday I'll call the dentist.

On a happier note, I received the items I ordered for my spoilee in the mail this week.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


1. What momentous event was the reason that the members of the Order of the Phoenix felt it necessary to move Harry out of the Dursley’s house? d. Harry’s upcoming birthday

2. Who revealed the actual date of Harry’s transfer to Voldemort, despite the misinformation the Order had been spreading around that the move would occur on the eve of his actual birthday?a.Snape

3. With the use of Polyjuice Potion (and to confuse any possible attack by Death Eaters), six member of the Order were disguised as Harry and escorted out of Privet Drive, along with the real Harry. Which member of the order did not survive that night?a. Mad-Eye

4. Who informed Harry, Ron and Hermione of the bequests left to them in Dumbledore’s will? d. Rufus Scimgeour

5. During the wedding celebration for Bill and Fleur, Kingley Shacklebolt sent a Patronus to tell the guests that the Ministry had fallen, Scrimgeour (the Minister) was dead and the wedding celebration was about to be attacked by Death Eaters. What form did the Patronus take?a. A

6. Escaping from the wedding to London, our three friends found themselves confronted by a pair of Death Eaters, disguised as workmen. b. Sirius Black’s house

7. Kreacher’s animosity towards Harry, Ron and especially Hermione (a Mudblood) was well documented in book five, “The Order of the Phoenix.” His initial interaction with them showed that his attitude had not changed. How did they win him over? By giving him Regulus Black’s old locket

8. Who did they eventually find was in possession of the locket/Horcrux? d. Dolores Umbridge

9. What did Harry find embedded in the door of Umbrdige’s office? a. Moody’s magical eye

10. Before retrieving the Horcrux, they tried to return to their safe place but they were pursued (actually Yaxley tagged along when they disapparated). This meant that the Death Eaters knew their hiding place and they had to go somewhere else. Where did Hermione take them? d. To the site of the Quidditch World Cup

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Homework Part Deux (as my french roomie Violette would say)

1. I both crochet and knit.
2. Do you spin? What type of spinning do you do? Yes, I spin and that's why I knit. I like the drop spindle (top whorl) for spinning fine threads. Otherwise I have my trusty Louet S15 wheel. I'd really LOVE to have a Kromski Minstrel or Prelude, but I just can't justify spending that kind of money when I have so many bills to pay.

3. Are there any other crafts that you participate in? Um... Costuming, embroidery, weaving, dying, felting, scrapbooking...

4. What are your favorite yarns/fibers? Too many to count. I loved working with the JoJOland Quartette which was a cashmere blend I received in HSKS1. I like woft wools or wool blends.

5. What are your LEAST favorite yarns/fibers? I recently made a hat for a teenaged boy out of Vanna's Choice, Not a bad yarn by any means, but it's acrylic. Bleh.

6. Are there any types/brands of yarn that you are dying to work with but haven’t gotten a chance? I want to try Socks That Rock, and Smooshy. Or maybe the alpaca sock yarns.

7. What are you currently working on? You want a list of everything? Hm. No, you really don't....

8. Are there any knitting/crochet techniques that you would like to learn? Maybe double knitting? Not sure.

9. Do you have a yarn winder and/or a swift? Yep, both. Also a knitty knoddy.

10. Where/how to you keep you needles/hooks? In a plastic accordian file. Each tab is for one size.

11. Do you like sweets? What are your favorites? I love sweets. Like Turtles, Jordan Almonds, Rollos.

12. Are you having a birthday during this swap? Nope, that was in the last swap.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Turning in My Homework

Our first assignment of the term is easy. I just have to tell about how I learned to knit.

Well, one of my hobbies is to spin wool and silk into embroidery threads and yarn. After a couple of years of that I found myself with lots of yarn. I gave some away, offered some for charity raffles and sold some on eBay, but I didn't use it. That's because I couldn't knit and some idiot told me you can't crochet with hand spun. Hmph.

I went to the local yarn store. The nice lady there helped me pick a (relatively) inexpensive wool/acrylic blend yarn, the right size needle and a "learn how to knit" booklet. I went home and tried and cried. I went to the library and got a video on "learn how to knit" and tried and cried some more. But I'm sorta stubborn and by golly I was going to learn to knit. And after lots of trying and crying I got the hang of it. Then I was lonely. I had friends who loved to knit (Hi, Violette!) but they lived hours away. What I needed was a local knitting group. None of my local friends knew how to knit, So I taught 'em. More trying and crying, but this time it wasn't me. Now we meet once a week at a local coffee shop and have lots of fun.

I honestly cannot remember my first projet. I remember making squares... well, actually oddly shaped rectangles, of garter stitch and then of stockingette. I made a couple disrags, and weird hat. The frist "real project" was a pair of socks in Lion Brand Woolease. They turned out OK, except that somehow I forgot to do a gussett on one. Don't ask.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Last Weekend Before the Term Starts

Well, I'm finished packing up to move into a new House at Hogwarts. The cats are anxious to go! It will be so nice to see my roommates! Violette moved away a while ago so I haven't seen her in too long. Same with Elanor. We don't live so far apart, only a four hour drive, but we are both busy over the hols that we don't connect. I have my books, my robes, plenty of yarn and needles and several pounds of wool to dye. I am quite looking foward to the new term, and can't wait to find out who my spoilee will be. Sign ups end in only a few hours. We were told that assignments would be made by the end of the weekend, but now we're told that the staff wants to take extra time to be match each spoilee/spoiler perfectly. I'll force myself to wait.

I am determined to excel in Charms after my recent poor showing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Term at Hogwarts

The new term at Hogwarts is starting soon! I've been in Ravenclaw for the past two terms, but my former roommate Elanor Cadogan has moved from Slytherin to Hufflepuff so I'm following her. Elanor is also dragging Violette Black to Hufflepuff. If we three are roommates it will be a VERY interesting term!