Monday, September 12, 2016

HPKCHC : June Classes (S16) - Throwback

The second month of the Spring 2016 term was even busier than the first!  I realized that I was going to fall behind in HuffleTourist if I didn't submit either more classes, or higher yardage projects.  I opted to submit a seventh class this time, as I was working feverishly on my OWL and Mission.


It's funny how I love to torture my roommate's cat,
all in the name of crafting.  Free Ravelry pattern here!


One of four themed kitties!

So the real life story behind this is that my Firstie Friends over in the MJJ Stash Club decided to organize a Happy Harry Birthday Swap, slated for Harry Potter's birthday.  I was given Ahanson08 to spoil, and she's been ever so generous to me (sent me yarn she SPUN HERSELF, as well as fiber to help me try more spinning on my own) so I knew I had to make her package extra-special!

Well, Angela (Ahanson08) has been in Gryffindor the past three terms, and was hoping to move to Ravenclaw but couldn't get in this term.  Since I didn't know which house she favors in Harry Potter, I decided a complete set of kitties was in order!  Stay tuned for the others!

Defense Against the Dark Arts

Commission for the lady I gave the purple jellyfish to last month!


Oh so studious!
Part of the Happee Harry swap.

History of Magic

Pattern available for purchase on Ravelry.
Also available for order from my store.

Magical Literature

Also available for order from my store.


Spun on my drop spindle, while I was at Shadowmoor!

and of course,


Pattern can be purchased on Ravelry here.

Made for Guardian's Hatting Ceremony, in Shadowmoor:

So, if I didn't tell you the story of Guardian...let me do a synopsis now (yes this is Shadowmoor LARP stuff).

(For reference: LARP = Live Action Roleplay.  Translation?  An interactive game where you assume a persona (or many personas) in order to fight monsters, complete quests, occasionally save the world, and have fun.  More information about Shadowmoor here.)

I came to Shadowmoor (started playing) in May 612 (2012), and I was completely new to everything.  I arrived in town by the worst possible method: resurrecting.  What I remembered was very little; but I had Midori with me.  We had been journeying together, and at least she knew her way around, as she had been a trader among the nearby towns and villages most of her life.

She had a special relationship with the guildmaster from the Mages' Guild, Rax.  Although he didn't know me, he accepted me as Midori's friend and allowed us to stay in the guild building.  My first night on land was difficult; as a Sampan, I had been born, raised, and lived my entire life aboard my father's ship in the Shengdong fleet.  I'd been on land a few times, but never very long.

I missed the rocking of the waves; the lull of the water's embrace and the quiet noise of the wavelets against the hull.  I sat up the first night, swaying to and fro in my bed as if to persuade myself to sleep.  Guardian was the one who sat up with me.

He is the mithral golem that guards the Mages' Guild.  He loves hats, and he is considered a full guild member, as he is fully sentient.  Though he rarely speaks, he watches over all of us as a silent sentinel...and I considered him the very first friend I made in Shadowmoor.  I went on to crochet him a very large and oversized Thor-like hat that he has worn ever since.

So, when I heard that this past November (615, or 2015) that Guardian had been killed defending the Mages' Guild when the harbingers hit Shadowmoor, I was devastated.  I hadn't been at the November event (too cold with no cuddle buddy), so I discovered his absence in March of the following year, when the game resumed.  So, I made it my personal mission to see if there was any way Guardian could be repaired.

My mission led me all over; I went to Higara, the island of the Gray Elves to speak with Janus and Titanus about him.  I had heard that Guardian's soul might have once belonged to a Gray Elf, so perhaps his soul might have journeyed back to his homeland.  Janus assured me that the Gray Elves were not Guardian's creators, but they would reserve a place of honor for him in a peaceful garden dedicated to Shadowmoor allies.

While touched by his sentiment, I was resolute that this was not the end of things.  I had to seek out Guardian's original creator: Caillie.  

What happened then was a golden golem showing up at the Mages' Guild one afternoon, with all sorts of passwords and instructions.  What came of that little adventure (Rax, Tao, Lucky, Audrick, and Fizz all went, too) was that Caillie's golem workshop could restore Guardian to us, but it wouldn't be until the following gather (in May).

I stepped forward and volunteered to remain with Guardian; to sit with him and to be there when he awoke, just as he had been there my very first night when I was afraid of everyone and everything and world was new to me.  And while in the workshop, the little golem army kept me supplied with everything...including yarn!  I decided to crochet Guardian a brand new hat while I waited.

Thus, at the May 616 (2016) event with Fizz as the Official Hat Master (she is a gnome; hats are a thing they do), we held the Grand Hatting of Guardian and celebrated his return!  We had cookies and punch and it was a great time of relaxation and fellowship.  Fizz had made hats mandatory, so many had brought hats with them, and Fizz, Lucky, and Scylla had folded hats from tissue paper for those that didn't have them.  I was nominated at the last second (as in, during the ceremony) as the Official Hat Master's Hat-Passer, and presented Fizz with Guardian's new fedora, which he now wears instead!  (We might need to get him a little hat rack...)

I visit Guardian every gather (the first gather he was back I think I even ended up sleeping in the circle beside him while waiting for the rest of the guild to come back; we had all scattered into the woods at one point, and it took us a couple of hours to regroup) now that I stay in the Infirmary and it's such a reassurance to have him back!  

And that concludes the story...

Craft on!

Friday, September 9, 2016

HPKCHC : May Classes (S16) - Throwback

As always, I'm perpetually behind with all the other things I've done these past few months!

The Spring 2016 term (May, June, and July) of the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup marked my fourth year as a Hufflepuff student!  My shiny robes:

I'm still the robe and badge designer for the MJJ Stash Club!

Before I start with the rundown, for the record my goals this term were to complete my fourth Double Advanced Studies (an OWL exam and an Order of the Phoenix Mission, known as a BROOM), complete the trail on HuffleTourist (a Hufflepuff game that replaced Puffopoly in past terms), and to run my real life Etsy store.

But on top of that, I had planned to make a donation of stuffed animals to my local children's hospital, in honor of one of my First Friends over in the MJJ Stash Club.  More on that as we go.

Now, with my crazy pants firmly in place, let's continue!

This term, the classes I submitted in the month of May were:


Donated to charity.  
Design available for order in my store.
Dumpling kitty pattern by Sarah Sloyer is free on Ravelry!


Donated to charity.
Design available for order.

Defense Against the Dark Arts

Free pattern available here!


Commission for my friend, Fizzliza!
These are her mom's cats Chubbie and Bootsie
and she gave them as a Mother's Day present!

Magical Literature

Donated to charity.  
Design available for order.


Donated to charity.
Design available for order.

I partnered up with a Ravenclaw student for this one: nightgigjo!  She did her submission entirely in songverse!

and of course, who could forget...


Commission for Kelyn (Kat) of the 
Shadowmoor Battle Healers' Guild.

And we will NOT discuss how many times I put that turtle together incorrectly before I finished him...

Look for July's post soon, and craft on!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Cuttlefish Pattern

So, sad story time.  You might remember how I used to make little cuttlefish plushies for some of my online crafting escapades.  (It's also great for stash-busting, which means using up little bits of leftover yarn.)

This beauty is made from yarn I dyed with 
Easter Egg dye and food coloring.

The pattern was written by a great, generous crafter over at a website called Wyld Scallyns.  Unfortunately, that site is no longer working, and I Love My Cuttlefish.

Using my faulty memory, a Spanish bunny pattern, and a lot of luck, I have tried my best to reproduce the original look of Mr. Wyckoff's crocheted cuttlefish.

Please note:  This pattern is not meant to be exact.  I hope that my imitation is seen as the sincerest form of thanks and flattery to Mr. Wyckoff and his designing talent.



  • 50 yards worsted weight yarn (approximately) in desired color
  • G-hook (4.0mm)
  • Fiberfill/polyfill
  • 10mm safety eyes
  • Yarn needle
  • Bobbing along on the bottom of the beautiful briny sea (optional)


This pattern is amigurumi style (meaning continuous rounds, not joined rounds) and worked in two parts: the body and the head.

Stitches and terms used:

Inc = increase

Dec = decrease (sc2tog)  I recommend the invisible decrease from Planet June.

Bauble = 2dctog in one stitch

F (Feeler) = Sl st in FLO of base stitch, ch 11, turn and sl st 4, sc 3, hdc 3 back.

T (Tentacle) = Sl st in FLO of base stitch, ch 11, turn and sl st 10 back.

2inc = one increase in each of the next two stitches (for a total of 4 stitches)


Start with either a magic circle of 4  OR  ch 2, sc 4 in first ch.

Round 1:  Inc x 4 (8)

Round 2:  (Sc 2, 2inc) x 2  (12)

Round 3:  Sc around  (12)

Round 4:  (Sc 4, 2inc) x 2  (16)

Rounds 5-6:  Sc around  (16)

Round 7:  (Sc 6, 2inc) x 2  (20)

Rounds 8-10:  Sc around  (20)

Round 11:  Sc 9, 2inc, Sc 8, 2inc  (24)   Adjusting stitch shift.

Rounds 12-14:  Sc around  (24)

Round 15:  (Sc 10, dec) x 2  (22)

Round 16:  Sc around (22)

Round 17:  Sc 10, dec, Sc 9, dec  (20)  Adjusting stitch shift.

Round 18:  Dec x 5  (10)

Slip stitch to next, but do not cut your yarn.

Tada!  The basic body shape has now become clear!  Now, it may or may not be obvious, but when you were increasing along the way, they were bunched on either side, to help make a flattened shape.  
You should have finished with your hook on one side of the flattened body.

Edge Ruffle:

Turn the flattened body and slip stitch down the sides of the body, as if outlining it.

Tip:  Keep your stitches loose, as you'll be cramming 3 stitches into them on the next row.

When you get to the tail, you can ch 1 to help you get over the starting round/magic ring.

Continue slip stitching up the opposite side of the flattened body until you reach the other 'shoulder'.

Ch 1 and turn.

(Dc 3 in first st, sc in next) and repeat until you've gone all the way around.

Tip:  If desired, Dc 5 in same stitch at tip of tail for a 'fan' look.

Sl st to finish off and cut yarn.  You will use the tail from the head to sew the pieces together, so secure this end as desired (I usually stuff it inside the body).


Start with either a magic circle of 5  OR  ch 2, Sc 5 in first ch.

Round 1:  Inc x 5  (10)

Round 2:  (Sc, inc) x 5  (15)

Round 3:  Sc 4, F, (T x 6), F, Sc 3  (15, 7 sc, 2 feelers, 6 tentacles)

Tip:  Use a stitch marker with the first stitch of this row, to ensure accuracy.

Round 4:  Sc around, using the 8 free back loops behind the tentacles.  (15)

Tip:  Count after this row; for some reason I always end up adding a stitch somewhere behind the tentacles.

Round 5:  Sc 5, (bauble x 2), Sc 3, (bauble x 2), Sc 3  (15, 11 sc, 4 bauble)

Round 6:  (Sc, dec) x 5  (10)

Sl st and cut yarn leaving a long enough tail to sew pieces together.

Place safety eyes as desired.  I like mine on the outside of both bauble stitches, but some like them between the bauble stitches.

Stuff both head and body as desired, then sew together.

You're done!  Congratulations!

The original pattern by Steven Wyckoff on Wyld Scallyns was free, as is this pattern.  Please do not try to sell this pattern as your own, as it does a disservice to the original creator.  Thank you!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

April 2016 Projects - Throwback

As you might recall, I also participate in the Starfleet Fiber Arts Corps, which is a much more low-key event than the House Cup.  They're active during the last two months of the House Cup, plus the break month, so I always have a few projects I whip up for them.

Here's what happened in April:

An Army tank commission for my cousin.

My very first pattern test for a friend in Hufflepuff!
The free download from Ravelry is here.

Midori posted something on Facebook that I just had to try:
The Dumpling Kitty!

(More on those in future posts, as I love the pattern!)

Blanket squares, as a donation to a blanket being
made for a fellow former firstie (from the House Cup)
over in the UK.  More on that in the future, I hope!

As you can see, not a terribly busy month, in terms of all that, but I had a myriad of other craft projects going on for Shadowmoor LARP (maybe I should do a post about that!) and of course planning for the next HPKCHC term (my fourth one).

Soon I'll be able to share my May classes with you, and that should catch you all up on what's been going on!

Until next time, craft on.   ^_~

Sunday, July 3, 2016

HPKCHC End of Winter 2016 Term - Throwback

Hey happy crafters!

I promised to sum up the end of the Winter 2016 festivities over at the Hogwarts Knitting and Crochet Cup, and my goal was to Craft All The Things — that is, something for each and every prompt.

My previous posts covered all my classes (and when I remembered, Detention!).

Now to the heavy hitters, like my multi-month projects...

OWL Exam - Astronomy (Option 3) - Pattern Writing  (200 points)

I designed and wrote patterns for two bags, one of which has already been published here as the Reversible Minecraft Monster Bag.

And now, for the first time ever, I am pleased to present a Through the Keyhole Exclusive Pattern:

A Customizeable Minecraft Bag!

This pattern is fanart, please use it as such and don't violate the Mojang and Microsoft guidelines.

And my shiny new Astronomy OWL badge:

Order of the Phoenix Mission/BROOM  (100 points)

I proposed to vanish at least 1,000 yards of yarn in the making of foot-warmers (and at least one pair had to be socks!).  I made 4 pairs of various things:



The ruffled booties are for sale in my Etsy store as of this post!

This marks my third term of successful Double Advanced Studies!

Taking into account my Quidditch total from the last post, I earned 134 points for all rounds.

Headmistress' Challenge - 2 parts

First: Make Her a Drink

Second: Help Shovel the Walk

A fine morning to you, Headmistress!
As you can see, I have crafted this excellent Muggle hat for shoveling the walk today. The Muggles call it a ‘sun hat’ which I thought was ever so clever—you see, if you bring a lawn chair and a fishing pole and something called a ‘cooler’ with you, you can simply sit down anywhere with this hat on and the sun will just come out!
I think this is brilliant, Headmistress. The benefit of melting the snow while you sit and fiddle with this fishing pole contraption? Priceless!
Although…I do wonder what Muggles do with these poles. Likewise the cooler…I was supposed to fill it with ice, I think. And some strange kind of ‘beer’ but all we had was butter beer and of course the beverage prompt was last month so I thought I could do without that bit…
But the sun-summoning hat! Yes, I think it will work quite nicely, don’t you?
…what do you mean ‘keep the sun out of my eyes’? Sun hats are supposed to summon the sun so it will melt the snow and I won’t have to shovel at all.
Well, nargles. Guess I better fetch a shovel.

Total points achieved = 32 points.

And then of course there were the classes. January = 164 points, February = 178 points, and March = 183 points. Total: 525 points.

Grand Total: 991 points to Hufflepuff!

So, I didn't make it to 1,000 points as I did in my past two terms...but I DID Do All The Things.

Ravenclaw again took the House Cup, but...

We took back the Quidditch Cup!

All in all, a fabulous term!

Now I am at the end of the middle month of my fourth term (Spring 2016) and I can't wait to share all the new projects and patterns and things I've discovered along the way!

Stay tuned, and craft on!

Friday, July 1, 2016

HPKCHC : Quidditch Match XXIII (W16) - Throwback

This past term's Quidditch was all about Mediwizardry!  There were three rounds, and plenty of options to choose from!

Rotation One - Triage

I made bandages, along with my new-to-Hufflepuff bestie, April/CookinKat.  We collaborated and turned in complementing stories!


As the dust settled from the final round of the previous quidditch match, a bewildered-looking first year student in fresh new Hufflepuff robes ran from the front doors of the castle. Her eyes grew round as she took in the sight of the tall, forbidding maze, but she raised her wand defiantly.

CookinKat had not been at Hogwarts long (barely long enough to find the Den!), but she knew that her best friend VelvetKey was in the maze and had been wandering about Merlin-knew-where! She feared the worst had happened, after seeing first one, then two, then upwards of over twenty students limping, staggering, or otherwise leaving the prickly hedges and heading for the medical tent.

“Velvet!” she cried, dashing forward and peering into the hedgerows. “Have you seen VelvetKey?” she asked a passing Ravenclaw, who only shook her head.

CookinKat crept deeper into the maze, first little by little, and then farther and farther. And then suddenly, around a corner she spotted a familiar Hufflepuff hat. “Velvet! You’re okay!” Kat threw her arms around her best friend and Velvet laughed in exhausted relief. The third-year witch was sporting a black eye with a cut, as well as many scratches and gashes on her hands.

“Oooh, let me help you,” Kat insisted, magicking two blue bandages in place with a flick of her wand.

“Thanks,” Velvet replied, hugging her best friend. “What a way to introduce you to Hogwarts, amiright?” The two of them started back out of the maze, talking animatedly about the new term at the school. So intent was Kat that she didn’t see the gaping hole left no doubt by the explosion of a blast-ended skrewt or other such creature.

To be continued…


CookinKat squealed in pain as she landed at the bottom of the hole; her right arm was trapped beneath her, and if it wasn’t broken then it was very obviously sprained. She tried to stand and get out again, but her robes had snagged on a sharp root, and there was a lengthy cut on her left calf. She gulped and stood up on her tiptoes, trying to see out of the hole while balancing on her good leg. “Help!” she cried to anyone that could possibly hear her. “Velvet?!”

“Wingardium Leviosa!” The spell caught CookinKat right in the chest, and in less than a minute, she found herself out of the hole and sitting near the hedges, with VelvetKey clicking her tongue in sympathy.

“What am I going to do with you?” Velvet asked with an exaggerated sigh that ended in a giggle. She went through her voluminous pockets (Kat was going to have to get Velvet to show her that spell) and pulled out two cowls.

“Here, let’s put your arm in a makeshift sling,” her friend said, shaking out the orange cowl. “Just until we make it back to the tent. “And this yellow one will get that bleeding stopped.” Velvet expertly bound CookinKat’s leg. “Come on, we’ll make a merry troupe getting out of here.”

Just as the two of them rounded the last corner and could see the tippy-top of the white medical tent, Kat thought to ask, “Where did you learn to bandage wounds so well?”

“Oh…well, there was a class that taught us the incendio spell two terms ago,” VelvetKey said, blushing in embarrassment. “Everybody picked that skill up pretty quickly. Madam Pomfrey gave us bonus points if we could avoid sending each other to the hospital wing.”

By that time, the two witches had reached the tent, where they were ushered over to a bench after a quick examination by Tinymightymom, which earned them little colored tags on their robes.

“Well, we sure know how to start the year out with a bang,” Velvet joked to CookinKat, who couldn’t help but laugh.

“Any excuse to eat chocolate, right? Chocolate is the best medicine?” Kat asked.

“That and laughter!” Velvet agreed with a cheeky grin.

The best part?  We were nominated for a trophy!
(We didn't win, but not bad for CookinKat's first Quidditch!)

Rotation Two - First Specialization

Given the choice, I decided to study magical plants and their effects, which entailed crafting something with cables.  There's a story as to why I went completely crochet crazy, and it can be found here, but a free login is required.

My submission:

Coaches, there are many great benefits of magical medicine. Sometimes, though, I wish we could extend our magic to the suffering Muggles that we know outside of Hogwarts. That brings me to my submission today, and the story of Brian, Matthew, Cheryl, and Nancy.

Brian is a Muggle who experienced sudden liver failure last year; the Muggle doctors could find no cause. In November, he was approved for a liver transplant. Cheryl (his wife) began keeping an online journal which I have been tracking while at school. Brian and Cheryl are close friends of Nancy and Matthew (and their combined three daughters get along very well).

Matthew went in for testing to see if he would be a match for a liver transplant. In December, he was approved and a little over three weeks ago the Muggle surgeons went to work. While Cheryl and Nancy waited in the hospital, they crocheted their husbands matching ‘liver buddies’ hats, and that inspired me.

I decided to make ‘prayer sister’ wraps to show them my support (spiritual, magical, and otherwise) and hope that the Muggle doctors will have no explanation for the miraculous progress of Brian and Matthew as they continue to heal.

Matthew is home now, and while he tires easily and continues to try and push himself too hard, he is off of heavy pain medication. Brian has been moved out of the transplant unit, but had to return to ICU when he had a sudden bleed. We hope that he will continue to gain strength and that more of the machinery regulating his health can be removed as he recovers.

In relation to the prompt, one of the side effects I studied of the Muggle medicine was unpleasant effects of pill medications. Some of these are derived from plant material, and some Muggles can have very adverse reactions to them, as if poisoned. In the case of Brian and Matthew, this “poisoning” took the form of some kind of uncoated pain reliever. I included a study of their chemical compound in my projects, pictured as honeycomb cables in the main body of the work.

These puppies were 1,275 yards each!

Rotation Three - Second Specialization

This time, I studied magical bugs, with the requirement that the two items I made had to have been copied from another student's work (Diseases Spread Within a Confined Environment).  That was fairly easy, once I narrowed down my choices!

Oh, dear, coaches! I seem to have picked up some sort of…bug? No, that can’t be right, bugs don’t have tentacles, do they? A magic bug maybe? I think I caught it from nanettew9 over in Gryffindor Tower; she had a collection of adorable magical sea creatures and I just couldn’t help myself!

This little fellow has duplicated and now I don’t know what to do!

In an effort to feel better, I may have gone up to the Three Broomsticks for a pick-me-up, where I ran into an SoS student, mermaid potato. She had crafted the most adorable amethyst dragon…which I fear was also contagious.

Now I have two extra little magical plushie creations hanging about, and I’m afraid that more will forthcoming! I hope the urge to make adorable stuffies won’t infect anyone else at the school!

All told, my Quidditch efforts earned Hufflepuff 134 points!  Woohoo!

Next time, I'll wrap up the end of term for realsies, and we'll take a look at how my attempt to Do All The Things panned out!

Craft on!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

HPKCHC : March Classes (W16) - Throwback

Time to catch up on all the stuff I've been into!  Here's what happened in March:

Ancient Runes

Can't get enough of those cuttlefish!


Love trying new things; these make nice dishcloths.


It was all about Pi Day (3.1415...).


For Roger; done in the colors of the Mages' Guild in Shadowmoor.
I want to work with this pattern some more and develop other
color combinations in other a fair warning!


I totally bling'd up a bracelet for this one; 
craft sales will be the death of me and all my paychecks!


I tried again to dye ombre yarn (again, not very successfully),
but I did get to try using Easter Egg dye combined with food coloring!
My one complaint: not very colorfast.

Muggle Studies

A commission for my aunt's friend in California.


Another mandrake for a friend attending a Harry Potter LARP in July!


And the other of the pair was turned in, in my
continuing attempt to submit something for every prompt!

Coming up: Quidditch XXIII!  Craft on!