Friday, March 27, 2015

Etho: Six Months in the Making

We're approaching the end of the month, and I'm officially done with turning in homework/missions for imaginary points.

That doesn't mean I don't like it.

But I'm going up to New York for spring break, and since the new month of missions and then quests (we'll get to that in a minute) will begin while I'm away...I've been holding off on some smaller commissions.

But that didn't stop me from turning in an old Etho for Detention at Hogwarts this month:

He's been loafing about in a plastic bag, waiting for a new order to come in for him (or for him to come around on the commission schedule) since a cancellation last year.

Though I'm not 100% sure of the yardage, it's estimated between 1200-1400 yards (someday I will actually have to do a proper measure).  That qualified me for this badge:

And next month, the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup will be on hiatus--but I'll be able to sign up for sorting if I so choose!

In the meantime, the new Doctor Who-themed challenge entitled Time Lord Travels begins in April.  I have been put on Team Dalek (Exterminate!) and hope to make some decent contributions to the team.  There are reportedly four quests each month, as well as the over-arching Time Vortex Challenge (like an Away Mission or an OWL).

So in April we're looking at:

- 6 Starfleet missions + Brig + Away Mission
- 4 Timelord quests + ???

I don't have a proposal in place for the Time Vortex Challenge.  I wanted to sign up the next plushie on my commission schedule, but the gal who ordered it isn't sure she can afford him anymore.  So for now I'm planning like she's canceled and I'll have the freedom to work ahead on the next commission, or focus solely on the small ones.

I've packed a few of those to take with me (ponies and monkeys and BTCs oh my!) to NY, and I probably won't be able to blog much while I'm there.

So to you, my faithful readers, I say: Craft and vacay on!

(I'll see you in April!)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Yarn Dyeing with Kool-Aid

Yep, you read that title correctly.  (Did you know you could do that?  I didn't know you could do that.)

First off, this is for the HPKCHC Three Broomsticks challenge, which was to dye yarn using a food product of some kind.

I found a couple of resources, and quickly decided that I wanted to try for green or blue yarn.

My DH did some research for me (okay, he looked under the bed in my unused yarn stash) and found this gray wool yarn:

I then sent him off to Wal-Mart on our weekly shopping run to buy me 5 packets of Kool-Aid (it's one packet per ounce, but I wanted to be absolutely sure I had enough dye to do the job).

I then unwound the original skein and tied it into smaller bunches:

It was then I discovered that the last part of the skein had apparently been attacked by scissors; there were many shorter pieces, instead of a solid strand of yarn.  I tied those up to dye anyway.

Then I dunked my bunches in lukewarm soapy water, while preparing the Kool-Aid in my microwave-safe Pyrex bowl:

DH bought 5 packets of Blue Raspberry Lemonade (which smelled very good).  I mixed the packets with 1-2 cups of hot water to dissolve the powder...and I mixed with the fingers of my right hand.

If you're going 'herp derp derp DERP' right now, you're doing better than I did.

It's taken me over three decades to encounter Kool-Aid ever.  I didn't drink it as a child.  Thus, of course, my fingers turned blue.  Three washings and a hand sanitizer bath later, only my nails were affected:

Anyway, on I went.  I squeezed my soapy yarn out so it was damp but not dripping, then dropped it into the seemingly-inadequate Kool-Aid bath.  I then added water enough to cover the yarn (or it would have, hadn't the yarn floated) and stuck the bowl in the microwave:

I zapped the bowl for two minutes, then let it rest for five.  I repeated twice more for a total of three zaps, until the water was colorless:

Then I had to let the yarn cool completely.  DH and I went out to Mike and Midori's apartment for dinner and Smash Up.

When I got home, I rinsed the yarn, then dunked it back into the soapy solution before rinsing again.  I squeezed out the excess water and laid it out to dry in the bottom of our bathtub:

A close-up of the original color of yarn (the center, tiny bunch):

At this point, I was starting to doubt that my Kool-Aid had done the job.  In the morning, I took the still-damp bunches outside to dry on the clothesline in the back yard:

Now it was more readily apparent that there was at least going to be some slight change:

Then I put up the tiny gray bunch of original yarn all the way on the left for comparison:

Finally, when I got home from lunch at Panera and some Christmas Tree Store shopping, all of the yarn was ready to be balled and photographed for funsies (and I even found a chameleon to help me, as he is a distant member of the dragon family).

Final close-up of the After and Before colors:

Close-ups of the ball:

And my cover photo for Ravelry:

Besides the Three Broomsticks Challenge, I was able to turn it in for Care of Magical Creatures:

Professors, in my study of dragons I was particularly fascinated by the Swedish Short-Snout’s coloring. The blue tint was what at first glance sets it apart from other dragon species. I love the blue-gray scales and thought I would try to replicate their tinting by over dyeing some gray yarn. Please note, this was my first time ever using this incantation and I did get my fingers in the way (like a complete novice). I’m sure the coloring will wear off in a week or so…

For this badge:

And I turned it into the SFAC for the Engineering Mission:

Instructors, when analyzing the molecular composition of Mr. Mudd’s formula, I realized that our replicators were not equipped to handle the spiral-like fibrous structure I found in my Science mission. I decided that I would use a basic remolecularization test to determine when I had correctly recalibrated the replicators to the sensitivity they need to produce Mr. Mudd’s “fountain of youth” potion.
I knew that when the test matter finally retained a blue or teal hue that the recalibrations were complete.
I’m now pleased to report that our replicators can handle any volume of replication deemed necessary of Mr. Mudd’s elixir. Thank you for reading my lengthy report!

I'll put the Three Broomsticks badge up in my End of March report; the staff are checking around for it, but it may not be available until the end of the month.

Have a great day, and craft on!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Charmed Hat

Hello, and I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  I did a fair bit of crafting myself, and I'm delighted to report that I have submitted all of my Starfleet Fiber Arts Corps missions for the month of March!

I have one more class I could submit to in the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup, but I desperately want the project I do to be awesome (because the prompt is for something Elvish, specifically for Tolkien's elves) and I can't afford to mess something that important up!

I already have the maximum amount of score-able classes done (six) so it would be icing on the cake anyway.  (Mind you, as an NQFY I don't actually earn points, and all the points are imaginary internet points in the first place.)

Enough of that.

The Charms prompt for this month was to copy another student's project from this term and turn it in.  (Did I mention that someone did my wand and tagged me?  Most awesome thing ever!)

I went back to one of the first friends I'd made in the HPKCHC, Pat (costumer47) from last month's Arithmancy homework.

She had made a couple delightful hats that I loved:

And as luck would have it, I had bookmarked the original pattern long ago. I think I might have even attempted it, but at the time I didn't understand the pattern.

Well, after many months of learning, I found that this time I knew what I was doing!  It's a great, simple pattern that I could sit down and do while watching Pitch Perfect and a few episodes of Scrubs.

I had the perfect, already soft yarn from Hobby Lobby:

(I just figured out the reason the spirals are backwards
is because I took this picture using a mirror.  Derp.)

My homework turn in:

Professors, I was looking for something to make for this homework prompt that would challenge me a little bit, yet be beautiful. I found the answer in Hufflepuff House: costumer47’s DADA homework from last month!
In my use of this new charm, I did experience some slight color and size change. I chalk this up to my extremely amateurish use of my wand and hope that in future classes I will improve with practice!
Thank you very much!

The badge I earned was:

Plus, the grading professor was handing out Nathan Fillion pictures, and I requested a Captain Reynolds of my very own:


And for the SFAC Science Mission:

Good evening instructors, I have analyzed Mr. Mudd’s potion and have found whatever this substance is to have a fibrous structure, as evidenced by the cabling winding upwards. What I can’t quite understand is the swirling pattern; I highly suspect that this means that this “fountain of youth” formula is at its basest level unstable, and that it will ultimately prove to have only temporary effects, much like the compound he used to make “Mudd’s women” appear to be young and beautiful.
I think we’ll find that Mr. Mudd isn’t quite telling us the truth, and should be watched carefully from here on out.
The original Divine Hat pattern is free on Ravelry here.

Happy Monday, and craft on!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Hat & Poncho Set

Another coworker commissioned a similar hat and poncho set from the Posey Collection I did last year, and it's taken me forever to finish it up.

Yesterday I was able to place it on her desk with a clean conscience and cross it off the task list!

Quick, crappy picture:

I turned in the unadorned poncho for Starfleet's Tactical Mission:

Hello Commodore Kristysnowedin, and adjunct instructors! Since I have doubts about the character of Mr. Mudd, I thought it best to construct a means of restraining him posthaste. Not that he would ever resist arrest, mind you, but a cadet should always be prepared!
Thus I have constructed this harmless-looking collar (one might even mistake it for a scarf--these things are all the rage on Rigel VII) made of a neutral brown fibrous substance that is capable of conducting several jigawatts of electricity. The pink and red edging are of course protective barriers to keep the shock field from spreading to anybody except the wearer.
With this device, I feel far more confident that we will have no trouble handling Mr. Mudd should the need arise.
Thank you Commodore!

And also for my Herbology homework:

Professors, I know that grandparents often cherish the new little ones in their lives. This poncho is a gift for the granddaughter of a coworker and friend. I’m sure it will be cozy and warm as the weather continues to fluctuate between winter and spring. Thank you for your consideration!

And the yummy badge I had to have:

Time to turn up the heat!  Lots to do this weekend!

Craft on, my friends.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Citrus Waves

From yesterday's post, you may have noticed that I've decided to double-up on my assignments.

Before I left for LARP, I had started a hat, and I finished it and turned it in for credit a couple days ago.

The finished product:

I turned it in as the Starfleet Medical Mission:

Good evening instructors; I hope I have not kept you up too late this fine evening. I am sorry to have brought you here so late, but I have made a troubling discovery in my medical analysis of one Mr. Harcourt Fenton Mudd. Having obtained the required DNA sample, I thought it might be best to reduce my testing to the most basic of protein analyses and turn out an easy-to-read bi-colored report, such as the one I did last year:
This sample, done in a closed laboratory setting, clearly indicates no abnormal or synthetic proteins. However, the analysis I constructed from Mr. Mudd’s current sample
This sample is quite clearly of some significant difference! I am frankly alarmed at the color disparity and no other analysis I’ve tried can account for this level of cell staining. I’m thus forced to conclude from my limited medical knowledge that there might be some sort of inexplicable alien influence at work, and more study is definitely called for.
Thank you instructors for your time and attention to this alarming matter.

And then also for my Arithmancy homework:

Good evening professors! This simple yet captivating hat design contains a repeat in two sets of three, in order to give the rounds of the hat their varying thicknesses. I even did an extended pattern in order to make the hat long enough for the largest of heads (including mine!). This six-round repeat was completed three times to make the final product.
Thank you for your time!

For which I earned the badge:

Not too shabby.  Tomorrow I'll be able to post something from yesterday's list, too!  Let's keep the progress train moving.  :)

Craft on!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

End of March Task List

So I went through my projects list today and did a revamp in order to make turning in crafting challenges more doable, while still meeting my real life deadlines.  Today is March 18th.  Counting today, I have fourteen (14) days to get this list finished.  Hmm...that's a little over two tasks per day if I don't slack off.

Are you ready?  Let's do this!

1.)  Make Panel 2 of Diane's poncho set.  Edge and turn in for Tactical and Herbology.

2.)  Stuff and close Etho's legs.

3.) Overdye gray yarn and turn in for Care of Magical Creatures, Engineering, and The Three Broomsticks challenge.

4.)  Make Divine Hat and turn in for Charms and Science.

5.)  Attach flowers to Diane's poncho and hat set and sell.

6.)  Close Etho's chest and attach legs.

7.) Make overlay bracelet and turn in for Ancient Runes.

8.)  Stuff, close, and attach 1 Etho arm.

9.)  Check hat size for Tabitha and make new one if necessary.

10.) Stuff, close, and attach 2nd Etho arm.

11.) Make 6 arm panels for BTC.

12.) Stuff, close, and attach Etho head.  Turn in for Detention.

13.) Sew BTC's arm panels.
14.) Make Panel 1 of Savannah's poncho.

15.) Make other 6 arm panels for BTC.

16.) Stuff and close BTC's legs.

17.) Sew BTC's other arm panels.

18.) Make Panel 2 of Savannah's poncho.

19.) Stuff and close BTC's chest and attach legs.

20.) Make 3 BTC head panels.

21.) Assemble, edge, and embellish Savannah's poncho.

22.) Make other 3 BTC head panels.

23.) Stuff, close, and attach 1 BTC arm.

24.) Make Panel 1 of Tabitha's poncho.

25.) Sew BTC's head panels.

26.) Stuff, close, and attach other BTC arm.

27.) Stuff, close, and attach BTC's head.  List with Etho and sell on Etsy.

28.) Make Panel 2 of Tabitha's poncho.  Edge and embellish.

29.) Make Charlie's scarf.  Photo collection and send.

30.) Fix Sheryl's dwarf beard.

To further complicate this entire mess (of course!) my school district has spring break coming up at the end of the month, so I will only be able to haul so much of these projects to New York with me for the last half-week of March.

Obviously, I don't intend to take the entire BTC plushie with me, because I'd have to count him as a carry on if I actually finished him, as there's only a slight chance he'd fit in my luggage.  But I do need to cross him off of my list if there's any hope of starting a new Etho in April.

So, we'll just have to see.  Craft on, friends!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Dalek Hanging Towel

I'd had this pattern in my Ravelry library for awhile, and finally had reason to purchase it (and no, not just in response to one of the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup prompts).  Both Deevius and DSCA have moved into new houses this past year (their own bought-and-paid-for-not-renting-like-me houses).

Well, nerdy home decor is usually a must!  Plus, I've had some of that Sugar'n'Cream cotton yarn sitting in my stash for awhile now; this was the perfect opportunity to use it up by testing this pattern out!

Thus, for my Flying homework:

VelvetKey presents her project to the grading professors with a tired, yet happy smile.
Professors, sometimes the simplest maneuvers can be the most successful when attempting something as difficult as recovering a small object (such as a snitch, or dragon’s egg). Some broomwork utilizes cover--flying among trees, bridge struts, or other forms of shielding in order to disguise one’s movements.
In my project, I attempted to use the main color of my work to conceal the complimentary color until I was ready to use it, much like a surprise attack. I am pleased with the result, and hope you like it, too!
And the badge featured for this challenge:

Not too shabby for a Monday!

Laterz, craft fiends...I mean, friends!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Shadowmoor Props: Necklaces

Now that the majority of my friends are on the plot team (that is, they are now the storytellers for the game) of Shadowmoor LARP, I've been getting more prop requests.

(I couldn't find a place in my crochet challenges to turn in a dismembered teddy bear head.)

The head of plot (Roger) requested help making a set of six necklaces, which fit in perfectly to the History of Magic prompt about beaded jewelry.

Some of the craft prompts are considered "non-Rav" meaning that they don't have to be knitted, crocheted, dyed, spun, or woven.  Some people make stitch markers; others have tried temari balls.

So I submitted:

Quietly, as if hoping to escape notice, VelvetKey slips into the classroom, a velvet case in her hands. She places it carefully before the professors and flushes a little before opening the lid.
Many spirit guides wore long and heavy necklaces as part of their manner of dress, sometimes with enough beads to rattle theatrically for the benefit of their Muggle audiences. Other mediums, however, preferred the use of crystals, either in prism or globe form, such as the crystal balls used in Divination today. I have crafted a set of five necklaces featuring both a mysterious and enchanting purple crystal, as well as a more formal, yet deadly-looking prism beneath. Both exhibit qualities of the dream and spirit world, and I hope you are as pleased with how they turned out as I am.
These are very long necklaces on purpose; I wanted people to be able to lift them on and off without needing to use the clasps.  Clasps tend to break over time (if they didn't come in the package broken) and generally speaking, props in a theater-like game change hands to multiple characters.  Therefore, you can't size them for any one person, and they need to be durable.

The badge I (will hopefully) have earned:

Tomorrow is Monday, and I'm sure I'll be dragging myself around thanks to the Shadowmoor weekend.  Goodness knows what I will actually have accomplished, but I'll be back to share whatever it is!

(I also have one more post of Hogwarts homework that should catch us up!)

Craft on!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Rise of Rainbow Dash

Over this past weekend, I was able to drive up to Lynchburg (Virginia) and visit DSCA.  Deevius drove down from Michigan.

And I had this grand plan.

DSCA loves My Little Pony.  I picked it up late last year when it hit Netflix, and I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would.

My reasoning is simple: I have a small anxiety disorder.  Nothing in the MLP show is real and can stress me out.  It has cute animation, positive messages, and some pretty good songs.  (Even the Panda has been known to try out a couple of the more noteworthy episodes should he be in the room.)

I recently purchased "the Mane 6" crochet pattern from the Nerdy Knitter.  It has 45 pages in the PDF.  On Wednesday or Thursday of last week, I started in on Twilight Sparkle.

Wait, wait, let me back up.  Remember last year when I would talk briefly about playing Minecraft with my galpals?

One day I logged in and went to the little hidey hole we use for our beds, some extra storage...and basically just hiding from mobs.  I didn't know that DSCA had expanded it to have beds for all four of us...or that she had labeled them.

The signs read:  Fluttershy, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Twilight Sparkle.

What are your guesses as to who's who?

Anyway, I started Twilight Sparkle.  I brought the pieces of the plushie with me to Virginia, and I showed them to DSCA and Deevius.

And I made Deevius this promise (since DSCA had to work a half day on Friday and we were going to be in the house alone for the morning):  if she watched the key selections of My Little Pony and learned to sing along, I would make her Rainbow Dash.

She did all that I asked of her, and I think we'll make her into a 'brony' yet.  Or an Equestrian.  However you come down on the issue.

Deevius was departing for Michigan Sunday morning.  That's how I managed to stay up until 5:40 a.m. the morning of Daylight Savings, hurriedly crocheting Rainbow Dash's mane and tail pieces.  My hands literally gave up on life for the next two days.

However...I'm pleased to say that a finished Rainbow Dash is now dwelling in Michigan (and I apparently have earned the unending respect of DSCA's family).


And what's also awesome (other than getting nearly 150 positive karma on Reddit for this) is that I was able to submit the plushie as my Diplomatic mission for Starfleet (which is the Zimmermann's group mission):

Good evening instructors! I thought that gaining insight into the minds of other notable smuggling/swashbuckling types might help me to identify precisely what it is Mr. Mudd might want in trade for his fountain of youth potion. In my research, I identified a ship from a far distant galaxy known as the Serenity, and her captain and crew once smuggled a herd of cows successfully across space. However, it was noted in the log that Captain Mal Reynolds considered ‘black market beagles’ a far more profitable enterprise, given that they were smaller and easier to transport.
Well, I think we all remember Mr. Mudd’s other contribution to Starfleet records: the tribble. I think it’s fair to say from these studies that Mr. Mudd could be convinced to trade his potion for similarly small and rare animals. I found a unique breed of colorful miniature ponies, and I firmly believe Mr. Mudd would find them hard to resist, particularly if we get a Vulcan to do the bargaining.
Thank you for your time, instructors!
Dashie's been graded and accepted already!  I didn't get to finish Twilight, but that just means I can turn her in for a separate project of some description.  Not sure which yet.

Happy Saturday!  Craft on, my little ponies!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Build a Better Pokéball

For my first homework assignment, I chose to undertake the Defense Against the Dark Arts prompt.
Practice protego totalum by crafting something that can entirely surround the item intended to be protected.
 My post:

Professors, as an up-and-coming hopeful NQFY, it might not be a surprise to you that I have many roots in Muggle culture. In particular, I was fascinated by the fictional show called “Pokémon”--in particular, the charm that was used to contain creatures within a small space comfortably.
Not only did these pokéballs assist in capturing these mystical creatures, but they also appeared to protect them when the creature had reached the end of its strength and fainted. Finally, after much experimentation, I believe that I have the adequate use of protego totalum in order to protect a small creature, such as a young toad or cricket. Unfortunately, I’m still working on a spell that will shrink the occupant of this pokéball. Perhaps I’ll be able to figure that out for a different class.
Thank you for your help and instruction, professors!

When the professor assigned to grade NQFY can get around to me (and hopefully mark me complete), I will have earned this badge:

(What's creepy is how much he looks like my younger brother, Admiral Flapjack...)

And today's Friday, which means that this afternoon I'll be on my way to Shadowmoor!

For those new readers, Shadowmoor is the Live Action Roleplay (LARP) I participate in once a month from March until November.  I'll be toting some projects along with me, so look for some updates next week!

Craft on, friends!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

First In: Command Mission for SFAC

Yesterday I posted the missions for the Starfleet Fiber Arts Corps, and first on the list was the Command mission.

This was a fairly easy one for me; deconstructing something?   Just the excuse I needed!

Here's the post I made:

Instructors, in my study of this trickster Harcourt Fenton Mudd, I asked and was given permission to study one of the old androids from the unidentified Class K planet Mudd was “in charge of” until the androids were taught to think for themselves by Captain James T. Kirk.
As you can see, it was only a partial body construct:
I carefully dismantled the model, hoping to glean any indication of the inner workings of Mudd’s tricky mind--there are twists and cul-de-sacs; it’s wild in there!
I will study the base elements and perhaps be able to put the to use in my ongoing away mission. Thank you for your time, Commodore Kristysnowedin and instructors.

In all actuality, I was eyeing taking this model apart for the yellow yarn, which I then put to use in my Away Mission project.

I've already been given credit (I need a "That was easy!" button from Staples.) and at least put myself on the board for this month.

Tomorrow, I'll share something I turned in at Hogwarts!  Craft on, Trekkers and Trekkies!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Crochet Challenges: March 2015

A week and a half ago, the new Ravelry challenges for both the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup and the Starfleet Fiber Arts Corps began.

Let's look at the rundown for this month of March and what I hope to get accomplished:

In Real Life:   (booooooring!)

  • BlameTheController II Plushie  (SFAC Away Mission)
  • Etho IV Plushie  (HPKCHC Detention)
  • Spring in Illinois collection  (You've seen bits and pieces already.)
  • Diane's hat & poncho set   (You've seen a little bit of this, too.)
I classify these things as "Real Life" priorities because I've actually been offered money for them.  One lady keeps trying to pay me in advance, and I have to tell her no; I don't take payment until she's seen the finished product and is satisfied.

If I'm making something as a gift...well, you have a waiting period ahead of you.  Sorry about that, but most of my friends and family understand; I use the little money I make (because there's no profit according to IRS standards) to pay a couple of small bills every month (one time I made just enough to replace one of the leaky tires on my car--I was so proud of myself!).

But then we have the HPKCHC and SFAC challenges for the month.

Some of the goals will mesh with these challenges (like the Away Mission and Detention).

Let's see what's in store this month!

The Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup

The classes:

Ancient Runes
Tie your crafting this month to the Elvish saying: “A star shines on the hour of our meeting.” You may represent the darkness of night or the brightness of sparkling stars. You may craft anything relating to the mythological stories of Orion. Or you may craft something Elvish.

  • Chosen project:   ???    (Tolkien's Elves = Awesomesauce.  I have no idea what to choose; it has to be awesome.) 

For your homework this month, craft something with a repeat.

  • Chosen project: Tabitha's poncho (from the aforementioned Spring in Illinois) 

Care of Magical Creatures
This month, craft an item based upon your study of the ten pure-bred dragon breeds (listed on class page), inspired either by a physical or behavioral characteristic of the dragons themselves, or the color or texture of their unique eggs.

  • Chosen project:   


Find a project created and turned in this term to a class (other than detention), quidditch or Head of House Challenge by a castlemate not in your house (this may include NQFY or SOS students) that you have great affection for. 
Practice the geminio charm by reproducing that project using the same pattern. (Please realize that this is a prompt where you are duplicating another player’s project, not a prompt where you are teaming up with another player.)

  •  Chosen project:  Costumer47's Divine Hat   (She was my partner in Arithmancy.)

Defense Against the Dark Arts
Practice protego totalum by crafting something that can entirely surround the item intended to be protected.

Craft something intricate as detailed below.
Knitters/Crocheters: Craft something made up of at least 50% lace, or with color work involving at least two colors used in the same row (intarsia, stranded color work, mosaic).

Please craft something that represents the uses or characteristics of wormwood (for example, but not limited to, something green like the Absinthe, something fine and silky like the plant, or something for a baby).

  • Chosen project:  Pat's Leafy Scarf  (For Dan's manager at Publix.) 

History of Magic
Explore the aesthetics of the Victorian seances in your submission. You have two options:
Option 1: Represent the attire worn by spirit guides. They were commonly known for beads, tassels, and wraps.

Option 2: Represent the ghosts that showed up at these seances.

  • Chosen project:  Make necklaces for the Shadowmoor LARP plot team. 
Please note:  Only six classes may be turned in for credit, so I'm not obligated to complete all of these.

Starfleet Fiber Arts Corps

The featured theme this month is "A Surprise Visitor" -- dealing with one Mr. Harcourt Fenton Mudd, who has shown up in Federation territory without having aged at all since Captain Kirk last saw him.  He's claiming that he has found (or manufactured) a "fountain of youth" potion.  We are about to see if he's telling the truth.

The missions:

Mission: “Unravel” the truth about Harry’s travels by frogging a project entirely or ripping and reworking a section of a project that doesn’t make you happy.

  • Chosen project:  Unravel a Power Rangers figurine I started but never finished. 

Mission: Craft a valuable or functional item which we might be able to trade for the product

Mission: Craft a modification for our replicators that will allow us to produce the potion, or engineer a container which will be able to contain the compound.

  • Chosen project:  ???   I was thinking about another pokéball. 

Mission: Perform a full medical analysis on Mudd. Present the results in color coded format (stripes, intarsia, double knitting, mosaic, or stranded colorwork). Note: Mission requires at least two separate yarn colors. No cheating with self-striping yarns unless you use two different yarns.

Mission: Analyze Harry’s potion and present its molecular structure as either a lace or cable pattern (lace could represent a crystalline structure, where cables would represent a more fibrous structure; similar to the difference between metals and plastics or inorganic and organic compounds).

  • Chosen project:  Charlie's scarf for the Spring in Illinois collection above. 

Mission: Craft something to capture Harry if the evidence is incriminating.

Quite the list, amiright?  Well, you might be slightly comforted to know that I've already done a few of these (posts to come) and started another last night.

Also, the very first gather for the Shadowmoor LARP is this weekend, so I have to haul all of my totes, crates, and other paraphernalia out of the attic and get ready to go.  I'm nervous because most of the friends I began playing the game with have gone on plot or decided not to play this year, so I don't really know what to expect.  The new guild leader (Kaelys) is promising that he needs me (Feather), so I decided to at least give him one event to see how it's going to be this year.

Of course, that's going to eat up some of my crafting time, but I'll take some yarn and hooks with me (crafting in play rocks!) and hope for some down time.

Hopefully, I'll be able to schedule some posts through the weekend to show off what I've already finished...but if not, have a great rest of the week and as always: Craft on!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Starfleet Report: End of February 2015

Cadet VelvetKey reporting in!

It was a whirlwind month at Starfleet Academy (in the Starfleet Fiber Arts Corps; SFAC), and there were six basic missions assigned to everyone.

In addition, I proposed doing an Away Mission (a larger project due by April 30th), and I completed a Brig request.

The six missions were:

Tactical  (The Zimmermann's mission of choice!)

Cadet VelvetKey neatens her regulation hair style before striding into the mission room and saluting the commodore.
Good morning, ma’am! I’m bringing in another mission assignment.
I’ve been reading the weather reports from the North American continent, and I know that an officer’s reaction time must be quick! I made up a hat in just over an hour.
It is for a wee one; I believe my friend in Illinois might have use of it; her daughter was born prematurely and they have had many expenses; heating of course being one in this dreadful weather.
Thank you for your time, Commodore!


A still-sleepy-looking cadet enters the mission room, an old-fashioned blueprint under one arm, and a hat in her hands.
Good morning, instructors. I’ve made it through #5 on my task list for the month, which was my Engineering project; modifying a pattern. In this case, I started with one pattern, and then added some detail stitches from another pattern, to create a matched look.
While I was undergoing the entrance exam for the Academy, I received a message from a friend of mine; she’s a Hottentot alien, normally residing on the high-gravity, high-temperature world of Beruin V. As a result, her physique is much shorter than a human’s, and since she has come on diplomatic assignment to Earth, she has been much too cold. She discovered from a mutual friend that I had improvised a hat and poncho set, and requested one just like it.
Unfortunately, I did not make any notes the first time I made the entire collection (which initially included more hats), so I am improvising from what I remember, plus the unique detail of the poncho.
I also hope to make a swatch for the poncho, since I will have to modify the size in order to fit her, and turn it in for the Command prompt.
Thank you again, instructors!


After a long day full of rearranging her stash and frantically compiling resources for her upcoming away mission, Cadet VelvetKey returns to the mission room.
Instructors, earlier today I spoke of my diplomatic acquaintance, and her need for a small, warm outfit during her prolonged stay planetside. Today I received a communique from her, asking me about some of the local Earth flora in her area. You see, on Beruin V, her home planet, it is far too warm for plants of that nature to grow. In fact, the most they have are a few types of heat-resistant fungi, and apparently they’re not very remarkable. My acquaintance recently visited the historical Elizabethan Gardens on a weekend of exploring, and was quite taken by the out-of-season greenhouse displays.
Although my current studies do not yet include much botany, I was intrigued by her fascination, and have decided to embellish the hat and poncho I am making with the brightest variety of rose: red and pink. I believe the warm colors will work well with her darker complexion, and she will be pleasantly surprised. Also, I would like her to look her best at any upcoming diplomatic summits she may attend, and I believe that by adopting some terran fashion styles, her negotiations may go better.
Thank you for your consideration, instructors.


With a well-loved stuffed rabbit under one arm, and a cup of hot chocolate in the opposite hand, Cadet VelvetKey sneaks into the mission room and drops off her Command mission report.
The mission description reads as follows:
I have received measurements from my Hottentot alien acquaintance, thus I have made a swatch of the poncho she has requested, and gathered the supplies (yarn, pattern, and hook). The tentative start date for this project is February 20th, with intent to finish the poncho by the end of the month. Currently, it does not apply toward any other missions.
Thank you for your consideration!
Cadet VelvetKey
She shuffles quickly back to her quarters, spends a luxurious few seconds bouncing on her bunk, and then snuggles under her covers and switches off her lights.


Although still waiting to see if her Command mission will be approved, Cadet VevetKey has not been idle this weekend! Despite the liberty to go about the city (and the bad weather to go with it), she was determined to find a way to complete another mission. Her thoughts strayed back to the much-loved bunny she had carted down to the mission room late last night, and it inspired her.
Instructors, I know that it is very difficult for a child to lose a parent. In Starfleet, although some ships allow children aboard, there is always the chance that a parent could be injured or killed on a mission. And while ship’s couselors and other doctors do their best to help, sometimes a child only wishes to talk to a friend that will listen unconditionally. May I present Wolfie, a stuffed friend with an attentive expression, who can be hugged, cried upon, and will always be there when a child wishes to confide in him. Sometimes the best comfort is in offering a child a medium that will allow them to express themselves without fear.
Thank you for your time, Instructors.

Science  (Previously posted here.)

And that concludes my first month at Starfleet Academy!  The new month is already in full swing, and now I have a clear conscience about beginning to post those projects.

Until later this week, craft on!

Monday, March 9, 2015

February at Hogwarts

Happy Monday!  Let's wrap up the past month with the last of the badges I was awarded:

First, there's Flying Class, where I had to make a project faster than the last time I made it.  I submitted a hat (as I'd just made a similar hat and had worked all the kinks out of the pattern):

For Savannah, my honorary niece.

And the badge:

Then there was the Leaky Cauldron challenge (part of the pub crawl), which you've already seen (the Herbology cozy made for Tom).  The badge for completing that:

We've also been encouraged to post in the Common Rooms' threads and ask questions about being a sorted student at Hogwarts.  I chose to post in Hufflepuff, and earned this badge:

Next, I realized that I didn't share the badges earned from Zonko's Joke Shop during Hogsmeade weekend!  

For telling the following joke (one of my father's classics, badly retold):

There once was a lobster named Boris. He was a great musician, and was regularly engaged to play at his friend Sam the clam’s under the sea nightclub. One unfortunate day, however, he ran afoul of a lobster trap and…well, in the end he went to Heaven.
Once there, St. Peter took a look at Boris’ resume and discovered his love of music. Thus inspired, he gave Boris his very own lobster-friendly harp. Boris loved his harp, but he didn’t feel the same thrill as when he used to be in the spotlight, playing to all the boppin’ angelfish and sea urchins at the nightclub.
St. Peter noticed Boris’ downcast mood, and after due consideration, he told Boris that he’d allow him to go back and visit the disco for one night. Utterly thrilled, Boris grabbed his harp and hopped a raindrop to the ocean. That last night he spent at Sam the clam’s club was the liveliest performance the lobster had ever done! He played like no fish had ever seen, and received standing ovation after standing ovation.
At last, however, Boris had to say goodbye to Sam and the patrons of the club. He climbed a sunbeam and soon found himself back in Heaven. St. Peter went to see how the little lobster was doing, but suddenly he gasped!
“Boris…where’s your harp?” St. Peter asked.
Boris thought long and hard. “Well…I guess…I left my harp in Sam Clam’s Disco.”

I earned this badge:

And then for captioning this picture:

What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?

I got this badge:

Finally, I found out that Not Quite First Years could participate in the Hufflepuff Treasure Hunt/Quest/Thing!  There was a badge for each of the seven individual quests, plus an eighth for completing all of them!  There wasn't any actual crafting involved; it was mostly links, posting elsewhere, and in general meeting other Hufflepuffs.



And the one I was really after:

Thanks for sticking with me!  In the next post I'll wrap up my first month as a cadet in Starfleet, and then we can get into all kinds of crafting trouble in March!

Craft on, fellow Potterheads!