Well, I thought I’d be more of a zen-quester, but apparently it’s not in my makeup. It’s okay as airmidm has reserved a bed at St. Mungos for me. Dungeon hotties on duty all holiday weekend.
Potions, HoM, Herbology, Ancient Runes, DADA, and Charms completed and turned in and 9 Quidditch Hat Challenge hats finished. One HoM OWL approved and underway. For regular Quidditch, 2 of 12 preemie caps for my local hospital’s NICU. And I even picked up some Perle Cotton for the Headmistress Challenge bookmarks.
Fine, what's this mean to the real life Muggle realm? It's competition. A knitting competition. It's a full-tilt Harry Potter geek-out. Plus a little bit of D&D... but with better hygiene.
In alphabetical order, let's start with Ancient Runes....
Ancient Runes:Assignment: Craft something based on or related to Norse mythology, or a god from the Norse Pantheon.
Project: Mirmir’s spring of wisdom lies deep under the roots of Yggdrasil and its nourishing liquids feed the World Tree. Odin visited the giant Mimir in a quest to understand the secrets of the world, but the giant did not want to give his knowledge easily. Odin pledged his left eye to the mighty one. Mímir accepted Odin’s eye and showed him the mysteries of the world with a single drink of the enchanted water. His mouthful granted him wisdom and foresight. It is due to this sacrifice that Odin’s face is depicted with a straight line indicating an empty eye, or alternately, in a wide-brimmed hat pulled down low over the missing orb.
Odin’s eye now sits at the bottom of the Well of Wisdom as a sign that the father of the gods had paid the price for wisdom. I chose to knit a tribute to Odin’s sacrificed eye to honor the Norse God’s search for knowledge. I envision its iris in bold blues - Bright and clear in the search for understanding. It seems most at home in a barren tree, similar to the one from which Odin hung for nine nights in his search for the ultimate wisdom. I do fear, however, that this noble tribute to Odin closely resembles a catnip ball and is at risk of becoming a simple toy to a nearby trio of fierce house cats that don’t worry themselves with worldly knowledge.
ETA: (note from my husband….) More importantly, Odin was a hair metal glam band from Los Angeles during the nineteen-eighties. They were forever immortalized in the classic motion picture “Decline of the Western Civilization Part 2”. During production, the film was intended to be a serious documentary. However, given 20 some odd years to ferment, the film has blossomed into a self deprecating comedy.
Charms:Assignment: This month we will be working on Charmed Creatures. Craft something inspired by either Birds, Rabbits or Dragons. Literal interpretations are welcome as are the more abstract ideas. Charms to use: Avifors – charm used to turn small objects into birds – used by Hermione in Half Blood Prince to create the birds she then sent after Ron with Oppugno; Lapifors – used to charm a small rabbit statue to life; Draconifors – used to charm a small dragon statue to life
Project: I am not a morning person. I despise the sound of any muggle-invented alarm clock, so waking up in time for classes is a challenge in the dark dorms of Slytherin. After running late too many times, I’ve found a quite pleasant yet effective way to wake in the morning. I tried the Avifors charm on the clunky alarm on my nightstand and I now enjoy the morning song and chirps of this little bird as I wake each day. It has, according to my Hufflepuff classmates, greatly improved my Slytherin disposition.
DADA (Defense Against the Dark Arts):Assignment: This month, we’re going to be investigating one of the greatest tools ever contributed in the fight against the Dark Arts - the Extendable Ear! Yes, it’s true - the Weasley Twins were not just consummate jokesters, but actually could have given Q from Bond a run for his money when it came to inventing items which help you gather intelligence. From Shield Hats to Decoy Detonators, their products helped the Order of the Phoenix complete some of their most dangerous missions safely.
For this month’s assignment: Use your Extendable Ears (Addykan and Fluttervale will hand them round) to spy on the projects or queue of a member of another house. Make your favorite item. Be sure to credit your source when you turn it in.
Project: I wandered the castle with my Extendable Ear and learned all sorts of things. Things that I probably shouldn’t repeat here, especially in polite company. But the thing I kept hearing over, and over, and over, emanated from Ravenclaw Tower. So much monkey talk was going on I could hear it even without using my trusty Extendable!
Monkeys. Everything monkeys. A gazillion monkeys jumping on beds. Monkey. Monkey. Monkey. Overcome by the Tower’s monkey-mania mayhem, I decided to knit the Baby Monkey Potions homework by darwinia of Ravenclaw. My monkey has a slightly shorter tail, and has both eyes, but he is proving just as mischievous as his predecessor.
Herbology:Assignment: Option One: Embellish an item with flowers. These may be knitted or crocheted or needlefelted. The base item may be premade or purchased. Option Two: create an item that has a floral motif on it. The key here is FLOWERS.
Project: I find wearing the purple rose headband is far less conspicuous than carrying a clumsy bottle of love potion. The purple rose conjures feelings of wonder, impracticality, magic, mystic and spiritual and magnetic wonders. It is said love at first sight, delight, attraction, charm and enchantment describes the meaning for a rose of this color. The purple rose should be worn with care as to not attract an unintended suitor. Unfortunately, it has no hypnotic effects on the of the hotties in our dungeon - I’m still working on that part.
History of Magic:Assignment: Descend into the Chamber of Secrets and knit, crochet, or spin something inspired by your visit. Choose any object you find on this journey to be the focus of your creativity. Statues, stonework, carvings, bones, ancient mechanisms, and evidence of cave-dwelling magical creatures all await your notice in these dark depths!
Project: As a member of the Noble House of Slytherin it was quite an honor to visit the Chamber of Secrets. Conjured by the founder of my House, Salazar Slytherin, it is a darkly beautiful place although the intent behind the Chamber’s creation is quite disturbing. Looking beyond the frightening purpose of the Chamber, the space is beautifully designed and quite breathtaking.
Strangely, it was not Salazar Slytherin’s elegant design that inspired my project. I was taken with the massive sheddings from the Chamber’s former Basilisk guardian. The winding folds of discarded snake skin were unexpectedly delicate and translucent and covered in many years accumulation of strange blue and green iridescent moss.
The jewel-like beauty of the moss-covered skin inspired this coiling mobius cowl. I used the Easy Missoni Style Long Mobius Cowl pattern which wraps and turns like the rolling folds of the sheddings. Fiesta Yarn’s La Boheme is perfectly dyed mohair and boucle in opalescent blue, greens, and bronze. It is light and delicate in appearance, but very strong - much like the skins of the Basilisk.
Project: I’ve combined the basic trio of ingredients for Wit-Sharpening Potion with Jobberknoll feathers in hopes of creating the perfect exam week brain-boosting potion. The effects of Jobberknoll feathers (blue) are unknown but are presumed to enhance memory. Ginger root (gold), scarab beetles (purple), and armadillo bile (magenta) make up Wit-Sharpening Potion - a concoction presumed to make a person think more clearly.
Potions:Assignment: -The heart of potions is taking many disparate elements and melding them into a greater whole. For this assignment, you will do the same thing with fiber.
Option One: Knit or crochet something that uses at least three different colors of yarn (different shades of the same color are acceptable, as long as they are visibly different, professor’s judgment applies). Colorwork, multiple strands held together, and stripes are all allowed - be creative!
Option Two: Knit or crochet something that has at least three pieces that have to be seamed together. Before and after pictures are required for this option
Additional experimentation is required. It is unclear if it is necessary to designate the left from right in this set of fingerless gloves. I worry the potion may have a reversed effect if they are worn on the wrong hands!
Pattern Credits and Information:
Pattern: Oh Balls! by Marcie Nishioka
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Worsted
Pattern: Flying Birds by Audrey Ritchie of Audrey's Knits
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Merino DK
Pattern: Baby Monkey from Patons
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool
Pattern: American Beauty Rose Headband by Ashley Kearns
Yarn: Handpaint fingering merino and Alchemy Lone Star
History of Magic:
Pattern:Easy Missoni Style Long Mobius Cowl by Haley Waxberg of knitomatic.com
Yarn: Fiesta Yarns La Boheme (wild oak)
Pattern: Fingerless Flower Gloves by Kristin Nicholas (Kristin Knits)
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Worsted and Brown Sheep Lanaloft Worsted