Thursday, January 29, 2009

Potions Quiz

Guess I'd better get this in before I forget to do it at all!

Taking this was rather fun. I knew most of the answers already, but had to check to make sure I had details correct. I did a paper on Medieval plants that are still in use today a couple of years back for the SCA, and many, tho not all, of the plants used by J.K.Rowling in her Potter series are on my list of plants. Rowling's uses, however, are often quite different from the actual uses of these plants, many of which are so toxic that even the smallest error in judgment when dispensing them could have (and probably often did) result in death.

Regular Questions:

1. Name the two known Potions professors at Hogwarts during the books. Include which book(s) each of them were professors during. (1)
Severus Snape (books 1-5), Horace Slughorn (books 6 and 7)

2. Name the five pieces of equipment that a student of Potions is expected to have. (1)
Cauldron, knife, mortar and pestle, potion making kit and brass scales.

3. Give me the name and the person who invented the potion that is used as a remedy for the common cold. (1)
Pepperup Potion invented by Glover Hipworth

4. What does the Polyjuice potion do? Name at least four of the ingredients. Tell me at least two of the characters who used this potion in the books and tell me what it did to them. (2)
Polyjuice Potion makes you look like another person for one hour. Four of the ingredients are: a little bit of the person you are trying to tun into, lacewing flies, bicorn horn, and fluxweed.

Hermione used it to turn Harry into Goyle and Ron into Crabbe. She herself turns part cat, as the hair she thought was from a human was actually cat hair.

5. What is a bezoar and what is it used for? (1)
A bezoar is from a goat's belly. It is used to stop poison working on a human. It is actually a hairball that looks like a shriveled, kidney-like stone.

6. Tell me what the Amorentia potion is. What would yours smell like? (1)
Amorentia potion is a love potion. Mine would smell spicy, like spice cookies.

7. Name three Potions ingredients that can be found in the Muggle world. What are each of these items used for in each situation? How do Muggles and Wizards use these things differently? (2)
Aconite is also known as Wolf's Bane or Monkshood in the Muggle world (and we are told in Scott Cunningham's Encylopedia of Magical Herbs that a folk name for this herb is 'Dumbledore's Delight'). Highly toxic, the herb has been used for both hunting and warfare among Muggles. In Harry's world, it is one of the ingredients used in the potion that Snape makes for Remus.

Fluxweed, or false pennyroyal, is a member of the mint family. In the Muggle world, it can be used to help ward off fleas from pets and homes. In Harry's world, it's used in Polyjuice Potion.

Ginger, used in the Muggle world as a sharp spice for food preparation (such as gingerbread, ginger cookies and ginger ale), is used in Harry's world in Wit-Sharpening Potion. Perhaps a reference to the sharp taste of the ginger root.

8. What is your favorite Potion and why? (1)
Mrs. Scower's Magical Mess Remover. Why? We have 3 boys in the house, besides the cats and dogs. Why do you think???

9. There are at least two Potions which are mentioned as being illegal to the students at Hogwarts, but they get used in the series. Which two are these and what do they do? (2)

1) Polyjuice potion - allows the person using it to appear to be someone else for a period of time.
2) Amortentia - Effect: Does not really causes the person who drinks it to fall in love with someone, as it is impossible to manufacture or imitate love. A love potion simply causes the drinker to develop a powerful infatuation or obsession with the target (HBP9).

10. Name the three ingredients in the Draught of the Living Death. In what year do the Hogwarts students brew this potion? (2)
According to the HPL there are 4 ingredients: asphodel in an infusion of wormwood (PS8); valerian roots, sopophorous bean (HBP9). It's brewed in the 6th year N.E.W.T. class.

11. We all know that Remus Lupin is a werewolf. During his time teaching at Hogwarts, Snape makes him the wolfsbane potion to counteract some of these nasty effects. There is one ingredient which Lupin says will render the effects useless. What is this ingredient and why is it important? (1)
Sugar would render the potion useless. This is important because the potion tastes terrible, but you can't use sugar to make it more palatable, as it would then be useless.

Extra Credit

There are many mentions of Potions in various Muggle books. Name at least one reference to any well-known Muggle book (either one that does not have anything to do with magic or one that has a very archaic view of it, so DO NOT give me a fantasy novel). What is this Potion used for? By whom? How do Muggle views of Potions differ from our own? Is there an ingredients list to this particular Potion? If so, what items are necessary to make it? Are there any Potions that exist in the wizarding world that have similar effects? If so, which one(s)? I want at least five decent sentences. (5)
In Shakespeare's MidSummer Nights Dream King Oberon has Puck put drops of 'love-in-idleness' into his Queen's eyes as she sleeps because he is angry with her. Unlike the love potion Amorentia mentioned above, love-in-idleness does not specify the target person. However, like all love potions, the effect is time-sensitive and does wear off eventually unless it is renewed before the effects wear off.

Shakespeare does not give the ingredients used in this potion. As the Faeries who are the pivotal characters of this play are not actually Muggles, their views of potions are much closer to our own. Because most Muggles lack a belief in True Magic, their views on potions are based on what they call 'scientific evidence'. This rather skews their views on, and use of, potions. Altho they do quite well when using potions in baking and cooking. The use of scientific knowledge does help Muggles to keep from poisoning themselves as much as they did in Medieval times, however.

This is the only play I've ever actually seen on stage. I saw a modern, shortened version of the play at a theater in Sarasota, Fl. The actors used modern dress but original language. I loved it and wish I could have attended again, just to see it again before the end of the play. While the clothing was modern, the accessories such as the crowns were not. The juxtaposition of new and old in the costumes with the original language of the play contributed a great deal to the enjoyment of the play.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Snitch pouch

The latest assignment for our Flying class is a pouch with a snitch on it.

Well, actually, the original pattern calls for 1 snitch. Mine has 4. Done in color strand work. Mostly. The shadows on the wings are done in intarsia. I had a limited amount of those yarns, so I cut lengths of yarn that would accommodate the number of stitches needed and used a separate strand for each snitch.

I also had to make a couple of adjustments to the pattern. Because I had to work within the limits of the yarn I already owned, I did add black borders to the top & bottom of the body. I also had to make the top part shorter - again because I didn't have enough yarn to complete the number of rows called for.

I am happy with the result. I'll be lining the bag and it will be used to store DVDs in the van my daughter & son-in-law have. The bright colors will make it easier to spot the bag.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Arithmancy Assignment

Our newest assignment (at the moment) is in our Arithmancy class. The concept is not new to me, but I haven't looked at it (or really thought about it) in years. We read some information on it, which refreshed my memories of it. Then we calculated our Character, Heart and Social numbers.

I did this three times (yeah, quite a coincidence, huh?) because I have 3 names I use. The first name given to me at birth (which I only use when required to and nope, I'm NOT telling), the name Kitty (which I use offline)and Katt (which I use online). The results were both interesting and scary.

Birth name: Character 2, Heart 5, Social 6
Kitty : Character 7, Heart 2, Social 5
Katt : Character 1, Heart 3, Social 7

Note that every name has at least 1 number that is repeated in another name.

Character: 1 - This is the number of the individual, the solitary unit. Ones are independent, focused, and determined. They set a goal and stick to it. They are leaders and inventors. Ones find it difficult to work with others and don't like to take orders. They can be self-centered, egotistical, and domineering. They are often loners.
Yup, this is me, alright! Clearly someone was looking over my shoulder here! I take exception to the 'egotistical' part, but the rest ... well ::sigh:: Yeah, I guess so.
Heart: 3 - Three represents the idea of completeness or wholeness, as in the threesomes past-present-future and mind-body-spirit. Three indicates talent, energy, an artistic nature, humor, and social ease. Threes are often lucky, easygoing, and highly successful, but they can also be unfocused, easily offended, and superficial.
I don't quite fit this one. I have little social ease (except online ... and note that this is my online name). I'm not really very successful, except in my crafts, and then not in a business sense. Altho if I can ever get an Etsy store opened, perhaps that will change. I was lucky in my 2nd choice of husband, but not my 1st. Other than that, I don't consider myself particularly lucky. And I'm not really very easy-going. There are other numbers which indicate I'm domineering and difficult. An internal conflict which can result in problems. I don't think I'm superficial, but it says 'can be' not 'always is', so that's okay. I guess. Unfocused? Not quite sure about that one. I can be quite focused at times, but easily distracted at other times.
Social: 7 - Perceptive, understanding, and bright, sevens enjoy hard work and challenges. They are often serious, scholarly, and interested in all things mysterious. Originality and imagination are more important than money and material possessions. Sevens can also be pessimistic, sarcastic, and insecure.
I'll pretty much agree with this one, I'm afraid. Note, please, that while Character says I'm focused, Social says I'm not. The dichotomy can result in depression because I'm fighting myself and can't win. The insecure part I sure won't argue with ... that's right on target. Unfortunately, so is the sarcastic part. I try real hard to be optimistic, tho sometimes it can be difficult.

Character: 7 - Perceptive, understanding, and bright, sevens enjoy hard work and challenges. They are often serious, scholarly, and interested in all things mysterious. Originality and imagination are more important than money and material possessions. Sevens can also be pessimistic, sarcastic, and insecure.
See remarks above .......
Heart: 2 - Two represents interaction, two-way communication, cooperation, and balance. Twos are imaginative, creative, and sweet natured. Peace, harmony, commitment, loyalty, and fairness are characteristic. But two also introduces the idea of conflict, opposing forces, and the contrasting sides of things: night and day, good and evil. Twos can be withdrawn, moody, self-conscious and indecisive.
This number gives me balance, which is missing in my other numbers. ::giggles:: I'm not at *all* sure about the 'sweet natured' part, either! And again ... that internal disturbance, which can result in depression.... btw, I'm a diagnosed severe depressive. Considering how often the internal conflict shows up in my numbers, perhaps that isn't so surprising, hmmm? Note: this is the character number for my birth name.
Social: 5 - Five is the number of instability and imbalance, indicating change and uncertainty. Fives are drawn to many things at once but commit to none. They are adventurous, energetic and willing to take risks. They enjoy travel and meeting new people but may not stay in one place very long. Fives can be conceited, irresponsible, quick-tempered and impatient.
Here we go again .... the first adjective here is 'instability'. And I used to wonder why am I a depressive? ::shrugs:: Guess it's in the numbers, huh? The second comment certainly holds true for my crafts - I am drawn to many crafts, but I won't commit to one and exclude all others. I might enjoy traveling, if we could afford it, but I don't want to move ever again! While I don't think I'm either conceited or irresponsible (my ex- made sure I had to be responsible, since I had to raise the kids), I can be quick-tempered and impatient. Note that this is my heart number for my birth name.

Character: 2 - Two represents interaction, two-way communication, cooperation, and balance. Twos are imaginative, creative, and sweet natured. Peace, harmony, commitment, loyalty, and fairness are characteristic. But two also introduces the idea of conflict, opposing forces, and the contrasting sides of things: night and day, good and evil. Twos can be withdrawn, moody, self-conscious and indecisive.
See notes above.
Heart: 5 - Five is the number of instability and imbalance, indicating change and uncertainty. Fives are drawn to many things at once but commit to none. They are adventurous, energetic and willing to take risks. They enjoy travel and meeting new people but may not stay in one place very long. Fives can be conceited, irresponsible, quick-tempered and impatient.
See comments above.
Social: 6 - Six represents harmony, friendship, and family life. Sixes are loyal, reliable, and loving. They adapt easily. They do well in teaching and the arts, but are often unsuccessful in business. They are sometimes prone to gossip and complacency.
This is the one I disagree with the most. I've had very little harmony in my life, and I find it difficult to make and maintain friendships. Family life? With 3 kids, and a 2nd husband .. oh, yeah. But it has not been harmonious, to say the least. The second comment is true, but the third I have reservations about. I do okay teaching one-on-one as long as I am confident of my own knowledge in the subject; and yes, I think I do quite well in 'the arts' as long as you include crafting in that header. Some people don't. But then, some people don't know their ... well, never mind ;x This blog is family rated! The unsuccessful in business part, so far, has proven true. Sadly. I do not gossip and I hope I am not complacent. Since both of the other numbers for this name appear again in "Kitty", which is the name I use the most off line, perhaps this Social number is the reason I dislike, and rarely use, this name unless I'm forced to for legal reasons?

In conclusion ... most of this was so close, it's scary. What is even scarier is the way the numbers repeat, no matter which name I use.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our new puppy

Our newest orphan. Our 14 yo grandson rescued her from an imminent car accident ... the car was a lot bigger than she is! (BTW, daughter thought Scruffy was a boy ... um.... no, she's a little girl!) And she already knows how to use those darling eyes to get her own way, too. The 6 yo grandson looked at her last night (she wanted to be picked up & I was busy) and said 'Nana, Scruffy is sad.' ::grins:: No, Scruffy just wanted to be picked up! Her markings are so pretty.

:::rolling on floor laughing::: When we got the collar last night, we hadn't checked gender for ourselves, so we got a 'little boy' collar. I just told the husband that the next collar (this one won't fit for long) will be a pretty one, with rhinestones on it. ::giggles:: So he started singing 'It's a rhinestone puppy' Too cute!!

The Tea Party

Divination homework included creating a tea cup and something else that was a part of the Tea Reading ceremony. The assignment did not say that we had to create the second item at this time, so I'm hoping my teapot will be acceptable. I used to do greenware when we lived in Florida. I've got 2 teapots that are hand-painted - the other one looks like a basket of fruit. I've never seen another teapot like this one, tho. The owner of the store where I used to go often made her own pieces from molds, so this may be one of those pieces.

BTW, the top of the teapot has a big black spider holding it in place. NOT my daughter's favorite thing!!

The teacup was crocheted using acrylic yarn in a sunset colorway, perfect for a Gryffindor. I made it more functional by tucking a clean empty tuna fish can into the bottom.

Still have to do the actual tea reading. Will use the Witches tea pot to brew the tea in .... but I don't think my tea cup will do for the reading itself! It is, however, making itself useful in my craft room, holding small items so I may be able to find them again. Of course, I have to remember where I put them, first!

My new hat arrived!

Not at all sure you can make out the darling cat button used to 'close' this button-tab hat, but I love him! I don't normally wear beanie-type caps, but I think this one just made the cut. Thank you, Arianna. Also received a matching cup cozy, some Alpine milk chocolate (YUM!), tea bags so I can use my new cozy, and an HP label ... I want more labels! (want more chocolate, too! LOL)

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Potions Professor was concerned that our hands might get too cold during class to properly handle the various potion ingredients. And since some of those ingredients can be quite harmful if not properly handled, the Professor decided we needed mitts to keep our hands warm.

I'll need to make another pair, tho, as my daughter has claimed this pair and refuses to give it back. ::sigh::

Thursday, January 15, 2009


The latest assignment for our Flying class is a snitch. Mine was created from acrylic yarn for the snitch body and a specialty yarn for the wings. The wing yarn is 3 ply ... 1 ply is a very thin, flat ribbon of opalescent acrylic for sparkle, 1 ply alternates thin spaces of about 1" with thicker areas, also about 1" long, and the 3rd ply is a boucle with some mohair in it to make the whole thing fuzzy. *SO* much fun to knit this on size 1 needles, because of course the thicker areas of the yarn nearly always managed to show up when the pattern called for knit 2 together ... and both of *those* stitches also had the thicker yarn. Naturally.

We also needed to add our own touch to the snitch. See those orange lines radiating back? It's the snitch overheating. Darned thing didn't want to stay still long enough to gets its picture taken, which is why the picture isn't the greatest quality. But then, neither is my scanner.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Nestlings

This all started with an assignment on owls for HLBOE on Ravelry. The original pattern is here:
and that is what I used to create the largest nestling.

However, I wanted to be able to send this owl overseas; and since that can be expensive, I wanted something smaller than the original nestling. So I tried adapting the spell, er, instructions. That resulted in the middle nestling. (Spell, er, instructions follow.) The smallest nestling, who will live in my kitchen, was created using a double strand of Tofuties black-and-white fingering weight sock yarn. He was a bit fiddly because of the doubled yarn. The other nestlings were created with Red Heart Fall colorway. I changed from magnetic tape to round magnets on the back - they stick better. I use a cool temp glue gun to attach eyes and magnets.

First ... I use the Magic Circle to start projects which call for a starting ring. You'll find instructions here:
My most favorite thing about this? You NEVER have to squish those last few stitches into a circle that isn't quite big enough. You just make the required number of stitches over your magic circle, pull the tail and hey! the starting ring is *exactly* the right size. Every time.

Using your magic circle, and using a size F hook with worsted weight yarn, chain 3, then make 19 dc into the circle. Pull the circle tight. Weave the tail in later. Slip stitch into the top of the chain 3.

Following the original directions, but substituting dc for tc and chain 3 for chain 4, create the owl's head & ears. If your circle tail was long, you don't need to leave a long tail here. If your circle tail is short, tho, cut this tail longer. You'll need one or the other to sew the face halves together when you finish.

Following the original directions again, make the tail, again using dc instead of tc and ch 3 instead of ch 4.

Finishing: Weave in the yarn ends from the tail. Using either the circle tail or the face tail, whichever is longer, on the back of the owl, weave over to the bottom of the split between the two face halves. Weave the sides of the two chain 4's together, then weave back down to the starting circle of dc's and bury the tail. Cut the tail and weave in the other tail.

Glue on a magnet and wiggle eyes. I use twigs from my yard for the owls to 'sit' on. The original spell, er, pattern, calls for chenille. I like the twigs better - they look more natural and each owl gets their own unique look.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Flat cats...........

Well, the latest assignment for Magical Creatures is to create a cat. Since we are already owned by nine of the creatures around here, when I sat down to craft the spell I kept muttering 'no more fat cats' ........ meaning that this time, the cat was going to need to be useful. Love our cats .... but .... enough is enough, you know?

By the way, 4 of them are kittens, 1 of those a rescue who was left outdoors when her previous owners couldn't take her with them ..... I won't comment, because it would only get me in trouble with someone ....... Cuddles is a sweet, lovable marmalade ..... that makes 3 orange marmalades here ...... and 2 of them own me!!

About an hour later, some very upset owls descended upon me with a ..... flat cat. And a *lot* of dire mutterings about what was going to happen if they found any flat *owls* in the Owlery (which is where they found the flat cat).

I can only presume that while muttering to myself, I somehow stumbled over my words just as the spell took effect ........ I promptly checked all the felines belonging to this house and they are all well, safe and ...... fat. So I'm not quite sure where this one came from. But I know where he's going ... right on the table to keep hot things safely away from the table surface.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Everything you ever wanted to know about Quidditch .....

Well, maybe everything. I haven't covered the names or standings of the various teams.
I wanted to post a picture here .... but couldn't find one that I was sure would be okay for me to use. So ....... sorry, no picture. :(

Quidditch .... the game, the rules

The Quidditch pitch is oval shaped, 500 feet (150 m) long and 180 feet (55 m) wide. It has a small central circle approximately 10 feet (3 m) in diameter. Each end has 3 hooped goal posts, 1 each at 30 ft (9.1 m), 40 ft (12 m) and 50 ft (15 m). This is the scoring area at each end. The mid-field is marked by a line 180 ft (55m). Rarely, there are white shaded areas around the goalposts. Spectators are seated either in towers (such as at Hogwarts) or in platforms (such as the World Cup Quidditch games).

The game is played by seven players on flying broomsticks.

Note: Quidditch is not played *on* the pitch. It is played in the air space above the actual pitch. I have not been able to find any notation about how high the players may fly above it, only that they are not allowed to cross the boundaries of the pitch as laid out on the ground.

There are 4 balls used in a Quidditch game.

The Quaffle is spherical in shape, bright red in color and approximately 12 inches (300 mm) in diameter. It is enchanted to very slowly through the air when dropped to prevent players having to continuously dive to retrieve it. It is also enchanted to make it easy to grip with only one hand.

Bludgers are spherical, approximately 10 inches in diameter and made of iron. Two are used in each game. They are betwitched to fly without any visible means of propulsion, but they are unable to change direction swiftly. Their purpose is to fly around attempting to hit players indiscriminately during the game.

The Golden Snitch is a small golden ball approximately the size of a walnut (roughly an inch or 2.54 cm in diameter). The Snitch is winged and is enchanted to hover and dart around the pitch, avoiding capture while remaining within the boundaries of the playing area. Each team has a Seeker, whose only task is to capture the Snitch. The Seeker is the only player allowed to touch the Snitch. It is worth 150 points to the team which captures it. Its capture ends the game. The Snitch is able to remember the first person who touched it and will respond only to that person. This ability helps when there is a dispute about who caught it.

Quidditch is played while riding a magical flying broomstick. There are several varieties of broomsticks available for Quidditch play. The Nimbus broomsticks are known to be one of the best in the Wizarding world. A Firebolt is an advanced professional level flying broomstick and the most expensive racing broom in existence. Comets and Cleansweeps are cheaper than the Nimbus and are more common. A Shooting Star is another brand, but is considered to be slow and out of style. Another broomstick series called The Bluebottle, described as a family broom, was introduced in the advertisements at the Quidditch World Cup. Another brand is the Silver Arrows. This broom, along with the Tinderblask, Swiftstick, the Twigger 90 and the Oakshaft 79, is the broom famed for its journey across the Atlantic. The Moontrimmer was popular due to the fact that it was still controllable at extremely high altitudes.

Each team has seven players - 3 Chasers, 2 Beaters, 1 Keeper, 1 Seeker

The Chasers attempt to score goals by throwing the Quaffle through one of the opposing team's 3 goal hoops. During play, only one Chaser is legally allowed to be in the scoring area at any given time.

The Beaters are armed with wooden clubs and are tasked with protecting their teammates from the Bludgers by knocking the Bludgers off course or towards opponents.

The Keeper flys in front of his team's goal hoops to prevent goals being scored by the other team's Chasers.

The Seeker searches for, and attempts to capture, the Snitch. That is his only job during the game.

Each team has a captain, who may play any of the positions. The captain is responsible for team practices and choosing team members after the tryouts.

Game Progess
The game starts when the referee releases all 4 balls from the central circle. The Bludgers and the Snitch fly off on their own. The Snitch hides itself quickly and the Bludgers begin to attack the nearest players. The Quaffle is thrown into the air by the referee to signal start of play.

Chasers score by sending the Quaffle through an opponent's goal hoops. Each goal is worth 10 points. After a goal, the Keeper of the team scored upon throws the Quaffle back into play. Capturing the Snitch is worth 150 points and immediately ends the game. The team capturing the Snitch is most likely to win.

Only the Seeker is allowed to touch the Snitch. Even an accidental contact with it by any other player is a foul. Only the capture of the Snitch ends the game. The shortest game ever is described as having lasted three and a half seconds. The longest game supposedly lasted 3 months. A game can be halted, or postponed, without the capture of the Snitch with the mutual consent of both captains. Note that this does not end the game.


The official rules of Quidditch are partially described in Quidditch Through the Ages. They are said to have been laid down in 1750 by the Department of Magical Games and Sports. Some of the more common rules are as follows:

* Players must not stray over the boundary lines of the pitch, although they may fly as high as desired. The Quaffle must be surrendered to the opposition if any player leaves the boundary.
* Time out may be called at any time by a team Captain. It may be extended to two hours if a game has already lasted for more than twelve hours. Failure to return to the pitch afterward disqualifies the offending team.
* The referee can impose penalties. A single Chaser may take the penalty by flying from the central circle towards the scoring area. The opposing team's Keeper may attempt to stop the shot being scored, but no other player may interfere.
* Contact is allowed, but a player may not grasp another's broomstick or any part of his or her body.
* No substitution of a player is allowed, even if one is too badly hurt to continue (rare exceptions may be made when the game continues for a great length of time, and players become too fatigued to continue).
* Players may take their wands onto the pitch, but they must not be used on or against any players, any players' broomsticks, the referee, any of the four balls, or the spectators. (The right to carry wands at all times was granted during the height of wizard and witch persecution by Muggles, according to Quidditch Through the Ages).
*Only one Chaser is allowed to be in the scoring area at any one time.

Rowling writes that there are seven hundred Quidditch fouls listed in the Department of Magical Games and Sports records, but most of these fouls are not open to the public, owing to the Department's supposed fear that the wizards/witches who read the fouls "might get ideas." In actuality, not listing all seven hundred fouls meant that she need only invent a handful for publication. It is claimed that all 700 occurred during the very first Quidditch World Cup. Apparently, most are now impossible to commit as there is a ban on using wands against an opponent (imposed in 1538). The most common of those fouls which are described are named below:

* Blagging: No player may seize any part of an opponent's broom to slow or hinder the player.
* Blatching: No player may fly with the intent to collide.
* Blurting: No player may lock broom handles with the intent to steer an opponent off course.
* Bumphing: Beaters must not hit Bludgers towards spectators or the Keeper unless the Quaffle is within the scoring area.
* Cobbing: Players must not use their elbows against opponents.
* Flacking: Keepers must not defend the posts from behind by punching Quaffles out of the hoops – goals must be defended from the front.
* Haversacking: Chasers must not still be in contact with the Quaffle as it passes through a hoop (the Quaffle must be thrown through).
* Quaffle-pocking: Chasers must not tamper with the Quaffle in any way.
* Snitchnip: No player other than the Seeker may touch or catch the Golden Snitch.
* Stooging: No more than one Chaser is allowed in the scoring area at any one time.

NOTE: These rules are based on the book series. They are not necessarily reflected in the movies.

The Duel!

Here's another item from HLBOE swap. I signed up for 'The Duel' ..... and here's the result. This will go in the mail probably tomorrow.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ancient Runes assignment :)

Our assignment in Ancient Runes was to create a pair of slippers and add some runes to it. The runes on my slippers say 'Kat' ... there should be a second T, but I didn't want to put anything on the ribbing due to the fact that I am diabetic. I was concerned that the bumps created on the back by the embroidery work might rub against my skin. Yes, yarn is soft ... but the rubbing could become irritating. And since these are quite warm on my feet (I lined the sole with fake lambs wool fur), I really don't want to be irritated by anything on it.

The light on the scanner has, once again, bled out the color on my yarn. The colors are actually much deeper and, in my opinion, much prettier, than what shows here. I'll admit that pastels are colors .... but I much prefer saturated colors, jewel tones, etc. to wimpy pastels, with the possible exception of a color scheme for ice/snow/winter.

How many ghosts at Hogwarts?

In PS 7 there is a reference to 'nearly 20 ghosts' streaming thru the back wall of the Great Hall. The only ones named (that I can find) are: Nearly Headless Nick, The Bloody Baron, The Grey Lady, The Fat Friar, Moaning Myrtle, Professor Binns, and Sir Patrick Delaney. Sir Patrick isn't a Hogwart's ghost - he's the head of the Headless Hunt. There are references to various other ghosts during Nearly Headless Nick's 500th Death party. And the Hogwarts ghosts say that they don't go to the Shrieking Shack because of the 'rough crowd' that hangs out there. Peeves is not actually a ghost, but rather a poltergeist. Not quite the same thing.

Lady Felula, Gryffindor House

Friday, January 9, 2009

This pattern is free. Use it as you wish. If you make a fortune with it, it would be courteous to share it with me. ::grins:: I would appreciate credit for the pattern, though. Please do not post this as your pattern. That would be inconsiderate and will cause the Gods of Discourtesy to take notice of you.

I used the House colors, as mentioned in the Harry Potter universe, for my earrings. But any 2 color combinations could be used. You can also change the number of rows of each color. Use more or less rows and/or sets to create your own pattern. I wouldn’t do more than a total of 40 rows (my pattern is 38 rows) or the earrings will be too long and look out of proportion when worn.

Materials & Supplies:
size 0 needles
perl cotton in 2 colors (I think mine is size 5)
2 pieces of lightweight interfacing approx 3/4” x 3 1/2”
needle & thread
a few straight pins
2 split rings or jump rings
2 earring hooks or studs with attached rings
small pliers (to open hooks & add rings)
clear nail polish
tapestry needle to attach fringe

MC - 1 set is 6 rows
CC - 1 set is 2 rows

Cast on 10 stitches in any non-stretchy cast on. Starting with MC, alternate sets until you have 5 sets of MC. Bind off - use a non-stretchy bind off. Cut perl cotton, leaving a tail long enough to sew the scarf’s long sides together. You’ll close the short sides with fringe.

Fold 1 piece of interfacing in half. It should fit nicely inside the folded scarf. If not, trim it to fit. It doesn’t have to go all the way to each end. It’s used to give the scarf some stability and to give you something to sew on when you finish the scarf.

Using the pins, carefully match the stripes and pin through both sides of the scarf to hold it closed while you sew it shut. I used a simple running stitch up the side, then knotted off & pushed the tail inside the scarf. Be sure you enclose all the tails & edges inside so the construction doesn’t show.

I added fringe in both colors, alternating MC-CC-MC-CC-MC; and using the perl cotton. If you have matching shades of embroidery floss, that would give you a softer fringe, and you might be able to add more fringe than I could.

Fold the scarf in half at an angle. Place your first stitch into the scarf with your needle & thread about 1/2” down from the center top. Be sure you do not split any of the perl cotton. Your knot should hide down underneath the scarf stitches next to the interfacing. Take one or two stitches to hold the scarf at an angle. Always go between the stitches of the scarf, never over or through them. This way, your stitches won’t show on the scarf. Slip the needle back up to the folded edge of the scarf. You can carefully stitch across the top edge or not. Do not cut your thread yet.

Now add your findings. First, open the loop at the bottom of the hook, slip the split ring on, and close the loop. You can use jump rings, but they are more likely to open when you don’t want them to. You can use a stud finding with a loop on it for hanging, but you’ll need to slip the stud loop onto the split ring because those loops usually don’t open, and if you do open one, you weaken it seriously.

Once your hook or stud is on the split ring, place the split ring at the center top of your scarf. Be sure the side you like best is facing front, and sew the ring onto the scarf with 2 or 3 stitches. Knot off, being careful the knot slides up right next to the thread. Using the tip of a straight pin, place a tiny dot of nail polish on the thread to lock the knot. Be careful - try not to get any on the perl cotton as the polish can cause a color change as well as creating a hard spot when it dries. You want that on the knot, not on your scarf.

Be very careful when changing from MC to CC that you don’t pull hard on the CC. If you don’t leave a bit of slack on the edge of the scarf, you won’t be able to sew the sides together later.

If you use anything smaller than size 5 perl cotton, you might want to use smaller needles. I chose to use a needle size that would be available to anyone. I normally use some needles I made myself from 12 gauge florist wire by cutting 2 lengths of wire & gluing a large bead to one end. You’ll want to smooth the working end with an emery board or something similar so the cotton won’t catch on it.

You could try using embroidery floss; but remember, it has 6 individual strands and will be much harder to work with. There are a lot more colors available in it, though. You know your own abilities, so try it if you have the patience.

Woke up this morning to find a whole pile of wiggly things on my crafting desk. After some research, I discovered that these are a variety of Flobber worms, commonly known as Rainbow Flobber Worms. Thus far, apparently, no one has discovered where they come from, what they eat, or when they sleep. Their eyes always seem to be open. The only thing that has been discovered about them is that they love to keep your place in a book.

Altho the idea of making Rainbow Flobber Worms is my own, you'll find the pattern I used for to create them here:

I used to make these back when my now-grown children were very young. Now my grandkids play with them. I think the pattern I used back then came from a magazine called Workbasket, which is now out of print.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Apparation class assignment

Our Apparation Professor has assigned us a quiz .... to make a cozy. So, since I couldn't seem to stay asleep last night, I decided she might be right. A cup of tea would suit just fine .... but I didn't have a cozy for it. So I found some patterns on Ravelry, chose one & knitted it up. Here's a scan of it. Not the greatest, but you can see the cozy. Some day, I'll get a digital camera with a macro program & perhaps even learn how to use it.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Snowy Owls

The Snowy Owl was first classified in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus, the Swedish Swedish naturalist who developed binomial nomenclature to classify and organize plants and animals. The Snowy Owl is a large, diurnal white Owl that has a rounded head, yellow eyes and black bill. The feet are heavily feathered. A distinctive white Owl, their overall plumage is variably barred or speckled with thin, black, horizontal bars or spots. Females and juveniles are more heavily marked than males - adult males may be almost pure white, although they have up to three tail bands. Adult females are distinctly barred throughout, and have from four to six tail bands. Immatures are very heavily barred throughout, and dark spotting may co-dominate or dominate the overall plumage. Intensity of dark spotting varies with the sex of the immatures, females being the darkest. Juveniles are uniformly brown with scattered white tips of down. Snowy Owls are active during the daytime, from dawn to dusk. They have a direct, strong, and steady flight with deliberate, powerful down strokes and quick upstrokes. They make short flights, close to the ground, from perch to perch, and usually perches on the ground or a low post. During hot weather, they can thermoregulate by panting and spreading their wings. Snowy Owls are very aggressive when defending their nest. The Snowy Owl is a bird of Arctic tundra or open grasslands and fields. They rarely venture into forested areas. During southward movements they appear along lake shores, marine coastlines, marshes, and even roost on buildings in cities and towns. In the Arctic, they normally roost on pingaluks (rises in the tundra) and breed from low valley floors up to mountain slopes and plateaus over 1,000 meters (3,000 feet) in elevation. When wintering in the Arctic, they frequent wind-swept tundra with little snow or ice accumulation. At more southern latitudes they typically frequents agricultural areas.

Information found at:

HLBOE extra credit assignment


I've learned how to add pictures to my blog!! Over there <~~~ you can see 'my' picture. Well, it isn't *really* me .... I mean, that isn't what I really look like ... but I don't wanna scare anyone by posting a 'real' pic, so I found one that looks like what I *wish* I looked like ... and it has a katt, er, cat, too, so it's perfect! If you click on the picture, you'll be magically transported over to the site where I found the picture ... full of the most wonderful art that the artist offers free to the public for personal, non-commercial use. Please don't abuse her generosity, but do feel free to browse her art and maybe use it on your personal site.

And then you'll see a little wizard guy over there, too. He's from my newest group, where I'm doing this marvelous swap. Click on him, and he'll magically transport you over to the group's site so you can see what I'm involved in. Well, one of the things I'm involved in, anyhow!

If my spoilee is reading this ......

Green, green, I see something green .......
something sharp and shiny ........
something long but tiny ......
lean, mean, green machine ......
what's this thing that I have seen?

nope, not gonna tell ya! nyah, nyah, nyah!!! :::snickers:::

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New swap!!

::sigh:: I've been rather, er, forgetful about posting here. Real Life tends to bite me in hidden parts and get in the way, causing me to, ah ...... forget. Things.

Anyhow, I've joined a new swap .... it's on Ravelry and it's called 'Hogwart's Little Bit of Everything Swap' and I think it's going to be so much fun! There will be seven swaps total, over a period of 3 1/2 years ..... that's a long time! But they all sound like so much fun, that I intend to stay for all of them!!

Got to go send a new message to my spoilee ... now that I know who she is :)