Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Elder Wand

I'm a geek.  I dressed up to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1).  I brought along my trusty verson of the Elder Wand (one of the three Deathly Hallows themselves!)  Here's how I made it, so you can have your own as well!

Begin with a 14" dowel (I used a 1/4" diameter)

Attach a small ball of polymer clay approximately every 2 inches.  Make one end ball slightly smaller, and use the removed clay to enlarge the ball second from the other end.  Use a ball-ended tool to create indentations in each ball to add texture.  Add a glob of clay to one end.  Stand the wand upright to flatten this glob of clay.  Again using the ball-end tool, draw a line downward from where the clay attaches, increasing pressure as you go down to create a decorative texture.  Bake according to the clay's instructions.
I suggest making two small stands and using those to hold the wand sideways to bake.

Sand thoroughly and sand extra on the unadorned end to create a slight taper.  Add a base coat of off-white or cream colored paint.  Add a second coat if needed.

Create a wash of dark brown paint, 2 parts water to one part paint.  Paint the whole wand, allowing the paint to pool in each indentation.  Paint a silver band two balls from the base end to serve as a handle.  Coat the entire wand with a gloss coating. 

There you have it!  Your very own Elder Wand!  14", Elder, with a Thestral Tail Hair core.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Ganon has been sleeping for a nice 6 hour stretch each night - which is great for my rest!  He has started to wake up in pain, though, as his teeth begin to work their way to the surface.  Poor kid. :(  He also likes to nurse about twice as often when the teething pain hits, so I can't get much else done.  Ah well, at least I have the week off of homework!  He's gotten his next round of vaccines as well, and was such a champ again!  This time, I didn't even get his pants back on before he stopped crying!

His little fingernails grow so quickly, I clip them almost every day, and they're still always sharp!  It wouldn't be such an issue if he hadn't started to grab everyone's face...  At least he gives lots of sloppy kisses!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

House Scarves

I hate working with DPNs.  I am endlessly frustrated by the variation in tension where the needles meet.  I prefer to work in the round on short circulars (<3 my Boye Needlemaster).  I do use DPNs for things too small to knit with even a 18" circular.  This is precisely why I have not tested the small and medium sizes of the tube-knit scarf.  While the patterns are listed for Gryffindor scarves, they are just as useful for any other Hogwarts House, with a color substitution. 
Sizes are as follows:
Small: Toddler (3')
Medium: Child (5')
Large: Adult (7')

Pattern written for size L(S, M)

size 10.5 needles
Worsted weight yarn (I used Red Heart in Ranch Red (MC) and Gold (CC).)

Tube-Knit trapped bar Gryffindor Scarf:
gauge: 4sts and 5 rows per inch

Using MC, Cast on 60 (20, 40) sts.
Join, being careful not to twist
Knit in the round for 15 (8, 10) rows
*change to CC, knit 3 (2, 2) rows
change to MC, knit 4 (2, 3) rows
change to CC, knit 3 (2, 2) rows
change to MC, knit 25 (15, 20) rows
repeat from * until scarf measures 7 (3, 5) feet
change to MC, knit 15 (8, 10) rows
cut 120 (40, 80) pieces of 4" yarn in MC
Lay edge flat, attach to both sides of scarf in 2-strand bundles to each pair of stitches, sealing the end of the scarf.

Double Knit Gryffindor Scarf:
Using MC, Cast on 60 (20, 40) sts.

Knit a 1x1 rib (K1, P1) across, slipping the first stitch of each row knitwise.
Repeat for 15 (8, 10) rows
*change to CC, work in established pattern for 3 (2, 2) rows
change to MC, work in established pattern for 4 (2, 3) rows

change to CC, work in established pattern for 3 (2, 2) rows

change to MC, work in established pattern for 25 (15, 20) rows

repeat from * until scarf measures 7 (3, 5) feet
change to MC, work in established pattern for 15 (8, 10) rows
cut 120 (40, 80) pieces of 4" yarn in MC
Lay edge flat, attach to both sides of scarf in 2-strand bundles to each pair of stitches, sealing the end of the scarf.

For either pattern, to switch to a first- or second-year scarf (even stripes), ignore the color changes in the pattern, and instead make 4" (2", 3") stripes of each color, beginning and ending with MC.  The tassels should alternate colors, requiring 60 (20, 40) 6" strands in each of MC and CC.

Monday, November 15, 2010


If you haven't noticed, my updating has been a bit irregular lately.  I'm doing my best to keep up and make sure there is a post-dated post for each day I've missed, but between holiday preparations and end-of-semester schoolwork, I've been a bit swamped.

Ganon has been working hard, too!  He has taken to reaching out and grabbing things.  His favorite thing to grab is whatever I'm holding at the moment.  He has started stealing food and shiny objects off the table (or out of your hands!) whenever you take your eyes off him, and loves to grab the little gerber puffs he's been eating.  The only trouble is that he forgets to let go before he pulls his hand out of his mouth...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Baby Jayne Hat

So cute!  So cunning!  So tiny!  A Jayne hat fit for a wee one! 

Size 8 Double Pointed Needles
1/4 skein Red Heart Super Saver yarn in each of 3 colors:

gauge: 1.5 sts per centimeter
Size: 42 - TK cm head circumference

Using Pumpkin,
Cast on 64 stitches, distributed evenly over DPNs
Work 2x2 ribbing (k2, p2, repeat) for 3 rows, or 1cm.
Work stockinette stitch (knit every round) until piece measures 2.5"
Change to Gold
Work stockinette stitch for 2.5"
*K2, K2tog, repeat from * around (48 sts)
*K2tog, K, repeat from * around (32 sts)
K2 tog every round until 8 sts remain
Cut yarn, leaving a long tail.  Pull through all 8 sts and pull tight

Using Carrot,
Count 7 sts from the beginning of the cast-on edge.
Pick up 17 sts
Row 1: Sl1, knit across
Row 2: Sl1p, purl across
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until earflap measures 2"
Row 3: K2tog, knit to last 2 sts, K2tog
Row 4: purl across
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until 3 sts remain, K3tog, tie off, leaving 5" tail

Count 7 sts in the other direction, pick up 17 more sts
Repeat instructions for second earflap

Cut 2 10" pieces of Carrot yarn. Fold in half and pull the looped end partly through the tips of each earflap, then pull the cut ends through the loop and pull tight.  3 strands should hang from each ear flap.

Using all 3 colors, make a 2" pom-pon and attach to the top of the hat

Voila!  Cunning, don't ya think?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Why Ganon?

Why did I name my son Ganon?  No, it wasn't a drug-induced whim in the hospital, it was a carefully thought out process that I had planned even before my pregnancy.  I began playing The Legend of Zelda on the NES when I was a toddler.  Playing Nintendo with my grandmother is one of my earliest, and happiest, memories.  I can proudly say that I have owned every Nintendo console (and handheld) and played every Zelda game since.  Zelda has been a constant in my life.  It was there, no matter what else changed.  At each major transition point in my life, a new Zelda game was released.  Coincidence, I know, but it still helped strengthen the emotional bond I formed with this childhood 'friend'.  It feels strange to speak in such a way about a video game, but it's true, Zelda has gotten me through all the tough times. 

So I knew that I wanted to name my children after The Legend of Zelda.  But why Ganon?  Well, the three recurring characters are Link, Zelda, and Ganon.  Link is the legendary hero, the chosen one, the knight.  He steps up to every challenge, defeats every foe, and emerges unscathed.  Zelda is the princess.  She is ever vigilant, ever patient, and kicks some ass when needed (Sheik, anyone?).  But Ganon... Ganon is the king.  He is ambitious, persistent, cunning.  Though he is never the victor, he is never truly defeated.  No matter where the game takes you... when you reach the end, there he is.  Ganon.  Always Ganon.  He even has a TV Trope saying as much.  Aside from all that... I think we all know that Ganon is the most badass.

I have always known I wanted 3 children - two boys and a girl (along with every little girl's dream of twins).  So I also knew that I wanted to use all 3 major character names from Zelda.  There's always the fact that Ganon is the oldest of the 3, and that he is separate from the other two.  (Part of me is still holding out for that dream of twins!)  The Triforce of Power (Ganon's piece) is also the top of the completed Triforce.  So there it was, obvious in my mind: My eldest son would be named Ganon.

My choice was reaffirmed when he arrived, with an olive complexion, a full head of red hair, gold flecks in his eyes (once they lightened from the black they were at birth), and a hairline that nearly reached his eyebrows.  Any doubts were irradicated and I was only left to hope that he would grow to love his name as much as I do. :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I thought it would be prudent to make a list of abbreviations I use in my patterns here.  I use pretty standard abbreviations, and an experienced knitter/crocheter should be able to figure out the rest...  I do try to explain any abbreviations I use within the pattern, but sometimes I forget.  I will also try to update this list as I use more abbreviations.

Knitting abbreviations:
K: Knit
P: Purl
K2tog or P2tog: Knit or purl two stitches together
Sl: slip stitch
Slp: slip purlwise
AxB ribbing: Work "A" Knit stitches, then "B" Purl stitches, and repeat

Crochet abbreviations:
Ch: Chain stitch
Sl st: slip stitch
SC: Single Crochet
HDC: Half Double Crochet
DC: Double Crochet
TC: Treble Crochet
inc: Increase (work two stitches in the next stitch)
SC2tog: Single Crochet 2 together
dec: invisible decrease

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Five Months

Such a roller coaster it is, having a baby.

Ganon's new favorite activity is to stand on my lap, with me holding both of his hands, and jump and bounce.  He will do this, laughing, for nearly half an hour at a time.  His little legs are getting so muscular, it's rather shocking!  He has also been reaching out and grabbing things on his own.  The most common target: my mouth.  He will lay in my arms, one hand firmly clenched around my lower lip and teeth, while I talk to him (or to visitors or on the phone).  From what I've read, he's using his hands to help figure out how to speak.  I guess if it's beneficial, I'll just put up with it!  Speaking of teeth, Ganon's first have yet to show.  Some days, the little (painful) bulges on his gums seem ready to sprout a tooth, then the swelling will recede for a few days to a week.  It's very frustrating for the both of us.

He's been eating more foods now - a full variety of cereals and vegetables!  He likes the baby cereals, but isn't terribly thrilled with them.  Foods with more flavor, however, are a real treat!  He has loved everything we have given him so far.  (Green beans, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots)  The only problem is that he sometimes gets so excited about eating that he sends himself into a fit of the giggles!  Have you ever tried to eat with the giggles?  I can't.  Neither can Ganon.  So I have struggled to find that perfect balance between fun and too much fun.

Perhaps the most exciting thing to happen this month is Ganon expressing his opinions on things (his face is so expressive!)  His favorite animals are lions, pandas, and birds.  His favorite shapes: circles and stars.  And of course, all children have favorite colors.  Ganon's are red and blue.

Those are the newest things this month, hopefully I'll have some tooth news next update!