Saturday, November 24, 2012


View from the airplane window over Arizona

View from the airplane window over Washington
I'm home, and it's great to be back.

This morning, at about 7 am the lake and hills looked like this:

not quite one hour later, they looked like this:

I cannot say how lovely it was to watch the sunrise over the Cascades.  It is great to be back home.


I worked as diligently as possible on my last few HPKCHC projects while I was flying and in Arizona, that is, when I was not baking, and visiting, etc.

Another Sherlock:

I decided to knit another Dearstalker hat.   I originally wanted to knit this hat for my nephew, J, who will turn 6 next month.  My plan was to give him a Nate the Great book by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, a magnifying glass, and a hat like the one Nate wears (or Sherlock Holmes wears).  I found a pattern on Ravelry, and knit one up last month, and it was HUGE. I gave it to my son, Pookie, who wore it for Halloween.
So, how to make it actually fit?  And not a seventeen year old, but a five year old?  I cut back quite a bit on the wedges, and it worked a lot better.  Also, the second hat is knit in a gray tweed instead of the brown used in the original version.

Have to say he seemed to love all of the gifts.  I turned in this project for my DADA (Defense against the Dark Arts) Class.  The assignment was to do a craft you never do, or use materials you don't usually use, in other words, try something new.  Of course, I HAVE knit this hat once before, but this is only my second time knitting with bulky yarn.  I rarely even use worsted weight for knitting.  To move from sock weight to bulky was indeed weird.  Of course, part of the weirdness is that the hat was finished in no time at all.  I was able to make the brims relatively stiff.  And the hat is very thick and warm.  Bulky has its uses, but I doubt I will use it often.


I cannot explain how fun it is to work on a BROOM  project.  This project, more than any other, has made me write bits of fan fiction, or little stories putting a new character (myself, of course!) into the Harry Potter World. 

The B.R.O.O.M. projects are actually called Order of the Phoenix Missions.  So, why do we say BROOM?  That stands for Basic Request for Ordinary Order Mission.   Anyway, the idea is that the Order of the Phoenix gets permission from the Head Mistress of Hogwarts to recruit students to help in the defense of Hogwarts against a dark wizard attack.  Even though these missions can be dangerous, the danger to all is great enough that brave and discreet students can volunteer.  So, you read up on the possible missions, then propose a project that fits the storyline.

My story deals with defense of the walls of Hogwarts.  I wrote a story where I noticed that there were cracks in some of the outer walls at Hogwarts, and I proposed creating some specially textured squares that would not only fix the cracks, but make the walls stronger.  Of course, in the real world, these squares are my Spa Washcloths that I started in the Liz Marino Gift Knits Club that I am knitting for Christmas gifts.  As I worked on my washcloths, I mentioned little bits of my "research" into patterns and textures in almost all of my class project turn ins.  The Order Missions are secret, obviously!, so I would never really say what I was doing out loud, but I would write passages like this one for Ancient Runes.  The story is that I am knitting with James Potter (I have been teaching him to knit for relaxation... another whole story line) when I notice he is distracted by a red headed girl walking in the courtyard below.  This is what I wrote:

      f1bercat, without looking up from her cotton washcloth she is casting on, smiles and says, "Someone, ahem, I mean something interesting down in the courtyard?"

James blushes a bit, then says, "I think the pattern of the cobblestones is very pretty, I mean, very sturdy looking.

"The cobblestones?" asks f1bercat peering doubtfully over the wall.  Just then, the same group of girls passes below again, the sun shining off the red hair of one of them.  "Sturdy?" she pauses and looks intently at the cobblestones below.  "What a great idea."  She rips back her washcloth and begins casting on again.  "Cobblestone pattern," she mutters.

James looks mystified, but f1bercat just keeps knitting, not mentioning her secret BROOM mission.


All a bit of silly fun, but actually, I have enjoyed the writing of these little stories, and the challenge to keep the general story line going.

Anyway, I have finished all 10 of my washcloths (plus many more that I knit for other things), and am ready to write up the last bit of story and turn them in.
Here are the first 5 I knit last month (October):
Here are the 5 I knit this month (November):
And here are all 10:

No two are alike.  They are all just experiments and playing around with texture patterns.  I might keep making these to have a selection on hand for quick gifts for friends.

That's all for today.  O!  except that I noticed when I returned home that our bird feeder was out of seeds.  I refilled it this morning, and was happy to see that the birds had been waiting for me.

Peace to all.

shaping the planet with a finished B.R.O.O.M. shhhhhhh.

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