FO Friday: If Hermione was in Ravenclaw

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Pattern: Hermione’s Everyday Sock

Yarn: Regia 4-fädig, colour 05395 blau-weiß color, custom dyed to be Ravenclaw blue and grey.

Heel: The dreaded ‘Afterthought’

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Seeking Ravenclaw

I just couldn’t find the right yarn, so I dyed my own. My co-worker asked me to make a pair of socks for her daughter for Christmas, made in the colours of her Hogwarts House, Ravenclaw.  I was heading to Toronto last week and thought, since I’m on Queen Street, I’ll take a trip to Romni. Surely, they should have some self-striping yarn in blue and grey/silver. Romni has rows upon rows of yarn, but I couldn’t find the right yarn.  I found something close, though:

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This is Regia 4-fädig, and I think it was part of a sports-team/college colours line, but it was a blue (check) self striping (check) sock yarn (check). It just wasn’t grey.  Halfway between buying it and walking to my car, I thought it could be fun to try and dye it, making the white grey and hopefully making the blue a little deeper.  If it works, awesome! If not, it was an experiment and I’d have a blue and something self-striping yarn that could become socks sometime down the line.

Unfortunately, grey is a really challenging colour to achieve with food dyes as most grey/black colours are comprised of many different colours to look black.  Example, when I dyed yarn for my Captain America shawl, they grey looks great in the slow cooker, but when it dried, it became obvious the colours broke, giving a variegated purple/green look.

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It was pretty, and it looks great in the finished shawl, but this certainly wasn’t what I was trying to achieve.

As the Regia soaked, I experimented with a few colour combos. Ultimately, I was happiest with the look of Americolor Soft Gel Paste in ‘Slate.’  You can test your dye by dipping paper towels into what you’ve prepared.  All the Wilton tests were giving off too much green, but this one looked like it would be a muted grey with a hint of green/blue halo. I held my breath, added the dye to the slow cooker, and walked away, lest I compulsively checked the crock pot every three minutes or so.

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To prepare the dye, I used 1 cup of water, 2 tbsp of vinegar, and about 1/4 tsp of the Americolor gel (fun fact, I had to type ‘color’ about four times to spell it the American way). Ultimately, I prepared the dye twice, so it had about 1/2 tsp of the colour added.

The finished skein?

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I am rather pleased! There’s only the hint of a green hue, but overall, it’s grey and blue and oh-so-Ravenclaw!

A 2017 Blog Lookback

As 2017 has drawn to its inevitable close and we’ve welcomed the new year, I thought I would use this first post of 2018 to look back at the past year. These are my top viewed posts from the year.

2017 Yarn Challenge

Every year, one of my LYS hosts a yarn challenge: they choose the yarn, participants choose their design. This is my post introducing the challenge.

‘How Many Pairs of Socks Do You Need’

My co-worker asked this question one day at lunch; I thought about my answer and wrote about it here.

Hagrid Was A  Knitter

I loved this post. I love Harry Potter and adore patterns inspired by this series.

A Sontag by Any Other Name

In perusing a 100+ year old knitting publication, they had a pattern looking like a sontag. I looked at their pattern and compared it to Godey’s classic pattern from the 1860s.

Taking Your Knitting for a Walk

Inspired by a post by This Knitted Life, I tried something outside of my comfort zone and tried knitting and walking. I loved it and wrote about my experience.

Story Behind the Sontag

While this wasn’t written in 2017, it was my most viewed post for the year.

Thank you for reading my humble blog, and I truly hope you’ll continue to follow my adventures into 2018.

Hagrid Was A Knitter

I have read the Harry Potter series more times than I can count. I’m always at some point in the series as it’s a series I can pick up and return to at any point. There is something so comforting about a familiar book. Ultimately I know Harry will win, but I follow the heroes along, laugh with them and mourn with them.

Case in point, a few days ago, I finished Deathly Hallow and immediately started Philosopher’s Stone.  Even having read PS countless times, and it is arguably the simplest book in the series, I will still notice little details that I may have skimmed past in previous readings, like this one:

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“People stared more than ever on the train.  Hagrid took up two seats and sat knitting what looked like a canary-yellow circus tent.”

Yes, Hagrid was a knitter.  How this detail escaped me before, I’m not sure, but it jumped out at me this time!

This isn’t the only instance of knitting being mentioned through the series.  Mrs Weasley was infamous for knitting the Weasley jumpers, sweaters gifted to the Weasley children, and Harry also, every Christmas, much to Ron’s chagrin.  In Order of the Phoenix, Hermione was using magic to speed up her knitting of hats in an attempt to free the Hogwarts House Elves, and perhaps my favourite mention of knitting in the Harry Potter series was Dumbledore’s proclamation of his love for knitting patterns in Half-Blood Prince.

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My love for this book series has understandably crept into my knitting.  A few years ago, my co-worker commissioned two House scarfs, and I happy obliged.

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Year 1-2, left, and Year 3-4, right

I used the basic pattern structure of the Year 3-4 scarf to improvise my own Hogwarts House Hand Warmers. Yes, I’m Hufflepuff and Proud!

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As well, I’ve long proclaimed my love for Erica Lueder’s Harry Potter inspired patterns on my blog.  Her Hermione Every Day Socks are well known and often top the ‘Hot Right Now’ search on Ravelry, but I highly encourage you to check out her other patterns, most of which were inspired in one way or another by a Harry Potter character.

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Left to right: Hermione’s Every Day Sock; Weasley Rib; Devil Snare Sock

I have another Erica Lueder pattern on my needles right now, and I’m a few rounds plus the toe away from being finished the pair.  I can’t wait to show pictures of the finished socks.  The pattern was tedious to follow, but my goodness the finished fabric is beautiful. Totally worth it.

Also on my needles is the Time Turner Shawl by Elizabeth Saxton.  Saxton describes the lace as being reminiscent of Hermione’s time turner from Prisoner of Azkaban, and when looking for a pattern to truly highlight my stunning Manos yarn, I knew this was the one.

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Are you a Harry Potter fan? Can you add any Harry Potter inspired patterns to this (working) list?

Dishcloths Galore!

Last week, I finished the second of two Harry Potter Gryffindor Scarves.  Molly Weasley would have been proud, if I do say so myself.  The scarves were delivered on Friday and there were two very happy Gryffindors who got to wear them.  They sent me an adorable video thank you over Facebook, and it truly made my weekend.

Year 1-2, left, and Year 3-4, right
Year 1-2, left, and Year 3-4, right

After finishing these scarves, which had been on my needles for almost two months, I turned my focus to projects that will give me immediate satisfaction and completion – dishcloths.  From the quick results to the fact that they are just so darn functional, dishcloths are a great project.  I also love the bright colours of the yarns – surprise, surprise right?

I got three dishcloths knit this weekend: The Aunt May Dishcloth, The Right Angles Dishcloth, and a Feather and Fan dishcloth, pattern from the ball band of an old ball of Bernat cotton yarn.  I love the angles and the unique textures that the first two patterns give, and the feather and fan, I knit simply because the pattern was conveniently close when I was ready to cast on!

Feather & Fan, Right Angles, and Aunt May
Feather & Fan, Right Angles, and Aunt May

I will be making a big, grown up decision in the next day or two.  If all goes to plan, these cloths will come in handy.  More details next week, knitting friends.