Thursday, 24 April 2008

Exciting witches..

Things are getting very exciting in the preparations for the next sock kit swap. Headmistress Wartbobble has set up all kinds of marvellous wheezes for those witches and wizards who will be taking part. She's even going to have knitting duels! Amazing!! I do hope I will be able to have a go at this, although the first one takes place when Clan Wigworthy are camping with the Pendle Witches Institute.

While the group has a rather tragic history we have fared very well since the Statute of Secrecy was introduced, and now number some 200 witches and wizards from Pennine districts. The end of May sees our annual meet which, although it includes some serious political discussion, is mostly a week of fun and games. The boys are practising hard for the under 8s quidditch match! Fortunately we are not affected by the traditional rivalry between Lancashire and Yorkshire that exists in local muggle communities. Well, perhaps we are just a little - last year I caught Terry (5 at the time) hexing a 7-year-old wizard from Trawden who had called him a 'Dirty Tyke' ('Tyke' being slang for a native of Yorkshire).

In knitting news I am glad to report that I have now finished and published my designs for house socks for Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. They are for sale in the wonderful witches knitting forum, Ravelry, and in my Etsy shop.

Since my kit arrived last week a spinning friend of mine has suggested that I could make some beaded yarn with the beads that Lily Finnegan had included in the kit. What an excellent idea! So I've bought some beading needles and something called 'nymo' from 'Crafty Witches R Us', and am all ready to have a go. Alas, I think I will have to get the time-turner out to be able to do it, for I feel utterly overfaced just with completing the house sock designs I commited myself to doing. I would also love to do a bag for Professor Wartbobble's current design competition, especially as I've paraded a little as a 'designer', which makes it embarassing not to enter something. Would Gryffindors and Slytherins mind awfully if I took time out from the sock marathon to do so?

Most exciting of all is that my twin-sister, Lizzie Wychwood, has decided to join the sock kit swap. While Lizzie is not much of a knitter (she has already asked if I could knit for her the yarn she gets in her package!), she is keen on muggle crafting in general, and particularly good at quilting. We've discussed how I can support her with the swap, and I've already agreed to dye yarn for her to put in the package for her spoilee! She is quite excited about doing it, and will be setting up her own magical portal soon to aid social communication with other swappers.

Lizzie is an accountant for Gringotts - a much more modern career-minded witch than housewifely me. Despite differences in outlook like this we are actually identical twins, at least as identical as the famous Weasley twins. Luckily as the swap is not conducted in person we won't be encountering the usual confusions and mix-ups that have peppered our lives because of the similarity between us (honestly - I'm scared someone is going to start asking me complicated banking questions every time I pop into Diagon Alley to do a bit of shopping!). I think my friends in the swap will like her, and I'm sure they will make her very welcome.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Owl delivery

Yes- it's here!! An owl arrived this morning with a very exciting package, my sock kit from Lily Finnegan. I was so excited I nearly tore it open straight away, then remembered that my dear friends in the swap would want to share the excitement of discovery with me, so I ran for the camera. First I got a picture of the unopened parcel. I noted with delight that it had some very interesting Swedish delivery markings upon it. I love to experience things from other cultures that I don't normally see, so I took a close-up of the markings for posterity.

Despite the care Lily had so obviously taken in packaging the kit there was a rip in the back of the packet - I think her owl must have been as curious as me to know what was inside and attempted to claw it open! There was all kinds of packaging fluff sticking to the bag inside. Luckily a quick hoovering spell sorted it out, and I laid everything out so that I could show you what I got:

Next to the stitchmarkers (beautiful aren't they?) you can see a little tube filled with tiny bronze beads. I'm going to have loads of fun thinking of things to make with them. The edible/drinkable goodies were really interesting because they were labelled in Swedish. I had no idea what they were until I opened them! One of them said "Emma's skafferi" on the packet - very clever of Lily to find a personalized treat for me! Apparently it means 'Emma's Pantry' (my translation tool from Skrivenshafts came in very handy this morning!), and the packet contained a baked liquorice sweet bread-type delight! The other brown packet says "Ă–nskebrunnen, Ă–nskebrunnsblandning, sort: svart" on it!! I can't find what the first two words mean, but I think they have something to do with potion ingredients because the stuff inside looks like tea. As well as the little pieces of dried leaf material there are little pink hearts in it - I think they might melt to add a particular flavour to the draught? "Sort: svart" means "Kind: black"! The red and gold packet contains little chocolate horses filled with caramel. The packet tells me that they are a gift from Sweden. I'm sure my little wizards are going to enjoy helping me to eat them!
The stitchmarker bag also contained a cute leather and braid bracelet that fastens with a button. I think Lily may have made it herself?

Being a knitter the things that most delighted me were, of course, the handknitted and felted bag, and the yarn. I like the bag so much that it is going into use as my everyday handbag! And the yarn is just to die for, don't you agree? I'm thinking of using some of the silver I have left from making Emma Gorordok's bag to knit a lacy cuff at the top of the socks I make with it. I know really I should use bronze, because it's meant to be for Ravenclaw socks. Nevertheless I think a sparkly whitish silver will look awesome with that shade of blue. What do y'all think?

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Jumping Wizards!

What an exciting week! Would you believe some visitors like my ramblings here so much that they've awarded me a prize? A dear girl called Cecilia is sending me some lovely yarn in Ravenclaw colours from Knitpickery (witches knitting mall). I can hardly wait and am already pondering possible designs for a hat or mittens with it. Thank you Cecilia!!

Following the difficulties we had with the camera on holiday, Mr. Wigworthy has bought us a new one. Unbelievably it was a lot less galleons than our old one even though it takes better pictures. The magical features work very well, so I am at last able to decoarate this portal with some proper moving portraits of family and friends. This one is of our two littlest wizards. Very bouncy boys!!