Wednesday, 30 January 2008

HSKS 4 Scavenger and Picture Hunt

Here are my answers to the Scavenger and Picture Hunt.

1. What was Harry dreaming about the first time he woke up with his scar on fire?

b. Voldemort and Wormtail plotting to kill

2. What is the problem with leprechaun gold?

a. It vanishes after a few hours

3. Why did Mad-Eye Moody turn Malfoy into a ferret?

c. Malfoy attached Harry when Harry's back was turned

4. Sirius warns Harry to be careful around Karkaroff because he had been a Death Eater. Which one of the professors at Hogwarts, who also used to be a Death Eater, is frequently bothered by Karkaroff?

Answer is Snape

5. Voldemort could have used the blood from any foe to make the potion that revived him work, but he held out for Harry's blood. Why?

c. The special protection Harry received from his mother would also pass to Voldemort

6. How old would Frank have been on his next birthday?

d. 77

7. Amos Diggory works for?

b. The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures

8. Who shared a carriage with the three friends on the way from the train to Hogwarts?

9. What date in October did the delegates from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang arrive?

a. 30th

10. What color were Percy's dress robes at the Yule Ball?

a. Navy Blue

Picture Scavenger Hunt Links

Mr. Ollivander

Mad-Eye Moody


World Cup Tournament

Dark Mark

Monday, 28 January 2008


I was in need of Retail Therapy this Saturday so I totally forgot that ITV were showing The Prisoner of Azkaban. I got home in time for the last 10 minutes! I'll have to try and watch my DVD copy before next Saturday when they are showing The Goblet of Fire!!!

I'm finding it really difficult to put together a package for my swap partner as she doesn't answer my emails (sorry, owls) and doesn't Blog much about knitting. So far I have selected the needles to send, chosen a bag pattern that EVERYONE will like (no offence there) and have narrowed the yarn choice down to 2 types. I'm not sure about the stitchmarkers yet and I am really stumped when it comes to the 'extras' as she has given me no clues......still there's plenty of time left in this swap for her to give out some useful information.

I am enjoying the swap though, patiently waiting each day for the Ravenclaw riddle, getting frustrated when it arrives whilst I am asleep or committed to Family things. I am also at the bottom of the leader board with just 1 point!!! Will have to try harder on that one. Quidditch starts this week and although I have some idea about what we are supposed to do, I really haven't got a clue and don't even know if the 4 hour window we've been given to play in, is a suitable time for Europeans - will have to try and find out.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Thrifty Knitters Sock Club

I've joined this Group on Ravelry. It's a Sock Club for people who don't want or can't afford to join one of those Sock Clubs that sends out yarn and patterns each month to its members. In the Ravelry Group, two patterns are issued each month and you choose which one to knit.
January's patterns are Cabletini (toe-up) or Bellatrix (cuff down). I have chosen Cabletini because my first Bellatrix was not a success and, having frogged a whole sock, I couldn't face doing it again.
I am using a Red sock yarn, cheap and cheerful off ebay (about £2). My first attempt at photos wer not successful because of the light, I'll have another go during daylight at the weekend. I'm really bored with the pattern though and I'm beginning to wonder if I have enough energy to actually finish the pair before the end of the month. It's a very nice pattern and I'm sure I will wear the finished socks, they're just boring to knit.
Why not join us for February - patterns are Earl Grey and Sydney......

Friday, 18 January 2008

Time for Reading

I haven't felt like knitting really so I decided to catch up on some reading. It's the Richard & Judy Book Club again and this time the 10 books are:-
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Random Acts of Heroic Love by Danny Scheinmann
Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon
A Quiet Belief in Angels by Roger Jon Ellory
Notes from an Exhibition by Patrick Gale
Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
Visible World by Mark Slouka
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
Blood River by Tim Butcher
The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies

The TV programme has already covered A Thousand Splendid Suns and although they loved it and Jeanne did too, I'm not all that interested in reading it so I'm skipping it.....I read Visible World by Mark Slouka instead as the back of the book said it was set in Prague and I really loved it there when I visited in 2006. I was really disappointed with the book though and found it hard to stick with until the end, it's very disjointed and because some parts of it deal with the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia there are some very sad and gruesome passages which are not nice to read.
The next book was much better - 'Notes from an Exhibition' by Patrick Gale. It's a complicated story to explain but it tells the story of a woman, Rachel, who is a highly gifted Artist but who also has Bi-Polar disorder. I loved every word of it.....
I've now started 'The Rose of Sebastopol' and I'll let you know what it's like after the weekend!

Thursday, 17 January 2008

The Philosopher's Stone

I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I haven't Blogged for days and I really meant to do it more often in 2008. I do have a good excuse though....On Saturday 12th I found myself with the Maxillo-Facial Surgeon having a tooth removed, the bone was infected and I can't tell you how much it all hurt. To add insult to injury, I will have to have a bone graft before I can have an implant and replace the tooth.
I was in pain Saturday/Sunday/Monday and then went back to the Dentist who decided it was infected and prescribed antibiotics. Today I went back again and had another 2.5 hours of Dental Work. I'm sure you'll understand why it's been quiet here on the GreenGreen Planet.

I spent Saturday afternoon wrapped up in a blanket watching Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Gosh they all look young. I also noticed a distinct lack of knitwear - hardly any gratuitous shots of knitted jumpers, scarves and hats in this film. The Order of the Phoenix is filled to the brim with knitwear but all we had in this film were the Christmas Letter Sweaters that Harry and Ron were given by Mrs Weasley. Next Saturday ITV are showing the Chamber of Secrets, I'm looking forward to it. (Yes even though we have them all on DVD and could, theoretically sit down and watch them at any time, I still make popcorn from scratch and provide fizzy drinks for the kids and we all watch together!)

Back soon....

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Sock a Month KAL

I must have been feeling guilty but last night I got out all of my Sock Yarn to see how much I had. I have enough for 16 pairs (not including the 3 single socks I have in the bag). I suppose that's quite small compared to some of my Knitting Friends but it seems awfully big to me....

I joined the Sock a Month KAL (sign-ups are closed now ) to help motivate me to use some of it.

Here is my first pair - Jaywalkers (yes I know I'm late to the party)

They appear much darker than they are in real life, the close-up below shows the lovely colours much better and it also shows just how well the hand painted yarn shows up in the zigzag pattern.
The yarn is Emilie Parsons Sophie's Toes, colourway Christmas Lights. It's a joy to knit with, really soft and with enough stretch to cope with the heel etc. Thanks Jeanne, I love this yarn!

To make the KAL a bit more interesting, I've added an extra challenge. I'll do one pair cuff down ( Jaywalker), 1 pair Toe-up, 1 Pair with an alternative sock architecture, 1 pair magic loop (i WILL master the magic loop) and 1 pair knitting both socks at the same time. I'll let you know how I get on!!

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Harry Potter Sock Kit Swap 4

Don't ask me why I'm joining another swap when I had TWO disappointing ones in 2007. Filled with hope and the realisation that, although I have read all 7 books and seen the movies many times, my knowledge of the books is miniscule compared to some of the other participants!

Anyway I've been sorted into Ravenclaw and been given a 'Harry Potter' name so now I can earn 5 House Points by adding a link in the sidebar. So I'm off to a reasonable start but if I could just get my head round how the rest of the swap works.....

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Review of 2007

A little late but what the heck, here's my review of 2007...
Firstly, was I Green enough? Well I'll bet I've been Greener than 95% of the planet this year (which doesn't say much for the human race really) but I know for a fact I haven't been anywhere near perfect. Here's what we did well on this year.....
1. All new light bulbs this year have been low energy ones. (now the living room is so dim in the evening that I'm going to have to buy one of those downlighters with a daylight bulb which kind of defeats the object doesn't it?)
2. We recycled almost everything in our household waste - Paper, cardboard, plastic, textiles, Green Waste etc. Waste food was composted in one of two heaps. Anything re-usable was Freecycled or taken to the Charity shop. Our bin was NEVER full so our contribution to the local landfill site was minimal.
3. We mended the tumble dryer instead of getting a new one.
4. We turned all the electrical appliances off every night instead of leaving things on standby - the exception of course is the Sky box because it really seems to hate being turned on and off and takes 3 hours to warm up.

Things I shouldn't have done but will carry on doing in 2008:-
1. Using the car to do the school run. If anyone would like to try to walk my 3 to and from school twice a day in the rain, wind and freezing cold they are welcome, it takes over an hour and you'd have to do it twice a day. Whilst you do it for me and save the planet, I'll put the kettle on!
2. Throw out food when I've bought too much of it. I really should freeze stuff and read up on leftover recipes.....I could try buying less but that usually means more trips in the car to the shop....difficult carbon footprint choice here.
3. Bought so many books that I still haven't read. I'm a sucker for Amazon and for 'real' book shops and I can't see myself giving up this little vice anytime soon.

Things we will be trying to do in 2008:-
1. Buy less stuff.
2. Give unwanted and unused stuff away - forget about ebay, land of the criminals and fraudsters, this year we'll just be charitable instead.
3. Compost all our waste food in a wormery or similar - the boys like the idea of the worms.....

No review would be complete without saying something about Knitting. Several of my online friends have completed variations on this end of year knitting meme and I've blatantly copied it from them.
Favourite yarn of 2007
Sophie's Toes, recently sent to me by Jeanne. It's a delight to look at, to touch and to knit with.
p.s. to anyone who sent me yarn in 2007, please don't be offended that I didn't pick yours as the favourite - I'm a yarn tart, I like whatever I can see in front of me....
Favourite needles
Gotta be the Knitpicks Harmony Circular set. It's breathtakingly beautiful and really well made. Now if only I could get the hang of magic loop....
Favourite new pattern
Skin of the Sea by Ilga Leja. I WILL knit this, I WILL knit this....
Favourite project of 2007
I haven't been as prolific as I would like to have been but I guess it's got to be Tilted Duster
Worst Project of 2007
Hummphhhhh. Glade was terrible, a real drag to finish and I've only worn it twice. I also have several single socks that need to be frogged in 2008.....
Favourite new technique
I learnt alot of things about knitting techniques this year - I knitted my first socks both toe-up and cuff down, I mastered beaded lace in the Mytery Stole, I did my first short rows in the dreaded Glade. It's no good I haven't got a favourite, maybe in 2008?
Favourite knitting website
Ravelry! I don't spend as much time on it as some people I know but I am finding it an increasingly pleasant waste of my spare time. This year I need to start using it to match up my stash with the right projects and make a list of yarn I need.
Favourite knitting book
Norah Gaughan Knitting Nature

Knitting Wish Lish for 2008 (please note, I did NOT say the word 'resolution'.)
Finish the Mystery Stole 3
Get the yarn stash down to just the two boxes that fit under the bed......
Make more sweaters and fewer socks!
Master Magic Loop, even if I then decide never to use it again!